Peering into the center of the Milky Way

Check out this article about black holes:

Recently astronomers have discussed about peering into a black hole with the Event Horizon Telescope.  As Carole Mundell sated, “Black holes are regions of space inside which the pull of gravity is so strong that nothing – not even light – can escape.” Obtaining an authentic image of a black hole would rock the science community. Such an image would inspire a boatload of young children to become astronomers and would further our investigation of the enigmatic black holes.

Astronomers, for years have been theorizing why black holes exist. Unfortunately, we have never been able to answer this question because of our lack of understanding of the universe. Astronomers back then were just left with their imaginations and mathematical formulas, but now that we have progressed in a large number of fields, we could finally get closer to answering the question that has been circling in the minds of astronomers for decades. Astronomers plan on connecting a global array of telescopes hopefully planning one peering into the heart of the Milky Way. There they will find a supermassive black hole 4 million times the mass of our sun. It truly is unheard of,  just imagine what something with so much mass could do. Our own suns grasp reaches at a distance beyond 100,000 AUs, something with 4 million times the mass of the sun could possibly grasp objects at distances that are unheard of. Besides that, Carole Mundell states, “By connecting a global array of radio telescopes together to form the equivalent of a giant Earth-sized telescope – using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry and Earth-aperture synthesis.” She explains the process here perfectly.

Astronomers to Peer Into a Black Hole for 1st Time with Event Horizon Telescope

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The Earth sized telescope would have the resolution to spot a grape at a distance of the Earth to the Moon. As Carole Mundell states, “the Event Horizon Telescope will be about to achieve a resolution of 15-20 microarcsecond (0,000015 arcseconds).” Unknown to many people who aren’t familiar with “telescope specs”. Every typical telescope has the resolution of about 60 arc seconds, which is fairly similar to the unaided human eye. Now, minimizing the arc angle would increase the resolution of the telescope, so just envision what 15-20 arcseconds would be able to resolve. As already stated, the telescope would have the resolution to spy on a grape at a distance of about 238,855 miles. With this globally connected telescope, the astronomers would be able to resolve images that were once blurry, clearly. Once the images are taken, they will be thoroughly checked for any blurs/obscure alterations by a supercomputer. So don’t worry about the authenticity of the image that is soon to be taken.

My personal opinion on this entire ground-breaking idea to capture an image of a black hole is, to put it simply, I can’t wait. Being a space enthusiast, as one can clearly see by just visiting my website and reading all my blogs, news like this just excites me. Just conceptualize how impactful an image of a black hole would be. A mysterious object that was known throughout the science community to be undetectable, is about to be photographed. The image will inspire our future astronomers. What was once thought of as a myth, has slowly turned into a fact. Many people laughed at the fact that something so bizarre could exist, but now look where we are. We are going to invest millions of dollars into this research. Learning about this black hole would also further our investigations on the universe. Black holes are one of the most mysterious phenomenons that exist, discovering more and more information about things that were once unknown to us will just further our knowledge and understanding of the universe. This next generation will be very lucky to be born into a world that is advanced in science and technology. Who knows, by the time the next generation has settled we may have already discovered all of the mysterious incomprehensible phenomenons of the universe. That day is yet to come but until then we will just have to keep making astounding discoveries and continue our research on black holes. Remember, the answers to questions we most direly seek are not on Earth but rather among the stars.

Saturn’s moon, Pan

Checkout this spectacular article:

 

According to a recent informative statement on how Saturn’s moon Pan was formed, “At the tail end of the process, that material was raining down on the moon solely in (or close to) its equatorial region. Thus, the infalling material formed a tall, narrow ridge of material”. We could further conclude that we are learning more and more about our universe than ever before.

Saturn’s moon Pan is quite a unique one. Besides its unusual form, the moon is actually quite interesting. According to NASA, the moon’s dimensions are the following. The picture that I am about to show you was taken at a distance of 15,300 miles away (24,600 km). With an average radius of 8.8 miles or 14.1 kilometers, Pan orbits within Saturn’s ring system in a cleared-out region known as the Encke Gap. According to NASA scientists, Pan formed when Saturn’s rings were younger and  thicker than they are today. NASA relates the moon to a snowball slowly gaining more mass as it rolls along a steep hill. A perfect analogy nonetheless, it perfectly describes the formation of such a moon with little to no statistical backing. What a spectacular viewpoint on how Pan got to be so pastry like.

This stereo image from Cassini offers 3D views of Saturn's weird moon Pan, during a final closeup by the NASA spacecraft on March 7, 2017. If you have red-blue anaglyph glasses, the images will appear 3D.

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Besides speculating what flavor the mysterious moon might be, NASA scientists have discovered the reason as to why the moon’s gravity does not give in on itself. On any other larger body, such an unusual formation just wouldn’t work out. Pan’s small size allows it to form a pastry like structure, whereas anything larger would simply not do. According to NASA officials, “On a larger, more massive body, this ridge would not be so tall (relative to the body), because gravity would cause it to flatten out.” Quite interesting nonetheless, especially if you bring the majestic force known as gravity into the equation. Gravity, being spectacular as itself never stops to stupefy me even by the slightest. It truly is just fascinating to know that such a structure could be formed simply because it lacks mass. Massive Jovian bodies such as the one and only Jupiter could never possibly emulate such a unique formation. Just imagine how spectacular it would look. A massive gas giant, or shall I say massive pastry puff floating among the other planets as it orbits our sun. Such an image is unquestionably divine.

I honestly believe that discoveries such as this one truly bring out the humanity within us all. Our never ending quest to uncover the answers to questions that we have so desperately wanted answers to, are what allow us to improve. It is discoveries such as this one that allow us to further our thought processes on how the universe works, and what are the reasons behind certain phenomenons. As we progress our knowledge and understanding of the universe, we progress as a species. A concept so simple, such as why the planets orbit our Sun could truly change the way we think of things we do on a day-to-day basis. To know that the gravity well of the sun is the reason as to why we orbit such a massive body, changes my views on who I am as a person. Yes! Something so simple could have drastic effects on anyone. With the small bit of knowledge I have gained, I could apply it to other learning methods and increase my knowledge on the subject, maybe even to the point in which I explain why such a force exists. It is concepts such as these that allow me to question who I truly am. Concepts such as these are always followed by a never ending line of questions, that further increase our knowledge when answered. We humans absolutely despise the fact that some questions cannot be answered, we are built with a cognitive ability to look and strive for answers to such questions. When we cannot find such answers, we stay optimistic and remind ourselves that someday we will be advanced enough to answer questions or solve challenging problems. Our continued advancements in science and technology just go to show how dedicated and motivated we are. Just a few years ago we doubted our species could land on the moon, but look what we have accomplished. We could reach the pinnacle of success in scientific advancements and astrophysics if we put our mind to it. Our current understanding of the universe will be child’s play for what is to come in the future.

Therefore, concluding that we humans have the cognitive ability to solve almost anything, if we put our minds to it. Our current advancements in science and technologies will only increase as we move forward in time. The questions that we most desperately seek answers to do not lie on Earth, but among the stars.

 

The Mystery of the Universe

Check out this informative article about the universe.

Paul Stutter an astrophysicist at the university at the Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI Science Center recently stated, “to explain what’s going on in this overly dramatic telling of the emergence of dark energy, we need to talk about what the universe is made of and how that affects its expansion”. Dark Energy is a rather incomprehensible subject, learning about how it affects our universe’s rate of expansion, will increase our knowledge on the subject matter.

Five billion years ago, everything changed. The universe was in a state of deceleration, but according to Paul Stutter, “a mysterious force overtook the universe”. This “force” is what we know as dark energy. Not only are the properties of dark energy unknown to us, but we cannot even detect it. Leaving it to be a mysterious hypothetical source of energy that fits into the equation of the vast universe. “The unhurried, deliberate process of structure formation the gradual buildup of ever-larger assemblies of matter from gas to groups to clusters — froze and began to undo itself”, Paul Stutter states. The deliberate halt in deceleration changed everything. The formation of galaxies and massive superclusters were reversed and instead reduced into nothing but clumps of dust. It is absolutely astonishing to know that as the universe was beginning to settle an unknown force to be reckoned with appeared out of nowhere and reduced such galaxies and clusters as a whole into gas and dust. It is stupefying to say the least, that such unpredictable occurrences could affect everything around us.

When the Lights Went Out in the Universe

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In order to explain such an unprecedented event. We first need to explain what the universe is made of and how mass and energy bend space-time. According to Paul Stutter, “mass and energy tell spacetime how to bend, and the bending of spacetime tells objects how to move. Usually, we think of this as a local interaction, used to explain the orbits of particular planets or the unusual properties of a black hole.” In other words gravity is a huge contributor to such movement. The gravity of certain objects is much greater/larger than other objects resulting in the smaller object locked in an orbit around the larger object. The smaller object lies within the larger objects gravity well, the gravity well is self-explanatory as if we were to see it, it would resemble a well like structure that bends space and time. A deep bending within the fabric of space and time would have a much larger gravitational pull.

Now that we have established how the bending of space time influences how the universe moves, we can then move on to identifying what is causing this rapid rate of acceleration. Density plays a huge role on whether the universe accelerates or decelerates. According to Paul Stutter, “If the total density of all the stuff is greater than a very specific value — called  “the critical density” and equal to about 4 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter — then the universe’s expansion will slow down, stop and reverse in a Big Crunch. If the universe’s density is less than this critical value, the universe will expand forever. And if it’s exactly equal to the critical value, then the universe will expand forever, but at an ever-diminishing rate.” We are at a state that is contradictory, recent measurements suggest that we are at a point in which the critical density is equal to the total density, but the problem is that we are still accelerating as if the density were too low. The concept is absolutely mind-boggling, this is where the subject of Dark energy comes into play. With no other current explanation as to what is causing this acceleration, we are forced to apply a theoretical explanation that would explain our current situation. Dark energy is neither detectable nor has it been researched enough to know its properties. Continued research into this bizarre concept will further our understanding on what’s really going on.

Therefore, concluding that the ever expanding universe is filled with countless mysteries. Every question that is answered leads to more unanswerable questions. This is what allows us to progress as a species. On the topic of Dark Energy, we are too far away in terms of technology to uncover the mysteries of such a substance. But with continued research and endless curiosity we are sure to discover what Dark energy really is.

Record Temperatures Every Year, and Humans Are to Blame.

Check out this informative article about Climate change:

 

Recently scientists have found that 2016 was one of the most warmest years in history. Man made climate change is a problem and we need to tackle it immediately before it becomes a bigger issue, “2016 was the hottest year on Earth since record keeping began more than 130 years ago, and humans are mostly to blame”, scientists reported today. If we don’t lower our carbon emissions, we could be in seriously trouble.

Average land and sea temperatures were the highest ever this year. According to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  “last year’s average temperatures over land and sea surfaces were the highest ever seen since 1880, and were 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit (0.94 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average.” As we all know, as temperatures rise they don’t only affect certain parts of the globe, but the entire mass. Every part of the globe saw record warm temperatures. In three consecutive years temperatures have been shattering records. According to the NOAA, every month from January to August have been the warmest months on record, it is absolutely mind boggling to know that temperatures are changing in such a short amount of time. Every season experienced a warmer than usual cycle, which explains why the summers in Los Angeles have been getting hotter than usual. Besides Los Angeles other parts of the world have been drastically affected by these changes in temperatures as well, namely the arctic. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “An estimate of the average annual sea-ice extent in 2016 in the Arctic was the lowest annual average on record: 3.92 million square miles (10.1 million square kilometers).” Meaning that over time the arctic has been slowly dwindling in terms of frozen surface area.

2016 Was Earth's Hottest Year on Record, and Humans Are to Blame

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It is absolutely bizarre to me that people namely those that run giant oil corporations, would throw such a major issue to the side. People that completely disregard the amount of proof that suggest climate change is a serious issue are simply selfish. They know that accepting this issue as fact would not only put them out of business, but completely squash their income. Also, meaning no more rides on the yacht and or the Lamborghini. It is almost unheard of to deny a serious issue just for the sake of money. It seems it is hard for them to comprehend that no planet Earth means no money for them. To take value in some overrated car/boat over your own planet is insane. These people also don’t have to worry about the effects of climate change. As years go by many people will be suffering from drought, starvation, and diseases, while these people will be bathing in money. Many environmental scientists have come out and claimed that the effects of warming are only the beginning, the part that is next is even more devastating. From droughts, diseases, and starvation the list is almost endless. The big bosses don’t have to worry one bit about anything, at the end it will all come down to their character and morals.

I truly feel like we need to tackle this issue as soon as we can. Many countries have already begun to lower their carbon emissions, hoping to lessen the effects of this devastating issue. As the world joins to stop the effects of global warming, those that deny the vast amount of proof will regret it. More and more people will stop using fossil fuels and instead switch to clean alternatives such as solar and electric power. Instead of driving their car to work people will instead ride their bikes, which will both benefit the environment and their physical self. People will switch to solar energy in order to reduce the amounts of electricity their homes receive from factories, that are run off of fossil fuels. Once people become more aware of the effects of both the good and bad, more and more people will start to join in on the revolution. Education is key here because without it many people will become ignorant to what’s good and bad. Factories will begin to shut down because of the decrease in demand, this will force major corporations to invest more in cleaner alternatives. This is the absolute best way to stop the effects of Climate Change.

Therefore, concluding that Climate Change/Global Warming is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. We need to start making changes to our regular routines in order to have some sort of effect on this issue. By lowering carbon emissions and switching to alternative clean sources of energy we are sure to make a huge impact on the rising temperatures.

Facts about the hypothetical Planet Nine.

Check out this amazing article about the hypothetical Planet nine.

Recently scientists have found evidence that seems to reveal the existence of planet nine. As astronomer Mike Brown states, “I’m pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter — not this winter, next winter — I think that there’ll be enough people looking for it that … somebody’s actually going to track this down,”. Having such hope for something so unlikely allows us to be determined for future projects such as these.

'Planet Nine' Can't Hide Much Longer, Scientists Say

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    Planet nine is estimated to be two to fifteen times the mass of Earth and is located hundreds of astronomical units away. At its farthest distance it is estimated to be 1,000 astronomical units away. One astronomical unit is the distance between the Sun and the Earth, which is about 95 million miles, or 150 million kilometers. At its aphelion (the farthest distance away from the sun) the planet is 1,000 AUs out. Comparatively, Pluto’s aphelion is approximated to be 49.3 AUs. So one can clearly see the difference of magnitude when it comes to its elliptical orbit. More evidence continues to reveal itself as more and more small objects appear to be sculpted by something so massive. Countless research has been done on the elliptical orbits of all 8 major planets in our solar system, if we were to include such a massive planet in the current orbits already listed it would fit in perfectly. One team, led by Renu Malhotra of the University of Arizona, discussed four such objects at the DPS/EPSC meeting Wednesday, and Brown’s team, led by Elizabeth Bailey of Caltech discussed the evidence that such a massive body existed as well. These two teams announced that Planet nine had tilted the orbits of all 8 major planets relative to the sun. One would have to think of the sheer size of such a body, to tilt orbits of even such massive Jovian planets. This research is also allowing us to determine what part of the sky we are truly in. Finding such a massive body a million miles away is not all that easy. With our current estimates planet nine is thought to be in a 400 square degrees patch of sky. Comparatively, the moon makes up about 0.5 degrees of our night sky.  It is estimated that the diameter is about 4 earths in length meaning that in terms of the brightness scale it should not be that hard to locate on professional telescopes. With an aphelion of 1,000 AU, one would assume it would be nearly impossible to find, even when considering the sheer size of the planet. With recent technological upgrades spotting such distant objects should not be as a difficult as originally thought. At its current size, and distance away from us, on high tech telescopes like the Subaru telescope located in Mauna kea, Hawaii, it should be visible with the human eye. Once and if discovered, the news would break into media outlets all over the globe. Although highly unlikely as stated before, it would be rather interesting to view the results. Finding such a massive body so far away, will not only allow us to discover a ninth planet, but by doing so will force us to improve our technology to see such distant objects. If it truly exists one would have to ask, how did it end up so far away in our solar system? This hypothetical planet is reaching into the innards of the kuiper belt, which means it’s considered a Trans-Neptunian object. Many questions would be projected onto astronomers who have discovered such a wonder. If found, it would also encourage the next generation of astronomers to look even deeper into our solar system, who knows we might even discover something more extraordinary. The hopes of its discovery are skyrocketing, as people educate themselves on space by the day, we are creating an environment that not only guarantees a future of success for our children but instead for our entire species thousands of years from now.

Therefore, concluding that the search for the ninth planet is highly unlikely, but would encourage future projects like these. The vision of a hypothetical planet lying in the innards of the Kuiper Belt stupefies me and many others. If such a planet is found it would create a ripple effect of new astronomers, motivated to find something as equally important or if not even greater. With our current advances in technology we are near to certain that we will find greater and more distant objects that allow us to expand our mind about the universe and its origins.

Possible Dwarf Planet Discovered

Check out this amazing article about the newly discovered Dwarf Planet!

Recently, scientists have discovered an object beyond the orbit of Pluto that has the potential to be labeled as a dwarf planet. NPR reported, “The dwarf planet, called 2014 UZ224, measures about 330 miles (530 kilometers) across and is located about 8.5 billion miles (13.7 billion km) from the sun.” With this information acquired, we can further our research in expanding our viewpoints on our solar system.

New Dwarf Planet Found in Our Solar System

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    The object was found in the outer reaches of the Kuiper belt. Anything beyond the orbit of Neptune is considered part of the Kuiper belt and is identified as a “Trans-Neptunian object”. As one knows it was not easy finding this object as it took 2 years to confirm it even existed. Undergraduate researchers at the University of Michigan were asked by their professor, Gerdes, who told them to look for anything in the solar system that wasn’t already identified. Using a special telescope called the “Dark Energy Camera”. This special telescope, as stated, is meant to “observe the movement of galaxies and supernovas (exploding stars) as they move away from the Earth”(Gerdes UOM). Now, already telling the undergrads to look for such an object was rather difficult. Most or not all would not be consistent with their data or observations. Instead, research would be inconsistent causing a time gap in between the actual research and the discovery of the planet. They managed to resolve this issue and form a software that would make the processes a lot simpler. Now being able to track the irregular movements of distant object in the solar system, they then had to wait another two years to actually prove the existence of such an object. “Professor Gerdes claims that, The object 2014 UZ224 might be too small to be considered a dwarf planet, but that will have to be decided by the International Astronomical Union.” Keep in mind that this committee decided in 2006 that Pluto was unfit to be a planet. Although a dwarf planet it is actually pretty small, compared to Ceres, a recent asteroid found in the asteroid belt, it is smaller. Ceres is an estimated 590 miles across in width while the new object is at a lacking 330 miles across. The reason for it to possibly be considered a regular asteroid is understandable, but then again how often does one find an object of that magnitude lurking in the Kuiper belt. The overall research that is taking place fuels the possibility of us finding more unidentified objects. Finding more and more distant materials would also mean better technology will be needed. So not only will we be able to study our solar system, but we will be able to look further out into the universe. Continuing research projects like these allow us to learn more about the early makings of our solar system. The more distant the object is the more we know about the sun’s gravitational bending of space and time. We could also determine the age of such objects which would allow us to further improve our estimate of our current age of the solar system. It is unknown to how many objects similar to the one found are out there. There are currently 4 that we have identified but scientists think there could be hundreds or maybe even thousands more out there. This just goes to show the pure perplexity of our understanding of the universe. If we are not able to identify objects within our own Kuiper belt then just imagine the sheer vastness of space, where there could be billions or trillions of planets similar to our own.

Therefore, concluding that the findings of such objects in the Kuiper belt allow us to further our research about our solar system as a whole. With our current advances in technology we will be able look beyond what we can already see right now. The more objects we identify in our own solar system the closer we are to finding answers to question we would never expect answers to.

Recent discovery of Lake beds on the Red Planet

Check out this amazing article about Mars.

Recently scientists have discovered that Mars had lakes of water only 2 to 3 billion years ago. Sharon Wilson of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Virginia stated, “ We discovered valleys that carried water into lake basins”, in the same statement she later said, “Several lake basins filled and overflowed, indicating there was a considerable amount of water on the landscape during this time.” With this information we can further our research on Mars and Earth as well.

These lakes that were found were estimated to be the size of some of our largest lakes here on Earth. “One of the newly discovered lakes was about as big as Lake Tahoe, a body of water on the California-Nevada border that holds about 45 cubic miles (188 cubic kilometers) of water, Wilson said.” Not only were these lake beds massive they also contained crystalline substances such as hydroxyl that proved the existence of water once residing there. Over billions of years the water on Mars continuously clashed with the rocks forming these beautiful carvings that further prove the existence of these lake beds. These lakes poured water into basins which spread the water around the martian surface. Proof of these basins were obtained by researchers carefully studying the aprons around crater impact sites. If the water was discovered cutting into the apron then we know that water was flowing in that area before the crater was formed. Observations from the Mars curiosity rover allowed us to discover these lake and basin carvings in the martian soil. It also allowed us to come to the conclusion that water was not just existent for a couple million of years but rather yet residing on Mars for 3.2 billion years.

Huge Mars Lakes Formed Much More Recently Than Thought

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It is still unknown as to why or how the water disappeared from Mars but scientist believe it happened sometime after water reached it’s peak. The team members involved in the discovery of the dry beds stated, “One possibility is a shift in Mars’ axial tilt, which resulted in greater illumination of the ice caps at the planet’s poles, researchers said. (Valleys like those seen in Arabia Terra also occur in Mars’ southern hemisphere, suggesting that lakes and streams existed over broad stretches of the planet, study team members said.” If the planet was involved in some type of dramatic tilt then that would mean something tremendous would have to be involved, such as an asteroid. Although this is still unexplained it is still an interesting theory that someday could explain why the water on Mars disappeared. If we stick with this theory as to why the water evaporated then we could further conclude that these lakes and streams were somewhat calm. If the tilt really did affect the planet’s water as a whole then that would mean the lakes would not be very deep. As Sharon Wilson puts it, “The rate at which water flowed through these valleys is consistent with runoff from melting snow,” she said, “These weren’t rushing rivers. They have simple drainage patterns and did not form deep or complex systems like the ancient valley networks from early Mars.” This information allows us to theorize what Mars may have looked like billions of years ago. Which visualized, looks like a dusty wet rock orbiting our sun just as its brothers and sisters are.

This map of an area within the Arabia Terra region on Mars shows where hydrologic modeling predicts locations of depressions that would have been lakes (black), overlaid with a map of the preserved valleys (blue lines, with width exaggerated for recognition) that would have been streams.

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With all the information obtained, it is pretty crazy to think that Mars once sustained water. It is almost impossible to visualize Mars with water considering the fact that right now it looks like nothing more than a dusty red ball in the sky. In fact it kinda looks like Earth if we went through centuries of Nuclear war. Some theorize that Mars was very similar to Earth millions of years ago. But because of a series of wars Mars ended up the way it is today. This idea is hard to believe considering the fact that there is no evidence presented whatsoever. Many ufologists claim that there have been many sightings on Mars of terrestrial beings roaming the desolate martian lands. Although this all speculation it is a pretty interesting theory especially since Nuclear war is inevitable. Many believe that Earth was mankind’s second chance because of a series of fighting, our kind were forced to move off the planet and into what we now call Earth. As the famous quote goes, “Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it.” To me this quote and this theory is nothing more than a tale told to kids by their grandpas before they went to sleep. Even though this idea of a “second chance” seems bizarre it is always interesting to just think if we actually were just given a second chance.

The hidden secrets we have uncovered about Mars is just mind boggling. From lake beds to hidden streams formed billions of years ago, there is no way in telling how much resides under the martian surface. If we keep uncovering secrets about the Red planet then there is a possibility in which we could find out why it’s water disappeared and what we as humans could do to prevent it from happening to us.

Discovery of a second Earth

Check out this amazing article about the planet Proxima b.

Recently scientists have discovered an Earth like planet located in the solar system of the star Proxima Centauri. Peter Worden, chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation stated that “With today’s announcement, we now know that there’s at least one planet, the one orbiting Proxima Centauri, that has some characteristics similar to the Earth.” With this information we could further our research on finding out if there are other habitable planets similar to our owns.

Finding this planet was very difficult. As the researchers of the Journal Nature put it,The uneven and sparse sampling, combined with the longer term variability of the star, seem to be the reasons why the signal could not be unambiguously confirmed with pre-2016 data, rather than the total amount of data accumulated.” Recent data from the telescopes HARPS and UVES indicates that the Earth like planet, Proxima b, is 1.3 times the size of earth. Data also indicates that the planet is significantly closer to its hosts star than our own, by a distance of 4.7 million miles compared to our Earth and sun relationship of about 93 million miles. Meaning that this planet in theory should have already been fried. But this is not the case due to the fact that Proxima bs host star is a red dwarf which means in comparison to our own star, Proxima Centauri is a lot smaller and cooler. This allows the Earth like planet to be significantly closer which also means that the “Goldilocks zone” is shifted closer to the star. The “Goldilocks zone” of a star allows planets to successfully sustain water without it freezing from the lack of sunlight or boiled away from too much sunlight. This is where the theory of life possibly being on this planet stems from. If the planet holds liquid water then there is a chance for life to be sprouted or rather yet possibly already be there.

The whole idea of “alien life” isn’t just about an advanced civilization with technology that is way more advanced than our own. It could also be brought down to the most simplistic forms such as bacteria. Whenever there is a discovery of an Earth like planet in some solar system light years away, conspirators and alien enthusiasts always assume that there is some advanced alien civilization residing there. Although assuming something as bizarre as this is not always bad, there are times in which logic and reasoning should be prevalent. The data recorded from the two telescopes in which I mentioned before concluded that the planet is tidally locked. Which means one side of this planet is always facing it’s sun, similar to our own moon one side is always lit and the other, dark as a cave. Knowing this many people conclude that there is no chance life could ever exist on a planet such as this. But recent data states otherwises claiming that at the point in which both the scorching heat and chilling cold meet, there is a chance in which liquid water is sustained and life could flourish. Not meaning that there is some advanced alien population there but rather a more hospitable environment in which life forms such as ourselves could possibly thrive.

Information such as this allows us to expand our viewpoints of life on other planets. Just because a planet does not seem fit for us that doesn’t mean the planet is not hospitable for some other type of life form. With our current technology status there is no way in which we could actually visit this planet. It takes Proxima Centauri’s light 4.2 years to travel to our planet. If we were to travel to this planet with our current technology we would get there in thousands of years. As Reiners puts it, “We are quite far from it right now, but physics allows us to do it.” Recent projects have sprouted with the idea of sending space probes to solar systems with planets similar to Proxima b. Breakthrough Starshot project one of the most relevant projects plan to invest their time on finding a way in which they could successfully launch this program.They plan on inventing technology that would allow them to accelerate their probes to 1 perecent all the way to 20 percent the speed of light. Finding a way to do this will be challenging but if we somehow are able to do this we could further our research on finding out if there are other habitable planets similar to our owns.

Planets such as Proxima b not only give us important information but also expand our understanding on where life could reside. Not only do we become curious when we make discoveries like these. We also become passionate on finding planets with similar characteristics to our Earth. With current projects aiming to one day visit planets such as our own, there is a possibility where one day we could gain knowledge on something we have never experienced before.