“The Galaxy Report” brings you space and science news that has the ability to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds much-needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene times. Today’s stories range from WWhen did the first humans appear on planet Earth on planets that rain down person-sized diamonds to fill the ‘human niche’ if we disappear What if all life on an alien planet was a giant superorganism?
When did the first humans appear on planet Earth? –Planet Earth has been around for over 4.5 billion years, but humans? For 99.998% of our history, humans were nowhere to be found, reports Big Think.
What if all life on an alien planet was a giant superorganism? A team of scientists say the arrangement may in fact be the norm. They’ve dubbed the concept ‘Gaia as Solaris’ – and that could mean that by working together extraterrestrial life survives in more places than we thought,” reports Inverse.com.
What if China makes first contact? As America has turned away from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish precisely for this purpose, reports Ross Andersen for The Atlantic.
Imbalance – The unmistakable signal of extraterrestrial life. “”The phrase Earth-like does not refer to a planet that necessarily resembles present-day Earth. It’s actually a very broad term that encompasses a wide variety of worlds. It includes misty worlds like the Archaean; it includes frozen worlds like the intervals of the “snowball”; it includes anoxic worlds with exclusively microbial ecosystems; it includes worlds with complex and intelligent life; and that includes worlds we haven’t even seen yet.
The Forgotten Planets –-Why should Mars, Jupiter and Saturn get all the attention? asks Nautilus.com. “These are planets that rain down diamonds the size of the people inside them. One of them was hit so hard by another planet that it now orbits its sun out of step with its famous neighbours. The planets represent both the chaotic formation of their solar system and the shepherds of its stability. “
Why Scientists Think We Could Find Extraterrestrial Intelligence By Looking For Pollutants –The powerful James Webb telescope could be suitable for looking for pollution on alien planets, according to a new study, reports Salon.com
Not sealed! A Rare Apollo Lunar Sample Will Have Its Opening Day – Shelved since the 1970s, the pristine sample container holds clues to the Moon’s past and future, reports Astronomy.com
Awkward!-– NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, currently stationed aboard the International Space Station, is due to return to Earth in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft – a tricky situation, given the extraordinarily tense situation between Russia and the United States that develop in the field.
‘The Radio Species’ – Scientists Doubt ‘Human Niche’ Would Be Filled If We Disappeared, reports The Daily Galaxy. “We are the only species among the billions of species that have existed on Earth that has shown an aptitude for radios and even we have failed to build one in 99% of our 7 million years of existence. history, according to Charles Lineweaver of the Australian National University.”
An electrifying view of the heart of the Milky Way – A new radio image of the center of our galaxy (image above) reveals all the forms of frenzy that a hundred million stars can reach, reports the New York Times. “The image, taken by the MeerKAT radio telescope, an array of 64 antennae spread across five miles of desert in northern South Africa, reveals a storm of activity in the central region of the Milky Way, with threads of radio emissions intertwined and bent through space among energy bubbles.At the very center of Sagittarius A*, a well-studied supermassive black hole emits its own exuberant hum.
Future technologies – Zoom or Doom? “Astrophysicist Adam Frank asks us to consider where we are on the Kardashev scale for evaluating civilizations in the galaxy – or, at least, to assess our own progress: Astrophysicist Adam Frank sees a new role for us in so many galaxy gods as uplifting, but others aren’t so sure,” reports Mind Matters.
Scientists map the network of dark matter surrounding the Milky Way -A new simulation aims to determine if the standard view of dark matter can explain how unique our galaxy’s neighborhood is, Wired reports.
The Wonder of Avi Loeb – The Harvard astrophysicist thinks we may have glimpsed evidence of an extraterrestrial civilization. Despite the controversy, he’s determined to find more, reports The Smithsonian.
Mars may have been habitable longer than expected –-A NASA-funded simulation of Mars’ past found the Red Planet was wetter for 500 million years longer than previously thought, giving life more time to develop, SETI reports Institute.
Four years later, new experiment sees no sign of ‘cosmic dawn’ – When astronomers tried to confirm a signal of the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang, they saw nothing, reports Ben Brubaker for Quanta. Astronomers are looking for a telltale dip in radio wave brightness that would mark the universe’s transition from the Cosmic Dark Ages to the Cosmic Dawn. But the drop in radio spectrum observed by EDGES was surprisingly different from what cosmologists had predicted. The data suggests that the early universe was surprisingly cold, sparking a lot of theoretical activity and attempts to confirm the signal by other astronomers around the world.
The Guardian: “Something’s coming”: is America finally ready to take UFOs seriously? “Last year was a watershed moment for UFOs, as a landmark government report prompted the possibility that extraterrestrial visitors were finally being taken seriously by everyone from senators to a former president to the Pentagon. But 2022 could be even deeper, experts say, as new science projects bring us closer than ever to the discovery – potentially – of non-terrestrial life.”
Looping quantum gravity: does spacetime come in small pieces? asks Paul Sutter for Space.com. Are there fundamental units of space-time on an unfathomable scale?
Astronomers see a huge shock wave, 60 times larger than the Milky Way –Astronomers detect an event so large that it created an explosion of particles more than a billion years ago that is still visible today and is 60 times larger than the entire Milky Way , reports Universe Today.
Finding Cracks in Albert Einstein’s Theory of Gravity –Celia Escamilla-Rivera combines large datasets with supercomputers to test general relativity against its little-known competitors, reports Quanta.com. Is it possible that dark matter and dark energy are illusions that appear because gravity works differently than Einstein thought it did. “We invoke these mysterious things,” said cosmologist Celia Escamilla-Rivera. “I strongly believe that alternative theories of gravity are needed.
What we learned from the Perseverance Rover’s first year on Mars –Despite some unexpected challenges, team members are setting ambitious goals for the rover in 2022, reports Scientific American. “The rover’s ultimate target is near the western rim of Jezero: a large fan-shaped pile of sediment that poured into the basin through a notch in the crater rim about 3.5 billion years ago. years. In other words, the target is a river delta – the exact type of environment that could preserve signs of ancient Martian lifeforms.
How Mars lost its magnetic field, then its oceans. Chemical changes inside Mars’ core caused it to lose its magnetic field. This, in turn, caused him to lose his oceans. But how? reports Big Think.
“Pop Goes the Cosmos” – Mysteries of the Prime Universe Before the Big Bang, reports The Daily Galaxy. “