Life on Earth could be a relic from the Universe’s very distant past ● The future space station could be a private one ● The Mars rover Perseverance is changing our view of Mars
black holePhoto: PASIEKA / Sciencephoto / Profimedia
Life on Earth could be a relic from the Universe’s very distant past
The fact that humanity stumbled upon extraplanetary reality and began to wonder where the rest of the world is in the universe is a relatively recent matter. Let’s say that this question is a little over two thousand years old, and only a few hundred since we started doing research in the field. At the level of the universe, it means a grain of sand.
According to an astrophysicist from the University of Georgia, USA, David Garofalo by his name, the answer could lie in the way stars are formed and the influence that black holes have on this process. In short, the way we look today for exoplanets that might have water, atmospheres and other ingredients necessary for life is simplistic.
Rather, we should calculate where there was a chance for such planets to form. And for that, says Garofalo in a study published in the journal Galaxies, we should look to black holes and how they influence the appearance of new stars.
From his calculations, it appears that about 11 billion years ago, almost 2.8 billion years after the Big Bang, the conditions for the appearance of stars and planets capable of supporting life were already met. If we take into account that, on Earth, it took about 4.5 billion years to reach intelligent life, we do a simple calculation and see that possible extraterrestrial civilizations could have appeared about 7-8 billion years ago years, that is, long before the formation of our own solar system.
Now, says the American researcher, that I came a little late to the party may be very true. Others have already left by the time we show up. Yes, but that doesn’t mean we’re the last in a huge cosmic graveyard. Others may appear, or could appear even in time with us. Or, more importantly, some of the primordial ones might still be here. And this means that we should expect to come into contact with civilizations that have already reached the maximum level of development on the Kardashev scale.
These are type III civilizations, which have developed the ability to use the energy of an entire galaxy. We, at our level, are only at level I, where we only use the resources of the planet we appeared on. The next step, the second one, would be to become a type II civilization, that is, to be able to capture the entire energy of a star.
The future space station could be a private one
VAST, a start-up created by millionaire cryptocurrency entrepreneur Jed McCaleb, plans to launch a bus-sized space station by 2025. The station would be carried into space by a Falcon 9 rocket, in partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The cylindrical station, christened Heaven-1, would replace the International Space Station, which is to be decommissioned in 2030. Already in 2021, the year in which the decision to retire the SSI was made, NASA allocated funds of 415 million of dollars to private companies to develop designs for a future space station.
VAST was not among them, but the management of the company hopes to obtain funds from the American space agency until the year 2028. The chances of success, however, are viewed with skepticism by most of the world. Especially since NASA has not provided an official response regarding the VAST proposal.
With an estimated fortune of 2.4 billion dollars, Jed McCaleb invested about 300 million dollars in VAST and the space station project, while the ISS required funds of about 100 billion.
However, Space X remains open to any proposals, and the idea of a commercial space station, according to company officials, could be a model for the future.
The Mars rover Perseverance is changing our view of Mars
New images provided by the Perserverance rover in the Jezero crater area, an area the rover has been exploring for more than two years, show what appears to be the former bed of a giant river. The photos show a river bed with coarse traces of sediment and polished rocks.
All the data, according to NASA’s official statements, show the traces of a powerful river, capable of moving huge amounts of matter. The course of the former river had been observed for years, but this is the first time the rover has been able to take close-up photos.
According to experts’ estimates, the river would have been one with considerable dimensions, similar to those of the Mississippi. Its high banks could have been much larger in the distant past, but wind erosion would have reduced them to their current dimensions.
Basically, what the Perseverance rover is showing now is a picture of Mars’ past on a scale never seen before. The levels of petrified sediment over time are huge even by Earth standards, and this indicates an extremely rich and powerful riparian system that existed in the planet’s distant past.
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