In the middle two hours, astronomy writer and lecturer James Mullaney discussed the metaphysical aspects of stargazing, discoveries in the universe, and the work of the "Sleeping Prophet" Edgar Cayce. He studied thousands of Cayce's readings, with a particular emphasis on what he wrote about the universe and the cosmos."There is no doubt in my mind...that he was tapping into the great intellect behind the universe," which he referred to as the Akashic records, Mullaney commented. Cayce had access to information that no one at that time even knew about, and was far beyond his limited education, such as his assertion that the Asteroid Belt was caused by a kind of planetary collision or disruption, Mullaney noted.
Mullaney's new book Celebrating the Universe! ties in the spiritual with the scientific in looking at the celestial wonders of the night sky, and includes quotations from various visionaries, like Buckminster Fuller who said "love is metaphysical gravity." Mullaney related some staggering statistics about the cosmos, such as within the observable universe, a million new solar systems are being born every hour, and "there are more stars within reach of our largest telescopes today than all the grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts on the entire planet Earth."
He also shared an intriguing anecdote about the time he set up a telescope outside after a public lecture he gave in Lower Manhattan. A woman happened by, and asked to take a look, saying she'd never peered through a telescope before. Mullaney had it focused on the Pleiades star cluster, and when the woman saw it, she burst into tears, and said 'that is my home.'
The last hour featured Open Lines.
Mars Simulation Project
First hour guest, aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin talked about the Mars Arctic 365 project, a planned one-year simulation of an actual Mars exploration. The project is slated to take place on an unpopulated Canadian island high in the Arctic, about 900 miles from the North Pole, where the climate resembles that of the Red Planet. Six volunteers will participate in what Zubrin called "the first full dress rehearsal of a human Mars mission." Those wishing to donate online to help fund the project can do so via the Mars Society's Crowdtilt page.
Around the star Gliese 667C, 22 light years from Earth, astronomers have discovered a solar system with 6 to 7 planets-- three of which orbit that sun's habitable zone. That's the most exoplanets in a star's habitable zone that have been found yet. The three worlds, labeled "super Earths," are much larger than our planet but smaller than Neptune or Uranus. More at The Atlantic.