science. space

Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests

Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, a study suggests.

Fast-moving flows of interplanetary dust that continually bombard our planet’s atmosphere could deliver tiny organisms from far-off worlds, or send Earth-based organisms to other planets, according to the research.

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Neil Armstrong with the experimental X-15 plane he flew 7 missions in. The X-15 was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and NASA as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft…

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luffthearts  asked:

Husband has space query: We hear about mineral-based planets, ice planets, and gas giants but we never hear about planets composed of liquid. Is that because I'm not paying attention or is that just not a thing?

Mmmmm so here’s the problem with liquid-based planets:

In order to make a planet, you have to have a central THING for it to aggregate around. You can’t just go BOOP PLANET NOW. You have to start small. What you generally start with is a disk of Space Debris formed around a central Nubbin that will someday be a star (this is called a “protoplanetary disk”). Now there’s a lot of dust and debris floating around in the protoplanetary disk, which makes for great building blocks. There’s also a lot of ice and dust. The disk crops up before the central star actually ignites–essentially you have a big spinning mass of crap, all spiraling in towards the center because that’s where the Gravity is Happening, and the center is getting hotter and hotter and more and more dense until eventually there’s enough Squish Force that the hydrogen in the middle goes “hey wouldn’t it be neat to be helium so we can take up less space?” and so it Becomes Helium, and that’s called fusion, and now you have a star.

When the central star ignites, it essentially goes WHOOMPH. It is not a slow ignition or a controlled burn. Once you start fusing hydrogen you’re off to the races, and the shockwave tends to blast everything pretty far away (hence why you don’t generally get planets in real close to the star). It’s also VERY, VERY HOT. The whole disk is now VERY VERY HOT and HIGHLY IRRADIATED because baby stars scream a lot, only the screaming is high-energy radiation. Everything is so hot, in fact, that basically you have a shitload of gas and maybe a little bit of dust, maybe some molten rock. Farther out you have dust and ice, because it’s cool enough that you’re not vaporizing everything ever.

After the big WHOOMPH, things start really happening. You had this big swirling disk of gas that’s now starting to form non-gas objects. What it does NOT generally form is liquids, except in the gooey center (like an Oreo), and that has to do with a very important thing that you don’t get much of in space: pressure.

See, when a liquid is under very, very low pressure, it tends to just go “oh whoops this is energetically unfavorable, look at all this space I’m not taking up” and turn into a gas instead. In the center of the protoplanetary disk you tend to have molten rock, because the rest of the disk is mashing on it. However, that mashing also tends to produce very high temperatures, which are unfavorable to water, because at very high temperatures that likes to be a gas. Outside that gooey center, you just get ice and dust.

(It’s more complicated than that, but that’s a run-down.)

So now you have all this stuff, and it’s all running into other stuff, and some of the stuff sticks together. You start forming chunks instead of bits, and the chunks can be rock or ice or both (see: asteroids, comets), depending on how close to the sun you are. (Hint: the young sun is still VERY VERY HOT. TOO HOT, HOT DAMN). But here’s the meat of the issue:

The bigger the chunks are, the more energy they have when they smack into each other. Energy = heat. Two city-sized chunks of rock and ice slam into each other in a vacuum; the water goes “oH FUCK TOO HOT” and vaporizes, much of it with enough energy that it just zooms off into the void to find something else to run into. The rocks, meanwhile, are like “hey how’s it goin’ wanna gobble up more crap and make a planetesimal?”

So generally what you get is a bunch of rocky, moon-sized bodies scooting around like roombas and sucking up anything that hoves into their path, and then later, sucking things into their gravity wells until they run out of stuff to suck up. Because ice (and other liquid-forming materials like ammonia and methane) tend to get blasted out by the impacts, they don’t get added until AFTER the rocky core is already there.

(Gas giants happen when you have a low-energy, low-heat environment. There’s a lot of gas hanging around that got blasted away from the sun, and so the planetesimals can just hoover that shit up. The more gas you have, the heavier you get, the more gas you can steal. Also water is fairly heavy so sucking up a lot of it makes your gravity well nice and big).

There’s some fun stuff to do with differentiation (the planet gets SO hot that it completely melts, you get a Magma Ocean and all the iron and nickel sink to the core while the silicates float up to the top), which are TECHNICALLY liquid planets, because they’re MOLTEN ROCK ALL THE WAY THROUGH, but those don’t really stick around for long because Space is Cold.

So that was probably a LOT more detail than you were looking for XD

tl;dr we don’t have liquid planets because you have to have a solid core to form a planet around, and the planet-forming process is too hot for anything but rocks to do it.

Rick Sanchez/Reader: If Inconvenient, Come Anyway

CW: NSFW. Fem Reader. PIV. Slight Dubcon. Rough Sex. Dirty Talk. Blood.


Yay for scheduled posts! I want to let everyone know that I live in the US, and so with the holiday coming up in a few days I’ll be pretty busy with family stuff so I may not have the time to respond to many requests/prompts. Once we get past this week my schedule will return to normal, so if you got ‘em send ‘em and I promise I’ll get to you.


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Part 14: torus

More at: @aliens-and-shiz

General Thane lounged on a sofa back in her office on the Torus. with a glass of Jack Daniels 100 Aged whiskey in her hand. If there was ever a time to break into that obscenely expensive bottle it was now.

But, even being responsible for twarting interplanetary terrorism, revolutions, and having the entire defense of the human race on her shoulders, she could only think of one thing.

Anne. Please come back.

She stared at the glass. Goddamn that’s delicious. She took another sip. She’d cry from worrying, but she couldn’t. Not if someone saw her. She looked around her office. It was quite large for her tastes, situated on the top of the slowly rotating ring, she had a veiw of the entire solar system, depending on time of day. She looked out at the monstrous behemoth she controlled and just looked at the beauty of it all.

The Torus was massive. A giant donut-shaped space station with a total radius of 200 miles, and a cross-section diameter of 25 miles across. It was built over 20 years in the asteroid belt, as a main base for the whole USF fleet and military operations. Being the peacekeepers between the 3 main colonized planets and a waystation between the scientific research bases in the outer Solar System. It has 6 antimatter reactors, each of them supplied by largest antimatter generation factories that humankind has ever devised. When you add the thousands of antimatter and nuclear weapons arsenals, railguns, laser armaments, and a fleet of 5000 defense fighters and the capability of building and maintaining all 200 capital ships, 500 destroyers, and countless other weaponized fleet vessels, and finishing off with a top speed of 95% the speed of light, it becomes the most lethal and secure place you can imagine. And General Thane was the Commander-in-chief of all of that.

The intercom interrupted her trance.

“…uhh general?”

“It had better be important Lucy.”

“Well, uhhh someone named Captain Nathan Xu is requesting to land, and asking for you specifically, but he is not showing up on the registration…?”

“That’s classified. Permission granted, send him to my personal hangar. Await further orders.”

He’s back. I hope… does he have Anne?

She walked over to her bookcase and pulled a very particular book back. War of the Worlds. Ironic. A hidden door slid aside and she stepped into the elevator, and rose up to see what awaited her.

Spaceport America is an FAA-licensed spaceport located on 18,000 acres of State Trust Land in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico, United States directly west and adjacent to U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range

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