A 2018 Hubble Space Telescope finding confirmed a nagging discrepancy about the Hubble Constant –the rate at which the Universe is expanding–showing the universe to be expanding faster now than was expected from its trajectory seen shortly after the big bang. Researchers hinted that there may be new physics to explain the inconsistency known as the ‘Hubble Tension’ “The community is really grappling with understanding the meaning of this discrepancy,” said lead researcher and Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University.
“The Archean Eon stands out for being so incredibly distant, and incredibly distinct, from modern Earth,” University of Washington astrobiologist, Tyler Robinson, told The Daily Galaxy about the eon when life on Earth likely emerged. “The conditions on this near-alien version of Earth are so unique that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) should be able to distinguish Archean-like features from signatures more synonymous with modern Earth, Mars, or Venus. Of course, the entire astronomical community, including exoplanet scientists, are excitedly awaiting the launch of JWST and some first hints of its true capabilities.”
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. ”