The Final Word? –“Alien-Hypothesis ‘Oumuamua’ is a Fragment of a Pluto-like Planet from Another Solar System”

Alien Space Ship

 

It might be a good time for the Oxford University Union to schedule a debate between two Arizona State astronomers and Harvard’s intrepid Avi Loeb, author of the recently published Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. “Extraterrestrial,” writes the New York Times Dennis Overbye…”is part graceful memoir and part plea for keeping an open mind about the possibilities of what is out there in the universe — in particular, life. Otherwise, Loeb says, we might miss something amazing, like the church officials in the 17th century who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope.”

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“Lost to Space?” –Long-Held Theory About Mars’s Water Nixed

Planet Mar's Water

 

One of the James Webb Space Telescope’s (scheduled for launch on October 21) first tasks will be to learn why Mars lost so much water over its 4.5-billion-year history turning the once blue planet into a frigid desert world. Today, Mars has a carbon dioxide atmosphere 100-times thinner than Earth’s that makes up more than 95 percent of  the planet’s atmosphere, which has a surface pressure of only 0.6 percent that of Earth. 

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“Existing for Billions of Years” –Exoplanets Engulfed by Magma Oceans May Evolve Water-Rich Atmospheres

Exoplanet Wasp 121b

 

 

“Liquid magma is actually quite runny,” said University of Chicago planetary scientist, Edwin Kite, about a new study by University of Chicago and Stanford University researchers suggesting a mechanism where planets could develop atmospheres full of water vapor similar to what makes life on Earth’s surface possible, regulating our climate and sheltering us from damaging cosmic rays.

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A New ‘Super-Earth’ Detected –“This is the Kind of Planet We’ve Been Dreaming About for Decades”

Exoplanet Gliese 486b

 

There was a time not too many decades ago when an astronomer suggesting the existence of life-bearing planets beyond our solar system would be considered heresy, albeit without the punishment of house arrest suffered by Galileo until his death in 1642.

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The Perseverance Mission –“May Change the Way We Think About Our Origins and Extraterrestrial Life”

Perseverance Rover

 

Seven minutes of harrowing descent to the Red Planet occured on February 18th when NASA’s Perseverance rover — a robotic “scientist” weighing 2,260 pounds–parachuted through the tenuous Martian air, marking a new era in red planet exploration. Once at the top of the Red Planet’s atmosphere, a science-fiction movie descent began as it dropped through temperatures equivalent to the surface of the Sun, along with a supersonic parachute inflation, and the first ever autonomous guided landing on Mars delivering the biggest, heaviest, cleanest, and most sophisticated six-wheeled robotic geologist ever launched into space north of the Martian equator.

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“The Red Mirage” –Oldest Planets in the Universe May Suffer Early Heat Death Killing Chance of Life

 

Planet Ross 128

 

In the Milky Way Galaxy, about three-fourths of the stars are M dwarfs. But there’s a deadly catch. New research indicates that M dwarfs which are prime targets for astronomers in the search for extraterrestrial life, may have lost their window of opportunity at hosting life because of intense heat during their formative years. M dwarfs, also known as red dwarfs, are the smallest type of hydrogen-burning stars and are the most common stars and the coolest main-sequence stars in the universe.

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