Recent Entries

Physics of DNA –“In Each of Us Lies a Message, Its Beginnings Lost in the Mists of Time”

The Galaxy Insight --"“At One Time, We Thought the Way Life Came Together Was Almost Completely Random"

 

“At one time,” writes science-fiction author Dennis E. Taylor in We Are Legion (We Are Bob), “we thought that the way life came together was almost completely random, only needing an energy gradient to get going. But as we’ve moved into the information age, we’ve come to realize that life is more about information than energy. Fire has most of the characteristics of life. It eats, it grows, it reproduces. But fire retains no information. It doesn’t learn; it doesn’t adapt. The five millionth fire started by lightning will behave just like the first. But the five hundredth bacterial division will not be like the first one, especially if there is environmental pressure. That’s DNA. And RNA. That’s life.”

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Gargantuan Flare –From Sun’s Nearest Neighbor Proxima Centauri

Proxima-Centauri-Flare

 

A team of astronomers spotted an extreme outburst, or flare, from the Sun’s nearest neighbor–the star Proxima Centauri, a “red dwarf” with about one-eighth the mass of our Sun., Proxima Centauri sits just four light-years, or almost 25 trillion miles, from the center of our Solar System and hosts at least two planets, one of which may look something like Earth. Red dwarfs, also known as M-dwarfs,  are a class of stars that contain the least massive and coolest main-sequence stars in the Milky Way.  They are also hosts to many of the thousands of known exoplanets.

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“The Galaxy Report” –Opt-In for Our Free Weekly Newsletter

Galaxy Report

THe Galaxy Report

Your free twice-weekly fix of  stories of space and science –a random journey from Planet Earth through the Cosmos– that has the capacity to provide clues to our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our Anthropocene epoch.

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“The Ultimate Dark-Matter Test” –First-Ever Map of Milky Way’s Outer Reaches Will Reveal Its True Nature

 

Milky Way in 3 D

 

“With the wake we have a brand new testing ground for theories of dark matter,” wrote Harvard astrophysicist Rohan Naidu in an email to The Daily Galaxy about the first all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy, known as the galactic halo predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, the mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe. 

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Planet Earth Report –“Closest Black Hole to Earth Detected to Russia’s ‘Cosmic’ Religion”

 

Earth from Space

 

Check off another amazing few days on Planet Earth, with news stories ranging from the detection of the closest black hole to Earth to  what might be  one of the great scientific discoveries to  Stephen Hawking’ very scary warning. (more…)

“The Radio Species” –Scientists Doubt ‘Human Niche’ Would Be Filled If We Go Extinct

 

ESO

 

For what purpose did the human brain evolve is a question that has puzzled scientists for decades.In 2010 Colin Blakemore, an Oxford neurobiologist argued that a mutation in the brain of a single human being 200,000 years ago turned intellectually able primates into a super-intelligent species that would conquer the world. Homo sapiens appears to be a genetic accident.

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Stephen Hawking’s Great Question –“Why Isn’t the Milky Way Crawling With Mechanical or Biological Life?”

GalaxyEvolution_Final_Papovich

 

“If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct”, Stephen Hawking observed, echoing Enrico Fermi’s infamous question–Where is Everybody– “there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?”

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Exoplanet Mystery –”The Gas Giant That Should Not Exist”

Exoplanet YSES 2b

 

An exoplanet mystery has been imaged by a team of astronomers led by Dutch scientists of a giant planet orbiting at a large distance around a sun-like star.  The planet in question is YSES 2b, located 360 light years from Earth in the direction of the southern constellation of Musca (Latin for The Fly). 

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