Today’s stories range from the Universe’s Background Starlight is Twice as Bright as Expected to Is Geometry a Language That Only Humans Know?, and much more. “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.
New experiment could confirm the fifth state of matter in the universe, reports the University of Portsmouth. “Physicist Melvin Vopson has already published research suggesting that information has mass and that all elementary particles, the smallest known building blocks of the universe, store information about themselves, similar to the way humans have DNA. Now he has designed an experiment – which if proved correct – means he will have discovered that information is the fifth form of matter, alongside solid, liquid, gas and plasma.”
The universe’s background starlight is twice as bright as expected. It took a spacecraft at the solar system’s edge to make precise enough observations of dark sky, reports Liz Kruesi for Science News. “Even when you remove the bright stars, the glowing dust and other nearby points of light from the inky, dark sky, a background glow remains. That glow comes from the cosmic sea of distant galaxies, the first stars that burned, faraway coalescing gas — and, it seems, something else in the mix that’s evading researchers.”
Four signs of alien technology could lead us to extraterrestrial life. Pioneering scientists think we should start looking for extraterrestrials in a whole new way: by seeking out alien technology, reports Marcus Chown for BBC Science Focus. “Megastructures, Industrial chemicals, Light sails, and Wormhole transport systems. “If ETs have created a network of wormholes, it might be detectable by gravitational microlensing. This occurs when a celestial object passes between us and a distant star and its gravity briefly magnifies the light of the star.”
The closest stars to our sun are the three stars in the Alpha Centauri system, just over four light-years away. The nearest of the three stars – a red dwarf called Proxima – has two confirmed planets. But, as yet, no planets have been found for the two sunlike stars in the system, Alpha Centauri A and B. Astronomers have now made a leap in imagining a yet-to-be-discovered world within this nearby double star system, reports Earth Sky.
Is Geometry a Language That Only Humans Know? –Neuroscientists are exploring whether shapes like squares and rectangles — and our ability to recognize them — are part of what makes our species special, reports Siobhan Roberts for The New York Times. “What sorts of thoughts, or computations, are unique to the human brain? Part of the answer might be our seemingly innate intuitions about geometry.
One Second After the Big Bang -Did a Violent Phase Transition in the Dark Universe Create Supermassive Black Holes? asks Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “Such a phase transition would be a dramatic event, even for something as spectacular as the universe. Could the formation of supermassive black holes, as well as the nature of dark matter, be the result of violent cosmological phase transition in the dark sector of the Universe. Understanding black holes, and how they become supermassive, could shed light on the evolution of the universe.
Stephen Hawking’s black hole paradox may finally have a solution –Black holes may not destroy all information about what they were originally made of, according to a new set of quantum calculations, which would solve a major physics paradox first described by Stephen Hawking, reports New Scientist.
A Primordial “Magnetic Soul” Pervades the Universe, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “The world’s astronomers are increasingly probing the mystery of where the enormous magnetic fields that permeate our universe come from –from Earth to Mars to the Milky Way to intergalactic voids and beyond to the darkest, most remote regions of the cosmos.”
Cosmic Collisions Yield Clues about Exoplanet Formation –Low levels of bombardment reveal that the TRAPPIST-1 system probably grew quickly, reports Scientific American.
Is There Life in the TRAPPIST-1 Star System? – “Twice as Old as Our Solar System”, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy.”Could one of the seven tightly packed planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system be the first exoplanet where the James Webb Space Telescope detects unmistakable signs of life? Life may be possible if these planets had more water initially than Earth, Venus, or Mars, said astrobiologist Andrew Lincowski at the University of Washington, about a nearby star and planetary system called TRAPPIST-1, first Discovered in 2016 some 40 light-years away.”
TRAPPIST-1 Star System is the Ultimate James Webb Space Telescope Target, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “We are on the cusp of a new epoch in the search for life beyond Earth. Sun-like stars represent just 15 percent of all stars in the Milky Way. And nearly half of those have binary star companions that suppressed the formation of planets. The search for Earth analogs around single, solar-type stars therefore covers a nearly insignificant fraction of all the outcomes in nature.”
Why haven’t aliens made contact? “Are we alone in the universe, and if not, why haven’t aliens made contact with us yet? Perhaps they have and we just haven’t been able to detect it. In this week’s episode of Science with Sam we explain why there could be several answers to the question: does alien life really exist?” reports New Scientist video, ‘Science with Sam.
Supermassive black holes put a brake on stellar births, reports University of Cambridge–“Using machine learning and three state-of-the-art simulations to back up results from a large sky survey, researchers from the University of Cambridge have resolved a 20-year long debate on the formation of stars.”
Alien microbes are most likely to be crawling in these parts of the solar system, reports Elizabeth Rayne for SyFy.”Extraterrestrial microbes are most likely to be lurking in seven bodies unnervingly close to Earth. If you suspected Mars, Europa, or Enceladus, you’re right. If Titan, Ganymede, Callisto, or Pluto was in the back of your mind, guess what — you’re also right.”
How a Tiny Asteroid Strike May Save Earthlings From City-Killing Space Rocks reports Robin George Andrews for New York Times Science –An asteroid hunter detected the small object two hours before it crashed into the sea near Greenland, a sign of the growing sophistication of NASA’s planetary defense system.
A new way of dating collisions between asteroids and planetary bodies throughout our Solar System’s history could help scientists reconstruct how and when planets were born. “A team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, combined dating and microscopic analysis of the Chelyabinsk meteorite — which fell to Earth and hit the headlines in 2013 — to get more accurate constraints on the timing of ancient impact events. Our work shows that we need to draw on multiple lines of evidence to be more certain about impact histories – almost like investigating an ancient crime scene,” reports University of Cambridge.
What if the same spacecraft studied mysterious icy bodies and the cosmos as well? asks Meghan Bartels for Space.com, What can a spacecraft armed with cubesats and an astronomical telescope accomplish?
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