"It’s tentative," he says, but "it’s the first evidence for water clouds" outside our solar system. Even within the solar system, observers can see water clouds on only Earth and Mars; the giant planets are so cold that ammonia ice clouds cover the water clouds on Jupiter and Saturn while the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune block the view there.
Observers have previously discerned water vapor in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets, but Fortney says water clouds are a new phenomenon. “One of the things we don’t really know is how common partly cloudiness is,” he says. Venus, whose clouds consist of sulfuric acid, is totally cloudy, whereas Earth is partly cloudy. Faherty says the brown dwarf is also partly cloudy: About half is obscured by clouds.
Verifying the discovery will require spectra. Because the object is so dim, this will likely await the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched later this decade.
“Welcome to Barrayar, son. Here you go: have a world of wealth and poverty, wrenching change and rooted history. Have a birth; have two. Have a name. Miles means “soldier,” but don’t let the power of suggestion overwhelm you. Have a twisted form in a society that loathes and fears the mutations that have been its deepest agony. Have a title, wealth, power, and all the hatred and envy they will draw. Have your body ripped apart and re-arranged. Inherit an array of friends and enemies you never made. Have a grandfather from hell. Endure pain, find joy, and make your own meaning, because the universe certainly isn’t going to supply it. Always be a moving target. Live. Live. Live.”—Barrayar, Lois McMaster Bujold (via an-animal-imagined-by-poe)
Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon And one day his woman ran off with another guy Hit young Rocky in the eye Rocky didn’t like that He said I’m gonna get that boy So one day he walked into town Booked himself a room in the local saloon
Rocky Raccoon checked into his room Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Trivia: The Marvel character Rocket Raccoon was consciously inspired by this song. (wikipedia). In the story untitled “In the black holes of Sirius Major III there lived a young boy name of Rocket Raccoon!” (Incredible Hulk #271, 1976, second apparition of Rocket) a villainous mole stole Rocket’s Gideon’s Bible and kidnapped his girlfriend MagilLylla.
This is a good summer for entertaining sci-fi movies. James Gunn is an interesting director who made dark comedies (Slither, Super). I’m curious to see what he can do as the director of a big budget mainstream film. I’m not entirely convinced by the trailer of Guardians but the reviews are promising. I can’t hardly resist a film with spaceships, a walking tree and a talking raccoon. Not presented in my town this week, so I will have to wait.
And you, are you going to see it, have you seen it?