Friday, March 20, 2015

Science News 1

Ceres
As NASA's Dawn spacecraft inches closer to Ceres, we will be getting better images of the largest dwarf planet or asteroid in the asteroid belt that is between Mars and Jupiter. The only images we have had of this celestial body have been from the Hubble Space telescope.

A lot of interests have been sparked lately regarding Ceres because of a bright spot emanating from a crater. To date, scientists are not sure what it is.  Some believe it may be ice reflecting sunlight.  However, some conspiracists believe this may be an extraterrestrial outpost of some sort. The fact that NASA has yet to present photos of the Ceres up close is fueling that conspiracy.  They have not posted anything because the side that Dawn is orbiting is away from the sun and dark.  It is believed that images should start coming in next month.




Source:
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-dawn-distant-ceres-habitability.html
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Chemicals of Life
A new study (Common origins of RNA, protein and lipid precursors in a cyanosulfidic protometabolism) by the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom claims to have solved the enigma of how life began on Earth.  Since the onset of the theories regarding evolution and genetics began to sprout, scientists have struggled to figure out how all of this began.

What triggered the amino acids, carbon atoms, ribonucleotides and glycerol to come together and form lifeforms.  In the study, the scientists observed the interactions of the aforementioned chemicals and noticed specific reactions that indicate how they may have come together to form proteins, RNA and lipids which allow for cellular formation.  The problem I see with this study is that it assumes the interactions observed at the lab were what happened on Earth. We do not know the conditions at the time life formed or if there was an external factor not accounted for. An alleged atheist on Google + posted this article claiming he did not see God in this.  The suggestion is not logical since these chemicals all have a contingent nature. There is no way we can rule God out.


Source:
http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.2202.html
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-chemists-riddle-life-began-earth.html


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Cosmic Display
Today will be a day of many cosmic displays. Due to a strong solar storm, the aurora borealis will be visible in many areas including New York City.  Moreover, there will be an eclipse which will only be visible in most of Europe. A supermoon is also scheduled to occur.

Some are calling these "omens" especially since it is the first day of spring.  However, scientists assure us that nothing out of the usual is going on.  These events just happened to coincide on the same day.  That being said, go outside and enjoy it.



Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/sky-watchers-treated-to-northern-lights-super-moon-and-eclipse-this-week-1426746665-slideshow/aurora-borealis-northern-lights-commonly-known-photographed-over-photo-134638910.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/18/solar-eclipse/24970217/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fridays-solar-eclipse-nothing-well-164149278.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw
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