A list of opportunities for extreme researchers. In decades past, Pluto seemed like a slightly odd planet, but clearly still a planet. Life or no life, there are all kinds of new chemical and physical processes to study.
And when a piece of equipment fails, what then? Opportunities in cave research may be few currently, but with the development of new techniques, a whole new world is opening for future exploration, says Giovanni Badinoa speleologist and physicist at University of Turin.
Life on the Edge. But wherever he goes, Cary takes his laboratory with him. A planet needs to be spherical, which Pluto is. Badino At a time when even the scientific world seems overcrowded, an entirely new, unexplored area of science would be most welcome. He reviewed scientific literature over more than years to determine if the IAU definition makes sense.
Our freelancer Jim Kling talks to Craig Cary about his research on extremophiles which takes him from the hot and wet to the dry and cold. The IAU definition of a planet included several key requirements. Physics of the Underground World. That decision has never set right with some members of the public and scientists.
Why seek out working conditions that are not conducive to research, or even human life? The reasoning used in that paper has also long since been disproven. Badino is now a pioneer in a field few scientists have heard of.
Of course there are very good reasons why human beings--including scientists--have for the most part steered clear of these most remote areas of our planet: There are also multiple large Kuiper belt objects in space near Pluto. It crosses the orbit of Neptune, the gravity of which affects Pluto.
This definition would make Pluto a planet once more, but it could also mean objects deeper in the Kuiper Belt and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt would also get a promotion.
There was no doubt Pluto was a planet back when Clyde Tombaugh spotted it inbut scientists rethought that after learning more about the solar system. A new study from University of Central Florida planetary scientist Philip Metzger makes the case that Pluto should regain its planet status.
In the s, Gerard Kuiper of Kuiper belt fame published a paper that used the way objects were formed to determine whether or not they were planets.
Badino got hooked on speleology at 17 after a caving experience, and after becoming a scientist, he specialised in underground climates and speleogenesis--cave formation--in glaciers.
Metzger says this reasoning is also insufficient.
Working at frontiers both literal and physical gives him a buzz of satisfaction that not so many scientists can claim to feel. However, it also needs to have cleared its orbit to become the primary gravitational force.
Working in extreme environments does present some daunting challenges. Already one has to look beyond the Earth to find new worlds to explore. Metzger and his co-author instead say that an object should be classified as a planet if it has enough gravity to become spherical. You could call Metzger a skeptic of dwarf planets.
Some of the scientists we talked to would be likely to answer: According to the paper, Metzger found just a single instance of orbit clearing as a planetary descriptor, and that was in Extreme Scientists has 91 ratings and 26 reviews.
But I did find each account of an extreme scientist - whether flying through the eye of hurricanes to learn how to better predict them, exploring deep into caves looking for microbes called extremophiles, or climbing and mapping the tallest Redwoods - to be very intriguing.
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