Clues to Alien Life to A Galaxy 100x Size of Milky Way (The Galaxy Report)

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“The Galaxy Report” brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch. Today’s stories range from Future Gravitational Wave Detectors in Space Could Solve Mysteries of the Universe to Rare ‘Upside-down Stars’ to Dark-Matter Asteroids, and more.

Giant radio galaxy Alcyoneus is now the largest known galaxy in the Universe –Move over, IC 1101. You may be impressively large, but you never stood a chance against the largest known galaxy: Alcyoneus. reports Big Think.

The clues to finding alien life could lie in Earth’s deep past –Our hunt for life on other planets is based on what it looks like today, but early Earth used to be so different. What if we are missing some vital clues? asks New Scientist.

When the next interstellar object comes, James Webb Space Telescope will be there to study it, reports Meghan Bartels for Space.com. “Astronomers will be better prepared for the next interstellar visitor, thanks to Webb.”

“Unlocking the Universe’s Secrets” –Astronomers Share Their Expectations About the James Webb Space Telescope, reports The Daily Galaxy. “As the James Webb Space Telescope begins its month-long voyage to LaGrange Point 2, several of the planet’s leading astronomers and scientists have shared their expectations and hopes for this epoch event in human history.”

Is Earth Smart? Even though Earth might be full of intelligent life, at this point in its cosmic history, it certainly doesn’t seem very smart, reports  David Grinspoon, Adam Frank, and Sara Walker for The Atlantic.

How do alien civilizations evolve? –-The Kardashev scale ranks civilizations from Type 1 to Type 3 based on energy harvesting. Humanity isn’t even at Type 1, yet, reports Adam Frank for Big Think.

Future Gravitational Wave Detector in Space Could Solve Mysteries of the Universe, reports SciTechDaily. “New research has shown that future gravitational wave detections from space will be capable of finding new fundamental fields and potentially shed new light on unexplained aspects of the Universe.”

Earth’s Oxygen Rise Helps Search for Life –By analyzing the oxygen content of ancient, iron-rich sedimentary rocks, scientists determined just how low oxygen levels were before life began to flourish, reports the SETI Institute. Until now, there was a critical gap in our understanding of environmental drivers in early evolution. The early Earth was marked by low levels of oxygen, till surface oxygen levels rose to be sufficient for animal life. But projections for when this rise occurred varied by over a billion years — possibly even well before animals had evolved.”

Dark-Matter Asteroids  – “Trillions of Trillions May Exist in the Milky Way” reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy.

Does Outer Space End – Or Does the Universe Go On Forever? asks Jack Singal for SciTechDaily. ” Scientists now consider it unlikely the universe has an end – a region where the galaxies stop or where there would be a barrier of some kind marking the end of space.”

The Milky Way’s Dramatic History of Violence Has Been Charted in a New Map, reports ScienceAlert. “Over the course of the history of the Universe, the Milky Way has not been serenely sailing through intergalactic space. Quite the contrary, actually. Over the last 13.6 billion years or so, it has collided with and consumed multiple other galaxies.”

10 mysteries of the universe: Why does anything exist at all? –Our best theories predict that all the matter in the universe should have been destroyed as soon as it existed. So how comes there’s something, not nothing? asks New Scientist.

Rare ‘upside-down stars’ are shrouded in the remains of cannibalized suns. A rare type of star probably forms when two stars spiral around each other and smash together, reports Popular Science. “White dwarf stars can collide to create a new type of strange, “upside-down” star, according to two new studies published this week.

On Mars, a Year of Surprise and Discovery –The past 12 months on Mars have been both “exciting” and “exhausting” for scientists and engineers minding the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. And the mission is only really getting started, reports the New York Times.

Record-Breaking Supernova Is Part of a New Class of Objects –A recently spotted bright light in the sky is improving astronomers’ understanding of stellar death, reports Scientific American.

Mars rover takes big steps in its most important mission. For all of the challenges Perseverance overcame in its first year on the red planet, the most difficult may be yet to come: returning samples of Mars to Earth, reports National Geographic.

NASA planet-hunting mission finds 5,000 possible alien worlds in less than 4 years, reports Space.com. “The mission just hit a major discovery milestone, passing 5,000 of what the team calls TESS Objects of Interest, or TOIs, which include exoplanet candidates and other intriguing signals.”

How NASA Plans to Destroy the International Space Station, reports The Conversation –“Nasa’s plans for the decommissioning operation will culminate in a fiery plunge into the middle of the Pacific Ocean – a location called Point Nemo, also known as the “spacecraft graveyard”, the furthest point from all civilization.

Scientists have produced the largest and most accurate virtual representation of the Universe to date. An international team of researchers, led by the University of Helsinki, and including members from Durham University in the UK, used supercomputer simulations to recreate the entire evolution of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the present, supporting a ‘standard model’ of cosmology – the ‘Cold Dark Matter’ model, reports the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Astronomers spot remains of long-lost galaxy eaten by the Milky Way, reports Elizabeth Howell for Space.com, “The demolished galaxy crashed into our own 8 billion to 10 billion years ago.’ 

Advanced Alien Intelligence -“May Not Need a Language”— reports Avi Shporer for The Daily Galaxy. “Language has existed on Earth for about one million years beginning with Homo erectus, says linguist Daniel Everett (see video below), which begs the question: do sentient beings with language exist elsewhere in the Cosmos?”

Hybrid AI: A new way to make machine minds that really think like us –In the quest to make artificial intelligence that can reason and apply knowledge flexibly, many researchers are focused on fresh insights from neuroscience. Should they be looking to psychology too? asks New Scientist.

Is There Life in the TRAPPIST-1 Star System? – “Twice as Old as Our Solar System”, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “All seven of the star’s tightly packed worlds may have evolved like Venus, with any early oceans they may have had evaporating and leaving dense, uninhabitable atmospheres. However, one planet, TRAPPIST-1 e, could be an Earth-like ocean world..”

What does “Grand Unified Theory” mean? –If the electromagnetic and weak forces unify to make the electroweak force, maybe, at even higher energies, something even greater happens? asks Big Think. “It’s only natural to wonder if the particles and forces that we know today couldn’t be further simplified, perhaps all emerging from some more unified state that existed early on in the Universe’s history?

Astronomers discover massive radio galaxy 100 times larger than the Milky Way, reports By Samantha Mathewson for Space.com “Its discovery was “a stroke of luck.”

Elon Musk’s Satellites Will (Probably) Not Trigger a War in Space, reports Areo. “Over the last five years, Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, has put thousands of satellites into orbit—with the goal of creating a network of 42,000—in order to give everyone on Earth high-speed, low-cost internet access. All anyone will need is a Starlink terminal. He claimed on Twitter in 2020 that there will be no training required: “Instructions are simply: — Plug in socket  — Point at sky.”

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