New video from USS Omaha shows unknown aerial sphere vanishing into ocean

#UFO #UAP #Unexplained

Newly released video taken on board the USS Omaha, a littoral combat ship, shows what has been described as a transmedium vehicle (that is, a vehicle capable of traveling through both air and water) moving, hovering, and disappearing into the Pacific Ocean.

The new video has been published by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. The video is from the same incident Mystery Wire documented in April. Previously, two freeze frame images from the video were made public. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed last month that one of the freeze-frame images was recorded by US Navy personnel.

During July 2019, several U.S. warships based in San Diego were repeatedly buzzed by unknown aerial intruders. Stories of strange encounters bubbled to the surface last summer, initially focused on the USS Kidd, a Navy destroyer.

In March, more documentation surfaced in the form of ships logs, which confirmed that unidentified objects were seen by crews aboard multiple warships in restricted waters off the coast of southern California. One of those ships was the USS Omaha.

The objects were described as “drones”, also as “UAVs,” generic terms for what are otherwise considered unidentified objects

NAVY_FILMED_TRANSMEDIUM_SPHERE_UAP
Navy images showing trans-medium Sphere travel from the air to underwater. (Image sourced by @JeremyCorbell)

This new video and the earlier images were part of a series of bizarre encounters reported by the U.S. Navy during the past two years.

On March 2019 a U.S. Navy F/A-18 jet encounter of three stationary drones of unknown origin, reported earlier by Mystery Wire, off the coast of Virginia above the Atlantic Ocean.

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The Metallic Blimp


Below you can read the transcript of the conversation between George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell and watch the USS Omaha video of the unidentified sphere.

George Knapp   
Jeremy, good to have you back. 2019 remarkable things happening on both coasts. Back in April, you and I jointly released some incredible images starting with the three photographs taken by an F/A-18 crew off the coast of Virginia, still unidentified images that are in the briefing presentation prepared by the UAP Task Force and delivered to members of Congress, joint chiefs, intelligence agencies. And then two days later, April 8, we released some amazing images that you’ve acquired and that we have confirmed regarding several ships in the Pacific Fleet that were surveyed, under surveillance by a number of unidentified. Call them drones, call them UAVs, UFOs, whatever you want to call them. This was a series of events that is well documented. And one of the key ships that was identified by you, and that came from the UAP Task Force briefing document involves the USS Omaha. Now, as we know, the Pentagon came forward (and) confirmed that the images were real. But this slide that you obtained about the USS Omaha seems to be one that they were kind of fuzzy about. You have an idea about why they were sort of reluctant to go as far as they did with this image as opposed to the other images that you presented.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah, well, here’s the deal. Let me recap for a second here. We released a lot of content. You released three images from an F/A-18 over the east coast, verified part of the study of the UAPTF UFO studies, you know, then together, we released six new images, three of which were of the pyramidal shape object, the UFOs. And then the other was three of this USS Omaha, which they describe these as spherical, unmanned aerial platforms, maybe UFOs going into the water. Then, we also released the kind of now iconic, pyramid and triangular shaped video. So it’s like a mother lode. Then, a little time after I released another still image, an image that wasn’t contained as a still image in the UAPTF UFO reports from May 1 2020. So why did the Pentagon instantly confirm the USS Russell, pyramidal shaped UFOs and not the USS Omaha? That confused me too.  Why confirm anything? I now suspect that they didn’t have all of that data and information. And upon my search and trying to find people that would know that we’re in a position to know I have heard through word on the wash, you know, that now UAPTF has a lot more data than before. So this is so cool. This is where reporting, you and I are reporting and it’s influencing the knowledge base of governmental organizations that can now take this seriously and put it into hopefully, the summer release of information. So to answer your question very succinctly, the reason I think that the triangular and pyramid shaped UFO footage was confirmed and the USS Omaha USO, Unidentified Submerging Object, was not confirmed directly, although as a play on words, is because I think when we’re breaking news, people are playing catch up, George.

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NAVY_FILMED_PYRAMID_UAPs
Still images from video recorded by the U.S. Navy showing Pyramid shaped UAPs flying above the USS Russell. (Image sourced by @JeremyCorbell)

George Knapp  
The slide created for the UAP Task Force briefing document shows the USS Omaha, it is a still image. There’s been a lot of speculation, as you know, online and in the UFO world, that it might be a still image taken from a video. We can now confirm that is the fact, right.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah. So in fact, what happened was when these huge series of events happened in a warning area off the coast of San Diego, there were so many ships involved. And there were so many things happening, that some of the people on the ships were tasked with putting reports up the chain of command. They didn’t know is going to go to UAPTF. They’re just doing these reports because that’s their job. And these are unknowns unidentifiedes with peculiar functionalities. So all of a sudden, you and I released these UAPTF images that were part of this intelligence report. All unclassified and all of a sudden people realize, well, these are stills that were prepared. It’s a briefing, which means it was brief, there’s a lot more data, there’s full video of this thing, allegedly, or seemingly descending and going into the water without destruction. So the essence of this is, it would be very easy to assume that these images came from video. And you and I can now not only confirm that, but we can release part of that.

George Knapp
Let’s set the stage of where this is happening. We have a map that shows where the USS Omaha is. As mentioned earlier, there were several ships involved. A friend of ours and mutual friend Tyler Rogoway, wrote for The Drive and he got a lot of FOIA information, ship logs that established where various ships were when the things happened to them. In that same time period, the USS Omaha was buzzed by craft at a position that we’ll show on this map just sort of straight west from San Diego, west of the Channel Islands, it was buzzed over a period of days, right, from what you’ve learned?

Jeremy Corbell  
It was. So Tyler Rogoway’s like the only journalist that has got everything right so far, when it comes to ship positions and that kind of thing. He’s very thorough, and I really appreciate, you know, what he put out. Now the Omaha wasn’t listed on his map, but I talked to him about that. It’s possible the Omaha came in from over 100 miles away on the 15th, the next day, but all this activity is in an area and there were more ships involved than people know. And they all had kind of different experiences. Although, you know, there were similarities, but what we’re about to show people is the exact GPS location of the USS Omaha at the height of this event series, particularly the exact time and location when this object drops into the water. Now shows you the location of the USS Omaha to the exact degree with coordinates and you’ll see that in your bottom left of the screen. So what I guess what I’m saying is the footage I have, we’ve confirmed and validated. George and I just so everybody knows, we’ve confirmed and validated. It took us some time and I think everybody’s gonna find out and they’re going to confirm and get it validated for themselves. But we got it confirmed and validated. So this footage you’re seeing is authentic. Whatever it is. It is real Navy footage filmed on the Sapphire which is a FLIR system from the ship, live.

George Knapp  
Here we go, we’ll play the video.

Transcript of USS Omaha video
:05 “Took off, bookin’ it.”
:21 “Break, OMAHA, PINCKNEY, KIDD, RAFAEL PERALTA possibility to launch helo ASAP”. 
:28 “If it splashes you get a bearing and range.”:30 “Yes sir.”
:32 “… keep going bro [inaudible]”:33 [inaudible]
:36 “… it’s windy as f**k out there.”
:42 “… got a lotta white water out there. Six foot swells.”
:43 “Whoa, it’s getting close.”
:50 “We have, uh, 31 knots sustained wind topside, gust of 40 [knots].”
:56 “Whoa, it splashed!”
:57 “Splashed!”
:58 “Mark bearing and range.”

George Knapp
Jeremy, explain where that video is recorded. So it’s not somebody standing on the side of the ship looking over the edge. It’s inside the ship and the command center right?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, what you’re seeing is footage from within the CIC, which is the Combat Information Center. And that’s live, that’s as this was happening. That’s as they’re tracking these targets. And that’s as you’re seeing one of the targets appear to become transmedium, and go into the water.

George Knapp  
So you can hear the excitement of the people who are watching this unfold. They don’t know what this thing is.

Jeremy Corbell 
Oh, yeah, definitely this. This was a very unique event series. This is something that none of them had really experienced prior in this way. You do hear the excitement. So if you think about the iconic footage of the go fast video or you think about the iconic footage of the gimbal video, we are now able as a society to really look at this UFO Footage and understand what FLIR is, what thermal imagery is, why it’s black and white. What we should be seeing if something had rotors or fins or tails and what we’re not seeing. So you do hear the excitement and something I think is worth mentioning is just like how Your hearing, you know, it’s going against the wind at 130 knots, whatever was said in the Gimbal video, we’re hearing and seeing something like that in this video. When they say splash splash, that doesn’t mean there was a physical splash. That means this object went into the water or they suspect it did. And they did carry out, there was a search that was underway, you heard him say, you know, send out hilos or whatever. But the wind was really choppy. And the water was really choppy. But I did report and I’m standing behind it, there was a search by a submarine that was unsuccessful, they did not find wreckage, and this object was not small. I’ll just put it to you that way for now. But there’s ways for me to qualify that. But when you hear their excitement, and they say mark the bearing and range, splash splash, And they say mark the bearing and range, splash splash. Whoa, splash. I mean, that is equivalent to the air footage we have. But this is now going into the sea.

George Knapp  
It occurs to me that this went on for quite a while, an hour. At 11 o’clock at night, right? That’s when it happened. 11 o’clock at night. It’s dark out there in the middle of the ocean. And this object, the dimensions of which we will describe later, but it’s a spherical object that travels right along with the ship for a period of time, like, Hey, take pictures of me.

Jeremy Corbell  
Oh, no, there were a lot of actions. Yeah. So let’s talk about the actions of these craft and what was going on. That’s important to clarify. But just to nail down one point, I told everybody that when I said 11 p.m., I meant 11 p.m., not 11:01. So everybody can now look in the bottom right, you can confirm that it’s the 15th of July 2019. You can also confirm that the object appears to descend into the water at precisely 11 p.m. Pacific time. Now the indicators that you see on screen, you’re going to see I think a different date, you’re going to see the 16th at 6 a.m. because that’s general mean time (GMT). But that ship where it was with those GPS coordinates, you know, they’re in the Pacific Time Zone. So people will be a little confused at first. But understand it’s 11 p.m. sharp, at exactly July 15. At the coordinates you see in the left side of the screen.

George Knapp  
I am not sure how far we can go in this conversation. But there is more to be revealed. So is that object alone, or were there other objects that look like this sphere, traveling with it.

Jeremy Corbell  
Okay, so the object was not alone. This was a swarm. I think it’s fair to say that there was a minimum of 14 objects. And that’s a minimum. There, there could have been more. That’s at one time on the S band radar screens. So yeah, there you go. That’s what I know to the best of my understanding from individuals who have been in a position to know, multiple individuals.

George Knapp  
The USS Omaha is what is called littoral, not literal, but littoral combat ship, built to be small and fast and maneuverable and suitable for multiple kinds of missions that the ships were created to, a lot of different kinds of roles. Anti submarine warfare, anti mines, anti surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, special ops, so it’s jam packed with sophisticated sensors, it should be able to see unidentified craft that are heading its way. It should be able to get it on radar, sonar, various sensors. Can you describe how successful the various sensors on the Omaha were in terms of tracking these things, keeping them in their sights, and then seeing when they leave?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, so I think I should reiterate, everything that we are releasing is unclassified. People are going to understand more about that as we go forward. But I just like to be very clear that it’s possible that this footage is not contained in classified reports that we’ve reported on before. This might be fresh information for a lot of people. So just to back up a second. Everything we’re releasing is unclassified. There are numerous sensor systems on a craft as cool as USS Omaha. The two I think are worth talking about is SPS 77, which is like an air search technology. It’s a very interesting technology. But I would say I’d put a little bit more weight on the S band radar. And that’s something that I think we’re going to report on more later. We know from these systems, the shape is probably very similar to what you’re seeing in that video. Kind of like the Tic Tac video, when Commander Underwood said that look, you should be able to see wings and rotors and plumes and wash and you don’t see any of that. I would argue very successfully, I think, that you would see similar aspects in this footage if they were there. Additionally, there are certain types of, so that’s with the Sapphire FLIR system. With the S band radar, if we were to get more into that in the weeks to come, I would suspect there’s a minimum size that can be picked up by the S band radar. And I would suspect that things getting picked up by S band radar would probably be at least six feet in diameter spherically of solid mass, that means no like sticks with rotors on them reaching out six feet, I’m talking about an actual mass of at least six feet, if that makes sense.

George Knapp 
So there were 14 of these things at any given time. And my understanding is there was difficulty in keeping track of all of them in terms of whatever sensor systems were being used, the one that we’re watching, we’re gonna see the video again in a second, the one that we’re watching on that screen, what technology is showing us that image because it’s pitch black, it’s 11 o’clock at night, it’s dark out there, what system is being used to show that image on screen.

Jeremy Corbell  
Okay, so the way people will understand it is just like you’ve seen in the Tic Tac, the Gimbal, and the Go Fast. It’s a FLIR technology, which is a thermal technology. That’s why you’re seeing in black and white because it is pitch black, you’re out at sea. So it’s showing the differentials of thermal from how I understand it. It’s called a Sapphire system. And that’s something that I think people will start looking into now. But it’s made by FLIR, it’s the same type of system.

George Knapp
Let’s, let’s watch the video again. And we’ll stop at a couple of points to remark about some of what we’re hearing.

*** VIDEO ***

George Knapp
All right, we’re stopping it there, Jeremy. So you know, it’s out in the ocean. It’s at night. Winds are blowing at 35 knots, which is 1.15 times miles per hour, I think is how you calculate it. So roughly 40 miles per hour. And this thing is just sitting there traveling right along.

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, so that is interesting. You know, look, I did mention that these were sizable machines. And that’s something to take into consideration. You know, these aren’t commercial drones or even how we understand military drones to be. The gusts of wind were intense at the time. Great. But the big thing that gets me and this is evidence that will be provided at a later date, you know, these objects were in varying speeds from you know, 40, the objects themselves the UFOs, that, you know, from from 40 knots all the way up to 138 knots, like 150 miles an hour. You know, I know the drones we have, the thing that was most interesting to a lot of individuals involved with witnessing and recording and documenting and being part of this event series was the longevity, that the duration, the endurance, as they would say, of these objects. I mean, they lasted way over an hour out there. So to have high powered lights to be that brazen to make all the maneuvers to be fighting against the wind to be hitting speeds like that, and then slowing down. That takes battery power. So this is fascinating. And also they never found where these things came from or went to. So they don’t know where they’re launching from or going from. I mean, maybe it’s the water because that’s what we’re seeing one do. We know for sure one appears to go into the water? I don’t know. There’s more questions than there are answers. I would love for this to be US American technology that just somehow everybody’s miscommunicating on. However, I do see that if that is true, then it doesn’t matter whose they are. This represents a technology that is profound just on the energy conservation of propulsion. So that’s interesting to begin with.

George Knapp  
Also what we’re not seeing, we’re not seeing rotors, or exhaust, any evidence of any known propulsion system. That’s just the flying part. And then something else happens that we’re gonna see now we’ll just continue the video.

*** VIDEO ***

George Knapp 
Alright Jeremy, when they say splash, I don’t see a splash. So splash doesn’t mean literally splash, right?

Jeremy Corbell 
Yeah, correct. This is something just meaning it appears to have gone into the water. And that’s what they’re saying, like a splashdown, it’s just a term that has nothing to do with a splash. You notice that immediately, they want to find out, you know, maybe send out a helicopter, like find out how, you know, retrieve the parts, maybe. But again, I’ll tell you, I’ll stand firmly behind this, there was a sub that went and found nothing. So no destruction. And again, it was a sizable object. So splash means that’s when it appears to descend into the water, like a transmedium vehicle would, where something can go from air to sea to sky to space without resistance in a way, you know, I’m hoping that’s what it was.

George Knapp 
I mean we call it a drone. Or it might be called a UAV or UAS, whatever you want to call it. It’s flying along beside this ship for an hour or so. Then after it figures, it’s got enough close ups, it goes into the water, pretty dramatic little incident there. And then there were attempts to pursue it, to figure out what happened, to look for debris if it crashed, to see where it went. I mean, this is a surveillance ship, it’s packed with surveillance gear, it has other ships and assets around it. They went looking for this thing, did they find it?

Jeremy Corbell 
They did not find it. And really, let’s take a step back. We don’t know when these objects were appearing and disappearing, at one time 14 with this event series over the course of three days, that was the largest number on the screen. We don’t know if they were going in and out constantly of the water, we can’t make the assumption that we know. We’ve got one that appears to be going in the water, again, appears to be because there was no destruction, there was no craft, there was nothing they could find. That’s why people are thinking it’s transmedium. It was going in the water to be able to go. And we just don’t know. We do know that these things were illuminated. And that’s what’s so interesting. It’s so brazen, you know, these things were swarming, not just, you know, kind of like, far off. But there were many that were all around in different areas on the ship, you know, there might be footage from the deck of the ship, you know, filming up into inky darkness of lights, that gives you a reason or an understanding of why these would be designated drones. The people involved that I think would have been in a position to have influence or say on how these things were designated, the biggest comments that I’ve been getting is that drone was just this catch all phrase because of the maneuverability, because of this the size, not of any body that they saw, not have any rotors that they heard, but just of the ball of light that was observable. So this idea that it was a drone was really, some people said to me, that they felt that they had failed in their duties, that this should have been investigated better, that for some reason, it was as if they were more curious than they were threatened. And so this idea that these are drones, okay, cool. Well, the people that actually made that designation, aren’t saying they know they’re drones. So the idea is, who has the capabilities that these technologies represent? That’s what we want to know. Because we can figure out intent once we know who is behind it.

George Knapp   
Well, I mean, I think Chris Mellon, and maybe some others have said, if some foreign power has been able to take this kind of a technological leap, or it can create objects with no known propulsion system that can sneak up on a surveillance ship, a ship designed for surveillance, and then disappear and you can’t track it. You don’t know where it came from. It performs things that we can’t do, it can fly along, and then go into the ocean and just disappear. That’s technology we don’t have and it would represent a massive intelligence failure on our part, if that technology belongs to China or Russia or some other adversary.

Jeremy Corbell   
Yeah, look, if this one particular UFO, USO, UAP, whatever you want to call it if it did go into the water without destruction as it appears. I mean, this is huge. This is transmedium vehicles. We do not have that. So everything is identified. Well, I mean, we have that but not in the capabilities we’re seeing. So everything is unidentified until identified. So even in the UAPTF reports that we have been exposed to, to some degree, the world has, they don’t know what these things are. But we do know what they’re not. And that’s important. These are not conventional drones as we know them, if they are transmedium, just the flight power alone to be out there. It’s very interesting when we start looking at different cases, like the Tic Tac case, the Gimbal case, and you start putting these in that mosaic. Man, this becomes really interesting, because the question is, we can defend against drones, we have that capability. Drones are not a problem for the United States. This is something Lue (Elizondo) has said, this is not me saying it. So with that said, what’s going on here that spans so many ships over the course of so many days, that everybody’s recording and documenting, we have everything from pyramidal shaped objects to these spherical, lit up, transmedium, it appears, vehicles that drop into the water. This is astounding. Whoever has this technology, we got to find out who it is.

George Knapp   
We are jointly releasing this material, you on extraodinarybeliefs.com, and us on Mystery Wire high noon, and the world can look at it and debate. And hopefully, in the days ahead, we’ll get a statement from the Pentagon of whether or not they acknowledge this video as being also recorded by the Navy and whether or not maybe the UAP Task Force is now taking a look at the same images that we have shared with the world.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yeah, look, if we can have a positive influence on the process that is underway right now to inform the American and global public about the nature of the presence of UFOs on planet Earth. If we can provide more information that then has to be included in the UAP Task Force mission in what they’re doing. They can get a full time staff for this and we can get a great report in the summer. Man, that would be so cool. But all we’re doing, you and I are presenting information that we know to be accurate, and that it is real Navy footage that these events happened as we described, it is now up to the public, to analyze, to look, to ask questions, to knock on doors. We’re just providing some information saying we don’t know these are unidentified, but they’re really cool.

George Knapp  
Yeah. All right. And suffice to say, we’ll have further details about this image. There may be some other things coming real soon.

Jeremy Corbell  
Yes, there is.

George Knapp  
Thanks Jeremy.

World first: Oblique wave detonation engine may unlock Mach 17 aircraft

#NASA #SPACE #Hypersonic

UCF researchers have successfully fired up a new hypersonic detonation engine that harnesses the raw power of a sustained, trapped explosion. The new engine could power aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound.

UCF researchers have successfully fired up a new hypersonic detonation engine that harnesses the raw power of a sustained, trapped explosion. The new engine could power aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound. Background image credit: NASA. Aircraft and composite image credit: Daniel Rosato, UCFVIEW 4 IMAGES

UCF researchers say they’ve trapped a sustained explosive detonation, fixed in place, for the first time, channeling its enormous power into thrust in a new oblique wave detonation engine that could propel an aircraft up to 17 times the speed of sound, potentially beating the scramjet as a hypersonic propulsion method.

Deflagration – the high-temperature burning of fuel with oxygen – is a relatively slow, safe and controlled way to release chemical energy and turn it into motion, that’s why this nice, peaceful form of combustion underpins so much of our transport technology. But if you want to release the maximum possible energy from a unit of fuel, you get far better bang for your buck from … well, a bang.


Detonation is fast, chaotic and frequently destructive. It doesn’t necessarily require oxygen, just a single explosive material and some kind of energetic poke big enough to break the chemical bonds holding an already-unstable molecule together. It creates exothermic shockwaves that accelerate outwards at supersonic speeds, releasing enormous amounts of energy.

People have been trying to harness the raw power of detonation – the most powerful form of combustion – for more than 60 years, but putting a bridle on a bomb has proven extremely difficult. Pulse detonation engines create a series of repeated explosions in a manner similar to a pulse jet, and these have already been tested in aircraft – notably in the Scaled Composites Long-EZ “Borealis” project built by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and Innovative Scientific Solutions Incorporated back in 2008.

Rotating detonation engines, in which the shockwaves from one detonation are tuned to trigger further detonations within a ring-shaped channel, were thought of as impossible to build right up until researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) went ahead and demonstrated a prototype last year in sustained operation. Due for testing in a rocket launch by around 2025, rotating detonation engines should be more efficient than pulse detonation engines simply because the combustion chamber doesn’t need to be cleared out between detonations.

Now, another team from UCF, including some of the same researchers that built the rotating detonation engine last year, says it’s managed a world-first demonstration of an elusive third type of detonation engine that could out-punch them all, theoretically opening up a pathway to aircraft flying at speeds up to 13,000 mph (21,000 km/h), or 17 times the speed of sound.

The standing wave, or oblique wave detonation engine (OWDE), aims to produce a continuous detonation that’s stable and fixed in space, making for a ruthlessly efficient and controllable propulsion system generating significantly more power and using less fuel than current technology allows.https://9a9046486c0d3edb6d1cd88e21862dd6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The UCF team claims it has successfully stabilized a detonation wave under hypersonic flow conditions, keeping it in place rather than having it move upstream (where it could cause the fuel source to explode) or downstream (where it would lose its explosive advantage and fizzle out into a deflagration).

A schematic diagram of the experimental HyperReact prototype
A schematic diagram of the experimental HyperReact prototype

To do so, the team built an experimental prototype that it called the High-Enthalpy Hypersonic Reacting Facility – or HyperReact, for short. Less than a meter (3.3 ft) long, the HyperReact can loosely be described as a hollow tube, divided into three sections, each with a precisely shaped interior.

The first section is a 350-mm (13.8-in) mixing chamber – a square-section channel with 45-mm (1.8-in) sides. Here, a pre-burner ignites a jet of hydrogen fuel, pre-mixed with air. Four more air channels around the pre-burner jet accelerate the flow to the appropriate speeds.

The second section is a converging-diverging (CD) nozzle, with an axisymmetric square cross-section all the way down. The main fuel injector adds 99.99 percent ultra-high-purity hydrogen fuel to the hot, fast, high-pressure air coming down the tube just before it enters the CD nozzle, which rapidly tapers down to a 9-mm-high (0.35-in) throat before diverging back out to a 45-mm square again. This shape is designed to accelerate the mix up to Mach 5.0 before heading into the final “test section,” where the detonation takes place.

The test section takes in that hypersonic air/fuel mix and runs it up a ramp with a 30-degree angle on the bottom side of the square tube. Tuning the flow speed and air/fuel mix, the team was able to find parameters that manipulated the pressure wave interactions in the chamber to produce the unthinkable: a stable, continuous explosion that stayed almost still, fluctuating slightly in a cyclical pattern, over the front lip of the ramp.

Overlaid shadowgraph-chemiluminescence images show conditions in the test chamber in a non-reacting Mach 5 airflow, and then with fuel added to create the oblique detonation wave
Overlaid shadowgraph-chemiluminescence images show conditions in the test chamber in a non-reacting Mach 5 airflow, and then with fuel added to create the oblique detonation wave

Compared to conditions measured with the main fuel injector turned off, peak pressure was 2.7 times higher behind the ramp, and the nozzle exit pressure was 10.5 times higher. The flow velocity was calculated at 99.7 percent of the theoretical detonation wave speed for a freely propagating, normal explosion in the given mixture.

“This is the first time a detonation has been shown to be stabilized experimentally,” says Kareem Ahmed, an associate professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and one of the authors on the new research paper. “We are finally able to hold the detonation in space in oblique detonation form. It’s almost like freezing an intense explosion in physical space.”

Where a detonation typically lasts only a matter of micro- or milliseconds, the UCF team managed to sustain this one experimentally until the fuel was turned off after around three seconds. That’s long enough to prove the device works, Ahmed told LiveScience, and if the team kept the fuel flowing any longer it would’ve destroyed the quartz windows on the sides of the test section, which were there to allow optical imaging of the tests. Replacing the test section with something entirely metal-sided would allow the detonation to be sustained much longer.

According to Ahmed, the prototype design is reasonably close to what a full-scale production OWDE would look like. The challenge now will be learning how to dynamically alter the fuel mix, flow speed and ramp angle to keep a detonation stable, reliable and controllable over a wide range of operating conditions and control inputs.

Top: the detonation structure for three phases during the test run. Bottom: the static pressure in the test chamber leaps up and is sustained for the duration of the fuel flow
Top: the detonation structure for three phases during the test run. Bottom: the static pressure in the test chamber leaps up and is sustained for the duration of the fuel flow

The OWDE has been spoken of theoretically for some time, as a potentially superior form of hypersonic propulsion to the scramjet. Scramjets tend to lose efficiency as airspeed rises, potentially topping out around Mach 14. The experimental results released by UCF point toward a “Sodramjet” (standing oblique detonation ramjet) aircraft capable of flying between Mach 6 and Mach 17.

What does it all mean? Well, hypersonic air travel at speeds up to Mach 17 won’t just open the door to potential sub-30 minute flights between New York and Los Angeles. It’ll also enable spaceplanes to efficiently fly themselves right up into orbit without strapping themselves to rocket boosters. And there could of course be some significant implications for national security and the global nuclear balance of power.

As our own David Szondy pointed out in this terrific hypersonic flight explainer from 2017, there’s not a radar or missile defense system in the world that could cope with a hypersonic missile at this point. What’s more, you wouldn’t even need a warhead on it to cause levels of devastation rivaling that of a nuclear bomb. “All that speed and all that inertia turns any research platform, recon unit, or passenger aircraft into a potential kinetic weapon,” writes Szondy. “They don’t need high explosives to destroy a target. All they have to do is hit it. In other words, any hypersonic vehicle is an intrinsic weapon given the proper modifications.”

Indeed, the research was funded not only by the National Science Foundation and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, but by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. So these bottled explosion engines are clearly a matter of military interest.

Scientists Just Found Evidence for Fifth Force of Nature

Scientists Just Found Evidence for Fifth Force of Nature

Scientists may have found evidence for a fifth force of nature.

#Science #physics # quantum

Reider Hahn / Fermilab
Image by Reider Hahn / Fermilab

Researchers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, in Illinois, have found new evidence suggesting that a subatomic particle called a muon is not following the known laws of physics, as The New York Times reports.

Muons are a lot like electrons but 207 times as massive. They also tend to decay extremely quickly into electrons and super-light particles called neutrinos.

Exposed to an intense magnetic field by being sent around a 46-foot magnetized ring at Fermilab, the team found that the muons wobbled in totally unpredictable ways that were not at all expected, astonishing researchers.

According to the Standard Model, the fundamental theory of how particles interact established in the second half of the 20th century, these movements can normally be measured and predicted in extreme detail.

It’s a watershed moment for the field of quantum physics. If confirmed, the results obtained by the experiments at Fermilab could rewrite the way we understand the fundamental laws governing physics — at least as we know them today.

“This quantity we measure reflects the interactions of the muon with everything else in the universe,” Renee Fatemi, a physicist at the University of Kentucky and manager of the experiment, said in an official statement. “But when the theorists calculate the same quantity, using all of the known forces and particles in the Standard Model, we don’t get the same answer.”

“This is strong evidence that the muon is sensitive to something that is not in our best theory,” Fatemi added.

That leaves the big question: what force of nature is actually causing the muon to wobble? Researchers suggest it may be sources of matter and energy that are yet to be understood and aren’t explained by the Standard Model — in other words, a fifth fundamental force of nature that would be added to gravity, electromagnetism, as well as strong and weak interactions between nuclei.

The new experiments, laid out in a series of papers submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters, confirm previous results found during experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory back in 2001.

“After the 20 years that have passed since the Brookhaven experiment ended, it is so gratifying to finally be resolving this mystery,” Fermilab scientist Chris Polly, who worked on both experiments, said in the statement.

There’s still the chance that Fermilab’s new measurements are wrong: a one in 40,000 chance, to be exact. That means scientists still can’t officially claim it as a discovery by physics standards, as the Times points out.

Polly also said that only less than six percent of the data collected by the Fermilab experiments has been analyzed so far. “Although these first results are telling us that there is an intriguing difference with the Standard Model, we will learn much more in the next couple of years,” he said.

Still, physicists around the world are thrilled. “Clearly, this is very exciting because it potentially points to a future with new laws of physics, new particles and a new force which we have not seen to date,” University of Manchester researcher and UK lead of the experiment Mark Lancaster, told the BBC.

Cambridge University researcher Ben Allanach, who was not involved in the experiments, is hopeful that the results will eventually be verified. “My Spidey sense is tingling and telling me that this is going to be real,” he told the British broadcaster.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft heading back to Earth after retrieving asteroid sample

#NASA #Space #Asteroid

NASA said the mission will help unlock the secrets of the solar system

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Monday began its long journey back to Earth after collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer was NASA’s first spacecraft to visit an asteroid near Earth to bring back a sampling for scientists. 

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (NASA) Capturing a Sample

The spacecraft reached asteroid Bennue in 2018 and spent two years flying near and around it, before collecting rubble from the surface last fall. NASA said the mission will help unlock the secrets of our solar system. 

Early last month, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made one final flyby of asteroid Bennu to take photos of the disturbance left by October’s sample collection. It will return to Earth with its precious 2-pound sample load on Sept. 24, 2023.

It will be the biggest cosmic haul for the U.S. since the Apollo moon rocks. While NASA has returned comet dust and solar wind samples, this is the first time it’s gone after pieces of an asteroid. Japan has accomplished it twice, but in tiny amounts. 

Osiris-Rex was already nearly 200 miles from the solar-orbiting Bennu when it fired its main engines Monday afternoon for a fast, clean get-away.

NASA says that the spacecraft’s thrusters must change its velocity by 595 miles per hour for OSIRIS-REx’s path to intersect Earth and achieve a sample return from the Utah Test and Training Range. 

The spacecraft’s return home will not be linear, according to NASA. The OSIRIS-REX will circle the sun twice, covering roughly 1.4 billion miles to catch up with Earth. 

FILE: This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. 

FILE: This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu.  (NASA via AP)

The solar-orbiting, carbon-rich asteroid is 182 million miles from Earth. By studying pieces of it, scientists hope to better understand how our solar system’s planets formed and how people should react if an asteroid endangers Earth.

The precious samples will be housed at a new lab under construction at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, already home to hundreds of pounds of lunar material collected by the 12 Apollo moonwalkers from 1969 to 1972.

Scientists initially thought the spacecraft stored 2 pounds of asteroid rubble, but more recently revised their estimate downward. They won’t know for certain how much is on board until the capsule is opened after touchdown.

‘My Saddest Photo’: Astronaut Sees Gaza-Israel Conflict from Space

#ISS #Gaza #Israel #War German astronaut Alexander Gerst posted an image of Gaza and Israel as seen from the International Space Station.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst posted this image Wednesday of Gaza and Israel as seen from the International Space Station on Twitter.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst posted this image of Gaza and Israel as seen from the International Space Station.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst posted this image of Gaza and Israel as seen from the International Space Station, saying “My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel.”

The weeks-old conflict that began with Israel airstrikes and rockets fired from Gaza has now expanded into an Israel ground invasion on the enclave and claimed the lives of 630 Palestinians in 2014, most of whom were civilians and about 30 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Yep, that’s what Gaza looks like from space.

Some astronauts describe experiencing something called the “overview effect” while looking down at Earth from space. They see Earth, hanging in darkness like a marble, vulnerable but for a thin, glowing atmosphere. And they realize something that people on Earth have trouble seeing — that we are all in this together, living on this tiny little marble surrounded by a perhaps infinite universe. Looking down from space, there are no national borders, no conflicts. It sounds cheesy, but according to the astronauts who’ve experienced it, it was a profound shift in consciousness.

Perhaps that’s what makes this photo so unsettling. Humans murdering other humans with such massive fire power and hatred that you can watch the death and destruction unfold from 200 miles above Earth.

Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut on the International Space Station, posted this photograph to Twitter this afternoon. He calls it his “saddest photo yet.” It’s hard to disagree. 

Voyager 1 Is Detecting a ‘Hum’ of Plasma Waves in The Void of Interstellar Space

Voyager 1, having spent over 43 years zooming away from Earth since its 1977 launch, is now a very long way away indeed. #Voyager #space #astronomy

Its distance from the Sun is over 150 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. It takes over 21 hours for transmissions traveling at light speed to arrive at Earth. It officially passed the heliopause – the boundary at which pressure from the solar wind is no longer sufficient to push into the wind from interstellar space – in 2012.

Voyager 1 has left the Solar System – and it’s finding that the void of space is not quite so void-like, after all.

In the latest analysis of data from the intrepid probe, from a distance of nearly 23 billion kilometers (over 14 billion miles), astronomers have discovered, from 2017 onwards, a constant hum from plasma waves in the interstellar medium, the diffuse gas that lurks between the stars.

“It’s very faint and monotone, because it is in a narrow frequency bandwidth,” said astronomer Stella Koch Ocker of Cornell University. “We’re detecting the faint, persistent hum of interstellar gas.”

Obviously we know that interstellar space isn’t completely empty, but since stars are so bright, the vastly fainter wispy material that hangs out between them is really hard to see and measure. Usually, we have to rely on the way light changes when it travels through interstellar material to know it’s there, and to quantify it.

The Voyager probes are the first human-made objects to enter interstellar space, and therefore represent a unique opportunity to sample the interstellar medium directly.

Even so far from the Sun, though, and even beyond the reach of the solar wind, it’s not exactly easy. The Sun is still a bright and a noisy beast, letting out solar eruptions that can drown out the ambient conditions.

“The interstellar medium is like a quiet or gentle rain,” said astronomer James Cordes of Cornell University. “In the case of a solar outburst, it’s like detecting a lightning burst in a thunderstorm and then it’s back to a gentle rain.”

That gentle rain, according to the team, suggests that there could be more low-level activity in the interstellar medium than scientists had thought. What that activity is caused by is not entirely clear; it could be thermally excited plasma oscillations, or quasi-thermal noise generated by the movements of electrons in plasma, producing a local electric field.

Whatever is causing it, the discovery has several implications. The hum can be used to map the plasma density as both Voyager probes move deeper into interstellar space (Voyager 2 crossed the heliopause in 2018).

It can also be used to better understand the interaction between the interstellar medium and the solar wind. We know there’s an increase in electron density just on the other side of the heliopause – both Voyager probes detected it when they traveled on through. Knowing the density of the interstellar medium more accurately can help us figure out why.

The discovery and the persistence of the emission also suggest that Voyager will continue to be able to detect it, providing us with ongoing readings that will help us understand turbulence and the large-scale structure of the interstellar medium.

“We’ve never had a chance to evaluate it. Now we know we don’t need a fortuitous event related to the Sun to measure interstellar plasma,” said astronomer Shami Chatterjee of Cornell University.

“Regardless of what the Sun is doing, Voyager is sending back detail. The craft is saying, ‘Here’s the density I’m swimming through right now. And here it is now. And here it is now. And here it is now.’ Voyager is quite distant and will be doing this continuously.”

Not forever, though. The radioisotope thermoelectric generator powering the probe’s instruments degrades a little bit more every year. By around 2025, it may no longer be able to keep them running.

Which is why it is so important to glean as much data as we can, while there’s still the opportunity.

The research has been published in Nature Astronomy.

Could the Next Space Station Be a Hotel?

Commercializing space is no longer a far-out idea. In fact, NASA is fully on board. #space #spacehotel #hotel #spacestation

It had a good run.
It had a good run. Photographer: NASA/Getty

In 1967, Barron Hilton, the future head of Hilton Hotels Corp., turned up at an American Astronautical Society meeting devoted to “outer space tourism.” The first moon landing was still two years out, but Hilton wasn’t going to be late to the next big travel market. At the conference, he laid out plans for Earth-orbiting Hiltons and lunar hotels, complete with Galaxy Lounges where guests might “enjoy a martini and the stars.”

Alas, humans would have to wait decades for an outer-space outpost, and the one they got, the International Space Station, wasn’t built for private occupation, much less luxury travel. But now, as the ISS nears the end of its useful life, some entrepreneurs are revisiting Hilton’s vision — and even thinking bigger.

The American ambition to commercialize space is almost as old as the urge to explore it. In 1962, NASA launched Telstar 1, the world’s first privately financed satellite (paid for by AT&T). Hours after launch, it relayed the first live trans-Atlantic television pictures, opening the way for today’s multibillion-dollar communication-satellite industry.

But actual space stations that could host human visitors turned out to be a far greater challenge. Although Soviet and American scientists launched competing designs for such a facility in the 1970s, these were more akin to floating tin cans than Hilton’s vacation bungalows. Yet NASA was lobbying for something much more ambitious: a crewed orbital station that could serve as a laboratory, factory and waypoint for travel to the moon and Mars.

The ISS, announced in 1984, seemed to fit the bill. Like many government projects with multiple stakeholders, however, it ran persistently over-budget and over-deadline. Its first launch didn’t get off the ground until 1998. Total costs over the three decades to 2015 are thought to have exceeded $150 billion, giving the ISS a decent claim to being the most expensive thing ever built. For that kind of money, Americans rightly expected the ISS to get a lot done. Yet the facility has been badly underused for most of its history, thanks to both chronic mismanagement and the high cost of delivering people and equipment to space.

Starting in 2005, NASA hit on a new strategy for addressing the latter problem. It signed agreements with three private space companies to deliver cargo and crew to the station, in the hopes of both driving down costs and encouraging a commercial space industry to develop. NASA would act as an adviser and investor, and select the most promising design to replace the soon-to-be-retired Space Shuttle.

It was a long-shot bet that little-known companies such as SpaceX could do better than traditional aerospace contractors. And it was a huge success: Sixteen years later, the cost of launching people and gear to the ISS has fallen dramatically, and commercial space is booming. Last year, Estee Lauder Cos. arranged for face cream to be photographed on the station. This year, tourists will arrive for a holiday via a SpaceX rocket (at $55 million per ticket) and Tom Cruise will film scenes for an upcoming movie.

But NASA’s vision extends well beyond such one-offs. In 2020, the agency contracted with Axiom Space Inc. to attach modules (with Philippe Starck-designed interiors) to the ISS that will break off and form a commercial station that will include residential quarters as well as a lab and manufacturing facility. In March, it announced that it will fund up to four other companies to develop competing concepts, using a similar model to the one that led to SpaceX’s success. 

Many details remain to be worked out, including what exactly to do with the ISS. But a sustainable commercial outpost in low-Earth orbit has a lot to recommend it. NASA would merely have to be a customer rather than an owner-operator, thus saving money for taxpayers or for other space priorities. Companies could use the new platform to conduct microgravity experiments, pharmaceutical research, materials-science testing and more. As costs decline, there’s good reason to think that they’ll come up with entirely novel uses for it.

Of course, no one should expect orbiting Hiltons just yet. But the dream of commercializing space is no longer a moonshot.

Quantum Entanglement Has Now Been Directly Observed at a Larger Macroscopic Scale

Quantum entanglement is the binding together of two particles or objects, even though they may be far apart – their respective properties are linked in a way that’s not possible under the rules of classical physics.

It’s a weird phenomenon that Einstein described as “spooky action at a distance“, but its weirdness is what makes it so fascinating to scientists. In new researchquantum entanglement has been directly observed and recorded at the macroscopic scale – a scale much bigger than the subatomic particles normally associated with entanglement.

The dimensions involved are still very small from our perspective – these experiments involved two tiny aluminum drums one-fifth the width of a human hair – but in the realm of quantum physics they’re absolutely huge.

entangle 2The macroscopic mechanical drums. (J. Teufel/NIST)

“If you analyze the position and momentum data for the two drums independently, they each simply look hot,” says physicist John Teufel, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US.

“But looking at them together, we can see that what looks like random motion of one drum is highly correlated with the other, in a way that is only possible through quantum entanglement.”

While there’s nothing to say that quantum entanglement can’t happen with macroscopic objects, before now it was thought that the effects weren’t noticeable at larger scales – or perhaps that the macroscopic scale was governed by another set of rules.

This new research suggests that’s not the case. In fact, the same quantum rules apply here, too, and can actually be seen as well. Researchers vibrated the tiny drum membranes using microwave photons and kept them kept in a synchronized state in terms of their position and velocities.

To prevent outside interference, a common problem with quantum states, the drums were cooled, entangled, and measured in separate stages while inside a cryogenically chilled enclosure. The states of the drums are then encoded in a reflected microwave field that works in a similar way to radar.

Previous studies have also reported on macroscopic quantum entanglement, but the new research goes further: All of the necessary measurements were recorded rather than inferred, and the entanglement was generated in a deterministic, non-random way.

In a related but separate series of experiments, researchers also working with macroscopic drums (or oscillators) in a state of quantum entanglement have shown how it’s possible to measure the position and momentum of the two drumheads at the same time.

“In our work, the drumheads exhibit a collective quantum motion,” says physicist Laure Mercier de Lepinay, from Aalto University in Finland. “The drums vibrate in an opposite phase to each other, such that when one of them is in an end position of the vibration cycle, the other is in the opposite position at the same time.”

“In this situation, the quantum uncertainty of the drums’ motion is canceled if the two drums are treated as one quantum-mechanical entity.”

What makes this headline news is that it gets around Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – the idea that position and momentum can’t be perfectly measured at the same time. The principle states that recording either measurement will interfere with the other through a process called quantum back action.

As well as backing up the other study in demonstrating macroscopic quantum entanglement, this particular piece of research uses that entanglement to avoid quantum back action – essentially investigating the line between classical physics (where the Uncertainty Principle applies) and quantum physics (where it now doesn’t appear to).

One of the potential future applications of both sets of findings is in quantum networks – being able to manipulate and entangle objects on a macroscopic scale so that they can power next-generation communication networks.

“Apart from practical applications, these experiments address how far into the macroscopic realm experiments can push the observation of distinctly quantum phenomena,” write physicists Hoi-Kwan Lau and Aashish Clerk, who weren’t involved in the studies, in a commentary on the new research.

Both the first and the second study have been published in Science.

China’s rogue Long March 5B rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean: report

The reported landing ended days of speculation about where and when the debris would hit Earth.

Michio Kaku details the impending rocket crash due to take place this weekend on ‘Your World’ with Neil Cavuto

The remnants of China’s rogue Long March 5B rocket reportedly landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday — late Saturday night Eastern U.S. time — after its uncontrolled descent was tracked around the world over the past week.

Reuters reported the landing, citing information from the Chinese government.

In addition, U.S. Space Command retweeted a post by Space-Track.org, indicating the rocket debris had landed.

Earlier Saturday, the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron listed possible landing sites in Costa Rica, Haiti, Australia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and New Zealand sometime between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

The approach of the rocket debris prompted emotions ranging from worry to concern to indifference — with jokes cracked along the way.

“We call it the Chinese rocket because it comes from CHINA,” comedians the Hodge Twins joked late Saturday.

Space junk watchers had expected the core to come down sometime Saturday or Sunday, but couldn’t predict early on when or where specifically because atmospheric variables, including the weather, could have a huge impact on the rocket’s path, the astronomer Dr. Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told Fox News on Friday.

“Since we don’t know WHEN, we don’t know where,” he said in an email. “If you’re an hour out in WHEN, you’re 18,000 miles wrong in WHERE.”

That’s because the 23-ton rocket core, which is about 100 feet long and 15 feet wide, was whizzing around the planet at about 18,000 mph, inching its way toward the surface before building friction upon reentry to the atmosphere.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, had said Friday he expected most of the rocket’s parts to burn up and that “the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities” was “extremely low.”

Experts agreed on that count – but they also indicated China’s launch practices were “irresponsible” at best.

All other space-capable countries tightly control their first-stage rockets, and they either safely splash down into the ocean before entering orbit or – in the case of SpaceX – return to the surface in a controlled descent for reuse.

Almost exactly a year ago, another Long March 5B rocket stage reentered the atmosphere, narrowly missing New York City before slamming into a West African village. No one was hurt, but China plans to lunch many more of the rockets as it assembles its new Tianhe space station, and each mission carries risk until authorities there enhance their safety measures.

CHINA’S FALLING ROCKET: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUT-OF-CONTROL LONG MARCH 5B HITS THE EARTH?

For an uncontrolled re-entry event, it is not possible to accurately predict where the object or parts of the object will fall

The Long March 5B rocket is falling back to Earth after launching part of China’s next space station.

The 30-meter long rocket entered orbital velocity, meaning it is now traveling around the world every 90 minutes – too fast for space agencies to tell where it is going to land.

Last year, a similar prototype craft came within 13 minutes of hitting New York City. The craft was eventually confirmed by the US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron to have landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

If the rocket re-enters the atmosphere above a populated area, the result will be akin to a small plane crash scattered over 100 miles, Jonathan McDowell, Astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Centre at Harvard University, has said.

Fortunately, the likelihood is that people will remain safe and there will be little damage to buildings or the environment. This is not due to preventative or defensive measures, however, but rather a question of statistics.

For an uncontrolled re-entry event like this, it is not possible to accurately predict where the object or parts of the object will fall, the European Space Agency (ESA) says.

This is mainly because atmospheric density, which is what will push the rocket’s altitude to eventual re-entry, is not known below 300 kilometres because spacecraft do not fly at such low heights.

The Long March 5B rocket is currently fluctuating at an altitude of between 170 and 372 kilometres, but has been seen dropping to 160 kilometres today.

It is also likely that the object will simply burn up on re-entry, but parts of the rocket with a high melting point could make it to the ground. Experts struggle to know exactly how the rocket will make it through its re-entry, because the Chinese space agency only gives limited information about its spacecraft.

“Worst case [scenario] is one of the structural rods hits someone, potentially a fatality but unlikely to see multiple casualties”, McDowell told The Independent. He added that the debris will be travelling at approximately 100 miles-per-hour, so there could be expensive property damage, but because it will be spread over 100 miles, only one or two pieces are likely to hit a populated area.

In the past decade, about 100 satellites and rocket bodies have re-entered the atmosphere each year, with a total annual mass of about 150 tonnes, and the issue of space debris is one that is only going to be exacerbated with time due to a lack of legislation around cleaning up the space around our planet.

Nasa scientist Donald Kessler warned that the domino effect of a crash between two pieces of space detritus could create an impenetrable layer of debris that would make terrestrial space launches impossible – essentially trapping us on Earth.

This potential problem is much greater than the small probability of debris hitting buildings, or even people. In such an event, planned missions to the moon or even terraforming Mars could be irrevocably scrapped.

A pair of moons with underground oceans…

Intriguing possibility of life in two underground oceans in our solar system.


Interactions between deep ocean water and hot rock on Saturn’s moon Enceladus are thought to result in hydrothermal plumes that erupt through the moon’s icy crust. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants boasting multiple moons. Now, two separate studies have identified another similarity: Each appears to have a moon with hidden underground oceans.

Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system and is the only moon with its own magnetic field, which frequently sparks glowing aurorae encircling the moon’s north and south poles. Ganymede’s close proximity to Jupiter means that the moon is also embedded within Jupiter’s magnetic field, and when Jupiter’s magnetic field shifts, the aurorae on Ganymede do too, rocking back and forth.

This illustration shows the process of light, soluble and reactive organic compounds making their way onto ice grains emitted in plumes from Saturn’s moon Enceladus, where they were detected by the Cassini spacecraft. The result indicates that this moon’s underground ocean contains the precursors of complex organic compounds like amino acids – the building blocks of life as we know it on Earth.

Using the Hubble space telescope to observe ultraviolet light emanating from the aurorae, scientists found, however, that the aurorae weren’t moving as much as expected. The team, led by Joachim Saur of the University of Cologne in Germany, determined that a large ocean of electrically conductive saltwater beneath Ganymede’s crust is likely counteracting the influence of Jupiter’s magnetic field on the aurora. Specifically, the researchers reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Ganymede’s ocean is probably about 100 kilometers deep — roughly 10 times thicker than Earth’s oceans — and buried under a 150-kilometer-thick crust of ice. They also noted that the new method using Hubble to track the movement of aurorae could be useful to look for evidence of water on distant planets.

In addition to Ganymede, Saturn’s satellite, Enceladus, may also have a vast reservoir of underground water. New gravitational field measurements, reported in Nature, suggest a body of water about 10 kilometers thick, under a layer of ice between 30 and 40 kilometers thick.

Observations by the Cassini spacecraft of Saturn’s E-ring — the second most outer ring, which is thought to be produced from debris from Enceladus — revealed a wealth of silicon-rich dust particles. The size and composition of the particles suggest that they may be produced by high-temperature reactions on the moon’s ocean floor. The particles must then make their way up through the ice to join the giant plume of gas, ice and dust that erupts from Enceladus’ south pole to form the E-ring.

The finding, reported by Hsiang-Wen Hsu of the University of Colorado at Boulder and colleagues, is the first evidence of ongoing hydrothermal activity in our solar system other than on Earth.

Life on the Planet Mercury? ‘It’s Not Completely Nuts’

A new explanation for the rocky world’s jumbled landscape opens a possibility that it could have had ingredients for habitability.

The study theorizes that the “chaotic terrain” on Mercury’s surface was formed by activity underneath the planet’s barren, scorched exterior, and not a collision.
The study theorizes that the “chaotic terrain” on Mercury’s surface was formed by activity underneath the planet’s barren, scorched exterior, and not a collision.Credit…NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury — a planet with a surface hot enough to melt lead — might once have contained ingredients needed for life. Though that’s a pretty big might.

The new theory, published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, is based on a particularly muddled feature on the planet orbiting closest to the sun, known as “chaotic terrain.” Here, the cracked, uneven and jumbled landscape consists of fractured rock, mismatched peaks and collapsed craters.

“Think of a kid throwing up a bunch of building blocks and how they land,” said Deborah Domingue, a co-author of the study from the Planetary Science Institute, headquartered in Tucson, Ariz. “Some are up, some are down, some are tilted — that’s chaotic terrain.”

For nearly 50 years, scientists have thought the chaos on Mercury was caused by earthquakes that raced throughout the planet when a massive asteroid struck the planet’s far side.

But the new study, led by Dr. Domingue’s colleague Alexis Rodriguez, upends that notion. It suggests the terrain could not possibly have formed in response to the collision because it occurred 2 billion years after the impact crater formed.

In addition, Dr. Rodriguez and his colleagues discovered that areas within the chaotic terrain appear to have dropped. It’s as though the layer of crust just below the surface had simply disappeared.

The easiest explanation is that subsurface volatiles — elements that can easily switch from a solid to a liquid or a gas — heated up as a result of the intrusion of magma below. That caused those elements to transform into a gas, forcing the terrain above them to collapse into a jumbled mess.

“Let’s say I have a house on stilts, and I kick one out,” Dr. Domingue said. “My house is going to tilt right? That’s what’s going on here.”

Paul Hayne, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder who was not involved in the study, agrees that the prevailing explanation for Mercury’s mishmash — which has long been unchallenged — is likely wrong. He also notes that the new story is consistent with what scientists have observed on Mars, where similar terrain was likely caused by the release of volatiles.

Editors’ Picks

It’s a thrilling prospect given that volatiles — particularly water — are needed to kick-start life. Though the team cannot say which volatiles were present, there is reason to hope that water might be one of them, Dr. Domingue said.

The finding runs against the notion that Mercury is inhospitable. At such a close distance to the sun, its surface reaches a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit during its day. Then, because the planet has no atmosphere to retain the heat, its surface plummets to minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit during its night.

But a short distance below the surface, the temperatures are much cooler, even pleasant — at least for some life-forms, said Jeffrey Kargel, a co-author of the study who is also from the Planetary Science Institute.

“It is possible that as long as there was water, the temperatures would be appropriate for the survival and possibly the origin of life,” Dr. Kargel said. But at first, even he was not convinced.

“I thought Alexis had lost it at some point,” he said, referring to Dr. Rodriguez. “But the more I dug into the geologic evidence and the more I thought about the chemistry and physical conditions there, the more I realized that this idea — well it might be nuts, but it’s not completely nuts.”

Dr. Hayne, however, thinks that water is an unlikely culprit. The only scenario in which it might be possible is one where water is bound to the rocks.

“So you could have transient pockets of high water activity, but I don’t think this is a case where we’d see massive pools of water and subsurface lakes and that sort of thing,” Dr. Hayne said.

Nonetheless, the suggestion that water could exist at all on a planet like Mercury provides a compelling clue toward the search for life across the galaxy. Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars — some of which look similar to Mercury.

“If it’s happening here, it’s happening somewhere else,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

Some Viruses Have a Completely Different Genome to The Rest of Life on Earth

In the world of microbial warfare, sometimes you have to change the very fabric of who you are.

Viruses that infect bacteria – fittingly called bacteriophages – and their prey have been at war for eons, each side evolving more devilish tactics to infect or destroy each other. Eventually, some bacteriophages took this arms race to a new level by changing the way they code their DNA.

At least, that’s what we think happened. Once thought to be an outlier, new research published in three separate papers shows that there’s a whole army of bacteriophages with non-standard DNA, which researchers call a Z-genome.

“Genomic DNA is composed of four standard nucleotides … These nucleobases form the genetic alphabet, ATCG, which is conserved across all domains of life,” biologists Michael Grome and Farren Isaacs write in a recent Science editorial accompanying the new research on bacteriophage genetics.

“However, in 1977, the DNA virus cyanophage S-2L was discovered with all instances of ‘A’ substituted with 2-aminoadenine (Z) throughout its genome forming the genetic alphabet ZTCG.”

The reason appeared to be self-protection. Within the connecting ‘rungs’ of a DNA double helix, the ‘Z’ base forms a triple bond to the opposite ‘T’ base, one more than the two bonds of the regular A:T connection. This makes the viral genome hardier and more difficult for bacteria to prise apart with chemicals called nucleases.

Although scientists were fascinated, no other bacteriophages were found with the Z-genome, and with the difficulty of culturing S-2L in a lab, the Z-genome was set aside as a curiosity.

Now, research documented in three separate studies from researchers in France and China shows that this was not a one-off, whilst also characterizing how the Z-genome works and how it’s assembled.

“Scientists have long dreamed of increasing the diversity of bases. Our work shows that nature has already come up with a way to do that,” one of the teams, led by first author Yan Zhou from Tianjin University, wrote in their paper.

Zhou’s team, along with another group led by Institut Pasteur microbiologist Dona Sleiman, found two major proteins which they called PurZ and PurB; these make up the ‘Z’ base.

A third group, led by Université Paris-Saclay synthetic biologist Valerie Pezo, corroborated those findings and analysed an enzyme – called DpoZ – which is responsible for assembling the whole Z-genome together.

All three searched genetic sequence databases for the sequences relating to their proteins and enzymes, and found a wide variety of bacteriophages with similar genes.

“[The authors] have done an amazingly comprehensive job of showing that this is not one crazy outlier, but there’s a whole group of bacteriophages that have this kind of genetic material,” Jef Boeke, a molecular biologist at New York University who was not involved in the work, told The Scientist.

There are still plenty of questions to answer about the Z-genome.

For example, is a Z-genome compatible with regular cell machinery such as ours? And could it be used in the same way that artificial DNA is starting to be?

“The Z base has been unambiguously identified in a carbonaceous meteorite and proposed as a nucleobase that could have been available for the origin of life,” the team lead by Zhou wrote in their paper.

“Considering that the Z base was discovered in a meteorite, our work may spark interest in interdisciplinary research on the origins of life and astrobiology.”

Huge Chinese rocket falling back to Earth in uncontrolled reentry

Projectile currently orbiting Earth every 90 minutes after space station launch

A huge Chinese rocket is set to fall back to earth in an uncontrolled re-entry after a space station launch.

The 21-ton Long March 5B rocket carried a module of China’s new space station into low Earth orbit last week.

But the 30-meter long rocket itself also reached orbit and will now become one of the largest ever launchers to make an uncontrolled reentry, according to SpaceNews.com.

Experts say that most expendable rockets do not reach a velocity that would take them into orbit and they normally reenter the atmosphere and land in a known reentry zone.

The speed of the rocket means it is orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes and it is passing just north of New York, Madrid and Beijing, and as far south as Chile and Wellington, New Zealand.

Did Nikola Tesla Unintentionally Detect Signals From Another Civilization?

An eccentric genius and a man in every respect extraordinary was born on the night of 9/10 of July, 1856 in the Croatian village of Smiljan, a village near Gospic Lika, (the Krajina, a military district of Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in the Republic of Croatia).

“A purpose was behind these signals… They are the results of an attempt by some human beings, not of this world; to speak to us by signals.” – Nikola Tesla

According to messagetoeagle.com, this event took place at the stroke of midnight “with lightning striking during a summer storm”. Because of the unusual moment of his birth, the midwife commented that “He’ll be a child of the storm,” to which his mother answered: “No, of light.”

Nikola Tesla

The great man is gone but… he will be remembered forever!

Those who knew him say he was not a normal human, but a superman, either a reincarnated master – or even an ET with superior mental powers placed here to assist in Earth’s technological development!

Nikola Tesla could have gone down in history as the man who invented the 20th century. Instead his theories were ridiculed and he died alone in a hotel bedroom.

Mostly, he did not improve on already existing technology, but created prototypes and sometimes entire new industries.

Many of his pioneer inventions he carried with him to his grave. But he believed in the destiny of man who, in his words, “searches, discovers and invents, designs and constructs, and covers with monuments of beauty, grandeur and awe, the star of his birth.”(Velikovsky)

Tesla was the first to attempt to communicate with neighboring worlds using radio waves.

In 1899, he was at his laboratory in Colorado Springs, driving monstrous surges of power into the Earth and also beaming energy outward from the 280-foot tower he’d built. He had instruments to record electromagnetic disturbances anywhere within a radius of 1,100 miles. It was an experiment of Frankensteinian proportions.

During the tests, Tesla began picking up odd data on his instruments. He was sure that this was a signal of some sort.

The signals came periodically, and with such a clear suggestion of number and order that they were not traceable to any cause then known to man.

“I was familiar… with such electrical disturbances as are produced by the sun, Aurora Borealis and earth currents, and I was as sure as I could be of any fact that these variations were due to none of these causes…”

“The nature of my experiments precluded the possibility of the changes being produced by atmospheric disturbances. . . . Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental . . . a purpose was behind these signals. . . . They are the results of an attempt by some human beings, not of this world; to speak to us by signals…”

“I am absolutely certain that they are not caused by anything terrestrial…”

“The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”

“I am absolutely certain that they are not caused by anything terrestrial…” (N. Tesla)

In Collier’s Weekly dated February 9, 1901, Tesla wrote in “Talking with the Planets” as follows:

“I can readily demonstrate that, with an expenditure not exceeding two thousand horse-power, signals can be transmitted to a planet such as Mars with as much exactness and certitude as we now send messages by wire from New York to Philadelphia. These means are the result of long-continued experiment and gradual improvement…”

He claimed he had detected an artificial signal from Mars, or possibly Venus, using high-voltage equipment he had set up at Colorado Springs, Colorado. He also predicted that interplanetary communication would “become the dominating idea of the century that has just begun.”

After informing the world of these signals, he would neither discuss the devices he used nor the signals any further. However, the issue was further researched, according to a report entitled “A Historic Report on Life in Space: Tesla, Marconi, Todd.” mentioned by Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist and the best-known scientific ufologist in North America and probably the world, in his book Captured!: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience“.

The purpose of the paper was to examine the original data of Tesla, Marconi and Todd to determine whether or not current science was duplicating the effort made by these men to detect radio frequency communication from extraterrestrial life forms on some distant planet.

“I am absolutely certain that they are not caused by anything terrestrial…” (N. Tesla)

“Communication once established, even in the simplest way, as by a mere interchange of numbers, the progress toward more intelligible communication would be rapid.

Absolute certitude as to the receipt and interchange of messages would be reached as soon as we could respond with the number “four,” say, in reply to the signal “one, two, three.”

“The Martians, or the inhabitants of whatever planet had signalled to us, would understand at once that we had caught their message across the gulf of space and had sent back a response. To convey a knowledge of form by such means is, while very difficult, not impossible, and I have already found a way of doing it.

“What a tremendous stir this would make in the world! How soon will it come? For that it will some time be accomplished must be clear to every thoughtful being.

“Something, at least, science has gained. But I hope that it will also be demonstrated soon that in my experiments in the West I was not merely beholding a vision, but had caught sight of a great and profound truth…”

Did Tesla’s experiments transmit radio signals to some of our nearer planets?

According to Su-Shu-Huang of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, stars nearly identical to the sun are most likely to have developed life,” Stanton Friedman writes in his book.

Had Tesla unintentionally detected signals from another civilization or did he simply make an error?

Last photo of Nikola Tesla

Probably, we’ll never know. Because of his financial problems, (he was not a good businessman, but a true scientist) a large part of his research notes and other papers were auctioned off after his death.

What happened to his other research papers? How much of Tesla’s work remains hidden and confiscated?

It’s unknown and thus, much of his scientific work of great value has been lost for ever.

A great mystery still surrounds him and his genius work! He will never be forgotten!

Proxima Centauri shoots out humongous flare, with big implications for alien life

The flare was around 100 times more powerful than those emitted by the sun.

Scientists have spotted one of the largest stellar flares ever recorded in our galaxy. The jets of plasma shot outward from the sun’s nearest neighbor, the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. The flare, which was around 100 times more powerful than any experienced in our solar system, could change the way scientists think about solar radiation and alien life.

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf — the smallest, dimmest and most common type of main sequence stars in the galaxy — located approximately 4.25 light-years from Earth. Its mass is only one-eighth of the sun’s, and it is orbited by two exoplanets. One of these planets, Proxima Centauri b, is considered to be Earth-like and lies within the star’s habitable zone — the distance from a star that could support the development of life, according to the researchers.

In a new study, researchers used nine ground and orbital telescopes — including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite — to closely monitor Proxima Centauri for a total of 40 hours over several months in 2019. On May 1, 2019, the team captured the mega flare, which shone for just 7 seconds and was mainly visible in the ultraviolet spectrum.

“The star went from normal to 14,000 times brighter when seen in ultraviolet wavelengths over the span of a few seconds,” lead author Meredith MacGregor, an astrophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement.

The power of this flare and type of radiation it emitted could change what we know about red dwarfs and the chances of life developing on the planets that orbit them.

A humongous flare 

Stellar flares are the result of a star’s strong magnetic fields. These fields — which are created by large amounts of electrically charged gas — can get twisted together and suddenly snap back into place to release an enormous amount of energy in the form of radiation, kind of like firing an elastic band at someone with your fingers. 

The flare on Proxima Centauri was extremely powerful compared with those emitted by the sun. Unlike flares from the sun, this one also emitted different kinds of radiation. In particular, it produced a huge surge of ultraviolet light and radio waves — known as “millimeter radiation.”

Artist’s conception of a stellar flare as seen from the planet Proxima Centauri b, a potentially Earth-like world. (Image credit: NRAO/S. Dagnello )

“In the past, we didn’t know that stars could flare in the millimeter range, so this is the first time we have gone looking for millimeter flares,” MacGregor said in the statement.

This finding was possible only because the team monitored the star using such a wide variety of telescopes, each focused on a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever had this kind of multiwavelength coverage of a stellar flare,” MacGregor said in the statement. “Usually, you’re lucky if you can get two instruments.”

The new findings suggest that stellar flares given off by red dwarfs are much more violent than previously expected and could reduce the likelihood of alien life developing around them.

Bad news for aliens 

The type and amount of radiation given off by Proxima Centauri could make it very hard for life to survive on its orbiting  exoplanets, which likely have no real atmosphere due to the powerful flares, according to the researchers. But it’s not impossible for alien life to exist there.

“If there was life on the planet nearest to Proxima Centauri, it would have to look very different than anything on Earth,” MacGregor said in the statement. “A human being on this planet would have a bad time.”

Other red dwarfs likely give off equally powerful flares, thus decreasing the chances that red dwarf-hosted planets could support life. They also flare “much more frequently” than the sun, further reducing the chances of finding life in that star system, according to the researchers.

“Proxima Centauri’s planets are getting hit by something like this not once in a century, but at least once a day, if not several times a day,” MacGregor said in the statement.

The researchers now hope to use the wide variety of telescopes to focus on other stellar flares across our galaxy.

“There will probably be even more weird types of flares that demonstrate different types of physics that we haven’t thought about before,” MacGregor said in the statement.

The study was published online April 21 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

AI will be smarter than humans within 5 years, says Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has claimed that Artificial Intelligence will be ‘vastly smarter’ than any human and would overtake us by 2025.

“We are headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans. I think that time frame is less than five years from now. But that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird,” Musk said in an interview with New York Times over the weekend.

This is not the first time that Musk has shown concern related to AI. Back in 2016, Musk said that humans risk being treated like house pets by AI unless technology is developed that can connect brains to computers.

He even described AI as an ‘existential threat’ to humanity.

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that,” he said.

However, Musk helped found the artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI in 2015 with the goal of developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can learn and master several disciplines.

Recently, OpenAI released its first commercial product, a programme to make use of a text-generation tool that it once called too dangerous.

It has the potential to spare people from writing long texts. Once an application is developed on the basis of the programme, all they need to give is a prompt.

OpenAI earlier desisted from revealing more about the software fearing bad actors might misuse it for producing misleading articles, impersonate others or even automate phishing content.

A $100 Million Message From Aliens Next-Door? What We Know About The Mysterious ‘BLC1’ Radio Signal

A mysterious radio signal from space appears to have come from the direction of Proxima Centauri—the closest star to our Sun at a mere just 4.24 light-years. 
A mysterious radio signal from space appears to have come from the direction of Proxima Centauri—the … [+] GETTY

Is it aliens? There have been a lot of stories online about the recent detection of a mysterious radio signal from space that appears to have come from the direction of Proxima Centauri—the closest star to our Sun at “just” 4.24 light-years. 

So, it’s aliens, right? It could be, but it’s probably not. First published in The Guardian in December and followed-up by Scientific American, the story revolves around a strange radio transmission detected by the Breakthrough Listen project using the Parkes radio telescope at Parkes Observatory in Australia. 

Could it possibly be a technosignature from a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri—and therefore proof of intelligence on another world? 

Named Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1 (BLC1) though also called “Wow! Signal 2020” because of its similarity to a mysterious radio signal detection in 1977, here’s everything you need to know about the signal “from” Proxima Centauri. 

What is ‘BLC1,’ who heard it first, and when? 

BLC1 is a curious radio signal detected on April 29, 2019, though discovered by Shane Smith, a student working for the Breakthrough Listen project in archival data in October 2020.

There are said to be scientific papers imminent, but so far all we know is that BLC1 happened only once.

Note the use of the word candidate in its title.

Radio telescope in Parkes, NSW
The radio telescope in Parkes, NSW. (Photo by Cole Bennetts/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty … [+] FAIRFAX MEDIA VIA GETTY IMAGES

What is a ‘technosignature?’

“Technosignatures” or “technomarkers” are signs of technology developed by intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. What form do they take? Nobody has a clue. Can we detect them? Ditto.

The most recent conversation about technosignatures occurred in 2015 when astronomer Tabetha S. Boyajian detected the mysterious dimming of a star called KIC 8462852—henceforth nicknamed “Tabby’s Star”—1,470 light-years distant in the constellation of Cygnus. Was it an alien megastructure around the star periodically blocking its light? Probably not

However, BLC1 is not a dimming star, but a radio signal that appears to have a technological source. 

What is strange about ‘BLC1?’

BLC1 was a very narrow band radio signal. It occupied the 982 MHz radio spectrum, which is normally used by satellites and spacecraft. It was also only detected once over 30 hours in April and May, 2019.

However, until scientific papers are published—something that is expected soon—the signal’s profile, strength and modulation remain unknown. 

The Proxima Centauri star system is just 4.24 light-years from us and is found—though not with the naked eye—close to Alpha Centauri, a star mostly visible from the southern hemisphere.
The Proxima Centauri star system is just 4.24 light-years from us and is found—though not with the … [+] UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

What do experts think the signal is? 

There are lots of opinions—and most of them suggest something other than you-know-what: 

  • Since we use radio, it could well be interferences—the signal could have originated on Earth. After all, it’s got all the hallmarks of being artificial and having a technological source. 
  • Extraterrestrial technology exists in space because we put it there—it could be from a satellite or a spacecraft. 
  • The source is natural, but unknown—maybe it’s a really odd kind of quasar (a supermassive black hole) or pulsar (a highly magnetized rotating compact star) that emits narrowband radio signals. 
  • The radio signal is coming from behind Proxima Centauri—possibly millions of light-years beyond. After all, space is big. So it may not be from a nearby star anyway.

The final explanation is: 

  • It’s a message from a technologically advanced civilization living on one of the two planets known to be orbiting our nearest stellar neighbor. 

It’s obviously the least likely reason for BLC1. 

What do experts think about BLC1?

Healthy extreme scepticism is the best summary. “Of the 300 million exoplanets that could be habitable in our galaxy, which is 200,000 light years across, it would be an astonishing coincidence for two civilizations—ours and one on Proxima b or c—to be using the same technology at the same time,” said Franck Marchis, a Senior Planetary Astronomer at the SETI Institute.

Marchis suspects a down-to-earth explanation for the signal’s origin. “It’s probably not alien and we will confirm this soon (but) nothing would please me more than to be proven wrong.” 

Have there been any scientific paper on BLC1? 

Only one from Harvard University astrophysicists Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb, which is published on non-peer-reviewed printspre-print hub arXiv. It argues that a radio-transmitting civilization occupying the next star system along is just so hugely unlikely at eight orders of magnitude.

In fact, it violates the Copernican principle, which tells us that our technological civilization is a single outcome of a random process. 

There is one caveat. Instead of discussing where life could have emerged independently we could consider the possibility that the seeds for life could have been spread in our random corner of the Universe by intergalactic comets—a process called panspermia.

The recent passing through the Solar System of interstellar comets such as 1I/’Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov could be evidence of that.

However, Siraj and Loeb point out that humans appeared on Earth before Alpha Centauri‚ which Prima Centauri orbits—was our nearest star system. It’s suspected that Scholz’s star—a red dwarf star now 22 light-years from us “grazed” the Solar System about 70,000 years ago, coming within a single light-year.

Artists impression of Proximas Planet
Proxima is the nearest star to the Sun. It is a dim red dwarf, smaller than our Sun and many … [+] GETTY

What and where is Proxima Centauri?

Proxima Centauri is the next star along. It’s a red dwarf star—the smallest, coolest and most common kind of star in our region of the Milky Way galaxy. It’s found in constellation of Centaurus, which is visible from the southern hemisphere.

That constellation’s brightest star (and the third brightest in the entire night sky) is Alpha Centauri, a binary star of two Sun-like stars that together are only 4.37 light years distant.

The much smaller, dimmer Proxima Centauri orbits them every 550,000 years, so together they form a triple star system. 

What do we know about Proxima Centauri’s planets?

It has two planets, which makes it not only the closest star system, but also the closest planetary system to Earth that we know of.

The discovery of Proxima b—a planet 20% larger than Earth that orbits its star every 11.2 days—was announced in 2016. Last year the existence of Proxima c was inferred in a paper. About seven times more massive than Earth, Proxima c could be considered a “super-Earth.” It orbits Proxima Centauri every 5.2 years from much farther out. 

Could Proxima Centauri b and c support life?

While Proxima b’s equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface, Proxima c is likely too cold.

However, Proxima Centauri—like most red dwarf stars—has a tendency to “flare.” In 2018 a team of astronomers from Carnegie Science detected a massive stellar flare—an energetic explosion of radiation—from Proxima Centauri. On a single day in March 2017 the star’s flare increased its brightness by 1,000 times over 10 seconds. 

What is ‘Breakthrough Listen?’

“Breakthrough Listen” is at the forefront of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). It’s an initiative privately funded by Israeli-Russian entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist Yuri Milner to the tune of $100 million to find signs of intelligent life in the universe. Milner and the late Stephen Hawking launched in in July 2015. Its philosophy is to look in as many places, and in as many ways, as astronomers can. 

It’s based at the University of California at Berkeley. 

What was the ‘WOW!’ signal?

BLC1 is also being called “Wow! signal 2020” by some because of its similarity—at least in terms of excitement among radio astronomers—to the famous “WOW signal” received for 72 seconds on August 15, 1977 by the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio. It was never confirmed. 

If thought to be from a Sun-like star, its source was recently identified by Alberto Caballero of the Habitable Exoplanet Hunting Project as possibly being a star called 2MASS 19281982-2640123 about 1,800 light-years distant in the constellation of Sagittarius.

Did we finally find evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence? Possibly. Maybe. Though probably not. 

Scientists Just Figured Out How to Turn Your Body Into a Battery

Imagine charging your Apple Watch with … yourself.

plugging usb cable in hand with low battery symbol tired human concept recharging energy

ANNA GORBACHEVAGETTY IMAGES

  • In the near future, pacemakers could run on body heat batteries.
  • These devices could replace watch batteries and other power sources for wearables.
  • The greater the temperature difference from inside to outside, the more power.

A tiny new gadget could turn your body’s electricity into a battery, meaning pacemakers, drug delivery pumps, and other implantable medical devices could run on a new kind of renewable energy: you.

The wearable, which is called a thermoelectric generator (TEG), directly turns your body’s heat into electrical energy. While the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder scientists behind the stretchable device tested their TEG in the form of a small ring, the tiny generator could theoretically be the size of a watch or full sleeve, depending on how much power you want to generate.

Here’s how it works: First, you put on the wearable. (Just make sure it comes into contact with your skin.) Flexible, malleable circuitry inside the device then converts your body heat into electricity. Meanwhile, a special material embedded inside the gadget heals and reconfigures itself to keep from breaking as you move.

The TEG is stretchy and resilient, just like your skin. This means you can comfortably wear it in all kinds of conditions without beating it up, the scientists say in their study, which appears in Science Advances. As the part of the gadget that touches your skin turns your warmth into energy, it works overtime by guzzling up solar energy from its “cold side,” which faces away from your skin.This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

“In the future, we want to be able to power your wearable electronics without having to include a battery,” Jianliang Xiao, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at CU Boulder, said in a prepared statement. “Whenever you use a battery, you’re depleting that battery and will, eventually, need to replace it. [T]he nice thing about our thermoelectric device is that you can wear it, and it provides you with constant power.”


Consider your body’s natural conduction process. To maintain a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, your body must regulate a tight balance between heat gain and heat loss. And because your body isn’t that efficient, you lose approximately 75 percent of the energy it produces through heat.

a wearable power generator as a ring

IMAGE COURTESY OF JIANLIANG XIAO

Thermoelectric generators use a difference in temperature—like your body’s temp versus the surrounding air—to turn that energy into power. To establish equilibrium, heat automatically dissipates into cooler locations, and TEGs can capture these energized particles as they pass through a micro-thin barrier.

These wearables can generate about one volt of energy for every square centimeter of skin space, which is less voltage per area than most existing batteries. Still, due to the LEGO-like modularity of the devices, the researchers could expand the gadgets from rings into Fitbit-like sports bracelets, or even a full sleeve of generator cells. The new forms could create even more power, charging up devices with higher electrical requirements.

Scientists say this technology could eliminate the need for batteries in human devices—not only smartwatches or fitness devices, but even pacemakers and other implants that require energy. Batteries are a pretty dirty technology that use rare Earth metals and corrosive materials. Your body could do the same work as a watch battery with cleaner, more recyclable technology.

In 5 to 10 years, you could see these wearables in stores, the researchers believe.

“We’re trying to make our devices as cheap and reliable as possible, while also having as close to zero impact on the environment as possible,” Xiao said.

Scientists Submit Actual Proof Aliens Are Watching You Right Now

Scientists have released proof that aliens are watching you right now, and it’s called the “Zoo Theory”. If you’ve never heard of the “Zoo Theory” before then this amazing video will explain how humanity is being watched by extraterrestrial life forms in the far reaches of outer space. Sounds like a bad sci-fi movie, but you’ll thank us for preparing you for when the Aliens do show up.

  • Given the infinite size of the universe and its age, it would seem almost impossible that intelligent life is unique to our planet.
  • In 1973 researcher John Ball of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology went as far as hypothesizing that aliens could be observing us like animals in a zoo.
  • San Francisco-based Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) met recently in Paris to revisit the alarming theory.

Although humanity has been searching for traces of intelligent extraterrestrial life for decades, we haven’t found any evidence — despite the billions of stars surrounding us.

Given the infinite size of the universe and its age, it would seem almost impossible that intelligent life is unique to our planet — so why have we been unable to contact aliens as of yet?

In 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi came up with a possible reason why, which later came to be known as the Fermi Paradox.

The scientist hypothesized that there is, in fact, intelligent extraterrestrial life capable of colonizing entire galaxies — however, the quest for evidence to support this remains unsuccessful for various reasons.

Hubble’s Dazzling Display of two Colliding Galaxies
Given the infinite size of the universe and its age, it would seem almost impossible that intelligent life is unique to our planet. 

It’s possible that aliens simply aren’t able to understand us communicatively, or that they’re too far away.

There are also theories that we’ve missed each other in time, as well as the hypothesis that aliens simply aren’t interested in us.

San Francisco-based Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), an organization committed to research and education on the search for intelligent life and contact with extraterrestrials, met in Paris to try and get to the bottom of why we continue to live in solitude in space.

Some have put forward the idea that aliens are around us as omnipresent observers

One hypothesis they came up with is that aliens may well have acknowledged our existence and even observed us.

However, they may have deliberately kept us at a distance.

A serious response to the Fermi Paradox was also put forward — and it isn’t entirely new.

hubble ultra deep field faint galaxies
According to those who attended, it could be the case that aliens are holding us within some form of “space quarantine”, in order not to interfere with or destroy our small biotope. 

In 1973, researcher John Ball of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) put forward the theory that aliens might be “omnipresently” observing us as one might observe animals in a reserve or a zoo.

According to this “zoo hypothesis”, there may be extraterrestrial scientists studying our culture and environment who don’t want to make contact — which would explain why, so far, we’ve felt so alone.

This idea was recently revisited at the Paris-based workshop, where attendees speculated that aliens could be holding us within some form of “space quarantine” in order not to interfere with or destroy our small “habitat.”

The prerequisite for this theory is that there’s intelligent life beyond our planet and that its inhabitants may even be superior to us cognitively.

Considering the number of sci-fi movies in which humanity is overwhelmed by the arrival of extraterrestrial life and ends up reacting in panic or with aggression, the theory isn’t a completely implausible one.

A new ‘Einstein’ equation suggests wormholes hold key to quantum gravity

ER=EPR summarizes new clues to understanding entanglement and spacetime

illustration of a wormhole
Wormholes, tunnels through the fabric of spacetime that connect widely separated locations, are predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Some physicists think that wormholes could connect black holes in space, possibly providing a clue to the mysteries of quantum entanglement and how to merge general relativity with quantum mechanics.STOCKERNUMBER2/SHUTTERSTOCK 

There’s a new equation floating around the world of physics these days that would make Einstein proud.

It’s pretty easy to remember: ER=EPR.

You might suspect that to make this equation work, P must be equal to 1. But the symbols in this equation stand not for numbers, but for names. E, you probably guessed, stands for Einstein. R and P are initials — for collaborators on two of Einstein’s most intriguing papers. Combined in this equation, these letters express a possible path to reconciling Einstein’s general relativity with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics and general relativity are both spectacularly successful theories. Both predict bizarre phenomena that defy traditional conceptions of reality. Yet when put to the test, nature always complies with each theory’s requirements. Since both theories describe nature so well, it’s hard to explain why they’ve resisted all efforts to mathematically merge them. Somehow, everybody believes, they must fit together in the end. But so far nature has kept the form of their connection a secret.

ER=EPR, however, suggests that the key to their connection can be found in the spacetime tunnels known as wormholes. These tunnels, implied by Einstein’s general relativity, would be like subspace shortcuts physically linking distant locations. It seems that such tunnels may be the alter ego of the mysterious link between subatomic particles known as quantum entanglement.

For the last 90 years or so, physicists have pursued two main quantum issues separately: one, how to interpret the quantum math to make sense of its weirdness (such as entanglement), and two, how to marry quantum mechanics to gravity. It turns out, if ER=EPR is right, that both questions have the same answer: Quantum weirdness can be understood only if you understand its connection to gravity. Wormholes may forge that link.

Wormholes are technically known as Einstein-Rosen bridges (the “ER” part of the equation). Nathan Rosen collaborated with Einstein on a paper describing them in 1935. EPR refers to another paper Einstein published with Rosen in 1935, along with Boris Podolsky. That one articulated quantum entanglement’s paradoxical puzzles about the nature of reality. For decades nobody seriously considered the possibility that the two papers had anything to do with one another. But in 2013, physicists Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind proposed that in some sense, wormholes and entanglement describe the same thing.

The US Air Force wants to beam solar power to Earth from space (video)

A power-beaming experiment is scheduled to launch in 2024.

A depiction of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Solar Power Incremental and Demonstrations Research (SSPIDR) project, which aims to beam solar power from space to Earth. SSPIDR consists of several small-scale flight experiments that will mature technology needed to build a prototype solar power distribution system.

A depiction of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Solar Power Incremental and Demonstrations Research (SSPIDR) project, which aims to beam solar power from space to Earth. SSPIDR consists of several small-scale flight experiments that will mature technology needed to build a prototype solar power distribution system. (Image credit: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL))

Space-based solar power won’t be just a sci-fi dream forever, if things go according to the U.S. Air Force’s plans.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is developing a project called SSPIDR (“Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research”), which aims to mature the technology needed to harvest solar energy in space and beam it down for use on Earth.

Such a capability would be a big advantage on the battlefield, Air Force officials said.

“Ensuring that a forward operating base maintains reliable power is one of the most dangerous parts of military ground operations. Convoys and supply lines are a major target for adversaries,” states the narrator of a new AFRL video about SSPIDR

“Ground-based solar, while seemingly an attractive solution, is limited by area, the size of collectors required and climate,” the narrator adds. “But if the solar panels were in orbit, they could have unfettered access to the sun’s rays, providing an uninterrupted supply of energy.”

The AFRL envisions sunlight-harvesting satellites equipped with innovative “sandwich tiles,” which will convert solar energy into radio frequency (RF) power and beam it to Earth. Down here, receiving antennas will transform that RF energy into usable power.

The AFRL won’t build such an operational system, but it hopes to pave the way toward it with SSPIDR, a series of ground and flight experiments that help mature the required technologies. 

Related: Space-based solar power gets key test on X-37B space planeClick here for more Space.com videos…Blastoff! Secretive X-37B space plane launched by Space Force.

For example, one SSPIDR experiment, known as Arachne, will test power conversion and beaming in space using a sandwich tile built by project partner Northrop Grumman. Arachne is scheduled to launch to Earth orbit in 2024.

SSPIDR also includes experiments called SPINDLE and SPIRRAL, which will demonstrate the orbital deployment of a scaled-down version of a power-beaming satellite and test ways to keep satellite temperatures in a manageable range, respectively.

SPINDLE is scheduled to launch in 2023 on Alpha Space’s Materials International Space Station Experiment Flight Facility, which is designed to be deployed outside the International Space Station.

And there’s already some space solar power research going on over our heads. The Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment, or PRAM-FX, launched aboard the U.S. Space Force’s robotic X-37B space plane in May 2020. 

PRAM-FX isn’t beaming power down to Earth, but it is helping researchers gauge the efficiency of sandwich tiles’ sunlight-to-RF conversion. And the early returns are promising, a recent study showed.

Pentagon UFO report: They ‘acknowledged the reality,’ whistleblower says

Luis Elizondo on blockbuster document on UFOs, UAPs slated for June release

The U.S. government is actually gearing up to share information about the “reality” of UFOs with the public — and not a moment too soon, says the man who claims to have run the Pentagon’s UFO program for 9 years.

Former President Donald Trump’s $2.3 trillion appropriation bill for 2021 contained a mandate that the Pentagon and spy agencies must file a report about “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAP. Most of us just call them flying saucers or UFOs.

Whatever the jargon, noted whistleblower Luis Elizondo — former head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which operated out of the secretive fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring — told The Post about the resulting blockbuster document, which is reportedly slated for release in June.

Tied to the mandate, Elizondo said the upcoming report touches down on the unexplainable. Longtime UFO believers are hungry for explanations of the tic-tac-shaped objects the Navy encountered in 2004, the strange “cubes within spheres” seen by Navy pilots in 2014, or the mysterious black triangles continually reported around the world.

Such details promise to come via the much anticipated report — and at least one evolution of belief: “I think the government has acknowledged the reality of UAP,” Elizondo exclusively told The Post, despite signing what he refers to as a “lifelong” NDA before he resigned from the Pentagon in 2017. “I think they all want answers and I think they are all willing to ask the hard questions.”

During a press conference this week, Elizondo made clear that UFOs have been observed to have qualities that are nothing less than otherworldly. He described vessels flying at 11,000 miles-per-hour and being able to turn “instantly.” Providing a comparison, he explained, for our most advanced jets going at the same speed, “if you wanted to make a right-hand turn, it would take you about half the state of Ohio to do it.”

He also detailed Spielberg-worthy operational capabilities that fall into the realm of “transmedium travel.” Elizondo explained that the eye-popping vessels can fly 50-feet above the Earth’s surface or 80,000 feet in the sky and even submerge underwater without a compromise in performance: “When you see that, you recognize you are dealing with a technology more advanced than ours.”

NAVY CAPTURES FOOTAGE OF PYRAMID-SHAPED UFOS, ORBS

That was despite apparent threats to security of the United States. Elizondo was particularly disturbed by the locations where UFOs or UAPs tended to hover.

Even the way in which these inexplicable flying-machines manage to lift-off blows away rational engineering. “[These] things have no wings, no cockpits, no control surfaces, no rivets in the skin, no obvious signs of propulsion — and somehow they are able to defy the natural effects of Earth’s gravity,” Elizondo said. “How is that possible?”

The existence of the AATIP wasn’t revealed until 2017, along with what Trump described as a “hell of a video” montage captured by the Navy featuring a dark circular object flying in front of a military jet, along with another small object racing over land at astonishing speeds in 2004 and 2015, respectively. The Department of Defense confirmed the authenticity of the footage, and a Navy spokesman confirmed the objects in the videos to be UAP.

At the time, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took credit for arranging $22 million in annual funding for the AATIP, telling the New York Times that it was “one of the good things I did in my congressional service.”

By 2019, the Pentagon had confirmed to The Post for the first time that they research and investigate UFOs and continue to do so.

Meanwhile, UFO sightings in NYC were up 31% in 2020 — 46, compared to 35 the previous year — marking a whopping 283% spike from 2018’s dozen, according to the National UFO Reporting Center.

However, for generations, and for all the wrong reasons, national security bigwigs did not want to release more information to the public, Elizondo claims.

“They felt that it made them look inept,” he said. “They felt in some cases that it challenged their philosophical and theological belief systems … They just couldn’t process it.”

“There seems to be a very distinct congruency between UAP activity and our nuclear technology,” he continued. “That’s concerning to the point where we’ve actually had some of our nuclear capabilities disabled by these things … There is absolutely evidence that UAPs have an active interest in our nuclear technology.”

If this starts to sound like a “Twilight Zone” episode – Elizondo talks about UFOs pulling as many as 700 G-forces when our most technologically advanced aircraft can stand only 17 before falling apart (and that’s to say nothing about pilots at the controls) — it’s easy to hope for a fast and satisfactory wrap-up.

Clearly, that is what Elizondo is gunning for.

“This is not a conversation like fine wine where the longer we keep a cork on it, the better it gets,” he said. “This is a conversation like rotten fruit or vegetables in the refrigerator. And the longer it stays in there, the more it’s going to stink.”

The Nuclear Powered Mars Express

By 2035, NASA wants to land humans on Mars.

But reaching the red planet, which is around 184 million kilometres from Earth, will be a mammoth feat.

Colder than Antarctica and with little to no oxygen, Mars is a hostile environment.

The longer it takes astronauts to get there and the longer they stay, the more they are at risk.

That’s why scientists are looking at ways to reduce trip time.

Seattle-based company Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has proposed a solution: a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine that could get humans from Earth to Mars in just three months.

Currently, the shortest possible trip for an unmanned spacecraft is seven months, but a crewed mission is expected to take at least nine months.

Further and faster

Michael Eades, director of engineering at USNC-Tech, says nuclear-powered rockets would be more powerful and twice as efficient as the chemical engines used today, meaning they could travel further and faster, while burning less fuel.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has proposed a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine that could get humans from Earth to Mars in just three months.
Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has proposed a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine that could get humans from Earth to Mars in just three months. Credit: CNN

“Nuclear technology will expand humanity’s reach beyond low Earth orbit, and into deep space,” he said.

As well as enabling human space travel, it could even open up space for galactic business opportunities.

Most rockets today are powered by chemical engines.

These could get you to Mars, but it would take a long time – at least three years for a round trip – says Jeff Sheehy, chief engineer of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

An illustration of Mars.
An illustration of Mars. Credit: SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOT/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

NASA wants to get there faster, to minimise the crew’s time in outer space, he says.

This would reduce their exposure to space radiation, which can cause health problems including radiation sickness, the increased lifetime risk of cancer, central nervous system effects and degenerative diseases.

It would also decrease the overall risk of the mission.

“The longer you’re out there, the more time there is for stuff to go wrong,” he adds.

That’s why the space agency is looking to develop nuclear-powered rockets.

‘The longer you’re out there, the more time there is for stuff to go wrong.’

An NTP system uses a nuclear reactor to generate heat from uranium fuel.

That thermal energy heats a liquid propellant, usually liquid hydrogen, which expands into a gas and is shot out the back end, producing thrust.

NTP rockets produce twice the thrust per unit of propellant than a chemical system, which is like saying it does “double the miles per gallon,” says Sheehy.

This means the technology could get astronauts to Mars and back in less than two years.

However, one of the main challenges for building an NTP engine is finding a uranium fuel that can withstand the blistering temperatures inside a nuclear thermal engine.

The idea of nuclear rocket engines dates back to the 1940s, but the technology has only recently been revisited as a solution for deep space exploration.
The idea of nuclear rocket engines dates back to the 1940s, but the technology has only recently been revisited as a solution for deep space exploration. Credit: CNN

USNC-Tech claims to have solved this problem by developing a fuel that can operate in temperatures up to 2700 degrees Kelvin (2426C).

The fuel contains silicon carbide, a material used in tank armour, which forms a gas-tight barrier that prevents the escape of radioactive products from the nuclear reactor, protecting the astronauts.

Along with other companies developing similar technology, USNC-Tech has presented its development to NASA.

While Sheehy would not comment on the specifics of any individual designs, he said the developments show that nuclear engines are feasible and could make “a good choice for human exploration to Mars.”

Is the nuclear option safe?

Shorter missions would limit the crew’s exposure to space radiation, but there is still concern about the radiation emitted from the nuclear reactor inside the spacecraft.

This would be mitigated through the rocket’s design, Eades explains.

The liquid propellants – stored between the engine and the crew area – block out radioactive particles, acting as “a tremendously good radiation shield,” he says.

The distance between the crew and reactor also provides a buffer, says Sheehy, and any NTP design would place the living quarters at the other end of the rocket to the reactor.

A rendering of the USNC-Tech NTP systems in line at a rocket hangar. The system is roughly four metres long.
A rendering of the USNC-Tech NTP systems in line at a rocket hangar. The system is roughly four metres long. Credit: CNN

To protect people on the ground, NTP spacecraft would not lift-off directly from Earth, Sheehy adds.

Instead, a regular chemical rocket would hoist it into orbit, and only then would it fire up its nuclear reactor.

Once in orbit, it could do little harm, he says, as blasts and thermal radiation cannot move through a vacuum.

If disaster struck and the rocket’s reactor broke up, the pieces would not land on Earth – or any other planet – for tens of thousands of years, he says.

By that time, the radioactive substance would have “naturally decayed to the point where it wasn’t hazardous anymore.”

Deep space exploration

Although USNC-Tech’s current goal for a one-way trip is five to nine months, nuclear-powered technology has the potential to cut journeys from Earth to Mars to just 90 days, says Eades.

These faster journey times could open up a wealth of opportunities.

USNC-Tech is hoping to develop its technology for government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense, and for the commercial space market.

An illustration of a spacecraft with a nuclear-enabled propulsion system. Courtesy of NASA
An illustration of a spacecraft with a nuclear-enabled propulsion system. Courtesy of NASA Credit: CNN/NASA

The company says its concept could help to power space tourism and “rapid orbital logistics services,” such as transporting satellites or delivering spacecraft capable of repairing satellites out in space.

‘I think it’s going to have to be flown a few times … before somebody sells tickets.’

Sheehy agrees that nuclear-powered rockets will be key to opening up the solar system but cautions that it could be at least two decades before they are used widely.

Numerous demonstrations and tests would need to be carried out before a crew is sent to Mars in an NTP rocket, he says.

“Nobody’s ever flown nuclear propulsion yet,” he says.

“I think it’s going to have to be flown a few times … before somebody sells tickets.”

NASA’s Mars rover extracts first oxygen; Ingenuity helicopter completes second flight

The feats are part of the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration project

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made major strides on the surface of Mars this week. 

On Wednesday, the agency announced the Perseverance Mars rover’s MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) instrument had converted carbon dioxide into oxygen on the red planet for the first time. 

Just a day later, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter embarked on its second experimental test flight — a more challenging feat for a longer duration.

In a release, NASA explained that MOXIE’s test had initially taken place on April 20 and that the ability to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen in such a thin and carbon-rich atmosphere could one day be critical to human exploration of the planet, powering rockets or providing breathable air for astronauts.

Mars’ atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide and MOXIE works to separate the oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules, expelling carbon monoxide into the Martian atmosphere.

Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover.

Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The conversion process, NASA notes, requires high levels of heat, reaching approximately 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although MOXIE’s first oxygen production was “modest,” generating about 10 minutes of breathable oxygen, the instrument is designed to generate double that amount every hour.

MOXIE is expected to attempt to extract oxygen at least nine more times over the course of almost two years.

“MOXIE has more work to do, but the results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one day seeing humans on Mars,” Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Associate Administrator Jim Reuter said. “Oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe. Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home.”

In a step towards that same goal, on Thursday, JPL said in a separate statement that its rotorcraft had successfully completed the second Mars flight on April 19.

The flight lasted for 51.9 seconds — almost 12 seconds longer than its first flight — and the team added several new challenges, including a higher maximum altitude and sideways movement.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's navigation camera captures the helicopter's shadow on the surface of Jezero Crater during rotorcraft's second experimental test flight on April 22, 2021.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s navigation camera captures the helicopter’s shadow on the surface of Jezero Crater during rotorcraft’s second experimental test flight on April 22, 2021. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Ingenuity took off from “Wright Brothers Field” at 5:33 a.m. EDT and climbed to 16 feet — six feet higher than the historic Monday event.

In addition, after hovering, the copter’s flight control system performed a slight tilt, allowing the craft to accelerate sideways for seven feet.

As with the first test, Perseverance took images of the flight using its Navcam and Mastcam-Z imagers, though using a different zoom level.

NASA said it is considering how best to expand the profiles of its next flights to acquire additional data.

Ingenuity will conduct up to five test filghts, assuming NASA continues to successfully clear potential hurdles.

“So far, the engineering telemetry we have received and analyzed tell us that the flight met expectations and our prior computer modeling has been accurate,” said Bob Balaram, chief engineer for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. “We have two flights of Mars under our belts, which means that there is still a lot to learn during this month of Ingenuity.”

Celebrate Earth Day 2021 with the Lyrid Meteor Shower

Don’t miss the first big meteor shower of 2021! I’ll show you when and where to look to see the Lyrids and give some tips on ways to increase the number of meteors you can see! Be sure to let me know about your questions and experience with the Lyrid Meteor Shower in the comment section below. Clear skies everyone!

Lyrid meteor shower peaks predawn April 22. Here’s how to watch

This is a meteor from the Lyrids, as seen in the sky in Schermbeck, Germany, April 22, 2020.This is a meteor from the Lyrids, as seen in the sky in Schermbeck, Germany, April 22, 2020.

Every year from January to mid-April, we experience a “meteor drought,” without a single shower for months.That all ends April 22 this year with the first show of the season: the annual Lyrid meteor shower.”These dazzling meteors are fast and bright, with a striking golden trail of dust streaking behind them,” CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said.

The Lyrids, which are best seen from the Northern Hemisphere, have been observed for 2,700 years, according to NASA. During its peak, this shower will feature about 10 meteors per hour.

You might even spot a fireball flying across the sky or the glowing dust trail the meteors frequently leave behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere.

As with all meteor showers, the darker the sky, the more visible the Lyrids will be. If you want to view them, you’ll have your best luck away from urban areas where city lights can obstruct the view.” Light pollution is one of the biggest struggles when trying to see meteors, and it seems to be getting worse each year,” Jones said.

But there is one other factor that impacts light as well: the moon. This year, the moon will be in its waxing gibbous phase; it will be about 70% illuminated. Since the moon will be so bright, it’s suggested you view the sky after moonset and before sunrise, according to EarthSky.Between midnight and dawn, the Lyrid meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, according to the American Meteor Society. The best time for viewing them April 22 will be the last hour before the start of morning twilight: around 4-5 a.m. local Daylight Saving Time.The view of the starry sky shining over the Baltic Sea, when the Lyrids passed through in 2020. The view of the starry sky shining over the Baltic Sea, when the Lyrids passed through in 2020.After you’ve decided on your viewing location and time, come prepared with a blanket and simply lie back, with your feet facing east, and look toward the sky. Take 30 minutes beforehand to let your eyes adjust to the dark, without looking at your phone.Be patient, as the AMS suggests: “Serious observers should watch for at least an hour as numerous peaks and valleys of activity will occur.”If your eye catches a meteor in the sky, you’ll be observing one of the lost pieces of Comet Thatcher, the source of the Lyrid meteors. These fragments fly into our upper atmosphere at 110,000 miles per hour as Earth’s orbit crosses its path.”When these pieces interact with our atmosphere, they burn up to reveal the fiery, colorful streaks you can find in our night sky,” Jones said.If you miss the meteors this week but still want to gaze at the sky, see next week’s “pink” full supermoon on April 26. While the moon won’t actually be pink, it will appear extra bright since supermoons are slightly closer to Earth.

Meteor blazes across South Florida skies

There was debate online regarding the meteor’s origin

Southern Florida residents were stunned to see a meteor blazing through the darkness Monday night, with some sharing footage of the spectacle on social media.

Dashcam and security video revealed the quick, bright flash of light as the meteor streaked through the Earth’s atmosphere.

In a matter of seconds, the fireball had disappeared from sight. 

At 10:16 p.m. ET, a doorbell camera looking out on a back patio in Parkland showed how the sky lit up and a Coral Springs Twitter user with a Nest camera recorded a different angle of its descent.

“Did you happen to see a meteor this evening? We’ve gotten a few reports about one that could be seen from #SWFL!” tweeted the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay account. “Our #GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) appears to have captured the bright meteor as it burned up off the coast.”

Local reporter Jay O’Brien was streaming on Facebook Live when he captured the meteor in West Palm Beach.

“WOAH!” he said on Twitter. “Big flash and streak across sky in West Palm Beach. Happened moments ago while we were on Facebook Live for a @CBS12 story. Working to figure out what it was.”

O’Brien’s colleague, meteorologist Zach Covey, replied and said that the space rock was “like a chunk of an asteroid known as 2021 GW4.”Whoops! We couldn’t access this Tweet.

However, NPR reported Tuesday that there seemed to be “disagreement” over whether or not that was actually the case.

Space.com said Monday that 2021 GW4 — which was first spotted on April 8 and is estimated to be about 14 feet across —  had harmlessly flown past Earth and was approximately just more than 16,000 miles away.

While NASA notes an asteroid is a “relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun,” a meteor is the “light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes.”

A meteoroid is a “small particle” from an asteroid.

In general, meteors are common, though less than 5% make it to the ground, according to the agency.

First Flight of a powered aircraft on another planet a “Wright brothers moment”

After overcoming an earlier software glitch, NASA’s $80 million Ingenuity helicopter spun up its carbon-composite rotors and lifted off the dusty surface of Mars early Monday to become the first aircraft to fly on another planet, a “Wright brothers moment” that could pave the way to future interplanetary aircraft.

Tipping the scales at just 4 pounds — 1.5 pounds in the lower gravity of Mars — Ingenuity’s counter-rotating 4-foot-long rotors, spinning at more than 2,500 rpm, were commanded to change their pitch, “biting” deeper into the thin atmosphere for a liftoff from the floor of Jezero Crater around 3:30 a.m. EDT.

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity makes its first flight
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity is seen during its first flight on the planet in this still image taken from a video on April 19, 2021. NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ASU

With the Perseverance rover looking on from a safe distance, Ingenuity climbed 10 feet straight up, hovered, turned in place and then landed to complete a test flight spanning just 40 seconds or so.

That was more than enough to make space history.

“We can now say human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet!” an elated MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told her socially distanced team. “We’ve been talking so long about our Wright brothers moment on Mars, and here it is.

“We don’t know from history what Orville and Wilbur did after their first successful flight. I imagine the two brothers hugged each other. Well, I’m hugging you virtually right now. … We together flew at Mars, and we together have our Wright brothers moment.”

Data confirming the historic flight reached Earth three hours after the flight, relayed through NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Once on its way, the data took nearly 16 minutes to cross the 178-million-mile gulf between Mars and Earth.

nasa-ingenuity-mars-helicopter-shadow.jpg
The Ingenuity helicopter, using a camera pointed straight down, captures an image of its shadow on the surface of Mars, in between tracks from the Preseverance rover. NASA/JPL-CALTECH

The telemetry began showing up on computer screens at JPL just after 6:30 a.m. EDT. First, the team confirmed the data had made it back successfully. Then, peering intently at his display, JPL’s “pilot,” Håvard Grip, announced the results, confirming Ingenuity “performed spin up, take off, climb, hover, descent, landing, touchdown and spin down.”

“Altimeter data confirms that Ingenuity has performed the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet!” he said as engineers burst into cheers and applause.

Moments later, initial images were displayed, including a short video shot by Perseverance showing the small helicopter lifting off, hovering and setting down. A sharp black-and-white still image, taken by a camera aboard Ingenuity, showed the helicopter’s shadow on the surface of Mars, its rotors sharply defined.

As each image appeared on a screen at the front of the control room, the engineering team cheered and applauded with evident relief.

041921-elation.jpg
Ingenuity engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory burst into applause as the first video comes in from Mars, showing the small helicopter flying in the thin martian atmosphere. Project manager MiMi Aung applauds at far left.NASA

Ingenuity’s short up-and-down maiden flight might sound trivial given the performance of inexpensive drones on Earth. But flying in a mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere just 1% as thick as Earth’s on a planet so far away direct human control isn’t possible and where the temperature drops to more than 100 degrees below zero every night poses a major technological challenge.

Based on the results of Ingenuity’s mission, more sophisticated drones may eventually be sent to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system to carry cameras and science instruments to locales that are not accessible to rovers or, eventually, astronauts.

Ingenuity was carried to Mars bolted to the belly of the Perseverance rover, which landed in Jezero Crater on February 18. The rover later dropped the helicopter to the surface and backed away to observe the first of up to five short test flights.

Equipped with two cameras, the helicopter does not carry any science instruments. It was added to Perseverance’s mission solely to determine the feasibility of powered flight in the red planet’s thin atmosphere.

Rooting out Ingenuity’s flight issue

The initial test flight originally was planned for April 11. But two days earlier, a rotor spin-up test was aborted by the helicopter’s flight software when it failed to transition to flight mode as planned.

Engineers at JPL reviewed telemetry and came up with two solutions. One required uplinking a few additional commands to the control software, an approach expected to work about 85% of the time.

The other option was to replace the flight software with a modified version that’s been uplinked and stored aboard Perseverance. That would completely eliminate the problem, but it would require several more days to implement and introduce at least a slight element of additional risk.

rover-copter1.jpg
An artist’s impression showing the relative sizes of the Perseverance Mars rover and the Ingenuity helicopter it carried to the red planet.NASA/JPL-CALTECH

After a detailed analysis, the helicopter team went with the first option.

“This solution is the least disruptive to a helicopter that, up until we identified the (command sequence timing) issue, has been behaving just as we expected,” Aung said earlier in a blog post. “It is the most straightforward, since we do not have to change its configuration.”

Up to four more test flights are planned over the next several days, pushing the helicopter to slightly higher altitudes and more far-ranging traverses to put its compact systems through their paces.

After that, Perseverance will move on to its primary science mission, leaving the helicopter behind as the rover begins searching for signs of past microbial life in ancient lakebed deposits on the floor of Jezero Crater.

SpaceX Wins $2.9 Billion Contract For Next Lunar Lander

Illustration of SpaceX Starship human lander design that will carry the first NASA astronauts to the surface of the moon under the Artemis program.SpaceX

NASA will pay Elon Musk’s SpaceX $2.9 billion to build a lunar landing system to ferry astronauts to the surface of the moon.

SpaceX was one of three companies chosen last year to develop technology for NASA’s Human Landing System program. On Friday NASA announced SpaceX’s “Starship” design had beat out the other two companies for the contract.

It’s the first time the space agency has used a human lander built by a private company, and it marks an important milestone for an agency that has in recent years depended on commercial partnerships for its most important missions.

“With this award, NASA and our partners will complete the first crewed demonstration mission to the surface of the Moon in the 21st century as the agency takes a step forward for women’s equality and long-term deep space exploration,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate.

“This critical step puts humanity on a path to sustainable lunar exploration and keeps our eyes on missions farther into the solar system, including Mars,” Lueders said in a statement.

NASA has also contracted with SpaceX on other projects, such as its Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station in the coming week.Article continues after sponsor message

The moon lander is being built as part of the Artemis program, which aims to bring Americans back to the moon by 2024, before setting its sights on Mars and beyond. NASA selected 18 astronauts last year to train for the moon mission.

The plan calls for NASA to send four astronauts aboard the Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft on a multi-day journey to the moon’s orbit. Then two crew members will transfer to SpaceX’s lander for their descent to the lunar surface. After a week exploring the moon, they’ll board the lander to return to Orion and head back to Earth.

NASA says that at least one of the astronauts landing on the moon will be a woman, making her the first woman to set foot on the moon. The agency says it also wants a person of color to land on the moon as part of the program.

A document obtained by The Washington Post explained NASA’s rationale for picking SpaceX over its competitors — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and the Alabama defense contractor Dynetics. NASA said SpaceX “was the lowest among the offers by a wide margin.” NASA was also swayed by Starship’s ability to carry large amounts of cargo to and from the moon, which it said “has the potential to greatly improve scientific operations.”

“We are honored to be part of the @NASAArtemis team,” Musk tweeted Friday. He added: “NASA Rules!!”

SETI project homes in on strange ‘fast radio bursts’

Recent observations of a mysterious and distant object that emits intermittent bursts of radio waves so bright that they’re visible across the universe provide new data about the source but fail to clear up the mystery of what causes them.

The observations by the Breakthrough Listen team at UC Berkeley using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia show that the fast radio bursts from this object, called FRB 121102, are nearly 100 percent linearly polarized and highly twisted, an indication that the source of the bursts is embedded in strong magnetic fields like those around a massive black hole.

The fast radio burst FRB 121102 was detected by a new recording system developed by the Breakthrough Listen project and mounted on the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The burst’s multiple bright peaks may be created by the burst emission process itself or imparted by the intervening plasma near the source. (Image design by Danielle Futselaar)

The measurements confirm observations by another team of astronomers from the Netherlands, which detected the polarized bursts using the William E. Gordon Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Both teams reported their findings today during a media briefing at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. The results were detailed in a combined paper published online today by the journal Nature.

Fast radio bursts are brief, bright pulses of radio emission from distant but so far unknown sources, and FRB 121102 is the only one known to repeat: more than 200 high-energy bursts have been observed coming from this source, which is located in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years from Earth.

The high degree of rotation of the nearly 100 percent polarized radio bursts is unusual, and has only been seen in radio emissions from the extreme magnetic environments around massive black holes, such as those at the centers of galaxies. The Dutch and Breakthrough Listen teams suggest that the fast radio bursts may come from a highly magnetized rotating neutron star – a magnetar – in the vicinity of a massive black hole that is still growing as gas and dust fall into it.

The short bursts, which range from 30 microseconds to 9 milliseconds in duration, indicate that the source could be as small as 10 kilometers across – the typical size of a neutron star.

One of the FRB 121102 radio bursts detected with the Arecibo telescope, where the color indicates the brightness of the burst as a function of radio frequency and time. (Courtesy of Andrew Seymour, NAIC, Arecibo)

Other possible sources are a magnetar interacting with the nebula of material shed when the original star exploded to produce the magnetar; or interactions with the highly magnetized wind from a rotating neutron star, or pulsar.

“At this point, we don’t really know the mechanism. There are many questions, such as, how can a rotating neutron star produce the high amount of energy typical of an FRB?” said UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow Vishal Gajjar of Breakthrough Listen and the Berkeley SETI Research Center.

Gajjar participated in the media briefing with three members of the Dutch ASTRON team: Daniele Michilli and Jason Hessels of the University of Amsterdam and Betsey Adams of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute.

“This result is an excellent demonstration of the capabilities of the Breakthrough Listen instrumentation and the synergies between SETI and other types of astronomy,” said Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and of the Breakthrough Listen program. “We look forward to working with the international scientific community to learn more about these enigmatic and dynamic sources.”

Are FRBs signals from advanced civilizations?

Another possibility, though remote, is that the FRB is a high-powered signal from an advanced civilization. Hence the interest of Breakthrough Listen, which looks for signs of intelligent life in the universe, funded by $100 million over 10 years from internet investor Yuri Milner.

Astronomer Vishal Gajjar (right) and engineer Dave MacMahon (holding flag) of UC Berkeley present the traditional SETI “Flag of Earth” to the crew of the Green Bank Telescope, including director Karen O’Neil (holding flag).

“Although it’s extremely unlikely that pulses we have detected from FRB 121102 were transmitted by ETs, we would like to test various ET hypotheses for the FRB type transient signals in general,” Gajjar said.

Breakthrough Listen has to date recorded data from a dozen FRBs, including FRB 121102, and plans eventually to sample all 30-some known sources of fast radio bursts.

“We want a complete sample so that we can conduct our standard SETI analysis in search of modulation patterns or narrow-band signals – any kind of information-bearing signal emitted from their direction that we don’t expect from nature,” he said.

Breakthrough Listen allotted tens of hours of observational time on the Green Bank Telescope to recording radio emissions from FRB 121102, and last August 26 detected 15 bursts over a relatively short period of five hours. They analyzed the two brightest of these and found that the radio waves were nearly 100 percent linearly polarized.

The team plans a few more observations of FRB 121102 before moving on to other FRB sources. Gajjar said that they want to observe at higher frequencies – up to 12 gigahertz, versus the present Green Bank observations in the 4-8 GHZ range – to see if the energy drops off at higher frequencies. This could help narrow the range of possible sources, he said.

Astronomers detect new frequencies from mysterious fast radio bursts

Astronomers detect new frequencies from mysterious fast radio bursts

Artist's impression of low frequency radio waves from an FRB washing over the LOFAR telescope in the Netherlands

Artist’s impression of low frequency radio waves from an FRB washing over the LOFAR telescope in the Netherlands Daniëlle Futselaar/ASTRON/HSTVIEW 1 IMAGES

The mystery of fast radio bursts (FRBs) from space may be a step closer to being solved. Astronomers studying a repeating signal from a nearby galaxy have detected radiation at the lowest frequency of any FRB found so far, providing new potential hints about their origin.

FRBs are exactly what they sound like – bursts of radio signals that only last milliseconds. Ever since they were first detected over a decade ago, they’ve poured in from all corners of the sky, with each detection either deepening the mystery or bringing new clues about what might be causing them – or sometimes both at once.


Some of them are one-off events, while others appear to repeat either randomly or on a predictable schedule. Studying the radio waves they give off provides other hints about the environment they’re being produced in – some appear to come from calm settings, while other signals are being twisted and polarized in a way that suggests interference by powerful magnetic fields.

Now, in a pair of studies, astronomers have detected new details that may contribute to solving the mystery. Both focused on a signal called FRB 180916, first detected in 2018 and traced back to a galaxy just 500 million light-years away. It repeats like clockwork on a 16-day cycle, chirping actively for four days before falling quiet for the next 12.

In the first study, astronomers examined the object with two different radio telescopes – CHIME in Canada, which is regularly used to study FRBs, and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) in the Netherlands. With the latter, the team detected 18 bursts at frequencies between 110 and 188 MHz, far lower than any seen from FRBs before.

“We detected fast radio bursts down to 110 MHz where before these bursts were only known to exist down to 300 MHz,” says Ziggy Pleunis, lead author of the study. “This tells us that the region around the source of the bursts must be transparent to low-frequency emission, whereas some theories suggested that all low-frequency emission would be absorbed right away and could never be detected.”

Intriguingly, the team also noticed a significant delay between frequencies. The higher frequencies consistently arrived at CHIME three days before the lower ones were detected by LOFAR.

“At different times we see radio bursts with different radio frequencies,” says Jason Hessels, co-author of the study. “Possibly the FRB is part of a binary star. If so, we would have a different view at different times of where these enormously powerful bursts are generated.”

In the second study, another team of astronomers examined FRB 180916 in higher “time resolution” than ever before, taking measurements more regularly than other studies. They found that the polarization of the bursts varied from one microsecond to the next, which they hypothesize could be the influence of a “dancing” magnetosphere, such as that around a neutron star.

That adds weight to the leading theory about where FRBs come from: magnetars, a type of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field. The clearest smoking gun came last year when FRB-like signals were detected coming from a magnetar in our own galaxy.

The more we study these strange signals, the more likely it is that we’ll stumble onto a clue that unravels the whole mystery. The researchers say that it’s possible that FRBs transmit at even lower frequencies at which they haven’t been studied yet, and future work will try to detect these.

The LOFAR study was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, while the time resolution study appeared in Nature Astronomy.

Declassified CIA Document Shows “Remote Viewing” Attempt of a “Galactic Federation” Headquarters

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:A declassified document from the CIA, dated 1988 but released nearly a decade later shows a remote viewing session attempting to look into one of the headquarters of the “Galactic Federation” presumably on Earth.
  • Reflect On:Is the idea of a benevolent force of extraterrestrial races really that crazy? With everything that’s come out regarding UFOs and the extraterrestrial hypothesis, is it time to suspend what we’ve been made to believe and entertain new possibilities?

Before you begin…

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Introduction: The CIA in conjunction with Stanford University operated a program known as STARGATE to investigate ‘paranormal’ abilities and phenomena that some humans are capable of, and perhaps all of us are capable of. One of the programs under the STARGATE umbrella was the remote viewing program. Remote viewing is the ability to describe a remote location, regardless of distance and ones proximity to the target, from a given location independent of the target. So basically, if you had this ability you could accurately “see” what’s on the back side of the Moon, if anything, or you could see what’s inside a specific building in another country if you were given the coordinates.

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The U.S. government program ran for approximately 25 years before it was declassified and supposedly ‘shut down.’ From the literature that has been made available, the program was clearly very successful and the remote viewing phenomenon was quite useful for the intelligence community.

A paper published one year after the declassification of the program by one of the programs co-founders Dr. Harold (Hal) Puthoff in the Journal of Scientific Exploration states the following,

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise…The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions.

Dr. Jessica Utts, former Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine and a professor there since 2008 states the following about the program:Neuropathy (Nerve Pain)? Do This Immediately!Nerve Control 911

What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls…and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are tighter than any other area of science where I’ve worked. (source)

In my opinion, it’s a shame that ‘special abilities’ like these are not studied within mainstream academia yet studied at the highest levels of governments with the intentions of intelligence gathering. When it comes to technology, special abilities or solutions to the world’s problems, it’s not the technology, the ability of people or those solutions that will change the world, it’s the consciousness behind these things. What do we use our new discoveries for? What’s our intention? Do we use them to advance the human experience and for the good of all people, or something else? This is why solutions that do pop up in various fields, like clean energy technology for example, are never implemented.

Remote Viewing , and the “Galactic Federation.” 

The declassified literature has numerous examples of successful remote viewing experiments, and real world examples as well. It’s safe to assume that the entire program and its contents was not declassified, and this seems evident from the testimony of multiple CIA/military remote viewers that were verifiably part of the program for many years. One common theme among many of the viewers is their heavy interest in the extraterrestrial phenomenon. Why? Did their experience in the remote viewing program influence this heavy belief and interest? Is there something we haven’t been told?

We will get to that a bit later in the article, as well as more examples, but what I wanted to provide you with here is a link to a remote viewing session conducted by the CIA to view the “Galactic Federation” headquarters on Earth, it seems.STAY AWARESUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER  SUBSCRIBE

Below is a screen shot of the document, you can access the full version here. It’s unclear who the remote viewer is. In many other documents from the Remote Viewing program, the names are usually listed.

It’s interesting that this remote viewing session was conducted in 1988. First of all, where would the CIA get the idea to even look for some sort of galactic federation? It raises many questions.

The idea that there is some sort of “galactic federation” of races that represent a benevolent force in our galaxy or universe is not a new idea. Channelers, those who claim to be in telepathic communication with different groups of extraterrestrials, have relayed this idea to the human race for many decades. This idea was recently sparked again when Haim Eshed, former head of Israel’s Defense Ministry’s space directorate, former General and respected professor claimed that the U.S. & Israel have been in contact with intelligent extraterrestrials for quite a long time.  He specifically referenced the “Galactic Federation” emphasizing how they are waiting for humanity to evolve, and that we are not quite ready for contact. This sentiment echoes the message from the broadcast above. You can read more about that story here.

I believe that UFOs are or extraterrestrial craft… The nations of the world are currently working together in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon. There is an international exchange of data. Maybe when this group of nations acquires more precise and definite information, it will be possible to release the news to the world. General Carlos Castro Cavero, General in the Spanish Air Force and former Commander of Spain’s Third Aerial Region, in an interview with J. J. Benitez, La Gaceta del Norte, Balboa, Spain, June 27, 1976.

The story was picked up by multiple mainstream media outlets, most of them covered the story with ridicule with some of them hinting to the idea that Eshed has lost his marbles. He would be one of hundreds with such backgrounds. I find this interesting given the fact that mainstream media has recently published various articles in multiple outlets taking the issue of UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence quite seriously, including CNN. It’s interesting to note how a story comes out about supposed extraterrestrials urging us to get our shi*t together is completely ridiculed, yet other incidents with a bit of a threat narrative bias is taken completely seriously.

Here’s an article I recently published going into the discussion of whether or not extraterrestrials may represent a threat.

This topic is a deep discussion, and we’ve been writing about it from various angles for the past 11 years. If you want to sift through our articles regarding the extraterrestrial/UFO phenomenon, you can visit the disclosure section of our website here.

Other Examples of Remote Viewers Speaking About Extraterrestrials

According to Lyn Buchanan,

“After the military I was asked by a branch of the government to do a paper, a study paper to compare and contrast ET psychic ability to human psychic ability. The study that I did was because I was given access to many of the things that never made it into project grudge or the blue book or anything like that because they couldn’t be denied. So anyway, in studying these, I found out that we can take the ET’s of all different kinds and species and all that and put them into four main categories. We’ve got those who are more psychic than us and those that are less psychic than us. In each of those two categories we’ve got friendly to us and unfriendly to us, the unfriendly non-psychic ones tend to not come here. They don’t like us, they don’t want to be around us. The non-psychic friendly ones come here for trade. The psychic friendly ones actually want to help us develop our abilities and become stronger at it. And the unfriendly psychic ones want us wiped off the planet, they want us dead, period, no questions asked.”

He also mentions extraterrestrial bases that are on Earth, and he says there are approximately five. He mentions that they are all inside of mountains and that at some of these bases humans are working with these extraterrestrials in various ways. He is not the only viewer to mention these bases and extraterrestrials, as Ingo Swann told many fascinating stories in his book, Penetration: The Question of Extraterrestrial and Human Telepathy. Furthermore, Joseph Mcmoneagle was another individual who had experience in remote viewing an extraterrestrial presence.

Then, there is Pat Price, who, along with Ingo Swann, is described as one of SRI’s most successful viewers, as his sessions were extremely accurate.

You can look up any of these names within the CIA’s electronic reading room by the way.

Legendary UFO researcher Timothy Good tells the story quite well in his book, Unearthly Disclosure:

According to Captain Frederick H. Atwater, a retired US Army officer also involved at the time in highly classified ‘remote viewing’ experiments for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, as well as for the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Price had remotely viewed four alien bases on Earth, one of which was located under Mount Ziel, Northern Territory. Mount Ziel lies some 80 miles west-northwest of Pine Gap. Price believed the base contained a mixture of ‘personnel’ from the other bases, one purpose being to ‘transport new recruits, with an overall monitoring function’. The other bases were said to be under Mount Perdido in the Pyrenees, Mount Inyangani in Zimbabwe, and, coincidentally, in Alaska under Mount Hayes. Price described the occupants as ‘looking like homo sapiens, except for the lungs, heart, blood and eyes.’

Related CE Article: “You Have But A Short Time To Live Together In Peace & Goodwill” – A 1977 Extraterrestrial Message? 

Pentagon spokesperson confirms leaked ‘UFO’ images, video is real

Pentagon spokesperson confirms leaked ‘UFO’ video is real
Night vision captured by a US Navy destroyer was posted online by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, appearing to show ‘mystery’ flying objects near warships.

A spokesperson from the Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of incredible leaked images and video from their UFO investigations.

Night vision captured by a US Navy destroyer was posted online by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, appearing to show ‘mystery’ flying objects near warships.

“The US Navy photographed and filmed “pyramid” shaped UFOs and “spherical” advanced transmedium vehicles; here is that footage,” he wrote on Instagram.

The Pentagon’s Susan Gough told The Sun “that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel”.

The clip was gathered by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force, the publication reports.

The images and video were then leaked to Corbell and KLAS TV news director George Knapp.

Corbell also claimed he verified their authenticity after getting access to a Pentagon intelligence briefing into the UAP.

“I was able to obtain information regarding these and other UAP related briefings – as well as – unclassified slides and some of the most intriguing military captured UAP footage I have ever seen,” he posted.

According to The Sun, Pentagon officials have confirmed the pictures and video were captured by navy personnel.

They did not reportedly comment on the nature of the video footage.

Mystery Wire claims they independently confirmed all of the visuals were in the briefing.

The short video, recorded on the USS Russell, appears to capture three orbs above a warship as well as a fourth triangle shaped object.

The filmmaker also had three images which he said was an unidentified “spherical” craft.

He claimed the images were taken by the USS Omaha combat ship.

“It is noted that the ‘spherical’ craft was suspected to be a transmedium vehicle and was observed descending into the water without destruction,” The Sun quoted him saying.

“It is noted that the ‘spherical’ craft could not be found upon entry to the water – and that a submarine was used in the search.

He was also sent a third sighting that was taken on March 4, 2019, reportedly by an FA-18 pilot and a Weapons Systems Officer.

“These are authentic photos and video from actual military encounters with UFOs – generated to educate high-level intelligence officers within our military on the nature and presentation of the UAP / UFO phenomenon,” Corbell said.

Artificial intelligence is evolving all by itself

JAKARIN2521/ISTOCK.COM

Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving—literally. Researchers have created software that borrows concepts from Darwinian evolution, including “survival of the fittest,” to build AI programs that improve generation after generation without human input. The program replicated decades of AI research in a matter of days, and its designers think that one day, it could discover new approaches to AI.

“While most people were taking baby steps, they took a giant leap into the unknown,” says Risto Miikkulainen, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin, who was not involved with the work. “This is one of those papers that could launch a lot of future research.”

Building an AI algorithm takes time. Take neural networks, a common type of machine learning used for translating languages and driving cars. These networks loosely mimic the structure of the brain and learn from training data by altering the strength of connections between artificial neurons. Smaller subcircuits of neurons carry out specific tasks—for instance spotting road signs—and researchers can spend months working out how to connect them so they work together seamlessly.

In recent years, scientists have sped up the process by automating some steps. But these programs still rely on stitching together ready-made circuits designed by humans. That means the output is still limited by engineers’ imaginations and their existing biases.

So Quoc Le, a computer scientist at Google, and colleagues developed a program called AutoML-Zero that could develop AI programs with effectively zero human input, using only basic mathematical concepts a high school student would know. “Our ultimate goal is to actually develop novel machine learning concepts that even researchers could not find,” he says.

The program discovers algorithms using a loose approximation of evolution. It starts by creating a population of 100 candidate algorithms by randomly combining mathematical operations. It then tests them on a simple task, such as an image recognition problem where it has to decide whether a picture shows a cat or a truck.

In each cycle, the program compares the algorithms’ performance against hand-designed algorithms. Copies of the top performers are “mutated” by randomly replacing, editing, or deleting some of its code to create slight variations of the best algorithms. These “children” get added to the population, while older programs get culled. The cycle repeats.

The system creates thousands of these populations at once, which lets it churn through tens of thousands of algorithms a second until it finds a good solution. The program also uses tricks to speed up the search, like occasionally exchanging algorithms between populations to prevent any evolutionary dead ends, and automatically weeding out duplicate algorithms.

In a preprint paper published last month on arXiv, the researchers show the approach can stumble on a number of classic machine learning techniques, including neural networks. The solutions are simple compared with today’s most advanced algorithms, admits Le, but he says the work is a proof of principle and he’s optimistic it can be scaled up to create much more complex AIs.

Still, Joaquin Vanschoren, a computer scientist at the Eindhoven University of Technology, thinks it will be a while before the approach can compete with the state-of-the-art. One thing that could improve the program, he says, is not asking it to start from scratch, but instead seeding it with some of the tricks and techniques humans have discovered. “We can prime the pump with learned machine learning concepts.”

That’s something Le plans to work on. Focusing on smaller problems rather than entire algorithms also holds promise, he adds. His group published another paper on arXiv on 6 April that used a similar approach to redesign a popular ready-made component used in many neural networks.

But Le also believes boosting the number of mathematical operations in the library and dedicating even more computing resources to the program could let it discover entirely new AI capabilities. “That’s a direction we’re really passionate about,” he says. “To discover something really fundamental that will take a long time for humans to figure out.”

NASA scientists detect evidence of parallel universe where time runs backward

In a scenario straight out of “The Twilight Zone,” a group of NASA scientists working on an experiment in Antarctica have detected evidence of a parallel universe — where the rules of physics are the opposite of our own, according to a report.

The concept of a parallel universe has been around since the early 1960s, mostly in the minds of fans of sci-fi TV shows and comics, but now a cosmic ray detection experiment has found particles that could be from a parallel realm that also was born in the Big Bang, the Daily Star reported.

The experts used a giant balloon to carry NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna, or ANITA, high above Antarctica, where the frigid, dry air provided the perfect environment with little to no radio noise to distort its findings.

A constant “wind” of high-energy particles constantly arrives on Earth from outer space.

Low-energy, subatomic neutrinos with a mass close to zero can pass completely through Earth, but higher-energy objects are stopped by the solid matter of our planet, according to the report.

That means the high-energy particles can only be detected coming “down” from space, but the team’s ANITA detected heavier particles, so-called tau neutrinos, which come “up” out of the Earth.

The finding implies that these particles are actually traveling backward in time, suggesting evidence of a parallel universe, according to the Daily Star.

Principal ANITA investigator Peter Gorham, an experimental particle physicist at the University of Hawaii, suggested that the only way the tau neutrino could behave that way is if it changed into a different type of particle before passing through the Earth and then back again.

Gorham, lead author on a Cornell University paper describing the odd phenomenon, noted that he and his fellow researchers had seen several of these “impossible events,” which some were skeptical about.

“Not everyone was comfortable with the hypothesis,” he told New Scientist.

The simplest explanation for the phenomenon is that at the moment of the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, two universes were formed — ours and one that from our perspective is running in reverse with time going backward.

Of course, if there are any inhabitants of a possible parallel universe, they’d consider us the backward ones.

“We’re left with the most exciting or most boring possibilities,” said Ibrahim Safa, who also worked on the experiment.

Physicists Think They’ve Spotted the Ghosts of Black Holes from Another Universe

Article by Rafi Letzer

We are not living in the first universe. There were other universes, in other eons, before ours, a group of physicists has said. Like ours, these universes were full of black holes. And we can detect traces of those long-dead black holes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the radioactive remnant of our universe’s violent birth.

At least, that’s the somewhat eccentric view of the group of theorists, including the prominent Oxford University mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (also an important Stephen Hawking collaborator). Penrose and his acolytes argue for a modified version of the Big Bang.

In Penrose and similarly-inclined physicists’ history of space and time (which they call conformal cyclic cosmology, or CCC), universes bubble up, expand and die in sequence, with black holes from each leaving traces in the universes that follow. And in a new paper released Aug. 6 in the preprint journal arXiv—apparent evidence for Hawking points in the CMB sky— Penrose, along with State University of New York Maritime College mathematician Daniel An and University of Warsaw theoretical physicist Krzysztof Meissner, argued that those traces are visible in existing data from the CMB.

Daniel An explained how these traces form and survive from one eon to the next.

“If the universe goes on and on and the black holes gobble up everything, at a certain point, we’re only going to have black holes,” he told Live Science. According to Hawking’s most famous theory,  black holes slowly lose some of their mass and energy over time through radiation of massless particles called gravitons and photons. If this Hawking radiation exists, “then what’s going to happen is that these black holes will gradually, gradually shrink.”

At a certain point, those black holes would disintegrate entirely, An said, leaving the universe a massless soup of photons and gravitons.

“The thing about this period of time is that massless gravitons and photons don’t really experience time or space,” he said.

Gravitons and photons, massless light speed travelers, don’t experience time and space the same way we — and all the other massive, slower-moving objects in the universe— do. Einstein’s theory of relativity dictates that objects with mass seem to move through time slower as they approach the speed of light, and distances become skewed from their perspective. Massless objects like photons and gravitons travel at the speed of light, so they don’t experience time or distance at all.

So, a universe filled with only gravitons or photons will not have any sense of what is time or what is space,” An said.

At that point, some physicists (including Penrose) argue, the vast, empty, post-black-hole universe starts to resemble the ultra-compressed universe at the moment of the big bang, where there’s no time or distance between anything.

“And then it starts all over again,” An said.

So, if the new universe contains none of the black holes from the previous universe, how could those black holes leave traces in the CMB?

Penrose said that the traces aren’t of the black holes themselves, but rather of the billions of years those objects spent putting energy out into their own universe via Hawking radiation.

“It’s not the black hole’s singularity,” or it’s actual, physical body, he told Live Science, “but the… entire Hawking radiation of the hole throughout its history.”

Here’s what that means: All the time a black hole spent dissolving itself via Hawking radiation leaves a mark. And that mark, made in the background radiation frequencies of space, can survive the death of a universe. If researchers could spot that mark, then the scientists would have reason to believe that CCC vision of the universe is right, or at least not definitely wrong .

To spot that faint mark against the already faint, muddled radiation of the CMB, An said, he ran a kind of statistical tournament among patches of sky.

An took circular regions in the third of the sky where galaxies and starlight don’t overwhelm the CMB. Next, he highlighted areas where the distribution of the microwave frequencies match what would be expected if Hawking points exist. He had those circles “compete” with one another, he said, to determine which area most nearly matched the expected spectrums of Hawking points.

Then, he compared that data with fake CMB data he randomly generated. This trick was meant to rule out the possibility that those tentative “Hawking points” could have formed if the CMB were entirely random. If the randomly generated CMB data couldn’t mimic those Hawking points, that would strongly suggest that the newly-identified Hawking points were indeed from black holes of eons past.

This isn’t the first time that Penrose has put out a paper appearing to identify Hawking points from a past universe. Back in 2010, he published a paper with the physicist Vahe Gurzadyan that made a similar claim. That publication sparked criticism from other physicists, failing to convince the scientific community writ large. Two follow-up papers (here and here) argued that the evidence of Hawking points Penrose and Gurzadyan identified was in fact the result of random noise in their data.

Still, Penrose presses forward. (The physicist has also famously argued, without convincing many neuroscientists, that human consciousness is the result of quantum computing.)

Asked whether the black holes from our universe might someday leave traces in the universe of the next eon, Penrose responded, “Yes, indeed!”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS MAKING 3D HOLOGRAMS POSSIBLE ON SMARTPHONES

Amazing technology created by AI can make 3D holograms on your smart phone.

Artificial Intelligence

This is another feather in the cap for artificial intelligence.

A part of what we see in science fiction movies will soon become a reality, thanks to artificial intelligence. Every time you saw people talking to holograms in sci-fi movies and thought to yourself “that would be awesome to have”, you just might be closer to that future. Smartphones will soon be able to create photorealistic 3D holograms with an AI model developed by a research team at MIT. This system determines the best way to generate holograms from a sequence of input images. This fascinating technology could have applications for VR and AR headsets. Unlike conventional 3D and VR displays that create the illusion of depth causing nausea and headaches, a holographic display can be viewed by people without straining their eyes.

A major challenge in creating holographic media is maintaining the data that is needed to create holographs. Every holograph constitutes huge amounts of data which creates the “depth” of the holographs. This is why creating a hologram demands lots of computing power. To simplify this process, researchers at MIT applied deep convolutional neural networks to the problem. This approach created a network that is capable of quickly generating holograms based on pictographic data.

Past Vs Present

The traditional method of generating holograms creates many chunks of holograms and then uses scientific simulations to combine the chunks into a complete pictorial representation. This process is power-intensive and time-consuming. But according to the IEEE spectrum, the method designed by the team of researchers at MIT is a lot different. It uses deep learning networks to slice images into chunks that can be recompiled into holograms using fewer “slices” than that of the traditional methods. This is possible because of the convolutional neural network’s ability to analyze images and separate them into discrete chunks. This new method is far less power-intensive.

In order to design this artificial intelligence holographic generator, the MIT team began by creating a database that included approximately 4000 computer-generated images, with a matchable 3D hologram allotted to each of those images. Based on this dataset, the convolutional neural network was trained to learn the way each of those images was connected to its hologram. When the artificial intelligence system was given the unseen data with depth information, it was able to generate new holograms with the given data. For this process, the depth information is supplied to the AI system through the use of a lidar sensor of multi-camera displays that renders it as a computer-generated image. Some iPhones have these components which makes it possible to generate holograms if connected to the right type of display.

The new artificial intelligence hologram system needs less memory than the traditional methods. This system can create colored 3D holograms at a speed of 60 frames per second with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 using approximately 620 KB of memory, all this by running on a single graphics processing unit (GPU). The MIT research team was able to run their new AI technology on an iPhone 11 creating 1 hologram per second. They also tried it on a Google Edge TPU which could create 2 holograms per second. This implies that the artificial intelligence hologram system can have applications in volumetric 3D printing or in the designing of holographic microscopes.

This is just the inception of this technology. In the future, with further advancements, this technology might revolutionize our way of communication and perceiving visual data. It surely is an exciting time for the tech world.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE STUDIED KURT COBAIN TO CREATE A ‘NEW’ NIRVANA SONG, AND IT… KINDA ROCKS

Though hits like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “In Bloom” remain FM staples decades later, the tragic 1994 death of singer-songwriter Kurt Cobain cut short any future catalog for grunge rock pioneers Nirvana. But in 2021, we actually have a “new” Nirvana song — thanks to artificial intelligence and a pitch perfect assist from a cover band leading man.

As part of the Lost Tapes of the 27 Club, a project that is using artificial intelligence to create new music in the style of famous musicians who died at the age of 27, the “new” Nirvana song “Drowned in the Sun” was born. The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club zeroes in on famous musicians whose lives were cut short, talents like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and of course Cobain, and uses AI to analyze dozens of an artist’s songs to create something new and original in their trademark style.

There’s no doubt this new Nirvana tune evokes the trademark vibe of Cobain’s gritty guitars and crunchy melodies, and the AI actually generated some very Cobain-esque lyrics, including the chorus, “I don’t care, I feel as one, drowned in the sun.” The song-writing was all handled by AI, though Nirvana tribute band lead singer Eric Hogan helped provide the Cobain-esque growl to bring the lyrics to life.

Check out the tune below:

On the tech side, the project utilized Google’s AI program Magenta to study and break down the recurring components of the songs and generate the “new” tune from those building blocks. The AI studied everything from stylistic tendencies to note choices to get the sound just right. The same approach was taken with lyrics, with AI studying several different songs to “learn” the artist’s writing style.

Though the project is a fascinating use of AI, it also has a deeper purpose: bringing to light the need for mental health. The effort is being spearheaded by the organization Over the Bridge, which provides mental health assistance for those in the music industry. Over the Bridge board member Sean O’Connor told Rolling Stone the music industry has a tendency to normalize and romanticize depression, and this project aims to ask the question: “What if all these musicians that we love had mental health support?”

Mars Perseverance rover takes a selfie with Ingenuity helicopter ahead of historic flight

The Mars vehicle is scheduled to fly no sooner than April 11

To the delight of social media users, NASA’s Perseverance rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to snap a selfie with the Mars Ingenuity helicopter this week ahead of its historic flight mission.

Shown about 13 feet apart in the pictures taken on April 6, 2021, or the 48th Martian day of the mission, the rover used its WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument.

​​NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This image was taken by the WASTON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

​​NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This image was taken by the WASTON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

In a release, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said Wednesday that the selfie had been constructed using 62 individual images — taken in sequence — that were stitched together.

It noted that the Curiosity Mars rover, which landed on the red planet in 2011, takes similar “selfies.”

Ingenuity, which has been released on the Martian surface, is scheduled to attempt the first-ever powered and controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet no sooner than April 11.

Once the team at JPL is ready, Perseverance will relay the helicopter’s final flight instruction from mission controllers, according to NASA.Video

If all final checks and atmospheric conditions look good, the helicopter will lift off climbing at a rate of 3 feet per second and hover at 10 feet above the surface for up to 30 seconds.

After data and potentially images from the rover’s Navigation Cameras and Mastcam-Z are downloaded, the Ingenuity team will determine whether the flight was a success. 

The results will be discussed by the team at a media conference that same day.

A Bill Gates Venture Aims To Spray Dust Into The Atmosphere To Block The Sun. What Could Go Wrong?

The Sun setting into a pall of forest fire smoke over Alberta from fires in BC and elsewhere
The Sun setting into a pall of forest fire smoke over Alberta from fires in BC and elsewhere, on … [+] UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Microsoft’s billionaire founder Bill Gates is financially backing the development of sun-dimming technology that would potentially reflect sunlight out of Earth’s atmosphere, triggering a global cooling effect. The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), launched by Harvard University scientists, aims to examine this solution by spraying non-toxic calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dust into the atmosphere — a sun-reflecting aerosol that may offset the effects of global warming. 

Widespread research into the efficacy of solar geoengineering has been stalled for years due to controversy. Opponents believe such science comes with unpredictable risks, including extreme shifts in weather patterns not dissimilar to warming trends we are already witnessing. Environmentalists similarly fear that a dramatic shift in mitigation strategy will be treated as a green light to continue emitting greenhouse gases with little to no changes in current consumption and production patterns.

SCoPEx will take a small step in its early research this June near the town of Kiruna, Sweden, where the Swedish Space Corporation has agreed to help launch a balloon carrying scientific equipment 12 miles (20 km) high. The launch will not release any stratospheric aerosols. Rather, it will serve as a test to maneuver the balloon and examine communications and operational systems. If successful, this could be a step towards a second experimental stage that would release a small amount of CaCO3 dust into the atmosphere.

David Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard University, recognizes the “very many real concerns” of geoengineering. It is true that no one knows what will happen until the CaCO3 is released and then studied afterward. Keith and fellow SCoPEx scientists published a paper in 2017 suggesting that the dust may actually replenish the ozone layer by reacting with ozone-destroying molecules. “Further research on this and similar methods could lead to reductions in risks and improved efficacy of solar geoengineering methods,” write the authors of the paper.

Breaking News
Santa Clara, California 27 September, 2014 Global March Against Chemtrails and Geoengineering MOMENT EDITORIAL/GETTY IMAGES

The exact amount of CaCO3 needed to cool the planet is unknown, and SCoPEx scientists similarly cannot confirm whether it is the best stratospheric aerosol for the job. Early research suggests that the substance has “near-ideal optical properties” that would allow it to absorb far less radiation that sulfate aerosols, causing significantly less stratospheric heating. This is the purpose of the experiment: once a safe, experimental amount of CaCO3 is released, the balloon will fly through it, sampling atmospheric reactions and recording resulting dynamics. Frank Keutsch, the project’s principal investigator, does not know what the results might bring. The perfect aerosol would not immediately tamper with stratospheric chemistry at all: “The only thing it would do is scatter maximum sunlight and hence cool down the planet.”

Proponents of geoengineering have cited the global cooling effects of volcanic eruptions that result from the introduction of sulfuric ash into the atmosphere. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia resulted in the “year without a summer,” while the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines lowered global average temperatures by 0.5° C. Deliberate introduction of similar particles could potentially counter decades of greenhouse gas emissions. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the SCoPEx procedure could lower global temperatures by a full 1.5° C for no more than $1-10 billion a year.

Volcanic Activity Increases At Mount Merapi
YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA – JANUARY 07: Lava runs down from Mount Merapi as the volcanic activity … [+] GETTY IMAGES

Again, these temperature decreases bring with them serious risks. Freezing temperatures in 1815 led to failed crops in near-famine conditions. British scientists have cited stratospheric aerosols from volcanic eruptions in Alaska and Mexico as the potential cause of drought in Africa’s Sahel region. Major disruption of the global climate could bring unintended consequences, negatively impacting highly populated regions and engineering another refugee crisis.

David Keith has proposed the creation of a “risk pool” to compensate smaller nations for collateral damage caused by such tests, but such a payout might be little comfort to those displaced by unlivable conditions. The United States, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia blocked a 2019 United Nations assessment of global geoengineering plans. International cooperation will be required to assess the risks, winners, and losers of any such experiment, and how best to proceed with all in mind.

Considering the unknown risks attached to solar geoengineering, OECD members should continue in their efforts to develop economically attractive renewable energy technology, even as it supplements such efforts with limited and careful research and experimentation.

The Giant, Underestimated Earthquake Threat to North America

The enormous fault off the coast of the Pacific Northwest has been silent for three centuries. But after years of detective work, geologists have discovered that it can unleash mayhem on an epic scale.

Map of US Topography - Shutterstock

(Credit: titoOnz/Shutterstock)

A magnitude-9 earthquake hit the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, triggering one of the most destructive tsunamis in a thousand years. The Japanese — the most earthquake-prepared, seismically savvy people on the planet — were caught off-guard by the Tohoku quake’s savage power. Over 15,000 people died. 

Now scientists are calling attention to a dangerous area on the opposite side of the Ring of Fire, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a fault that runs parallel to the Pacific coast of North America, from northern California to Vancouver Island. This tectonic time bomb is alarmingly similar to Tohoku, capable of generating a megathrust earthquake at or above magnitude 9, and about as close to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver as the Tohoku fault is to Japan’s coast. Decades of geological sleuthing recently established that although it appears quiet, this fault has ripped open again and again, sending vast earthquakes throughout the Pacific Northwest and tsunamis that reach across the Pacific. 

What happened in Japan will probably happen in North America. The big question is when.about:blankabout:blank


On a foggy spring morning just before sunrise, 27 miles northwest of Cape Mendocino, California, a pimple of rock roughly a dozen miles below the ocean floor finally reaches its breaking point. Two slabs of the Earth’s crust begin to slip and shudder and snap apart.

The first jolt of stress coming out of the rocks sends a shock wave hurtling into Northern California and southern Oregon like a thunderbolt. For a few stunned drivers on the back roads in the predawn gloom, the pulse of energy that tears through the ground looks dimly like a 20-mile wrinkle moving through a carpet of pastures and into thick stands of redwoods.

Telephone poles whip back and forth as if caught in a hurricane. Power lines rip loose in a shower of blue and yellow sparks, falling to the ground where they writhe like snakes, snapping and biting. Lights go out and the telephone system goes down.

Cornices fall, brick walls crack, plate glass shatters. Pavement buckles, cars and trucks veer into ditches and into each other. A bridge across the Eel River is jerked off its foundations, taking a busload of farm workers with it. With computers crashing and cell towers dropping offline, all of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California are instantly cut off from the outside world, so nobody beyond the immediate area knows how bad it is here or how widespread the damage.

At the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) lab in Menlo Park, seismometers peg the quake at magnitude 8.1, and the tsunami detection centers in Alaska and Hawaii begin waking up the alarm system with standby alerts all around the Pacific Rim. Early morning commuters emerging from a BART station in San Francisco feel the ground sway beneath their feet and immediately hit the sidewalk in a variety of awkward crouches, a familiar fear chilling their guts.

Then another little rough spot on the bottom of the continent snaps off.

The fault unzips some more.

The outer edge of California snaps free like a steel spring in a juddering lurch — nine feet to the west. The continental shelf heaves upward, lifting a mountain of seawater.

The fault continues to rip all the way to Newport, Oregon, halfway up the state. The magnitude suddenly jumps to 8.6. A power surge blows a breaker somewhere east of town and feeds back through the system, throwing other breakers in a cascade that quickly crashes the entire grid in Oregon, Washington, and parts of California, Idaho, and Nevada. A brownout begins in six more western states. The wire line phone systems crash in lockstep.

Then another fragment of rock deep underneath Newport shears away. The fault unzips the rest of the way to Vancouver Island. The quake now pins seismic needles at magnitude 9.2. High-rise towers in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria begin to undulate. The shock wave hammers through sandy soil, soft rock, and landfill like the deepest notes on a big string bass. The mushy ground sings harmony and tall buildings hum like so many tuning forks.about:blankabout:blank

On I-5, the main north-south interstate highway, 37 bridges between Sacramento and Bellingham, Washington, collapse or are knocked off their pins. Five more go down between the Canada–United States border and downtown Vancouver. Nineteen railway bridges along the north-south coastal mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway are wrecked as well. The runways of every major coastal airport from Northern California to Vancouver are buckled, cracked, and no longer flyable.

After 50 cycles of harmonic vibration — skyscrapers swaying rhythmically from side to side in giddy wobbles — dozens of tall buildings have shed most of their glass. In some downtown intersections the cascade of broken shards has piled up three feet deep.

Shock waves have been pummeling the Pacific Northwest for four minutes and thirty-five seconds now, and it still isn’t over. After 64 cycles, enough welds have cracked, enough concrete has spalled, enough shear walls have come unstuck that some towers begin to pancake. The same death spiral everyone saw in New York on 9/11 happens all over again. Smaller buildings, but more of them. Dozens of towers go down in the four northernmost of the affected cities.

In the five major urban areas along the fault, tens of thousands of people have been seriously injured. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are dead. More than a third of the oncoming shift of police, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and doctors do not show up for work. They are either stranded by collapsed buildings, bridges, and roadways, injured or dead themselves, or have decided to stick close to home to make sure their own families are OK before going to work. People who survive the collapses must do their own search and rescue for family members, friends, and neighbors still trapped in the rubble. Help will come eventually, but who knows when?

People in the United States and Canada, if they think at all about earthquake disasters, probably conjure up the San Andreas fault in the worst-case scenario. In California, as they wait for “the Big One,” people wonder which city the San Andreas will wreck next — San Francisco or Los Angeles? But if by the Big One they mean the earthquake that will wreak havoc over the widest geographic area, that could destroy the most critical infrastructure, that could send a train of tsunamis across the Pacific causing economic mayhem that would probably last a decade or more — then the seismic demon to blame could not possibly be the San Andreas. It would have to be Cascadia’s fault.

One year after Japan’s devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, scientists are still trying to figure out how the world’s most organized and earthquake-ready nation could have been taken so much by surprise. They were hit by an earthquake roughly 25 times more powerful than experts thought possible in that part of the country. How could the forecast have been so wrong? The short answer is they didn’t look far enough back in geologic time to see that quakes and tsunamis just this big had indeed occurred there before. If they had prepared themselves for a much larger quake and wave, the outcome might have been entirely different.

Cascadia Fault Infograph - Chris Goldfinger

(Credit: Courtesy Chris Goldfinger)

Exactly the same is true of the Cascadia subduction zone — an almost identical geologic threat off the west coast of North America. When it was first discovered, many scientists thought Cascadia’s fault was incapable of generating giant earthquakes. Now they know they were wrong. They just hadn’t looked far enough into the past.

The Cascadia subduction zone is a crack in the Earth’s crust, roughly 60 miles offshore and running 800 miles from northern Vancouver 
Island to Northern California. This fault is part of the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire, the impact zone where several 
massive tectonic plates collide. Here, a slab of the Pacific Ocean floor called the Juan de Fuca plate slides eastward and downward, “subducting” underneath the continental plate of North America.

When any two plates grind against each and get stuck, enormous stress builds up until the rocks fracture and the fault rips apart in a giant earthquake. Two other segments of the Ring of Fire ruptured this way — Chile in 1960 at magnitude 9.5, the largest quake ever recorded on Earth, and Alaska’s horrible Good Friday earthquake of 1964, at 9.2 the strongest jolt ever to hit the continent of North America.

Cascadia, however, is classified as the quietest subduction zone in the world. Along the Cascadia segment, geologists could find no evidence of major quakes in “all of recorded history” — the 140 years since white settlers arrived in the Pacific Northwest and began keeping records. For reasons unknown, it appeared to be a special case. The system was thought to be aseismic — essentially quake free and harmless.about:blankabout:blank

By the 1970s several competing theories emerged to explain Cascadia’s silence. One possibility was that the Juan de Fuca plate had shifted direction, spun slightly by movement of the two larger plates on either side of it. This would reduce the rate of eastward motion underneath North America and thus reduce the buildup of earthquake stress. Another possibility was that the angle of the down-going eastbound plate was too shallow to build up the kind of friction needed to cause major quakes.

But the third possibility was downright scary. In this interpretation, the silence along the fault was merely an ominous pause. It could be that these two great slabs of the Earth’s crust were jammed against each other and had been for a very long time — locked together by friction for hundreds of years, far longer than “all of recorded history.” If that were true, they would be building up the kind of stress and strain that only a monster earthquake could relieve.

In the early 1980s, two Caltech geophysicists, Tom Heaton and Hiroo Kanamori, compared Cascadia to active quake-prone subduction zones along the coasts of Chile and Alaska and to the Nankai Trough off the coast of Japan. They found more similarities than differences. In fact, they found that the biggest megathrust events in these other zones were directly related to young, buoyant plates’ being strongly coupled to the overlying landmass at shallow angles — which fit the description of Cascadia perfectly. Bottom line: If giant ruptures could happen there — in Chile, Alaska, or Japan — the same would probably happen here, in the Pacific Northwest.

The problem, as Heaton explained it to me, was that there was no direct physical sign of earthquakes. All the comparison studies in the world could not prove unequivocally that Cascadia’s fault had ruptured in the past. What everyone needed and wanted was forensic evidence. In the breach, significant doubt and strong disagreement had separated the scientists into opposing camps. “There was plenty of skepticism out there among geophysicists that the zone really was capable of doing this stuff,” confirms paleogeologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The only thing that could put an end to the back-and-forth debate would be tangible signs of past ruptures along the entire subduction zone. If the two plates were sliding past each other smoothly, at a constant rate, and without getting stuck together, then there should be a slow, continuous, and irreversible rise in land levels along the outer coast. On the other hand, if the two plates were stuck together by friction, strain would build up in the rocks and the upper plate would bend down along the outer edge and thicken inland, humping upward until the rocks along the fault failed. In the violent, shuddering release of strain during an earthquake, the upper plate would snap to the west, toward its original shape. The clear signal — the geodetic fingerprint — of a large subduction earthquake would be the abrupt lowering of land behind the beaches when the upper plate got stretched like taffy, snapped to the west, and then sank below the tide line.about:blankabout:blank

That was something Atwater figured he could probably measure and verify — or disprove. “When they said the Pacific Coast was rising three millimeters a year relative to Puget Sound, I said, ‘Aha! Three meters per thousand!’ ” He would go out to the coast and find out whether a 3,000-year-old shoreline was now 30 feet above sea level, simple as that.

In March 1986 Atwater drove west 
from Seattle toward Neah Bay and Cape Flattery, on the northwestern tip of Washington State, and started searching the beaches, tide marshes, and river estuaries for clues about whether the outer coast had risen or dropped.

Copalis River Ghost Forest - USGS

The “ghost forest” of dead cedar trees at the Copalis River on the Washington coast is evidence of a major quake three centuries ago. (Credit: Brian Atwate/USGS)

Neah Bay was as good a place as any to start because the land all around it is so close to sea level it was highly likely he would be able to spot even slight changes in shoreline elevation. Atwater spent a few rainy days on the marshy floor of this valley. At first he poked holes with a core barrel and came up with nothing unusual, just signs that sand and silt had built the marsh by filling a former bay. But late one afternoon, with the tide down, he tried his luck digging into the muddy bank of a stream that emptied into the marsh. Several swipes of his army shovel exposed something odd a few feet below the top of the bank, beneath a layer of sand from the bay. It was a marsh soil, marked by the remains of a plant he recognized: seaside arrowgrass.

Pretty quickly he recognized what he was looking at — evidence that land formerly high enough above the highest tides for plants to be living on it had suddenly dropped down far enough for the plants to be killed by saltwater.

This subsidence of the landscape had apparently happened very quickly. That uppermost layer of sand, above the peaty soil, had been dumped on top quickly enough to seal off the arrowgrass from the air and keep it from rotting. These plants were hundreds of years old, but they were still recognizable.about:blankabout:blank

Was it physical proof that the ground here had slumped during an earthquake, that the plants of a marsh or forest meadow had been drowned quite suddenly by incoming tides and perhaps buried under the sands of a huge tsunami? Could this finally be a real smoking gun?

The deeper Atwater dug, the more he found. During that summer he and two coworkers uncovered evidence of at least six different events — 
presumably six different earthquakes — that had each caused about three feet or so of down-drop.

He returned to the coast in 1987 with David Yamaguchi, who had a Ph.D. in forestry from the University of Washington and was working on a project for the USGS to use tree-ring dating to figure out when Mount St. Helens had eruptedprior to 1980. Together they found groves of weather-beaten, moss-draped dead western red cedar tree trunks standing knee-deep in saltwater, what became known as ghost forests. Western red cedar doesn’t grow in saltwater; these trees had presumably been killed when forest meadows subsided following an earthquake and were swamped with saltwater.

Yamaguchi’s first effort to use spruce stumps to establish a time of inundation and death had failed because, with all the rot, there were not enough rings left to count. Western red cedar, however, was more durable than spruce. Using live trees for comparison, Yamaguchi was able to establish that the cedars had rings up until the early 1690s. The earthquake that killed these cedars must have happened some time soon after then, and later samples from the roots of these trees confirmed that they were killed in the winter of 1700.

What Brian Atwater had discovered in estuaries along the Washington shore, Alan Nelson of the USGS and a team of international colleagues found as well in Oregon and British Columbia in 1995. He and 11 other scientists invested considerable time and effort — including 85 new radiocarbon-dated samples — to obtain the most accurate time line possible. They found that all the ghost forests and marsh plants along the Pacific Northwest coast had been killed at the same moment in time as the land dropped down and was covered by tsunami sand, roughly three centuries ago. If the coastline had slumped in river mouths and bays that were many miles apart, the quakes must have been very big. Atwater was pretty sure they were bigger than anything that had happened during Washington’s written history.

But across the Pacific, written history extends further into the past. Kenji Satake of the Geological Survey of Japan and colleagues soon discovered another piece of the puzzle. They found records from the year 1700 of a 16-foot-high tsunami that struck the eastern seaboard of Japan — apparently out of nowhere, since there was no mention of a local earthquake. Taken together, the evidence strongly suggested that Cascadia’s fault was the source of the giant wave.

Together, Atwater, Yamaguchi, Satake, and their colleagues had sleuthed out precisely when Cascadia had last yawned open. Atwater’s tsunami sands gave a carbon date some time between 1690 and 1720. Rings from the cedar trees narrowed the date to the winter of 1699–1700. Finally, Satake’s written records of a tsunami hitting villages all along eastern Japan nailed the date: Cascadia’s last monster quake happened on January 26, 1700, at 9 p.m. They had cracked the case — except in this detective story, the culprit would almost certainly strike again.

The evidence amassed since then suggests that in fact, Cascadia has generated powerful earthquakes not just once or twice, but over and over again throughout geologic time. A research team led by Chris Goldfinger at Oregon State University (OSU) used core samples from the ocean floor along the fault to establish that there have been at least 41 Cascadia events in the last ten thousand years. Nineteen of those events ripped the fault from end to end, a “full margin rupture.”

It turns out that Cascadia is virtually identical to the offshore faults that devastated Sumatra in 2004 and Japan in 2011 — almost the same length, the same width, and with the same tectonic forces at work. Cascadia’s fault can and will generate the same kind of earthquake we saw last year: magnitude 9 or higher. It will send a train of deadly tsunami waves across the Pacific and crippling shock waves across a far wider geographic area than all the California quakes you’ve ever heard about.

Based on historical averages, the southern end of the fault — from Cape Mendocino, California, to Newport, Oregon — has a large earthquake every 240 years. For the northern end — from mid-Oregon to mid-
Vancouver Island — the average “recurrence interval” is 480 years, according to a recent Canadian study. And while the north may have only half as many jolts, they tend to be full-size disasters in which the entire fault breaks from end to end.about:blankabout:blank

With a time line of 41 events the science team at OSU has now calculated that the California–Oregon end of Cascadia’s fault has a 37 percent chance of producing a major earthquake in the next 50 years. The odds are 10 percent that an even larger quake will strike the upper end, in a full-margin rupture, within 50 years. Given that the last big quake was 312 years ago, one might argue that a very bad day on the Cascadia Subduction Zone is ominously overdue. It appears that three centuries of silence along the fault has been entirely misleading. The monster is only sleeping.

FAMED PHYSICIST: SOON-TO-LAUNCH TELESCOPE LIKELY TO DISCOVER ALIEN LIFE

BUT HE THINKS CONTACTING THEM WOULD BE “A TERRIBLE IDEA.”

Making Contact

String theorist and science populariser Michio Kaku believes that the James Webb Space Telescope will find life on other planets — but he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to reach out to any potential aliens. 

The professor of theoretical physics at City College, New York spoke to The Guardian about his trepidations in an interview about his upcoming book “The God Equation.” He says he believes that we are on track to discover alien life within a century.

“Soon we’ll have the [Webb] telescope up in orbit and we’ll have thousands of planets to look at,” Kaku said to The Guardian, “and that’s why I think the chances are quite high that we may make contact with an alien civilization.”

When Montezuma Met Cortés

However, the string theorist and best-selling author doesn’t believe that we should be so quick to reach out to other lifeforms even if we did find them.

“There are some colleagues of mine that believe we should reach out to them. I think that’s a terrible idea,” he said to The Guardian. “We all know what happened to Montezuma when he met Cortés in Mexico so many hundreds of years ago. Now, personally, I think that aliens out there would be friendly but we can’t gamble on it. So I think we will make contact but we should do it very carefully.”

He doesn’t make it clear who is Montezuma and who is Cortés between the aliens and humanity — and, frankly, we’re not sure what’s scarier. 

New data from NASA updates Apophis risk of impacting earth

NASA has recalculated the risk of Asteroid Apophis hitting Earth

This May 18, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows Earth from 36,000 nautical miles away as photographed from the Apollo 10 spacecraft during its trans-lunar journey toward the moon. In March 2021, the U.S. space agency announced that new telescope observations have ruled out any chance of the asteroid Apophis colliding with Earth in 2068. (NASA via AP)
This May 18, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows Earth from 36,000 nautical miles away as photographed from the Apollo 10 spacecraft during its trans-lunar journey toward the moon. In March 2021, the U.S. space agency announced that new telescope observations have ruled out any chance of the asteroid Apophis colliding with Earth in 2068. (NASA via AP)

Pasadena, Calif. – You can relax. The end of the world is not coming for at least another 100 years. At least it won’t happen because of a giant rock hurtling through space.

NASA tracks near-Earth objects (NEO) to calculate the risk of a catastrophic impact with an asteroid.

Most asteroids are made of materials leftover from the creation of our solar system.

Asteroid 99942 Apophis is one such object.

Born in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, Apophis is a 1,000-foot-wide chunk of rock, nickel and iron that wobbles around the Sun in just under an Earth year.

NASA became interested in the asteroid in 2004 when scientists noticed it seems to be wobbling closer and closer to Earth.

Those scientists were worried about a close call in 2029, but have since said we’re out of danger.

NASA made new observations when Apophis came close to Earth on March 5, 2021.

They were able to calculate the asteroid with what NASA calls “extreme precision,” ruling out an impact with Earth for another century.

“A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore, and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years,” said Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies in a NASA press release.

He went on to say, “With the support of recent optical observations and additional radar observations, the uncertainty in Apophis’ orbit has collapsed from hundreds of kilometers to just a handful of kilometers when projected to 2029. This greatly improved knowledge of its position in 2029 provides more certainty of its future motion, so we can now remove Apophis from the risk list.”

So rest easy. We won’t be living the scenes of movies like Deep Impact or Armageddon. At least, not soon.

Astronauts Really Could Carry M16s on the Moon

In For All Mankind, U.S. Marines pack heat in space. That could happen in real life, too—with a catch.

YOUTUBE/APPLE TV+

  • The second season of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind shows U.S. Marines in space using M16s.
  • Astronauts probably wouldn’t use real M16s in space—but they could still use guns.
  • Low gravity and crazy temperature swings would make traditional guns inoperable in space.

The Apple TV+ sci-fi series For All Mankind, set against the backdrop of the Cold War, just introduced a new element: space guns.

The ongoing second season of the acclaimed series, which imagines an alternate history in which the Soviets beat NASA to the moon and the global space race never ended, depicts spacefaring U.S. troops using M16s. In real life, however, a weapon like the M16 would be extremely difficult to operate in space.

Using weapons in the extremes of space, including wild temperature swings and low gravity, would present challenges for both those who design and carry the weapons.

In For All Mankind, NASA, stung by its crushing defeat in the space race, redoubles its efforts to take the lead against the Soviets. That includes sending women into the Apollo program and building a giant, sea-launched cargo rocket called “Sea Dragon.”This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

By the 1980s, the first American lunar colony, Jamestown, is firmly established on the moon, supplied by regular Space Shuttle missions. The seizure of an American lithium mine by Soviet cosmonauts triggers the deployment of five U.S. Marines to the Jamestown colony, all armed with space versions of the M16A2 rifle.

The M16 was obviously designed to function on Earth, in Earth gravity, within a band of temperatures normally found on Earth. The rifle can work in deserts in temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and in “extreme cold weather,” the U.S. Army says. (That’s as specific as it gets.)

While those conditions seem broad by Earth standards, in space, it’s a different story.

Gravity itself will vary, from zero-gravity conditions far from planetary bodies to one-sixth of Earth’s gravity on the moon. Temperatures on the moon can swing wildly, from a high of 260 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 280 degrees.

gi on patrol

A U.S. soldier with the 1st Cavalry Division on patrol, Vietnam, 1971.CHRISTOPHER JENSENGETTY IMAGES

Gravity would affect all aspects of the M16, from how bullets are seated in the magazine to how the buffer spring would bounce the bolt carrier group back and forth inside the weapon. The internal action of the M16 is precisely timed, and a change in gravity would throw everything off.

Changing the mass of various internal parts, spring weights, and even the type and amount of gunpowder used might make a lunar M16 workable—but it would require a lot of testing under lunar conditions. One concern: The M16 uses gunpowder gases to cycle the weapon. Just how would that hot, pressurized gunpowder gas behave in low gravity?This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Bullets in principle should work fine, since they use their own propellant and don’t rely on oxygen. But again, the big issue here would be gravity.

Under Earth gravity, an M16 bullet starts a slow, inexorable drop as soon as it exits the barrel, one that eventually ends up with the bullet plowing into the ground. Earth’s gravitational influence means a terrestrial M16 bullet will drop 24 inches at 400 yards. While a bullet fired under lunar gravity would still eventually plow into the lunar soil, at one-sixth gravity, the same bullet would fly a flatter, steadier trajectory for far longer.

There’s no wind in space or on the moon, so there would be no need to calculate for windage at longer ranges. At 400 yards, wind at 10 miles per hour will blow an M16 bullet 21 inches off course—enough to miss a man-sized target. A lack of wind will make it easier to hit a target, at least in the horizontal axis.

soldier in the saudi desert

The M16 can work in Earth environments as diverse as searing deserts and freezing tundra, but that’s nothing compared to conditions on the moon.HISTORICALGETTY IMAGES

Temperatures would prove to be another challenge. Engineers could probably develop a lubricant that operates within a 500-degree band, but Space Marines would need to be careful with their rate of fire. A gun already heated to 280 degrees Fahrenheit would start to have heat issues more quickly than one on Earth, including bullet propellant igniting in the chamber before the trigger is pulled (“cooking off”) and even melting rifle parts.

And then there’s a problem totally unique to the moon: moon dust. The dust, a fine coating of lunar soil found up to 60 miles above the moon’s surface, could get into a rifle’s internals and cause it to jam. The M16 is particularly vulnerable to jamming, and is even equipped with a dust cover to prevent dust, dirt, and sand from entering the weapon before it’s fired. How would you keep moon dust out of an M16 during combat?RELATED STORYEverything You Actually Need to Know About Guns

For All Mankind does give the space M16s some thought. On the show, the rifles are white and silver, colors that let them blend in with the moon dust, and they’re equipped with collapsing stocks and optical sights.

Real M16s in the 1980s featured fixed stocks and lacked optical sights. Collapsing stocks would be more ergonomic for shooters in large, bulky spacesuits. The raised optical sight, meanwhile, would be easier for an astronaut in a space suit to use, but a laser sight would allow the space shooter to shoot accurately without aiming.

m16 for all mankind

A space M16.YOUTUBE/APPLE

Our reality has been spared a world with space rifles, but with the establishment of the Space Force and the increasing militarization of space, it seems inevitable that small arms will eventually make their way into space and beyond.

NASA researchers discover first X-rays from Uranus

Researchers analyzed previous observations of the ice giant

Astronomers at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected X-rays from the planet Uranus for the first time.

Researchers used observations of the ice giant taken in 2002 and 2017 to detect the radiation as part of a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research. 

In an examination and with further analysis, they saw clear detection of X-rays from the first observation and possible flare of X-rays from those 15 years later.

The scientists believe that the sun could be the driving force causing Uranus to emit the X-rays. 

Uranus at approximately the same orientation as it was during the 2002 Chandra observations. 2017 HRC Composite Image (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXO/University College London/W. Dunn et al; Optical: W.M. Keck Observatory)

Uranus at approximately the same orientation as it was during the 2002 Chandra observations. 2017 HRC Composite Image (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXO/University College London/W. Dunn et al; Optical: W.M. Keck Observatory) (NASA)

Astronomers have previously observed that both Jupiter and Saturn scatter X-ray light from the sun. 

However, while the study’s authors say they believe the X-rays detected would also be from “scattering,” another source of X-rays is also likely.

Like Saturn, they say, Uranus’ rings could be producing the X-rays itself or even the planet’s aurora — a phenomenon created when high-energy particles interact with the atmosphere.

“Uranus is surrounded by charged particles such as electrons and protons in its nearby space environment,” the Chandra X-ray Observatory wrote in a release. “If these energetic particles collide with the rings, they could cause the rings to glow in X-rays.”

X-rays are emitted in Earth’s auroras and Jupiter has auroras, as well, though X-rays from auroras on Jupiter come from two sources.

However, a nearly identical NASA release notes that researchers remain uncertain about what causes the auroras on Uranus.

The agency wrote that the unusual orientations of its spin axis and magnetic field may cause the planet’s auroras to be “unusually complex and variable.”

The rotation axis of Uranus is nearly parallel to its path around the sun — unlike the axes of other planets in the solar system — and while Uranus is tilted on its side, its magnetic field is tiled by a different amount.

“Determining the sources of the X-rays from Uranus could help astronomers better understand how more exotic objects in space, such as growing black holes and neutron stars, emit X-rays,” NASA wrote.

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun in the solar system. It has two sets of rings around its equator. Its diameter is four times that of Earth.

Because Voyager 2 was the only spacecraft to ever fly by Uranus, astronomers rely on telescopes like Chandra to learn more about the cold planet that is made up almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.

We May Never Find Life on Mars—And That Could Be a Good Thing

Perseverance, the Fermi Paradox, and the Great Filter.

Jezero deposits.jpg
Layered sediments like these in Jezero Crater may be good places for Perseverance to search for evidence of life. Should we wish the rover luck? (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ ASU/ MSSS)

Over these past few weeks, we’ve all been stunned by the beautiful images returned by the Perseverance rover on Mars. One of that mission’s main purposes is to find traces of past life on the Red Planet, and the rover has already started traveling around Jezero Crater in pursuit of that goal.

For me as an astrobiologist, no discovery would be more exciting. Yet there are other ways of looking at it. In a 2007 essay, Nick Bostrom, Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, wrote that while the discovery of life on Mars would be of tremendous scientific significance, it would be really bad news for the future of the human species.

A re-evaluation of Bostrom’s argument seems timely now that we’re actually getting closer to determining if life ever existed on Mars. Why would a “yes” answer freak out Bostrom? As often happens when considering the possibility of extraterrestrial life, it comes back to the Fermi Paradox—also called the Great Silence. Despite our best research efforts, we have not found any firm signs of intelligent alien life, even though there are myriads of planets out there, many of them likely habitable. A huge number of these must have formed well before our own Solar System, so if the evolution of technically advanced alien species is not incredibly hard, shouldn’t there be evidence of advanced aliens all around us? But there is not.

That means there must be a “Great Filter”—a kind of evolutionary hurdle that prevents most, or maybe all, life forms from becoming a “cosmic” species. And this Great Filter—also proposed by economist Robin Hanson—must be very effective. In Bostrom’s words: “There are billions of potential germination points of life, and you end up with a sum total of zero alien civilizations that developed technology to the point where they become manifest to us Earthly observers.”

We don’t know at what evolutionary step this Great Filter comes into play. It may be at the very beginning, making it exceedingly rare for life to originate in the first place. It could come at any of the major evolutionary transitions, such as the “invention” of the eukaryotic cell or multicellular life. Maybe the hurdle of technological advancement is very hard to clear. Or perhaps the filter lies in our future—the scariest scenario, because it means that doom might be just ahead of us!

If we were to find life on Mars that has an origin independent from Earth—not just our long-lost microbial “cousins”—it would lead us to believe there are probably millions of planets all over the galaxy where life originates, and therefore, that the Great Filter must be located later in the evolutionary timeline. If we find eukaryotic life on Mars or even simple multicellular life like nematodes, it would mean that neither of these evolutionary transitions are the Great Filter either. William Bains and I have argued that once life originates, there are multiple ways for it to achieve these types of transitions given enough time, although the rise of technological intelligence may be rare since it has happened only once in Earth’s 4.5-billion year history.

Thus, if Perseverance or other follow-up missions discover evidence of alien life on Mars, this implies that the Great Filter happens at the point where humans became technologically advanced, or that it lies in our future. If the former is true, that makes our species truly special. Could we really be that unique? I have my doubts when I see other intelligent species on our planet, some of which, such as octopi, apes, and crows, could be said to be in a kind of pre-technological stage. On the other hand, in writing the book The Cosmic Zoo with William, I couldn’t escape the feeling (yes, I know, scientists and feelings) that there is something very special about us humans.

But if the latter is true, and we technological humans are not incredibly rare in the galaxy, the outlook for our species, and indeed for life everywhere, is very gloomy. We’re talking about an existential threat—bigger than Coronavirus or even climate change—that could set us back decades, or even hundreds of years. It would be something capable of taking out all (or nearly all) technologically advanced species. This is why Bostrom hopes we don’t find alien life on Mars, or anywhere else. It would mean we’ve already made it through the Great Filter—perhaps when life first arose on our planet, against great odds.

But that would also leave us in a barren, almost lifeless universe. This is a real possibility, but personally I don’t think it’s likely. My preferred scenario is that we are indeed a truly exceptional species. Or that technologically advanced aliens are in fact all around us, and for some reason we haven’t seen them. In the end, though, the universe is as it is, and not as we wish it to be.

First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found

First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found
This image was taken with the FORS2 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in late 2019, when comet 2I/Borisov passed near the Sun. Since the comet was travelling at breakneck speed, around 175 000 kilometres per hour, the background stars appeared as streaks of light as the telescope followed the comet’s trajectory. The colours in these streaks give the image some disco flair and are the result of combining observations in different wavelength bands, highlighted by the various colours in this composite image. Credit: ESO/O. Hainaut

New observations with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, is one of the most pristine ever observed. Astronomers suspect that the comet most likely never passed close to a star, making it an undisturbed relic of the cloud of gas and dust it formed from.

2I/Borisov was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov in August 2019 and was confirmed to have come from beyond the Solar System a few weeks later. “2I/Borisov could represent the first truly pristine comet ever observed,” says Stefano Bagnulo of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Northern Ireland, UK, who led the new study published today in Nature Communications. The team believes that the comet had never passed close to any star before it flew by the Sun in 2019.

Bagnulo and his colleagues used the FORS2 instrument on ESO’s VLT, located in northern Chile, to study 2I/Borisov in detail using a technique called polarimetry. Since this technique is regularly used to study comets and other small bodies of our Solar System, this allowed the team to compare the interstellar visitor with our local comets.

The team found that 2I/Borisov has polarimetric properties distinct from those of Solar System comets, with the exception of Hale-Bopp. Comet Hale-Bopp received much public interest in the late 1990s as a result of being easily visible to the naked eye, and also because it was one of the most pristine comets astronomers had ever seen. Prior to its most recent passage, Hale-Bopp is thought to have passed by our Sun only once and had therefore barely been affected by solar wind and radiation. This means it was pristine, having a composition very similar to that of the cloud of gas and dust it—and the rest of the Solar System—formed from some 4.5 billion years ago.

By analysing the polarisation together with the colour of the comet to gather clues on its composition, the team concluded that 2I/Borisov is in fact even more pristine than Hale-Bopp. This means it carries untarnished signatures of the cloud of gas and dust it formed from.

“The fact that the two comets are remarkably similar suggests that the environment in which 2I/Borisov originated is not so different in composition from the environment in the early Solar System,” says Alberto Cellino, a co-author of the study, from the Astrophysical Observatory of Torino, National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Italy.

Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer at ESO in Germany who studies comets and other near-Earth objects but was not involved in this new study, agrees. “The main result—that 2I/Borisov is not like any other comet except Hale-Bopp—is very strong,” he says, adding that “it is very plausible they formed in very similar conditions.”

“The arrival of 2I/Borisov from interstellar space represented the first opportunity to study the composition of a comet from another planetary system and check if the material that comes from this comet is somehow different from our native variety,” explains Ludmilla Kolokolova, of the University of Maryland in the US, who was involved in the Nature Communications research.

Bagnulo hopes astronomers will have another, even better, opportunity to study a rogue comet in detail before the end of the decade. “ESA is planning to launch Comet Interceptor in 2029, which will have the capability of reaching another visiting interstellar object, if one on a suitable trajectory is discovered,” he says, referring to an upcoming mission by the European Space Agency.

An origin story hidden in the dust

Even without a space mission, astronomers can use Earth’s many telescopes to gain insight into the different properties of rogue comets like 2I/Borisov. “Imagine how lucky we were that a comet from a system light-years away simply took a trip to our doorstep by chance,” says Bin Yang, an astronomer at ESO in Chile, who also took advantage of 2I/Borisov’s passage through our Solar System to study this mysterious comet. Her team’s results are published in Nature Astronomy.

Yang and her team used data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, as well as from ESO’s VLT, to study 2I/Borisov’s dust grains to gather clues about the comet’s birth and conditions in its home system.

They discovered that 2I/Borisov’s coma—an envelope of dust surrounding the main body of the comet—contains compact pebbles, grains about one millimetre in size or larger. In addition, they found that the relative amounts of carbon monoxide and water in the comet changed drastically as it neared the Sun. The team, which also includes Olivier Hainaut, says this indicates that the comet is made up of materials that formed in different places in its planetary system.

The observations by Yang and her team suggest that matter in 2I/Borisov’s planetary home was mixed from near its star to further out, perhaps because of the existence of giant planets, whose strong gravity stirs material in the system. Astronomers believe that a similar process occurred early in the life of our Solar System.

While 2I/Borisov was the first rogue comet to pass by the Sun, it was not the first interstellar visitor. The first interstellar object to have been observed passing by our Solar System was ‘Oumuamua, another object studied with ESO’s VLT back in 2017. Originally classified as a comet, ‘Oumuamua was later reclassified as an asteroid as it lacked a coma.

Did The Soviet Union Discover Aliens In The Deepest Lake In The World?

Under the waters of Lake Baikal in 1982, 7 Russian divers are exploring the world deepest freshwater lake on a research mission, but 50 metres underwater, strange humanoid creatures appear and in an attempt to capture one of them, all the divers are pushed up to the top by an unknown force. Who were these creatures and what can we learn from this encounter?

Curious reports of extra-terrestrials pulling Steven Spielberg to Siberian jewel Baikal.

True or not about Spielberg’s interest, the lake is perhaps the biggest focus of UFOs in Russia. Picture: othereal.ru

Since ancient times, the vast Lake Baikal has been known as deeply mysterious, but in the closing years of the Soviet era, and since, it has been the location of a number of alleged sightings of aliens and UFOs. 

Initially these were covered-up by the authorities of the USSR, but later they were revealed by the Russian media.

In recent days there have been unconfirmed reports in Russia that American director Steven Spielberg is planning a documentary based on these weird and unexplained accounts. At the time of writing, this appeared to be a hoax, though it was unclear who planted stories in the Russian media. 

True or not about Spielberg’s interest, the lake is perhaps the biggest focus of UFOs in Russia. 

The versions of extra-terrestrial activity at Baikal – edged by mountains and containing one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen freshwater – relate to supposed aliens seen by military divers in its depth, and large ‘spaceships’ hovering over its grey, moody expanses. 

Some of the images here show what two photographers claimed were UFOs buzzing the lake, while others are mock-ups from NTV based on descriptions of an incident at Kudara-Somon, in Buryatia, exactly a quarter of a century ago. 

A number of sightings also indicate bright ‘cigar-shaped’ objects in the sky flying over Baikal, as in the top picture.

UFO on Baikal

UFO on Baikal

NTV channel mock-up of ‘flying saucer’ based on accounts by residents of Kudara-Somon village in 1990. Pictures: NTV 

A case for which there were no images, but an intriguing description, occurred at Kurma, Irkutsk region, in 17 April 1987. The words that follow are from Valery Rudentsov, a local resident of  nearby Shida village:

‘There was 13 of us. At about 12.20am, one of our guys went out into the yard, a few seconds later runs, and calls all of us out. He stood in the centre of the yard and pointed his finger at the sky. 

‘Diagonally from his gesture – 150 metres above us –  hung a huge flying saucer. From the centre of the plate went a phosphorescent purple ray. And at the edges of the plate were yellow portholes, almost like in our rural houses. The diameter of the plate was 70 metres. We saw it so clearly and for a long time, someone even suggested he throw a stone at it … 

‘The weather was amazingly quiet, no sound was heard from the hanging saucer, although behind us was the village of Kurma – there was the noise of a dog barking, the lowing of cows. We were spellbound.

‘It was a full moon and the visibility was so clear that no one of us could doubt the reality of what we saw. And then the plate slid smoothly away, sailed along the shore of the bay and further slipped into the hills of Olkhon. Neither before nor after have I ever met such a thing.

‘But since that time it has been a kind of sacrilege to me – not to believe in UFOs. My friend Alexander, a hunter, and his colleagues who lived there for 20 years, often see UFOs – and all is fine, he is still alive. So if to speak about glowing balls or ‘cigars’, we constantly see these on the shores of Lake Baikal. They exist.’

The case highlighted by NTV channel was on 16 May 1990 in the village of Kudara-Somon, in Kyakhtinsky district, some 300 km from Ulan-Ude, capital of the Republic of Buryatia.

Margarita Tsybikova

Marina Zimireva

Marina Zimireva

Margarita Tsybikova recalls the UFO’s visit to Kudara-Somon. Marina Zimireva shows where the ‘flying saucer’ landed. Pictures: NTV 

Olga Fedorova, a local resident, recalled: ‘At some moment everything turned yellow. My daughter came home from school. I looked – her face was yellow.’

The explanation soon became clear, according to accounts from villagers. 

Vasily Timofeev spoke of a flying saucer. ‘Its diameter was around 30 meters, it shone brightly. But I did not see a clear image of metal or something like this.’

Another resident Margarita Tsybikova said: ‘From this dish came down people in shiny, shimmering costumes.’ Olga explained: ‘There were people, as far as I remember, three people in shining yellow suits. Seems there were people, yes.’

Marina Zimireva, who also says she witnessed this extraordinary sight, said: ‘It was some kind of circle, it can be said, it was like a disk. It turned on the edge and and, well, windows were visible.

‘I personally decided for myself that they were people. They had some human image. They were the same – straight, slender, they had arms and legs. And their gait was the same as ours. A little lower down there were three in orange suits. They went down from the disk like a man  – the steps were very visible.’

Then, as they recounted the strange event, the ‘aliens’ saw the people watching them. They returned to their spaceship and flew away. 

The USAs Most Secret Plane — TR-3B Patent is Now in the Public Domain

 Source: matrixdisclosure.com

The TR-3B is Code named Astra. The tactical reconnaissance TR-3B first operational flight was in the early 90s. The triangular-shaped nuclear-powered aerospace platform was developed under the Top Secret, Aurora Program with SDI and black budget monies. At least 3 of the billion-dollar-plus TR-3Bs were flying by 1994. Aurora is the most classified aerospace development program in existence. The TR-3B is the most exotic vehicle created by the Aurora Program. It is funded and operationally tasked by the National Reconnaissance Office, the NSA, and the CIA. The TR-3B flying triangle is not fiction and was built with technology available in the mid-80s. Not every UFO spotted is one of theirs.

Source: newscitrus.net

The TR-3B vehicles outer coating is reactive to electrical Radar stimulation and can change reflectiveness, radar absorptiveness, and color. This polymer skin, when used in conjunction with the TR-3Bs Electronic Counter Measures and, ECCM, can make the vehicle look like a small aircraft or a flying cylinder–or even trick radar receivers into falsely detecting a variety of aircraft, no aircraft, or several aircraft at various locations. A circular, plasma filled accelerator ring called the Magnetic Field Disrupter, surrounds the rotatable crew compartment and is far ahead of any imaginable technology.

Sandia and Livermore’s laboratories developed the reverse engineered MFD technology. The government will go to any lengths to protect this technology. The plasma, mercury based, is pressurized at 250,000 atmospheres at a temperature of 150 degrees Kelvin and accelerated to 50,000 rpm to create a super-conductive plasma with the resulting gravity disruption. The MFD generates a magnetic vortex field, which disrupts or neutralizes the effects of gravity on mass within proximity, by 89 percent. Do not misunderstand. This is not antigravity. Anti-gravity provides a repulsive force that can be used for propulsion. The MFD creates a disruption of the Earth’s gravitational field upon the mass within the circular accelerator. The mass of the circular accelerator and all mass within the accelerator, such as the crew capsule, avionics, MFD systems, fuels, crew environmental systems, and the nuclear reactor, are reduced by 89%. This causes the effect of making the vehicle extremely light and able to outperform and outmaneuver any craft yet constructed–except, of course, those UFOs we did not build.

The TR-3B is a high altitude, stealth, reconnaissance platform with an indefinite loiter time. Once you get it up there at speed, it doesn’t take much propulsion to maintain altitude. At Groom Lake, there have been whispered rumors of a new element that acts as a catalyst to the plasma. With the vehicle mass reduced by 89%, the craft can travel at Mach 9, vertically or horizontally. My sources say the performance is limited only the stresses that the human pilots can endure. This is a lot, really, considering along with the 89% reduction in mass, the G forces are also reduced by 89%.

Source: matrixdisclosure.com

The TR-3Bs propulsion is provided by 3 multimode thrusters mounted at each bottom corner of the triangular platform. The TR-3 is a sub-Mach 9 vehicle until it reaches altitudes above l20,000 feet–then God knows how fast it can go! The 3 multimode rocket engines mounted under each corner of the craft use hydrogen or methane and oxygen as a propellant. In a liquid oxygen/hydrogen rocket system, 85% of the propellant mass is oxygen. The nuclear thermal rocket engine uses a hydrogen propellent, augmented with oxygen for additional thrust. The reactor heats the liquid hydrogen and injects liquid oxygen in the supersonic nozzle so that the hydrogen burns concurrently in the liquid oxygen afterburner. The multimode propulsion system can; operate in the atmosphere, with thrust provided by the nuclear reactor, in the upper atmosphere, with hydrogen propulsion, and in orbit, with the combined hydrogen\ oxygen propulsion.

What you have to remember is, that the 3 rocket engines only have to propel 11 percent of the mass of the Top Secret TR-3B. The engines are reportedly built by Rockwell. Many sightings of triangular UFOs are not alien vehicles but the top-secret TR-3B. The NSA, NRO, CIA, and USAF have been playing a shell game with aircraft nomenclature – creating the TR-3, modified to the TR-3A, the TR-3B, and the Teir 2, 3, and 4, with suffixes like Plus or Minus, added on to confuse further the fact that each of these designators is a different aircraft and not the same aerospace vehicle. A TR-3B is as different from a TR-3A as a banana is from a grape. Some of these vehicles are manned and others are unmanned.

It all becomes apparent in Belgium where, after frequent sightings of flying lights and a mid-air near-miss by UFO, at one point Belgian Air Force, anxious to identify the origin of the phenomena, authorized F16 scrambles under the condition that the visual observations on the ground were confirmed by the local police and detection on the radar.

One of the consequences of such a decision was that on 31 March 1990 at 00:05 hr, two F16 were scrambled from Beauvechain airbase and guided towards the radar contacts.

A total of 9 interception attempts have been made that night. On six occasions the pilots established a lock-on with their air interception radar. Lock-on distances varied between 5 and 8 NM. On all occasions targets varied speed and altitude very quickly and break-locks occurred after 10 to 60 seconds. Speeds varied between 150 and 1010 knots. On three occasions both F16 registered simultaneous lock-ons with the same parameters. The two F16 were flying approximately 2 NM apart. Owing to the night conditions, no visual contact could be established by either of the F16 pilots.

Researchers At Large Hadron Collider Are Confident To Make Contact With Parallel Universe In Days

The astoundingly complex LHC “atom smasher” at the CERN center in Geneva, Switzerland, are fired up to its maximum energy levels ever in an endeavor to identify – or perhaps generate – tiny black holes.

 If successful a very new universe is going to be exposed – modifying completely not only the physics books but the philosophy books too. 

It is even probable that gravity from our own universe may “transfer” into this parallel universe, researchers at the LHC say. The experiment is assured to accentuate alarmist critics of the LHC, many of whom initially warned the high energy particle collider would start the top of our universe with the making a part of its own. But up to now Geneva stays intact and securely outside the event horizon.

No doubt the LHC has been outstandingly successful. First researchers proved the existence of the mysterious Higgs boson “God particle” – a key building block of the cosmos – and it’s seemingly well on the thanks to revealing ‘dark matter’ – a previously untraceable theoretical prospect that’s now believed to form up the foremost of matter within the universe. But next week’s experimentation is reflected to be a game-changer. Mir Faizal, one in every of the three-strong group of physicists behind this experiment, said: “Just as many parallel sheets of paper, which are two-dimensional objects [breadth and length] can exist during a dimension [height], parallel universes can even exist in higher dimensions.”

“We predict that gravity can leak into extra dimensions, and if it does, then miniature black holes are produced at the LHC. Normally, when people consider the multiverse, they think about the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, where every possibility is actualized. This can not be tested so it’s a philosophy and not science. this is often not what we mean by parallel universes. What we mean is real universes in extra dimensions. “As gravity can effuse of our universe into the additional dimensions, such a model may be tested by the detection of mini black holes at the LHC.”

“We have calculated the energy at which we expect to detect these mini black holes in ‘gravity’s rainbow’ [a new scientific theory].”

“If we do detect mini black holes at this energy, then we are going to know that both gravity’s rainbow and additional dimensions are correct.”

When the LHC is fired up the energy is calculated in Tera electron volts – a TeV is 1,000,000,000,000, or one trillion, electron Volts. Up to now, the LHC has sought for mini black holes at energy levels below 5.3 TeV. But the foremost recent study says this is often too low.

Instead, the model forecasts that black holes might form at energy levels of no but 9.5 TeV in six dimensions and 11.9 TeV in 10 dimensions.