Sunday, February 08, 2009

Seen From Space: Big Week in Space News (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Pretty much a puff-piece on SpaceX, but interesting timing nonetheless.

Number of alien worlds quantified
Intelligent civilisations are out there and there could be thousands of them, according to an Edinburgh scientist.

The discovery of more than 330 planets outside our solar system in recent years has helped refine the number of life forms that are likely to exist.

The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.
Is There a Planet X?
Planet X would be the most significant addition to the solar system since the discovery of Pluto, the now notorious non-planet, in 1930. When the International Astronomical Union voted to downgrade Pluto to dwarf planet status in 2006, they established three criteria for a fully blown planet in our solar system: it must orbit the sun; its gravity must suffice to mould it into a near-spherical shape; and it must be massive enough to have ploughed its orbit clear of other bits and bobs. Pluto falls down on this third point. It is just one of many Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), icy bits of debris that pepper space from Neptune's orbit at 30 astronomical units out to around 50 AU, where 1 AU is the distance between Earth and the sun.
Telescope sees smallest exoplanet
The smallest planet yet found outside the Solar System has been detected by a French space telescope. The rocky world is less than twice the size of Earth. Only a handful of planets have so far been found with a mass comparable to Earth, Venus, Mars or Mercury.
Google Mars launches
NASA and Google announced Monday the release of a new Mars mode in Google Earth that brings to everyone’s desktop a high-res, 3D view of the Red Planet.

According to a NASA news release, the mode enables users “to fly virtually through enormous canyons and scale huge mountains on Mars that are much larger than any found on Earth.” Users can explore the planet through the eyes of Mars rovers and see satellite imagery from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other probes.
UPDATE: Reader PJ noted the NASA/Google project, The Singularity University:
Singularity University, which will be housed on the NASA Ames base near Mountain View and begin classes in June, is the brainchild of Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis. The two world-renowned scientists were expected to unveil their plans at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference beginning in Long Beach today.

The school hopes to attract students from a cross section of emerging disciplines - including nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology - to tackle huge issues facing humanity.
Interesting collaboration. Maybe "Singularity" and "Disclosure" are somehow connected.

UPDATE II: Not exactly space news, but tying back to the Hulu ad:
Internet users in the United States watched a record 14.3 ("17"- CK) billion online videos in December, an increase of 13 percent over the previous month, according to comScore, an Internet marketing research firm. Popular site YouTube led the growth charge, accounting for almost half the incremental gain in videos viewed.

Internet TV services such as Hulu, Joost and Veoh also are feeding off a new generation of tech-savvy users in search of cheap access to video content.- CNN


  1. CK!

    Apparently, NASA and Google, are going further with collaboration. They also plan the " Singularity University". Cute name too! Only for the Einstein with cash.
    the idea came from Ray Kurzweil's book ,"the singularity is here" 2005.

    But I still think Pluto isn't just a piece of rock left down there. One day we will know


  2. whos version on Mars is that anyway?




  3. Ray Kurzweil, huh? In addition to the more common application of "amusement" (antonymic of langweilig = boring) - Kurzweil also means "pastime" and "diversion".

  4. Wow. We can see planets outside our solar system, but we can't see the remnants of the Apollo missions from here on earth. Oh, well, I'm sure there's a VERY good explanation.

    Now Mars is all mapped and ready for the public. I believe. Oh, I believe they're always telling us the truth.

  5. Armageddon Thru To You

    If you've been wondering why it seems like the world around us is unraveling, it's because the last days as foretold in the bible are now upon us. Just as it was 2000 years ago, many were unable to discern the signs of Jesus Christ's first coming (Mat 16:3), as will many concerning his second coming, which will occur very soon. Yes many have proclaimed a similar sentiment many times in the past, but their errors have no bearing on today other than to lull you into spiritual apathy, and that too was prophesied to occur in the last days.

    If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist, consider that the underlying impetus for your disbelief is most likely borne of pride and here's why:

    When we die, if you as an atheist were right, then there is no upside or downside for anyone regarding the afterlife. We will all simply cease to exist

    However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

    Given the choices, the position held by an atheist is a fools bet any way you look at it because the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is tantamount to accepting a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss proposition from someone. And that someone by the way is Satan (see Ephesians 6:12).

    The only way to explain the attitude held by an atheist is pride, pure and simple. The intellectually dishonest and/or tortured reasoning used by atheists to try and disprove the existence of God is nothing more than attempts to posture themselves as superior (a symptom of pride). And as anyone who has read their bible knows, this is precisely the character flaw that befell Lucifer, God's formerly most high angel. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Is it any wonder then why the bible is so replete with references to pride as the cause of mankind's downfall?

    Pride permeates our lives and burdens us in ways that most of us seldom recognize. Ironically, pride is the one thing that can blind someone to things even the unsighted can see. And sadly pride will blind many with an otherwise good heart, to accepting the offer of eternal salvation that Christ bought and paid for with his life.

    In any event, if you're an atheist, I wish you only the best for every day of the rest of your life because for you, this life is as close to heaven as you'll ever get, but for believers in Christ, this life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.

    If you're not a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because you are of another faith, please take the time to very carefully compare your faith to Christianity and ask yourself, why is the bible the only religious book with both hundreds of proven prophecies already fulfilled as well as those being fulfilled today? No other religion can claim anything remotely close to this fact. Many Christians who are serious students of bible prophecy are already aware of the role and significance of bible prophecy in foretelling end time events. God gave us prophecy as evidence of his divine holiness to know the begining from the end (Isa 46:10). God also believed prophecy to be so important that to those willing to read the most prophetic book in the bible, the Book of Revelation, he promised a special blessing (see Rev 1:3), and this is the only book in the bible that God gives its reader a special blessing for reading. Something to think about.

    Don't risk losing Christ's offer of eternal life by not accepting him as your savior and by thinking that the bible is nothing more than a compilation of unrelated and scattered stories about people who lived 2,000 plus years ago. If you take the time to study (not just read) the bible, you will literally be shocked to learn things you would have never imagined would be revealed in it. Did you know that like parables, God also uses particular months and days in the Jewish calendar, Jewish Feasts and customs, solar and lunar phases, celestial alignments, gematria (Hebrew numerology) early bible events and more as patterns and models to foretell future events?

    Consider the following interesting facts about the bible that testify to its God-inspired authorship:

    Did you know that in Gen 12:2, God said he would bless Israel?. How else can you explain the grossly disproportionate level of success achieved by Jewish people as a tiny minority in the world, especially after all they have gone through? And how can you explain the success achieved by the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by enemies outnumbering them 100 to 1 and yet still they remain victorious in all their wars?

    Did you know that as evidence to indicate that Israel is the epicenter of the world from God's point of view is the fact that languages to the west of Israel are written and read from left to right as if pointing to Israel, and languages from countries to the east of Israel are written and read from right to left, again as though pointing to Israel. Just a coincidence, you say? I think not.

    Did you know that the six days of creation and seventh day of rest in Genesis is a model for the six thousand years of this age (ending very soon), that is to be followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign by Christ (see 2 Peter 3:8)? Adam was born sometime prior to 4000 B.C., therefore our 6000 years are almost up.

    Did you kow that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden in the meaning of the Hebrew names listed in the genealogy of the book of Genesis (Research it online)? To deny this was God-inspired, one has to instead believe that a group of Jewish rabbis conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right inside a genealogy of their venerated Torah, which is not a very plausible explanation.

    Did you know that solar eclipses, which the bible describes as the sun being black as sackcloth, and lunar eclipses, which the bible refers to as blood red moons, have prophetic meaning? Research it online. God showed Adam (and us) his plan for man's redemption through the use of celestial alignments. (research Mazzaroth online)

    Did you know that much of the symbolism in the book of revelation refers to planetary alignments that will occur when certain events occur as prophesied? These planetary alignments also explained the birth of Christ, just search out The Bethlehem Star movie on the Internet.

    Did you know that the references in Eze 39:4-17 and Rev 19:17-21 in the battle of Gog/Magog and Armageddon respectively, in which birds of prey will eat the flesh of the dead in battle from two enormous wars is based on fact? The largest bird migration in the world consisting of bilions of birds (34 species of raptors and various carrion birds) from several continents converge and fly over Israel every spring and fall. Coincidence? I think not.

    Did you know that Hebrew numerology, also known as Gematria, and the numbers with biblical and prophetic significance are hidden in the Star of David? Google the video called "Seal of Jesus Christ"

    Did you know that the seven Churches mentioned at the beginning of the Book of Revelation describe the seven stages the Church will go through?

    There are literally hundreds of hidden messages in the bible like these that testify to the fact that the bible was God inspired, and statistically speaking, are all exponentially beyond the likelihood of any coincidence. You can find them yourselves if you only take the time to look into it. Remember Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings".

    And finally, if you are Catholic, or one who subscribes to the emergent Church or seeker-friendly Church movement, please compare the doctrine taught, advocated or accepted by your Church, with the actual bible, notwithstanding some new-age version of the bible. And remember that although the bible is often referred to as the living bible, the word "living" was never intended to imply in any way that the bible "evolves" over time to meet, or be consistent with, the standards of man. It's just the opposite.

    Well, am I getting through to you? If not, the answer might be explained in the response given by Jesus Christ in his Olivet discourse when he was asked by his disciples why he spoke the way he did (in parables, etc.) in the book of Matthew 13:10-16. What Jesus said could have easily been paraphrased more clearly as "so that the damned won't get it". Why did Christ respond the way he did when asked why he spoke this way? Is there something about pride (the bible says there is) that closes one's heart to seeing or hearing the messages supernaturally hidden in bible parables, models, typologies, and similes, etc.? That should give you something to think about, but don't take too long. Time is now very short.

    If it sometimes seems like there are powers at work behind the powers we know, remember what it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." If you study the bible, it will become clearer.

    And by the way, if you are a scoffer, this too was prophesied to occur in the last days. See 2 Peter 3:3.

    Thank you and God Bless you! (at)

  6. I downloaded "Google Mars" and I'm kind of disappointed. They managed to make it look like a big, uninteresting ball of dirt. Hopefully someone will make some patches to include the cities and monuments in the Cydonia region, which I couldn't find (and honestly wasn't thrilled enough to scan the entire planet looking for it) and the only searches for Cydonia bring up craters and stuff.

    I'm glad at least one person "on the inside" is reporting intelligent civilization that isn't on this planet. Doesn't take a genius to figure that out...

  7. "Did you know that as evidence to indicate that Israel is the epicenter of the world from God's point of view is the fact that languages to the west of Israel are written and read from left to right as if pointing to Israel, and languages from countries to the east of Israel are written and read from right to left, again as though pointing to Israel. Just a coincidence, you say? I think not."

    No, it's not a coincidence- it's a falsehood. Russia is to the east of Israel and its language is read left to right. Egypt, Libya and Morocco are to the west of Israel and they read right to left. The Etruscan language was read right to left as well and Egyptian Heiroglyphs were often done so as well.

    Tradition Asian languages like Chinese were originally written top to bottom. Several Southeast Asian languages are written left to right.

    Moreover, Hebrew is a descendant of earlier Semitic languages such as Sumerian.

    But thanks for your reply. Maybe some other Christians will find it interesting.

    The Bible is capital B, by the way.

  8. Tommy, Mars is a dead planet. But by the same token I wouldn't be surprised if the interesting stuff is retouched or deleted.

    The best way to judge if there is something on Mars we need to look at is the behavior of the space agencies. If they are showing an elevated level of interest in Mars then they are probably doing so for a compelling reason.

    And thanks as always to everyone for the comments and the links!

  9. The Armageddon Dude spake:
    When we die, if you as an atheist were right, then there is no upside or downside for anyone regarding the afterlife. We will all simply cease to exist

    However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation
    "Hedging Your Bet" is absolutely the WORST reason to subscribe to any religion.

    This is why I remain Agnostic.

    We're in a struggle between Fear and Courage. I will not sell out to Fear as I seek Truth.

    St. Thomas was saved even after he doubted Jesus' resurrection. He was allowed to conduct his own experiment and see the truth for himself. John 20:25-29

    Would that you, dear Armageddon, allow your fellows to explore their world(s) and see the Truth for themselves, even as you learn about the world and the people around you. Take the beam out of your own eye before you worry about the mote in mine.

    (It helps to be Minister's child.)

  10. Arm e geddon dude take your xtian setian smoke and mirrors and and and** **** ********. What non-sense. If you fear God or anything you become a slave to it. Syncro mystics tend to observe such fools badly. Dennis from Oregon.

  11. I searched for the Face on Mars in Google Mars, and right below it where you would normally see the pyramids and the "city", there is a band of blurred-out terrain! Retouched, like you said.

    I wasn't expecting to see lifeforms or anything besides erosion. :p

  12. Thought it worth a mention that Sir Paul McCartney rocked the 2009 Grammy broadcast with his opening song "I Saw Her Standing There".

    You know the one, it opens with

    "Well, she was just 17,
    you know what I mean!"

  13. I do find these exoplanet discoveries so interesting! I have had an interest in astronomy since I was a child-thanks so much for posting this-it is amazing how the discoveries of these planets are growing by leaps and bounds-It doesnt seem all that long ago when the count was at 72-great to see lynnertic here too! best to you as always!