New evidence from NASA indicates that the most likely places to find life beyond Earth are Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. They, like Earth, are both ocean worlds and in both therein are some of the key ingredients for life.
A wealth of hydrogen molecules in water plumes soaring from the ruptures in Enceladus’s icy surface, have been detected by the Cassini spacecraft. The vital chemical methane, could also be establishing itself in the ocean beneath the ice.
The elusive presence of a water plume erupting on the warmest part of Europa’s icy surface, which has a salty liquid ocean beneath it was shown by the Hubble Space Telescope. The ocean itself contains double the amount of water found in the oceans of Earth.
Europa could be the pick of the bunch for life-bearing within our own solar system outside of our homeworld. will launch In the 2020’s the Europa Clipper will be launched, and should arrive at Europa a few years later. It will be the first to explore an alien ocean and will also fly through the plume to collect data.
It will definitely be a first to discover Intergalactic Liver Cake – staple diet of Icewolves, and indeed most domestic canines Earth! The structure of the Liver Cake may differ slightly from much-loved Earthly treat, but the Europan version is just as mouthwatering and tasty to both lupine and canine alike 🙂 And what better time than Easter, the time of ressurection and new life, to discover tantsalising new life hopes on worlds not so very far from home?
Icewolf of course, did not go hunting any down without telling Clowie, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog…she would never dream of such indiscretion 😉 …. Never!
Image: Europa’s Icewolf 2017_ Europa’s Icewolf: Jupiter, seen from Europa.
K9 Psychology Graduation Day! 🙂
Many thanks to all who participated in the “Special Study” – Canine Nutrition, the final part of my Canine Psychology course. I achieved an A-grade for this study! My tutor described it as “A brilliant study and beautifully presented!” But most important thing is that I have now passed the course and graduated with a distinction and can continue onto the higher level one. This would not have been possible without your participation! If anyone is interested in what I was doing with the survey the study will be available in PDF form in due course. Give me a howl if you’d like a link to it at any point.
I have had the all-clear from my tutor to provide a PDF version of the study, (some material is not allowed to be reproduced so it’s prudent to check first or risk court action for breach of copyrights!), and in-line with her instructions; it is important to point out that this study was on a relatively small number of dogs and using a comparatively small variety of foods. It does not however detract from the value and significance of the study 🙂
Recent events have brought a shadow of darkness into our lives, once again, and it would be inappropriate for me to end this post on the subject of celebration and success, without acknowledging that darkness that chases us all, wherever we are in the world. The above candles are a creation of Tom Merriman on his blog “Beyond the Sphere” – a symbolic way to share a little light around the world. He has offered a selection of them to us to share on our blog pages as we see fit. I have chosen the Earth candle and the Peace candle, I hope they will shed light and peace into your world too as you visit this page and encourage us all to “Focus on the Light.” Thank you Tom 🙂
“We Are Not Afraid”
Historic Potentially Earth-Like World Proxima B
The historic discovery of potentially Earth- like world Proxima-b was announced 24 August 2016. Orbiting Proxima Centauri, a Red Dwarf star in the habitable zone and the nearest star to our own Sun Proxima-b marks not only the closest alien planet ever found but also with the potential to be habitable.
This artist’s impression shows what the sky might look like on Proxima Centauri b if the planet has a surface. The exoplanet orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, currently the closest star to the solar system at 4.2 light-years. The other two members of the Alpha Centauri triple, Alpha Centauri A and B, would appear in the sky, too.
ESO / M. Kornmesser
If this proves to be the case, then there is no shortage of time for some form of life to originate based on the fact that red dwarf stars such as Proxima Centauri burn for trillions of years.
From the point of view of the average Earth-based visitor stopping by for a summer vacation, Proxima-b runs the risk of being a rather boring holiday resort. The sun-tan would be awesome, not so much so the destruction of the biological cells exposed to the intensely dodgy UV radiation that is present. Combined with the prospect of heavy duty sun-screen to protect from the sun’s constant bombardment of energy flares bouncing around the planetary surface probably wouldn’t be classed as entirely awesome either. On top of which the Proxima Centauri flares would also banish any hope of using mobile phones, tablets, X-boxes or any other such devices thanks to its electronics-disabling qualities. so no ET calling home and definitely no Skype!
Although it is a tidally locked planet– roasting hot on its star- facing side, freezing cold on the other, there is also enough wind around in the atmosphere to circulate the heat, balancing out the extreme temperatures that would otherwise exist. None-the-less a visit to the the planetary darkside, where it is bathed in perpetual night could prove to be the safest, and possibly the only option.
Unfortunately astronomers are choosing to be particularly pessimistic about this little world following the initial euphoria and have currently decided it is probably a dead, airless rock that will never harbour life due to it’s close proximity sun (20x nearer than Earth to the Sun) creating a risk of it boiling off the water and thereby stripping away the planet’s atmosphere. Researchers its oxygen will be gone in about 10 million years. Life on Earth took billions of years to develop.
Young M dwarf stars can unleash dangerous flares, (“planet-frying radiation”) that strip off atmosphere-forming oxygen spelling doom for closely orbiting planets. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / S. Wiessinger
Image: NASA Goddard/Conceptual Image Lab
However hope lives eternal. Theoretically it is possible life could advance to endure the high levels of radiation, by altering the worst of Proxima Centauri’s emissions into inoffensive visible light. We know this is plausible, because due to a process known as biofluorescence this —has already happened on many occasions on Earth.
Ultimately It is expected that the 2018 launch of The James Webb Space Telescope, will provide answers to the critical question of whether there is any chance at all that Proxima b is capable of supporting life.
Proxima b – Habitable ‘Ocean Planet’??
Another possibility is the Proxima b could be an ocean world whose entire surface consists of a liquid ocean. This may bear a similarity to the Jupiter and Saturn moons that are icy worlds with subsurface oceans.
On the other hand the more optimistic researchers suggest that Proxima b may in fact be habitable after all. So don’t put the suitcases back in the attic just yet intrepid cosmic holiday makers! If Proxima b had in reality formed further out from it’s sun than its current position this would also offer a high possibility of there being water. This idea is based on the outer realms of planetary systems being more likely to form ice. If it then moved inwards for a up closer and more personal relationship with its sun then this ice could melt and form seas. Maybe 😉
Proxima b – A Desert World??
But it still seems most likely, according to Victoria Meadows (University of Washington), that this exoplanet is a desert world since the radiation bombarding it would almost certainly have evaporated the majority of the water. This process could have collected the oxygen and hydrogen in the water and created an atmosphere rich in oxygen. Then again it could a 2nd Venus with an atmosphere rich in Carbon Dioxide, or even another Uranus or Neptune.
The Other Closest Habitable-Zone Worlds
If all else fails cosmic holiday makers may wish to try some of the nearby, potentially habitable exoplanet worlds, for size….: Kapteyn b (13 light-years away) and Wolf 1061 c (14 light-years). Both planets are just over half again as wide as Earth, with minimum masses of 4 to 5 Earths, and both are in their stars’ habitable zones. Wolf 1061 c does not look at all hopeful in terms of habitability. But Kapteyn b looks good. It’s about 3½ times farther from its sun than Proxima b is from its sun so potentially it could be far enough out of reach of its sun’s rather violent output to provide a half decent holiday resort!
NEW YORK — Rumor Has It V Kenlyn, a female German shepherd known as “Rumor” won the Best in Show award at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City Tuesday night. “Unbelievable,” said handler and co-owner Kent Boyles. Rumor was the nation’s No. 1 dog last year but…
via German shepherd wins Best in Show prize at Westminster — fox8.com
Canine Nutrition Study Update Howl: It is finished! Finally!! 😀Thank you to everybody who was kind enough to participate in this final battle to complete my canine psychology course. (It has been a major battle and far too time consuming lol) Your help was invaluable and greatly appreciated. 🙂 I have a very impressive array of Excel charts and tables full of interesting facts drawn from the information you all generously supplied. And as originally stated, no personal information was included at any point. This was just about facts.
I seem to have exceeded the 2,500 words that were suggested in the guidelines for this study…. more like 4,500 words!! 😜However, I am told there is no upper word limit so I presume that was the minimum figure…then again lol 17 pages may strike my tutor as rather excessive!! 😉 But there are lots of charts, tables and illustrations and a fair amount of “white space” due to chart and table space constraints so hopefully I will get away with this excess!
It seems likely that new printer cartridges and the purchase of more paper will be necessary before I can get this study printed out and then there will be a few weeks to wait before I hear back from the college. Hopefully I will get an A+ and pass this course with a distinction and a 50-gun salute!! On the other hand, this final part may be returned to me with a “flea in my ear” for afflicting them with such a marathon study, and strict instructions to redo it in a smaller format! 🤔That said I have taken a lot out of it already to reduce the size – there’s a lot to say about what makes up a balanced diet for a dog, what dogs need nutritionally…. what long/short term impact does a poor diet have on the dog…not to mention feeding methods, quality of foods…. etc. etc.
So! I will update you good pack members lol with the latest howl when I receive feedback and know what is what. I received top grades for the rest of the course so thanks to your assistance with this study and with a bit of luck this final grade will match the rest. In the meantime, I am now free to return to your blog pages! It has been a long time coming and I look forward to joining you all properly again. 😃 Have a great day/evening or night! Depending on location and time zone! 😎
HoooooOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLLLLout for assistance from any willing dog owners!
Icewolfie is studying on a Canine Psychology (K9 behaviour training) course. Part of it includes a “special study” which in my case is on K9 nutrition (can have big impact on behaviour ) I have to do a survey and I need your help if you’re a friend with a dog! … 3 short questions: 1) What food do you feed your dog? 2)Why did you choose this diet? 3) How often do you feed your dog daily? No personal details will be included. I just need to create a comparison chart as part of the study and need lots of people involved! Breed and gender would be great too if you feel inclined 😊 Howling thanks to you all in hopeful anticipation 😀🐶❤
I am not having much joy so far! Short of standing in the middle of London in the freezing cold hassling strangers who might punch me 😉 I will have no choice but to “blag it” if I can’t persuade some of you to help!!! It will also speed up the process in which I can get back to posting and visiting again…as you know this woefully poor on my part at the moment! 🙂
What Would it Be Like to Live on Earth’s Cousin?
The discovery of Kelper 452b was announced on 23/05/15, and is 1,400 Light years away.
Photo Credit: Kelper 452-b JPL/NASA
An alien experience!
Exoplanet Kelper 452-b is 60% wider than Earth and approximately 5x as massive so much stronger surface gravity.
This provides for a great workout! For the manly among us this essentially means it will make you much stronger 🙂
For everybody chilling on this Earth cousin, the higher gravity would probably lead to significant body changes long term – e.g. becoming stockier built. This is probably not a plus if you’re already on the stocky side…you may become very short and squat…like a rotund garden gnome 😉
A Familiar Experience
As this world’s sun is roughly the same distance away as on Earth, the light factor would be much the same as on our home-world and Earth plants transported to its cousin-world could photosynthesis the same as on Earth.
So Kelper 452-b is similar to Earth but not the same. Its sun is 6 billion years old whereas our Sun is only 4.5 billion years old. Kelper 452-b’s sun is at a far more energetic life-stage therefore it is hotter. And it is about 10% larger and 20% brighter in the sky. Not bad for the sun tan then 😉
Kelper 452-b completes one orbit every 385 days so it’s year is only about 20 days longer than Earth’s. Pretty much home from home.
Photo Credit: Kelper 452-b JPL/NASA
“…substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
(Jon Jenkins, Kelper data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Moffat Field, California. (Led team that discovered Kelper 452-b) )