This week’s report from the Cosmos brings amazing stories ranging from What Existed Before the Big Bang to Forms of Consciousness We Can’t Recognize to World’s Scientists Share Their Expectations for the James Webb Space Telescope.
It’s been said that Newton gave us answers; Stephen Hawking gave us questions. In his famous lecture on “Life in the Universe”, our era’s greatest theoretical physicist, who was laid to rest in 2018 in Scientists’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, between Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, asked one of his most profound questions: “What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?”
“The Galaxy Report” YouTube Channel is here to bring you breaking intergalactic stories that shake the fabric of space time. Join Nicole Butscher on weekly adventures to create a deep playlist that includes human and AI evolution, the great questions of astrophysics, the search for advanced extraterrestrial life, cosmology, hard-science fiction and film, and the known and unknown mysteries of the Cosmos.
“The first galaxies in the early universe may illuminate what type of dark matter we have today,” says Mark Vogelsberger, associate professor of physics in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research about one of the great mysteries of modern physics. “Either we see this filament pattern, and fuzzy dark matter is plausible, or we don’t, and we can rule that model out. We now have a blueprint for how to do this.”
British physicist Stephen Wolfram believes extraterrestrial intelligent life is inevitable, but with a caveat. Although intelligent life is inevitable, we will never find it -at least not by searching in the Milky Way. Wolfram points out that in order to compress more and more information into our communication signals – be they mobile phone conversations or computers – we remove all redundancy or pattern. If anything in a signal repeats, then it can be deleted. But this process of removing any pattern from a signal makes the signal look more and more random – in fact, pretty much like the random radio “noise” that rains down on Earth coming from stars and interstellar gas clouds.
“We should plan ahead,” warned physicist Stephen Hawking who died March, 2018, and was buried next to Isaac Newton. “If a superior alien civilization sent us a text message saying, ‘We’ll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘OK, call us when you get here, we’ll leave the lights on’? Probably not, but this is more or less what has happened with AI.”
Editor, Jackie Faherty, astrophysicist, Senior Scientist with AMNH. Jackie was formerly a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Aside from a love of scientific research, she is a passionate educator and can often be found giving public lectures in the Hayden Planetarium. Her research team has won multiple grants from NASA, NSF, and the Heising Simons foundation to support projects focused on characterising planet-like objects. She has also co-founded the popular citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 which invites the general public to help scan the solar neighbourhood for previously missed cold worlds. A Google Scholar, Faherty has over 100 peer reviewed articles in astrophysical journals and has been an invited speaker at universities and conferences across the globe. Jackie received the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize from the American Astronomical Society, an award that recognises scientists who have made an impact in the field of dynamical astronomy and the 2021 Robert H Goddard Award for science accomplishments.