Space News Update
Xavier Lopez reports:
In an effectively infinite universe, The Greatest Minds believes that it is possible that life may exist outside of Planet Earth. As far as we are aware, no one at the office (or our remote freelancers around the globe) has conclusive proof of alien life, one way or the other. On this subject, (as, sadly, on so many others), the truth is that mankind hasn’t a clue.
With that in mind, it is sometimes fun and thought-provoking to take a look at the UFO stories that crop up in the media. As I have written before, the tabloids have something of an alien obsession, so, whilst they are not the most credible source for accounts of alien life visiting Earth, they are certainly an abundant one. Some of this is facetious, but it does raise the questions 1) if life exists out in space, is it anything like the “aliens” that have allegedly visited Earth? 2) what would we expect it to be like, and why? And 3) would it be possible for “the powers that be” to have kept such a vast, paradigm-shaking secret from the rest of humanity for decades, or even centuries?
In my view, these are the 3 core questions of UFOlogy (aside from the obvious central question: “Have aliens ever visited Earth?”). Around their edges lie all sorts of fascinating sub-questions about biology/exobiology, our understanding of space travel, not to mention political questions about the powers afforded to certain aspects of government and the military…and, more philosophical issues about the direction humanity is taking.
So, with an open-yet-critical approach, both I and other staff at The Greatest Minds like to keep half an eye on the latest alien and UFO stories as they crop up in books and the media.
Here is a short selection of tabloid pieces that have appeared since my last article on this (in The Greatest Minds Book, of which, more later). It is noteworthy that sometimes these articles present stuff as new revelations, when, in fact, it has been in UFO books for years, or even decades- green men articles, it seems are extremely “evergreen”.
1) First up is this Daily Mail piece on “The 'UFO Messiah' who exposed Area 51 to the world: Bob Lazar says he is STILL being monitored by authorities 30 years after he went on TV and said he'd worked with alien spacecraft in a secret US government project” -
2) “Nasa is hiding evidence of soft-bodied aliens on Mars, claims controversial scientist..[Geomicrobiologist Barry DiGregorio]..who says he’ll prove the cover-up with a 'bombshell report'
3) Taking a slight detour from tabloid-land, here is an old piece on crop circles, I recently encountered-
I am not personally convinced that crop circles have anything to do with aliens or time travellers or whoever, but let’s put it in here for the sake of completeness.
4) Finally, there is this piece, again from the Daily Mail, about the “Mysterious interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua” and speculation that it might be a probe sent from sentient life forms to search for intelligent life on Earth. (*insert joke of your choice here*)-
If we turn our attention to more mainstream Astronomy stories/space science, then there have also been a few tabloid popular science pieces worth a quick read-
5) This piece is on an animation simulating a collision between super-massive black holes-
6) Meanwhile, still on the subject of gravity, this article parses fears that the world could shrink as a consequence of particle accelerator experiments. Newspapers thrive on fear, but the fact that the ideas were first expressed in a recent book by leading astronomer Lord Martin Rees means that at the very least, the ideas behind them are worth studying-
7) Next up, is this article on Lockheed Martin’s (then) newly unveiled lunar lander that is twice the size of that used in the Apollo missions, meaning that astronauts could stay on the moon for up to 2 weeks at a time-
8) Last but not least, item number 8 on our list discusses a newly found rocky moon orbiting Kepler-1625b around 8000 light years from Earth-
This is hailed as the first time scientists have found evidence of a moon outside of our own solar system.
I’ll be back with a new list of links in due course. In the meantime, I hand you back to my colleagues for some more Earthly science news.
-X. Lopez for The Greatest Minds Ltd.