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  Here’s what we know about the signal from Proxima Centauri
Posted by: skitzo - 12-30-2020, 03:58 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

An enigmatic radio signal from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor, has set the internet ablaze with rumor and speculation. It could turn out to be the real deal — a calling card from another civilization. More likely, it’s much ado about nothing.
The discovery was leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian, which reported the story December 18. Researchers subsequently granted interviews to Scientific American and National Geographic. Since then, however, the discovery team has remained tight-lipped about the signal.
But the information revealed to date is intriguing.

A strange signal
The 64-meter Parkes radio telescope in Australia picked up the faint signal in April and May 2019 while observing Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf 4.25 light-years from Earth. Notably, this feeble star has at least two planets, one of which is a super-Earth with at least 1.17 Earth masses that orbits in the star’s habitable zone — the region around a star where a planet with the right conditions could host liquid water on its surface.

Astronomers were using Parkes to catch radio emission from powerful flares shooting off the star. But the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project, the world’s most advanced SETI endeavor, was piggybacking on the observations to simultaneously search for alien signals.
In late October 2020, Breakthrough Listen intern Shane Smith, an undergraduate at Hillsdale College, found a narrowband transmission at a frequency of 982.002 megahertz — in a portion of the radio spectrum rarely used by human-made transmitters — buried in the data.

Although the press reports are a bit unclear on exactly how and when Parkes detected the signal, it apparently showed up during five 30-minute periods over several days, all while the telescope was pointing directly at Proxima. Notably, when the telescope was turned away from the star, the signal vanished. Ultimately, the signal’s origin appears tightly constrained within a 16'-wide circle — roughly half the size of the Full Moon — around Proxima Centauri on the sky.

Breakthrough Listen employs software filters that reject the cacophony of signals originating from Earth or Earth-orbiting satellites to isolate those coming from deep space. But this transmission was unlike anything the project has previously encountered. Team leader Andrew Siemion told Scientific American, “It has some particular properties that caused it to pass many of our checks, and we cannot yet explain it.”

[Image: ParkesphotofromBobNaeye.jpg?mw=600]
Astronomers using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia have detected a signal of unknown origin coming from the region around Proxima Centauri.

Robert Naeye
Digging deeper
The team has dubbed the signal BLC-1, for Breakthrough Listen Candidate-1. And they are emphasizing the word “candidate.”

Pete Worden, executive director of Breakthrough Listen’s parent organization, Breakthrough Initiatives, told Scientific American that the signal is 99.9 percent likely to be human radio interference. On December 19, he tweeted: “At this point we have some interesting signals we believe are interference but as of yet have not been able to track down the source.”

Based on the information that has been made public, the signal was concentrated into an extremely narrow range of frequencies — the hallmark of an artificial signal and distinctly unlike all known natural radio sources. The transmission was apparently monotone, meaning it was not modulated in a manner that conveys more complex information.

Over the course of the observations, it increased in frequency — essentially rising in pitch — by an unspecified amount, suggesting a source moving toward the telescope. “It could be from the orbital motion of a planet, or from a free-floating transmitter, or from a transmitter on a moon,” Penn State University astronomer Jason Wright wrote on his blog.

But he quickly added, “The most likely explanation is probably that it is a source on the surface of the earth whose frequency is, for whatever reason, very slowly changing.”

Astronomers think the fact that the signal is very close to an integer MHz value strongly suggests a human origin, Wright also wrote. After all, why would aliens transmit signals that match such a specific value of a human-derived unit of measurement?

[Image: 640pxArtists_impression_of_Proxima_Centa...jpg?mw=600]
This artist's concept shows the rocky super-Earth Proxima b, which orbits in Proxima Centauri's habitable zone. Some astronomers have noted the extreme unlikelihood that the nearest civilization would also inhabit the closest planetary system. But Jasom Wright points out that one or more advanced civilizations could have set up a galactic communication network, with Proxima as the closest node to Earth for relaying messages.

ESO/M. Kornmesser
What if?
On the off chance that BLC-1 turns out to be the real deal, it would raise the question of whether humanity should send a reply — something within our current means. Our message could potentially stimulate a response in less than a decade, starting an interstellar dialogue well within the lifetimes of most people alive today. That’s an incredibly exciting prospect.
But this possibility also raises concerning questions about our conversation partners: Who are they? What are their motives? Do they pose a threat? Technologically advanced beings at Proxima Centauri could reach Earth in a few decades if they can traverse interstellar space at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. After all, Breakthrough Initiatives is planning just such a venture with its Starshot project, which plans to use a powerful laser to accelerate about a thousand ultra-lightweight, centimeter-sized craft attached to light sails. Such craft can theoretically attain 15 to 20 percent the speed of light, meaning they could reach the Proxima system in 20 to 30 years.

And what would such a nearby alien civilization know about us?

“I find it difficult to believe that a technological civilization on Proxima Centauri would not know about life on Earth,” says astrobiologist Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. “The only way they would not know is if they are almost exactly at our present-day level of technology, so that we are discovering them the same time they are discovering us. This is generally unlikely, because even a thousand-year difference between our two civilizations — a short time in astronomy — would lead to drastic differences in our detection capabilities.”
Next steps
The Breakthrough Listen team is now working on two scientific papers that will report more details on BLC-1. They are also undoubtedly trying to identify all possible sources of terrestrial interference, as well as determine whether the signal repeats by observing again with Parkes and other radio telescopes, or combing through archival data.

At least for now, BLC-1 is the most tantalizing SETI signal since Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope picked up the powerful “Wow!” signal on August 15, 1977. That 72-second narrowband transmission emanated from the direction of Sagittarius. The signal has never repeated, but it also remains unexplained.

If BLC-1 is simply — as is most likely — human interference, then it's no big deal, perhaps just a bit of an embarrassment to whomever leaked the story to The Guardian. But if BLC-1 is a bona fide extraterrestrial signal, it could change the course of world history. An alien radio transmitter just 4.25 light-years from Earth would be a game changer. No doubt this is why the discovery team has gone silent and is working hard to get its analysis right.

Even if BLC-1 turns out to be human radio interference, detailed analysis will help SETI researchers refine their search parameters to make later searches more efficient.
“Ultimately, I think we’ll be able to convince ourselves that [BLC-1] is interference. But the end result will certainly be that it will make our experiments more powerful in the future,” Siemion told National Geographic.


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  COVID-19 bill started a 180-day countdown for UFO disclosures
Posted by: skitzo - 12-30-2020, 03:46 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

President Trump’s signature Sunday on the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill started a 180-day countdown for the Pentagon and spy agencies to say what they know about UFOs.

The provision received very little attention, in part because it wasn’t included in the text of the 5,593-page legislation, but as a “committee comment” attached to the annual intelligence authorization act, which was rolled into the massive bill.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), said in the comment that it “directs the [director of national intelligence], in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of such other agencies … to submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act, to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena.”

The report must address “observed airborne objects that have not been identified” and should include a “detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data collected by: a. geospatial intelligence; b. signals intelligence; c. human intelligence; and d. measurement and signals intelligence,” the committee said.

The report must also contain “[a] detailed analysis of data of the FBI, which was derived from investigations of intrusions of unidentified aerial phenomena data over restricted United States airspace … and an assessment of whether this unidentified aerial phenomena activity may be attributed to one or more foreign adversaries.”

Former Pentagon and legislative officials confirmed Tuesday to the publication The Debrief that the package begins the clock on UFO disclosures.

Defense Department spokesperson Sue Gough told The Post: “We are aware that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence committee report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 2021 included a requirement for the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to submit a report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) within 180 days of enactment.”

Spokespeople for Rubio, who pushed for more UFO transparency, did not respond to The Post’s multiple requests for comment.

The push for more information follows the Pentagon’s April publication of three Navy videos showing unidentified objects.

Chris Mellon, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, told The Debrief that “the newly enacted Intelligence Authorization Act incorporates the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report language calling for an unclassified, all-source report on the UAP phenomenon. This was accomplished in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill.”

“Consequently, it’s now fair to say that the request for an unclassified report on the UAP phenomenon enjoys the support of both parties in both Houses of Congress,” said Mellon, who is also a former staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Assuming the Executive Branch honors this important request, the nation will at long last have an objective basis for assessing the validity of the issue and its national security implications. This is an extraordinary and long overdue opportunity.”

Mellon added: “I’m hopeful the new Administration will rigorously execute its oversight prerogatives because the concerns of the public and numerous U.S. military personnel have been ignored by a complacent national security bureaucracy for far too long.”

Nick Pope, who ran the “UFO office” of the UK’s Ministry of Defence, told The Post, “I welcome this move, which shows how seriously the phenomenon is being taken in the intelligence community.”

Pope said that “the Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force is probably already drafting the report for DNI to send to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Questions remain about what the report will say and how much can ever be made public, given the highly classified nature of some of the material, but this is a step in the right direction.”

Trump as commander-in-chief has brushed off questions about UFOs and possible alien life. “I’m not a believer, but you know, I guess anything is possible,” he said in an interview last year.

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  Great video of the fireball over West Virginia
Posted by: skitzo - 12-29-2020, 07:17 AM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (1)


It looks like it's moving slowly. The other videos show distinct two pieces. Haven't seen anyone claim it was their space junk.

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Thumbs Up NORADs Santa Tracker
Posted by: skitzo - 12-24-2020, 11:40 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies


[Image: giphy.gif]

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  Asteroid bigger than the Statue of Liberty will fly past Earth on Christmas Day, NASA
Posted by: Trunk - 12-24-2020, 10:49 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

  • Asteroid measuring up to 690 feet in diameter set to pass tomorrow, NASA says

  • This is over twice the length of the 305-foot-tall Statue of Liberty in New York

  • The asteroid (2014 SD224) will be travelling at more than 22,000 miles per hour
An asteroid bigger than the Statue of Liberty will fly past Earth at 8:20pm GMT on Christmas Day, according to data from NASA's Center for Near Earth Studies.

The asteroid, called 2014 SD224, will come within 0.02019 astronomical units, or nearly 1.9 million miles, from the Earth's surface.  
2014 SD224 has a diameter anywhere between 302 and 690 feet (92 to 210 metres) – meaning it could be more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty (305 feet) or bigger than Salisbury Cathedral (404 feet). 
As 2014 SD224 flies past Earth, it will be travelling at a speed of 10 kilometres per second or more than 22,000 miles per hour – roughly 30 times the speed of sound. 

Despite being around eight times further out than the Moon, the asteroid is classed as a near Earth object (NEO) and is being tracked by the space agency. 

Although 2014 SD224 – which can be tracked on NASA's website – is at a distance of 1.9 million miles away, this is relatively close in astronomical terms. 

For this reason, 2014 SD224 is defined by NEO, although it's not expected to do damage. 

NEOs are an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it into or through a zone between approximately 91 million and 121 million miles (195 million km) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million km) of Earth’s orbit.

If the object is larger than 460 feet (140 meters) across, it is considered a potentially hazardous object (PHO).

'NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood,' said NASA.

'Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

'The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.'

According to publicly available NASA data, there have been 24,629 NEOs discovered, as of Tuesday. 

It is estimated that there are about 25,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) larger than 460 feet (140 metres).

And there are also an estimated 1,000 NEOs larger than 3,280 feet (one kilometre), highlighting the need to keep track of these space rocks.

On average, Earth is hit by a football pitch-sized rock every 5,000 years, and a civilisation-ending asteroid every one million years, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program. 

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  Parallel World Probably Exist. Here's Why.
Posted by: skitzo - 12-24-2020, 09:06 AM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

The most elegant interpretation of quantum mechanics is the universe is constantly splitting.


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  UFO Seen In Argentine During an Eclipse 2020-12-14
Posted by: skitzo - 12-24-2020, 09:04 AM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

Interesting videos with views from many angles and many different reporters.


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Question 'Wow!' Again? SETI Mystery Signal Could Long Puzzle Astronomers
Posted by: skitzo - 12-23-2020, 09:05 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

A recently detected SETI signal could end up being this generation's version of the famous "Wow!" signal of 1977: an intriguing mystery that keeps astronomers guessing for decades.

In May 2015, a team of researchers using a Russian radio telescope spotted a strong radio signal coming from the vicinity of the sunlike star HD 164595, which lies 94 light-years away from Earth.

The signal is consistent with something an alien civilization might send out, astronomers have said. But that's just one scenario, and not the most likely one, researchers cautioned; the signal may also have resulted from a natural celestial event or terrestrial interference of some sort.

Without a follow-up detection or confirmation, humanity may never know the signal's true origin, said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California. (Shostak was not part of the detection team.)

"If they can't find it again, and if we [at SETI] can't find it, all we can say is, 'Gosh, I wonder what it was,'" Shostak told Space.com.

That's pretty much all that astronomers can say about the Wow! signal, a 72-second-long event picked up by the Big Ear radio observatory at The Ohio State University in August 1977.

The 1977 signal received its name after a volunteer astronomer named Jerry Ehman wrote "Wow!" on a computer printout of the signal's transmission record. Ehman made the comment after finding the radio signal was 30 times stronger than background emissions.

Astronomers never discovered any evidence linking the Wow! signal to an alien civilization, and, despite recent efforts from the SETI Institute, a repeat detection of that signal has not been made. Researchers did conclude the signal was coming from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

"There are going to be signals that you see once and don't see again," Shostak added. "It's like people who see ghosts. If you see it once, but when you go back, with a camera and all that, it's not there, what do you conclude from that?”
The May 2015 and Wow! signals are analogous in another way, Shostak said: Both seemed to appear and then disappear quite quickly. This doesn't seem consistent with a signal from an orbiting satellite, which would be in range of the radio telescope for longer stretches, he said.

"The thought is: Well, that wouldn't be a satellite. A satellite would be on, and maybe it'd be on for a minute or something like that. It wouldn't just go up and down right away," Shostak said.
Astronomers know that HD 164595 houses a roughly Neptune-mass world, but this close-orbiting planet is likely far too hot to host life as it exists on Earth. But it's possible that other planets lie undiscovered in the system, Shostak said.

The team of astronomers who spotted the May 2015 signal apparently studied the HD 164595  system 39 different times but made just the one detection, Shostak said. The detection team has not yet published a study of its findings. Instead, the researchers plan to discuss the signal next month at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The detection of the May 2015 signal was made public on Aug. 27 by Centauri Dreams' Paul Gilster, who wrote that one of the astronomers on the detection team forwarded him the IAC presentation.

In hopes of learning more about this possible extraterrestrial signal, astronomers from the SETI Institute focused the Allen Telescope Array in California at HD 164595 Sunday night (Aug. 28) and Monday night (Aug. 29), Shostak said.


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Lightbulb Most Popular Dates for Sightings (as of December 2020)
Posted by: skitzo - 12-23-2020, 07:27 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (3)

Another top 20 list. This one's a bit more interesting. You have dates you'd expect to see more sightings with firework celebrations (Fourth of July, New Years Eve). However this one has some strange dates bubbling to the top. I'd love to hear if anyone has any insight to what may have happened on these dates to cause a spike in reports. There is no concentration of cities within the dates.

  1. 2013-01-01
  2. 2002-11-30
  3. 2001-01-01
  4. 2015-11-08
  5. 2014-01-01
  6. 2012-07-22 
  7. 2012-07-02 
  8. 2012-05-21 
  9. 2012-01-01 
  10. 2012-06-07 
  11. 2012-07-04 
  12. 2014-07-05 
  13. 2019-06-06
  14. 2014-07-04
  15. 2013-01-01 
  16. 2010-07-05
  17. 2012-07-05 
  18. 2015-07-04
  19. 2015-01-01
  20. 2009-09-20 

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Lightbulb Top Cities for Sightings (as of December 2020)
Posted by: skitzo - 12-23-2020, 07:19 PM - Forum: General Discussion - No Replies

I'll start dropping out interesting aggregations of data from the databases from time to time. This one unfortunately isn't too interesting.  Big Grin As you'd expect major US cities bubbled right up to the top. 

The first place it gets interesting is at position 32. Canton, Ohio shows up as an outlier. A smaller mid-sized city showing up above much larger population centers.

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Phoenix 
  3. New York 
  4. Las Vegas 
  5. Portland 
  6. Montgomery 
  7. San Diego 
  8. Chicago 
  9. Tucson 
  10. Houston 
  11. Seattle 
  12. Albuquerque 
  13. Denver 
  14. Austin 
  15. Orlando 
  16. San Francisco 
  17. Washington 
  18. Philadelphia 
  19. San Antonio 
  20. Miami 

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