Today’s stories include William Shatner’s Blue Origin Trip Filled Him with ‘Dread’ for Earth to The Hard Problem of Consciousness, and much more.
Black Holes May Hide a Mind-Bending Secret About Our Universe, writes Dennis Overbye for the New York Times. “Take gravity, add quantum mechanics, stir. What do you get? Just maybe, a holographic cosmos. “It may be too strong to say that gravity and quantum mechanics are exactly the same thing,” Leonard Susskind of Stanford University wrote in a paper in 2017. ‘But those of us who are paying attention may already sense that the two are inseparable, and that neither makes sense without the other.'”
William Shatner’s Blue Origin trip filled him with ‘dread’ for Earth amid the ‘vicious coldness of space, reports Fortune on his new book Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder. “When I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold…all I saw was death,” he writes. “I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. also felt sadness, he writes, because of the damage being done to the planet.”
NASA finds Earth’s moon didn’t need hundreds of years to form. Try hours–Watch a violent collision simulation that could have spawned the moon. ‘A study published Tuesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters suggests a bold new idea: The moon could have formed in one swift exchange, with a large chunk of baby Earth and its impactor’s material blown into a wide orbit — in a matter of hours.”
The real problem of consciousness–It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be, reports Anil K Seth, professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex, and co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science for Aeon.
Finding Aliens Could Trigger Global Conflict With Dire Consequences: Study, reports Newsweek. “However, according to a paper published in the journal Space Policy, which is a critique of a previous study discussing the geopolitical dangers of detecting extra-terrestrial life, these fears are unfounded.”
Should We Be Searching for Smart Aliens or Dumb Aliens? asks astrophysicist Adam Frank. There are two ways to look for extraterrestrial life. We’ve been focusing on only one, reports The Atlantic. “Dumb life consists of things such as microbes and plants that can proliferate across a planet but are unlike humans as self-conscious, technological thinkers. Smart life consists of creatures like us that build planet-spanning technologies.”
Could an asteroid destroy Earth?, asks Brandon Specktor for Space.com–“Our planet is tougher than you’d think — but humans aren’t. ‘An object bigger than Mars hit Earth early in its history and made the moon, without destroying the Earth,’Brian Toon, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder who has studied asteroid impacts.”
Ian Sinks Florida ‘Dome Home’ Built to Survive Hurricanes–A house built from geodesic domes off the coast of Florida was designed to withstand gale-force winds and powerful storm surges but not sea-level rise, reports Scientific American.
California Quakes Mysteriously Preceded by Shifts in Earth’s Magnetic Field, reports Mike McCrae for Nature. “One possible advance sign could involve flickers in the magnetic field that ebbs and flows around our planet. For decades, researchers have debated the merits of hunting for magnetic signatures to imminent tremors, for want of convincing evidence.”
A Martian menu that could transform how we eat on Earth, reports Evan Fraser and Lenore Newman for CNN. “Prepping a Martian meal would be one of the most technically challenging problems our species has ever confronted. A community on Mars would be exposed to punishing radiation and temperatures that could range from minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Tasty and nutritious meals would be crucial to the psychological as well as the physical health of space pioneers.”
New JWST view showcases our cosmic isolation–With its first view of a protoplanetary disk around a newly forming star, the JWST reveals how alone individual stellar systems truly are, reports Big Think.
This podcast brings Steve Jobs back to life, thanks to AI–In a free-wheeling conversation with Joe Rogan, Jobs talks about Microsoft, Adobe, and much more, reports Interesting Engineering.
The DNA that works like a computer disk –Keeping data safely locked up for millennia could soon be on the table, reports BBC Future. “Radio telescopes and particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) alone produces 90 petabytes (90 million gigabytes) per year.”
As Omicron mutates wildly the virus shows first signs of convergent evolution, reports Rich Haridy for New Atlas. “Over the last couple of months researchers tracking emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have started noticing something strange These mutations all seemed to be converging in a way to evade our pre-existing immunity, and a striking study recently appeared speculating the virus has the potential to completely escape our current immune responses.”
This Indigenous Scientist Helped Save Lives as Covid Devastated the Navajo Nation–Crystal Lee grew up the granddaughter of Navajo medicine men. As Covid wreaked havoc on her community, she decided to act reports Tulika Bose for Scientific American.
The life-changing effects of hallucinations –“Illusions brought on by drugs, lights and disease are giving us new insights into the inner workings of our brains. William Park ventured into his own induced hallucination to find out more” for BBC Future.
A new method helped find million-year-old marine DNA in Antarctica — here’s what’s next–The data shows that diatoms were consistently abundant during warm climatic periods, reports Interesting Engineering. “According to the University of Bonn, it shows that DNA can open the pathway to studying long-term responses of ocean ecosystems to climate change.”
Fossils Solve Mystery of an Ancient ‘Alien Goldfish’ –Closer examination of Typhloesus fossils suggests that the organism, which swam 330 million years ago, was similar to modern sea slugs, reports New York Times Science.
Fossils Reveal Pterosaur Relatives Before They Evolved Wings–By reanalyzing earlier specimens, scientists linked small, leggy creatures that roamed 237 million years ago to the reptiles that flew through the dinosaur era, reports New York Times Science. “At a quick glance, they look nothing like a pterosaur,” Dr. Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, said. “But a close look at their skeletons and the similarities with pterosaurs became apparent, like invisible ink being held to the light.”
Can solar power from space help solve our energy needs? asks The Guardian. “The latest developments in solar tech offer potential solutions to the energy security crisis – including satellites that would convert sunlight into power for Earth”
How philosophy turned into physics and reality turned into information, reports Peter Evans for The Conversation.
The Physics of Smashing a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid--NASA will soon release the results of its DART mission to find out whether crashing a probe into a space rock can deflect it. Here’s how they’ll do the math, reports Wired.
Curated by the Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff
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.
Recent Galaxy Reports: