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Many Stars Are Planet Destroyers

A NASA study is being called “Bad news for planet hunters.”  A survey of stars in globular clusters has not turned up the number of planets expected.  Astronomers conclude that stars in these presumably ancient clusters have long since devoured their planets or sent them careening out into oblivion.     The leading popular science […]

Flying Fish Tested in Wind Tunnel: Match Bird Flight

Sometimes engineers investigate things biologists take for granted.  Flying fish have been observed by countless sailors and cruise passengers, and have been described by life scientists.  It took an engineer, however, to investigate these “unexpected fliers” in a wind tunnel.  Surprisingly, though many have speculated about these creatures, “detailed measurement of wing performance associated with […]

What’s Flipping the Earth’s Magnetic Field?

Why has the earth’s magnetic field changed orientation in the past?  How often does it happen?  How long does it take?  Such questions arise from a story reported by New Scientist that claims, “Second super-fast flip of Earth’s poles found.”  This implies there was a first case – and that “super-fast” reversals are strange.   […]

Asteroid Pi

Asteroids are much more diverse than previously imagined.  The Spitzer Space Telescope (now in its “warm” mission after the liquid coolant has dissipated) is targeting about 700 asteroids in a program called ExploreNEOs (Near-Earth Objects).  NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope website reported results from the first hundred studied.  The scientists found that near-Earth asteroids… …are a […]

Universe Is Doomed

Astronomers have decided the universe will expand forever, growing colder and darker, till it ends in a heat death.  According to the BBC News, a study of gravitational lensing by a huge galactic cluster named Abell 1689 determined that dark energy will push galaxies apart till they burn out.  One researcher remarked that the study […]

Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data

What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality?  Some scientists say, a lot.  But is unobservable reality really real?  Or is it an oxymoron?  A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed.     In […]

Fine-Tuning Found in Life’s Rotary Engine

The universal energy currency in living things is ATP.  To produce the vast quantities of this molecule required by life 24 x 7, cells employ banks of rotary engines called ATP Synthase, which we have reported on previously in these pages many times.  ATP synthase has become somewhat of a mascot of intelligent design, because […]

Things in Space that Shouldn’t Be

A history of astronomy and a history of surprise discoveries in space would track pretty well.  Recent stories show that the trend continues even today. Wet moon:  The moon was thought to be depleted of volatiles – until now.  According to PhysOrg, “Researchers discover water on the moon is widespread, similar to Earth’s.”  Shouldn’t all […]

Dark Energy: Can a Theoretical Entity Be Measured?

The redshift of galaxies has been measured for some 90 years, but the existence of “dark energy” was postulated only recently – in the late 1990s.  It was needed to explain unexpected dimness of the most distant galaxies, as measured by Type Ia supernovae.  Some cosmologists claim they are measuring dark energy – others say […]

Darwin Caught Out of Bounds

What business does Darwin have in quantum mechanics or engineering?  Wasn’t his a theory on the origin of species – that is, plants, animals and living things?  Some scientists seem intent on extrapolating his views to all of reality, including areas commonly thought to be in the domain of intelligent design.  Let’s get physical:  An […]

Are Saturn’s Rings Evolving?

Can ring particles grow into moons? And is that how planets grew from rings around stars?

Your Inner Locomotive Revealed

Visualize an old locomotive train roaring down the tracks.  One of the characteristic images that surely comes to mind is the oscillating motion of the coupling rods on the wheels.  The long rods that connected the wheels provided a way to convert heat energy from the steam into mechanical energy (example video on YouTube).  It […]

Breaking Up an Ice Age Is Hard to Do

“Ice Age 3” the movie is out, and the subject of ice ages deserves some attention.  Atmospheric scientists and geologists seem very confident sometimes about things they know about only indirectly, like ice ages.  At other times, though, the rhetoric turns diffident (opposite of confident).  Take this opening paragraph from PhysOrg: Scientists still puzzle over […]

Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods

It’s hard to deny catastrophic canyon formation when you have the evidence right in front of you.  Look what happened in Texas a few years ago, as reported by PhysOrg: In the summer of 2002, a week of heavy rains in Central Texas caused Canyon Lake – the reservoir of the Canyon Dam – to […]

How Well Do We Know What Stuff Is Made Of?

When we think of the “hard sciences,” physics usually tops the list.  A closer look at what physicists think the universe is made of, though, hardly makes the science look hard.  Look at this headline on PhysOrg, for instance: “Study finds there may be multiple ‘God particles’”.  The title refers, of course, to the famed […]
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