Wil je een videoclip bekijken en stoort het X-files-deuntje jou daarbij. Schakel het deuntje gewoon uit door in deze kolon, helemaal beneden op de 2 witte balkjes in het blauwe cirkeltje te klikken, tot een pijltje verschijnt. Veel kijk- en luisterplezier en bedankt voor jouw bezoek.
The purpose of this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category. Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
Deze blog is opgedragen aan mijn overleden echtgenote Lucienne.
In 2012 verloor ze haar moedige strijd tegen kanker!
In 2011 startte ik deze blog, omdat ik niet mocht stoppen met mijn UFO-onderzoek.
UFO'S - MET HET LAATSTE NIEUWS OVER UFO'S BOVEN BELGIË EN IN ANDERE LANDEN...
UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE ww.ufo.be.
Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch...
Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site www.ufowijzer.nl bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels.
MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen.
MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity...
Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder www.mufon.com.
Ze geven een maandelijks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal.
Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
Golden Sphere and Disc-shaped UFOs photographed over Mexico, Hawaii, Utah and Albert
Golden Sphere and Disc-shaped UFOs photographed over Mexico, Hawaii, Utah and Albert
Case 1:Golden sphere with transparent shield photographed near Roswell, New Mexico
I was enjoying a bright sunny spring day, in an area not frequented by people. I was enjoying a small waterfall and sitting down in a bowl shaped hill, hidden from a nearby road.
I heard 2 small short sounds that I noted were different that the other sounds I had been enjoying. Like whoosh-whoosh, displaced air.
Something inside me broke through and said "look behind you very fast" like an animalistic response. I looked over my left shoulder and saw a glowing golden orb, perhaps a little bigger that a grapefruit.
It had a transparent shield or covering that was reflecting the very green grass of the hills around me.
I observed it travel over the horizon. I saw it for perhaps 4 seconds. I immediately tried to rationalize it saying "well that was done of course" but something in me said "No. That was not like any drone I'd ever seen"
Case 2: Flying Saucer appears above Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
we were standing on the Alo Moana veranda watching the sunset and the different hues, when we sighted this object appear for approx. 10 seconds in which I had enough time to go inside get my camera and take the picture.
Then in a brief second this object disappeared in no certain direction.as you zoom in on this picture you will see port windows alongside.
Case 3: Disc-shaped UFO photographed over Provo, Utah
While driving east of Provo Utah driving by fire in mountains no one could stop I took 8 pictures and had 2 pictures with a object in them.
Case 4: Two possible cloaked flying saucers photographed by plane passenger over Alberta
Plane passenger: we were at cruising altitude of 41,000 ft, Edmonton to Victoria , still over Alberta only about 5 minutes out due West (take-ff slowed by de-icing prior to the flight)
My camera makes object appear smaller, these were definitely larger objects though distant from my perspective on a jet. I definitely know they were much much larger than the craft I was flying on. Or any craft that we can fly on.
These objects were large in size and unusual shape.
I have submitted the 3 consecutive photos , all taken within second showing both objects, one dissolving and then both gone- these photos were literally within seconds of each other as quick as my camera would allow me to photo them. Photos are raw images as taken by my cell phone, an Iphone 7.
All witnesses have submitted their images to Mufon for further investigation.
UFO Attack: Five Extraterrestrials Petrified 23 Russian Soldiers
UFO Attack: Five Extraterrestrials Petrified 23 Russian Soldiers
23 Russian soldiers lost their lives during a UFO attack in Siberia. The CIA declassified report describes this event as a “horrific picture of revenge on the part of extraterrestrial creatures, a picture that makes one’s blood freeze”. The frightful information was one of the many published online by the CIA. Chiefly, it involves a horrible event about a UFO alien attack which turned into stone 23 Russian soldiers.
This infamous report, created on March 27, 1993, is a translation of a report from the Ukrainian newspaper Ternopil vechirniy.
Namely, this newspaper claims that after Mikhail Gorbachev lost his leadership, many KGB files ended up in CIA.
Among them, allegedly there was a 250-page portfolio on the strange UFO attack. The report included pictures and witness statements as well.
The declassified CIA report which indeed contains shocking claims.
The report explains how a low flying saucer rose up a military unit in Siberia. One of the Russian soldiers fired a missile in the air, which shut it down.
It said: “Five short humanoids with large heads and large black eyes got out.”
There were two other soldiers, among the other 23, who survived the incident. They described that after the UFO got down, five eerie creatures blended into a huge glowing ball that buzzed and fizzed. Following this, there was a huge explosion which petrified 23 Russian soldiers who were curiously observing the shocking event.
The report said: “The KGB report goes on to say that the remains of the ‘petrified soldiers’ were transferred to a secret research institution near Moscow.”
Experts strongly believe that an unknown source turned the whole living structure of the soldiers into stone. A CIA representative stated: “If the KGB file corresponds to reality, this is an extremely menacing case.”
However, we have to admit one thing. If this is true than extraterrestrials own technology that goes beyond our imagination.
And while there are certainly many doubts regarding the report, one of the biggest enigmas is why the CIA held a translation of the Ukrainian newspaper report.
Military Computer Hacker Proves A “Space Force” Existed Long Before Donald Trump
Military Computer Hacker Proves A “Space Force” Existed Long Before Donald Trump
In 2002, Gary McKinnon hacked the Pentagon and Department of Defence in the largest publicly disclosed military computer hack of all time. He discovered strange 'off world' findings that hint the existence of a space force before Trump.
Do we really live in a democracy when transparency doesn't exist? How can we know what's really going on? Is reality far different than what we are presented with? Why is our world plagued with secrecy?
Donald Trump’s presidency has been one of the best opportunities for the collective to see into how politics has been working all of these years. Regardless of what you think of him, he’s an outsider who has threatened the interests of many powerful bodies like the pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations that control federal regulatory agencies like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
He’s legalized hemp, appears to be taking action steps to combat sex trafficking, and is trying his best to pull out of Syria. The American empire has always enforced their will on other countries for ulterior motives, and have, for decades, used lies in order to infiltrate foreign lands and governments for their own purposes. It’s not just America, it’s the entire Western Military-Industrial Complex, the ‘powers that be’ who completely control nations.
To some extent Trump may be compromised and compelled to play a part in that agenda, but so far it seems he’s been a disruptor more than anything. This is why mainstream media is constantly jumping on every opportunity to vilify him. If you think he has been widely criticized because he is truly ‘racist’ or ‘sexist,’ you may be missing the boat. This post from Richard Dolan right after the 2016 election is still one of the best explanations as to why Donald Trump continues to be incessantly disparaged by mainstream media.
Trump Sought To Create An Independent Space Force
The creation of a ‘Space Force’ announced by Trump several months ago is another great example of how Trump is making waves with the established order.
Prior to Trump announcing it, the House Armed Services Committee voted to break off the United Air Force Space Command from under the US Air Force, leading to the creation of a new independent branch called the US Space Corps. It would be the first new military branch created in the U.S. since 1947, and would make America the only nation with a branch of military publicly known to be dedicated solely to space.
A lot of work and planning was put into this shift in power over the space command. As Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces stated, “This is an issue the subcommittee has studied for months and I can’t even tell you how many meetings with space experts and leaders [Democratic Rep.] Jim [Cooper] and I have had on this subject.”
It’s Not Independent Yet
However, recent developments that are now making their rounds around the internet state that Trump is expected to sign an order that directs the Defense Department to establish a U.S. Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed forces, but remaining within the Department of the Air Force.
Previously, Trump had stated that the ‘Space Force’ would be a new division alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. However, it seems things have changed and the desire to wrest this unit away from the Air Force has failed–for now. As Space News points out:
The Pentagon is wrapping up a legislative proposal and budget request for fiscal year 2020 that it will submit to the White House for approval. The proposal recommends creating a Space Force with its own four-star chief of staff and a civilian undersecretary of space under the umbrella of the Department of the Air Force. This setup, however, is only a “first step toward a future military department for national security space,”
says a draft of Space Policy Directive-4. A copy of the draft labeled “predecisional” was reviewed by SpaceNews.
Time will tell if Trump will actually be able to establish a Space Force as its own military department in the future.
The Secret Space Program
While this would be the first known government department to be solely devoted to space, it’s important to note that the United States has a history of government agencies existing in secret for years. The National Security Agency (NSA) was founded in 1952, but its existence was hidden until the mid 1960’s. Even more secretive is the National Reconnaissance Office, which was founded in 1960 but remained completely secret for 30 years.
Not all information is made public, especially when it comes to space activities. This was made clear by the Pentagon’s recent disclosure of a secret program that they were running to track unidentified flying objects in and around our atmosphere. The cost of this program was $22 million, but deeper research into black budget programs reveals that they have been taking in multiple trillions of dollars. This is not debatable. You can read more about that and examine the sources here and here.
It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief know nothing about.
– Paul Hellyer, Ex Canadian Defense Minister
You can read more about that and the latest updates on ‘mainstream UFO disclosure’ in an article I published about it here approximately 8 months ago.
Strange happenings in space came to light more than a decade ago, when the largest military computer hack ever was made known to the public. A man by the name of Gary McKinnon was charged with causing $700,000 dollars worth of damage to government computer systems. He hacked the Pentagon, Department of Defense and Air Force computers. Gary faced extradition to the United States for 10 years, but was eventually given other punishments. His story was receiving mainstream media attention, and perhaps an extradition would have brought unwanted attention to what Gary found. As with most disclosures, Mainstream Media focused on the crime rather than the provocative information that was discovered.
According to Mckinnon, he found a list of “non-terrestrial off-world officers” of rank. He was unable to tell what department of the military they represented. He also found multiple pictures of UFOs and lists of “fleet-to fleet transfers” of materials from ship to ship. You can watch an interview with Gary in this article we published years ago.
Dealing With Extraterrestrials
One of the main reasons for developing a ‘space force,’ and to keep a ‘secret space program’ is, in my opinion, to deal with the extraterrestrial/UFO phenomenon. These ‘secret’ agencies within our government have been quite involved with this phenomenon, while at the same time, for decades, they’ve been actively engaged in concealing by subversion and ridicule.
Behind the scenes, high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.”
- Former head of CIA, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, 1960 (source)
Unfortunately the actual protocols, according to Paul Hellyer, are often to ‘shoot first and ask questions after.’ There is a lot of evidence for this. Dr. David Clarke is an investigative journalist, reader and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in England, who was also the curator National Archive UFO project from 2008–13. He uncovered files that reveal the UK was “desperate to capture this technology – wherever it came from – before the Russians or the Chinese got hold of it first.” You can read more about that here.
According to Hermann Oberth, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, “flying saucers are real and…they are space ships from another solar system. I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our Earth for centuries.” (source 1)(source 2)
There is a serious possibility that we are being visited and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, from other civilizations. That it behooves us, in case some of these people in the future or now should turn hostile, to find out who they are, where they come from, and what they want. This should be the subject of rigorous scientific investigation and not the subject of ‘rubishing’ by tabloid newspapers.”
– Lord Admiral Hill-Norton, Former Chief of Defence Staff, 5 Star Admiral of the Royal Navy, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (source)
Below is an excellent lecture by Richard Dolan that elaborates upon the idea I’m referring to above. This issue/topic goes far beyond Donald Trump and what we are spoon-fed by mainstream media. Transparency left this world long ago, and it’s slowly returning as more people start to become aware that all is not as it’s been presented to us. This shift in thinking alone is contributing to changing our human experience from one of secrecy to one of transparency. If you’d like to read more articles about the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon, you can visit the disclosure section of our website and sift through them, they’re all archived there.
What we are seeing here is a battle between powers within the US Government to control space. Prior to Trump’s arrival, it seems (based on my research), that the secret space program was in the hands of the Deep State. What we’ve observed here at CE is that Donald Trump, and those he works with, seem to be in somewhat of a battle with this Deep State, which would explain his disclosure and initiation of a space force, when it’s quite clear that one has already been in existence.
The realization that we are not alone has huge implications and the disclosure of this information would leave no aspect of humanity untouched.
The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope is quickly making good on its promise.
The Netherlands-based array picks up low radio frequencies, including the traces of radiation that form when galaxies merge. Now, an international team of scientists has published the first research made possible by LOFAR — and it adds 300,000 previously unknown galaxies to our map of the universe.
On Tuesday, the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics published a special edition dedicated to 26 research papers produced from LOFAR’s first space survey.
Because LOFAR can detect low radio frequenciesinvisible to other telescopes, it was able to record huge quantities of previously undetectable data during its survey of the sky — about 10 million DVDs worth. According to Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) researcher Timothy Shimwell, processing that data to generate maps featuring these 300,000 additional galaxies was a team effort.
“We have been working together with SURF in the Netherlands to efficiently transform the massive amounts of data into high-quality images,” he said in a press release. “These images are now public and will allow astronomers to study the evolution of galaxies in unprecedented detail.”
Astronomers are likely to use the new map to study black holes.
“If we take a radio telescope and we look up at the sky, we see mainly emission from the immediate environment of massive black holes,” Leiden University researcher Huub Röttgering said in the press release. “With LOFAR we hope to answer the fascinating question: where do those black holes come from?”
Others might use the new images to support research on magnetic fields or the relationships between galaxies — and ultimately, ASTRON Director General Carole Jackson sees nothing but potential for the new maps.
“This sky map will be a wonderful scientific legacy for the future,” she said in the press release. “It is a testimony to the designers of LOFAR that this telescope performs so well.”
Archaeologists Discover a Long-lost Illyrian City ‘Mistaken for Natural Rocks’ in Albania
Archaeologists Discover a Long-lost Illyrian City ‘Mistaken for Natural Rocks’ in Albania
Polish archaeologists have uncovered a long-lost city, in north-east Albania according toScience in Poland . The city was found unexpectedly, and it is believed to be the ancient Illyrian city of Bassania. This discovery is generating a great deal of excitement among archaeologists because it can provide insights into the once mighty Illyrian civilization that dominated much of the Balkans in Antiquity.
Who Were the Illyrians?
The Illyrians were a powerful group of tribes who were the preeminent power in the western Balkans for several centuries. They had many contacts with the Greeks and they were influenced to an extent by the culture of their southern neighbors. The Illyrian region was usually divided into several kingdoms who struggled for supremacy with each other. In 168 BC, the Romans defeated and captured the powerful Illyrian king, Gendaius and they created a series of client republics in his kingdom. The area eventually became a province of the Roman Empire and the local Illyrian culture was over time Romanized. According to the Britannica Encyclopaedia , Illyria ‘became a principal military bulwark of Rome and its culture in the ancient world’.
Bassania was known to historians mainly through the work of the great Roman historian Livy. In the historian’s account, the city was a very important one in the last Illyrian kingdom and was an important fortress. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 168 BC and it was presumed that it was later abandoned, its exact location forgotten.
The city, which was located on some hills, had been lost for so many centuries because its ruins have been mistaken for natural rocks. After centuries of erosion, the stone remnants of the city’s surviving walls were so weathered that they looked like natural stones. There are no traveler or local accounts of the ruins and they were completely forgotten despite the scale of the site. This may have helped to preserve the ruins of Bassania, which was entirely forgotten - unlike nearby ancient Shkoder another Illyrian settlement.
In May, a Polish team of archaeologists from the Antiquity of South-eastern Europe Research Centre of the University of Warsaw, led by Professor Piotr Dyczek, re-discovered Bassania. In a routine dig, they discovered part of its walls and a gateway, made of well-made blocks of hewn stones. The gate was flanked by two bastions and the walls were 3 meters (10 feet) wide, whose spaces were packed with clay and stones.
Cut rock were used to construct substantial walls.
After a survey of the site, it was established that Bassania was larger than ancient Shkoder and its walls encircled an area of approximately twenty acres. This indicates that the city had a large population and was an important urban center in Illyria.
During the investigation of the site, the Polish team discovered coins, pottery and ceramic vessels near the walls. The style of these would indicate that they are from the third to first century BC and shows that the city was part of the Illyrian kingdom that would later be annexed by Rome. An investigation of the site showed that it was constructed in a manner that was undoubtedly influenced by the Hellenistic kingdoms to the south. According to Science in Poland , the walls and gateway of Bassania are ‘typical for Hellenistic defensive structures’.
The Polish team began an intensive investigation of the site and they soon established that the city was abandoned much later than thought. Research in recent years has indicated that Bassania was only abandoned late in the reign of Emperor Augustus (1 st century AD). The initial archaeological investigation would support the view that the city was occupied much longer than previously believed.
The rediscovery of Bassania is one that allows archaeologists and other experts to gain a better understanding of ancient Illyria. The city which had largely been forgotten will yield up its secrets and allow us to have a better understanding of the Illyrians and how they became Romanized. One of the most exciting aspects of the discovery of the lost city is that it raises the prospect that there are many more Illyrian ruins waiting to be rediscovered.
Top image: Discovery of an ancient city in Albania. Source: M. Lemke/ Science in Poland
Colonizing the moon, and beyond, has always being a human aspiration. Technological advancements, and the discovery of a considerable source of water close to the lunar poles, has made this idea even more appealing.
But how close is China to actually achieving this goal?
If we focus on the technology currently available, China could start building a base on the Moon today.
The first lunar base would likely be an unmanned facility run by automated robotics — similar to Amazon warehouses — to ensure that the necessary infrastructures and support systems are fully operational before people arrive.
The lunar environment is susceptible to deep vacuum conditions, strong temperature fluctuations and solar radiation, among other conditions hostile to humans. More importantly, we have yet to fully understand the long term impact on the human body of being in space, and on the Moon.
Seeds taken to the Moon by the Chang'e-4 mission have now reportedly sprouted. This is the first time plants have been grown on the Moon, paving the way for a future food farm on the lunar base.
Building a lunar base is no different than building the first oil rig out in the ocean. The logistics of moving construction parts must be considered, feasibility studies must be conducted and, in this case, soil samples must be tested.
China has taken the first step by examining the soil of the lunar surface. This is necessary for building an underground habitat and supporting infrastructure that will shield the base from the harsh surface conditions.
3D printed everything
Of all the possible technologies for building a lunar base, 3D printing offers the most effective strategy. 3D printing on Earth has revolutionized manufacturing productivity and efficiency, reducing both waste and cost.
China's vision is to develop the capability to 3D print both inside and outside of the lunar base. 3D printers have the potential to make everything from daily items, like drinking cups, to repair parts for the base.
But 3D printing in space is a real challenge. It will require new technologies that can operate in the micro gravity environment of the Moon. 3D printing machines that are able to shape parts in the vacuum of space must be developed.
We know that Earth materials, such as fibre optics, change properties once they are in space. So materials that are effective on Earth, might not be effective on the Moon.
Whatever the intended use of the 3D printed component, it will have to be resistant to the conditions of lunar environment. So the development of printing material is crucial. Step-by-step, researchers are finding and developing new materials and technologies to address this challenge.
On a larger scale we have seen houses being 3D printed on Earth. In a similar way, the lunar base will likely be built using prefabricated parts in combination with large-scale 3D printing.
Examples of what this might look like can be seen to entries in the 3D printed habitat challenge, which was started by NASA in 2005. The competition seeks to advance 3D printing construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth, the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Living on the Moon
So far, we've focused on the technological feasibility of building a lunar base, but we also need to consider the long term effect of lunar living on humans. To date, limited studies have been conducted to examine the the biological impact on human physiology at the cellular level.
We know that the human organs, tissues and cells are highly responsive to gravity, but an understanding of how human cells function and regenerate is currently lacking.
What happens if the astronauts get sick? Will medicine from Earth still work? If astronauts are to live on the Moon, these fundamental questions need to be answered.
The hunt for Earth-like planets, and perhaps extraterrestrial life, just got more precise, thanks to record-setting starlight measurements made possible by a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) "astrocomb."
NIST's custom-made frequency comb—which precisely measures frequencies, or colors, of light—ensures the precision of starlight analysis by an instrument called a spectrograph at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope in Texas. The project is a collaboration involving NIST, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and Pennsylvania State University, the primary partner in the telescope and spectrograph.
The new comb apparatus for the first time provides the precision needed for discovering and characterizing planets orbiting M dwarf stars, which comprise 70 percent of the stars in the galaxy and are plentiful near Earth, the research team reported in Optica.
"The comb immediately allowed our Penn State colleagues to make measurements they could not otherwise make," NIST Fellow Scott Diddams said. "These improved tools should allow us to find habitable planets around the most ubiquitous stars in our galaxy."
A star's nuclear furnace emits white light, which is modified by elements in the atmosphere that absorb certain narrow bands of color. To search for planets orbiting distant stars, astronomers look for periodic changes in this characteristic "fingerprint," that is, very small variations in the apparent colors of starlight over time. These oscillations in color are caused by the star being tugged to and fro by the gravitational pull of an unseen orbiting planet. This apparent wobble is subtle, and measurements are limited by the frequency standards used to calibrate spectrographs.
Hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered using star wobble analysis, but a planet with a mass similar to that of Earth and orbiting at just the right distance from a star—in the so-called "Goldilocks zone"—is hard to detect with conventional technology.
Data collected by the NIST-CU-Penn State research team show the astrocomb will make it possible to detect Earth-mass planets that cause color shifts equivalent to a star wobble of about 1 meter per second—the approximate speed of a person walking across a room, and at least 10 times better than previously achieved in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared light is the main type emitted by M dwarf stars.
Over the past 20 years, NIST researchers in Boulder, Colorado, first invented and then pioneered further advances in optical frequency combs. The comb delivered to Texas is unique in having about 5,000 widely spaced "teeth," or specific color calibration points. It's tailored to the reading capability of Penn State's Habitable Zone Planet Finder sprectrograph and spans the target infrared wavelength band of 800-1300 nm. Just 60 by 152 square centimeters in size and made of relatively simple commercial components, the comb is also robust enough to withstand continuous use at a remote site.
In providing tailored light to the spectrograph, the NIST comb acts like a very precise ruler to calibrate and track exact colors in a star's fingerprint and detect any periodic variations. The comb, made with new electro-optic laser technology, provides strong signals at accurately defined target frequencies that can be traced to international measurement standards.
The project has been in the works for years. The NIST-CU-Penn State research team did a test run in 2012 that showed the promise of the new approach. The new comb was delivered and saw "first light," as they say in astronomy, in February 2018, and has been running nightly since May of 2018. The new comb has a broader light range and is more stable than the earlier demo version.
While the idea of using frequency combs to aid planet discovery has generated a lot of interest around the world, the new NIST astrocomb is the first in operation at near-infrared wavelengths. Other combs currently operating on a telescope, such as the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) in Chile, are dedicated to visible light measurements.
NASA wants to probe deep into Uranus in search of smelly gas
NASA wants to probe deep into Uranus in search of smelly gas
Scientists stunned the world this year with the revelation that Uranus actually does smell like farts – and a NASA probe could soon actually ‘breathe in’ the fumes.
Amy Simon of NASA’s Ice Giants Pre-Decadal Study group told the Gravity Assist podcast the next mission to Uranus should use an atmospheric probe.
Amy Simon said, ‘I think the primary thing we’d add to any mission is an atmospheric probe, because we want to understand what the layers are in the atmosphere, what the temperatures are.’
Sniff sniff sniff (Getty)
Simon told New Scientist last year that the space agency hoped to launch a probe to either Uranus or Neptune in the 2030s, A Science Enthusiast reports.
One of the proposed missions includes a fly-by of Uranus, which would include a narrow-angle camera – and a probe which would drop into Uranus’s atmosphere to measure gas and heavy elements.
Simon said that the mission could also use an orbiter, ‘ We have also looked at orbiters, and these are nice because it gives you a chance to explore that whole system – the rings, the moons, Triton in particular – to see what’s going on on all sides of those different moons.’
Has Uranus been probed?
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew closely past distant Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, in January 1986.
At its closest, the spacecraft came within 81,500 kilometres (50,600 miles) of Uranus’s cloudtops on January 24, 1986.
Voyager 2 radioed thousands of images and voluminous amounts of other scientific data on the planet, its moons, rings, atmosphere, interior and the magnetic environment surrounding Uranus.
A map of the outer solar system
Since launch on August 20, 1977, Voyager 2’s itinerary has taken the spacecraft to Jupiter in July 1979, Saturn in August 1981, and then Uranus. Voyager 2’s next encounter was with Neptune in August 1989. Both Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1, will eventually leave our solar system and enter interstellar space.
Voyager 2’s images of the five largest moons around Uranus revealed complex surfaces indicative of varying geologic pasts. The cameras also detected 10 previously unseen moons.
The 11 rings of Uranus, opaque and a few kilometres wide each, are relatively young in space terms – not more than 600 million years old. They were probably formed by collisional fragmentation of several moons that once orbited the planet
(Picture: BSIP/UIG Via Getty)
Several instruments studied the ring system, uncovering the fine detail of the previously known rings and two newly detected rings.
Voyager data showed that the planet’s rate of rotation is 17 hours, 14 minutes.
The spacecraft also found a Uranian magnetic field that is both large and unusual. In addition, the temperature of the equatorial region, which receives less sunlight over a Uranian year, is nevertheless about the same as that at the poles
In this stereographic projection, the Milky Way curves around the entire image in an arc, with the newly discovered river of stars displayed in red and covering almost the entire southern Galactic hemisphere.
One billion years ago, a cluster of stars formed in our galaxy. Since then, that cluster has whipped four long circles around the edge of theMilky Way. In that time, the Milky Way's gravity has stretched that cluster out from a blob into a long stellar stream. Right now, the stars are passing relatively close to Earth, just about 330 light-years away. And scientists say that river of stars could help determine the mass of the entire Milky Way..
Astronomers have seen these stars before, mixed in with lots of stars all around them. But until now, they didn't realize the stars were part of a group. The river, which is 1,300 light-years long and 160 light-years wide, winds through the Milky Way's vast, dense star field. But 3D-mapping data from Gaia, a European Space Agency spacecraft, showed that the stars in the stream moved together at roughly the same speed and in the same direction.
"Identifying nearby disk streams is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Astronomers have been looking at, and through, this new stream for a long time, as it covers most of the night sky, but only now realize it is there, and it is huge, and shockingly close to the sun," João Alves, an astronomer at the University of Vienna and second author of the paper, said in a statement. [Large Numbers That Define Our Universe]
Though space is full of these stellar streams, they're often difficult to study because they're well-camouflaged amidst surrounding stars. Typically, these stellar streams are also much farther away.
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"Finding things close to home is very useful, it means they are not too faint nor too blurred for further detailed exploration, [an] astronomer's dream," Alves said.
Scientists suspect that star clusters, like the one that eventually became this stellar stream can reveal how galaxies get their stars. But in a big, heavy galaxy like the Milky Way, those clusters usually end up shredded, with gravity pulling individual stars in different directions. [Amazing Astronomy: Victorian-Era Illustrations of the Heavens]
This stream is big enough though, and heavy enough, that it's remained intact (albeit stretched) in the billion years it has circled the galactic center. And there may be more stars in the stream than those found in the initial Gaia data.
Say you need to prepare to shoot bullets into anasteroidand suck up the debris kicked up from the blast, then tuck it away for safekeeping. There's no better way than toshoot bullets into a fake asteroidhere on Earth and watch what happens in slow motion.
So, that's precisely what the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) did at the end of December in preparation for its spacecraft Hayabusa2's sampling run at the asteroid Ryugu later this week. Using the data gathered over months spent surveying the space rock, they created a model of the asteroid, put it in a vacuum chamber and used a copy of the spacecraft's sampling system in a test run.
The trial tackled two main concerns. The team wanted to be sure that the instrument copy still worked after sitting in storage since about the time the spacecraft launched, in December 2014. The test run also addressed a discovery Hayabusa2 made: On close inspection, the probe saw that Ryugu's surface was covered in gravel, rather than the fine dust that JAXA had expected when the mission was designed.
In order to address these concerns, the JAXA team designed a replica experiment using a flight-spare sampling instrument, which is an exact copy of the instrument on the spacecraft. Scientists mimicked the gravelly structure of Ryugu and the chemical composition of the class of meteorites they believe originate in similar asteroids. The researchers put the entire apparatus into a vacuum chamber to better mimic conditions at the asteroid (although they still had to work within Earth's gravity).
The Hayabusa2 team was pleased with the results of the trial; they were able to confirm that the bullet mechanism did indeed create samples that the spacecraft could collect. In fact, although the test run on gravel produced a smaller crater than a test run on dust had done, the sampler was able to collect more material. And the team said it expects that without gravity's interference, the real Hayabusa2 mechanism will fare even better.
With the dress rehearsal a success, all that's left to do is wait for the real thing. JAXA has scheduled the maneuver for 6 p.m. EST on Feb. 21 (2300 GMT; 8 a.m. local time on Feb. 22 for mission control staff).
WETENSCHAP & PLANEETWetenschappers waarschuwen de inwoners van Cuba voor de radioactieve straling van fragmenten van een meteoriet die begin deze maand neerkwam in de provincie Pinar del Río.
Deskundigen hebben sindsdien honderd fragmenten gevonden, maar ook de lokale bewoners hebben enthousiast stukjes meteoriet verzameld. Die bewaren ze als aandenken. De wetenschappers drukken de Cubanen echter op het hart om de hemelstenen wegens de straling vooral niet als sieraad te dragen.
A previous sighting of a 'UFO' over Gloucestershire, similar to those seen by the pilots
If there is one group of people who don’t immediately shout ‘UFO’ every time there is a strange light in the sky, it is pilots.
After all, it’s very much their job to know what kind of thing are up in the air and to keep a cool head.
So, it is no surprise that there has been a lot of interest in reports by pilots from Air Midwest, a flight training and aviation service company, of a unidentified flying object over Gloucestershire.
While stressing they are not saying the UFO is part of an alien scouting party, or the initial stage of an Earth invasion, they have been baffled by what they saw.
And they would very much like to hear from people what the orange-coloured objects were.
Described as ‘unidentified nocturnal lights’, the company said they were seen south of Gloucester on Thursday between 8.15pm and 8.45pm.
What did they see?
This is how they reported the sighting, which happened as two of their aircraft were conducting night navigation exercises.
“At approximately 8.15pm one of our aircraft was tracking south towards Gloucester at 7,000ft after leaving the Birmingham air traffic zone.
“At the same time one of our other aircraft was also tracking south towards Gloucester at 4,000ft when both aircraft observed one red and one orange lights in the the sky south of Gloucester.
“Our aircraft approached the lights on an interception track but were unable to gain on the objects as they appeared to move further south of Gloucester as our aircraft approached.
“We were unable to identify the lights.”
The company, based in Wolverhampton, stressed that the lights “defied our normal expectation of standard aircraft or meteorological activity”.
It has ruled out hot air balloons and said they have not come across any explanation of what the objects could be.
And it said it would welcome any explanation for what the pilots, with more than 25,000 flying hours between them, actually say.
Pilot describes his close encounter
I observed initially two large square orange lights.
One on top of each but slightly off set, however, there was a gap in height between them.
The top ‘orb’ was constantly orange.
The lower one occasionally flicked white but majority of time was orange.
In addition to that on two occasions I observed five orange lights but that was momentary.
I initially observed them when leaving Birmingham control zone. I thought they were just south of Gloucester and definitely a lot higher then us.
We then climbed 5000 ft and they seemed level at that height and stationary.
As we approached Gloucester, it became apparent they were now further south maybe beyond Bristol even as far as Weston-super-Mare but directly south of Gloucester[shire] airport.
On our return leg up to EGBO (our home base) by Worcester we climbed 7,000 ft and commenced a turn to observe the lights.
At this point they seemed lower than us in the same place and stationary.
I have no idea what these objects were.
Night glow balloons? But unlikely as these do not move very fast at all.
So what they were?
We have no idea.
An interesting event.
After the pilots shared their experiences on social media, others people also reported seeing strange lights.
One person said on Facebook: "We saw that UFO while we were driving along the M5 bright light and VERY STRANGE movements
"It looked like a fighter jet diving for low level it dropped very quickly while performing a series of tight turns then it just hovered."
Another person reported seeing it in Caerleon, near Newport in Wales, saying: "I saw this! I was in Caerleon and I noticed that there was nothing on radar and the fact that it was moving at a very fast pace."
While another person reported seeing something similar, but further south on the M3.
Do you know what the lights were? You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, in the comments below, or via our social media channels.
The world’s inevitable march towards a war in space continues this week as China’s state-owned Science and Technology Daily newspaper reports plans for terrifying-sounding orbital solar power stations. According to the paper, Chinese scientists have developed plans to construct small orbiting solar plants which could be put into orbit in the stratosphereas early as 2021 or as late as 2025.
Unlike solar power farms down here on the surface of the Earth, solar farms in orbit could collect solar radiation 99% of the time as opposed to only when the Sun is out and unobscured by cloud cover. In addition, the higher altitude means the plants could generate up to six times the amount of power as solar farms on the surface do. “So wait, what’s so scary about space-based solar farms,” you ask? The fact that the plants will send the Sun’s energy back down to Earth via massive lasers or microwave energy beams. Say it with me now: what could go wrong?
The concept is somewhat reminiscent of the theoretical Dyson sphere, a massive structure which orbits a star and harvests 100% of its radiant energy.
I’ll tell you what could go wrong. For one, the risk of accidents would be enormous. A giant laser shooting gigawatts of energy downward from 36,000 kilometers above the ground doesn’t sound like the kind of thing I’d like above my head, thanks. The same technology that could direct energy into power plants on the ground could theoretically also be used to do what lasers and other directed energy weapons do best: light stuff on fire in magnificent fashion. Still, whether or not the power plants will be used or even could be used as a weapon remains unknown. I’m probably just being hyperbolic and overly skeptical of China’s plans for space; so far, these solar farms have only been discussed in terms of their ability to produce clean, renewable energy.
Still, the possibility of weaponization of this technology, however small, is there. Furthermore, this announcement comes on the heels of many recent developments which seem to suggest that China, like the rest of the space-faring nations, is actively militarizing or weaponizing space under the guise of scientific development.
Already, military intelligence agencies in the United States suspect that China’s plans to develop scientific research stations on the far side of the moon may have ulterior motivesand that China’s plans to clean up space debris with laser-equipped probes may be a ruse to develop killer satellitescapable of bringing other nations’ communications and defense capabilities to their knees. Is this solar farm idea an entirely peaceful way to harvest clean energy, or might these some day turn out to be solar-powered superweapons?
The rising number of people who believe that the Earth is flat is often used as proof that you can get humans to believe anything. Now it can also be used as proof that you can get humans to fund anything. Researchers have completed a study on … you guessed it … Flat Earthers and found that the population boom in pizza planet proponents can be traced to and thus blamed on … YouTube! Who do we blame the proliferation of studies on … and how can we get in on it?
“There’s a lot of helpful information on YouTube but also a lot of misinformation. Their algorithms make it easy to end up going down the rabbit hole, by presenting information to people who are going to be more susceptible to it.”
Yes, someone paid for that seemingly obvious analysis from Asheley R. Landrum, PhD, a psychologist and Assistant Professor specializing in strategic science communication at Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Guardian reported this week on the study conducted by Landrum which involved questioning participants in two different conferences of Flat Earthers, one in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the other in Denver, Colorado (two cities whose citizens could look at each other with telescopes if the Earth was flat – just saying). Of the 30 people asked how they came to their belief in a flat Earth, 29 said they were convinced after watching YouTube videos on the theory and the 30th learned it from relatives who were persuaded after (don’t get ahead of me here) watching YouTube videos.
Landrum presented her study at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held last week in Washington DC in order to plead with the scientists in attendance to create their own YouTube videos explaining why the Earth is round – an idea that undoubtedly had many of them facepalming and shaking their heads.
“We don’t want YouTube to be full of videos saying here are all these reasons the Earth is flat. We need other videos saying here’s why those reasons aren’t real and here’s a bunch of ways you can research it for yourself.”
Even if this were to happen, it may have the opposite effect. Landrum pointed out that many of the believers say they were round Earthers at first and only went to the Internet to look for evidence supporting their case. In the process, they found videos like “200 proofs Earth is not a spinning ball” and were convinced to go flat. (See the video here — if you dare.)
“Believing the Earth is flat in of itself is not necessarily harmful, but it comes packaged with a distrust in institutions and authority more generally. We want people to be critical consumers of the information they are given, but there is a balance to be had.”
Landrum’s study is good but that’s the real issue here. People who are predisposed to a distrust of authority – government, science or otherwise – will find plenty to support their arguments on the greatest repository of conspiracy theories ever invented. The real question is – would they feel the same way or come to the same conclusions if there was no YouTube?
If anyone has the funds, I know someone willing to do that study.
Fastwalker UFOs – UFOs travelling over 20,00 MPH are so fast they appear as mere streaks to unaided human eye
Fastwalker UFOs – UFOs travelling over 20,000 MPH are so fast they appear as mere streaks to unaided human eye
They are called Fastwalkers (or Fast Walkers) and travel at speeds well over 20,000 miles per hour making these UFOs mere “streaks” of light to the unaided human eye. Their name comes from a 1984 NORAD incident which tracked an unidentified Fastwalker UFO moving at speeds over 22,000 MPH as it screamed towards earth.
The May 1984 NORAD Fastwalker event
In May of 1984 at 1400 hours Zulu time, an alert was triggered at the North America Air Defense Command (NORAD) when ultra-sensitive orbiting USDSPmilitary satellites (highly-classified satellites that serve as early ICBM launch detection systems) spotted a mysterious UFO heading towards earth at a mind-boggling 22,000 miles per hour. As is passed in front of Earth and less than 20 miles from the USDSP satellite, officials determined it was not a ballistic missile nor a meteor. After classifying it as “unknown”, it was given the code name “Fast Walker”.
NORAD data revealed the unidentified object was a hot, fast, solid object that swept in quickly from space, approached Earth, then sped off into space. The event was intended to be kept secret but an official (a retired military official) leaked details about the event to an investigator (special agent Joe Stefula) along with a diagram of the incident. According to Stefula:
“I haven’t been able to determine that the document’s absolutely authentic but I have been able to confirm that the DSP printout for that date shows an event at the same time with the same characteristics. What makes this particular Fast Walker so peculiar is that it came in from outer space on a curved trajectory, passing within three kilometers of the satellite platform, and then disappeared back into space. Whatever it was, it was tracked for nine minutes.”
The 1984 Fastwalker event obviously alarmed government officials – the sighting resulted in a 300-page internal report which basically “looked at every possibility and couldn’t explain [the unidentified object] by natural or man-made means.” A researcher explained whey the NORAD sighting was significant:
“Where it appeared in the (satellite’s) sensor field would indicate that the object came into the sensor field from outer-space, went in front of the sensor, and left, departing back into deep space. It would indicate that it was some type of craft that had the ability to maneuver. And there you have hard evidence. You have telemetry from that satellite, you have information, you have systems, you have data that you can go back and investigate and check and verify. In the past, usually UFO events are of just eye-witness testimony… There you have a very sensitive defense system that sent you information to the ground. I don’t even know if you can solve it… maybe it’s one of those enigmas that’s just gonna be with us forever. What type of craft would have that ability? Some people might say, ‘A UFO’.”
In 1993, after word of Fastwalkers had leaked to the public, the Department of Defense declassified unrelated satellite information which confirmed that satellites were routinely picking up unidentified hi-speed moving objects in space which were neither missiles nor meteorites/asteroids. According to the official who leaked the documents, an average of two to three Fastwalkers are detected each month.
The Observatory Journal documents a “candidate for an alien probe”
Additional stunning evidence was presented in April 1995, when The Observatory journal published an article by Duncan Steel (University of Adelaide, Australia), an expert on the danger of near-Earth objects, that described a recently sighted Fastwalker. The article revealed that a December 1991 object passing near earth was designated a “candidate for an alien probe”. For all intents and purposes, the object looked and moved like an artificial satellite – only much faster.
Fastwalkers – alien surveillance probes
Many in the UFO community theorize the Earth may be under surveillance by advanced alien races whose motives are unclear. They believe Fastwalkers are alien surveillance vehicles or probes which conduct routine surveillance missions gathering data on our planet and its inhabitants. The surmise that governments know of their existence, and their intent, but choose to keep details of their activities from the public.
FOIA request confirms Fastwalkers
Below is a FOIA request submitted in 2013 which confirms NORAD’s search for “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” in internal document databases produced a representative hit. However, as noted in the response below, information on Fastwalkers is still classified and unavailable for public review.
Fastwalkers speed compared to other space objects
For reference, Fastwalkers travel much faster than orbiting satellites but much slower than deep space asteroids. When discussed together, slower anomalous flying objects are termed “Slowwalkers”.
On February 14, 2019 Wilbur Allen has captured a strange red band of light that travels through space.
Given the speed of the object, it seems that the sky-watcher has filmed a fastwalker.
Fastwalker is a code name created by the North American Aerospace Defense Command to classify Unidentified Flying Objects which moving and changing directions at high speed and enter or leave the atmosphere at a great velocity.
Fastwalker captured on a DSP satellite.
Sometimes Fastwalkers have been captured on the Defense Support Program satellite system as happened on May 5, 1984 when a DSP satellite captured a FastWalker while it was traveling a 22,000 mph.
The footage shows a satellite and the fastwalker, characterized by a strange ‘red band of light, in one picture and compare the difference in speed at the moment the fast walker passes the satellite.
Open Minds UFO Radio: John Alexander is a retired Army Colonel who has been a critical figure in the field of non-lethal weapons and also played a role in U.S. Army Intelligence research in the paranormal. In the 1980s John put together a group of intelligence officials, members of all branches of the military and the defense aerospace industry to investigate UFO secrecy. His group was called the Advanced Theoretical Physics (ATP) project. In this episode, we discuss the similarities between John’s ATP and the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Due to the attention the disclosure of the existence of AATIP has garnered, there is a resurgence of interest in the UFO topic in Washington D.C. Relying on John’s insider knowledge on how the government works, we also discuss the difficulties a UFO research program would have functioning inside the government, the concerns the military or other credible organizations may have hosting a UFO program, and whether a government UFO program is the best option for resorcin into the UFO Phenomenon.
John began his Army career in 1956, and he retired a colonel in 1988. His Army career included positions in special operations, intelligence, and research and development. From 1966 to 1969 John commanded special forces teams in Vietnam and Thailand. His last military assignment was as Director, Advanced System Concepts Office, U.S. Army Laboratory Command. After retiring from the Army, John joined Los Alamos National Laboratory. As a program manager, he conducted non-lethal warfare briefings at the highest levels of government including the White House Staff, National Security Council, Members of Congress, Director of Central Intelligence, and senior Defense officials. John also met with heads of industry, presented at academic institutions, including Columbia, Harvard, and MIT. He has advised the CIA, US Special Operations Command, and the National Intelligence Council. In 2003, John served as a mentor to Afghan Ministry of Defense senior officials through the Office of Military Cooperation – Afghanistan, (Coalition Forces) Kabul. Academically, he holds an M.A., Pepperdine University, Ph.D., Walden University, and later attended the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and the Kennedy School of Government general officer program “National and International Security for Senior Executives” at Harvard University.
Our sun’s solar flares are an incredible natural phenomenon, but now astronomers have observed a flare on a young star that almost defies belief. It’s 10 billion times more powerful than any seen on our sun!
Red dwarf star JW 566 (inside circle) was seen to produce its colossal solar flare on November 26, 2016.
Image via Rogelio Bernal Andreo/CC BY-SA 3.0.
Solar flares – huge erupting jets of gas – are common on our sun, but what about on other stars? It turns out other stars produce them as well, as astronomers have known for a long time now. Red dwarf stars, in particular, can have massive solar flares. But now, astronomers have observed a new solar flare on a young star that almost defies belief – 10 billion times more powerful than any ever seen on our own sun.
Astronomers using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in Hawaii reported the discovery on February 11, 2019. The peer-reviewed paper has been published in The Astrophysical Journal (full paper is online at arXiv). The initial detection of the flare was on November 26, 2016. As noted by astronomer Steve Mairs, lead investigator of the discovery team:
A discovery of this magnitude could have only happened in Hawaii. Using the JCMT, we study the birth of nearby stars as a means of understanding the history of our very own solar system. Observing flares around the youngest stars is new territory and it is giving us key insights into the physical conditions of these systems.
This is one of the ways we are working toward answering people’s most enduring questions about space, time, and the universe that surrounds us.
The region of the Orion Nebula where the solar flare was detected. It’s a dust-filled region of the galaxy, and a place where new stars are forming.
Image via Rogelio Bernal Andreo/CC BY-SA 3.0.
The flare was detected by JCMT using the telescope’s state-of the art high-frequency radio technology and sophisticated image analysis techniques. The telescope uses a special super-cooled 10,000-pixel camera called SCUBA-2, which needs to be kept at a very cold -459.5 degrees Fahrenheit (-290 Celsius).
From the paper:
The event may be the most luminous known flare associated with a young stellar object …
Solar flares occur when the magnetic field lines of a star get twisted and tangled with each other until they snap, releasing huge amounts of energy and charged particles into space. A typical solar flare on the sun releases energy equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time.
The flare seen on this other young star, however, was 10 billion times more powerful than that.
The region in the Orion Nebula as seen by SCUBA-2 where the immense solar flare was detected on the young star JW-566.
Image via HECK/East Asian Observatory.
The flare was observed on a very young star called JW 566, about 1,269 light-years away in the Orion Nebula. Lasting only a few hours, it is thought to be have been caused by a disruption in a powerful magnetic field that was funneling material onto the young, growing star as it gradually gained mass from the surrounding gas and dust.
JW 566 is a variable star – specifically, a T Tauri star – less than 10 million years old. It is going through a period of growth before it is massive enough for hydrogen fusion to ignite in its core.
JCMT – operated by the East Asian Observatory – is the only telescope in the Northern Hemisphere capable of finding this kind of solar flare activity, these astronomers said. JCMT has been observing nearly 1,000 very young nearby stars as part of a monthly tracking program.
The team said it will continue to monitor JW 566 as part of the JCMT Transient Survey, to see if any additional flares can be observed.
The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Image via JCMT.
By the way, solar flares would be dangerous to unshielded human space travelers because very high-energy particles result from them. They can also negatively affect some earthly technologies, for example, satellites in Earth orbit.
At the same time, however, some scientists believe solar flares might have played a role in helping to “jump-start” life on the early Earth. Some of the energy required for early life might have come from solar flares, according to Vladimir Airapetian, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a study from 2016:
To make organic stuff out of inorganic stuff, you need a lot of energy.
The same thing – a jump-start for life, provided by solar flares – might happen on planets orbiting other stars. In particular, Earth-sized or super-Earth exoplanets that in the habitable zones of their stars might get a benefit, in terms of life starting, from solar flares.
The same may be true for red dwarf stars, like JW 566. But nature is complex, and – from what we can tell – the conditions needed for life may be delicate. Red dwarfs are known to be very active in terms of solar flares, perhaps too active. The same intense solar flare bombardment that might jump-start life might also make life difficult to continue on a planet’s surface.
A huge solar flare on our own sun.
Image via NASA/GSFC/SDO.
Bottom line:Solar flares on our sun are an amazing phenomenon, but this discovery shows that some stars, especially younger ones, can have flares much more powerful than those – mind-bogglingly so.
When astronomers add up the mass of all the normal matter in the present-day universe, about a third of it can’t be found. Where is it?
The background of this image is from a supercomputer simulation. It shows a honeycomb-like structure of the universe, sometimes called the “cosmic web.” The simulation reveals how key components of the universe – including large filaments of warm and hot gas known as the WHIM – evolved over time. Scientists think the missing normal matter of our universe might be in the WHIM.
You might know that much of our universe is thought to exist in the form of dark matter anddark energy, both of which are still exceedingly mysterious. But that’s not what this story is about. It’s about another question about the mass, or matter, of our universe that’s also puzzled astronomers for decades. That is, about a third of the “normal” matter in the universe – hydrogen, helium and other ordinary elements, created in the first billion years or so after the Big Bang – have been missing. Now, however, new results from theChandra X-ray Observatorymight have helped locate this elusive expanse of missing matter in giant strands of gas in intergalactic space known to astronomers as the WHIM.
NASA explained in a statement on February 14, 2019:
From independent, well-established observations, scientists have confidently calculated how much normal matter — meaning hydrogen, helium and other elements — existed just after the Big Bang. In the time between the first few minutes and the first billion years or so, much of the normal matter made its way into cosmic dust, gas and objects such as stars and planets that telescopes can see in the present-day universe.
The problem is that when astronomers add up the mass of all the normal matter in the present-day universe about a third of it can’t be found …
One idea has been that this missing normal matter gathered into gigantic strands or filaments of warm and hot gas in intergalactic space. These filaments are known to astronomers as the warm-hot intergalactic medium, or WHIM. The gas filaments are invisible to telescopes that see in visible light, but some of the warm gas in the filaments has been detected in ultraviolet light.
Now, using a new technique, researchers have found new and strong evidence for the hot component of the WHIM based on data from Chandra and other telescopes. Orsolya Kovacs of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is the lead author of the new study, which was published in The Astrophysical Journal on February 13. She said in a statement:
If we find this missing [matter], we can solve one of the biggest conundrums in astrophysics. Where did the universe stash so much of its matter that makes up stuff like stars and planets and us?
These astronomers used Chandra to look for and study the gas filaments lying along the path to a distant quasar. This particular quasar is located about 3.5 billion light-years from Earth, and it also emits X-rays. The astronomers were looking to see if the quasar’s light had been absorbed by the WHIM. A statement from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics explained:
One of the challenges of this method is that the signal of absorption by the warm-hot intergalactic medium [WHIM] is weak compared to the total amount of X-rays coming from the quasar. When searching the entire spectrum of X-rays at different wavelengths, it is difficult to distinguish such weak absorption features – actual signals of the warm-hot intergalactic medium – from random fluctuations.
Kovacs and her team overcame this problem by focusing their search only on certain parts of the X-ray light spectrum, reducing the likelihood of false positives. They did this by first identifying galaxies near the line of sight to the quasar that are located at the same distance from Earth as regions of warm gas detected from ultraviolet data. With this technique they identified 17 possible filaments between the quasar and us, and obtained their distances.
Because of the expansion of the universe, which stretches out light as it travels, any absorption of X-rays by matter in these filaments will be shifted to redder wavelengths. The amounts of the shifts depend on the known distances to the filament, so the team knew where to search in the spectrum for absorption from the warm-hot intergalactic medium.
Akos Bogdan, also from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is a study co-author. Bogdan said:
Our technique is similar in principle to how you might conduct an efficient search for animals in the vast plains of Africa. We know that animals need to drink, so it makes sense to search around watering holes first.
Bottom line: Astronomers have been unable to account for about a third of the normal mass created in the first billion years after the Big Bang. A new study suggests it might be hiding in gigantic strands of gas in intergalactic space, known as the WHIM.
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