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Astronomy

Study: 1,000 Potential Alien Star Systems Could Be Watching Us From Afar

A study of Earth’s “solar neighborhood” has found that over 1,000 different systems have the perfect angle to view Earth.

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Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) Motivated by the “Pale Blue Dot” NASA photo researchers are asking the question, could other planets be looking at us just like we’re looking at them? A study of Earth’s “solar neighborhood” has found that over 1,000 different systems have the perfect angle to view Earth.

The infamous “Pale Blue Dot” photograph was suggested by astronomer Carl Sagan who implored that the Voyager 1 space probe take a picture of Earth from nearly four billion miles away. The new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, seeks to find out how many different exo-planet systems with alien life could be watching us. Ironically, the research comes from the Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute.

The study’s co-author Lisa Kaltenegger stated their list focuses on main-sequence stars similar to our own sun. These solar systems may contain exoplanets, Earth-like worlds sitting in the habitable zone for life. All of the prospective systems are within 300 million light-years of Earth, close enough to see our world’s chemical traces according to the researchers.

“Let’s reverse the viewpoint to that of other stars and ask from which vantage point other observers could find Earth as a transiting planet,” Kaltenegger, the director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute said in a press release.

“If observers were out there searching, they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot… and we can even see some of the brightest of these stars in our night sky without binoculars or telescopes.”

What makes this listing of 1,004 star systems novel and significant is they all sit in Earth’s elliptic orbit or the plane of the planets orbit around our Sun. Exoplanets traveling along this same path would be able to see the Earth according to the researchers.

Lawsuit reveals NSA received 29 “extraterrestrial messages” from space, a long time ago. (Click here to read the full article!)

To foreign observers, Earth would be a transiting planet that passes in front of its sun as the observer looks at distant stars. Theoretically, these exoplanets would be able to see Earth crossing the Sun, which sounds like a marvellous sight.

“Only a very small fraction of planets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit,” co-author Joshua Pepper of Lehigh University says. “But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighbourhood could see our Earth transit the sun, calling their attention.”

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Astronomy

Saturn And Jupiter Will Align And Create Extremely Rare ‘Christmas Star’ During Winter Solstice

Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer together in the night sky than they have in about 800 years.

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Photo Credit: TMU

(TMU) The 2020 holiday season is widely expected to be one unlike any other, due in no small part to the ongoing public health emergency. However, Christmas celebrations will also be unique due to an extremely rare planetary alignment, the likes of which have never been seen since medieval times.

Star-gazers will be in for a major treat come December 21, 2020 – the date of the winter solstice – when Jupiter and Saturn will appear extremely close to one another in our night sky, making the planets appear that they might almost collide and becoming one extremely luminous point of light.

The rare celestial treat coinciding with Christmas week will see the Solar System’s two largest planets appear as a “double planet” for the first time in almost 800 years.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said astronomer Patrick Hartigan in a press release from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky,” he added.

Of course, these massive planets won’t be close to one another. Consider our own planet’s distance from the sun. Astronomers use what’s called astronomical units (au) to measure distances in the sprawling expanse of our solar system. Jupiter lays 5 au from the Earth, while Saturn lays 10 au away.

Since the summer, Jupiter and Saturn have been headed towards each other in our own night sky. And from Dec. 16-25, they will appear to be separated by only less than the diameter of a full moon.

A view showing how the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will appear in a telescope pointed toward the western horizon at 6 p.m. CST, Dec. 21, 2020. The image is adapted from graphics by open-source planetarium software Stellarium. (This work, “jupsat1,” is adapted from Stellarium by Patrick Hartigan, used under GPL-2.0, and provided under CC BY 4.0 courtesy of Patrick Hartigan)

While astronomers are recommending that the best views will be seen from around the equator, if good weather permits then the alignment will be clear from any location here on Earth.

Jupiter and Saturn will also be clear during the twilight, for roughly an hour after sunset every evening. However, a telescope tilted toward the western sky will be the best way to catch a glimpse of the extremely rare event.

“On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan explained. “For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.”

“The further north a viewer is, the less time they’ll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon.”

Websites like Stellarium will also be helpful in figuring out where you should look for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction.

If you don’t get a chance to catch Jupiter and Saturn this close together, you can catch the pair again relatively soon – on March 15, 2080.

However, the next time Jupiter and Saturn will be so close in earthly night skies will be in 2400.

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Astronomy

Study Analyzes Apollo 15 Images & Finds Evidence Of “Excavation” & Unusual Structures On Moon

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Unusual Structures On Moon
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

With so much information and misinformation in many different areas these days, it can be hard to know what to believe or what to trust. How did we get into this position? It seems there is a great divide on a number of different topics, and the Moon is no doubt one of them. Is it really that difficult to look at information and arrive at some sort of truth? I don’t believe so, but the most important thing is to be able to discuss information and ideas transparently, openly while having the ability to see from another perspective as well. If we cling to certain beliefs and positions and become polarized in them, we are not really opening ourselves up to new possibilities that may change the way we think and perceive not only our world, but ourselves.

What Happened: A study published in the Journal Space Exploration in 2016 provides an in depth analysis of images taken from Apollo 15 as well as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. According to the authors, there appears to be “two unusual features in the crater Paracelsus C on the far side of the moon,” the side that is never visible from Earth. By combining multiple images it becomes clear to them that what they are looking at are two walls “on either side of a narrow valley or passageway.”

Using single image shape from shading and 3D terrain visualization we show in a computer generated perspective view looking northeast that the southwest end appears to be the entrance to the passageway. A reverse angle view looking southwest shows the passageway ending at a rise of terrain at the other end, possibly leading underground. The terrain surrounding the two structures is not flat but appears “excavated” by some unknown mechanism, natural or artificial. It is shown that these objects are visually different from the lunar background because their underlying structure is different.

The paper provides evidence supporting the hypothesis that certain features in the crater Paracelsus C on the far side of the moon may be artificial in origin.

The idea that these “passageways” may lead underground on the Moon correlates with the idea that the Moon may in fact be hollow, or at least partially. According to MIT’s Sean C. Solomon:

“The Lunar Orbiter experiments vastly improved our knowledge of the Moon’s gravitational field…indicating the frightening possibility that the Moon might be hollow.”

This was as far back as 1974, and it’s been a common theme. It arises due to the fact that we know very little about the Moon and all of the other Moon’s within our solar system. That being said, the majority of scientific evidence points towards a solid Moon, but that doesn’t mean artificially built compartments within it are not a possibility.

It’s easier to explain the non-existence for the Moon, than its existence – NASA scientist Robin Brett

The best explanation for the Moon is observational error – the Moon doesn’t exist – Irwin Shapiro, Harvard Astrophysicist

The paper concludes by stating:

“Based on the evidence presented in this paper we believe this area in Paracelsus C is one such candidate that is worthy of future study by orbital missions and surface rovers. Both of the features analyzed in this area are statistically different from the surrounding terrain.”

Mark J. Carolotto, one of the authors of this paper is an image scientist with almost 40 years of experience in satellite remote sensing, image analysis, digital image processing, satellite imaging, remote sensing and pattern recognition. He studied optics, signal and image processing at Carnegie-Mellon University from 1972-1981 where he received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and he works within the aerospace industry. Here are some of the peer-reviewed papers he’s authored and co-authored prior to this one.

On his YouTube channel, he provides some images from the paper in a video titled “Unusual Structures On The Far Side of The Moon.”

Possible Structures On The Moon. Not A Novel Idea/Observation

Reports and hypothesis about artificial structures on the moon are quite common, and have been a common theme for quite some time. During the early years of SETI, in 1963, Carl Sagan spoke about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitation, as pointed out by the study:

It is not out of the question that artifacts of these visits still exist, or even that some kind of base is maintained (possibility automatically) within the solar system to provide continuity for successive expeditions. Because of weathering and the possibility of detection and interference by the inhabitants of the Earth, it would be preferable not to erect such a base on the Earth’s surface. The Moon seems one reasonable alternative. Forthcoming high resolution photographic reconnaissance of the Moon from space vehicles – particularly the back side – might bear these possibilities in mind. 

A number of books have been written over the years contemplating the subject. Amateur astronomer George Leonard’s 1976 book, Somebody Else is on the Moon is one example. Fred Steckling’s 1981 book, We Discovered Alien Bases on The Moon is another, and there are many more.

You can click on the titles if you want to head over to Amazon and get a copy of any of them.

Fast forward to today and it’s hard to find solid evidence for structures on the Moon, but there are some strange leaks and testimony from people with interesting backgrounds that does make one ponder. For example, a classified document published by Wikileaks clearly implies that the United States had a “secret” base on the Moon that was destroyed by Russia. The idea that this is or was a reality is strengthened given the fact that the U.S. government had plans to build a base on the Moon. Perhaps they already did? The leak from Wikileaks is dated 1979, a document from the government’s own publishing office from 1966 clearly shows one of the goals of the United States government was to build a base on the moon.

memorandum that was addressed to the CIA director regarding “Military Thought (Top Secret)” by Lieutenant General Korenevskiy highlights this point even more. It also appears to be from the 1960’s:

“Already, interest in the moon is not limited to a study of questions and a discussion of discovered potentialities. Specific projects are being worked out which propose the construction of various structures under the surface of the moon from the freight compartments of missiles, and also the employment of various versions of pneumatic structures. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and also various American companies (“matin”, “Aerospace”, etc), are conducting a great deal of work in this direction.

Another document that compliments the Wikileaks one, also from the 1960’s comes from the CIA keeping tabs on Soviet space plans, a portion of it reads as follows:

“The soviets have additionally stated their intention to establish a lunar base subsequent to manned lunar landing…If Society manned lunar landing is undertaken as a follow-on to extensive earth orbital operations and instrumented exploration of the moon, it is likely that they will enjoy some advantage in the establishment of a lunar base….It is possible that a late lunar landing may be followed fairly rapidly by the establishment of a Soviet base on the moon.”

The idea that humans may have built structures on the Moon, as well as perhaps intelligent extraterrestrials currently or in the past is a hypothesis contemplated by many, so why do some people see it as ridiculous? This is a deeper question for later.

Rejecting Evidence Because It Conflicts With Our Beliefs

I thought it was interesting that the authors of the paper state the following:

A decidedly conservative mainstream scientific establishment often rejects anomalies based on subject matter alone, i.e., there cannot be alien artifacts on the moon because there are no alien artifacts on the moon (or other planets). Such a view is an example of circular reasoning, based on the belief that extraterrestrials do not exist, or if they do exist that they could not have travelled to our solar system.

How much do our beliefs and perceptions about our world limit and hinder our ability to discover and acknowledge ideas and results that may not “fit the frame?” How much do we limit our consciousness and perceptions about our world, who we truly are and what we are capable of as a result of our beliefs, and our determination to say “this is the way things are.”

Cassandra Vieten, Phd and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which was founded by Apollo 14’s Dr. Edgar Mitchell touches upon this point in her piece, “When Skeptics Face The Evidence.

There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism, and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing. The session I presented in was very well-attended, and I found that most people, while not exactly open-minded, were open-hearted, thoughtful, and willing to engage in respectful discussion about the topic.

Why This Is Important

The implications of any findings that suggest an extraterrestrial presence have enormous implications and would truly expand human consciousness to another level. The UFO/Extraterrestrial phenomenon and the proof for its existence goes much further than what is provided in this article.

The way we perceive our world, technology, history, metaphysics, consciousness and the very nature of reality would change in an instant if this were realized by the collective. Perhaps it would inspire us to question the way we live here on Earth and why we do what we do. Do civilizations that travel the stars have such difficulty implementing solutions on their planet? What type of consciousness do they operate from? Do they collaborate peacefully, or divide themselves by country and ethnicity?

If we had technology that allowed us to provide abundance for all, which many believe we do, could we enact these solutions given the fact that we are so divided? Are we currently stuck in a state with fear, chaos, greed, and an egoic mind-sets for us to even successfully implement solutions? Are solutions like highly advanced clean energy technology useless if the consciousness of the human race and the way we think doesn’t change?

It’s not solutions or technology that will change our planet, it’s the place from within of those who operate these technologies that will determine whether or not we are ready for such things – this is us.

Change starts within, and perhaps humanity needs a new way of thinking and way of seeing our world, as well as ourselves, in order to move forward. Too often we point our fingers and place the blame on others like the ‘global elite,’ without ever realizing that ‘they,’ are us too, and we’re in this story together. We perpetuate our own human experience based on where we are at mentally and spiritually. It will be difficult to tackle the challenges we face today if we don’t step out of ourselves and observe our planet and the way we live from an outside perspective. We may simply perpetuate our current human experience if we attempt to tackle our problems from the same level of consciousness that created these problems.

This article (Study Analyzes Apollo 15 Images & Finds Evidence of “Excavation” & Unusual Structures on Moon) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Astronomy

Astronomers Discover The Most “Hellish” Planet Ever

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Astronomers Discover The Most “Hellish” Planet Ever
Photo Credit: NASA

Jocelyne LeBlancGuest Writer

The most “hellishplanet that’s ever been found is believed to rain rocks, has very deep lava seas, and extreme wind speeds.

The planet, which is called K2-141b, is located approximately 200 light-years away from us and was first detected by the Kepler Space Telescope in 2018. Now researchers from McGill and York Universities have predicted the weather conditions and they are extremely hellish to say the least.

K2-141b is considered a “super Earth” and is about five times larger than our planet. It orbits its host star in an exceptionally short amount of time of just 0.3 Earth days. It is located just 665,000 miles from its host star. For comparison, the closest planet to our sun is Mercury and it takes 88 days to complete a full orbit at an average distance of around 36 million miles with a surface temperature that can reach as high as 840 degrees Fahrenheit.

K2-141b has magma oceans that are 60 miles deep.

According to the study, the rocky K2-141b planet has 60-mile deep lava seas, over 3,000 miles per hour wind speeds, and surface temperatures reaching more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is tidally locked which means that only one side of the planet faces its star at all times. Actually, it is so hot on the dayside that it can vaporize rock. However, temperatures on the night side are completely opposite at -328 degrees Fahrenheit which is cold enough to freeze nitrogen. The extreme change in temperatures is the reason why the wind speeds are at a whopping 3,000 mph.

Giang Nguyen, who is the lead author of the study, stated that the entire planet is made up of rocks, from its surface, to the ocean, and even the rain. The sodium, silicon monoxide, and silicon dioxide evaporates, rises up into the atmosphere, becomes condensed, and comes back down into the magma ocean as “rain” even though there are rocks falling from the sky. They were able to predict the weather by conducting several computer simulations.

Astronomers Discover The Most “Hellish” Planet Ever
(An artist’s impression of the planet)

Professor Nicolas Cowan from McGill University and who is a co-author of the study, said, “All rocky planets­, including Earth, started off as molten worlds but then rapidly cooled and solidified. Lava planets give us a rare glimpse at this stage of planetary evolution.”

Now they have to wait and see whether or not their predictions are correct and they’re hoping that the data collected from the Spitzer Space Telescope and the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will give them more information regarding the planet’s extreme weather conditions.

Their study was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Recommended Articles by Jocelyne LeBlanc
About the Author

Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.

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NASA Spacecraft Spots “Dancing Sprites” And Colorful Electrical Bursts In Jupiter’s Sky For First Time

Nobody had ever seen these bright, transient luminous events dancing across alien skies – until now.

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Photo Credit: NASA

(TMU) New high-definition imagery captured of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno spacecraft is revealing colourful, lighting-like bursts of energy in the upper atmosphere of our solar system’s largest planet.

The phenomena – haunting, jellyfish-like spurts of red lightning dubbed “sprites” and glowing disks known as “elves” – are common occurrences in the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmospheres during thunderstorms, and were first discovered in 1989. Since then, they have been sighted over every continent besides Antarctica.

Scientists have theorized that any planet that has lightning would also produce these super-fast electrical bursts that occur up to 60 miles up in the Earth’s sky, reaching toward space. Researchers predicted that this would certainly be the case in Jupiter’s massive, roiling atmosphere.

However, nobody had ever seen these bright, transient luminous events dancing across alien skies – until now.

Since 2016, Juno has orbited Jupiter and collected troves of images of its aurorae through the spacecraft’s ultraviolet light, or ultraviolet spectrograph instrument (UVS). When scientists began processing some of these images, they noticed an unexpected detail: bright, narrow streaks of ultraviolet emissions that appeared in a flash before quickly vanishing.

“In the process of putting together those images, we noticed that very occasionally we saw these surprising, short-lived, bright flashes,” said Juno scientist Rohini Giles during a Tuesday press conference at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, according to Business Insider.

“We then went and searched through all of the data that we’ve taken over four years of the mission and we found a total of 11 flashes all with very similar properties,” she added. The outbursts only lasted mere milliseconds.

On Tuesday, her team published a new study on these phenomena in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

Here on Earth, sprites often resemble alien-like jellyfish-style creatures dangling from the ionosphere, or the layer that lies just above the dense lower atmosphere. In other cases, they look like vertical pillars of light with thin, curling tendrils – and these are called carrot curls due to their resemblance to the root vegetable.

Sprites were given their quasi-magical name by late University of Alaska physics professor Davis Sentman, who devised the name for this weather phenomenon due to it being “well suited to describe their appearance” and fleeting, fairy-like nature – much like the mischievous characters from English folklore.

Sprites occur when lightning strikes the ground, releasing positive electrical energy that requires balancing by an equal and oppositely charged electrical discharge into the sky. The sprites also occur much higher into the sky than regular lightning, which strikes in between electrically charged air, clouds, and our planet’s surface.

In some cases, lightning strikes also send electromagnetic pulses upward, producing glowing disks known as elves.

NASA has released 30 stunning high definition photographs of Jupiter. (Click here to read the full article!)

“On Earth, sprites and elves appear reddish in color due to their interaction with nitrogen in the upper atmosphere,” Giles noted. “But on Jupiter, the upper atmosphere mostly consists of hydrogen, so they would likely appear either blue or pink.”

The Juno team is still unable to confirm whether the events were actually caused by lightning strikes, mainly because the probe’s device that detects lightning is on the opposite side of the spacecraft from its UVS. The images from the two devices are also taken 10 seconds apart, which is far too long a period of time for both instruments to analyze the same flash of light.

However, the researchers are confident that the 11 outbursts detected were transient luminous events. In each case, they disappeared in flash, emitted massive amounts of hydrogen, and took place 186 miles above Jupiter’s water clouds – far too high to be simple lightning.

“We’re continuing to look for more telltale signs of elves and sprites every time Juno does a science pass,” Giles said.

“Now that we know what we are looking for, it will be easier to find them at Jupiter and on other planets,” she added. “And comparing sprites and elves from Jupiter with those here on Earth will help us better understand electrical activity in planetary atmospheres.”

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