Daily Blog 10/04/2011

  • This column is about the cuts the government has failed to make. It’s about the profligate, pointless spending that has not been slashed, and the money Osborne could have raised but has instead decided to fritter away. For the sake of argument it accepts his estimate of the amount that will need to be saved. But it will show that over half of it could be found with much less pain.

    tags: money tax Politics

  • In astronomy, the habitable zone (HZ) is the distance from a star where an Earth-like planet can maintain liquid water on its surface[1] and potentially therefore Earth-like life. The habitable zone is the intersection of two regions that must both be favorable to life: one within a planetary system, and the other within a galaxy. Planets and moons in these regions are the likeliest candidates to be habitable and thus capable in theory of bearing extraterrestrial life similar to our own.

    tags: planets solarsystem

  • Scientists hunting for alien life can relate to Goldilocks.

    For many years they looked around the solar system. Mercury and Venus were too hot. Mars and the outer planets were too cold. Only Earth was just right for life, they thought. Our planet has liquid water, a breathable atmosphere, a suitable amount of sunshine. Perfect.

    It didn’t have to be that way. If Earth were a little closer to the sun it might be like hot choking Venus; a little farther, like cold arid Mars. Somehow, though, we ended up in just the right place with just the right ingredients for life to flourish. Researchers of the 1970s scratched their heads and said we were in “the Goldilocks Zone.”

    tags: science NASA planets solarsystem

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