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We Could Find Alien Life, But Politicians Don’t Have The Will



While alien life can be seen nightly on television and in the movies, it has never been seen in space. Not so much as a microbe, dead or alive, let alone a wrinkle-faced Klingon.

Despite this lack of protoplasmic presence, there are many researchers – sober, sceptical academics – who think that life beyond Earth is rampant. They suggest proof may come within a generation. These scientists support their sunny point of view with a few astronomical facts that were unknown a generation ago.

In particular, and thanks largely to the success of NASA’s Kepler space telescope, we can now safely claim that the universe is stuffed with temperate worlds. In the past two decades, thousands of planets have been discovered around other stars. New ones are turning up at the rate of at least one a day.

More impressive than the tally is their sheer abundance. It seems the majority of stars have planets, implying the existence of a trillion of these small bodies in the Milky Way galaxy alone.

A deeper analysis of Kepler data suggests that as many as one in five stars could sport a special kind of planet, one that is the same size as Earth and with similar average temperatures. Such planets, styled as “habitable”, could be swathed by atmospheres and awash in liquid water.

In other words, the Milky Way could be host to tens of billions of Earth’s cousins.

Sterile universe?

It is hard to accept that all these worlds are sterile, a circumstance that would make us, and all the flora and fauna of our planet, a miracle. Miracles have little status in science.

Of course, just because there is a lot of attractive, cosmic real estate doesn’t mean finding inhabitants would be easy. There are only three ways to do that, and they all depend on sophisticated and expensive experiments.

First, we could find life nearby. There is real effort to do that, particularly in our reconnaissance of Mars. So far, most of the search has been indirect: deploying rovers whose job is to locate the best places to dig into the red planet, and possibly uncover either fossilised or extant microbes beneath the sterile surface.

These are not attempts to find life. They are attempts to find places where life could be found. Progress is deliberate, and it is sluggish.

Without doubt, Mars remains the favourite bet for biology. Nonetheless, some experts prefer to wager on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. At least five of these satellites seem to be home to some sloshy environments – mostly liquid water, although in the case of Titan, natural gas.

Again, the type of life that could best thrive on these moons would be microscopic. Sensing its presence might be accomplished in several ways, ranging from simple flyby missions that nab effluvia from natural geysers, to sending elaborate drilling rigs to penetrate the ten miles of ice that separate the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa from the mammoth seas that lie below.

Sadly much of this reconnaissance hardware is still on the drawing boards, not in space. Progress is slow, mostly because funding is low.

A second scheme for sniffing out evidence of biology is to assay the atmospheres of planets around other stars. This is done using a time-honoured technique of astronomy, spectroscopy – an approach that would allow researchers to learn the composition of an atmosphere at many light-years’ distance.

While an experiment to find oxygen or methane in someone else’s air is straightforward to describe, it is hard to do. That is because planets are dim, and the stars they orbit are bright.

Various solutions to this problem have been imagined, including multi-element, orbiting telescopes and giant light blockers, or occulters, in space. It is rocket science, but it is not as hard as curing the common cold. Engineers could build this stuff within a dozen years, but only if they had the money.

The third approach to finding biology beyond Earth is looking beyond microbes for intelligent life by eavesdropping on radio signals or flashing laser lights. More antennae and better receivers could speed up this search, but once again, funding is the limiting factor.

So it boils down to this: we don’t know for certain that there is life in space, but the circumstances of the universe certainly suggest that this is a plausible idea. Finding it would be extraordinarily exciting, but because the payoff is uncertain, the investments in searching have been modest.

Of course, if you don’t ante up, you will never win the jackpot. And that is a question of will.

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

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Former US Air Force fighter pilot: UFOs use Star Trek-style warp drive




A former US Air Force fighter pilot asserts that he has deciphered
the method behind the extraordinary maneuvers of UFOs, reports

the past two decades, numerous military encounters with these enigmatic
crafts have been reported, prompting a significant investigation by the

One of the most renowned sightings occurred during the
USS Nimitz encounter, where fighter pilots witnessed a UFO descending
from 28,000 feet to just above sea level in less than a second.

astonishing movement would imply that the craft reached a staggering
speed of 19,000 miles per hour, a velocity that would be fatal to any
human pilot.

to Chris Lehto, a former USAF pilot, the craft exhibits two key
characteristics: it moves without inertia, essentially lacking weight,
and it accelerates at an incredibly rapid pace without affecting its

Image: NATO Allied Air Command/Facebook

believes that the explanation lies within a technology that seems
straight out of science fiction. He proposes that the answer to the UFO
enigma lies in the Alcubierre Drive, a theoretical interstellar engine
conceptualized by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994.

Alcubierre Drive employs a form of “space warp” technology, reminiscent
of what has been depicted in episodes of Star Trek. By bending space, a
craft inside a “warp bubble” could potentially travel at or even
surpass the speed of light without violating the known laws of physics.

the Alcubierre Drive remains a hypothetical concept with challenges to
overcome, Chris notes that the required energy is no longer believed to
be unattainably large.

filed with the US patent office outline the potential workings of the
drive, as well as another groundbreaking technology theorized by
American aerospace engineer Salvatore Pais.

Pais suggests that
high-powered rotating magnets could theoretically eliminate an object’s
inertia, and he has filed a patent for a starship based on this

However, Chris maintains skepticism regarding Pais’
theory. He explains that while Pais’s patent applications for the US
Navy attracted attention for their potential energy-related
applications, doubts have been raised about their feasibility. There is
speculation that they may be scams, pseudoscience, or disinformation
intended to mislead adversaries of the United States.

rival theories propose that the “Tic Tac” UFO is a classified Pentagon
project testing similar advanced technologies discussed by Chris.

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A Mysterious Earth-Like Planet Has Just Appeared in Our Solar System, Scientists Say




Scientists say they have found evidence of a new Earth-like
planet that has suddenly appeared in our Solar System and is orbiting
the Sun.

Physicists, including those from the National Astronomical Observatory
of Japan, said the planet is likely to be the mysterious ‘Planet Nine’
that was hypothesised to exist in the far outer edges of the Solar

Several studies in the past have suggested there is likely an
undiscovered planet beyond the Kuiper Belt – a stellar disk of materials
such as asteroids, space rocks, comets around the Sun in the outer
Solar System past the orbit of Neptune. reports: In the new research, published recently in The Astronomical Journal, scientists
found that some of the objects in the Kuiper Belt behave in a way
indicative of the presence of a small planet among them.

One such object, they said, is about 500 astronomical units (AU) from
the Sun, where 1 AU is the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

In comparison Neptune is at a distance of 30 AUs from the Sun.

Some of these were also found to have “odd” orbits suggesting they
are being pull by the gravity of a cosmic entity larger than those that
typically influence such objects.

Computer simulations run by the scientists indicate that the most
likely explanation for the observations was another hidden planet in the
Kuiper Belt.

“We predict the existence of an Earth-like planet,” researchers wrote in the study.

“It is plausible that a primordial planetary body could survive in
the distant Kuiper Belt as a Kuiper Belt planet (KBP), as many such
bodies existed in the early solar system,” they added.

If such a planet exists, researchers say it would have a mass about
1.5 to 3 times that of Earth with an inclination of about 30 degrees.

They say the theorised planet’s orbit would likely place it between 250 and 500 AU from the Sun.

Researchers say the discovery of such a planet close to the Kuiper
Belt can unravel new constraints on planet formation and evolution.

“In conclusion, the results of the KBP scenario support the existence
of a yet-undiscovered planet in the far outer solar system,” scientists

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