Show 90. Notes for March 12th
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Check out this week’s Astronomy with Andy Fleming below!
John Tobin with this week’s news
Wanna Be a Gas Jocky in Space?
Science Daily reports that Future lunar missions may be fueled by gas stations in space, according to engineers, A spacecraft might dock at a propellant depot, somewhere between the Earth and the moon, and pick up extra rocket fuel before making its way to the lunar surface. Orbiting way stations could reduce the fuel a spacecraft needs to carry from Earth — and with less fuel onboard, a rocket could launch heavier payloads, such as large scientific experiments.
Lee Speigle reports on The Loss of good old fashion Flying Saucers.
Whatever happened to good old circular flying saucers? While accounts of them continue to show up in police reports, newspapers, YouTube, etc., it seems like these days, there are more and more sightings and videos of triangular UFOs — V-shaped, Dorito-shaped unidentified objects.
The earliest known reports of these unusual triangles can be traced to the Dutch East Indies in the late 1890s, around 10 years prior to the Wright Brothers’ first powered airplane flight in 1903. Triangle UFOs were also reported from Scotland and England in 1895.
Moon River…. Not the Song
NASA planning to send robotic mission to Europa, Jupiter’s watery moon that may harbor life, NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.
The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson said Tuesday that it would be launched in the mid-2020s.
Not Just Russia Invading the Ukraine
MSN Reported that a Huge Cigar “Cylinder” Shaped Ufo was Videotaped Hovering Over The Ukraine During Russia’s Invasion Of Crimea. Check out the video in our show notes.
Astrobiology and the Search for Life in Space
By Andy Fleming
Pertinent to ufologists, astrobiology is about the study of life elsewhere in the universe. It’s another controversial subject because conventional scientific wisdom is that we still haven’t found any life beyond the Earth, i.e.Life 1.0.
The search for Life 2.0 on those millions of other worlds we know exists requires an understanding of life here on Earth, and the nature of the environments that support it. We also need to fully understand planetary science and astrophysics.
Astrobiology thus combines the resources of many other fields, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science, oceanography and aeronautical engineering. Practitioners are often from different scientific disciplines but work together to examine complex questions that no one field can answer alone. These questions cover topics such as:
How does life originate?
How does life evolve?
What kind of environment is necessary for life to survive?
What are the environmental limits or “extremes” under which life can survive?
What might life look like on another world?
Is there or has there been life elsewhere in our solar system?
How can we observe and identify a habitable – or even inhabited – world?
What is humanity’s future on Earth and beyond?
Astrobiological research has a significant impact on how agencies such as NASA and ESA plan for future space missions. Past initiatives have focused on exploring our own solar system for signs of past, present or the precursors of life, with targets including Mars, Europa, and Saturn’s moon Titan. Simultaneously, advances in telescope technology have allowed researchers to begin searching for habitable planets outside our solar system.
And there-in lies what may be the ultimate irony. It could well be that Life 2.0 will not initially be found within our own solar system at all but around a world orbiting another star. And it will be done not by spacecraft with all the budgetary, political and technical baggage they bring. It’ll be done by the next generation of huge ground-based telescopes that are about to come online.
By concentrating on planets that are reasonable Earth-analogues i.e. those with fairly similar masses to our own planet, orbiting fairly similar stable stars and within their solar system’s habitable zone, astronomers can utilise the most potent life detecting tool in their armoury: light.
One of the macro bio-signatures of life, detectable from huge distances is the presence of large amounts of free oxygen in a planetary atmosphere. Oxygen constantly needs to be replenished via photosynthesis from green plants. Without plants all of the Earth’s oxygen would be locked up in rocks as it is today on Mars. It is extremely chemically active. An oxidation-rich atmosphere, detected by a process call spectroscopy would just about nail the issue.
The final icing on the cake would be free methane co-existing with that oxygen. Without plants, organisms and rotting vegetation, i.e. Life 2.0 there is no possibility of free oxygen allowing free methane to exist except for exceptionally short periods of time.
Our Guest, Jim Dilettoso