Sci Tech News: The core of the earth is as hot as the sun. Life began ten billion years ago and eventually hitched a ride to earth — Panspermia. And, the most earth-like planets discovered thus far: Kepler 62e and Kepler 62f.
“Big Bang or the Big Bounce?” —New Science Points to a Continuum
The big bang may not have been the beginning of the universe, but merely the beginning of one of an infinite series of universes. Two fundamental concepts in physics, both of which explain the nature of the Universe in many ways, have been difficult to reconcile with each other. European researchers have developed a mathematical approach to do so that has the potential to explain what came before the Big Bang.
The big bang singularity —the single point from which the entire universe is supposed to have sprung— is the major sticking point in the big bang theory; the calculations just can’t account for such a singularity. Without evidence associated with the earliest instant of the expansion, the Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition.
According to Einstein’s (classical) theory of general relativity, space is a continuum. Regions of space can be subdivided into smaller and smaller volumes without end.
The fundamental idea of quantum mechanics is that physical quantities exist in discrete packets (quanta) rather than in a continuum. Further, these quanta and the physical phenomena related to them exist on an extremely small scale (Planck scale).
So far, the theories of quantum mechanics have failed to ‘quantise’ gravity. Loop quantum gravity (LQG) is an attempt to do so. It represents space as a net of quantised intersecting loops of excited gravitational fields called spin networks. This network viewed over time is called spin foam.
There is Life in the Clouds, and, Did Life On Earth Come from Space? An Introduction to the Theory called Panspermia
Does Rain Come From Life in the Clouds?
Scientists are making their first forays into the mysterious world of biology miles up in the air. Their startling conclusion: That ecosystem in the sky might influence tomorrow’s weather and next year’s harvest.
The skies are full of invisible life. Bacteria, algae, and fungi are swept up by winds and lifted to the altitude of a Boeing 747—or catapulted 20 miles into the stratosphere by electric fields during thunderstorms. Atmospheric Chemist, Kimberly Prather, a 49-year-old professor at the University of California, San Diego, is one of a growing number of scientists who suspect this largely unexplored microbial ecosystem might hold the answer to one of the great mysteries of the weather: Why do clouds produce precipitation when they do?
It seems like such a basic question, but “we really don’t understand why some clouds drop rain and others don’t,” Prather says. At the heart of this mystery is the physics of ice formation. A pure cloud droplet can cool to –40ºF before it freezes, and many clouds on Earth never get anywhere near this cold. Rain and snow often require tiny particles floating in the cloud to trigger ice to form, and not just any particle will do. A cubic yard of air contains hundreds of thousands of microscopic specks, but only about one in a million possesses the exact molecular geometry that will organize water molecules on its surface to spawn an ice crystal. Without those rare ice-forming triggers, much of the planet would see less precipitation than it does today.
Soot and dust were long considered the best candidates for these one-in-a-million particles. But the discovery that certain bacteria carry a gene that allows them to form ice, along with the realization that the skies are teeming with microbial life, has made some researchers look to airborne biology for answers. “The amount of different types of microbial life present in the cloud droplets that make up a winter storm is amazing,” says Gary Franc, a microbiologist and plant pathologist at the University of Wyoming. “There’s a whole ecosystem going on in the clouds that’s largely undefined.”
Scientists like Franc are only now starting to catalog what could be thousands of species of microbes drifting in the sky, many of them almost certainly new to science, and some perhaps capable of surviving high in the stratosphere, where conditions are roughly as favorable for life as they are on Mars. Prather’s studies suggest that dust from Asia and Africa might carry ice-forming microbes all around the globe.
All told, up to 2 million tons of bacteria may find their way into the atmosphere each year, not to mention 55 million tons of fungal spores and unknown quantities of algae. They have been overlooked for decades, but scientists are finally recognizing how diverse this atmospheric ecosystem is and—perhaps—how much influence it could exert over tomorrow’s weather or next year’s harvest. http://DiscoverMagazine.com/2012/apr/07-does-rain-come-from-life-in-the-clouds
Did Life On Earth Come from Space? An Introduction to the Panspermia Theory
How life originated on earth is a question that people have pondered for ages. Theories abound, from those based on religious doctrine, to the purely scientific, to others that border on science fiction. One possibility that hovers on this border is the panspermia theory, which suggests that life on Earth did not originate on our planet, but was transported here from somewhere else in the universe. While this idea may seem straight out of a science fiction novel, some evidence suggests that an extraterrestrial origin of life may not be such a far out idea.
One argument that supports the panspermia theory is the emergence of life soon after the heavy bombardment period of earth, between 4 and 3.8 billion years ago. During this period, researchers believe the Earth endured an extended and very powerful series of meteor showers. However, the earliest evidence for life on Earth suggests it was present some 3.83 billion years ago, overlapping with this bombardment phase. These observations suggest that living things during this period would have faced extinction, contributing to the idea that life did not originate on Earth.
However, in order for life to originate elsewhere in the universe, there would have to be an environment on another planet capable of supporting it. Our study of the universe suggests that life as we know it would have a hard time surviving outside of the Earth. But, it is important to note that life on Earth can withstand many extreme conditions. Some bacteria grow at temperatures as high as 113°C. At the other end, microbes can thrive at temperatures as low as -18°C; many can be preserved in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. They can also tolerate high doses of ionizing and UV radiation, extreme pressure, etc. These observations suggest that it is difficult to define the conditions that favor life, and make it harder for us to predict that life is unique to Earth.
The presence of water elsewhere in the universe reinforces this. Mars is believed to have contained water in the past, and probably still does. Much excitement for the presence of life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, has been fueled by speculations that it may have underground oceans. However, while water is essential for life that we are familiar with, its presence does not necessarily indicate the presence of life.
The fact that organic matter is relatively common in space could also support the idea of extraterrestrial life. Organic matter refers to matter composed of compounds that contain carbon. All living things on Earth are carbon-based. A variety of organic compounds have been detected in meteorites that have landed on earth, including amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins (and proteins are primary components all of living cells). The presence of carbon-based matter in meteorites supports the possibility that life on our planet could have come from outer space. But, even though life on earth is composed of organic matter, organic matter itself is not considered life.
Even if extraterrestrial life did exist, proponents of the panspermia theory must still determine how life arrived on Earth. The best candidates to act as “seeds of life” are bacterial spores, which allow bacteria to remain in a dormant state in the absence of nutrients. Bacteria constitute about one-third of Earth’s biomass and are characterized by their ability to survive under extreme conditions—those that we initially believed were unable to support life. In light of panspermia, the important question is if bacteria or bacterial spores could survive in space.
To address this question, scientists at the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne designed experiments using the Russian FOTON satellite. They mixed bacterial spores with particles of clay, red sandstone, Martian meteorite or simulated Martian soil to make small lumps a centimeter across. The lumps were then exposed via the satellite to outer space. After two weeks of exposure, researchers found that nearly all of the bacterial spores mixed with red sandstone were able to survive. Another study showed that bacterial spores could survive the extreme conditions of outer space for six years if they were protected from extraterrestrial solar UV radiation. This would be possible if the spores traveled within comets or meteorites.
However, interplanetary distances are large, so the time a bacterial spore would have to spend in a meteorite or comet before hitting a host planet could range in the millions of years. Two studies involving the isolation of bacterial spores, either from the abdomen of extinct bees preserved in amber or from a brine inclusion in an old salt crystal from the Permian Salado formation, suggest that bacterial spores can remain viable for up to 250 million years. Thus, bacterial spores could potentially account for life on earth.
But are there bacterial spores floating through space? One study focused on the heat radiation emitted from Halley’s Comet’s dust particles as the comet approached the sun. The particles’ radiation fingerprint corresponded surprisingly well to that of bacteria heated to elevated temperatures – no material other than bacteria matched the observed spectrum. As comets are known to have collided with Earth at different points in the past, this observation presents an interesting argument for panspermia. While this study does not provide conclusive evidence for presence of life in outer space, it does raise the possibility that our galaxy may be littered with bacterial spores.
An important thing to note about the panspermia hypothesis is that it gives no explanation for how life that arrived on Earth came to be. Even if we are able to show that life on Earth was a result of panspermia, the question of where and how life originated will be a lot harder to answer. So far our knowledge of the solar system suggests that life is unique to Earth, but, as science and technology advance, we will have to modify ideas that we currently regard as facts. It remains to be seen if the questions regarding the origin of life on Earth and the origin of life in the universe have the same answer.
Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about the history and future of NASA and the US space program. He argues that the exploration of space benefits Americans more than they may think. Hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mr. Tyson is the author of “The Sky is Not the Limit” and “Death By Black Hole.”
The universe within is infinitely larger than the universe without. And if the universe without is over 40 billion light-years and expanding, and yet is merely a tiny drop in a Divine Ocean, this implies much about the Heavens or Dimensions that are waiting for us within.
The Search For Extraterrestrial Radio Signals - We May Already Have Discovered Evidence for Intelligent Life in the Form of “Wow Signals”
My favorite quote from, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”: “Interesting signals without persistence are observed thousands of times each day at the SETI Institute.”
“Signals without persistence” refers to an unknown radio signal believed to be from the sky intercepted on a certain frequency that is observed for a few seconds or minutes only, and then ceases, never to be heard from again.
Some Thoughts Inspired By the New Book, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, SUNY Press, NY
Below I raise the question: what if we’re living in a galaxy where short, random “wow” signals are the norm, not long transmissions from ET “beacons” as imagined in the movie Contact?
Being a long term shortwave radio hobbyist, over the years I’ve noticed many mystery signals. Some of those pertain to over-the-horizon radar, spread spectrum communications, no doubt military, or air traffic, also “numbers stations”. There are deliberate signals being bounced off of various layers of the ionosphere, perhaps to determine what frequencies might be best for communications at various times of the day and night. Shortwave propagation is an ever-changing thing, even effected by weather and solar activity. Some of these technologies move up and down the dial using many different frequencies simultaneously, or are rapidly going from one frequency to the next. I’ve followed signals before that literally sweep past many frequencies: 3 something MHz, 4, MHz, 5 MHz, and so on.
It would be rather surprising if it turns out the “cosmic” or “galactic radio dial” is devoid of activities going on for the purpose of scientific exploration. And that ET activity, if it exists, might to us seem like unpredictable, random signals lasting for a few seconds only. I suppose we would have to have a much more sophisticated, elaborate ability to simultaneously scan all frequencies at once in order to notice discernible patterns, such as a mystery radio signal sweeping across many frequencies, suggesting intelligent life or automated electronics at work “somewhere out there.”
Thus far, what leaps out at me from reading, Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence, are these descriptions of multiple “wow”** or mystery signals and pulses.* And this leads me to make proposals about creating new techniques, attempting to find a way to make repeatable observations, addressing the difficult issue of random “signals without persistence.”
Add to the Drake Equation: the percentage of advanced extra terrestrial civilizations with technology that, oddly enough, seek to make themselves known to a species such as ourselves! It seems quite reasonable that the overall number of advanced civilizations in the galaxy in possession of advanced technology would be a far larger population than the number of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations with technology that have a desire to be “celestial missionaries”, setting up beacons, deliberately sending out continuous signals for us to notice. In other words, the reality may very well be, it’s more likely we have the potential to intercept “wow” type signals or short mystery pulses rather than continuous signals (like imagined in the movie Contact). Perhaps we’re living in a galaxy where “wow” or accidental leakage type signals from ET’s are much more likely for us to find than deliberate beacons.
There are many scientific reasons why ETs could have antenna arrays belching out massive quantities of RF, and we might notice this activity occasionally, in what to us, with our limited ability to observe a few frequencies only, could seem like short increments of 10 to 70 second bursts. If most ET’s are NOT trying to broadcast to us, maybe they are communicating amongst themselves, perhaps have some equivalent of radar, are keeping a watchful eye on valued solar systems (“cosmic burglar alarms”, if you will), or scientific exploration, probing regions of the galaxy with various types of signals and technologies.
I find these potential mystery signals mentioned in the book to be quite intriguing! Many no doubt are glitches or false-positives, but the possibility or even likelihood of real ET signals arriving in the form of shorts bursts of accidental leakage not intended for us, seems more plausible than any other scenario. For me, this possibility rings true.
That such signals would be next to impossible to verify and therefore not be, at present, appreciated by humans as historic events, is understandable, and predictable. But all it takes is evidence of one signal to be extraterrestrial and extra solar in origin, or at least quite suspicious, and that’s big news. SETI would have it’s funding as never before, to say the least!
The Thorny Issue of Short Random Signals
I wonder if it can be possible to detect any discernible patterns with these short, random signals? Might they be emanating equally from all parts of the sky? Could a noteworthy percentage of them be coming from a certain direction or region?
Right now, if SETI is based on the premise of there being an ET beacon sending out a continuous signal, does this mean that there’s no effort to record 10-90 second random signals? We would need to detect activity, then and only then would other antennas and receivers be fired up to go and examine the contents of such signals….to actually go and listen to the audio, check it for video, digital “ones” and “zeros” or other signs of technology and intelligence? In other words, at present with SETI, the “phone” would have being “ringing” for a few hours before anyone could pick up and hear the voice of the one who’s calling? No “answering machine” for them to leave a message after the “beep” that we could examine later on?
If detected, a signal, would have to continue being received for hours in order for multiple telescopes to establish that this signal is — or is not — broadcasting from a certain location in the sky, maybe from a distant solar system, but being able to capture a signal, and examine it in detail, would be useful, especially if 30 seconds might be “it”, the only opportunity we might get.
Could a narrow-frequency “wow” type signal consist of a blank or silent carrier? Based on current methods used by the SETI Program, could we tell if it’s modulated? What properties would it have exactly? What is the quality of the information currently being stored about the various frequencies being monitored, even for short periods of time? I know nothing of operational details, but it seems to me as a complete outsider to SETI, that what a signal consists of would reveal much, even if that signal was only 10 or 70 seconds in length: a garage door opener, satellite telemetry, a old Rolling Stones hit from the 70’s, or a highly unusual signal packed with a complicated stream of data that seems like nothing on Earth? With the SETI Program, I wonder if there is a digital equivalent of hitting the “rewind button” to have a listen to any unusual signals that have been detected in the past but are only active for 70 seconds or less? How to separate “wheat” signals from “chaff” signals? Can software be designed to automatically turn on extra equipment to capture more information during possible “wow signal” events?
*”Interesting signals without persistence are observed thousands of times each day at the SETI Institute. Figure 4.3 for example shows a result obtained in a narrow band SETI search near the PiHI Frequency (the number phi times the HI observing line of 1420.4 MHz). This (extremely powerful) ~10 second pulse of narrow band radiation appeared in one fifty second observation period but was never re-observed. This pulse has interesting features: it is observed at a magic frequency in the direction of a nearby and potentially habitable star. Yet we cannot be sure this signal was created intentionally or unintentionally by some transmitter on Earth. Hence, after multiple observations over two weeks and no re-detection, we gave up (although this direction is added to a catalog of directions to re-observe as time permits).” (from pages 52 and 53, “Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, SUNY Press, NY)
*The book also refers to mystery or “wow” signals on pages: 38, 43, 110, also optical SETI mystery pulses on 140, including the “Is it ET signal?”
The Are We Alone? Podcast, from the SETI Institute
The “Are We Alone?” Podcast, from the SETI Institute
The universe is big – really big.* Galaxies, for instance, are often large enough to hold a trillion stars. But how did these heavenly heavyweights come to be? Hear how still-mysterious dark matter is implicated in the birth of galaxies.
Also, gamma ray bursts – explosions more energetic than anything since the Big Bang – take place somewhere in the visible universe every day. What are they, and could they obliterate life on Earth?
And, the biggest cosmic mystery de jour: dark energy. Why new, super-size telescopes may finally reveal just what it is.
Welcome! Wherever I am on the web I share podcasts and information, and post numerous spiritual quotes from a wide variety of sources. I often share about Inner Light and Sound Meditation: the Path of the Masters, featuring Words of Light and Love for the Spiritual Journey.
Am from Maine, vegetarian (vegan), and practice Inner Light and Sound Meditation in a spirit of Bhakti (Love for the Supreme Being). Am conspiring to make the world more peaceful, vegan, and spiritually awake. "Be Vegan. Make Peace."
Have been involved with Radio For Peace International, the community radio movement, Wisdom Radio, satellite radio and television, am an independent producer currently creating programs for several stations, including HealthyLife.Net -- Positive Talk Radio. Am an author, teacher, public speaker, broadcaster.
Am a follower of Inner Light and Sound Meditation (traditional Sant Mat from an Indian perspective).
All for the Love of Wisdom and Radio, In the Love, Light, and Sound of the Beloved, Jai Sat Naam, Jai Guru, Radhasoami, Peace Be To You,
In addition to making new friends, my focus is spirituality: using the radio airwaves, podcasts, the spoken word, writing, and online social networking-blogging to promote spiritual exploration, meditation, religious literacy, inter-faith studies and dialogue, comparative religion, also education for a more peaceful planet. This includes communicating about AHIMSA principals of non-violence in thought, word, and deed, raising awareness about certain civilization-busting issues including climate change, promoting the vegetarian vegan diet, also promoting inner Light and Sound Meditation. Am always interested in networking with those that desire the constructive use of media to advance health, well being, and positive change.
This profile and the Sant Mat Satsang Radio PODcasts are non-sectarian in spirit and inter-faith in tone, inclusive of the wisdom of all the great world religions, Masters (Sant Satgurus), and schools of mystics.
In a spirit of ahimsa/peace, through the written and spoken word, you will find spiritual quotes based upon the Teachings the Masters of the East, giving everyone access to rare books from India, some of which are only now appearing in English for the very first time. You will hear or read satsang talks, which are spiritual discourses representing a Living School of Spirituality known as Sant Mat.
'Spiritual Awakening Radio' Explores the World of Spirituality, Comparative Religion, Sacred Texts, Ahimsa Ethics: Peace, Being Veg, Going Green to Save the Planet -- Education for a More Peaceful World -- A Format of Inter-Faith Essays and Interviews.
Here you can access podcasts of Spiritual Awakening Radio, also the Sant Mat Satsang PODcast, along with a daily stream of spiritual quotes (Sant Mat, Radha Soami, Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Light and Sound Meditation, the Path of the Masters, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Bahai Faith, Kabbalah, The Essenes, Ebionites, Mandaeans, Christian Mysticism, Lost Books of the Bible, Sufism, Gnostics, and Mystics), links to blogs, news, announcements, and other updates. SCROLL DOWN BELOW!
Seven Things I Believe (and Experience)
*1) God is Real.
*2) God is Love, the Ocean of Love and Compassion.
*3) All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.
*4) Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.
*5) During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.
*6) As we experience communing with God’s love during meditation — Surat Shabd Yoga, we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the “Kingdom of the Heavens” that are within us. “We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love.
*7) As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: “It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth.” (Adi Granth) Kabir said, “For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?”
"All beautiful forms and tones of this world are mere reflections of some aspect of that ultimate Love-Music of the Great Creative Word. Within the vast complex of creation, each individual spirit is himself/herself a spark of that Eternal Song of Love."
"There are those who have wandered among the darting comets and the shimmering orbs of sounding fire. The soul-explorer is not alone, for there are those who have traveled the highways of the inner cosmos; far more than one may at first realize."
"...The planes of heaven are about us everywhere. One has only to know this simple truth consciously, and then we will be free." (George Arnsby Jones)
LINKS TO PODCASTS, E BOOKS/FREE SPIRITUAL BOOKS ONLINE, BLOGS, YAHOO GROUPS, BLOGGER, WORDPRESS, MEDIUM