Our Universe was busy this week with news ranging from the discovery a new impact on Jupiter to NASA chief, Bill Nelson, reporting that UFOs might be extraterrestrial life forms or beings from an alternate universe to NASA’s inventing ‘curious AI’ for deep space detection of life.
“There are currently 175 known moons orbiting the eight planets in our solar system. While most of these moons orbit Saturn and Jupiter, which are outside the Sun’s habitable zone, that may not be the case in other solar systems,” said Stephen Kane, an associate professor of planetary astrophysics and a member of the University of California Riverside’s Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center about the life-bearing potential of moons of planets beyond our solar system. “Including rocky exomoons in our search for life in space will greatly expand the places we can look.”
“After having monitored tens of thousands of galaxies, we know there are other discoveries waiting to happen. Either faint objects, objects that change quickly, or things we do not even know about yet. The search is still going on!” wrote astrophysicist and cosmologist, Brad Tucker, currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University, in an email to The Daily Galaxy about undiscovered gems in the Kepler Mission archives. Tucker is one of the leads of the Kepler Extra-Galactic Survey, KEGS, a Kepler Space Telescope Key Program, to understand why and how stars blow.
This week’s news from our Pale Blue Dot ranges from Unfreezing the Ice Age to How a Nuclear Bomb Could Save Earth from a Stealth Asteroid. The “Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
“As we put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and temperatures rise, we are quickly rewinding the climate clock to climate states not seen in human history,” wrote acclaimed University of Wisconsin paleo-climatologist Jack Williams in an email to The Daily Galaxy. “We can expect that over the next few decades, climates will most resemble those of the warm Pliocene, roughly three million years ago, or perhaps even the hothouse Eocene, 50 million years ago.”
“Information,” wrote Arizona State University astrophysicist Paul Davies in an email to The Daily Galaxy, “is a concept that is both abstract and mathematical. It lies at the foundation of both biology and physics. ”
Dark matter is aptly named. It emits no light and interacts with visible matter only via gravity. But dark matter might be only the tip of an invisible universe of unknown forces. This possibility has led to a hunt for “dark photons.” Such photons are analogous to ordinary photons, but they are exchanged among particles of dark matter, and according to some models, they may have mass.
The center of our Galaxy has been intensely studied for many years, but it still harbors surprises for scientists. A snake-like structure lurking near our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is one of the more intriguing discoveries. “Part of the thrill of science is stumbling across a mystery that is not easy to solve,” said Jun-Hui Zhao of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,. “While we don’t have the answer yet, the path to finding it is fascinating.”