Wil je een videoclip bekijken en stoort het X-files-deuntje jou daarbij. Schakel het deuntje gewoon uit door in deze kolon, helemaal beneden op de 2 witte balkjes in het blauwe cirkeltje te klikken, tot een pijltje verschijnt. Veel kijk- en luisterplezier en bedankt voor jouw bezoek.
The purpose of this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category. Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
Deze blog is opgedragen aan mijn overleden echtgenote Lucienne.
In 2012 verloor ze haar moedige strijd tegen kanker!
In 2011 startte ik deze blog, omdat ik niet mocht stoppen met mijn UFO-onderzoek.
UFO'S - MET HET LAATSTE NIEUWS OVER UFO'S BOVEN BELGIË EN IN ANDERE LANDEN...
UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE ww.ufo.be.
Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch...
Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site www.ufowijzer.nl bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels.
MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen.
MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity...
Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder www.mufon.com.
Ze geven een maandeliiks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal. Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
New Research on the Theory that Octopuses are Aliens
New Research on the Theory that Octopuses are Aliens
The controversial theory that mysterious and biologically complex octopus is so unique that it had to come from another planet just got a scientific paper backing it.
“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted as that would be a parsimonious cosmic explanation for the Octopus’ sudden emergence on Earth circa 270 million years ago.”
OK, “should not be discounted” is not exactly a bet-your-life savings-on-it endorsement, but it’s still a big deal. In a paperentitled “Cause of Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?” published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biologyjournal, 33 scientists researching the cause of the Cambrian Explosion – the mysterious point in Earth’s history when single-cell organisms were suddenly overshadowed by complex animals – linked the panspermia or cosmic cause to the equally mysterious and sudden appearance of octopuses.
“The transformative genes leading from the consensus ancestral Nautilus to the common Cuttlefish to Squid to the common are not easily to be found in any pre-existing life form – it is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant “future” in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large. One plausible explanation, in our view, is that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth – most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within (say) cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized Octopus eggs.”
“Cryopreserved and matrix protected” sounds like a Superman origin story with creatures sent by another civilization to populate the galaxy (let’s take a moment to remember Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve’s movie Superman and passed away this week), but the paper leans more towards the idea that Earth received a bombardment of comets and asteroids that could have been carrying organisms that somehow managed to survive the cold, the radiation and the long trip. Only a complex species could devise a way to do this … an advanced species with a really big brain like … an octopus?
Yes, that seems to be the flying octopus in the panspermian ointment of this particular paper. It singles out octopuses as an (or possibly the only) advanced species that sent preserved eggs during the same period that it speculates asteroids and comets were involuntarily bringing other hardy cells and viruses en masse to ignite the Cambrian Explosion some 540 million years ago. “Speculates” because there’s no physical proof yet of the real cause of the Cambrian Explosion – so panspermia, climate change, evolution and others are in play.
If they’re an advanced species, do they know about this?
Octopuses are a special and highly unusual species that can edit their own RNA and slow down their evolution – a process that science can’t explain yet. It’s interesting that many scientists think the idea of intentional panspermia as their origin on Earth “should not be discounted.” Does this mean octopuses are aliens? Only an eight-legged, squishy Jor-El knows for sure.
While the search for extraterrestrial life here in this universe is complicated enough, the problem becomes even murkier when you account for the multiverse theory—our universe might one of many “universes” that make up a collective multiverse. Theoretical physicists have long assumed that the vast majority of parallel universes would be unable to harbor alien life, but that assumption is being challenged. A research team of scientists from Durham University, Western Sydney University, and the University of Western Australia have now found evidence that upends previously held notions of why the universe formed as it did, and suggests that the conditions to create a habitable universe are much more likely that previously imagined.
Just as Earth is an assumed rarity in our universe—a Goldilocks planet, not too hot, not too cold, and full of liquid water—our universe as a whole was previously considered to be an extreme rarity among potential alternate universes. Why? Dark energy, the strange and baffling invisible force that is driving our universe’s expansion. Jaime Salcido, postgraduate student at Durham University told Newsweek:
“The multiverse theory suggests that our universe is only one of many, baby universes being born like bubbles in a bigger multiverse, with a wide range of physical laws and fundamental constants. The existence of life seems to depend on a small number of fine-tuned fundamental physical constants, such as the strength of gravity and the amount of dark energy. The formation of stars and galaxies is the result of a tug-of-war between these values: gravity causing matter to clump together, the dark energy causing the universe to fly apart.”
The multiverse theory states that our universe is just one in a perhaps never ending series of other universes.
Scientists thought that if there were any less or any more dark energy in a parallel universe than what we find in our own—dark energy makes up about 70 percent of our observable universe—the alternate universe wouldn’t have the physical laws that allow galaxies, stars, and planets to form in the first place.
It seems that celestial bodies like stars and galaxies form even when they amount of dark energy is no where near the amount predicted to be necessary. In one case, the researchers added one hundred times the amount of dark energy to the system, and a functioning, potentially habitable universe still formed. Salcido says:
“Our research shows that even if there was much more dark energy, or even very little, in the universe, then it would only have a minimal effect on star and planet formation, raising the prospect that life could exist throughout the multiverse.”
Inter-dimensional aliens are objectively more awesome than regular aliens, so that’s pretty cool.
New research shows that a universe will form galaxies regardless of the amount of dark energy.
The findings do cause a bit of a problem though. The multiverse theory was created as a way to explain the amount of dark matter, and the relationship it has with the fundamental formation of the universe. It doesn’t work anymore. While the researchers say this doesn’t disprove a multiverse, it does mean that our understanding of dark energy was rather flawed:
“It seems that we need a new physical law to understand dark energy. The puzzle remains.”
People staring at the night sky over the Trinity Park a couple of months ago might have seen a UFO.
A local geologist Adam Murfet caught an apparent UFO while recording on video an intense storm activity with his camera.
Mr Murfet said that he saw the strange light in the sky during the end of a lightning storm. He explained that there was no lightning going on by the time he noticed what could be described as an unidentified flying object.
The video shows a small object hovering, zipping around erratically and seemingly vanish before reappearing.
He said that it shot up and disappeared.
Then all of a sudden, the pitch black sky reignites with lightning quickly after the light vanished.
The possible existence of little green men in the skies makes Mr Murfet to consider starting a Northern Beaches UFO watchers group.
He said that he has never created one before, but believes they could form a group together to see what they could see.
He sent the footage to Mutual UFO Network for consideration.
Mr Murfet said that UFOs have always fascinated him, but it was the first time he has seen one.
Speculation about the existence of extraterrestrial life has been a perennial occupant of humanity’s endless capacity for wonder. To see if there is anyone out there, we sent both Voyagers, not to study a particular star, but to leave our shores and explore other islands in the vast oceans of outer space. Astrophysicists have also wondered (if we do discover one) about the nature of such an alien civilization.
If we were to infer the biochemistry of any life form from what we have already encountered, which is well, us, we’d conclude that it would be based on carbon. Carbon, or as science fiction regularly depicts, carbon’s closest cousin, silicon. However, Carl Sagan called this parochial view Carbon chauvinism. He believed that we shouldn’t limit our imagination and ridiculed the assumption that alien life would resemble life on Earth.
Life in all its variety.
Still, due to its sheer dominance on Earth, carbon remains our best guess. Given that, what makes carbon so special?
Life is complex
Every life form, whether plant or animal, is the embodiment of complexity. The first self-replicating organism evolved more and more complex biological functions by incorporating more and more molecular complexity. Here, complexity refers to fostering millions of intricate chemical bonds and reactions that are imperative to sustain higher forms of life. A primitive life form, such as an amoeba, fosters far lesser molecular complexity than a higher mammal, such as a dog.
Molecular complexity enabled the synthesis of functions, such as breathing, excretion, digestion and most importantly, reproduction. None of this would have been possible without carbon. Without carbon, there would have been no DNA, proteins, lipids, sugar, fat, muscle tissue or anything else that makes up the stuff of life.
(Photo Credit: Pixabay)
Considering the 118 elements known to man, it’s strange why only 5-6 of them are used to construct organic life. The most common of them is, of course, carbon, dedicated to whose antics is an entire branch of chemistry. It is carbon’s extraordinary thermodynamic and chemical properties that render it so superior to other elements.
A carbon atom consists of four valence electrons, allowing it to form four single bonds (methane), two double bonds (carbon dioxide) and a triple bond (acetylene, a welding fuel and a raw material for synthesizing plastic). The dominance of carbon, however, isn’t a result of its ability to form these complex bonds, but rather the ease and pliancy with which it forms them. In fact, all the elements residing in the column that carbon occupies in the periodic table possess four valence electrons, but the stability of the bonds they form is incomparable to carbon.
The chemical structure of a four base pair fragment of a DNA double helix.
(Photo Credit: Thomas Shafee / Wikimedia Commons)
Even silicon, the element that resides right below carbon, forms countless molecules, but a double-bonded silicon molecule, unlike double-bonded carbon, is transient – its instability eventually forces it to part into single-bonded silicon atoms. Carbon molecules, such as hydrocarbons, one of the most crucial species of molecules to sustain life, are neither too frail to easily break down, nor too rigid to deter plasticity and adaptability. This allows enzymes to easily manipulate carbon molecules. Furthermore, reactions with silicon aren’t all that efficient; silicon dioxide is a huge molecule (sand), as compared to carbon dioxide, which comfortably exists as a gas.
Silicon-based life can’t survive on Earth anyway. Silicon is more reactive than carbon and can form long ‘chains’ of molecules, reminiscent of hydrocarbons, but it will also react violently with oxygen at relatively low temperatures. This means that silicon chains or ‘silanes’ couldn’t have survived within our atmosphere. Carbon-based life also wouldn’t have survived if organisms stored energy directly as hydrocarbons — alkanes are quite flammable themselves (petrol and kerosene), but carbon-based organisms store energy as sugars, lipids, alcohols and other hydrocarbons that exhibit very different chemical properties.
A strawberry poison frog from a tropical rainforest in Panama.
(Credit: Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock)
All of these properties can be explained by a single statement: carbon is the smallest atom that possesses four valence electrons. Its size renders it the ideal friend to make. Bonds on one branch are unaffected by bonds on other branches. However, life would have been impossible to manufacture if nature lacked the raw materials itself. Carbon is abundant on Earth, so nature couldn’t have missed the opportunity. It leveraged its properties to build life right from scratch!
There might be plenty of aliens – living in other universes, according to a new study.
Whether we live in a universe that is just one of many, inside a multiverse, is a question that has long troubled astronomers. And, after asking that, another question that is even more perplexing follows: would those other universes contain life of their own?
Now new research has shown that if that multiverse exists it could be filled with many examples of different alien life.
Scientists used vast computer simulations to predict that other parts of the multiverse would be far more hospitable to life than we had previously thought.
But it also causes major problems for the idea of the multiverse. In fact, the strangeness of our own universe might better be explained by an undiscovered natural law, they said.
The idea of the multiverse comes about because in physics terms, our universe is very lucky to exist at all.
Current theories predict there should be much more dark energy inside of our own universe than there is. That is a problem because adding more dark energy would lead it to expand so quickly that any matter would be diluted before it could form the stars or planets that we need to live.
In response to that, some have suggested that we might in fact be living inside of a multiverse. There are in fact lots of different universes – many of which will have more dark energy and so could not host life – and we simply live inside one that worked out in the right way.
But the new study suggests that we might have been overstating how lucky we are. It might actually be possible for stars and planets to form even if there is much more dark energy.
“We asked ourselves how much dark energy can there be before life is impossible,” said Pascal Elahi, a research fellow at the University of Western Australia. “Our simulations showed that the accelerated expansion driven by dark energy has hardly any impact on the birth of stars, and hence places for life to arise. Even increasing dark energy many hundreds of times might not be enough to make a dead universe.”
It is still true that our universe could be very special. But it does not need to be quite so special, the researchers showed.
“The multiverse was previously thought to explain the observed value of dark energy as a lottery – we have a lucky ticket and live in the Universe that forms beautiful galaxies which permit life as we know it,” said Luke Barnes, a John Templeton research fellow at Western Sydney University.
“Our work shows that our ticket seems a little too lucky, so to speak. It’s more special than it needs to be for life. This is a problem for the multiverse; a puzzle remains.”
That puzzling fact might suggest that the multiverse theory is not true in the first place. The study does not rule out the idea but does suggest that the small amount of dark energy in our universe would be better explained by a law of nature that we do not yet know about.
At the time, researcher Chrstopher Russell said the find was the "building blocks of life" and meant "we need to explore Ceres".
But he added "Ceres may have been able to take this process only so far" and the elements were "a long way" from life.
NEW DAWN: The probe was launched in 2007 and will orbit Ceres until 2018
ALIEN WORLD: Ceres is fast becoming one of the most fascinating objects in the solar system
"More and more, we are learning that Ceres is a complex, dynamic world that may have hosted a lot of liquid water in the past, and may still have some underground," said Julie Castillo-Rogez, project scientist for Dawn.
Scientists found its crust was a mixture of ice, salts and “hydrated materials” – which suggest the existence of an ancient ocean.
And they believe beneath this harder crust could be a soft layer which may have soaked up water.
Even if NASA do not find proof of life, the discovery is key to understanding how our solar system formed.
It will also provide insight into working to find aliens on worlds elsewhere in the Milky Way.
NASA said: "The team thinks most of Ceres' ancient ocean is now frozen and bound up in the crust, remaining in the form of ice, clathrate hydrates and salts.
"It has mostly been that way for more than 4 billion years. But if there is residual liquid underneath, that ocean is not yet entirely frozen.”
Ceres is believed to have formed 4.57 billion years ago in the earliest days of our solar system.
DWARF PLANET: Ceres is just 600 miles across but may have been covered in oceans
Astrophysicists found 12 possible black holes near the supermassive black hole at our Milky Way’s heart. They could be the 1st known members of a black hole swarm.
When you look at this image, you’re looking toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy, toward the giant black hole called Sagittarius A*. The white circles indicate likely binary systems containing white dwarf stars. The red circles indicate possible black holes.
Image via Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Scientists using X-ray data said on May 9, 2018, that they now have evidence for a swarm of stellar-mass black holes – typically weighing between five to 30 times the mass of our sun – within three light-years of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The galactic center is already known to be inhabited by a supermassive black hole, with some 4 million times the sun’s mass. Astronomers call this behemoth Sagittarius A* (pronounced Sagittarius A-star), and they’re calling the possible swarm of smaller black holes near it the Sagittarius A* Swarm.
Everything you’d ever want to learn about the way big black holes interact with little black holes, you can learn by studying this distribution. The Milky Way is really the only galaxy we have where we can study how supermassive black holes interact with little ones because we simply can’t see their interactions in other galaxies.
The scientists said this new evidence is the first confirmation of decades of theoretical studies of the dynamics of stars in galaxies, which have indicated that a large population of stellar mass black holes could drift inward over the eons and collect around the galaxies’ central supermassive black holes.
The researchers used Chandra data to search for X-ray binaries – systems where a black hole is locked in a close orbit with a star and is pulling matter from the star, resulting in X-ray emission – near Sagittarius A*. They studied the X-ray spectra — that is, the amount of X-rays seen at different energies — of sources within about 12 light-years of the galaxy’s heart. A statement from Chandra X-ray Observatory explained:
… they detected 14 X-ray binaries within about three light-years of Sgr A*. Two X-ray sources likely to contain neutron stars based on the detection of characteristic outbursts in previous studies were then eliminated from the analysis.
The dozen remaining X-ray binaries are identified in the labeled version of the image [above] using red colored circles. Other sources with relatively large amounts of high energy X-rays are labeled in white, and are mostly binaries containing white dwarf stars.
Hailey and his collaborators concluded that a majority of these dozen X-ray binaries are likely to contain black holes.
Sagittarius A* is about 26,000 light-years from Earth. The scientists said that – at this distance – only the brightest X-ray binaries containing black holes are likely to be detectable. Therefore, they said:
… the detections in this study imply that a much larger population of fainter, undetected X-ray binaries — at least 300 and up to 1,000 — containing stellar-mass black holes should be present around Sagittarius A*.
Artist’s concept of the stellar-mass black holes found near the giant supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, via Columbia University.
Bottom line: Astrophysicists found 12 possible black holes within three light-years of Sagittarius A*, the 4-billion-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. The smaller black holes could be the 1st known members of a black hole swarm.
Because sometimes we, as a society need help to realize what exactly is going on around us, and how things have changed, and not for the better, here are 30 images that prove the end is near.
Take a look at the largest diamond mine in the world. The Mir Mine. What exactly is mankind ready to do to get what they want? Does mother nature stand a chance against destructive humans?
This image above is a satellite view of the metropolitan area of New Delhi in India. It is the world’s third-largest metropolis, and it continues to grow.
A Plastic Bag was recently discovered at the deepest point on Earth.
Black Friday: Need I say more? Sigh.
Remember the Fukushima Disaster in Japan? Why not resort to eco-friendly energy?
Yeah, this was once an elephant.
The Ancient Temple of Ain Dara reduced to rubble after the war.
Chemtrails. Not a conspiracy anymore.
This is an oilfield in California.
Deforestation in Canada.
This image was shot in Java, Indonesia where people still surf beautiful turquoise waves, despite the trash and filth.
Yeah, that’s Toxic plume.
Melting ice is producing an incredible waterfall right on top of an iceberg in this stunning yet worrying image.
Welcome to the Concrete Jungle. L.A., evidence of a consumption-oriented, car-dependent society.
As ecosystems change and ice caps melt, changes occur. This image shows a polar bear that starved to death. Experts say that ice caps are disappearing alarmingly.
Scenes like these are common all around the globe.
After stripping electronic devices of any ‘precious’ metals, this is what remains. Plastic, plastic, and yeah, more plastic.
Rising sea levels could see places like the Maldives disappear beneath the ocean.
Satellite image of the tar sands region. As we can see in the image, mining operations and tailing ponds are so widespread; they are visible from space.
That ‘colorful scenery’ inside the albatross is plastic.
And if our waste doesn’t get the animals, poachers will hunt them down to extinction level.
We cut down trees without thinking about the consequences.
Wildfires have become frequent around the globe. These destructive fires are another consequence of a warming planet.
In this image, we can observe a waste treatment plant in India. There are surely better ways to treat waste?
Oil is not the energy of the future. But those who profit from it don’t really care, right?
A shepherd photographed in Inner Mongolia cannot stand the smell as he navigates the Yellow River.
In Peru, the rainforest has survived mercury poisoning coming from the south produced by diamond mines. To the North, oil companies destroy everything they find along the way. This image shows the rainforest burning.
According to Lazzarini, the Pyramid-shaped Waya modules are to be built of fiberglass, carbon fiber as well as steel. The buildings are to be installed on massive floating platforms, containing basements locate beneath the water, suitable for bedrooms or living rooms.
As the floating Pyramid-shaped city aims to be fully autonomous and self-sustaining, the Waya modules will have solar-powered motors that will propel the structures.
Image Credit: Pierpaolo Lazzarini
The Pyramid-city would also have a small marina where the inhabitants could accommodate their boats and other water vehicles.
Lazzarini envisioned how each Waya module would obtain electricity from solar panels and water turbines.
Sounds interesting right?
Image Credit: Pierpaolo Lazzarini
However, the city, Wayaland, is still in concept stage, and Lazzarini is currently raising funds to begin the construction of the pyramid-shaped floating city with a crowdfunding campaign.
The Smallest Waya module will cost around $422,000 USD.
The modules would also be available for rent, with a cost of around $1,200 USD per night.
Image Credit: Pierpaolo Lazzarini
All of those who purchase a Waya module will participate in the community giving them rights like voting for where the Pyramid-shaped city would be located, based on a pre-selected list of optimal locations.
Lazzarini plans the inauguration of Wayaland to take place in 2022.
Image Credit: Pierpaolo Lazzarini
So, if you have a bit of cash to space, like Pyramids–floating pyramids–and want to live in a fully autonomous and self-sustaining city, hop over to Lazzarini’s website and found more about this revolutionary project.
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Scientists Find Genetically ‘Different’ Humans Adapted For Diving
Scientists Find Genetically ‘Different’ Humans Adapted For Diving
No, scientists didn’t discover fish people, nor did they find a new species of humans.
A mystery people living in Southeastern Asia has baffled scientists for years.
The people of the Bajau tribe, in Southeast Asia, only need a breath of air to dive up to 70 meters underwater and fish, remaining submerged for several minutes. This has led experts to question how dey manage to do it.
These people were almost like “super-humans” and have “extraordinary” capabilities…
Image Credit: Melissa Ilardo
A recent study published in the Journal cell describes how a certain population of humans has genetically adapted to dive underwater.
Experts describe a population that has remarkably larger organs, which help them stay underwater for greater periods of time.
This isn’t the first time that experts have found genetic mutations in humans.
The more we peer into our genes, the more we discover how people from around the world have adapted to their surroundings, making them remarkably unique in a number of ways.
For example, people in Tibet and the Ethiopian highlands have ‘evolved’ to better adapt to living at extremely high altitudes.
People in East Africa and Northern Europe have adopted a genetic mutation that allows them to better digest milk as adults.
And now, scientists reported a new type of genetic mutation different from the above-mentioned in sea-dwelling people in Southeastern Asia.
This genetic mutation allows them to become exceptional divers.
According to experts, the Bajau people, who are scattered in several communities across Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have evolved to longer survive underwater.
“They are simply a stranger to the land,” said Rodney C. Jubilado, a University of Hawaii anthropologist who studies the Bajau but was not involved in the new study.
Scientists studied the extraordinary capacity of the Bajau and have reached a conclusion: they can spend minutes without breathing thanks to a genetic mutation that has caused, among other things, to develop a bigger spleen.
This organ, among other functions, can store oxygen-bearing red blood cells.
In their study, whose results were published in the journal Cell, the scientists were guided by previous studies on Seals.
As it turns out, some species of seals can dive longer than others. These Seals have spleens larger than expected.
Inspired by this unexpected find, the team of scientists used an ultrasound device to measure the spleen in 43 people from the Bajau and 33 people from a neighboring group of farmers, the Saluan.
Scientists found that one variant of a gene called PDE10A influenced the size of Spleens in the Bajau people. Experts found that people with one copy of the mutant gene had much larger spleens that people with one. Scientists also found that people who have two copies of the mutant gene had even bigger spleens.
However, scientists found this surprising, as they’ve never found a special role for PDE10A in the spleen.
“This connection was a bit bizarre,” Dr. Ilardo concluded.
According to TechTimes, Dr. Melissa Ilardo said that Bajau people were almost like “super-humans” and that had “extraordinary” capabilities but also stated that natural selection is much more powerful than realized and should be given more credit.
Dr. Ilardo also said that she was excited to share her findings with the Bajau people as she felt that they understood the “science” behind her research and to satisfy their curiosity about the world and themselves.
“It seemed like the perfect opportunity for natural selection to act on a population,” said Dr. Ilardo.
In the dark, frozen wasteland that lies just beyond Neptune, few things really stand out — and now, astronomers have found one of them: a carbon-rich asteroid, the first asteroid of its kind to be discovered at the outskirts of our solar system.
Artistic depiction of the exiled asteroid 2004 EW95, the first carbon-rich asteroid confirmed to exist in the Kuiper Belt and a relic of the primordial solar system.
Image credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser.
It really shouldn’t be there, and as it so often happens in such studies, researchers first thought it was a mistake. Astronomers would have expected this kind of space rock in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but instead, it was drifting along just beyond Neptune.
The asteroid, which was named 2004 EW95, might be the first of a new class of space objects lurking the frigid area we call the Kuiper belt — the circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System, extending outward from the orbit of Neptune.
So how did the asteroid, which likely originated in the inner parts of our solar system, migrate so much?
It probably has a lot to do with our solar systems’ gas giants, which, in their infancies, caused quite a ruckus in the solar systems. During their early days, the gas giants probably orbited much closer to the Sun than they do today. But they started their outwards migration not long after the solar system was formed, and as they did so, they created all sorts of chaos.
Among this chaos, chunks of ice and rock such as 2004 EW95 were hurled away, which explains how it could have gotten there — and it also supports previous theoretical models of early planetary evolution. But even more interestingly, this means that the asteroid (and others of its kind) could provide insight as to how the solar system looked in its earlier days.
A lone rock far away from home
It’s not the first time objects that originated in the inner solar system were found so far away, but none were confirmed to the level of quality of 2004 EW95. It all started when Tom Seccull, a doctoral student at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope to look at the light signatures of icy objects in the Kuiper Belt. When they found a 90-mile-long object, located 2.5 billion miles from Earth, something just wasn’t right — the object wasn’t exhibiting the same properties as its neighbors. Further analysis revealed that the object did not share the same icy past as other rocks drifting nearby. Instead, it appeared to have formed in a hotter environment, closer to the Sun.
“When we first looked at this, we thought it was wrong,” said Mr. Seccull, the lead author of the paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “The rock had been altered by the presence of liquid water.”
The team also determined the asteroid’s chemistry, using a technique called spectrometry. Since Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 has a strong spectrum, its light can be broken down into different wavelengths, enabling researchers to determine what the asteroid is made of. However, identifying the chemical composition of such a distant object is extremely difficult.
The dramatic distance and the asteroid’s relatively small size make it an extremely difficult target to track, and the fact that it features carbon molecules, which makes it appear darker in color, doesn’t make it any easier.
“It’s like observing a giant mountain of coal against the pitch-black canvas of the night sky,” said Thomas Puzia, an astronomer at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and co-author of the research paper.
Still, the team was able to overcome these difficulties, finding that the asteroid contains carbon, iron oxides, and phyllosilicates (sheet-like silicate minerals). This is the first object ever found in the Kuiper belt containing these elements, all of which indicate that the asteroid formed in the inner parts of the Solar System.
With all this information, the research team concluded that 2004 EW95 probably formed between Mars and Jupiter, and was dragged along as the gas giants moved to their current orbits, thus offering important information about the dynamics of the early solar system.
We should also probably be thankful for this migration of the gas giants. Astronomers have found strong evidence that in many cases, these planets don’t move outwards, and stay in very close orbit to the Sun, creating what is called Hot Jupiters. Hot Jupiters are believed to deter the formation of rocky planets such as the Earth.
Whatsmore, as they migrate, they can destroy everything in their path, including the proto-Earth. So we should be grateful that they moved in just the right way to allow our planet to be formed, and ultimately, enable a species of primates we call humans emerge and evolve on this blue dot we claim as home.
The study “2004 EW95: A Phyllosilicate-bearing Carbonaceous Asteroid in the Kuiper Belt” by T. Seccull et al., which appeared in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
NASA’s Galileo shuttle has found evidence of water plumes on Jupiter’s Moon Europa, transporting material from the internal ocean out into space. This not only confirms that Europa has liquid water beneath its frozen surface, but opens up the possibility of sampling Europa’s water without needing to get down to the surface.
A graphic showing water emissions detected above Europa in Hubble Space Telescope observations from December 2012.
Credit: NASA/ESA/L. Roth/SWRI/University of Cologne.
When people first considered the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the Moon or Venus seemed likely candidates. Then, as we understood that isn’t really the case, Mars became the main point of interest. But once again, rovers showed that life isn’t really thriving on Mars — though that might have been the case at some point in the past. Now, unlikely candidates have emerged: frigid satellites like Europa.
Europa is archetypical of the outer Solar System’s ‘ocean worlds’ — frozen satellites with liquid water hidden beneath a few kilometers of ice. Naturally, an ocean of warm, liquid water sounds like a great place for life to emerge and develop — but how do you study that? The most straightforward way would be to send a lander to places like Europa, drill through the ice, and take samples, but that’s problematic for numerous reasons.
First, it would be extremely costly and pose several technical difficulties. Not only do you need to somehow land on the rough and unforgiving ice, but you also need to drill several kilometers deep. Then, there’s also the risk of contamination, the problem of analyzing the results, and about a million things that could go wrong in the process. But there’s another way which might offer similar results: instead of digging down to the liquid water, what if the liquid water comes to us?
Telescope observations have indicated the existence of water plumes — columns of liquid water flowing to the surface, and even way above it. In 2012 and 2016, Hubble Space Telescope observed plume-like phenomena, but it’s still unclear if what Hubble saw was actually a plume, since the observation was made very close to the telescope’s maximum resolution.
Now, however, NASA has found much clearer evidence of these plumes, thanks to the Galileo spacecraft.
Galileo studied the planet Jupiter and its moons from 1989 to 2004. Looking through the data of a Europa flyby, Xianzhe Jia and colleagues spotted something unusual. During this flyby, which dropped below 400 km altitude, the shuttle’s magnetic instruments detected some unusual magnetic waves and plasma — which they interpreted as a plume.
Reconstructing Galileo’s path, they found that the magnetic anomaly coincides with a region of anomalous temperatures. This unusually hot area can only be fully explained by a transport of heat from Europa’s interior — something was carrying heat from Europa’s depths to the surface. In other words, all the evidence points towards a plume.
This finding could be extremely helpful for future missions to Europa, such as NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer spacecraft, which are scheduled to arrive in Jupiter’s system in the 2020s and 2030s respectively. Being able to study surface water or even better, plumes high up in the atmosphere would make a big difference for these missions.
It’s also not just Europa — Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan are also top priorities for extraterrestrial life in our solar system, and they’re also frozen moons with a subsurface ocean of liquid water. We certainly live in exciting times.
Journal Reference: “Xianzhe Jia et al. Evidence of a plume on Europa from Galileo magnetic and plasma wave signatures,” Nature Astronomy. DOI 10.1038/s41550-018-0450-z.
WETENSCHAPEr zouden wel degelijk “jets” van waterdamp op het oppervlak van de Jupitermaan Europa zijn. Dit blijkt uit nieuwe gegevens die vandaag werden gepubliceerd in het wetenschappelijk tijdschrift Nature Astronomy. De hoop op leven op het hemellichaam kan daarmee weer stijgen.
De Amerikaanse sonde Galileo, die van 1995 tot 2003 het Jupiterstelsel heeft geëxploreerd, zag reeds aanwijzingen voor de aanwezigheid van een oceaan van vloeibaar water die twee keer zoveel water zou omvatten als alle oceanen op Aarde samen. Die oceaan zou onder een extreem koude en harde ijskorst liggen. Het Amerikaanse ruimtevaartbureau NASA zag daarop Europa als één van de meest plausibele plaatsen voor buitenaards leven in ons zonnestelsel.
Op basis van data van de Amerikaans-Europese Hubble Ruimtetelescoop opperden vanaf 2012 astronomen de aanwezigheid van bundels van waterdamp op de Jupitermaan.
Zonder het bestaan ervan te bewijzen doen nieuwe data van de Galileo, verkregen tijdens een overvliegen van Europa in 1997, de balans opnieuw naar die mogelijkheid overhellen. Volgens de nieuwe studie laten immers veranderingen in het magnetisch veld en plasma rondom de maan zich gemakkelijk verklaren door de aanwezigheid van “jets” van waterdamp.
Indien die geisers er effectief zijn, kunnen zij op een dag de mogelijkheid bieden om met behulp van robots stalen te nemen van het water dat zich onder de ijskorst bevindt. Zodoende is boren doorheen de ijslaag, waarvan de dikte onbekend is, niet nodig. Zo is ook onderzoek naar mogelijke tekenen van leven mogelijk.
Zowel de VS als het Europese Ruimtevaartbureau ESA plannen respectievelijk met de sondes Europa Clipper en Juice naar Europa te trekken. De verkenners zouden tussen het einde van het volgende decennium en het begin van de jaren dertig het Jupiterstelsel moeten bereiken.
The Sumerians and their cuneiform language have done it again. Tablets found in Bassetki, in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan in Iraq, have been translated by a cuneiform expert and they indicate that the location was once the ancient and lost royal city of Mardaman, which was mentioned in many writings but never found. The tablets date back to around 1250 BCE and give details about this mysterious city and kingdom that once occupied a powerful position on the trade routes between Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Syria.
The translation of the 92 tablets, discovered in the summer of 2017, was announced last week by the University of Tübingen’s Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies where the archeologists, led by Professor Peter Pfälzner, are based. The translation was performed by University of Heidelberg philologist Dr. Betina Faist, one of the world’s few experts in cuneiform, who worked both with some of the small, crumbling tablets and with detailed photographs of those too fragile to be handled. The translations give a clear location of the lost city and change some previously-held assumptions. (Photos of the excavation and tablets here.)
Example of cuneiform – Gilgamesh Flood Tablet
Some information about Mardaman had been gleaned previously from other sources. It appears to have started between 2800 BCE and 2650 BCE and its history of destruction and rebuilding began around 2250 BC when it was destroyed by the Akkadian Empire led by Naram-Sin. Later Babylonian sources mention Mardaman being rebuilt, only to be destroyed again in 1786 BCE by Shamshi-Adad I and integrated into the Upper Mesopotamian empire. It became an independent kingdom for a time, but was then destroyed by the Turukkaeans from the Zagros Mountains. Most historians defined this as the end of Mardaman and the beginning of its designation as a lost city.
The cuneiform tablets have changed that. They show Mardaman continuing to exist as a Middle Assyrian trade powerhouse until around 1200 BCE, which was about the time they were written. In fact, it appears the tablets were stored in pottery in the governor’s palace of Assur-nasir and were preserved under its post-destruction rubble … perhaps intentionally, says Pfälzner.
“[They] may have been hidden this way shortly after the surrounding building had been destroyed. Perhaps the information [the tablets contain] was meant to be protected and preserved for posterity.”
Example of cuneiform – Tablet V of Epic of Gilgamesh
Why were they preserved? Cuneiform is the oldest documented language and, because it seems to have simply appeared rather than evolved, it has often been linked to ancient aliens. Without it, we would not have the literary works of Mesopotamia such as Epic of Gilgamesh and would not know that other documents besides the Bible contained stories of a Garden of Eden, a great flood and biblical figures such as Job.
Why did the last residents of the lost city of Mardaman hide these tablets in hopes that future generations or civilizations would find them?
Stranger Things: Nine Alleged US Combat Drones Recorded on Camera in Texas
Stranger Things: Nine Alleged US Combat Drones Recorded on Camera in Texas
A video filmed in Dallas showing unidentified objects in the night sky has prompted netizens to believe that the United States may have been testing a “secret project.”
The footage, recorded by Alfredo Cruz, has baffled the Internet, with many laying out conspiracy theories as the man witnessed a bizarre phenomenon that he described as the military “testing secret spaceships they don’t tell us about.” Someone else next to Cruz, however, pointed out that the objects looked like UFOs, having counted nine of them.
YouTube enthusiasts have come up with various theories on what they actually saw:
“The US military are 20 years in front any other country with advanced technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s them!” wrote a user under nickname Nicky Boy.
Another user, theenitehawk, voiced a similar point of view:
“Military ufos [sic], they do have technology like this, watch out.”
“It’s the way they all move at the same time in the sky, synchronized flight formation, weird,” said Joanne B.
In March, an aircraft passenger noticed an unusual orange triangle in his pictures of the rising sun in Texas, with many UFOmaniacs on the web labeling the phenomenon a “strange, flaming-looking triangular UFO.” Others, however, speculated that the mysterious craft could have been the TR-3B, a purported secret government plane that can allegedly go undetected on air traffic radars.
Hull's X-Files: some of the strangest and spookiest UFO sightings in the city's history
Hull's X-Files: some of the strangest and spookiest UFO sightings in the city's history
The historian has undergone months of painstaking research to uncover some of the city's strangest sightings
By Daniel Kemp
Nothing captures the imagination quite like the supernatural.
From ghosts and ghouls to unidentified flying objects, Hull and East Yorkshire is no stranger to the paranormal.
Historian Mike Covell has been spending the past few months in painstaking research into a few of the forgotton UFO sightings from around the area.
Since May 2008, the National Archives has witnessed a slow and steady release of UFO files to the public. The files feature thousands, if not millions of files, and every time they release them, they give Ufologists, or people that study UFO’s, a short window in which they can be downloaded for free.
The files, which cover between 1965 and 2008, contain numerous articles, letters, reports, eyewitness accounts, pilot testimony, police reports, drawings, maps, plans, newspaper cuttings and parliamentary questions – all linked to UFO’s.
There are newspaper cuttings, strange claims of mind control, UFO landings, crashes, and correspondence between several well-known researchers including Dr. David Clarke, Timothy Good, and Nick Redfern.
The files include sightings reported from the general public, lots of reports from Humberside Police, reports from the public to the police, reports from the public to the Hull Daily Mail, and all of the above to the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Air Force.
Some of the strangest of these include clippings from the Hull Daily Mail, scanned, photocopied, and entered into the UFO files for researchers to read in years to come.
Here are some of the highlights.
This is a file made up of reports from across the UK, but features a large section on Captain William Shaffner, who was killed when his Lightening plane ditched in the North Sea. The accident was later linked to UFO’s and as such both the Grimsby Telegraph and the Hull Daily Mail featured two page spreads on the incident on October 22, 1992 and October 23, 1992.
This file features all the pages from the Hull Daily Mail on this incident, spread across four pages of the file.
This file also features newspaper clippings, and contains the Captain William Schaffner articles from the Hull Daily Mail. It also contains an article from the Hull Daily Mail, dated Tuesday, November 3, 1992.
The article, entitled “Making sense of lights in the sky” features the story of Mrs June Cooper, who saw lights over the region in 1970. It goes on to link her sighting with that of Captain William Schaffner, and his ill-fated flight. She claims that she believed that she saw the UFO’s that brought him down off the coast of Flamborough.
This file features a report from the Hull Daily Mail dated August, 17 1993, entitled “Sightings of UFO’s on the up,” in which it states that UFO sightings in Hull and East Yorkshire are on the increase.
The claim came during a conference where a local UFO expert, named as Chris Lawson, went on record to state that the number of sightings being reported by eyewitnesses is on the increase. It goes on to include eyewitness accounts from Withernsea, and talks about national and international reports of cattle mutilations.
The file also features an article from the Hull Daily Mail, dated Friday, May 12 1993, again featuring Chris Lawson, in which it claims that UFO reports across Hull, East Yorkshire, and across the world are not only increasing, but the number of genuine reports are on the increase.
Finally this file features a newspaper clipping from the Hull Daily Mail, dated September 2, 1993, but it is nothing more than a review of the television show named Strange But True, hosted by Michael Aspel.
This file features a report from Hull via the Ministry of Defence.
This file was one of many that was linked to a series of sightings seen over the city on the July 25 and 27 July, and August 4 1997. A number of sightings were reported to the offices of the Hull Daily Mail, which in turn were reported to the Ministry of Defence and R.A.F. Waddington.
The reporter listed in the report is unknown.
The file states:
MODUK AIR FOR AFDO.
A. 251930 HRS JUL 97 272000 HRS JUL 97 AND 042100 HURS AUG 97
B. SILVER CIGAR SHAPED OBJECT WITH SHARP POINTED WINGS WITH RED LIGHT ON ONE AN GREEN LIGHT ON THE OTHER
D. NAKED EYE AND BINOCULARS
E. LOOKING SOUTH FROM BEVERLEY TOWARDS THE HUMBER BRIDGE, HOVERING AT FIRST THEN MOVED OFF AT GREAT SPEED
F. LOW ION THE SKY ABOUT HALF A MILE AWAY
G. ABOUT HALF A MILE
H. HOVERING AT FIRST THEN MOVED OFF QUICKLY
I. NOT KNOWN
J. HUMBER BRIDGE
K. REPORTED BY 9 INDIVIDUALS TO THE HULL DAILY MAIL
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Ik ben Pieter, en gebruik soms ook wel de schuilnaam Peter2011.
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