Scientists talking about comets and planets

Space-time with the dog

While I was out walking this morning with the dog I started off by listening to some podcasts and they were talking about Apple. It didn’t take long for me to get bored because it is the same old rubbish they are talking about. So I scrubbed to the end of them to delete them and change to the Guardian Science Podcast in which there were a number of scientists talking about space. It’s really amazing stuff when they are talking about landing spacecraft onto comets (Philae Comet Lander) and taking pictures of planets as they fly by them. I would love to know more about the subject and I wonder how the scientists know what these planets are made of. How can they say that the atmosphere of a planet is made up of methane or at the surface it’s covered with mountains of ice? What tests have done to be up to say for sure what are the components of these places. Rocks have been brought back from the moon so we can make tests upon them to determine the geology of it. As of yet, nobody has stood on the surface of Mars but some tests will have been conducted by the Mars Lander. I imagine that there are some scientific tests they’ve been able to do to determine what is going on, on that planet. The information keeps coming in hand it keeps getting better and better with our improvements in technology. Our developing technology is going so fast that the scientists are learning huge amounts of information from the data.

Comet lander Philae

Life is great

On the podcast the scientist was saying that on the comets there are many of the building blocks of life, the elements of chemistry that given the right conditions will do its stuff. He was saying that these building blocks are remarkably common even in interstellar space. I expect that this gives a huge boost to the people who’d like to think there are other lifeforms out there in space. There could be planets on which life started much sooner than it did here on earth. It could have started so much sooner that it is now extinct and so there would be even less likelihood that we could communicate with these aliens. On the other hand life on other planets could only have got as far as primordial soup and that doesn’t have much to say for itself either. Whichever way you look at it, living life on this planet is completely amazing and wonderful. It’s even more fantastic seeing as we don’t have much more than best guesses as to why we exist at all.

Listening to podcasts on iOS

The podcast app I use on my iPhone is Overcast and I’m very happy with the way that it works.