Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Published on Dec 10, 2013

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter.

One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft’s three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno’s Magnetic Field Investigation (MAG) and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system’s four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away — about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning at 2 rpm. To assemble a movie that wouldn’t make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.

The music accompaniment is an original score by Vangelis.

The full image caption for this movie is available at:…

600,000 miles away.

Damn, no wonder it’s so small.

Adds a humbling perspective to things.

Don’t it?


Ah ha! The weirdness continues!

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images from Sept. 10, 2013 reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, D.Jewitt/UCLA

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images from Sept. 10, 2013 reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, D.Jewitt/UCLA

Sploid Gizmodo – 11/07/13 — The object in these photographs captured by Hubble is not a comet. It’s something that no astronomer has ever seen before, according to NASA: An asteroid with six comet-like tails that isn’t moving like a comet and it’s not made of ice. It’s just hanging up there, rotating like a crazy space spider.

According to lead investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles, “we were literally dumbfounded when we saw it [in the solar system’s asteroid belt] We were completely knocked out.”

NASA says that “unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light, this asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler. Astronomers are puzzled over the asteroid’s unusual appearance.” Read more…

A lot of discoveries out there these days! The more, the merrier, right? Keep ‘em coming!

Some seem to think it’s from a collision. Or rotational breakup. Or pressure from the Sun. Or something. NASA itself doesn’t seem to know what to make of it at the moment.


Discovery! Investigation! Science!


Well now, this is mighty unusual…

PSO J318.5-22, artist's impression

PSO J318.5-22, artist’s impression. Credit: MPIA/V. Ch. Quetz

Science Daily – Oct. 9, 2013 — An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago — a newborn in planet lifetimes.

It was identified from its faint and unique heat signature by the Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) wide-field survey telescope on Haleakala, Maui. Follow-up observations using other telescopes in Hawaii show that it has properties similar to those of gas-giant planets found orbiting around young stars. And yet PSO J318.5-22 is all by itself, without a host star.

“We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that that looks like this. It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone,” explained team leader Dr. Michael Liu of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do.”

Read more…

The last line above from Dr. Liu gives me a smile and some hope. The sense of wonder is so important to us. I am glad it’s still out there. Really.

If it can be imagined, it’s out there. Things that can’t be imagined are no doubt out there, too. That’s exciting.

So many questions. Did it form out there? Around a star? If so, what happened to it? Maybe it’s a Dyson Sphere! Might it have life? I bet it does.

We need to build a way to go there and see. That should be our planetary goal.


Boffins Baffled!


Sorry, I’m OK now.

Hehe. It’s just that I love when the boffins are baffled. Especially in astronomy. There are so many things we have no idea about. Models and paradigms are created based on the data at hand and are seemingly ingrained as fact in the minds of many. But they are not facts, they are merely good ideas given what information is available and people’s interpretation of it.

Planet Kepler-78b, a rocky planet much like our own, has just been discovered orbiting a star that is also much like our own.  It is however, so different that astronomers simply do not understand how it can possibly exist. I like that.

Kepler78b, artist's impression. Credit: TNG/Avet Harutyunyan

Kepler-78b, artist’s impression. Credit: TNG/Avet Harutyunyan

Sky Mania – October 30, 2013 — “This planet is a complete mystery,” says astronomer David Latham of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We don’t know how it formed or how it got to where it is today. What we do know is that it’s not going to last forever.” Colleague Dimitar Sasselov said: “Kepler-78b is going to end up in the star very soon, astronomically speaking. It couldn’t have formed in place because you can’t form a planet inside a star. It couldn’t have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma.” Dr Ken Rice, of the University of Edinburgh said: “Although this planet is clearly too hot to support life, it is still very exciting to now be discovering planets that are not only similar in mass to the Earth, but also similar in composition.”

Read more…

The main difficulty is that the orbit is only a million miles from the star. A year on it lasts a quick 8 and a half hours. The rocks at the surface are pretty toasty and would be much like permanently molten lava. It is thought that stars shrink as they age, so the mere presence of this object where it sits seems impossible with current thought.

And yet… there it is.



This is simply too pretty not to share…

photo by FG

Pretty slick. Looks like something the Electric Universe guys or the Plasma peeps would like.

From the post at entitled Unidentified Object:


I took this picture in Novo Hamburgo city, in the south of Brazil, photographed – between 8:30 and 9 PM on october 22nd – a strange object in the sky.
Canon Rebel T-4, ISO 100, f/4.5, 30s exposure, 35mm

EXIF Data:
Camera Used: Canon Canon EOS REBEL T4i
Exposure Time: 30/1
Aperture: f/4.5
ISO: 100
Date Taken: 2013:10:24 09:55:10

I usually shy away from UFO stuff these days, even though I have seen several, but, I like this one. As mentioned I think it is visually impressive. And it’s on Spaceweather, which doesn’t hurt. Also appearing here in the local paper/site (in Portuguese (Google translation)). They wrote:

Strange object (maybe an UFO?) In the sky

A citizen from Novo Hamburgo, in the south of Brazil, photographed – between 8:30 and 9 PM on 22nd october – a strange object in the sky. Specialists disagree on what it would be. One of Them que said it’s not a weather balloon. Another said that’s not a paramotor. Some say it’s a drone (unmanned the vehicle). And there are Those Who que defend it’s just lens flare.

Was included in this post for our readers foreign language, an English summary of the original text published in the print edition of the ABC Sunday.

Is it a UFO? Technically, yes, it is, but semantically it depends on what you personally think of when you hear that term. Lens flare is popular in the comments section, as expected. Could very well be lens flare. I don’t think it is at this moment, though. Could of course be lots of things.

Here’s the full photo:

FG full photo

Anyway, enjoy the eye candy, folks.


ETA: Interesting date and time discrepancy in the EXIF data. Not sure what if anything that implies. Still like it…

Han Solo on Mercury! Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution

He Will Not Be Permanently Damaged

Release Date: September 13, 2013
Topics: Caloris, Rough Terrain, WAC
Date acquired: July 27, 2011
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 220245203
Image ID: 556691
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 51.9°
Center Longitude: 167.6° E
Resolution: 75 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is 96 km (59.7 mi.) across
Incidence Angle: 84.5°
Emission Angle: 35.3°
Phase Angle: 119.8°
North is up in this image.

Of Interest: If there are two things you should remember, it’s not to cross a Hutt, and that Mercury’s surface can throw up all kinds of surprises. In this image, a portion of the terrain surrounding the northern margin of the Caloris basin hosts an elevated block in the shape of a certain carbonite-encased smuggler who can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. This block may be part of the original surface that pre-dates the formation of Caloris, which was shaped by material ejected during the basin-forming event. The act of seeing a meaningful shape in random landforms is a form of pareidolia—and has been seen for Mercury more than a few times before…

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft’sseven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System’s innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Link to the press release on the Messenger site.

Hahaha! Looks like Han Solo’s on Mercury! Does Boba Fett know? Does Jabba?

Ah, pareidolia can be such fun, can’t it? and it’s good to see NASA having a laugh.


On the 19th of July, 2013, the spacecraft called Cassini took about 20 minutes out of its mission at Saturn to look far, far away – 898 million miles back in the direction it had come, held itself very still… and took some inspiring pictures of its home…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech’s news release… comes this snippet:

“We can’t see individual continents or people in this portrait of Earth, but this pale blue dot is a succinct summary of who we were on July 19,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Cassini’s picture reminds us how tiny our home planet is in the vastness of space, and also testifies to the ingenuity of the citizens of this tiny planet to send a robotic spacecraft so far away from home to study Saturn and take a look-back photo of Earth.”

Nicely put, Ms. Spilker…

Back in 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft also took Earth’s picture as it bid farewell to the solar system. A truly amazing image it is… one that prompted Carl Sagan to offer some thoughts on the implications of what thereafter became known as The Pale Blue Dot.

Here is that image, from 4 billion miles away – followed by Dr. Sagan’s words…

Pale Blue Dot by Voyager 1 1990 via nprImage source, a fine article on NPR.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Inspiring times we live in. I still hope someday that we can heed the words above… just imagine what could be done… what wonders could be found,,, how rich our lives could be.

Planetfall, Enceladus, vents – Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn’s nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, December 25, 2009.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. © All rights reserved.

From Saturn Moon Enceladus Eyed for Sample-Return Mission at

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists are developing a mission concept that would snag icy particles from Saturn’s moon Enceladus and return them to Earth, where they could be analyzed for signs of life.

The spacecraft would fly through the icy plume blasted into space by geysers near Enceladus’ south pole, then send the collected particles back to our planet in a return capsule. Enceladus may be capable of supporting life, and the flyby sample-return mission would bring pieces from its depths to Earth at a reasonable price, researchers said.

“This is really the low-hanging fruit” of sample-return missions, said study leader Peter Tsou of Sample Exploration Systems in La Canada, Calif., who presented the idea here Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. “It would be a shame not to pick it.”


If the mission is approved, it could probably be ready to launch by 2020, Tsou added. Samples from Enceladus’ plume would make it to Earth about 14 years later.

Enceladus is a great candidate for sample-return, Tsou said. Its geyser-blasted particles are fresh, having come right out of the moon’s subsurface ocean. The mission can be done without landing on and re-launching from another world, two costly and complicating extra steps. And Enceladus seems to have all the ingredients necessary to support life.

“That doesn’t mean life is there,” Tsou said. “But we want to find out.”

Well, dang, doc, I want to find out, too!

I mean, just think… !

Enceladus is an awesome place. Seriously, I have always had a gut feeling that there are critters there.

Too bad it will be so far off, man, seven long years… but

It would be awesome if a base could be established, robotic, no doubt, that would bore through the ice to the ocean below… and have streaming video. Should be able to sort out the streaming part by then, eh?

There’s a strange old post here from October ‘09 called The Critters Of Enceladus,

Ha! That was a fun one.

Here’s a pic…

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL


Yes, indeed, Enceladus is a fine place to get real and tangible material to study.


P.S. This was a draft from way back in January… sigh.


Cool! This is really cool!

And here it is… one of Project 1640’s direct images of the HR 8799 planetary system, located a mere 128 light years from Earth:

Project 1640's direct image of the HR 8799 planetary system, 128 light years from Earth.

This image of the HR 8799 planets was taken with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. This is a composite image using 30 wavelengths of light and was obtained over a period of 1.25 hours on June 14 and 15, 2012. Credit: Project 1640

I like this.

This Project 1640 that scientists led by Ben R. Oppenheimer at the American Museum of Natural History cooked up is most impressive.

Ben R. Oppenheimer is associate curator and chair of the Astrophysics Department at the American Museum of Natural History.

Researchers have conducted a remote reconnaissance of a distant solar system with a new telescope imaging system that sifts through the blinding light of stars. Using a suite of high-tech instrumentation and software called Project 1640, the scientists collected the first chemical fingerprints, or spectra, of this system’s four red exoplanets, which orbit a star 128 light years away from Earth. A detailed description of the planets—showing how drastically different they are from the known worlds in the universe—was accepted Friday for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

I’m thinking that this success will be repeated quite often in future. It seems likely to my way of thinking that most stars would have a planetary system as standard equipment if the disc accretion theory is right. There are, it would seem, on cursory inspection… a lot of stars.

1640 instrument in the Hale scope.

This photo shows the Project 1640 instrument in the telescope dome of the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory, prior to being installed for observations. Credit: Palomar Observatory/S. Kardel

The instrument, which uses all 200 inches of the nicely formed optics within the world-renowned Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory in California, has 200 of those stars listed in its target itinerary.

The mission is a three-year survey, launched in June 2012. The 200 stars in the list are all within about 150 light years of our solar system.

The project involves researchers from the California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cambridge University, New York University, and the Space Telescope Science Institute, in addition to Oppenheimer’s team at the Museum.

The image above is not in the visual range, as the instrument is a spectrograph. It reveals the chemical composition of objects in its field of view. This is vital data which shows what a planet, or at least its atmosphere, is made out of. And that means that it can detect if a planet has or is capable of having life onboard. How cool is that?

These four, which had actually been imaged before this development, are not candidates for life as we know it, unfortunately but they are intriguing as it would appear that they are quite weird!

I like that, too! Ha!

The results are “quite strange,” Oppenheimer said. “These warm, red planets are unlike any other known object in our universe. All four planets have different spectra, and all four are peculiar. The theorists have a lot of work to do now.”


“The spectra of these four worlds clearly show that they are far too toxic and hot to sustain life as we know it,” said co-author Ian Parry, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University. “But the really exciting thing is that one day, the techniques we’ve developed will give us our first secure evidence of the existence of life on a planet outside our solar system.”


In addition to revealing unique planets, the research debuts a new capability to observe and rapidly characterize exoplanetary systems in a routine manner, something that has eluded astronomers until now because the light that stars emit is tens of millions to billions of times brighter than the light given off by planets. This makes directly imaging and analyzing exoplanets extremely difficult: as Oppenheimer says, “It’s like taking a single picture of the Empire State Building from an airplane that reveals the height of the building as well as taking a picture of a bump on the sidewalk next to it that is as high as a couple of bacteria.”

I am excited by the implications of this remarkable development in spectroscopic instrumentation. This is going to give us some fabulous things to think about. We can only hope that the results that I expect will eventually show themselves will do wonders for the inspiration of many and trigger a renewed sense of the need to explore. Exploration is a wonderful thing.

Read more at:

To view the science paper and supporting images, go to:

To see where HR 8799 is in relation to Earth, watch this Digital Universe visualization:

American Museum of Natural History (

Enjoy… and wonder!


Hey, get a load of this…

Titan's Nile (full)

From Wired

Vast Alien River System Spotted on Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spotted a river system stretching more than 200 miles on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Though it isn’t the Nile — which is more than 20 times as long — the mighty river provides further evidence that this odd little moon is a wet world not unlike our own. Many lakes and small rivers have been found already on Titan but the newly discovered stream is the largest yet and represents the first time scientists have seen such a vast liquid system on any world other than Earth.

Titan’s mini-Nile doesn’t flow with water, which freezes to be hard as stone on the moon, but rather liquid hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane, which are stable in the moon’s -290 degree Fahrenheit average temperatures. From its headwaters, the flow follows a fault line and runs into the Kraken Mare, one of three gigantic seas that cover Titan’s northern hemisphere. Titan’s liquid cycle also includes seasonal downpours, which have been spotted from orbit. Whether all this liquid improves the chances for life on Titan remains an open mystery.

The enormous image above was acquired on Sept. 26 but only released on Dec. 12.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI

The Saturnian system has always excited me. It is seriously cool… and seriously exotic. A treasure trove of anomalies. I have long said that the farther out you go, the stranger and weirder things get; and I am pleased to report that this observation has yet to disappoint me.

Okay, so this river isn’t exactly weird, being, well, a river, but it’s nice and long and actually is pretty exotic as outlined above and I, for one, am more than willing to speculate that there are a wide variety of critters living in and around those currents. And eddies! I love eddies. Sorry.

Not to go too off-topic, but you can probably guess that I really, truly like the fact that the ocean this river feeds is called the Kraken Mare. WAAAH!
I am hoping with all my heart that naming it that proves to be the very definition of “foresight!”

I’d say this calls for at least a rover. Better yet, how about a sub to go with it!

Edit to add that the Kraken Mare is five times bigger than Lake Superior!


Pretty sure you will agree with me when I posit that the preponderance of precision matches mentioned in the video simply cannot be mere coincidences. Actually, truth be told, I do not believe in coincidences. Remember, it’s all connected.

Speed of light, huh? Hmmm. Speed of light, indeed.

I dunno, this sort of thing fascinates me no end. Look at how many decimal places that match goes to. And all the others. Don’t worry there’s even more of them below.

I’m going to have to watch the rest of this series eventually, I can tell. Hopefully soon. Very cool.

Yep, even more. Just doesn’t quit, does it?

The original idea was just to post the first vid above to show you the amazing relationships therein, but then I watched these other two… and there were more! And then I saw with delight that he mentions some of the work of a dear, dear man, the late John Michell, who was a personal friend of mine. He hugged me, man! What a beautiful mind… you all should read his books. And then he mentions the work of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, the man who’s work started my very wise and learned mentor off on his journey into the secrets of ancient Egypt.

My interest, needless to say, was significantly peaked.

And as such, here they are for you all to enjoy.

Uploaded by on Oct 27, 2010

Secrets In Plain Sight is an awe inspiring exploration of great art, architecture, and urban design which skillfully unveils an unlikely intersection of geometry, politics, numerical philosophy, religious mysticism, new physics, music, astronomy, and world history.

Exploring key monuments and their positions in Egypt, Stonehenge, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco brings to light a secret obsession shared by pharaohs, philosophers and kings; templars and freemasons; great artists and architects; popes and presidents, spanning the whole of recorded history up to the present time.

As the series of videos reveals how profound ancient knowledge inherited from Egypt has been encoded in units of measurement, in famous works of art, in the design of major buildings, in the layout of city streets and public spaces, and in the precise placement of obelisks and other important monuments upon the Earth, the viewer is led to perceive an elegant harmonic system linking the human body with the architectural, urban, planetary, solar, and galactic scales.


What does it all really mean? Seriously. What?



This is just way too cool not to share.

27 seconds of something I have never seen before; and in remarkably high resolution to boot. When you think about it you realize that this whirling dervish of hot plasma is just huge… I’d say it’s quite likely to be nearly as big as the Earth!

Uploaded by on Feb 16, 2012

This 30 hour time lapse sequence was recorded this month by the obviously awesome Solar Dynamics Observatory which is run by the Goddard Space Flight Center. If you go to the web page for this video, (linked just above), you can download some nice copies in Quicktime and mpeg (and a tif picture) without all that nasty YouTube compression.

Here’s what they say…

As if it could not make up it’s mind . . . darker, cooler plasma slid and shifted back and forth above the Sun’s surface seen here for 30 hours (Feb. 7-8, 2012) in extreme ultraviolet light. An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma. The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines. This kind of detailed solar observation with high-resolution frames and a four-minute cadence was not possible until SDO, which launched two years ago on Feb. 11, 2010. So it’s our 2nd Anniversary!

Edit to add: I thought I would include this jpg of the tif image that you can download for those who can’t watch videos, whether you’re at work or are device-challenged.

Solar Dark Matter by SDO/GSFC/NASA



Will try to write more and sidestep the depression a bit, but until then… this quickie post will have to do. It presents WATT friend and reader (!) LunaCognita’s latest film, an unprecedented proper look at the footage of the lift off of the Lunar Module from the end of the Apollo 11 mission. He pretty much explains what’s what with it below, but, do note that near to and again at the end of this clip there are two unidentified objects seen landing

and they both land…

in the very same spot!


LunaCognita | December 31, 2010

This presentation shows the 16mm Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) footage that was shot during the Apollo 11 ascent from Tranquility Base. In this ascent footage, the DAC motion picture camera was mounted in the right side forward-facing (LMP) window of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module “Eagle”, providing us a view looking down at the Moon’s surface as the LM ascent stage fires and sends the spacecraft on its way back up to lunar orbit for rendezvous and docking with the CSM “Columbia”.

Rather than just showing the raw footage here as it is cataloged in the NASA film archives, I instead show the footage in a rotation-corrected format in order to always keep the scene in it’s proper “horizon up” viewing orientation throughout the duration of the clip. This proper “horizon up” perspective can be established based on some simple visual criteria, with the goal being to ensure we are viewing the footage with the lunar surface being shown so that the Moon’s horizon that is closest to the camera’s current principle point always remains aligned and level towards the top of the field-of-view (even if the horizon itself is not actually visible at the time). This ensures that the surface scene you are viewing can be accurately interpreted.

As you can see in this footage, the rotation correction to align the scene to the “horizon up” viewing perspective is an absolutely vital adjustment that must be applied first in order to be able to even begin attempting to analyze and interpret scenes such as this one accurately. Because the DAC camera was hard-mounted in the window of the LM during liftoff from the lunar surface, this meant that the standard locked display perspective that NASA provides in their archive clips showing the Apollo ascent footage is ALWAYS displaying the lunar surface scene below in an inaccurate perspective. For over 40 years, the public has actually been watching ascent footage like this from the various Apollo missions where the lunar surface after liftoff is being shown essentially upside down (between 135 to 180 degrees off of the “horizon up” viewing perspective).

The point to this simple presentation is to merely serve as a reminder to everyone who is interested in doing their own analysis of ANY of the Apollo DAC footage or still frames of the lunar surface to always consider the question of “what is the proper viewing perspective for each scene?” The ugly fact is that the vast majority of the Apollo DAC footage and still frames, as they are archived by NASA, are not presenting their lunar surface scenes to you in anything close to the proper “horizon up” viewing orientation that our eyes expect to see. Obviously, unless this improper viewing perspective is corrected for first, you have very little chance of being able to analyze the scenes you are looking at with any degree of accuracy at all.

In addition to the rotation-correction, I also was forced to make several frame-rate adjustments to this Apollo 11 DAC footage, and the reason for that is because just before the four-minute mark after liftoff, the 16mm DAC camera suddenly alters it frame exposure rate, switching from 12 frames-per-second (the proper declared setting for filming the liftoff and ascent) down to 6 fps. I have no idea how or why this sudden frame-rate setting change occurs, because adjusting the DAC camera’s fps setting “on the fly” was certainly not one of LMP Buzz Aldrin’s checklisted duties during ascent, and I see no mention in the Apollo 11 mission and post-mission reports to account for this anomalous occurrence. The Apollo 11 ascent footage, as it is archived by NASA, makes no attempt to correct for (or even draw attention to) this sudden step-down in frame-rate, which results in the raw archive footage appearing to suddenly show a doubling of the playback speed. In addition to this, NASA typically renders their HD digital DAC archive at 29.97 NSTC, resulting in further interpolation stretching being introduced in the digital footage. I have attempted to correct for this effect here in order to ensure that the playback rate of the DAC footage accurately matches the accurate timeframe that I was able to establish using the accompanying raw mission audio track and flown liftoff&ascent charts – essentially using the accurate audio timeline to re-synchronize the inaccurate video playback rate so they match up correctly for the duration of the nearly 10-minute complete sequence of footage showing the Apollo 11 ascent from Tranquility Base.…
Cheers everyone,

If you’d like to check it out, there is a nice discussion of this work going on over at ATS. Short so far and very well reasoned.

I am fond of saying that the further from Earth we go, the weirder things get in a general sense. You’ll never convince me of otherwise. Ever. This object is just the latest in the ever-so-wacky universe that lies way, way, way “out there.”

About the only thing agreed upon so far is that it isn’t a comet and has been therefore classed as an asteroid, based solely on composition… it’s assumed, more specifically to be the result of a high speed asteroidal hit-and-run. You know what happens when you assume.

So we need to know exactly how, if it’s a scooting junk pile of the shattered remains of two rocks whacking into each other, do we get this absolutely fabulous shape… a shape more reminiscent of some kind of alien battle cruiser from a slick Hollywood movie?

Assuming that the “crosspiece” is asteroid A’s trail, how did it make such a hard left turn? I’d always been taught that objects, especially objects in space, tend to go in pretty much straight lines, unless there’s something wickedly dense close by… right? Hence everyone’s, scientists and debunkers, too, reaction being something somewhat similar to … what’s all this, then?

Not to mention that 460 foot wide glowing “rock” at the leading edge of the aforementioned asteroid A’s trail… hmmm… anyone?

So strange is this thing that even arch NASA supporter and “ice crystals and debris” flogger Jim Oberg himself has called it a UFO… yes… he called it a UFO…

In fact, I spotted it first in the very thread started by Jim Oberg at the AboveTopSecret conspiracy site :

“Spiral UFO” Photographed by Hubble — in the Asteroid Belt!!

Sorta spiral shaped, maybe more cross-shaped…

but weird all the same…

Suspected Asteroid Collision Leaves Odd X-Pattern of Suspected Asteroid Collision Leaves Odd X-Pattern of Trailing Debris…

FEBRUARY 2, 2010: Something awfully curious is happening 100 million miles from Earth in the asteroid belt. There’s a newly discovered object that superficially looks like a comet but lives among the asteroids. The distinction? Comets swoop along elliptical orbits close in to the Sun and grow long gaseous and dusty tails, as ices near the surface turn into vapor and release dust. But asteroids are mostly in circular orbits in the asteroid belt and are not normally expected to be “volatile.”

photo –…

And then there’s this piece, too, an article, Space UFO baffles boffins, at The Sun, a not too journalistic journal, but this they couldn’t mess up… for an additional perspective…

THIS amazing UFO has left scientists baffled — after boffins claimed it was NOT a comet streaking through space.

It was first spotted early last month so astronomers turned the Hubble telescope on it last week to get these close up images.

The object — named P/2010 A2 — is of a type never before seen by stargazers and orbits in a satellite belt between Mars and Jupiter. (emphasis mine)

Despite its tail they have ruled out it being a comet, as there is no gas in its trail.

The 140-metre nucleus is also offset from the centre of the tail and its structure is very unusual.

The most likely theory is that it is debris from a collision between two asteroids which were likely to have smashed together at a speed of 15,000 kilometres an hour, five times the speed of a rifle bullet.

The resulting collision would have released more energy than a nuclear bomb.

It is believed that pressure from sunlight then spread the debris out into a trail.

Dr Robert J Nemiroff, astrophysicist at Michigan Technological University and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said: “Future study of P/2010 A2 may better indicate the nature of the original collision and may help humanity better understand the early years of our Solar System, when many similar collisions occurred.”

He added: “What is this strange object? First discovered on ground based LINEAR images on January 6, the object appeared unusual enough to investigate further with the Hubble Space Telescope last week.

“What Hubble saw indicates that P/2010 A2 is unlike any object ever seen before. At first glance, the object appears to have the tail of a comet.

“Close inspection, however, shows a 140-metre nucleus offset from the tail centre, very unusual structure near the nucleus, and no discernable gas in the tail.

“Knowing that the object orbits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, a preliminary hypothesis that appears to explain all of the known clues is that P/2010 A2 is the debris left over from a recent collision between two small asteroids.

“If true, the collision likely occurred at over 15,000 kilometres per hour, five times the speed of a rifle bullet, and liberated energy in excess of a nuclear bomb.

“Pressure from sunlight would then spread out the debris into a trailing tail.”

The mysterious object was circling about 90 million miles (144 million km) away from Earth when it was spotted.

I just think it’s seriously beyond cool — and although I don’t think that it’s a cruiser by any means — I just want to know what in the hell that thing really is…

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

What the heck is that? I just knew you’d ask. This JPL image is a crop I chopped from the “full-res” image number N00121336 taken by the Cassini mission to Saturn, the top right catches a bit of the moon Enceladus. The thing at center left is, as you might imagine, unidentified.

Most of you have probably seen the spectacular ring photos that were recently released showing the varying mountains of material at the ring edges. Truly fascinating. I am impressed! Thoughts came flooding in via remembrance of Dr. Norman Bergrun’s work, published long ago in his book The Ringmakers of Saturn, wherein evocative and rather spooky evidence of massive objects of very likely artificial construction was presented.

Did my usual stop at Skipper’s Mars Anomaly Research site to see if there was a new post — and there was — a nice post on the Cassini investigations at the Saturnian moon Enceladus, featuring a whole bunch of high strangeness objects of which the object here in my post is but one. This one I picked for its visual brightness and cool shape, however the others are equally strange in their own right (one looks like a big lobster claw, another a giant resistor!).

Skipper thinks all these things including our guest here are life forms. It is, believe it or not, a distinct possibility. Just as up to 80% or so of our UFOs may be critters. Plasma critters.

This has been discussed in scientific circles for many, many decades… at least six of ’em… that plasma can and does behave much like a life form does… so much so there is very little doubt that plasma life forms not only exist but are as evolved and as diverse as our sort of life… as in microbes to people. Including intelligence. They are able to live in outer space.

By the way, the scientific discussions mentioned above — we’re talking David Bohm, Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein here… yes, it’s not the fringe, it’s the real deal.

Anyway, since I’ve no truck with any of those dudes, dudes who influenced my childhood, I have no problem in accepting and imagining the world of these creatures… and no problem with Skipper’s analysis… especially if you look at the sequences, the things do move and change shape, so hey… not much of a stretch. They sure are big, though! Jeez!

I am impressed. Very much so. There are tons of these guys around out there at Saturn… and different kinds, too! Very, very exciting. To me at least.

Now… I do have two problems with the Cassini mission, one pointed out by Skipper that I share, as will you, I bet.

Firstly, Cassini has several occasions flown way close to Enceladus, once in 2008 approaching within 16 miles of the surface! Sixteen miles! What could be wrong with that, you ask? Nothing!

The problem is that no photos have been publicly released that are any closer than 88,020 kilometers. Not one. And even those are only 512 pixels small. It twists my gut. In my opinion, that is simply criminal. In a literal sense. Our tax dollars paid for all this… and we want to see! Man, that ticks me off. Really, really, really so.

Secondly, I have a problem with the image below. Haven’t checked the others. This is the original “hi-res” (Ha!) shot with our selected guest critter in it, reduced from the 512 pixel width to the 497 that this blog theme displays.

My problem is the stars. Assuming of course that they are stars. Because if they are… then how in heck are they showing through the moon? Eh? I mean really, don’t you think that that is mighty odd? The moon seems to vanish into the ether just past halfway up; and below that doesn’t look too solid, either… I really want to know just what is up with that… that’s just weird. That’s just wrong.

I’m actually more concerned with this aspect than with the critters!

Even if these stars aren’t stars at all but are really just more critters, that’s cool, but what of the vanishing moon? This is driving me right up the wall! The cameras sure took some sporty pics of those rings, so, again… what is going on here?

Enceladus. Nearly full released resolution N00121336. NASA/JPL

And, now, something I just now stumbled across… here’s my resulting image just below.

I opened up the above shot from JPL/NASA and gave it 4 more f-stops of exposure (which is all I can give it in one shot)… and just lookee what we can see now!

A little bit more of Enceladus… which served as some small relief for the aforementioned mind-warping conundrum (is it really that dark out there? Wow!) but certainly not relief in full by any stretch of the imagination.

Lots more “stars” which I’m now thinking are just more critters… The “stars” all exhibit awful jpeg weirdies by the way which one can see just by enlarging the original, which causes our Skipper to go on about tampering and such in his report… anyway…

But look! There are at least four more of our lovely curved-V critters! Woot! They just aren’t up to glowing like our invited guest does. Wow!

Since they all have the same shape… are these camera artifacts? From the conditions out there? Reflections of the first one? Could be certainly, but it doesn’t seem likely… there are different families of critters in the day’s sequence… all the dudes in the Skipper’s report are from the same day… so… wow.

Finally, I would just like to note that it’s been more and more apparent to me over the years, more so lately simply due to more thought being devoted to it… that the farther out we go… the more the strangeness factor applies… and applies exponentially! Just weird!

Enceladus image N00121336 at plus 4 f-stops. image enhancement by Iggy Makarevich.


COROT 7b, Hell planetOh, I do think ‘ole Charlie Fort would’ve loved this… talk about odd falls! Ha! I’m lovin’ it.

This is just the sort of thing we explorers need to lock in yet another cascade of fantabulous scenarios and tantalizing thoughts… you make sure they never stop flowing forth from your mind… and remember, if you go to this place – convertibles are not recommended! Seriously, though, read the article below, ripped as it was from the Telegraph ‘ere… and just let it fly… your ganglia will thank you.

What intrigues me is this… if this astronomer’s digital flight of fancy, (for that’s really all it is, you know…), is really true, then, how exactly do the rock clouds stay aloft? Well, never mind, because I can picture it… so it’s cool. Er, hot rather. Yeah.

Brollies out!

H e l l  p l a n e t  w h e r e  r o c k  f a l l s  a s  r a i n  f o u n d

An artist’s impression of COROT-7b, where pebbles fall as rain Photo: European Southern Observatory

COROT-7b, an alien planet where a rain of pebbles falls from clouds of rock vapour into lakes of molten lava, has been found by astronomers.By Tom Chivers
Published: 1:10PM BST 01 Oct 2009

Computer models of COROT-7b, a planet orbiting an orange dwarf star in the constellation Monoceros, 490 light years away, suggest that the world has a surface temperature hot enough to boil rock.

The research, by scientists at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, conjures up a vision of hell.

COROT-7b, a rocky planet around twice the size of the Earth but of similar density, is only 1.6 million miles from its star: 23 times closer than the innermost planet in our solar system, Mercury, is to the Sun.

This proximity means that the planet is gravitationally locked, like the Moon to the Earth, so that one side of the planet always faces the star.

So while its far side is in perpetual freezing darkness – around 50 degrees above absolute zero – its near side is a balmy 2,800°C.

While scientists are not sure of the exact chemical makeup of the planet, the sheer temperatures mean that whatever it is, the rocky ground will boil, forming a mineral atmosphere.

And when cold fronts move in, small pebbles will condense and form rain and hail, just like water on Earth.

Professor Bruce Fegley, one of the team behind the research, said: “The only atmosphere this object has is produced from vapor arising from hot molten silicates in a lava lake or lava ocean.”

“As you go higher the atmosphere gets cooler and eventually you get saturated with different types of ‘rock’ the way you get saturated with water in the atmosphere of Earth.”

“But instead of a water cloud forming and then raining water droplets, you get a ‘rock cloud’ forming and it starts raining out little pebbles of different types of rock.”

Prof Fegley and his associate Laura Schaefer carried out the research using the modelling programme MAGMA. They had previously used the software to model the volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io.

COROT-7b was discovered by the European Space Agency space telescope COROT in February, but the Washington University researchers were the first to model its atmosphere.

In this video, Warp Speed?, by Lunar Explorer Italia, a fascinating view is presented of something very strange indeed. It would appear to be an object of some sort moving at an apparently superluminal rate. This has been captured for us by the Cassini probe that’s hanging out over by Saturn. I keep stopping and playing back the first  third of the clip, as in the last two thirds our friends at Lunar Explorer Italia have added in visual aids to help us see where the action is… which is okay of course but I think it distracts.

Anyway, it certainly does seem to pop over just as if it was a sci-fi star, doesn’t it? Damn… so… is this for real or an optical illusion or just two things happening coincidentally? Looks pretty real to me… and I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe that there’s no reason I know of beyond the arrogance of science that says this can’t somehow be done. One needs to remember that this is out Saturn’s way and the field of view is pretty spectacularly large, so it’s not like a UFO popping about a few hundred feet here or there… or… maybe it is! I’m just sayin,’ it’s really moving a good way away. Most impressive. Leads to some interesting scenarios taking shape…

I would like to give a round of applause over to Italian phenomena research in general and Lunar Explorer Italia in particular, an they’ve given us some pretty spectacular stuff to contemplate for a good while now. Bravissimo.

It does seem, though, to me, that the farther out we go, the stranger things get.

I’ve included below in the blockquote the diatribe from the video description; translated here by the Google translator, so bear with it; mainly because it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the video it’s attached to, it’s more of a somewhat scathing attack on the current state of the generally hoax laden and credulous state of present day UFOlogy. I find it refreshing and all and a good read, but I’m not sure they really meant to stick it up there with this video, as I was starting to say. It also provided the title to this post which I thought was wonderfully Gorightly-ish…

The cover-up on the UFO issue is necessary, but … no good!

Why not serve the best de-bunkers dell’Ufologia (understood as “Nova Scientia”) are the “ufologist” (and their blind – but enthusiastic – acolytes).

With their “revealing pictures” BUT ALWAYS blurred and indecipherable, with their new movies and illuminating, BUT ALMOST ALWAYS that are truncated on the most beautiful or that in the end prove to be the fruit (rotten) obvious “tarot” digital, with their dark and smoky on the “Conspiracy Theories” Overall “, even to the eyes and ears profane playing – most of the time (and in the best of circumstances) – as the terrible force logical (if not laughable like scemenze interplanetary ) …

And then the “Buffalo”!

The “destructive power” of the “Buffalo” is a true flagship for the ufologist 2000: think, for example, the crazy nonsense of footage on all’Astronave Buried on the Moon and “discovery” dall’Apollo 20 (a Mission – and I know the kids – never existed), or the “Marziano walking” in front of the Rover Spirit, or to filmini the silver beads that float in the sky, made by “famous” contacts (but that will never say , “talks “?!?) that, over time – but almost inevitably … – Are made in the bleak scene – or event even more sad and tragic – also appear as “possible genuine documents” which, however, are made entirely in vain, useless and unusable because of the mania for FAMA and notoriety ‘(and , on the other hand, the total lack of decency and sobriety ‘) shown by those who have achieved, both below and above that of the (already we could even do a bit of names and surnames, but we have no Beghi from the reality show).

The cover-up on the “UFO issue” is needed – given the hysteria that informs our Company (alleged) “Civil” – but not needed.
Do not serve them because they are “Believers” to destroy the evidence they gather and to ridicule the Matter growing.

Shame because, to tell the truth, to throw a little light on the UFO issue “enough to use the documents that NASA will make available (but None or almost never goes to watch, because costs and FATIGUE WORK IT! ).

Well, we Researchers ( “naive”) of Lunar Explorer Italy, we have not tried to contact the “contact” and not to seek and / or analyze the movies made by those who “film the impossible.”
We have only used the NASA material available (knowing, of course, WHERE TO GO AND LOOK WHAT SEARCH) e. .. Voilà: UFO a gogo!

The Cover-up on the UFO issue is necessary, but … no good.

Sintanto that will include ufologist who seek visibility and notoriety but NOT TRUTH ‘(those who write in magazines and rivistine and write essays, books and libelli “illuminating “…) and sintanto that there will be around cialtroni and contacts (contacts that especially television – and not state – and the media, for promotion of exclusive … themselves) who are always ready to “reveal the truth to idiots (idiots = us, the masses,” all others except their “short), the Cover-up does not need.

The “secret” is well protected, as is found surrounded by tons of scemenze, buffaloes and narrated by Panzani Guitti and that on the credulity furbacchioni People have built their reputation and their image.
Sometimes, even their “Fortuna” (financial, of course).


Shame because the truth, as Fox Mulder (X-Files) is not only “out there” (in Heaven and on Earth – and certainly in the Outer Space – if you know HOW to look for), but is also clear for all to see “.

One need only look to know WHERE and WHAT to look.

Just recently, in short.

Think about it for …

Ha! That’s tellin’ ’em!

Jupiter's Asteroid wound.Yahoo! News reports on an amateur astronomer’s discovery and imaging of a massive wound in Jupiter’s atmosphere, presumably caused by an asteroid or comet… and a pretty big asteroid or comet it must have been. I wonder what went on below the clouds… I imagine it was probably crushed pretty well… wonder why the image is inverted to negative… perhaps to show the blackness of the hole.

“This image shows a large impact shown on the bottom left on Jupiter’s south polar region captured on July 20, 2009, by NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. A large comet or asteroid has slammed into the Jupiter, creating an impact site the size of Earth, pictures by an Australian amateur astronomer show. Computer programmer Anthony Wesley said it took him 30 minutes to realise a dark spot rotating in Jupiter’s clouds on July 19 was actually the first impact seen by astronomers since a comet collided with the giant planet in July 1994. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Infrared Telescope Facility/Handout”

Ah, here’s a nice blast from the past… the briefly notorious IEC Anomaly site 502… I was reminded of it by a post on ATS by Mahendra Singh, aka mikesingh. This came out long ago, when Martian madness was a new thing… and I remember it well. It could very well have been a hoax, but somehow, it always struck me as being most probably real, especially as the terrain matches so closely with the alleged radar contour map above, which is a crop by myself of the whole image, by the way, just click it to go to the site which was still up until Yahoo closed Geocities… since 2003 no less! Full size images were all there. :(

Actually, as it happens, after some very cursory examinations it was indeed determined to be “most likely a hoax” due solely to the straightness of the lines above and the oddly colorful labeling on the images, by the very same guy who popularized the “snake” I posted on a while ago. I don’t know, those things don’t really bother me… The unidentified individual known only as “The Nightstalker” did the most actual work on it and came up with an ESA launch called A 502… and the late Kent Steadman tried his hand, too, so… for me…

I tend to agree with the assessment, but… that launch is intriguing and info on it now seems gone, so, who knows. It was quite cool when it came out!

Data supporting the idea of extant extensive international space efforts and activities of a mining nature abounds and that may well mean we don’t have but an inkling as to what really goes on up there. This could be the real deal after all, an ancient Martian site that ‘they’ were checking out as an adjunct to their own works in progress. I am cautious, but I cannot dismiss it out of hand.

Site 502 in infrared.

Some images from the site. Above, an infrared view… below, visible light, which I tried to make look more realistic as the one on the site is really badly, even wickedly red-orange… NASA-style!

Those were good times… this is just a brief bit of reminiscence… thanks.

Site 502 in visible light, but very altered colors.

(Apologies to those who recently clicked the links in the pictures hoping to go to the website. It was up when I posted this. But Yahoo in it’s evilness has closed it’s Geocities hosting site; and without telling the site participants, I might add. Many great sites were on there… a sad loss for sure.)

From Russia's Luna13 probe, which landed on December 24, 1966, an artifact.

I saw this last night as a post by Mikesingh at the ATS site, who is one of the good guys there. I usually scan and only sometimes visit longer on the site, as I find the preponderance of professional debunkers who lurk there like so many cockroaches in the crannies most annoying. This time was good though as this post caught my eye

Interesting because the images presented are not from the master of lies and obfuscations, but from Russia 40 plus years ago.

Interesting comment thread, as usual… I must say I wonder about some of those folks. Quite a few think it’s a piece of the lander, a piece of its antenna, claiming that Russians built only junk that fell apart. That’s well beyond patently ludicrous. Just how frakken stupid can people be?

These people were the first to land on the moon, the first to get pictures as well as the last to land on the moon. Let’s not forget Mars and Venus, either. 

If, as most claim, it’s part of the antenna, which it clearly is not if one merely hazards a peek at the spacecraft, and then at the piece, repeating as often as necessary ’till it sinks in, then, how the hell was it transmitting the images? Huh? Huh? Sorry, I’ve been at this too long to abide utter asininity and I’m just sick of it. Sorry. Seriously. It’s not on. 

I’m okay now. I don’t know what this thing is, but it ain’t no part o’ that machine.

The image above is a crop I did off the second panorama, which has a number of other interesting things in it as well as this piece.