I just spent 4 days in Denver attending a conference with so many presentations on space, that I was in 7th heaven the whole time. The panels were so exciting and filled with the latest information. I hope you don't mind, my sharing this information with you because I am totally excited.
In the past month or two, news came out on an asteroid like object that came from out of the solar system and flew through so fast it was already five days past its closest point to earth when it was discovered.
Oumuamua, Hawaiian for Scout, is a needle shaped object they think might have originated in a two star system that possible exploded. The explosion pushed the object out and gave it the speed necessary to make it to our solar system.
The object is not small! It is a 1,300 feet long following a hyperbolic path which means it is not gravitationally attached to the sun. It has really been traveling through the solar system. They thought it might be a comet but it does not have any of the normal attributes associated with one. I am just thrilled to hear about this object.
In another talk, I discovered there are more suns with planets than we'd ever thought before. Technically, these are referred to as exoplanets because they circle a star. There are about 3,200 confirmed exoplanets and another 2,500 or so unconfirmed. This is exciting because some of these fall within the right size and position to possibly contain life of some sort.
When scientists discuss life at this point, they refer to small one or multiple celled creatures or possibly bacteria because those are more likely to be found first. In addition, many of the smaller creatures are capable of surviving in more extreme climates.
They've discovered a small creature, the Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets. They are tiny eight legged water creatures who can survive exposure to radiation, the vacuum of space, adapt to a huge temperature range from absolute zero to almost 100 C, live without food for years, and withstand significant pressure. Totally amazing.
Tomorrow, I'm going to share information on space programs in foreign countries before getting back to my usual topics. I'm just so excited about everything I've learned, I have to share. Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear.