Hunt for first ‘exomoon’ zeroes in on top prospect of surprising size Exomoons could have ‘moon-moons,’ and they might support alien life Hey peeps!😃I was inspired by the Ploonet news yesterday to go back to making infographics! So here is a summary of Ploonet formation!🌑Hope you enjoy 💖🙏Also just like the other ones it is free to use and modify!#ploonets #scicomm #sciart #astronomyfact #sciencetwitter pic.twitter.com/ZLxXwURDXX— Dr. Héloïse Stevance 💖💥 (@Sydonahi) July 10, 2019 Sci-Tech 27 Photos Cosmic dead ringers: 27 super strange-looking space objects Space The last paper submitted to the ArXiv by our team shows that regular exomoons orbiting close-in giant planets are tidally unstable, and prone to be unavoidably expelled from the planet’s orbit to circumstellar locations. https://t.co/1uLL2qctre (Follow the thread) pic.twitter.com/g1hVqgYtGo— Mario Sucerquia (@MarioSucerquia) July 1, 2019 Share your voice NASA released this illustration of what an exomoon might look. NASA/ESA/L. Hustak Dear Diary, I dream of one day running away from my home in orbit around my gas giant planet, which is now migrating ever closer to our solar system’s star. Thanks for the push, gravitational forces! Soon I will be free from my planetary orbit and I will no longer be just another moon. I will break away and become … a ploonet!If you’re getting “moonmoon” vibes from this whole ploonet thing, you’re not alone. The term combines the words “planet” and “moon” to describe a hypothetical moon that breaks away from its host and became its own kind of small planet.Ploonets are now a thing thanks to a paper submitted for review to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal. It’s called Ploonets: formation, evolution, and detectability of tidally detached exomoons.Astrophysicist Mario Sucerquia, the lead author, said he and co-author Jorge Zuluaga created the nickname “because we pretended to capture in a single word the entire biography of these objects: planets with a moonish origin.” He said he finds the term “captivating.” The scientists considered going with “moonets,” but wanted to reinforce how they end up as planets. As Stevance points out, ploonets are likely to live fast and die young. If you’d like to immerse yourself in all the juicy astrophysics details of ploonets, be sure to check out Sucerquia’s own Twitter thread on the matter. He discusses how we might able to spot ploonets, some of which could end up looking like giant comets or just regular exoplanets. Post a comment The researchers ran simulations of a large exomoon (a moon located around a planet in another solar system) orbiting a gas giant (think of a hot Jupiter) that’s moving ever closer to its star. The simulations didn’t end well for a lot of these hypothetical moons, which faced demises including crashing into their own planets or burning up in the star. But some survived in the simulations to achieve their own orbits around the star. Voila, ploonets!Astrophysicist Heloise Stevance, who was not involved in the paper, created and tweeted a helpful infographic to explain how this all works. 0 But here’s the kicker: “The Earth’s tidal strength is gradually pushing the Moon away from us at a rate of about three centimeters per year,” he tweeted. “Therefore, the moon is indeed a potential ploonet!” Fine then, I’ll see you on the dark side of the ploonet. Tags Originally published July 10, 9:04 a.m. PT.Update, 3:08 p.m. PT: Adds comment from lead author of paper. Fly me to the exomoon
#MeToo hashtagThe #MeToo movement in one year has shaken the United States, brought down dozens of powerful men and threatens the confirmation of a Supreme Court judge, yet it has also become deeply polarizing and its long-term impact remains unclear.Accusations last October that Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein engaged in decades of sexual assault, opened the floodgates with liberals still reeling from President Donald Trump’s 2016 election despite boasting that he groped women with impunity.But #MeToo, like almost everything in America these days, has proved divisive.And with Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh accused of misconduct by three women in the 1980s, the polarization is becoming near hysterical.On Tuesday, Trump was cheered by supporters in Mississippi when he mocked Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, provoking a furious backlash from Democrats and criticism from moderate Republicans.“It’s a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of,” he said earlier this week.“You have this backlash that many Republicans are feeling that if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, it allows this liberal movement to take precedence over their politics and concerns,” explained Melissa Deckman, professor of political science at Washington College in Maryland.Research indicates a gender gap—that women care more than men about sexual misconduct—but that party is the deciding factor, with Democrats caring more than Republicans.#MeToo spurred the ouster of Democratic lawmakers such as the popular Al Franken and John Conyers, hugely respected for his civil rights work.This 20 years after Bill Clinton survived allegations of sexual assault and harassment, as well as an attempt to remove him from office over a consensual affair with an intern that many now consider an abuse of power.‘Marathon, not a sprint’In an Alabama election last year, meanwhile, Republicans backed their guy despite accusations he molested teenage girls.With Kavanaugh, having a conservative judiciary appears to carries more weight with many in his camp than anything he may or may not have done as a teenager.#MeToo has been credited with spurring women to run for office in record numbers as Democrats hope next month’s midterm elections will strip Trump of his majority and elevate women into power.But a revolution remains a long way off.The best possible outcome in November is that women will make up 24 per cent of Congress, a US record and up from the current 19.3 per cent, a rate of representation still flagging far behind many in the developed world.“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “We are likely to see some gain… but we are not going to be at parity.”Women have come forward to vent their anger over harassment and assault that for years they kept quiet, humiliated and disbelieving that they would be heard. Instead now they are being heard, being believed and supported.There are signs attitudes are shifting. This year, Bill Cosby, once one of the most famous Americans in the world, was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 and sentenced to at least three years in prison.‘Anything could happen’From police reopening a rape investigation into one of the biggest soccer stars on the planet, to ex-gymnastics USA doctor Larry Nassar being jailed for life, barely a day goes by when #MeToo is not front-page news.But the lasting impact is unclear.There has been growing pushback questioning whether all sexual misdemeanors should be treated with the same kick-them-to-the-curb attitude.An increasingly vocal segment believe the movement may have gone too far in ousting at least some men without the evidence to back up their accusations.“The effectiveness of the #MeToo movement and the long-lasting impact of it is largely dependent on men buying into it,” said Lisa Kimmel, president and CEO of the Canadian arm of US-based public relations firm Edelman.In American business circles, women account for fewer than four percent of board chairs in the S&P 1500.“It’s almost tone deaf if there is not a real commitment to enhance women in the workplace,” said Kimmel.And what of politics? How long will it take a viable woman presidential candidate to fare better than Hillary Clinton?“If things continue the way they are, you are going to have the same momentum in 2020 and women ready to throw their hats into the ring,” said Sinzdak. “But anything could happen, between now and then.”
Police inspect a car whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo early 1 January 2019. Photo: AFPNine people were hurt, one seriously, when a man deliberately ploughed his car into crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve along a famous Tokyo street, police and media said Tuesday.With an “intent to murder”, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s fashion district of Harajuku at 10 minutes past midnight, a police spokesman told AFP.According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in “retribution for the death penalty” without giving more precise details.NHK footage showed a small box vehicle with a smashed front and paramedics carrying people on stretchers into ambulances.One witness told NHK it was a “ghastly scene.””I saw some guys collapsed on the street. As I walked closer toward the scene, many more people had fallen on the ground. By the time I reached the exact place, paramedics were already there helping people,” he said.Another witness who runs a clothing shop in the area said: “I am shocked that something like this happened on Takeshita Street.”Police immediately cordoned off the street, which was packed with people celebrating the New Year.One college student suffered serious injuries during the attack and was undergoing surgery, the police spokesman told AFP.Kusakabe was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of eight people and assaulted another on the street, which was closed to car traffic at the time as revellers packed the area to celebrate New Year.Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of international tourists every day.Unlike in other major cities, New Year in Tokyo is a relatively muted affair.There is no major fireworks display and no central point where drunken revellers gather to see in the New Year.Instead, Japanese people tend to see in the New Year with families and quietly go to the shrine to pray for good fortune in the year to come.