“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.
Until Recently, People Accepted the ‘Fact’ of Aliens in the Solar System, reports Scientific American –For centuries, right up until the 1960s, the notion life on Mars—and elsewhere—wasn’t considered especially remarkable.
Watch Video From NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars –The spacecraft has sent pictures, audio and video recordings to Earth since it landed on Mars last Thursday, reports The New York Times. On Monday, NASA released a short video captured by the agency’s Perseverance spacecraft as it dropped through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday last week, ending with the successful arrival of the rover on Mars’s surface. It is the first video of its kind sent back to Earth from the planet.
Scientists Really, Really Want a Piece of Mars, reports Marina Koren for The Atlantic–A new NASA rover has jump-started an intense effort to finally bring home a pristine sample from the red planet.
Was That ET? A New Radio Signal and the Ongoing Search for Alien Life, reports Glen Martin for UC Berkeley –The news cycle dragged itself out of the political mire and gazed skyward a few weeks ago with word of a radio signal from the direction of our nearest sidereal neighbor, Proxima Centauri. The transmission was discovered by Shane Smith, an undergraduate at Hillsdale College in Michigan and intern at Berkeley’s SETI Research Center.
The Giant Planet Scientists Can’t Find. If Planet Nine exists, why has no one seen it? asks BBC Future –Strange things are happening at the outer edges of our solar system. An object up to ten times the mass of Earth is pulling others towards it. Is it a planet, or something else?
The MIT scientists behind the Moderna vaccine –Decades of research and bold entrepreneurship paved the way for the vaccine’s “overnight” success, reports MIT Technology Review. The origins of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines can be found in the early days of biotech—before Kendall Square was known as “the most innovative square mile on the planet.”
Did an Ancient Magnetic Field Reversal Cause Chaos for Life on Earth 42,000 Years Ago?, asks The Smithsonian –The study links new, detailed data about Earth’s atmosphere to a series of unfortunate events that occurred around the same time.
Portal to the Dark Sector: International team of scientists proposes a new heavy particle with properties similar to those of the Higgs boson, reports The University of Granada –“This particle could play a fundamental role in the generation of masses of all the particles sensitive to this extra dimension, and at the same time be the only relevant window to a possible dark sector responsible for the existence of dark matter, which would simultaneously solve two of the biggest problems of these theories that, a priori, appear disconnected,” explains the UGR researcher.
“The Methuselah Dilemma” — Atacama Cosmology Telescope Resolves True Age of Our Universe, reports The Daily Galaxy. In 2013, the Hubble Space Telescope found the birth certificate of oldest known star in the universe, cataloged as HD 140283, aptly named “methuselah”. The star, located in the constellation Libra, which is at the very first stages of expanding into a red giant, could be as old as 14.5 billion years (plus or minus 0.8 billion years), which at first glance would make it older than the universe’s calculated age of about 13.8 billion years, creating what we commonly call a dilemma.
Earth Microbes Can Survive on the Surface of Mars, Study Suggests, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.
Microbes took a balloon to the stratosphere, where some of them proved resilient to Mars-like conditions.
See a Billion-Year Dance of Earth’s Tectonic Plates in 40 Seconds, from Singularity Hub –a team of scientists from the University of Sydney published the most comprehensive simulation of Earth’s tectonic history yet. In a new video, you can watch the last billion years in less than a minute. “These plates move at the speed fingernails grow,” said the University of Sydney’s Dr. Sabin Zahirovic, a coauthor on the paper. “But when a billion years is condensed into 40 seconds a mesmerizing dance is revealed.”
To stop climate disaster, make ecocide an international crime. It’s the only way, reports The Guardian. –The Paris agreement is failing. Yet there is new hope for preserving a livable planet: the growing global campaign to criminalize ecocide can address the root causes of the climate crisis and safeguard our planet – the common home of all humanity and, indeed, all life on Earth.
Pandemic epics or great escapes? What classic movies might tell us about post-Covid Hollywood, reports The Guardian –Should we expect hordes of allegorical aliens and zombies – or a soothing succession of romcoms and musicals? Cinema history offers some clues.
Climate change helped some dinosaurs migrate to Greenland, reports Science News –A drop in CO2 levels helped massive plant eaters called sauropodomorphs trek from South America to Greenland 214 million years ago, says a new study.
Australia: Oldest rock art is 17,300-year-old kangaroo, reports the BBC. –“We radiocarbon dated three wasp nests underlying the painting and three nests built over it to determine, confidently, that the painting is between 17,500 and 17,100 years old; most likely 17,300 years old,” said Dr Finch, a geochronologist from the University of Melbourne.
The Galaxy Report newsletter brings you twice-weekly news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch.