DDV News Episode 2: Deep Space

Are we being ‘visited’?  We are due and we are all feeling something.
It may be post pandemic nerves, jarred by the happenings of the last few years, we’re all on edge. 

OR… as we must continue to remind ourselves, we are from out there, we are made of stardust, ancestors (or descendants) may be checking in.
Check it out.  Mulder (that fox) is very excited right now.

From ABC Australia:
March 28, 2023
Harvard scientist to lead meteor investigation to PNG
“Harvard physicist Avi Loeb is leading an expedition to Papua New Guinea to try and uncover a meteor that landed there in 2014.
It was the first very rare interstellar meteorite ever documented, and has scientists questioning if it could be artificially made.”
Avi Loeb believes the meteor could potentially be a relic of an alien civilization.”

From ABC Australia:
March 23, 2023
Scientists offer ‘non-alien explanation’ for interstellar visitor known as ‘Oumuamua
“Researchers have now come up with a simple and “compelling, non-alien explanation” for the interstellar interloper’s bizarre behaviour, […]
“…an expert in astrochemistry at the University of California Berkeley and the co-author of a new study — said many of the theories “stretched the imagination”.
She proposed that ‘Oumuamua started out as a water-rich, comet-like object.
During its interstellar travels it was blasted by penetrating cosmic rays that converted some of its water into hydrogen gas that became trapped within the object’s body.”

“However, not everyone is convinced.
Avi Loeb — a lauded theoretical physicist who was the longest-serving chair of astronomy at Harvard University — maintains that the simplest explanation is that ‘Oumuamua was alien technology.
Professor Loeb has rejected the new theory, and said claims of a comet without a tail “is like saying an elephant is a zebra without stripes”.

From NDTV:
August 6, 2022
“A meteorite believed to have come from beyond the solar system crashed into the ocean in 2014 off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Scientists have now launched an expedition to the depths of the ocean to search for the space rock since it is the only third known object of its kind, the Science Times said in a report. The pther two – Oumuamua and Borisov – landed on the Earth in 2017 and 2018, the outlet further said.
Oumuamua is around 100 metres long while Borisov’s length is between 0.4 to 1 kilometre. These objects are the earliest known interstellar objects. However, a meteorite that crashed into the southwest Pacific Ocean was later found to be predating these two.”

From Phys.org:
August 4, 2022
An interstellar meteor struck Earth in 2014, and now scientists want to search for it at the bottom of the ocean
“…it was moving at speeds that suggest it may not be bound within the sun’s gravity well.

There’s a catch, however. The data used to measure the object’s impact with Earth came from a U.S. Department of Defense spy satellite, designed to monitor Earthly military activities.
As such, the exact error values of the measurement are a carefully guarded secret—the U.S. military is wary of allowing the precise capabilities of their satellite to become public domain information. But without these details, much of the scientific community understandably remains unwilling to officially classify CNEOS 2014-01-08 as an interstellar object.”
From EarthSky:
April 18, 2022
“Government secrecy hinders investigation

So, was this really an interstellar meteor? 
Siraj and his co-author Loeb at Harvard think so, but their research hit a few roadblacks in recent years. Some of the information about the event had actually been deemed classified by the government. NASA runs a database for meteors and fireballs called the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).
However, the government withheld some of the information regarding the 2014 meteor from the database. Why?”

From Scientific American:
February 1, 2021.
Astronomer Avi Loeb Says Aliens Have Visited, and He’s Not Kidding
“Avi Loeb is no stranger to controversy. The prolific Harvard University astrophysicist has produced pioneering and provocative research on black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the early universe and other standard topics of his field. But for more than a decade he has also courted a more contentious subject—namely, space aliens, including how to find them.”
From New Yorker:
January 16, 2019
Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua
By Isaac Chotiner
“On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as “a red and extremely elongated asteroid.” 
It was the first interstellar object to be detected within our solar system; the scientists named it ‘Oumuamua, the Hawaiian word for a scout or messenger
The following October, Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, co-wrote a paper (with a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, Shmuel Bialy) that examined ‘Oumuamua’s “peculiar acceleration” and suggested that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.”
Loeb has long been interested in the search for extraterrestrial life, and he recently made further headlines by suggesting that we might communicate with the civilization that sent the probe. “If these beings are peaceful, we could learn a lot from them,”

From Harvard University’s Department of Astronomy:
Avi Loeb – Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science
“Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University and a bestselling author (in lists of the New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, L’Express and more).
He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993).

Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial (HarperCollins, 2022) and Interstellar (HarperCollins, 2023) and nearly a thousand papers (with h-index of 123 and i10-index of 562) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe.
Loeb is the Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics , and also serves as the Head of the Galileo Project (2021-present). 
He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020) and the Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-2021). He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics.”

“A powerful solar flare flashed at Earth on Tuesday, sending an eruption of X-ray and ultraviolet radiation to our planet at the speed of light.
It was an “X-class” flare — the most powerful kind — and it caused a radio blackout for about one hour on the day side of Earth, in parts of southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.”
From Science Alert:
March 28, 2023
Uncanny Coincidence: Fast Radio Burst Detected After Gravitational Wave Event
“FRBs (Fast radio Bursts) are extremely enigmatic; only a few of them repeat, and the one-off nature of the vast majority makes them extraordinarily difficult to study.
Their detection used to be chance only; you had to be studying the right patch of the sky at the right time to catch one. All-sky surveys, however, have increased the number of detections to over 600.

A breakthrough came in 2020: for the first time, an FRB was detected coming from within the Milky Way galaxy. It was traced to a type of neutron star called a magnetar, whose insanely powerful external magnetic field fights against the inward pull of gravity, causing the star to occasionally quake and flare.
But while misbehaving magnetars present one explanation, we don’t know if that’s the whole picture.
FRBs vary quite a bit, and it’s likely that there’s more than one mechanism that can produce them.”
…even superstars saw something… (Lizzo’s Instagram account)

From Cosmos Magazine:
March 31, 2023
Astronomers find the thinnest ever explosion in space – a cow 180 million light-years away
“Stars are basically spherical, and when they explode, the explosions are spherical too. Most of the time.
But an international team of astronomers has observed a disc-shaped explosion – the thinnest yet known to science.

The explosion is called a Fast Blue Optical Transient (FBOT): a rare event that astronomers have only known about for the past five years. They’re also called ‘cows’.
“Very little is known about FBOT explosions – they just don’t behave like exploding stars should, they are too bright and they evolve too quickly,” [..]
“Put simply, they are weird, and this new observation makes them even weirder.”

From BBC:
March 29, 2023
‘Ultramassive’ black hole discovered by Durham astronomers
“Dr Nightingale told BBC Radio Newcastle: “Even as an astronomer, I find it hard to comprehend how big this thing is.
“If you look at the night sky and count up all the stars and planets you can see and put them in a single point, it would be a fraction of a percent the size of this black hole.

“This black hole is bigger than the majority of galaxies in the universe.”
He said the discovery “pushes our understanding of astronomy to the limits”, adding: “How do you form a black hole this big in just 13 billions years of the universe’s existence?”
From Business Insider:
March 23, 2023
“The sun is waking up after almost a decade of relative calm, scientists say — and that could cause problems on Earth.
As more sunspots appear on the surface of our star during its active period, it may prompt more solar storms, creating bursts of electromagnetic energy that can affect everything from the power grid to GPS signals.

These so-called solar maximums occur roughly every 11 years, and they haven’t been much of a problem in the past.
Scientists, however, fear that our reliance on electricity and interconnectivity could mean we’re far more vulnerable to their effects this time around.
Every 11 years or so, the sun becomes “convectively unstable,” meaning its magnetic fields become so unstable that the magnetic north and south poles abruptly flip, throwing our star’s polarity out of whack..”

March 7, 2023
13 times solar storms caused freak events on Earth, from detonating mines to crashing financial markets
“The sun is a huge ball of molten plasma, buzzing with magnetic fields that ebb and flow at its surface.
Every so often, those fields collide, creating a massive explosion that spews charged sub-atomic particles into space that carry with them the potential to disrupt electric fields and cause radiation exposure.

As these particles barrel through space, they can run into Earth. Our sun is nearing its next peak of activity, and with it, more solar storms are likely to come our way. We look back at the 13 weirdest things likely or definitely caused by solar storms that have happened on our planet.”


From Transcontinental Times:
Jan 28, 2022
Australian Scientists Discover Unknown “Spooky” Spinning Object in the Milky Way
“An unknown spinning object has been discovered in the Milky way by the Australian scientists that appears to be nothing that has been seen before.
The object has been observed to release a large amount of energy for a whole minute every 18 minutes.
Usually, objects that burst energy are documented, but researchers have stated that one that turns on for more than a minute is unusual.:

“Sensational headlines invoking beamed ‘signals’ from an object in our own Milky Way aside, an Australian-led team of astronomers has detected what is most likely an ultra-long period magnetar. 
No, it’s not aliens! But it is most probably a heretofore unknown class of magnetar, a highly magnetized neutron star with a magnetic field about a trillion times larger than that of Earth.”

[we know a cover up when we roll our eyes at one]

From ABC Australia
Oct 13, 2021.
Mysterious radio signals detected near centre of the Milky Way galaxy
“What suddenly gets bright in the sky, sends out random radio signals and then disappears for months?
It’s a question that has stumped astronomers since the discovery of a mysterious radio signal coming from near the centre of our galaxy in January last year.

The signal is so strange it may be coming from a new type of celestial object, an international team of astronomers report in The Astrophysical Journal.
The team first picked up the signal while scanning the sky with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in outback Western Australia.”


From Space.com:
April 2, 2023
Black hole jet changes direction as astronomers watch in cosmic first — and it’s aimed right at us
“For the first time, astronomers have spotted a jet blasting from the core of a distant galaxy that has changed directions. 
The finding comes from a distant galaxy named PBC J2333.9-2343, whose core had blasted jets in the past but had long gone quiet. In the latest research, astronomers found that the core had once again stirred the jets back to life, one of which had “drastically” changed directions.”

From the Royal Astronomical Society:
March 17, 2023
Galaxy changes classification as jet changes direction
“A team of international astronomers have discovered a galaxy that has changed classification due to unique activity within its core.
The galaxy, named PBC J2333.9-2343, was previously classified as a radio galaxy, but the new research has revealed otherwise. 
The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.”

From Inverse:
Mar 31, 2023
9 Years Ago, Astronomers Found Two Rogue Planets — But They Didn’t Realize It Until Now
“Planets are typically part of a planetary system and are gravitationally bound to their star, or stars in the case of a binary star. Planets can migrate toward and away from their star when conditions are right, but they stay bound to the star, even if separated by a vast distance. 
But sometimes, a planet is kicked out of its system due to a supernova explosion, a stellar interloper, or some other event. And in some cases, a planet can form on its own outside of any solar system. These are rogue planets or free-floating planets (FFPs.)

[One of my favourite books, sci-fi books, sci-fi series is the Rama Series by Arthur C Clarke. ‘Rendezvous With Rama’ is the first.
I still have my copies from the 80s. Except the first because a friend borrowed it then forgot to return it. I would rather get the book back.
Anyway… the earthlings call their alien spaceship, Rama” – Sandhya]

From Wikipedia:
“After an asteroid falls in Northeast Italy on 11 September 2077, creating a major disaster, the government of Earth sets up the Spaceguard system as an early warning of arrivals from deep space.

The “Rama” of the title is an alien starship weighing at least ten trillion tons, initially mistaken for an asteroid categorised as “31/439”. It is detected by astronomers in the year 2131 while it is still outside the orbit of Jupiter. Its speed (100,000 km/h – 62,150 m/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate it is not on a long orbit around the sun, but is an interstellar object.

The astronomers’ interest is further piqued when they realise the asteroid has an extremely rapid rotation period of four minutes and is exceptionally large. It is named Rama after the Hindu god,[6] and an uncrewed space probe dubbed Sita is launched from the Mars moon Phobos to intercept and photograph it. The resulting images reveal that Rama is a perfect cylinder, 20 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter and 50 kilometres (31 mi) long, and almost completely featureless, making this humankind’s first encounter with an alien spacecraft.
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