An amazing week in our Universe, with stories ranging from Nobel Prize winners on their hopes for the JWST to 11 unsolved mysteries of the Cosmos to it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” we encounter alien life, and more.
Is The Universe Actually A Fractal?--On larger and larger scales, many of the same structures we see at small ones repeat themselves. Do we live in a fractal Universe? asks Big Think.
“Unlocking the Universe’s Hidden Secrets” –Scientists Talk About the Impact of the James Webb Space Telescope–“As the James Webb Space Telescope begins its month-long voyage to LaGrange Point 2, several of the planet’s leading astronomers have shared their expectations and hopes for this epoch event in human history..”
What if ET has Morphed Into What We Call the Laws of Nature? reports Mind Matters. “In other words, life might not just be in the equations. It might be the equations.”
Is There Anyone Out There? –For many scientists, it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” we encounter alien life. So, what will happen when humans finally do come face-to-face with E.T. and how will we communicate? reports USC. “
NASA used religious experts to predict how humans may react to aliens –Two dozen theologians were recruited by a NASA-funded program to assess societal implications for the agency’s astrobiological and search for life efforts, reports The Hill.
11 epic mysteries scientists totally can’t solve –-What is the universe made out of? When did the anus evolve? Can humans live to 150 years old? And more, reports Vox.
Why the new space telescope looks so strange –A NASA astrophysicist explains humanity’s big new toy, reports Vox.
The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works, reports Natalie Wolchover for Quanta.
Two scientists’ debate over whether the universe had a beginning – and how the elements were created –Taken from the December 2021 issue of Physics World where it first appeared under the headline “A tale of two scientists”. Laura Hiscott reviews Flashes of Creation: George Gamow, Fred Hoyle, and the Great Big Bang Debate by Paul Halpern
Nine things we learned about aliens in 2021, reports Live Science. “A bombshell UFO report, the “alien junk” in our solar system, and more new clues about extraterrestrial life.”
The 10 biggest space science stories of 2021 –The universe revealed more of its secrets this year, and new missions will further explore our solar system and beyond, reports Space.com
‘Cosmological coupling’ is making black holes bigger, study suggests, reports Physics World. “The observation of black holes with unexpectedly high masses could be partly explained by an effect related to the expansion of the universe, astronomers in the US have proposed. The team, led by Kevin Croker at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, used comparisons between simulated black hole mergers, and gravitational waves detected by the LIGO–Virgo collaboration, to show how ignoring the expansion of the universe may be limiting our understanding of black-hole physics.”
Seven New Things We Learned About Human Evolution in 2021 –Paleoanthropologists Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae reveal some of the year’s best findings in human origins studies, reports The Smithsonian.
Fighting flat-Earth theory –Physicists will find it shocking, but there are plenty of people around the world who genuinely believe the Earth is flat. Rachel Brazil explores why such views are increasingly taking hold and how the physics community should best respond, reports Physics World.
Drunken solution to the chaotic three-body problem, reports Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.”The three-body problem is one of the oldest problems in physics: It concerns the motions of systems of three bodies—like the sun, Earth, and the moon—and how their orbits change and evolve due to their mutual gravity. The three-body problem has been a focus of scientific inquiry ever since Newton.”
Scientists Say the Laws of Physics May Be Changing –The cosmos is stranger than we know, reports Futurism. “Popular Mechanics published a lengthy explainer this week about a paper, titled “The Autodidactic Universe” and published earlier this year, in which the team argued for that precise mind-bending hypothesis. “We ask whether there might be a mechanism woven into the fabric of the natural world, by means of which the universe could learn its laws,” the authors wrote,