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UPCOMING EVENTS: Galactic



MULTIMEDIA: Galactic Topics

From Science Fiction to Physics: Does Time Actually Exist?

Bill Nye Explains Gravity Waves

NASA Was about to Eat Itself — Then Private Enterprise Stepped In

Could We Build A Real Warp Drive?

Want to Be a Physicist? Develop an Affinity for the Weird

3 moons and a planet that could have alien life

What a planet needs to sustain life

Physics vs. Human Perception: Which Represents Reality?

Will We Ever Be Able to Vacation in Space?

Why Did We Stop Going To The Moon?

How a blind astronomer found a way to hear the stars

How Einstein, Heisenberg and Gödel Used Constraints to Rethink the Universe

Gravitational Waves: The Universe’s Subtle Soundtrack

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Can’t Explain Nonlocality

NASA Can Get Humans to Mars by 2033 (Without a Budget Increase!)




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Galactic Topics




Software Error Implicated in Crash of Mars Lander

by George Dvorsky

Researchers with the ExoMars mission are pointing to a potential computing glitch as the cause of last week’s crash of the Schiaparelli lander. The challenge now will be to isolate and correct the error in hopes of preventing a repeat in 2020, when mission planners aim to land a much larger rover on the Red Planet.



Extended Space Travel Could Cause Irreversible Back Damage

by George Dvorsky

New research shows that astronauts who return from extended missions in space experience a significant weakening of their spinal muscles. Disturbingly, their back muscles don’t return to normal even after several weeks back on Earth.



This Is the Most Detailed Hydrogen Map of the Milky Way Ever Created

by George Dvorsky

Using two of the world’s largest configurable telescopes, scientists have created the most detailed map yet of hydrogen atoms the Milky Way.



Our Sun’s Quirky Tilt Means Planet Nine Might Actually Exist

by George Dvorsky

New research links the odd and unexplained six-degree tilt of our Sun to an undiscovered planet in the outer reaches of our solar system. It’s even more evidence that planet Nine is for real.



How the Universe Could Annihilate Itself at the Speed of Light

by George Dvorsky

Time now for a very cute video about a rather terrible prospect—the very grim possibility of the universe spawning a lethal bubble of pure vacuum that expands in all directions at the speed of light.



Astronomers Spot a Massive Black Hole That’s Gone Rogue

by George Dvorsky

Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found evidence of a “wandering” black hole on the outskirts of a distant galaxy. It’s too far away to cause us any trouble, but the discovery of this homeless ball of gravitational despair affirms a long standing theory about the existence of such objects.



The Nearest Earth-Like Planet Outside Our Solar System Could Be a Water World

by George Dvorsky

At a distance of 4.2 light years, Proxima b is the closest potentially habitable Earth-like planet outside our solar system. New research suggests this distant orb could be completely covered in water. So when do we go?



All the Incredible Things We Learned From Our First Trip to a Comet

by George Dvorsky

The historic Rosetta mission has finally come to an end. Over the past two years, the probe’s many instruments have scanned virtually every nook and cranny of this weirdly shaped rock, unleashing a treasure trove of new information about comets in general, and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in particular.



Space Exploration, Alien Life, and the Future of Humanity

by Phil Torres

Less than a month ago, scientists confirmed the existence of a rocky planet roughly 1.3 times the mass of Earth named “Proxima b.” Although it orbits its star, Proxima Centauri, at about 5 percent the distance that currently separates Earth and our sun, Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf that is much less hot and luminous than our star.



How the Rosetta Spacecraft Will Crash Onto Comet 67P

by George Dvorsky

In just seven days, the Rosetta spacecraft will smash into Comet 67P. A new visualization shows how it’ll go down.



Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star

by George Dvorsky

Astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio telescope in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia have detected an unusual signal emanating from a star located about 94 light-years from Earth. It’s not clear if the signal is being transmitted by aliens, but the researchers say we should keep a close watch on this intriguing new extraterrestrial candidate.



The “Transcension Hypothesis” and the “Fermi Paradox”

by John G. Messerly

John Smart, a colleague of mine in the Evolution, Cognition and Complexity Group, has advanced the transcension hypothesis. In Smart’s words:



Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

by George Dvorsky

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects.



This Is Where Europe’s Upcoming Rover Mission Will Explore Mars

by George Dvorsky

In October, the joint ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 mission will land the Schiaparelli rover on the Red Planet. Here’s where the probe is scheduled to land, and why researchers chose this particular area.



This is Where the Rosetta Spacecraft Is Going to Die

by George Dvorsky

Seventy-one days from now, the Rosetta spacecraft will end its historic mission by crashing onto the surface of its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Mission planners have now selected the spacecraft’s final, mission-ending destination—and it’s a good one.



“Robots will colonize space, without human beings”

by David Orban

Robots will colonize space, without human beings

There’ll be a new civilization, the sum of human intelligence and artificial intelligence, where artificial intelligence will be able to analyze a problem, identify the resources needed to deal with it, plan a strategy, adapt and improve itself to resolve the problem.” It will do this not only for specific, planned objectives – like the IBM computer that beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1996 or the vision system that recognizes obstacles in today’s self-driving cars – but “in a generalized way, with any problem”. This will happen soon, “within the next two or three decades”. A valuable time “for us to get ready for a world that will see huge changes, and make sure the effects are positive and compatible with people’s lives and aspirations”.



Looking Toward the Red Planet. Mars Party.

by Pedro Villanueva

The school of Economics to Mars is a philosophy economic founded by Pedro Villanueva, that promotes a new economy after the economy of the knowledge that prevails today.



New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature

by George Dvorsky

We all know about the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces between atoms. But could there be a fifth force still waiting to be discovered? A new experiment performed in Hungary suggests this may very well be the case.



A for Almighty - Fred Hoyle’s Cosmic Theology

by Giulio Prisco

Fred Hoyle imagined a scientific theology with a hierarchy of Gods in the universe, from lower-case local gods all the way to an asymptotic cosmic God that emerges from the physical universe, comes into full being at the end of time, controls space and time with subtle quantum messages and time loops, seeds the universe with Life, and works through Life.



A Less Bleak Lesson from the Silent Universe

by Rick Searle

The astronomers Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan have an interesting paper out where they’ve essentially flipped the Drake Equation on its head. If that equation is meant to give us some handle on the probability that there are aliens out there, Frank and Sullivan have used the plethora of exoplanets discovered since the launch of the Kepler space telescope to calculate the chance that, so far, we alone have been the only advanced civilization in the 13.7 billion year history of the universe.



A New Theory of Time: X-tention is Simultaneously Discrete and Continuous

by Melanie Swan

Time has been conceived mainly as either discrete or continuous, but not widely as a simultaneity of the two. I would like to articulate a new theory of time in which time is reconceived as a ‘raw material’ whose natural state is both discrete and continuous. This is a “middle third” position that extends Husserl’s theory of internal time consciousness by being a new form of time in the middle between and connecting retention-protention (which are continuous) and recollection-expectation (which are discrete).



Breakthrough Starshot: The First Steps to the Stars

by Giulio Prisco

On on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking announced a plan for our firsts steps to the stars: Breakthrough Starshot.



Box of a Trillion Souls - Stephen Wolfram thinks we’ll end up in the Matrix

by Rick Searle

“The cybernetic structure of a person has been refined by a very large, very long, and very deep encounter with physical reality.”—Jaron Lanier

Stephen Wolfram may, or may not, have a justifiable reputation for intellectual egotism, but I like him anyway.

Full Story...



Space Ventures - and news from the universe!

by David Brin

My recent space-related postings have been - well - upbeat! In that I believe 2015 was by far our best year exploring the cosmos. By far. And prospects for 2016 are superb.

Now, let’s dive into some of those amazing prospects… and then remind ourselves and our neighbors that the sick, sick gloom merchants out there - (you cynics know who you are) - will not drag us down to pessimism and despair. We are a superb civilization… as human civilizations go… with incredible potential.

All we have to do, to flourish, is snap out of this funk and realize what we are. We are amazing.

Full Story...



Goodbye, Little Green Men

by Susan Schneider
They’re big-eyed and slight of build. They’re the grim, greenish beings that every moviegoer recognizes as aliens—the inscrutable inhabitants of a distant world. Playing supporting roles in countless films and TV shows, these hairless homunculi have become iconic.< But we've never seen a real alien. Indeed, we don't even know if real aliens exist.
this essay was co-written with Seth Shostak

Full Story...



Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

by George Dvorsky

Billions of years from now, the universe as we know it will cease to exist. The good news is, that gives us a lot of time to prepare, and maybe even figure out a way to cheat cosmic death. Here are some possible ways our descendants might survive a cosmological apocalypse.



#25: Transhumanism - The Final Religion?

by Dirk Bruere

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on July 15, 2015, and is the #25 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Magic Blockchains, but for Time? Blocktime Arbitrage

by Melanie Swan

There is no doubt that blockchains are a reality-making technology, a mode and means of implementing as many flavors of our own crypto-enlightenments as we can imagine! This includes newer, flatter, more autonomous economic, political, ethical, scientific, and community systems. But not just in the familiar human social constructs like economics and politics, possibly in physical realities too like time. Blocktime’s temporal multiplicity and malleability suggest a reality feature we have never had access to before – making more time.



Star Trek Philosophy: “We Were Like You Once, But We Evolved”

by B. J. Murphy

The following dialogue below took place on Star Trek: Enterprise, on episode 18, season 2, titled “The Crossing.” It was between members of the Enterprise crew (Captain Archer, Commander T’Pol, and Lieutenant Reed) and a non-corporeal alien entity known as the Wisp, of which they discuss the Wisp’s past biological existence and how they evolved into a non-corporeal species.



Blue Origin Defeats SpaceX In Landing Reusable Rocket

by B. J. Murphy

Achieving what Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has only attempted to do (and failed thus far), Blue Origin, a private space company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has officially landed a reusable rocket after a quick trip to and from space.

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