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Opportunity rover finds evidence of ‘drinkable’ water on MarsBy Scott Sutherland | Geekquinox – 31 minutes agoEmailPrintThe Mars Opportunity rover continues to make amazing discoveries after nine years on the Red PlanetThe Mars Opportunity rover has uncovered even more evidence that the Red Planet was once more of a blue world like our own, as scientists working with the mission announced that it had found evidence that there was what they called drinkable water on the surface in Mars past.The announcement came on Friday, as the Mars Exploration Rovers team met with the press to discuss Opportunitys findings from a rock called Esperance, located at Cape York, on the lip of the Endeavor Crater. Last month, Opportunity scratched beneath the surface of this rock to get a clear view at its insides, and then used the spectrometer on the end of its arm to get a good look at what the rock was made of and what the conditions were on Mars surface when the rock was formed.[ Related: Mars rover Opportunity nears nebulous off-planet driving record ]Opportunity scraped below the surface of the rock called Esperance to discover how it was formed.Scientists with the team went over the results and found that the rock contained clay, and although clays can form in acidic water, the evidence showed that the water that affected Esperance was neutral in pH, more like drinking water. pH is the scale used to talk about how acidic or basic something is. Acids like sulphuric acid are very low on the scale. Bases like chlorine bleach are very high on the scale. Either is very damaging to most forms of life. When youre in the middle of the scale, though, like normal drinking water is, thats a much easier place to live.Findings by both Spirit and Opportunity, shortly after landing, showed evidence for water, but with a much higher acid content. These latest findings at Endeavor Crater are much more favourable.”What we have here is a very different chemistry,” Steve Squyres, the lead scientist for the Opportunity and Spirit teams, said during the meeting on Friday, according to Discovery News. “This is water you can drink. This is water that was probably much more favorably in its chemistry, in its level of acidity, for things like pre-biotic chemistry, the kind of chemistry that could lead to the origin of life.””This is the most powerful evidence for neutral chemistry water that has been found by Opportunity,” he added.Other findings by Opportunity include the first complete temperature profile of the Martian atmosphere very useful for Mars science and for any future human missions to the planet, the discovery of Martian blueberries, which are tiny spheres embedded in Martian rocks, and also hematite, both of which point towards formation in water, and it has even photographed Martian eclipses as Phobos and Demos transited across the Sun, as well as taking a picture of Earth from the Martian surface.[ More Geekquinox: Canada welcomes back astronaut Chris Hadfield ]Every time I hear more news about Opportunity, Im amazed that this spunky little robot rover is still going strong after more than nine years on the surface of Mars, and not only that, its still making amazing discoveries after all that time.The rover certainly isnt done yet, either, as its headed off to yet another destination called Solander Point. This latest journey not only promises more discoveries at its end, but will also earn Opportunity the title of farthest off-world driver. It already broke the record set for farthest off-world distance driven by a human, and its quickly approaching the record set by the Russian lunar rover Lunokhod 2. Not a bad way to celebrate your 10th anniversary.Images courtesy: NASA/JPL/Cornell Geek out with the latest in science and weather.Follow @ygeekquinox on Twitter!PaginationPrevious Canada welcomes back astronaut Chris Hadfield
Mysterious Stone Structure Discovered Beneath Sea of Galilee
By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor | LiveScience.com – 8 hrs ago
A giant “monumental” stone structure discovered beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its purpose and even how long ago it was built.
The mysterious structure is cone shaped, made of “unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders,” and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons the researchers said. That makes it heavier than most modern-day warships.
Rising nearly 32 feet (10 meters) high, it has a diameter of about 230 feet (70 meters). To put that in perspective, the outer stone circle of Stonehenge has a diameter just half that with its tallest stones not reaching that height.
It appears to be a giant cairn, rocks piled on top of each other. Structures like this are known from elsewhere in the world and are sometimes used to mark burials. Researchers do not know if the newly discovered structure was used for this purpose.
The structure was first detected in the summer of 2003 during a sonar survey of the southwest portion of the sea. Divers have since been down to investigate, they write in the latest issue of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.
“Close inspection by scuba diving revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to 1 m (3.2 feet) long with no apparent construction pattern,” the researchers write in their journal article. “The boulders have natural faces with no signs of cutting or chiselling. Similarly, we did not find any sign of arrangement or walls that delineate this structure.” [See Photos of the Mysterious Sea of Galilee Structure]
They say it is definitely human-made and probably was built on land, only later to be covered by the Sea of Galilee as the water level rose. “The shape and composition of the submerged structure does not resemble any natural feature. We therefore conclude that it is man-made and might be termed a cairn,” the researchers write.
More than 4,000 years old?
Underwater archaeological excavation is needed so scientists can find associated artifacts and determine the structure’s date and purpose, the researchers said.
Researcher Yitzhak Paz, of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Ben-Gurion University, believes it could date back more than 4,000 years. “The more logical possibility is that it belongs to the third millennium B.C., because there are other megalithic phenomena [from that time] that are found close by,” Paz told LiveScience in an interview, noting that those sites are associated with fortified settlements.
The researchers list several examples of megalithic structures found close to the Sea of Galilee that are more than 4,000 years-old. One example is the monumental site of Khirbet Beteiha, located some 19 miles (30 kilometers) north-east of the submerged stone structure, the researchers write. It “comprises three concentric stone circles, the largest of which is 56 m [184 feet] in diameter.” [Gallery: Aerial Photos Reveal Mysterious Stone Structures]
An ancient city
If the third-millennium B.C. date idea proves correct it would put the structure about a mile to the north of a city that researchers call “Bet Yerah” or “Khirbet Kerak.”
During the third millennium B.C. the city was one of the biggest sites in the region, Paz said. “It’s the most powerful and fortified town in this region and, as a matter of fact, in the whole of Israel.”
Archaeologist Raphael Greenberg describes it in a chapter of the book “Daily Life, Materiality, and Complexity in Early Urban Communities of the Southern Levant” (Eisenbrauns, 2011) as being a heavily fortified 74-acre (30 hectares) site with up to 5,000 inhabitants.
With paved streets and towering defenses its people were clearly well organized. “They also indicate the existence of some kind of municipal authority able to maintain public structures …” Greenberg writes.
The research team says that, like the leaders of Bet Yerah, whoever built the newly discovered Sea of Galilee structure needed sophisticated organization and planning skills to construct it. The “effort invested in such an enterprise is indicative of a complex, well-organized society, with planning skills and economic ability,” they write in their journal paper.
Paz added that “in order to build such a structure a lot of working hours were required” in an organized community effort.
Paz said that he hopes soon that an underwater archaeological expedition will set out to excavate the structure. They can search for artifacts and try to determine its date with certainty.
He said that the Israel Antiquities Authority has a research branch capable of excavating it. “We will try to do it in the near future, I hope, but it depends on a lot of factors.”
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In Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge
Image Gallery: 35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered in Sudan
7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth
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UFO film promises proof of pint-size aliens
By Ben RadfordPublished April 09, 2013Discovery News
YouTube screen capture shows a doctor “operating” on an “alien.”
An upcoming documentary film about UFOs claims it will offer evidence of aliens, including cutting-edge scientific analysis of a recovered body.
The film, which premieres April 22, is titled Sirius and showcases the claims of Steven Greer, a prominent UFO researcher who has dedicated years of his life — and a small fortune — to proving that the U.S. government is actively covering up hard evidence of extraterrestrial life.
SETI Fail: No Alien Life Found
The project has taken several years, and money to fund it was raised from donors and UFO buffs. In an urgent, breaking news update to the crowdfunding project, Greer asked his donors for more money because:
There is a chance that we may be able to include in the film “Sirius” the scientific testing of a possible Extraterrestrial Biological Entity (EBE) that has been recovered and is deceased. This EBE is in the possession of a cooperative institute desiring further scientific evaluation of the possible ET. We cannot reveal at this time the location of this being or the name of the person or persons who possess it….I have actually visited the group that possesses this EBE and have personally and professionally examined the being. It is indeed an actual deceased body, and most certainly is not plastic or man-made.
It has a head, 2 arms and 2 legs and is humanoid. We have seen and examined X-Rays of the being. Its anatomy however is not homo sapien (modern human) or any known hominid (predecessors to humans). As you can imagine, the security and scientific issues surrounding the further testing of this potentially explosive and world-changing evidence are mind-boggling. However, we feel we simply must proceed expeditiously but cautiously. The cost of doing proper MRI testing, full and dispositive forensic-level DNA testing and carbon dating with other isotope testing are considerable and certainly not currently funded.
The cute little EBE alien-thing is about half a foot long. It looks like something you might stir your coffee with if you broke off one of its bony little arms. It was recovered not from Area 51 nor a hidden base near Roswell, N.M, but instead, supposedly, from Chile’s Atacama Desert several years ago.
This revelation raises all sorts of questions: If ETs aren’t much larger than your cell phone then why are their spacecraft so big? If the thing really is an alien body found in a South American desert years ago, why are we only finding out about it now? Why didn’t it make international news at the time, and why weren’t the scientific tests that will supposedly prove its extraterrestrial origins done years ago? What would a single alien body — without a spaceship, other occupants or even any G.I. Joe-scale helmet or ray gun — be doing alone in the desert? And why is all this suddenly being brought up when Greer is trying to raise money and publicity to complete a movie?
Actually I think I know the answer to that last question.
This is of course not the first time that a “documentary” has surfaced promising definitive proof of extraterrestrial life. If the whole alien autopsy theme seems familiar, it should be. It was done back in 1995 and broadcast on the Fox network as Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction.
UFO Memo Tops FBI’s Most-Viewed List
The show centered around 17 minutes of supposedly top-secret grainy black and white footage filmed by the military and showing a post-mortem dissection of an alien body. To much of the public it looked credible, though skeptics pointed out many signs that it was a hoax. Those suspicions were soon verified, and the filmmakers admitted the footage had been staged.
So what is the Latin American, alien-leprechaun thing that Greer found? It looks a lot like a sculpted model, and fairly realistic faked aliens, animals and other creatures are widely available, including on eBay. Maybe all the questions will be answered when the film premieres, and scientists will finally have the “potentially explosive and world-changing evidence” they need to confirm extraterrestrial life.
Voyager 1 has left the solar system
Telltale change in cosmic radiation
CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2013 3:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 20, 2013 5:20 PM ET
Voyager 1 left Earth on Sept. 5, 1977. It appears that by Aug. 25, 2012, it had left the solar system. (NASA)
Solar particle dip hints at Voyager’s exit from solar system
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NASA’s Voyager 1 enters new region of solar system
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A 35-year-old space probe has become the first human-made object to make it beyond our solar system, new research suggests.
Voyager 1 measured a drastic change in radiation levels last Aug. 25 that indicated the spacecraft had made it beyond the influence of the sun, reported New Mexico State University astronomer W.R. Webber in a paper published online Wednesday by the American Geophysical Union.
At the time, the spacecraft was 122 times further away from the Sun than Earth and three times further away than Pluto or roughly 18 billion kilometres away. Suddenly, it nearly stopped detecting “anomalous” cosmic rays. That is a type of radiation trapped in the outer part of the heliosphere, the vast “bubble” of space affected by the sun’s magnetic field, which encloses the solar system.
Voyager photo gallery
Meanwhile, the spacecraft detected record levels of “galactic” cosmic rays, radiation that comes from outside the solar system.
Webber said it’s not clear whether Voyager 1 has actually entered interstellar space or some other zone beyond the solar system.
“It’s outside the normal heliosphere, I would say that,” Webber said in a statement. “We’re in a new region. And everything we’re measuring is different and exciting.”
Earlier false alarm
Voyager 1 had also detected a number of temporary changes in radiation starting July 28 and August 14 that had earlier generated “false alarms” of its departure from the solar system.
The new study suggested that during those times, Voyager 1 may have crossed some kind of boundary at the edge of the heliosphere “at least five times.” However, it wasn’t clear if that happened because the boundary itself was moving or because the edge of the heliosphere contains “ribbons” of radiation connected to the region beyond the heliosphere.
The paper was co-authored by University of Maryland physicist Frank McDonald, who died on Aug. 31, just days after Voyager made its arguably most interesting cosmic ray measurements.
In the paper’s acknowledgements, Webber said it was McDonald who first conceived the article.
“Frank, we have been working together for over 55 years to reach the goal of actually observing the interstellar spectra of cosmic rays , possibly now achieved, almost on the day of your passing,” Webber wrote. “You wanted so badly to be able to finish this article that you had already started. Together we did it. Bon Voyage!”
Voyager 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Sept. 5, 1977, two weeks after its twin, Voyager 2. Voyager 1 made its closest approaches to Jupiter and Saturn on March 5, 1979 and Nov. 12, 1980, respectively.
Voyager 2, which also made close approaches to Uranus and Neptune, is about three billion kilometers behind Voyager 1.
RELEASE : 13-059 NASA Mars Rover Confirms First Drilled Martian Rock Sample PASADENA, Calif. — NASAs Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior. Transfer of the powdered-rock sample into an open scoop was visible for the first time in images received Wednesday at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL in Pasadena, Calif. “Seeing the powder from the drill in the scoop allows us to verify for the first time the drill collected a sample as it bore into the rock,” said JPLs Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer for Curiosity. “Many of us have been working toward this day for years. Getting final confirmation of successful drilling is incredibly gratifying. For the sampling team, this is the equivalent of the landing team going crazy after the successful touchdown.” The drill on Curiositys robotic arm took in the powder as it bored a 2.5-inch 6.4-centimeter hole into a target on flat Martian bedrock on Feb. 8. The rover team plans to have Curiosity sieve the sample and deliver portions of it to analytical instruments inside the rover. The scoop now holding the precious sample is part of Curiositys Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis CHIMRA device. During the next steps of processing, the powder will be enclosed inside CHIMRA and shaken once or twice over a sieve that screens out particles larger than 0.006 inch 150 microns across. Small portions of the sieved sample later will be delivered through inlet ports on top of the rover deck into the Chemistry and Mineralogy CheMin instrument and Sample Analysis at Mars SAM instrument. In response to information gained during testing at JPL, the processing and delivery plan has been adjusted to reduce use of mechanical vibration. The 150-micron screen in one of the two test versions of CHIMRA became partially detached after extensive use, although it remained usable. The team has added precautions for use of Curiositys sampling system while continuing to study the cause and ramifications of the separation. The sample comes from a fine-grained, veiny sedimentary rock called “John Klein,” named in memory of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. The rock was selected for the first sample drilling because it may hold evidence of wet environmental conditions long ago. The rovers laboratory analysis of the powder may provide information about those conditions. NASAs Mars Science Laboratory Project is using the Curiosity rover with its 10 science instruments to investigate whether an area within Mars Gale Crater ever has offered an environment favorable for microbial life. JPL manages the project for NASAs Science Mission Directorate in Washington. An image of the drills rock powder held in the scoop is online at: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16729For more about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl
Curiosity Rover Explores ‘Yellowknife Bay’12.18.12
The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.” Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Full image and caption › Latest images › Curiosity gallery › Curiosity videos
This map traces where NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity drove between landing at a site subsequently named “Bradbury Landing,” and the position reached during the mission’s 130th Martian day, or sol, (Dec. 17, 2012). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
› Full image and caption
Mission status report
PASADENA, Calif. — The NASA Mars rover Curiosity this week is driving within a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay,” providing information to help researchers choose a rock to drill.
Using Curiosity’s percussive drill to collect a sample from the interior of a rock, a feat never before attempted on Mars, is the mission’s priority for early 2013. After the powdered-rock sample is sieved and portioned by a sample-processing mechanism on the rover’s arm, it will be analyzed by instruments inside Curiosity.
Yellowknife Bay is within a different type of terrain from what the rover has traversed since landing inside Mars’ Gale Crater on Aug. 5, PDT (Aug. 6, UTC). The terrain Curiosity has entered is one of three types that intersect at a location dubbed “Glenelg,” chosen as an interim destination about two weeks after the landing.
Curiosity reached the lip of a 2-foot (half-meter) descent into Yellowknife Bay with a 46-foot (14-meter) drive on Dec. 11. The next day, a drive of about 86 feet (26.1 meters) brought the rover well inside the basin. The team has been employing the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the laser-wielding Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) for remote-sensing studies of rocks along the way.
On Dec. 14, Curiosity drove about 108 feet (32.8 meters) to reach rock targets of interest called “Costello” and “Flaherty.” Researchers used the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s arm to examine the targets. After finishing those studies, the rover drove again on Dec. 17, traveling about 18 feet (5.6 meters) farther into Yellowknife Bay. That brings the mission’s total driving distance to 0.42 mile (677 meters) since Curiosity’s landing.
One additional drive is planned this week before the rover team gets a holiday break. Curiosity will continue studying the Martian environment from its holiday location at the end point of that drive within Yellowknife Bay. The mission’s plans for most of 2013 center on driving toward the primary science destination, a 3-mile-high (5-kilometer) layered mound called Mount Sharp.
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity during a two-year prime mission to assess whether areas inside Gale Crater ever offered a habitable environment for microbes. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
UFO Report ID:113481 May large & small crafts above rain clouds Reported by: petercarr at 2012-11-30 01:04:07 UTC Time of event: 2012-11-28 20:07 UTCCoordinated Universal Time is the standard time common to every place in the world. It allows you to compare the time of an event across time zones. For example, 6:00 UTC in Los Angeles is the same time as 6:00 UTC in New York, whereas 6:00 local time in Los Angeles would be 9:00 in New York. 2012-11-28 12:07 PM Local Time for about 4 Hours Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 2R4 Time Zone: America/Vancouver Primary shape of object: Triangle Number of witnesses: 3 Number of objects seen: 0 Characteristics of object: There were lights on the object. Daytime/Nighttime sighting: Day Event Description In Vancouver, B.C. & over the past week, between approx. 7 pm to 2 am, on over cast nights, 3 of us have observed many large crafts accompanied by sm
Scoop Marks in the Sand at RocknestThis is a view of the third left and fourth right trenches made by the 1.6-inch-wide 4-centimeter-wide scoop on NASAs Mars rover Curiosity in October 2012. The image was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager MAHLI on Sol 84 Oct. 31, 2012 and shows some of the details regarding the properties of the “Rocknest” wind drift sand. The upper surface of the drift is covered by coarse sand grains approximately 0.02 to 0.06 inches 0.5 to 1.5 millimeters in size. These coarse grains are mantled with fine dust, giving the drift surface a light brownish red color. The coarse sand is somewhat cemented to form a thin crust about 0.2 inches 0.5 centimeters thick. Evidence for the crusting is seen by the presence of angular clods in and around the troughs and in the sharp, jagged indentations and overhangs on one wall of each trench the walls closest to the top of this figure. Beneath the crust surface, as revealed in the scoop troughs and the piles of sediment on the right side of each, is finer sand, which is darker brown as compared with the dust on the surface. The left end of each trough wall shows alternating light and dark bands, indicating that the sand inside the drift is not completely uniform. This banding might result from different amounts of infiltrated dust, chemical alteration or deposition of sands of slightly different color. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS