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vivekpm
Aliens!!! This is the topic which intrigues me everytime I ponder upon it...

I used to run SETI sometime back hoping that I would some day help in making contacts with extra-terrestial creatures smile1.gif.

Would like to invite talks on this topic. One thing that I have always wondered is why have most, if not all, research on aliens concentrated in finding possible places in universe which can support life, that is, which has water in some form, sustainable temperatures etc...? Is it not possible that the definition of life can be different for aliens? I mean they may not require water at all. They may sustain only at 1000+ temperatures or at sub-zero temperatures. Why is this not possible? After all, the notion that to sustain life we need favourable conditions like presence of water etc., is concieved by us. For aliens, "favourable conditions" may be different.

Would request anyone who has done some reading on this to please throw more lights and possibly supply pointers to good research material...

Cheers,
Vivek...

PS: Thanks NimmiJi for this new forum...
Mandrake
Vivek, good point.

However, when earth-scientists scour the universe, they are looking for planets that have more or less identical conditions to planet earth as we know of it today. This is because they feel that identical conditions will hopefully produce identical life-forms, meaning, we might find an image of ourselves there.

The reason for the search of such life-forms is the hope that communications might be that much easier. Also, in case inter-planetary space travel permits physical travel to these planets, then the acclimatisation will not be an issue.

It is beyond doubt that such planets exist, as also planets with alternative life-forms.
It is only a matter of time before they are found.

Or they find us first.
Nimii
Instead of finding a place to live with the current resources.. mebbe we should find how a man can adapt to the new environment.. mutating the man to requirements of the new environment.

Phew! Sounds like a Robin Cook book biggrin.gif

N smile1.gif
Chitralekha
The biggest proof that there is intelligent life living out there in the universe other than us is that they have never tried to contact us. wink2.gif biggrin.gif lol
vivekpm
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 20 2005, 08:50 AM)
Vivek, good point.

However, when earth-scientists scour the universe, they are looking for planets that have more or less identical conditions to planet earth as we know of it today. This is because they feel that identical conditions will hopefully produce identical life-forms, meaning, we might find an image of ourselves there.

The reason for the search of such life-forms is the hope that communications might be that much easier. Also, in case inter-planetary space travel permits physical travel to these planets, then the acclimatisation will not be an issue.

It is beyond doubt that such planets exist, as also planets with alternative life-forms.
It is only a matter of time before they are found.

Or they find us first.
*



Good explaination Mandrake...

One more point that I keep wondering is, say someday, we catch some kind of a signal from aliens, there is a probability that given the distance such signals could have been sent to us hundreds of years back... and what if due to some activity they are now extinct..

Cheers,
Mandrake
If they are extinct, tough luck.

But if they are not, just imagine...

They sent us a signal/s hundreds of years back, when they were already advanced. Today, if they receive our reply, and they still exist, they will be far more advanced.
So they can understand our reply, decipher it, locate us, and reach us - in a way that is still beyond us, as our space travel abilities are far too primitive.

FYI, NASA has beamed out a coded signal since 1975 (or around that time), indicating our location, our (man's) existence and our technological ability. It is coded, and not obvious, for 2 reasons:
1. If there is a more intelligent species out there, they may be able to interpret it and try and respond.
2. If the species is predatory, the assumption is that they may not be intellectually advanced. This MIGHT avert the possibility of them searching us out with the intention of attacking us.
It is assumed that if an alien species has the ability to find us, reach us and attack us, we may not have the wherewithall to defend ourselves.

I don't need to tell you, but this signal communication between two species on different planets is termed 'encounter of the first kind'.
YaarMere
Wot abt Area51 n Roswell, is there any truth to those stories?
vivekpm
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 20 2005, 03:47 PM)
If they are extinct, tough luck.

But if they are not, just imagine...

They sent us a signal/s hundreds of years back, when they were already advanced. Today, if they receive our reply, and they still exist, they will be far more advanced.
So they can understand our reply, decipher it, locate us, and reach us - in a way that is still beyond us, as our space travel abilities are far too primitive.

FYI, NASA has beamed out a coded signal since 1975 (or around that time), indicating our location, our (man's) existence and our technological ability. It is coded, and not obvious, for 2 reasons:
1. If there is a more intelligent species out there, they may be able to interpret it and try and respond.
2. If the species is predatory, the assumption is that they may not be intellectually advanced. This MIGHT avert the possibility of them searching us out with the intention of attacking us.
It is assumed that if an alien species has the ability to find us, reach us and attack us, we may not have the wherewithall to defend ourselves.

I don't need to tell you, but this signal communication between two species on different planets is termed 'encounter of the first kind'.
*



Mandrake, you have brought to light one more interesting point, what if they are superior to us? On they finding us or we finding them it may create trouble...

Cheers,
tusharhaldanker82
Our universe is so large that this discussion can go on forever.
Its better we assume that Earth is the only place in the universe where life exists. And thats what make Earth so unique.
vivekpm
QUOTE(tusharhaldanker82 @ Jul 22 2005, 02:19 AM)
Our universe is so large that this discussion can go on forever.
Its better we assume that Earth is the only place in the universe where life exists. And  thats what make Earth so unique.
*



True Tushar that universe is infinite. But the quest to know more about it makes us human beings different from other living creatures on this planet smile1.gif

Creator made this earth unique and gave intelligence only to us so why not make use of it? What say?

Cheers,
Mandrake
Vivek, it is an educated guess that if they find us, in all probablity they WILL be superior to us - at least technologically. (Here the stress is on FIND, not 'stumble upon us accidentally'.)

To locate a planet that harbours some kind of life, reach that planet, and establish any kind of contact - is only possible with advanced knowledge of space and space travel.

With the space knowledge of the Western world barely 400 years old, I believe we have a long, long way to go before we can attempt manned space flights to even Mars - forget other extra-solar planets.
suhana_safar
As a child I used to think we are alone but now I think we are not.

This is beacuse the world has changed so much for the worst. There are so many in human barbaric beasts between us, those who cant be classified as humans.

If ther are any aliens out ther reading my email then please dont be like us.

You are better of the way you are!!
Nimii
But then SS u never know.. they may be juz functioning like machines.. no emotions sad1.gif

We are better off than that dont you think so?

N ?
suhana_safar
QUOTE(Nimii @ Jul 22 2005, 12:50 PM)
But then SS u never know.. they may be juz functioning like machines.. no emotions sad1.gif

We are better off than that dont you think so?

N ?
*



Nimmi

I know what you are trying to say. But where are the emotions and of what use are they when

* Several Million children die every year due to lack of basic necessities

* Several million people live in complete poverty

* Several millions are killed in name of of those jazzy words that really mean nothing at the end of the day

* The divide betwen rich and poor goes on extending up the second

* The environment is being abused due to commercial hunger.........

* People are being oprresesed, tortutured and muredered everyday

* People marching for peace and brotherhood are termed as un-patriotic & cowards

I can go on....the list is endless.



I would prefer machines if they don't do the above.
vivekpm
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 22 2005, 12:16 PM)
Vivek, it is an educated guess that if they find us, in all probablity they WILL be superior to us - at least technologically. (Here the stress is on FIND, not 'stumble upon us accidentally'.)

To locate a planet that harbours some kind of life, reach that planet, and establish any kind of contact - is only possible with advanced knowledge of space and space travel.

With the space knowledge of the Western world barely 400 years old, I believe we have a long, long way to go before we can attempt manned space flights to even Mars - forget other extra-solar planets.
*



Yes Mandrake. Long way to go before we meet someone not belonging to this planet...

Cheers,
Nimii
I wish o wish I would meet an alien (definitely wont call it Jaadu tongue.gif)

\../

N
Nimii
SS .. sowwy I didnt see ur post.

Well why is it that only we see the negative aspects of what a human emotion has induced... It is something that can be rectified.

Why is it that the positive aspects never reviewed?

Actually I should have posted it as "thinking power" rather than emotion. Mandrake, Vivek plz give your opinions too! Thks !


N ?
vivekpm
QUOTE(Nimii @ Jul 22 2005, 02:00 PM)
SS .. sowwy I didnt see ur post.

Well why is it that only we see the negative aspects of what a human emotion has induced... It is something that can be rectified.

Why is it that the positive aspects never reviewed?

Actually I should have posted it as "thinking power" rather than emotion. Mandrake, Vivek plz give your opinions too! Thks !


N ?
*



Very true. It is in our nature to look at the negative aspects. Forget the surroundings. Most of the time we say that this thing has went wrong with me. We somehow never tend to highlight positive side of Human existence.

SSji, what you have highlighted are all valid points to ponder upon but to look at the positive sides, can machine be considerate to fellow machines? can machines take part in wildlife conservation?

We are being bestowed with intelligence and it is upto us to use intelligence and decide what is correct and what is wrong? By giving intelligence, creator gave us an indicator that we are not required to be spoon-fed about what is right and what is wrong?

There have been many natural disasters and there are people who have come out to help those who have suffered at the hand of nature and there are also people who have taken advantage of such disaster and created scams...

As human beings, we are responsible for saving this planet and there are people and organization fulfilling this responsibility. On the other hand there are "Pataudis...".

If you look at it broadly, all the negative points are because of lack of optimism and lack of confidence on oneself.

To end it, I would say "Glass can be Half-Empty or Half-Full". It is optimism which has helped us sustain and which will help us prosper...

Cheers,
suhana_safar
QUOTE(vivekpm @ Jul 22 2005, 02:14 PM)
QUOTE(Nimii @ Jul 22 2005, 02:00 PM)
SS .. sowwy I didnt see ur post.

Well why is it that only we see the negative aspects of what a human emotion has induced... It is something that can be rectified.

Why is it that the positive aspects never reviewed?

Actually I should have posted it as "thinking power" rather than emotion. Mandrake, Vivek plz give your opinions too! Thks !


N ?
*



Very true. It is in our nature to look at the negative aspects. Forget the surroundings. Most of the time we say that this thing has went wrong with me. We somehow never tend to highlight positive side of Human existence.

SSji, what you have highlighted are all valid points to ponder upon but to look at the positive sides, can machine be considerate to fellow machines? can machines take part in wildlife conservation?

We are being bestowed with intelligence and it is upto us to use intelligence and decide what is correct and what is wrong? By giving intelligence, creator gave us an indicator that we are not required to be spoon-fed about what is right and what is wrong?

There have been many natural disasters and there are people who have come out to help those who have suffered at the hand of nature and there are also people who have taken advantage of such disaster and created scams...

As human beings, we are responsible for saving this planet and there are people and organization fulfilling this responsibility. On the other hand there are "Pataudis...".

If you look at it broadly, all the negative points are because of lack of optimism and lack of confidence on oneself.

To end it, I would say "Glass can be Half-Empty or Half-Full". It is optimism which has helped us sustain and which will help us prosper...

Cheers,
*



Nimii & Vivek...sure guys, it is not that I am a pessimist, or a negative minded person. Infact being positive in such strenous times is very essential. Threre is definitely some light at the end of the tunnell.

I do appreciate that. I was simply highlighting some very harsh and true facts that we so often seem to oversee whilst living in our warm and cosy environment.

Nimii
No doubt at all... but all these negative things are something that can be remedied SS.. How many of us stop for a moment to do anything to remedy it?.. Now this would take us to a complete different dimension.. So let me stop it here.

Now let us see the positive side.. the resources we have and how we can further contribute..? Haina bolo bolo?

N smile1.gif
ps: We know you are not pessismistic and it is typical of a human being to always raise matters that are negative. Not many sit back and ponder over positive things.
suhana_safar
QUOTE(Nimii @ Jul 22 2005, 03:13 PM)
No doubt at all... but all these negative things are something that can be remedied SS.. How many of us stop for a moment to do anything to remedy it?.. Now this would take us to a complete different dimension.. So let me stop it here.

Now let us see the positive side.. the resources we have and how we can further contribute..? Haina bolo bolo?

N smile1.gif
ps: We know you are not pessismistic and it is typical of a human being to always raise matters that are negative. Not many sit back and ponder over positive things.
*



Yes Nimii you are right, I could also mention plenty of positive things too. However it really hurts when I see people suffer, specially childen.
vivekpm
QUOTE(suhana_safar @ Jul 22 2005, 04:11 PM)
QUOTE(Nimii @ Jul 22 2005, 03:13 PM)
No doubt at all... but all these negative things are something that can be remedied SS.. How many of us stop for a moment to do anything to remedy it?.. Now this would take us to a complete different dimension.. So let me stop it here.

Now let us see the positive side.. the resources we have and how we can further contribute..? Haina bolo bolo?

N smile1.gif
ps: We know you are not pessismistic and it is typical of a human being to always raise matters that are negative. Not many sit back and ponder over positive things.
*



Yes Nimii you are right, I could also mention plenty of positive things too. However it really hurts when I see people suffer, specially childen.
*



Be assured SSji that your concern is not unwarranted... And people with such a noble thought may someday, in their own right and might, may work towards helping these people smile1.gif

Cheers,
shivani
: )
Kind of late to revive this topic I guess.. but anyone ever heard of books liek Chariots of God ( or something similar) which explores the possibility that we were put on earth by aliens. It is kind of difficult to understand, how an advanced world ( babylon and pyramidsand etc.) suddenly went to ruins and there does not seem to be a documentation on how all that was constructed.
Is it possible that our Gods were actually aliens ?
About a different life form, well non carbon based life forms are still difficult for us to fathom .. even if we are not trying to find another place to live biggrin.gif
Mandrake
QUOTE(shivani @ Aug 2 2005, 12:50 PM)
: )
Kind of late to revive this topic I guess.. but anyone ever heard of books liek Chariots of God ( or something similar) which explores the possibility that we were put on earth by aliens. It is kind of difficult to understand, how an advanced world ( babylon and pyramidsand etc.) suddenly went to ruins and there does not seem to be a documentation on how all that was constructed.
Is it possible that our Gods were actually aliens ?
About a different life form, well non carbon based life forms are still difficult for us to fathom .. even if we are not trying to find another place to live biggrin.gif
*




Shivani, I need to welcome you once again (provided you don't call me/us 'SIR' (ugggghhh))
When you find the time and the inclination, pls visit my blog. See the top of the page - click on 'blogs'. Go to 'Mandrake's Blog'.

Pls feel free to post your comments there smile1.gif
Poppy
I really missed this section of HF

After GURU's music I guess I would be actively participating here for sharing knowledge and GAINING knowledge from others about ---
Astronomy , SPACE , Black Holes , Super string theories

VIVEK how closer can an alien civilization be found from earth ...u must go through DREK's equation ..... just give a google search for the same ... I am sure you will find good information on same

Rgds,

SAchin
qhabibi
I Want To Meet President Of United States Of America He also considered as Alien in all Parts Of World. But Question Is How?
vivekpm
QUOTE(Poppy @ Aug 11 2005, 12:30 PM)
I really missed this section of HF

After GURU's music I guess I would be actively participating here for sharing knowledge and GAINING knowledge from others about ---
Astronomy , SPACE , Black Holes , Super string theories

VIVEK how closer can an alien civilization be found from earth ...u must go through DREK's equation ..... just give a google search for the same ... I am sure you will find good information on same

Rgds,

SAchin
*



Good pointer Sachin. While reading on Drake equation, one thing that fascinated me is a para I read regarding search for non-intelligent life. IMHO, the probability of finding non-intelligent form of life is slightly higher than that of finding intelligent form of life.

And to search for non-intelligent form of life, apart from doing analysis of planetary residual or samples, one more thing that can help us is to study the change in climate of various. Like some bacteria dumped earth into ice-age some 3 billion years ago, it is quite possible to find similar cases elsewhere in universe.

Cheers,
Poppy
Yes you are right vivek

another interesting part of SETI is that one group is interested in exploring intelligent life other than our earth ...knowing about their living circumstances..ofc the benchmarks are set according to our earthly environment e.g. water , air etc.
while another SETI researchers claim that these kind of benchmarks are of little use as scientists have found form of lifes on earth where LIVING is next to impossible for species like MAMALS , BIRDS ,etc.. e.g. Bacterias,micro organisams are found near natural hot water ponds having water temperature more tahn 60-70 degrees .
Just few days back marine scientists have tried entering robots in to sea deeper than ever ...can't recollect the depth but ...depth was around 6000-8000 feet (meters ?!) ...and they said that was total REAL ALIEN world for us .
If some day we find alien signal or another way of communication than problem arises of LANGUAGE !!!!! .... Scientists have found DOLPHINS , WHALES have their some sort of language which we knows as ULTRA SONIC sound waves....

will continue...sorry basss hai cry.gif
vivekpm
QUOTE(Poppy @ Aug 11 2005, 05:54 PM)
while another SETI researchers claim that these kind of benchmarks are of little use as scientists have found form of lifes on earth where LIVING is next to impossible for species like MAMALS , BIRDS ,etc.. e.g. Bacterias,micro organisams are found near natural hot water ponds having water temperature more tahn 60-70 degrees .
*



This is exactly what I had pointed in one of my previous posts. The probability of finding life will shoot up if we broaden our search criteria.

QUOTE(Poppy @ Aug 11 2005, 05:54 PM)
Just few days back marine scientists have tried entering robots in to sea deeper than ever ...can't recollect the depth but ...depth was around 6000-8000 feet (meters ?!) ...and they said that was total REAL ALIEN world for us .
If some day we find alien signal or another way of communication than problem arises of LANGUAGE !!!!! .... Scientists have found DOLPHINS , WHALES have their some sort of language which we knows as ULTRA SONIC sound waves....

will continue...sorry basss hai cry.gif
*



This prompted me to search for some information about unmanned exploration in deep oceans. Probably this is the news-piece you are referring to. It is absolutely mind-boggling and more I think of it more I am amazed by the depth of this topic. And so digressing from alien talks, here is the news article I found:

QUOTE
Think of it as the Mars Rover but at the bottom of the ocean, remotely exploring our own planet's most alien landscape for scientists back at mission control.

"This is how the science is going to be done," said Deborah Kelley, a University of Washington oceanographer.
  Students watch
  Zoom Niki Desautels / P-I
  UW oceanography graduate student Colleen Evans, left, and Zurich doctorate student Adelie Delacour notice a grayish hydrothermal fluid as they observe the remote exploration of the "Lost City."

In 2000, Kelley led an expedition using a manned submersible to explore the deep Atlantic Ocean. Her team stumbled upon something never seen before. The researchers discovered a startlingly massive collection of limestone towers located miles away from the tectonic "spreading" cracks in the seafloor that typically produce such structures.

Some of these hydrothermal vent towers were hundreds of feet high, prompting the scientists to call the unprecedented find the "Lost City" after the myth of Atlantis.

Yesterday, Kelley and her colleagues were in Seattle and also "virtually" back at the Lost City to demonstrate how robotics and information technology can transform deep-ocean exploration. What once required dangerous and time-limited manned exploits can now be done by remote control on a ship deck or in an office thousands of miles away.

"Bottom time is critical ... and we can now work 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard, best known for discovering the wreck of the Titanic.

He spoke to Kelley and others at the UW from a ship cruising above the Lost City, about 1,600 miles east of Bermuda.

Ballard and Kelley are collaborating on this "proof of concept" project, largely paid for by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's office of ocean exploration.
  Shelf-like structures
  Zoom
  Shelf-like "flange" structures jut from the wall of one of the spires in the Lost City hydrothermal field. (IFE URI-IAO, Lost City Science Party and NOAA)

"Our oceans are 95 percent unexplored," said Ballard, speaking by a satellite video link-up from the NOAA vessel Ronald H. Brown. The celebrity scientist tossed out some other figures -- 72 percent of the planet is under water and so is 51 percent of the United States -- to make the point that there is a lot left to explore.

In a darkened room on the UW campus, the makeshift, temporary command center featured Kelley and her colleagues surrounded by video screens depicting Ballard along with the remote-controlled submersible Hercules poised alongside one of the stark, shimmering white towers of the Lost City.

The Lost City towers are distinct from the "black smokers" found at the seafloor cracks off the Northwest coast, which feature creatures that have figured out how to survive on the light-deprived, toxic and extremely hot edge of an undersea volcano.

Life (mostly microbial) in the Lost City is just as bizarre and extreme, but less well understood.

"One of the main questions we're looking at is how does life thrive down there," said Kelley.

Nobody has ever seen anything like the Lost City, said Kelley, but it probably isn't unique -- it's just that so little of the ocean has been explored, she said.

While there is some scientific research being done on this expedition, which started last week and ends Monday, the primary goal of the exercise was simply to show that the technology and approach could work for deep-sea exploration.

There is perhaps nobody better at promoting ocean exploration than Ballard. Yesterday's event at the UW often seemed more like an announcement of a new IMAX film (which, by the way, is involved in the project) than a typical scientific news conference.

A list of sponsors and supporting organizations, including National Geographic and Ballard's private organization, the Jason Foundation for Education, was prominently mentioned or displayed. A high school class from Woodstock, Ill., that won a naming competition for a new NOAA ship was honored.

"It's certainly a different way of operating," acknowledged Kelley.

But if that's what it takes to get the science funded and the public educated about research, she's comfortable with it. Kelley noted that the National Science Foundation's budget for oceanography was recently cut, which means some of the research ships will stay in port.

After most of the media and the high school students left the command center, Kelley and her team at the UW got back to work seeing what other information they could get Hercules to collect from the Lost City before calling it a day.


Source : http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/234479_lostcity29.html
vivekpm
One more prospect for life outside our planet?!!

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4197686.stm

QUOTE
Space scientists say their discoveries about Saturn's moon Enceladus are stunning, if just a little baffling.

Using the instrument-packed Cassini probe, they have confirmed that the 500km-wide world has an atmosphere.

They have also seen a "hotspot" at the icy moon's south pole, which is riven with cracks dubbed "tiger stripes".

But the US and European scientists told a London meeting they could not yet explain fully the energetic processes driving all the activity on Enceladus.

"There were signs from a long time ago that Enceladus was a strange moon," said Dr Carolyn Porco, leader of Cassini's imaging team, "but it is just so gratifying and fabulous to see all the results come together and clearly point to a specific region on the surface which seems to be the origin of a lot of that peculiarity."

'Strange' world

The moon has become a major target of interest since the Cassini mission to the Saturn system arrived just over a year ago.

Enceladus orbits the ringed planet at a distance of approximately 237,400km and is described as the most reflective object in the Solar System; its icy surface throws back about 90% of the sunlight that hits it.


It would be like flying past the Earth and finding that Antarctica was warmer than equatorial regions - that strange
Dr John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute
The spacecraft made a special low pass of the moon on 14 July, crossing a mere 173km above the surface at its closest approach.

This allowed Cassini to make observations of unprecedented detail; and they backed up data obtained by the probe's magnetometer instrument on previous flybys that hinted at the presence of a water vapour atmosphere.

But that was just the start of what is now proving to be a fascinating and evolving story.

"We confirmed the signature that there was an atmosphere but it is strange atmosphere," Professor Michele Dougherty, from the UK's Imperial College and the lead scientist for the magnetometer instrument, told BBC News.

"It seems to be concentrated at the south pole and the best way to match our observations is that you have almost a cometary jet coming off the south pole."

'Hard to understand'

High-resolution imagery shows the southern polar region to be relatively smooth - usually a good indicator of recent activity - but cut by a number of long, dominant cracks. These are the so-called tiger stripes.

They are about 130km long and roughly parallel to one another, spaced about 40km apart.

Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer shows the region to be much warmer than expected.

Temperature data from Cassini (Nasa)
Heat is concentrated at the south pole
Whereas temperatures near the equator are a frigid 80 Kelvin (minus 193C), the south polar average reaches 85K (minus 188C). Small areas of the pole, concentrated near the tiger stripe fractures, are even warmer: well over 110K (minus 163C) in some places.

"The amount of heat there is really hard to understand as being due to just sunlight warming the surface," said Dr John Spencer, from the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, US.

"It shouldn't be that warm at the pole. It would be like flying past the Earth and finding that Antarctica was warmer than equatorial regions - that strange.

"This is only the second place in the Solar System beyond Earth that we've seen signs of heat coming out of the interior - the other being Jupiter's moon Io."

The scientists think the cracks may act like vents, spewing out water vapour and very fine water-ice particles. Some have suggested there could be ice geysers and even ice volcanoes at the stripe locations - but these have not been imaged directly.

Interest index

The puzzle for researchers is how to explain such an energetic system on Enceladus.

As the moon moves around an eccentric orbit of Saturn, gravitational forces should subject the tiny world to some tidal heating. Radioactive isotopes in its rocky core may also be a source of some warming.

But scientists are struggling to make the numbers add up and are frankly baffled as to why the activity they see should be so concentrated in just the one region.

Presence of organics at tiger stripes (Nasa)
Cassini could detect very simple organics at the tiger stripes
"One of the most fascinating aspects of Enceladus is that it's so very small as icy moons go, but so very geophysically active," said Dr Bob Brown, from the University of Arizona, US, and team leader for Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer.

"It's hard for a body as small as Enceladus to hold onto the heat necessary to drive such large-scale geophysical phenomena, but it had done just that.

"Enceladus and its incredible geology is a marvellous puzzle for us to figure out."

Certainly, what the Cassini data has done is thrust Enceladus up the interest index of objects in the Solar System that demand further investigation.

Scientists may not be able to explain the "boiler" at the south pole but they are already talking up the possibility that conditions there could allow for liquid water below the surface - with all the implications that might have.

"It's quite likely that this moon will now join the ranks of Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa where you might have liquid water - and the biologists could start getting interested in this being a place were life might possibly arise," enthused Dr Torrence Johnson, a Cassini scientist from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

"It moves Enceladus from being a small denizen of the outer Solar System - a frozen iceberg - to something that's more of an active type world that we're interested in exploring."

Cassini discoveries at Enceladus include:

    * presence of a strange atmosphere concentrated at the south pole
    * atmosphere mostly (91%) water vapour, but with some nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other simple carbon-based molecules (organics)
    * large crevasse features at south pole dubbed tiger stripes
    * intriguing hotspot at south pole - anomalous warmth in the area of the tiger stripes
    * presence of "orderly" water-ice at south pole, especially within tiger stripe features, indicates region must have been very hot, be very young, or both
    * presence of simple organics along the fractures
    * indication that water vapour and fine material are being ejected from tiger stripes
    * fine ice material is probably the significant and sustaining source of ice particles that make up Saturn's outermost ring - its E ring

Cassini scientists are meeting in London this week ahead of a major conference of the American Astronomy Society in Cambridge next week.

The $3.2bn Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint venture between the US space agency (Nasa), the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (Asi).


Cheers,
Mandrake
Just for an update, Cassini recorded yesterday giant water plumes on Enceladus. Astronomers are baffled again. Extremely tall water geysers are spouting out of the planet's interiors.
Water thrills them. But why this energy activity? Not known yet.
zashakeel
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Aug 31 2005, 03:19 PM) *

Just for an update, Cassini recorded yesterday giant water plumes on Enceladus. Astronomers are baffled again. Extremely tall water geysers are spouting out of the planet's interiors.
Water thrills them. But why this energy activity? Not known yet.



Following is an article regarding Aliens mentioned in Koran. Any one interested, may please visit the following site:

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/7906/

vivekpm
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 20 2005, 08:50 AM) *
Vivek, good point.

However, when earth-scientists scour the universe, they are looking for planets that have more or less identical conditions to planet earth as we know of it today. This is because they feel that identical conditions will hopefully produce identical life-forms, meaning, we might find an image of ourselves there.



Trust me to dig out old threads tongue.gif

Mandrake, here is an article to support your statement...

QUOTE

New map provides more evidence Mars once like Earth
NASA NEWS RELEASE
Posted: October 17, 2005

NASA scientists have discovered additional evidence that Mars once underwent plate tectonics, slow movement of the planet's crust, like the present-day Earth. A new map of Mars' magnetic field made by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft reveals a world whose history was shaped by great crustal plates being pulled apart or smashed together.

IPB Image
Artistic illustration of Earth magnetic field and Mars magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from harmful solar and cosmic radiation. Click on image to start animation. Credit: NASA

Scientists first found evidence of plate tectonics on Mars in 1999. Those initial observations, also done with the Mars Global Surveyor's magnetometer, covered only one region in the Southern Hemisphere. The data was taken while the spacecraft performed an aerobraking maneuver, and so came from differing heights above the crust.

This high resolution magnetic field map, the first of its kind, covers the entire surface of Mars. The new map is based on four years of data taken in a constant orbit. Each region on the surface has been sampled many times. "The more measurements we obtain, the more accuracy, and spatial resolution, we achieve," said Dr. Jack Connerney, co-investigator for the Mars Global Surveyor magnetic filed investigation at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

"This map lends support to and expands on the 1999 results," said Dr. Norman Ness of the Bartol Research Institute at the University of Delaware, Newark. "Where the earlier data showed a "striping" of the magnetic field in one region, the new map finds striping elsewhere. More importantly, the new map shows evidence of features, transform faults, that are a "tell-tale" of plate tectonics on Earth." Each stripe represents a magnetic field pointed in one direction­positive or negative­and the alternating stripes indicate a "flipping" of the direction of the magnetic field from one stripe to another.

Scientists see similar stripes in the crustal magnetic field on Earth. Stripes form whenever two plates are being pushed apart by molten rock coming up from the mantle, such as along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. As the plate spreads and cools, it becomes magnetized in the direction of the Earth's strong global field. Since Earth's global field changes direction a few times every million years, on average, a flow that cools in one period will be magnetized in a different direction than a later flow. As the new crust is pushed out and away from the ridge, stripes of alternating magnetic fields aligned with the ridge axis develop. Transform faults, identified by "shifts" in the magnetic pattern, occur only in association with spreading centers.

To see this characteristic magnetic imprint on Mars indicates that it, too, had regions where new crust came up from the mantle and spread out across the surface. And when you have new crust coming up, you need old crust plunging back down­the exact mechanism for plate tectonics.

Connerney points out that plate tectonics provides a unifying framework to explain several Martian features. First, there is the magnetic pattern itself. Second, the Tharsis volcanoes lie along a straight line. These formations could have formed from the motion of a crustal plate over a fixed "hotspot" in the mantle below, just as the Hawaiian islands on Earth are thought to have formed. Third, the Valles Marineris, a large canyon six times as long as the Grand Canyon and eight times as deep, looks just like a rift formed on Earth by a plate being pulled apart. Even more, it is oriented just as one would expect from plate motions implied by the magnetic map.

"It's certainly not an exhaustive geologic analysis," said Dr. Mario Acuna, principal investigator for the Mars Global Surveyor magnetic filed investigation at Goddard Space Flight Center. "But plate tectonics does give us a consistent explanation of some of the most prominent features on Mars."

Results were published in the Oct. 10 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Other scientists working on the project included Dr. G. Kletetschka of the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and Goddard Space Flight Center; Dr. D.L. Mitchell and Dr. R.P. Lin of the University of California at Berkeley; and Dr. H. Reme of the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in France. Dr. Acuna leads the international team that built and operates the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometers. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.


Source

Cheers,
Mandrake
Vivek, main is khel ka purana khiladi hoon wink2.gif

Par woh Judge Dread (Shivani) maanti nahi na sad1.gif
vivekpm
QUOTE
Skepticism greets claim of possible alien microbes

Jan. 5, 2006
Special to World Science

A paper to appear in a scientific journal claims a strange red rain might have dumped microbes from space onto Earth four years ago.

But the report is meeting with a shower of skepticism from scientists who say extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof—and this one hasn’t got it.

IPB Image The particles at about 1000 times actual size (courtesy Godfrey Louis).

IPB Image The shaded area represents the state of Kerala in India. (Courtesy Nichalp)
The scientists agree on two points, though. The things look like cells, at least superficially. And no one is sure what they are.

“These particles have much similarity with biological cells though they are devoid of DNA,” wrote Godfrey Louis and A. Santhosh Kumar of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, India, in the controversial paper.

“Are these cell-like particles a kind of alternate life from space?”

The mystery began when the scarlet showers containing the red specks hit parts of India in 2001. Researchers said the particles might be dust or a fungus, but it remained unclear.

The new paper includes a chemical analysis of the particles, a description of their appearance under microscopes and a survey of where they fell. It assesses various explanations for them and concludes that the specks, which vaguely resemble red blood cells, might have come from a meteor.


A peer-reviewed research journal, Astrophysics and Space Science, has agreed to publish the paper. The journal sometimes publishes unconventional findings, but rarely if ever ventures into generally acknowledged fringe science such as claims of extraterrestrial visitors.

If the particles do represent alien life forms, said Louis and Kumar, this would fit with a longstanding theory called panspermia, which holds that life forms could travel around the universe inside comets and meteors.

These rocky objects would thus “act as vehicles for spreading life in the universe,” they added. They posted the paper online this week on a database where astronomers often post research papers.

Louis and Kumar have previously posted other, unpublished papers saying the particles can grow if placed in extreme heat, and reproduce. But the Astrophysics and Space Science paper doesn’t include these claims. It mostly limits itself to arguing for the particles’ meteoric origin, citing newspaper reports that a meteor broke up in the atmosphere hours before the red rain.

John Dyson, managing editor of Astrophysics and Space Science, confirmed it has accepted the paper. But he said he hasn’t read it because his co-managing editor, the European Space Agency’s Willem Wamsteker, handled it. Wamsteker died several weeks ago at age 63.

A paper’s publication in a peer-reviewed journal is generally thought to give it some stamp of scientific seriousness, because scientists vet the findings in the process. Nonetheless, the red rain paper provoked disbelief.

“I really, really don’t think they are from a meteor!” wrote Harvard University biologist Jack Szostak of the particles, in an email. And this isn’t the first report of red rain of biological origin, Szostak wrote, though it seems to be the most detailed.

Szostak said the chemical tests the researchers employed aren’t very sensitive. The so-called cells are admittedly “weird,” he added, saying he would ask his microbiologist friends what they think they are.

“I don’t have an obvious explanation,” agreed prominent origins-of-life researcher David Deamer of the University of California Santa Cruz, in an email. They “look like real cells, but with a very thick cell wall. But the leap to an extraterrestrial form of life delivered to Earth must surely be the least likely hypothesis.”

A range of additional tests is needed, he added. Louis agreed: “There remains much to be studied,” he wrote in an email.

The researchers didn’t dispute the panspermia theory itself, which has a substantial scientific following. “Panspermia may well be possible,” wrote Lynn J. Rothschild of the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., in an email. “I’m just not so sure that this is a case of it.”

Others viewed the study more favorably.

“I think more careful examination of the red rain material is needed, but so far there seems to be a strong prima facie [first-glance] case to suggest that this may be correct,” said Chandra Wickramasinghe, director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology at Cardiff University, U.K., and a leading advocate of panspermia.

The story of the specks began on July 25, 2001, when residents of Kerala, a state in southwestern India, started seeing scarlet rain in some areas.

“Almost the entire state, except for two northern districts, have reported these unusual rains over the past week,” the BBC online reported on July 30. “Experts said the most likely reason was the presence of dust in the atmosphere which colours the water.”

The explanation didn’t satisfy everyone.


The rain “is eluding explanations as the days go by,” the newspaper Indian Express reported online a week later. The article said the Centre for Earth Science Studies, based in Thiruvananthapuram, India, had discarded an initial hypothesis that a streaking meteor triggered the rain, in favor of the view that the particles were spores from a fungus.

But “the exact species is yet to be identified. [And] how such a large quantity of spores could appear over a small region is as yet unknown,” the paper quoted center director M. Baba as saying. Baba didn’t return an email from World Science this week.

The red rain continued to appear sporadically for about two months, though most of it fell in the first 10 days, Louis and Kumar wrote. The “striking red colouration” turned out to come from microscopic, mixed-in red particles, they added, which had “no similarity with usual desert dust.”

At least 50,000 kg (55 tons) of the particles have fallen in all, they estimated. “An analysis of this strange phenomenon further shows that the conventional atmospheric transport processes like dust storms etc. cannot explain” it.

“The red particles were uniformly dispersed in the rainwater,” they wrote. “When the red rainwater was collected and kept for several hours in a vessel, the suspended particles have a tendency to settle to the bottom.”

“The red rain occurred in many places during a continuing normal rain,” the paper continued. “It was reported from a few places that people on the streets found their cloths stained by red raindrops. In a few places the concentration of particles were so great that the rainwater appeared almost like blood.”

The precipitation, the researchers added, had a “highly localized appearance. It usually occur[ed] over an area of less than a square kilometer to a few square kilometers. Many times it had a sharp boundary, which means while it was raining strongly red at a place a few meters away there were no red rain.” A typical red rain lasted from a few minutes to less than about 20 minutes, they added.

The scientists compiled charts of where and when the showers occurred based on local newspaper reports.

The particles look like one-celled organisms and are about 4 to 10 thousandths of a millimeter wide, the researchers wrote, somewhat larger than typical bacteria.

“Under low magnification the particles look like smooth, red coloured glass beads. Under high magnifications (1000x) their differences in size and shape can be seen,” they wrote.


“Shapes vary from spherical to ellipsoid and slightly elongated… These cell-like particles have a thick and coloured cell envelope, which can be well identified under the microscope.” A few had broken cell envelopes, they added.

The particles seem to lack a nucleus, the core DNA-containing compartment that animal and plant cells have, the researchers wrote. Chemical tests indicated they also lacked DNA, the gene-carrying molecule that most types of cells contain.

Nonetheless, Louis and Kumar wrote that the particles show “fine-structured membranes” under magnification, like normal cells.


The outer envelope seems to contain an “inner capsule,” they added, which in some places “appears to be detached from the outer wall to form an empty region inside the cell. Further, there appears to be a faintly visible mucus layer present on the outer side of the cell.”

“One characteristic feature is the inward depression of the spherical surface to form cup like structures giving a squeezed appearance,” which varies among particles, they added.

“The major constituents of the red particles are carbon and oxygen,” they wrote. Carbon is the key component of life on Earth. “Silicon is most prominent among the minor constituents” of the particles, Louis and Kumar added; other elements found were iron, sodium, aluminum and chlorine.

“The red rain started in the State during a period of normal rain, which indicate that the red particles are not something which accumulated in the atmosphere during a dry period and washed down on a first rain,” the pair wrote.

“Vessels kept in open space also collected red rain. Thus it is not something that is washed out from rooftops or tree leaves. Considering the huge quantity of red particles fallen over a wide geographic area, it is impossible to imagine that these are some pollen or fungal spores which have originated from trees,” they added.

“The nature of the red particles rules out the possibility that these are dust particles from a distant desert source,” they wrote, and such particles “are not found in Kerala or nearby place.”

One easy assumption is that they “got airlifted from a distant source on Earth by some wind system,” they added, but this leaves several puzzles.


“One characteristic of each red rain case is its highly localized appearance. If particles originate from distant desert source then why [was] there were no mixing and thinning out of the particle collection during transport”? they wrote.

“It is possible to explain this by assuming the meteoric origin of the red particles. The red rain phenomenon first started in Kerala after a meteor airburst event, which occurred on 25th July 2001 near Changanacherry in [the] Kottayam district. This meteor airburst is evidenced by the sonic boom experienced by several people during early morning of that day.

“The first case of red rain occurred in this area few hours after the airburst... This points to a possible link between the meteor and red rain. If particle clouds are created in the atmosphere by the fragmentation and disintegration of a special kind of fragile cometary meteor that presumably contain[s] a dense collection of red particles, then clouds of such particles can mix with the rain clouds to cause red rain,” they wrote.

The pair proposed that while approaching Earth at low angle, the meteor traveled southeast above Kerala with a final airburst above the Kottayam district. “During its travel in the atmosphere it must have released several small fragments, which caused the deposition of cell clusters in the atmosphere.”

Alive or dead, the particles have some staying power, if the paper is correct. “Even after storage in the original rainwater at room temperature without any preservative for about four years, no decay or discolouration of the particles could be found.”


Source

Cheers,
vivekpm
QUOTE

Earth rocks could have taken life to Titan
  • 18:08 17 March 2006
  • NewScientist.com news service
  • Maggie McKee, Houston

Boulders blasted away from the Earth's surface after a major impact could have travelled all the way to the outer solar system, new calculations reveal. The work suggests that terrestrial microbes on the rocks could in theory have landed on Saturn's giant moon, Titan. But whether they could have survived once there remains unclear.

The fact that meteorites from the Moon and Mars have landed on Earth confirms that impacts on solar system bodies can launch rocky debris to other planets. And previous studies have suggested that any life on the rocks could have survived the launch blast and the radiation and chill of the journey through space, assuming it lasted less than a few million years.

Such hardiness raises the possibility that life on Earth itself was seeded from space – a concept called panspermia. But now, researchers led by Brett Gladman of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, have analysed the reverse situation – that life on Earth seeded other bodies in the solar system. Gladman presented the results on Thursday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, US.

He says only boulders at least 3 metres across could punch out through the Earth's atmosphere and escape the planet's gravity, and that only extremely powerful impacts could achieve this. The cause of such impacts would be comets or asteroids between 10 and 50 kilometres wide, Gladman told New Scientist: "The kind of thing that killed the dinosaurs."


Brick wall
The team ran computer models of such giant impacts, estimating that each would send about 600 million boulders into space to orbit the Sun. Some of those launched at relatively high speeds – faster than 6 kilometres per second – got as far as Jupiter and Saturn in about a million years.

In the simulations, about 100 of the boulders from each impact reached Jupiter's moon Europa. But along the way, Jupiter's gravity boosted their speed to an average of 25 km/s, with some moving as fast as 40 km/s. Impacting Europa's icy crust at such speeds would be like "hitting a brick wall," says Gladman. "This must be rather frustrating if you're a bacterium that survived launch from Earth."

But he found a different situation on Saturn's moon Titan, which boasts a thick atmosphere. About 30 boulders from each Earth impact reached Titan, and they slammed into the atmosphere at just 11 km/s – slower than most meteors hit Earth's atmosphere. "Those reaching Titan can aerobrake and drop their fragments onto the surface," says Gladman.


Home from home?
"That kind of entry should be no problem" for life to survive, says Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, who notes that researchers recently found bacteria that appear to have survived the break up of the shuttle Columbia when it re-entered Earth's atmosphere in 2003. And Earthly lichen has also survived when exposed to the harsh environment of space.

"I thought the Titan result was really surprising – how many would get there and how slowly they'd land," Treiman told New Scientist. "The thing I don't know about is if there are any bugs on Earth that would be happy living on Titan." Titan's surface temperature is a very cold -179C and its chemistry is very different from Earth's.

Gladman agrees that life may be unlikely to survive once on Titan. But he says major impacts may have happened "tens of times" throughout Earth's history and that these could have sent Earth rocks to other solar system bodies. "I just set out to answer this question: is it possible to get something there?" he says. "The answer is yes."



Source

Any comments specifically on the underlined statement above?

Cheers,
shivani
QUOTE
Such hardiness raises the possibility that life on Earth itself was seeded from space


This is a theroy much talked about... but there is no evidence to support it. Or maybe none I have come across so far.

BTW did You watch the program they earlier program (sometime in Jan) when the shuttle reached Titan ? Its a really amazing star smile1.gif.
vivekpm
QUOTE(shivani @ Mar 19 2006, 12:54 AM) *
QUOTE
Such hardiness raises the possibility that life on Earth itself was seeded from space


This is a theroy much talked about... but there is no evidence to support it. Or maybe none I have come across so far.

BTW did You watch the program they earlier program (sometime in Jan) when the shuttle reached Titan ? Its a really amazing star smile1.gif .


Yeah there is no acknowledged evidence yet to support this theory but then there are so many things which are just in theory...

I didn't saw the program you mentioned sad1.gif. Couple of weeks back, Nat-Geo was showing a documentary which analyzed all the possible candidates where life can be found/survive (Mars, Europa, Titan etc...)

On related note, I think you must have come across mars.google.com and moon.google.com.

Cheers,
shivani
Ah!

There was a show they did on Titan, and how the satellites sent there started transmittign the data back. I think the name was Cassini. They showed the surface of Titan, and what is it made of.
It has surface and atmosphere quite similar to earth's when life formed here.
It has volcanic eruptions as well.. only of nitrogen.. which was quite fascinating.
Would try to find the link onlien and paste.. amazing watch.
vivekpm
Yeah, Cassini it was (the satellite sent to study Saturn's moons). The pictures sent by satellite led to speculations that one of the other moon of Saturn may have water in liquid form under its icy crust...

Do post the link if you get it...

Cheers,
shivani
oh no.. it is not water.. it is nitrogen Oxide : ). I watched the show on tv, about 4 months ago.. so do not remember a lot else..

Would try to search.
vivekpm
Ohk... I must have mixed up then. Remember vaguely about some liquid water geyser-like thing suspected on one of these bodies. Will check up the newsletter again...

Cheers,
vivekpm
QUOTE(Mandrake @ Aug 31 2005, 03:19 PM) *
Just for an update, Cassini recorded yesterday giant water plumes on Enceladus. Astronomers are baffled again. Extremely tall water geysers are spouting out of the planet's interiors.
Water thrills them. But why this energy activity? Not known yet.


Shivani, I think I was referring to an article based on this. Mixed up between two moons of Saturn (Titan and Enceladus)

Cheers,
Mandrake
Nice going fellas. Keep it up thumbs-up.gif

Btw, Cassini was the bloke who stared at saturn so much that the rings parted. And the gap between them came to be known as the Cassini Division...

And yes, Titan has so much of crude oil, that if we could lay a pipeline from there to earth, petrol in India would cost 1 rupee/litre wink2.gif

Also, just a humble thought for logical people like you two: it would be nice if one doesn't always look for hardcore evidence first up. Often, to believe in a possibility, and then trying to follow up and see whether that might work, leads one to hitherto unseen things....

Just my way of looking at things... rolleyes.gif
shivani
QUOTE
Par woh Judge Dread (Shivani) maanti nahi na

.. so am judge dread!!!
I really really missed it till today.
and ye lo fight.gif look.gif
catch22
QUOTE
it would be nice if one doesn't always look for hardcore evidence first up. Often, to believe in a possibility, and then trying to follow up and see whether that might work, leads one to hitherto unseen things....


QUOTE
I'd rather call those biased who believe in evolution, where not a single shred of evidence has been uncovered about the changeover from ape to man.


QUOTE
I treat Mahabharat as a true fact.


Does all this say something?
Mandrake
lol, Catch, you seem to be putting me in a spot smile1.gif

Well, I AM allowed to change my views, aren't I?

Anyways, if you look hard enough, you might see the correctness of those statements.

The first (statement) is to make a positive beginning.
The second was, when a lot of things have been tried, and don't stick well enough, then to be pragmatic and try looking at the issue differently. (I have no issues at all if evolution is proved. Ditto, if it is proved otherwise. There is no victory to be won on any one stand. I am just curious about the truth that EMERGES, than the one that might be ENFORCED.)

The third statement is based on hardcore archaeological evidences. (Now don't ask me to start proving everything wink2.gif )
catch22
We would only want to believe what we want to.
Priya
I came here looking for little green men. sad1.gif

When are these programs on National Geographic, ZZZ? We got the channel only a month back. Last yr they cut it for some reason known only to them. mad.gif
Nimii
Priyz it happens.. good channels always get snipped off midway headbang.gif

N mad.gif
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