Space: What's out there III

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UFO Aliens vs Earth Like 'Bambi Meeting Godzilla' says Michio Kaku (Video)


Famed theoretical physicist and UFO enthusiast Michio Kaku told CNN on Thursday he believes if Earthlings ever battle unfriendly aliens "it would be like Bambi meeting Godzilla."

The comments came in a live interview for the program CNN Newsroom in response to the questions about the existence of extraterrestrial life and what may be behind the explosion of unidentified flying object sightings around the world. ...

He also likes to think that if aliens are behind the increase in documented UFO activity, their motives are benevolent. Using some very interesting analogies, the optimistic futurist likens aliens discovering Humanity to humans stumbling across an ant hill. When's the last time scientists offered an ant colony nuclear technology?

Or why not give trinkets, beads, and nuclear technology to monkeys? They advise us never make fun of monkeys. 


Start your engines!

Landing people on Mars: 5 obstacles

sknguy II

With the RedBull stratos project getting Felix Baumgartner up to 128,100 feet (just over 39km), the project broke the record that was previously held by Joseph Kittinger, who skydived from 31km while serving with the US airforce in the sixties. Baumgartner skydived this past Sunday and broke the sound barrier to boot.

On a purely geek level, I'm really facinated by the feat. But it does bother me that corporations (like RedBull) are playing bigger roles in areas that were once the perview of governments and researchers. But then again early explorers' expeditions were pretty much privately funded. Just makes me nervous that corporatism is the one taking charge in terms accessing space and expanding the reach of humanity. Probably won't be but a half a generation before we see a RedBull Cracked Stratosphere competition.


macktheknife wrote:
Maybe a technological precipice, but our resolve to crush all other species remains. I am afraid I am not so jingoistic with regards our `progress`. Our species has and continues to prove itself predatory, thus I cannot cheerlead our advancement.

I don't know if mactheknife is around here anymore, but I have to agree with his crocodile comparison.  The kinder points of reference sparingly distributed throughout the most persistent influences in the world; that of religion; for the most part have not been able to ameliorate the excesses which are consistent in the demonstrated fact of our predatory nature, and instead have been used in many instances as justification for preying upon others at the same time that the tools to do so have been increasingly perfected over time.  Even the perfection of such tools are hailed as part of some higher calling specifically crafted to render this nature into something other than what it is, which to me appears as an evolutionary development formulated to govern the development of human awareness.  In examining the evidence, a belief that we will ultimately save ourselves from an early extinction in comparison with other species that have roamed the planet, or that something will eventually drop in to save us, appear to be both grounded in the messianic.

sknguy II

So, the Higgs boson confirms where mass comes from (for the standard model in particle physics anyway). Here’s... oops, here's a good description in lay-terms that helps visualise how it works. Technically, mass isn’t so much a property of the elements, such as hydrogen or iron, so much as it’s a property of their constituent parts. Things like the quarks and leptons, which make up the elements we think of as matter. Interesting to think of mass as strictly a force rather than a material property though. It’s like the flypaper of space.

Part of the hoopla too about the Higgs boson is the possibility that it can lead to the discovery of the elusive dark matter... the mass of galaxies, and component of the universe, which hasn’t been directly observed yet. And then there’s the Higgs-field itself which could help resolve what dark energy is. That’s the energy which is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

Although the Higgs boson confirms a lot about what scientists believed mass to be, it doesn’t hint at what gravity could be. I have to agree that the standard model is rather untidy (Wikipedia says ad-hoc) in it’s pursuit for answers. It’s certainly answering the questions that are within our technological reach. But I really appreciate what string theorists are trying to do in reaching for a unified model for everything though.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

A possible view of a human crew inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft controlling and operating a robot on the lunar far side from a Lagrange point high above the surface. Lockheed Martin Corporation

Almost Being There: Why the Future of Space Exploration Is Not What You Think


In December 2011 Boeing proposed using Node 4 as the core of an Exploration Gateway Platform to be constructed at the ISS and relocated via space tug to an Earth-Moon Lagrange point (EML-1 or 2). The purpose of the platform would be to support lunar landing missions with a reusable lunar lander after the first two SLS flights. It would also satisfy the need for a L1 propellant depot for lunar missions. Other hardware would include an airlock, an 'international module', and a MPLM based habitat module.[3]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Here's What the Red Planet Would Look Like With Earth-Like Oceans and Life

What if instead of dust and rocks, our planetary neighbor Mars were a bit more lush? What if it had oceans, an Earth-like atmosphere, and green life coating its land? These are the questions Kevin Gill, a software engineer living in New Hampshire, sought to answer with his project, A Living Mars.

Gill modeled the Mars terrain in an open-source learning program of his own creation, jDem846, and then set a sea level beneath which everything appeared flat and blue. Then, he brought that model into GIMP, where he painted features into the land based on NASA's Blue Marble: Next Generation imagery. He decided -- not all too scientifically, he admits -- which places seemed like they would be verdant, and which would be deserts. "For example," he explains, "I didn't see much green taking hold within the area of Olympus Mons and the surrounding volcanoes, both due to the volcanic activity and the proximity to the equator (thus a more tropical climate). For these desert-like areas I mostly used textures taken from the Sahara in Africa and some of Australia. Likewise, as the terrain gets higher or lower in latitude I added darker flora along with tundra and glacial ice. These northern and southern areas textures are largely taken from around northern Russia. Tropical and subtropical greens were based on the rainforests of South America and Africa."

Lastly, he brought the image back into jDem846 where he rendered it as a sphere and added clouds and tweaked the lighting. "This wasn't intended as an exhaustive scientific scenario," he writes, "as I'm sure (and expect) some of my assumptions will prove incorrect. I'm hoping at least to trigger the imagination, so please enjoy!"



Astronauts have a down-to-Earth problem that could be even worse on a long trip to Mars: They can't get enough sleep. And over time, the lack of slumber can turn intrepid space travelers into drowsy couch potatoes, a new study shows.

In a novel experiment, six volunteers were confined in a cramped mock spaceship in Moscow to simulate a 17-month voyage. It made most of the would-be spacemen lethargic, much like birds and bears heading into winter, gearing up for hibernation.

The men went into a prolonged funk. Four had considerable trouble sleeping, with one having minor problems and the sixth mostly unaffected. Some had depression issues. Sometimes, a few of the men squirreled themselves away into the most private nooks they could find. They didn't move much. They avoided crucial exercise.


‘Siding Spring’ comet may slam into Mars, create one billion megaton explosion in 2014

There's a chance, albeit slim, that a comet upwards of 50km wide could slam into Mars in 2014.


New galaxy 'most distant' yet discovered


What are we learning from Ison?

Comet Ison destroyed in Sun passage


'Potentially hazardous' asteroid 2000 EM26 to fly close to Earth

Space rock to pass by Earth 2.1m miles away, but astronomers say 270-metre object poses significant danger in case of impact


Stars Behaving Badly

Close up of fiery sunSOLAR STORM



Meteorite smashes into moon in largest lunar impact ever recorded

Rock travelling at 61,000 kph punched a crater 40 metres wide and produced a flash that could be seen from Earth



Planet Bonanza: The Number of Known Earth-Sized Worlds Just Topped 100

 241 120 11By Phil PlaitexoplanetsThe number of known alien worlds just jumped to more than 1,700.

Drawing by NASA


Boom in Finding Dwarf Planets May Be Over

The boom in finding Pluto's peers nears its end



Just getting Philae on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is quite an amazin' achievement for the Rosetta space mission

The current battery life is apparently 60 plus hours.

If the comet eventually begins to disintigrate perhaps the shadows will no longer be a problem and it could do its required solar charging  

Rosetta: Battery will limit life of Philae comet lander


Rosetta comet mission activates drill on Philae lander

Steady data stream coming from lander


Scientists will order Philae to hop in final bid to save lander

Good luck to all involved hope it works




Rosetta has regained contact with Philae sitting on the surface of a comet (511 million km away!) during tonight’s communication pass, confirming that the lander still has power on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


Too bad, but great effort all around, eh!

Hopefully its Hail Mary pass in August, 2015 reawakens it.

Rosetta mission: Philae goes to sleep on comet as batteries run out

Lander rotates into slightly sunnier position but apparently too late to charge batteries and keep systems running

“Cross your fingers, or press your thumbs if you are a German, that we hear something from the lander again,” said Lommatsch.


Rosetta and Philae: why this space story fills us with so much awe

The comet landing has given us a rare glimpse of the outer limits of human excellence – and restored our faith in progress


Why the Rosetta comet mission is important: Bob McDonald

Scientists jubilant after Philae probe touches down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko


Rosetta comet mission: No communication from Philae lander

Philae landed next to cliff that largely blocked sunlight from reaching its solar panels


Here's hoping, eh! Smile

Philae: The bouncing baby space probe that gave itself another chance


Philae lander is stuck in the shadow of a cliff — a predicament that could jeopardize its solar panels


Methane on Mars: does it mean the Curiosity rover has found life?

Nasa’s announcement of the discovery of methane – which on Earth comes largely from life – has sparked speculation


Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars


26 Pictures That Will Give You Perspective On What Really Matters

You decide


I saw Cthulhu in the Mariana Trench! Arg!


NorthReport wrote:

26 Pictures That Will Give You Perspective On What Really Matters

You decide





So did you get along with each other. 



Another Vegas? 

Bright lights on dwarf planet perplex NASA as probe nears

NS NS's picture

In the race to expand mankind's presence in space, the non-profit Mars One mission hopes to be the first in putting human boots on Martian ground by 2025. This year the Netherlands-based group will choose 24 finalists for the one-way, $6-billion mission to start a Martian colony, with plans to capture the experience in a reality TV show.  Dutch non-profit Mars One has been stirring up controversy with its plan to send a team of volunteers on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a “permanent human colony”. The group began its recruitment in 2013, opening applications to anyone between 18 and 40 years of age and in good physical health.

According to the Mars One’s official timeline, a stationary lander and satellite will be sent to Mars in 2018, followed by a rover in 2020 and cargo missions starting in 2022. Humans would start arriving in 2025, and crews of four would be sent every two years to add to the settlement.

The initial mission will involve a team of four who will live on Mars for two years. New teams will be sent every two years thereafter, until a total of 24 trained volunteers are living on the Red Planet, where they will remain for the rest of their lives. Of the more than 200,000 people who applied, Mars One has narrowed the pool down to 100 hopefuls.  Initial reports suggested the organisation hoped to fund the $6 billion project entirely through a reality television programme deal that would follow volunteers as they train and prepare for their departure. That deal has reportedly fallen through.

Still, a planned documentary series is also hoping to generate some funding, leaving some suspicious the entire project is an elaborate hoax used to drive ratings. Many argue $6 billion is not nearly enough to cover costs associated with the project, some estimating expenses could mount upwards of $80 to $100 billion.  Critics have deemed the plan unrealistic and some say weather and climate conditions alone will make it virtually impossible to survive. While Mars bears some similarities to Earth, the planet has 38 per cent lower gravity, much lower temperatures and lacks an atmospheric shield, which could expose colonists to deadly amounts of radiation.

Source: Al Jazeera,

Mars One plan to colonise red planet unrealistic, says leading supporter : Gerard ’t Hooft, Dutch Nobel laureate and ambassador for project, says he does not believe mission can begin in 2024 as planned. 

NS NS's picture

Chinese and Americans Discover Black Hole 12 Billion Times The Size Of The Sun

The newly discovered quasar SDSS J0100+2802 is the one with the most massive black hole and the highest luminosity among all known distant quasars. The background photo, provided by Yunnan Observatory, shows the dome of the 2.4-meter telescope and the sky above it. Credit: Li Zhaoyu/Shanghai Observatory.

The massive black hole powers a quasar 420 trillion times brighter than the Sun.

Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The international team led by astronomers from Peking University in China and from the University of Arizona (UA) announce their findings in the scientific journal Nature.  The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars have evolved from the earliest epoch 900 million years after the Big Bang, thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago. The quasar, with its central black hole mass of 12 billion solar masses and the luminosity of 420 trillion suns, is at a distance of 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.


Hello Earth! Can you hear me?

Rosetta mission: Philae comet lander 'ready for operations' as it wakes up and makes first contact in 7 months


Discovery of habitable planet could mean alien life is 'incredibly close', say scientists

Australian researchers have found a potentially inhabitable planet - called Wolf 1061c – which is 14 light years away, about a third closer than the nearest such planet

Mr. Magoo

I know it's circumstantial evidence that would never stand up in Intergalactic Court, but I think it's gotta be them that've been rectally probing our hillbillies.



Pretty neat size comparison of planets. Interesting that it would take us 1100 years flying at 900kph to circle the largest known star once.


Einstein's weirdest prediction is true — and will soon radically transform our understanding of the universe


US Spy Satellite Begins Secret Mission with Dazzling Predawn Launch


So will NASA's Juno spacecraft survive orbital entry to Jupiter


Success for Juno at least so far as apparently it is now in orbit around Jupiter


It wouldn't take much to be more advanced than us.