Category Archives: Space

What’s at the edge of the universe?

Gizmodo has an interesting article that someone asked my thoughts on.  Part of their “Giz asks” series, it asks various physicists what’s at the edge of the universe?  The physicists polled include Sean Carroll, Jo Dunkley, Jessie Shelton, Michael Troxel, … Continue reading

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Why faster than light travel is inevitably also time travel

I’ve always loved space opera, but when I was growing up, as I learned more about science, I discovered that a lot of the tropes in space opera are problematic.  Space operas, to tell adventure stories among the stars, often … Continue reading

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The difficulty of going to Mars

There’s been a lot of celebration this holiday season of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, the first time humans went into (relatively) deep space and orbited another body, the moon.  I’m glad to see Apollo 8 getting … Continue reading

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SETI vs the possibility of interstellar exploration

Science News has a short article discussing a calculation someone has done showing how small the volume of space examined by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is relative the overall size of the galaxy. With no luck so far in … Continue reading

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The extraordinary low probability of intelligent life

Marc Defant gave a TEDx talk on the improbable events that had to happen in our planet’s history for us to eventually evolve, along with the implications for other intelligent life in the galaxy. I find a lot to agree … Continue reading

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The difficulty of interstellar travel for humans

Futurism.com has an article reviewing the results of a survey they conducted with their readers asking when the first human might leave the solar system.  The leading answer was after the year 2100, which make sense given our current level … Continue reading

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97% of the observable universe is forever unreachable

The other day, I was reading a post by Ethan Siegel on his excellent blog, Starts With a Bang, about whether it makes sense to consider the universe to be a giant brain.  (The short answer is no, but read … Continue reading

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Why alien life will probably be engineered life

Martin Rees has an interesting article at Nautilus: When We Find Aliens, We Might Find Something Like the Borg This September, a team of astronomers noticed that the light from a distant star is flickering in a highly irregular pattern.1 They considered … Continue reading

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NASA has never accidentally sent a probe into the Sun.

Last week, I was having lunch with some friends, which included a number of programmers.  One of them mentioned an old urban myth, that I hadn’t heard in several years, which claims that, due to a programming bug (involving a misplaced semicolon), NASA once … Continue reading

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The problems with ensuring humanity’s survival with space colonies

Stephen Hawking, as he has done before, expresses a common sentiment, that we need to colonize space in order to survive. Humans should go and live in space within the next 1,000 years, or it will die out, Stephen Hawking … Continue reading

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