Scientists Say We Need to Search the Moon for Alien Traces

Remember when the Moon was kind of a big deal? Since the whole “we need to be the first country on the moon” phase died out, we’ve been locked up our planet.

The video above from Carl Sagan talks about what the space missions were all about. According to him, we really lost “the passion” to go back and search for new things. We didn’t find anything that was of real monetary value, and while we did learn about space, we didn’t find much on the moon – and thus, we never went back.

Professor Paul Davis from Arizona State University and Robert Wagner from Research Technician at the School of Earth & Exploration think the moon has more secrets than we think it does. They published a scientific paper calling for the Search of Alien Artifacts on the Moon.

In their paper they state that while the search for ET has a very low probably of being successful, the mere fact of finding evidence or proof that they exist may re-spark our current search for intelligent life. They argue that while we are doing great advancements on radio technology, we need to be doing more than just looking for radio messages and signals.

Here is what they think happened in the past:

• Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy.
• Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago. The lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years.
• Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a photographic database to search for artifacts.
• Searching the LRO database would make an excellent educational project.

They want to start by using photographs from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to search for alien structures – machinery, buildings, and artifacts. The paper states that the cost is very low since the LRO has over 300,000 pictures, and even if they don’t find any signs of alien life, they would learn about the moon in the process.

The researchers believe that if there is something on the moon, it would be in perfect condition since the lunar surface has very little activity now days. They believe that if aliens were on the moon, at one time or another, they probably left signs of – we were here. Davis and Wagner believe that we need to look into the lava caves because it is a possibility that the alien explorers may have installed their bases in these caves millions or thousands of years ago.

In my opinion this would be great, and they are right, we just barely realized that there are small moons circling the Earth, I highly doubt we could detect a probe in our solar system.  While we are making great advancements in our radio signal technology, our scientist should focus on other ways to detect or at least find signs of  life in other planets, or in this case our Moon. Via: The Guardian

How SpaceX is Going to Come Back Home

I don’t know about you, but last time I checked, using parachutes was cheaper than using rockets to land. I guess the people in charge of the SpaceX program know something we don’t. Regardless, they are currently in the process of creating a fully reusable vehicle. This new vehicle will be the key for future space exploration.

Just recently, China announced that it was going to build a space station, which can be either a good idea or bad idea, depending on what side of the boat you’re on. Gizmodo had a great cover about why you should fear the station. If Elon Musk’s SpaceX gets the chance to become a truly reusable launch vehicle, it would take roughly $60 million per launch, keeping the US inside the new space race. Normally speaking, NASA wasted about $450 million dollars per launch, and due to their lack of funding, they were limited to how often they could launch off. Space X should increase their launches and at the same time increase the research being conducted on the station. So let’s hope this actually works out and actually makes the US go out and explore more things about our planet, or better yet, build and expand on the space station, that way we can have a better station than that of China’s future station!

The Chinese Want to Capture an Asteroid Into Earth’s orbit

Does anyone know what happens when you accidentally screw up your calculations by a couple of inches when you are in outer space? Well, you crash satellites into mars… in 1999 NASA lost a 125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units for a key spacecraft operation.

While most astronomers are worried about an asteroid crashing against the earth, the Chinese are instead trying to figure out how they can catch an asteroid into Earth’s orbit in order to mine it.

Have you ever seen Real-TV? when they say “everything was awesome, but then… disaster strikes!” well this would be a perfect clip for that show if there was a Real-TV for the Universe. Here is what the plan calls for. The Chinese want to tweak the orbit of a near-Eart asteroid just enough to slow down the velocity of the asteroid down to 1,300 feet-per-second. This calls for having the asteroid about twice the distance as the moon. The asteroid’s orbit would be extremely unstable, meaning it could stay around the earth for just enough time, a few years or so, before it flies back out to where it came from.  The few years in orbit should give us enough time to poke around the asteroid’s surface and mine it.

I’m not a hundred percent sure how they plan on slowing down an asteroid, but they want to start small, a 30-foot-wide-roid. In the future they want to go a bit bigger, about a mile long bigger, and since the asteroid is made out of metal, this could be worth a whole bunch of money.

According to the what I’ve been reading, if the mile long rock were to impact the earth, it would create a 24 mile long crater. The asteroid would create a giant fireball that could catch trees on fire from a distance of 200 miles away. There are a whole bunch of other things that will happen, here are a couple of other fun things.

Lets assume for a second that they actually get their calculations right and they actually do manage to slow down the asteroid, they could mine the asteroid for what it is. The Chinese could theoretically make over 25 trillion dollars. That’s more than enough to pay down the entire U.S. National debt. Or in this case, make the Chinese twice as rich as the United States…

Via Tech Review

NASA Finds a Star that is Colder than the Human Body

Our planet has a huge flaming ball of fire as a neighbor, we call it our Sun, but in reality it is the closest star we have. On a cool day you can probably go outside and get sun burned after 3 hours by the pool. So it goes without saying, the closer you get to the star, the hotter it gets.  But thanks to NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Satellite, they have actually found a star that is cooler than the human body. Unlike our sun, this star is cold enough to let you stand on it’s surface without getting burned. The star belongs to the brown Y dwarf star family, sometimes referred to it as the “Failed Stars” family, because of their low mass levels that keep them from being able to fuse atoms. This new star is believed to be at a comfortable 80 degrees fahrenheit and it’s located about 40 light years away.

Before this star was discovered, the previous “cool” record wouldn’t instantly burn you to a crisp either, but you would be sweating left and right until you eventually pass the comfort zone and then you passed the living zone. According to NASA, finding the star was not an easy task, because of how little infrared light these dwarfs put out and their lack of actual visible light they blend into their environment. WISE also spotted about 100 other brown Y dwarfs that are closer than NASA had though.

So yesterday we had a planet made out of Diamonds, now we have cold suns… Gotta love our universe.


A Planet Made Out of Diamonds?

Astronomers in London have found what they believe is a planet made out of diamonds – Not Diamonds, just one planet size Diamond that is spinning around a tiny start that’s in our own backyard, figuratively speaking.

The new planet is believed to be denser than any other planet, and is believed to consist of mostly carbon. Because of it’s density, scientist think that the carbon must be crystalline, and therefore it should be made out of diamond. We’ve heard this line before hundreds of times, our astronomers see one thing, they assume another based on theories.

Matthew Bailes from Swinburne University of Technology in Melburne said “The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon — i.e. a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside our own Sun,” the new planet is about 4,000 light years away spinning around a pulsar start; a very tiny dead neutron start that is only about 12 miles in diameter and they spin around hundreds of times a second spewing out beams of radiation in all different directions.

Baile and his team stated that the diamond planet which spins around every two hours and 10 minutes has more mass than Jupiter, but is about 20 times denser than Jupiter. Aside from just having Carbon, the planet might have Oxygen and lacks hydrogen and helium.

“In terms of what it would look like, I don’t know I could even speculate,” said Ben Stappers of the University of Manchester. “I don’t imagine that a picture of a very shiny object is what we’re looking at here.”  if this planet did exist and we actually had technology to go out there and pick some chunks of it off, it would be amazing, until it sends the prices of diamonds down and then my wife’s ring would be worth nothing.

Via: Reuters

The Universe Seems to be Running Out of Gas

According to a new study, the universe is running out of gas. Now, I’m not talking about gasoline, but rather the gases that make up galaxies, nebula, and planets. Apparently galaxies have been dimming down at a slow but steady pace.

We all know, or at least should know, that stars need energy and gas to be created. These new stars need huge amounts of gas in the form of hydrogen to get started; the only problem is that the galaxies destroy 70% of the hydrogen and turn it into something else, like planets.

So where is the gas going to? Well, there is a fixed amount of hydrogen in the universe. Even though we have a lot of hydrogen floating around the universe, the universe is expanding; and as the universe expands, the density of hydrogen drops. Scientist blame this expansion on dark energyeven though we still have no idea how or why dark energy affects our universe. Eventually, in a very long time from now, the last star in the universe will finally be created, and at that point, the universe will have nowhere to go but downhill.

CSIRO, via Physorg

Has Our Space Exploration Drive Died?

For decades, humans have had a drive to fly, and even more, fly out to outer space. During the ’60s and ’70s, we expanded our flying technology in ways that were unimaginable at the time. In less than 10 years, we were able to land a man on the moon. I would have thought that by now, we would have been on Mars, or at the least, have a base on the moon.

But instead of having a continuous expansion to land a man on Mars, we slowed down. Our efforts dwindled and they slowly began to die out. More than 40 years have gone by, and we still have difficulty landing humans on the moon. Perhaps we got scared of what was out there, or maybe we finally reached a limit to our scientific advancements of the time, or it could be that even though we sent about a dozen humans to space, we never really gained any money from the exploration. While we did learn hundreds of thousands of new things about outer space, we really didn’t bring anything home that had any real monetary value.

For decades now, we’ve been stranded here on our planet not knowing what is going to happen next. Sure, we send out rovers to Mars, or we send out probes to other planets and moons, but never an actual human being. It wasn’t until our private business owners decided that it was time to keep the drive of exploration going that we decided it was time for us to pick up the pace once more. But how much of our technology and knowledge did we sacrifice by not doing anything for years? I’m sure you will argue against that and say “well, we actually did something, we came up with theories” and you’re right. We really did come up with hundreds of theories about what was going on in our universe. We came up with theories about light, black holes, white holes, and the list goes on and on. We have hundreds of different theories that have found life on other planets – on paper – but not in real, known, 100%-solid facts.

Some may argue that the reason we had such an amazing expansion in the beginning was because we had a space race with Russia and now that we won the race, there is no reason to keep on going. If that is the case, then who are going to race against next? If those people are correct, then that might explain why private companies are wanting to get to Mars. Those companies have created a new space race among themselves. But what’s going to happen when that race is also finished?

Have we become the type of humans that while we are dying to know what is out there and how it works, instead of actually taking to the skies and space to learn how it’s done, we’d rather sit and try to make sense of it on paper? Sure, we’ll know exactly how the universe works, but then when we go out to the cosmos we realize our formula was off, or our math was incorrect. I understand we need planning, we need to know “if this, then that”, but we need to have some sort of hands-on experimentation going on at the same time to rule out accidents and fix the problems as they come up.

We need to be out there, doing something. Now that the US shuttle program is finished, what is going to happen to all the children or the dreamers who want to become an astronaut to visit other planets? Who is going to become the next Neil Armstrong of Mars, and beyond? We need to find a way to encourage young children to learn more about the cosmos and what is going on.

Just because we’ve reached the end of an era doesn’t mean that the astronaut dream needs to die out as well.

SETI Telescope Finally Brought Back Online!

SETI was has finally made it back online after several months of down time. The last time we heard anything about the project going down, they were asking for funding from regular citizens.

Well, good news! almost 2,300 people stepped up and gave SETI more than enough money to keep the project going. Thanks to the success, SETIs co-founder Tom Pierson thinks operations could start back up as early as this September. So I guess we can finally keep the operation going! Very soon, we’ll be able to listen to all those calls that we may have “missed.” Via PhysOrg