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Tagged with “space” (139)

  1. Carolyn Porco: Searching for Life in the Solar System - The Long Now

    Life nearby

    If we find, anywhere in the universe, one more instance of life besides what evolved on Earth, then we are bound to conclude that life is common throughout the vastness of this galaxy and the 200 billion other galaxies.

    The discovery would change how we think about everything.

    Most of the search for life beyond Earth, Porco explained, is the search for habitats.

    They don’t have to look comfy, since we know that our own extremophile organisms can survive temperatures up to 250°F, total desiccation, and fiercely high radiation, high pressure, high acidity, high alkalinity, and high salinity.

    In our own Solar System there are four promising candidate habitats—Mars, Europa (a moon of Jupiter), Titan (a moon of Saturn), and Enceladus (“en-SELL-ah-duss,” another moon of Saturn).

    They are the best nearby candidates because they have or have had liquids, they have bio-usable energy (solar or chemical), they have existed long enough to sustain evolution, and they are accessible for gathering samples.

    On Mars water once flowed copiously.

    It still makes frost and ice, but present conditions on Mars are so hostile to life that most of the search there now is focussed on finding signs of life far in the past.

    Europa, about the size of Earth’s Moon, has a salty ocean below an icy surface, but it is subject to intense radiation.

    Photos from the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that occasional plumes of material are ejected through Europa’s ice, so future missions to Jupiter will attempt to fly by and analyze them for possible chemical signatures of life.

    The two interesting moons of Saturn are Titan, somewhat larger and much denser than our Moon, and tiny Enceladus, one-seventh the diameter of our Moon.

    Both have been closely studied by the Cassini Mission since

    2004.

    Titan’s hazy atmosphere is full of organic methane, and its surface has features like dunes and liquid-methane lakes “that look like the coast of Maine.”

    But it is so cold, at 300°F below zero, that the chemical reactions needed for life may be too difficult.

    Enceladus looks the most promising.

    Cassini has sampled the plumes of material that keep geysering out of the south pole.

    The material apparently comes from an interior water ocean about as salty as our ocean, and silica particles may indicate hydrothermal vents like ours.

    “I hope you’re gettin excited now,” Porco told the audience, “because we were.”

    The hydrothermal vents in Earth’s oceans are rich with life.

    Enceladus has all the ingredients of a habitat for life—liquid water, organics, chemical energy, salts, and nitrogen-bearing compounds.

    We need to look closer.

    A future mission (arriving perhaps by the 2030’s) could orbit Enceladus and continually sample the plumes with instruments designed to detect signs of life such as complexity in the molecules and abundance patterns of carbon in amino acids that could indicate no biology, or Earth-like biology, or quite different biology.

    You could even look for intact organisms.

    Nearly all of the material in the plumes falls back to the surface.

    Suppose you had a lander there.

    “It’s always snowing at the south pole of Enceladus,” Porco said.

    “Could it be snowing microbes?”

    (A by-the-way from the Q&A:

    Voyager, which was launched 40 years ago in 1977, led the way to the outer planets and moons of our Solar System, and five years ago, Porco pointed out, “It went beyond the magnetic bubble of the Sun and redefined us as an interstellar species.”)

    —Stewart Brand

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02017/jul/24/searching-life-solar-system/

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  2. Made in Space 2017 | Talk: The Pattern Web

    Rewatch the full talk "The Pattern Web" from Made in Space 2017.

    For the last few years, WikiHouse Foundation have been developing open source technologies to digitise and democratise the way we make homes. In this talk, Alastair shares WikiHouse Foundation’s vision for a new kind of digital civic infrastructure, one they believe has the potential to transform the way we design, make and learn from the physical world around us.

    With Alastair Parvin.

    ===
    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2a997qwJSU
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Thu, 24 Aug 2017 17:28:14 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Quantum mechanics, interstellar travel, suspending light

    Professor Stephen Bartlett joins Dr Karl and Zan to answer all of your Quantum mechanics questions.

    ===
    Original video: https://www.mixcloud.com/drkarlontriplej/quantum-mechanics-interstellar-travel-suspending-light/
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:38:55 GMT Available for 30 days after download

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  4. Episode 156 - Ariel Waldman

    Cara chats with "What’s It Like in Space?" author Ariel Waldman about her incredible career improving accessibility of science and space exploration for anyone and everyone. They discuss her work on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts and her previous work at NASA’s Colab program, along with her two flagship initiatives, Spacehack.org and Science Hack Day. Follow Ariel: @arielwaldman.

    http://carasantamaria.com/podcast/ariel-waldman

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Free Thinking Festival: Time, Space and Science

    Carlos Frenk, Eugenia Cheng, Jim Al-Khalili and Louisa Preston debate time and space.

    Carlos Frenk, Eugenia Cheng, Jim Al-Khalili and Louisa Preston debate time and space with presenter Rana Mitter and an audience at Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

    We can measure time passing but what actually is it? What do scientists mean when they suggest that time is an illusion. Can time exist in a black hole? Is everyone’s experience of time subjective? What is the connection between time and space? How does maths help us understand the universe?

    Professor Carlos Frenk is founding Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and the winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014.

    Dr Eugenia Cheng is Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sheffield. She is trilingual, a concert-level classical pianist and the author of Beyond Infinity: An Expedition To The Outer Limits Of The Mathematical Universe.

    Jim Al-Khalili is Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific and TV documentaries. His books include Paradox: the Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science, Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines and Quantum: a Guide for the Perplexed.

    Dr Louisa Preston is a UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellow. An astrobiologist, planetary geologist and author, she is based at Birkbeck, University of London. Her first book is Goldilocks and the Water Bears: the Search for Life in the Universe.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04z7ws1

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  6. Episode 704: Open Office : Planet Money : NPR

    This episode is for everyone who’s ever had to ask their coworkers to quiet down or walk laps of the office to make a private phone call. Today on the show: We meet the man who stole your office door.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/06/03/480625378/episode-704-open-office

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  7. Cross Section: Neil deGrasse Tyson – Science Weekly podcast | Science | The Guardian

    What first attracted one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists to the night sky? Are we alone in the universe? And how can scientific thinking benefit us all?

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2016/dec/07/cross-section-neil-degrasse-tyson-science-weekly-podcast

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. BFM: The Business Radio Station - Eureka: Humanity in Space

    This month, on Eureka, Uma visits Singapore’s ArtScience Museum to check out their latest exhibition - NASA: A Human Adventure - with curator Jukka Nurminen. After that, he speaks to Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science, to get his thoughts on where were are, about our plans for the future, and about how we need to be excited again at the prospect of venturing beyond our shores.

    http://www.bfm.my/eureka-humanity-in-space.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. CBC Ideas: Generation Mars, Part 1

    The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. We’ll be driven by a desire to find life — or what remains of it — and to colonize the planet. Stephen Humphrey and a stellar crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards, risks and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving — and living — on the Red Planet.

    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/generation-mars-part-1-1.3812284

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. 233- Space Trash, Space Treasure

    In the summer of 1961 the upper stage of the rocket carrying the Transit 4A satellite blew up about two hours after launch. It was the first known human-made object to unintentionally explode in space, and it created hundreds of fragments of useless space junk. Some of these pieces were pulled into the atmosphere where they burned up but around 200 of them are still up and orbiting today. At the time, people were not all that concerned about a few bits of metal floating around in the vastness of space. But like the ocean and other frontiers, space isn’t endless as it first appears

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