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Archive for the ‘alien life’ category

Jun 18, 2018

To Start a New Life at Proxima Centauri, This Is How Many People We Need to Send

Posted by in category: alien life

Humanity has long dreamed about sending humans to other planets, even before crewed spaceflight became a reality. And with the discovery of thousands exoplanets in recent decades, particularly those that orbit within neighboring star systems (like Proxima b), that dream seems closer than ever to becoming a reality.

But of course, a lot of technical challenges need to be overcome before we can hope to mount such a mission.

In addition, a lot of questions need to be answered. For example, what kind of ship should we send to Proxima b or other nearby exoplanets? And how many people would we need to place aboard that ship?

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Jun 15, 2018

How Area 51 became the center of alien conspiracy theories

Posted by in categories: alien life, military

The history of Area 51 stretches back to the 1950s.


Area 51 has been the focal point of alien conspiracy theories in America for decades. The remote military base in the Nevada desert has a lot of history, and has been associated with aliens almost since its inception. Here’s why. Following is a transcript of the video:

In the early 1950s, US planes were conducting low-flying recon missions over the USSR. But there were constant worries of them being spotted and shot down.

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Jun 9, 2018

David Roden on Posthuman Life

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

https://paper.li/e-1437691924#/


When Stapledon wrote that book he was thinking of Martians, but in our time one might think he was studying the strangeness of what our posthuman progeny may evolve into. In Last and First Men Stapledon presents a version of the future history of our species, reviewed by one of our descendants as stellar catastrophe is bringing our solar system to an end. Humanity rises and falls through a succession of mental and physical transformations, regenerating after natural and artificial disasters and emerging in the end into a polymorphous group intelligence, a telepathically linked community of ten million minds spanning the orbits of the outer planets and breaking the bounds of individual consciousness, yet still incapable of more than “a fledgling’s knowledge” of the whole.

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Jun 7, 2018

News: Evidence of past life on Mars…

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet’s surface and subsurface.

The new findings — “tough” organic molecules in 3-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere — appear in the June 8 edition of the journal Science.

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Jun 7, 2018

Now Anyone Can Hunt For Exoplanets

Posted by in categories: alien life, robotics/AI

To find new exoplanets, just turn to Google.

Last year, an artificial intelligence (AI) network, equipped with data from the Kepler space telescope, discovered two new exoplanets. Now, citizen scientists looking to support discovery at home can use the exoplanet-hunting neural network — Google plans to make it open source, a Google engineer announced recently in a blog post.

Exoplanets are difficult to find and harder to directly observe – most of the time scientists only know these celestial bodies exist when they block some light from their closest star. To help scientists learn more about exoplanets, including those in the “Goldilocks Zone” (the “just right” zone in which planets are most likely to host life), NASA launched the Kepler spacecraft in 2009. Its mission: make observations that might lead to the discovery of exoplanets.

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May 30, 2018

Microbes in Space: Bioengineered Bugs Could Help Colonize New Planets

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, sustainability

As humans spread out into the cosmos in search of life, the most alien organisms we encounter may be those we bring with us. Researchers at NASA and elsewhere are engineering microbes so they can carry out many of the functions needed to support human life off-planet.

Humans have been harnessing microbes to do useful work for us for millennia. We’ve used them to make bread, beer, and cheese, and more recently they’ve been put to work to produce medicine, provide fertilizer for crops, and even generate biofuels.

But the emerging field of synthetic biology holds the promise of greatly expanding the things microbes can do for us. Advances in gene editing technology are allowing scientist to re – engineer microbes’ genomes to carry out entirely novel functions like producing chemicals not found in nature, acting as biosensors, and even carrying out computation.

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May 21, 2018

Europa Could Host Alien Life

Posted by in category: alien life

Jupiter’s moon Europa could host alien life deep within its icy oceans.

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May 13, 2018

If We Heard From Aliens, What Would It Look Like?

Posted by in category: alien life

How SETI sifts through cosmic noise to hunt for alien signals.

Follow Focal Point for more stories on groundbreaking science!

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May 10, 2018

Looking for E.T. with TESS

Posted by in category: alien life

TESS is out of this world!

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May 3, 2018

The First Exoplanet Known to Contain Helium Is a Truly Alien World

Posted by in category: alien life

In addition to filling balloons at birthday parties, helium can be found scattered throughout the cosmos. To date, however, scientists have struggled to detect the ubiquitous element on distant worlds, even though the gas is certain to be there. But that’s now changed, thanks to the discovery of helium on a Jupiter-sized world located 200 light-years from Earth—but that’s only part of the story.

“Helium is the second-most common element in the universe after hydrogen. It is also one of the main constituents of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in our Solar System,” Jessica Spake, the astronomer who made the discovery, said in a statement. “However, up until now helium had not been detected on exoplanets—despite searches for it.”

But now, using Wide Field Camera 3 on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spake’s team managed to detect this strangely elusive substance, marking the first time that helium has been detected on a planet outside of our Solar System. The key to the finding was the use of infrared spectra to study the exoplanet’s atmosphere, whereas previous attempts used ultraviolet and optical wavelengths. This study now shows that the composition of exoplanetary atmospheres can indeed be studied at longer wavelengths. The details of this discovery were published yesterday in Nature.

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