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.

Astronomers capture new polarized view of a black hole

Team of more than 300 researchers produced first-ever image of a black hole in April of 2019

Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino explains what can be learned from the groundbreaking discovery.

Scientists from the international Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration announced Wednesday that they had been able to map the magnetic fields around a black hole using polarized light waves for the first time, releasing a stunning image of the supermassive object at the center of the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy.

The team of more than 300 researchers had produced the first-ever image of a black hole – from 55 million light-years away – in April of 2019. 

The researchers published their most recent observations in two separate papers in The Astrophysical Journal, which they say are key to understanding how the M87 galaxy is able to “launch energetic jets from its core.”

From data first collected in 2017, the scientists discovered that a significant fraction of the light at the black hole’s near-horizon region was polarized.

Light becomes polarized when passing through certain filters or when it is emitted in hot regions of space that are magnetized.

For the first time, EHT scientists have mapped the magnetic fields around a black hole using polarized light waves. With this breakthrough, we have taken a crucial step in solving one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries.

For the first time, EHT scientists have mapped the magnetic fields around a black hole using polarized light waves. With this breakthrough, we have taken a crucial step in solving one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries. (EHT Collaboration)

Astronomers were given a sharper look around the black hole, and the ability to map the magnetic field lines in the surrounding area, by examining how the light around it was polarized.

“These 1.3 mm wavelength observations revealed a compact asymmetric ring-like source morphology. This structure originates from synchrotron emission produced by relativistic plasma located in the immediate vicinity of the black hole,” the group stated in its observational publication. “Here we present the corresponding linear-polarimetric EHT images of the center of M87. We find that only a part of the ring is significantly polarized. The resolved fractional linear polarization has a maximum located in the southwest part of the ring, where it rises to the level of ~15%.”

The group also noted that the polarization position angles are arranged in an almost “azimuthal pattern.”

The azimuth is the angle between a fixed point like true North, measured clockwise around the observer’s horizon, and a celestial body.

The team wrote that it had performed “quantitative measurements of relevant polarimetric properties of the compact emission” and found “evidence for the temporal evolution of the polarized source structure” over the course of a week.

The data was then carried out by using multiple independent imaging and modeling techniques.

In an accompanying release, the collaboration explained that the energy jets emerging from M87’s core extend at least 5,000 light-years from its center. 

While most matter near the edge of a black hole falls into it, some of the surrounding particles are blown out in the opposite direction in jets.

Astronomers still don’t fully understand this process, nor how matter falls into the black hole, but the new EHT image provides information about the structure of the magnetic fields just outside the black hole.

Only theoretical models with strongly magnetized gas could explain the event, the release says.

“All astronomical objects from the Earth to the Sun to galaxies have magnetic fields. In the case of black holes, these magnetic fields can control how rapidly they consume the matter falling onto them and how they eject some of that matter into narrow beams traveling at close to the speed of light,” Geoffrey C. Bower, EHT project scientist at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Hawaii, told Fox News via email on Thursday. “We showed that the fields are indeed strong enough to play an important role in how this black hole eats its lunch.”Video

The EHT collaboration is an evolving network of telescopes across ChileSpain, Antarctica, GreenlandFrance, Hawaii, Arizona and Mexico.

In order to observe the M87 galaxy, the collaboration linked eight telescopes to create the EHT: a “virtual Earth-sized telescope” with resolution “equivalent to that needed to measure the length of a credit card on the surface of the Moon.”

“This setup allowed the team to directly observe the black hole shadow and the ring of light around it, with the new [polarized-light] image clearly showing that the ring is magnetized,” the release said.

“No one has ever made this kind of image before,” Bower said. “Remarkably, the data forming this image is the same that was used to make the iconic first image of a black hole released two years ago. We took two years to analyze the data in a new way that allows us to separate the polarizations of light, a process like putting polarized sunglasses on our telescope.”

Upcoming UFO report will be ‘difficult to explain,’ former national intelligence official says

A former top national intelligence official hinted that an upcoming government report on UFOs will include information that cannot easily be explained.

“There are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we’ve seen, and when that information becomes declassified, I’ll be able to talk a little bit more about that,” former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox New’s Maria Bartiromo on Friday.

Ratfcliffe said some UFO sightings have been declassified in the past, but a report to be released by the Pentagon and other federal agencies will present more information to the American people.

“There have been sightings all over the world,” Ratcliffe said. “And when we talk about sightings, the other thing I will tell you, it’s not just a pilot or just a satellite or some intelligence collection. Usually, we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things.”

Ratcliffe said elements that are hard to explain in the unreleased sightings include movements that are hard to replicate or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without creating a sonic boom.

The report is expected to be released on June 1, Bartiromo said later in the program.

MYSTERIOUS NEW WARP DRIVE PATENT SURFACES ONLINE

warp drive

Image: Adrian Mann

After appearing for decades in science fiction, then moving into an actual theory, a new patent for an updated warp drive was published last year to no fanfare. Like many other false starts in cutting-edge research, the patent may represent the next step in the expanding theory, or it could mean the practical, real-world design of a functioning warp drive is on the horizon.

BACKGROUND: HOW TO BEND SPACE-TIME WITH A WARP DRIVE

After first publishing his groundbreaking 1994 warp drive concept in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, Mexican Mathematician and Physicist Miguel Alcubierre received significant positive and negative feedback. Most applauded his solution, which did indeed appear to create a working theory on how a warp drive might allow faster than light travel without violating the laws of physics. In contrast, others zeroed in on the incredible amount of energy needed to propel his theoretical spacecraft.


The warp drive was further refined in 2007 by engineer H. David Froning Jr., who, among other things, previously worked for the U.S. Air Force, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas. He published those refinements in 2008 and later released a 2019 book on his research.

Both theories took a giant leap forward in 2011 when a paper published by NASA scientist Harold G. “Sonny” White further improved upon Alcubierre’s designs, dramatically reducing the amount of exotic matter needed to fuel the hypothetical drive from a Jupiter sized amount to something akin to the size of the NASA Voyager 1 probe. While this is still a significant volume and well beyond our current ability to manufacture, this dramatic reduction in fuel requirements seems to indicate that a real-world warp drive may one day be feasible.

One practical attempt to build a drive is being made by Nebraska University Adjunct Professor David Pares and his company, Space Warp Dynamics. He posted a recent series of tests to YouTube; however, his company’s Indiegogo campaign to build such a device has only reached 3% of the target goal. Their website and Facebook pages show only incremental advancements since. Interestingly, the company’s website notes that Pares was “Inspired by his own craft sighting, at the age of 16,” although no other details of this sighting are provided. Apart from that, little is known about this project.

ANALYSIS: THE NEW 2020 WARP DRIVE PATENT

In April of 2020, two engineers from Chicago, Jessica Gallanis and Eytan Halm Suchard published a patent application for a drive using the updated Harold White designs. A device aptly named the Alcubierre-White Warp Drive. Barely a month into the COVID 19 shutdown, the patent’s publication seemed to sneak under the radar, with a lone report by Read Multiplex in December of 2020 (one that sits behind a paywall).

In the summary portion of the patent, Gallanis and Suchard explain how “the invention uses two Alcubierre gravitational walls to achieve a warp drive effect as means of propulsion while surrounding or enclosing a cavity or space where passengers can travel.” 

This design is consistent with Alcubierre, who’s solution they point out “suggested a method for changing the metric of space-time and creating a space-time warp bubble such that while from outside the bubble, the bubble can advance in superluminal speed, from within the bubble the speed is much lower than the speed of light.”

The patent also notes the work of Froning, who they say observed how, “if sufficient warping is achieved, ship speed is slower than light speed within the region that surrounds it-even if it is moving faster-than-light with respect to Earth.”

“I had never personally heard of the Alcubierre drive until 2013,” Suchard admitted on a two-hour telephone interview with The Debrief to discuss his device, how the design came about, and how realistic building his patented Warp Drive was.

warp drive
Two-dimensional visualization of an Alcubierre drive, showing the opposing regions of expanding and contracting spacetime that displace the central region. (Image: AllenMcC)

A software engineer by trade, Suchard was working on handwriting and signature recognition software when he had a revelation that would lead to his patented design. 

“It occurred to me that we should be able to describe all physical phenomena as geometry. And that space-time was merely an emergent property, which is diametrically opposed to [Albert] Einstein’s approach.”

The Israeli-born engineer said this revelation launched him into a more in-depth study of things like dark matter, loop theory, quantum gravity, and ultimately, to the idea of a warp drive. 

“I first stumbled across Alcubierre in 2013,” Suchard explained, a discovery that led to him spending the next three years trying to rectify his new take on classical physics with Dr. White’s theory. “I knew from my own calculations that energy itself must create gravity, and by extension anti-gravity,” he said. “And that this had to be the solution to Alcubierre.”

By 2017, Suchard’s wife and fellow engineer Jessica Gallanis told him that his theoretical work was sound, and it was time to try to file a patent. Unfortunately, the first try was unsuccessful. “They wouldn’t take it,” he said of the response by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “I think they didn’t understand the physics.”

Suchard said he spent the next two years going back and forth with the USPTO until, in 2020, they finally made a concession. “By then, they did not refute the fact that the patent is based upon a valid working theory, but still said I would need a physical device to prove the physics.” As a result of this concession, they accepted the application, leading to the 2020 publication.

warp
Artist’s concept of a spacecraft using an Alcubierre Warp Drive. (Image: NASA)

OUTLOOK: HAS HISTORY BEEN MADE?

When asked where his patent will go from here, Suchard was particularly critical in his response. “I don’t trust anyone else to do the experiments,” he said, “because too many do them in the wrong way.” To do those experiments, Suchard also admits that his expertise is not enough. “I would need other physicists involved. An RF engineer, a materials scientist, and many others with expertise in [areas like] heat dissipation, x-rays, and other related fields.” 

Suchard also noted the significant amount of funding needed for this research and that such funding is not presently on the horizon.

The Debrief reached out to Dr. Jason Cassibry, a professor at the Propulsion Research Center at the University of Alabama Huntsville. He, and one of his students, Joseph Agnew, a researcher at the Propulsion Research Center, explained that there were problems with Suchard’s theory. 

Cassibry and Agnew told The Debrief in an email that the use of highly concentrated magnetic fields to create gravity wells is a common aspect of warp drive theory.

“I’ve seen a number of people try to relate high-frequency electrical oscillations to warp drive. Based on some of the papers I’ve looked at, there is indeed a relation between highly concentrated magnetic field energy, like in a huge solenoid, and a positive gravity well. But the amount of energy required to be detectable is quite large, and, although doable, that experiment has not been run yet,” Agnew explained. 

Agnew explained that the biggest problem is the “‘negative energy or ‘anti-gravity well’” part of the system that makes it an Alcubierre drive and not just a gravity well. Both Agnew and Cassibry concurred that aspects of the patent did jive with previous warp drive models; however, since there was no experimental data, it would be impossible to determine if the drive would work. 

“I’m skeptical,” Agnew stated, “since it cites as-yet-unobserved phenomena as its basis for operation.”

Dr. Cassibry echoed Agnew’s sentiment, adding, “I hope that someday, someone discloses an invention or a technology along with a demonstration of a real system, such as a video of a working propulsion system lifting itself off the ground, no strings attached. Short of that, experimental measurements, even on a subscale test, are highly valuable and encouraged. Short of experimental evidence, I will remain skeptical of any and all papers and patents.”

The Debrief reached out to the NASA Ames Research Center for comment from Dr. White on this potentially groundbreaking patent and any work he may still be doing in this field. Their representative told The Debrief that White retired from the organization last year. They also indicated that the warp mechanics program he ran at Ames is no longer in operation as it was shuttered at the same time he left. 

The Debrief tried to contact Dr. Whte at his new venture, the Limitless Space Institute, which appears to be continuing his Warp Drive research. They did not respond to requests for comment.

The patent by Suchard and Gallanis is still awaiting approval, and it is an approval Suchard is not expecting any time soon. Still, he says, the theory is sound, and if he were able to put together the team of experts he envisions, he thinks building a warp drive may be possible. Like most potential breakthrough propulsion theories, Suchard’s take on energy and gravity is unique. Still, unlike Alcubierre and White, he has taken that theory to the next step with an actual patent application. Time will tell if it ever leads to the real thing, but the work by other researchers in the field and the improvements to Alcubierre’s original theory made along the way may mean that warp speed may be closer than we think.

Carbon-ring molecules tied to life were found in space for the first time

Discovered in an interstellar cloud, the compounds are more abundant than predicted

Green Bank Telescope
The 100-meter-wide Green Bank Telescope (pictured) in West Virginia detected the first definitive radio signature from space of ringed, organic molecules known as PAHs.

Complex carbon-bearing molecules that could help explain how life got started have been identified in space for the first time.

These molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, consist of several linked hexagonal rings of carbon with hydrogen atoms at the edges. Astronomers have suspected for decades that these molecules are abundant in space, but none had been directly spotted before.

Simpler molecules with a single ring of carbon have been seen before. But “we’re now excited to see that we’re able to detect these larger PAHs for the first time in space,” says astrochemist Brett McGuire of MIT, whose team reports the discovery in the March 19 Science.

Studying these molecules and others like them could help scientists understand how the chemical precursors to life might get started in space. “Carbon is such a fundamental part of chemical reactions, especially reactions leading to life’s essential molecules,” McGuire says. “This is our window into a huge reservoir of them.”

Since the 1980s, astronomers have seen a mysterious infrared glow coming from spots within our galaxy and others. Many suspected that the glow comes from PAHs, but could not identify a specific source. The signals from several different PAHs overlap too much to tease any one of them apart, like a choir blending so well, the ear can’t pick out individual voices.

Instead of searching the infrared signals for a single voice, McGuire and colleagues turned to radio waves, where different PAHs sing different songs. The team trained the powerful Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia on TMC-1, a dark cloud about 430 light-years from Earth near the constellation Taurus.

interstellar cloud TMC-1 with the pleiades cluster in the background
The interstellar cloud TMC-1 (top, black filaments) appears as a dark streak on the sky next to the bright Pleiades star cluster (right

Previously, McGuire had discovered that the cloud contains benzonitrile, a molecule made of a single carbon ring (SN: 10/2/19). So he thought it was a good place to look for more complicated molecules.

The team detected 1- and 2-cyanonaphthalene, two-ringed molecules with 10 carbons, eight hydrogens and a nitrogen atom. The concentration is fairly diffuse, McGuire says: “If you filled the inside of your average compact car with [gas from] TMC-1, you’d have less than 10 molecules of each PAH we detected.”

But it was a lot more than the team expected. The cloud contains between 100,000 and one million times more PAHs than theoretical models predict it should. “It’s insane, that’s way too much,” McGuire says.

There are two ways that PAHs are thought to form in space: out of the ashes of dead stars or by direct chemical reactions in interstellar space. Since TMC-1 is just beginning to form stars, McGuire expected that any PAHs it contains ought to have been built by direct chemical reactions in space. But that scenario can’t account for all the PAH molecules the team found. There’s too much to be explained easily by stellar ash, too. That means something is probably missing from astrochemists’ theories of how PAHs can form in space.

“We’re working in uncharted territory here,” he says, “which is exciting.”

Identifying PAHs in space is “a big thing,” says astrochemist Alessandra Ricca of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who was not involved in the new study. The work “is the first one that has shown that these PAH molecules actually do exist in space,” she says. “Before, it was just a hypothesis.”

Ricca’s group is working on a database of infrared PAH signals that the James Webb Space Telescope, slated to launch in October, can look for. “All this is going to be very helpful for JWST and the research on carbon in the universe,” she says.

Where would a major tsunami strike? California’s Malibu, Venice and Long Beach, get ready

Where would a major tsunami strike? Malibu, Venice and Long Beach, get ready

When state geologists went looking for the hypothetical origin of the worst tsunami that could strike Southern California in 1,000 years, they found it in the Aleutian Trench off the Alaskan coastline.

A magnitude 9.3 underwater earthquake there could generate a wave that would hit Southern California several hours later and inundate portions of Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Long Beach and the two busiest ports in the nation.MalibuNew zonesCurrent zonesRestaurants near the shore as well as a portion of Malibu Creek are included in new tsunami evacuation zone maps for Malibu.Santa MonicaA number of luxury condos and townhomes in Santa Monica are included in the new plans.Venice and Marina Del ReyThe updated plans include a handful of upscale townhome complexes in Santa Monica as well as a few blocks in Marina Del Rey, which include single-family homes as well as a number of apartments and hotels.

That was the worst-case scenario, but there were plenty of other possibilities for catastrophe. Earthquakes along undersea faults near Catalina and Anacapa islands — as well as submarine landslides off of the Palos Verdes Peninsula — could generate tsunamis capable of flooding those same areas in just minutes.

To help local emergency officials prepare, the California Geological Survey has released new maps that show the extent of flooding the worst tsunamis could produce in Los Angeles County.

The maps are being released during Tsunami Preparedness Week, when coastal residents are reminded to get ready for disasters that may or may not occur in their lifetimes.

In some ways, that 1,000-year quake in Alaska would be the easy one to respond to: there would be hours to evacuate after an official warning was issued.

But there would be little to no time between an official warning and massive flooding in the smaller offshore quakes, said engineering geologist Nick Graehl, who helps local agencies plan evacuation strategies.

“You’re going to feel that strong ground shaking,” Graehl said of the closer quakes. “You don’t wait for that official warning. You feel that earthquake, you go. And you go to a safe area, and you stay there until there’s an official all-clear.”

In the case of tsunamis, the recommended mode of evacuation is by foot, not automobile, according to senior engineering geologist Rick Wilson.

“We’ve done some studies with U.S. Geological Survey and found if people get in their cars and try to drive out of areas like Marina del Rey and Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, they’ll be stuck in traffic, and they won’t get out in time,” Wilson said. “So the recommendation is for people to evacuate on foot. If they do that, almost everybody can get out of the zone in this critical worst-case scenario that we’re looking at.”

The best preparation would be for people to check the map, find an evacuation route, and practice it, Graehl said.

“We’re encouraging people to maybe take a tsunami selfie at higher ground,” Graehl said.

The new maps are revisions of earlier work that predicted the flooding from a 500-year flood.

The Tohoku earthquake that caused a devastating tsunami in Japan a decade ago provided the basis for the update, said state geologist Steve Boylen.

“Japan had sea walls that they had built for a 500-year event,” Boylen said. “The 1,000-year event topped over that.”

In Southern California, the two standards did not produce dramatically different results.

The new maps, built on a probability analysis, “reinforce where we believe the line was back in 2009, but we have added an additional buffer to be extra cautious with the errors and uncertainties in the modeling,” Wilson said.New zonesCurrent zonesImage shows the Belmont Shores area and areas west of the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, as well as some areas in east Wilmington, are included in the new tsunami evacuation zones.

A Times analysis of the changes since 2009 shows that Long Beach has the largest additions. Much of the Belmont Shore neighborhood and locations north of Colorado Lagoon and Los Cerritos Channel, as well as west of the Los Angeles River, are included in the 2021 evacuation zone areas.

The map shows about two dozen blocks of Hermosa Beach that are included in the new plans.Also, roughly two dozen blocks along Beach Drive, an upscale area in Hermosa Beach, have been added.

The updated plans include a handful of upscale townhome complexes in Santa Monica as well as a few blocks in Marina Del Rey, which include single-family homes as well as a number of apartments and hotels.

While not extending too far inland in Malibu, the new maps include a number of retail locations and restaurants, as well as a local museum.

The maps are designed to support city and county evacuation plans, which can vary widely due to local conditions.

In the Naples area of Long Beach, for example, there is an elderly population that requires extra attention from the city’s emergency management teams, Graehl said.

With its pier and beachfront, Santa Monica has a large daytime population of tourists and beachgoers who would need to be notified.

Santa Monica visitors as well as residents can sign up for emergency alerts on the city’s website or by text, said Chief Resiliency Officer Lindsay B. Call.

“These maps are incredibly important tools to enable emergency managers to provide the best education to our local residents,” Call said.

The new maps incorporate a philosophical shift in how the agency hopes to support local emergency planning. Some of the squiggly topography lines on previous maps have been pushed out to the nearest major street, so that evacuation zones could be more easily described to the public.

The Los Angeles County maps are part of a phased release of statewide maps, which is expected to be completed by early 2022.

Updates for Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties are currently online, and California Geological Survey plans to release new maps for Monterey, San Mateo, and Alameda counties on March 23.

AURORAS OVER AN ERUPTING VOLCANO

The last time a volcano erupted on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula was almost 800 years ago. So consider this a 1-in-800-year shot: “On March 24th, I photographed the Geldingadalur volcano with auroras dancing overhead,” reports Christopher Mathews.

Breaking 8 centuries of quiet, the volcano erupted last week on March 19th. Lava oozing through the ground was bright enough to see from Earth orbit as incandescent fountains illuminated the dark landscape.

Mathews immediately began planning his photo shoot. “The night the Geldingadalur volcano erupted, I began scouting locations for this shot,” he says. “There were good auroras over the weekend, but cloud cover blocked them–a huge disappointment. Last night an unexpected snow squall appeared, blotting out the sky and even the eruption itself–another heart-breaker. But then, around midnight, the skies cleared and auroras promptly lit off over the volcano.”

We won’t have to wait 800 years for the next shot. Historical accounts and ancient lava flows show that whenever Geldingadalur has experienced a significant uptick in seismic activity, intermittent eruptions follow for 100 years or so. This eruption could signal a re-awakening.

“It was a magical sight,” says Mathews, “one I took especially to heart because it happened to be my birthday!” Talk about birthday candles…

3 asteroids zoom closer than moon in less than 24 hours

Asteroids 2021 FO1, 2021 FH and 2021 FP2 had close approaches to Earth on March 23, 2021 (UTC). 2021 FO1 is ~14 feet wide (~4 meters) and will fly about 200,000 miles away (321,869 km) from Earth. 2021 FH is ~52 feet wide (~16 meters) and will fly about 146,000 miles away (~234,964 km). 2021 FP2 is 8.2-19 feet wide (2.5-5.7 meters) and will fly about 201,000 miles away. *Update: Data on Asteroid 2021 FP2 was released after we posted the video on asteroids 2021 FO1 & 2021 FH.

Three asteroids are making close approaches to our planet today (March 23), but don’t worry; the small rocks pose no threat as they drift by Earth, passing closer than the average distance between our planet and the moon.

The largest of the three space rocks, a house-size asteroid called 2021 FH, passed by Earth today at approximately 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT) at a distance of roughly 145,940 miles (234,870 kilometers), or 0.61 times the average Earth-moon distance. NASA estimates the asteroid’s diameter is between 39 feet and 89 feet (12 meters to 27 meters), or about the length of a semi-truck.

Details about its orbit have been published online by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Small-Body Database Browser, a database of all known small worlds in our solar system. The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center also sent a circular to the community with observations from various astronomers around the world, including updated orbital elements.

These three orbit diagrams show the paths of the near-Earth asteroid 2021 FO1, 2021 FH and 2021 FP2, which are making close approaches to Earth on March 23, 2021.
These three orbit diagrams show the paths of the near-Earth asteroid 2021 FO1, 2021 FH and 2021 FP2, which are making close approaches to Earth on March 23, 2021. (Image credit: NASA JPL/Space.com)

Small asteroids and comets pass by Earth on the regular, and in fact, this isn’t the only small world that went by our planet this week. The newly discovered 2021 FO1, now cataloged by JPL, zoomed by Earth quite safely on Monday, March 22 at 11:05 p.m. EDT (Tuesday, March 23 at 0305 GMT). 

The newfound world was quite a bit smaller – roughly 11 feet to 25 feet (3.4 to 7.6 meters) in width. At its closest approach, 2021 FO1 was about 199,850 miles (321,640 kilometers), or 0.84 times the average Earth-moon distance. (For comparison, the moon’s distance from our planet averages roughly 239,000 miles, or 384,000 km.)

And tonight at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT), another asteroid called 2021 FP2 is expected to make a close flyby of Earth, passing within 200,780 miles (323,120 km) of our planet — just a little bit farther than 2021 FO1. NASA’s Minor Planet Center lists about a dozen more near-Earth asteroids that will fly by our planet this week, but none will be closer than the moon. 

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NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and a suite of partners around the world keep track of small asteroids through telescopic observations, and over several decades of observations by scientists, no imminent problems have been found yet. Earlier this month, the infamous Apophis asteroid made a flyby of our planet; scientists have ruled out any threat to our world from Apophis in 2029. 

Upcoming Pentagon report will detail ‘difficult to explain’ UFO sightings

Upcoming Pentagon report will detail ‘difficult to explain’ UFO sightings

A forthcoming government report will reveal evidence of UFOs breaking the sound barrier without a sonic boom and other “difficult to explain” phenomena, the former Director of National Intelligence said.

John Ratcliffe, the top intelligence official under President Donald Trump, was asked about incidents involving unidentified flying objects on Fox News Friday.

“There are a lot more sightings than have been made public,” he told host Maria Bartiromo. “Some of those have been declassified.”

90,000 UFO reports across the USA

“And when we talk about sightings,” Ratcliffe continued, “we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain.”

“Movements that are hard to replicate that we don’t have the technology for. Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”

A new Pentagon report will also detail any threats posed by the aerial phenomena and whether foreign adversaries are suspected of controlling them.

“Weather can cause disturbances, visual disturbances,” Ratcliffe said.

“Sometimes we wonder whether or not our adversaries have technologies that are a bit further down the road than we thought or than we realized. But these are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we have seen.”

Ratcliff’s remarks came several months after the Pentagon declassified three well-known UFO videos, acknowledging that the footage was shot by US Navy pilots.

In the interview, Ratcliffe said, the sightings, which have been reported across the globe, extend beyond “just a pilot or just a satellite, or some intelligence collection.”

“Usually we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things … some of these are unexplained phenomena, and there is actually quite a few more than have been made public,” he said.

The Pentagon report is expected to be released by June 1, Bartiromo said during the interview.

That’s after Trump in December signed the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill, which started a 180-day countdown for the Pentagon and spy agencies to say what they know about UFOs.

Ratcliffe said he had hoped to release the information before the administration’s departure from the White House in January, but “we weren’t able to get it down into an unclassified format that we could talk about quickly enough.”

The First Real Images Of Neptune – What Have We Discovered?

About 4.5 billion kilometers away from our blue home planet is the giant planet Neptune. For many years it was simply not possible for humans to observe the bluish shimmering celestial body at close range. This was to change in 1989. At that time, NASA sent the space probe Voyager 2 into space, which provided mankind with the first real images of our galactic neighbor. In our contribution today, we would like to take a closer look at Neptune together with you. In doing so, we will also take a look at some breathtaking photos of the celestial body, which will leave you in pure astonishment.

1989: Voyager 2 makes its closest encounter with Neptune, passing just 3,000 miles above the cloud tops of the most distant planet in our solar system. The Voyager 2 space probe has been our most productive unmanned space voyage. It visited all four of the outer planets and their systems of moons and rings, including […]

1989: Voyager 2 makes its closest encounter with Neptune, passing just 3,000 miles above the cloud tops of the most distant planet in our solar system.

The Voyager 2 space probe has been our most productive unmanned space voyage. It visited all four of the outer planets and their systems of moons and rings, including the first visits to previously unexplored Uranus and Neptune.

What did the space probe discover about Neptune?

Originally it was thought that Neptune was too cold to support atmospheric disturbances, but Voyager 2 discovered large-scale storms, most notably the Great Dark Spot. It turned out to have a much shorter duration than Jupiter’s persistent Great Red Spot. Neptune not only has storms, it happens to have the fastest winds in the solar system.

The space probe was plotted to perform a close encounter with Triton, the larger of Neptune’s originally known moons. Along the way, Voyager 2 found six new moons (.pdf) orbiting the planet.

Voyager 2 found four rings and evidence for ring arcs, or incomplete rings, above Neptune. That means all four of the gas giants in our solar system have rings. Neptune’s, however, are very meager compared to the magnificent rings around Saturn.

In the late 19th century, astronomers thought that an unseen Planet X was influencing the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. The observed positions of the two planets and their calculated positions differed. Among those astronomers convinced of the existence of Planet X was Clyde Tombaugh. In 1930 while scanning areas of the sky for Planet X, he found Pluto.

When Voyager 2 flew by Neptune, it took very precise measurements of Neptune’s mass and found it to be about 0.5 percent less massive than previous estimates. When the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were recalculated using the more accurate mass figure, it became clear that the imprecise number for Neptune — and not the gravity of an unseen planet — had caused the observed orbital discrepancies.

After the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from planetary status in 2006, Voyager 2’s 1989 Neptune flyby became the point when every planet in our solar system had been visited by a space probe.
(All you Pluto-is-a-planet advocates can still argue for reinstatement, but you will have to bring a few more celestial objects into the planet category along with Pluto.)

The twin Voyager space probes were launched in 1977. Voyager 2 was actually launched first, on Aug. 20. Voyager 1 left two weeks later on Sept. 5. (Voyager 6 was never launched, much to the chagrin of Star Trek fans.) Voyager 1’s trajectory was a faster path, getting it to Jupiter in March 1979. Voyager 2 arrived about four months later in July 1979. Both then sped on to Saturn.

Neptune was Voyager 2’s final planetary destination after passing Jupiter (closest approach July 9, 1979), Saturn (closest approach Aug. 26, 1981) and Uranus (closest approach Jan. 24, 1986).

After its encounter with Neptune, the spacecraft was rechristened the Voyager Interstellar Mission by NASA to take measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field, plasma and charged-particle environment. But mostly it’s searching for the heliopause, the distance at which the solar wind becomes subsumed by the more general interstellar wind. Voyager 2 is headed out of the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and a rate of about 300 million miles a year.

We may be able to communicate with Voyager 2 for another 10 years, when its radioactive power sources are predicted to become too weak to supply electricity to run the craft’s critical systems. Then it will be out of our solar system and out of touch, racing to parts unknown and untold.

The Undying Appeal of Nikola Tesla’s “Death Ray”

Despite a lack of evidence, many have been captivated by the electrical whiz’s most mysterious project.

Illustration of a large laser

U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency concept illustration of a Soviet anti-satellite laser, 1986. Wikimedia Commons


By the 1930s Nikola Tesla was in dire straits.

The onetime savant who had revolutionized the world with his electrical inventions was now a decrepit old man shuffling between hotels in Manhattan, hoarding newspapers and birdseed. When the unpaid bills at one hotel grew too large, he’d simply move on to another, his waning fame his only currency.

From the height of his celebrity, Tesla’s decline had been slow but steady. After his innovative work on electrical power in the late 1800s (specifically on alternating current), the young Serbian immigrant had branched out into radio and wireless power transmission in the early 1900s. Newspapers worldwide reported on his every undertaking, even the most eccentric, such as a 20-story tower in Colorado that built up huge electric charges and shot lightning bolts 135 feet long. The thunder generated was audible 15 miles away.

Black and white photo of elderly man

Nikola Tesla, age 76, October 1933.

Smithsonian Institution

So later, when Tesla started talking about even wilder projects—including a powerful new weapon he was working on—folks paid attention. “Tesla’s New Device Like Bolts of Thor,” thundered the New York Times in 1915. In fact, this new device would come to dominate the last decades of Tesla’s life.

Instead of lightning, Tesla said his new weapon would harness a beam of metal ions hurtling along at 270,000 miles per hour. As for how this beam was possible, Tesla was always coy, citing new laws of physics that “no one has ever dreamed about.” He nevertheless bragged about his work to any reporter who would listen: the “all-penetrating” beam would pack 100 billion watts into just one one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter.

Tesla teased his “teleforce” weapon for decades, saying it could shoot down airplanes from 250 miles away. The press landed on a different name for the invention: death ray. Despite claims to the contrary, Tesla never provided much proof that the death ray worked. But no one could quite dismiss the idea, either. After all, this was Tesla.

Hype about the weapon really took off in the run-up to World War II as Nazi Germany assembled a fearsome air force. The ability to shoot down airplanes from 250 miles away seemed like a godsend, and people in Tesla’s homeland, then called Yugoslavia, begged him to return home and install the rays to protect them from the Nazi menace.

Black and white photo of seated man surrounded by lightening

Photograph showing Nikola Tesla seated in his Colorado Springs lab while his high-voltage generator emits bolts of electricity. The image was created using double exposure, December 1899.

By the time the war began in 1939, Tesla’s health had deteriorated. He was deathly skinny and prone to fainting. By early 1943 he was living in a room on the 33rd floor of the New Yorker Hotel near Penn Station, a do not disturb sign permanently fixed to his door. On January 8 a maid ignored the sign, walked into the room, and found the old man dead—reportedly naked except for his socks. He was 86 years old. And with the fate of his death ray unclear, a massive scramble began.


Again, no one knew whether the death ray was real, but it might be the breakthrough the Allies needed to win the war. At the very least, American officials were terrified of Nazi Germany getting the weapon first, so they decided to seize Tesla’s papers. But someone beat them to the punch.

The Yugoslavian ambassador to the United States was actually Tesla’s nephew, Sava Kosanović, who had ridden his uncle’s coattails to his current post. Kosanović happened to be stationed in New York in 1943, and when he heard of his uncle’s passing he rushed over to the hotel.

Newspaper headline

While hotel managers looked on, Kosanović instructed a locksmith to crack open a safe in Tesla’s room. Inside, he found some honorary degrees, a gold medal, and a memorial book from Tesla’s 75th birthday. Kosanović took the memorial book, changed the safe combination, and left. All in all, it was a fairly innocent act—Tesla’s rightful heir inspecting his uncle’s things. But to paranoid types in the U.S. government, the visit didn’t seem innocent at all. They feared Kosanović was a spy. The FBI even considered arresting Kosanović for burglary.

Two days later another government agency, the Office of Alien Property, seized all of Tesla’s belongings and impounded them in a storage unit in Midtown Manhattan. (Tesla was a naturalized U.S. citizen, not an alien, so the agency probably didn’t have jurisdiction, but they weren’t about to let legal niceties interfere with national security.) The government then summoned an expert on high-voltage physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to go through Tesla’s papers and see whether the old inventor had actually harnessed the bolt of Thor.

The physicist arrived in New York on January 26 and spent two days going through the papers. He was not impressed. He said the ray work was mainly “speculative, philosophical, and promotional” in nature and included no “sound, workable principles or methods.” In short, a half-baked fantasy.

Illustration of war scene

Tesla proposed a number of frightening weapons during the latter half of his life.  This illustration, from the February 1922 issue of Science and Invention, depicts his vision of future wars—waged by crewless ships and aircrafts, which would be controlled and powered by radio waves.

Wikimedia Commons

But then came word from another hotel a few blocks away, where Tesla had lived before. He had left a mysterious package in the vault there—a supposed prototype of his death ray.

While the physicist and a few others looked on, the hotel manager opened the vault, bracing for an explosion. Inside stood a small cabinet covered in brown parcel paper. It was the physicist’s job to open it and determine what was inside.

But before he could, the hotel manager handed him a note penned by Tesla. It claimed the prototype inside was worth $10,000. More ominously, it said the box would detonate if opened incorrectly.

At this point the hotel staff scampered away—no doubt feeling lucky to escape with their lives. This left the physicist to face Tesla’s box. Despite himself, he was scared. What if Tesla really had come up with something? Or what if he’d booby-trapped the box, out of sheer paranoia?

After collecting his thoughts, the physicist steeled himself and began tearing off the brown paper. He must have laughed at what he saw underneath: a Wheatstone bridge, a tool for measuring electrical resistance. It was a common, mundane device—some old junk, really. It was certainly not a death ray, not even close.

illustrated movie poster

French poster for the Italian spy movie Il Raggio infernale (The Infernal Ray), 1967. While beam weapons have been a bust scientifically, they have had great success in popular culture.

CineMaterial

So did Tesla really believe he could create death rays? Perhaps. Plenty of geniuses have gone off the rails and become delusional in old age.

Or perhaps the whole thing was a swindle, a ploy to scare up funds for research on real science. (The Soviet government did, in fact, pay him $25,000 to investigate beam weapons in 1939.) Equally likely, the device in the vault, supposedly worth $10,000, might have been bogus collateral for hotel bills he couldn’t afford to pay.

Regardless, the physicist had seen enough. “I am willing to stake my professional reputation,” he said, that the death ray was bunk. Most government officials believed him—but not everyone.


After World War II ended, the Cold War ramped up quickly. American military leaders were desperate for an edge against the Communist Soviet Union, and some of them—dazzled by the name of Nikola Tesla—talked themselves into believing that death rays were real. They even started a top-secret military operation to build one, Project Nick.

Apparently nothing ever came of Project Nick—the military never released any details about the work. A frightening new development, however, quickly renewed American interest in beam weapons.

In 1952 Tesla’s nephew convinced a court to release his uncle’s papers. The U.S. government owned classified copies of the important ones, but the nephew sent the originals to a museum in Belgrade, in Communist Yugoslavia. Soviet scientists suddenly had access.

Illustration of orbiting laser weapons

U.S. Air Force artist’s concept of a ground-and-space–based anti-satellite weapons system, 1984.

Wikimedia Commons

Ominously, between the 1950s and 1970s, the Soviets made several cryptic announcements. Premier Nikita Khrushchev, for instance, once bragged that “a new and fantastic weapon was in the hatching stage.” In another case, a long exposé in Aviation Week & Space Technology included some leaked diagrams of a weapon that looked alarmingly similar to some then-unpublished work of Tesla’s. American officials were left trembling: were the Soviets on the brink of a superweapon?

The Americans ultimately responded with a new beam-weapon program under Ronald Reagan called the Strategic Defense Initiative—popularly known as Star Wars. It consisted of an array of orbiting satellites that would shoot down incoming missiles with lasers or particle beams. Star Wars was billed as a purely defensive measure, but, of course, any beam that powerful would make a heck of a weapon, too.

Three people in lab coats working on a satellite

Naval Research Lab technicians working on the Low-Power Atmospheric Compensation Experiment satellite, part of President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars program, October 1990.

Michael Savell/Wikimedia Commons

Star Wars, however, turned into a boondoggle. All told, the U.S. government spent billions on it—the program’s 1988 budget of $5.7 billion exceeded that of both NASA ($4.7 billion) and the National Science Foundation ($1.7 billion)—and to this day we have nothing to show for it. It simply didn’t work.

Nevertheless, the idea has continued to fire the imaginations of American hawks. Just last year Donald Trump proposed pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into another space-based defense program that would shoot down rogue nuclear missiles with particle beams.

That proposal seems ridiculous enough—wasting more money on a bum technology. But the idea is even more ludicrous coming from Donald Trump. Why? Because the MIT physicist who exposed the death ray as fake news was none other than Trump’s paternal uncle, John.


John Trump assembled a brilliant scientific résumé over his career. During World War II he served as a director at the famed MIT Radiation Lab, which played a crucial role in developing radar. John also worked directly with General Eisenhower’s team and rode into liberated Paris with Eisenhower in 1944. Scientifically, he spent decades teaching and doing research at MIT—one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. More importantly, he figured out ways to harness high-voltage physics for humanitarian projects, such as shrinking tumors with targeted radiation and zapping pathogens in sewer sludge.

When the military went looking for scientists to build Star Wars, John Trump refused to help.

“John, over a period of three decades, would be approached by people of all sorts because he could make megavolt beams of ions and electrons—death rays,” remarked his MIT colleague James Melcher in a 1988 article in Science for the People. “What did he do with [this knowledge]? Cancer research, sterilizing sludge . . . all sorts of wondrous things. He didn’t touch the weapons stuff.”

His career culminated with the National Medal of Science in 1983.

Black and white photo of two men looking at a machine

Physicist John Trump (left) and MIT colleague Robert Van de Graaff inspect an electrostatic generator, ca. 1960s.

Nikola Tesla secretly discovered an extraterrestrial language that he didn’t understand, Tesla’s biographer revealed

Nikola Tesla secretly discovered an extraterrestrial language that he didn’t understand, Tesla’s biographer revealed..

I n 1899, Nikola Tesla was testing a transmitter he built to track storms 1,000 km away, when suddenly, he believed he had received a kind of transmission from an unknown source. He thought it was an extraterrestrial signal originating somewhere within our solar system, possibly coming from Mars. Tesla’s transmitter was ultrasensitive enough to receive radio waves from far beyond Earth. Nikola Tesla firmly believed that it was absurd to think that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe. He also believed that intelligent beings would naturally look for ways to communicate with other intelligent beings.

Tim R. Swartz, a well-known biographer of Nikola Tesla, also says there may have been a connection between the futuristic inventor and intelligent aliens, according to his semiautobiographical book “The Lost Papers of Nikola Tesla”. This hypothesis does nothing more than accentuate the mystery surrounding Tesla, whose personal documents and notes, for the most part, were confiscated by the US government. Many people think that his inventions could be potentially dangerous to the interests of the industry.

As explained by Swartz, during the test of one of his many inventions, Tesla detected radio transmissions that adjudged to extraterrestrial communications. After this event, the inventor would have become obsessed with building better and more powerful radio receivers.

While testing the device, Swartz claimed in an interview, Nikola Tesla overheard radio transmissions he believed were actually attributed to extraterrestrial communications: “H e wondered at the time if he wasn’t listening to ‘one planet greeting another,’ as he put it. From that point on, it became somewhat of an obsession of his, to build better and better radio receivers to try to see if he could repeat what he heard. He got to the point where he claimed that he was actually receiving voice transmissions. He said it sounded just like people talking back and forth to each other. He made notes saying that he was actually hearing an intelligence. At the time, it was surmised by prominent scientists that Mars would be a likely haven for intelligent life in our solar system, and Tesla at first thought these signals may be originating from our red planet. Beings from another planet talking to each other, although he didn’t know what language they were speaking. But he still felt he understood them.”

While Tesla’s most prominent records and personal notes are in the hands of the United States Army, Swartz claims to have acquired a number of private records at a 1976 auction. The author claims that all this information was missing from the face of the Earth after the visit of the alleged “Men in Black”. As noted by National Geographic, most of Tesla’s were taken by the government but most of his belongings were later released to his family, and many ended up in the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, which opened in the 1950s. But some of Tesla’s papers are still classified by the U.S. government.

When interviewed in February 1901 by Colliers Weekly (American magazine, founded in 1888 by Peter Collier), Tesla gave this account and recorded his belief in extraterrestrials. Here, in his own words, he described, “W hile I was improving my machines for the production of intense electrical currents, I was also perfecting the means to observe the small effects. One of the most interesting results and also of great practical importance, was the development of certain devices to indicate an approaching storm from a distance of many hundreds of kilometres, its direction, speed and distance covered.

It was by doing this work that, for the first time, I discovered these mysterious effects that aroused such unusual interest. I had perfected the device so much, that from my laboratory in the mountains of Colorado I could observe all the electrical changes that occurred within a radius of more than 1,000 km away I will never forget the first sensations I experienced when I realized that I had seen something of incalculable consequences for humanity. I felt as if I was present at the birth of new knowledge or in the revelation of a great truth. My first observations positively terrified me, because there was something mysterious, if not supernatural, about them, and I was alone in my laboratory at night but at that time the idea that these disturbances were intelligently controlled signals had not yet presented itself to me The changes I noticed were occurring periodically and with such clear precision, in terms of number and order, that they were not traceable to any cause known to me. I was familiar, of course, with the types of electrical disturbances produced by the Sun, Northern Lights and terrestrial currents, and I was absolutely certain that these variations were not due to any of these causes.

The nature of my experiments prevented the possibility of the changes being produced by atmospheric disturbances, as has been wrongly stated by some. It was sometime later when the thought came to my mind that the disturbances I had observed could be due to intelligent control. The crucial point was that, although Nikola Tesla could not decipher the meaning of the messages he received, he believed that aliens were interested in Earth and being more technologically advanced left their marks on our planet. He was absolutely convinced that somewhere in the universe there were intelligent life forms and that they were trying to communicate with us. Although I was unable, at the time, to decipher their meaning, it was impossible to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling that I was the first to hear a greeting from one planet to another has been growing steadily in me. A purpose was behind these electrical signals.”

The Birth of Jupiter’s Mysterious Auroral Storms Has Been Observed For The First Time

Just as Earth has spectacular auroras, so too do other Solar System planets have their own versions of the atmospheric light show.

Jupiter, in fact, has the most powerful auroras in the Solar System – invisible to our eyes, but glowing brilliantly in ultraviolet wavelengths.

Because Jupiter is so wildly different from Earth, scientists are deeply invested in learning what drives these incredible atmospheric phenomena – and they just got a new clue. Thanks to the Juno orbiter, we’ve now observed for the first time the onset of Jupiter’s mysterious auroral dawn storm.

Jupiter’s auroras are produced by a constant rain of high-energy electrons mostly stripped from Io’s atmosphere. These are accelerated along magnetic field lines to Jupiter’s poles, where they fall into the upper atmosphere and interact with the gases to produce a glow.

This is unlike Earth’s auroras, which are produced by particles from the solar wind. Also unlike Earth’s auroras, Jupiter’s auroras are permanent, and can behave quite differently.

One of these behaviors is the dawn storm – an intense brightening and broadening of the aurora at dawn, first observed in 1994. However, these dawn storms start on the night side of the pole, and we’d never been able to see them forming until NASA’s Juno probe arrived on the scene.

“Observing Jupiter’s aurora from Earth does not allow you to see beyond the limb, into the night side of Jupiter’s poles,” explained astronomer Bertrand Bonfond of the University of Liège in Belgium.

“Explorations by other spacecraft – Voyager, Galileo, Cassini – happened from relatively large distances and did not fly over the poles, so they could not see the complete picture. That’s why the Juno data is a real game-changer, allowing us a better understanding of what is happening on the night side, where the dawn storms are born.”

dawn storm evolution

The emergence of a dawn storm. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/UVS/ULiège/Bonfond)

Dawn storms are really something. They start on the night side of the planet, rotating into view as dawn breaks, transforming Jupiter’s aurora into a blazing ultraviolet beacon, giving off hundreds to thousands of gigawatts of light – at least 10 times more energy than the usual Jovian aurora. They persist for a few hours before subsiding into more normal energy levels.

Because the two planets have such differences between their auroras, the process that generates the dawn storm was expected to be unlike any processes seen in Earth’s auroras. Surprisingly, however, the data from Juno’s ultraviolet spectrograph looked oddly familiar.

“When we looked at the whole dawn storm sequence, we couldn’t help but notice that the dawn storm auroras at Jupiter are very similar to a type of terrestrial auroras called substorms,” said astronomer Zhonghua Yao of the University of Liège.

Earth’s auroral substorms are amazing to see. They occur when Earth’s magnetosphere is disturbed by electric currents, resulting in an explosive release of energy into the ionosphere. There, the energy is dissipated as a complex, dancing aurora that can last several hours.

Substorms are strongly influenced by the solar wind and the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field. But Earth’s magnetosphere is dominated by interactions with the solar wind; Jupiter’s is filled with plasma stripped from Io, which is controlled by the planet’s location.

According to the team’s analysis, Jupiter’s auroral dawn storms are influenced by an over-spill of plasma from Io, rather than the solar wind; but the result is the same, a disturbance of the magnetosphere resulting in an explosive release of energy.

In both cases, a build-up of plasma and energy gradually increases instability in the system until boom – auroral storm.https://www.youtube.com/embed/jQNLMoot-Bs

This can only increase our understanding of the auroral processes on both planets, and could help us better understand aurora on other bodies in the future – including brown dwarfs, which have strong enough auroras to detect across interstellar space, even when they are nowhere near a star.

“Although the ‘engine’ of the auroras on Earth and Jupiter is very different, showing for the first time the links between the two systems allows us to identify universal phenomena and to distinguish them from the particularities relative to each planet,” Yao said.

“The magnetospheres of the Earth and Jupiter store energy through very different mechanisms, but when this accumulation reaches a breaking point, the two systems release this energy explosively in a surprisingly similar way.”

The research has been published in AGU Advances.

Microbes Unknown to Science Discovered on The International Space Station

The menagerie of bacterial and fungal species living among us is ever growing – and this is no exception in low-gravity environments, such as the International Space Station (ISS).

Researchers from the United States and India working with NASA have now discovered four strains of bacteria living in different places in the ISS – three of which were, until now, completely unknown to science.

Three of the four strains were isolated back in 2015 and 2016 – one was found on an overhead panel of the ISS research stations, the second was found in the Cupola, the third was found on the surface of the dining table; the fourth was found in an old HEPA filter returned to Earth in 2011.  

All four of the strains belong to a family of bacteria found in soil and freshwater; they are involved in nitrogen fixation, plant growth, and can help stop plant pathogens. Basically, good bacteria to have around if you’re growing things.

You might wonder what such soil bacteria were doing all the way up on the ISS, but the astronauts living on the space station have been growing small amounts of food for years, so it’s unsurprising that we’ve found plant-related microbes aboard.

One of the strains – the HEPA-filter find – was identified as a known species called Methylorubrum rhodesianum. The other three were sequenced and found to all belong to the same, previously unidentified species, and the strains were named IF7SW-B2T, IIF1SW-B5, and IIF4SW-B5.

The team, lead by University of Southern California geneticist Swati Bijlani, has proposed calling the new species Methylobacterium ajmalii after Ajmal Khan, a renowned Indian biodiversity scientist. This new find is also closely related to an already known species called M. indicum.

“To grow plants in extreme places where resources are minimal, isolation of novel microbes that help to promote plant growth under stressful conditions is essential,” two of the team, Kasthuri Venkateswaran and Nitin Kumar Singh from NASA’s JPL, explained in a press statement.

Considering we already know that these microbes can survive the harsh conditions of the ISS, the team put the four strains through genetic analysis to look for genes that could be used to help promote plant growth.

“The whole genome sequence assembly of these three ISS strains reported here will enable the comparative genomic characterization of ISS isolates with Earth counterparts in future studies,” the team writes in their study.

“This will further aid in the identification of genetic determinants that might potentially be responsible for promoting plant growth under microgravity conditions and contribute to the development of self-sustainable plant crops for long-term space missions in future.”

The researchers found that one of the ISS strains – IF7SW-B2T – had promising genes involved in plant growth, including a gene for an enzyme essential for cytokinin, which promotes cell division in roots and shoots.

There’s much more research to be done here – the researchers acknowledge that they’ve barely scratched the surface of microbial diversity on the space station. Around 1,000 samples have already been collected on the ISS, but are still awaiting a trip back to Earth.

Just imagine the exciting space-faring microbes we are yet to discover!

The research has been published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

The Fermi Paradox Revisited

If we haven’t heard from extraterrestrials, maybe it’s because we’re not using the right technology—yet

800px-Enrico_Fermi_1943-49.jpg
More than 60 years after Fermi posed his famous question, “they” still haven’t shown up. (National Archives and Records Administration)

The Fermi Paradox is one of the major unanswered questions in astrobiology. It started with physicist Enrico Fermi, who in 1950 asked his co-workers over lunch: “Where are they?” What he meant was intelligent extraterrestrials. If there are billions and billions of stars and probably even more planets, why have we not already been in contact with extraterrestrial (ET) civilizations?

This is even more puzzling since our Sun and Earth are relatively young, meaning that life could have originated on other worlds long before it did here, and intelligent beings on those planets could easily be millions of years ahead of us.

There are two principle answers to the paradox: The alien civilizations are (1) present but for some reason we can’t detect them, or (2) they simply are not there, or at least not in our vicinity. In regard to the first option, Star Trek’s prime directive comes to mind, or perhaps a scientific variation of the Zoo hypothesis (aliens don’t interfere with us because we are an unstable emerging civilization).

There are in fact so many possible solutions to the Fermi Paradox that whole books are written about it. Nevertheless, assuming aliens are around us, shouldn’t there be some evidence? Well, not necessarily. Carl Sagan pointed out that if an ET civilization is far ahead of us, their actions would appear to us as magic. Just imagine us flying a spy drone over our Stone Age ancestors!

What about the so-called UFO sightings that we astrobiologists are sometimes asked about (see, for example, the top UFO cases of 2012 as judged by the Mutual UFO Network). On one hand, I believe that we scientists are sometimes too dismissive of eyewitness reports, and too quick to rationalize them away as natural phenomena or hallucinations. On the other hand, we rely on the scientific method, and reported sightings are not reproducible events that we can test in the laboratory.

What about the second answer—that aliens simply do not exist? The Drake equation, which is usually used to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe, includes a term for the probability of life originating on a planet. If this term is near zero, the number of expected ET civilizations is near zero. Usually we assume that life on Earth was not a singular event, and that it would have happened elsewhere under similar conditions, but we don’t know for sure. We still don’t know how life occurred on Earth, and what ingredients were needed. It’s possible that the rise of intelligent civilizations is such a rare event that the next civilization with our kind of technology is thousands or even millions of light years away.

Or perhaps there’s another possibility, which I raised once at a SETI meeting when we were examining the question of why we haven’t had a positive detection yet. Imagine using a walkie-talkie in modern New York, and wondering why no one responds on your frequency. It’s because everyone is on Facebook or Twitter! So it might be with ET, who may be using technology well advanced of our own.

A new runway could be coming to an airport near you… in 2050

Could CIRCULAR runways take off? Aerospace tests show circle designs would increase capacity, allow for simultaneous landings and take-offs and remove the risk of crosswinds

  • The runway would be built as a 2.2 mile wide circle around an airport terminal
  • Aircraft can avoid risky crosswinds by landing in any direction, says scientist
  • It would allow for a high volume of traffic as several takeoffs and landings could take place simultaneously

Circular runways could revolutionise commercial aviation while increasing the capacity of airports by 2050, according to a leading Dutch scientist.   

Built as a 2.2mile-wide circle nearly seven miles in circumference around an airport, the runway would allow for a high volume of traffic as several takeoffs and landings could take place simultaneously. 

The design is safer than conventional airports because aircraft can avoid dangerous crosswinds by landing in any direction, according to Henk Hesselink, an engineer at Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR). Circular runways Circular runways could revolutionise commercial aviation while increasing the capacity of airports by 2050, according to a leading Dutch scientist+3

Circular runways could revolutionise commercial aviation while increasing the capacity of airports by 2050, according to a leading Dutch scientist

Built as a 2.2 mile wide circle around an airport terminal, the runway would allow for a high volume of traffic as several takeoffs and landings could take place simultaneously

Built as a 2.2 mile wide circle around an airport terminal, the runway would allow for a high volume of traffic as several takeoffs and landings could take place simultaneously

Without crosswind holding up flights and causing delays, planes would be able to land and take off more frequently, increasing airport capacity. 

Being able to land from any direction also means planes are not required to fly over residential areas as often, lowering noise pollution.

Even when airports are in heavily-populated areas, the flights can be spread out over a greater number of flight paths so homes around the airfield would ‘share’ the noise between them rather than the same households having to put up with all of the noise.  

The endless runway design has a slight incline and curve as it surrounds the entire airport, similar to high-speed car test tracks.

‘We need to rethink the way we are dealing with airports, with capacity, with the environment,’ Hesselink told Mashable

‘We are looking for a solution where aircraft can take off and land under any weather conditions.’ 

A singular circular runway could handle the traffic of four conventional runways and takes up less space, according to Hesselink.

 The design is safer than conventional airports because aircraft can avoid dangerous crosswinds by landing in any direction, according to Henk Hesselink, an engineer at Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)+3

The design is safer than conventional airports because aircraft can avoid dangerous crosswinds by landing in any direction, according to Henk Hesselink, an engineer at Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)

The landing aircraft can also be routed away from residential areas to reduce noise pollution because they are not dependent on a standard approach path

The landing aircraft can also be routed away from residential areas to reduce noise pollution because they are not dependent on a standard approach path

There have already been some trials on a circular track with fighter pilots who have landed there.

‘These pilots reported in the beginning it was a bit strange but after two or three trials they reported it is very well possible,’ Hesselink added.   

The radical circular runway is part of an effort to increase capacity at airports amid increasing levels of traffic. Scientists believe mobility will be stressed in the coming decades and new technology will be necessary. 

‘We can keep on optimizing the system, but at a certain moment, small steps don’t work any more and we really need a new idea to cope with the anticipated traffic,’ said Hesselink.

The circular design is part of ‘The Endless Runway‘ project, led by a team of Dutch scientists from the NLR.  

The work has been carried with partners in The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Poland.   

Is It Actually Possible To Travel To Parallel Universes?

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Theoretically, how can I travel to a parallel universe?

You’re doing it every time you make a decision.

Let me explain, before going all reality based on me.

While only hypothetical, there is a possibility that there are an infinite number of universes out there. I know, I know… universe technically means “everything”. But there is at least one prevailing theory with some compelling evidence… We exist.

There are an infinite number of possibilities for physical laws. A universe may have any number of gravitational strengths, energy may behave differently, matter might be non existent. The fact that we are in this “Goldilocks” universe, not too hot or too cold, suggests there may be an infinite number out there. In fact, if the strength of gravity was changed just a very minute amount (I’m talking by trillionths of a fraction), our universe would be very different than it is now, without stars, or crushed back to a singularity before it could inflate for more than a few years.

This is called the Many Worlds Interpretation, or MWI, originally formulated by Hugh Everett in 1957.

In MWI, there is a view that every action that has the possibility of one outcome or another, will actually produce two, each diverging into a new, and alternate universe.

Take the Schrodinger’s Cat mind experiment. A cat is placed in a box that is sound proof and completely enclosing, preventing any indication of what is happening inside the box from reaching an outside observer. Inside this box is a device that will release a deadly poison that can kill that cat. The release of this poison is dependent upon a very small amount of a radioactive substance in which the chance of one atom decaying in one hour is 50/50. If the atom decays, the poison is released and the cat is killed.

Erwin Schrodinger posited that while the cat was in the box, it was neither alive or dead, but in a state somewhere in between. It wasn’t until the box was opened and the fate of the cat observed that the actual state coalesced into one of either dead or alive. In other words, the observation actually dictated an outcome.

MWI says that upon observation, the cat is both alive and dead, but in a divergent universe. If we observe the cat as alive, a parallel universe is created at that moment in which our dopplegangers are observing a dead cat.

These are all mind experiments, admittedly, but seriously considered in some circles.

If this is the case, we are travelling into parallel universes all the time, but we just don’t know it, since it appears to be continuous from the previous moments we have experienced.

Largest asteroid to pass Earth this year will zoom by on March 21

2001 FO32 won’t come any closer than 1.25 million miles

The largest asteroid predicted to pass by Earth this year will reach its closest point on March 21.

The space rock, which formed at the dawn of the solar system and was discovered in March 2001, is called 2001 FO32.

According to a Thursday NASA release, the asteroid won’t come any closer than 1.25 million miles — five and a quarter times the distance from the Earth to the moon — and will fly by at 77,000 miles per hour.

Researchers believe the asteroid’s diameter is likely less than 1 kilometer.

There is no present threat of a collision with Earth, nor will there be for centuries to come. 

That said, 2001 FO32’s path will present astronomers with a rare opportunity to closely observe the planetoid because 1.25 million miles is still relatively close in astronomical terms. 

NASA explained that this technicality is the reason why the asteroid has been designated “potentially hazardous” and the agency assured that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) works to “help precisely characterize every NEO’s orbit to improve long-term hazard assessments.”

“We know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 around the Sun very accurately, since it was discovered 20 years ago and has been tracked ever since,” CNEOS Director Paul Chodas said. “There is no chance the asteroid will get any closer to Earth than 1.25 million miles.”

In addition, the asteroid’s speedy approach is due to its steeply inclined and elongated orbit around the sun.

After its March 21 fly-by, 2001 FO32 won’t come close to the Earth again until 2052. The asteroid will be visible with a moderate-sized telescope with apertures of at least 8 inches in the nights leading up to the closest approach.

The last notably large asteroid close to the Earth was 1998 OR2 in April of last year. 

More than 95% of near-Earth asteroids the size of 2001 FO32 have been discovered and tracked and none of the large asteroids has any chance of impacting Earth over the next century, according to the agency.

2020 saw a record number of asteroids fly past the Earth, according to the scientific journal Nature

It reported on Thursday that scientists had cataloged 2,958 previously unknown near-Earth asteroids despite the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 107 of which had passed Earth at a distance less than that of the Moon.

The current known asteroid count is 1,068,721.

US Intelligence Has Less Than 6 Months To Share Information On UFOs, 11 Reported Sightings In Maryland In 2021

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — If you dig deeper into the big pandemic bill and spending package passed in December 2020, you’ll see an unusual demand. U.S. intelligence agencies have less than six months to tell Congress what they know about “unidentified aerial phenomena” or what’s better known as UFOs.

Marc Gershuny remembers his first sighting like it was yesterday.

“I looked up at the sun and right under the sun was a black UFO,” Gershuny said. “It was the standard saucer shape with a little dome on the top.”

Credit: MUFON

It happened while he was with his son.

“He couldn’t see it but I could see it as clearly as the nose on your face,” he said.

Since then he’s had multiple sightings.

“I’ve seen UFOs right here on the corner by my house — a ball of molten metal glowing white plasma ball that just you know gently floated overhead and then past over the trees,” Gershuny said. “My wife and I both saw that.”

Gershuny is now the president of Maryland’s chapter of the UFO Network, also known as MUFON. They investigate sightings in the state.

Maryland has seen eleven cases already this year.

And soon his belief in UFOs could be corroborated. As a part of the COVID-19 relief and spending bill, intelligence agencies have less than six months to tell Congress what they know about UFOs.

“If it’s something from outside this planet that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

But for Gershuny, he hopes this report will shed light on what may loom in our universe.

“I think it’s good though for the country and I think it’s good for civilization as we evolve to understand what’s really going on out there,” he said.

WATCH: Mysterious Flying Object caught on Ring Doorbell camera in Florida

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Lynn Haven resident, Chris Miller sent in a video where a mysterious flying object is caught on his Ring Doorbell camera.

Miller said his wife was at the gym when she told him to check the doorbell’s camera because there was something on it.

He said it sounded like a jet engine but was shocked to see the size of the object.

Miller says he has no idea what it could be and even asked friends their opinions who said they didn’t know either.

So tell us, what do you think it is?

Meteor seen over New England, Canada explodes with force of 440 lbs of TNT

The space rock was seen hurtling through the Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday afternoon

fireball flashed through the night sky in New England on Sunday, releasing the energy of around 440 pounds of TNT. 

NASA Meteor Watch reported on Monday that as residents witnessed the meteor streaking over Vermont and Massachusetts, the space rock “fragmented violently, producing a pressure wave that rattled buildings and generated the sound heard by those near the trajectory.”

Fireball over northern Vermont
Eyewitnesses in the NorthEast and Canada are reporting seeing a bright fireball this evening around 5:38 PM Eastern Standard Time. Analysis of their reports shows that the meteor occurred over northern Vermont, first appearing at a height of 52 miles (84 kilometers) above Mount Mansfield State Forest. Moving northeast at 47,000 miles per hour (21 kilometers per second), it traversed 33 miles (53 kilometers) through the upper atmosphere before burning up 33 miles (53 kilometers) above Beach Hill in Orleans County south of Newport.
We hope to refine the trajectory as more reports and hopefully some videos filter in.

Although the agency had initially believed the meteor — which was likely a fragment of an asteroid — to have been moving at a rate of 47,000 miles per hour when it appeared at around 5:38 p.m. ET, further analysis slowed that rate down to 42,000 miles per hour. 

NASA Meteor Watch had first reported that the meteor was visible at a height of 52 miles above the Green Mountain State’s Mount Mansfield State Forest and moving northeast as it traversed 33 miles through the upper atmosphere until it burned up 33 miles above Beach Hill.

“As the object … penetrated deeper into the atmosphere, pressure built up on its front while a partial vacuum formed behind it. About 30 miles up, the pressure difference between front and back exceeded its structural strength,” NASA Meteor Watch wrote.

Furthermore, the pressure wave experienced after its fragmentation could cause minor tremors and be detected by infrasound stations.

“In the case of last night, we were obtained infrasound measurements from three nearby stations — the amplitudes and durations of the signals put the energy of the fireball fragmentation at 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of TNT,” the government organization wrote. “We can combine this energy with the speed to get a mass and size of the object — 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and 6 inches (15 centimeters) in diameter.”

More than 100 reports were made to the American Meteor Society from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Canadaaccording to WMUR.

In a video of the incident posted by Twitter user Jeremy LaClair, the fireball was captured on a webcam at Burlington International Airport, with other witnesses chiming in with their own accounts. 

Even more people commented on NASA’s post on Facebook and user Shannon Lemley-Willis wrote she had heard the “boom” in Johnson, Vermont. 

“Kids were playing outside and described it as ‘big trucks crashing,'” she wrote.

“I didn’t get a video, but I definitely saw it in Watertown, MA. It was dusk, so the sky was fading to a deeper blue, and I saw a bright red, orange and yellow streak to the north of me,” wrote Dan Nystedt. “I thought it must have been something much bigger than a standard ‘shooting star’ to be so visible when not totally dark yet.”

A fireball is a meteor with a magnitude of brightness that’s greater than -4, or the brightness of the planet Venus in the morning or night sky, according to the American Meteor Society.

Whereas, a meteor is the streak of light seen when an asteroid or meteoroid enter’s the Earth’s atmosphere, according to NASA. If an asteroid or meteoroid does not burn up before impact, it is called a meteorite.

First Video of an Actual Time Crystal Produced – But What Are They?

Physicists Directly Image Space-Time Crystal

Space-time crystals are time-periodic self-organized structures postulated by the Nobel laureate in physics Frank Wilczek in 2012. In new research, physicists from Germany and Poland transferred this concept to quasiparticles called magnons and experimentally demonstrated a space-time crystal at room temperature; they also directly imaged it using a scanning transmission X-ray microscope.

“We took the regularly recurring pattern of magnons in space and time, sent more magnons in, and they eventually scattered,” said first author Nick Träger, a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

“Thus, we were able to show that the time crystal can interact with other quasiparticles.”

“No one has yet been able to show this directly in an experiment, let alone in a video.”

In their experiment, Träger and colleagues placed a strip of magnetic material on a microscopic antenna through which they sent a radio-frequency current.

This microwave field triggered an oscillating magnetic field, a source of energy that stimulated the magnons in the strip.

Magnetic waves migrated into the strip from left and right, spontaneously condensing into a recurring pattern in space and time.

Unlike trivial standing waves, this pattern was formed before the two converging waves could even meet and interfere.

The pattern, which regularly disappears and reappears on its own, must therefore be a quantum effect.

Träger et al. experimentally demonstrated a driven space-time crystal at room temperature: (a) sketch of the sample with one magnonic permalloy (Py) stripe and a coplanar waveguide; (b) snapshot of a time-resolved scanning transmission X-ray microscopy movie; the gray scale represents the mz component; (c) phase and amplitude map at fcw after FFT in time through each pixel of the scanning transmission X-ray microscopy movie; the color code shows the amplitude and phase information. Image credit: Träger et al., doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.126.057201.

“Not only can it make the wavefronts visible with very high resolution, which is 20 times better than the best light microscope,” said Dr. Gisela Schütz, also from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

“It can even do so at up to 40 billion frames per second and with extremely high sensitivity to magnetic phenomena as well.”

“We were able to show that such space-time crystals are much more robust and widespread than first thought,” said co-author Dr. Pawel Gruszecki, a scientist in the Faculty of Physics at the Adam Mickiewicz University.

“Our crystal condenses at room temperature and particles can interact with it — unlike in an isolated system.”

“Moreover, it has reached a size that could be used to do something with this magnonic space-time crystal. This may result in many potential applications.”

“Classical crystals have a very broad field of applications,” said senior author Dr. Joachim Gräfe, also from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

“Now, if crystals can interact not only in space but also in time, we add another dimension of possible applications. The potential for communication, radar or imaging technology is huge.”

The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

First Ever Space Hurricane Spotted in Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

The 600-mile-wide swirling cloud of charged particles rained down electrons from several hundred miles above the North Pole

space hurricane
An illustration based on the satellite observation data from the first confirmed instance of a space hurricane. (Qing-He Zhang, Shandong University)

Researchers have used satellite observations to identify what they’re calling a “space hurricane” in Earth’s upper atmosphere, Nature reports. The results, published last month in the journal Nature Communications, represent the first time a space hurricane has ever been detected over our planet.

The team spotted the churning mass of charged particles—ionized gas called plasma—hovering several hundred miles above the North Pole during a retrospective analysis of data collected in August 2014, reports Doyle Rice for USA Today.

“Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible,” Mike Lockwood, an astrophysicist at the University of Reading and co-author of the paper, in a statement.

The space hurricane described in the paper measured roughly 600 miles across and rained down charged electrons instead of water for nearly eight hours as it spun counter-clockwise at speeds up to 4,700 miles-per-hour, per the paper.

The 2014 space hurricane occurred during a period of relatively low geomagnetic activity, which created a puzzle, since it meant the space hurricane wasn’t the result of Earth’s ionosphere being lashed by the solar winds of a stormy sun.

“Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere,” explains Lockwood in the statement. To try to figure out what was going on the team created a computer model, which suggested that the rapid transfer of energy may have occurred because of reconnecting interplanetary magnetic field lines, reports Michelle Starr for Science Alert.

The researchers say finding a space hurricane during a period of low geomagnetic activity increases the likelihood they are a common occurrence in the universe.

“Plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of planets exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomena,” says Lockwood in the statement.

Researchers say this first observation is unlikely to be the last. Qing-He Zhang, a space scientist at Shandong University who led the new research, tells Becky Ferreira of Vice that his team has already identified “tens of space hurricane events” in the same trove of satellite data that produced this first confirmed instance of the phenomenon.

Studying these other space hurricanes is of interest not just for the sake of gaining knowledge about the universe, but because it could help us get better at predicting space weather, which can disrupt satellites, radar and communication systems vital to life on Earth.

The moon has a tail that sends beams across Earth, researchers say

The tail made of sodium particles is not visible to the naked eye

The moon has a “comet-like” tail made of millions of sodium atoms, researchers reported this week.

While the lunar surface is hit by solar wind, UV photons and meteorids, atoms liberated by the impact are pushed by light pressure into “a long comet‐like tail” opposite the sun, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

“Near [a] New Moon, these atoms encounter the Earth’s gravity and are ‘focused’ into a beam of enhanced density,” the Boston University astrophysicists wrote in their abstract

When the New Moon shifts between the Earth and the sun, the downflowing structure’s “beam” shoots around the Blue Marble’s atmosphere as well as out into space.

Although the tail is invisible to the naked eye — sunlight reflected from the moon’s surface is perhaps a million times brighter — it can be viewed using sensitive cameras equipped with filters tuned to the orange light emitted by the sodium atoms.

While ground-based spectrographs detected sodium atoms in the moon’s thin atmosphere in 1998, data gathered from the El Leoncito Observatory’s All-Sky-Imager revealed details about changes to the shape and brightness. 

For example, the spot is brighter when the New Moon occurs at the point of orbit at which it is closest to the Earth, when the New Moon is north of the ecliptic path and approximately five hours after the New Moon.

Dr. Luke Moore, a senior research scientist at Boston University and the study’s co-author, told Fox News on Saturday that Boston University’s Imaging Science Lab maintains a global network of similar cameras that was crucial to the study.

“This network turned out to be ideal for studying the ‘Sodium Moon Spot’ (SMS), or the lunar sodium tail that can be seen near New Moon, however, because they are constantly operating,” he said.

“Thus, while this study focuses on understanding the long-term variation of the SMS from one site, it is also possible to see the lunar tail from multiple observatories simultaneously.”

After long-term study, researchers found a correlation between the brightness of the SMS spot and the rate at which meteors hit the planet, controlling the spot’s brightness and flicker.

An airplane flies against the backdrop of the rising moon after taking off from Miami International airport, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, above Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

An airplane flies against the backdrop of the rising moon after taking off from Miami International airport, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, above Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (AP)

While annual meteor showers can coincide with a brighter beam, impacts by sporadic meteors are more closely related to its brightness — potentially due to the amount of energy they produce.

SpaceX’s Starship SN10 Successfully Lands After Amazing Flight. Dismantles Itself Spectacularly.

Two earlier flights of the Starship rocket crashed spectacularly. This one returned to the ground in one piece, then blew up.

SpaceX Lands Starship Rocket for the First Time

SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Starship rocket prototype on Wednesday, an important milestone for the company’s founder, Elon Musk, and his hope to one day send humans to Mars and beyond.

Five, four, three, two, one, ignition. We have liftoff. Acknowledge software. FC2 please prepare for Section 35, OAC, SE1 and LVN. SpaceX Lands Starship Rocket for the First Time. SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Starship rocket prototype on Wednesday, an important milestone for the company’s founder, Elon Musk, and his hope to one day send humans to Mars and beyond.

Two spectacular flights, two spectacular crash landings. The third time was almost the charm.

On Wednesday, SpaceX launched another high-altitude flight of Starship, a huge next-generation spacecraft that Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of the private rocket company, dreams of sending to Mars. It returned to the ground and set down in one piece, but then lit up in another fiery blast minutes after the landing.

As the sun set over the test site in Boca Chica, Tex., close to Brownsville, the latest prototype, designated SN10, lifted off, its stainless steel exterior gaining a purple hue as it ascended toward an altitude of just over six miles, well below the orbital heights that SpaceX one day intends to achieve.

It was the second launch attempt of the day. Three hours earlier, liftoff was aborted with just a fraction of a second left in the countdown. The engines had already ignited but were then shut off when the computer on board the Starship detected too much thrust from one of the engines. The engineers decided that the problem was not significant, adjusted the software, refueled the rocket and tried again.

At about 6:15 p.m. Eastern time, the three engines ignited again, and this time they stayed on. The rocket rose into the Texas sky, and, by design, the engines shut down one by one as the rocket approached an altitude of six miles.

“Very nice, very nice,” said John Insprucker, a SpaceX engineer narrating the company’s webcast.

SpaceX’s Starship prototype launched and landed in one piece on Wednesday in Boca Chica, Tex., but exploded shortly after setting back down at its test site.
SpaceX’s Starship prototype launched and landed in one piece on Wednesday in Boca Chica, Tex., but exploded shortly after setting back down at its test site.Credit…SpaceX, via Associated Press

The Starship then tipped over to a horizontal position, in essence belly flopping through the atmosphere in a controlled fall back toward the ground. The rocket then fired its engines again to flip back into a vertical position and slowed down to a gentle landing.

As the smoke cleared, SN10 was still standing, but tilted. Mr. Insprucker declared the test a success. While earlier flights to this altitude had ended in fiery crashes, this time the rocket landed in one piece. But the landing legs appeared to fail, leaving the rocket standing but leaning at the landing pad.

“The key point of today’s test flight was to gather the data on controlling the vehicle while re-entering,” Mr. Insprucker said on the webcast. “And we were successful in doing so.”

A few minutes later, after SpaceX began its recovery operations of the vehicle and had concluded its video feed, video cameras operated by the website NASA Spaceflight captured an explosion that sent the rocket on an unplanned second hop, disintegrating in flames.

The SN10 prototype burst into flames and exploded soon after landing.
The SN10 prototype burst into flames and exploded soon after landing.Credit…NASASpaceflight

A leak in a propellant tank may have caused the explosion.

The previous test, on Feb. 2, occurred after a skirmish between SpaceX and the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates rocket launches. The F.A.A. said that the earlier December launch had occurred without the agency’s approval. SpaceX had requested a waiver to conduct that flight even though it had not shown that a pressure wave that could be generated by an explosion during the test would not pose a danger to the public. The F.A.A. denied the request. SpaceX launched anyway.

After an investigation, the F.A.A. allowed SpaceX to go forward with the February launch. When that flight ended in another crash, the agency again asked for an investigation, which appears to have proceeded with less difficulty. The agency granted approval for the test on Wednesday.

Spectators who gathered at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island, Texas, for the test flight in February got a fiery, explosive finale.
Spectators who gathered at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island, Texas, for the test flight in February got a fiery, explosive finale.Credit…Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald, via Associated Press

Mr. Musk’s company has become successful in the launch business, and it is now one of the world’s most valuable privately held companies. Its Falcon 9 rockets have become a dominant workhorse for sending satellites to orbit. It routinely transports cargo to the International Space Station, and lifted NASA astronauts there twice in 2020, with more trips planned this year.

However, many are skeptical about Mr. Musk’s assertion that the company is just a few years from sending a Starship to Mars, saying he has repeatedly set timelines for SpaceX that proved far too optimistic in how quickly they have come to pass.

In 2019, when he provided an update on the development of Starship, he said a high-altitude test would occur within months and that orbital flights could occur early in 2020.

Instead, several catastrophic failures happened because of faulty welding. When the propellant tanks stopped rupturing, two of the prototypes made short successful flights last year. Those earlier Starship prototypes resembled spray paint cans with their labels removed, rising nearly 500 feet using a single rocket engine before setting back down at the Texas test site.

In a video released on Tuesday night, Mr. Musk said Starship would be ready to launch people to orbit and beyond by 2023. He made the remarks in a video released by Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur who is helping to financially underwrite the development of Starship. Mr. Maezawa intends to fly on an approximately weeklong trip around the moon and back to Earth.

In the Tuesday video, Mr. Maezawa announced that he wanted to bring eight passengers on the lunar voyage, and invited applications from people wishing to go. On Wednesday, he said more than 100,000 people have already expressed interest.

‘God of Chaos’ asteroid to pass by Earth this week

The rock will be visible on Friday at around 8:15 p.m. ET

The asteroid Apophis, nicknamed the “God of Chaos,” will pass by Earth on Friday.

Named for the Egyptian deity and scientifically known as 99942 Apophis, the more-than 1,000-foot-wide space rock will skate past the blue marble at around 8:15 p.m. ET traveling at a distance of about 10 million miles away, according to NASA.

The Near-Earth Object (NEO), made of both rock and metal, will then continue on a path around the sun.

However, while interested spectators can watch through their telescopes or using a live feed with images of the asteroid using the European-based Virtual Telescope Project at 00:00 UTC, scientists are monitoring Apophis’ diameter, velocity and other factors. 

They’ll use planetary radar — although no longer having access to Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory radio telescope — as a kind of sonogram to detect the asteroid’s shape, orbit and whether or not there are boulders on its surface, according to Space.com.

Some believe there’s a chance Earth’s gravity will be strong enough to scatter boulders or stretch the rock, the site reported.

The asteroid, which was first discovered in 2004, will make another trip near Earth in April 2029. Apophis is projected to hurl by Earth while just about 19,000 miles away, according to The Planetary Society. It’s a distance that’s around 90% closer to Earth than the moon.

However, while researchers originally said there was a close to 3% chance of collision in 2029, additional data gathered over the years has shown it will not hit the Earth in either 2029 or during its return visit in 2036.

In addition, odds for its approach in 2068 are small, but Friday will help present experts with a clearer prediction of future events.

The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy’s Dave Tholen said in a statement last year that observations made with the Subaru telescope showed the Yarkovsky acceleration of Apophis — an effect caused by solar heating resulting in a slight orbit change — and that the asteroid was drifting away from a purely gravitational orbit, which was “enough to keep the 2068 impact scenario in play.”

Nevertheless, astronomers are not fortunetellers — they won’t be able to read the asteroid’s future over long periods of time without uncertainty.

That said, more than 100 asteroids have come closer to the Earth than the Moon in the past year, KSL.com reported Tuesday.

UK doorbell cameras and dashcams capture meteor on video

The blaze tore through the night sky within seconds

Residents of the U.K. were surprised over the weekend when a slow-moving meteor blazed across the night sky.

Videos posted to social media taken from doorbells and dashcams across Britain show the fireball just before 10 p.m. on Sunday.

A video from UK Meteor Network now has more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

“Was so clear,” Twitter user @JillHemingway wrote on Twitter alongside her own footage from Yorkshire.

Another user, @Lafford_MK, shared his nine-second video from his doorbell in the town of Milton Keynes.

@gingerssnap wrote to her followers: “Anyone else see the #meteor burn up over the UK just before 10pm tonight? I first thought it was a bright star or plane, then it got bigger & faster, then a huge flash lit up the sky & it burst into a massive tail of orange sparks trailing behind like a giant firework! So cool!”

The falling object flashed flight as it began to burn up and break down.

The meteor is likely to have been a small piece of a comet or asteroid entering the planet’s atmosphere, U.K. Meteor Network co-founder Richard Kacerek told The New York Times, noting that some pieces of it were believed to have survived the fall.

Some witnesses reported hearing a sonic boom or rumbling

Scientists from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFall) agreed and told Yahoo News that the bright light was speeding at around 30,000 miles per hour.

Hundreds of people took to the internet with eyewitness reports of the incident.

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

The Planetary Science Institute reports that approximately 500 meteorites make it to the Earth’s surface annually, but less than 10 are found.

More than 50,000 meteorites have been found on Earth, most from asteroids, they report.

Prof. Brian Greene Shows You How to Time Travel!

Prof. Brian Greene, author of “The Elegant Universe” will show you the right way to time travel as he joins Faith in a discussion of the underlying science of time travel and clears up some time travel myths like, is it ok to interact with your younger self while time traveling? (Turns out, it’s OKAY.)

Acclaimed physicist Brian Greene reveals a mind-boggling reality beneath the surface of our everyday world.

“The Fabric of the Cosmos,” a four-hour series based on the book by renowned physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we’d hardly recognize—a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.

Brian Greene is going to let you in on a secret: We’ve all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray. Much of what we thought we knew about our universe—that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists—just might be wrong.

Interweaving provocative theories, experiments, and stories with crystal-clear explanations and imaginative metaphors like those that defined the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed series “The Elegant Universe,” “The Fabric of the Cosmos” aims to be the most compelling, visual, and comprehensive picture of modern physics ever seen on television.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/series/the-fabric-of-the-cosmos/

Did a 2036 Time Traveller really come back for this old IBM? | John Titor

A person named “John Titor” started posting on the Internet one day, claiming to be from the future and predicting the end of the world. Then he suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again.

(PHOTO THEDREAMSKY/FLICKR)
(PHOTO THEDREAMSKY/FLICKR)

This is our planet’s bleak future: a second Civil War splinters America into five factions, leaving the new capital based in Omaha. World War III breaks out in 2015, starting with Russia and the U.S. trading nukes and ending with three billion dead. Then, to top it all off, a computer bug delivers where Y2K sputtered, destroying our world as we know it. That is, unless an audacious time traveler successfully traverses the space-time continuum to change the course of future history.

In late 2000, that person signed onto the Internet.

A poster going by the screennames “TimeTravel_0” and “John Titor” on a variety of message boards, beginning with the forum at the Time Travel Institute, claimed he was a soldier sent from 2036, the year the computer virus wiped the world. His mission was to head back to 1975 in order to snatch-and-grab an IBM 5100 computer, which had the necessary equipment to fight the future virus. (His detour to the year 2000 was simply to get a little R&R while visiting his three-year-old self, ignoring every fabric-of-time paradox rule from time-travel stories.) Over the next four months, Titor responded to every question other posters had, describing future events in poetically-phrased ways, always submitted with a general disclaimer that alternate realities do exist, so his reality may not be our own. In between dire urgings to learn first aid and stop eating beef—Mad Cow was a serious threat in his reality—Titor provided a number of technical specs regarding how time travel worked, with overly complex algorithms and grainy, hard-to-make-out photos of his actual machine. (Which, yes, of course, was an automobile: a 1987 Chevy Suburban.) He even showed off his cool futuristic military insignia.

On March 24, 2001, Titor offered his final piece of advice (“Bring a gas can with you when the car dies on the side of the road”), signed off forever, and returned home. He was never heard from again.

TODAY, EVERYTHING POSTED ONLINE GETS A HEALTHY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM. LET’S CALL IT THE POST-SNOPES ERA. WE’VE BEEN CONDITIONED TO SUSPECT EVERYTHING.

IN 2003, TITOR FAN Oliver Williams—some may want to put “fan” in quotation marks, simply because of the numerous unsubstantiated theories that Williams himself is/was Titor—launched JohnTitor.com, which tracks Titor’s predictions and offers a compendium of all of his 151 posts. In 2004, members of George Mason University threw together a multimedia rock opera based on Titor. A summary of the tale at io9.com garnered over 103,000 hits in 2011. And, according to IMDB, a feature-length film about Titor is in the pipeline. What seemingly should have been dismissed as a four-month hoax, the work of some nerd killing time at his boring temp job, somehow turned into a phenomenon.

Since the beginning of the mysterious posts, Art Bell’s popular late-night radio program “Coast to Coast AM,” a nationally-syndicated show that covers pretty much everything that’d fit comfortably into an episode of The X-Files, has been the go-to place for all things Titor. George Noory, who replaced Bell in 2003, has continued carrying the torch, devoting entire episodes to the ongoing mystery, fielding inane questions from callers and somehow answering with a straight face. (Examples: “Is there any way that Titor could be a godsend, sent as an angel, to warn us?” and “Do you think there’s any possibility he was a space alien? I’ll hang up and listen.”) In 2006, a lawyer named Lawrence Haber, who claimed to represent Kay Titor, a woman alleging to be John’s mother, contacted Noory. An interview followed between Noory and Kay—with Haber acting as a phone go-between—and it ended up answering, well, pretty much nothing at all.

After that episode, the show intermittently tracked Titor’s proposed timeline, looking at current events like tea leaves, possible harbingers of a nuclear armageddon. But as the false predictions piled up—while many of Titor’s descriptions are vague enough to be considered “not yet disproved,” he did also claim there would be no Olympic Games after 2004—the search for Titor shifted from “Is this real?” to “Who deceived us?”

IN 2003, THE JOHN Titor Foundation, a for-profit Limited Liability Corporation, self-published John Titor: A Time Traveler’s Tale, which is essentially a bound copy of the message board posts. (Used copies of this are currently going for $130 a pop on Amazon.) The Italian investigative TV show Voyager took up the case in 2008, hiring a private eye to locate the folks behind the LLC, and a search led back to the aforementioned Lawrence Haber, who was listed as the company’s CEO. An investigation by amateur sleuth John Hughston, who also goes by the name “Razimus,” uncovered a mysterious P.O. Box in Celebration, Florida, belonging to the LLC. A group of friends with some downtime between gigs at their production company checked out the P.O. Box themselves but found nothing worthwhile. At some point, JohnTitorFoundation.com was created, offering some kind of nonsensical secret code to digital passersby. And just a week ago, Hughston released another video—this one 40 minutes long—in which he names Haber’s brother, Morey, as his prime suspect by using a side-by-side analysis of phrase-usage, which, to be kind, is not exactly a slam dunk.

(Weirder side note: In 2004, a computer engineer named Marlin Pohlman filed a patent for a time travel machine that “back-engineered” concepts in the Titor posts. This started another round of speculation that Pohlman, himself, was the original Titor poster. Last March, he was arrested for drugging and sexually assaulting four women.)

The search for Titor, then, has become more convoluted than Oliver Stone taking on the 9/11 conspiracy. A new piece of information comes out, a tech-savvy kid with some time to kill sees it, decides to give the puzzle a shot, and on and on it goes, the cycle never reaching an end. The trail burns hot, the trail goes cold, but the trail never disappears. There have been countless blog posts and armchair investigations—a Google search for “John Titor solution” bounces back with 325,000 results—but nothing’s come close to finding a worthwhile solution. An itch in the back of the throat remains, unscratched.

But why?

THE TITOR LEGEND PERSISTS BECAUSE NO ONE EVER CLAIMED TO BE BEHIND IT. NOW THAT WE WON’T BE FOOLED, WE NEED AN ANSWER. IT’S THE ZEIGARNIK EFFECT; WHEN SOMETHING’S NOT WRAPPED UP, IT PREOCCUPIES OUR MEMORY.

American Airlines not denying possible UFO spotting, says: ‘Talk to the FBI’

Pilot said it “looked like a cruise missile type of thing”

Pilot described ‘long cylindrical object’ moving over the top of the plane, according to radio transmission

An American Airlines passenger jet traveling from Cincinnati to Phoenix encountered an apparent UFO over northeastern New Mexico Sunday afternoon. 

The pilot on flight 2292 radioed around 1:00 p.m. CST and said that the unidentified object was flying right on top of them, according to a transmission recorded by Steve Douglass on his blog, Deep Black Horizon. American Airlines verified to Fox News that the transmission is from flight 2292.

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” the pilot said in the radio transmission. 

“I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast. It went right over the top of us.”

American Airlines confirmed that the radio transmission is authentic, but did not give any further comment on the possible alien encounter. 

“Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received, we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News in a statement. “For any additional questions on this, we encourage you to reach out to the FBI.”

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. 

Flight 2292 was around 37,000 feet at the time of the sighting, and Albuquerque Center did not respond because local air traffic interfered, according to Douglass. The flight went on to land in Phoenix, Arizona. 

New Mexico is home to White Sands Missile Range, which is located in the southern part of the state and is described as the Department of Defense’s “largest, fully-instrumented, open air range.” 

Scott Stearns, the chief of public affairs at White Sands Missile Range, said the range was not testing anything on Sunday and also noted the distance between the missile range and northeastern New Mexico, which is about 400 miles. 

“We have no idea what it could have been or if anything similar has been sighted in that area before,” Stearns said in a statement to Fox News. 

Thousands of UFO sightings are reported each year, but encounters by pilots have received increased attention recently. 

In February 2018, two pilots separately encounter an object beaming light at roughly 50,000 feet in eastern Arizona, the Arizona Republic reported

Between 2014 and 2015, Navy pilots encountered numerous UFOs traveling at hypersonic speeds up to 30,000 feet in the air, the New York Times reported

China’s Mars craft enters parking orbit before landing rover

China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months.

FILE - This file image made available by the China National Space Administration on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, shows the Tianwen-1 probe en route to Mars. China said on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, that its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary pa
Image IconThe Associated PressFILE – This file image made available by the China National Space Administration on Wednesday…Read More

BEIJING — China says its Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months.

That follows the landing of the U.S. Perseverance rover last Thursday near an ancient river delta in Jezero Crater to search for signs of ancient microscopic life.

A successful bid to land Tianwen-1 would make China only the second country after the U.S. to place a spacecraft on Mars. China’s solar-powered vehicle, about the size of a golf cart, will collect data on underground water and look for evidence that the planet may have once harbored microscopic life.

Tianwen, the title of an ancient poem, means “Quest for Heavenly Truth.”

Landing a spacecraft on Mars is notoriously tricky. About a dozen orbiters missed the mark. In 2011, a Mars-bound Chinese orbiter that was part of a Russian mission didn’t make it out of Earth orbit.

China’s attempt will involve a parachute, rocket firings and airbags. Its proposed landing site is a vast, rock-strewn plain called Utopia Planitia, where the U.S. Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976.

Tianwen-1’s arrival at Mars on Feb. 10 was preceded by that of an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates. All three of the latest missions were launched in July to take advantage of the close alignment between Earth and Mars that happens only once every two years.

Tianwen-1 represents the most ambitious mission yet for China’s secretive, military-linked space program that first put an astronaut in orbit around Earth in 2003 and last year brought moon rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s. China was also the first country to land a spacecraft on the little-explored far side of the moon in 2019.

China is also building a permanent space station and planning a crewed lunar mission and a possible permanent research base on the moon, though no dates have yet been proposed.

On Monday, a massive Long March-5B Y2 rocket was moved into place at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province for assembly and testing before it launches the space station’s core module, christened Tianhe. Launch is scheduled for the first half of this year, the first of 11 missions slated over the next two years for the station’s construction.

China is not a participant in the International Space Station, partly at the insistence of the United States.

The space program is a source of enormous national pride in China and Tianwen-1 has attracted a particularly strong following among the public. Tourists flocked to tropical Hainan island to watch the launch, while others visit mock Mars colonies in desert sites with white domes, airlocks and spacesuits.

The Hope Spacecraft reaches Mars! Overview of the Emirates Mars Mission

What is the Hope Spacecraft? How did it enter orbit around the Red planet? What will it study at Mars? In this video, we discuss the Emirates Mars Mission. Also names Al-amal, or Hope spacecraft, this is a Mars orbiter that is run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) space agency.

The original idea for the mission came about in 2013, and launched from Japan in 2020. The spacecraft will study Mars’ global climate, looking at weather patterns and how the different layers of the atmosphere interact with one another. The Hope spacecraft is also the first interplanetary mission from an Arab nation. In addition to the specifications of the spacecraft, the video also looks into the orbit that Hope will be in as it monitors Mars. In addition, we talk about why it is hard for a spacecraft to enter orbit around another planet.

More specifically, we look at the Escape Velocity for a planet. On February 9th, 2020, the Hope spacecraft successfully entered orbit about Mars by performing a Mars Orbit injection maneuver, which slowed the spacecraft.

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.