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          Post Doc Res Assoc - University of Wyoming - Laramie, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
Postdoctoral Position in Exoplanet Radial Velocity Measurement. Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in precision radial velocity...
From University of Wyoming - Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:48:30 GMT - View all Laramie, WY jobs
          Smart aliens might live within 33,000 light-years of Earth. A new study explains why we haven't found them yet.      Cache   Translate Page      

stars milky way galaxy person silhouette flashlight searching alien extraterrestrial life drake equation formula fermi paradox shutterstock_649309528

  • The universe has so many galaxies, stars, planets, and moons that many scientists believe intelligent aliens should exist within detectable range of Earth.
  • Still, human searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have yet to detect any alien signal or "technosignature."
  • A new study suggests this may be because we've searched just 0.00000000000000058% of a "cosmic haystack" in our hunt for an alien "needle."
  • There's no guarantee that exhaustive searches would ever find aliens, though.

The cosmos almost screams with the possibility of intelligent alien life.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies drift through the visible universe, each one harboring hundreds of billions of stars, and each of those stars in turn shelters roughly a handful of planets. Even if the trillion-or-so planets in every galaxy aren't habitable, countless water-rich moons orbiting these lifeless worlds might be.

And yet, in spite of these numbers, humans have yet to identify any signals from intelligent aliens. The prescient question that physicist Enrico Fermi posed in 1950 — "where is everybody?" — remains unanswered.

However, an upcoming study in The Astronomical Journal, which we learned about from MIT Technology Review, suggests humanity has barely sampled the skies, and thus has no grounds to be cynical.

According to the paper, all searches for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, have examined barely a swimming pool's worth of water from a figurative ocean of signal space.

"We haven't really looked much," Shubham Kanodia, a graduate student in astronomy who co-wrote the study, said during a NASA "technosignatures" workshop in Houston, Texas on September 26.

The study suggests that somewhere in that ocean of space — right now, within the Milky Way galaxy — intelligent aliens might be saying, "hello, we are here."

But we'd have no way of knowing, at least not yet.

Defining a 'cosmic haystack' in the search for aliens

alien spacecraft extraterrestrial propulsion lasers illustration m weiss cfa

Over the past 60 years, multiple SETI projects have looked and continue to look for alien signals. Some scan large swaths of the sky for powerful signals, while others target individual star systems for weaker signals.

Yet aside from a few anomaly signals that never repeated (like the "Wow!" detection of 1977), these searches have turned up empty-handed.

Kanodia and his colleagues at Penn State University wanted to know how much of the figurative "cosmic haystack" SETI projects have covered, and to what extent they could improve the hunt for the alien "needle."

The group agrees with famous SETI astronomer Jill Tarter, who said in 2010 that it's silly to conclude intelligent aliens do not exist nearby just because we haven't yet found their beacons. Even if such signals exist and are aimed right at Earth, her thinking goes, we've scanned so little of the sky and may not be looking for the right type of signal, or for long enough, to find them.

"Suppose I tell you there's a cool thing happening in Houston right now," Kanodia said during his NASA talk. "I do not tell you where it is. I do not tell you when it is happening. I do not tell you what it is. Is it in a book store? Is it a music concert? I give you absolutely no priors. It would be a difficult thing to try and find it."

He added: "Houston, we have a problem. We do not know what we're looking for ... and we don't know where to start."

milky way galaxy sun solar system earth location nasa labeled 2In their study, Kanodia and his colleagues built a mathematical model of what they consider a reasonably sized cosmic haystack.

Their haystack is a sphere of space nearly 33,000 light-years in diameter, centered around Earth. This region captures the Milky Way's bustling core, as well as many giant globular clusters of stars above and below our home galaxy.

They also picked eight dimensions of a search for aliens — factors like signal transmission frequency, bandwidth, power, location, repetition, polarization, and modulation (i.e. complexity) — and defined reasonable limits for each one.

"This leads to a total 8D haystack volume of 6.4 × 10116 m5Hz2 s/W," the authors wrote.

That is 6.4 followed by 115 zeros — as MIT Technology review described it, "a space of truly gargantuan proportions."

How much of this haystack have we searched?

allen telescope array ata seti institute

Kanodia and his colleagues then examined the past 60 years' worth of SETI projects and reconciled them against their haystack.

The researchers determined that humanity's collective search for extraterrestrials adds up to about 0.00000000000000058% of the haystack's volume.

"This is about a bathtub of water in all of Earth's oceans," Kanodia said. "Or about a five-centimeter-by-five-centimeter patch of land on all of Earth's surface area."

Those numbers make humanity's search efforts seem feeble. But Kanodia views it as an opportunity — especially because modern telescopes are getting better at scanning more objects with greater sensitivity and speed. For example, he said, a 150-minute search this year by the Murchison Widefield Array covered a larger percentage of the haystack than any other SETI project in history.

"That's the purpose of this haystack ... to help better-inform future search strategies," Kanodia said.

He also noted that the team's calculations assume there is only one alien civilization within range of Earth, and not any more than that. But more than one may exist relatively close by.

"In the ocean analogy, we do not have to drain the entire ocean to find a fish," he said. "In the Houston analogy, if there were two cool things, you wouldn't have to look as hard."

Still, there's no guarantee that a figurative fish or needle or cool thing is out there at all.

Another group of scientists, this one at Oxford University, recently took a different approach to the question of aliens. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of finding "technosignatures" that could be detected, they examined the likelihood that intelligent alien life exists at all.

The Oxford researchers examined dozens of authoritative studies about variables in the Drake Equation. The team then analyzed the results and calculated a bleak 2-in-5 chance that humans may be entirely alone in the Milky Way galaxy.

There's also a more unsettling possibility: Perhaps aliens do exist nearby but don't want us to find them.

SEE ALSO: 27 of the most iconic, jaw-dropping photos of the Earth and the moon from space

SEE ALSO: An alien hunter explains why extraterrestrial visitors are unlikely — despite the US government's UFO evidence

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'


          Smart aliens might live within 33,000 light-years of Earth. A new study explains why we haven't found them yet.      Cache   Translate Page      

stars milky way galaxy person silhouette flashlight searching alien extraterrestrial life drake equation formula fermi paradox shutterstock_649309528

  • The universe has so many galaxies, stars, planets, and moons that many scientists believe intelligent aliens should exist within detectable range of Earth.
  • Still, human searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have yet to detect any alien signal or "technosignature."
  • A new study suggests this may be because we've searched just 0.00000000000000058% of a "cosmic haystack" in our hunt for an alien "needle."
  • There's no guarantee that exhaustive searches would ever find aliens, though.

The cosmos almost screams with the possibility of intelligent alien life.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies drift through the visible universe, each one harboring hundreds of billions of stars, and each of those stars in turn shelters roughly a handful of planets. Even if the trillion-or-so planets in every galaxy aren't habitable, countless water-rich moons orbiting these lifeless worlds might be.

And yet, in spite of these numbers, humans have yet to identify any signals from intelligent aliens. The prescient question that physicist Enrico Fermi posed in 1950 — "where is everybody?" — remains unanswered.

However, an upcoming study in The Astronomical Journal, which we learned about from MIT Technology Review, suggests humanity has barely sampled the skies, and thus has no grounds to be cynical.

According to the paper, all searches for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, have examined barely a swimming pool's worth of water from a figurative ocean of signal space.

"We haven't really looked much," Shubham Kanodia, a graduate student in astronomy who co-wrote the study, said during a NASA "technosignatures" workshop in Houston, Texas on September 26.

The study suggests that somewhere in that ocean of space — right now, within the Milky Way galaxy — intelligent aliens might be saying, "hello, we are here."

But we'd have no way of knowing, at least not yet.

Defining a 'cosmic haystack' in the search for aliens

alien spacecraft extraterrestrial propulsion lasers illustration m weiss cfa

Over the past 60 years, multiple SETI projects have looked and continue to look for alien signals. Some scan large swaths of the sky for powerful signals, while others target individual star systems for weaker signals.

Yet aside from a few anomaly signals that never repeated (like the "Wow!" detection of 1977), these searches have turned up empty-handed.

Kanodia and his colleagues at Penn State University wanted to know how much of the figurative "cosmic haystack" SETI projects have covered, and to what extent they could improve the hunt for the alien "needle."

The group agrees with famous SETI astronomer Jill Tarter, who said in 2010 that it's silly to conclude intelligent aliens do not exist nearby just because we haven't yet found their beacons. Even if such signals exist and are aimed right at Earth, her thinking goes, we've scanned so little of the sky and may not be looking for the right type of signal, or for long enough, to find them.

"Suppose I tell you there's a cool thing happening in Houston right now," Kanodia said during his NASA talk. "I do not tell you where it is. I do not tell you when it is happening. I do not tell you what it is. Is it in a book store? Is it a music concert? I give you absolutely no priors. It would be a difficult thing to try and find it."

He added: "Houston, we have a problem. We do not know what we're looking for ... and we don't know where to start."

milky way galaxy sun solar system earth location nasa labeled 2In their study, Kanodia and his colleagues built a mathematical model of what they consider a reasonably sized cosmic haystack.

Their haystack is a sphere of space nearly 33,000 light-years in diameter, centered around Earth. This region captures the Milky Way's bustling core, as well as many giant globular clusters of stars above and below our home galaxy.

They also picked eight dimensions of a search for aliens — factors like signal transmission frequency, bandwidth, power, location, repetition, polarization, and modulation (i.e. complexity) — and defined reasonable limits for each one.

"This leads to a total 8D haystack volume of 6.4 × 10116 m5Hz2 s/W," the authors wrote.

That is 6.4 followed by 115 zeros — as MIT Technology review described it, "a space of truly gargantuan proportions."

How much of this haystack have we searched?

allen telescope array ata seti institute

Kanodia and his colleagues then examined the past 60 years' worth of SETI projects and reconciled them against their haystack.

The researchers determined that humanity's collective search for extraterrestrials adds up to about 0.00000000000000058% of the haystack's volume.

"This is about a bathtub of water in all of Earth's oceans," Kanodia said. "Or about a five-centimeter-by-five-centimeter patch of land on all of Earth's surface area."

Those numbers make humanity's search efforts seem feeble. But Kanodia views it as an opportunity — especially because modern telescopes are getting better at scanning more objects with greater sensitivity and speed. For example, he said, a 150-minute search this year by the Murchison Widefield Array covered a larger percentage of the haystack than any other SETI project in history.

"That's the purpose of this haystack ... to help better-inform future search strategies," Kanodia said.

He also noted that the team's calculations assume there is only one alien civilization within range of Earth, and not any more than that. But more than one may exist relatively close by.

"In the ocean analogy, we do not have to drain the entire ocean to find a fish," he said. "In the Houston analogy, if there were two cool things, you wouldn't have to look as hard."

Still, there's no guarantee that a figurative fish or needle or cool thing is out there at all.

Another group of scientists, this one at Oxford University, recently took a different approach to the question of aliens. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of finding "technosignatures" that could be detected, they examined the likelihood that intelligent alien life exists at all.

The Oxford researchers examined dozens of authoritative studies about variables in the Drake Equation. The team then analyzed the results and calculated a bleak 2-in-5 chance that humans may be entirely alone in the Milky Way galaxy.

There's also a more unsettling possibility: Perhaps aliens do exist nearby but don't want us to find them.

SEE ALSO: 27 of the most iconic, jaw-dropping photos of the Earth and the moon from space

SEE ALSO: An alien hunter explains why extraterrestrial visitors are unlikely — despite the US government's UFO evidence

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'


          Post Doc Res Assoc - University of Wyoming - Laramie, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
Postdoctoral Position in Exoplanet Radial Velocity Measurement. Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in precision radial velocity...
From University of Wyoming - Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:48:30 GMT - View all Laramie, WY jobs
          A quarter century into the exoplanet revolution      Cache   Translate Page      

In 1969, half a century ago, astronauts first landed on Earth’s sole moon. The first successful robotic landers touched down on the much more distant Venus and Mars in 1970 and 1976, respectively, and in the same decade spacecraft flybys provided the first, fleeting close-ups of Jupiter and Saturn. It was not until two decades […]

The post A quarter century into the exoplanet revolution appeared first on OUPblog.

        

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          Construction of Europe's exoplanet hunter Plato begins      Cache   Translate Page      
Construction of Europe's exoplanet hunter Plato begins#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000 Paris (ESA) Oct 05, 2018

The construction of ESA's Plato mission to find and study planets beyond our Solar System will be led by Germany's OHB System AG as prime contractor, marking the start of the full industrial phase of the project. The announcement was made this week at the 69th ... Reported by Space Daily 9 hours ago.
          What do we know about KELT-9b - the hottest planet ever discovered?      Cache   Translate Page      

Scientists have found a new exoplanet... that's the hottest ever discovered! Temperatures on the surface of KELT-9b reach over over 4300°C, making it almost as hot as our Sun! 

Dan chats to Josh Barker from the National Space Centre to find out all about it. 


          O céu (não) é o limite | O que está rolando na ciência e astronomia (09/10/2018)      Cache   Translate Page      

Que a gente é doido por ciência e astronomia, já não é nenhuma novidade. E tanto amor pelos avanços científicos faz com que a gente, toda terça-feira, prepare este especial com as principais notícias dessas áreas que estamparam o noticiário na última semana.

Vamos lá, que nesta semana tem bastante coisa boa:

Primeira mulher a ganhar Nobel de física em 55 anos

Donna Strickland é o nome da primeira mulher a receber o prêmio Nobel de física em 55 anos (somente três mulheres ganharam o prêmio em toda a história). Seu trabalho envolveu a descoberta de um método para criar pulsos de laser supercurtos e com alta densidade, revolucionando a forma como são feitas cirurgias nos olhos.

Ainda, o Nobel de química foi dividido entre três pesquisas vencedoras sobre evolução direcionada: Frances Arnold, do Instituto de Tecnologia da Califórnia; George Smith, da Universidade de Columbia; e Gregory Winter, do Laboratório de Biologia Molecular MRC do Reino Unido. Seus trabalhos independentes tinham como objetivo em comum a criação de novas moléculas criadas a partir de organismos vivos, que foram usadas para a criação de biocombustíveis menos nocivos para o planeta.

Seja bem-vindo ao Sistema Solar, "The Goblin"!

Em pleno ano de 2018, acabamos de descobrir um planeta-anão no Sistema Solar nunca antes observado: o The Goblin (ou TG387). O objeto está tão distante, que seu período de translação demora cerca de 40 mil anos, e ele está localizado bem depois de Plutão.

Sua descoberta reforça ainda mais a ideia de que o quase folclórico Planeta 9 (ou Planeta X) realmente existe, pois sua órbita, ao ser calculada em simulação computacional, indica que faz sentido existir um planeta naquela região, nos limites do Sistema Solar.

Imagem mostra a órbita do The Goblin em comparação com a de outros objetos do Sistema Solar (Imagem: Instituto de Ciência de Carnegie)

"Cirurgia cerebral" no rover Curiosity

O rover Curiosity, que foi lançado em 2011 e está em Marte desde então, precisou passar por uma cirurgia de emergência: a NASA precisou mudar a inteligência do robô para o "lado A" de seu cérebro, pois uma falha afetando o "lado B" estava impedindo a transmissão de dados para a Terra. O problema é que o tal lado A já apresentou falhas no passado e, por isso, toda a ação foi passada para o lado B (que agora está falhando).

Seria esta a primeira exolua já descoberta?

A busca por exoplanetas está só começando, e muito se especula sobre as exoluas — satélites naturais de planetas que orbitam outras estrelas além do Sol. Afinal, se no Sistema Solar quase todos os planetas têm luas ao seu redor, não há por que não pensar que o mesmo não aconteça em outros sistemas estelares.

Agora, pode ser que tenhamos descoberto a primeira exolua da história, orbitando o planeta Kepler-1625b, que está a oito mil anos-luz de distância. Se confirmado, a exolua deve ter o tamanho de Netuno, orbitando um planeta do tamanho de Júpiter.

Arte imagina como deve ser o exoplaneta e sua exolua (Imagen: Dan Durda)

Crateras lunares nomeadas em homenagem à Apollo 8

A missão Apollo 8, da NASA, foi a primeira a circum-navegar a Lua em 1968, com seus astronautas se tornando os primeiros da história a saírem da órbita da Terra. A missão também foi a primeira a ser transmitida ao vivo pela televisão e, por tudo isso, a Apollo 8 é lendária e deve ser homenageada — ainda que a Apollo 11, quando o ser humano colocou os pés na superfície lunar pela primeira vez, tenha ficado mais latente na memória popular.

Justamente por isso, a União Astronômica Internacional decidiu nomear duas crateras como 8 Homeward e Ander's Earhrise — esta última celebrando a lendária fotografia da Terra vista da Lua tirada pelo astronauta Bill Anders.

Aqui vemos exatamente quais são as crateras que agora homenageiam a Apolli 8, em cima da clássica foto de Anders (Imagem: IAU)

Hubble em apuros

Mais uma má notícia para a NASA: o telescópio espacial Hubble perdeu mais um de seus giroscópios, e precisou entrar em modo de segurança enquanto os técnicos tentam dar um jeitinho de mantê-lo em operação.

Os giroscópios são necessários para manter o equipamento apontando com estabilidade para um ponto do espaço por longos períodos e, dos seis giroscópios originais que regulam a localização em três eixos, apenas dois estão ativos no momento — o limite para o bom funcionamento são três. A agência espacial espera conseguir recuperar um dos giroscópios defeituosos para que o Hubble continue funcionando.

Voyager 2 saindo do Sistema Solar

Lançada há mais de 40 anos, a sonda Voyager 2 pode estar pertinho do limite entre o Sistema Solar e o espaço interestelar. Ela vem detectando um aumento gradual nos raios cósmicos (que se originam fora do nosso sistema), indicando que está mesmo perto de entrar no espaço profundo.

Sua sonda-irmã, a Voyager 1, foi o primeiro objeto construído pelo ser humano a sair do Sistema Solar, o que aconteceu em maio de 2012.

Show no céu com foguete da SpaceX

Mais um Falcon 9 foi lançado ao espaço pela SpaceX, desta vez carregando consigo o satélite SAOCOM 1A. Mas o que ficou marcado neste lançamento não foi somente que foi bem sucedido, com o primeiro estágio do foguete retornando com segurança à nova zona de pouso da companhia: a notícia, aqui, foi o espetáculo observado no céu californiano que você pode conferir abaixo nesse belíssimo registro fotográfico:

Foto em longa exposição (Foto: Trevor Mahlmann/ARSTechnica)

          Exoplanets: Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability      Cache   Translate Page      
John Mason / Science / 2013
          Científicos instan a la NASA a ampliar la búsqueda de vida en el espacio - El Nuevo Diario      Cache   Translate Page      

Expertos de las Academias Nacionales de Ciencias, Ingeniería y Medicina de EE.UU. (NASEM, en sus siglas en inglés) instaron hoy a la NASA a ampliar la búsqueda de vida en el espacio y abogaron por hacer de la astrobiología una parte integral de las misiones de la agencia espacial estadounidense.

"Estamos en un momento crítico para la exploración de vida en el universo; los descubrimientos y el desarrollo de tecnologías nos permiten oportunidades emocionantes en este campo", apuntó en una rueda de prensa en Washington la profesora de la Universidad de Toronto y miembro de las NASEM, Barbara Sherwood.

Las NASEM publicaron hoy un informe que apunta que para avanzar en la busca de vida en el universo, la NASA "debe apoyar la investigación en una gama más amplia de biomarcadores y entornos", en el contexto de sus misiones.

Los recientes avances científicos en el campo, de acuerdo a los autores, "brindan muchas oportunidades para fortalecer el papel de la astrobiología en las misiones de la NASA y aumentar la colaboración con otros campos científicos y organizaciones".

En este sentido, Sherwood aseguró que los programas y misiones de la NASA "deben reflejar un enfoque dedicado a la investigación y exploración de la habitabilidad en el subsuelo de los planetas".

También: NASA espera cooperar con Rusia para explorar la Luna y Marte

"A la luz de los recientes descubrimientos en la Tierra, Marte, los mundos oceánicos y los exoplanetas, el informe recomienda una perspectiva más amplia que incluye entornos subsuperficiales como objetivos para la búsqueda de vida", detalló.

Actualmente, diferentes estudios señalan que seis de cada diez estrellas tienen planetas similares a la Tierra. Archivo/END

En concreto, Sherwood consideró que las mediciones espectroscópicas y las misiones de imágenes de alto contraste permitirán, durante las próximas dos décadas, la caracterización de atmósferas de exoplanetas y la búsqueda de posibles biomarcadores para exoplanetas terrestres que orbitan estrellas enanas.

Lea además: Descubren estrella que es uno de los objetos más antiguos de la Vía Láctea

"Las estrategias de búsqueda exitosas para la vida deben integrar la idea de que la vida no tiene que ser como nosotros la conocemos", aseveró el investigador de la Institución Carnegie para la Ciencia, Alan Boss, también presente en la rueda de prensa.

En su intervención, Boss indicó que las estimaciones actuales de diferentes estudios señalan que seis de cada diez estrellas tienen planetas similares a la Tierra, un dato que sugiere también que la humanidad debe extender sus misiones para encontrar vida extraterrestre.

De interés: NASA cumple 60 años recordando su intención de volver a la Luna e ir a Marte

Las NASEM son instituciones privadas sin ánimo de lucro que desarrollan análisis "independientes y objetivos" y asesoran al Gobierno estadounidense en decisiones de políticas públicas relacionadas con la ciencia, la tecnología y la medicina, de acuerdo a su propia web


          El cementerio de los cacharros espaciales: cuatro misiones espaciales han tenido problemas en los últimos días       Cache   Translate Page      

El cementerio de los cacharros espaciales: cuatro misiones espaciales han tenido problemas en los últimos días #source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

“Es cierto. Ha sido un fin de semana muy estresante. Ahora mismo el HST [telescopio espacial Hubble] está en modo seguro mientras resolvemos qué hacer. Ha fallado otro giroscopio”, explicaba Rachel Osten, la directora científica del Telescopio Espacial Hubble. Hace unos meses, ni la NASA, ni la ESA sabían la que se les venía encima.

Porque en lo que llevamos de otoño, varias de las misiones espaciales más exitosas de los últimos años han tenido problemas. El Hubble, el Kepler, el Opportunity o el Curiosity arrastran problemas que hace presagiar que, por mucha pena que nos dé, se acaba una época de la exploración espacial.

La "astronomía espacial" tiene la vista cansada

hubble#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Efectivamente, este fin de semana, el Hubble entraba "en modo seguro" después del fallo de uno de los tres giratorios que quedaban operativos. Los giroscopios son herramientas esenciales para manejar el telescopio. Se trata de una especie de ruedas que giran a 19.200 revoluciones por minuto y permiten orientarlo y estabilizarlo mientras se toman las imágenes.

Originalmente el Hubble estaba equipado con seis de ellos, pero esta no es una situación insólita: entre 2005 y 2009, ya operó sólo con dos giroscopios antes de que un equipo de astronautas los sustituyera en 2009. “Sabíamos que iba a ocurrir. El último giroscopio duró seis meses más de lo que esperábamos”, escribió Rachel Osten ayer en otro tuit. “Trabajaremos en los problemas y estaremos de vuelta”.

Kepler Browse#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Mientras tanto, Kepler también lo estaba pasando mal. El observatorio espacial especialistas en exoplanetas está prácticamente sin combustible. El 3 de octubre, la NASA lo puso en hibernación mientras decidían qué hacer con él. iniciar otra campaña de observación es arriesgado porque, si el combustible se acaba, no podrían asegurar el satélite y perderían toda conexión con él.

A mediados de octubre, Kepler mandará los datos de la última campaña. Hay dudas sobre si servirán de algo o si los problemas de los motores los habrán hecho inservibles. Ese será el momento cuando se tome la decisión. Sea como sea, y aunque Hubble tiene pensado aguantar hasta 2021, el final de los dos grandes telescopios espaciales se ve en el horizonte.

En Puerto Marte y sin Hilda

opportunity#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Porque, muy lejos de allí, uno de los ordenadores de Curiosity, el rover del tamaño de un automóvil diseñado que explora el cráter Gale, está dando problemas. Desde el 15 de septiembre no puede almacenar información y eso impide registrar datos provenientes de sus instrumentos (o cualquier actividad que realice).

Por suerte, hay otro ordenador a bordo. Cuando se diseñó, se instalaron dos ordenadores capaces de controlar el rover para mantener siempre uno en reserva. En 2013, el Ordenador A ya falló y, como consecuencia perdió capacidad de memoria, pero en principio se encuentra en perfectas condiciones para continuar la misión.

curiosity#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

El que no se encuentra es el Opportunity. Después de tres meses en la oscuridad bajo una descomunal tormenta de polvo, la NASA lleva desde el 11 de septiembre intentando reanimarlo. Sin éxito. Los intentos de recuperación (por distintos mecanismos y estrategias) están planificados hasta enero del año que viene, pero cada día que pasa la esperanza se va diluyendo.

¿El final de una época?

dfdfdf#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

El Opportunity estaba diseñado para aguantar 90 días en suelo marciano y lleva 14 años. El Hubble lleva casi 30 años allá arriba enseñándonos las entrañas del Universo. Si algo ha demostrado la exploración espacial es una capacidad para seguir adelante realmente sorprendente.

Pero sí, como os contábamos la semana pasada, la siguiente generación de grandes misiones ya está en marcha; lleva en marcha años. Eso no significa que el resto se jubilen (ojalá el Opportunity nos de otros 14 años de gloria), pero sí que el futuro se está convirtiendo en un lugar terriblemente emocionante.

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El Hubble encuentra indicios de la que puede ser la primera luna fuera del Sistema Solar

Opportunity versus Curiosity: un cara a cara de los rovers de la NASA repasando su exploración de Marte

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La noticia El cementerio de los cacharros espaciales: cuatro misiones espaciales han tenido problemas en los últimos días fue publicada originalmente en Xataka por Javier Jiménez .


          Vesta, Tell Us About the Childhood of the Solar System      Cache   Translate Page      
Rome, Italy (SPX) Oct 10, 2018
Investigating the earliest and least known phases of the history of the solar system, when the young Sun was still enveloped by the disk of gas and dust where its planets began to form, is probably one of the most complex challenges in modern planetary science. The celestial bodies formed at the time that survived intact to now are few and in the majority of cases their "memory" of the anc
          Construction of Europe's exoplanet hunter Plato begins      Cache   Translate Page      
Paris (ESA) Oct 05, 2018
The construction of ESA's Plato mission to find and study planets beyond our Solar System will be led by Germany's OHB System AG as prime contractor, marking the start of the full industrial phase of the project. The announcement was made this week at the 69th International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, where the contract was formally signed. The contract covers the deli
          National Academies Call for More Astrobiology at NASA      Cache   Translate Page      

This post is adapted from a press release from the National Academies:

NASEM Logo

To advance the search for life in the universe, NASA should support research on a broader range of biosignatures and environments and incorporate the field of astrobiology into all stages of future exploratory missions, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Astrobiology, the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe, is a rapidly changing field, especially in the years since the publication of NASA's Astrobiology Strategy 2015. Recent scientific advances in the field now provide many opportunities to strengthen the role of astrobiology in NASA missions and to increase collaboration with other scientific fields and organizations. The report finds that these changes necessitate an updated science strategy for astrobiology.

The committee that authored the report found that the lines of evidence we use to look for current and past life on Earth and beyond, called biosignatures, needs expansion. An updated, more sophisticated catalog and framework will be important to enhance our ability to detect both life that might be similar to terrestrial life, and potential life that differs from life as we know it. The latter will be enabled by investigating novel "agnostic" biosignatures — signs of life that are not tied to a particular metabolism or molecular "blueprint," or other characteristics of life as we currently know it.

A comprehensive framework could also aid in distinguishing between biosignatures and abiotic (non-living) phenomena, and improve understanding of the potential for biosignatures to be preserved (or not) over long planetary time-scales. The report highlights the need to include in situ detection of energy-starved or otherwise sparsely distributed life such as chemolithotrophic or rock-eating life. In particular, the report found that NASA should focus on research and exploration of possible life below the surface of a planet in light of recent advances that have demonstrated the breadth and diversity of life below Earth's surface, the nature of fluids beneath the surface of Mars, and the likelihood of life-sustaining geological processes in planets and moons with subsurface oceans. A renewed focus on how to seek signs of subsurface life will inform astrobiology investigations of other rocky planets or moons, ocean or icy worlds, and beyond to exoplanets.

The report emphasizes the need for NASA to ramp up efforts in developing mission-ready life detection technologies to advance the search for life. For studies of life on planets outside of this solar system, the agency should implement technologies in near-term ground- and space-based direct imaging missions that can suppress the light from stars. The specialized measurements, equipment, and analysis required to take full advantage of space missions include some that exist outside of traditional space science fields, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary, non-traditional cooperation and collaboration with organizations outside of NASA, the report says.

So far, planning, implementation, and operations of planetary exploration missions with astrobiological objectives have tended to be more strongly defined by geological perspectives than by astrobiology-focused strategies. The committee recommended the integration of astrobiology into all mission stages, from inception to development and operations. Collaboration with private, philanthropic, and international organizations, especially international space agencies, is also crucial to achieving the objectives of searching for life in the universe.

The committee also pointed out that adopting an interdisciplinary approach to astrobiology would produce a more complete picture of life on Earth as well as other planets. Integrating the physical, chemical, biological, geologic, planetary, and astrophysical sciences into the study of astrobiology will better show the relationship between life and its environment and how each changes, incorporating a new, dynamic view of habitability that includes consideration of multiple parameters. NASA should continue to actively seek new mechanisms to reduce the barriers to these potential collaborations, the report says.

The study was sponsored by NASA. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.


          Stehen die Bahnebenen von Exoplaneten und die unseres Sonnensystems in irgendeinem Bezug zur Ebene der Galaxie?      Cache   Translate Page      
(10. Oktober 2018)
          GeekList Item: Item for Geeklist "The Essen 2018 no-shipping auction list. Post your own items for sale!"       Cache   Translate Page      

by Goateh

An item Board Game: Exoplanets has been added to the geeklist The Essen 2018 no-shipping auction list. Post your own items for sale!


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