Today’s insights and commentary from the world’s leading scientist’s on Twitter and YouTube postings on astronomy, physics, biology, evolution, SETI, cosmology, genetics, and climate change.
“This data release is a tremendous milestone for the Breakthrough Listen team,” said Dr. Danny Price of the search “pipeline” that scans through billions of radio channels, looking for signals of radio-transmitting extraterrestrial civilizations in our Galactic neighborhood that are too narrow and well-defined to result from natural processes.
Several mind-boggling conjectures about the existence of advanced alien civilizations have been made by astrophysicists who have found that for the last 7 billion years or so something is pushing the galaxies, adding energy to them. Something they are calling “dark energy,” a force that is real, but so far eludes detection. One of the most speculative ideas for the mechanism of an accelerating cosmic expansion is called “quintessence”, a relative of the Higgs field that permeates the cosmos.
Think of beautiful blue planets with endless oceans orbiting many of the Milky Way’s one trillion stars. Could they support life? Perhaps even intelligent life? “There may be life there,” says Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “But could it be technology-based like ours? Life on these worlds would be under water with no easy access to metals, to electricity, or fire for metallurgy. Maybe life’s inventiveness to get to a technology stage will surprise us.”
“Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth. “The question is whether one can test the entire [inflation] scenario, not just specific models,” said Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist and cosmologist at Harvard University. “If there is no guillotine that can kill off some theories, then what’s the point?”