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SCI/TECH: Saturn is Hot Where It Should Be Cold

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posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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New infrared imaging technology coupled with a telescope on top of a volcano has discovered yet another unexplained anomaly in our solar system. If the data recently collect proves accurate Saturn has a south pole that is hotter than, rather than cooler than, the usually more temperate latitudes. This has not been observed on any other known planet and has scientists stumped for an explanation.
 



www.foxnews.com
HONOLULU — Astronomers using a giant telescope atop a volcano have discovered a hot spot at the tip of Saturn's south pole.

The infrared images captured by the Keck I telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island suggest a warm polar vortex — a large-scale weather pattern likened to a jet stream on Earth (search) that occurs in the upper atmosphere. It's the first such hot vortex ever discovered in the solar system.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It is discoveries like this that illustrate the platitude, "the more we learn the better we understand how little we know." For all our scientific achievements to date the human species has really only begun to dabble in its understanding of how the universe functions. Saturn is just now beginning to be understood with the recent probe sent there and now these images from the telescope. We have discovered so much in the last 30 years and yet we have only just started to formulate theories and hypothesis for how it all works.

This is why I am easily galled by those who profess the immutability of our scientific understanding. I observe that modern advances have created a scientific snobbery of sorts among a portion of our population that tend to poo poo alternative theories as to the function of the systems of order we observe. Yet each year brings new discoveries that need to be explained, and require revision of our current theories. I think this is mostly prevalent in those who have learned what current science theorizes but have not done research themselves. For the most part the genuine scientist in the world seek discovery and innovation as a means to be recognized and hence keep an open mind toward new possibilities. Make no mistake that each scientist brings his or her own bias into their work and attempt to prove their own theories correct but by in large there is enough openness in the scientific community to engender real research.

The problem arises when the semi-educated masses learn what we think we know and then proclaim it as definitive truth. This makes a religion out of science since those persons often put faith in what they think they know, making it difficult for them to consider alternatives and possibilities beyond what they believe. You might ask, “What is the danger in that?” I would answer that the danger is in limiting our potential for discovery and understanding. It has proven true time and time again throughout history that new ideas often come from ordinary sources rather than from the halls of great wisdom and knowledge. It is often the average citizen who thinks outside the box and postulates an explanation that had not been thought of before. We ought to be encouraging this kind of imagination in people in an attempt to counter the institutionalizing of our understanding. We are shown to be far wiser people if we admit that we only think we know rather than proclaiming that what we know we no longer need to think about.


[edit on 4-2-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 12:22 PM
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Interesting post and even better commentary/analysis!



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 02:49 PM
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I claim no knowledge of the science behind it all, but does 'on top of a volcano' sound like a dumb place to put "New infrared imaging technology"?

I'm sure the've calibrated to take account of the heat from the volcano (if it's even necessary) but it just sounds a bit odd...



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Interesting post and even better commentary/analysis!


The commentary is interesting. Very well worded in it's soft sell of the current anti-intellectual, anti-expert, great backlash movement of evangelical Christians.

It allows the reader to draw the intended implications (one would naturally assume to be akin to some intelligent design mythology) from a seemingly reasonable extrapolation of a single new scientific discovery to the mockery of all modern scientific understanding.

Um. Well done.


Actually it was J.
But I'm still onto you.


Kudos though for not "rushing" directly to some spurious conclusion like "therefore global warming is an egg head lie," which I would expect Limbaugh, Coulter or more than a few of our esteemed members to do in a heartbeat from this singular scientific conundrum I'm fully confident Kano can explain away in no time.



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 04:32 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
The commentary is interesting. Very well worded in it's soft sell of the current anti-intellectual, anti-expert, great backlash movement of evangelical Christians.


Kudos to Rant for making a galant effort to divert attention from the validity of an argument by trying to impune the motive of the writer rather than addressing the tenants of the proposition. This is a tactic common to those who do not want to face the truth or would like to minimize its effect on people. YOu did a fine job of keeping the post from becoming a personal confrontation however and deserve praise for the tactful way you sought to trivialize what was said with unfounded inuendo and baseless suggestion that had nothing to do with the arguments made or the story posted. I am glad to know that not all people of your persuation are rude and bullying.


[edit on 4-2-2005 by Johannmon]



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 04:37 PM
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RANT's rantings and ravings are ridiculous. Can you imagine telling someone that mass changes with velocity before Einstein? Someone would label you as a crazy freak! Scientific theories are only good as long as a counterexample is not found. If one is found the theory must be changed or discarded. To consider science a stable ideology like religion is fallacy.



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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*falls out of chair laughing*

This wasn't even brought into the realm of Creationism, or religous finatics. This is ture for BOTH Creationists and Evolutionists...both sides make postulates and theories and some obviously STUPID decisions, BOTH sides, because they are humans, and then decide to force it down the world's collective throat.
And then 5 years later, there's something that comes up that makes everyone rethink what they've been talking about. IT HAPPENS. And it's nice when someone says something about it.



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Johannmon

Originally posted by RANT
The commentary is interesting. Very well worded in it's soft sell of the current anti-intellectual, anti-expert, great backlash movement of evangelical Christians.


Kudos to Rant for making a galant effort to divert attention from the validity of an argument by trying to impune the motive of the writer rather than addressing the tenants of the proposition. This is a tactic common to those who do not want to face the truth or would like to minimize its effect on people.


Look, if you wanted to do an Op/Ed ridiculing the scientific community you should have, avoiding this pretense altogether.

A total of three sentences copy/pasted from FoxNews on an amazing scientific discovery of significant interest to our Sci/Tech community followed not by additional illumination, references, links (or even pertinant discussion!) but three full paragraphs on the folly of modern science. That my friend is the only diversion from the topic at hand here.

Sorry, if you can't handle the genuine criticism, but your argument reads like something more fit for political or religious debate, and as if it would have been prepackaged exactly the same no matter what secondary scientific pretense you used as a mere springboard.

Your argument (however strangely placed it may be) is just fine though, and for the most part I happen to agree with it in principle. My observation was merely the result of it's awkward prominence in placement in relation to my further observation of the sudden wellhead of anti-scientific declarations in popular political and religious doctrine.

Do you really find it so shocking your argument would so readily remind someone of the current educational battles over intelligent design? Or further that the same argument would rise immediate suspicion of intent?

I noticed you didn't deny anything I postulated about where you were going with this. You merely accused me of diversion.

So what was the topic again?

A hot spot on Saturn or a burning desire of a much more fundamental nature?



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
Sorry, if you can't handle the genuine criticism, but your argument reads like something more fit for political or religious debate, and as if it would have been prepackaged exactly the same no matter what secondary scientific pretense you used as a mere springboard.

I have no problem with criticism I was simply reflecting your method of flippant diversion back to you in a similar manner to your argument. My opinion paragraph, that the ATS news page requires, is admittedly my opinion and it is one that was brought to the fore of my consciousness by the news article. My point is simple and by your admission generally agreed upon by reasonable people. I think perhaps your response is triggered by previous debates that we have had rather than on the material I have posted. That is alright but please understand that I will seek to remove some of the coloring that you are attempting to put upon my discussional mosiac. I took great pains to argue from a neutral standpoint. I did so because I like to be able to step back from my own preconceptions and try to present a subject with as little personal bias as possible. To suggest that I should not make a nuetral argument simply because I have personal biases that I could add to it is unreasonable. You are welcome to disagree with and denigrate my argument and my opinions but do not expect to do so without reasonable reprisal.


My observation was merely the result of it's awkward prominence in placement in relation to my further observation of the sudden wellhead of anti-scientific declarations in popular political and religious doctrine.

SO if I understand your objection you are saying that you don't like the placement of my opinion, as agreeable as it is, simply because society is having a debate that this opinion might be used to support or denigrate? It was my intention to simply express an opinion not on science in general but rather on those who look upon our scientific understanding as dogma or absolute truth. I stated in the piece that I beleive a majority of the scientific world is constantly looking for new ideas and discoveries. How does this denigrate the science? IF you read carefully the piece I wrote you will see that I did not denigrate science at all but rather pointed out that science is often misused by those who think they have all the answers to affirm their erroneous supposition.

Let me finish by saying that I intend no personal insult toward Rant nor any other poster. When I respond in like fashion to a glib post I am simply playing on the field that the poster has chosen. If I thought one might take personal offence I would have restructured my words. I thought your post Rant was meant a little tongue in cheek and hence thought you would understand when I responded in kind. If you took personal offence to the tone of my post, I apologize.


[edit on 4-2-2005 by Johannmon]



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 06:26 PM
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The problem arises when the semi-educated masses learn what we think we know and then proclaim it as definitive truth. This makes a religion out of science since those persons often put faith in what they think they know, making it difficult for them to consider alternatives and possibilities beyond what they believe. You might ask, “What is the danger in that?” I would answer that the danger is in limiting our potential for discovery and understanding. It has proven true time and time again throughout history that new ideas often come from ordinary sources rather than from the halls of great wisdom and knowledge. It is often the average citizen who thinks outside the box and postulates an explanation that had not been thought of before. We ought to be encouraging this kind of imagination in people in an attempt to counter the institutionalizing of our understanding. We are shown to be far wiser people if we admit that we only think we know rather than proclaiming that what we know we no longer need to think about.

First off, that was an excellent story find and commentary. I enjoy how science/physics keeps continually being re-written, just as thinkings of people are/can be re-thought.

What rang the loudest in your comment for me was the statement about ordinary sources coming up with new ideas. I can only speak for myself, and im sure alot more of the "ordinary" sources that visit this discussion board would like to step out on a limb and state their ideas/theories about certain things, but donot due to the seemingly preteen mentality level of the "bashing" posts that are come across way too frequently on here.
(keeps me from posting more)
Constructive criticism is healthy/welcomed. Closed Minded ignorance is just that....IGNORANCE..Try thinkin outside the little sheep pen for once, people might be amazed at what they discover.
(sorry for trailing off topic)



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by Johannmon
Let me finish by saying that I intend no personal insult toward Rant nor any other poster. When I respond in like fashion to a glib post I am simply playing on the field that the poster has chosen. If I thought one might take personal offence I would have restructured my words. I thought your post Rant was meant a little tongue in cheek and hence thought you would understand when I responded in kind. If you took personal offence to the tone of my post, I apologize.



No, no. No need to apologize. You're a pleasure actually and not an offensive poster at all under any circumstances I've seen. Which I truly consider a rarity in someone I frequently disagree with, making it all the more likely for me to seek out your posts for just that opportunity. So if I did carry previous debates and exchanges of position unfairly into what I can easily now reread as a painstakingly neutral effort, then I sincerely apologize.

Attempting to get back on subject then....


I read in the article scientists can't explain why the poles would appear hotter given what we know of conventional wisdom about how the Earth's poles work (at least), but have you uncovered anything else related to this indicating a coming revolution or discard of a more general theory?

Meaning won't there still most likely be any number of possible explanations to come that wouldn't necessarily upset a single bit of presumed scientific "knowledge."

If a few lay theories may be indulged, wouldn't an accelerated ozone depletion over the poles possibly account for it? Or another atmospheric anomoly unlike Earth?

Not that any of that would negate your general criticisms of course.



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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The fact of the matter is that I have thought through several possible scenarios for how this could occur such as "ocean" type currents, geothermal heating, and electrical discharge from one of Saturns moons similar to what is found between jupiter and IO. In each scenario however I have been unable to come up with a theory that is consistant with all the data. The most unique piece of data is that the temperature increase is not gradual but sudden. This would indicate either that Saturn has a hot interior that due to that lack of atmospheric mixing at the pole is heating the atmosphere more at the pole than else where. Or it indicates that some specific force is heating an area that receives far less solar input than the equator.

The one theory that seems to hold promise though I have not had time to fully research it is that perhaps Saturns newly discovered magnetic field is channelling charged particles to its southern pole. It is known that storms of charged particles are either repulsed by or attracted to the polarity of the magnetic field. Perhaps with Saturns much larger magnetic field ions are funnelled to the points of polarity within the field thus heating the upper regions of Saturns atmosphere.

This is just a stab in the dark but if you don't take a few stabs you will never find the light switch. I would find it most interesting to hear other theories of how this heating could take place. Perhaps the admonishion at the beginning of this thread will foster an environment in which posters will feel free to speculate without fear of ridicule. Remember Thomas Edison is creditted as saying, "Success is best achieved in a multiplicity of failures. I have not succeeded by being right but by being wrong more times than I can count." I would add that the willingness to be wrong is a prerequisite of discovery.

[edit on 4-2-2005 by Johannmon]

[edit on 4-2-2005 by Johannmon]



posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Kudos Johannmon. Good story, good discussion.

Re: Rant's crit: "your argument reads like something more fit for political or religious debate." ...Not an argument - brings a broad sensibility, and ought to be done more often IMO.

...If ethical/political/religious debate were a routine component of scientific endeavor the world would not be going to hell as we speak. ...IMO - nothing is "pure," objective, or removed from the largers system(s) - the system WILL respond and adapt. ...Much better to deal with potentials and eventualities out front, than to claim it wasn't your department when the fan starts spewing brown stuff.

By way of saying - good thinking J. Thanks.


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