Oumuamua

Saturday and a rare below 32 morning in the Deep South…..

Heard recently there has been an unusual event in space…..and I have been waiting for those Ancient Alien people to offer their take on it……the event was a space object known as “Oumuamua”…..

In a preprint paper published November 1 on arXiv, Harvard Institute for Theory and Computation researchers Shmuel Bialy, Ph.D., and Professor Abraham Loeb, Ph.D., give an explanation for ‘Oumuamua’s recent uptick in speed, which scientists had previously pointed out could not be due to gravity alone. But it’s what the tacked onto the end that has made worldwide news.

In their paper, Bialy and Loeb describe the possibility of solar radiation pressure — the idea that photons from the sun might have pushed ‘Oumuamua along — but sneak in a far more creative idea at the end: “Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that ‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” These are all just hypotheses, of course, and Bialy and Loeb admit that the only way the origin and mechanical properties of ‘Oumuamua and other objects like it can be “deciphered” is to search for other objects like it in the future to find support.

https://www.inverse.com/article/50644-oumuamua-speed-increase-aliens-no-but-maybe

One of the theories being floated is that it is a giant solar sail……

The first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system could be a gigantic alien solar sail sent to look for signs of life, according to a new study.

The mysterious asteroid Oumuamua has been analysed by astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) after it was found to be unexpectedly speeding up.

NASA​ said earlier this year observations from their Hubble Space Telescope confirmed the object had an “unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory as it passes through the inner solar system”.

Scientists have now concluded that the asteroid “might be a lightsail of artificial origin” using solar radiation to propel itself forward.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/mystery-interstellar-asteroid-oumuamua-could-be-gigantic-alien-solar-sail-sent-to-look-for-signs-of-a3979891.html

I am sure that an upcoming episode will be forthcoming on the new season of Ancient Aliens…..and we shall indeed hear just what this phenom is really about……

SIDE NOTE:

It’s time again for the Leonids, the meteor shower repeated annually in mid-November. It comes as Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 33 years. Earth will pass through the thickest part of debris at 7pm EST Saturday, but the best time for viewing begins around 2am local time Sunday, after the waxing gibbous moon has set, per Space.com.

NASA, noting viewers should allow up to 30 minutes for their eyes to adjust to the darkness, predicts an average of 15 meteors per hour will be visible and appear to come from the constellation Leo—hence the shower’s name. However, “it is actually better to view the Leonids away from the radiant,” NASA says, per NPR. “They will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective.”

Set the alarm and wake the kids up….the ‘shower’ is amazing to witness.

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Is This Our Darkest Hour?

Hey is it not time to actually have a conversation on climate change?  Or is the term global warming?  Matters not for something is on the horizon and we are sticking our heads in the sand and hoping it will all go away…..

Hint:  IT WON’T!

The word is out and it does not look too promising…..

“The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

Offering a stark warning that humanity may have even less time to drastically cut carbon emissions than the United Nations suggested in its latest alarming report on the climate crisis, new research (pdf) published in the journal Nature on Wednesday shows that Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year over the past 25 years than scientists previously believed.

“We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted. But we were wrong,” Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the new study, told the Washington Post. “The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/31/we-have-less-time-we-thought-alarming-new-study-shows-oceans-have-retained-far-more

Don’t believe a word of the new study!  But instead take the word of some jack wad that gets his money from the industries causing the world’s problems for we would not want these greed turds to lose any money now do we?

The so-called “Doom and Gloom” continues (maybe it is time to listen)…..https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/26/eco-crises-doom-gloom-truth-consequences/

The biggest threat is the threat of drought……these seem to be expanding yearly…..a bad drought will expand the hunger and the famines……

The most hazardous global warming risk for society at large is widespread loss of grain production because of a synchronized worldwide drought. It would be a colossal killer. It’s happened before, known as The Great Drought 142 years ago.

Unmistakably, droughts feed off global warming and world temps are heading up, not down. Thus, droughts are intensified by temperature increases. If the same conditions as the drought of 1876 recurs, it would likely be a nightmarish scenario.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/26/the-great-drought/

For a couple of decades the world’s population has looked the other way when the subject of climate change is mentioned…..America’s are some of the worse…

Finally the population has decided that they cannot sleep there way to a cleaner safer world…..civil disobedience, environmental disobedience will return to the world stage……appears the UK may well lead the world in this new found empowerment…..a Declaration Of Rebellion (has a nice ring to it)…..

To underscore the planetary emergency and denounce the U.K. government’s inaction on the climate crisis, a new group calling itself Extinction Rebellion rallied over 1,000 people to block Parliament Square in London on Wednesday. The direct action marks the launch of a mass civil disobedience campaign, with the group issuing a “Declaration of Rebellion” against the government because the activists “refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/31/our-darkest-hour-declaration-rebellion-new-group-vows-mass-civil-disobedience-save

May we finally have some progress on saving this world before we go out looking for another one to screw up.

QAPLA!

After writing this draft I read another silly theory……

Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen a new foreign minister who believes climate change is part of a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle western economies and promote the growth of China.

Ernesto Araujo – until now a mid-ranking official who blogs about the “criminalisation” of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex – will become the top diplomat of South America’s biggest nation, representing 200 million people and the greatest and most biodiverse forest on Earth, the Amazon.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/15/brazil-foreign-minister-ernesto-araujo-climate-change-marxist-plot

I cannot wait to see how long it takes for the dullards on the Right, the Trumpian Right, to get on board with this silliness.

Any bets?

Space: Up Up And Away

The Midterms are in the history books….shall we move on?

And now for something completely different…..SPACE….the Final Frontier!

Our Dear Leader is concerned with a new branch to the military….a “Space Force” if you will……he is serious from all accounts…..so since Trumpy is so damn serious I thought that IST would keep an eye on the news involved with space…..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/03/space-and-space-rangers/

Maybe one of the first deployments for our new Space Force could be Mars……

A study funded by NASA in a bid to determine what effects a journey into deep space might have on the health of astronauts has uncovered some startling possibilities for those brave souls who might one day venture to Mars. Per CNN, the findings out of Georgetown University Medical Center suggest that the sort of radiation to which such travelers would be exposed has the potential to cause major intestinal issues, including cancer. It’s called galactic cosmic radiation, or GCR, and consists of so-called heavy ions that we’re protected from by the magnetosphere that surrounds Earth. Deep in space, as well as on Mars, there is no such protection and scientists say there is no way yet known to prevent exposure with shielding or medications.

Per Inverse, the study bombarded mice with doses of ionizing radiation that mimicked what’s found in deep space. Researchers found that long exposure permanently altered the gastrointestinal tracts of the mice in a way that caused them to lose their ability to absorb nutrients. What’s more, the mice also developed cancerous growths in their intestines, leading researchers to further worry about the effects of space radiation after previous findings suggested it poses a danger to the brain. “We have documented the effects of deep space radiation on some vital organs, but we believe that similar damage responses may occur in many organs,” wrote senior investigator Kamal Datta. “It is important to understand these effects in advance so we can do everything we can to protect our future space travelers.”

After the “Force” is up and running well there will be those mysteries that need investigating……

Scientists call it The Goblin—a far-off dwarf planet that’s adding to evidence of a mystery planet way, way out there. First seen in October 2015, the icy world seems to be orbiting something big in a distant region of the solar system called the Oort Cloud, Space.com reports. A team led by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, spent three years tracking the dwarf planet’s astounding orbit, which reaches a point nearly 60 times further from the sun than Pluto and takes 40,000 years to complete, per the Guardian. Two other dwarf planets are orbiting the same area, suggesting some huge unseen object is out there in a region NASA describes as “a thick bubble of icy debris that surrounds our solar system.”

“These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X,” says Sheppard in a statement, referring to a hypothetical planet he first proposed with a colleague in 2014 to explain orbits of other Oort Cloud dwarf planets called Sedna and 2012 VP113, per Space.com. Also known as Planet Nine, this possible world could be hovering on the edge of our solar system or existing entirely outside it, ejected long ago. Sheppard says he plans to further investigate by seeking more evidence of distant dwarf planets—worlds too small to be called full-sized planets. “The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits—a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system’s evolution,” he says.

How will the US handle its adversaries in Space?  Good question, huh?

As the Pentagon moves to stand up a U.S. Space Command and Congress debates whether it makes sense to create a Space Force, a central focus is to defend satellites from orbital weapons that would seek to damage or destroy U.S. assets in space.

Washington policymakers are gripped by the prospect of enemies shooting missiles or lasers at U.S. systems. But that is only a small piece of the puzzle, says Jeffrey Gossel, senior intelligence engineer at the Space and Missile Analysis Group of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

https://spacenews.com/the-next-battleground-what-do-we-really-know-about-what-adversaries-do-in-space/

The Pentagon is taking Trump seriously and has looked into the composition of the new “Space Force”…..

The U.S. Space Force will include uniformed service members drawn from the Air Force, Navy and Army — but it is not expected to include the National Reconnaissance Office mission, according an internal draft of the Pentagon’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military.

Defense One reviewed a copy of the 13-page document, which will be further developed in coming months before the Pentagon sends it to Congress in February along with its 2020 budget request. This early draft provides a glimpse into a 21st-century approach to creating a new service branch, an endeavor not undertaken since 1947. Among other things, it reveals divergent views among senior Pentagon officials about how to structure it.

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2018/10/heres-pentagons-initial-plan-creating-space-force/152203/

Acting on behalf of the president the GOP controlled House Armed Services Committee is also taking the president serious in his desire for a “Space Force”…….

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to provide more precise details on how it would organize and fund a new military service for space. In an Oct. 4 letter, Chairman Mac Thornberry asks Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva to deliver the data by Nov. 16.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews, the committee lays out four different ways in which a Space Force could be formed. Thornberry says he wants additional information before the committee endorses any one approach.

The committee will explore four options:

https://spacenews.com/house-armed-services-committee-exploring-several-paths-to-a-space-force/

Since nukes seem to be in the news these….I ask….will the US deploy them into space with our Space Force?

Vice President Mike Pence said that the US has flexibility on its military activities in outer space, and refused to rule out the idea that the US would position nuclear weapons there in the future, saying it would “advance the principle that peace comes through strength.”

Pence further said that the question of nuclear weapons is “the president’s determination,” and that while it’s in the interest of every nation to keep nukes out of space for now, at some point this may prove to be an way to show more “strength.”

(antiwar.com)

But first Trump or whoever would have to withdraw from a treaty, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty……The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, of which the United States is a signatory, strictly forbids the positioning of nuclear weapons anywhere in outer space. With the Trump Administration’s rush to militarize space….check out Article IV…..https://www.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm  The pdf seems to be unavailable (so I guess you cannot get everything from the web)

No problem!  Trump has pulled out of most of our nuke treaties first with Iran then the INF Treaty…so no biggie he can just do what he does best…screw things up.

I may be one of the few bloggers that is focused on this new military branch, the Space Force…..I will keep my readers up on all the twists and turns of this situation…it should prove interesting.

Will the US get another “Branch” of our armed services?  Or will this just be another pipe dream that falls way short?  What service will we lose to pay for this pipe dream?

Just asking.

Space….The Good News And The Bad

Hope your Sunday is as relaxing as mine…..

We have a Space Force on the drawing boards as another military branch….first Obama and now Trump are considering the possibility……so we need to keep an eye on what is happening with our space programs……

First the Good News…….the Parker Solar Probe…..

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the sun than any spacecraft has ever gotten. Parker on Monday surpassed the record of 26.6 million miles set by Helios 2 back in 1976, the AP reports—and it will keep getting closer to the sun until it flies through the corona, or outer atmosphere, for the first time next week, passing within 15 million miles of the solar surface. Parker will make 24 close approaches to the sun over the next seven years, ultimately coming within just 3.8 million miles. “We’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history,” Andy Driesman, the project manager for the probe, said in a statement, per Gizmodo. “It’s a proud moment for the team.”

Motherboard notes that the probe is protected by a Thermal Protection System (TPS) heat shield, which has been tested to endure temps up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also designed to keep the probe’s instruments safe from radiation and to help the probe make an easier transition when it heads back to the relative chilliness of deep space. Launched in August, Parker was on track to set another record late Monday night, about to surpass Helios 2’s speed record of 153,454 miles per hour, relative to the sun. (Is your name flying close to the sun with Parker?)

And now the bad…..the Kepler Telescope has given scientist so much to think about has possibly died…..

NASA’s elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope’s demise Tuesday, the AP reports. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel for months. Its ability to point at distant stars and identify possible alien worlds worsened dramatically at the beginning of October, but flight controllers still managed to retrieve its latest observations. The telescope has now gone silent, its fuel tank empty. Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more potential candidates. It showed us rocky worlds the size of Earth that, like Earth, might harbor life. It also unveiled incredible super Earths: planets bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune.

Kepler opened the gate for mankind’s exploration of the cosmos,” said retired NASA scientist William Borucki, who led the original Kepler science team. Adds NASA’s astrophysics director Paul Hertz, “It has revolutionized our understanding of our place in the cosmos. Now we know because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy.” Kepler focused on stars thousands of light-years away; a successor to Kepler launched in April, NASA’s Tess spacecraft, has its sights on stars closer to home and has already identified some possible planets. Now 94 million miles from Earth, Kepler should remain in a safe, stable orbit around the sun. Flight controllers will disable the spacecraft’s transmitters, before bidding a final “good night.”

It had a magnificent run……just look at the site for more info….

The centuries-old quest for other worlds like our Earth has been rejuvenated by the intense excitement and popular interest surrounding the discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars. There is now clear evidence for substantial numbers of three types of exoplanets; gas giants, hot-super-Earths in short period orbits, and ice giants. The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water might exist on the surface of the planet.

The Kepler Mission is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/overview/index.html

Sundays are for relaxation….try it you will like it…..chuq

Saturday–27Oct18

Cooler weather for awhile…..garden is slowly showing the signs of approaching winter….Mo is ripping around the back yard and I am enjoying my beer….all in all a good day….this was the planter I was going to use for my radishes…..

I remember years ago when the Large Hadron Collider was in the process of being turned on and all the doom and gloom coming from some quarters.

We were told that once it was up and functioning then a massive black hole would be created and the destruction of our planet would be eminent….remember all those warnings?

Guess what.  The predictions have returned!

Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, has a warning about particle accelerators. There is a small, but very real possibility of disaster. Rees claims Earth could be crushed to the size of a soccer field by particle accelerators.

The Large Hadron Collider, which is a particle accelerator, shoots particles at incredibly high speeds, smashes them together, and scientists observe the fallout. According toScience Alert, these high-speed collisions have helped us discover a lot of new particles, but according to Rees, these discoveries come with several risks to humanity. In a new book, called On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, he gives some pretty dire possible outcomes of this type of advancement in science.

Maybe a black hole could form, and then suck in everything around it,” he writes, as Sarah Knapton reported over at the Telegraph.

“The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets. That in itself would be harmless. However, under some hypotheses, a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth in a hyperdense sphere about one hundred meters across.”

 That’s about the length of one soccer field or 330 feet.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-02/renowned-cosmologist-warns-earth-could-be-crushed-particle-accelerator

Should we worry?

Time to sit and think……

Archeology For A Sunday

Weekends and I choose stuff that is not a big headline generator….since I like history and archeology I want to share some of the stuff that has come to light recently….

We are discovering that the Maya were a lot more widespread than first believed….these fascinating people are coming into better understanding…..

Maya civilization was no mere collection of city states using slash-and-burn farming—that we learned earlier this year. Now archaeologists are looking deeper into an airborne survey that revealed a formidable civilization double the size of medieval England at its peak 1,200 years ago, Ars Technica reports. The survey, which used LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to peek beneath the jungle foliage, revealed some 61,000 buildings, draining canals, fortresses, and roads across roughly 828 square miles. What archaeologists are saying about those details in Science:

  • Population: About 7 million to 11 million people populated the central Maya Lowlands—an area including some of Belize, Guatemala, and Yucatan—between 650 and 800 CE, the Late Classic Period. How did researchers crunch that number? By counting the structures per square mile and estimating how many were houses. Big cities like Tikal likely had hundreds of people per square mile, per Discovery.
  • Farming: A huge agricultural effort was needed to keep all those mouths fed, LiveScience notes. Imagine a complex grid of channels providing flood control and irrigation, with grids up to six feet wide and 20 inches deep, some stretching over half a mile. Still, densely populated cities like Naachtun and Tikal had to import food from other Maya kingdoms to survive.
  • Causeways: In earlier Maya times, from 1000 to 250 BCE, cities were linked by elevated roads or causeways up to 65 feet wide and up to 13 miles in length—but they fell into disuse when so-called Preclassic cities were abandoned. Yet their faded ghost outlines are visible on the LIDAR.
  • Fortresses: Mayans built more of them than expected in the Late Classic Period, and sophisticated ones, too. One has walls over 25 feet high and an Olympic-pool-size reservoir: “In other words, this place was ready for a siege,” says Ithaca College archaeologist Tom Garrison. “That is not really the type of conflict that we think about for the ancient Maya.”
  • Overall: “Seen as a whole, terraces and irrigation channels, reservoirs, fortifications, and causeways reveal an astonishing amount of land modification done by the Maya over their entire landscape on a scale previously unimaginable,” a Tulane researcher says in a statement.

The iconic sphinx has been a lonely monument to the early Egyptians and today it is not as lonely as it was in the past…..

Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion’s body and a human head in the southern city of Aswan. Per the AP, the Antiquities Ministry says the sphinx made of sandstone was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic time. The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years—from around 320BC to about 30BC. Egypt hopes such discoveries will spur tourism, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. (Another recent discovery in Egypt predates this one’s origins by thousands of years.)

Since I can remember some archeologists have wanted to proven the Exodus and so far nothing….but a new site has been found and the attempt to prove continues…..

Ancient ruins found in the Israeli wilderness could solve the biblical mystery of the Exodus, archaeologists claim.

According to the Bible, Moses liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness of Sinai, before they crossed the River Jordan into the promised land of Canaan.

Yet no historical basis for the legend exists, and experts generally agree the Israelites were in fact native to Canaan – an ancient region covering modern day Israel.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6210313/Do-ruins-prove-Biblical-story-Exodus.html

Personally, I think that the Israelites were just an off-shoot of the Canaanites and were in the region always since it is proven that the Egyptians have been proven to have not employed slaves…..but that is just me…..

Any thoughts?

Biotech Gone Bad?

The weekend begins and I try to find the stuff that does not make it to the headlines…..basically I try to be an FYI post……

I read disturbing stories and reports all the time but the ones that involve our environment especially when the food supply being tampered with…. like the below report……

How about GMO insects and the possibility of them being used as a bio-weapon?

A team of scientist sounds the alarm in a new Science Policy Forum report about a mysterious US government program that is developing genetically modified viruses that would be dispersed into the environment using insects. The virus-infected or ‘Frankenstein’ insects are being developed as countermeasures against potential natural and engineered threats to the US food supply. The program is operated by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) could be viewed as an attempt to develop an entirely new class of bioweapons that would prompt other nations to seek similar weapons, they cautioned.

The researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the University of Freiburg both in Germany, and the University of Montpellier in France suggest DARPA’s program could likely breach the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.

https://www.technocracy.news/darpa-developing-gmo-insects-that-genetically-modify-crops/

It should be a crime to use food as a weapon.

Personally, I do not like the idea of anything GMO.  It makes veggies tasteless…..and seeds worthless….I think we would be better off without the burden of GMO anything.

I try to grow my own veggies from non-GMO seeds as much as I can these days…..

Any thoughts?

Cooler mornings, more time in the garden…..I love Autumn!