An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: solar system (Page 1 of 2)

Microfossils and Biomolecules in Meteorites – Dr. Richard B. Hoover

Microfossils and Biomolecules in Meteorites – Dr. Richard B. Hoover

This video by Dr. Richard B. Hoover points at why I am so interested in meteorites. Imagine if Dr. Hoover is correct and that life pervades the universe, or even lets say a large galaxy and/or group of galaxies. This is a viable outcome of nature and follows from simple exponential growth given a time span on a scale of billions of years. As long as life has evolved to be able to travel the vast distances between stars this is a simple and interesting hypothesis. But we are of course mostly interested in complex life — we are scanning right now for complex information signals in all numbers of frequencies when all we have to do is study the meteorites already in our possession. If the universe is filled with single cell life forms, it would suggest that the potential of life to manifest itself in form/energy/matter such as humans or dinosaurs, etc.. exists as a latent potential throughout the region of the universe inhabited by these life forms. And complex life arises almost immediately when a new planet or moon with suitable conditions arises. This would basically be the answer to the Drake Equation. It is highly likely that there are other complex lifeforms. We now would feel confident to search for complex life signatures because we know now that the universe is filled with simple life and primitive multicelluar life like trilobites, dinosaurs, mammals, etc… So now the ultimate question would seem to be where did the first evolution of these organisms arise? In our galaxy? the Andromeda galaxy? Where exactly are Earth’s lifeforms on this larger tree of life? Reality is starting to seem like something out of a science fiction book.

Note, I have been photographing meteorites in cross polarized light for the past few years; including CO type meteorites. You can see my work at Solar Anamnesis.

3D Map of Local Stellar Neighborhood

Randomly ran across this really cool 3D map of the Local Stellar Neighborhood created with three.js.

Chang’e 3 Lander Pictures

Great pictures of the Moon from Chinese lander:

Fun with a new data set: Chang’e 3 lander and Yutu rover camera data

Rocks from Space: Meteorites and Meteorite Hunters by O. Richard Norton

Rocks from Space: Meteorites and Meteorite Hunters by O. Richard Norton provides an easy to read and informative glance at the conceptual and scientific history of meteorites. It also explains the basic ideas regarding the classification of meteorites.

It is surprising to me that man’s awareness of meteorites as being “rocks from space” is relatively recent (early 1900’s). There have been numerous “witnessed falls” throughout written history; however, the association of these heavenly phenomena (meteors) with solid iron and rocky objects was almost non-existent. Instead they were commonly regarded as apparitions much like rainbows. This explains the existence of several English words which are all related to these objects, their atmospheric interaction and their final discovery as a rock like object — i.e., a meteoroid becomes a meteor which becomes a meteorite. The realization that meteors are formed by space rocks began the “meteorite rush.”

The search for specimens was initially done by a small group of people, and in some cases a single man, Harvey Nininger; Nininger was as American meteorite pioneer in the early/middle part of the 20th century. He raised awareness and spent his entire life devoted to meteorite hunting and study. After Nininger, Robert Haag became the most widely known meteorite hunter and collector in America. Now scientific teams and other meteorite hunters all over the world are providing vast numbers of finds in the Antarctic and in various deserts spanning the globe.

Perfect Disaster: Solar Storms – Discovery Channel Curiosity Series

The belief that modern civilization relies too heavily on the electron can be justified by understanding the power of a Coronal Mass Ejection or even a strong solar flare. Discovery Curiosity’s show, Perfect Disaster: Solar Storms, explains the consequences of such an event on society. The show, although not providing many technical details about these storms, contains some neat “up close” visuals of the sun.
Watch on YouTube here.
Watch on Amazon here.

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