Enceladus has always been my #1 favoritist place to look for life. It’s not all that far away, and it seems to have a rather active geology:
Now, we get this:
Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and predominantly low in salt far away from the moon. But closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt water.
That little moon just keeps getting cooler and cooler all the time. Wonder when Virgin Galactic will start taking vacation trips there?
Saw this video recently, it’s pretty cool:
Thought it was cute, but no big deal. Then I saw it on the front page of Foxnews:
That’s not exactly the way I took it. But according to the story:
A spokesman for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab told FoxNews.com it was investigating the wild claims, speculating that “Bio Station Alpha” would most likely be determined to be a glitch in the digital imaging or an unusual feature on the surface of the planet — and not a Martian base.
A singular object, over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide on Mars? A singular object. I don’t think that makes the first bit of sense. It may be a visitor to Mars, but any intelligent form of life, if they’re going to build on the surface, but definitely build a lot more than one stadium and call it good.
I’m with the glitch theory. I hope they don’t waste a lot of money figuring it out. In the meantime, let’s watch a cool trailer:
First of all, look at where I’m talking about:
Looks scary, creepy, to me. Pretty nasty place. Now, underneath that blood it’s cold. Very, very, cold. Needless to say, there’s no light. There’s not even oxygen. This is about as bad as it gets on Earth. Odd thing is, there is life. Now, it’s not terribly advanced or anything. It’s just bacteria. But, this bacteria obviously doesn’t need the things we need to exist. It feeds off the sulphur that gives that blood look. The big picture here to me is once again, we’ve found life where life shouldn’t exist. In other words, searching for oxygen and water on a planet isn’t terribly necessary. It does make it more likely for advanced life, I assume. And, if you’re looking for some criteria to search for, it helps narrow down the search from millions of stars with planets to probably tens of thousands. But, the assumption that Earth could be the only orb with life just keeps getting less and less likely. Under these conditions, and the under-sea volcanic discoveries, life could possibly exist on Europa or Enceladus. That would even allow for more consideration on Mars, even if it doesn’t have any real water as we need.
This is very cool even if it doesn’t make the huge headlines of the world.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always been assured that our Sun will last a long, long, long time.
Based on that theory, we have about five billion years left with our Sun as it is now. The end of the Sun, in about four billion years, would make things on Earth quite uncomfortable.
First it would be amazingly hot, then incredibly cold. Bottom, line, we won’t be living here any more. Now, if that were to happen tomorrow, we’re doomed. However, I think most people assume that in five billion years, probably long before that, we’ll be cruising the stars and will find another suitable planet to exist on. I mean, look how far space travel has advanced in a mere forty years. All we be OK, right?
Well, apparently not so fast:
According to theory, the doomed star, about 100 times our sun’s mass, was not mature enough to have evolved a massive iron core of nuclear fusion ash, considered a prerequisite for a core implosion that triggers the sort of supernova blast that was seen.
Now, they are quick to point out this involved a massive star, 100 times bigger than our Sun. And, they are quick to point out that it probably was a very immature star that never fully developed. However, given how sure they were that most stars follow a specific life cycle ( see above illustration ), this is still a bit unnerving. If they may be fundamentally wrong about massive stars………
There’s most undoubtedly methane on Mars. How that methane got there is debatable. On our planet, it’s caused mostly by cows farting. I don’t think anyone is looking for farting cows on Mars. But, it could very well be the result of microbes under the surface.
That led Foxnews to forego the millions of scientists all over the planet to source The Sun with this bizarre statement:
It’s “the most important discovery of all time,” former British civil servant and fervent UFO hunter Nick Pope told the Sun. “We’ve really only scratched the surface — it’s an absolute certainty that there is life out there and we are not alone.”
OK, so maybe this is something to get excited about, but does anyone in the science community feel this way or are we supposed to believe this based on the finding of one former British civil servant?
Then the story goes on to point out that this methane discovery actually occurred in 2004. So why wait five years to suddenly come to the realization that methane is commonly produced by cows farting?
This is weak.
For the record, the methane=life discussion began in earnest in 2005. The 2005 article is a much more in-depth article that cites actual scientists instead of former British civil servants. I am clueless what prompted this Fox thing.
There is a long held theory that life on Earth evolved from life forms raining down on Earth from other places. So far, there isn’t any proof of this, it just sounds logical. However, we might have some proof in the making right now:
Around midday Saturday, villagers were startled by an explosion and a fireball that many were convinced was an airplane crashing near their remote village, located in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region, near the border with .
Now, my non-experienced thinking is this is one of two possibilities. First, and most likely, it’s fumes caused by the intense heat of the meteorite.
Second, and more intriguing to me, is it could be some virus from a far off galaxy. Pretty cool huh? Pretty unlikely tho.
A third possibility of course, it could be some man-made experiment where a meteor was planted with a mutated gene and it crashed back to Earth.
Better turn down the lights and pour yourself a strong one, this post is DEEP.
I have been a huge fan of Arthur C. Clarke, particularly of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Most people are familiar with the movie. I consider it the greatest sci-fi movie ever made. However, it is somewhat vague in what is going on. However, the book does explain what’s going on. Not in profound detail, but in little snippets that told us of our future. Debit cards, video conferencing, using gravity to slingshot around planets, all kinds of little bits telling us what was to become. And, in some cases, trying to explain where we came from. He doesn’t say evolution is the rule, he just laid out how evolution occurred. And, sometimes, when that evolution wasn’t progressing appropriately, how it got a little help from a god-like being. The help was in the form of a simple shape. It wasn’t a cross, but even simpler, an obolisk. However, the “being” had more religious overtones. Digressing a little, all of the main religions of the world today expect a belief in “God”. This “God” can neither be seen, touched, or heard. In other words, it is a being purely of energy and no matter. When one communicates with “God”, it is purely by an energy force. There is no audible sound. This omnipotent “God” created our universe as we know it. Clarke morphed this faith in a non-matter God into 2001 and gave it some definition:
And now, out among the stars, evolution was driving toward new goals. The first explorers of Earth had long since come to the limits of flesh and blood; as soon as their machines were better than their bodies, it was time to move. First their brains, and then their thoughts alone, they transferred into shining new homes of metal and of plastic.
In these, they roamed among the stars. They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.
But the age of the Machine-entities swiftly passed. In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light. They could become creatures of radiation, free at last from the tyranny of matter.
Into pure energy, therefore, they presently transformed themselves; and on a thousand worlds, the empty shells they had discarded twitched for a while in a mindless dance of death, then crumbled into rusty
Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in the warm slime of a vanished sea.
And they still watched over the experiments their ancestors had started, so long ago.
What Clarke states here is that “life” doesn’t have to have matter. It can be pure energy. Without the confines of matter, physics as we know it completely changes. Being of matter, I don’t see how Man can travel at the speed of light. Therefore, visiting far away galaxies is impossible. However, without the confines of matter, traveling at the speed of light is simple. Traveling throughout the universe is simple. Manipulating matter is simple. The power this entity would have is mind-boggling. Convincing a very simple animal that you are God would be simple.
All of this ties into today’s events in two forms.
First, we have the creationist vs evolution fight going wild right now. Neither side is in any mood to compromise or even try to understand the other’s reasons for believing what they do. What they are both doing is struggling to understand how all this came to be. Arthur C. Clarke I think struggled with those two concepts long ago. He came up with a unique answer. “Our” universe is limited by what we can see and understand. For some people, “our” universe is limited to matter. For other people, “our” universe is not limited to matter. There are things beyond matter that they don’t want to try to understand. They just know something is more powerful than matter. That something to them is “God”. That “God” to Arthur Clarke was a being no more wise than the average man. He did however, have the power to change entire worlds simply to amuse himself. He was however, a product of the universe. He was both a product of evolution and subsequently creationism. Since I read the book, I have been more a believer in Clarke’s understanding of “God” than probably any other. Both the creationists and evolutionists expect me to believe they know the answer to a question that is extremely profound based on nothing but limited evidence and a faith in what they are saying is correct. I don’t work that way. I don’t think the two theories are totally exclusionary. Neither did Clarke. I’m in good company.
Secondly, all of this sounds pretty damn crazy I imagine. I’m OK with that. Start by reading the actual 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then, read this:
Electrically charged specks of interstellar dust organize into DNA-like double helixes and display properties normally attributed to living systems, such as evolving and reproducing, new computer simulations show.
Put me on Arthur Clarke’s team on this one.
The heavy religious overtones continue throughout 2001. Clarke definitely had “the Dawn of Man” on his mind when he wrote this. So, I see no coincedence here at all. However, what he did not have in 1967 was access to plasma. Maybe, if Clarke is correct, we’re getting our first glimpses at something we’ve never understood before. And, it could get rather profound.