Space

Message to the gods: the space poetry that transcends human rivalries

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Sputnik 1 started it all. The beachball-sized satellite was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 and, despite a relatively short mission of only 21 days in orbit around Earth, quickly became regarded as a device that changed the world. Phil Leonard The Conversation It represented the beginning of the Space Age – and immediately heightened tensions between the US and the USSR, prompting fears about the weaponising of space. But Sputnik, and the missions that were to ... Read More »

Cassini crashes into Saturn — but could still deliver big discoveries

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Data from spacecraft could help determine the age of Saturn’s rings and the persistence of its magnetic field Alexandra Witze Nature At 4:55 a.m. California time on 15 September, hundreds of scientists watched their life’s work go up in flames. The Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in Saturn’s atmosphere in a mission-ending move meant to keep the probe from contaminating the planet’s moons, including Titan and Enceladus, that could harbor signs of… Cassini’s final images, transmitted in the hours before its death, included ... Read More »

Is the Universe a Hologram?

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Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” * By Adolfo Plasencia * Foreword by Tim O’Reilly * The MIT Press Overview This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both… Is the Universe… Read More »

The discovery of alien life may be close. How will religion survive it?

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Encounters with new worlds and new life will present religions with the ultimate theological conundrum. But they will adapt, as they have done… Santhosh Mathew The Guardian About two decades ago, it was quite uncertain whether stars other than our own sun even hosted their own… However, according to Nasa, the latest count of confirmed exoplanets stands at around 3,500 – and… The discovery of… Read More »

Harvard Scientists Say Aliens May Be Using Giant Radio Beams To Travel The Cosmos

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Thousands of civilizations could be flying on interstellar sails. Lee Speigel The Huffington Post Two Harvard University scientists are suggesting that mysterious fast radio bursts, detected in faraway galaxies, may be evidence of aliens traveling through the… FRBs are extremely bright flashes of radio waves that last for only a thousandth of a… Harvard Scientists Say… Read More »

Why discovering new Earth-like planets matters

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Seven years ago, no one – even an astronomer – could tell you whether any planets that might be like Earth existed. Lucianne Walkowicz Al Jazeera News From across the Galaxy, just shy of 40 light years away, seven long shadows sweep across our planet. These shadows belong… Why discovering new… Read More »

Flights of fancy or reality?

Moon - Asia Times

Few people think of commercial development beyond earth, or the two Poles, but China is exploring the potential in space with its lunar program Peter J. Brown Asia Times When one thinks of development few would even consider anything beyond earth, or the extremes of the North and South Poles. But just like… Flights of fancy… Read More »

NASA Just Found A Solar System With 7 Earth-Like Planets

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Astronomers just announced a breaking discovery that has a monumental impact on life beyond Earth: A planetary system with a number of Earth-sized planets that could host liquid water and… Futurism AN OCEAN OF WORLDS Today, scientists working with telescopes at the European Southern Observatory and NASA announced a… NASA Just Found… Read More »

Milky Way galaxy is being pushed across the universe

Milky Way - CNN

(CNN) – Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is being pushed across the universe by a large unseen force, according to new research. Ashley Strickland CNN Although it may not seem like a friendly gesture, the newly discovered Dipole Repeller is actually helping our galaxy on its journey across the expanding universe. Researchers have known… Milky Way galaxy… Read More »

Aliens Don’t Exist, But They Tell Us A Lot About Atheists

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Lacking any evidence of an actual alien, Hollywood’s aliens speak more about the modern psyche fueling the imaginations of their designers. The Federalist By Peter Burfeind  In his movie “Expelled,” Ben Stein challenged Richard Dawkins about the remarkable phenomenon of life on planet earth: how … Aliens Don’t Exist… Read More »

Humanity is cosmically special. Here’s how we know.

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As we give thanks for our many obvious blessings, let’s reflect on a blessing that is less well known, a gift from modern astronomy: how we view ourselves. The Washington Post By Howard A. Smith There was a time, back when astronomy put Earth at the center of the… Humanity is cosmically… Read More »

The mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ might be causing the whole solar system to wobble

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Astronomers can’t see “Planet Nine.” But it makes its presence known. By Sarah Kaplan The massive hypothetical object, which supposedly looms at the edge of our solar system, has been invoked to explain the strange clustering of objects in the Kuiper belt and the unusual way they orbit the Sun. Now Planet Nine predictors Konstantin Batygin and… The mysterious ‘Planet… Read More »

Human trials on Earth are the key to how we will survive on Mars

Life on Earth has its challenges but what about life on Mars? Can humans ever survive on our neighbouring red planet, fourth from the sun? To help answer that, an international crew of six people spent a year living inside a solar-powered dome on the slopes of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano. The place is starkly red-brown, dramatically rocky, barren of plant life – a lot like Mars… Source: Human trials on Earth are the key to how we will survive ... Read More »

HD 131399Ab: Scientists discover strange planet with three suns

An international team of astronomers announce the discovery of a strange planet in a faraway solar system that contains not just one sun, but three.. The distant planet, named HD 131399Ab, appears even more unusual than the home planet of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Tatooine, which orbited around two suns, according to the findings published in the US journal Science… Source: HD 131399Ab: Scientists discover strange planet with three suns – Science News – ABC News (Australian ... Read More »

Is There Life on Other Planets? First, Look For Evidence of Refrigerators

Could Freon in the atmosphere of a distant planet be the thing that finally confirms humankind is not alone? For decades, if not centuries, stargazers of every stripe have wondered how we could possibly spot intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. After all, it’s not easy to see the telltale signs of a technological civilization from cosmic distances. Until very recently, this was a speculative question, mostly entertained by astronomers over drinks, or in their spare time after other more “serious” ... Read More »

It took centuries, but we now know the size of the Universe

The sheer scale of the cosmos is hard to imagine, and even harder to put an accurate figure on. The sheer scale of the cosmos is hard to imagine, and even harder to put an accurate figure on. But thanks to some ingenious physics we now have a good idea of just how big it is.. By Chris Baraniuk “Let us go rambling about the Universe.” This is the invitation that American astronomer Harlow Shapley gave to an audience in ... Read More »