The space weather report website Spaceweather.com is reporting that comet ISON seems to have disintegrated when it passed close to the sun. There are now clues that some small part of the comet might have survived the passage, but it is minor and is unlikely to provide any type of tail as it did before it did go past the sun.
For images and more details please click on the following link.
NASA announced today that an asteroid was breaking up in our solar system. This is interesting since it is not often (at least not witnessed) by scientists that asteroid is breaking up in our solar system. I do not have any special details on the asteroid that is breaking up. This asteroid is far out, since it is outside the orbit of Mars and it is no risk to Earth or Mars for that reason. It is most likely an rock type of asteroid, rather than made out of metal and other denser material that asteroid are sometimes made out of.
I am sure more details are going to appear on what is going on with this asteroid in next few days to weeks since rate of the breakup is not clear at the moment.
I have changed my mind. I am not going to close down this blog. However I am going to change it. Rather then post about what is happening about space. I am going to post my thoughts about space and what it might be holding. So that means it is not going to be a news carrying blog site most of the time. Rather this is going to be a blog about space as I see it. I am not going to change the name. I like it as it is.
I have removed the older blog post about closing down this blog.
The planet Mars is in the danger of getting hit by a comet on 19th October 2014 according to new news. This has not yet been confirmed as there is still considerable uncertainty about the comet orbit at current time. There is however the risk of impact. If this comet impacts Mars it is going to change the surface of Mars for centuries, as the impact crater is going to be at least double the size of the comet. This would also create a earthquake (marsquake) with the magnitude of Mw9.5+ on impact.
I am going to post more information on this as they become available.
Early morning in Russia a meteor exploded over Russia (Chelyabinsk region). The explosion force was huge and did damage houses and create injuries to people. What force was in question here is not entirely known at the present time. Based on the videos that I have seen online so far. It looks like the force of the shock wave from when the meteor exploded in the air is around 1g to 3g. Since it takes a considerable force to blow out windows and damage walls. According to news reports around 1000 people have been reported hurt in this event. But reports are so far not clear on this. From the looks of it, the explosion took place 27 to 35 km above ground.
As for reports of the crater being found in a lake. I am not sure of that. Since the crater appears to be clean cut (based on the pictures I have seen). Ice does fracture when it get hit by something like a meteor. That has not been the case in the images showing supposed crater in the lake. I am still gathering information on this event. But it is going to take some time verify what happened exactly and if any meteor fragment have been found so far.
According to Spaceweather.com a solar radio burst took place yesterday (02.03.2013) at 19:54 UTC. This solar radio burst was strong enough to drown out normal short wave radio transmissions on Earth. More solar radio burst can be expected in next few days. Since the sunspot that is creating this is making C-flares at this moment.
The Register reports that fireball was seen over Japan on 20th of January 2013. This fireball was clearly recorded. But it is unclear if it did explode or just break up when it did enter the atmosphere.
Here is a video of this fireball that did happen in Japan.
I am going to post one new blog post on this blog a month if I can do so. As I am going to do with Falkland Island geology blog. I should be able to do so most of the time. This one month blog posts are going to be long and informative as possible. At least I am going to make every effort in making that a reality.
This has been in the news all week. Scientists have found exoplanet around Alpha Centauri-B. This planet is in highly close orbit around Alpha Centauri-B. While this planet it self does not support life in any form. It opens up the possiblity that Alpha Centauri-A and B might have planets with life on them. Earth has life and is not so unique in my view.
This also makes Alpha Centauri A and B prime targets for searching alien civilizations close to our own solar system. But Alpha Centauri is just 4.37 light years away from Earth. But that means any radio signals are just 4.37 months reaching Earth (give or take). This also makes for a better signal detection at this short distance. If there is any civilization on Alpha Centauri A or B we have no way of knowing it state of technical levels. They might be more advanced then us, or they might be less advanced then us. Or they might still be in caves and really primitive. There is no way to know for sure. There is also a possibility that just life might exist in Alpha Centauri A-B system. But without any civilization at all. There is also chance if there was a civilization in the Alpha Centauri A-B solar system that it is long gone for one reason or other. Whatever the case actually is. This planet is a good hope that more planets might exist just 4.37 light years away from Earth.
But one thing is clear. We are never going to know without science studies in that direction. It is also my view that we need to study our closest star better then we already do. This applies mostly to the stars that are close to our own sun in size and brightness. Since the chance of finding planets like our Earth is highest around such stars. Rather then larger and heavier stars. Like blue giants and such. In that case. I think there might be planets around Sirius (8.6 light years away). But I do not think any such planet is likely to have any life on them. But I might be totally wrong in this estimate. But the only way to find out for sure is to study space, as it is human race most important step into the future.
According to recent news on BBC News there could be more planets out in the galaxy and every galaxy out there. This are the results from new computer model into this matter. This however does not say anything about if any of this planets has civilization out there. But that is always an possibility. What this actually means in reality is hard to know for sure. But one thing is clear. There is more life in the universe then we can imagine.
If people want to check more on this subject. They can read the whole deal in BBC News article.
On Wikipedia there is an interesting image that shows the universe in scale to the Earth and our solar system. This picture clearly shows how small the Earth and the human race really is. Petty things like religion and skin color are utterly meaningless when it comes down to it. I just wish more humans would release that. Since then we would at least have peace among humans for once.
The scale of the universe. Click on the image for full size. The image is from Wikipedia. Image is made by Andrew Z. Colvin under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This image also shows that human race needs to increase the research into deep space exploring. Just exploring the local solar system for new information is simply not enough today. If nothing else. We need to know what is out there. Before it finds us. Since I am in no doubt that what is out there in the universe is both going to be good and evil.
While the human race has been busy studying with problems it’s solar system for several decades now. We have not yet started to explore with problems our distant star neighborhood. The reasons for lack of such exploration are two mostly.
The first one is lack of technology. But before the year 1970 the chance of exploring space with something else then just telescopes was limited at best. But technology moves forward. By the year 1970 spacecrafts where first advanced enough to go into the solar system. Rather then just orbiting the Earth or being in geosynchronous orbit. The first probes to go out into the solar system where the Pioneer spacecrafts. Then Voyager spacecrafts did go out into the solar system and are now leaving it. Today the newest spacecraft to be on it’s way out of the solar system is the New Horizons spacecraft. But it is going to go by Pluto in the year 2015 and give up new information about that planet. Along with high resolution images of it and it’s moons.
The second problem is distance. But past and current technology has now allowed us to send spacecraft out of our solar system without it taking years. Long running projects also have money issue, people issue. Along with technological issues on it’s own. Today it takes the spacecraft about 15 years to reach the edge of our solar system. If no other flyby are made on the way. Communication is also problem. The more distance between spacecrafts and Earth the longer time communication takes. For instance, New Horizons round trip communication today takes around 6 hours to complete (3 hours each way). When it reaches Pluto. That times has gone up to 12 hours both ways (6 hours each way). There are also no spacecraft to handle communications between points in our solar system. So all communication has to go directly between Earth and the spacecraft in question. This makes communication often impossible or hard at best in some cases. NASA deep Space Network does good job at keeping contact with those spacecrafts that are out there today.
But for the future. It is my opinion that long term plan needs to be put into action to secure communications inside the solar system with future space mission. Regardless if they are inside the solar system or outside it. But one thing is sure. In the future, it is going to be necessary for the human race to send spacecrafts outside the solar system to make discoveries. What we might find may change the human race forever. It is simply not enough to explore space with telescopes today. Unmanned spacecrafts needs to be sent out there to explore while humans cannot do so directly. We need to know what is out there. Sooner being better then later for the human race.
I did see in the news that scientists where looking for radio signals from the star Gliese 581. While there might be habitable planet around this star. I doubt there is any civilization located there. The reason is not that any planet there might not host life. The reason is what it takes life manage to go up to sentient level. The energy output from an red dwarf star is in my opinion just too small to make it. Some of the red dwarf class are so low in energy output that it would not even melt ice at good distance from it’s star.
I also believe the question about habitable zone around star is more then it’s distance compared to how bright it is. It certainly plays it’s role. I do not doubt that. But if a planet is too close to it’s star. Gravity is too strong for life to survive. if it is too far way, the planet get’s too cold. Too close, the planet also has the risk of facing just one side towards the sun and leaving the other part of the planet in eternal darkness. Something that would make life impossible to develop to any major level.
It is my opinion that best chance of finding life is around stars that are similar or same type as our sun. The universe is big and full of surprises. So I am in no doubt that intelligent life exist where I now consider impossible.
This is a simple question. With no simple answer. Currently there are no evidence what so ever that aliens have ever visited planet Earth. But given how primitive human civilization is. It is not hard to imagine that aliens going past our solar system to ignore us, or just take long range scans. Be that from far away from the Earth or in a high orbit above the Earth where we can not detect them.
But as mysteries goes. This one is going to be solved one day. I not know yet if I am going to see that day. But one can hope do so.
The question can we hear aliens has an other side to it. That side is do alien hear our radio signals. This question has been asked and little bit answered also. It has been calculated how far out the radio signals go out from Earth in every direction. As the technology goes it does not look good for radio signal from Earth. Given the bandwidth that radio signal has to have to use in order to carry signals, as picture and audio to be detected.
In terms or radius on where our radio signals can be detected. I would not be surprised that common radio signals are not detected outside our own moon. The strongest one might be detected on Mars or even Jupiter. But beyond that they are not going to be detected in my option. So if aliens detect our radio signals, they are going to get rather close to Earth to do so.
This is might also be the reason why we here on Earth are not detecting any signals from other civilization. The transmission used on those worlds, if they are there to start with are not strong enough to reach our solar system. Our only chance of detecting alien signals might be to look for narrow band signals that can travel an long distance in interstellar space. But for us to find alien radio signals. We have to go out there and look for them the hard way.
There most likely is an alien civilization close to our own solar system. But we are just unaware of it due to the fact that we are unable to detect its radio signals due to distance. If they are present to start with. As not all alien civilization might be using radio signals, or be on that technical level yet.
During the night there was an M9 solar flare on the sun. This is almost an X-flare according to spacewatch.com. There is also an solar radiation storm heading it’s way to Earth at this moment. It is expected to be S3 in size. But that means that computer might reboot, mobile phones might get weaker signals and so on. A CME is expected to hit Earth tomorrow around 14:18 UTC.
More information on this can be found on Spaceweather.com. Both the progress of this solar radiation storm and updates on the CME. Solar storm weather scales can be viewed here.
I have found that in all the debate about possible life and possibility of an civilization out there. The main problems is that we do not know if the civilization out there is using any radio technology. Even if they do. The question also remains if we get any of there signals to Earth. As the laws of physics say, radio signals can only go so far given certain amount of signal strength in any given radius. This is the complex way of saying that we might not be getting any signals because we are outside the coverage area of the civilization that we are looking at. Some civilization out there might not even be on the radio level technology at current moment. Even if we are there at present time.
I do not know if SETI or related areas have looked at the stars (solstation.com) in less then 20 light years distance from Earth. There have been some speculations on the distance on how far away the signals need to be so they can be detected. But one thing is for sure in my mind. It is almost impossible to detect an radio signal from other civilization if they are using anything remote close to our own technology.
The question on passing ships is an big one. But then an one-off signal should be expected and it might not repeat at all. It is also impossible to know how and often alien ship would travel trough our own solar system.
This is all just questions that are going to be answered one day. But it might take few more decades until it this questions are answered.