In 1950, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi was chatting with his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory(1). They talked about the recent rise in UFO reports, then the conversation shifted to other subjects. But during the lunch, Fermi suddenly asked: “Where is everybody?”. He was talking about the extraterrestrial life, especially intelligent life. He made some calculations on the probability of Earth-like planets, the beginning of life, the probability of intelligent life and high technology and concluded that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over.
But, there is no reliable evidence aliens have visited Earth and we have observed no intelligent extraterrestrial life with current technology nor has SETI found any transmissions from other civilizations. The Universe, apart from the Earth, seems “dead”.
So, where is everybody?
Continue reading Are we the first?
You must watch this! An amazing video by the filmmakers led by Julian Tryba: in May 2015, over the span of three weeks, they traveled in the Southwest of the United States (3,000 miles through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California) and filmed timelapses of several strikingly beautiful landscapes. Then they spliced the films together to create this wonderful video, a strange day-night world.
Continue reading Timeless Dreams – the Earth in daytime and nighttime
A nice interactive webpage by the BBC – The British Broadcasting Corporation: how you and the world have changed since you were born? You’re simply entering your birth date, gender, and height; selecting units (metric or imperial/US) and then watching how our planet (and you) has changed in your lifetime.
Continue reading Your Life On Earth (presented by BBC)
NASA’s space observatory Kepler may have discovered a possibly Earth-like planet, a rocky world orbiting a Sun-like star at almost the exact same distance Earth orbits our own Sun: Kepler-452b!
“The new Earth” is located 1,400 light-years from us. It orbits a Sun-like star that is 4% more massive and 10% brighter than our Sun. Kepler-452b is 1.6 times the size of Earth and the scientists are fairly sure that it is a rocky world.
Continue reading Earth 2.0: Kepler-452b
Last week, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft began sending stunning shots of Pluto on its flyover back to the Earth. Here is a beautiful Pluto flyover video created from the images from New Horizons’ closest approach to the dwarf planet on July 14.
Continue reading Pluto flyover animated video
Good news! ESA’s (European Space Agency) robotic lander Philae finally received enough solar radiation and now is out of hibernation. On the Rosetta blog, the ESA announced that “The signals were received at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analyzed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).” It is the first contact with the spacecraft since going into hibernation in November.
Continue reading Philae (Rosetta’s Lander) Wakes Up From Hibernation
According to the agency, “Philae ‘spoke’ with its team on the ground for 85 seconds, via Rosetta.”
There’s a super crappy 1982 science-fiction movie named “The man who saves the world”. The story is absurd – in the opening, a narrator speaks a lot. He tells about somebody attacking on Earth, but a layer made by human brains (?) is protecting our planet. Then the battle begins: two space cadets of the world get shot in the space, crash-land on a desert planet, where an evil wizard seeks the ultimate power to take over the world. Although the movie borrows some background footage from Star Wars, the plot is mostly unrelated.
Continue reading The World Is Going To End, Again, In September 2015? Of Course Not
If a movie is bad then you should not watch it at all. But if a movie is really, really bad then it makes more fun than a good movie. This is one of those movies, called B-movies. Perhaps this is a C-movie.
What if Earth had rings like Saturn? What it would look like? Probably, our sky would look amazing. The rings would look quite different from the cities and latitudes across the world. It’s interesting to imagine how it would affect the culture throughout time. It would have influenced religion, mythology, navigation, etc.
Continue reading If Earth Had Rings Like Saturn, What it Would Look Like
In fact, we’re all living in a fast-moving spacecraft named Earth. Our planet is moving around our sun in an elliptical (an ellipse which is very close to a circle) orbit. The Sun is (our solar system, the Sun, Earth and all the other planets and objects) whirls around the center of our galaxy. And, our galaxy and the other galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years (one light year is about six trillion miles) away from us. This Great Attractor, having a mass 100 quadrillion times greater than our sun and span of 500 million light-years, is made of both the visible matter that we can see along with the so-called dark matter that we cannot see.
Continue reading Earth: a fast-moving Spacecraft
So, even when you’re resting on your armchair, you’re flying through space faster than the fastest human-made object. But how fast actually?
The Earth is our one and only home. As Carl Sagan said (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space), “On Earth, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”.
But will we ever leave our home and visit other stars in the future?
Continue reading Will We Ever Visit Other Stars?
Our galaxy, “The Milky Way” is a barred spiral galaxy (a spiral galaxy with a central bar-shaped structure composed of stars) some 100,000-120,000 light-years in diameter, which contains 100-400 billion stars. It may contain at least as many planets as well. Our Sun (the Solar System) is located within the disk, about 27,000 light-years away from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust called the Orion Arm.