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midtskogen
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02 Sep 2020 14:22

To put it in perspective: The Earth disc makes up 0.00286% of the Earth-Moon disc, so any asteroid coming within the Moon's orbit has a very low probability of hitting Earth.
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14 Sep 2020 08:03

Phosphine detected in the clouds of Venus, a possible signature of life?



https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1174-4.pdf
 
A-L-E-X
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14 Sep 2020 09:01

exciting, time to bring out the champagne Wat!

https://twitter.com/alfonslopeztena/sta ... 4752637952

If life can exist on the green house hellhole that is Venus, we are perfectly fine even if we burn all the carbon on the planet, right? ;-)  lol, I'm kidding of course

But this is exciting, if life can exist on Venus, it can exist anywhere.

Could you imagine how great it would be if we would detect any signs of life, however microscopic, on both Venus AND Mars?  Huge implications for life elsewhere in the galaxy, let alone universe.
 
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14 Sep 2020 09:37

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post exciting, time to bring out the champagne Wat!

https://twitter.com/alfonslopeztena/sta ... 4752637952

"The detection of a gas in Venus’ atmosphere containing the chemical phosphine leads scientists to assert that something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source"

That is not what they are asserting. Please understand this, for the difference is subtle, yet crucial, and it is too often the cause of misleading clickbait.

What they are claiming is that they detected phosphine (with high confidence), at levels which current understanding of atmospheric chemistry cannot explain for Venus. So there is a small chance the detection or derived concentration level of phosphine on Venus is an error, or there is some crazy not-yet-understood atmospheric chemistry happening that makes their modelling erroneous (which would be a useful discovery in and of itself), or there really is life there making it, and if that's the case then it remains to be proven by further measurements.
 
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14 Sep 2020 11:40

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post exciting, time to bring out the champagne Wat!

https://twitter.com/alfonslopeztena/sta ... 4752637952

"The detection of a gas in Venus’ atmosphere containing the chemical phosphine leads scientists to assert that something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source"

That is not what they are asserting. Please understand this, for the difference is subtle, yet crucial, and it is too often the cause of misleading clickbait.

What they are claiming is that they detected phosphine (with high confidence), at levels which current understanding of atmospheric chemistry cannot explain for Venus. So there is a small chance the detection or derived concentration level of phosphine on Venus is an error, or there is some crazy not-yet-understood atmospheric chemistry happening that makes their modelling erroneous (which would be a useful discovery in and of itself), or there really is life there making it, and if that's the case then it remains to be proven by further measurements.

Yes, of course, I thought that was implied by his post.  There are nonbiological sources for phosphine, mainly in gas giants, but none yet so far identified for rocky planets like Venus.  I honestly dont consider this a huge deal, because microbial life can be fairly common throughout the universe.  Decades ago we conducted experiments showing that the basic building blocks of life only need a few fairly common ingredients (water, CO2, nitrogen and lightning, if I remember correctly.)  Biology is just a subset of chemistry, not something magical.  Of course we need to send a probe there to confirm this, because they haven't actually detected microbial life, just a chemical signature.
 
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14 Sep 2020 11:48

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I honestly dont consider this a huge deal, because microbial life can be fairly common throughout the universe.

We do not know that however, so the first discovery would be a pretty big deal, much like how the first exoplanet discoveries were a big deal even though we were quite confident they are common out there. :) What's particularly exciting is that this is our next-door neighbor world which we can quickly and easily access it for further study, and for being such an exotic form of potential life in such an extreme environment. (Phosphine producing anaerobic life exists on Earth, but we don't even fully understand it yet.)
 
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14 Sep 2020 12:11

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I honestly dont consider this a huge deal, because microbial life can be fairly common throughout the universe.

We do not know that however, so the first discovery would be a pretty big deal, much like how the first exoplanet discoveries were a big deal even though we were quite confident they are common out there. :) What's particularly exciting is that this is our next-door neighbor world which we can quickly and easily access it for further study, and for being such an exotic form of potential life in such an extreme environment. (Phosphine producing anaerobic life exists on Earth, but we don't even fully understand it yet.)

I re-read his tweet and saw where he made the erroneous assumption lol, they haven't discovered life (yet), just a chemical signature that could possibly be from life.  I had clicked on the New York Times link in his thread without reading his caption.  The astrobiology field seems to be pretty excited, but taking a "wait and see attitude" at the same time.  I guess they remember when such a finding for Mars was announced several years ago and it never panned out.  Maybe the new Mars rover will be able to find something there.
Wat, one of my Twitter correspondents mentioned panspermia, what do you think about that?  Do you think it's possible that life from here may somehow have made it to Venus?  (Or- maybe even vice versa?  I've heard this possibility mentioned in reference to Mars but never Venus, even though it's closer.  I guess the conditions there are so extreme no one thought of the possibility of life there once they figured out how hot it was and what the atmospheric makeup is- sulfuric acid!)
 
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14 Sep 2020 12:17

I had to did a bit in the old forums.  Back in 2012 I wrote that I think life on Venus is more likely than on Mars (but I'd still say probably no life on either).  Mars is overrated, also for human settlements.  Floating settlements in Venus' atmosphere still sound better as a permanent thing than bases on Mars for a number of reasons.  It's technically harder though.  We can build stuff on Mars now, but we're a long way from constructing a settlement on Venus.

So how long now before SpaceX goes to Venus?  You know, Musk's plan for Mars is a cover story.  He wants to make sure that nobody goes to Venus before him.  He knows how Roald Amundsen planned his south pole expedition.
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14 Sep 2020 12:23

 
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14 Sep 2020 12:28

midtskogen wrote:
I had to did a bit in the old forums.  Back in 2012 I wrote that I think life on Venus is more likely than on Mars (but I'd still say probably no life on either).  Mars is overrated, also for human settlements.  Floating settlements in Venus' atmosphere still sound better as a permanent thing than bases on Mars for a number of reasons.  It's technically harder though.  We can build stuff on Mars now, but we're a long way from constructing a settlement on Venus.

So how long now before SpaceX goes to Venus?  You know, Musk's plan for Mars is a cover story.  He wants to make sure that nobody goes to Venus before him.  He knows how Roald Amundsen planned his south pole expedition.

well it depends on what kind of life you are talking about, microbial life can exist in some very extreme conditions.
did you know that lichen can exist on the outside of the ISS?  I found that amazing!
 
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midtskogen
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14 Sep 2020 13:23

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post did you know that lichen can exist on the outside of the ISS?

Exist maybe, but not grow, even less evolve.
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15 Sep 2020 06:25

Probably not, but because of the simple origins of microbial life, I believe that could be fairly common throughout the universe, but probably not multicellular life.  Even on earth it took billions of years for the jump to occur from unicellular to multicellular life.
 
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02 Oct 2020 04:52

The space industry in the world is developing at a great speed. Now we are able to observe the sky from every part of the world and even book a ticket for space flight. Some companies even announced the approximate price of that ticket. In the UK space industry begins to develop. It represents a new breed of private rocket companies developing the next generation of launch vehicles for the burgeoning small satellite market https://www.skyrora.com/.
 
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07 Oct 2020 14:48

In the news it was mentioned that underground saltwater ponds may have been discovered on Mars.


BTW Mars is at its nearest to Earth until 2035 and is just to the right of the Harvest moon in the east (which will become the Hunter moon for the very rare blue moon on Halloween night!)

Astronomers have discovered two dozen "superhabitable planets" that are even better for life than earth is, but they are all at least 100 LY away.

Is there any way to identify these 24 exoplanets in Space Engine?  I want to see how they've been rendered.

https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/ ... ars%20away

https://newatlas.com/space/two-dozen-ex ... dentified/

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2161

https://news.wsu.edu/2020/10/05/planets ... ife-earth/
 
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16 Oct 2020 08:11

This article includes a list of some of the exoplanets thought to be "superhabitable"

https://www.livescience.com/superhabita ... earth.html

Pretty big news- a room temperature superconductor has just been created at 59F (15C) using a mixture of carbon, sulfur and hydrogen as well as the ability to find others like it?  What are the implications for this in renewable energy storage and transportation across large distances without loss or resistance?

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