Rasmussen College Week 8 – Mapping Our Galaxy   Leave a comment

Hello Students of the Universe

-drplim

Posted August 5, 2011 by brunoplim in Uncategorized

Rasmussen College Week 8 / Are We Alone In The Universe   Leave a comment

Welcome to Week 8 of your Astronomy Course.

This week the topic is extraterrestrial (ET) life.

There is loads of information on the internet about this topic.  On the internet, in books, in the media… ET life has been a hot topic since humans found out that the Earth was one of many small planets floating in space.

Here are some of the links I find most interesting at the moment:

first link is to a very recent article that appeared in the BBC news.  It talks about how it may be wise for the famous SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project to change its focus and look for other signatures of intelligent life.
“Alien hunters should look for artificial intelligence” by Jason Palmer of the BBC

Then, of course, are two videos from TED:

The discussion this week is about silicon-based life forms.  The Course Materials make a pun comparing silicon-based life to the new silicon valley… this, unfortunately, has led to a misunderstanding in that silicon-based life would not be computers talking.
I recommend reading the following Wikipedia pages on Carbon-based Life and Hypothetical Types of Biochemistry.

Update (Feb 2012): Here is an interesting article about Russians coming close to drilling into a subglacial fresh-water lake: (LINK).  It is interesting and correlated to astronomy in that: “Montana State’s Priscu, for instance, has found evidence that microbes could live in the subglacial lake, deriving energy from minerals—”eating rocks,” as he told National Geographic News in 2007.”  Examples of where life may exist.  Life on other planets is seeming less and less improbable.

-drplim

Rasmussen College Week 8 – Was There Life On Mars?   Leave a comment

Was There Life On Mars?

This news has been going around lately – Proof that there was life on Mars?

“If there was enough life to make layers, to make corals or some sort of microbial homes, and if it was buried on Mars, the same physics that took place on Earth could have happened there,” – Dr. Adrian J. Brown

Dr. Adrian J. Brown is just now getting his evidence though David Bowie suspected it for a long time now.

– drplim

Posted August 2, 2011 by brunoplim in Uncategorized

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Rasmussen College Week 7 – Black holes   Leave a comment

Black Holes

I recommend reading particularly what Steven Hawking has found.

In this TED talk Andrea Ghez talks about black holes and about looking for the giants – the supermassive black holes.

Update: Feb 9 2012

Illustration courtesy M. Weiss, CXC/NASA
In the following news from National Geographic, our very own black hole may be snacking on asteroids, and we may be observing that.
LINK

As always, let me know if you have questions!

– drplim

Rasmussen College Week 7 – The Origin Of The Universe   Leave a comment

This week we are looking at the origin of the Universe (or trying to).

Hello Students of the Universe!

When studying the Earth our observations are immediate, our thoughts are more grounded, out theories are more easily tested.  Now when speculating upon the origin of the Universe there is a lot of science that has been done, both observational and theoretical, but we are more in the realm of philosophy than western-science.

This week’s discussion is less than a few hours young and there is already a first post and that first post goes straight to the most sensitive topic: Science vs Creationism, or Big Bang vs God.

God, Evolution and the Big Bang is written by a physicist so it looks at these topics from a scientific point of view.

And here is the opinion of Pope John Paul II on the issue of evolution:

“Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.  It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge.  The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.”
I have not found the original reference for this quote but I do know that it is a translation from french.

And of course, the talks that I have listened to and that talk about these topics:

-drplim

Rasmussen College Week 7 – The Death of All Stars   Leave a comment

Hello Students of the Universe

-drplim

Posted July 1, 2011 by brunoplim in Uncategorized

Rasmussen College Week 6 – Twinkle Twinkle Different Star   Leave a comment

Posted June 1, 2011 by brunoplim in Uncategorized