This week in space

Aliens hanging out in the Kuiper Belt? We could see the light from their cities

Well, we can see out to the Kuiper belt, so now we need to see out a few lightyears!

When it comes to searching for ET, current efforts have been almost exclusively placed in picking up a radio signal – just a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Consider for a moment just how much lighting we here on Earth produce and how our “night side” might appear as viewed from a telescope on another planet. If we can assume that alternate civilizations would evolve enjoying their natural lighting, wouldn’t it be plausible to also assume they might develop artificial lighting sources as well?

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ASU cosmologist suggests studying moon for alien artifacts

We've already discovered plenty of alien artifacts on the moon, they just don't tell us about them.

If you were part of a team sent to explore an unknown planet; and that planet had a natural orbiting moon, wouldn’t it make sense to use that moon as a base camp or remote observation post? Especially if you didn’t want those being observed to know you were there? Professor Paul Davis and research technician Robert Wagner think so, and that’s why they’ve published a paper in Acta Astronautica that suggests we humans begin taking a little closer look at our own moon to see if any alien life forms might have left behind some evidence of their visit.

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What if the earth had two moons?

I don't have much to say about this one, just read it. It's interesting.

The idea of an Earth with two moons has been a science fiction staple for decades. More recently, real possibilities of an Earth with two moon have popped up. The properties of the Moon’s far side has many scientists thinking that another moon used to orbit the Earth before smashing in to the Moon and becoming part of its mass. Since 2006, astronomers have been tracking smaller secondary moons that our own Earth-Moon system captures; these metre-wide moons stay for a few months then leave.

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Can Earth-sized planets survive their star's expansion?

See we really don't know what we are talking about when we throw how ideas on how things work in space. We've got a lot to learn, I wish a much older race would stop by and give us all their space science... no other tech, just their knowledge of space.

Two Earth-sized planets have been discovered circling a dying star that has passed the red giant stage. Because of their close orbits, the planets must have been engulfed by their star while it swelled up to many times its original size.

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WISE presents a cosmic wreath

This is just a beautiful one (I actually have two this week) for you to enjoy.

Just in time for the holidays, astronomers have come across a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, that some say resembles a wreath. You might even think of the red dust cloud as a cheery red bow, and the bluish-white stars as silver bells.

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A 'Rose' made of galaxies

Here is the second beautiful one for you, enjoy!

In celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment in April 2011, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute pointed Hubble's eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

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Decades later, a Cold War secret is revealed

One of these days we will find out about alien contact this way. "Oh well, we formed an alliance xx decades ago and we've been keeping their secret as per their request until a certain time" or something like that...

For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets.

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