At first, this article seems like a bit of a downer: Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies -- ScienceDaily. After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if … Continue reading Searching for advanced civilizations in other galaxies: 50 possible candidates found?
Sometimes it's amazing how much settled science, even something as longstanding as the size of our galaxy, can get called into question: The Milky Way May be 50 Percent Bigger Than Thought : Discovery News. A ring-like filament of stars wrapping around the Milky Way may actually belong to the galaxy itself, rippling above and below … Continue reading The Milky Way May be 50 Percent Bigger Than Thought
First, in case you haven't heard: 70,000 Years Ago, Another Star Flew by the Edge of the Solar System | RealClearScience. According to an international team of astronomers, about 70,000 years ago a red dwarf star -- nicknamed "Scholz’s star" for the astronomer who discovered it -- passed by our solar system just 0.8 light years … Continue reading A close pass by a red dwarf star, and a note on interplanetary and interstellar distances
At least, according to a couple of astrophysicists: Complex life may be possible in only 10% of all galaxies | Science/AAAS | News. The universe may be a lonelier place than previously thought. Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a … Continue reading Complex life in the universe may be much rarer than previously thought
Every so often you get a reminder of how little we know about the universe: Rogue stars outside galaxies may be everywhere | Science/AAAS | News. You’ve heard of rogue planets, floating through the universe untethered to any solar system. Now meet rogue stars, which drift through space with no galaxy to call home. A new … Continue reading Half the stars in the universe may exist outside of galaxies
I reported on this yesterday, but Nature has put out a video with more information that is well worth checking out. As a bonus, it demonstrates how to pronounce Laniakea! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENyyRwxpHo h/t Matthew Cobb at Why Evolution Is True
This is pretty cool: New Map Locates Milky Way in Neighborhood of 100,000 Galaxies. A new map of the Milky Way's cosmic neighborhood shows where our galaxy lives in relation to thousands of others nearby, with scientists giving the newly discovered "supercluster" of galaxies a name: Laniakea, which means "immeasurable heaven" in Hawaiian. Throughout the universe, … Continue reading Your cosmic address: The edge of the Laniakea supercluster
Corey Powell has an interesting post up on what he calls the Four Great Eras of Exploration. The first era was Galileo's discovery of the vastness of the universe, the second that stars were composed of chemical elements, and the third was Hubble's discovery of other galaxies. The fourth, and main topic of his post, … Continue reading You say multiverse, I say galaxies
Ethan Siegel has an excellent post up exploring the possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations. With hundreds of billions of stars (visible, above, in infrared wavelengths) in our galaxy alone, and literally trillions of planets around them, we have many, many chances for life to have evolved similarly to how it did here on Earth. With at … Continue reading The faster interstellar travel is, the further away intelligent aliens are
Machines Like Us and others linked to this cool video explaining why the solar system is flat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmNXKqeUtJM I'm not entirely sure the four dimensional stuff was necessary, although it was interesting. One thing to realize though, is that while the solar system is flat, it's not flat in the same orientation as other solar systems, … Continue reading Why is the solar system flat?