Wild Boat

Alien theory is 'wild speculation,' says astronomer who found strange interstellar object - The Boston Globe

Harvard researchers’ suggestion that a strange interstellar object that invaded our solar system could have been an artificial object built by an alien civilization drew a lot of attention worldwide, but the truth is a little less exciting, the researcher who discovered the object said.

“Honestly, I think it’s a bit of wild speculation,” astronomer Robert Weryk told Canada’s CBC . “We actually think that’s not true based on the data that we obtained.”

Instead, he said, “I think it’s actually just a remnant from another solar system. . . . It’s just a remnant of a comet from a distant solar system, but we have no idea which one. It’s just something that happened to run into us.”

The object ‘Oumuamua — Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first” — is the first ever observed intruding in the orbits of our planets. It was picked up by telescopes in October 2017 at the University of Hawaii’s Haleakalā Observatory. It is now on its way out of the solar system and expected to never return. Scientists say other “interstellar” objects may have sailed by in the past, undetected.

A new paper written by professor Avi Loeb, chairman of astronomy at Harvard, and postdoctoral researcher Shmuel Bialy suggested the object might be a light sail, or solar sail — a proposed method of powering spacecraft that uses a sail to catch radiation pressure and propel the spacecraft, just as a normal sail uses the wind to propel a boat.

The paper suggests the light sail theory because, Loeb said last week, the object has unexplained excess acceleration like a comet, which gets propelled when ice on it vaporizes. ‘Oumuamua had no tail like a comet, however, Loeb noted.

Weryk said he believes the object is a comet with a “small amount of outgassing that wasn’t visible directly from the ground. That’s why it didn’t appear to be a comet.”

Other researchers have also sounded notes of caution. Steven Beckwith, a professor of astronomy and director of the Space Science Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley, last week said, “The evidence for a light sail from some distant civilization is too weak to make a convincing case, but it is, nevertheless, fun to think about.”

“I think a lot of people like to consider exotic possibilities. It really opens more questions of ‘What if?’ But for this particular case, I think the data clearly states that this is a natural object. There’s no reason to think it’s anything but that,” Weryk told CBC.

Loeb said Tuesday in an e-mail, “Our paper follows the standard scientific methodology: an anomaly is observed in data, the standard explanation fails to explain it and so an alternative interpretation is proposed. I encourage anyone with a better explanation to write a paper about it and publish it. Wrong interpretations can be ruled out when more data will be released on `Oumuamua or other members of its population in the future.”

“The nature of `Oumuamua will not be dictated by a popularity contest on Twitter. It is what it is, and the sarcasm expressed by critics is irrelevant,” he said.

Source: www.bostonglobe.com

Snowy Day Disaster! Truck Slides Down Boat Ramp Into Lake Of The Ozarks - Lake Expo

The truck slid down a snow and ice-covered boat ramp into the Lake of the Ozarks, after the Lake area received at least three inches of snow on Monday. The driver of the truck was able to get out of the truck, before it sank, and safely swim to a nearby dock. The driver—who had reportedly been working on a nearby dock—was not injured in the incident.

According to an anonymous eyewitness, the truck floated out into the middle of the cove and sank. Also, according to neighbors who live in the cove, the truck was still at the bottom of the Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Nearby homeowners say they are concerned about the potential environmental impact of the oil and gasoline and the possibility of their boats hitting the truck when using the private ramp. Neighbors have also contacted Ameren Missouri to ask what the procedure would be to get the truck removed from the cove.

According to one neighbor, the Missouri State Highway Patrol/Water Patrol had taken an incident report and said the truck would be removed.

The incident is reminiscent of another, in January, when a truck slid on ice down a hill, through the Backwater Jack's restaurant parking lot, launched over a retaining wall, flipped over and landed upside-down next to the pool. Here's the video of that wild ride (thankfully the driver bailed out before the truck reached the parking lot):

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Source: www.lakeexpo.com

Implanting sensors in fish to monitor their stress levels in the wild - Sciworthy

Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have successfully implanted bio-loggers into farmed rainbow trout to monitor them in real time and natural conditions. Bio-loggers are small, bullet-shaped sensors that are about 13 cm or 1.5 inches long and can measure heart rate and temperature from inside an animal for 18 months. The researchers also measured cortisol, the stress hormone, before and after introducing stressors to verify how accurately heart rate correlates to stress in rainbow trout. This study was the first time scientists implanted farmed fish with bio-loggers. Fish can be very difficult to study due to their underwater habitat and uniform physical appearance, making them difficult to monitor at an individual level. Usually fish are tested by removing them from the water, which stresses the animal out and can only last for a couple minutes at a time. Therefore, these tests only provide a snapshot of the fish’s condition and may not provide an accurate picture because they are under physically tough conditions. Testing the fish out of water also means that the researchers have to wait for several hours or days before testing again because the fish could suffer beyond ethical limits and even die. This makes it hard to take measurements of things like heart rate or temperature where an average of frequent, repeated measurements on the same animal would provide the most accurate value. Monitoring stress in farmed animals is important for the health of the animal and to ensure quality production. Stress negatively affects the quality of the final products in terms of taste and texture. As such, measuring heart rate can be used as a proxy for the amount of stress the animal is experiencing. In general, the higher the heart rate, the more stressed the animal is. The first step of putting the bio-loggers in the fish was to do a preliminary study to find the best position for the sensor. The optimal position for measuring heart rate accurately without harming the fish was when the sensor was placed horizontally between the two front fins, pointing towards the head. With the best position determined, they implanted bio-loggers in 20 fish and placed them in a net cage. After 4 days of recovery, the scientists observed a circadian rhythm in the heart rates of the trout. This rhythm was normal and indicated that the fish had fully recovered from the stress of surgery. The researchers then took measurements of heart rate and cortisol over a 2 day period. The fish were recorded when they were swimming normally around the sea cage, experiencing a moderate increase in the density of fish, an additional increase in density, after being scooped into a transport boat, in the boat while moving and after it stopped, after being moved to the slaughterhouse holding tank, while in the holding tank right before slaughter, and while they were being euthanized with CO The heart rate of the trout was shown to increase during most of the stressful events, but it decreased when being loaded into the boat and while the boat wasn’t moving. This was because the oxygen level in the water was low during those times, and fish decrease their heart rate when oxygen is low. After the oxygen increased again, their heart rates increased significantly above normal. The increased level of cortisol showed that all these events were stressful to the fish and that the holding time before slaughter was not long enough for the fish to return to normal levels. Evidenced by the study, heart rate can provide a somewhat accurate estimate of stress in farmed rainbow trout when oxygen levels in the water are normal. Measuring heart rate and body temperature together can better estimate the effect of stress on the metabolism of the fish. A high metabolism is undesirable for farmers because the fish will need more food and grow slower. Animal welfare is an increasingly important factor in consumers’ decision-making, and fish farmers could make... Source: sciworthy.com


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