There isn’t a redeeming website attached to the Gawker tree.
Of course, this is what happens when you have a bunch of under-educated 20-somethings trying to educate themselves through the Internet.
Today’s io9 website, which seems to deal mainly with science fiction they get wrong, deals with actual science…which they get even wronger. It can be so tough to understand science without Lt. Cdr. Data explaining it to you, it seems.
Today’s real science piece is so short, the Czar can quote it in its entirety:
This stunning, lava-saturated painting by science artist Richard Bizley is a portrait of one of the most devastating disasters ever to befall planet Earth (click to enlarge). During the early days of our solar system, astronomers speculate that a protoplanet about the size of Mars smashed into the Earth, launching so much debris into space that it formed the Moon. Nobody knows what happened to that protoplanet, but it has been named Theia.
Bizley explains via email that what you see here is the Moon in the sky “being formed from the debris of this collision.” It is painted in acrylics and is 46cm x 35.5cm. Want this apocalyptic beauty for your own? The framed painting is for sale at £395. Check out more of Bizley’s incredible work (and buy some!) on his website.
Perhaps this was painted by Richard Bizley, and probably it is for sale on his website. Beyond that, though.
The creation of the moon is hardly a disaster; in fact, it is necessary for life on earth as we know it. Perhaps for the pathetic loser-types on io9, that is bad news.
Okay, she then gets the basic concept right: a planet the size of Mars hit the early, smaller Earth and busted out a huge chunk of debris that coalesced into a messy moon or two. The colliding planet is called Theia by some folks, but has not officially been named. Second, w know exactly what happened to the protoplanet that hit us: we’re standing on parts of it.
Imagine taking a big bowl of oatmeal and then dropping a spoonful of more oatmeal into the bowl. Nobody knows what happened to that spoonful of oatmeal? It became interfused with the bowl of oatmeal.
So parts of Theia are incorporated into the moon and into the crust of the Earth; it may be one of the reasons we have so much iron. The two planets merged, with a chunk of the the mess being blasted into orbit. If you subtract the assumed mass of Theia from the current Earth, we discover that this early, pre-collision Earth would have been noticeably smaller than it is today! Our current Earth is the sum of the two early planets minus the mass of the Moon, right?
Even the title of the piece, “This is how the primordial Earth looked — right after the mega-collision that formed the Moon,” is inaccurate. The spherical shape of the Moon and the fact is has mostly cooled into a solid crust shows this took place thousands of years later. Even the Earth has mostly cooled to where there is evidently liquid water back on its surface. After a collision of two-planets hard enough to fuse their cores, all liquid water and solid land mass would have turned into plasma for a long, long time. After a massie period of time, it would begin to condense back into more familiar matter.
Also, the moon was originally much, much closer to the Earth right after its creation. It took thousands to even over a million years for its stabilizing orbit to hold it a quarter-million miles away today. The moon is way too far in this painting to have been a recent collision.
That said, the painting is accurate—it’s the sixth-grade analysis of its contents that make the Czar loathe popular media more and more.
Anyway, you see what passes for news from a Gawker-related website. They basically consist of a bunch of lazy-assed nerds, too old to be piled on a couch playing Xbox, sitting around and figuring out the news of the day and what’s wrong with the world. Needless to say, most of what they discuss is completely off-based.
If you want to know the importance of reading an actual book once in a while, io9 is it.