Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding the supernatural and Aliens - Part 2

Hello people,

‘Are we alone’ is indeed a question which can be asked by anyone among us and not only the geeks. Various organisations and individuals have been searching for finding the ‘other creatures’ for many years now. Modern search started, may be, in 1900s when a French foundation offered the Guzman Prize of 100,000 francs for the first contact with an extra-terrestrial species. But after some serious practical thought, they left out Mars from the list of ‘to be searched places’. Detecting Martians was then thought to be too easy! Or maybe it began in 1960s when a young American astronomer named Frank Drake began a systematic search for messages from an alien civilisation.  Even then it was considered lunacy.

But today we have SETI which is restless without a mate.  Various other ‘UFO hunters’, who are very keen to jump off this big round rock and get to some other round or pentagonal [?] or some kind of, hopefully, rock. When the search first began, basically searching for what we understand or based on the life forms that are on earth and its possible variations, planets like Earth containing water were the most or only sought after ones. There is a difficulty in finding such planets. First one was that the sun itself around which these planets went was really big which made it impossible for us to see these planets. Finally some Jupiter sized giants were discovered based on the variation in radiation of the sun caused when these move across the sun. But researchers were not very keen on these giants as there was very less chance to find ‘earthlike’ life.

Gilese 581 star
 Gilese 581 is a …well have you heard of it? The name Gilese is of a German astronomer Wilhelm Gliese. Anyway Gilese 581 is a dim star at the far end of constellations Libra. It is said to have orbiting it what we are searching for and ‘Exoplanet’ situated in the ‘Goldilocks’zone! But it’s existence disputed. Another one Gilese 1214 in constellation Ophiuchus is confirmed to contain a rock with similar features as our blue dot, but only 2-3 times bigger. All this is done by at least a decade of observation of star'sradial velocity (its motion along the line of sight from Earth), which can reveal the presence of planets.
But now estimates say that there could be 50 billion such planets in our own galaxy, let alone the universe. Astronomers used the powerful Keck telescope on the Hawaiian island of Mauna Kea to count planets as they swung around 166 of our closest sun-like stars. The planets were too distant to see directly, but their stars were observed to wobble very slightly as they passed by.
First UFO!
But while all this is going on, or even before all this, there have been various instances of Aliens already visiting us. Infact there is a theory that says, we all are descendants of aliens. Another that says technology was gifted to us by the generous peace spreading aliens! There is this funny incident way back in late 1800s when one astronomer named Jose Bonilla mistook some innocuous fleet of geese as ‘some dark objects passing’ when he was observing suns dark spots! Even Bostonand Skegness police sighted an UFO and before filming the same, reported that to the coastguard who alerted ships in the North Sea, where a crew saw more UFOs. This mystery was revealed as planet Venus’ rings. 
Closest planet - 10Bn LY away
Leave alone the poor ‘scientifically illiterate’ common man. Recently a NASA scientist claimed that there was thealien life lying on a meteor. Rather the remains of the ‘dead’ aliens! But this was rejected widely. Even more famous event was the find of some ‘arsenic munching bacteria’. The fallout out of which was another example, after the internet experts took down Vinay Deolalikar, of how a finding can be ripped apart by the internet. Another one is that life may be very near to us. That is on Mars or even Jupiters moons. Castillo, a geologically boring rock, has become a point of interest sa it is suspected that it may contain an icy cold sea under its ice covering! Under Callisto's ice blanket, the feeble heat from radioactive minerals is enough to stop the sea freezing. Europa, another Jupiter moon is already on the watch. Stephen Hawking has even started ‘imagining’ what kind of life would be on Jupiters moons! Nasa is planning for a mission in which it plans to scan beneath the surface of Saturns moon Titan. The surface of Titan is methane, in liquid form because of the temperature there. They say it rains petrochemicals there. So it would be a double hit for the US. 
How are we supposed to find one among these?
After all this some are still skeptical and follow Fermi. They are asking ‘what if no one is out there?’ Why is it taking long for ‘advanced aliens’ to come to us? Some say vastness of the universe makes it impossible. Rasmus Bjork, a physicist at the Niels Bohr institute in Copenhagen, proposed that a single civilisation might build eight intergalactic probes and launch them on missions to search for life. Then each of them would send 8 more. Thus, going on, in search of a safe and habitable space. But he says even if they were to go at 1/10th of the speed of light - currently we are going about 32Km/second – it would take 10 billion years to explore 4% of OUR Galaxy alone! Another US astronomer Frank Drake[Drakes eqn?] says that we have been making it difficult for them to hear us as we are going digital and thus reducing the wattage of the signals we are transmitting. Needless to say he has been searching for them for the last 50 years with no avail. 

An alien from Mars Attack
Others like Stephen Hawking are optimistic…err…are shaking their legs in fear that the aliens coming to us won’t be saying ‘Good to see ya’! They say, those coming to the Earth will be like us and will be like us

So are there really aliens? I believe there is a good chance. Will we find them? Not in a 100 years at least! Will they find us? Well…,scary thought. They may. But then, why the hell should they select our tiny blue dot from among billions and zillions of other dots?



  1. ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಲೇಖನ .....

  2. Thanks, But please post in English...


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