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

#UFO #UAP #Unexplained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Metallic Blimp


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** VIDEO ***

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

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

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

*** VIDEO ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy Corbell  
Yes, there is.

George Knapp  
Thanks Jeremy.

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

#NASA #SPACE #Hypersonic

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scientists Just Found Evidence for Fifth Force of Nature

Scientists Just Found Evidence for Fifth Force of Nature

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

#Science #physics # quantum

Reider Hahn / Fermilab
Image by Reider Hahn / Fermilab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#NASA #Space #Asteroid

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

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

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

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (NASA) Capturing a Sample

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The research has been published in Nature Astronomy.

Could the Next Space Station Be a Hotel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A pair of moons with underground oceans…

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editors’ Picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huge Chinese rocket falling back to Earth in uncontrolled reentry

Projectile currently orbiting Earth every 90 minutes after space station launch

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

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

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

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

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

Did Nikola Tesla Unintentionally Detect Signals From Another Civilization?

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

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

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

Nikola Tesla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last photo of Nikola Tesla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A humongous flare 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad news for aliens 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note the use of the word candidate in its title.

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

What is a ‘technosignature?’

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

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

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

What is strange about ‘BLC1?’

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

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

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

What do experts think the signal is? 

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

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

The final explanation is: 

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

It’s obviously the least likely reason for BLC1. 

What do experts think about BLC1?

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

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

Have there been any scientific paper on BLC1? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What and where is Proxima Centauri?

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

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

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

What do we know about Proxima Centauri’s planets?

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

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

Could Proxima Centauri b and c support life?

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

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

What is ‘Breakthrough Listen?’

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

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

What was the ‘WOW!’ signal?

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

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

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

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

Imagine charging your Apple Watch with … yourself.

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

ANNA GORBACHEVAGETTY IMAGES

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

a wearable power generator as a ring

IMAGE COURTESY OF JIANLIANG XIAO

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

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

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

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

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

Scientists Submit Actual Proof Aliens Are Watching You Right Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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