Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wild Life in Australia

(This photo was taken by my camera.) A North Queensland rancher named David George was rescued after being trapped 6 days in a tree by crocodiles. He had just two sandwiches, but fortunately found water in the tree. Of course the crocs were constantly inviting him for lunch. We are reminded why Koalas live in trees. After being rescued by helicopter, David George happily devoured a Cherry Ripe bar.

Mr. George's 5 days up a tree is oddly similiar to a problem that could be faced in Space. 55 hours and 53 minutes hours into flight Apollo 13 suffered an explosion in an oxygen tank. All power and oxygen was lost in the Command Module. By improvising and using the LEM as a lifeboat, the crew survived until splashdown at 142:54 hours. If their spacesuits had enough endurance, Lovell and crew need only have lowered their visors.

An emergency on the Moon might require astronauts to return in an unpressurised ship. NASA would like a suit that can support life for 120 hours. Humans can't last that long without water. You can survive 5 days without food, but we wouldn't want you at the controls of a spaceship. Current spacesuits have a plastic drink bag stuffed into the helmet. During Apollo 16's walks on the Moon, bags of orange juice burst inside the astronauts' helmets. Yuck!

Another hazard we are warned about in Queensland are the jellyfish. Giant Australian Spotted Jellyfish have been invading the Gulf of Mexico. Phyllorhiza punctata are not dangerous to humans, but if let out of their natural habitat they can grow super-sized. In the Gulf some have been caught weighing 25 pounds. The abundant fish in the Gulf allow the jellies to fatten up all they want.

Despite the danger, jellies are strangely beautiful. We often observe them swimming upside down or even inside out. They are truly adapted to life in zero gravity. It is easy to imagine similiar life forms evolving in oceans of Europa or the minor planets. Extraterrestrial life could look very much like this.



Blogger Kea said...

I can't imagine such ETs having any sympathy for humans, who are destroying their oceans. Maybe they'll come one day soon to save all the jellyfish.

10:00 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Hee hee. The most popular STAR TREK movie was when they save the whales. Since there could be oceanic life in many asteroids and planets, it is easy to imagine being visited by jellyfish-like aliens.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another life form "truly adapted to life in zero gravity" is the squid.
In his novel Manifold Time (Del Rey 2000) Stephen Baxter says:
"... squid are smart ... They have senses based on light, scent, taste, touch, sound - including infrasound - gravity, acceleraton, perhaps even an electric sense ... Squid are social creatures ... the squid ... shoals formed in small groups and clusters ... they chattered to each other, simple sentences picked out by complex skin patterns, body posture, texture. ... It was the ancient cephalopod language ... of light and shadow and posture ...".

Tony Smith

6:25 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Riofrio

Can you explain me please why if Q and Ф are normalized functions

P (r) dr = r^2 |R|^2 dr integ. |Q|^2 sin q dq integ. |ф|^2 df =r^2 |R|^2 dr

7:17 AM  
Anonymous cheap zenegra said...

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