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My guess is that there is one of two things happening here. Either intelligent life is a very rare thing, or faster than light travel is not possible. Or it could well be a combination of both.

Personally, I have a gut feeling that FTL travel is going to prove elusive, to say the least. I just don't buy all this 'warp drive dimension' stuff. And even creating a warp bubble front and aft of the craft with negative energy, sounds like fantasy to me.

As I mentioned in another thread, there is a distinct possibility of fold-points/tram-lines existing between stars, due to their extreme mass stretching the fabric of space-time. Most people would call them Worm Holes, and science has already stated that they almost certainly exist. But like Black Holes of a couple of decades ago, we just haven't located them yet.

[Image: general-relativity.jpeg]

Every star's giant mass would create a larger hole in the fabric of space-time, and the fabric between each mass would be under tension, causing it to fold inward, in a track/path like route. The larger the mass of the star, the greater its influence on the fold line. And there could be all sorts of these lines, with more than one radiating out from a sun, leading to others.

The problem here is that they would have to first be located in and around the star's space time gravity well, and the means with which to travel along the tram-line would have to be discovered. It could literally open up untold routes for travel.

However, it is not a favorite with SciFi writers because it is just not sexy enough for them. Almost all of them love the possibility of hopping around, all over the place. But more important, the wormhole/tram-line scenario places many restrictions on the traveler that would have to curtail all this fantasy idea of whizzing all over the galaxy. So only a few write about it much. Only hard SciFi writers cover it seriously.

Niven-Pournelle are the best known. Also, Michael McCollum, an aerospace engineer, also writes about wormholes in travel. His Antares series is quite good, and he also uses the wormhole concept in other works. If you like scifi, I recommend him highly.

Also, the galaxy could be literally teaming with intelligent life, but no way to get around effectively. I think this is the most likely scenario. Getting something for nothing is not natural, and the energy necessary to travel at incredible speeds makes FTL travel less than plausible IMO. That's why I will go with the Wormhole/foldpoint idea over the rest of them.
(11-19-2013, 12:46 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]Here's another fantastic shot of Comet ISON

[Image: Michael-JAcger-2012s120131117lrgbweb_1384718546_lg.jpg]

Comet Ison could cause the biggest explosion ever recorded and extreme meteor mayhem
It looks like ISON has survived, but little remaining.

[Image: ison_anim.gif]

COMET ISON, R.I.P.: Following its Thanksgiving Day brush with solar fire, sundiving Comet ISON is now just a cloud of dust. Among experts, a consensus is building that the comet broke apart shortly before perihelion (closest approach to the sun). In the movie, note how rapidly the comet fades just before it vanishes behind the occulting disk of the SOHO

After perihelion, the comet emerges as a diffuse remnant of its former self. No one knows for sure what is inside that fan-shaped cloud. Possibilities include a small remnant nucleus or a "rubble pile" of furiously vaporizing fragments. By the end of the day on Nov. 28th, Comet ISON was spent.

As of Dec. 2nd, the cloud of debris is no brighter than a star of approximately 8th magnitude. Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet's fading "ghost" in the pre-dawn sky of early December, but a naked-eye spectacle is out of the question.
And speaking of Wormholes there is this, just hot off the presses: A Link Between Wormholes and Quantum Entanglement.

[Image: 29224201thumb_300.jpg]
There's a constant hurricane happening on Saturn.

NASA shares image of massive 'Hexagon' on Saturn

[Image: 131205125824-saturn-streaming-hexagon-story-top.jpg]
From today's SpaceWeather.com

[Image: Dewey-Vanderhoff-RainbowMoon-CodyWyo-web...021_lg.jpg]
Quote:In Vanderhoff's image, the Moon is surrounded by a colorful lunar corona, caused by the diffracting action of water droplets and ice crystals in high clouds. "This was the most magnificent display of rainbow-colored clouds that I have ever seen," says Venderhoff. "A huge swath of cirrus clouds passed in front of the Moon, producing brilliant colors in several concentric bands. The bands undulated as the clouds moved across the face of the moon, propelled by strong upper level wind currents. I took multiple exposures and combined three frames using an HDR technique in Photoshop to capture and display the widest possible tonal range and color subtlety."



THE LONG TAIL OF COMET LOVEJOY: Next week, Comet Lovejoy makes its closest approach to the sun. The comet's tail is already amazing. Scroll down this image taken by Gerald Rhemann of Jauerling, Austria, for more information:

[Image: longtail_strip.jpg]

Filled with knots and eddies of dusty plasma, Lovejoy's tails stretches more than 20 degrees across the sky--long enough to overlap 40 full Moons or fill the Bowl of the Big Dipper twice. At closest approach to the sun or "perihelion" on Dec. 23rd, the comet will be just inside the orbit of Earth (0.82 AU). The extra heating it gets at perihelion will grow the tail even more.

Comet Lovejoy shines like a 4th magnitude star so it is barely visible to the unaided eye (especialy when the sky is filled with full moonlight). However, for backyard telescopes, the comet is a fairly easy target rising ahead of the sun in the eastern morning sky.
Well, here we are folks, perhaps the last great chance for the AGW crowd to be able to breathe a sigh of relief, should some huge solar storm eruption occur, proving the Evil Denialists wrong about an aquiescing sun. This is probably it. I have been closely watching sunspot AR1944 for some days, as it moved from the far left, and into the main part of the sun facing the earth. In fact, it is now starting to turn away from us, and will eventually go around and out of the picture.

[Image: hmi200.gif]
As the image shows, the sunspot is almost directly facing Earth. This makes it a threat for geoeffective eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate an 80% chance of M-class flares and a 50% chance of X-flares on Jan. 9th.
And like most of the estimates of late, nothing has occurred, making this sunspot cycle one of the most tranquil. Grand solar minimum anyone?



This is the biggest sunspot in a long time now, and with the sun having switched polarities, we are headed downward and into an eventual solar shutdown.
Going,...Going,.................. As the Sun Turns,.....................

[Image: hmi200.gif]

Quote:GROWING QUIET? Giant sunspot AR1944 has not unleashed a significant flare in more than 48 hours. The growing quiet could be the calm between storms. AR1944 has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares.

If its that bad, Mr. NASA, then why is it so quiet? Why hasn't it burst forth and caused all this damage you guys have been forecasting for over a decade now?

Please give The Buzz(bless his heart) a jingle, ok?
LIGHT PILLARS: Winter is unfolding around the northern hemisphere. As temperatures drop, pillars of light are springing up from ground. Janis Satrovskis of Valmiera, Latvia, photographed this specimen on Jan. 14th:

[Image: pillar_strip.jpg]

Light pillars are a common sight around northern cities in winter. Urban lights bounce off ice crystals in the air, producing tall luminous columns sometimes mistaken for auroras. Usually the ice crystals are natural, such as snow flakes, but in this case the atmospheric optics were artificial.

"The amazing phenomenon was created by snow blowing machines," explains Satrovskis. "These are our first days with temperatures below zero and ski resorts are making snow. A slight breeze carried manmade snow over the city, creating a spectacular view."

Light pillars are springing up in cold cities around the world. Is yours one of them?
Never noticed any one here.
Photoshop is your friend. S6
Actually, increased shutter time exposure.
A Bright Supernova in M82 has just been spotted. Its taken the light over eleven million years to reach us, but its still in a relatively close galaxy.

[Image: new_animation_supernova_m82_22_gennaio_2...f~original]

So, why is all this so important? And what good occurs because of super novae? Do you like gold, or other precious metals? To produce these you need a lot of immense heat, and there is only one place where this happens.


Strange things are going on with the North Star, Polaris: Its Getting Brighter. And it is mystery as to what is causing this. Is it something other than it being a Cepheid variable?
Those scientists will do anything for more grant money. S6
Oh, does it have anything to do with global warming? Spiteful
Is it getting brighter? I can't tell by looking at it. Is Al Gore taking the measurements?
Here's a question for you. Do the Seeds of Life Exist On The Moon? Scientists say ice on the lunar surface could be hiding the building blocks needed for simple organisms to evolve.

Quote:Now a new theory by researchers in Hawaii suggests cosmic rays could be helping the moon create these organics from scratch.
Sarah Crites at the University of Hawaii at Manoa told Lindsay Brownell at New Scientist that cosmic rays hitting lunar ice are powerful enough to spark reactions on the surface.

One thing is certain: the universe is bound to be filled with H2O. Its all over this solar system, and in such quantities unheard of a decade ago. And if you believe the idea of mini-comets(of water) entering the atmosphere daily, we will never have to worry about finding it in huge quantities.
(02-12-2014, 04:05 PM)mv Wrote: [ -> ]Is water flowing on Mars? Maybe, say scientists.

A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars has spotted signs that water might be flowing just below the Red Planet's surface.

If that is not water causing it, then perhaps they can come up with another theory?

And since water is known to be practically everywhere in this solar system, why wouldn't it be found on mars, and especially underground? Hell, the planet may well be loaded with underground reservoirs, just like earth. And why not?
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