Astrophysicist Asks: "Did A Solar-System-Wide Cataclysm Erase Evidence of a Prior Space-Faring Species?"

 

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One of the primary open questions of astrobiology is whether there is extant or extinct life elsewhere the Solar System. Some scientists such as Penn State astrophysicist Jason Wright, a member of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, have considered the possibility that a technological species could have existed in the Solar System prior to humanity's rise on Earth.

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Star Trek's William Shatner Narrates NASA Langley Research Center Documentary (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

 

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Star Trek's" mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before is symbolized by captain William Shatner who narrates a new 45-minute documentary about NASA's Langley Research Center, which celebrates 100 years of solving "fundamental problems of flight" this year, according to the agency.

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Mind-Boggling Discovery in Australia, 'The Land 'Down Under' --"Could Forever Alter the Timeline of Human Migration"

 

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As the "Land Down Under," Australia is an island continent, so ancient visitors would have to arrived by sea, a long way from where humans first evolved in Africa. Migration to Australia would have required some remarkable ingenuity. Archaeologists have uncovered new evidence that could push the date of human habitation in Australia possibly as far as 80,000 years ago. The findings, that involve ancient tools and artifacts unearthed from Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory, suggest people crossed over from south Asia at a time that was cooler and wetter, with lower sea levels allowing easier sea crossings.

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There are 20 Yellow Dwarf Stars With Planets Like Our Sun Nearby --"We're Looking for Oxygen"

 

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"We are going to be the generation that is remembered for finding exoplanets. That's a fact," said Mercedes López-Morales from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics. "Are we going to be also the generation that will be remembered as the first ones who found life on those planets?"

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The Cosmos is One Big Particle Accelerator --"Paves the Way For a New Physics" (Center for Astrophysics)

 

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Physicists are capitalizing on a direct connection between the largest cosmic structures and the smallest known objects to use the universe as a "cosmological collider" and investigate new physics. The cosmos' tiniest particles and the distribution of matter across the vast universe occupy opposite ends of the scale spectrum, but they're not unrelated.

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Colossal Ring of Galaxies Discovered Expanding Like a 'Mini Big Bang' --"Could Force a New Understanding of Gravity" (Today's Most Popular)

 

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Einstein's theory of gravity may have to be rewritten, after researchers at the University of St Andrews  found a gigantic ring of galaxies darting away from us much faster than predicted. This 10 million light year-wide ring made up of small galaxies is expanding rapidly like a mini Big Bang. The team believes our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (above), once flew past our own galaxy at close range, creating a sling-shot of several small galaxies.

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StarTalk Radio: "The Water Universe" --The Core of a Galaxy was Recently Discovered To Harbor 140 Trillion Times the Water in Earth's Oceans

 

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We recently reported on an enormous galaxy that at its core contains an equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world's ocean, surrounding a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.

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First Contact --"Nine Ways We Might Discover and Interact With an Alien Civilization" (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

 

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Today's Galaxy Steam features two videos. The first from Isaac Arthur on the possibilities of first contact with an advanced civilization and the second featuring astronomers Martin Rees (see interview below) and Seth Shostak on the search for intelligent life.

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China's First "Black Hole" Space Telescope --"Open to the World's Scientists"

 

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China's Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named Huiyan (‘Insight’), launched atop a Long March 4B launch vehicle on Thursday, 15 June, is expected to start regular observation in November and its data will be open to scientists around the world. The 2.5-ton Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), dubbed Insight, transmitted to a ground station its first data on its second day in orbit via a trio of detectors that will help scientists better understand the evolution of black holes and the strong magnetic fields and interiors of pulsars and neutron stars.

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NASA's Neutron-Star Mission Begins Science Operations On the ISS

 

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NASA's new Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission to study the densest observable objects in the universe has begun science operations. Launched June 3 on an 18-month mission, NICER will help scientists understand the nature of the densest stable form of matter located deep in the cores of neutron stars using X-ray measurements.

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