Tag: exoplanets

Recognizing Another Life Form is Questionable

by Bob Allen           September 13, 2018           (nonpareilonline.com)


• As of September 1st, there have been 3,823 confirmed exoplanets discovered in our galaxy, and rocky temperate worlds are plentiful. With the likelihood of extraterrestrial beings inhabiting our galactic neighborhood, Earthlings go about their daily lives in detached complacence.

• If we Earthlings make open contact with a superior civilization, would we be able to accept and adapt? Or would we panic as we did 80 years ago when a radio dramatization of a supposed alien invasion convinced thousands that another life form had, in fact, landed in New Jersey.

• The general conception in the scientific community is that it is highly unlikely that environmental conditions on other exoplanets would be similar to that found on Earth, and therefore its inhabitants, if any, would be nothing like we humans here on Earth.

• The older generation is so completely accustomed to regarding ourselves as the supreme beings in the universe, that the discovery of highly advanced beings and civilizations might be a shattering revelation. Still, older folks are somewhat jealous of younger generations who have amazing technological advances ahead of them. Perhaps even “meeting” a bona fide ET is in the stars for them.

• While there has been no official verification of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, such a discovery – and open contact with them – would bring a true awakening and acceptance of the fact that we have never been alone in the universe.

[Editor’s Note]   Indeed, our ultimate meeting with technologically and spiritually advanced extraterrestrial beings is currently being planned. What can we expect? Insiders such as Corey Goode and Emery Smith (supported by David Wilcock’s other insiders) relate that the vast majority of the beings in our galaxy follow the “star” pattern, i.e.: a head at the top, a torso, two arms and two legs. Corey goes further to say that our star system of 52 stars (including our own Sun) all contain habitable planets, and these planets are dominated by human-like beings that appear very similar to Earth humans. The only real difference, besides their relative progress in technology and consciousness, is that the human civilizations in our locality come in a wide diversity of colors and sizes, depending on their respective environments. But Corey and Emery also relate that there are many types of species that are ‘humanoid’ – having the star body template – but contain the dominant genetics of any type of animal, insect, aquatic fish/mammal, and even some plants found on Earth. So ours is a universe absolutely teeming with intelligent civilizations that include insectoids, reptilians, aquafarians, bird people, and virtually any type of creature or humanoid dreamt of (or appropriated) by science fiction writers.

 

As of Sept. 1, there had been 3,823 confirmed exoplanets discovered in our solar system, and we have learned that rocky, temperate worlds are extremely numerous in our galaxy. Perhaps the next step will involve asking even bigger questions. Could some of these exoplanets host life? And if so, will we be able to recognize life elsewhere if we see it?

With the exception of ongoing projects by the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), earthlings have, for the most part, gone about their daily lives in complacence when it comes to thoughts of extraterrestrials and whether they do indeed exist.

But, again, will we be able to recognize life if and when we see it? Even more important, would we be able to accept and adapt to it?

In a radio presentation 80 years ago, the dramatization of a supposed alien invasion was so realistic that thousands believed another life form had, in fact, landed in New Jersey. People rushed into the streets only partially clothed or struck out aimlessly across open country. Cars raced wildly through crowded streets.

Such a scenario could very well manifest itself if we were successful and made contact with what turned out to be a superior civilization. Although there is no certainty or any way to confirm the sightings, many people believe we have already experienced close encounters of the first kind: the viewing of a UFO.

I am sure there are hundreds, even thousands, who hold a strong belief that Earth has been visited in the past by ETs, but like the unverified UFO sightings, trying to reach a close encounter of the second kind — obtaining and/or verifying its existence — has not yet been accomplished.

If such a discovery were validated, it might make it easier for us to accept the fact that we have never been alone in the universe, and the true awakening will arrive with an encounter of the third kind: actual contact with an ET.

Because we have acquired information on only one form of intelligent, technological life, ourselves, it is not out of the question that we tend to think of extraterrestrial beings as resembling us and being as intelligent. A majority of astronomers and scientists consider that thought process nothing more than wishful thinking.

Considering the number of stars in the heavens and the probability of innumerable exoplanets in orbit around them, it is highly unlikely that their environments are equal to our own here on Earth, and their inhabitants, if any, would be nothing at all like those here on Earth.

As I’ve written before, so completely accustomed are we to regarding ourselves as supreme beings that to discover we are no more an intellectual match for beings elsewhere than our dogs are for us would be a shattering revelation.

Although they probably won’t admit to it, there are members of the older generation (including myself) who are jealous of the younger generations who have technological advances ahead of them that would no doubt astound us older folks. Perhaps “meeting” a bona fide ET is in the stars for them.

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NASA’s TESS Satellite Launches to Seek Out New Alien Worlds

by Mike Wall        April 18, 2018          (space.com)

• On April 18th, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or “TESS” from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (It was delayed two days to tweak the Falcon 9’s rocket’s guidance, navigation and control systems.) TESS’ two-year, $200M mission is to hunt for alien worlds in our local star system. The satellite will focus on the nearest and brightest stars, using its four cameras to look for worlds that may be close enough to be studied in depth by other instruments.

• TESS principal investigator George Ricker says, “TESS is going to dramatically increase the number of planets that we have to study… “It’s going to more than double the number that have been seen and detected by Kepler.” (The Kepler satellite previously mapped 2,650 nearby Exoplanets.) These satellites locate Exoplanets using the “transit method,” by noting tiny brightness dips these worlds cause when they cross their host star.

• TESS will zoom around our planet, on a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit that no spacecraft has ever occupied before. This orbit will take TESS as close to Earth as 67,000 miles and as far away as 232,000 miles. TESS will arrive in its final orbit in mid-June, if all goes according to plan. The science campaign will start shortly thereafter.

The agency’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched today (April 18) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, rising off the pad atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 6:51 p.m. EDT (2251 GMT) and deploying into Earth orbit 49 minutes later.

TESS will hunt for alien worlds around stars in the sun’s neighborhood — planets that other missions can then study in detail. And the spacecraft will be incredibly prolific, if all goes according to plan.

“TESS is going to dramatically increase the number of planets that we have to study,” TESS principal investigator George Ricker, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a pre-launch briefing Sunday (April 15).

“It’s going to more than double the number that have been seen and detected by Kepler,” Ricker added, referring to NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which has spotted 2,650 confirmed exoplanets to date —about 70 percent of all the worlds known beyond our solar system.

And the Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth less than 9 minutes after liftoff today, touching down softly on a robotic SpaceX “drone ship” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX has now pulled off two dozen such landings during Falcon 9 launches — part of the company’s push to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, a breakthrough that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said will revolutionize spaceflight.

SpaceX has re-flown 11 of these first stages to date, but the tally didn’t increase today: This Falcon 9 was brand-new.

Today’s launch was originally scheduled for Monday evening (April 16), but it was delayed by two days to give SpaceX time to investigate a potential issue with the rocket’s guidance, navigation and control systems.

Looking for nearby worlds

Like Kepler, TESS will find alien planets using the “transit method,” noting the tiny brightness dips these worlds cause when they cross their host stars’ faces. But there are some big differences between the missions.

During its prime mission from 2009 through 2013, Kepler stared continuously at a single patch of sky, monitoring about 150,000 stars simultaneously. (Kepler is now embarked on a different mission, called K2, during which it studies a variety of cosmic objects and phenomena, exoplanets among them. But the iconic telescope’s days are numbered; it’s almost out of fuel.) Most of these stars are far from the sun — from several hundred light-years to 1,000 light-years or more.

But TESS will conduct a broad sky survey during its two-year prime mission, covering about 85 percent of the sky. The satellite will focus on the nearest and brightest stars, using its four cameras to look for worlds that may be close enough to be studied in depth by other instruments.

Watch this 4:10 minute NY Times video on the TESS mission

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You Can Now Join the Search for Alien Worlds

by Sequoyah Kennedy          March 13, 2018           (mysteriousuniverse.org)

• When gathering light signal data from various online mega-telescopes in their search for exoplanets, astronomers drew-the-line at a certain level of signal-to-noise ratio that they were able to monitor. This still left a lot of “noise” below that threshold to sift through. So Google is making the search code available to the general public, so that ordinary folks can monitor these feint signals on their computer.

• In a March 8th blog post senior Google software engineer Chris Shallue detailed the “machine learning code” and how it can be used by anyone to help search for alien planets.

• If the feed indicates an anomaly such as a conspicuous dip in the signal, it could indicate a planet moving in front of its Sun. An algorithm calculates the probability of it being an exoplanet. If it is confirmed by a professional astronomer, you have just found a new planet.

• In fact, a new satellite called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will launch April 16, 2018 on a two-year mission to observe potential exoplanets. This will provide still more data for the public to sift through using the Google code. Instructions on how to download and use the code can be found at GitHub.

 

Have you always wanted to explore space and find strange new alien worlds? Are you too lazy to leave your comfortable chair and the warm, reassuring glow of your computer screen? Google has some good news for you armchair star-ship captains out there. The machine-learning code responsible for the discovery of two exoplanets back in December has been released to the public, so you can now join the ongoing search for exoplanets and help uncover the strange secrets of our universe.

In a blog post published Thursday, March 8, senior Google software engineer Chris Shallue detailed the machine-learning code and how it can be used to help search for alien planets. To detect planets outside our solar system using tools like the Kepler space telescope, astronomers look at the light and other cosmic radiation that hits the telescope’s photometer. When there’s a conspicuous dip in an otherwise stable amount of light being detected by the telescope, there’s a chance that a planet, star, or something else may be responsible for blocking out some the light. There’s a chance, too, that it might just be instrumental noise. Once an anomaly in the signal is noticed, an algorithm makes a calculation as to the probability of an exoplanet’s existence. It’s not confirmed, however, until an astronomer manually looks through the data and can make an informed decision about what is causing the anomaly.

Because of the immense amount of data being analyzed, astronomers had to develop a way to avoid being overwhelmed by false positives caused by instrumental noise. A signal-to-noise cutoff ratio is applied to the data and any signals below the cutoff point are deemed too likely to be noise to warrant further review. While necessary, such a practice means there may be a number of actual exoplanets who’s signal was below the cutoff ratio, most likely smaller Earth-sized planets, the planets most likely to harbor alien life. That’s where Google’s code comes in.

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