UFO Buster Radio News – 279: The Saturday ”Live Special” And Recap Of Rogan Fravor Interview
Chilean astrophysicists on alien life, Mars and space exploration
In the Atacama Desert, the world’s two largest telescopes – the ELT and the Giant Magellan – are under construction. When complete, they will provide direct views of planets in other solar systems. This will be an astronomical first.
Celestial objects have been observed and studied since the beginning of time. The planets and stars have helped human beings understand the cosmos, the way it functions, and its impact on our lives. Since Galileo Galilei became the first astronomer to use a telescope for his observations in the 17th century, humanity has devised newer and better ways to study the universe.
But what will these new facilities help us to discover? How will they change the way we look at our universe? And will they help answer the one question many are curious about: Is there extraterrestrial life?
“Life is there, potentially, in the whole universe. And when it arrives in a place where you know it’s comfortable and can be developed, it does,” says Chilean astrophysicist Dr Maria Teresa Ruiz.
“Although we have no evidence, I would find it very, extremely strange that we would be the only ones in the universe. There are so many, so many stars, so many planets around them. I’m sure there could be life in many of them.”
Ruiz is known for discovering the brown dwarf star system named Kelu-1, a sub star located in constellation Hydra, approximately 61 light-years away from earth. She is a pioneer, the first woman to have received a doctorate from Princeton University, and the first woman to receive Chile’s national prize for exact sciences.
She says the advanced telescopes will help study the atmospheres of distant planets, to search for traces of oxygen or other indicators of life.
“When you see the universe through these big eyes, you are going to see something nobody else has seen before … Often the case is what you see, the unknown, is the most interesting thing; something you cannot predict. It’s like opening a window to the unknown,” she says.
Dr Jose Maza Sancho also believes in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even if not necessarily always intelligent life.
“There are eight million forms of life on earth. Most of them are bacteria, but bacteria is a form of life,” he says. “My suspicion is that at the very least there are 100 billion places in the universe with life.”
However, he adds: “But from one galaxy to the next, [for example] a big galaxy like the Andromeda galaxy, the distance is more than two million light-years. If you say ‘hello, are you there?’ in two million years your message will reach Andromeda. And if they say ‘yes, we’re here, what do you want?’ another two million years for the message to return.”
NASA launches satellite to explore mysterious region where air meets space
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA launched a satellite on Thursday night to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.
The satellite — called Icon, short for Ionospheric Connection Explorer — rocketed into orbit following a two-year delay. It was dropped from a plane flying over the Atlantic off the Florida coast.
Five seconds after the satellite’s release, the attached Pegasus rocket ignited, sending Icon on its way.
The ionosphere is the charged part of the upper atmosphere extending several hundred miles up. It’s in constant flux as space weather bombards it from above and Earth weather from below, sometimes disrupting radio communications.
“This protected layer, it’s the top of our atmosphere. It’s our frontier with space,” said NASA’s heliophysics division director, Nicola Fox.
The more scientists know, the better spacecraft and astronauts can be protected in orbit through improved forecasting.
The refrigerator-size Icon satellite will study the airglow formed from gases in the ionosphere and also measure the charged environment right around the 360-mile-high (580-kilometer-high) spacecraft.
“It’s a remarkable physics laboratory,” said principal scientist Thomas Immel of the University of California, Berkeley, which is overseeing the two-year mission. He added: “Icon goes where the action is.”
A NASA satellite launched last year, Gold, is also studying the upper atmosphere, but from much higher up. More missions are planned in coming years to study the ionosphere, including from the International Space Station.
Ionosphere: The ionosphere is the ionized part of Earth’s upper atmosphere, from about 60 km to 1,000 km altitude, a region that includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere. The ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation.
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