The Galactic Inquirer

Cosmochemistry and Astrobiology

Why We Explore Earth and Space

I have no doubt that we will become an interplanetary species, within two decades and that we will likely find the existence of life, or past life, on another planetary body, within the next decade.

Extraterrestrial Anthropomorphism

Perhaps because of their tremendous popularity, Hollywood’s sci-fi films have exerted a powerful influence on our psyches – piquing our curiosity and igniting our imagination regarding life beyond Earth.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Martin Annis, Ph.D. (Founder - American Science and Engineering) We have overlooked an important source of information in our search for life on Earth-like planets...

The Magic of Comet Hunting

David Levy, Jarnac Observatory Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night! Comets, importing change of times and states, Brandish your crystal tresses in the...

How the Earth Got its Water

Water has been identified in the most uncanny of places – as vapors in the nebulae that roam our Milky Way Galaxy, as ices...

Cosmochemistry and Astrobiology

INTRODUCTION: We are “the stuff of stars,” as connected to the cosmos as the Galaxy that spawned us. This stuff includes the light elements of...

Latest news

Dispatches from the Cosmos (2022-2023)

Each year, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) hosts two big meetings in January and June that span all of astronomy and its subfields of cosmology, helioastronomy, and planetary science. The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll, beginning in June 2020, when the meeting format pivoted to online presentations. The January 2022 meeting was canceled outright, but by June 2022, the society pivoted again, offering a hybrid mix of in-person and online formats. These two meetings underscored the unquenchable thirst for astronomical questing among our veteran and rising scientists. Here are a few highlights from these meetings.

Surfing The Auroral Cascade: Quantitative Constraints on Oxygen Forbidden-line Emissions and Exciting Electron Velocities

The formula for collisional excitation of the atoms responsible for auroral emission can explain why green auroras from excited oxygen atoms can occur at relatively low altitudes, but red auroras from these same atoms are constrained to higher altitudes of lower density. The same formula also suggests much lower electron velocities (~100 km/s) than are required to excite the oxygen atoms to the required metastable levels for subsequent emission (~1000 km/s).

Statistical Properties of Fast Radio Bursts from the CHIME/FRB Catalog 1: The Case for Magnetar Wind Nebulae as Likely Sources

Fast Radio Bursts are flashes of radio emission lasting for several milliseconds. The time of arrival of signals depends on the radio frequency, called the dispersion measure (DM), which depends on the environment through which the signals travel, specifically the number of free electrons in their path. Very few FRBs have matches with sources observed at other wavelengths (Wikipedia - Fast Radio Burst).

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Surfing The Auroral Cascade: Quantitative Constraints on Oxygen Forbidden-line Emissions and Exciting Electron Velocities

The formula for collisional excitation of the atoms responsible for auroral emission can explain why green auroras from excited oxygen atoms can occur at relatively low altitudes, but red auroras from these same atoms are constrained to higher altitudes of lower density. The same formula also suggests much lower electron velocities (~100 km/s) than are required to excite the oxygen atoms to the required metastable levels for subsequent emission (~1000 km/s).

Interstellar Communications

Introduction: It took less than two billion years for our...