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.