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Archive for the ‘alien life’ category

Jun 29, 2020

Surprising Findings Beneath the Surface of Our Galaxy’s Water Worlds

Posted by in categories: alien life, habitats

A team of researchers simulated conditions on water-rich exoplanets in the laboratory and learned something surprising about their geological composition.

Out beyond our solar system, visible only as the smallest dot in space with even the most powerful telescopes, other worlds exist. Many of these worlds, astronomers have discovered, may be much larger than Earth and completely covered in water — basically ocean planets with no protruding land masses. What kind of life could develop on such a world? Could a habitat like this even support life?

A team of researchers led by Arizona State University (ASU) recently set out to investigate those questions. And since they couldn’t travel to distant exoplanets to take samples, they decided to recreate the conditions of those water worlds in the laboratory. In this case, that laboratory was the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at the DOEs Argonne National Laboratory.

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Jun 28, 2020

Physicists Verify Half-Century-Old Theory about Rotating Black Holes

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

Physicists from the University of Glasgow and the University of Arizona have experimentally verified a half-century-old theory that began as speculation about how an advanced alien civilization could use a rotating black hole to generate energy.

Jun 27, 2020

NASA Funds Harvard Hunt for Alien “Technological Civilizations”

Posted by in categories: alien life, satellites, solar power, sustainability

A team of astronomers from Harvard and other institutions are collaborating on a new project to scan the skies for technological signatures from alien civilizations.

It’s a noteworthy new project, as it’s the first to receive a NASA grant for SETI-specific research in more than 30 years, according to a statement.

“Technosignatures relate to signatures of advanced alien technologies similar to, or perhaps more sophisticated than, what we possess,” said Avi Loeb, the chair of the Harvard astronomy department Harvard, in a statement. “Such signatures might include industrial pollution of atmospheres, city lights, photovoltaic cells (solar panels), megastructures, or swarms of satellites.”

Jun 26, 2020

Super-Earths discovered orbiting nearby red dwarf

Posted by in category: alien life

The nearest exoplanets to us provide the best opportunities for detailed study, including searching for evidence of life outside the solar system. In research led by the University of Göttingen, the RedDots team of astronomers has detected a system of super-Earth planets orbiting the nearby star Gliese 887, the brightest red dwarf star in the sky. Super-Earths are planets which have a mass higher than the Earth’s but substantially below those of our local ice giants, Uranus and Neptune. The newly discovered super-Earths lie close to the red dwarf’s habitable zone, where water can exist in liquid form, and could be rocky worlds. The results were published in the journal Science.

The RedDots team of astronomers monitored the , using the HARPS spectrograph at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. They used a technique known as “Doppler wobble,” which enables them to measure the tiny back and forth wobbles of the star caused by the gravitational pull of the planets. The regular signals correspond to orbits of just 9.3 and 21.8 days, indicating two super-Earths—Gliese 887b and Gliese 887c—both larger than the Earth yet moving rapidly, much faster even than Mercury. Scientists estimate the temperature of Gliese 887c to be around 70° C.

Gliese 887 is one of the closest stars to the sun at around 11 light years away. It is much dimmer and about half the size of our sun, which means that the habitable zone is closer to Gliese 887 than Earth’s distance from the sun. RedDots discovered two more interesting facts about Gliese 887, which turn out to be good news not only for the newly discovered planets but also for astronomers. The first is that the red dwarf has very few starspots, unlike our sun. If Gliese 887 was as active as our sun, it is likely that a strong stellar wind—outflowing material which can erode a planet’s atmosphere—would simply sweep away the planets’ atmospheres. This means that the newly discovered planets may retain their atmospheres, or have thicker atmospheres than the Earth, and potentially host life, even though GJ887 receives more light than the Earth. The other interesting feature the team discovered is that the brightness of Gliese 887 is almost constant.

Jun 24, 2020

Experiment confirms 50-year-old theory describing how an alien civilization could exploit a black hole

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering

Aliens & Black Holes

Penrose predicted that the object would acquire a negative energy in this unusual area of space. By dropping the object and splitting it in two so that one half falls into the black hole while the other is recovered, the recoil action would measure a loss of negative energy—effectively, the recovered half would gain energy extracted from the black hole’s rotation. The scale of the engineering challenge the process would require is so great, however, that Penrose suggested only a very advanced, perhaps alien, civilisation would be equal to the task.

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Jun 17, 2020

Follow the road to launch for our next mission to the Red Planet, the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover

Posted by in categories: alien life, climatology, robotics/AI

Administrator Jim Bridenstine, leadership and a panel of scientists and engineers will preview the upcoming mission at 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 17. Submit your questions during the briefing using #AskNASA!

Perseverance is a robotic scientist that will search for signs of past microbial life on Mars and characterize the planet’s climate and geology. It will also collect rock and soil samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The mission is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex 41 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:15 a.m. EDT July 20. It will land at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. #CountdownToMars

Jun 17, 2020

What Would Life on Mars Be Like? Millions of Us Are Getting a Taste

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

I think that supporting technologies will be important for closing not just gaps in space, but also gaps in time: a message from Earth takes as long as 22 minutes to reach Mars (hence our email delay in sim), and the reply needs the same time to come back. And that delay is just for the next planet over! Clever tech will be needed to bring us together across space and time.

Learning From Today to Design Tomorrow

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Jun 17, 2020

There Are At Least 36 Intelligent Alien Civilizations In Our Galaxy, Say Scientists

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution

A new cosmic evolution-based calculation that say that there are likely to be more than 36 ongoing intelligent civilizations throughout our Milky Way galaxy.

Jun 16, 2020

New Horizons Conducts the First Interstellar Parallax Experiment

Posted by in category: alien life

For the first time, a spacecraft has sent back pictures of the sky from so far away that some stars appear to be in different positions than we’d see from Earth.

More than four billion miles from home and speeding toward interstellar space, NASA’s New Horizons has traveled so far that it now has a unique view of the nearest stars. “It’s fair to say that New Horizons is looking at an alien sky, unlike what we see from Earth,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “And that has allowed us to do something that had never been accomplished before — to see the nearest stars visibly displaced on the sky from the positions we see them on Earth.”

On April 22–23, the spacecraft turned its long-range telescopic camera to a pair of the “closest” stars, Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359, showing just how they appear in different places than we see from Earth. Scientists have long used this “parallax effect” – how a star appears to shift against its background when seen from different locations — to measure distances to stars.

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Jun 6, 2020

From Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to the first mission to Mars

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, geopolitics, habitats, physics, robotics/AI, sustainability, treaties

Pleased to have been the guest on this most recent episode of Javier Ideami’s Beyond podcast. We discuss everything from #spaceexploration to #astrobiology!


In this episode, we travel from Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to the first mission to Mars with Bruce Dorminey. Bruce is a science journalist and author who primarily covers aerospace, astronomy and astrophysics. He is a regular contributor to Astronomy magazine and since 2012, he has written a regular tech column for Forbes magazine. He is also a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Writer of “Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System”, he was a 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA) as well as a founding team member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Science Communication Focus Group.

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