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TagMars (water)

Somewhere in extreme deep space far galaxies and habitable exoplanets with rings. 3D rendered background. Elements of this image were furnished by NASA.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life 14

According to a new study from the University of Copenhagen, 4.5 billion years ago, there was enough water on Mars to cover the planet in an ocean 300 metres deep

Our universe: A recent buzz is the magnificent new map of the universe from Johns Hopkins University, giving some sense of our universe’s nearly unfathomable size. Astronomer Hugh Ross points out at Reasons to Believe that the universe also seems to be designed for observability: Sound implausible? Well, here’s what he says: “ … there’s a relatively narrow time window in the history of the universe during which astronomers can observe 100% of the universe’s past history. Humans are inside that time window now. I also demonstrated that we are living in the one location within this vast universe where intelligent physical life is possible, and where that intelligent life can observe 100% of the past history of the universe. Read More ›

Nebula Milkyway and galaxies in space 3D

News From the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 11

One paper says the planets around Trappist-1 may be more habitable than first thought but another says that planets around M-stars may be less so…

Our universe: Three challenging ideas: A challenge to Newton’s laws of gravity: “An international team of astrophysicists has made a puzzling discovery while analyzing certain star clusters. The finding challenges Newton’s laws of gravity, the researchers write in their publication. Instead, the observations are consistent with the predictions of an alternative theory of gravity. However, this is controversial among experts.” – ScienceDaily (October 22, 2022) We know we are getting somewhere when we find out things we didn’t expect. The paper requires a fee or subscription. Is a new anomaly affecting the entire Universe? “The most puzzling, unexplained anomaly in all of cosmology is the Hubble tension: the difference in the measured expansion rate depending on which method is used. Read More ›

James Webb Space Telescope in Space

News From the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 3

The Webb gets a good closer look at an exoplanet

Exoplanets are hard to spot but the James Webb Space Telescope got an image of one (HIP 65426b), reported September 1: The planet is more than 10,000 times fainter than its host star and about 100 times farther from it than Earth is from the Sun (~93 million miles), so it easily could be spotted when the telescope’s coronagraphs removed the starlight. The exoplanet is between six and 12 times the mass of Jupiter—a range that could be narrowed once the data in these images is analyzed. The planet is only 15 million to 20 million years old, making it very young compared to our 4.5-billion-year-old Earth. Isaac Schultz, “See Webb Telescope’s First Images of an Exoplanet” at Gizmodo (September Read More ›

Mars Base

Theoretical Physicist: Colonizing Mars Is a Ridiculous Idea

Making Mars habitable (terraforming) has been kicking around engineering circles for decades. What are the chances, given Moore’s Law-level increases in technology?

And so what does a theoretical physicist know about it, you ask? Well, when it’s Sabine Hossenfelder, she is alwaysworth listening to: The biggest problem is not that Mars is “minus 60 degrees Celsius or minus 80 Fahrenheit,” she explains, but that it has no magnetic field so the atmosphere was blown away by the solar winds. So to form Mars into a second Earth, we would first need to give it a magnetic field. How easy is that?: In a paper that was just published in April in the International Journal of Astrobiology, two physicists explain that all you have to do put a superconducting wire around Mars, simple enough, isn’t it? The circle would have to have a Read More ›

alien world, exoplanet in the habitable zone, planet with moon, water and plant life

Could the Universe Be Swimming in Watery Planets?

A new hypothesis of planet formation means that watery worlds may be common rather than rare

As the Mars Rover Perseverance motors around looking for evidence of past life on a now- mostly dry planet, some researchers are asking, can we be sure that most planets in our galaxy are dry? A common assumption among exoplanet experts is that most planets got their water via a chance hit early on from an icy asteroid. But researchers from the GLOBE Institute at the University of Copenhagen offer an alternative scenario, based on the millimetre-sized particles of ice and carbon that orbit all the young stars in our Milky Way galaxy. If masses of these particles are incorporated into a planet from its beginning, it isn’t a matter of chance whether the planet has water. It is a Read More ›