Are We Alone?

One thought-provoking question always lingers in my mind, and I believe that I am not the only one. Are we alone? The space as we know it – vast, spacious – seeming to disappear into nothingness as it expands. Reaching far away, way out of my realm of understanding and it scares me. We are so small, very extremely small compared to other gigantic celestial bodies out there. The more I look into it, the wilder my mind wanders. Is there life out there? Other than us humans on this diminutive terrestrial planet called Earth? Are we also considered aliens to the aliens out there? I am a firm believer that there is some kind of life forms out there. Be it as simple as unicellular organisms to multicellular, complex beings as humans, I believe there is.

Back to my main debate – are we alone? If we really are, then there must be a reason behind it, as everything is built upon reasons and consequences. Is there actually civilization out there, but its age has already long past, leaving remnants behind being so ancient that we could not make anything out of them? An astrophysicist named Summer Ash (she’s so cool, go check her out!) mentioned about how life is not without water. One of the Galilean moons, Europa, was the first place astronomers ever got hints about liquid water – in its salt water ocean! Could there be some form of life swimming, living there? Not enough? Well, what about Enceladus and its water vapor sprouting from its surface, indicating that there is ocean underneath. There should be some living organism in there somewhere.

Sprays of liquid water sprouting out from Enceladus’ surface, also known as water curtains. SOURCE

The search for forms of life started ever since we sent our very first human mission to Mars. NASA is getting ready to send one of their projects, Atacama Rover Drilling to search for life on Mars. Due to the extreme dryness and temperature on Mars, they believe that doing a simulation and demonstration on the high desert of Chile should do the deal. The team believe that by roving, drilling and all together while detecting for life could work together, resulting in the very intention of searching for evidence of life on Mars. Read more here.

Now that I have clearly stated my arguments, what about you? Which side are you on?

Black Hole’s Opposite Twin?

Black holes are so last year. Wanna hear something more interesting? WHITE HOLES!

Black holes, as we know, do not let anything escape from their surface, engulfing anything and everything that dare come near them, deeming themselves powerful. Even light stand no chance against them, as the space time is so curved, they cannot elude.  As we learned in earlier class, there are 4 consequences should we, human, are swamped into a black hole. Those are spaghettification, magnetically ripped apart, radiation a.k.a. burned to death, or worse, pulverized.

Now, what is this thing called white hole? Scientists are having one of the most debatable questions of all time, where did galaxies come from? Where do the materials that made up galaxies come from? Well, one of the hypothesis is the existence of white hole. Contrary to black hole which does not let anything escape it, white hole does not let anything get in it. In short word, a white hole in a hypothetical surface in space which is believed to spit out astonishing amount of material from nothingness. Now this sounds like something easy to find, but in reality, no white holes have been found…yet!

Artist illustration of the said white hole being the opposite of black hole. SOURCE

If the hypothetical white hole is somewhat real, then it should explain other mystery. Such as, the materials that made up galaxies, the laws of general relativity and many more! Some people argue, saying that the Big Bang itself is a white hole since it is the start of everything. It spewed everything out in a shot and disappeared. That causes the inability for us to actually continuously observe white hole.

What are your say about this? Do you really think there is a white hole out there, waiting to be discovered? The space is so packed with mysteries, it is simply fascinating!

Miraculous Arts in Space

I have a thing for picturesque, unique space landscape and pattern and there are two nebulae that has always been my favorite. Ever since I was in elementary school (that was when I learned about space), I found out that there are MANY beautiful and spectacular shapes of nebulae. Since then, I was hooked. Two of my favorites are Pillars of Creation and The Unicorn.

pilars of creation
Pillars of Creation as taken from Hubble Space Telescope. SOURCE

Pillars of Creation, situated in Eagle Nebula, was a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. It shows three massive columns of cold gas surrounded with hot ultraviolet light emitted from the young stars around them. Some says that they look like elephant trunks of gases and dust with some newborn hot stars. Why are they called Pillars of Creation? They are named so because the gases and dust in it are actually in the process of creating new stars. Therefore, they are as if the pillars which are birthing to newborn stars. The end of each gigantic pillar shadows the cold gas below them, thus creating long structure that looked like columns.  The photo taken by the telescope was awarded one of the top ten photographs by Hubble. The Pillars of Creation, to me, look so majestic and magical. I think it is so amazing and the space sure knows how to flaunt its beauty!

Part of Trifid Nebula that looked like the horn of a unicorn. SOURCE

The Unicorn is also one of the spectacular arts the space has to offer us. It is actually a part of Trifid Nebula which looked like the horn of a unicorn. Trifid Nebula is quite easy to find using a small telescope and it is also located in Sagittarius. The nebula also acts as a nursery of embryonic stars and new born stars. The horn is actually a ‘finger’ protruding from the dense cloud of gases pointing directly towards the star in the middle of Trifid. Trifid, which means ‘divided into three’ is a quite direct representation of three parts it hosts. A dark nebula, the emission nebula, and also the reflection nebula and they can be seen as a bright object through the small telescope. The bright and distinctive features make Trifid Nebula a favorite subject to amateur astronomers.

There are so many amazing arts out there in space that would absolutely blow our mind, and definitely more coming. Now that I have told you my favorites, what are some of yours?