Welcome to this week’s fix of news of space and science –a random journey from Planet Earth through the Cosmos– that has the capacity to provide clues to our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our current epoch.
Could game theory help discover intelligent alien life? –-New research from The University of Manchester suggests using a strategy linked to cooperative game playing known as ‘game theory’ in order to maximize the potential of finding intelligent alien life, reports University of Manchester.
“Our Galileo?” –Harvard’s Avi Loeb Has Dared Say That Advanced Alien Life May Not Be Speculation, reports The Daily Galaxy. Avi Loeb, then the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, co-wrote a paper that examined the “peculiar acceleration” of a strange disk-like object that entered our Solar System, and proposed that it “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.
Giant Galaxies from the Universe’s Childhood Challenge Cosmic Origin Stories, reports Robin George Andrews for Scientific American. –Large galaxies are thought to form gradually, across billions of years of cosmic time. So why do astronomers keep finding them in the youthful early universe?
Why Do We Assume Extraterrestrials Might Want to Visit Us? asks Avi Loeb for Scientific American. The idea presumes we’re inherently fascinating, but that’s not necessarily the case.
‘Unicorn’ Discovery Points to a New Population of Black Holes, reports Quanta. –Small black holes were nowhere to be found, leading astronomers to wonder if they didn’t exist at all. Now a series of findings, including a “unicorn” black hole, has raised hopes of solving the decade-long mystery.
How to spot an alien megastructure: The new search for Dyson spheres, reports New Scientist –Intelligent extraterrestrials may have built vast solar power plants around their host stars. The hunt for their telltale glow is heating up.
“A Red Herring” –The ‘Life-Bearing’ Clouds of Venus, reports The Daily Galaxy.Recent research has revealed that Venus might have looked like Earth for three billion years, with vast oceans that could have been friendly to life. “That’s what sets my imagination on fire,” says Darby Dyar, a planetary scientist at Mount Holyoke College with NASA’s Solar System Exploration team, which led her to surmise: “If that’s the case, there was plenty of time for evolution to kick into action,” and conclude that Venus may have been he first habitable planet in the Solar System — “a place where life was just as likely to arise as it was on Earth.”
Doubt cast on plate tectonics in Venus’s geologically recent past, reports Brown University –At some point between 300 million and 1 billion years ago, a large cosmic object smashed into the planet Venus, leaving a crater more than 170 miles in diameter. A team of Brown University researchers has used that ancient impact scar to explore the possibility that Venus once had Earth-like plate tectonics.
635 million-year-old fungi-like microfossil that bailed us out of an ice age discovered, reports Virginia Tech –It is the oldest terrestrial fossil ever found. A team of scientists from Virginia Tech, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guizhou Education University, and University of Cincinnati has discovered the remains of a fungi-like microfossil that emerged at the end of an ice age some 635 million years ago. It is the oldest terrestrial fossil ever found. To put it into perspective, this microfossil predates the oldest dinosaurs about three times over.
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