Astronamy Discussion Assignment
Summary – Only two post are required for each of the four Discussion Topics. Citations are needed for the second post only in order to back up why your viewpoint (opinion) has changed or been strengthened. If replying to another student’s post, citations are still needed to explain why you agree or disagree with their position. This needs to be backed up by citing reliable sources rather than just giving your opinion.
Directions – Write at least one paragraph consisting of three to five sentences including an introduction to your topic idea, the facts that support your statement, and your conclusion based on facts. Note that two posts, your position statement and a follow-up response, are required for each topic.
Question Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
First, read recent news articles such as https://science.ubc.ca/news/many-six-billion-earth-planets-our-galaxy-according-new-estimates to see how many planets might exist in our Milky Way Galaxy alone.
Then, read below about the Drake Equation and, just for fun, try out one of the online Drake calculators. How can we estimate the number of technological civilizations that might exist among the stars? While working as a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, Dr. Frank Drake conceived an approach to bind the terms involved in estimating the number of technological civilizations that may exist in our galaxy. The Drake Equation, as it has become known, was first presented by Drake in 1961 and identifies specific factors thought to play a role in the development of such civilizations. Although there is no unique solution to this equation, it is a generally accepted tool used by the scientific community to examine these factors. — Frank Drake, 1961 Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
Note that the true value of the Drake Equation is not in “The Answer” itself, but the questions that one must consider to even arrive at an answer.
The equation is usually written: N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L
N = Number of Milky Way Galaxy civilizations whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
R* = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life to exist.
fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life exists.
fi = The fraction of life bearing planets with intelligent life.
fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space, since within the limits of our existing technology, any practical search for distant intelligent life must necessarily be a search for some manifestation of a distant technology. Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
Choose your own values and try the Drake Equation at one of the following sites:
Remember that the “answer” is not so important – it’s the questions one must consider before even trying to arrive at a numerical answer that are important. Have fun considering various possibilities!
The Discussion 4 question is not “Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?” but IF we do ever receive a signal indicating extraterrestrial life does exist, how do we respond? Some of these implications are ethical. If humanity sends a probe to a star system hosting alien life, for example, how will the residents respond? One researcher stated, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.” (Heussner, 2010) Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
Read the ABC news article at http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Space/stephen-hawking-alien-contact-risky/story?id=10478157 to see what Stephen Hawkins’ opinion is. Then discuss your response considering the following.
What if we do come across intelligent extraterrestrial life that is not technologically advanced, perhaps on the level of the great apes (such as chimps), or elephants, dolphins, or even dogs? How do we respond? Plan to add them to our zoo collections? Send them to experimental labs? Make them into a tasty new dish? Do their lives matter? Take into consideration our own record of human contact with one another. It plainly obvious these topics could carry astounding consequences. Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
Remember that humans were not technologically advanced until relatively recent times – think about our “technology” in pre-industrial times. Technologically advanced here means technology that releases detectable signs of existence into space in one or more wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our pre-world-war technology was not advanced in these terms.
Of possible interest for this topic is the WOW signal. Consider the possibilities as you read about it at www.science-frontiers.com/sf064/sf064g14.htm or
Astronamy Discussion Assignment Help
Please seriously consider Earth’s response IF life is ever detected elsewhere in our Milky Way Galaxy. Who should make the necessary decisions? The government? (Which one?) Scientists? The medical community? The military? (Again, which one?) Could all of the countries / governments on Earth ever come to a consensus?
Whether or not you think there might be life elsewhere in our Galaxy or the Universe, consider what our response should be IF we ever do encounter other life forms, technologically advanced or not. If interested, read https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-should-we-do-if-extraterrestrials-show-up/, but form your own opinion.
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