Do Aliens Exist?

The debate of extraterrestrial life has always been never ending.With many claims and unproven citing of UFOs have created a huge stir among the scienctists fraternity.However no solid proof has surfaced yet.The famous astronomer Carl Segan previously assumed that the solar system is filled with bacteria, however no concrete proof has been received yet.He ,along with famous Russian astronomer I. S. Shklovshii wrote a book named ” Intelligent life in the Universe ” .Just the year before the release of the book Sagam attended first summit of the the new wing of NASA , Search for Extra Terrestrial Research and is acronym as SETI.

Celebrity physicists Stephan Hawking says that other than carbon life form, life can also exist as silicone based lifeform.

To understand the massive tast of finding life.We can take an example- consider the vast ocean on the earth, now we know that marine life exists inside it.Take a tumbler and pour some water from the ocean.You won’t notice any fish inside the tumbler. But fish do exist inside the ocean.

The tumbler here gives the magnitude of universe which has been explored by humans for the search of aliens.

Another probability of life on the planet can be given by Drakes Equation which takes parameter such as distance of planet from its star, size of planet and start etc etc and gives out the actual result.

On the contrary, some scientists also believe that finding alien life could proof lethal to humanity as the alien race might be hostile to us.You would be watching Star Trek , but in real.

On the last notes, its too early to say that aliens do not exist.With new advancements, a clue of extra terretrial life can certainly be found.

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Can you cite a Shooting Star every month ?

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Many people believe that if you cite a shooting star in the night sky, your wishes come true.A romantic date will be perfectly complete if a couple sees one. The shooting stars make the enchanting night sky even more charming. But what if you can observe these beautiful  stars every month ? However, some mythologies also report that citing of a shooting star brings bad luck. That’s where the word disaster originated which amalgamation of ‘dis-aster’ meaning bad star.But don’t  you be afraid , these beliefs are very old.

Probably everyone would have heard of the comets and these are also know as shooting star. These are the icy balls which complete one revolution around the Sun in an average of 75 years or more. Halley’s Comet being the most popular of all which is predicted to be seen on 28th July 2061.Many of us will be old by then.

But this is not why am I writing this article for. What if you could observe such beautiful event annually or lets be precise, monthly? Yes, this is possible. There is a phenomenon by which every month some of the comets debris come in contact with earth’s gravitational field giving rise to meteors , which fall on the earth. Many of them disintegrate before touching the ground because of friction provided by the atmosphere.This is process when multiple meteors are cited from a particular part of the sky is called meteor shower.Technically, they are not shooting stars , but they look like one. The location of each meteor shower is fixed which is determined by the constellation in which it is seen  ( to know more about the sky map and constellations  please read the previous article “How did the Zodiac signs got their names”)

There are roughly 15 meteor showers which occur annually. The density of the meteors in a meteor shower is given by the ZHR i.e. Zenith Hourly Rate.Given below is the list of the popular meteor showers along with the constellation and date in which they are cited.

 

Quadrantid          Draco (NE)                               Jan. 4

EH Lyrid               Lyra (E)                                    April 22

Eta Aquariid        Aquarius (E)                           May 5

 Delta Aquariid   Aquarius (S)                           July 28

Perseid                  Perseus (NE)                         Aug. 12

Orionid                   Orion (SE)                             Oct. 21

Southern Taurid  Taurus (S)                            Nov. 5

Leonid                    Leo (E)                                   Nov. 17

Geminid                 Gemini (S)                           Dec.13

But before you proceed with night watching please take the following points in mind

  1. There should be minimal light pollution i.e. the night sky should be dark so that even the faintest stars are visible
  2. Take care of the constellation in which the meteor shower is about to occur.
  3. Be patient and vigilant as the meteors cited in the shower barely last for few seconds.

Perseid  having the highest ZHR which is cited in the month of August.I have myself cited Geminid which occurs in December.

Therefore, don’t wait to make you stargazing experience enriched by the beauty of the meteor shower.Go ahead, find the perfect date and the constellation in the night sky and watch these twinkling meteors.

 

 

How did the zodiac signs got their names?

We often glaze at stars wondering how these tiny little twinkles are dazzling the long cold dark night. Just like map of earth which comprises of continents, oceans and islands, each star is grouped under a constellation, just like cities are grouped under one country. There are 88 constellations which form the sky map.

 

 

Though stars are stationary, but because of rotation of earth, they appear to rise in the east and set in the west. The galaxies , black holes , nebulae etc are located by their constellation in which they fall under. Just like Taj Mahal is in India.

 

For example the famous Crab Nebula is located in the constellation of Taurus. And yes, this zodiac sign of Taurus has got its name because of the constellation of same name.

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Furthermore, the twelve zodiac sign have got their names because of the ecliptic .If we trace a path of Sun’s movement around the earth ( technically, its the earth which is rotating) the path is called as Ecliptic . Like equator is an imaginary line that divides the earth into two hemisphere, ecliptic traces the path of the Sun’s motion .Each zodiac month, the Sun resides in one constellation , which becomes the birth sign of the person.fig1_12

For a complete view of night sky , and further information  you can download the Stellarium software available free of cost from the following site-

http://www.stellarium.org