The fascinating bright spots on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres have come into sharper view.
What were initially thought to be just a couple of brilliant, closely spaced features at one location now turn out to be a clutch of many smaller dots.
The latest pictures were acquired by the US space agency’s Dawn spacecraft on its first full science orbit since arriving at Ceres on 6 March.
The spots were seen from a distance of 13,600km.
Researchers on the mission concede they still have much to learn about the dots’ true nature, but the new data is hardening their ideas.
“Dawn scientists can now conclude that the intense brightness of these spots is due to the reflection of sunlight by highly reflective material on the surface, possibly ice,” said Chris Russell, who is the principal investigator on the mission.
With a diameter of 950km, Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Dawn will spend the coming months studying its geology and surface chemistry with a suite of cameras and remote-sensing instruments.
The intention is to get some insights into the processes that have sculpted the dwarf since its formation with the rest of the Solar System some 4.5 billion years year ago.
Having completed its first science orbit, Dawn is now heading downwards to get even closer to the body.
This second mapping campaign, which will commence on 6 June, will see Dawn moving just 4,400km from the surface.
Here are some strange sounds from outer space.
The noise is caused by electromagnetic vibrations. The sounds have been recorded by various NASA space craft using Plasma Wave antenna to record the vibrations.
Russia Orders Obama: TELL THE WORLD ABOUT ALIENS, Or We Will.
February 11, 2015 – A stunning Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) report on Prime Minister Medvedev’s agenda at the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week states that Russia will warn President Obama that the “time has come” for the world to know the truth about aliens, and if the United States won’t participate in the announcement, the Kremlin will do so on its own.
The WEF (The Forum) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva and describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
The Forum is best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and the environment.
Medvedev is scheduled to open this years Forum where as many as 50 heads of government, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s David Cameron, will attend the five-day meeting that begins on 23 January.
Critical to note about this years Forum is that the WEF, in their 2013 Executive Summary, scheduled for debate and discussion a number of items under their X Factors from Nature category, and which includes the “discovery of alien life” of which they state: “Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.”
Equally critical to note is that Medvedev, after completing a 7 December 2012 on-camera interview with reporters in Moscow, continued to respond to reporters and made some off-air comments without realizing that his microphone was still on. He was then asked by one reporter if “the president is handed secret files on aliens when he receives the briefcase needed to activate Russia’s nuclear arsenal,” Medvedev responded:
“Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special ‘top secret’ folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet… Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country… More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black… I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.”
Western news sources reporting on Medvedev’s shocking reply about aliens stated that he was “joking” as he mentioned the movie Men In Black, which they wrongly assumed was a reference to the 1997 American sci-fi adventure comedy about two top secret agents battling aliens in the US.
Medvedev, however, wasn’t referring to the American movie but was, instead, talking about the famous Russian movie documentary Men In Black which details many UFO and alien anomalies.
Where Western news sources quoted Medvedev as saying “More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called ‘Men In Black,’” his actual answer was, “You can receive more detailed information having watched the documentary film of the same name.”
The reason(s) for Western propaganda news outlets deliberately distorting Medvedev’s words become apparent after his shocking statement, and as evidenced in just one example of their so called reporting on this disclosure of alien life already being on our planet where the title of one such article was “Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev makes a crack about aliens, and conspiracists promptly lose their minds.”
If anyone is “losing their minds” about aliens, it must be pointed out, it is certainly not Russia, but the Vatican, which in November 2009 announced it was “preparing for extraterrestrial disclosure”.
Equally, and apparently, “losing their minds” are US government officials themselves, such as former Pentagon consultant Timothy Good, and author of Above Top Secret: The Worldwide U.F.O. Cover-Up, who in February 2012 stated that former President Dwight Eisenhower had three secret meetings with aliens who were ‘Nordic’ in appearance and wherein a ‘Pact’ was signed to keep their agenda on Earth secret.
With the recent discovery in the Russian city of Vladivostok of a 300-million-year-old UFO tooth-wheel, and scientists, astronauts and YouTube users reporting increasingly strange happenings on the moon, the European Space agency reporting their discovery of a 1,000 ancient river on Mars, and UK and Sri Lanka scientists saying they now have “rock solid proof of alien life” after finding fossilized algae inside meteorite, the only ones who seem to be truly “losing their minds” are the Western, especially American, propagandists who for decades have covered up one of the most important stories in all of human history that “we are not alone.”
To if Medvedev will be able to convince the Obama regime to tell the truth about UFO and aliens at the WEF this week it is not in our knowing. What is in our knowing, though, is that with or without the US, the Kremlin will surely begin the process of telling the truth about that which we already know to be true.
Here’s some interviews with people who claim to have been abducted by aliens.
Dark matter ‘ghosts’ through galactic smash-ups
By Jonathan Webb
Science reporter, BBC News
By observing multiple collisions between huge clusters of galaxies, scientists have witnessed dark matter coasting straight through the turmoil.
Dark matter is the mysterious, invisible stuff that makes up 85% of the matter in the cosmos – and these results rule out several theoretical models put forward to explain it.
This is because it barely interacts with anything at all, including the dark matter in the oncoming galaxies.
The work appears in Science magazine.
To conduct their study, astrophysicists looked at 72 smash-ups between galactic clusters, using two space telescopes: visible light was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope, and X-rays by the Chandra Observatory.
Scouring multiple views of the collisions, the researchers tracked the movement of the three main components of galaxies: stars, clouds of gas, and dark matter.
The violently swirling clouds of gas are hot enough to glow with X-rays, which Chandra detects. And stars can be seen in regular, visible-light images from Hubble.
Dark matter is more difficult to “see” – but not impossible. Although it does not emit or absorb light, it does have gravity, and so it bends the path of light passing nearby. This warps our view of anything on the other side of it, in an effect called “gravitational lensing”.
“Looking through dark matter is like looking through a bathroom window,” said Dr Richard Massey from Durham University, one of the study’s authors. “All the objects that you can see in the distance appear slightly distorted and warped.”
Images were used from the Hubble Space Telescope (illustrated here) and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory
Using this distortion allowed Dr Massey, with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, University College London and Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), to “map” the dark matter in the clusters as they collided.
‘Smash it and see’
Galaxy clusters are vast and contain huge amounts of dark matter, so when they collide – over billions of years – it offers a unique glimpse of how the stuff behaves.
“We like these collisions because it’s exactly what we’d do in the lab,” Dr Massey told BBC News.
“If you want to figure out what something is made out of, you knock it, or you throw it across the room and see where the bits go.”
In this case, the bits went straight through each other.
Unlike the gas clouds, which grind to a turbulent halt, and the stars, which mostly glide past each other, the ubiquitous dark matter passes through everything and emerges unscathed, like a ghost.
“It seems not to interact with anything at all,” Dr Massey said.
Dr Tom Kitching, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Our new measurements of the self-interaction of dark matter are some of the best yet. But statistically speaking, the strongest result from this study is in fact the confirmation that dark matter really does exist in these galaxy clusters.
We measured three things: the position of stars, the position of mass, and the position of gas. If there was no dark matter, then all of the mass that isn’t accounted for by the stars would be associated with the gas.
But we found an offset, which confirms that there is something in the clusters that is not gas, has mass, but that we cannot see: a dark matter. This detection is statistically very significant – corresponding to a probability of better than 99.99999999999% that dark matter exists in these clusters.
Sometimes I think dark matter is a terrible name. It was originally coined because the phenomenon does not emit or absorb light. But light is everywhere in the dark matter we have observed, passing within it and around it. Indeed, the lensing effect that we employed in our study uses the light from distant galaxies that has passed through dark matter.
So perhaps “transparent matter” or “clear matter” are better names. My favourite alternative is “materia incognita” (the unknown material). Maps used to be labelled “terra incognita” in areas that were unknown, and in a similar way we could be explicit about the unknown nature of this phenomenon.
However, thanks to studies like this one – and much more work planned for the coming years – our ignorance will one day end. Then we can finally give this “something” a proper name.
Earlier observations of the “Bullet Cluster” – a bust-up between two particularly big groups of galaxies, now in its final stages – had already demonstrated dark matter’s weird lack of interactions, including with itself.
But this new, major survey was able to deliver much more precision, concluding that there was even less interaction than the previous work allowed for.
“If you bang your head against the wall, the electrostatic force between the molecules in your head and the ones in the wall cause a collision. This is what dark matter doesn’t seem to feel,” Dr Massey explained.
Dark matter does “feel” gravity; those interactions are the reason we know it is there, and the reason it is bound up in the galactic collisions to begin with. But the lack of almost any other interaction makes it even more mysterious than before.
The late-stage collision of the Bullet Cluster yielded previous observations of dark matter
“In all of these collisions that we’ve seen, it just seems to go straight through. And now we’ve seen loads more of them, we would have been able to detect any deceleration of this dark matter, if it had interacted in the ways that most theories predict,” Dr Massey said.
So although some theories remain, many can now be ruled out. This includes the idea that dark matter is some sort of “dark” version of ordinary matter, made of “dark atoms”. It must be more outlandish than that, Dr Massey said.
“Basically, we’re saying: Back to the drawing board! Let’s come up with some more ideas.”
Space has some really interesting stuff going on. Here’s a clip featuring some of the sounds of outer space.
It’s quite simple really. You take the number 1 and add it to itself which gives you 2. You then add the 2 to the 1 which =3. then 3+2 = 5. 5+3= 8 and so on like this. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, …
A bit freaky.
But it gets freakier.
The Fibonacci numbers are Nature’s numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf
Fibonacci in nature
arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple. The Fibonacci numbers are therefore applicable to the growth of every living thing, including a single cell, a grain of wheat, a hive of bees, and even all of mankind.
Plants do not know about this sequence – they just grow in the most efficient ways. Many plants show the Fibonacci numbers in the arrangement of the leaves around the stem. Some pine cones and fir cones also show the numbers, as do daisies and sunflowers. Sunflowers can contain the number 89, or even 144. Many other plants, such as succulents, also show the numbers. Some coniferous trees show these numbers in the bumps on their trunks. And palm trees show the numbers in the rings on their trunks.
Fibonacci in plants
Why do these arrangements occur? In the case of leaf arrangement, or phyllotaxis, some of the cases may be related to maximizing the space for each leaf, or the average amount of light falling on each one. Even a tiny advantage would come to dominate, over many generations. In the case of close-packed leaves in cabbages and succulents the correct arrangement may be crucial for availability of space.
In the seeming randomness of the natural world, we can find many instances of mathematical order involving the Fibonacci numbers themselves and the closely related “Golden” elements.
Fibonacci in Plants
Phyllotaxis is the study of the ordered position of leaves on a stem. The leaves on this plant are staggered in a spiral pattern to permit optimum exposure to sunlight. If we apply the Golden Ratio to a circle we can see how it is that this plant exhibits Fibonacci qualities. Click on the picture to see a more detailed illustration of leaf arrangements.
By dividing a circle into Golden proportions, where the ratio of the arc length are equal to the Golden Ratio, we find the angle of the arcs to be 137.5 degrees. In fact, this is the angle at which adjacent leaves are positioned around the stem. This phenomenon is observed in many types of plants.
Fibonacci in trees
The number of petals in a flower consistently follows the Fibonacci sequence. Famous examples include the lily, which has three petals, buttercups, which have five (pictured at left), the chicory’s 21, the daisy’s 34, and so on. Phi appears in petals on account of the ideal packing arrangement as selected by Darwinian processes; each petal is placed at 0.618034 per turn (out of a 360° circle) allowing for the best possible exposure to sunlight and other factors.
The head of a flower is also subject to Fibonaccian processes. Typically, seeds are produced at the center, and then migrate towards the outside to fill all the space. Sunflowers provide a great example of the
Sun flower seeds
Here are just a few plants that have their leaves and settles arranged according to Fibonacci numbers
Not surprisingly, spiral galaxies also follow the familiar Fibonacci pattern. The Milky Way has several spiral arms, each of them a logarithmic spiral of about 12 degrees. As an interesting aside, spiral galaxies appear to defy Newtonian physics. As early as 1925, astronomers realized that, since the angular speed of rotation of the galactic disk varies with distance from the center, the radial arms should become curved as galaxies rotate. Subsequently, after a few rotations, spiral arms should start to wind around a galaxy. But they don’t — hence the so-called winding problem. The stars on the outside, it would seem, move at a velocity higher than expected — a unique trait of the cosmos that helps preserve its shape.
Faces, both human and nonhuman, abound with examples of the Golden Ratio. The mouth and nose are each positioned at golden sections of the distance between the eyes and the bottom of the chin. Similar proportions can been seen from the side, and even the eye and ear itself (which follows along a spiral).
It’s worth noting that every person’s body is different, but that averages across populations tend towards phi. It has also been said that the more closely our proportions adhere to phi, the more “attractive” those traits are perceived. As an example, the most “beautiful” smiles are those in which central incisors are 1.618 wider than the lateral incisors, which are 1.618 wider than canines, and so on. It’s quite possible that, from an evo-psych perspective, that we are primed to like physical forms that adhere to the golden ratio — a potential indicator of reproductive fitness and health.
Looking at the length of our fingers, each section — from the tip of the base to the wrist — is larger than the preceding one by roughly the ratio of phi.
Even our bodies exhibit proportions that are consistent with Fibonacci numbers. For example, the measurement from the navel to the floor and the top of the head to the navel is the golden ratio. Animals
Animal bodies exhibit similar tendencies, including dolphins (the eye, fins and tail all fall at Golden Sections), starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins, ants, and honey bees.
Honey bees follow Fibonacci in other interesting ways. The most profound example is by dividing the number of females in a colony by the number of males (females always outnumber males). The answer is typically something very close to 1.618. In addition, the family tree of honey bees also follows the familiar pattern. Males have one parent (a female), whereas females have two (a female and male). Thus, when it comes to the family tree, males have 2, 3, 5, and 8 grandparents, great-grandparents, gr-gr-grandparents, and gr-gr-gr-grandparents respectively. Following the same pattern, females have 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. And as noted, bee physiology also follows along the Golden Curve rather nicely.
The Golden Rectangle
The Golden rectangle has been known since antiquity as one having a pleasing shape, and is frequently found in art and architecture as a rectangular shape that seems ‘right’ to the eye. It is mentioned in Euclid’s Elements and was known to artists and philosophers such as Leonardo da Vinci.
One of the interesting properties of the golden rectangle is that if you cut off a square section whose side is equal to the shortest side, the piece that remains is also a golden rectangle.
In the figure below, the yellow rectangle is in the same proportion as the original larger rectangle after the gray square is cut off.Both the rectangles ABCD and PBCQ are golden rectangles.
Genomes document ancient mass migration to Europe
From the BBC
Nomadic herders moved en masse into Europe from the steppe around 4,500 years ago
DNA analysis has revealed evidence for a massive migration into the heartland of Europe 4,500 years ago.
Data from the genomes of 69 ancient individuals suggest that herders moved en masse from the continent’s eastern periphery into Central Europe.
These migrants may be responsible for the expansion of Indo-European languages, which make up the majority of spoken tongues in Europe today.
An international team has published the research in the journal Nature.
Prof David Reich and colleagues extracted DNA from remains found at archaeological sites around the continent. They used a new DNA-enrichment technique that greatly reduces the amount of sequencing needed to obtain genome-wide data.
Their analyses show that 7,000-8,000 years ago, a closely related group of early farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, confirming the findings of previous studies.
The farmers were distinct from the indigenous hunter-gatherers they encountered as they spread around the continent. Eventually, the two groups mixed, so that by 5,000-6,000 years ago, the farmers’ genetic signature had become melded with that of the indigenous Europeans.
But previous studies show that a two-way amalgam of farmers and hunters is not sufficient to capture the genetic complexity of modern Europeans. A third ancestral group must have been added to the melting pot more recently.
Prof Reich and colleagues have now identified a likely source area for this later diaspora. The Bronze Age Yamnaya pastoralists of southern Russia are a good fit for the missing third genetic component in Europeans.
The team analysed nine genomes from individuals belonging to this nomadic group, which buried their dead in mounds known as kurgans.
The scientists contend that a group similar to the Yamnaya moved into the European heartland after the invention of wheeled vehicles, contributing up to 50% of ancestry in some modern north Europeans. Southern Europeans on the whole appear to have been less affected by the expansion.
By 5,000-6,000 years ago, Europeans were a two-way mix of indigenous hunters and Near Eastern farmers
Even more intriguing is the possible link between this steppe expansion and the origins of Indo-European languages.
Most indigenous European tongues, from English to Russian and Spanish to Greek, belong to the Indo-European group. The classification is based on shared features of vocabulary and grammar.
Basque, spoken in south-west France and northern Spain, does not fit in this group, and may be the only surviving relic of an earlier group of languages once spoken more widely.
Two principal hypotheses have been put forward to explain the preponderance of Indo-European tongues in Europe today.
According to the “Anatolian hypothesis”, Indo-European languages were spread by the first farmers from the Near East 7,000-8,000 years ago.
But the latest paper supports the “Steppe hypothesis”, which proposes that early Indo-European speakers were Bronze Age farmers on the grasslands north of the Black and Caspian Seas.
“An open question for us is whether the languages spoken by these steppe migrants were just ancestral to a sub-set of Indo-European languages in Europe today – for example, Balti-Slavic and maybe Germanic – or the great majority of Indo-European languages spoken in Europe today,” Prof Reich told BBC News.
But he added that Indo-European languages spoken in Iran and India had probably already diverged from those spoken by the Yamnaya before the nomads blazed a trail into Europe.
Shocking or intriguing NASA challenges physics to build faster than light spaceship warp drive
by Vandita from We Are Anonymous anahq.com
NASA scientist Harold White has stunned the world with his announcement that he and his team has begun work on the development of a faster-than-light Warp Drive spaceship that can move faster than the speed of light defying Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. Warp Drive, which is all set to challenge the light speed barrier, could result in speeds that could take a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in a only two weeks even though the system is 4.3 light-years away! The idea sounds fascinating but disobeys the laws of physics.
In his 1994 paper titled The Warp Drive: Hyper-Fast Travel Within General Relativity physicist Miguel Alcubierre had suggested a mechanism by which space-time could be “warped” both in front of and behind a spacecraft. The idea immediately caught White’s attention.
“Remember, nothing locally exceeds the speed of light, but space can expand and contract at any speed. However, space-time is really stiff, so to create the expansion and contraction effect in a useful manner in order for us to reach interstellar destinations in reasonable time periods would require a lot of energy,” White told io9.
Alcubierre Warp Drive
The Theory of Special Relativity does not allow objects to move faster than the speed of light within space-time. To increase the speed of moving objects to match the speed of light, it would need infinite amount of energy. White in a way suggested horrific amounts of energy —equal to the mass-energy of planet Jupiter (which is 1.9 × 1027 kilograms or 317 Earth masses). As a result, the idea was brushed aside as being far too impractical.
White later collaborated with Mark Rademaker, an artist, to create a new, more realistic design of what such a ship might actually look like. The updated model is more compact and chunkier and includes a sleek ship nestled at the center of two massive rings of negative energy which will create the warp bubble.
Mark Rademaker’s design of what such a ship might actually look like.
At the 100 Year Starship Conference in Atlanta, he said that the Warp Drive could be powered by a mass that’s even less than that of the Voyager 1 spacecraft. The reduction in mass from a Jupiter-sized planet to an object that weighs a mere 1,600 pounds completely reset White’s sense of plausibility — and NASA’s.
Warp Drive for FTL travel is at the level of speculation since NASA also considers that FTL travel is impossible. FTL results in time travel and time travel is considered far more impossible than light travel. Dr White too admits his research is still small-scale and is light years away from any type of engine that could be constructed into a spaceship like the USS Enterprise.
The story so far. Here are a number of clips from the BBC Explorations series that looks at what we have achieved so far in space travel.