Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagLaurence Tognetti

Exoplanets or Extrasolar planets with stars on background nebula, 3D illustration

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life 18

We are starting to find more different kinds of exoplanets and an unexpected source of water on Mars

In our universe: Time travel? “How a Rotating Universe Makes Time Travel Possible” At Universe Today, Stony Brook astrophysicist Paul Sutter notes that mathematical philosopher Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) wrote a model for Albert Einstein (1879–1955) of a universe that allows time travel into the past: “Gödel constructed a relatively simple and artificial model universe to prove his point. This universe is rotating and contains only one ingredient. That ingredient is a negative cosmological constant that resists the centrifugal force of the rotation to keep the universe static. / Gödel found that if you follow a particular path in this rotating universe you can end up in your own past. ” (January 11, 2023) Our universe, as it happens, is not Read More ›

Deep Space

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life 16

The Webb wraps up a year of solid achievements, including the first direct image of an exoplanet

In our universe: Most distant galaxies observed in 2022: “Webb was made to observe the most distant galaxies in the universe, and in mid-December, scientists confirmed that they had done just that. The telescope has officially observed the four most distant galaxies known, which also means they are the oldest. Webb observed the galaxies as they appeared about 13.4 billion years ago, when the universe was only 350 million years old, about 2% of its current age.” – Rebecca Sohn, Space.com, December 29, 2022 Meanwhile, a much bigger telescope array, the multinational SKAO project, is under construction: Composed of respectively hundreds of dishes and thousands of antennas, the SKAO’s telescopes will be the two most advanced radio telescopes on Earth. Read More ›

digital painting of the planet Neptune and Triton

Search for Extraterrestrial Life 13

A surprising candidate in the search for life in our solar system is Neptune’s moon Triton

In our universe: The invisible numbers of the universe: At Scientific American, “Invisible Numbers Are the Most Beautiful Part of Every ‘Space’ Image”: “We are drawn to breathtaking images of the heavens, but there is beauty in the numbers those images hold … Scientists are trained to understand reality through the interface of models. To an astronomer, a graph with a meandering curve that constitutes proof of a gravitational wave rippling through a detector can be as exciting as seeing a movie visualizing the merger of two black holes.” (Fabio Pacucci, November 16, 2022) Asked by Laurence Tognetti at Universe Today: What if we are truly alone? “The astronomer Carl Sagan was famous for his quote in his book and Read More ›

exoplanet viewed from the rocky surface of its moon, elements of this image furnished by NASA.

News From the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 10

In our universe, it seems, we don’t get down to the Really Simple Stuff. We just get down to smaller but still very complex stuff

Around our universe: Here are the Pillars of Creation, a star workshop 6500 light years away in the Eagle Nebula, as seen recently by the James Webb Space Telescope: The millions of stars seen by Hubble in globular cluster Terzan 4 are also worth a look: While we are here: The humble proton, one of the building blocks of our universe, is “the most complicated thing” imaginable, according to Quanta: The proton is a quantum mechanical object that exists as a haze of probabilities until an experiment forces it to take a concrete form. And its forms differ drastically depending on how researchers set up their experiment. Connecting the particle’s many faces has been the work of generations. “We’re kind Read More ›