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An artist's conception shows the Kepler-10 system, home to two rocky planets. In the foreground is Kepler-10c, a planet that weighs 17 times as much as Earth and is more than twice as large in size.
Exo-planet Kepler 10C has been dubbed the Godzilla of terrestrial worlds. It orbits a star that looks like a long-lost twin to our own sun almost 600 light-years away in the constellation Draco and poses a challenge to planetary astronomy:
Seventeen times more massive than Earth, a planet of that magnitude should not exist as a solid celestial body -- or so scientists previously thought. They believed that a massive planet like Kepler-10c would be composed of hydrogen and gas, much like Jupiter and other so-called "gas giants."

"Kepler-10c is a big problem for the theory," Sasselov told Discovery News. "It’s nice that we have a solid piece of evidence and measurements for it because that gives motivations to the theorists to improve the theory."

Well, 10c orbits about twice as close to its star than Mercury does to ours, which could help explain why it isn't a gas giant. Beyond that we can only speculate. Some of us old-school hard sci-fi fans might feel better if it were called Mesklin. Or maybe Starship Troopers would be more accurate: maybe it's an ugly planet, a bug planet!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks DarkSyde (14+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:08:20 AM PDT

  •  I just posted a quick article on (9+ / 0-)

    a 6000 year-old solar ignitor, the first solar-powered tool ever created by Man.

    PDF. (Pretty Damned Fascinatin')

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:08:35 AM PDT

  •  The gravity on Kepler 10c has to be at least 3x (12+ / 0-)

    that of Earth and if we evolved there we'd be like 6 inches tall.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:09:46 AM PDT

  •  I read about the insect eating fund raiser via the (6+ / 0-)

    mentioned restaurant owner. It's interesting that what is commonplace where she come from is exotic here.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:21:26 AM PDT

    •  three years ago when the 17 year locusts emerged (5+ / 0-)

      an ice cream place in Columbia, MO, sold ice cream with locusts.  It was incredibly popular.  Aaaaand it was shut down after one day because they were not serving organically-raised locusts, or at least ones from a controlled situation (my guess is they went and picked them off the trees outside the shop), and there might have been insecticides in them.  In another 14 years, maybe this will be the norm and not a curiosity.

      •  I'm very leary of locusts in Thailand for the same (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annetteboardman

        reasons. Unless you know the local conditions insects were caught in it's not worth it. Of course many insects don't grow in places where insecticides are used anyway, like the large water beetle or the buffalo dung beetle or red ant eggs. Even where they come from pork is cheaper at the market. Even the kids that collect buffalo dung beetles take them to the market for sale and buy pork or rice with the money.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:28:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I seem to recall a couple of the Firesign Theat... (4+ / 0-)

    I seem to recall a couple of the Firesign Theater troupe running for office, and campaigning for the insect vote.

    That would have been 1972 or so. Maybe one of the tethered main site brethren would google and link for the extrapolative links.

    Thanks for all of your efforts.

  •  A neutron star orbits inside its supergiant twin. (10+ / 0-)

    A discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a "theoretical" class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Żytkow.

    Thorne-Żytkow objects (TŻOs) are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelguese in the constellation Orion.

    They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar interiors.

    TŻOs are thought to be formed by the interaction of two massive stars―a red supergiant and a neutron star formed during a supernova explosion―in a close binary system.

    While the exact mechanism is uncertain, the most commonly held theory suggests that, during the evolutionary interaction of the two stars, the much more massive red supergiant essentially swallows the neutron star, which spirals into the core of the red supergiant.

    link

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 06:26:01 AM PDT

    •  Whoa (6+ / 0-)

      that's pretty fucking weird. When the cores merge, black-hole? Giant pulse of refreshing gamma rays?

      •  The neutron star core is unable to absorb (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        defluxion10, KenBee, MT Spaces

        the surrounding giant or supergiant star (greater than ten solar masses) quickly, in spite of its 60 billion G or so surface gravity. The energy released from fusion and gravity is sufficient to generate enough radiation pressure to keep the envelope up off the core, and allow only a moderate amount of matter to fall in. About a hundred millionth of a solar mass per year falls through this region. Such hybrid stars are expected to last tens to hundreds of millions of years before their internal neutron star cores reach the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkov limit and collapse into black holes.

        Material approaching and then falling to the neutron star surface first fuses in a thin halo, only about 40 meters thick, to helium and then carbon. Below the halo, fusion continues all the way to iron before protons convert into neutrons, and nuclei dissolve into nearly pure neutrons.

        The release of gravitational energy from infalling matter is many times larger (96%) than the release of energy from fusion (4%). (The opposite is true for a supergiant with a white dwarf care, where fusion energy dominates in the halo, 99% to 1% for gravitational energy.)

        In the supergiant case, the stellar envelope outside the neutron core and including the hydrogen-burning layer in the halo is fully convective, bringing fusion products to the stellar photosphere, where they should be visible in the combined star's spectrum. The fusion products thus do not accrete to the core as rapidly as in the giant case.

        Stars with degenerate neutron cores. I - Structure of equilibrium models

        Abstract

        Possible equilibrium states are investigated for a star consisting of a massive nondegenerate envelope surrounding a degenerate neutron core. General-relativistic stellar models are constructed that are spherically symmetric, nonrotating, devoid of magnetic fields, and in slowly evolving equilibrium states. Three interior regions are delineated, and the structure of each region is analyzed. Numerical models corresponding to red giants and supergiants are presented in which the large diffuse envelope is separated from the compact core by a thin (about 40 meters thick) nearly isothermal layer, or 'halo', where all the gravitational energy release occurs. Observable features of the models are considered along with their stability and evolution.

        Thorne-Zytkow objects are expected to be the reddest stars in the universe, but by such a narrow margin that they cannot be reliably identified in that way. The expectation is that in the supergiant case there might be detectable differences in spectrum, from unusual ratios of isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen dredged up from their creation in the CNO fusion cycle in the halo.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:58:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, I've had that open in a tab seeing if (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCJim, KenBee

      anybody got to it today. Guess I can close it now.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:45:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  most definitely A bug planet.... (6+ / 0-)

    Steven D' diary earlier in the week on cricket evolution that I have again outted myself in the comments.
    This piece is about Marlen Zuks work on Hawaiian crickets.
    Bill and I discovered this fly way back in 1975. And spent a lifetime working on thing.
    Happy summer everyone.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    And this piece by Shelly Adamo on an aphrodisiac virus that wiped out her crickets.
    (We we are running traps in Texas at night to catch females to send her.)
    NPR blogs
    http://www.npr.org/...

  •  They are NOT "super bugs" (4+ / 0-)

    Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a major problem.

    We need to maintain strong public health infrastructure and good hygiene, use existing antibiotics wisely, and support more research on novel antibiotics.

    But - and this is extremely important - the worst case scenario (which is essentially impossible) would basically be "things just as bad as they were before antibiotics".

    Becoming antibiotic resistant does not usually make bacteria more virulent.  

    Hysterical mainstream journalists imply and promote a pseudoscience scenario in which antimicrobial therapy "backfires" and "makes bacteria even worse" because antibiotics make bacteria "stronger".

    That simply has not happened.  Deaths from bacterial infections are not rising.  Community acquired bacterial diseases, in particular, are not increasing as a cause of mortality or morbidity.  And the major outbreaks we do see are typically food borne, infrastructure related, not due to antibiotic resistant organisms, and bluntly, things that could have been prevented with proper food handling in many cases.

    Resisting antibiotics is energy consuming work for bacteria.  As a general principle, it leaves them with fewer resources available for things like virulence mechanisms.

    Anti-microbial strategies are in some ways analogous to security systems.  They'll never be perfect.  Bacteria, burglars and computer hackers will evolve strategies to evade them.  But having more security strategies makes the job of the burglars and hackers harder, not easier.   It shuts down many and forces others to divert resources to wrangling with the security system.

    I don't mean to understate the problem.

    But in the current milieu, I would worry more about "austerity" programs slashing valuable public health infrastructure.  If enough people get a bacterial illness at once, some will die even if there was a potentially effective antibiotic strategy.  If someone decides that sewage treatment and food inspections are "big government" programs that need to be cut to make room for upper income tax cuts - and plenty already think that - that will have a profoundly negative effect.  

    •  It would help if we spent as much on development (0+ / 0-)

      of antibiotics as we do drugs for erectile dysfunction. And if we could keep from killing of the neotropical forests, that would leave a potential reservoir for new drugs.

      Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

      by TerryDarc on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:13:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So if Stevia kills bugs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris

    should we feel at all comfortable about mixing it into our bodies?  Just asking.

    •  "The poison is in the dose" (3+ / 0-)

      (First law of Toxicology). Salt, after all, kills slugs and snails.

      •  So if we ate a pound of this stevia stuff (0+ / 0-)

        would it kill us too? Or whatever the comparable dose would be. Another question to ask is if this stuff breaks down in our bodies or hangs around?

        Yet another question is what stevia does to our microflora - gut-wise and GI tract-wise, that is.

        Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

        by TerryDarc on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:15:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do does caffeine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, annetteboardman, defluxion10

      If there is any kind of chemical coming from a plant that you consume for it's pharmacological effects, there are good odds it causes that effect because the chemicals in question are naturally-evolved pesticides.

      Caffeine, nicotine, theobromine (in chocolate, can kill dogs in doses harmless to humans), theophylline (used to treat respiratory problems, found in tea), so on and so forth.

  •  'In order to defeat the bug...we must think like (4+ / 0-)

    the bug.'

  •  "Well, Captain Barlennan sailed to the Rim, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10

    Haul it along, boys, crawl it along,
    And a fine crew of seamen sailed with him.
    Tie it down, boys, for the wind's getting strong."

    One of the filk songs I have written is a Mesklinite sea chanty, sort of a tall-tale sketch of Mission of Gravity. I wanted to perform it for Hal Clement, but was always a bit too shy to ask if he'd like to hear it.

    Cogito, ergo Democrata.

    by Ahianne on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:02:30 AM PDT

  •  "Progressive Billionaire" is a complete (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    oxymoron.

    What this guy did is the equivalent of someone who makes 30k a year writing a 100 dollar check.

    2 million.  Wooohhh hoooo.

    Meanwhile, 17,000 kids died of malnutrition yesterday in a world where this dude feels comfortable sitting on billions.

    ProTip - the people who like to play PVP MMORPG's often see this site as one.

    by JesseCW on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

  •  Don't hate on erythritol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA

    Erithrytol is a naturally occuring sugar alcohol and exists in foods like strawberries and mushrooms. It is about 75% as sweet as table sugar and it is, unlike the other sugar alcohols, entirely removed from the human bloodstream by the kidneys, which means that has zero calories, zero blood sugar impact, and does not cause gastric distress. As a diabetic, I use erythritol quite a bit.

    It is not surprising that it might be unprocessable by other species. There are many naturally ocurring compounds that some species enjoy eating that will kill other species. We can consume ethyl alcohol in fairly substantial doses, but it is lethal in small doses to some animals.

    This is NOT like some synthetic sweeteners which are toxic in all cases and work as sweeteners because they are thousands of times sweeter than sugar and thus the doses we eat are far below a toxic dose.

    I think it is a damned good idea to keep researching how erythritol is toxic to these flies, and I keep watching research on all the sugar alcohols to learn about long term health effects (we've only been isolating and thus eating higher than natural doses of these for about 35 years).

    Remember you can die from drinking too much water.

    Sweeteners should always be treats, not staples, but the sugar alcohols have given me back desserts and nut flour baked goods. They are clearly much safer and better than synthetic sweeteners.

  •  If it has a surface like earth with land and (0+ / 0-)

    seas I wonder what it's gravity is at say Sea-level?  

  •  > Remember old-school SNL's Topper (0+ / 0-)

    > Remember old-school SNL's Topper, it was a floor-wax and a desert topping?

    "Shimmer" was the name of the floor wax/dessert topping.

  •  so, is twice as close farther away? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA

    that might solve the problem right there.

    I figure the metric conversion was about when language died as well, all that metricular energy poisoned whoever was watching the language and english died. It plum took It out of us and we haven't done anything No.1 since.

    Well, 10c orbits about twice as close to its star than Mercury does to ours, which could help explain why it isn't a gas giant.
    How the fuck can you be twice as close?..unless you are also halfway to somewhere?

    Sometimes I am glad I'm old...and don't have to throw this gantlet down or run it anymore, irregardless of whatever.....:>

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:19:19 PM PDT

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