Venus Calling

NASA has spent a lifetime trying to find life on Mars and then Venus made the news more so than Mars….

Researchers have discovered significant sources of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus — a colorless and odorless gas that they say is a possible sign of life, as it’s often the result of organic matter breaking down here on Earth.

The research was led by Jane Greaves from Cardiff University in the UK, and was published in Nature Astronomy today.

So far, Venus hasn’t topped the list of planets seen by astrobiologists as most likely to harbor life. Its surface is a swirling mix of toxic and extremely hot vapors, and temperatures can reach a toasty 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 Celsius), while high concentrations of sulfuric acid raining from the skies — with thick clouds blocking most sunlight from ever reaching the surface — would ensure that life as we know it would stand little chance of surviving there.

But despite the inhospitable environment on the surface, some microbial life may be able to survive in the planet’s atmosphere, the researchers hypothesize.

https://futurism.com/signs-of-life-venus-phosphine

Is it possible that there could actually be some form of life on Venus?  What can we do to verify the findings?

Researchers announced on Monday that they had found evidence of life in the clouds of Venus, drawing massive media attention.

To confirm that life exists in the planet’s atmosphere, however, would require us to actually go there and have a closer look. The last time a spacecraft entered the Venusian atmosphere was the Soviet Union’s Vega 2 in 1985.

But luckily, private New Zealand-based space company Rocket Lab says it’s already working on sending its own Electron rocket, with a 660 pound spacecraft called Photon on board, to the planet as soon as 2023, The New York Times reports.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/life-venus-rocket-lab-mission

All might want to tread lightly….for like the New World of the 15th century….a flag has already been planted on Venus….

Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin called Venus a “Russian planet” on Tuesday at an industry exhibition taking place in Moscow.

The unusual comment followed the recent high-profile discovery of significant sources of phosphine gas in the planet’s atmosphere, a possible sign of life.

“Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” Rogozin said, as quoted by The Moscow Times, referring to the country’s successful explorations of Venus in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Roscosmos piled on, writing that the “enormous gap between the Soviet Union and its competitors in the investigation of Venus contributed to the fact that the United States called Venus a Soviet planet,” in a statement quoted by Euronews.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/head-russian-space-program-venus-russian-planet

Just a reminder of the finer points of “Space Law”…..

Looks like the rush to claim space has begun and will not end well….wars have broken out over who claims what…..that is history.

Rain a cooler weather will be ours for a few days…..some well deserved coolness.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2020 has been a horrible year….and it just got worse.

Sad news…..Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has from cancer.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday at her home in Washington, DC, reports the AP. She was 87. Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court says; it was her fifth bout with cancer since 1999. NPR reports that in the days before her death, Ginsburg dictated the following statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement, per NPR. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime flourishing in the face of adversity before being appointed a Supreme Court justice, where she successfully fought against gender discrimination and unified the liberal block of the court. She was born Joan Ruth Bader on March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was a furrier in the height of the Great Depression, and her mother worked in a garment factory. Ginsburg’s mother instilled a love of education in Ginsburg through her dedication to her brother; foregoing her own education to finance her brother’s college expenses.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg began her career as a justice where she left off as an advocate, fighting for women’s rights. In 1996, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia, holding that qualified women could not be denied admission to Virginia Military Institute. Her style in advocating from the bench matches her style from her time at the ACLU: slow but steady, and calculated. Instead of creating sweeping limitations on gender discrimination, she attacked specific areas of discrimination and violations of women’s rights one at a time, so as to send a message to the legislatures on what they can and cannot do. Her attitude is that major social change should not come from the courts, but from Congress and other legislatures. This method allows for social change to remain in Congress’ power while also receiving guidance from the court. Ginsburg does not shy away from giving pointed guidance when she feels the need. She dissented in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. where the plaintiff, a female worker being paid significantly less than males with her same qualifications, sued under Title VII but was denied relief under a statute of limitations issue. The facts of this case mixed her passion of federal procedure and gender discrimination. She broke with tradition and wrote a highly colloquial version of her dissent to read from the bench. She also called for Congress to undo this improper interpretation of the law in her dissent, and then worked with President Obama to pass the very first piece of legislation he signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a copy of which hangs proudly in her office.

She was a bright spot on the Court and she will be sadly missed.

My condolences to her family and fiends.

May she Rest In Peace