The UFO Partisan News Feed

This is my news feed where you'll find plenty of news hot off the internet along with some older hidden treasures still worth a look as well as my own occasional witty commentary. If there's one page here at my blog you want to bookmark, this is the one. Remember, if it's new to you . . . it's news!

"The Human Neocortex is More Complex than a Galaxy" -- Carl Sagan and Roger Penrose -Daily Galaxy

According to physicist, Roger Penrose, What’s in our head is orders of magnitude more complex than anything one sees in the Universe: "If you look at the entire physical cosmos," says Penrose, "our brains are a tiny, tiny part of it. But they're the most perfectly organized part. Compared to the complexity of a brain, a galaxy is just an inert lump."

Do Black Holes Create New Universes?

Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics thinks so:

"A star that collapses into a black hole very quickly squeezes down to infinite density and time stops — that's according to general relativity. And basically that moment when time stops is deferred by quantum mechanics, by quantum uncertainty, and rather than collapsing to infinite density, the star collapses to a certain extreme density, and then bounces back and begins to expand again. And that expanding star becomes the birth of a new universe. The point where time ends inside a black hole becomes joined to the point where time begins in a Big Bang in a new universe."

Below, Smolin talks a little about his ideas.

My Interview With Rick Scouler on his Topic UFO Show

It was a lot of fun chattering about UFOs with Rick.

ISS May Have Found First Evidence For Dark Matter -Cosmic Log

"Scientists say a $2 billion antimatter-hunting experiment on the International Space Station has detected its first hints of dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up almost a quarter of the universe."

Extraterrestrial Phosphorus Triggered Origin of Life -Daily Galaxy

"A new study from reserachers at the University of Leeds shows how a chemical, similar to one now found in all living cells and vital for generating the energy that makes something alive, could have been created when meteorites containing phosphorus minerals landed in hot, acidic pools of liquids around volcanoes, which were likely to have been common across the early Earth.
"The mystery of how living organisms sprung out of lifeless rock has long puzzled scientists, but we think that the unusual phosphorus chemicals we found could be a precursor to the batteries that now power all life on Earth. But the fact that it developed simply, in conditions similar to the early Earth, suggests this could be the missing link between geology and biology," said Dr Terry Kee, from the University's School of Chemistry, who led the research."

Earth-Like Planets in Universe Now Estimated at 100 Billion -Daily Galaxy

"Researchers at The University of Auckland have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets and they anticipate that the number will be in the order of 100 billion using gravitational microlensing, currently used by a Japan-New Zealand collaboration called MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) at New Zealand's Mt John Observatory. Their work will appear in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society."

New Math Tool Helps Reveal Shape Of Universe -Science Daily

"The technique Tejal Bhamre, a Princeton University graduate student in the Department of Physics, and her coauthors developed could, in principle, determine the shape of space­time from the perpetual ringing caused by quantum fluctuations."

The Great Exoplanet Debate -Astrobiology Magazine

"The Great Exoplanet Debate, hosted by Astrobiology Magazine during the recent 2012 Astrobiology Science Conference, is now available for viewing online."

Lots of stuff to keep you amused this weekend. -Frank

Not going anywhere for Spring break? Try Mars out for a couple minutes.

Mars Gigapixel Panorama - Curiosity rover: Martian solar days 136-149 in The World

ALMA Pays Quick Dividends: The Most Distant Molecules of Water in the Universe Discovered -Daily Galaxy

"By looking far into space, at galaxies which are so distant that their light has taken many billions of years to reach us, astronomers can observe this busy period of the Universe’s youth. In fact, two of these galaxies are the most distant of their kind ever seen — so distant that their light began its journey when the Universe was only one billion years old. What’s more, in one of these record-breakers, water is among the molecules detected, marking the most distant observations of water in the Universe.

"The more distant the galaxy, the further back one is looking, so by measuring their distances we can piece together a timeline of how vigorously the Universe was making new stars at different stages of its 13.7 billion year life," said Joaquin Vieira (California Institute of Technology, USA), lead author of the paper in the journal Nature.

The international team of researchers used ALMA Observatory in Chile to explore this stellar baby boom in the young Universe."

Speed of Light May Not Be Fixed, Scientists Suggest; Ephemeral Vacuum Particles Induce Speed-Of-Light Fluctuations -Science Daily

"Two forthcoming European Physical Journal D papers challenge established wisdom about the nature of vacuum. In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud, located in Orsay, France and his colleagues identified a quantum level mechanism for interpreting vacuum as being filled with pairs of virtual particles with fluctuating energy values. As a result, the inherent characteristics of vacuum, like the speed of light, may not be a constant after all, but fluctuate."

Not entirely surprising, but interesting nevertheless. Light is a wave, sound is a wave. The speed of sound can vary due to all sorts of things, why shouldn't the same be the case with the speed of light? -Frank

Rupert Sheldrake - The Science Delusion BANNED TED TALK

Not a popular guy in some scientific circles . . . especially the ones TED listens to namely Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers. There's certainly nothing in Sheldrake's talk that's all that terrible, he makes some excellent points, it's apparently just that Coyne and Wright don't like him. I'm a fan of both TED and Sheldrake, but clearly side with Sheldrake on this one.

TED Backs Down: People Power Wins Against Censorship

And then, the people have their input. When people have the opportunity to listen to Sheldrake, I find they're generally quite taken with his presentations. He's obviously viewed as a dangerous guy within certain scientific categories of thought. He knows science, being a scientist himself, and what he's talking about.

ETs Exist, Renowned Scientists Say -Huffington Post

Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell: "One kind of planet common in the galaxy is a water world -- a planet with a very deep ocean, perhaps hundreds of kilometers deep. The life in these water worlds might look pretty recognizable.

The propulsion mechanisms that are adapted and evolved by alien fish would be pretty similar to the propulsion mechanisms that you find on Earth simply because they're solving the same survival situation with the means available to them."

Sounds about right. It's also important to keep in mind that our own legs, and those of any other land critter on Earth, essentially act as levers to propel us. How different are land-based animals on exo-planets going to be considering how diverse life is right here? -Frank

Astronomers say they've confirmed the presence of water vapor and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of a giant planet beyond our solar system -CosmicLog

The observations, detailed Thursday on the journal Science's website, uses a method that could someday be used to sample the air of an alien Earth from light-years away, the researchers said.

"The big surprise was actually that we could do it," one of the study's co-authors, Travis Barman of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, told reporters. "We can actually see the individual lines of these molecules. ... I personally felt like we would not be able to do what we have done."

Just like Barman said, doing it is the surprise. The implication there is that it exists isn't such a surprise. -Frank

A Pretty Big Day!

Lots of great news in the astronomy racket dropping today.

Wow! Ancient Mars Had Water You Could Drink Says NASA!

"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life that probably — if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," said Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger, of Caltech in Pasadena at a NASA presser earlier today (3-12-13).

Well, that is a pop! Warmer and wetter in the past, yes, we've all known that for awhile, but potable water! That makes two planets capable of sustaining life in one star system. Somehow, I don't think we're that unique.

Closest Star System Found in a Century -Daily Galaxy

"A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest star system to the Sun, according to a paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916. The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University and a researcher in Penn State's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds.

"The distance to this brown dwarf pair is 6.5 light years -- so close that Earth's television transmissions from 2006 are now arriving there," Luhman said. "It will be an excellent hunting ground for planets because it is very close to Earth, which makes it a lot easier to see any planets orbiting either of the brown dwarfs." Since it is the third-closest star system, in the distant future it might be one of the first destinations for manned expeditions outside our solar system, Luhman said."

Quite a find by the Penn Stater, nice job Kevin! I discussed before the broad range of estimates as to the number of stars in our galaxy. Maybe we can get a firmer number soon to help tighten up our Drake Equations!

1st Reconnaissance of an Alien Star System Conducted

"This visualization, produced using the Hayden Planetarium's Digital Universe--the most comprehensive and scientifically accurate, three-dimensional map of the known universe-- shows where the star HR 8799 is in relation to our solar system. Recently, a team of researchers led by the American Museum of Natural History used a suite of high-tech instrumentation and software called Project 1640 ( to collect the first chemical fingerprints, or spectra, of the four red exoplanets orbiting this star. This visualization also shows other stars that are known to harbor planetary systems (stars with blue circles around them)."

Look at those headlines! They look like something one of those bullshit internet sites would just make up but they're all legit and it all dropped on the same day! Told you it was a big day! -Frank

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

A flawed and heavy handed documentary that features some very poor interviewing, but significant here because biologist Richard Dawkins does, at about 1:29:00, admit some openness to the directed panspermia via advanced ETs theory. The documentary also mentions DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick's famous speech where he lent his support to that possibility although he later pulled back from that position when more evidence of RNA became available as outlined in this article, co-authored with Leslie Orgel. Failing to mention Crick's later adjustment is a mistake many UFO researchers have made.

The full documentary has some serious problems, especially with specificity about the Intelligent Design issues with Darwinism, what in nature convinces them that the hand of a master/creator evidences itself and what about the fossil record? The Darwinist/Nazi connection is intellectually dishonest.

If you want to watch everything leading up to the Dawkins segment, that's on you . . .

James Webb telescope might 'see' alien life on white dwarfs

"Scientists have created an artificial spectrum showing that the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be capable of detecting oxygen and water on an Earth-like planet orbiting a white dwarf."

We still have a way's to go, 2018 to be precise, for the Webb Telescope to launch. In the meantime we have the following interesting find:

One Law to Rule Them All: Sizes Within a Species Appear to Follow a Universal Distribution -Science Daily

"Studying aquatic microorganisms, Andrea Giometto, a researcher EPFL and Eawag, showed that for each species he studied, body sizes were distributed according to the same mathematical expression, where the only unknown is the average size of the species in an ecosystem. His article was published in PNAS in March 2013. Several observations suggest that the size distribution function could be universal."

Not surprising. The Universe follows a pattern and I suspect the development of life will too. Some scientists suggest we should imagine the unimaginable, but we already have some extraordinary diversity here on Earth. My feeling is exo-life will be more Earth-like than many assume.

The interspecies internet: Diana Reiss, Peter Gabriel, Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf at TED2013

"The internet of things, yes, and the ability for us to communicate with computers without keyboards and mice. And in addition to the internet of species, he even imagines an interplanetary internet.

“These interactions with other animals will teach us, ultimately, how we might interact with an alien from another world,” says Cerf. “I can hardly wait.”

I don't know what Cerf is waiting for . . . technology I suppose. Many have been at these attempts for decades. Very 20th century thinking, as anachronistic as the phone number. There's nothing to it but to do it. -Frank


2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest films ever made and it's all about man's interaction with an ET supercivilization over hundreds of thousands of years. It's a visual and music spectacle that was decades ahead of its' time and also an inspiration, to some level or another, for a great many people who've seen it. There's been a lot of speculation over the years as to how the inspiration has manifested itself particularly as it relates to Pink Floyd's song Echoes. Synchronizing that song with the third act of 2001 yields some amazing results. Members of Pink Floyd have always denied that they essentially scored Echoes to 2001's third act and there's every reason to believe they're being honest there. Why wouldn't they admit to having done that if that's what happened?

Being a fan of classic rock, I got to thinking about another psychedelic musical magnum opus done by Jimi Hendrix on his Electric Ladyland album. I thought side 3 and the first track from side 4 might sync beautifully with Kubrick's film but the results are far better than I expected. I'm sure Hendrix didn't do that deliberately either, but it got me thinking about the concept of synchronicity developed by Carl Jung. Jung was of the opinion that life isn't just a series of random events but an expression of a deeper order, and while most events in our lives fall into the common cause/effect category, some extraordinarily coincidental events rise to a higher and more meaningful level.

So watch my sinc of Jimi Hendrix and 2001: A Space Odyssey and be entertained for a little while and give some consideration to the concept of synchronicity, especially as it applies to UFO events past, present and future. I expect I'll be writing about it in greater detail in the near future, so if my thoughts on the matter coincide roughly with your's, you'll have another example of Jung's brainstorm to turn over in your head.

You don't exist in an infinite number of places, say scientists

"Francisco José Soler Gil at the University of Sevilla and Manuel Alfonseca at the Autonomous University of Madrid have looked at two different proposals – one based on classical cosmology and the other on quantum mechanics – that contend that we live in an infinite universe in which history is repeated an infinite number of times in space. They have picked apart both proposals and argue that both are highly speculative, despite often being presented as plausible ideas. Moreover, they argue that we really don't know whether we live in an infinite universe, as a finite one seems equally likely."

We've got a long way to go before we can prove or disprove an infinite universe model, same as the universe is really a gigantic computer simulation or we live in a multiverse. It is awfully interesting to speculate about though. I suspect there are a great many surprises ahead of us, but I'm a little dubious about some of these more radical ideas. The developer of the infinite worlds theory, Hugh Everett, was a pretty interesting guy as the documentary below evidences. It's worth an hour of your time if you find yourself curious enough about the subject and the people who come up with these wild theories. -Frank

Where are they? Anders Sandberg at TEDxUHasselt

"It's very stupid in many ways . . . . but it's an equation."

Hahahaha, nice job by the futurist and transhumanist Sandberg on the Fermi Paradox and Drake Equation and another nice find from Kevin Ludwig at SLP. I covered this ground about a year ago but it's always good to hear different opinions on these concepts. Professor Paul Davies also does a nice job giving his slant on things in a good bit more detail in the bottom video. -Frank

Triangle UFO In Apollo 17 Photo!

There are lots of claims out there regarding UFOs in NASA photos and videos. Some of them I find interesting, some seem more like imagination run wild, but the link above takes you to a photo where a tiny triangle of blue lights can be seen in the distant sky and I find it exceptionally compelling.

This photo sits on NASA's servers, so if it's a fake, it was done by them. It was taken during the Apollo 17 moon landing, our last mission to the moon, and was taken either by Eugene Cernan or Harrison Schmitt. The triangle of lights in question is enlarged in the red square. I saved the original and circled the general area where the triangle can clearly be seen for your convenience, but you need to click on the link above and really zoom in on the circled area in the full sized original to see it there. -Frank

Mars Rover Curiosity Hits Water Jackpot -ABC News

"Basically these rocks were saturated with water. Turns out to be kind of the ‘jackpot’ unit. It is literally shot through with these fractures and vein fills,” said John Grotzinger, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology and the mission's chief scientist.

More strong evidence of what most folks already knew . . . that Mars used to be warm and wet. More at the link below. -Frank

The Science Recorder On The Latest From Curiosity

Interiors of supermassive black holes may be inhabited by advanced civilizations!

This extraordinary hypothesis comes from Vyacheslav Dokuchaev of Moscow's Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The link to his paper above reveals pages of math that is several light years outside my weight class to back up his claim, but his idea is simple enough . . . advanced ETs could be living inside black holes, perhaps the most curious phenomenon in our universe.

There's a great deal still unknown about black holes but we're learning more all the time. A 2009 study from the ESO suggests that black holes can actually create their own galaxy!

“The ‘chicken and egg’ question of whether a galaxy or its black hole comes first is one of the most debated subjects in astrophysics today,” says lead author David Elbaz. “Our study suggests that supermassive black holes can trigger the formation of stars, thus ‘building’ their own host galaxies. This link could also explain why galaxies hosting larger black holes have more stars.”

In 2011, two teams of astronomers found a pool of water vapor 140 trillion times larger than the earth's oceans around a quasar/black hole 12 billion light years away from us.

"The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it's producing this huge mass of water," said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "It's another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times."

More recently. a monstrous black hole 17 billion times the mass of the sun and perhaps the biggest black hole yet discovered was turned up by an international team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope. They estimate it's 4000 times larger than the Milky Way's black hole, making up 14 percent of its' home galaxy's mass.

“We set out to find the biggest black holes by targeting mostly big galaxies. Now that we have found that these crazy kind of galaxies exist, we want to know how they form and how uncommon they are. We have expected that galaxies and black holes co-evolve together, through some kind of self-regulation & feedback mechanism. But now we found systems where somehow the black hole could grow without forming many stars in the galaxy," said Remco van den Bosch, astronomer at Germany’s Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy and lead author of the study.

After all that, it's probably time to kick back and enjoy a nice little documentary about . . . black holes. -Frank

NASA Buys Inflatable Space Room For ISS From Bigelow Aerospace

"A new deal between NASA and a commercial spaceflight company to add a privately built module to the International Space Station could lead to future uses of the novel space technology beyond low-Earth orbit, space agency and company officials say.

NASA will pay $17.8 million to Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas to build an inflatable module, test it and prep it for flight. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is to be launched around the summer of 2015."

Obviously, Robert Bigelow is a very interesting fellow who is very interested in UFOs among other paranormal subject matter. At one point a couple years back, he decided to buy quick and exclusive access to MUFON cases and data, although that arrangement fell apart very quickly, and has obviously also cut a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration, as this link evidences.

"Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) (voice: 1-877-979-7444 or e-mail:, the National UFO Reporting Center, etc."

Jesse Ventura and his TV crew did a show about Bigelow highlighted by a double ambush interview with Bigelow. Although the tone is hyperbolic, it's still a pretty good effort by cable TV standards and worth a look. A more relaxed sit down with Bigelow where he discusses his interest in UFOs in greater depth is in the video that follows. -Frank

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield addresses media from the ISS

"When we do look down on a place that is in great turmoil or strife, it's hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things that we can do to each other as people, and can do to the Earth itself, locally."

Hadfield does the right thing here and speaks the truth but sadly his wise words won't get the attention they should and people will continue to refuse to recognize that these conflicts aren't fueled by nationalism, or religious, political or ethnic differences but by psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists and they pop up in every country, political cult, ethnic group and religion. The full presser where Hadfield made his comments is below. These comments start at about the ten minute mark. Hadfield also mentions he's a Leafs fan . . . . further evidence that nobody's perfect.-Frank

Official UFO Footage - Nellis Airbase, 1994

This video features some of the more compelling UFO footage shot by an unusual source . . . . the US Air Force. An edited and enhanced version appeared on the TV show Hard Copy and the link to that version is available below the video embed. -Frank

The Nellis AFB ufo footage original release 1995

There are only three circumstances under which your local TV news would do a good job in covering UFOs:

1. If a UFO set fire to an abandoned factory.

2. If the local football team was considering hiring an extraterrestrial as their next head coach.

3. If an ET shot somebody outside a bar.

Evidencing this, see the video below. The young man who captured the explosion in the sky did a great job getting this on video and onto the net. People don't recognize what they don't recognize and the kid did the right thing. Initially, Elijah Prychodzko's video got lots of people's attention and rightfully so. As it turned out, he caught an exploding weather balloon as the two following videos evidence. So now we know what exploding weather balloons look like and can narrow our focus to other unusual sky events. That's a good thing. The ridiculous TV news presention? Not a good thing at all.

I'm of the opinion that TV newscasters should actually wear clown makeup on the air. They wear enough makeup anyway, why not accurately represent their role? You could have a smiling clown for happy/wacky stories, a frightening clown for their typical fear porn/warning stories, a sad crying clown with a fake tear running down the cheek for tragic stories. It would be more honest. -Frank

Now in fairness, these guys did a much better job on some recent sightings in Michigan. They didn't have any original footage, but showed other youtube videos to a witness and he said what he saw was similar. The tone was straight. Maybe the long history of UFO cases in Michigan makes a difference. -Frank

Amateur Astronomers Discover 42 Alien Planets

"A team of amateurs has discovered evidence for 42 alien planets, including a Jupiter-size world that could potentially be habitable, by sifting through data from a NASA spacecraft.

Forty volunteers with the crowd-sourcing Planet Hunters project discovered the new planet candidates, which include 15 potentially habitable worlds and PH2 b, a Jupiter-size planet that the team confirmed to be in the habitable zone of its parent star."

Great news! It's amazing what people can do when they work together and follow a common passion. -Frank

Special thanks to Space Life Project honcho Kevin Ludwig for the tip on this amazing just released video. -Frank

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega -NASA

"The gap between the inner and outer debris belts for Vega and Fomalhaut also proportionally corresponds to the distance between our sun's asteroid and Kuiper belts. This distance works out to a ratio of about 1:10, with the outer belt 10 times farther from its host star than the inner belt. As for the large gap between the two belts, it is likely there are several undetected planets, Jupiter-size or smaller, creating a dust-free zone between the two belts. A good comparison star system is HR 8799, which has four known planets that sweep up the space between two similar disks of debris."

A very interesting find. As I mentioned a few entries back, I don't necessarily think, like some scientists do, that you might need an asteroid belt for intelligent life to evolve in a given solar system. But we've got one and we've got intelligent life. We obviously don't even know if there's a correlation there . . . . but there might be. -Frank

Albert Einstein continues to keep scientists busy as these two stories indicate . . .

Scientists Extend Einstein’s Relativity to the Universe’s First Moments -Scientific American

"Instants after the big bang, the universe underwent a burst of rapid expansion known as inflation. In this period, according to standard cosmology, tiny ripples of energy seeded galaxies and the other large-scale structures we see today. But no one can explain how the ripples formed in the first place. Three physicists now say the key to this riddle lies in quantum gravity, a still tentative theory in which gravity would display the same fuzzy “uncertainty” typical of subatomic physics."

Einstein Was Right: Space-Time Is Smooth, Not Foamy

"In his general theory of relativity, Einstein described space-time as fundamentally smooth, warping only under the strain of energy and matter. Some quantum-theory interpretations disagree, however, viewing space-time as being composed of a froth of minute particles that constantly pop into and out of existence. It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again."

There seems to be some difference of opinion here, but if we have been visited by advanced ETs, and I assume we have, they have space/time well figured out. -Frank

The Big AAS conference keeps churning out massive amounts of fascinating data . . . and cool videos! Rachel Batalha, in particular seems to have gone over really well.

Alien Earth: What It Will Mean to Find Our Planet's Twin

"'That is certainly the big picture goal, that is what NASA is aiming to do, to find the next Earth and ultimately to find other life in the galaxy,' Batalha said here at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society."

Batalha closed her presentation with this video, reportedly to the delight of all.

Worlds: The Kepler Planet Candidates from Alex Parker on Vimeo.

A Big First Day At The American Astronomical Society Conference -Cosmic Log

Alan Boyle checks in from Long Beach, CA to report that:

"A simulation based on data from NASA's planet-hunting Kepler mission has determined that about one out of every six stars has an Earth-sized planet, which would translate to at least 17 billion such worlds in our Milky Way galaxy. And that's not even counting the alien Earths we'd want to live on.

The simulation suggests that the false-positive rate should vary depending on the size of the planet candidates, from a low of 6.7 percent for small Neptune-scale planets to a high of 17.7 percent for Jupiter-type giants. The false-positive rate for close-in planets between 0.8 and 1.25 times as wide as Earth is 12.3 percent. When all these factors were added to the calculations, the astronomers arrived at a breakdown for five types of planets currently detectable by Kepler:

17 percent for Earths with orbital periods up to 85 days.
26 percent for super-Earths (1.25 to 2 times as wide as Earth) with orbits up to 145 days.
26 percent for small Neptunes (2 to 4 times Earth's width) with orbits up to 245 days.
3 percent for large Neptunes (4 to 6 times Earth's width) with orbits up to 418 days.
5 percent for giants (6 to 22 times Earth's width) with orbits up to 418 days."

And of course planets are only part of the picture when it comes to alien life out there. Some moons are going to be home for life and this study from Zooniverse is looking in that direction:

Fifteen New Planets Hint at 'Traffic Jam' of Moons in Habitable Zone -Science Daily

"Lead author Dr Ji Wang, also of Yale University, said: 'We can speculate that PH2 b might have a rocky moon that would be suitable for life. I can't wait for the day when astronomers report detecting signs of life on other worlds instead of just locating potentially habitable environments. That could happen any day now.'"

It was a good day for humanity. -Frank

Contact - Prime numbers

If you're coming to this site at all, there's a high probablity you've seen the movie Contact. If you haven't, here's a key scene when Dr. Arroway first realizes she's hearing transmissions from an advanced ET civilization and eventually figures out the ETs are transmitting prime numbers.

Now prime numbers start low but very quickly can be a number in the hundreds and even the thousands. That seems to me to be a very inefficient way of broadcasting your math skills. Inspired by a conversation I had earlier today I got to thinking that magic squares would be a much more efficient means of getting your point across and slapped together this little graphic of a 3 X 3 magic square to illustrate. Add each row, column and diagonal individually. The sums are all the same. Give it a whirl.

You could communicate this simple recreational math concept graphically, with light or with sound very quickly and repeat the pattern without boring your audience to an untimely death. Not only that, you can play with magic squares and be downright entertaining, as this bloke (that was for my British UFO friends) demonstrates here. The guy gets a huge ovation for a simple math trick anyone could learn in five minutes and master with a wee bit of practice. -Frank

I was having a conversation about not having a camera with you when seeing something odd in the sky and it reminded me of something from a couple months back. I saw an aircraft one night that was shaped an awful lot like a B-2, which is unusual enough, but what really got my attention was the odd array of lights across the undercarriage. I never saw anything like it before, even in photos. I wish I did have my camera and binoculars with me. With the binoculars, I could have easily been able to tell if it was a B-2 or not. It was certainly shaped like one and was following a flight path that I see military aircraft follow regularly. Anyway, I had some time today and figured I'd at least come up with a quick and dirty 3D representation of what I saw that night. I used a model of a B-2, as that plane is about as close as I could get anyway to what I saw, and added the lights. Not an ET vehicle I'm sure, but certainly out of the ordinary. So keep your head up and your camera and binoculars with you in 2013. -Frank

Testing Einstein's E=mc2 in Outer Space -University of Arizona

"UA physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space. According to Einstein, gravitation is a result of a curvature in space itself. Think of a mattress on which several objects have been laid out, say, a ping pong ball, a baseball and a bowling ball. The ping pong ball will make no visible dent, the baseball will make a very small one and the bowling ball will sink into the foam. Stars and planets do the same thing to space. The larger an object’s mass, the larger of a dent it will make into the fabric of space.

In other words, the more mass, the stronger the gravitational pull. In this conceptual model of gravitation, it is easy to see how a small object, like an asteroid wandering through space, eventually would get caught in the depression of a planet, trapped in its gravitational field. “Space has a curvature,” Lebed said, “and when you move a mass in space, this curvature disturbs this motion.”

According to the UA physicist, the curvature of space is what makes gravitational mass different from inertial mass."

Quite possibly this is an idea already tested and productively implemented by star-faring ETs. -Frank

100 Billion Alien Planets Fill Our Milky Way Galaxy: Study

"Swift and his colleagues arrived at their estimate after studying a five-planet system called Kepler-32, which lies about 915 light-years from Earth. The Kepler-32 planets orbit an M dwarf, a type of star that is smaller and cooler than our sun. M dwarfs are the most common star in the Milky Way, accouting for about 75 percent of the galaxy's 100 billion or so stars, researchers said."

These numbers actually seem a bit low as I've seen the number of stars in the galaxy estimated at 200-400 billion with 1.6 planets per star. Of course, the number of moons, which may harbor life too, is going to be even higher. It also doesn't seem to make sense that the team was able to make a galaxy-wide estimate based on one "special" star system. Something seems to have gotten lost in translation. But regardless of all that, our galaxy is just a small drop in the bucket . . . . -Frank

Astrophysicists Make Stellar Discovery About Galaxies Far, Far Away -Daily Galaxy

"The discovery also lends support to theories on how satellite galaxies are orbiting around the Milky Way, which is a much harder activity to observe given Earth's position within it -- the galaxy itself blocks our view."

This is also going to present a challenge to finding and communicating with any advanced civilization directly across the galaxy from us. We'll need some type of relay network. -Frank

Why we should send uploaded astronauts on interstellar missions

"The very high cost of a crewed space mission comes from the need to ensure the survival and safety of the humans on-board and the need to travel at extremely high speeds to ensure it's done within a human lifetime.

One way to overcome that is to do without the wetware bodies of the crew, and send only their minds to the stars - their "software" — uploaded to advanced circuitry, augmented by AI subsystems in the starship's processing system."

Some interesting ideas to be sure but astronauts and maybe even tourists will travel to the exoplanets if and when we discover how to manipulate and properly control space/time. -Frank

UFO? Strange lights in Cardwell

Looks to me like this might be a couple pilots flying parallel with their landing lights on. It creates a startling effect as, in the mind's eye, it really does look like one huge aircraft. When I saw something that looked similar a few months back, they were flashing the lights back and forth, which really got my attention. Then when they stopped I could see the usual nav lights, which had been washed out by the landing lights. Then I could easily tell what it was. I consulted an old aviation friend and he said it's not that uncommon, that pilots sometimes do that to signal each other. The orange tint to the lights as described by witnesses is odd. It's not certain that's what the vid is, but it could be. Great work by the shooter getting this on video. -Frank

The Incredible and Gigantic Thirty Meter Telescope - Project and Purpose Overview

Going online in 2018, project members expect this telescope to be powerful enough to literally see alien Earths. Let's hope they're right. It seems to me this effort is more likely to succeed in the search for ET than The Square Kilometre Array which isn't scheduled to get up and running until 2024. Looking has been getting better results than listening so TMT has that going for it . . . . along with the six year head start. Still, the SKA looks like an exciting project . . . when they do get it rolling. -Frank

And these guys will be ready to go full blast in two months . . .

Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

"The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile, is the largest astronomical project in existence. ALMA will be a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed initially of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile."

"Did Life First Appear on Alien Worlds 12-13 Billion Years Ago?" --Ask Leading Astrobiologists -Daily Galaxy

"Findings that show rocky planets existing around stars irrespective of their heavy element abundances mean that larger areas of galaxies than thought could be potentially habitable."

There are optimists and pessimists in every field . . . including astronomy. -Frank

Should We Expect Other Earth-like Planets At All? -Scientific American

As opposed to . . . .

First 'Alien Earth' Will Be Found in 2013, Experts Say

"The first planet with a measured size, orbit and incident stellar flux that is suitable for life is likely to be announced in 2013," said Geoff Marcy, a veteran planet hunter at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Kepler team.

Of course many people thought Marcy was crazy not so many years ago. -Frank

A Solar System Littered With Alien Artifacts? -Discovery News

"If technological extraterrestrial civilizations are common in our galaxy, then they should have the wherewithal and curiosity to send robotic probes to other star systems."

If not themselves. -Frank

MONDAY, JULY 29, 1968
Washington, D.C.

"Today the House Committee on Science and Astronautics conducts a very special session, a symposium on the subject of unidentified flying objects; the name of which is a reminder to us of our ignorance on this subject and a challenge to acquire more knowledge thereof. We approach the question of unidentified flying objects as purely a scientific problem, one of unanswered questions. Certainly the rigid and exacting discipline of science should be marshaled to explore the nature of phenomena which reliable citizens continue to report. A significant part of the problem has been that the sightings reported have not been accompanied by so-called hardware or materials that could be investigated and analyzed. So we are left with hypotheses about the nature of UFO's. These hypotheses range from the conclusion that they are purely psychological phenomena, that is, some kind of hallucinatory phenomena; to that of some kind of natural physical phenomena; to that of advanced technological machinery manned by some kind of intelligence, that is, the extraterrestrial hypotheses." - Rep. J Edward Roush

SHG - UFO Symposium 1968: Sagan Statement

"I do not think the evidence is at all persuasive, that UFO's are of intelligent extraterrestrial origin, nor do I think the evidence is convincing that no UFO's are of intelligent extraterrestrial origin." -Carl Sagan

This was the Congressional hearing initiated by then-Congressman and future President Gerald Ford after a big flap of sightings in his home district in Michigan. Interesting stuff. -Frank

"No Jupiter, No Advanced Life? " -Daily Galaxy

"Our study shows that only a tiny fraction of planetary systems observed to date seem to have giant planets in the right location to produce an asteroid belt of the appropriate size, offering the potential for life on a nearby rocky planet," said Martin, the study's lead author. "Our study suggests that our solar system may be rather special."

The thinking has been that Jupiter, with its' enormous gravity, acts like a giant vacuum cleaner and has pulled in a lot of meteors and comets that would otherwise have decimated Earth. Still Jupiter has an awfully big orbit and we don't know what type of space debris caused the likely extinction causing collisions from the prehistoric era. We also have an asteroid belt that most other systems won't have, at least not in the same location, that might have lost a space rock that wiped out our dinosaurs. I don't think there is any particular solar system array that leads to intelligent life developing other than the home planet or moon needs to be in the Goldilocks zone. -Frank

"DNA Nucleotides Were Present Before Origin of Life" -Daily Galaxy

"Benner countered saying it makes more sense for the first life to have used pure DNA and RNA as early as possible. Both work better than the mongrel molecules. But unless there's a major breakthrough in the science, there's nothing to tell us exactly how and when life first used DNA."

Liquid Crystal Research May Lead to Creation of New Materials That Can Be Actively Controlled -Science Daily

"Our study shows that interaction between particles and molecular alignment in liquid crystals follows the predictions of topological theorems, making it possible to use these theorems in designing new composite materials with unique properties that cannot be encountered in nature or synthesized by chemists. These findings lay the groundwork for new applications in experimental studies of low-dimensional topology, with important potential ramifications for many branches of science and technology."

This seems like the type of thing that can move us forward out into space and in our day-to-day lives. -Frank

"Advanced ET Technology May Exist on a 'Third Level' Beyond Matter" (2012 Most Popular) -Daily Galaxy

"We should be open to the distinct possibility that advanced alien technology a billion years old may operate at the third, or perhaps even a fourth or fifth level -all of which are totally incomprehensible to the human mind at our current state of evolution in 2012."

We should be assuming it is happening out there somewhere and make it happen here. -Frank

UFOs The True Story of Flying Saucers 1956

A truly great, informative and rarely seen docudrama about my favorite period of UFO history. Give it a look if you've never seen it. -Frank

The Wildest Alien Planets of 2012

"From massive bodies that fell just short of becoming stars to the tiniest solar systems known, 2012 has brought an array of intriguing exoplanets to light. And double-star systems that once seemed unlikely to host planets have produced a wealth of them this year.

Here's a look at some of the most exciting alien planets discovered in 2012:"

New 'Baby Picture' of Universe Unveiled

"Among other revelations, the data from WMAP revealed a much more precise estimate for the age of the universe — 13.7 billion years — and confirmed that about 95 percent of it is composed of mind-boggling stuff called dark matter and dark energy. WMAP data also helped scientists nail down the curvature of space to within 0.4 percent of "flat," and pinpoint the time when the universe began to emerge from the cosmic dark ages (about 400 million years after the Big Bang.)"

Dark Matter --Could It Play a Role in Creating Life in the Universe?

"The scientists concluded that on planets in dense "dark-matter" regions, it may be dark matter rather than light that creates the basic elements you need for organic life without a star. Dark matter, the team believes, could keep the surfaces of such warm for trillions of years, outliving all regular stars and may ultimately prove to be the "dark" bastion of life in our universe."

The secrets of dark matter and energy have likely been unlocked and are well understood by advanced ETs. Someone who knows how to ask their questions the right way should inquire. -Frank

"The Origins of Life" --Radical New Theory Says Origin is Algorithmic vs Chemical -Daily Galaxy

"We propose that the transition from non-life to life is unique and definable," added Davies. "We suggest that life may be characterized by its distinctive and active use of information, thus providing a roadmap to identify rigorous criteria for the emergence of life. This is in sharp contrast to a century of thought in which the transition to life has been cast as a problem of chemistry, with the goal of identifying a plausible reaction pathway from chemical mixtures to a living entity."

Calls for a repost of an old favorite . . .

"Humans May be the First Generation of Advanced Life in the Milky Way" (Today's Most Popular) -Daily Galaxy

"When one considers that it took nearly 4 billion years for intelligent life to evolve on Earth, it would perhaps not be surprising if intelligence is still rare."

It would be less surprising if intelligence is quite common. -Frank

Letter From Robert Sarbacher, physicist and Department of Defense consultant in 1950s

"About the only thing I remember at this time is that certain materials reported to have come from flying saucer crashes were extremely light and very tough. I am sure our laboratories analyzed them very carefully.

There were reports that instruments or people operating these machines were also of very light weight, sufficient to withstand the tremendous deceleration and acceleration associated with their machinery. I remember in talking with some of the people at the office that I got the impression these “aliens” were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low.

I still do not know why the high order of classification has been given and why the denial of the existence of these devices."

One of the more compelling documents about UFOs floating around out there. -Frank

Closest Single Star Like Our Sun May Have Habitable Planet -Science Daily

"An international team of astronomers led by the University of Hertfordshire has discovered that Tau Ceti, one of the closest and most Sun-like stars, may host five planets -- with one in the star's habitable zone."

Of course, we all have to be fact checked . . . .

Planets Around Tau Ceti? Not So Fast. -Sky & Telescope

There's about an 80% candidate to confirmation rate, so I'd bet $1 they found something even if the full five don't prove out. Still, I applaud Camille Carlisle's efforts to get things right.-Frank

"We May be Living in a Massive Computer-Generated Universe" --Physicists Say Its Reality Can Now Be Tested -Daily Galaxy

I'm more than a little dubious as to the reality behind this line of thinking as I lean towards a vigorous corporeal universe, but it's certainly worth exploring for those so qualified and inclined. Just don't ask me for a funding check. -Frank

"Alien Edens" ----Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins: 'Life Exists Elsewhere in the Universe' -Daily Galaxy

"There are billions and billions of planets out there, so there could be millions of planets that have life on them, but the origin of life could still be a staggeringly good stroke of luck," he said.

Dawkins is right, of course, but needs to be kinder to religious people. It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice. -Frank

Ancient Galaxy May Be Most Distant Ever Seen

"The seven galaxies constitute the first reliable census of the epoch from 400 million to 600 million years after the universe's birth, researchers said. This census detects a steady increase in galaxies over this period, suggesting that the formation of the first stars and galaxies — the so-called "cosmic dawn" — happened gradually rather than suddenly.

"The cosmic dawn was probably not a single, dramatic event," study lead author Richard Ellis, of Caltech in Pasadena, told reporters today."

Search for Life Suggests Solar Systems More Habitable than Ours -Ohio State University

"Scattered around the Milky Way are stars that resemble our own sun—but a new study is finding that any planets orbiting those stars may very well be hotter and more dynamic than Earth.

That’s because the interiors of any terrestrial planets in these systems are likely warmer than Earth—up to 25 percent warmer, which would make them more geologically active and more likely to retain enough liquid water to support life, at least in its microbial form."

The old inside-out approach . . . very interesting! -Frank

Flickering Stars: Could Aliens Be Sending Us Signals?

"If aliens were so advanced that they could cause their star to appear to flicker, however, it wouldn’t matter how they did it, and it would be easy enough to see with existing technology. In fact, says Walkowicz, “our premise was, ‘what if we’ve already detected a signal but missed it because of our preconceptions.’”

A very Kardashev-inspired idea. They're looking anyway, so why not? -Frank

More from Walkowicz . . .

Hidden Portals in Earth's Magnetic Field -NASA

"A favorite theme of science fiction is "the portal"--an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually existed....

It turns out that they do, sort of, and a NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them."

If we keep looking, I suspect we'll find time/space portals as well. -Frank

Origin of Human Intelligence --"Linked to a Genetic Accident 500 Million Years Ago" -Daily Galaxy

“Our work shows that the price of higher intelligence and more complex behaviors is more mental illness,” said Professor Grant.

. . . . . guess you gotta take the bad with the good. -Frank

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