Exploring mysterious worlds in ‘The Hunt for Planet B’

2021-11-21 00:19:42

The mere thought can ship you down an existential rabbit gap. However I like to take a look at the universe and take into account the entire potentialities simply awaiting discovery.

Astronomers have but to discover a photo voltaic system fairly like ours. And of the 1000’s of identified exoplanets, none fairly match up with the planets in our cosmic yard. However scientists have solely simply begun to scratch the floor of those planets exterior the photo voltaic system. The following step is wanting inside them.

In the event you’re intrigued by exploring different worlds, watch “The Hunt for Planet B,” airing on CNN Saturday, November 20, at 9 p.m. ET.

Observe scientists as they plan for the launch of NASA’s James Webb House Telescope, the world’s strongest area observatory.

Defying gravity

After years of delays, the Webb telescope is scheduled for launch December 18 from French Guiana. It would examine exoplanets in new methods and look deeper into the universe than ever earlier than.
The telescope’s identify shouldn’t be with out controversy, and lots of nonetheless hope NASA will change it.
Webb will peer into the very atmospheres of exoplanets, a few of that are doubtlessly liveable. For these of you who submitted questions in regards to the mission, we have tracked down solutions from the specialists.

Webb is able to assist us perceive the origins of the universe and start to reply key questions on our existence, akin to the place we got here from and if we’re alone within the cosmos.

Different worlds

This illustration shows the TRAPPIST planets, all roughly the size of Earth.

Oh, the locations Webb will go! The telescope will take a look at diversified objects, like stars and galaxies within the distant universe and planets in our personal photo voltaic system, however many affiliate Webb with exoplanets.

As soon as it launches, the telescope will bear months of setup to organize for taking observations 1,000,000 miles from Earth. Then, the magic begins.

The observatory is slated to take a look at the TRAPPIST-1 system, which incorporates seven Earth-size exoplanets orbiting a cool dwarf star about 40 light-years away.

However astronomers are additionally keen to research nonetheless different mysterious exoplanets, like these between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No identified planet like this exists in our photo voltaic system — however they’re the commonest exoplanet in our galaxy. Now, scientists need to know the way they fashioned.

Throughout the universe

Scientists agree that for humankind, there may be doubtless no Planet B. We should do every little thing we are able to to maintain Earth as a result of they are saying it is the one world for us.

However wanting forward, it is a query astronomers puzzle over: If Planet B exists, what may it’s like?

Some imagine it will likely be a real Earth twin the place life types in a lot the identical means because it does right here.

Others hope we’ll study life can type in quite a lot of methods. When wanting on the range of exoplanets round various kinds of stars, that does not appear so far-fetched.

After which there may be an much more intriguing thought: What if life did not start on Earth in any respect, however elsewhere?

Incredible creatures

Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas is pictured with her dog, Zach.

In the event you’ve been working from residence within the pandemic, likelihood is your pet has grown used to additional high quality time — which makes the separation nervousness that a lot harder when you’re again within the workplace.

Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, a lecturer in animal-computer interplay on the College of Glasgow in Scotland, has got down to change that with the DogPhone. Not like different pet tech, DogPhone permits canine to name their house owners.

She examined her invention on Zach, her black Labrador retriever, by hiding a sensor inside a ball. If the ball is moved, it triggers a pc video name. The outcomes are promising.

Ocean secrets and techniques

It is time to go to the twilight zone — the one within the ocean. This area, earlier than daylight offers technique to the perpetual darkish of the deep sea, is as mysterious to us as area.

The extra researchers study, the extra they notice the animals that inhabit it play a crucial function in regulating the Earth’s local weather. Right here, lovely and weird creatures migrate up and down every day.

This zone has a shocking advocate: filmmaker James Cameron.

“It acts as this big carbon pump that is pulling carbon out of the ambiance and taking it down into the deep ocean,” Cameron advised CNN. It is simply certainly one of many causes he desires to protect this area, the biggest biomass on our planet.


Take one other look:

— Floating junk in area is a rising downside, and this week it simply received worse, sending area station crew scrambling for canopy.
— Over 1,000 manatees in Florida have died this yr, the best recorded quantity in many years, and the explanations could shock you.
— Archaeologists have uncovered what they imagine is certainly one of Egypt’s misplaced “solar temples,” relationship from the mid-Twenty fifth century BCE.
Like what you have learn? Oh, however there’s extra. Enroll right here to obtain in your inbox the following version of Marvel Idea, delivered to you by CNN House and Science author Ashley Strickland, who finds marvel in planets past our photo voltaic system and discoveries from the traditional world.

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