MAVEN Solar Wind Electron Analyzer seeks answers at microscopic levels

Nov 13, 2013
The Solar Wind Electron Analyzer is shown before being delivered to the MAVEN spacecraft. Credit: David L. Mitchell, SSL, UC Berkeley

When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission launches in November to study why the Red Planet is losing its atmosphere, one of its instruments will look to electrically charged particles called electrons for answers.

The Solar Wind Electron Analyzer or SWEA is one of the eight instruments aboard MAVEN that will try to solve the mystery of Mars' dwindling atmosphere, a process that has reduced the planet to a frozen desert.

Produced in a collaboration between the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) in France, SWEA's assignment is to analyze found in two distinct regions around Mars: the passing by and a layer of Mars' upper atmosphere—the ionosphere.

Instrument lead David L. Mitchell of SSL said that SWEA would use the information on electrons to track how other charged particles, such as planetary oxygen ions, are escaping the planet's atmosphere. Solar wind, which continuously blows off the sun's surface at around a million miles per hour, is packed with charged particles and magnetic field lines that can interact with particles in Mars' upper atmosphere, providing a fraction of them with enough energy to leave the planet.

Using electric fields to bend the paths of electrons onto its detectors, SWEA can differentiate between electrons found in the solar wind and those in the Martian ionosphere by identifying their different energies. Mitchell said solar wind electrons possess a broad range of energies, while those in the planet's atmosphere are produced at specific energies.

"The instrument will tell whether the spacecraft is measuring planetary plasma or solar wind plasma," Mitchell said, referring to the mixture of electrons and other charged particles. "It determines the environment, which is important for setting the stage for interpreting other measurements."

By identifying where solar wind plasma ends and planetary plasma begins, Mitchell said SWEA would be able to zero in on the top of the planet's ionosphere.

"We're trying to understand the boundary layer between the solar wind and the planet's ionosphere because this is a key region where planetary material is being lost," Mitchell said. "We want to understand the loss processes and how the solar wind is stripping away the atmosphere."

Mitchell said neutral particles in Mars' atmosphere can become ionized, or electrically charged, by three different mechanisms. In one of these scenarios, neutral molecules absorb solar ultraviolet (UV) light. When its energy is transferred to an electron within the molecule, the electron can be ejected, leaving behind a positively charged ion. This process is known as photoionization. The molecule can also break apart into fragments.

Ionization can also occur when fast moving electrons—either solar wind electrons or newly liberated electrons from the photoionization process—collide with neutral molecules. These collisions can transfer enough energy to eject an electron from the molecule.

Finally, ionization can occur when a fast moving ion from the solar wind crashes into a neutral particle in the atmosphere, stealing one of its electrons in a process known as charge exchange. Gaining an electron causes the solar wind ion to become neutral as it speeds away, leaving the original atmospheric particle ionized in a process Mitchell described as a "hit and run."

"It takes energy to break apart and ionize atmospheric gases," Mitchell said.

Once the atmosphere's neutral atoms or molecules lose an electron and become charged through one of these processes, the magnetic field in the solar wind can pick them up and carry them away as it passes over the planet. To be picked up, the ions first need to reach high altitudes, where they no longer collide with other atmospheric molecules. Mitchell said some ions are produced at a high altitude, while others may be ionized at lower altitudes and gain the energy needed to reach high altitude through different means, like getting accelerated by electric fields.

"One of the goals of MAVEN is to understand how ions get the energy required to reach high altitude," Mitchell said.

In addition to energy requirements, Mitchell said the ions must travel along magnetic field lines in order to leave the atmosphere. The electrically charged particles are subject to magnetic forces, causing them to follow magnetic field lines in a corkscrew-like pattern. Working together with the MAVEN Magnetometer, or MAG, SWEA will be able to distinguish electrons traveling in one direction along the magnetic field from those traveling in the opposite direction. By measuring the energies of electrons traveling in each direction, SWEA can determine whether a magnetic field line passes through the ionosphere, connects with the solar wind, or forms a closed loop. Over the course of many orbits around the planet, SWEA and MAG can create a "road map" of how charged particles move in the Martian environment.

While Earth actively generates a global magnetic field within its core, Mars' magnetic field is dominated by magnetized rock in its crust. Unlike the north and south magnetic poles of Earth, Mitchell said Mars features many localized magnetic fields, as if there were many bar magnets scattered all over the planet. This complex configuration of magnetic fields rotates with the planet once every 24.6 hours—a full Martian day—which makes studying the routes for charged particle escape as challenging as it is interesting.

In addition, the solar wind has its own embedded magnetic field that wraps around the planet's ionosphere. The interactions between the two fields can provide different mechanisms for particles to exit.

"These two systems of magnetic fields can connect with one another," Mitchell said. "There will be times when crustal magnetic field will open up and connect with solar wind's magnetic field lines, forming a path for solar wind plasma to travel down into the atmosphere or a path for planetary ions and electrons to travel upwards and escape."

Mitchell said the SWEA measurements would complement several other instruments aboard, including the magnetometer, to determine whether the interacting are forming possible escape routes.

"This is one reason why the SWEA and MAG instruments are important," Mitchell said. "They tell us whether the opens into the solar wind, providing a conduit for escape, or whether it forms closed loops and traps the ionosphere."

SWEA also complements the Langmuir probe, which will measure electrons that are moving too slowly for SWEA to detect.

"The entire package is going to be working together," Mitchell said.

SWEA will make measurements over a wide range of altitudes ranging from 93 miles (150 km) to 3,870 miles (6,230 km) above the planet's surface. The instrument will also make extremely fast measurements—around every two seconds—at low altitudes where rapid changes in magnetic configurations are expected.

The instrument will have to overcome a distinct challenge in order to make its measurements—the spacecraft itself. Although the instrument can observe an impressive 86 percent of the sky, the spacecraft will block some of the instrument's vision. Furthermore, the spacecraft itself can become charged and bend the trajectories of electrons as they pass nearby, increasing the fraction of the sky blocked by the spacecraft. To reduce this effect, Mitchell said SWEA will be positioned on the end of one of the spacecraft's booms, keeping it far enough away to minimize the effects of the spacecraft .

In addition to making a major scientific contribution to the MAVEN mission, SWEA lead electronics engineer Ellen Taylor of SSL said the instrument marked an important collaboration between IRAP in France—which produced the instrument's analyzer—and the SSL, which produced the instrument's electronics.

"The international collaboration is significant, and making sure you have input from all over is very useful," Taylor said. "It's always beneficial to both sides, as the science itself is the main importance and the engineering is a nice collaboration, since we're getting hardware from [IRAP] that we can fly on our spacecraft."

Although the instrument was a lot of work to develop, Mitchell said the results it's capable of producing make it worthwhile.

"It's been a tremendous amount of work," Mitchell said. "But it's all coming together, and it feels good to have the instrument on the spacecraft, and we're looking forward to launching it on its way to Mars."

MAVEN's principal investigator is based at CU/LASP. The university provided science instruments and leads science operations, as well as education and public outreach, for the mission.

Explore further: NASA prepares to launch first mission to explore Martian atmosphere

Related Stories

Measuring Mars: The MAVEN magnetometer (w/ video)

Mar 26, 2013

When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission begins its journey to the Red Planet in 2013, it will carry a sensitive magnetic-field instrument built and tested by a team at NASA's Goddard ...

Final MAVEN instrument integrated to spacecraft

Apr 03, 2013

(Phys.org) —An instrument that will measure the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere has been integrated to NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. MAVEN has a scheduled launch ...

Recommended for you

The heart of an astronaut, five years on

2 minutes ago

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are ...

Image: Kaleidoscopic view of Mars

5 hours ago

Astrophotographer Leo Aerts from Belgium took advantage of the recent opposition of Mars and captured the Red Planet both "coming and going" in this montage of images taken from October 2013 to June of 2014. ...

Wake up, robot

7 hours ago

Code, play and command your space droid – students across Europe can bring a squadron of minisatellites to life on the International Space Station as the ultimate space robot game.

User comments : 34

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

HannesAlfven
1.2 / 5 (12) Nov 13, 2013
Awesome.
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2013
The MAVEN will find many answers to understand Mars. I think similar measurement for Venus would be interested too. Spacecrafts are supposedly to interfere (the measurement of) the interplanetary or upper atmospheric ions, electrons and their magnetic properties, the similar measurements (for example, at microscopic levels) for Jupiter (and Saturn) with their moons must be very complex. The results and properties among Venus, Jupiter (and their moons and Saturn) would be very different, and many new discoveries are expected ; while the MAVEN wants to find some important answers for Mars.

Recent instruments are becoming more powerful light weight smaller low cost robust lower consumption higher sensitivity higher storage higher sampling rate, and perhaps the exponentially growing software capability indirectly solving some important and difficult problems, then to measure these planets becomes possible.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (12) Nov 13, 2013
I would bet that a Venus version of this mission would generate a lot of contradictions for our conventional theories. The assumption that Venus is in thermal equilibrium seems to be based more upon necessity for our theories than observation …

http://www.skepti...alib.htm

Also, it shouldn't be assumed that dating is accurate for the numerous fragments we see of Mars which are floating around our neighborhood, in light of the unexpected sidereal component to decay rates. Yes, the (terrestrial) sidereal component is small, but part of the purpose of experiments in science is to create opportunities to be surprised. There exists much ancient testimony w respect to Venus and Mars interacting. Those stories should be given at least as much weight as uniformitarian assumptions when designing missions.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (12) Nov 13, 2013
Red flags …

"Charles Ginenthal on Venus" (parts 4 & 5)
http://www.youtub...JK4wbWMg
http://www.youtub...hap64n40

People who might be designing such missions have an incredible opportunity to revisit these historical debates in light of more modern datasets. Note that global catastrophe has become a more mainstream topic since the days of Velikovsky. The uniformitarian worldview is great as a starting point, since it offers us a simple model to work with, but it should never be codified into our beliefs beyond the point of questioning.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2013
Red flags …


Indeed, and I'll raise ya a red flag,,,,

http://abob.libs....col.html
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (11) Nov 13, 2013
Oh dear, you seem to be quoting Ellenberger. This is the person who takes it upon himself to write to government facilities where space supercomputer cycles are used to simulate the EU. I'm not sure how to say this, but what is the sense of interfering with somebody's ability to simulate a model? Does this somehow help us to "do science"? Ellenberger is the prototypical ideological crusader who exhibits an ends-justifies-the-means positivist free induction philosophy. He is here to make sure that we do not try all ideas at once (forced induction).

Free induction is the animal world's M.O. Humans opt for forced induction because it is far faster. What you will find, actually, if you look at the world of startups is that those businesses which attempt to sequentially induce ideas will tend to run out of money. The successful businesses are the ones which force induction (in other words, try all possible ideas at once).
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (11) Nov 13, 2013
correction: "space supercomputer cycles" --> "spare supercomputer cycles"
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (13) Nov 13, 2013
Ellenberger and Bridgman deploy a set of strategies to convince people to look the other way. It is based upon the premise that the EU exhibits "fatal flaws". This is problematic on a number of levels. First of all, contrary to what we hear from the online debunkers, astrophysics and cosmology remain highly speculative endeavors. After all, parallax only works to 1% the diameter of the Milky Way, and our current "modern" theories can only account for 4% of the universe.

Now, add to that the historical critique associated with the cosmic plasma models by the very person who invented MHD (Alfven), and consider that such critique continues on to this day. Is the notion of refusing to question cosmic plasma models a "scientific" endeavor? Does it somehow follow from critical thinking?

The EU proposes that cosmic plasmas probably behave as laboratory plasmas. Don't you think this is a line of investigation which deserves some consideration? Is that notion fatally flawed?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (11) Nov 14, 2013
It may be the case that you have to look past what you've been taught in textbooks and universities to properly answer that last question, but I think that you do know the right answer. Even if Ellenberger and Bridgman can identify problems where work is needed, the notion that cosmic plasmas might in fact behave as laboratory plasmas is something that humans should decide to investigate. Down here on Earth, plasmas exhibit a very slight electrical resistance, which permits them to hold E-fields. On Earth, we rely upon plasma's electrodynamic properties to do things of importance. The concept of plasma down here is intimately tied to the things we do with them. So, very careful thought must be put into decisions which model cosmic plasmas in fundamentally different ways. We must be wary of the situation where we admit that the gas exhibits properties of a plasma, but due to constraints from our worldview, we nevertheless model the cosmic plasma as a GAS.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2013
Is that notion fatally flawed?


I think this pathological obsession with posting page after page that no one seems very interested in, is flawed.

Without a lot of philosophical plagiarism could ya please explain to two things? They are very simple questions, so I would think a deep critically thinking fellow such that ya are could answer them, directly, in your own words.

1) What is your true purpose in all this off topic rambling and speechifying. Is there a goal ya are striving for? Now, don't lie, if your goal is to be obnoxious, just say so.

2) If ya have a goal, what could ya possibly see as evidence that ya have any hope of achieving it? Ya work so hard, and ya are a critical thinker, so must realize that ya are wasting all the effort? Unless your goal is the obnoxious thing,,,, then ya are very successful. So are ya just mind numb and don't realize ya are failing? Or are ya mind numb and get joy out of annoying people?

HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
I am designing a scientific social network. Part of that process is to learn what facilitates the changing of minds, based upon sound argumentation and logic. The only way to learn how to create systems which facilitate paradigm change is to try to change paradigms.

I am fully cognizant that people don't *want* to change their beliefs. Perhaps you've not noticed, but all of the sites which support scientific discourse today focus upon appealing to peoples' desire to confirm their own beliefs.

It stands to reason that not all decisions about belief in science boil down to scientific arguments, claims and experiments. Immunity to change is a very big problem, and the only way to fully diagnose it is to try to undo it.

There are many other topics which I could choose to play with where conventional wisdom is being challenged by a new innovative idea. This is the one that I am most familiar with.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
I've btw learned a GREAT deal about this subject through interactions with the physorg and slashdot communities. It's been an incredibly educational experience, because I can now see that the infrastructure does indeed have enormous impact upon peoples' beliefs within scientific theory itself. And I've made quite a bit of progress towards designing this system. But, there's much more work to be done.

And it's not that I am somehow not immune to change. Part of this process involves seeing the same behaviors that others are doing in myself. We're far more similar than you realize. The difference largely boils down to decisions about what information to expose oneself to.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2013
I am designing a scientific social network. .


So, after all this work, the network is ya and can'tdrive. (And ya seems to have come into this network together.) Seems like a lot work ya are putting to have a network of two.

the changing of minds, based upon sound argumentation and logic.


Ya mean sophistry.

The only way to learn how to create systems which facilitate paradigm change is to try to change paradigms.


Slow learner, eh? I haven't seen one changed mind from all your hundreds(?) or thousands(?) of posts. Ya aren't getting much learning for all the effort.

Which takes us back to your true purpose, "If I can't make them think I'll really smart and special, I can surely make them think I am obnoxious, that will serve them right." Why not just admit that ya are angry and frustrated, and ya want to be obnoxious?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "I haven't seen one changed mind from all your hundreds(?) or thousands(?) of posts. Ya aren't getting much learning for all the effort."

You're not listening to what I'm saying. The system we use to talk about science dramatically influences our beliefs about the theories we are discussing. The solution is to design a system that is fundamentally intended to facilitate change in belief. This sort of system does not yet exist. Physorg doesn't even come close.

There is much research which is pertinent to this topic. It's painfully obvious at this point that sites like physorg are designed to service the status quo. Why would anybody ever expect to convince somebody of an argument on a site which is not designed to support that activity?
Q-Star
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2013
You're not listening to what I'm saying.


Pssst, I hate to break it to ya, nobody is. Which is why I asked the question that ya weren't listening to.Why here? To what purpose? What do ya get from annoying people? Or if that is not your intention, then what are ya thinking ya are achieving?

The solution is to design a system that is fundamentally intended to facilitate change in belief. This sort of system does not yet exist. Physorg doesn't even come close.


Well shouldn't ya be working on designing a system intended to facilitate change in belief? Or are ya such a non-critically thinker that ya need to use a system totally unrelated to what ya want to establish? Are there not some places that do come close? Or at least come closer? We both know that there are places like that,, but ya aren't interested in those,,, which brings us back to "only wanting to make yourself obnoxious".

Ya seem to be sorely lacking this critically thinking thing.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "What do ya get from annoying people? Or if that is not your intention, then what are ya thinking ya are achieving?"

I'm helping to fill a void which the university system and science journalism have created. The public at this stage basically has no idea what a plasma actually is, how they are being modeled in space, nor why any of it matters. Those of us who are not invested in the conventional models in astrophysics and cosmology see that there is a discussion which is not happening which really should be happening.

The truth, however, is that these problems are much bigger than plasmas or cosmology. There are actually debates associated with many of our most prominent theories which the public perceives to not be happening for the simple reason that universities don't teach them and science journalists refuse to report on them.

In marketing, there is this notion of an unarticulated need state. It's the situation where the customer doesn't even know what they want ...
Q-Star
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "What do ya get from annoying people? Or if that is not your intention, then what are ya thinking ya are achieving?"

I'm helping to fill a void which the university system and science journalism have created.


If no one is being converted then ya tilting at windmills. The only person who is interested is can'tdrive. And he was already converted before ya'll arrived.

The public at this stage basically has no idea what a plasma actually is, how they are being modeled in space, nor why any of it matters.


But ya know no one is being converted. So ya seem more intent on punishing them (being obnoxious) for their obstinacy. If your intention is to annoy, which is all ya are accomplishing, why not just admit it?

Those of us who are not invested in the conventional models in astrophysics and cosmology see that there is a discussion which is not happening which really should be happening.


Since nobody wants to listen to your wisdom, then annoy them, right?

HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
The systems we use today to discuss science are completely inadequate for the complexity of the subject matter. This failure to support complexity in dialogue and the failure to facilitate changes in belief (etc) exhibit a net drag upon innovation in science. What we all actually want together is to see progress on the big questions in science. But, what people like yourself fail to realize is that those big questions cannot be addressed when the public lacks the proper system to discuss science.

Simply put, science is too important to leave to the "experts". The long tail of the Internet has already been used to disrupt a number of industries, including music and increasingly, movies. Science is a more difficult domain to work with, but there really is no doubt that there are ideas which are popular today on the Internet which are not popular amongst the "experts". The trick is in figuring out systems for directing peoples' attention to the most promising ones.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "Since nobody wants to listen to your wisdom, then annoy them, right?"

Why does it annoy you when people talk about an idea you are not interested in? Why do you even bother with it?
Q-Star
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2013
Simply put,,,,,,


Ya had your feelings hurt,,,, because your genius went un-praised,,,,, and to get back at those who were able to perform, ya decided being annoying and obnoxious was a good way to get back at them.

The trick is in figuring out systems for directing peoples' attention to the most promising ones.


Well keep on figuring, because ya haven't come close finding one that works. But that was never your intention. Taking out your hurt feelings on the "system" by annoying and vandalizing is your only recourse. Why don't ya just admit that it is all about pay-back because no one gave your genius it's proper due, and failed? (And ya seem to be still be in the failing mode, because your genius is still not bringing in any converts.)
Q-Star
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "Since nobody wants to listen to your wisdom, then annoy them, right?"

Why does it annoy you when people talk about an idea you are not interested in? Why do you even bother with it?


Well for a critical thinking sort such as a fellow ya think ya are, that sure is a dumb question. Maybe it was a rhetorical question,,,, or maybe ya are that self-deluded. Or maybe ya are that dishonest.

Maybe it's because of the pages and pages of the same old thing, day after day. Maybe because ya never discuss the science being reported, all ya post is the same old thing, pages and pages, day after day. Maybe because all ya ever want to monologue (using the words of others) on is "the system", "the university", never the topic at hand. Maybe because everyone has told ya how annoying ya are and ya still persist.

Maybe because ya are too cowardly to admit what everyone knows. Your only purpose is to be obnoxious. Ya have no other intention, and ya aren't man enough to just admit it.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
Re: "Maybe because all ya ever want to monologue (using the words of others) on is "the system", "the university", never the topic at hand."

You seem to not realize that there are different levels which we can discuss things at, and what makes the real world complex is that they are all happening concurrently. You may enjoy talking exclusively about the technical topics inherent to physics, but that doesn't mean that the subjects you don't like talking about -- psychology, sociology, science education, scientific values, etc -- have no influence upon what you're talking about. In fact, the natural result of your refusal to look at the bigger picture and the relationships between the different domains of thought is that you will forever remain a pundit.

Effective innovators are systems-level thinkers. People that create things think on ALL of the levels they are aware of. They don't let themselves become stuck on just one.

If you'd read Disciplined Minds, you'd be wary of it.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
One of the main points which Schmidt makes pertains to specialization. It's worth repeating, since you seem to think that depth of thought is inherently more important than breadth of thought ...

"More important to employers than the economic benefits, however, are the political benefits of the division of labor -- benefits that help management maintain its authority in the workplace. Confined to a range of activity that is limited both horizontally and vertically, employees do not gain firsthand knowledge of the overall organization, strategy or goals of the institution that employs them. Those who work within this division of labor see the consequent ignorance in themselves and in their coworkers and feel a need to be directed by people who comprehend the whole operation. Management has the broadest view of what is going on, and this helps make its supreme authority in the workplace seem natural and justified." (p91)
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
"By making employees easier to replace and by deflating their feeling of accomplishment in their work, the division of labor strips workers of their sense of power in the workplace, discouraging them from challenging management on the way the work is organized. And the division of work into narrow tasks (most of which are the same even when the product is different) denies workers a feeling for what they are producing, thereby discouraging them from challenging management on the nature or design of the product or service. Hence the division of labor, by making self-management seem impossible and by strengthening management's control over the workforce and over the content of the work, helps make the hierarchical system of production more secure" (92)

Part of critical thinking is to avoid becoming pigeon-holed into a particular way of thinking. If you refuse to expand your context beyond the technical details, then your understanding of the problems you think about will be limited.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2013
Time for the predictable flood of snip and glues of one or more of the same 10 or so disgruntled "critical thinkers". .


Wow, that was quick, I make pretty good predictions, eh? With my model of "Hannes The Unacknowledged Genius With Hurt Feelings So He'll Take His Revenge By Internet Forum Vandalism"
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
Q-Star, you might perfectly embody the ramifications of only paying attention to the technical details. A lot of people today make this mistake of thinking that they need not pay attention to everything that is happening at the edges of their focus, even though an important part of being a good scientific thinker is being an excellent observer.

But, it's a very unfortunate habit to develop in life, for it always leads to dependency upon others -- in terms of knowledge and thought, but also in terms of a person's options in life as we get older. This is not how James Maxwell brought together two separate concepts from two different domains. Hyper-focus upon just a small set of the possible is not how people will answer the riddles of cosmology and astrophysics either. It's how people end up in jobs they hate. The world changes so fast today that this notion that people can ignore everything they are not interested in is no longer a strategy for life. It's a recipe for failure.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2013
The chart I presented to you a couple of weeks ago differentiated levels of thinking on the basis of subject and object. Here it is again …

http://postimg.or...iu57ihd/

The point was to show that for each level of thought, a person is either the subject of something, or that something is an object which the person can think & rationalize about. The reason that people should learn multiple worldviews in science is so that they can pull back from being subject TO the idea they were taught in school. Giving a person options for belief fundamentally alters a person's relationship with ALL ideas. That person can then pull back and treat each option as an object of their thought. They can compare the options by looking through each worldview. Up until that point -- when the person refused to learn about competing worldviews -- this was not possible.

The future of scientific discourse is to be able to switch between lots of worldviews effortlessly.
Zephir_fan
Nov 14, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Zephir_fan
Nov 14, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2013
@ HannesAlfven
The public at this stage basically has no idea what a plasma actually is,

My personal understanding of it, is: 1) the 4th state of matter besides g, l, and s; 2) observed universe >99% is plasma. And later, from internet (not from books or printed magazines! reading phys.org once or twice weekly) knowing that: b1) galaxies' outer stars moving too fast; b2) magnitude of EM force greater than gravitational somewhat 10^36 (or 10^3x); b3) questioning whether interstellar space delivers current to sun which tries to explain the energy source of sun; and the sun is some types of plasma. Just say, these are interesting and inspiring some thinking.
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2013
The assumption that Venus is in thermal equilibrium seems to

This amazing too, reading other online news or physOrg I used to think that Venus is shrouded behind dense haze only. Now is to question the several hundred degree c temperature why not suggests Venus releasing heat. The MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution MissioN) to explore the atmosphere of Venus at microscopic level may have (other) new discoveries IF Venus produces heat. These instruments could also investigate whether Venus is with a cloud of ionized particles in space (not certain, have to search).

After all, parallax only works to 1% the diameter of the Milky Way, and our current "modern" theories can only account for 4% of the universe

Unfolding the idea can have many interested thinking.
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2013
space supercomputer cycles are used to simulate the EU
(i.e. spare supercomputer cycles)
The EU proposes that cosmic plasmas probably behave as laboratory plasmas

Part of the problem is the maths. View of layperson, maths are the difficult parts, but maths may make a difference.
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 16, 2013
@ Zephir_fan
Recent instruments are becoming more powerful light weight smaller low cost

That sounds smart and all but would you mind explaining it in normal language?

Before floating into free weight space the weight (cost & complexity of design) of rocket & fuel (itself) spend most fuel during a launch. The weight of the final spacecraft is small compared to the main rocket (multi-stage) & total fuel. In order to increase few grams (or few kg whatever) of payloads or cargo the (weight of) subsequently added fuel would be unrealistic large.

Smaller dimension/weight, a relief for the intensive demand for rocket or adding more other instruments, recent instruments consume fewer power, attached batteries provide both longevity and space. Lower consumption definitely releases less heat, problems about heat sinking then mostly solved, as well as the relative weight/dimension for shielding of instruments from interfere/radiations from empty space or nearby instrument
. . .
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 16, 2013
. . .
Also, some instruments might require bathing in steady thermal environment whether it is near zero temperature (CMBR) or room temperature, their accessories can be getting smaller.

Before the future space elevators some previously deep space missions were propelled by ion engines. They can take extreme short time to carry non-heavy instruments to cover longer distance. Another advantage: smaller instruments can sustain shocking and higher g acceleration during launching, landing or other stages in missions.

It says that those computers for Apollo moon missions occupying space of few rooms can be compared with to the 90's/00's desktop pc. Soon, the later laptop and tablet computers can perform better, shrinking to recent mobile phones the computing powers are naturally increasing. The phones have cameras not to say are with high resolutions. It is no wonder that a plastic/paper/card of few square millimeters can store several kilo-megabytes. And they are low consumption.
. . .
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 16, 2013
. . .
I find that some nice/powerful sw can be run on machines which lower than 'average', trying to run large sw on slow machines : difficult. For powerful sw(on board) what now I can think of, are upgradeable, to zip data, artificial intelligence, autopilot & pattern recognize. A fleet of smaller spacecrafts can be sent at 1 launch. To deploy a fleet of mobile phones in space isn't very meaningful, but only a team of spacecrafts equipped with fast sampling rate and powerful sw, can collect useful EM data for charged particles, to measure unprecedentedly in new dimensions.

With similar payload on previous Jupiter/Saturn rockets a group of spacecrafts instead of single can be sent to Jupiter(or Venus) with almost the same costs which sophisticated software simplifying most tasks, to investigate the really complex (how complex?) moon, planetary systems. Some moons have atmosphere the idea for MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution MissioN) might be applied (on multispacecrafts).
kevin_hingwanyu
1 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2013
. . .
Smaller kg,m3 can also increase hope to success anyway.
Quote, "The red planet is a notoriously tricky target", link:
http://phys.org/n...ere.html