space bug near ISS

On October 22 during a spacewalk by two Russian astronauts, the International Space Station (ISS) live feed showed a luminescent UFO briefly fly nearby. The astronauts had just jettisoned two parts of the ISS that had been removed, and the live feed showed the objects slowing falling towards the earth. As the second object is jettisoned, the UFO appears and briefly maneuvers near it. The luminescent UFO does not appear to be space debris as it clearly changes direction several times. It appears to be under intelligent control suggesting either a luminescent life form indigenous to outer space, or an extraterrestrial vehicle of some kind.

The first possibility of an extraterrestrial life form that can survive in outer space was suggested in a brief video analysis of the UFO conducted by Third Phase of Moon. It was proposed that the UFO was some kind of insect. The idea of space bugs existing in outer space received a boost on August 19, 2014 after Russians scientists announced the results of a yearlong study of a strange substance that had been obscuring the windows of the ISS that had been collected by astronauts during a prior spacewalk. Russian scientists announced that the substance was a form of sea plankton growing on the windows of the ISS. Flying at an approximate altitude of 200 miles, it is extremely unlikely that sea plankton could be carried so high by air currents. Nevertheless, the sea plankton on the ISS was growing, suggesting that it was a form of plankton indigenous to outer space rather than carried into space from the Earth’s surface.

Another possibility is that the luminescent object is an extraterrestrial spacecraft. If so, it would be yet another incident of spacewalking astronauts being monitored by extraterrestrial craft. October 7 was another incident of spacewalking astronauts being captured on the ISS live feed with a UFO nearby that appeared to be observing ISS activities. The UFO was elliptical in shape and stationary relative to the ISS.

The ISS live feed is clear evidence that something other than space debris was briefly captured on video during a spacewalking mission. The video is very suggestive of some form of indigenous space life, or an extraterrestrial vehicle, closely monitoring the ISS and the spacewalking astronauts.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Spacecraft and Hwy on Moon

A 1968 photo taken during a Lunar Orbiter mission to the moon shows what appears to be a spacecraft that is at least 10 miles (16 km) long resting inside the Crater Manlius. The photo was the subject of a Youtube video that was released on October 4 that shows various close ups and light contrasts of the apparent spacecraft. Most of the object is well illuminated by the sun, but the rest is in the shadows of the crater which is approximately 20 miles (34 km) in diameter, What appears to be a spacecraft cockpit is in shadows. According to an October 5 blog post on UFO Sightings Daily, the object is a UFO that was being secretly studied by NASA, and the real target for upcoming Apollo moon missions.

The apparent spacecraft was photographed by Lunar Orbiter III (frame 3073) that was sent in 1967 to map the moon for future Apollo missions. Prior to its October 2014 “rediscovery,” the UFO in the photo was discovered in October 2007 and discussed on an online forum where the consensus was that it was a spacecraft of some kind.

One possible explanation of the object is that it is an optical illusion based on a depression in the crater, rather than a large spacecraft resting on the crater’s surface. The contours of the object as it meets the shadow cast by the sun from the crater’s rim, however, appears to rule out such an explanation.

What is perhaps even more solid evidence of something artificial on the moon’s surface in the same Lunar Orbiter photo is what appears to be the remains of a road that is approximately 60 miles (100 km) long on the moon’s surface. The apparent road is surprisingly straight and covers the entire width of the Orbiter photo suggesting it is even longer. This suggests that it is not a natural depression on the lunar surface. Even more surprisingly, the roadway was not discussed in either the Youtube video or the UFO Sightings Daily blogpost.

The object captured by the Lunar Orbiter III does appear to be a huge spacecraft that is at least 10 miles long resting on the surface of the Crater Manlius, rather than an optical illusion from a depression in the crater. A possibility of artificial structures on the moon that is harder to dismiss is what appears to be the remains of an ancient lunar highway that is at least 60 miles long.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Course begins on September 15, 2014

The discovery of exoplanets in the habitable regions of their suns, according to the world’s leading astrophysicists, makes the existence of extraterrestrial life a foregone conclusion. Astronomical observations of exoplanets has stimulated scientific conferences questioning, for the first time, the societal and political implications of intelligent life existing somewhere in the far reaches of space. For example, a September 18-19 Symposium sponsored by NASA and the Library of Congress brings together some of the worlds leading astrobiologists to discuss ways of preparing the public for the discovery of extraterrestrial life. According to astrophysicists such as Stephen Hawking, extraterrestrials would most likely be predatory in nature and the best response to contact would be to equip the world’s military to defend humanity.

For others, convinced that extraterrestrials have been visiting humanity since the dawn of the nuclear age, scientists are late comers to the party. A host of whistleblowers, experiencers and government documents have revealed, according to UFO and “exopolitics” researchers that extraterrestrials are already here. Not only have extraterrestrials been silently watching us, but advanced technologies have been developed to monitor, intercept and even shoot down their spacecraft. All this has been done secretly for national security reasons if the evidence is to be believed.  So what would extraterrestrials be like? What would be their science, politics and spirituality?

There have been a few ad hoc attempts to answer such questions. As far as the astrophysics/astrobiological community is concerned, there have been conferences by the Royal Society and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences which tackled some of these questions. In a conference proceedings paper, the Royal Society’s Dr Martin Dominik and Prof John C. Zarnecki endorsed studying the societal aspects of any discovery of extraterrestrial life. They stressed the importance of determining the possible motivations of extraterrestrial life:

The detection and further study of extra-terrestrial life will fundamentally challenge our view of nature, including ourselves, and therefore the field of astrobiology can hardly be isolated from its societal context, including philosophical, ethical and theological perspectives. With the detection of extra-terrestrial life being technically feasible, one needs to address whether perceived societal benefits command us to search for it, or whether such an endeavor may rather turn out to be a threat to our own existence

A popular online course on astrobiology asks at the end of a five week program: “What are the possibilities for intelligent life elsewhere? How would we deal with contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence and what would be the impact on society? Who would represent Earth?”

The best attempt to systematically address questions concerning the science of extraterrestrial civilizations has been undertaken by Professor Michio Kaku from Columbia University. Kaku has used a typology of hypothetical extraterrestrial civilizations based on energy consumption first developed by Soviet Astronomer, Nikoli Kardarshev in 1964. In the “The Physics of Extraterrestrial Civilizations” and “The Physics of Interstellar Travel,” Kaku offers insightful analyses of how energy consumption of extraterrestrial civilizations reveals much about their possible science, and spacefaring abilities.

 

Kaku’s and Kardashev’s analyses, predictably exclude the extensive but controversial body of evidence examined by UFO/expolitics researchers that extraterrestrials are visiting us now.  This is understandable if not without criticism by those seriously investigating such evidence. The astrophysics/astrobiological community only accepts data that can be scientifically tested and replicated in a way that leaves no doubt as to its veracity and of any conclusions drawn. Evidence that extraterrestrials are currently visiting us cannot be so tested and replicated according to normal scientific protocols; since it is subject to controversy, missing key data, government denial, witness accuracy, etc. However, what if the excluded evidence could tell us something about the politics and spirituality of extraterrestrials that could be matched up with the best scientific speculations over their science? Wouldn’t it be worth examining such evidence even if it wasn’t conclusive? There have been attempts to do so.

A 2008 conference presentation by the author did examine evidence of extraterrestrial visitation using the typology first developed by Kardeshev and later used by Kaku. The conclusions are startling. One can get a rough idea of the science, politics and science of extraterrestrial civilizations. The implications are enormous. Once we understand the science, politics, and spirituality of extraterrestrial civilizations, we can make informed choices about how to best resolve global problems. Furthermore, we can transform the Earth using advanced extraterrestrial knowledge and technologies. The video of my 2008 conference presentation is available here or below for free viewing.

For those wanting to dive deeper into the available literature and evidence concerning extraterrestrial science, politics and spirituality, then I recommend the following online course (click here) which starts on September 15, and is offered through the Exopolitics Institute. 

The discovery of exoplanets has already transformed the astrophysics and astrobiological communities with physical evidence that the Earth is not the only habitable planet in our galaxy. If life can “spontaneously” develop here, then it could do so anywhere – perhaps on one of the exoplanets already discovered. Over time, intelligent life would evolve and like humanity, develop a keen interest in visiting other worlds. Learning a little about what extraterrestrial science, politics and spirituality could be like is a wise move even for those still skeptical that intelligent alien life exists.

[Updated: Sept 4, 2014.]

Further Reading

NASA Source Image of thigh bone

On August 14, the Mars Curiosity Rover photographed an object that appears to be a thigh bone on the Martian surface. When the photo was released by NASA’s JPL affiliate a few days later, initial observers claimed that the object was a fossilized bone fragment. The first thigh fossil claims on August 20 generated much media attention and public controversy with coverage by major media outlets such as the Huffington Post and Britain’s Daily Mirror In an unusually quick response, NASA replied to the growing controversy on August 21 by claiming that the object was little more than a rock. Today, Science.com released a story backing NASA’s claim that the photo is nothing more than a rock. Not so according to a growing number of independent researchers that have uncovered past Curiosity Rover images of what appear to be different life forms on the Mars surface.

The image was taken by Curiosity Rover’s Mastcam which provides high resolution panoramic color images of the Mars environment. ­­ Among the first observers of the thigh looking object was the popular website UFO Blogger that released a post on August 20 claiming:

After fossilized spine and finger now NASA Curiosity on August 14, 2014 photographed fossilized thigh bone-like object on Mars.

As major media sources began giving UFO Blogger claims wide coverage, NASA quickly released a statement on August 21 dismissing the notion that the object is a thigh bone:

No bones about it! Seen by Mars rover Curiosity using its MastCam, this Mars rock may look like a femur thigh bone. Mission science team members think its shape is likely sculpted by erosion, either wind or water. If life ever existed on Mars, scientists expect that it would be small simple life forms called microbes. Mars likely never had enough oxygen in its atmosphere and elsewhere to support more complex organisms. Thus, large fossils are not likely.

While Space.com and other major media outlets appear satisfied by NASA’s explanation, independent researchers disagree. In fact, past Mars Rover images show what clearly appear to be animals roving the Mars surface.

In August February 2013, for example, a Curiosity Rover photo showed what appeared to be a duck on Mars. Another Rover Curiosity image taken in February 2013, showed what looked like a lizard on the Mars surface. In yet another photo from Curiosity Rover captured on September 2012, a squirrel appears to be on Mars. Finally, in a series of five images captured by the Spirit Rover in 2009, an object clearly appears to have moved; curiously, NASA experts refused to comment.

NASA’s explanation that all the above images are merely rocks appearing to be animals or fossils generates heated controversy not only in the general public, but among NASA scientists themselves. Richard Hoover worked for NASA as an astrobiologist for 46 years, and claims that in 2004, the Mars Rover, Opportunity photographed what clearly looked like the fossilized remains of a crinoid, a marine animal that looks like a sea lily. Hoover showed it to colleagues who immediately recognized the object as a crinoid. However, rather than examine the exciting possibility that Opportunity had photographed the fossilized remains of a living organism, Hoover said that less than four hours after taking the photo, Opportunity’s rock abrasion tool ground the area where the possible fossil lay into dust. He asked David McKay, the former chief astrobiologist at the Johnson Space Center, why this had been done. According to Hoover, the answer he received was less than satisfactory. Hoover’s conclusion was that senior NASA scientists were actively destroying evidence of Martian fossils.

If animals do roam the Martian surface, as Mars Rover photographs suggest, then bone fossils and bone fragments will also likely be detected on the Mars surface as Hoover claims. Photographic and whistleblower evidence suggest that NASA’s explanations that Mars Rover images are nothing more than rocks, appear to be obfuscations designed to mislead the general public about the true composition of the Mars atmosphere and of life on Mars.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Sequence of three of the five images showing the moving object

Sequence of three of the five images showing the moving object. Source: UFO Sightings Daily

UFO Sightings Daily revealed yesterday that the NASA Spirit Rover took a sequence of five images over an approximate seven day period that showed what appears to be an animal near a distinctive set of rocks. Two of the five images show an object that appears where other images in the sequence show nothing else was previously there. The object, about the same size as a basketball, had clearly moved, not once but several times in the sequence. The object appears to have a relatively long neck and blends in well with the surrounding rocks. The conclusion drawn by Scott Waring, owner of UFO Sightings Daily is startling. Spirit Rover had captured images of an indigenous form of Martian life that blends in well with the surrounding rocks.

The sequence of Spirit Rover images was first found three years ago by Waring. On May 14, 2014, he decided to post an update on his blog providing more detailed analysis of the moving object in the Spirit Rover images. Waring provided the chronological sequence of images that clearly show an object twice appearing where previously there was nothing there. No alteration of the images occurred which were all taken directly from the NASA JPL website created for storing Mars Rover imagery. Waring’s conclusion, is that the images reveal some kind of animal moving on the Mars surface.

 

It’s pretty hard to ignore NASA’s own imagery that clearly shows a basketball sized object appearing to move on the Martian surface. So why hasn’t NASA said anything about it? I thought I would give someone from NASA a chance to respond.

On May 15, 2014, I wrote a post on the NASA affiliated science forum, NASASpaceFlight.com, to get expert feedback about the sequence of Spirit Rover images. NASASpaceFlight.com was conceived by its owner, Chris Bergin, with the support of NASA spaceflight managers to give engineers from different national space programs a forum to share information about space missions. Here is what I wrote:

There is a sequence of images by the Spirit Rover over an approximate week (Sol 1830-1836) that show a distinctive set of rocks. An object appears in the sequence. Some claim it is an indigenous form of life. I’d like some expert opinion on what it is. I’ve attached a composite of three images in the sequence which show the object (notation is by the life proponent).

Click Image to Enlarge

Click Image to Enlarge

My post was quickly removed by Bergin, and I was banned indefinitely from the forum. The reason given was that the forum does not discuss UFOs, yet in my request for feedback about the Spirit Rover images, I did not mention UFOs or anything flying for that matter. Clearly, space experts do not want to discuss questions arising from NASA’s own scientific instruments that suggest possible life on Mars, let alone the existence of UFOs.

The five images from the Spirit Rover mission show an object that has clearly moved in the sequence. The object appears to be some kind of animal that blends in well with the surrounding rock. Given that NASA experts refuse to discuss such a possibility, it is reasonable to agree with Waring. Hard evidence has been found that there is some kind of indigenous life roaming the surface of Mars.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

[Update 5/21/14: ExoNews TV Episode Now Available on Moving Object on Mars]

Further Reading

Screenshot of ISS live video stream

Screenshot of ISS live video stream

Video footage captured from the live camera stream of the International Space Station (ISS) shows what appears to be a giant cigar shaped UFO hovering nearby. The live footage was captured on May 13, 2014 and has been archived on the ISS video channel on Ustream. The UFO appears to have up to half a dozen orange lights flashing on and off in a random manner, and is stationary relative to the ISS though at some distance away. It appears for approximately seven minutes before fading away. The footage was taken by one of the ISS external cameras that are normally directed earthwards. The stationary nature of the UFO and the way it slowly disappears has led some to conclude it is little more than a lensflare. Not so according to Blake Cousins who was the first to upload a recording of the ISS live video feed on his popular YouTube channel, Thirdphaseofmoon. He along with a co-host believe the footage may be evidence of an alien mothership tracking the ISS.

The footage of the UFO has been given a preliminary examination by Cousins who enhanced the lighting and contrast to determine what kind of an object it is. His analysis suggests that it is a solid object and not a lensflare. If it is a genuine alien vehicle as Cousins contends, then it appears to be deliberatedly tracking the ISS. For what purpose?

This is not the first time that the ISS live camera feed has captured what appears to be a large UFO in the vicinity. Back on January 29, NASA live streaming showed what appeared to be a sleek elliptical UFO docked with the hull of the International Space Station. The object was between the Russian research module and the Soyuz escape capsule. Its size was approximately 10 meters. Some claimed that the UFO was related to an ISS ceremony featuring the Olympic flag. Yet the ISS ceremony was held in November 2013, and the flag was only about a meter in size, far smaller than the estimated 10 meter UFO.

Another incident on March 3 again recorded from the ISS live stream, showed a UFO again very close to the ISS. The UFO appeared different to the earlier January 29 incident. NASA’s response to public requests to explain the docked UFO incident and the March 3 incident involving the ISS was startling. NASA decided it would end ISS live streaming at the end of March. Only a public outcry thwarted the attempt to end ISS live streaming. On March 27, United Space Alliance, the NASA contractor that runs the ISS live stream, announced that the live streaming would continue. Perhaps alien spacecraft are visiting the ISS and NASA is trying to stop the public learning the truth. Alternatively, the ISS incidents may have more conventional explanations with the latest being little more than a lensflare. More detailed analysis of the latest ISS video footage will help us get a definitive answer one way or the other.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 613 (2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 613 (2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The latest images released by Mars Curiosity Rover show what appears to be a very large cylindrical shaped UFO traveling in the Martian night sky. The UFO appears in a sequence of five images over a ten minute period with the time stamp of April 28, 2014. The images were uploaded on April 30 by NASA, and immediately aroused the attention of UFO researchers monitoring the Curiosity Rover camera feeds which are regularly released on a website owned by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located at the California Institute of Technology. Scott Waring from UFO Sightings Daily today wrote that the images are not a result of time lapse photography and appear to show a huge self-propelled craft traveling in a uniform direction. While he considers the possibility that the images are a result of a small moon or asteroid, the shape suggests otherwise. One cause for concern is that NASA only released thumbnail sized versions of the images rather than the full resolution versions which is customary. This may be because NASA is trying to minimize the significance of the UFO images which may be clear evidence of an intelligently controlled space craft flying over Mars.

The first researcher to identify the cylindrical UFO was Waring who in his May 1 blog post dismissed the idea that the object was due to time lapse:

The shape of the UFO is just as we see it, long cigar shaped. At first a person will assume the exposure (shutter) was open allowing the photo to record for a few seconds, but no. The shutter speed is normal. This object was moving slow, which is proven by the time stamps on the photos on the NASA site. That means since it was moving slowly, the shape we see before us is the correct shape of the object.

One possible explanation is that the object is of one of Mars’ two moons, Phobos or Deimos. They are respectively 22 and 13 kilometers in diameter, and have respective orbits of 9,400 and 23,460 kilometers. They are thought to be captured asteroids and are irregular in shape. This is significant since as Waring points out, the objects in the Curiosity Rover image is not irregular:

Then again, could this be a moon or micro moon orbiting Mars? Yes, it could be possible, however a moon of this shape would have a high probability of flipping end over end. This object has slow, balanced movement like a ship in water…having the appearance of an object that is self propelled.

The object could also be one of the known terrestrial spacecraft orbiting Mars. Currently both NASA and the European Space Agency have orbiters flying around Mars. The European Space Agency placed the Mars Express in orbit in early 2004, and NASA currently has two orbiters, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006) and the Mars Science Laboratory (2011). Yet none of the Mars orbiters are cylindrical in shape or very large. If time lapse photography was not used in generating the NASA JPL images showing cylindrical UFO, then that would rule out any of the Mars orbiters.

 

 

What is of great concern is that NASA’s JPL only released thumbnail sized versions of the UFO images. Normally, JPL provides full sized versions, along with thumbnail versions. In the case of the sequence of five images showing the cylindrical UFO, along with a companion image that shows the night sky just after the UFO disappears over the horizon, these are only 192×256 pixels in size. The first of this sequence of six images has the time stamp of 2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC. The image appearing just before the sequence of six has a timestamp of 2014-04-28 04:47:55 UTC and was released in the full version of 1024×1024 pixels. That means that the Curiosity Rover image taken just 27 seconds before the sequence of UFO pictures, was released in full size, rather than thumbnail size. The full scale image versions have yet to be released and are being studied by NASA. Why? This only fuels speculation that the sequence of five Curiosity Rover images did capture an intelligently guided cylindrical shaped UFO of tremendous size flying over Mars.

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

 

Building on Mars

Zoom of NASA Curiosity Rover photo showing apparent buildings on Mars. Source: NASA JPL

NASA’s Curiosity Rover has again transmitted intriguing pictures from the surface of Mars. On April 9, a photo was discovered that appears to show a set of buildings on top of a hill. On Earth, such building locations typically indicate strategic planning to give optimal views of the countryside to protect the inhabitants from attack. Did the Curiosity Rover photograph buildings on Mars that make up a base of unknown origin? If so, the buildings appear to have been constructed for strategic purposes in a Martian terrain that is hospitable to surface life contrary to what NASA has informed the public about Mars atmosphere.

The photo was uploaded in a YouTube video by an anonymous user, Streetcap1. The source for the photo is NASA’s JPL website. It would be a simple matter for the Curiosity Rover to travel to investigate the strange structures. Yet this is very unlikely according to UFO Sightings Scott Waring who wrote in a blog post today:

This discovery was made by Streetcap1 of Youtube. He found some structures on a hill in one of the Mars Curiosity rover photos. Look at the above photo and pay special attention to the white shiny walls on top of the hill. The walls are white on one side due to reflection and dark shadowy on the other side due to the suns angle. Is NASA trying to move the rover away from these obstacles to prevent the public from learning about life on Mars? SCW

According to NASA, Mars atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide with only a trace amount of oxygen 0.13% – not enough to sustain life on Mars. Yet a series of Curiosity Rover photos have shown what appear to be small animals such as squirrels, lizards and ducks on Mars. If the Rover images do show such animals surviving on the Martian surface, then Waring is correct that NASA is actively preventing “the public from learning about life on Mars.”

The latest Curiosity Rover photo follows another released on April 3 that appeared to show an artificial light on the Mars surface. Media interest grew quickly forcing NASA scientists to publicly explain it. NASA’s explanation of a “vent-hole light leak” or a “glinty rock” was widely ridiculed.

On April 8, testimony was released by a whistleblower who alleges that a military base exists on Mars with the goal of protecting five human colonies from indigenous Martian life. He claims to have served on the military base for 17 years. Fantastic as such claims seem given what is officially known about Mars atmosphere, the latest Curiosity Rover photo showing what appear to be buildings, does make claims of secret military and civilian bases on Mars plausible. Further Curiosity Rover images showing small animal life forms along with strange lights on the Martian surface serve as further evidence of life existing on Mars surface, and of NASA actively covering this up.

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

Light on Mars-650px
A photograph just released from the Mars Curiosity Rover reveals a strange nearby light that appears artificial. The image was part of a batch just uploaded from the Mars Curiosity Rover that were originally recorded on April 3, 2014 by the Right Navigation Camera. The image with the time stamp of 10:00:34 UTC shows an unusual light on the Martian surface only a mile or so away. The light does not appear to be related to the sun or any natural atmospheric phenomenon such as dust storms that have been known to produce lightning on Mars. The light is too distant to clearly identify but appears to be coming from underground suggesting an artificial light source located beneath the Martian surface.

The Curiosity Rover image was uploaded by NASA on April 3, 2014, and was seen by Youtube user Streetcap who posted a video today revealing the strange Martian light.There is no nearby atmospheric activity such as a dust storm that the image or other images in the same batch from the Curiosity Rover reveal. Dust storms can produce lightning as was observed in imagery taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera in June 2006 that was the first confirmation of lightning on Mars.

Another possible explanation is underground lightning which happens on Earth due to the rotation of molten metal beneath the Earth’s crust which creates rotating electric fields vital for creating a powerful magnetosphere. Mars, however, has no inner crustal dynamo comparable to Earth, and its magnetosphere is a fraction of Earth’s. It is therefore unlikely that underground lightning is a naturally occurring phenomenon on Mars. The light emission in the Curiosity Rover image is not likely a result of underground lightning.

Another explanation may be lensflare which is caused by a light source just outside of the image field being captured on camera. The most common source of lensflare is the setting or rising sun. However the light in the Curiosity Mars Rover does not appear to be a lensfIare caused by the sun given the lack of shadows in the nearby terrain. If the light source was from the Curiosity itself, then that would have been observed in the Mars images.

If both dust storm and underground lightning is ruled out, together with lens flare, then it raises the possibility that the light is an emission from some artificial underground source. Consequently, the light anomaly recorded by the Curiosity Rover may be evidence of an underground base on Mars.

© Copyright 2013. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

Further Reading

Credit: NASA/JPL

Credit: NASA/JPL

NASA astronomers yesterday released a paper announcing the discovery of an additional 768 exoplanets using a new validation technique for data from the Kepler Space Telescope. This has nearly doubled the number of confirmed exoplanets from the previous tally of 941 to 1710. Most dramatically, the number of earth sized exoplanets increased by a factor of five, now making it clear that rocky earths are pretty common throughout the galaxy. Importantly, four of the exoplanets were confirmed to rotate in the habitable zones of their suns – zones where liquid water can exist and extraterrestrial life can flourish. The rapid increase in exoplanet discoveries has come from analysis of only two years of data supplied by the Kepler Mission. Analysis of an additional two years of available data is expected to increase the number of confirmed exoplanets even more dramatically than the latest NASA release. The new confirmation method used by NASA astronomers means that the likelihood of eventually finding exoplanets with extraterrestrial life becomes far greater than previously thought.

NASA astronomers adopted a two-step process for detecting exoplanets using data gained by the Kepler Space Telescope and 11 other currently operating space telescopes. A new generation of space telescopes along with Earth based telescopes promise to provide even more data about exoplanets and their atmospheres. The world’s largest optical telescope is scheduled to begin construction this year on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano at the Big Island of Hawaii – an hour’s drive from where this article is being written. The new 30 meter telescope is designed to examine exoplanets and their atmospheres for tell tale signs of life. The detection of large amounts of oxygen, for example, would be confirmation for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

When an exoplanet is first detected as it either passes in front of (the transit method) or near enough to its sun to cause detectable wobble (the Doppler effect), it becomes a “candidate” until further data confirms its existence. Currently, there are more than 2500 exoplanet candidates. The length of time need to confirm exoplanets depends on the period of an exoplanet’s rotation around its parent star. As the exoplanet makes its second or subsequent passage in front of or near its sun, astronomers gain the additional data to learn whether or not a candidate exoplanet has been confirmed. So far, only two years of a four year data pool from the Kepler Space Telescope has been analyzed. As more data becomes available, additional exoplanet candidates are likely to be confirmed.

Out of the 768 exoplanets just confirmed, 106 are less than 1.25 times Earth’s diameter. Previously, the data from Kepler and other telescopes had only confirmed 20 earth sized worlds. The four newly confirmed exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of their suns were roughly twice the diameter of Earth. This almost doubled the total of exoplanets confirmed in habitable zones from five to nine. What the NASA astronomers didn’t consider, however, was a new way of defining what constitutes a habitable zone for extraterrestrial life.

In January this year, Scientists at the University of Aberdeen and University of St Andrews, Scotland, released a paper titled “Circumstellar habitable zones for deep terrestrial biospheres,” in the journal, Planetary and Space Science. In the paper they redefined the “Goldilocks Zone”, the optimal zone for life to exist on planets. They have found that life can flourish beneath a planet’s surface where liquid water can be found at varying depths. This is how the abstract described this new way of locating extraterrestrial life:

We introduce a new term, subsurface-habitability zone (SSHZ) to denote the range of distances from a star within which rocky planets are habitable at any depth below their surfaces up to a stipulated maximum, and show how SSHZs can be estimated from a model relating temperature, depth and orbital distance. We present results for Earth-like, Mars-like and selected extrasolar terrestrial planets, and conclude that SSHZs are several times wider and include many more planets than conventional surface-based habitable zones.

Using computer simulations, the scientists found that if one goes to a depth of 5km below the surface, then the habitable zone in space increases by a factor of three. If one goes to 10km below the surface, then the habitable zone extends by a factor of 14 which would extend the habitable zone beyond Saturn. Thus several of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, could have life thriving in habitats kilometers beneath their surfaces.

Using the idea of subsurface-habitability zone, many more than only four of the 768 newly confirmed exoplanets could be suitable hosts for extraterrestrial life. As astronomers continue to develop new techniques for confirming the existence of exoplanets, a new understanding for what constitutes a habitable zone is needed. Liquid water can exist either on or beneath the surface of an exoplanet, thereby making it possible for extraterrestrial life to flourish on many more exoplanets than previously thought possible.

In previous announcements of the Kepler Mission data, astronomers confidently predicted that it was only a matter of time before an exoplanet in the habitable zone of its sun would be found to host extraterrestrial life. New techniques for confirming exoplanets and new ways of defining a habitability zone make it even more inevitable that extraterrestrial life will eventually be detected on exoplanets using advanced space telescopes.

© Copyright 2013. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.