Because the smoke scatters the blue light and allows the redder end of the spectrum to pass through it, so the shadow lacks blue and has a predominance of red so it look sort of brownish.
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Sure, the ground-based SETI programme is dirt cheap (excuse the pun). But it has a number of spin offs including surveying space for habitable "Earth-like" planets orbiting "Sun-like" stars, analysing said planets spectroscopically for the existence of water and organic molecules, building probes to travel millions of miles to parachute down through the soup-like atmosphere of distant moons (Titan), and constructing landers to drop in to nearby planets and scratch the surface looking for the chemical hallmarks of life.
This all comes at tremendous expense.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin using NASA satellite data found that significant changes in the Earth's shape in the past 28 years may be linked to climate events such as the El Nino weather pattern.
The caption for the bottom black and white illustration says it all: Image left: Factors that Affect Earth's Shape: This illustration depicts many of the factors that affect how the Earth's shape changes. They include such as: winds, earthquakes, post-glacial rebound, plate motion, melting of ice, atmospheric pressure and more. Click on image to enlarge. Credit: NASA (NOTE THAT THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH ISN'T MENTIONED. THE MOST IMPORTET ONES ARE)
The number of bits of information that can be derived from the reception of one photon depends on the degree to which the accuracy of some characteristic of this photon can be determined.
On a completely noise free channel there is no limit to the amount of information that can be carried by a single photon
First, not to be boastful but to give you an idea of where I am coming from, I have been a geologist for 35+ years. I am not perfect but this is a subject I am rather clear about.
...the the fluidity of the rocks in the crust, the mantle, etc, has nothing to do with the earth's shape.