5 things you need to know before markets open in Australia and around the world.

Here’s 5 things you need to know as the markets open around the world.

1. Leadership in Australia

The last couple of days in Australian government have not been much about “for the people” or “by the people” as the country was plunged into watching another leadership battle for the Prime Ministership. Politics is no place for the fainthearted and personal insults and issues all seem to get aired when this sort of thing happens in Parliament.
Malcolm Turnbull, the incumbent, had to try and survive two leadership challenges within two days. He had been Prime Minister for 3 years after dethroning Tony Abbott in a similar challenge. This is all about power within the Liberal Party and the original strategy for the leadership spill was to see Peter Dutton made Prime Minister. After that failed, the second leadership spill saw Scott Morrison emerge as the 30th Prime Minister for Australia.

2. Is Life on Earth a By product of Jupiter’s Crazy Behaviour?

There are many theories about how life evolved on Earth. However, all of them agree that the chances of it happening were a few billion to one. One theory that has been aired recently is the part the planet Jupiter may have played in the beginning of life.

As a gas giant, Jupiter is not sticking to the conventional rules of of such planets orbiting closer to their stars. This one sits a vast distance away from the Sun, which explains its average temperature being -234°F. So, if the gravity doesn’t make you a human pancake then that cold temperature will turn you into an icy pole.

While it seems pretty cool that we have such a big non-conformist in our solar system, it frustrates scientists who don’t really want things that deviate from the norm. The theory is that this problem with Jupiter started billions of years ago as the solar system was forming. The planet went wild and started moving closer to the sun while other planets were forming – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. When a planet the size of Jupiter starts muscling into the orbits of other planets, gravitational forces caused orbit overlaps and inevitable collisions. One can only imagine the chunks of planets flung into space or towards the sun.

Eventually Jupiter settled into its current orbit while Saturn started forming and the other planets had a chance to evolve. It’s thought that Jupiter’s gravity was strong enough to pull in asteroids that contained ice and flung them at the still-forming Earth. The theory is that the asteroids melted and became Earth’s oceans and from there it was possible for life to evolve.

Sure, it’s just a theory, but don’t be surprised if over time some positive proof can be deducted by scientists as more data comes to hand.

3. Creating a rechargeable lithium-oxygen battery

There has been much conjecture about the type of renewable energy that might replace lithium-ion batteries which are currently the mainstay in that space. How about a lithium-oxygen battery?

Chemists from the University of Waterloo have successfully resolved two of the most challenging issues surrounding lithium-oxygen batteries, and in the process created a working battery with near 100 per cent coulombic efficiency. The work proves that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. This is a first for four-electron conversion enabling double the lithium-oxygen storage. The battery is known as lithium-air.
The high theoretical-energy density of lithium-oxygen (Li-O2) batteries and their relatively light weight have made them the Holy Grail of rechargeable battery systems. But long-standing issues with the battery’s chemistry and stability have kept them a purely academic curiosity.

By storing O2 as lithium oxide (Li2O) instead of lithium peroxide (Li2O2), the battery not only maintained excellent charging characteristics, it achieved the maximum four-electron transfer in the system, thereby increasing the theoretical energy storage by 50 per cent. While this is all experimental at this stage, it shows that improvements to an existing renewable energy source are still possible.

4. No Impeachment for Trump

Can President Trump be impeached? Well, if you go by the hyperbole issued by Trump in an interview on “Fox and Friends,” the answer would be do so at your iwn risk. Basically, the country would go to hell. Markets would crash, there would be rioting in the streets, illegal immigrants will swarm the borders and everybody would be much poorer.
It seems the Democrats didn’t like the last election result and this is their way of reversing the result. But the President’s rhetoric has been turned into a psychological weapon to put fear into the population. Fear is a powerful motivator.
Everything Trump does is the BIGGEST or the BEST or MOST HISTORIC — but even by those exaggerated standards, the hellscape that Trump and Giuliani paint if Democrats try to impeach the President feels like a step further than they’ve gone before. The world won’t end if Democrats take over the House. Or even if that Democratic House votes to impeach Trump. It would, of course, be a major political upheaval that would likely worsen The USA’s already terrible polarization. But they would all soldier on. Trump — and Giuliani — know that, it’s just not in their political interest to say so.

5. Mars as Big as the Moon on August 27th

Will Mars and the moon appear the same size on August 27, 2018? Will Mars ever appear as big as the moon, seen from Earth? No to both. This hoax has its roots in a real 15-year cycle of Mars. Although it’s not true, you’re likely to see the claim as an email – or on social media – that Mars will appear as large as a full moon in Earth’s sky on a particular date, often August 27 of any given year. Sometimes there’s a suggestion that Mars and Earth’s moon will appear as a double moon. You have probably seen a similar photo to the above circulating on Facebook. And that is just not true. It’s not true in 2018. It’s never been true. It never will be true.

Mars can never appear as large as a full moon as seen from Earth. As seen from Earth, in months when Mars does appear side by side with a full moon, Mars’ diameter appears, on average, about 1/140th the diameter of the full moon.

In other words, you’d have to line up 140 planet Mars – side by side – to equal the moon’s diameter.
Earth and Mars had a particularly close opposition on July 27, 2018. Beginning around July 7, Mars bumped Jupiter out of the second-brightest planet slot; Mars has been the second-brightest planet (after Venus) and will remain so until about September 7, 2018. Mars’ opposition happens whenever we pass between it and the sun in our smaller, faster orbit. Mars was closest to us on July 31, closer than it’s been since 2003! It’s been bright and very reddish! Like a dot of flame.

Thus the Mars-as-big-as-the-moon and double moon rumours are flying!

Andrew Mortimer
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