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Gas on Venus ignites hope of answering: Is anybody out there?



Issued on: 15/09/2020 – 15:13

Scientists have hailed the discovery of a gas known as phosphine in the clouds above Venus. It’s the first time the rare molecule has been found on a rocky planet other that Earth, which has sparked excitement that it could lead a step closer to proving the existence of extraterrestrial life.

The atmosphere of Venus contains a gas that on Earth “can be attributed to living organisms”, scientists said in a report published in the science journal Nature Astronomy.

Phosphine is a flammable gas that can only come from the breakdown of organic matter or man-made processes.

“The detection of phosphine molecules, which consist of hydrogen and phosphorus, could point to this extraterrestrial ‘aerial’ life,” says the report.

The research provided evidence “for anomalous and unexplained chemistry” which may be a stepping stone towards other projects on Venus.

Exciting findings

Lead author Jane Greaves, from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy told AFP that the presence of phosphine alone was not proof of life on one of Earth’s closest neighbours.

“I don’t think we can say that – even if a planet was abundant in phosphorus, it might lack something else important to life – some other element, or conditions might be too hot, too dry,” she said.

However it is the first time phosphine has been found on a rocky planet other than Earth, and the only way to know more would be to send a spacecraft to collect samples, Greaves added.

To collect the data, the astronomers used telescopes in Hawaii and Chile’s Atacama Desert to observe Venus’ upper cloud levels, around 60 kilometres from the surface, where temperatures are around 20-30 degrees Celsius.

Venus’ daytime temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius are hot enough to melt lead and its atmosphere is comprised almost entirely of carbon dioxide.

The clouds of the planet are incredibly acidic – around 90 percent sulphuric acid – posing major issues for microbes to survive there, astronomers said.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States provided some extra research into how phosphine is produced in nature to better understand the research, as explained in this video.

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However, the group warns that some information is lacking – and that the only other study of phosphorus on Venus came from one lander experiment, carried by the Soviet Vega 2 mission in 1985.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine reacted on social media, calling the Cardiff group study “the most significant development yet in building the case for life off Earth,” and “it’s time to prioritise Venus.”

Will Venus steal Mars’s thunder?

Until now, Earth’s other closest neighbour Mars has attracted more attention in terms of space exploration, with several unmanned probes launched by the US and China in the bid to find proof of life.

In one of the latest projects, Nasa at the end of July launched the ‘Perseverance‘ rover which is due to land in February 2021.

But Alan Duffy, an astronomer from Swinburne University and Lead Scientist of The Royal Institution of Australia, said the Venus find was “one of the most exciting signs of the possible presence of life beyond Earth I have ever seen”.

But he admitted: “We have to rule out all possible other non-biological means of producing it.

Professor Emma Bunce, President of the Royal Astronomical Society of the UK said the breakthrough “makes a strong case for a return space mission to Venus”.

Source:- RFI English

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Researcher Discusses Whether or not Time Journey May Stop a Pandemic – Editorials 360



College of Queensland pupil Germain Tobar who labored with UQ physics professor Fabio Costa on a brand new peer-reviewed paper “says he has mathematically confirmed the bodily feasibility of a selected type of time journey” with out paradoxes, experiences Common Mechanics:

Time journey dialogue focuses on closed time-like curves, one thing Albert Einstein first posited. And Tobar and Costa say that so long as simply two items of a complete state of affairs inside a closed time-like curve are nonetheless in “causal order” once you go away, the remaining is topic to native free will… In a college assertion, Costa illustrates the science with an analogy

“Say you travelled in time, in an try and cease COVID-19’s affected person zero from being uncovered to the virus. Nevertheless for those who stopped that particular person from changing into contaminated, that will remove the motivation so that you can return and cease the pandemic within the first place. This can be a paradox, an inconsistency that usually leads folks to suppose that point journey can not happen in our universe. [L]ogically it is exhausting to just accept as a result of that will have an effect on our freedom to make any arbitrary motion. It might imply you may time journey, however you can’t do something that will trigger a paradox to happen….”

However the actual fact, by way of the mathematical outcomes, is extra like one other traditional parable: the monkey’s paw. Watch out what you would like for, and watch out what you time journey for. Tobar explains within the assertion:

“Within the coronavirus affected person zero instance, you may attempt to cease affected person zero from changing into contaminated, however in doing so you’ll catch the virus and turn out to be affected person zero, or another person would. It doesn’t matter what you probably did, the salient occasions would simply recalibrate round you. Attempt as you may to create a paradox, the occasions will at all times regulate themselves, to keep away from any inconsistency.”

Learn extra of this story at Slashdot.

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UPI Almanac for Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 – UPI News



Today is Sunday, Sept. 27, the 271st day of 2020 with 95 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include statesman Samuel Adams in 1722; political cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1840; magician Harry Blackstone Sr. in 1885; actor Jayne Meadows in 1919; filmmaker Arthur Penn in 1922; actor William Conrad in 1920; actor Wilford Brimley in 1934; golf Hall of Fame member Kathy Whitworth in 1939 (age 81); rock musician Randy Bachman in 1943 (age 77); singer Meat Loaf, born Michael Lee Aday, in 1947 (age 73); baseball Hall of Fame member Mike Schmidt in 1949 (age 71); actor/singer Shaun Cassidy in 1958 (age 62); gold medal-winning speed skater Beth Heiden in 1959 (age 61); actor Gwyneth Paltrow in 1972 (age 48); rapper Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., in 1982 (age 38); actor Anna Camp in 1982 (age 38); singer Avril Lavigne in 1984 (age 36); actor Thomas Mann in 1991 (age 29); actor Jenna Ortega in 2002 (age 18).

On this date in history:

In 1540, the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, was chartered by the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1825, in England, George Stephenson operated the first locomotive to pull a passenger train.

In 1930, golfer Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship, capturing the era’s Grand Slam. Earlier in the year, he won the British Amateur, British Open and U.S. Open.

In 1938, Queen Elizabeth christened the world’s largest ocean liner with her own name during a ceremony in Scotland. The Queen Elizabeth was the sister ship of the Queen Mary, which was christened four years earlier.

In 1939, after 19 days of heavy air raids and artillery bombardment, Polish defenders of Warsaw surrendered to German forces.

In 1954, The Tonight Show made its television debut with host Steve Allen.

In 1964, the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was released after a 10-month investigation, concluding that there was no conspiracy and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, acted alone.

In 1998, Gerhard Schroeder led Germany’s Social Democratic Party to victory in parliamentary elections, bringing to an end 16 years of power by Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his Christian Democratic Party.

In 2008, Zhai Zhigang left the Shenzhou VII spacecraft and became the first Chinese astronaut to take a space walk.

In 2010, Jimi Heselden, 62, manufacturer of the upright Segway scooter, was killed when he apparently lost control of one of the two-wheeled, self-balancing machines and ran over a cliff into a river.

In 2014, Mount Ontake, Japan’s second highest volcano, erupted in a cloud of ash, killing 63 people, many of them hikers.

In 2017, Thailand’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously to sentence former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to five years in prison for failing to report false and corrupt government-to-government sales in a rice-pledging scheme.

In 2018, India’s top court said a colonial-era law that criminalized adultery was unconstitutional and discriminatory in a landmark ruling hailed by women’s rights groups.

A thought for the day: “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story … The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity.” — Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Jupiter and Saturn to make a triangle with the moon – Met Office forecast and when to see them – Gloucestershire Live



The moon, Jupiter and Saturn are lining up to form a triangle of astronomical delight in the skies above Gloucestershire again on Saturday.

On Friday, the two planets were clearly seen near the Moon and if the skies are clear, you should be able to see them again tonight.

Dara Ó Briain, the comedian, presenter and keen stargazer was one of those to tweet their delight at the sight on Friday, saying: “The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn making a gorgeous triangle right now.”

Many tweeted their own pictures of the night show

According to the experts at Earth Sky, the triangle will be visible tonight and the best time to see it is from around 9pm.

It said it’s hard to miss the two gas giants as they are so near and can be identified by their closeness to the moon.

The Met Office, in its latest forecast, is suggesting a partly cloudy night between 8pm and 11pm with temperatures around 11C.

The moon today is in its waxing gibbous phase, which lasts until the full moon due on Thursday, October 1.

Good places to go stargazing in Gloucestershire include Windsor Drive in Tuffley, Gloucester; Leckhampton Hill in Cheltenham, Painswick Beacon and Cranham Common in Stroud; Edge, in between Gloucester and Stroud’ Minchinhampton Common, in between Stroud and Nailsworth and the top of Cleeve Hill in the Cotswolds.

If you’ve got any images of the three celestial bodies, share them with us at

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