Humans Won’t Survive another 1000 Years on Earth: Stephen Hawking

Humans Won’t Survive another 1000 Years on Earth: Stephen Hawking

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Celebrated Scientist Stephen Hawking has doubted about the possibility of the human survival on earth in the next 1000 years. In his latest speech at Oxford Union a few months back, Professor Hawking stressed on the importance of life exploration on other planets since the resources of the earth are getting exhausted at an alarming rate. In his own words, the famous physicist said, “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

Considering the way non-renewable resources are being used up by human beings each passing day, a situation might come in future when all fossil fuel from the earth would get completely depleted. So, whatever Stephen Hawking mentioned in his latest Oxford event should be understood in its proper perspective.

The visionary scientist who wrote in the afterword section of a new book “How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight” authored by journalist Julian Guthrie predicted that “I believe that life on earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by possible disasters, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space.”

Stephen Hawking Gave a Deadline to Human’s Possible Extinction

Stephen Hawking, in fact, stunned the world when he categorically said that humans have just a 1000-year to find a new home in an outer space possibly in the form of a planet or exoplanet. No doubt, Stephen Hawking’s theory also gets more backing from the fact that NASA has already started exploring life in other planets and exoplanets too like the Trappist-1.

During his hour-long speech at the recent Oxford Union in November last year, Stephen Hawking asked scientists to focus more on the possibility of a life there. Hawking has also reservations about the technological innovations including the ultra-sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) mechanics that is crucial to his own communication process. But Hawking suspected that development of full AI could virtually bring an end to human generation.

Hawking felt that earth’s catastrophe would be prompted by human’s urge towards using more earth’s limited resources which could virtually destroy the planet in its totality.

“We face a number of threats to our survival from nuclear war, catastrophic global warming, and genetically engineered viruses. The number is likely to increase in the future, with the development of new technologies, and new ways things can go wrong. Although the chance of a disaster to planet earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time,” Hawking said in November speech at Oxford.

According to Stephen Hawking, the rising threat of AI, climate change and nuclear terrorism is largely looming before the world as a whole in the next century. Hawking gave a deadline of 1000 years for humans to find another planet for survival before earth gets destructed and virtually mass extinction occurs.

NASA Discovers TRAPPIST-1, a System of 7 Earth-Like Exoplanets

NASA Discovers TRAPPIST-1, a System of 7 Earth-Like Exoplanets

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In its latest press conference, NASA took the entire world by surprise when the American premier space agency announced the discovery of seven earth-like planets, Trappist-1. It basically represents a system where seven planets almost the size of the planet Earth are located just outside the solar system. These planets are also called Exoplanets.

NASA astronauts have confirmed that these planets are rocky in nature with close proximity to stars. The scientists have discovered TRAPPIST-1 (Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope) are red dwarf having cooler atmosphere inside.

The TRAPPIST-1 is a series of 7 earth-sized exoplanets. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits are closer to their host star. The system is located some 40-light years (235 trillion miles) away from Earth. These 7 planetary bodies are called exoplanets because of their location outside our solar system. TRAPPIST-1 planets are rocky with mountainous terrains. Scientists are now probing if there is a possibility of the presence of water or any other liquid inside TRAPPIST-1.

NASA is now set to launch its new Webb telescope next year, scientists are even more eager to use a specialized instrument for the purpose of detecting the chemical elements like water, oxygen, ozone and other substance from these exoplanets.

“The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 are the first Earth-size planets that have been found orbiting this kind of star,” said Michael Gillon, principal investigator at the University of Liege, Belgium.

It is for the first time the scientists have successfully found seven planets having similar structures and characteristics almost similar to earth. Surprisingly, scientists are having firm believe in the existence of water and life in these planets. However, no confirmation has come out as yet.

According to Sarah Ballard, an MIT researcher, “If one of these planets hosts life and the adjacent one doesn’t, why not?” stated Sarah Ballard. Exactly the same goes with Earth and Venus. While, Earth support life, its nearest planet Venus doesn’t.

However, it’s still too early to say whether all these exoplanets would support life. Actually, some of them release off as much UV rays that the Sun does. And this clearly means that it won’t support the life of any form. The temperature at these exoplanets is expected to be somewhere around 0 to 100 degree Celsius.

Amaury Triaud, a scientist at the University of Cambridge said, “We have made a crucial step towards finding life out there. Up to now, I don’t think we have had the right planets to find out. Now we have the right target.”

Interestingly, this discovery made it evident that the Milky Way might be a home to tens of billions of worlds. The invention of Trappist-1 and its further research will shed more light on it which the scientists until now were completely unaware of.

The Source of Fast Radio Bursts is Discovered

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In a successful observation by the group of astronauts, the source of a Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) is found. The FRB as per its nomenclature releases cosmic radio waves to the universe. These spark for milliseconds in the dwarf galaxy located around three-billion light-years away from the planet earth.

Fast Radio Bursts created headlines in 2007 for the first time after a lot of research on the subject that began in 2001. Earlier, there were doubts about the origin of FRB with many scientists were confused whether these rays originated within the galaxy or outside it.

Until now, around 18 fast radio bursts have already been found. Last year, a team of astronomers from the US and Canada made an in-depth study into the subject for 6 months to find the source of FRB 121102 (latest code given to Fast Radio Outbursts).

According to the team of astronauts who conducted the study, it was a herculean task. They had to use the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to get a precise location of FRB 121102 in the open universe.

Shriharsh Tendulkar of McGill University led the team in Hawaii when his team was searching the source of FRB 121102. They were unclear whether it was coming from a galaxy or a star, but later on, it was found that the source of FRB was similar to star – tiniest speck of light. In the words of Tendulkar, “it’s 100 million times fainter than the faintest object visible to the naked eye.”

What does the Fast Radio Bursts Research say?

The astronomers found that FRB 121102 was located in a dwarf galaxy with stars all around. Earlier, they believed that FRBs would be found in larger galaxies but the latest research proved them wrong. It is assumed that some billions of years ago, a series of fast bright bursts of radio waves entered into the open space, and since then it kept on radiating bright lights.

Initially, FRB 121102 travelled all across the universe and until scientist noticed them properly in 2007. In 2015, around 16 flashes were observed and then again in 2016, nine more appeared. Relentless research finally disclosed that FRBs originate from the minuscule galaxy amidst little heavenly bodies. Scientists have unraveled many things about universe in the past but for more information on FRBs – we have to wait more – until more and more details about the subject are being unearthed by scientists. The subject matter of Fast radio bursts is still shrouded in mystery.

Scientists’ Tryst with Fast Radio Bursts

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist Duncan Lorimer in 2007 was searching something related to Pulsars – when he noticed the FRB that flashed occasionally into the open space. But it was brighter than pulsars. This marked the start of the minute research into FRBs.

According to Shami Chatterjee, the researcher into the subject, “This is a good place to go fishing because you’re more likely to see a fast radio burst at this spot,” says Chatterjee.

More study will be done to dig out further details of FRBs. It will help scientists to know if a bunch of FRBs has similar characteristics and physical fundamentals. Then it will make clear that why and what inside a dwarf galaxy lead to repeating of fast radio bursts?

Evolution of Moon

The moon is more than just a grey monotonous world. Thanks to modern observation techniques because of which we not only view the moon’s surface, but also are able to have insights into how moon and other rocky planets in our solar system have evolved over time.

The interiors of some craters in the polar region of moon have been hidden from sunlight for as much as 2 billion years.

Some of the patches that are visible to the naked eye on the moon are as deep as the grand canyon while some are twice or even deeper.

Its incredible how we think about the moon and how it looks. Do you know that moon never looked like this even though it appears that moon has been the same all along?

Thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for giving a better look at moon and for understanding its history.

It is understood that moon started as a giant ball of magma formed from the remains of an impact on earth estimated at four and a half billion years ago.

Scientists say that the hot material collected into a sphere and the magma began to cool and formed a crust on the surface of it.

About 4.3 billion years ago, shattered the moon’s South Pole forming the South Pole Aitken basin and sending debris farther from the opposite side of the moon.

This period marked by the impact caused major changes to the moon’s surface. Many such collisions happened on the moon forming large basins. The dark coloured patches of the moon are the evidences of those collisions. These patches are known as Mario.

Studies reveal that due to certain impacts, the basin created is several kilometers in depth and around 2500 km in diameter on the moon.

They began as normal craters but soon started changing because the magna inside the surface hadn’t yet cooled down.

The iron content of the base rock makes them reflect less light and thus the surrounding highlands of the moon appear darker.

The volcanic activity on Moon ended about 1 billion years ago. The moon keeps having multiple impacts from time to time.

As of today, the rate of impact of different craters on moon has slowed down drastically and thus the moon appears as it is to us.


Climate Change Could Disrupt Atlantic Ocean Currents

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The natural circulation process that carries hot surface water towards Greenland, and sinks as it cools before flowing back towards the Equator closer to the seafloor, what we call AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) in scientific terminology, is on the edge now.

The latest research report published in the journal Science Advances have indicated the prevalent climatic models are somewhat incomplete and bias. They largely underestimate the harmful effects of climate change and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, the deterioration in weather quality has already begun. This has led to some coarse weather conditions in parts of the Europe and the UK (United Kingdom), particularly in winter.

The stable AMOC model that the scientists have predicted could actually turn out a mere fallacy now. “If we correct the stability bias of the AMOC … and then add global warming forcing, the AMOC actually collapses after a couple of hundred years. Climate models over stabilize the AMOC and shows it very stable. Even under global warming they have only moderate weakening,” Wei Liu, a former Scripps Institute of Oceanography postdoctoral researcher now at Yale University and lead author of the paper stated to the CBC News a few days back.

Due to havoc deterioration in quality of climate, the AMOC has already lost much of its strength, leading to harsher winters in the UK and parts of Europe. Now, scientists are of the view that the complete breakdown of AMOC is quite possible. It may expand the ice sheets in the North Atlantic region.

The cooling in the north Atlantic is so powerful that it could lead to an unprecedented cooling in the north Atlantic. On one hand, the world heats up, but Europe may see extraordinary cold in the next hundreds of years.

According to Paul Myers, a professor at the University of Alberta’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences opined that the study is important in highlighting the bias in current models. However, there may be other considerations to include in future models.

More research on this particular subject – AMOC is still on. Though, not fully, for layman, the superhit Hollywood film “The Day After Tomorrow” was a precursor to what’s happening now in the world of science.

Since 1990, Co2 level in the atmosphere has increased over abundantly making the breathing of fresh air a challenge. Also, the climate is changing more promptly making the possibility of harsher winters in the regions of the UK, Europe and Canada as quite possible.

What the Two Models on AMOC Say

Initially it was stated by a group of scientists on one model that AMOC was largely stable and may collapse only 300 years after the doubling of Carbon Dioxide.

Contrarily, another model has recently stated that AMOC collapse will bring harsher climatic conditions apart from expansion of ice sheets in sea. It has already stated. It also says that there will drop in temperature to around 4.3 degree (F) over the North Atlantic belt and around 12.6 degrees (F) near Northwest Europe.

Team Indus of India Is Ready For Its Debut Cruise To Moon

Technology major Google has shortlisted Team Indus, only Indian space technology startup, to send a robot to the moon under the company’s Lunar XPRIZE competition for $25 million plus project. If the startup succeeds it would be the first time that a cent percent privately owned entity making a lunar exploration.

According to sources, Team Indus has already crossed the first hurdle by winning $1 million prize money earlier this year. The team’s R&D (Research and Development) division has a squad of capable scientists and future astronauts. Team Indus is expected to undertake its lunar mission by December next year.

The entire Indian media is now going gaga over Team Indus’s stupendous success; even its members are highly excited too. Literally, it’s the first time that any Indian rover or spacecraft is expected to land on the surface of the moon under the aegis of private entrepreneurs. In 1976, Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma created a record by becoming the first Indian to land on the moon.

Why Team Indus Has An Edge Over Other Nations?

Until now, only ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has exclusive right over space exploration. But now, Team Indus, a private company, is standing on the verge of creating history amidst several competitors. Initially, Indus team faced a tough contest from other 10 who were also in the fray including the likes of Italy, Peru, Mexico, Singapore, Germany and others.

Gladly enough, India had successfully reached the top 3 club of the contest. All these three nations will compete to send their spacecraft to the moon by 2017. GLPX (Google Lunar XPrize) will announce the ultimate winner of the contest which will fly to the moon through its spacecraft.

With Team Indus already in top 3, India’s prospect of winning this prestigious contest is indeed glittering.

Exactly nine years back, Google launched its unique lunar exploration campaign, GLPX (Google Lunar XPrize), in 2007, that aimed at motivating budding entrepreneurs to undertake in-depth research on space exploration. Several countries opted out of the contest due to one reason or another. But India’s Indus team stayed alive in the contest despite being a small private-funded entity.

Team Indus has a small yet capable staff. According to Team Indus’s official Ravishankar, “Humans have conquered sea, land and air. Space is the final frontier.” This couplet gave the much-needed impetus to the team that brought it to global spotlight.

Bes Wishes Team Indus

India is taking a great pride in team Indus and there is every reason to feel so. After the painstaking effort by the Indus team, finally, we are in the top 3. There is every possibility that the first ever premier spacecraft by Team Indus will land on the moon, India’s nearest satellite body.

The team is currently managed by Axiom Research Labs Pvt. Ltd headquartered in Bengaluru. The team is getting overwhelming wishes from the Indian crowd and citizens who feel this is the right time to show the world that India is a great nation with the right level of scientific temper, skill and attitude.

In recent past, Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned mission to the moon didn’t land there as per planned. In fact, it did rough landing leading to the termination of its functioning. It is hoped that Team Indus will make a successful soft landing on the moon. Keeping fingers crossed!!

Exploring Human Identity in Infinite Cosmos

I was fortunate enough to do some ground research on Hubble’s telescope few days ago, and accidentally I came across many interesting sources for live space streaming through NASA. The way earth viewing experiment by NASA is capturing visuals of earth’s surface, and captivating views of sunrise, my heart only grows fonder for the entity which established these processes. I may sound philosophical to few who may accuse me of babbling creator’s name, where scientific phenomena deserve credit, but the way things work around us (in space) makes me feel ashamed about our minute existence. Yes, “ashamed” I would say. We on earth, while living in our small constructed homes (small in comparison to size of larger objects such as sun, moon and infinite galaxies), proudly say, we are the most advanced species – humans. However, nature’s surprises such as survival of bacteria in space without any support, the disciplined movement of stellar objects as well as animal and plant systems, I feel are much more advanced than us. Continue reading