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Anthropocene era: Humans changed the Earth’s geology by setting off atomic bombs in 1945 January 17, 2015

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Anthropocene era: Humans changed the Earth’s geology by setting off atomic bombs in 1945.

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Why haven’t we encountered aliens yet? The answer could be climate change | IFLScience January 11, 2015

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Enrico Fermi, when asked about intelligent life on other planets, famously replied, “Where are they?” Any civilisation advanced enough to undertake interstellar travel would, he argued, in a brief period of cosmic time, populate its entire galaxy. Yet, we haven’t made any contact with such life. This has become the famous “Fermi Paradox”.

Various explanations for why we don’t see aliens have been proposed – perhaps interstellar travel is impossible or maybe civilisations are always self-destructive. But with every new discovery of a potentially habitable planet, the Fermi Paradox becomes increasingly mysterious. There could be hundreds of millions of potentially habitable worlds in the Milky Way alone.

via Why haven’t we encountered aliens yet? The answer could be climate change | IFLScience.

Skeptic » Reading Room » A Tribute to Carl Sagan: Carl Sagan & Edward Teller January 8, 2015

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Skeptic » Reading Room » A Tribute to Carl Sagan: Carl Sagan & Edward Teller.

Addicting Info – Astrophysicist Writes Brutal Response To WSJ Article Claiming Science Has Proven God Exists January 5, 2015

Posted by sandyclaus in Atheism, Drake Revisited.
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Eric Metaxas is best known as a biographical writer, but he is also lauded (in conservative circles) for his work promoting the pro-life movement and making sweeping, outrageous conclusions about the existence of God based on whatever tenuous evidence seems handy at the time. If sweeping, outrageous conclusions be Metaxas bread-and-butter, than his Wall Street Journal article is perhaps his magnum opus. It’s a doozy.

via Addicting Info – Astrophysicist Writes Brutal Response To WSJ Article Claiming Science Has Proven God Exists.

Cambridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing – Mic August 29, 2014

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“In the beginning we had hoped to find one reaction or two maybe, but the results were amazing,” said Ralser. “We could reconstruct two metabolic pathways almost entirely.”If these metabolic pathways were occurring in the absence of RNA in conditions rich with iron and other metals and phosphate, it seems increasingly likely that life could have literally started from nothing and spontaneously formed in ways until now believed impossible. So what? “I think this paper has really interesting connotations for the origins of life,” says Matthew Powner at University College London. “For origins of life, it is important to understand where the source molecules come from.”

via Cambridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing – Mic.

Stanley Miller’s Forgotten Experiments, Analyzed – Astrobiology July 14, 2014

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In the new study, scientists analyzed samples from an experiment Miller performed in 1958. To the reaction flask, Miller added a chemical that at the time wasn’t widely thought to have been available on early Earth. The reaction had successfully formed peptides, the new study found. The new study also successfully replicated the experiment and explained why the reaction works.

via Stanley Miller’s Forgotten Experiments, Analyzed – Astrobiology.

Leading Space Experts to Discuss the Search for Life Beyond Earth – Astrobiology July 14, 2014

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Space and ground observatories are cataloging and characterizing hundreds and what is expected to eventually be thousands of potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy. NASA space-based observatories are making unprecedented new discoveries. The agency’s next step, the James Webb Space Telescope Webb telescope, will continue to help scientists rewrite scientific textbooks after its scheduled launch in 2018.

via Leading Space Experts to Discuss the Search for Life Beyond Earth – Astrobiology.

ASP: The Drake Equation: 50 Years of Giving Direction to the Scientific Search for Life Beyond Earth June 29, 2014

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The Drake Equation: 50 Years of Giving Direction to the Scientific Search for Life Beyond EarthBy Sarah Scoles and Sue Ann Heatherly National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryDownload this issue as a PDF file | Subscribe to The Universe in the Classroom Send the URL for this issue to a friend | UITC HomeIntroductionWhat does each part mean?What did Frank Drake know about the parts? What do we know?What is the value of the Drake Equation to students?ResourcesClassroom ActivitiesTucked in between two Appalachian mountain ridges in eastern West Virginia, you’ll find the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Green Bank observatory, home to one of the largest and most advanced radio telescopes on Earth. But that’s not all. Green Bank is the first and oldest site of this national research center, and given that radio astronomy is a young science, this is where the history is.

via ASP: The Drake Equation: 50 Years of Giving Direction to the Scientific Search for Life Beyond Earth.

B612 Foundation | B612 Foundation April 20, 2014

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NOVA’s Asteroids: Doomsday or Payday? B612 Foundation’s Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart, and Sentinel Program Manager John Troeltzsch give in-depth insights into the asteroid challenge and how we can solve it with Sentinel.

via B612 Foundation | B612 Foundation.

Earth-sized planet dubbed Kepler-186f may be best hope for life – The Denver Post April 18, 2014

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Earth-sized planet dubbed Kepler-186f may be best hope for life – The Denver Post.