Bill Nye: How Finding E.T. Will Change the World
NASA researchers recently announced that life beyond our planet will be discovered in the next twenty years. Bill Nye, everyone’s favorite “Science Guy,” an educator, scientist, and the CEO of The Planetary Society, an organization that promotes space exploration, stopped by Big Think’s studio to discuss how this will change the world. The last time Nye visited us, he provided a disturbing assessment of the damaging belief of creationism, a movement he calls unique to the United States. Now he’s back with a request to the American public: let’s all contribute the price of a cup of coffee to continue the search for life.
Nye wants the search to target Europa, one of the 63 known moons of Jupiter. It's believed to have around twice as much sea water as Earth. The salt water geysers of Europa also indicate that it has the ingredients for life. Nye is convinced that that’s where we’ll first discover our cosmic neighbors, and it’s up to each of us to make it happen, as he explains:
"It would change the world for a price of a cup of coffee and wait, there's more. It wouldn't be the work of a guy like Galileo or Copernicus or Kepler, these are famous names in astronomy, or Isaac Newton or Einstein. It would be the work of all of us. It would be the work of all of us taxpayers and citizens of the earth who participate in this. Now it might be U.S. taxpayers nominally, but guarantee you the European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, almost certainly the Indian Space Research Organization, the Roscosmos, everybody would have a small part on this mission. Everybody would be involved. And if we were to find evidence of life it would change the world. Change the world."
The discovery would certainly unite the world. Until a NASA explorer docks on Europa, you can tour the cosmos and learn about the latest initiatives in the search for E.T. on the website of The Planetary Society.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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