There Might Be Ocean World Planets Within the Milky Way, Planetary Scientist Claims – Science Times

Lynnae Quick, a planetary scientist, pondered one day, several years ago, if bodies of water existed on other planets. Beyond our solar system are other planets, or exoplanets, that maybe 'ocean worlds.'

Astronomers have discovered about 4,000 exoplanets with some having atmospheres covered in ice. They have become NASA's focus for possible life outside of earth, similar to Enceladus, Saturn's moon, and Europa, Jupiter's moon.

'Plumes of water erupt from Europa and Enceladus, so we can tell that these bodies have subsurface oceans beneath their ice shells, and they have energy that drives the plumes, which are two requirements for life as we know it,' she said. As one of NASA's planetary scientist who specializes in volcanism and ocean worlds, Quick said, 'so if we're thinking about these places as being possibly habitable, maybe bigger versions of them in other planetary systems are habitable too.'

In NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, they began searching for planets similar to the ocean world moons, which hypothetically was possible. If such exoplanets existed, telescopes would be able to detect volcanic-like structures on their surface which could geologically be active.

Using a mathematical analysis of exoplanets, including those in the TRAPPIST-1 system, they found that more than 25% of them were possibly 'harboring oceans beneath layers of surface ice,' like Enceladus and Europa. Quick also predicted that one day, astronomers would be able to measure heat emissions, volcanic activity, and cryovolcanoes, which spew liquid or vapor instead of lava.

However, technology today cannot see exoplanets in detail yet and are too far away. All theories are just mathematical models for now. Astronomers are hopeful for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and future space explorations to explore deep space for signs of life.

Aki Roberge, a NASA Goddard astrophysicist said 'future missions to look for signs of life beyond the solar system are focused on planets like ours that have a global biosphere that's so abundant it's changing the chemistry of the whole atmosphere,' Working alongside Quick, he said that even though exoplanets are far from the Sun and may have significantly colder temperatures, 'they have the features we think are required for life.'

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Quick and her colleagues chose 53 exoplanets that were the closest to Earth's size, assumed to be more solid than gaseous. Likely able to support water on and below the surface, they also determined how much energy these exoplanets generated and released as heat.

The first of two possible heat sources was radiogenic heat, the result of billions of years of radioactive decay from the exoplanet's mantle and crust. Next is heat produce by tidal force, or energy from gravitational attraction when one planetary object orbits another, like the relationship between the exoplanet and its stars.When the heat from this relationship generates to the planet's surface, one possible exit route is via volcanoes or cryovolcanoes.

Another pathway may be tectonics, movement of the planet's outer rocky or icy layer. Discovering how much heat exoplanets discharge can determine whether or not life can survive on them. "Forthcoming missions will give us a chance to see whether ocean moons in our solar system could support life," said Quick. 'If we find chemical signatures of life, we can try to look for similar signs at interstellar distances.' An exoplanet with temperatures that allow liquid water becomes an ocean world.

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10 Worst Movies By Great Horror Directors, According To Rotten Tomatoes – Screen Rant

Horror fans are worshipful of the genre's heroes,but even the mostlegendary scare makers have a mummified turkey or ten in their filmography.

RELATED: The 10 Best Horror Films From Non-Horror Directors, Ranked

Whether attempting to recapture the spirit of theirbeloved classics ortrying to switch genresto court mainstream appeal, some of horror's most celebrated directors have made career missteps over the years, while others have entered decade-long phases of irrelevance that they struggle to come back from. Below, we list ten of Rotten Tomatoes' lowest-rated films by horror genre greats.

Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is an aging pitcher approaching the conclusion of his career, with only one big game standing between him and retirement. But as he reflects on his accomplishments, the memories he's made with single mom Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston) keep cropping up, making the fact that she's ready to break up with him even more painful.

Criticsappreciated the on-field portions of this Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Drag Me to Hell) directed sports drama, but they were less-than-moved by its soppy central romance.

In the 1960s, French diplomat to China Ren Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) falls forBeijing opera singer named Song Liling (John Lone). The two embark on a love affair, with Ren not only unaware that Song is actually a spy, but ignorant (purposefully or not) that his lover is a male performer in female dress.

Before body-horror maestro David Cronenberg (Videodrome, The Fly) had worked out the kinks in his approach to straight-up dramas (i.e.Spider, Eastern Promises), he tipped a bit toofar intosoap operaterritory with this pallid adaptation of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play.

A regiment of soldiers wanders the post-apocalyptic wastes under the command of Sarge Crockett (Alan Van Sprang), contending with zombie hordes and living off of whatever supplies they can salvage. When they catch wind of a place called Plum Island, a safe harbor for those trying to survive, it sounds too good to be true...and it is. Rather than a land of peace and plenty, Plum Island is ravaged by two warring family factions who have wildlyat odds ideas about how to deal with the undead.

RELATED: George Romero's 10 Best Movies (According to IMDb)

George Romero'slast entry in his "Dead" series (and final feature film release before his death) is worlds away from the still-sharp social commentary of Night/Dawn/Day of the Deadin terms of both quality and messaging.

When a freak accident saves Max (Anton Yelchin) the trouble of having to break it off with his overbearing girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene) he counts his lucky stars. In the wake of the accident, he meets his perfect match in Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), but there's trouble in paradise when Evelyn returns from the dead still carrying a torch for Max.

This "modest return-to-form" by Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling) is worthwhile for a central performance by the gone-too-soon Yelchin, but otherwise, lacks the impish comic flair of his most celebrated work.

Detective John Hunton (Ted Levine) is investigating an accidental death at a laundry mat. Short of any other explanation, Hunton starts to believe that a folding machine may have something to do with the murders, and Bill Gartley (Robert Englund) the man who runs the business, may know more about the possessed machine than he's letting on.

It's arguable that no horror director had a harder time escaping career doldrums than Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre),butThe Mangleris bad even by his own basement-low standards.

In the far-flung future, Mars is a developed mining colony with a human population numbering in the thousands. When a task force is sent out to bring a felon from anoutpost back to civilization, its soon apparent that the planetary extractions have uncoveredthe remnants of an ancient warrior race of Martians who have nothing but vicious contempt for Earth's colonists.

Few horror filmmakers flew as high as John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) at his apex, but the director's post-80s work leaves a lot to be desired. Case in point, this 2001 camp-fest that lacks thestyle hand and scare craft that solidified the term, Carpenteresque.

After the brutal death of his wife, Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) seeks to clarify the circumstances surrounding her murder by returning to their childhood home. As he gets to know the denizens of Ravens Fair, he hears the tale of Mary Shaw, a wronged puppet maker who supposedly haunts them, and starts to believe that the legendary curse may have something to do with his departed wife's cruel fate.

RELATED: James Wan's 9 Films Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

James Wan (Aquaman, Insidious)has gone on to bigger, better things, but his first go 'round with killer puppets (Sawdoesn't technically count) was widely-panned anddisplayed little of the skill he'd later bring to the horror genre.

In this retelling of Gaston Leroux's immortal novel, Asia Argento stars as Christine Daa, the ingenue thrust into the spotlight by a mysterious admirer: the Phantom (Julian Sands) who inhabits the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera house.

Italian master of the macabre Dario Argento has had quite a few duds to his name, but this adaptation is his absolute worst. Unsexy and ugly, with a ridiculous performance by Sands as a conspicuously not-disfigured cavern dweller raised by rats, avoidthis Phantomat all costs.

When spacetrucker John Canyon (Dennis Hopper) and his fiancee are tasked with hauling an unmarked load to Earth, they're unaware that the cargo contains a fleet of killer robots, until a pack of pirates hijack their vehicle, unleashing the deadly and unstoppable force.

Frequent Lovecraft adapter Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, Dagon) is woefully out of his element directing this hammy actioner, the kindest critical review of which calls, "unquestionably terrible, but [...] rather fun."

Eight years after Bobby (Robert Houston) witnessed his family's torture and destruction at the hands of a clan of desert cannibals, he tries to live a normal lifeand manage amotocrossbusiness. Ruby (Janus Blythe), the only member of the cannibals who helped him escape, assists him in this endeavor and working through their shared trauma, but things revert to savagery when her bloodthirsty family re-emerges to wreak havoc again.

Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street,Scream) only did this follow-up to his classic desert shocker for a paycheck, and it's obvious. Padded with clips from the first film and featuring an infamously ludicrous dog POV flashback, The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2is a waste of time and talent.

NEXT: Blumhouse: Their 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Horror Movies, Ranked According To Rotten Tomatoes

Next Harry Potter: 10 Ways Hermione Got Worse & Worse

Rocco is a Chicago-based writer, editor, and programmer. An avid devotee of all things weird and outrageous, he's most in his wheelhouse discussing cult oddities and horror classics. Follow him on Instagram: @rosemarys_gayby

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Space Perspective is a startup that wants to balloon you toward space – Business Insider – Business Insider

If you're looking for a life-altering adventure, have more than $100,000 to spare, and are willing to wait a few years, a new startup called Space Perspective may have the ticket you.

The space tourism company came out of hiding on Thursday, and its business centers around planned flights of a nine-person "Spaceship Neptune" a top-shaped crew capsule that's surrounded by big windows, has a mini bar, and even comes equipped with a hidden lavatory.

An illustration of Space Perspective's planned crew capsule, the Neptune, dangling from the end of a stratospheric balloon with eight passengers and a pilot inside. Space Perspective

Ostensibly, the 10,000-pound capsule would launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center while dangling from the end of a high-altitude balloon pumped full of hydrogen gas.

After a two-hour ascent, Neptune would reach an altitude of nearly 19 miles and hover over the Atlantic Ocean for another two hours. That's about 44 miles short of the Krmn line, which is what most researchers recognize as the edge of space(though there's no consensus on the matter).

However, there is about 1% of the atmospheric pressure at 19 miles that is present on the ground, which is practically a vacuum, making it a potentially valuable platform for scientists to attach experiments, such as exposing materials to a space-like environment or sampling layers of the atmosphere on the way up and down.

Neptune should also soar high enough for a pilot and eight passengers or "Explorers" to see Earth's curvature and soak in a view that, so far, has been afforded to only a few hundred space-flying humans. Launching before dawn would allow passengers to take in starry sights before seeing a unique sunrise.

"As Neptune glides along the edge of space, the sun slowly rises over the curved limb of Earth, scattering rainbow colors of light across the planet and illuminating the thin, bright blue line of our atmosphere," Space Perspective's website says of a flight.

An illustration of Space Perspective's planned stratospheric balloon capsule, the Neptune, with passengers looking out of parabolic floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Space Perspective

Passengers could look out floor-to-ceiling parabolic windows to take in views. They might also take turns poking their head into a glass viewing dome on top of the capsule.

Looking up, the sky would appear "completely inky black" and show the stars "like you've never before seen them," according to the website.

While all of this is not yet real, it's not a huge stretch to believe that it could be.

A major reason is the history of the new startup's co-CEOs and cofounders, Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum: a married couple who have years of experience launching both people and payloads high above the planet on the end of giant balloons. They've also tried this before, but business conflicts apparently stood in the way, not any insurmountable technical hurdles.

Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter at World View headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, on November 13, 2017. Dave Mosher/Insider

In a July 2018 feature about MacCallum and Poynter, Bloomberg Businessweek dubbed the duo "masters of the stratosphere," and with good reason.

MacCallum and Poynter achieved fame in the 1990s for their two-year mission inside Biosphere 2, a grand experiment to see if a crew could sustain themselves within a sealed, miniature version of Earth that essentially functioned as a faux Mars colony.

While living in the 3.14-acre facility, the couple co-founded Paragon Space Development Corp, which specializes in life support systems and has supported dozens of missions to orbit. The company later flexed its technological muscle by helping send pilot, computer scientist, and former Google executive Alan Eustace on a world record-breaking flight and leap from a balloon lofted to about 25.75 miles high.

Amid that project, called StratEx, MacCallum and Poynter created a high-altitude balloon company in Tucson, Arizona, called World View Enterprises with Alan Stern, the principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. The group worked with dozens of engineers and even a retired astronaut to build a business around launching payloads on hydrogen balloons high into the stratosphere, which ranges from 9 to 31 miles in altitude.

A ground telescope's view of one of World View's Stratollite balloon-craft floating in the stratosphere. Travis Deyoe, Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

The key to World View's current business is a pyramid-shaped surveillance platform called the Stratollite. The device can host ground-observing instruments including cameras and radio beacons and control the balloon above it to hover over a desired area for weeks or, in the future, possibly months at a time. World View was also developing a Voyager crew capsule to loft tourists into the stratosphere for $75,000 a piece.

But in early 2019, after helping push World View toward regular commercial operations, MacCallum and Poynter stepped aside, and the company's board hired drone-business expert Ryan Hartman as CEOto run the company. With that executive transition, Voyager crewed got tabled indefinitely.

The reason why is now partly clear: MacCallum and Poynter, who remain minority shareholders In World View, wanted to urgently pursue crewed experiences. The larger board of the company they helped create, however, no longer did; balloon flights with people were viewed as a large liability exposure, a very different customer-facing business, and a distraction from uncrewed Stratollite flights, which seemed better poised to make World View money sooner.

"We have a huge financial interest in the success of World View. So we're cheering them on. But we also needed to give them their own ability to go forth and make it make it happen," MacCallum told Business Insider. "Having a bunch of founders looking over your shoulders can be tricky."

So the couple have rebooted the concept with a new approach, location, and company, Space Perspective. The pair eventually convincedSpace Ventures Investors to supply enough cash to fund a staff of 15 people through most of 2021, Poynter said. (She declined to provide a dollar figure, saying "we told our investors that we're going to keep that confidential.")

The company's crew roster is a who's-who of high-altitude ballooning, including Eustace and other StratEx team members, as well as former World View engineers. Their first big goal is to use their funding to get through the first uncrewed test flight of a Neptune prototype.

An illustration of Space Perspective's planned crew capsule, the Neptune, taking off from NASA's old space shuttle landing facility in Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Space Perspective

Although Space Perspective is perusing possible launch sites in Hawaii, Alaska, and locations outside the US, it plans to base its first launch operations at NASA's space shuttle landing facility, which was last used in July 2011 (the month that 30-year-old government spaceflight program ended).

Space Perspective's first uncrewed test flight is planned for the first quarter of 2021. If all goes according to plan, the team will create a full-size Neptune prototype, though one that weighs less. During the test, the Neptune dummy would soar to nearly 19 miles up at what MacCallum jokingly described as a "blazing" speed of 12 mph a trip he noted would take about two hours. The capsule would float for about two more hours at that altitude before beginning its descent.

A seafaring ground crew would then recover the Neptune prototype after its splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean some 200 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. MacCallum said the full-up test should help the company try out the concept of operations or "ConOps" for the system, including its launch, flight, descent, and recovery stages.

"We're reasonably calling it 'the early slap in the face with reality,'" MacCallum said of test. "We want to give it an early run before we really start getting into detailed design on the capsule."

He added: "I think it's only really a failure if something goes wrong and you can't figure out what happened. The assumption here is that a whole bunch of things aren't going to go as we planned, and we'll learn from those."

Barring radical design changes to Neptune, data from the test will help the company work toward crewed test flights in 2023. Along the way, Space Perspective would perform tests of every major subsystem, including an emergency parachute to bring the capsule back to Earth in the event that a balloon catastrophically bursts.

Poynter believes Space Perspective is about four years away from commercial flights but said the company will fly its first customers "when we're good and ready."

"Our strategic plan has us getting to something on the order of 500 flights a year within a few years after [first] operations," Poynter said.

To that end, the company secured a 30-year lease for the shuttle landing facility from Space Florida, an organization which represents the interests of spaceflight companies in the state. But the co-CEOs said they're still formulating an exact per-passenger ticket price. Poynter said they'd announce a dollar figure toward end of 2020, then put the first tickets up for sale sometime in 2021.

"We are anticipating that it will be on the order of half, or less than half, of the current Virgin [Galactic] ticket price," Poynter said, referring to the now-public company's rocket-powered SpaceShipTwo vehicle, which is designed to carry six passengers per flight.

Virgin Galactic has sold about 600 tickets for between $200,000 and $250,000 a seat, though a new round of 400 additional tickets will likely cost more, CEO George Whitesides recently told Business Insider. This suggests an individual ticket to ride Neptune may cost between $100,000 to $125,000, though perhaps more.

With a target of 500 flights and eight passengers per flight, annual revenue at full scale may range between $400 million and $500 million. And that's not including any ancillary research payloads, which can be attached to the outside of the balloon craft.

Reuters/Alexander Gerst/NASA

Aside from trying to establish a profitable business, MacCallum and Poynter who espouse the fact that Earth is essentially a giant spaceship that humanity shares hope to spread a philosophy with Space Perspective flights.

In particular, they want customers to walk away having experienced what astronauts refer to as the "overview effect:" a sometimes life-changing shift in perspective that comes with gazing upon Earth from above and contemplating its finiteness and connectedness.

Astronauts, who may live in space for months or even a year, are constantly exposed to that shift in thinking by orbiting Earth once roughly every 90 minutes while moving at about 17,500 mph.

"It is endlessly fulfilling. You never quite see the same thing as you are orbiting. There is a different ground track every time. The time of day is different; the clouds are different. The cloud patterns show different colors. The oceans are different; the dust over the deserts is different. It doesn't get repetitive," Joseph P. Allen, a now-retired NASA astronaut who flew twice aboard space shuttles, told author Frank White, who coined the term "overview effect" and wrote a book about it in 1987.

MacCallum and Poynter say that, unlike a brief rocket ride which would grant passengers about five minutes a weightlessness and views of Earth outside a window a relatively gentle ride on Neptune would be more accessible to those who can't make such a trip.

And according to MacCallum, retired NASA astronaut Jeff Hoffman an advisor to Space Perspective said the balloon-based experience should also provide a more genuine opportunity to experience the overview effect, in part because a flight would last hours instead of minutes.

"He said for him, the quintessential spaceflight experience is very calmly quietly looking at the Earth from space for a long time," MacCallum said, adding: "It is sort of like a meditation."

This story has been updated.

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Space Perspective is a startup that wants to balloon you toward space - Business Insider - Business Insider