March 26, 2008

Fermi paradox related space oceans and life and pictorial tour of Ocean's in our solar system

Earth's Oceans
My own general view of the Fermi paradox (with the universe so big aliens should have visited by now) is that there is no reason to think that we are that interesting to need a visit instead of remote observation and if they visited more than 5000 years ago then we forgot or were not around.

Now science that relates to the Fermi paradox brings word that a deficiency of oxygen and the heavy metal molybdenum in the ancient deep ocean may have delayed the evolution of animal life on Earth for nearly 2 billion years.

So better understanding of chemical conditions in planets could show that it is more difficult and rare to get up to complex lifeforms.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft tasted and sampled a surprising organic brew erupting in geyser-like fashion from Saturn's moon Enceladus during a close flyby on March 12. Scientists are amazed that this tiny moon is so active, "hot" and brimming with water vapor and organic chemicals.

There is the recent discovery of another hidden ocean in the solar system, this one underneath Titan's crust.

If confirmed, Titan would be the fourth moon in the solar system thought to contain such an internal water ocean, joining Jupiter's satellites Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Europa's ocean pic by Nasa

Callisto's core and ocean by Nasa

Jupiter's second largest moon, Callisto, may have a liquid ocean tucked under its icy, cratered crust, according to scientists studying data gathered by NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

Nasa vision of the inside of Ganymede, another moon of Jupiter

Enceladus, sixth largest moon of Saturn has water ice on its surface and water geysers. There also could be a lot of ice on Mars and the moon and possibly some underground liquid water on Mars.


Lobo7922 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lobo7922 said...

First our planet is not the centre of the universe, then, our star is not the centre of the universe; we are almost again to believe that we have something special, so, why should we be the only one intelligent species in this huge universe? but if you think it, why are we the only intelligent species in the planet? Dolphin are inteligent too, as are Whales and apes, and many other animals, but their intelligence is diferent, perhaps inteligence has so many ways to evolve and there are so many ways of inteligence that ours is truly special.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps a quick review of the proper use of the apostrophe is in order?

Lobo7922 said...

Ok i was going to ask you to delete that comment, I really didnt understand what was his problem, but he has a problem, there is no doubt about it.

About the dyson spheres I have to say, what if the aliens find some source of energy more profitable than the star of their system?

bw said...

The deleted post was by a person who is a well known online troll. If one were to see his comments online and perform a google search on his name with the search term troll, you would see that he is banned from many public forums (reddit etc...).

On dyson spheres and dyson shells. They might not be the easiest things to spot. They might look like some large infrared source about the size of earth's orbit. Light would all be captured. Plus we are now learning how to convert heat to electricity in a very efficient way. A highly advanced civilization could be so efficient that they fade into the background of space.

As you pointed out we could be way off base trying to predict what a civilization hundreds, thousands or millions of years more technologically advanced than us would be doing.

Rolling back a few hundred years. An advanced civilization would be burning all of the forests for wood fuel or the new coal etc...

A bit before that an advanced civilization would be breeding and domesticating bigger animals and making sailing ships with 100 to 1000 sails.

Really advanced aliens could have some kind of controlled big bangs. Some high density pocket universes for power sources or they can leave this universe/dimension and travel to or make their own more productive places. People have talked about wormholes for possibly traveling within our universe but that kind of control of space and time means they could make their own dimensional places. I am not saying that this scenario is likely but we do not know that the dyson sphere/shell scenario or the Jupiter brain scenarios are the high probability end state technology version either.

So looking on planets and around stars could be like primitives looking into the best caves and wondering where the advanced people are. Cave and tree dwelling was common 100,000 years ago. Projecting out another 100,000 years in tech development is even more futile. Plus with accelerating tech even projecting out 50-200 years is very, very difficult.

Lobo7922 said...

What if the universe is more like Luise Riofrio says, what if there are plenty of tiny blackholes all around us, it would be much cheaper to extract energy from those tiny blackholes rather than building a huge and costly Dyson sphere.

bw said...

Some could question the various hypotheticals in my last posting. Speculations about technology and aliens. However, the Fermi paradox itself is based about speculations about aliens.

Up until a decade or so ago humanity had not detected the wobbles in nearby stars caused by extrasolar planets. Up until that point planets around other stars was speculation. Up until the recent discoveries it was assumed that those planets would also have circular orbits like most of the planets in our system. Now the feeling is that non-circular orbits are more common.

If a dyson shell or sphere obscured a star then it is not like we would like in that area and say that a star was missing. There might be some difficult to detect infrared smudge. There are large voids in space. One is a billion light years across. We do not how that happened. Until now, optical surveys have found no voids larger than 80 megaparsecs wide – making the new hole 40 times larger in volume than the previous record holder. So there are plenty of gaps in our observations.

Our observations of other galaxies is pathetic. It was not until Edwin Hubble in the early 1920s using a new telescope that it was determined whether some nebula were galaxies. He was able to resolve the outer parts of some spiral nebulae as collections of individual stars and identified some Cepheid variables, thus allowing him to estimate the distance to the nebulae: they were far too distant to be part of the Milky Way. In 1936 Hubble produced a classification system for galaxies that is used to this day, the Hubble sequence.

Beginning in the 1990s, the Hubble Space Telescope yielded improved observations. Among other things, it established that the missing dark matter in our galaxy cannot solely consist of inherently faint and small stars. The Hubble Deep Field, an extremely long exposure of a relatively empty part of the sky, provided evidence that there are about 125 billion galaxies in the universe.

But those galaxies of billions and trillions of stars are smudges. We can say practically nothing about the composition of those smudges.

Our own Milky way galaxy was recently found to be twice as fat as we thought. (12000 light years instead of 6000 light years.)

The andromeda galaxy in 2007 was found to be five times bigger than previously thought.

From our observation, we can not tell what is or is not inhabited. We cannot tell what is or is not natural. We can make assumptions, but we do not know. If another civilization was to look at our solar system and all they could get was the light from our star and whether or not Jupiter passed in front of our star, what could they say about life on earth which they do not know is there ? What could they say if we had molecular nanotechnology and super AI and fusion power and one hundred times the population and terraformed Mars and Venus and have spaceships flying around the solar system. Looks the same still a star.

What if they were looking from a five thousand light years away at a shot of tens of millions of stars. If we had erected a dyson shell and now our star is obscured. Would there picture of ten million stars be different from ten million + 1 stars ? Would they be able to determine from gravitational tracking that there was an obscured star ? They could have general theories about galaxies that 85-90% of the mass in the universe is dark and does interact with the electromagnetic force.

Recently there has been the design of metamaterial for magnetic shielding/invisibility

Scientists could use the metamaterial as a building block for a magnetic invisibility cloak. Such a cloak could hide magnetism by guiding an applied magnetic field around a cloaked region.

An advanced civilization could create a Dyson shell with metamaterials on the outside for guiding light, heat and magnetism around the shell.