Astronomers have excavated a galactic tomb –a stunning picture of our home galaxy’s successive mergers with neighboring galaxies. Recent discoveries by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) revealed the “archaeological” record embedded in hundreds of thousands of stars that unveiled the assembly history and evolution of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Will New NASA and ESA Missions Show Early Venus Had Oceans and Life? ESA and NASA have decided this year to send no less than three space exploration missions over the next decade to our sister planet, the second closest planet to the Sun, described by Stephen Hawking as Earth’s “kissing cousin.” Venus is like Earth in so many ways,” explained Hawking. “She’s almost the same size as Earth, a touch closer to the Sun. And, she has an atmosphere that could crush a submarine.”
Ancient galaxy clusters have been described as “the dark skeletons of the cosmos.” Astronomers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have found the most densely populated galaxy cluster in formation in the primitive universe. The researchers predict that this structure, among the largest astronomical objects in the Universe, which is at a distance of 12.5 billion light years from us, will have evolved becoming a cluster similar to the 1,300 galaxies of the Virgo Cluster, a neighbor of the Local Group of galaxies to which harbors our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
The history of life on Earth is largely microbial. “You can certainly run a world without dinosaurs and humans, but you can’t do it without microbes.’ says Harvard Fisher Professor of Natural History and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Andrew H. Knoll. “For vast stretches of time, bacteria and other single-celled organisms were the only life on Earth. The age of the dinosaurs to the present day,” Knoll said, “represents roughly 5 percent of the history of life.”
Whether we are the smartest kids on our cosmic block is not a philosophical question.”