Space

Alien ships near Saturn? Ex-NASA scientist claims of their existence

A former NASA engineer at the Ames Research Center claims aliens are in our solar system and they are creating rings around planets like Saturn. Dr. Norman Bergrun, who previously worked at NASA Ames Research Center has recently made comments that UFOs are hiding in the rings of Saturn. According to conspiracy theory channel, SecureTeam10, which obtained Bergrun’s comments, the alien ships have been here for some time. “Alien spacecraft are proliferating in our solar system and around these ringed planets,” Bergrun is quoted as saying on the video. Bergrun also noted the aircraft are by the other ringed-planets in the solar system, including Jupiter and Uranus. SecureTeam 10, which has nearly 900,000 YouTube subscribers, often runs conspiracy theory-based videos. The organization describes itself as the “source for reporting the best in new UFO sighting news, info on the space cover-up, and the strange activity happening on and off of our planet.” Bergrun wrote the 1986 book entitled “Ringmakers of Saturn.” The book highlights that there are massive alien ships around Saturn (which Bergrun dubs “ring makers”), including ones which have actually created some of the rings around the gas giant. This is not the first time Bergrun has made comments like this, having done so previously in 2016. Click here to see the video in its entirety:

And you be the judge…

NASA bombshell: Government agency admits it can’t pay for humans to go to Mars

NASA has long said it would be able to send a manned mission to Mars, sometime during the 2030s. Now, in a bombshell announcement, the space agency has admitted it can’t afford the price tag. On July 12, during a propulsion meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA’s William Gerstenmaier, the agency’s chief of human spaceflight, said the funds just are not there for a mission. “I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is … at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,” Gerstenmaier said, according to an Ars Technica report. “And that entry, descent and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars.” NASA could not be reached for additional comment for this story. For the 2017 fiscal year, NASA has a budget of $19.5 billion, a figure that many scientists have cried is inadequate. The proposed total Federal budget for 2018 is $4.1 trillion. For several years, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has derided NASA’s budget. The cost of a manned mission to Mars has varied greatly in recent years. In 2012, the head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Brent Sherwood, said it could cost approximately $100 billion over 30 or 40 years. Director of the Mars Institute Pascal Lee recently said it could cost up to $1 trillion over 25 years. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also come up with a cost for a manned mission to Mars. He estimates it would initially cost $10 billion per person to get a colony up and running, but believes the cost could drop to $200,000, according to a paper published by Musk in June 2017. Part of the cost drop could be reusable rockets, something SpaceX and Musk have been working on perfecting. Using private industry may be the way to go for humanity to get to Mars, at least according to some in the Trump administration. Vice President Mike Pence recently said, “American business is on the cutting edge of space technology.” Pence has also spoken at NASA, calling for a return to the Moon, saying, “America will lead in space once again.”

Let’s hope so.  But, it certainly won’t happen at the current, pathetic, funding levels.  As many of you know, here at The Daily Buzz we’ve been calling for the doubling, if not tripling of our space budgets, both civilian (i.e. NASA) and military (i.e. U.S. Air Force’s Space Command and the U.S. Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command or “SMDC”), since day one.  Of course we’re also for consolidating efforts, and using those funds more efficiently, as there is far too much waste in our federal budget.  BUT, in order to keep pace with adversarial nations like Russia, and China (which is making tremendous leaps in space), we need to invest in those programs…while also partnering with private U.S.-based companies like United Launch Alliance (ULA), Blue Origin, and SpaceX.

Does dark energy exist?

Newsflash: the universe is expanding . We’ve known that since the pioneering and tireless work of Edwin Hubble about a century ago, and it’s kind of a big deal. But before I talk about dark energy and why that’s an even bigger deal, I need to clarify what we mean by the word “expanding.” The actual observation that you can do in the comfort of your own home (provided you have access to a sufficiently large telescope and a spectrograph) is that galaxies appear to be receding from our own Milky Way. On average, of course: galaxies aren’t simple creatures, and some, like our a-little-too-close-for-comfort neighbor Andromeda, are moving toward us. This recession is seen in the redshifting of light from those galaxies. The fingerprint frequencies of certain elements are shifted down to lower frequencies, exactly like they are for the Doppler effect. But to explain the cosmological observations as a simple Doppler shift requires a few head-scratching conclusions: 1) We are at the center of the universe; 2) Galaxies have preposterous mechanisms that propel them through space; and 3) The universe conspires to make galaxies twice as far away from us move exactly twice as fast. That seems like a bit of a stretch, so astronomers long ago reached a much more simple conclusion, one powered by the newfangled general theory of relativity : the space itself between galaxies is expanding, and galaxies are just along for the ride. Edwin Hubble established the expansion of the universe by cataloging nearby galaxies (after discovering that there is such a thing as “nearby galaxies”). But the story of dark energy doesn’t get told by neighborhood redshifts. The game of cosmology in the latter half of the 20th century was to go deep. Way deep, which is challenging because deep-space objects are a little dim. Thankfully, nature gave scientists a break (for once). A certain sub-sub-subclass of supernova explosions , known as Type 1a, has two useful characteristics. Because Type 1a supernovae tend to happen from roughly the same scenario — a white dwarf accretes gas from an orbiting companion until a critical threshold is reached, a nuclear chain reaction goes haywire and boom — they have roughly the same absolute brightness. By comparing the observed brightness of a Type 1a supernova to the known true brightness (calibrated using handy nearby sources), a little high-school trigonometry reveals a distance. But wait, there’s more! Since Type 1a supernovae contain the same mix of elements, we can easily identify their fingerprint frequencies and measure the redshift, and hence a speed. Distance and speed all in one measurement. How convenient. Type 1a supernovae are relatively rare — only a small handful will light up each galaxy every century. But since there are so many galaxies in the universe, they’re constantly popping off somewhere. And they’re insanely bright, too. For a few weeks, a single explosion can outshine its entire host galaxy. That’s hundreds of billions of stars for those of you keeping track. As the light travels to our telescopes from a distant supernova, the expansion of the universe will stretch it out to longer wavelengths. The further in the past the supernova exploded, the longer the light has traveled to reach us, and the more stretching it has accumulated. So a single supernova redshift measurement gives us the total amount of universal stretch in the intervening billions of years between us and the explosion. By performing multiple measurements at multiple distances, we can build a cosmic growth chart, mapping the expansion of the universe as a function of its age. And that’s where dark energy enters the fray. In the 1990s, after a decade of technology development, the stage was finally set for supernovae to shed some light on the expansion of the universe. Specifically, its deceleration. In a universe full of matter, the expansion should slowly be wearing out as its gravitational pull tugs back. We didn’t know how much matter was in the universe, but a measurement of the cosmic growth chart would help pin it down. Easy, peasy. At first the results were promising: two competing groups both provided initial results of a detectable deceleration rate, but with necessarily large error bars (they were just getting started, after all). But in the coming months, things started to go downhill. As more supernovae data came back from the surveys, the measured deceleration shrank. Then vanished. Then reversed. It appeared that the expansion of the universe was accelerating. Both groups frantically tried to figure out the bugs in their data-analysis pipelines. Surely something was amiss, and each was worried that the other group might steal its thunder by publishing a sound measurement while it was still fiddling with its codes. But the data refused to budge. Nervously, cautiously, the groups reached out to each other: “Do you see what we see?” It was then that the groups began to appreciate what the universe was telling them. Two competing teams, using different telescopes, different datasets and different methodologies, were independently coming to the same conclusion. Our universe wasn’t slowing down, but speeding up . They published their work almost 20 years ago. In the meantime, after several independent lines of evidence all pointed to the same conclusion, they shared in a Nobel Prize for their unexpected discovery. The name for that observed phenomenon — dark energy — sticks with us today, but we still don’t understand it. We don’t know why the expansion of the universe is accelerating, but we do know that it does accelerate. Learn more by listening to the episode “Does Dark Energy Exist? ” on the Ask A Spaceman podcast, available on iTunes and on the web at http://www.askaspaceman.com . Thanks to Mike N., @al_mcclintock, Philip A., Walt A., Cheryl B. and Vick K. for the questions that led to this piece! Ask your own question on Twitter using #AskASpaceman or by following Paul @PaulMattSutter and facebook.com/PaulMattSutter .

Fascinating!!     Astrophysicist Paul Sutter at The Ohio State University is responsible for that outstanding science lesson.       🙂

Alien spaceship on Mars or NASA debris? Curiosity rover spots a mystery object on the red planet sending conspiracy theorists into a spin

NASA’s Curiosity rover has snapped a photo of a mysterious object on the surface of Mars, which conspiracy theorists believe could be evidence of aliens. The high-definition image appears to show the object glinting against Mars’ rocky landscape. While many people believe that the object is made by aliens, others have suggested that it is merely the rover’s own entry debris. The image was taken in March, but was posted on Reddit this week, sparking a huge online debate about what it shows. Prosaic Origin, the Reddit user who posted the image, wrote: ‘Uh NASA? UFO caught on Mars Rover mission? Is this real?’ His post has received 79 replies, many of which back up his thoughts that it could be aliens. EdisonVonneZula said: ‘Looks like light glimmering off of a genuine spaceship on an alien planet in outer space.’ And Crazylegs99 wrote: ‘They forgot to Photoshop that one out. Love how skeptical the mods are. ‘You could have aliens waving hi through the windshield and it would be flagged as a likely prosaic.’ But not everyone is convinced. OnceReturned suggested the image could merely show debris from the rover’s landing craft.

Perhaps..  Click on the text above to see the photos in question, and you be the judge!

NASA eyes close-up mission to Uranus, Neptune

New NASA mission ideas would study the gassy environments of Uranus and Neptune, two planets on the edge of the solar system that spacecraft have visited only once. The agency has several potential mission concepts on the table, including flybys, orbiters and even a spacecraft to dive into Uranus’ atmosphere, agency officials said in a statement. NASA released a study of potential future missions in support of the forthcoming Planetary Science Decadal Survey, a publication of the National Research Council that is used to help determine what missions NASA should pursue. The next survey covers science priorities from 2022 and 2032. “This [NASA] study argues the importance of exploring at least one of these planets and its entire environment, which includes surprisingly dynamic icy moons, rings and bizarre magnetic fields,” Mark Hofstadter, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in the statement. Hofstadter was one of the two co-chairs of the science team that produced the report. “We do not know how these planets formed and why they and their moons look the way they do,” added fellow co-chair Amy Simon, senior scientist of planetary atmospheres research at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “There are fundamental clues as to how our solar system formed and evolved that can only be found by a detailed study of one, or preferably both of these planets.” Both planets have been visited by a single spacecraft, Voyager 2, which flew by Uranus and Neptune in 1986 and 1989, respectively. Voyager 2 was tasked with viewing the largest planets of the outer solar system and took advantage of a rare planetary alignment to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune on the probe’s way out of the solar system. (The spacecrat’s twin, Voyager 1, studied Jupiter and Saturn and entered interstellar space in 2012.) Since then, however, telescope technology has improved enough so that scientists can perform some studies of Uranus and Neptune from the ground. Researchers using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, for example, have tracked giant storms appearing and disappearing on Uranus in recent years. However, no concentrated long-term program is possible on the ground, because telescope time is competitive and spread among several targets. Studies suggest that Uranus and Neptune both have liquid oceans beneath their clouds, making up about two-thirds of their mass, NASA officials noted in the statement. It’s a different environment from the much bigger Jupiter and Saturn (which are about 85 percent gas by mass) and smaller, rocky planets such as Earth or Mars, which are almost 100 percent rock. “It’s not clear how or where ice giant planets form, why their magnetic fields are strangely oriented, and what drives geologic activity on some of their moons,” NASA added in the same statement. “These mysteries make them scientifically important, and this importance is enhanced by the discovery that many planets around other stars appear to be similar to our own ice giants.”

Space Warfare: America could soon have a new branch of the military protecting outer space

Members of Congress have laid the groundwork for the U.S Air Force to establish a new branch of the military, known as a Space Corps, by January of 2019. The proposal came from Congressmen Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Jim Cooper. D-Tenn., the top representatives of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which oversees military space operations. They introduced the legislation into the House Armed Services Committee National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Tuesday. According to a joint statement by Rogers and Cooper, the Space Corps would reorganize the national security space enterprise “to ensure prioritization of the space domain by creating a U.S. Space Corps as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force and under the civilian leadership of the Secretary of the Air Force.” “There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” the statement said, “We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems.” Rogers told Space News “As I’ve been chairing this subcommittee for the last four years, we have seen time and again that our ability to meet new challenges in space is lethargic at best.” Space would fall under the command of its own chief, equal in rank to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who would sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and answer to the Secretary of the Air Force. But Air Force leaders are rejecting the plan. “The Pentagon is complicated enough,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters following her testimony in front of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart and cost more money. If I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy.”

This is a follow up to an earlier we posted (scroll down about 14 articles).  The good Secretary isn’t wrong..  However well intentioned, it DOES seem like the creation of another bureaucracy is in the works.  As many of you know, here at The Daily Buzz we’ve been advocating the need for more funding of both our civilian (i.e. NASA) AND military space programs (i.e. Air Force Space Command & the U.S. Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command or “SMDC”).  But, such funding should be done so wisely, and not wasted on growing the size and scope of bloated, inefficient, bureaucratic government.  Anyway, to read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Strange ‘stone circle’ spotted on Mars

A mysterious ‘stone circle’ has been spotted on the surface of Mars, according to alien hunters. The image, captured by NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, was featured on the secureteam10 YouTube channel after it was spotted by a UFO hunter. In the YouTube video, secureteam10 describes the image as “a very strange formation of rocks that are put together in what appears to be a very artificial way, arranged in a perfect circle.” The formation is “much different from the craters that we normally see on Mars and the moon and the other planets in the solar system,” secureteam10 added. “This almost looks like these rocks were arranged in this circular formation – either that, or these could potentially be some sort of ruin that is a part of a much larger structure, potentially buried.” The rocks sparked plenty of comment on YouTube, with not everyone convinced that the rocks had been arranged in the circular pattern. “It really just looks like a crater to me,” noted one commenter. “Looks like a boulder that is weathered,” wrote another commenter. “The circle on Mars is clearly part of a bagel,” quipped another. Features on the Red Planet’s surface continue to be a source of fascination. Earlier this year, for example, UFO hunters claimed that an image taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover shows an ancient tree stump on the surface of the Red Planet. In 2015, UFO hunters also claimed to identify a mysterious woman-like shape in a picture taken by the Curiosity Rover. The largest rover ever sent to Mars, Curiosity launched on Nov. 26 2011 and landed on the Red Planet on Aug. 5, 2012.

Things that make ya go, “hmmm….”   To see a photo of the pic in question, click on the text above…and you be the judge.    🙂