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Started by u2scram on Jun 29, 2011 5:10:38 AM
The Rings of Saturn

For all space related news and views.

u2scram - 29 Jun 2011 05:16:56 (#1 of 408)

The 2011 MD asteroid zoomed passed Earth Monday afternoon at a safe, 7,600-mile distance.

thats a close one.,2817,2387734,

'The asteroid, which measures about 16 to 65 feet in diameter, was in a "very Earth-like orbit around the Sun," NASA said, but orbital analysis indicated that there was no chance it would actually strike Earth. Given its trajectory, 2011 MD was closest to Earth while it was over the southern Atlantic Ocean.

Asteroids of this size only come this close to Earth about once every six years. This particular asteroid was discovered by the LINEAR near-Earth object discovery team observing from Socorro, New Mexico. For a time, astronomy fans might have been able to view it via a modest-sized telescope, according to NASA.Those fearing a real-life space disaster movie here on Earth should stop worrying. NASA said the probability of a near-Earth object (NEO) like 2011 MD actually striking our planet is "essentially zero."

"There are no known NEO's on a collision course with the Earth," the agency said. "There is a possibility that an as yet undiscovered large NEO may hit the Earth, but the probability of this happening over the next 100 years is extremely small."'

u2scram - 30 Jun 2011 04:11:12 (#2 of 408)

Will we find alien life within 20 years?

"At a June 27 press conference, Russian astronomer Andrei Finkelstein said that extraterrestrials definitely exist, and that we're likely to find them within two decades.

"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms," said Finkelstein, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute in St. Petersburg. He was speaking at the opening of an international symposium on the search for extraterrestrial civilizations that was being held at the institute.

"There are fundamental laws which apply to the entire universe," Finkelstein was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Because those fundamental laws allowed intelligent life to develop on Earth, they ought to engender intelligent life elsewhere, too, he reasoned."

TheExcession - 30 Jun 2011 09:22:27 (#3 of 408)

This story also appeared in the Guardian.

He could be being quoted out of context, but he appears to be making a whole load of unsubstantiated claims about alien life forms, such as they being humanoid.

Lento_ - 30 Jun 2011 10:22:41 (#4 of 408)

That bit especially appeared quite suspect. Although similar environments may lead to similarly formed animals (e.g. dolphins and sharks), it doesn't always happen that way. Even when many species share the same basic framework because of the common ancestor with a spine, head and four limbs, there is a huge amount of variety.

A few different mutations way back in the early stages of advanced life and we could look incredibly different. Are the four limbs really that inevitable?

itsapieceofhaddock - 30 Jun 2011 12:09:17 (#5 of 408)

at 105% risk of appearing to be a conspiracy theorist, I would guess that his statement confirms that first contact has already been made

PomDeChair - 30 Jun 2011 13:18:59 (#6 of 408)

The next USA Mars rover will be looking for signs of life.

u2scram - 30 Jun 2011 13:45:06 (#7 of 408)

'unsubstantiated claims about alien life forms, such as they being humanoid.'

we have evolved as humanoids because our shape and out attributes are functional. he thinks that this maybe universal.

who knows? he may be right.

Lento_ - 30 Jun 2011 14:42:44 (#8 of 408)

Aliens may be humanoid, but saying it is likely makes a large number of assumptions.

Our form is functional, but is it the only form which would be as functional? Maybe six limbs would be just as fine. Maybe three would be.

What if the major land species had evolved from a squid like ancestor rather then a fish like one? We'd probably see all sorts of Slepnir-style eight legged horses around the place and consider it perfectly practical.

Also it assumes that the aliens would evolve in a similar environment to us where the same factors would influence what is practical. A planet with a very slightly different mass may allow all sorts of variation in the standard body set up.

manlee - 30 Jun 2011 14:44:12 (#9 of 408)

I said to the missus that i had a horrible burning sensation in my arse.

She said "ring sting".

I replied "what makes you think he will know?"

Lento_ - 30 Jun 2011 14:46:01 (#10 of 408)

Mention of Sting + talk of aliens = annoying earworm.

u2scram - 01 Jul 2011 03:43:25 (#11 of 408)

''Monster' driving cosmic beacon'

'Astronomers have spied a monster black hole - the brightest object yet seen in the early Universe.

Detected by a UK telescope in Hawaii, the hole is seen as it was a mere 770 million years after the Big Bang.

This means its light has taken an astonishing 12.9 billion years to reach us here on Earth.'

Lento_ - 01 Jul 2011 09:51:44 (#12 of 408)

I quite like it that black holes, theoretically the darkest things possible, end up sometimes causing incredibly bright lights.

orcwood - 01 Jul 2011 17:53:38 (#13 of 408)

u2scram ''Monster' driving cosmic beacon'

"Theory holds that the very young cosmos would have been filled with neutral hydrogen. Then, as the first stars burned bright, they would have "fried" this neutral gas, ripping electrons from protons to produce the diffuse intergalactic plasma we detect between nearby stars today."

And extraordinary that a black hole could form that early.

u2scram - 04 Jul 2011 15:50:11 (#14 of 408)

incredible pix from the hubble...

u2scram - 04 Jul 2011 15:53:27 (#15 of 408)

four galaxies colliding. makes our earth disaster look like petty incidents.

"Four galaxies are involved in this pile-up 280 million light years from Earth. The bright spiral galaxy at the center of the image is punching through the cluster at almost two million miles per hour.

That speeding galaxy may be what is causing the curved swath of X-rays, shown in blue near the center of the image, which were captured by NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. The three other yellowish galaxies in the collision are optically visible and were imaged by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on the summit of the dormant Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii.

The fifth, bluish galaxy on the lower left of the group is actually in the foreground of the image, around 40 million light years away from Earth, and not involved in the collision. All together, the galaxies are known as Stephan’s Quintet, named after astronomer Édouard Stephan who discovered them in 1877."

u2scram - 02 Aug 2011 00:10:53 (#16 of 408)

unimaginable cosmic scale disaster. four galaxies colliding. the destruction is incomprehensible. we must assume that it is certain that intelligent life exists in these galaxies.

what price a compassionate god.

u2scram - 03 Aug 2011 16:07:34 (#17 of 408)

A summary from the bbc of all the major space missions from sputnik to apollo 17.

u2scram - 04 Aug 2011 15:29:46 (#18 of 408)

Earth may once have had two moons

'A new theory suggests the Earth once had a small second moon that perished in a slow motion collision with its "big sister".

Researchers suggest the collision may explain the mysterious mountains on the far side of our Moon.

The scientists say the relatively slow speed of the crash was crucial in adding material to the rarely-seen lunar hemisphere.

Details have been published in the journal Nature.

The researchers involved hope that data from two US space agency (Nasa) lunar missions will substantiate or challenge their theory within the next year.'

Lento_ - 04 Aug 2011 15:32:05 (#19 of 408)

It's quite a nice idea, although it may require a big expensive landing of a probe on the far side of the moon to get some good evidence for it.

u2scram - 05 Aug 2011 13:12:30 (#20 of 408)

Hubble's successor in trouble as costs soar

'For years, astronomers have set their sights on launching a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope -- one with 100 times its power -- that could peer back to the earliest light of the universe.

But funding for the costly James Webb Space Telescope is now under a cloud, targeted for the chopping block.

Amid the larger budget debate, a House Appropriations Committee vote this month proposed killing the telescope.

Costs have risen to $6.8 billion -- up 50% from a 2005 estimate -- and may go even higher after another NASA review next year.'

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