October 2015

Science Fiction and the Symposium

October 30, 2015

Science fiction is much on my mind this morning, having just been to a second viewing of The Martian (this time in 3D, which I didn’t much care for), and having just read a new paper on wormholes that suggests a bizarre form of communication using them. More about both of these in a moment, […]

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Where We Might Sample Europa’s Ocean

October 29, 2015

No one interested in the prospects for life on other worlds should take his or her eyes off Europa for long. We know that its icy surface is geologically active, and that beneath it is a global ocean. While water ice is prominent on the surface, the terrain is also marked by materials produced by […]

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Catching Up with the Outer System

October 28, 2015

We now pivot from Dysonian SETI to the ongoing exploration of our own system, where lately there have been few dull moments. Today the Cassini Saturn orbiter will make its deepest dive ever into the plume of ice, water vapor and organic molecules streaming out of four major fractures (the ‘Tiger Stripes’) at Enceladus’ south […]

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Why SETI Keeps Looking

October 27, 2015

How do you feel about a universe that shows no signs of intelligent life? Let’s suppose that we pursue various forms of SETI for the next century or two and at the end of that time, find no evidence whatsoever for extraterrestrial civilizations. Would scientists of that era be disappointed or simply perplexed? Would they, […]

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KIC 8462852: Enter ‘Gravity Darkening’

October 26, 2015

Back from my break, I have to explain to those who asked about what exotic destination I was headed for that I didn’t actually go anywhere (the South Pacific will have to wait). The break was from writing Centauri Dreams posts in order to concentrate on some other pressing matters that I had neglected for […]

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No Posts Until 26 October

October 19, 2015

As mentioned in Friday’s post, I’m taking a week off. The next regular Centauri Dreams post will be on Monday the 26th. In the interim, I’ll check in daily for comment moderation. When I get back, we’ll be starting off with a closer at Jason Wright’s recent paper out of the Glimpsing Heat from Alien […]

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KIC 8462852: The SETI Factor

October 16, 2015

I had no idea when the week began that I would be ending it with a third consecutive post on Dysonian SETI, but the recent paper on KIC 8462852 by Tabetha Boyajian and colleagues has forced the issue. My original plan for today was to focus in on Cassini’s work at Enceladus, not only because […]

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What’s Next for Unusual KIC 8462852?

October 15, 2015

I want to revisit the paper on KIC 8462852 briefly this morning, as I’m increasingly fascinated with the astrophysics we’re digging into here. The fact that the star, some 1480 light years away, is also a candidate for further SETI investigation makes it all the more intriguing, but all my defaults lean toward natural processes, […]

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KIC 8462852: Cometary Origin of an Unusual Light Curve?

October 14, 2015

Dysonian SETI operates under the assumption that our search for extraterrestrial civilizations should not stop with radio waves and laser communications. A sufficiently advanced civilization might be visible to us without ever intending to establish a dialogue, observed through its activities around its parent star or within its galaxy. Find an anomalous object difficult to […]

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A Mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

October 13, 2015

Back in 2011, a four planet system called Kepler-223 made a bit of a splash. Researchers led by Jack Lissauer (NASA Ames) at first believed they were looking at two planets that shared the same orbit around their star, each circling the primary in 9.8 days. These co-orbital planets were believed to be in resonance […]

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