We’ve only begun to point huge telescopes at exoplanets. There are too many unknowns to be sure of our status, he thinks.
One thing that’s coming out of all these stories is that those who do NOT cower and mumble abject apologies to the gleefully unlettered tend to do better. Mobs have only the authority they seize from cowards. And who wants to defend an abject coward? He’ll sell you out too. A person who takes a stand can be defended.
The title is “Is there intelligent life in outer space? What are the stakes?”
Kershenbaum wipes out, unfortunately, when he tries to claim that human culture is genetically based.
Researchers: The new James Webb Space Telescope, which launches in October, “could feasibly detect ammonia around six gas dwarf planets after just a few orbits”
Avi Loeb has come up with a very reasonable idea for searching for evidence of other civilizations in our galaxy: Look for alien debris on our still, lifeless, atmosphere-free Moon.
A good chance to check out the perennial topic, “Are We Alone?” with thoughtful people.
If planets’ water resources came from accretions of tiny carbon and ice particles, rather than icy asteroid hits, many would have lots of water, and maybe life.
If intelligent life forms are trapped in the interior oceans of rocky moons and planets, Earth is a special planet—much better suited to space exploration.
Scharf: “Eventually it might all just be a bit of a relief. We’ll neither be alone, nor surrounded by anything particularly extraordinary. Copernican mediocrity will be somewhat restored, and we can go back to worrying about everything else that can go wrong on our speck of rock and water as it sails through the cosmos.”
Siegel thinks that a rocky planet of more than 30% greater radius than Earth stands a good change of becoming a gas giant in consequence of its size. Earth is the right size to avoid that.
It plays an unexpected role in planetary temperature, researchers found: While most research about the habitable zone has focused on a star’s brightness (as temperature dictates whether water on a planet could be liquid, ice or gas), new research is showing that this is an extremely simplified and naive picture. The true test for whether Read More…
Like space junk Oumuamua, it’ll almost certainly turn out to be nothing. So why … ? It’s a legitimate question, at this point, whether “science” is just cultural territory now—a way of saying that one is Woke, Cool, and progressive. Depending on where you work, no actual results may be required.
Andrew Zic: But given Proxima Centauri is a cool, small red-dwarf star, it means this habitable zone is very close to the star; much closer in than Mercury is to our Sun.” That would mean those planets would be “sterilised” by dangerous ionising radiation that came from their Sun.
There may or may not be other intelligent life forms out there. As it happens, we may be in a position to get hard evidence in the next century. But there is no time where it more pays to be sceptical than a time when we could get genuine information. Or not.