- Aliens Even More Likely Now To Be Out There ~ Average star has two potentially Earth-like worlds
- 1.618 Phi ~ The Golden Ratio ~ The Very Proof of Intelligent Design by our Creator! Part 1
- 50 AMAZING Facts to Blow Your Mind! #1
- NASA probe snaps amazing image of Ceres
- Jupiter Wins the Starring Role in February's Planet Parade
- Archaeologists Uncovering Legendary Lost City of Poseidon
- The Mystery of the Blonde-haired Tarim Mummies of China
- Did Michelangelo conceal brain stem in painting of the Separation of Light from Darkness?
- Ufology Updates & Noah's Flood on Coast To Coast Radio with George Noory
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:01 PM PST
Excerpt from theregister.co.uk
“The ingredients for life are plentiful, and we now know that habitable environments are plentiful,” says Professor Charley Lineweaver, a down-under astrophysicist.
Lineweaver and PhD student Tim Bovaird worked this out by reviewing the data on exoplanets discovered by the famed Kepler planet-hunter space scope. Kepler naturally tends to find exoplanets which orbit close to their parent suns, as it detects them by the changes in light they make by passing in front of the star. As a result, most Kepler exoplanets are too hot for liquid water to be present on their surfaces, which makes them comparatively boring.
Good planets in the "goldilocks" zone which is neither too hot nor too cold are much harder to detect with Kepler, which is a shame as these are the planets which might be home to alien life - or alternatively, home one day to transplanted Earth life including human colonists, once we've cracked that pesky interstellar travel problem.
However there exists a thing called the Titius-Bode relation - aka Bode's Law - which can be used, once you know where some inner planets are, to predict where ones further out will be found.
Assuming Bode's Law works for other suns as it does here, and inputting the positions of known inner exoplanets found by Kepler, Lineweaver and Bovaird found that on average a star in our galaxy has two planets in its potentially-habitable zone.
That doesn't mean there are habitable or inhabited planets at every star, of course. Even here in our solar system, apparently lifeless (and not very habitable) Mars is in the habitable zone.
Even so, there are an awful lot of planets in the galaxy, so some at least ought to have life on them, and in some cases this life ought to have achieved a detectable civilisation. Prof Lineweaver admits that the total lack of any sign of this is a bit of a puzzler.
"The universe is not teeming with aliens with human-like intelligence that can build radio telescopes and space ships," admits the prof. "Otherwise we would have seen or heard from them.
“It could be that there is some other bottleneck for the emergence of life that we haven’t worked out yet. Or intelligent civilisations evolve, but then self-destruct.”
Of course, humans - some approximations of which have been around for some hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps - have only had civilisation of any kind in any location for a few thousand of those years. Our civilisation has only risen to levels where it could be detectable across interstellar distances very recently.
There may be many planets out there inhabited by intelligent aliens who either have no civilisation at all, or only primitive civilisation. There may be quite a few who have reached or passed the stage of emitting noticeable amounts of radio or other telltale signs, but those emissions either will not reach us for hundreds of thousands of years - or went past long ago.
It would seem reasonable to suspect that there are multitudes of worlds out there where life exists in plenty but has never become intelligent, as Earth life was for millions of years before early humans began using tools really quite recently.
But the numbers are still such that the apparent absence of star-travelling aliens could make you worry about the viability of technological civilisation if, like Professor Lineweaver, you learn your astrophysics out of textbooks and lectures (and publish your research, as we see here, in hefty boffinry journals like theMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society).
But if movies, speculofictive novels and TV have taught us anything here on the Regalien life desk, it is that in fact the galaxy is swarming with star-travelling aliens (and/or humans taken secretly from planet Earth for mysterious purposes in the past, or perhaps humans from somewhere else etc). The reason we don't know about them is that they don't want us to.
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:01 PM PST
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:57 PM PST
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:50 PM PST
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:45 PM PST
Excerpt from nbc.com
Planets are on parade in February's night sky.
Giant Jupiter will dazzle all night long for the entire month, as the planet is now is at opposition to the sun. And if you're awake in the early morning hours, look for the ringed wonder, beautiful Saturn. Skywatchers will also have good opportunities to see Mercury, Venus and Mars this month.
The schedule below provides some of the best planet-viewing times in February and tells you where in the sky to look. As always, when measuring the angular separation between two celestial objects, your clenched fist held at arm's length measures roughly 10 degrees.
Feb. 6: Jupiter reaches opposition, meaning it's opposite to the sun in our sky. Therefore, Jupiter rises around the time the sun sets, shines highest about midnight and sets around sunrise. Opposition is also when Jupiter is closest to Earth for the year, appearing biggest and brightest. Look for it in the east as the blue sky darkens. When you face Jupiter, Venus is almost directly behind you.
How impressive is Jupiter this month? The giant world burns at magnitude minus 2.6, three times as bright as Sirius, the brightest star, which sparkles very far to Jupiter's right or lower right on February evenings.
Feb. 13: Around 4 a.m. local time, you'll see a fat crescent moon well up in the southeast sky, and about 5 degrees to its upper right you'll find Saturn, the best morning planet. Note the first-magnitude reddish star Antares, about 9 degrees below Saturn.
During this month, Saturn slowly edges past the head of Scorpius, a "fence" of second- and third- magnitude stars. A telescope shows that by month's end the north face of Saturn's rings is tilted 25 degrees toward Earth, enough to reveal the outermost ring's entire edge. The rings won't be inclined so much again until mid-October, when Saturn will be less favorably placed.
Feb. 17: Here is a challenging observation that you might want to attempt if you're an early riser. Using binoculars about 40 minutes before sunrise, scan low above the east-southeast horizon for the slender sliver of a crescent moon, which is only 3 percent illuminated by the sun. If you're successful, look about 5 degrees to the right of the moon for Mercury.
Feb. 20: Check out the west-southwest sky as darkness descends. You'll see a lovely crescent moon looking like a thin smile on the sky. Just off to its left is Venus, and just above it will be a much dimmer Mars, glowing with a yellow-orange tint. At magnitude plus 1.3, Mars still ranks among the 21 brightest stars in the night sky, but shines only 0.8 percent as brightly as Venus. Two nights from now the moon will have moved on, but the two planets will be closest together, separated by only 0.4 degrees.
Feb. 24: Mercury was at inferior conjunction with the sun on Jan. 30, but since that date this fast-moving world has leaped up on this day to attain its greatest morning elongation. Unfortunately, Mercury's 27-degree separation from the sun lies at a shallow angle to the eastern horizon for skywatchers observing in northern temperate latitudes. They will find the planet mired low in the dawn, where it may be barely glimpsed. It will appear just above the east-southeast horizon about 40 minutes before sunrise, from about Feb. 21 to Feb. 28.
By contrast, Southern Hemisphere observers see a superb apparition of Mercury high in the dawn, where it continues to be seen into March. In short, the farther south you are, the longer you'll be able to keep track of this planet.
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:31 PM PST
Excerpt from popular-archaeology.com
A team of scholars and students will return to explore and investigate the site now thought to be the remains of the lost city of Helike, the legendary city that was for centuries the stuff of ancient writers and a tantalizing mystery for explorers and scientists for over 2,000 years.
Led by Dr. Dora Katsonopoulou, Director of the Helike Society, researchers have uncovered a wealth of artifacts and structural remains dating from the Bronze Age through the Roman and Byzantine periods at sites near the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth in northern Peloponnesos. In 2000 and 2001, the research team located in this area what is now thought to be the remains of ancient Helike, on the coastal plain between the Selinous and Kerynites Rivers. Excavation of trenches revealed the architectural remains of Classical period buildings located at a depth of 3 m, likely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently buried under the deposits of a shallow inland lagoon. "Thus the city did not sink into the depths of the Corinthian Gulf, as previously believed", reported the researchers, "but was submerged by an inland lagoon, which later silted over". The excavations also uncovered a rich array of artifacts.
Also nearby, researchers uncovered evidence of an extensive and remarkably well-preserved Early Helladic coastal settlement (ca. 2600-2300 BC). This site is about 1 kilometer from the present shore, with remains at a depth of 3 to 5 meters below the surface. Finds included the foundations of a corridor house and other buildings that lined cobbled streets, along with abundant pottery. Luxury items found at the site, which included small gold and silver ornaments, have given clues about the apparent wealth of this earlier period city. Additionally, sediments covering the Early Bronze Age city contained marine and lagoon microfauna, indicating that the ancient city was submerged in seawater for a period of time. A wall of one building was clearly offset in a way that strongly suggests the result of seismic activity, indicating that this early settlement may have also been destroyed and submerged by an earthquake, about 2,000 years before the famous earthquake that destroyed classical Helike in 373/372 B.C.
It was this massive 4th century earthquake that struck the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth and destroyed the Classical city of Helike, purportedly submerging it into the sea. According to the literature, Helike, which became the principal city of Achaea, was founded in the Mycenaean period by Ion, the leader of the Ionian race. Helike subsequently became the capital of the Twelve Cities of ancient Achaea. The city area was anciently considered the location of the sanctuary of Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakes. It was widely discussed in literature by many ancient Greek and Roman writers and visitors such as Strabo, Pausanias, Diodoris, Aelian and Ovid, and has been suggested by some scholars to be the inspiration for the story of Atlantis. But, like Atlantis, the actual whereabouts and evidence of Helike's remains have eluded scholars and explorers for 2,000 years.
It was not until 1988 that efforts began to bear fruit, when Greek archaeologist Dora Katsonopoulou launched the Helike Project to locate the site of the lost city. In 1994 a magnetometer survey was carried out in collaboration with the University of Patras in the delta region near the Corinthian Gulf coast where Helike was suspected to be located, revealing the outlines of a buried building.
Excavations followed, unearthing a large Roman building with standing walls. But the Classical remains of the city of Helike itself were rediscovered in 2001, buried under vestiges of an ancient lagoon. Since then, excavations have been conducted in the Helike delta area every summer. These excavations have uncovered significant archeological finds dating from the time of Helike's founding to the time of its revival during Hellenistic and Roman times.
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:18 PM PST
By Shelly Barclay
The Tarim Mummies or the Mummies of Xinjiang are mysterious mummies that were discovered in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains in China. What is so mysterious about them is that some of them date back to roughly 4,000 years ago, a time when it was thought that there were no westerners in that area. However, there must have been, because the Tarim mummies are Caucasian. Not only that, but they wear similar garments and share similar burial practices of some European countries.
The first of the Tarim mummies was discovered by Wang Binghua in 1978. Wang had been searching for ancient settlements along in the northeast of Xinjiang when a local man directed him to Quizilchoqa. It was there that Wang uncovered the first mysterious Tarim mummy. Over time, these mummies were discovered in four different sites in the Tarim Basin area. More than one hundred of them have been uncovered so far.
The Tarim mummies are unusually well preserved. This is interesting because the people who buried them did not practice mummification. The sites where these mummies have been found, lie on the edges of the Taklamakan Desert. When these ancient people buried their dead, the hot climate and rocky soil helped to keep the deceased’s body preserved, though it should have decomposed hundreds of years ago. Some of these corpses rival the Ancient Egyptian mummies in their extraordinary preserved state.
Another very strange thing about the Tarim mummies is the attire in which they were buried. If the fact that some of them had blond hair and blue eyes hadn’t given away the fact that they were westerners that had settled in what is now Xinjiang, the clothing they wore when they were buried would have.
One of the mummies, the Yingpan Man, was six feet six inches tall and wore a red tunic with gold embroidery. He also wore a gold foil burial mask. This burial clothing is far more indicative of western influence than of Eastern. Other Tarim mummies have also been found wearing decidedly western clothing. One of the oddest bits of clothing found any of these mummies are the flat-brimmed pointy “witch hats” that were discovered on the “Witches of Subeshi.”
Researchers have been able to decipher a number of things about the people who buried these mummies since their discovery. This is largely due to the work of Dr. Victor Mair, the man who brought the Tarim mummies into the public eye. It is known that the ancient people rode horses, used chariots and had at least some medical knowledge. One of the Tarim mummies was found with evidence of a surgical wound on its neck, which had been sutured at some point.
Since the discovery of the caucasian-featured Tarim mummies in Xinjiang, scientists have been trying to uncover links between the ancient people who buried these mummies and modern citizens of the area. Thus far, several links have been discovered and hypothesized, but it is difficult to make them public or credible because of political unrest in the area. Nonetheless, there are many people who are certain that the Tarim mummies represent the first Caucasians to settle in the area. If this is fact, then it will mean that western man settled in the area roughly one thousand years before scientists had previously thought they did.
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:06 PM PST
Excerpt from livescience.com
Michelangelo's depiction of God's throat in one panel of his Sistine Chapel fresco is awkward, which is odd for an artist so devoted to the study of anatomy. Now researchers have a theory to explain why: Michelangelo embedded an image of a human brain stem in God’s throat, they find.
The Renaissance artist is known to have studied human anatomy by dissecting cadavers when he was a young man, and continued until late in his 89 years. This practice informed his powerful depictions of the human and the divine.
But one panel of his Sistine Chapel frescoes contains an oddly lit and awkward image of God's neck and head as seen from below. The light illuminating the neck was different from that of the rest of the painting. Also, God's beard is foreshortened and appears to roll up along the sides of his jaw, and his bulbous neck has prompted speculation that Michelangelo intended to portray God with a goiter, or abnormally enlarged thyroid gland.
Two researchers – one a neurosurgeon, the other a medical illustrator – writing in the May issue of the journal Neurosurgery have another, more flattering theory. In this panel, which portrays the Separation of Light from Darkness, from the Book of Genesis, Michelangelo embedded a ventral view of the brainstem, they wrote.
Using a digital analysis, they compared the shadows outlining the features of God’s neck and a photograph of a model of this section of the brain, which connects with the spinal cord, and found a close correspondence.
This is not the first anatomical image found hidden in the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. In an article published in 1990, Frank Lynn Meshberger, a gynecologist, identified an outline of the human brain in the Creation of Adam. Among other details, he noted that the shroud surrounding God had the shape of the cerebrum, or the upper part of the brain. A decade later, another researcher pointed out a kidney motif.
"We speculated that having used the brain motif successfully in the Creation of Adam almost a year earlier, Michelangelo wanted to once again associate the figure of God with a brain motif in the iconographically critical Separation of Light from Darkness," wrote authors Ian Suk, a medical illustrator, and neurosurgeon Rafael Tamargo, both of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
They do point out "the perils of overinterpreting a masterpiece," saying that not all art historians and other viewers will agree with their conclusions. Even so, they say their analysis, along with historical records, backs the interpretation.
Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:00 PM PST