Can We Ever Know If the Universe Had a Beginning to Will the Higgs Reveal Unknown Dimensions? (The Galaxy Report Weekend)

 

ESO Observatories Chile

 

This weekend’s  stories include Decades of planning have set the stage for an epochal detection of alien life to Does consciousness change the rules of quantum mechanics? and much more.

Does consciousness change the rules of quantum mechanics? Maybe our understanding of quantum entanglement is incomplete, or maybe there is something fundamentally unique about consciousness, reports Elizabeth Fernandez for Big Think. This article takes a look at the limits of quantum entanglement, and how entanglement on the large scale might even challenge our very basis of reality.

We can’t know if the universe had a beginning–An interview with cosmologist George Ellis, Templeton prize-winning cosmologist and co-author of ‘The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time’ with Stephen Hawking,  in an interview about the limits of cosmology, and why we can never know whether the universe had a beginning or has existed forever. “The key issue for cosmology is that there is only one Universe. That makes it different from all the other sciences. We can’t rerun the Universe and see what happens; we can’t compare it with other universes.”

A  Dream of Discovering Alien Life Finds New Hope–For Cornell’s Lisa Kaltenegger, perhaps the world’s leading computer modeler of potentially habitable worlds, and her generation of exoplanet astronomers, decades of planning have set the stage for an epochal detection, reports Joshua Sokol for Quanta. “Most astronomers believe that our best near-term chance of encountering other life in the cosmos is to detect biosignature gases — gases that could only have come from life — floating in exoplanets’ atmospheres, now detectable by the Webb space telescope.

Hubble vs. Webb: New NASA telescope reveals never-before-seen details from the early universe, within 400 million years after the Big Bang, reports Business Insider. “With Hubble, it was just this pale, red dot. We could tell it was really small, just a tiny galaxy in the first 400 million years of the universe. Now we look with Webb, and we’re able to resolve TWO objects,” Coe said in an October NASA release.”

How the Higgs boson could reveal the fate of our universe--It’s just over ten years ago that the Higgs boson was first discovered. Physicist Toyoko Orimoto for New Scientist writes that the particle could lead us to more discoveries, such as if there are other spatial dimensions and the eventual fate of the universe.

NASA Asteroid Threat Practice Drill Shows We’re Not Ready--A trial of how government, NASA and local officials would deal with a space rock headed toward Earth revealed gaps in the plans, reports Scientific American. 

Astronomers Find a Black Hole in Our Cosmic Back Yard –Just 1,600 light-years away, the black hole is the closest known to Earth. The good news: It’s dormant, at least for now. “It is a biggie, a shell of yawning emptiness 10 times as massive as the sun, orbiting as far from its own star as the Earth is from ours,” reports Dennis Overbye for The New York Times.  

Some Planets Seem to Have a Strange Ability to Make Their Star Age Slower, reports Science Alert. 

A quark star may have just been discovered, reports Andrey Feldman for Advanced Science News. “This would not only be an incredible new discovery in and of itself but would allow scientists a deeper insight into the very nature and behavior of quarks, of which we are only just beginning to understand.”

Curated by The Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff

THe Galaxy Report

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