Did Humans Almost Go Extinct? | Random Thursday

70,000 years ago, the human population hit a major bottleneck, and scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

One of the more popular explanations has been the Toba explosion, the massive explosion of the Toba supervolcano that occurred at roughly that same time, but has been mostly disproven.

DNA evidence shows that African populations, especially the ancient Khoi and San people of Africa, show far more genetic diversity than those who came out of Africa according to the “out of Africa” theory. The study showed that those that came out of Africa descended from between 1000 and 10,000 breeding pairs.

The reason for this remains a mystery.

According To NASA, Voyager 2 May Be Leaving the Solar System Soon

This NASA diagram illustrates the hypothesized positions of Voyagers 1 and 2 in the solar system as of October 2018. Voyager 1 reached interstellar space in 2012. Voyager 2 may soon hit that milestone.

Want to get away? Want to get far, far away? Voyager 2 has you beat: The spacecraft, launched in 1977, is approaching the edge of the solar system, according to a NASA statement released today (Oct. 5).

That announcement is based on two different instruments on board, which in late August began noticing a small uptick in how many cosmic rays — superfast particles pummeling the solar system from outer space — were hitting the spacecraft.

That matches pretty well with what Voyager 1 began experiencing about three months before its own grand departure in 2012, but scientists can’t be sure of the milestone until after it has been passed.

We’re seeing a change in the environment around Voyager 2, there’s no doubt about that,” Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone, a physicist at Caltech, said in the statement.




We’re going to learn a lot in the coming months, but we still don’t know when we’ll reach the heliopause. We’re not there yet — that’s one thing I can say with confidence.

The team behind Voyager 2 knows that the spacecraft is currently almost 11 billion miles (17.7 billion kilometers) away from Earth.

But it’s hard to predict when the spacecraft will actually leave the solar system by passing through what scientists call the heliopause.

The heliopause is the bubble around our solar system formed by the solar wind, the rush of charged particles that constantly streams off our sun.

The rate of energetic interstellar particles detected by Voyager 2 started to rise at the end of August 2018. Each point represents a 6-hour average.

But that solar wind ebbs and flows over the course of the sun’s 11-year cycle, which means that the bubble of our solar system itself expands and contracts.

And because Voyager 2 isn’t following precisely in its predecessor’s steps, scientists aren’t positive that its cosmic exit will result in identical changes to the data that the spacecraft reports.

So until Voyager 2 passes through the heliopause, there’s no way to be sure precisely where it is with regard to the heliopause.

Whenever it does successfully flee the solar system, Voyager 2 will become just the second human-made object to do so.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Goblin, The Hidden Planet Nine, Lurking In Outskirts Of Our Solar System?

There is a growing evidence that our solar system has another Planet Nine or Planet X that is orbiting the Sun at a great distance.

Astronomer Scott S. Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington and his team explained the orbital details of the planet, which they have nicknamed Goblin, while officially it is designated in 2015 as TG387.

The team took three years to figure out the orbit of the Planet, which is interesting. Their findings have been published in the Astronomical Journal.

Distanced at about 7.4 billion miles from the sun, or about 2.5 times farther away than Pluto, the planet’s most distant end of its elliptical, 40,000-year orbit, is nearly 70 times farther from the sun than Pluto.

However, TG387 remains far beyond the pull of the gravitation of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and astronomers have now discovered several bodies with such distant orbits.




In 2016, Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology, originally predicted about an unseen planet, bigger than Earth yet smaller than Neptune. And it was named Planet Nine.

Ann-Marie Madigan, an astronomer at the University of Colorado, has suggested that gravity from a massive ring of small worlds early in the solar system’s history could explain the distant orbits.

“This new object does look like it’s quite good for the Planet Nine theory,” Madigan said.

Dr. Brown, who is behind Pluto’s demotion as a dwarf planet, is currently leading the search for Planet Nine. “Mostly it’s just another piece that fits in the puzzle very nicely,” said Brown.

Unseen by any earth-based telescope, TG387 is extremely lucky to have been located. We think there are thousands of these, and most of them are too distant to detect,” said Sheppard.

The discovery of the new planet may now trigger conspiracy theorists to claim that it could be the Nibiru, a rogue planet lurking outside our solar system to enter any time to cause destruction.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Afterlife Insurance: Is Cryonics Really That Crazy?

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Cryonics is the act of freezing a dead body so that someday it can be revived when future technology can bring them back to life. The chances for success are slim. But is it a bad idea?

Humans have been trying to cheat death for as long as we’ve existed. The drive to live longer, to survive, seems etched into our DNA. The entire field of medicine exists for that one reason – to extend human life.

Our medical technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years and along the way our notions of death has changed as well. We no longer see it as a state, but a process. And some have taken this notion to extremes and believe that you can freeze that process indefinitely so that future medicine can cure you. This is cryonics.

There are a handful of major cryonics companies, including Alcor, the Cryonics Institute, and KrioRus. They have spent years mastering the cryopreservation process that starts as soon as possible after the body is declared dead.

Whether this process will actually work is unknown, but it’s a bet cryonicists are willing to take.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon – Elon’s First Step to Mars

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Elon Musk’s plan to get humans to Mars can only be achieved if they first get people to space. For this, they have built the Crew Dragon capsule, which will finally start testing at the end of this year, with the first astronauts scheduled for Spring 2019.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is a manned version of their Dragon cargo capsule. Fully autonomous with room for 7 passengers, this is the most advanced space craft ever built. Along with the new Boeing Starliner, this will give NASA 2 different options to send up astronauts for the first time in their history.

Launching astronauts into space from American soil would be the first time that’s happened since 2011, when the famed Space Shuttle flew its last mission. The first two astronauts to fly on Crew Dragon are Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, two seasoned astronauts with years of experience between them.

My Tesla Model 3 Delivery!

After 2 1/2 years of waiting, my Tesla Model 3 is finally here!
Today’s video is a little bit different, more of a vlog-style where I document the delivery and my first impressions of the Tesla Model 3.