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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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Antimatter Galaxies –“Could Create the Most Explosive Event Since the Big Bang”

 

NGC 4258, also known as M106

 

“Just because we happen to live in a region that is overwhelmingly dominated by matter doesn’t preclude the existence of other regions of space that are instead dominated by antimatter,” observes Dan Hooper, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

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The Ultimate Mystery –”Consciousness is Like Space-time Before Einstein’s Theory of Relativity”

 

Consciousness

 

Without mind, there might as well be nothing. Colin McGinn at the University of Miami, believes that no matter how much scientists study the brain, the mind is fundamentally incapable of comprehending itself. “We’re rather like Neanderthals trying to understand astronomy or Shakespeare,” McGinn observed in Consciousness and Space. Human brains suffer from a “cognitive gap” in understanding their own consciousness.”

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The Great Question — “Is Our Universe Extremely Unnatural, a Weird Permutation?”

 

ESA Early Universe

 

“Is our universe extremely unnatural, a weird permutation among countless other possibilities, observed for no other reason than that its special conditions allowed life to arise, or, are the properties of the universe are inevitable, predictable, that is, ‘natural,’ locking together into a sensible pattern?” This is the question, the great unknown, that preoccupies theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J.

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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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“First In, Last Out” –A Dark Solution to the Fermi Paradox

 

Very Large Telescope

 

Some scientists have suggested that in our anxious search for the answer to the Fermi Paradox –“are we alone in the cosmos”–we’re searching for intelligent, conscious, tool-making beings that have developed a language we’re capable of understanding, we are, in fact, searching for ourselves .

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