September 6, 2012
Newly Discovered Exoplanet – Is It Too Hot To Handle – The Daily Orbit
— What ‘HOT‘ new discovery was made in space? Don’t you want to know…
— Staring fear in the face and saying, I’m scared?
— And having memory problems? There might be a simple fix…
— All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!
Hi I’m Emerald Robinson, welcome to the Daily Orbit. What’s big, hot, and 50 light years away? Well, that would be the newly discovered exoplanet, Gliese (p: Gleeza) 163-C. Scientists discovered this potentially habitable exoplanet using ESO’s HARP telescope. It is at least 6.9 times the Earth’s mass and orbits the red dwarf star Gliese 163. While scientists are calling this exoplanet “habitable,” it’s hot! It receives almost 40% more light from its star than the Earth does from the sun, with temperatures reaching 140 degrees. Scientists say that although some organisms thrive in such hot conditions, it would be difficult for many forms of life. It’s now believed that up to 40% of all red dwarf stars could have habitable planets in their orbit. Who knows, maybe one day we will be broadcasting from an exoplanet far, far away….
Ahhh! That creepy, crawly, ugly tarantula really, really scares me! There– I don’t feel so afraid now! Scientists at UCLA say that expressing your fears and feelings in times of anxiety and stress helps you overcome those fears! The study asked four groups of people to approach a tarantula using different methods of positive and negative self-talk or no talk at all. The participants who honestly expressed their fear were able to get much closer to the spider than those who used positive self talk or said nothing at all. And the real kicker, researchers now say the more negative self talk you use, the more you can reduce your fears. That is a study I am glad to not have been a part of!
Why do I have so much energy? “Cause I eats me spinach!” You get it? Popeye! Turns out spinach is more than just good for you; it can be used to produce solar energy. Researchers at Vanderbilt University combined the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon to create an electrical current. This produced significantly more electrical current than previous “biohybrid” solar cells. Another big plus to this technology- it can be made from cheap and readily available materials. The team will next work to build a solar panel using this combination that will produce enough power to run various small electrical devices. That puts the green in “going green” for sure!
Hey, white liar…truth comes out a little at a time. Turns out there’s a lot of truth to that little country song. Researchers say that we are much more likely to tell the truth when given more time to consider our behavior. But if there’s money to be made, we have a tendency to lie. Researchers concluded that humans are more likely to tell a lie when they don’t have a lot of time to think or when they see an immediate financial gain. According to one researcher, “People usually know it is wrong to lie, they just need time to do the right thing.” So next time you’re tempted to fib, give yourself time before tell that white lie….oh wait…maybe that could be a song….