What Will We Find?

I am most interested in two things: finding another planet that we can exist on, and finding life. I am aware that neither of these two events may happen in my life time but after taking ASTR 201 at Vanderbilt I am very excited to read about the advances that our world makes in these two areas. We have already found places that life could exist or maybe has existed within our universe, just not the life that we all hoped for. It blows my mind that a moon of another planet, such as Titan, could possibly have microscopic life below the surface or living in the methane lakes and water there. I think that after we have found planets that could be home to life, we are then going to have to start looking at moons and have a Star Wars- like approach to this, where anywhere can be home to life and that some moons can definitely be places were living creatures exist. Hopefully there will be someone willing to give up a large portion of their life to travel to another place and try to establish a civilization on another planet.

In my previous blog posts I wrote about finding life on other planets in the universe and making contact with life on other planets and I think that there is not much more to do except wait, I am disappointed to say. We have put a lot out there and now we just have to see if there are any life forms waiting to receive the signal or if there are also civilizations looking to make contact as well. I think the UFO research is fascinating but in order to get answers to the questions about UFOs and other unexplained events that we have experienced over time we must make contact first. Then belief in these subjects will be spurred and we can make more headway because more people will be supportive and interested in the topic. I will always be looking for updates on our quest to find life on other planets and maybe it will be someone from this course that makes that first contact. Who knows. I found this website about alien abductions that explain what is going on with a person after they have possibly been abducted and maybe this has already happened to some of us we just have no idea.

What do you think of when you hear the word alien? What do you think they look like? I immediately think of this movie:

men in black

and I think, they probably look just like us..at least on the outside.

Alien Contact

The first time I heard about alien contact was actually from Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders. I don’t know if anyone remembers that movie but there was a site in the movie where there were a ton of satellite dishes and they were receiving signals from “the great unknown.” I have always wondered what we were doing to attempt to make contact with possible life forms beyond Earth and I learned from this class that at this point we have sent enough radio signals that if there was something out there they would know we exist. While I was researching this I found an article that talked about just how far back the idea of life on other planets was considered valid and I learned that the ancient Greeks, two thousand years ago, actually considered the possibility of life on other planets. The idea really took off in the 1820’s when a man named Carl Friedrich Gauss first invented something called a heliotrope. He reflected sunlight towards other planets. He was also said to have been responsible for cutting a giant triangle in a forest and planting wheat inside it to make a giant shape visible to alien life forms if they passed by Earth. It was not until 1901 that Nikola Tesla reported that he received a strange signal, which he believed could have been from Mars, on his transmitting tower in Colorado Springs.

And then finally in 1974, which was 150 years after Carl Friedrich Gauss first tried communicating with life forms in space, Frank Drake (yes the Drake equation) transmitted the first actual SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) message using the Arecibo radio telescope picture below. So far everyone in the world is waiting to hear something back and I think in the near future we will find something.

telscope and radar

When Will The Next Impact Be?

Chelyabinsk, meteor

The Chelyabinsk Meteor as seen by person driving a car right during explosion

I watched another video and decided to watch one on the extinction of the dinosaurs. The video is very short and not absolutely thrilling but as I was watching the beginning of the video I thought to myself what if that was us. Going about life as usual with no idea what could go wrong and then all of the sudden something like this happening. And it could potentially happen. According to our homework assignment “Impacts” asteroids 2 m in diameter hit the Earth multiple times a year. And as they increase in size they hit the Earth less frequently until they seem like they are not even a threat. the Tunguska Event, which occurred in 1908 in Russia, was the largest impact event in our recorded history. Even though the asteroid/comet was thought to explode in mid air, the event was still registered as an impact and the estimated size of the object was between 60 -190 meters in diameter. Then two years ago, in February of 2013, a meteor estimated to be over 12000 metric tonnes exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia and destroyed over 7,000 building with the wave from the blast alone. With these events happening only 105 years, the question of when will it happen again comes to mind. This obviously should not be an every day worry, but it is definitely something to think about and research further.

Resources: Wikipedia

The Earth With No Moon

This video, though it is 8 minutes, is fascinating. Its main focus is what the Earth would be like without the Moon. The most surprising thing I got from this was that humans would probably not exist because they would not be able to withstand the extreme conditions that the Earth would experience without the Moon. Another part that was interesting to imagine was that life could still exist and that evolution would favor smaller, shorter creatures and plants that could withstand extreme climates and rapid changes in those climates. So try to imagine us living on another planet (we have to be somewhere for this image to work) and visiting our Earth but with no humans. There would be no forests and pretty much nothing very large would exist. Try to put yourself in a place where you could see everything to a certain point because there would be nothing tall in the way and imagine all of the creepy-crawlers and strange organisms that would exist. The way I try to imagine it is it would be like a dinosaur world but with miniature dinosaurs. Watch a few minutes of the movie it is definitely worth seeing what the world is like without a Moon.

The video is hyperlinked.

Stonehenge: A Place of Death

Stonehenge, found in England’s Salisbury plain, is thought by many to be a calendar of sorts that tracked the movement of the Sun. But through my research I found out a few things about Stonehenge that would surprise anyone. First of all, Stonehenge took 3 million man hours to create and was built over the span of 1,500 years. The massive stones found there came from all over England and some of the blue stones were found to come from Wales. Some of the bodies found buried around Stonehenge date back to 4200 B.C. and are said to be the bodies of Neolithic men and women.

Where Stonehenge strays from the assumption that it was used mainly to track movement of the Sun was determined by researchers and archaeologists who found the bodies buried near Stonehenge with their skulls pointing towards the North towards the Moon. It is said that these people saw the Moon as a symbol of death. Also found at Stonehenge were the bodies of women and children, suggesting this was a place for sacrifices of the most brutal kind.

I was stunned to find out that a place like this is surrounded by so much death and this is discussed very little when talking about Stonehenge and its history.

Sources: Stonehenge video

The Big Bang Theory

I didn’t know much about the Big bang Theory so when I went to do research the Big Bang theory was explained to me very simply. First off the Big Bang happened for three main reasons: the universe was once very hot, the universe is expanding, and the universe used to be very dense. Correct me if I am wrong, but basically the universe was so hot and dense that there were thousands of collisions going on between protons, neutrons, and electrons and sometimes the protons and neutrons stuck together creating atoms and then these atoms stuck together to create molecules. Then as these collisions continued the universe cooled down and became less dense, allowing masses to collide less and to find their place in the universe. Now one of the things that I found very interesting is that we spend so much more time trying to figure out how we were created, but there were some questions posed by this lesson published at the Rochester Institute of Technology that were about what is going to happen to the solar system and the universe in general in the future that really startled me and were scary to think about especially this question; “Will the universe collapse again, or expand forever?” If anyone has come by any studies that have explored any answers or explanations to this question let me know I would be very interested and it would be an interesting topic.

I found a very interesting video with some really cool sounds that explains what happened as a result of the big bang that puts the speed of the creation of the universe into perspective.

Is There Life On Other Planets?

Many people always think about aliens. The idea has always been thrown around and many people have had many different opinions on the subject. There have been pictures that cannot be explained of bright lights in the sky. This video contains pictures that have been speculated upon forever. Check out this video. At 2:40, 4:44, 5:15, and at 7:00 minutes all have to do with mysterious sightings of lights and UFO’s in the sky. You may or may not believe the things said, but most of the pictures themselves have been deemed real or have yet to be deemed fake and are still controversial. The rest of the video is still interesting and enjoyable, but the photo at minute 7 is the one that really grabbed my attention. The lights were deemed real and many people saw the lights appear in the sky. There have been many hoaxes and this one was confirmed by many people to be a real photo and a real sighting. Let me know your thoughts on aliens and UFOs. Further evidence to there being life elsewhere is the theory of water once existing on Mars. I believe we will continue to uncover unexplainable truths that will take years to prove about extraterrestrial life.

What Would Happen Without Gravity?

no gravity

Is this what the world would be like without gravity?

I have always wondered what earth would be like without gravity. There is gravity on the Moon and we are weightless because we are in a constant state of free fall, not because there is no gravity. But if there was no gravity on earth, would we be able to jump and float away? Imagine being able to jump in the air and have nothing to pull you back down. You would have to walk everywhere with a string between you and your home to keep you from floating away. Everyone would be attached to something. Imagine basketball without gravity. We could all dunk! But would we lose control of how high we could jump? Would we just jump right past the rim and keep on going? Imagine the world without gravity and let me know some scenarios that you think would happen without gravity.

The “Dude” of Astronomy

Galileo Galilei (Feb 15, 1564 – Jan 18, 1642 ): is considered the Father of Astronomy. He also believed in a heliocentric universe and was forced to take back his beliefs. He also developed a telescope allowing him to view and observe planets more closely. He made major discoveries through this technology such as the rings of Jupiter.

3. a. King Charles I attacked British Parliament on January 4th, 1642.

In 1608 the telescope is invented in the Netherlands.

b. Rene Descartes. He was a mathematician and a philosopher. He created techniques which make analytical geometry possible. He also gave us a new way to see the world; connecting mind and matter within the world.

4. So many times in any class that talks about history, the class schedule is divided up by covering either certain people in order of time and covering them separately, or covering a timeline and covering everything within the timeline. This activity made me realize that teaching a subject within a timeline is better because there are so many other things going on around the world. I think that when teaching history in a science class, there should be more connection to the rest of the world and how whatever the new discovery is or topic is affects everyone else. When focusing on a specific person or topic many people tend to block out everything else and just focus on what that person is doing. But the most important thing is how what that person did affected everyone else.

Skysafari3-Very cool app

skysafari screenshot

Skysafari3 three is an app similar to Stellarium but it can be used on your phone and iPad as well. It is also much easier to use and the pictures of the sky that can be viewed on it make the sky look a lot more beautiful than with Stellarium. You can use your current location or observe the sky from many different locations as well. Also, if you are wondering about the history of any constellations, stars, or planets, there are descriptions written by astronomers from all over the world that explain just what your looking at. I found this very helpful in explaining what I was viewing and it gave me a better understanding of the universe. There is also a “skychart” which can be viewed by holding your phone or iPad up to the sky and the chart moves while you move. This can pinpoint where you are in the world. This app simply makes looking at the sky fun and interesting.