Tag: asteroids

Could Nearby Asteroids Be Hideouts for Alien Spies?

by Eric Mack                   March 26, 2019                   (cnet.com)

• The vast majority of asteroids orbit the sun in a wide belt between Jupiter and Mars. Some wander farther into the inner solar system near Earth’s orbit. There’s a rarer type of object called a “quasi-satellite” that may spend centuries or longer making oddly shaped orbits around our planet. One example is asteroid 2016 HO3, also known as “Earth’s Constant Companion” (pictured above). These ‘co-orbital objects’ have only come to our attention in the past decade, for the most part. (watch 1:14 minute video on asteroid 2016 HO3 below)

• James Benford, a SETI enthusiast (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has authored a paper that postulates that these “co-orbital objects [are] an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence to locate a probe to observe Earth while not being easily seen.” Benford refers to alien spies the sky as “lurkers.” We may not have noticed anything because any sort of ancient automated alien spy system could be dead or lie dormant for long periods of time.

• James Benford’s twin brother Gregory, an astrophysicist, also weighs in saying, “Lurkers from the far past may have done their duty and slowly failed … the ruins of Lurker installations, including mining for resources on nearby orbiting sites, may be visible, even though their animating intelligences are long gone.” “This means we should consider searches over decades-long time scales.”

• SETI focuses on looking beyond our solar system and essentially listening to distant stars for signs of life. James Benford argues that it’s much easier to prove or disprove some alien construction is in a near-Earth orbit. “We can observe them, ping them with radar, transmit messages to them, send robotic probes to them and visit them with human spacecraft missions,” writes Benford.

• Douglas Vakoch, formerly of the SETI Institute and currently president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), which is funded in part by NASA, says, “The notion of searching for lurkers by transmitting to likely locations in our solar system provides an intriguing possibility for finding common ground in Active SETI.” “Some of the same individuals who have been cautious about Active SETI transmissions to other stars are advocates of pinging nearby aliens — on the grounds that the extraterrestrials would already know we are here.”

• The idea that an extraterrestrial spy satellite might be hidden near our planet isn’t new. The late Stanford professor Ronald Bracewell proposed in a 1960 paper that advanced alien civilizations might place artificial intelligence near inhabited planets to monitor the progress of less advanced worlds and perhaps make contact at some point.

• “What have we to lose by checking out these objects?” Benford writes. “Nobody has really looked at these co-orbitals, other than orbital calculations and faint images. We know almost nothing about them.” Benford plans to submit his paper to the Astrophysical Journal.

 

Plans are in the works to send a tiny spacecraft to another star system in search of alien life. But what if another civilization has already launched a similar mission to observe Earth without our knowledge?

James Benford, who authored the definitive book on high-power microwaves and has written about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, says in a draft paper that a “recently discovered group of nearby co-orbital objects is an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to locate a probe to observe Earth while not being easily seen.”

              James Benford

In the paper, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, Benford refers to alien eyes in (or above) the sky as “lurkers.” He goes on to give several examples of co-orbital objects (all of which are probably asteroids) that could be worth checking for them.

Benford runs a company called Microwave Sciences that designs and consults on high-power microwave systems. He often collaborates on his SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) work with his twin brother Gregory Benford, a noted science-fiction author, and his son Dominic Benford, a scientist at NASA.

While the vast majority of asteroids orbit the sun in a wide belt between Jupiter and Mars, some wander farther into the inner solar system near Earth’s orbit.

There’s an even rarer type of object called a “quasi-satellite” that may spend centuries or longer making often oddly shaped orbits around our planet. One example is asteroid 2016 HO3, also known as “Earth’s Constant Companion,” which is detailed in the below video from NASA.

The idea that an extraterrestrial spy satellite might be hidden near our planet isn’t new. The late Stanford electrical engineering professor Ronald Bracewell proposed in an oft-referenced 1960 paper that advanced alien civilizations might place artificial intelligence near inhabited planets to monitor the progress of less advanced worlds and perhaps make contact at some point.

Of course, we have observatories keeping watch on the thousands of known near-Earth objects and discovering new ones almost daily. A handful of asteroids has been visited by spacecraft, including NASA’s Osiris-Rex and Japan’s Hayabusa-2 that are currently orbiting space rocks. So far, such observations have yielded no evidence of anything alien or artificial.

But the co-orbital objects that Benford said deserve more attention are relatively new discoveries, having come to our attention in the past decade for the most part. And we may not have noticed anything because any sort of automated alien spy system placed long ago could be dead or lie dormant for long periods of time, making it difficult to detect.

1:14 minute NASA video on Asteroid 2016 Ho3 – Earth’s Constant Companion

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Research Laying Groundwork For Off-World Colonies

March 4, 2019                        (sciencedaily.com)

• The University of Central Florida’s Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science’s Exolith Lab creates simulated extraterrestrial surface material, ranging from lunar soil to Martian dirt, in order to lay the “groundwork” (pun intended) for establishing off-world colonies. Their most recent study is on asteroid surfaces, which Phil Metzger, a planetary scientist at UCF and lead author of the study, published in the journal Icarus.

• The wealth management company Morgan Stanley estimates that the space economy will be worth more than $1.1 trillion by 2040. Metzger believes that by the end of the century there will be more economic activity off planet Earth than on planet Earth. “With economics moving in that direction, it’s important for us to get a head start trying to create the regulatory and engineering environments to make sure everything is done safely and justly,” Metzger says.

• The team measured meteorites’ (as reference material) mineralogical composition; elemental composition; densities of rocks and crushed rocks known as regolith; mechanical strength; magnetic susceptibility; volatile release pattern; and particle size destruction. This standardization is highly needed, Metzger said, as previous attempts at creating simulated extraterrestrial surface material have used everything from floral foam to beach sand. If tests are performed on simulant that isn’t similar to the real thing or is not suited for that test, then it makes the test results invalid.

• The team achieved a “high-fidelity simulant”, which “will be very valuable for companies doing asteroid mining, doing tests of constructions of facilities and landing pads, metal extraction and more,” says Metzger. The studies’ co-author, Dan Britt added, “I think we did a good job of producing a simulant that mimics the parent asteroidal material pretty well.”

• Metzger said the research team will continue to grade simulants created in the Exolith Lab as well as offer their grading system to simulants created in other labs. They will also be receiving feedback from the community about improvements in the grading system and will work with the American Society of Civil Engineers for consensus on having the grading standards adopted.

[Editor’s Note] They’re right about there being more economic activity off-planet than on the Earth by the end of the century. Because this is already true. According to Corey Goode, the largest and most technologically advanced secret space program is the interplanetary Corporate Conglomerate (ICC), which is made up by dozens of mega-rich, multi-national corporations on Earth that have established at least fifteen work colonies on Mars, and who know where else, to manufacture unique technology-based goods, and is conducting ongoing trade with at least nine hundred extraterrestrial species throughout the galaxy.

 

University of Central Florida researchers are already laying the groundwork for the off-world jump by creating standards for extraterrestrial surfaces. Their work was detailed recently in a study published in the journal Icarus.

“I’m firmly convinced that by the end of the century there will be more economic activity off planet Earth than on planet Earth,” says Phil Metzger, a planetary scientist at UCF and lead author of the study.

              Phil Metzger

According to the wealth management company, Morgan Stanley estimates the space economy will be worth more than $1.1 trillion by 2040.

“With economics moving in that direction, it’s important for us to get a head start trying to create the regulatory and engineering environments to make sure everything is done safely and justly,” Metzger says.

In the study, Metzger and the team of researchers outlined standards for simulated extraterrestrial surface material and then applied the standards to a simulated extraterrestrial surface material created in the Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science’s Exolith Lab housed at UCF.

While extraterrestrial surface material can range from lunar soil to Martian dirt, Metzger and the researchers created standards specifically for asteroid surfaces in this study.

                      Dan Britt

The team measured mineralogical composition; elemental composition; densities of rocks and crushed rocks known as regolith; mechanical strength; magnetic susceptibility; volatile release pattern; and particle size destruction.

This standardization is highly needed, Metzger said, as previous attempts at creating simulated extraterrestrial surface material have used everything from floral foam to beach sand.

If tests are performed on simulant that isn’t similar to the real thing or is not suited for that test, then it makes the test results invalid, Metzger said.

“We have to communicate what the properties are so everyone knows its limitations so they won’t use it for a test it wasn’t designed to simulate,” Metzger said.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Will asteroids replace terrorism as the new global threat?

JPL/NASA graphic of Asteroid 2012 DA14
JPL/NASA graphic of Asteroid 2012 DA14

JPL/NASA graphic of Asteroid 2012 DA14 An incoming asteroid scheduled to pass Earth this coming Friday February 15 is generating much press attention as a new kind of threat facing humanity. At its closest approach Asteroid 2012 DA14 which is 150 feet long, will be 17,200 miles from the Earth. Less than 1/10 the distance to the moon, and within the outer orbits of communication and weather satellites. That qualifies as a very near miss in astronomical terms. In a NASA media teleconference held last Thursday, the consequences of an impact (which NASA emphasized would not happen this time) would be similar to the 1908 Tunguska event where a forest area of 750 square miles was destroyed in Siberia. In a CNN video interview held yesterday, the head of the Planetary Society, Bill Nye, emphasized that a large metropolitan area such as Atlanta, Boston or New York would be obliterated by an impact of something similar in size to Asteroid 2012 DA14. NASA pointed out that only 1% of asteroids the size of 2012 DA14 have been discovered. Presently, there is no effective global defense system against incoming asteroids. Critics claim that NASA is deliberatedly hyping the global threat posed by asteroids as part of a secret strategy to weaponize space. Is the media attention over Asteroid DA14 justified, or is increasing media interest part of an orchestrated secret strategy where asteroids replace terrorism as the preeminent global threat?

In Thursday’s media teleconference, NASA emphasized that the asteroid will definitely miss the Earth. It was pointed out that the Earth may not be as fortunate in future since only 1% of asteroids of similar size are known by NASA’s Near Earth Object Program. An asteroid the size of 2012 DA14, if it impacted, would be similar to the Tungaska event of 1908, according to NASA scientists and cause regional devastation. NASA’s Near Earth Object Program has a 20 million dollar budget, and lacks funding to track all near Earth objects. NASA relies on astronomers at various public and private observatories around the world to find and track asteroids such as 2012 DA14 which was discovered on February 23, 2012.

At the NASA media teleconference, NEO program scientists including its Program Manager and Chief Scientist, Dr Donald Yeomans from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory gave further details and answered questions about Asteroid 2012 DA14. Yeoman and his colleagues also gave responses to submitted questions prior to the media teleconference. In response to the question, “What would happen if DA14 were to impact Earth?” they explained:

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will not impact Earth, but if another asteroid of a size similar to that of 2012 DA14 (about 150 feet across) were to impact Earth, it would release approximately 2.5 megatons of energy in the atmosphere and would be expected to cause regional devastation. A comparison to the impact potential of an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 could be made to the impact of a near-Earth object that occurred in 1908 in Tunguska, Siberia. Known in the asteroid community as the “Tunguska Event,” this impact of an asteroid just slightly smaller than 2012 DA14 (approximately 100 – 130 feet/30-40 meters across) is believed to have flattened about 750 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) of forest in and around the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

In response to the question, what is “NASA doing about Near-Earth objects,” Yeoman and his colleagues explain:

The NASA Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The network of projects supported by this program, commonly called “Spaceguard,” discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

Spaceguard was a term coined by Arthur C. Clark in his book, Rendezvous with Rama. Like in Clark’s book, Spaceguard is a global detection system for asteroids, comets, or near-Earth objects in general, that have a potential to impact the earth. A 1992 U.S. Congressional Study produced a Spaceguard Survey Report that mandated NASA locate 90% of large (greater than 1 km) near-Earth asteroids within 10 years. Serious funding began for Spaceguard after the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter in 1994 that released the energy equivalent six million megatons of TNT (100,000 times the largest hydrogen bomb ever tested). Enough for an Extinction Level Event (ELE) were something similar in size to hit earth.  

NASA’s Near Earth Object Office attempts to balance monitoring the threats posed by NEOs and not unnecessarily causing public alarm. The budget for tracking potential hazardous objects is relatively small, giving NASA, according to some critics, a vested interest in hyping the threat posed by NEOs. That certainly was the opinion of Richard C. Hoagland who believed that NASA was hyping the threat posed by Asteroid 2012 DA14 to increase its funding. Hoagland has a point. NASA is desperate for funds since its budget was cut for 2012, and frozen for the next three years at a time of increasing inflation. Listening to Bill Nye in his CNN interview, it’s clear that Nye was also hyping the threat posed by Near Earth objects using gestures and language to emphasize their danger to humanity.

The increasing media hype over the threat posed by asteroids leads to the scenario that they may in future replace global terrorism as the new preeminent threat to humanity. This scenario in fact was clearly anticipated nearly forty years ago by one of NASA’s pioneers, Dr Werner Von Braun.

According to Carol Rosin, who worked with Von Braun in his final years, he became increasingly concerned over secret plans to create new global threats to justify a military buildup in outer space:

When I was a Corporate Manager of Fairchild Industries from 1974 through 1977, I met the late Dr. Wernher Von Braun. We first met in early 1974. At that time, Von Braun was dying of cancer but he assured me that he would live a few more years to tell me about the game that was being played- that game being the effort to weaponize space, to control the Earth from space and space itself…. As practically a deathbed speech, he educated me about those concepts and who the players were in this game…. What was most interesting to me was a repetitive sentence that he said to me over and over again during the approximately four years that I had the opportunity to work with him. He said the strategy that was being used to educate the public and decision makers was to use scare tactics That was how we identify an enemy.

The strategy that Wernher Von Braun taught me was that first the Russians are going to be considered to be the enemy. In fact, in 1974, they were the enemy, the identified enemy. We were told that they had “killer satellites”. We were told that they were coming to get us and control us — that they were “Commies.”

Then terrorists would be identified, and that was soon to follow. We heard a lot about terrorism. Then we were going to identify third-world country “crazies.” We now call them Nations of Concern. But he said that would be the third enemy against whom we would build space-based weapons.

The next enemy was asteroids. Now, at this point he kind of chuckled the first time he said it. Asteroids-against asteroids we are going to build space-based weapons.

If Rosin is correct, then Werner Von Braun believed that NASA would eventually begin to hype the threat posed by asteroids and near earth objects as part of a secret strategy to make asteroids the new global threat. While NASA went to some length to emphasize that Asteroid 2012 DA14 did not threaten the earth, the media frenzy created by NASA’s detailed media teleconference is creating a public perception of asteroids as a new global threat.

It is not far-fetched to speculate that if an asteroid the size of Asteroid 2012 DA14 were ever to impact the earth and cause regional devastation that included parts of the USA, that we would have a new 911 event. The U.S. would lead a global coalition of the willing to transform Spaceguard from an NEO early detection system to a preventive system equipped with advanced space based weapons. More disturbing would be the possibility that elements of a highly classified US led space fleet discovered by the British hacker, Gary McKinnon, could deliberately steer an asteroid to impact the Earth to create the world’s first space-based false flag event.

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

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