PDA

View Full Version : Prediction: Biggest News of 2006?



baric
2006-Jan-27, 05:09 AM
I think most of us would agree that the biggest astronomical news of 2005 was the discovery of the possible 10th planet, or at least the first KBO larger than Pluto...

Yeah, yeah, it's late January, but...

what does everyone predict to be the biggest astronomical news story of 2006?


I am going to go WAY out and a limb and predict the discovery of a near-stellar companion (i.e a brown dwarf) to Sol, way out in the Oort Cloud. Let the Nemesis theorists rejoice! ;)

Of course, I'll let everyone else guess more realistic possibilities...

mantiss
2006-Jan-27, 05:45 AM
Richard Hoagland discovers faith, turns into Lead Singer for Stryper.

Realistically I believe there will be a few announcements on the way Cosmology evolves. Sounds like a safe bet to me. And the discovery of the first terrestrial (ie non gas giant) where the observing angle allows for basic atmospheric quantification. Hopefully :D

beskeptical
2006-Jan-27, 10:04 AM
Sadly, the crust splits in another 8+ mag quake south of the big Indonesian tsunami quake fault and while people remember to run away from the beach when the tide suddenly goes way out, the tsunami warning systems will not have improved all that much. You know the rest.

Sorry, this is probably more planetary science than astronomy. I just think about it when I hear the "what do you predict" question.

pumpkinpie
2006-Jan-27, 02:51 PM
I hope that the biggest astronomy news of 2006 is the announcement by the IAU of its definition of a planet!

baric
2006-Jan-27, 04:03 PM
I hope that the biggest astronomy news of 2006 is the announcement by the IAU of its definition of a planet!

huh. That kind of crazy prediction probably belongs in the ATM forum!

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Jan-27, 04:06 PM
I'm hoping for the discovery of a terrestrial planet with near 1-G gravity, orbiting at nearly 1 AU, around a sun-like star within 50 light-years of Sol.

Call me an optimist. ;)

Saluki
2006-Jan-27, 05:04 PM
I think the data returns from the Stardust mission have great potential for big news.

Kullat Nunu
2006-Jan-27, 09:23 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if it is related to the cosmic background radiation.

Doodler
2006-Jan-27, 09:35 PM
The good: I'll go with TSC on that, and the accidental discovery of a true Earth analogue planet.

The bad: The space shuttle Discovery will be lost on its second "return to flight" mission from a problem completely unrelated to foam, which incidentally didn't fall off on this flight. I put odds that it hits a piece of space junk smaller than the threshold of size that is currently tracked.

Doodler
2006-Jan-27, 09:47 PM
Sadly, the crust splits in another 8+ mag quake south of the big Indonesian tsunami quake fault and while people remember to run away from the beach when the tide suddenly goes way out, the tsunami warning systems will not have improved all that much. You know the rest.

Sorry, this is probably more planetary science than astronomy. I just think about it when I hear the "what do you predict" question.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/01/27/indonesia.quake.ap/index.html

Almost.

Ilya
2006-Jan-28, 01:02 AM
I hope that the biggest astronomy news of 2006 is the announcement by the IAU of its definition of a planet!
You are way too optimistic! :D

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-28, 03:10 AM
One or more of the Mars rovers finally dies. :boohoo:

One or more of the Mars rovers brings back spectacular information on the history of Mars (no, Hoagland, not that).

Fr. Wayne
2006-Jan-28, 05:14 AM
One or more of the Mars rovers finally dies. :boohoo:

One or more of the Mars rovers brings back spectacular information on the history of Mars (no, Hoagland, not that).

Too sad to contemplate, as I bet half a buck that Spirit would outlast Opportunity. I think that some billionaire will announce he is going to land on the moon.

paulie jay
2006-Jan-28, 07:19 AM
Richard Branson perfects commercial spaceflight, but to keep costs down the seats will be pushed closer together and passengers will have to bring their own oxygen. :)

jkmccrann
2006-Jan-28, 08:31 AM
As has already been mentioned here, and elsewhere, but there can be only one answer to this, and that is Pluto's demotion from planetary status by the IAU, followed by some sort of public outcry, and perhaps its reinstatement, although I wouldn't count on it.

The New Horizons craft represents an interesting new dimension to this whole debate, at least for the next few years.

Is it going to examine a couple of planets and then some KBOs? Or is it merely swinging by one planet, Jupiter, then exploring the strange worlds of the Belt, whatever and wherever their histories place them???

Ara Pacis
2006-Jan-28, 06:41 PM
I predict that there will be at least 1 supernova in the Milky Way, but not more than 12.

I predict that we will discover at least one, probably more, planet like objects on highly elliptical solar polar orbits, probably by Mike Brown. At least one person will try to use this to explain the Pioneer anamoly, but they will be wrong.

We will detect a very strange anamolous electromagnetic signal in space but we will be unsure if it is natural or artificial.

We will discover a large jupiter-type planet orbiting in a double-star system via wobble. However, it will not be immediately clear if it is in a Lagrange or some other orbit and astronomers will put it on a list of future micro-lensing possibilities.

More evidence of life will be forthcoming from the mars rovers, but they will die just in time to leave us guessing. Hoagland will claim it is a coverup, martian aliens damaging the rovers, or both.

A large meteor will be detected in time to be optically tracked to its collision on the moon. We will learn a lot about lunar material from the deep material excavation.

Stardust will give indications of not only organic materials in comets, but structures indicative of life, but no serious astronomer will claim that there actually is life on comets. Woo-woos, on the other hand...

Wait, was I limited to just one?

Fr. Wayne
2006-Jan-28, 07:35 PM
More evidence of life will be forthcoming from the mars rovers, but they will die just in time to leave us guessing. Hoagland will claim it is a coverup, martian aliens damaging the rovers, or both.


An excellent prediction, though the part of the rovers dying would be devastating to the auto industry- not to mention my bet (found elsewhere in this BAUT universe and frankly not worth looking up.)

Kullat Nunu
2006-Jan-28, 10:30 PM
I predict that there will be at least 1 supernova in the Milky Way, but not more than 12.

Well, just only one would be the astronomy news of 2006, two would be insane. Recent study suggests that in the Milky Way on average once every 50 years a supernova explodes. Of those, most won't be detectable in visible light from Earth. It has been as many as 401 years since last time a supernova was seen in the Milky Way; it was detected by Johannes Kepler in 1604. No supernova in the Milky Way has ever been studied with a telescope!

Kullat Nunu
2006-Jan-28, 10:35 PM
More evidence of life will be forthcoming from the mars rovers, but they will die just in time to leave us guessing. Hoagland will claim it is a coverup, martian aliens damaging the rovers, or both.

Nitpicking: The rovers haven't uncovered any evidence of life so far; only that the conditions might have been relatively favorable for development of life on the early Mars.

The Incredible Bloke
2006-Jan-28, 10:54 PM
I'm hoping for the discovery of a terrestrial planet with near 1-G gravity, orbiting at nearly 1 AU, around a sun-like star within 50 light-years of Sol.


I thought they did not have this ability to see Earth smass planets that far away.

Kullat Nunu
2006-Jan-28, 11:25 PM
That close, actually. Earth-mass planets at 1 AU could already be (or will be very soon) detectable by microlensing near the center of the galaxy some 20,000 ly away, as the recent discovery (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=37356) of a 5.5 Earth mass planets suggests.

evanoconnor
2006-Jan-28, 11:54 PM
Wait, was I limited to just one?

Odds are you'll be right with one of them

Ara Pacis
2006-Jan-29, 08:19 AM
Nitpicking: The rovers haven't uncovered any evidence of life so far; only that the conditions might have been relatively favorable for development of life on the early Mars.
Actually, more evidence in reference to the meteorite they found in Antarctica, not referencing anything found by the rovers. :D

snabald
2006-Jan-29, 04:34 PM
Evidence that there was/is microscopic life on Mars will be announced, only to be retracted later.

publiusr
2006-Feb-01, 10:55 PM
Dateline July 30, 2006

"In order to pay for the new war in Iran, President Bush has scrapped NASA..."

Mortac
2006-Feb-01, 11:00 PM
Dateline July 30, 2006

"In order to pay for the new war in Iran, President Bush has scrapped NASA..."

Thank god you can't vote for him again! :naughty:

Josh
2006-Feb-01, 11:13 PM
Thank god you can't vote for him again! :naughty:

Please be careful with the political chatter ... (see Rule 12 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845))

baric
2006-Feb-02, 03:25 AM
Please be careful with the political chatter ... (see Rule 12 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845))


Just one comment on that. Rule 12 mentions this exception:


However, the following exceptions apply:

A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.


The original comment was about scrapping NASA, so I think the exception applies.

It is possible to criticize a president for his scientific priorities without getting partisan, right?

Josh
2006-Feb-05, 09:06 PM
Ahuh. Which is why no real warnings were even contemplated. That exception to Rule 12 is there for real discussion about the impact on space programs by changes in policy. The first comment was (I suspect) tongue in cheek. The reply was on the way to the posting badlands.

Huevos Grandes
2006-Feb-05, 09:22 PM
NASA's budget will be severely cut, and the future of the program will be contemplated by a special advisory commission in the Senate. The United States will abandon all promises of technology and missions to the ISS, and submit a contribution in the form of modest (about half) funding, only.

The reason for the budget cut will be the need to drastically increase defense funding beyond the 5% increase announced recently (http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/03/defense.budget.ap/index.html), due to force size increase requirements & new technology. The commission will convene to discuss gross mismanagement of government funding, and large lapses in safety and security.

Net Result: NASA will be scaled back dramatically in scope, and several industry partners will go elsewhere for business, or go bankrupt. In 2009, President Clinton will push back the Bush Space Initiative's mission to Mars to 2037.

jkmccrann
2006-Feb-06, 06:10 PM
I think you're discounting the effect `Reds in Space' will have on Congress et al there Huevos.

I would suspect China will step-up their efforts, and ambitions, in the warm afterglow of a spectacularly succesful Beijing Olympics. And one of those ambitions will be to fast-track their nascent Space Economy, whatever the costs. The sight of a retreating America - ie, the speculated gap between retirement of the Shuttle and Launching of the CEV, will only encourage and embolden them (and I don't have the slightest problem with that), but it will in turn create a force and a pressure that the Americans will feel compelled to respond to.

ie - Why did we spend all that money and put all that effort into the Space Program 40 years ago only to give it all up now and cede the advantages we've held in that area?

Having said that, between now and 2009 I can't forsee much joy for NASA, being completely frank, given all the spending issues being faced at the moment - no need to go into detail, we all know what they are, I can't see any great funding injections occuring or grand pronouncements being made.

Hopefully over the next few years some of these private enterprises that talk a lot of hooey and create an inordinate amount of hot air will actually achieve something tangible for the general public - although I won't be holding my breathe.