Could There be Life Inhabiting Jupiter?
By: Sidney R.
When thinking about life outside of our Earth, the possibility is thought to be from infinite to impossible. Theories about alien-life on Mars are spread far and wide, but for years now scientists have been wondering about one of Jupiter’s many moons: Europa. While there are more like it, Europa has qualities for life that make it the interest of NASA and more.
Europa is covered in ice, and though that sounds unappealing for life, what matters more is what’s underneath the frozen exterior. This moon is one of the only locations beside Earth to hold a mass of water, and in this case- an ocean spanning for sixty miles. The ice, six miles thick, hides its possibilities.
For whatever creature existing down below, likely a microbe or “microorganism, there are conditions to its survival. Despite water’s importance to theories, further observation and explanations are required. It’s broken down to this- the microbe will need a source of energy, food, water and survivable living conditions.
Most moons, including Europa, have an important relationship with its “mother planet”, which allows its to be heated by its closer presence to Jupiter. So, in spite of the icy planet, warmth is surprising not the biggest issue.
Scientists offer can more evidence to show how the living conditions may not be as bad as they seem. So far, it seems entirely plausible that Europa has tectonic plates, similar to ours on Earth.
The potential of tectonics introduces subduction, which occurs when plate tectonics press against Earth’s hot mantle. Since Europa does not experience heat in that form, scientists believe that its amounts of salt would have the same effect. Salt, by being denser than the ice, adds weight to the moon’s plates and should cause the process. The importance of subduction lies in giving us an idea on how a form of life could have an energy source and nutrients.
Explaining the theory behind this creature itself, scientists have turned to an organism already presiding on Earth that presents interesting and comparable ideas: the Desulforudis audaxviator.
This microbe lives in Africa, where it has survived underground through extreme conditions of a lack of oxygen without sunlight, as well as uniquely consuming radioactivity as food. They are a wonder to the bacterial ecosystem already and give an intriguing template for Europa’s possible life.
All in all, the alien bacteria have been theorised to live off nutrients from the moon’s tectonic plates as well as a byproduct of uranium from the moon’s core. Similar to Desulforudis audaxviator, it would be able to live in the dark reaches of Europa’s hidden ocean, without the sunlight most creatures would need.
There are other moons that have similar environments, such as Saturn’s Enceladus, that NASA plans to send exporations to in the future. The future of research on aliens, though maybe less notable then green bobble-headed people, is only a decade away.
“Extinct” animals appear as endangered: 5 of the world’s rarest animals
By Langston J
1. The red crested tree rat (scientifically named the Santamartamys Rufodorsalis) habits the Sierra Nevadas. This is one of the many endangered rodents who have been on the verge of extinction
This mammal is about the size of a Guinea Pig and disappeared for 113 years and has recently been spotted and was never extinct. The latest spotting was in 2005 but before that it was in 1898. The red crested tree rat have an orange and grey colored coat of spiky fur. Not much is know about this animal to date.
2. Nelson’s small eared shrews are also mammals. Just like the tree rat, the shrew also disappeared for the last sighting was 1894 and spotted in 2004. This species was discovered by Edward William Nelson.
This shrew is in the family of the Soricidae and is found in Vasquez, Mexico. They are very tiny at the size of 10 centimeters. They are on the list of the top 100 most endangered species on the planet, and people thought they were extinct for 118 years, until being rediscovered.
3. The majority population of Europe thought that the Northern Bald Ibis went extinct over 300 years ago. In 2002 they were spotted in Syria and it’s now known that there are less than 10 in that area.
They are a classified Critically Endangered species. It’s feathers are a glossy black color and as they grow into adults, they go bald on the top of their heads.
4. Native to central Africa is the elephant shrew. The Elephant shrews diet consists of insects, just like a frog. These shrews live up to four years and are 9 to 12 inches long. Their tails are from three to four inches long.
They are prey to many birds and snakes. Elephant shrews are in an animal group in Africa called the “Little 5” along with ant lions, leopard tortoises, buffalos and rhinos.
5. Of the many rare marine mammals, the Vaquita is the rarest, with only 30 of them living through the whole planet. The population has dropped instantaneously over the past years.
These dolphins can weigh up to 120 pounds and five feet in height if they are healthy. The Vaquita can swim very rapidly and has a instinctive reflex to flee when a boat approaches. They are mostly swimming around the northern gulf of California.
This is only an extremely small portion of the animals going extinct because of human impact on the earth. I encourage you to do something as small as properly throwing away your trash to start helping thousands of animals who are in need. You can help make a difference.
Cars in Space; What’s Next?!
By Jamieson D.
Most of us have heard about Elon Musk’s car in space and how ridiculous the whole concept was, but did the experiment have a real purpose?
The name of the rocket that pushed the car into space is called, “Falcon Heavy” which is a new type of spacecraft that is considered to be the best out there today. SpaceX, the name of the space program, makes reusable rockets, meaning; it can be used to fly into outer space and come back down, on (hopefully) the launchpad.
For a reference, what NASA is currently doing, for the time being, is shooting two or three fuel tanks into the atmosphere, with the payload, costing around $500 per container. So if NASA incorporated SpaceX into their program, they would save around a total of $500 per fuel tank on the rocket. So for an average spaceship, the amount retained would be somewhere between $1000 – $1500 every launch!
The feature that allows SpaceX to recycle is in its landing legs, on the fuel tanks. After the rocket lifts into space and the first stage “pops-off”; the fuel tanks center cores will guide themselves away from the actual payload and safely drop down to earth and put into the new rocket.
There is another reason on why SpaceX is so cost efficient; this is portrayed in, “CPP” or “Cost per pound.” For the people who aren’t fluent in aerospace engineering, this means: for every spacecraft (i.e., the average cost for a pound of metal or piece of food for might cost $46,000) the cost is decided by dividing the entire value of the rocket by the weight and SpaceX has an astounding CPP of $26000.
The reason why Elon Musk decided to start SpaceX has many answers. But the main reason he began SpaceX is: how expensive it is to make and launch rockets. Why the sudden interest in spaceships, some might ask? This is because Mr. Musk had plans to launch a greenhouse on to mars with plants and nutrient gel.
But back to the expensive part; Elon Musk had need of a rocket to put a greenhouse on Mars, and so he looked at the rocket prices. After a while of looking at expensive costs, he then thought of why these rockets were so expensive. Then it hit him 一 the reason why spaceships were so expensive, was that one main company would buy parts from smaller companies, and those smaller companies would buy even smaller companies parts and each company would sell their product for more than it would be to produce it by yourself.
Due to the insane cost of this, Elon Musk had decided to get all the parts for himself, therefore cutting out the middleman. This step got rid of over $20,000 on the CPP of his rocket. With this new movement from Elon Musk, the thought process of many rocket engineer minds have reconfigured for the better.
If rocket scientists keep getting excited about rockets, and keep improving them at a fast rate, we may even have an eco-friendly rocket shortly. So for a better future where space is a close friend, and we live, nay, thrive, on multiple planets, stay interested and make this dream a reality. For more information on SpaceX, visit: http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy
Robot Overlords: Will it happen?
Thursday, March 1, 2018
By Jamieson D.
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence; a category of robots that have intellects similar to humans. AI is already being implemented into our everyday lives. This includes self driving cars, computers, Google, and even our school.
When working on this subject, I needed more insight on what other people had thought of AI, especially people with knowledge on the matter. I had first asked a teacher for some insight on what they thought AI was and how it should be used in the future.
“AI is interesting, because the definition of AI changes constantly; but if I had to choose a singular definition, it would be ‘when technology starts to do things that humans would normally do.’ For the next question, I see AI being used for things humans can’t do because AI and humans can handle different amounts of data.”
After this, I then asked a second source, Blach’s Technology Specialist: Mr. Finn. I asked him the same questions.
“Because of the vast amount of knowledge AI possesses, AI can be used to solve problems and keep us safer by assisting us in everyday tasks; it may even help contribute to discover how humans can live longer. ”
I then asked both what moral laws we should put into action, because even though AI is not able to think for itself (yet), we need to know how to deal with the subject later so that AI and the human race can peacefully coexist in a world where we live together.
There are already laws set in place, but only three 一Asimov’s laws: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.”
The teacher said, “This is the most difficult part of AI left, because it’s really a grey area. Your moral laws and my moral laws are different. So at some point we will need to decide what moral values can be accepted by all, humans, and implemented into code for AI to follow.”
Mr. Finn commented, “When getting into Morale laws you also get more into philosophy and how one’s mind thinks. But this is why we need to have discussions on what moral standards to put robots up to,”
To summarize, AI laws are something that can’t be determined by a yes or a no and we should discuss this topic until there is truly a set of morale rules set in stone.
Now let me ask you a question; how do you think AI should be limited and how do you think it helps us? Remember, the future is now.