It is another weekend of another year and I am keeping the lines open so that my readers can be updated on the news from space.
First the prediction on alien contact……
Avi Loeb, the chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, has long been preoccupied with the question of whether humans are alone in the universe. He’s speculated that fast radio bursts could be messages from extraterrestrials, theorized about alien megastrucutres, and suggested that an interstellar object that cruised through our solar system could be a probe from another civilization.
Now, in a new interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Loeb opened up further about his thoughts about the hunt for alien life — and what First Contact would mean for human civilization.
Next that contact could come from a near-by planet……….
A planet near our own could support primitive life, scientists have announced.
The nearby world – orbiting around Barnard’s Star, the second closest star system to our own – is known as a super-Earth and has the potential to serve as a home for simple alien life, researchers have said.
The planet is probably very cold, at minus 170 degrees centigrade. But it could be a better home than we had realised when it was discovered: if it has a big iron and nickle core and geothermal activity, as scientists predict, it might be able to harbour primitive life.
The big news last week was that the Chinese had landed a vehicle on the dark side of the moon and sent back some amazing pics…….but the big news was to come…..
For the first time anybody is aware of, seeds have sprouted on a celestial body beyond Earth. The China National Space Administration released a photo Tuesday showing that cotton seeds brought to the far side of the moon by the country’s Chang’e 4 lander had germinated, the South China Morning Post reports. Liu Hanlong, chief of the first biological growth experiments on the moon, said rapeseed and potato seeds have also sprouted, but cotton was first. The lander also brought rock cress, fruit fly eggs, and yeast to the moon, all chosen because they were small, hardy organisms that could thrive in a confined space.
Chinese authorities say the seeds, dormant during the 20-day journey to the moon, started growing after ground control activated the watering system in the probe’s “mini biosphere,” which contains air and soil. Fred Watson, the Australian Astronomical Observatory’s astronomer-at-large, tells the BBC that the growth could represent a big leap for mankind. The sprout “suggests that there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the moon in a controlled environment,” he says. “I think there’s certainly a great deal of interest in using the moon as staging post, particularly for flights to Mars, because it’s relatively near the Earth.” (China has released a panorama of the moon’s far side.)
Remember your history? Steam power locomotives, cotton gins, etc etc…..but what about a steam powered spaceship?
Come one, come all and behold the future of space travel: steam power!
No, seriously; half a century after the world’s first manned space mission, it seems that interplanetary travel has finally entered the steam age. Scientists at the University of Central Florida have teamed up with Honeybee Robotics, a private space and mining tech company based in California, to develop a small, steam-powered spacecraft capable of sucking its fuel right out of the asteroids, planets and moons it’s exploring.
Speaking of alien life……then there is the Harvard dude that thinks we have been contacted……
On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as “a red and extremely elongated asteroid.” It was the first interstellar object to be detected within our solar system; the scientists named it ‘Oumuamua, the Hawaiian word for a scout or messenger. The following October, Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, co-wrote a paper (with a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, Shmuel Bialy) that examined ‘Oumuamua’s “peculiar acceleration” and suggested that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.” Loeb has long been interested in the search for extraterrestrial life, and he recently made further headlines by suggesting that we might communicate with the civilization that sent the probe. “If these beings are peaceful, we could learn a lot from them,” he told Der Spiegel.
Stay tuned for updates on space as we come across them…..
Now I feel I need a taste of some wine and some snacks and watch MoMo attack a tree limb.
Have a day my friends.