What'sNEW Aug - Oct 2020
A universe that comes from nothing in a single big bang would preclude cosmic ancestry. We welcome cosmologies that don't start with nothing.Big Bounce Simulations Challenge the Big Bang by Charlie Wood, Quanta (+Wired), 04 Aug 2020; re:
A new kind of cyclic universe by Anna Ijjas and Paul J. Steinhardt, Physics Letters B (+arXiv), Aug 2019.
Thanks, Stan Franklin.
The End... has much more about alternatives to the standard big bang theory.
05 Nov 2020: George Nickas alerts Steinhardt to Hoyle et al.
21 Jan 2020: Penrose has doubts.
18 Feb 2004: Big bang revised?
27 Apr 2002: universe always existed?
The fall, recovery, classification, and initial characterization of the Hamburg, Michigan H4 chondrite by Philipp R. Heck et al., Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 27 Oct 2020.
Pristine Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds Discovered in "Fireball" Meteorite, Field Museum, SciTech Daily, 27 Oct 2020.
Fireball meteorite offers clues to origins of life by Paul Ratner, Big Think, 28 Oct 2020.
Thanks, Stan Franklin and Google Alerts.
Comets: The Delivery System has more.
Life on the Moon by Chandra Wickramasinghe, The Times, London, 28 Oct 2020.
A stringent upper limit of the PH3 abundance at the cloud top of Venus by T. Encrenaz et al., arXiv (accepted for Astronomy & Astrophysics), 16 Oct 2020.
Promising sign of life on Venus might not exist after all by Nadia Drake, National Geographic, 23 Oct 2020.
Thanks, Rob Cooper and Chandra Wickramasinghe.
Tagging Bennu, Astronomy Picture of the Day, 22 Oct 2020.
09 Oct: Illustration and more.
Cosmic Genetic Evolution, Edward J. Steele and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, eds., Oct 2020.
The Foreword by Brig Klyce, "Some Things Are Simply Given," is available here: pdf | docx.
Detection of simplest amino acid glycine in the atmosphere of the Venus by Arijit Manna et al., arXiv, 13 Oct 2020.
14 Sep 2020 Phosphene in the clouds of Venus.
Thanks, Stan Franklin and Ronnie McGhee.
Horizontal gene transfer potentiates adaptation by reducing selective constraints on the spread of genetic variation by Laura C. Woods, Rebecca J. Gorrell et al, W. Ford Doolittle, ed., doi:10.1073/pnas.2005331117, PNAS, 14 Oct 2020.
...some microorganisms can bend the rules of evolution, Monash University (+PhysOrg.com), 14 Oct 2020.
Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms has referenced updates since 1997.
Pioneering Astrobiologist: Fred Hoyle (pdf), poster by students at the International Space University, 2020.
Thanks, Samee Rousseau for updating the Hoyle poster.
NASA mission set to sample carbon-rich asteroid by Paul Voosen, Science, 09 Oct 2020.
24 Oct: Success!
Comet Rendezvous has some history and updates, especially about Rosetta.
Some planets may be better for life than Earth by Sara Zaske, WSU News (+Phys.Org), 05 Oct 2020.
In Search for a Planet Better than Earth: Top Contenders for a Superhabitable World (open access) by Dirk Schulze-Makuch et al., doi:10.1089/ast.2019.2161, Astrobiology, 18 Sep 2020.
Thanks, Stan Franklin.
Multiple subglacial water bodies below the south pole of Mars unveiled by new MARSIS data by Sebastian Emanuel Lauro et al., doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1200-6, Nature Astronomy, 28 Sep 2020. Life on Mars! has history.
...our most plausible explanation is life — molecular astrophysicist Clara Sousa-Silva, MIT
Evidence is accumulating for life in Venus's clouds, as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe predicted.
Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus by Jane S. Greaves et al., doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1174-4, Nature Astronomy, online 14 Sep 2020.
Something Weird Is Happening on Venus by Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 14 Sep 2020.
...life on Venus stirs up heated debate by Nadia Drake, National Geographic, 14 Sep 2020.
...Phosphine ...in the Atmosphere of Venus, Astronomy Picture of the Day, 15 Sep 2020.
Thanks, Rob Cooper, Stan Franklin, James Powers and Bob Sweeney. And Ronnie McGhee:
...life on Venus? Check for spores in the atmosphere... by Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, 28 Aug 2020; re: ...the Venusian Aerial Biosphere by Sara Seager et al., Astrobiology, 13 Aug 2020.
Microorganisms in the Clouds of Venus by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 1982.
Life on Venus by Chandra Wickramasinghe, The Times, London, 16 Sep 2020.
Venus's Clouds... by Chandra Wickramasinghe, The Daily Telegraph, 23 Sep 2020.
18 Sep 2020: George Nickas comments.
19 Oct, 26 Oct 2020 and 16 Nov 2020: updates.
28 Jan 2021: Sulfur dioxide?
Are aliens hiding in plain sight? by Philip Ball, The Guardian, 05 Sep 2020.
Thanks, Justin Willingham. Let's also be alert for evidence of life-as-we-know-it!
What Is Life?
Life on Mars! has background about earlier evidence for life there, some predictions and updates.
A fossil on Mars..., seen by NASA's Opportunity rover, is just one example of ignored evidence.
...10 Years of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA JPL via YouTube, 09 Mar 2016.
Thanks, Rob Cooper.
Bacteria could survive travel between Earth and Mars when forming aggregates, Phys.org, 26 Aug 2020.
Clumps of bacteria could spread life between planets by Paola Rosa-Aquino, Popular Science, 27 Aug 2020.
Thanks, Jacob Navia, Richard Hoover, George Howard and others.
Bacteria: The Space Colonists has more.
Hubble Snaps Close-Up of Celebrity Comet Neowise NASA Hubblesite (+Newswise), 21 Aug 2020.
Thanks, Rob Cooper.
Comets: The Delivery System has discussion and links.
Soil Microbiomes With the Genetic Capacity for Atmospheric Chemosynthesis Are Widespread Across the Poles and Are Associated With Moisture, Carbon, and Nitrogen Limitation by Angelique E. Ray et al., doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.01936, Frontiers in Microbiology, 12 Aug 2020.
Life without water: how do bacteria generate biomass in desert ecosystems? by Sean Bay, Belinda Ferrari and Chris Greening, doi:10.1071/MA18008, Microbiology Australia, 21 Feb 2018.
Bacteria: The Space Colonists discusses their versatility, with links to updates.
Lucky strike by Joshua Sokol, Science, 14 Aug 2020.
Comets: The Delivery System has history and related links.
Ceres might be home to an underground ocean of water by Neel V. Patel, MIT Technology Review, 11 Aug 2020.
Asteroid Ceres: An Ocean World by Monica Young, Sky and Telescope, 10 Aug 2020.
Fresh emplacement of hydrated sodium chloride on Ceres from ascending salty fluids by M. C. De Sanctis et al., Nature Astronomy, Aug 2020.
Salt Water Remnants on Ceres, Astronomy Picture of the Day, 01 Sep 2020.
15 Mar 2018 and 17 Feb 2017: more about Ceres.
Life on Europa, Other Moons, Other Planets? has related links.