NASA Says Earth’s Closest Exoplanet Proxima B May Support Life

Come on, universe, what’s a guy gotta do to get just one little shred of evidence of extraterrestrial life? It doesn’t need to be anything too extraordinary. No antennaed green humanoids, no crawling masses of purple ooze, no silicon-based crystal creatures. At this point I’d be content with a single dead microbe clinging to the side of a meteor. I’m not picky – I just need to know: are we alone?

Of course, I’m not alone in my need to know. The search for alien life currently involves some of the most sophisticated astronomical equipment and laboratories on Earth, but has still yet to find conclusive proof of anything else out there in space crawling around eating and farting and dying like us. NASA has identified loads of planets which might support life, but the problem is they’re all so far away that we’ll likely never be able to reach and analyze them – in our lifetimes, anyway. Unless we hurry up and get that immortality thing together.

In more promising news, a team of NASA scientists has just published a study claiming that the closest known exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b, just might possibly be able to support life. The planet, also called Proxima b or Alpha Centauri Cb, lies just 4.2 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. That’s only 40 trillion kilometers, or 25 trillion miles, the cosmic equivalent of a stone’s throw.

Alpha Centauri, left, Beta Centauri, right, and Proxima Centauri, circled in red.

Proxima b orbits the star Proxima Centauri and is roughly the size of Earth. For some time, astronomers have thought the planet to be uninhabitable due to the fact that it experiences extreme solar flares and radiation from its nearby star. However, the scientists behind this most recent study believe there could be scenarios in which Proxima b could still support life.

For example, if the planet happens to be tidally locked, meaning the same side faces its host star as it orbits, then surface water could allow for enough heat exchange between the hot and cold sides to support life throughout the whole planet. “An ocean-covered Proxima b could have a much broader area of surface liquid water but at much colder temperatures than previously suggested,” the authors write, adding that “Proxima b could be an inhabited, mostly open ocean planet with halophilic life.”

Another scenario could be that the planet formed much farther away from Proxima Centauri and has been slowly getting closer throughout its history, meaning some of the planet may still be habitable. UniverseToday has a good breakdown of all of these hypothetical scenarios and an interview with Anthony D. Del Genio of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies concerning this new research. 

It’s important to note, though, that all of these scenarios are hypothetical and were produced through a new type of planetary simulation software used by NASA in their hunt for exoplanets. Could our nearest neighbor support life? How convenient would that be? Let’s hope we get that EM Drive worked out soon. I need to know.

REMARKABLE NASA FOOTAGE SHOWS A STRANGE MEETING IN EARTH’S ORBIT

The ISS camera made a strange encounter between two bizarre objects that happened over our heads.

The video was put on YouTube by Streetcap1 and immediately caught the attention of UFO fans.

The 7-minute video shows two gilded, metal objects slowly approaching each other, but the film cuts before the conclusion we all expected.

The observation took place in front of the International Space Station and it is intriguing how this time the food was not abruptly cut off.

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The Black Knight was again filmed by NASA.

The International Space Station seems to have recorded the mysterious and ancient satellite known as the “Black Knight” floating near the Soyuz probe .

The observers, particularly attentive, saw it quickly.

This mysterious and legendary satellite (dubbed “Black Knight Satellite”) is the name given to an unidentified object filmed by NASA astronauts using a camera during the STS-88 mission of space shuttle Endeavor in 1998.

Conspiracy theorists claim that this satellite is of extraterrestrial origin and that it may be about 13 thousand years old . 

Continue reading The Black Knight was again filmed by NASA. at Alien UFO Sightings.

NASA Has Just Released 2,540 Stunning New Photos of Mars

If it’s quiet solitude and beauty you seek, there is no better place than the surface of Mars. Mars has earned its moniker as the red planet, but the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) can transform the subtle differences of soils into a rainbow of colours.

For 10 years, HiRISE has recorded gorgeous – and scientifically valuable – images of Mars. Its photos are so detailed that scientists can examine the planet’s features at the scale of just a few feet, including the recent crash site of Europe’s Schiaparelli Mars lander.

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NASA admits $400M Mars Opportunity rover could be lost forever

In a blog post, NASA said that it may never again have contact with the Opportunity rover, after the craft got caught up in a Martian dust storm in the middle of June.

While expressing optimism that the worst of the Opportunity’s rover’s problems may be behind it, as the dust storm starts to “decay,” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Andrew Good cautioned that the battery for the $400 million vehicle might have discharged so much power and been inactive for so long, it could be a loss.

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NASA Detects Mysterious Wall at the Edge of the Solar System

We live inside a cosmic bubble. Far beyond Pluto, at the edge of the vast expanse of interstellar space between our solar system and all the others is a wall. It’s a thin wall, like the surface of a soap bubble, made up of compressed interstellar matter that is held their by the energy emanating from our sun. As the sun’s solar winds push out into deep space, interstellar matter—molecules of hydrogen and other elements—meet the force of the solar winds and, too small to fight them, compress into an interstellar shield of sorts, a bubble surrounding our solar system as it careens through the Milky Way. According to a paper published on August 7, NASA believes that they may have detected the mass that makes up this mysterious boundary between us and the rest of the universe.

NASA’s New Horizons probe flew past Pluto in 2015, and researchers are still receiving data from it, and likely will for a long time to come. The latest data New Horizons has sent back includes an increase of ultraviolet light that scientists say is likely due to the compressed hydrogen that makes up the interstellar wall. Similar findings were reported by the Voyager probes 30 years ago, and getting the same findings in 2018 strengthens the case that what they’ve found is, in fact, the boundary area where the sun’s influence begins to drop off.

Diagram of solar winds.

Diagram showing the bubbles created by the force of solar winds and galactic rays.

Like most scientific findings, the team is quick to say that it is not confirmed yet. They say there’s a chance that the increased light may not be coming from the hydrogen wall, but might be another, as of yet unknown, source in interstellar space. They say that the telltale sign will be whether or not the  New Horizons probe keeps detecting light after it passes where the wall should be. If it stops detecting light, then it means that it was actually detecting the wall. If the readings remain the same, then it has to be something else. it takes a long time to do things in space, and it will likely take another 10 years before they can know for sure. Luckily, the instrument known as Alice that New Horizons is outfitted with has enough power to be operational for another 15 to 20 years.

The sun

It’s only fitting that the giant ball of fire responsible for all life keeps a nice little bubble around its children. Unfortunately, its a bubble that only stops very small things. The object named Oumuamua broke through it not so long ago, and one day something bigger is going to crash through like the Kool-Aid man on a bender and it’ll be game over. Thanks for nothing, sun.

How Will NASA Get this Probe to the Sun Without It Melting?

A human-made spacecraft is finally heading to the center of the Solar System. NASA’s first launch window for the Parker Solar Probe begins at 3:33 a.m. ET this Saturday, and if all goes well, the ship will then begin its journey to the Sun.

Not directly into the Sun, of course. It will pass Venus seven times, eventually arriving within 3.8 million miles of the solar surface, a little more than four times the Sun’s diameter.

Continue reading How Will NASA Get this Probe to the Sun Without It Melting? at Alien UFO Sightings.

NASA Announces Plans To Send Astronauts To Mars In Mid-2030s

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will launch Thursday morning, performing an unmanned test flight for the machinery that will eventually bring humans to asteroids, before ultimately transporting them to Mars. While “eventually” has always been sort of a given, NASA has finally announced projected dates. 

During a press conference today on NASA TV, it was announced that Orion will bring four astronauts at a time to asteroids between Earth and Mars by 2025, and the first humans will reach the red planet in the mid-2030s.

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NASA Reveals Very Cool Concept For Ice Homes On Mars

As anyone who has seen The Martian (or better yet read the book by Andy Weir) knows, once the many issues of getting to Mars have been solved, actually surviving on the Red Planet is a whole new kettle of fish.

Mars has a harsh environment with extreme temperatures and high-energy radiation, so where early explorers will shelter and live is of top priority, especially as it is likely they will be there for months.

Continue reading NASA Reveals Very Cool Concept For Ice Homes On Mars at Alien UFO Sightings.

Astronaut claims he witnessed an ‘organic, alien-like’ creature but NASA is denying it

Get ready for close encounters of the “curved” kind.

Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin tweeted that he saw something “curved, organic looking” floating out of the payload bay during his time on the space shuttle Atlantis.

He told NASA about it, but the agency told him that what he was seeing was not an extraterrestrial but a piece of ice.

I have not seen one in space or on the ground but thought I saw something organic/alien like floating out of the payload bay.

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