The NASA IBEX probe has discovered something anomalous at the edge of our solar system and it has solar physicists scratching their heads:
In the murky boundary between our solar system and the rest of the galaxy, scientists have spotted a bright band of surprising high-energy emissions.
The results come from the first all-sky map created by NASA’s new Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, which launched in October 2008. While orbiting Earth, IBEX monitors incoming neutral atoms that originate billions of miles away at the solar system’s edge to learn about the interaction between the sun and the cold expanse of space.
“The IBEX results are truly remarkable, with emissions not resembling any of the current theories or models of this never-before-seen region,” said David McComas, IBEX principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in Texas. “We expected to see small, gradual spatial variations at the interstellar boundary, some 10 billion miles away. However, IBEX is showing us a very narrow ribbon that is two to three times brighter than anything else in the sky.”
This ribbon of energy lies at the very edge of the solar system, where the bubble of charged particles streaming from the sun finally peters out. This bubble is called the heliosphere, and it encompasses the region of space dominated by the sun’s influence.
The edge of the solar system
At the boundary of the heliosphere, the sun’s positively-charged particles interact with neutral atoms drifting in from interstellar space. When these particles meet, an electron may hop over from a neutral atom to a charged one, called an ion. The result: the charged particle becomes neutral. IBEX detects these fast-moving neutral particles and traces their paths back to the solar system’s edge to create a picture of this chaotic frontier.
“We’re just now getting a handle on the interaction of the surrounding interstellar medium with the heliosphere, and that’s providing us with the big picture,” said mission co-investigator Eberhard Möbius of the University of New Hampshire.
The mission scientists said they were surprised to discover the striking band in IBEX’s sky maps, because no models had predicted such a pattern beforehand.
McComas said when he first saw the IBEX results he thought, “‘Something’s wrong,’ It was quite a long time before we convinced ourselves that we were right,” he said.
The bright ribbon appears to be shaped by the direction of the interstellar magnetic field outside the heliosphere. Scientists think this suggests that the galactic environment just outside the solar system has far more influence on the structure of the heliosphere than previously believed.
Why is the galactic environment influencing the heliosphere of our Solar System?
Does this happen to all solar systems and is a product of nature? Possibly plasma like the electric universe theory espouses?
Or something artificial?
Burt Rutan, principle designer of SpaceShipOne and designer emeritus of SpaceShipTwo might have been influenced by an ’80s Soviet military design.
Now things have come full circle in that the US military want to base a new air/space craft on the Rutan design:
Twenty years after the U.S. Air Force first retired its SR-71 spy plane, and 11 years after a handful of the Mach-3 jets was briefly returned to military service, the military has finally identified a candidate to replace the famed Blackbird. The Pentagon’s secretive National Security Space Office is navigating a minefield of budgetary perils, bureaucratic expectations and industry inhibitions, to turn a experimental, civilian “space plane” into a high-speed, responsive reconnaissance craft.
The late May roll-out, by innovative California aerospace firm Scaled Composites, of the four-engine “Eve” aircraft — the mother-ship for the so-called “Space Ship Two” rocket ship — offers the first glimpse of this potential, future Blackbird replacement. Scaled’s work with cheap, re-usable, low-orbit “space planes” — and efficient mother-ships for launching them, from high altitude — forms the theoretical basis of the Space Office’s so-called Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion concept.
The concept is more complex than the SR-71, but potentially cheaper. Rather than the Blackbird’s single, fast vehicle, SUSTAIN would be two vehicles. The jet-powered mother-ship, based in the U.S. or at a secure, overseas facility, would loft a smaller, rocket-powered “lander” to high altitude — say, 50,000 feet — before launching it. The rocket would quickly boost the lander to an altitude of around 400,000 feet, just shy of the orbital threshold. On completing its mission, the lander would deploy air brakes and spiral down to a landing.
While the SUSTAIN lander would be as fast as the SR-71, reaching up to Mach 3, its major advantage is altitude. The SR-71 operated at up to 80,000 feet — higher than most of today’s surveillance drones and manned planes, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk and U-2 Dragon Lady, but not high enough to render unnecessary the direct over-flight of enemy territory. At five times the Blackbird’s altitude, the SUSTAIN lander provides an unparalleled, responsive platform for sophisticated, long-range cameras. “If you’re up there for five to 10 minutes, you could take a high-resolution image of something that’s out on the horizon — and you don’t necessarily have to over-fly what you want to image,” says Lieutenant Colonel Paul Damphousse, the Marine Corps officer in charge of SUSTAIN’s concept development.
As a side note, Damphousse no longer works for the Pentagon, he works for Senator Bill Nelson (D) of Florida as a Space Fellow.
Are UFO aliens just plain scoping us out through the windows of their craft?
According to Ron S. Stewart they are:
Around a month ago we received this interesting UFO video from a reader. No information regarding the footage was passed on to us. When we posted the story some readers thought the video showed a mere reflection in a window while others found the footage more compelling than that. I must say I myself was not so sure it was just a reflection of a light in a window. Since then we have received more information regarding this UFO event. We now know that the man heard in the clip is speaking Indonesian and that he seems genuinely confused as he calls regional control to tell them that ‘Noah’s Ark’ (he seems unfamiliar with UFOs and aliens) has been hovering over the port all morning. Lon Strickler then created an enhanced still from the footage which further intrigued me. We contacted our friend, Ronald Nussbeck of www.ufoimaging.com and asked him to see what he could come up with using Ron Stewart’s remarkable APEP photo enhancement technology. To our surprise and despite the poor quality of the film, a rather clear if not outright amazing image of a humanoid alien was captured peering through the windows of this UFO/extraterrestrial spaceship! The image, Lon Strickler’s enhanced image and the orginal footage can be viewed below.
www.ufoimaging.com is operated by Ron S. Stewart, Archeologist, Inventor and regarded as one of the world’s leading Imaging Scientists and the developer of APEP: Which has received attention from some of the World’s largest Corporations and the international UFO community.
APEP works because Ron S. Stewart found a Flaw in the Architecture Foundation of Image creation that affects all photos and videos for the last 50 years. The Flaw restricts DPI (dots per inch), the average photo contains about 150 DPI, APEP converts photos and videos to about 10,000 DPI, that means an increase of up to 10,000% in image resolution. The process also solves Pixelazation and Distortion when enlarging images and is inherent in all photo process today. The flaw restricts the laws of physics from attaining maximum resolution.
I don’t know about you, but the “faces” look pretty goddamn human to me!
I still think it’s post-Singularity humans coming back to gawk at us hair-less primates like museum pieces!
9/11, bin Laden Dog and Pony show for the benefit of the Empire’s citizens:
A new audio message, directed at the American people – purported to be from al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden – claims the President Barack Obama will find himself powerless to halt the American-led war in Afghanistan.
The latest audio recording, attributed to Bin Laden, again attempts to justify al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, terror attack on the United States as being part of the group’s quest for the liberation of Palestine.
The tape was provided by an American-based firm – IntelCenter, which monitors terrorist propaganda. It says the 11-minute video shows a still picture of bin Laden while audio of the address plays.
In the recording, the man identified as Bin Laden reiterates long-standing grievances including American support for Israel and “some other injustices.”
He puts forward a reading list of recent books, including one by a former CIA agent, which the tape says will clarify the “message” of the terrorist attack eight years ago.
The recording notes that the Obama administration includes key figures from the previous Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The voice, believed to be that of Bin Laden, thus concludes President Obama is a weakened man and powerless to change course in Afghanistan because of “pressure groups.” And, if he tries, the tape says “his fate will be feared” to be like that of the assassinated President John Kennedy and his brother, Robert.
It is the first message believed to be from the reclusive terrorist leader since one in June, in which bin Laden accused President Obama of sowing new seeds of hatred against America among Muslims.
“President Barack Obama will find himself powerless to halt the American-led war in Afghanistan.”
See, Obama has to continue the war in Afghanistan.
Bin Laden himself said he had to, see.
Funny this tape came out on 9/11.
Had to remind the Empire’s sheeple why they had to keep paying taxes to the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Complex.
No-bid contractors’ jobs depend on that y’see.
Not to mention the banksters too!
Remember the July 22nd total solar eclipse that occurred in India and China?
Apparently someone filmed 40 minutes of a UFO flying around during it:
Could this finally be it – 40 minutes of undisputed proof that we are not alone?
Scientists at the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, China believe it is a real possibility that this footage of an unidentified flying object is the evidence we have all been waiting for.
They have confirmed 40 minutes of footage of the object was captured during this summer’s solar eclipse – and that research has already started on a year-long investigation
the scientists were not the only ones to capture the walnut-shaped object on camera.
The clear, daylight sighting occurred over Deqing in Guandong Province. Dozens of students claimed to have seen the object sailing through the air during a rooftop observation of the July 22 solar eclipse.
At least nine of the students photographed it, producing such incredible images as those here.
The UFO was also seen to change colour and shape, with the students claiming it initially appeared to be a glowing blue colour, but later darkened.
What I would like to know is what makes this event anymore different from the Mexico City UFO sightings that happened during the 1991 total eclipse there?
There were more than one and they were in formation to boot!
I dunno. At this point in the game I think we need more than just photos. They’re too easily altered via PhotoShop and other photographic hocus-pocus.
Time for more UFO stuff to round out the week and to motivate you good folks to keep your eye on the sky!
Is this technology or animal. You decide!
A man living in the village El Nihuil reported seeing an object that he could not identify. He took pictures of it with his cell phone and believes it’s an UFO.
The man decided to protect his identity for fear of public opinion. Although reluctant to make public the episode, a friend persuaded him to publish it in a local Journal and after the promise to safeguard his identity.
It all started last Saturday, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, near the Nautical Club, when the man went to the coast to check on the conditions for fishing.
He said that while he tries to photograph the object with his cellphone, it began to emit a kind of buzz and, as if it blew hard on the water, stirring, begins to rise. At that time, and while the object rises, he managed to take photographs of the strange silhouette.
The small town is in Argentina. It doesn’t get spread around much up here in North America, but South America has been a hot-bed of UFO activity for decades.
Does look like some kind of animal, doesn’t it?
From the UFO Casebook:
While taking images of persistent contrails (chemtrails) over the Los Angeles basin in October, 2006, I captured these two photographs of a very anomalous object producing a trail that essentially spanned the entire western sky.
The pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix and a Nikon spotting scope with a focal length of approximately 800mm. Looking through the viewfinder, I was able to see a bright object at the head of the trail which didn’t appear to be a conventional aircraft.
Upon transferring the images to my computer, I realized I had captured something unlike any other images of UFOs I had ever seen.
My own suspicion is that this may be an aircraft utilizing some form of electromagnetic cloaking device which diverts light around the object, somewhat like water flowing around a stone. I would think that such a device would have to be “tuned” or adjusted to varying atmospheric conditions (humidity, temperature, etc) and that when the tuning is not precisely correct, artifacts are visible around the otherwise cloaked aircraft.
This is just my guess, and as to why anyone would be flying such aircraft in a cloaked mode over a population center such as Los Angeles I have no idea.
An optical physicist friend of mine thinks that the trail is not a vapor trail, but is a plasma being produced by the high energy of the object. If anyone else has any theories, I would be interested to hear them.
Makes you want to take a closer look at all those supposed ‘jet’ contrails on a nice summer sunset, doesn’t it?
And lastly, how about some cloak and dagger stuff, hmm..?
“The man who reactivated me is… ” Uri paused, then he said, “called Ron.”
I was reading Jon Ronson’s book, THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS.
Ronson wrote, “Was Ron FBI? CIA? Military intelligence? Homeland security? Could Ron be MI5? MI6?”
“Ah ha!” I thought. “Now it makes sense!”
I knew that Ron worked for CIA.
And why Uri Geller may have found himself “reactivated” for the war on terror.
“This is about what happened when a small group of men — highly placed within the United States military, the government, and the intelligence services — began believing in very strange things.”
Thus begins Jon’s Ronson’s disturbing and entertaining exploration of high strangeness infecting the US government in his follow-up to his first book THEM: Adventures with Extremists.
THEM clearly set the tone for Ronson’s unique approach to the sources and methods found in THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS — understated shock and awe tempered by a dry sense of humor in all the right places.
When faced with video evidence of alleged mind-control over a small animal, Ronson notes:
“It does seem odd … although I have to say that emotions such as circumspection and wariness are not that easy to discern in hamsters.”
Ronson (who followed in the footsteps of another UK citizen and journalist, Nick Cook of Janes Defence Weekly) was astonished by the fascination high-ranking persons in the United States exhibited over the paranormal. And like Cook and Ronson, who had observed the inexplicable weirdness (which had largely emerged for all to see on the Internet in the 1990s) — I was also curious about what had inspired strange beliefs in the unreal.
Since the mid-1990s I had been exploring far-out science with an eye on future developments.
It did appear that an entire industry had developed around improbable imaginary weapons, but what of the impossible?
All of this, of course refers to the movie “The Men Who Stare At Goats” which delves into the US Army’s studies into ‘psychic’ energy/powers.
Now whether there is any veracity to Geller’s claims that he was ‘reactivated’ for these projects is problematic at best.
Hmm, better ask James Randi before his health declines. Since the US government historically has used such projects during the Cold War, I wonder if Randi has ever considered debunking them?
Thanks to Debris Field for today’s hat tips!
In recent posts I have either written or ‘cut and pasted’ about the Pentagon’s technology arm, DARPA, enabling it to receive a lot of attention and deservedly so.
The ‘black tech’ they are engaged in has the ability to affect not only the people in this nation (US), but other nations across the planet because of the Pentagon’s reach.
But there is a think tank that is DARPA’s ‘grand-daddy’ and has the same reach and has had as much, if not more influence on the Pentagon’s reach around the world.
The RAND Corporation’s (Research And Development) history dates back to the end of WWII (1946) and was a project of the Army Air Force. From its very inception, the RAND corporation has been involved in the blackest of the black tech, mainly in the technology of space flight.
According to author and researcher Anthony Bragalia ( records are scanty on this guy ), RAND from the beginning was involved in the ‘back engineering’ of UFO technology to be adapted to the US Army Air Force’s nacent space program:
From its very inception, the men of RAND knew much about saucers.
RAND was conceived by Donald Douglas, CEO of Douglas Aircraft (and a protege of Dr. Jerome Hunsaker at MIT) along with two military officer luminaries. These officers carried with them significant “UFO histories.” The officers behind RAND were Major General Curtis LeMay (the US Air Force’s Chief of Development) and General Hap Arnold (considered the “father” of the modern U.S. Air Force.)
In May of 1948 RAND was separated from Douglas Aircraft and became its own operating entity. Among RAND’s earliest government reports was the release of the enigmatically titled, “Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship.”
General Curtis LeMay
LeMay expressed deep interest and concern about the flying saucer phenomena. More than this, LeMay himself was a keeper of the purported 1947 Roswell UFO crash debris.
This was revealed in a stunningly candid interview with the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater (a former U.S. Presidential Candidate, Major General and Command Pilot) was General LeMay’s professional associate and close friend. LeMay’s UFO involvement was related by Goldwater in a live worldwide broadcast with CNN’s Larry King in 1994. The USAF had just issued its report that debunked the Roswell crash of 1947 as a Mogul balloon. Goldwater (who died just a few years later) informed King that he knew the truth to be far different.
The Roswell Mystery again rears it’s ugly head and it is the ‘Thing that will not Die’, even after all these years.
I’m not going to try to explain Roswell. Many, many more people experienced than I have researched this to death and there’s still no satisfactory answer and I suspect there never will be.
That doesn’t mean that the RAND corporation wasn’t researching advanced space tech in secret, oh no.
It is no secret the military and the various ‘alphabet soup’ spy agencies have used the UFO phenomenon over the past 65 years to cover up black-tech projects. Area 51 is the chief example in this. I’m proposing that RAND was researching a source more down to Earth.
So to speak.
The Nazi government was into more, let’s say, ‘non-conventional’ military research in 1944 to 1945 as they grew more desperate to beat back Allied advances toward their country.
One of those ideas was to produce a ‘world encircling’ space ship that would be able to bomb enemy territories hours after launch:
In its operation, the Antipodal Bomber was a hybrid of aircraft and orbital spacecraft. It was to take off from a special rocket sled running on a monorail. When it reached 1640 ft/sec, it would lift off and climb to operational altitude in a steep, near-ballistic trajectory. But the Silver Bird would shut down its engines before attaining orbital velocity. It would sink back to earth until it bounced off the upper edge of the atmosphere. The bomber would proceed to the target like a stone skipping over the surface of a pond. After dropping its weapons, it would continue on around the globe to its base.
As near as we know, the Sänger aerospace plane got no closer to the hardware stage than the afore- mentioned wind-tunnel models. Germany’s other notable manned space venture, on the other hand, was a member of the V2 rocket family. Many of its elements were actually tested using sub-scale, V2 components. The A9/A10 project was a two-stage, hypersonic, semi-ballistic manned bomber with a planned 3000-mile range. Taking the aerodynamics of the experimental, winged A4b version of the V2 for their starting point, the engineers at Germany’s Peenemünde rocket center added a pressurized cockpit, landing gear, flaps, ailerons, elevators, and a turbojet sustainer engine. They planned to mount this A9 on a huge A10 booster, in essence a V2 grown to monstrous proportions.
The A9/A10 composite would take off vertically. After staging, the A9 component would follow a ballistic trajectory to the edge of space, 210 miles up. It would then fall back to earth until, 750 miles from its base, at an altitude of about 30 miles, and at speeds of over 8000 mph, the wingborne portion of the flight began. The A9 would approach its target in a high-Mach, unpowered glide. Forty-five minutes into the mission, it would release its modest one-ton bomb load, start the turbojet, and turn for home.
The most ambitious and, perhaps, delusional of the Nazi space schemes was a 1945 project for an orbital space station armed with a death ray, a huge space mirror. In 1929, Herman Oberth had proposed a potentially practical space station that served as the basis for the later project. But the 1945 station was to be one giant mirror fabricated entirely from metallic sodium. Over-sized V2 rockets were to carry the thing to its 1500-mile orbit in prefabricated sections. Here, Nazi spacemen would assemble it , using electricity provided by a system of solar-fired boilers and steam-driven dynamos. Breathable oxygen would come from pumpkins grown under flourescent light. When they were finished, the crew would steer the station over target nations, focus the sun’s rays, and burn cities and boil reservoirs.
The space station is patently ridiculous, even today. It is hard to say how practical either of the rocket plane schemes could have been either, given the state of the art in the 1940s and the ever-worsening shortages of rare metals and petrochemicals. The German engineers appear to have grossly underestimated the thermal loads on a winged re-entry vehicle. These would not be on the order of an Apollo capsule, but they would still pose a formidable problem. Stainless steel might not be up to the job and was hard to fabricate. Titanium was still in the future. Inconel and the nimonic alloys that made the X-15 possible were still a few years away. Even now, the only working aerospace plane, the Space Shuttle, has to have ceramic tiles over all highly heated surfaces. Propulsion would also be a problem. As the new masters of German science, the US and USSR, discovered in the 1950s, V2-type engines could not simply be scaled up in the manner planned for the A10. Sänger-style, single-stage-to-orbit systems are still no more than a dream after sixty years.
Even if the A9/A10 or the Antipodal Bomber had been built and made to work, one wonders what it would all be for. A paltry ton of high explosive could hardly have a measurable effect on the war. It could never justify either program’s staggering cost in money, raw materials, and industrial capacity. Some writers have suggested that one or both was an intended delivery vehicle for a Nazi nuclear weapon. But the Nazis had no hope of fielding an A-bomb by 1944 or 1945. In any case, it would be decades before nuclear weapons could be had in 2000-4000 lb packages (the Hiroshima and Nagasaki weapons weighed in at around 10,000 lbs each). The Nazi space program is thus best understood as little more than a self-indulgent delusion, one of many that occupied Germany’s bunker-bound leadership and self-serving intelligentsia as disaster and defeat overtook the nation they professed to lead.
Could this be what RAND’s “Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship” report is actually about?
And the military just happened to fortuitously use the Roswell Incident as cover? Or actually create the incident?
We’ll probably never know the truth. Everything is a puzzle within a puzzle wrapped in an enigma.
And in that, the MICC spin meisters have accomplished their mission.
All we can do is throw opinions out there and perhaps hook a big fish.
Or an old tire.
St. Ronnie be praised!
The second of a pair of long-delayed missile tracking satellites is packed up awaiting orders from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to ship out for launch later this year, according their Northrop Grumman builders.The first of the two Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) demonstration satellites has already been shipped to a to a payload processing facility near their Florida launch said, said Gabe Watson, Northrop Grumman’s STSS program manager, in a recent interview. The satellites were slated to lift off in August, but the flight is expected to be pushed back in light of a space shuttle launch delay that has muddled the manifest at their spaceport in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
When they finally blast off, the STSS satellites will be launched in a stacked configuration aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. The MDA in May launched a classified STSS demonstration satellite that was also built by Northrop Grumman.
Following a post-launch checkout phase expected to last three months, Northrop Grumman will operate the satellites from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., through a six-month period of testing, in which at least two dedicated ballistic missile targets will be launched to test STSS. The satellites also will participate in at least two other tests of MDA systems such as the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, Morgan said. The final test program is still in flux as the agency’s overall test program is not yet set.
The satellites have a staring sensor similar to that on the Air Force’s Defense Support Program and Space Based Infrared System satellites, but they also have a multiband infrared tracking sensor other missile warning satellites lack, Watson said.
“Even though the hardware was built in the 1990s, when the two STSS demonstrators are on orbit, they will bring a unique capability to the MDA,” Watson said. “We can track missiles in every stage of flight, from launch to intercept, and do hit assessment as well. If the MDA wants to intercept missiles in the ascent phase, they will need additional data that [current missile warning satellites] don’t provide.”
At last, Star Wars finally becoming a reality. The Sainted Ronnie of the Raygun is going to bestow such blessings upon our nation now!
Oh, it’s shark, not snark. Sorry.
However, the best defense is a good offense…
The planned October 9, 2009 bombing of the moon by a NASA orbiter that will bomb the moon with a 2-ton kinetic weapon to create a 5 mile wide deep crater as an alleged water-seeking and lunar colonization experiment, is contrary to space law prohibiting environmental modification of celestial bodies. The NASA moon bombing, a component of the LCROSS mission, may also trigger conflict with known extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon as reported on the moon in witnessed statements by U.S. astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and in witnessed statements to NSA (National Security Agency) photos and documents regarding an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon.
If the true intent of the LCROSS mission moon bombing is a hostile act by NASA against known extraterrestrial civilizations and settlements on the moon, then NASA and by extension the U.S. government are guilty of aggressive war which is the most serious of war crimes under the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, to which the U.S. is subject. The U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which the U.S. has ratified, requires that “ The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.” 98 nations have ratified and 125 nations have signed the U.N. Outer Space Treaty.
The problem I see with this theory is – that whoever might be hiding on the Moon could have bigger destructive toys than us and possibly take umbrage with us ‘bombing’ them with kinetic energy weapons.
But then again, Bu$hco, our Chinese ‘friends’, Japan and India did start ambitious lunar programs back in 2004 (the US, unsurprisingly is slacking off from this program during the Obama Administration) on the pretext of ‘peaceful’ exploration.
As the world plunges further into economic chaos and war being brought about by the world’s elites (few of which actually realizing they shot themselves in the foot), scientific endeavors funded by tax dollars have either reached a rather dystopian turn, or have gone to research that encourage an inward turning of human interests.
But there are still people who dream of an interstellar future for mankind and Paul Gilster is one of them.
In yesterday’s post on his Centauri Dreams site, the dream of finding planets around our closest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, still is on the front burner and not about to be snuffed out yet:
Finding Earth-like planets around any star would be a stunning feat, and either Kepler or CoRoT may deliver such news before too long. But how much more exciting still if we find a planet like this around a star as close as Centauri B? After all, the Centauri stars are our closest stellar neighbors, close enough (a mere 40 trillion kilometers!) to conjure up the possibility of a robotic mission there and, if we play our propulsion cards right in the future, perhaps a manned trip as well.
Gregory Laughlin (UC-Santa Cruz), on the other hand, armed with a planet hunter’s insights, a passion for the Centauri system, and a realization that patience could tease out faint signals like these, traded ideas with Debra Fischer (San Francisco State) on the possibility of devoting years to an Alpha Centauri search. Fischer is now hard at work, using a telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. She works with a decommissioned spectrometer and other vintage equipment. Call it ‘Alpha Centauri on the cheap.’
On the cheap indeed, most money tied up in astronomical research is done either in NASA, DARPA, Pentagon with a little thrown toward Seth Shostak’s way.
It may take promising early data to get even this modest setup funded after National Science Foundation funds run out in November, but we’ll take the funding problem one step at a time. For now, the precision work continues, with software Fischer herself coded being used to filter out distortions of weather, instrumentation and stellar activity on the target stars to hunt for the minute shifts in wavelength that could signal the breakthrough discovery. If she pulls this off, Fischer’s patience may become legendary.
This is the only good thing about the advanced programming being developed by Microsoft and Google, the ability to clean out distortions made by the atmospheric glare, pollution, dust and lights from cities.
Actually, Microsoft and the Google-Plex are writing these programs to enhance their own new telescopes they are building for Google-Moon and Google-Mars in order to sell more realistic VR tourist jaunts to folks sitting in their Panopticon/Matrix prisons, er…living rooms.
Alright, maybe that’s a little paranoid. But with most of our tax money going to the Pentagon, DARPA and the growing domestic “spy on the public because there’s terrorists there” industry, I think we all should be a little paranoid.
It’s shaping up to be that if we’re going to the stars, it just might be folks like Branson and Musk pushing the envelope because there’s money to be made.
And if I remember right, most of Heinlein’s characters hated the government snooping in their privacy.
The blogger IIB has long posted about DARPA and its involvement with Google and its founders to bring about a self-sustained distributed artificial intelligence in order to trigger a Technological Singularity.
I used to be a supporter of a Singularity, until I realised that it could make the human species extinct, of which I’m no fan. And creating machines that are conscious like humans is a tall order, maybe impossible to build.
But that doesn’t mean the possibility of the event occurring is diminished, one has to take into account the power of intent.
And no one entity is more intent than the US Government’s DARPA:
The idea behind Darpa’s latest venture, called “Physical Intelligence” (PI) is to prove, mathematically, that the human mind is nothing more than parts and energy. In other words, all brain activities — reasoning, emoting, processing sights and smells — derive from physical mechanisms at work, acting according to the principles of “thermodynamics in open systems.” Thermodynamics is founded on the conversion of energy into work and heat within a system (which could be anything from a test-tube solution to a planet). The processes can be summed up in formalized equations and laws, which are then used to describe how systems react to changes in their surroundings.
Now, the military wants a new equation: one that explains the human mind as a thermodynamic system. Once that’s done, they’re asking for “abiotic, self-organizing electronic and chemical systems” that display the PI principles. More than just computers that think, Darpa wants to re-envision how thought works — and then design computers whose thought processes are governed by the same laws as our own.
Over the centuries up until the present times, mankind’s intelligence has been attributed to something “outside” of our physicality, the ‘soul’, cosmic awareness, doppelganger, astral body and ‘consciousness.’
Empirical science with it’s “if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist” approach has worked fine in a lot of discoveries over the past 300 some-odd years since the “Enlightenment” era and I can’t bitch too hard about it.
Without it, I wouldn’t be here today to discuss this topic.
But I have also found during the past two years that reality has more subtlety than what is quantified by empiricism, or what limitations our instruments currently have in measuring ‘reality.’
And what accounts for mankind’s awareness has been a huge bug-a-boo for science to get a handle on, since so many people in this day and age take it on faith alone that we exist after physical death.
DARPA must have an abundance of transhumanists and singularitarians working for them because that is a basic tenet of their philosophy; human beings are ‘meat’ or wetware holding intelligence or ‘consciousness’ that can be measured and ‘downloaded’ into immortal hardware, or another computational medium.
Here we have an example of the attempt to build consciousness from scratch, either through some enhanced biological medium, or non-biological forms. Perhaps a bit of both.
I’m not sure it’s possible to do this, if it is just a matter of recreating the human brain, I think we would’ve done it already, if we’re just ‘meat.’
I’m reminded of my first psychology professor years ago who taught that “human beings are greater than the sum of their parts, a gestalt, if you will.”
Basic, but I still remember it to this day. Probably because there is a simple wisdom to it.
Perhaps some good will come from this research; the development of artificial brains would be beneficial to brain accident victims, Parkinson’s disease and even Alzheimer’s patients.
Unfortunately, DARPA is a military research organisation first and foremost. As the article indicates, the first recipients in these experiments are to be autonomons used as cannon fodder, or severely brain damaged soldiers augmented and sent back into the field. Again as cannon fodder.
What will happen if these beings do turn out to be “conscious?”
Will human-rights organisations speak up for these first true transhumans?
Better yet, will self proclaimed transhumanist organisations speak up for them?
Battlestar Galactica as an Jungian archetype?
…are we a race of people that has roots are out there, somewhere beyond the milkyway on worlds unknown, of a time long forgotten, of a people long dead? Wouldn’t our children say the same if suddenly the earth were destroyed and only a few of us made it out there, only to settle on another world, to begin anew?
I’m not gullible and I don’t take science fiction shows and add them to my reality. But I do always and often wonder where all ideas and stories begin, and the ideology behind BSG is as old as humanity itself. So, why tell the same tale over and over again in different incarnations if not to serve a purpose? What purpose would that be? To help us to remember, perhaps?
The author makes a point; who, or what, are we?
In the first psychology class I took in college 25 years ago, the professor stressed that human beings are greater than the sum of their parts.
Are we digging up images from our past and just giving them modern clothes to wear?
Cold fusion isn’t an archetype, I think.
But that doesn’t stop the ever present pursuit for it:
A U.S. Navy researcher announced today that her lab has produced “significant” new results that indicate cold fusion-like reactions.
If the work by analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss and her colleagues is confirmed, it could open the door to a cheap, near-limitless reservoir of energy.
That’s a big if, however.
Today’s announcement at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society comes in the same location – Salt Lake City – as one of science’s most infamous episodes, the announcement 20 years ago by chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann that they had produced cold fusion.
Unlike nuclear energy reactors and bombs, which split atoms, the atoms in stars such as the sun fuse together to produce spectacular amounts of energy, so much so that we are warmed by a stellar furnace 93 million miles away.
Devising a fusion-based source of energy on Earth has long been a “clean-energy” holy grail of physicists.
Present day research into fusion is high-tech intense and requires a lot of energy to maintain, often more goes in than it generates. That’s why we don’t have fusion reactors dotting the country-side and along sources of water yet; it’s too inefficient.
But, if a sustainable fusion reaction can be produced without all of the supermagnets required, less energy could be put in and more energy can be produced.
Time will tell I guess.
Hat tip to The Anomalist
More on Project Aurora, from Great Britain:
One of the key themes to emerge from these papers is the curious Aurora spyplane saga. This is linked with a little-known set of colour photographs, apparently taken in the Scottish highlands, which appear to show a large diamond-shaped UFO shadowed by military jets.
From the late 1980s the British press was buzzing with rumours about a stealthy, cutting-edge aircraft that some experts believed was an advanced US ‘black project’. Codenamed Aurora, the spy plane was said to be capable of hypersonic speed. Alleged sightings frequently made headlines in UFO magazines and in aviation weeklies such as Janes’ Defence. But the US Defence Department always denied such a project existed and two decades have passed without any real evidence that it ever did.
The Eurozone nations decided last year to start disclosing information on investigated UFO sightings from the late 1940s on through to the 1980s. This has produced a wealth of documents (largely redacted) and corresponding photographs.
Except the good ol’ US of A naturally, which still remains ominously silent on all things ‘UFO-ish.’
Project Aurora was a 1980s military effort obviously and if such a thing exists (existed?), the United States Pentagon/DARPA most certainly has something even better than that now-a-days and is keeping its cards close to the vest.
You wouldn’t want a potential rival know what you have in your hand/arsenal, would you?
Hat tip to The Daily Grail
Certainly looks like a black project machine to me. Of course the military denies it.
Dale Vince, managing director of wind farm operator Ecotricity, said: “They [scientists] looked at all the broken parts of the turbine, the parts that were left standing at the top and examined the land around the bottom of the turbine looking for debris.
“But it was actually by examining the ring of bolts that hold the blade on that the examiners were able to say definitely it wasn’t a collision that caused this problem.”
Mr Vince said he expected a full explanation into the cause of the damage in two weeks.”There is a ring of about 30 bolts and they exhibit what examiners term as classic fatigue signs.
“They’ve ruled out bolt failure and are looking for the cause either side of the bolts in one of the components.”
He said manufacturers had checked 1,000 turbines of the same design all over the world and it was thought the problem was a “one-off“.
Rats. So much for for an aerial Chuthullu. Lovecraft would be disappointed.
The US military will be half machine and half human by 2015, a military expert told an audience on Wednesday.
Speaking before a group at the Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference, military expert Peter Singer said the implementation of robot soldiers was near.
“We are at a point of revolution in war, like the invention of the atomic bomb,” Singer said.
“What does it mean to go to war with US soldiers whose hardware is made in China and whose software is made in India?”
The US military has already made great strides in unmanning the battlefield. The US uses attack drones and bomb-handling robots, and custom war video games have been used as recruiting tools.
We’re bound and determined to build Terminator type shit, aren’t we?
We might as well all lay down in front of a subway train!