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  1. #1281
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Are the aliens us? UFOs may be piloted by time-traveling humans, book argues
    Leonard David, Space | 22 January 2020


    Close encounters with our future selves? (Image: © thortful.com)
    The great distances covered by visiting "aliens" may be ones of time rather than space, a recent book argues.

    Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have captured the public's attention over the decades. As exoplanet detection is on the rise, why not consider that star-hopping visitors from afar might be buzzing through our friendly skies by taking an interstellar off-ramp to Earth?

    On the other hand, could those piloting UFOs be us — our future progeny that have mastered the landscape of time and space? Perhaps those reports of people coming into contact with strange beings represent our distant human descendants, returning from the future to study us in their own evolutionary past.

    The idea of us being them has been advanced before. But a recent book, "Identified Flying Objects: A Multidisciplinary Scientific Approach to the UFO Phenomenon" (Masters Creative LLC, 2019), takes a fresh look at this prospect, offering some thought-provoking proposals.

    Multidisciplinary approach

    The book was written by Michael Masters, a professor of biological anthropology at Montana Technological University in Butte. Masters thinks that – given the accelerating pace of change in science, technology, and engineering – it is likely that humans of the distant future could develop the knowledge and machinery necessary to return to the past.

    The objective of the book, Masters said, is to spur a new and more informed discussion among believers and skeptics alike.

    "I took a multidisciplinary approach in order to try and understand the oddities of this phenomenon," Masters told Space.com. "Our job as scientists is to be asking big questions and try to find answers to unknown questions. There's something going on here, and we should be having a conversation about this. We should be at the forefront of trying to find out what it is."

    Human evolution

    Dubbing these purported visitors "extratempestrials," Masters notes that close-encounter accounts typically describe UFO tenants as bipedal, hairless, human-like beings with large brains, large eyes, small noses and small mouths. Further, the creatures are often said to have the ability to communicate with us in our own languages and possess technology advanced beyond, but clearly built upon, today's technological prowess.

    Masters believes that through a comprehensive analysis of consistent patterns of long-term biocultural change throughout human evolution — as well as recent advances in our understanding of time and time travel — we may begin to consider this future possibility in the context of a currently unexplained phenomenon.

    "The book ties together those known aspects of our evolutionary history with what is still an unproven, unverified aspect of UFOs and aliens," he said.

    But why not argue that ET is actually a traveler from across the vastness of space, from a distant planet? Wouldn't that be a simpler answer?

    "I would argue it's the opposite," Masters responded. "We know we're here. We know humans exist. We know that we've had a long evolutionary history on this planet. And we know our technology is going to be more advanced in the future. I think the simplest explanation, innately, is that it is us. I'm just trying to offer what is likely the most parsimonious explanation."

    Archaeological tourism

    As an anthropologist who has worked on and directed numerous archaeological digs in Africa, France and throughout the United States, Masters observes that it is easy to conceptualize just how much more could be learned about our own evolutionary history if we currently possessed the technology to visit past periods of time.

    "The alleged abduction accounts are mostly scientific in nature. It's probably future anthropologists, historians, linguists that are coming back to get information in a way that we currently can't without access to that technology," Masters said.

    "That said, I do think that some component of it is also tourism," he added. "Undoubtedly in the future, there are those that will pay a lot of money to have the opportunity to go back and observe their favorite period in history. Some of the most popular tourist sites are the pyramids of Giza and Machu Picchu in Peru … old and prehistoric sites."

    Masters calls his UFO research "an evolving project."

    "There's certainly still missing pieces of the puzzle," he said. "There are aspects of time that we don't yet understand. Wanted is a theory of quantum gravity, and we can meld general relativity and quantum mechanics. I'm just trying to put forth the best model I can based on current scientific knowledge. Hopefully, over time, we can continue to build on this."

    Solve this mystery

    "Masters postulates that using a multidisciplinary scientific approach to the UFO phenomenon will be what it takes to solve this mystery once and for all, and I couldn't agree more," said Jan Harzan, executive director of the nonprofit Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

    "The premise that UFOs are us from the future is one of many possibilities that MUFON is exploring to explain the UFO phenomenon. All we know for sure is that we are not alone," Harzan added. "Now the question becomes, 'Who are they?' And Masters makes a great case for the time-traveler hypothesis."

    'Highly dubious claim'

    But not everybody is on board with the idea, as you might imagine.

    "There is nothing in this book to take seriously, as it depends on the belief that 'time travel' is not only possible, but real," said Robert Sheaffer, a noted UFO skeptic.

    Supposedly our distant descendants have mastered time travel, Sheaffer said, and have traveled back in time to visit us. "So, according to Masters, you just spin something fast enough and it will begin to warp space, and even send stuff backwards in time. This is a highly dubious claim," he said.

    Moreover, Sheaffer said that Masters tries to deduce aliens' evolutionary history from witness descriptions, "suggesting that he takes such accounts far too literally."

    The problem of 'if'

    David Darling is a British astronomer and science writer who has authored books on a sweeping array of topics – from gravity, Zen physics and astrobiology to teleportation and extraterrestrial life.

    "I've often thought that if some UFOs are 'alien' craft, it's just as reasonable to suppose that they might be time machines from our own future than that they're spacecraft from other stars," Darling told Space.com. "The problem is the 'if.'

    Darling said that, while some aerial phenomena have eluded easy identification, one of the least likely explanations, it seems to him, is that they're artificial and not of this world.

    "Outside of the popular mythos of flying saucers and archetypal, big-brained aliens, there's precious little credible evidence that they exist," Darling said. "So, my issue with the book is not the ingenuity of its thesis, but the fact that there's really no need for such a thesis in the first place."

    Exotic physics?

    Larry Lemke, a retired NASA aerospace engineer with an interest in the UFO phenomenon, finds the prospect of time-travelling visitors from the future intriguing.

    "The one thing that has become clear over the decades of sightings, if you believe the reports, is that these objects don't seem to be obeying the usual laws of aerodynamics and Newtonian mechanics," Lemke said, referring to the relationship, in the natural world, between force, mass and motion.

    Toss in for good measure Einstein's theory of general relativity and its consequences, like wormholes and black holes, along with other exotic physics ideas such as the Alcubierre warp-drive bubble.

    "There's a group of thinkers in the field of UFOs that point out that phenomena reported around some UFOs do, in fact, look exactly like general relativity effects," Lemke said. Missing time is a very common one."

    Lemke said that the idea that somebody has figured out how to manipulate space-time, on a local scale with a low-energy approach, would explain a lot of things across the UFO phenomenon, including those baffling Tic-Tac-shaped objects recently reported by jet-fighter pilots and radar operators.

    "No matter how much knowledge we have, how much we think we know, there's always some frontier beyond," he said. "And to understand that frontier is getting more and more esoteric."
    ___________________________

    Although this sounds like pure fantasy, it has been gaining serious consideration. - ilan
    Last edited by ilan; 01-26-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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  2. #1282
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Christina Koch!
    Deborah Byrd in HUMAN WORLD | SPACE | TODAY'S IMAGE | February 6, 2020

    Astronaut Christina Koch has returned to Earth after a record-breaking stay of 328 days aboard the International Space Station. She now holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.


    NASA astronaut Christina Koch during her January 15, 2020, spacewalk. Image via NASA.

    U.S. astronaut Christina Koch has returned to Earth after 328 days in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Her mission was the longest-ever by a woman. Her part of the mission ended when she landed in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on February 6, 2020, at 9:12 UTC (4:12 a.m. Eastern). Astronauts Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortsov of Russia returned with her.

    Koch participated in six spacewalks, including the first-ever performed exclusively by women. NASA said today:

    Koch’s first journey into space became a 328-day mission in which she orbited Earth 5,248 times, a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back. She conducted and supported more than 210 investigations during Expeditions 59, 60, and 61, including as a research subject volunteer to provide scientists the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars.

    According to a story in this morning’s Washington Post:

    Koch broke a record set in 2017 by Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days in space on a single mission, and came within two weeks of the record for a single spaceflight by an American, 340 days, set by Scott Kelly in 2016. Whitson still holds the record for the total days in space by any NASA astronaut, at 665.

    Way to go, Christina!
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  3. #1283
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    enjoyed the super moon this weekend, it was awesome!!

  4. #1284
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Yes, always cool to see the somewhat super-sized Moon
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    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    What is a neutron star?
    Andy Briggs in ASTRONOMY ESSENTIALS | SPACE | February 12, 2020

    Neutron stars are born in supernova explosions. They are stars with a couple of times our sun’s mass, squeezed into a sphere the size of an earthly city.


    Artist’s concept of a neutron star. The star’s tiny size and extreme density give it incredibly powerful gravity at its surface. Thus this image portrays the space around the neutron star as being curved. Image via Raphael.concorde/ Daniel Molybdenum/ NASA/ Wikimedia Commons.
    When – at the end of its life – a massive star explodes as a supernova, its core can collapse to end up as a tiny and superdense object with not much more than our sun’s mass. These small, incredibly dense cores of exploded stars are neutron stars. They’re among the most bizarre objects in the universe.

    A typical neutron star has about about 1.4 times our sun’s mass, but they range up to about two solar masses. Now consider that our sun has about 100 times Earth’s diameter. In a neutron star, all its large mass – up to about twice as much as our sun’s – is squeezed into a star that’s only about 10 miles (15 km) across, or about the size of an earthly city.

    So perhaps you can see that neutron stars are very, very dense! A tablespoon of neutron star material would weigh more than 1 billion U.S. tons (900 billion kg). That’s more than the weight of Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain.


    Neutron stars are the collapsed cores of massive stars. They pack roughly the mass of our sun into a sphere with the diameter of a city. Here’s a comparison of a neutron star’s typical diameter with the city of Chicago. Graphic via M. Coleman Miller.
    Here’s how neutron stars form. Throughout much of their lives, stars maintain a delicate balancing act. Gravity tries to compress the star while the star’s internal pressure exerts an outward push. The outward pressure is caused by nuclear fusion at the star’s core. This fusion “burning” is the process by which stars shine.

    In a supernova explosion, gravity suddenly and catastrophically gets the upper hand in the war it has been waging with the star’s internal pressure for millions or billions of years. With its nuclear fuel exhausted and the outward pressure removed, gravity suddenly compresses the star inward. A shock wave travels to the core and rebounds, blowing the star apart. This whole process takes perhaps a couple of seconds.

    But gravity’s victory is not yet complete. With most of the star blown into space, the core remains, which may only possess a couple of times the mass of our sun. Gravity continues to compress it, to a point where the atoms become so compacted and so close together that electrons are violently thrust into their parent nuclei, combining with the protons to form neutrons.

    What neutron stars are, and are not. If, after the supernova, the core of the star has enough mass, then – according to current understanding – the gravitational collapse will continue. A black hole will form instead of a neutron star. In terms of mass, the dividing line between neutron stars and black holes is the subject of much debate. Astrophysicists refer to a kind of “missing mass,” occurring between about two solar masses (the theoretical maximum mass of a neutron star) and five solar masses (the theoretical minimum mass of a black hole). Some expect that this mass bracket will eventually be found to be populated by ultra-lightweight black holes, but until now none have been found.

    The exact internal structure of a neutron star is also the subject of much debate. Current thinking is that the star possesses a thin crust of iron, perhaps a mile or so thick. Under that, the composition is largely neutrons, taking various forms the further down in the neutron star they are.

    A neutron star does not generate any light or heat of its own after its formation. Over millions of years its latent heat will gradually cool from an intial 600,000 degrees Kelvin (1 million degrees Fahrenheit), eventually ending its life as the cold, dead remnant of a once-glorious star.

    Because neutron stars are so dense, they have intense gravitational and magnetic fields. The gravity of a neutron star is about a thousand billion times stronger than that of the Earth. Thus the surface of a neutron star is exceedingly smooth; gravity does not permit anything tall to exist. Neutron stars are thought to have “mountains,” but they are only inches tall.

    Pulsars: How we know about neutron stars. Although neutron stars were long predicted in astrophysical theory, it wasn’t until 1967 that the first was discovered, as a pulsar, by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Since then, hundreds more have been discovered, including the famous pulsar at the heart of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant seen to explode by the Chinese in 1054.

    On a neutron star, intense magnetic fields focus radio waves into two beams firing into space from its magnetic poles, much like the beam of a lighthouse. If the object is oriented just so with respect to Earth – so that these beams become visible from our earthly viewpoint – we see flashes of radio light at regular and extremely precise intervals. Neutron stars are, in fact, the celestial timekeepers of the cosmos, their accuracy rivalling that of atomic clocks.

    Neutron stars rotate extremely rapidly, and we can use the radio beams of a pulsar to measure just how fast. The fastest-rotating neutron star yet discovered rotates an incredible 716 times per second, which is about a quarter of the speed of light.

    More manifestations of neutron stars in our galaxy. There are estimated to be more than a hundred million neutron stars in our Milky Way galaxy. However, many will be old and cold, and therefore difficult to detect. The unimaginably violent neutron star collisions, one of which was detected in 2017 by the LIGO gravitational wave observatories and designated GW170817, are thought to be where heavy elements like gold and platinum are created, as normal supernovae are not thought to generate the requisite pressures and temperatures.

    A neutron star that has an abnormally strong magnetic field is known as a magnetar, able to pull the keys out of your pocket from as far away as the moon. The origin of magnetars is not well understood.

    Neutron stars, including magnetars and pulsars, are thought to be responsible for several little-understood phenomena, including the mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and the so-called Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs).
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    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    New timeline rewrites history of Easter Island collapse
    Eleanor Imster in HUMAN WORLD | February 13, 2020

    Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact, and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of researchers.


    A new study says Easter Island’s societal collapse didn’t happen as researchers have long thought.

    The remote island of Rapa Nui – also known as Easter Island – 1,900 miles (3,000 km) from South America, is well-known for its elaborate ritual architecture, particularly its numerous statues (moai) and the monumental platforms that supported them (ahu). A widely-held narrative says that construction of these monuments ceased sometime around 1600, following a major societal collapse.

    But the new research, published February 6, 2020, in the peer-reviewed Journal of Archaeological Science, found that construction of these statues began soon after Polynesian seafarers settled Easter Island in the 13th century, and increased rapidly, sometime between the early-14th and mid-15th centuries, with a steady rate of construction events that continued beyond European contact in 1722.

    Binghamton University anthropologist Carl Lipo is a study co-author. He said in a statement:

    What we found is that once people started to build monuments shortly after arrival to the island, they continued this construction well into the period after Europeans arrived.

    This would not have been the case had there been some pre-contact “collapse” – indeed, we should have seen all construction stop well before 1722. The lack of such a pattern supports our claims and directly falsifies those who continue to support the ‘collapse’ account.

    Once Europeans arrive on the island, there are many documented tragic events due to disease, murder, slave raiding and other conflicts. These events are entirely extrinsic to the islanders and have, undoubtedly, devastating effects. Yet, the Rapa Nui people – following practices that provided them great stability and success over hundreds of years – continued their traditions in the face of tremendous odds. The degree to which their cultural heritage was passed on – and is still present today through language, arts and cultural practices – is quite notable and impressive. I think this degree of resilience has been overlooked due to the ‘collapse’ narrative, and deserves recognition.
    With the help of statistics, the research clarified variable radiocarbon dates pulled from soil under the island’s massive stone platforms topped with megalithic statues and large, cylindrical stone hats.
    The researchers also re-examined written observations of early European visitors. For example, Dutch travelers in 1722 noted the monuments were in use for rituals and showed no evidence of societal decay. The same was reported in 1770, when Spanish seafarers landed. However, when British explorer James Cook arrived in 1774, he and his crew described an island in crisis, with overturned monuments.

    According to the new findings, the descendants of Polynesian settlers continued to build, maintain, and use the monuments for at least 150 years beyond 1600, the date long hailed as the start of societal decline. University of Oregon anthropologist Robert DiNapoli is the lead author of the study. He said in a statement:

    The general thinking has been that the society that Europeans saw when they first showed up was one that had collapsed. Our conclusion is that monument-building and investment were still important parts of their lives when these visitors arrived.
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    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Massive asteroid will swing by Earth after Valentine's Day
    Ashley Strickland, CNN | 2:20 PM ET, Fri February 14, 2020


    (CNN) Not long after Valentine's Day ends, a massive asteroid estimated to be between 1,443 feet and 3,248 feet long will pass by Earth around 6:05 a.m. ET on Saturday. Based on the size range, it could be anywhere between the size of a suspension bridge to taller than a skyscraper.

    But the experts at NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies say we're in no danger.

    The asteroid will pass within 3,590,000 miles of Earth. That's 15 times the distance from Earth to the moon, according to NASA.

    The asteroid, known as 2002 PZ39, has been tracked since its discovery in August 2002 and its orbit and trajectory are well known. Observations of this particular passing began by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on February 11 and will continue through February 17.

    The Minor Planet Center has classified 2002 PZ39 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid," according to NASA. That's true of any object larger than 492 feet that approaches Earth within 4.6 million miles. But based on the asteroid's trajectory, it shouldn't come any closer than expected.

    A few more asteroids, within the house to airplane-sized range, will also pass by Earth on Sunday and Monday, with the closest one coming within 1.4 million miles of Earth on Monday.

    Coincidentally, Saturday marks the seventh anniversary since an asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. It exploded in the air, releasing 20 to 30 times more energy than that of the first atomic bombs and generating brightness greater than the sun. It damaged more than 7,000 buildings and injured more than 1,000 people. The shock wave broke windows 58 miles away.

    In addition to tracking Near-Earth Objects that could pose a threat, NASA and other agencies currently have missions underway to study near-Earth asteroids and potentially mitigate the danger of a collision.

    Knowing the size and orbit of an asteroid is the main battle, as this enables prediction Near-Earth Objects.

    In a few years, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will come online and enable the discovery of tens of thousands of asteroids in orbits that could bring them closer to Earth, said Ed Lu, executive director of the Asteroid Institute and a former NASA astronaut.

    "It's an exciting time for planetary defense because we are on the verge of an absolute flood of new observations that will allow us to track 10 times more asteroids than we've ever tracked before," Lu said. "In about two years, the LSST will turn on, and its discovery rate will be more than all the rest of the telescopes combined. In the first year, it will find tens of thousands of asteroids and be able to track them."

    Missions like NASA's OSIRIS-REx and Japan's Hayabusa2 are exploring asteroids in our solar system and aim to return samples to Earth in the coming years. The Near-Earth Object Camera, called NEOCam, is characterizing near-Earth objects.

    Other missions are also planned. NASA's DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is a planetary defense test to prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth. DART, which has a launch window opening in July 2021, will visit a binary asteroid system where two asteroids orbit one another and aim to deflect a small asteroid.

    DART will crash into a moonlet of near-Earth asteroid Didymos, that is comparable in size to an asteroid that could pose a threat.

    The European Space Agency's complementary Hera mission will precisely measure how it changed the velocity of the larger asteroid and study DART's impact crater on the moonlet.
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  8. #1288
    Nascar Pool Diecast Two Time Winner 4me2c's Avatar
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    Is that a Spaceship about 10:00...?!?

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    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    VIDEO: Okanagan couple claim to see UFO near Naramata
    JESSE DAY, Lake County Calendar | Feb. 15, 2020 2:00 p.m.LOCAL

    Flashing, flying object over Okanagan Lake spotted in Naramata and caught on video

    A second UFO sighting has been reported in the Okanagan this week.

    Two days ago, the Western News reported on a video from Kelowna residents claiming to have seen a UFO over Okanagan Lake on Jan. 28, 2020

    There has now been a second, more recent UFO sighting near Naramata.

    On Thursday, Feb. 13 around 6 p.m., Ian Preston and his wife were driving home from Preston’s work at Skaha Ford to their Naramata residence when they noticed something unusual in the sky over Okanagan Lake.

    Preston immediately pulled over near Johnson Rd. and got out of the car to further investigate the strange flashing object the couple had spotted.

    Preston still can’t fully explain what they saw hovering over Okanagan Lake.

    The 46-year-old had binoculars in his car and was able to observe the UFO for over ten minutes. He said the object stayed in the same spot the entire time while different coloured lights flashed from it. When viewed through binoculars the flashing colours were even more noticeable, said Preston.

    Preston has shared the video with friends and said a common response is “that’s a helicopter” or “that’s a star.” However, he believes this isn’t possible due to the lack of noise, how the object stayed in one place, the flashing lights, and the fact that the lights went out for a brief moment.

    Preston’s wife, Flor Zamudio, was simultaneously frightened and intrigued by the flying object.

    Zamudio grew up in Mexico, and said she had seen similar flying objects on the beach in her childhood. Zamudio believes that the object she saw over Okanagan Lake was the same type of object she would see as a child.

    “It was exactly the same. I think it was a UFO,” she said.

    After about ten minutes of observing the object, Preston and Zamudio left the scene to go get a better camera from home. While they were there, Preston recorded this video from his phone:


    The couple never returned to the scene with the camera. However, when they left the object was still visible.

    These types of sighting are a rare occurrence. However, there have been a number of documented UFO sightings in the Okanagan over the last two decades.

    While it’s likely we will never know what they saw for certain, it’s possible the sightings could be attributed to a series of satellites launched into space.

    The Western News has reached out to various astrophysicists and space experts to gain more insight on this video and what the object may be. However, we have yet to hear back.
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    Photos: When the moon hid Mars
    Deborah Byrd in ASTRONOMY ESSENTIALS | TODAY'S IMAGE | February 19, 2020

    The moon will cover Mars 5 times in 2020, but the occultation on February 18, 2020, was the only one accessible to viewers in much of North and Central America. Photos from the EarthSky Community here.


    Raul Cortes in Monterrey, Mexico, tried to capture the moment the moon passed in front of Mars, but clouds got in his way. He wrote: “Trying to capture the Mars occultation. This was as far as I could go. After that moment, the moon and Mars were completely covered by clouds. Could not see the exact moment when the occultation occurred.” Beautiful shot, though, Raul! Thank you. Raul has a slightly earlier photo of the near-occultation, with Mars slightly farther from the moon but more clearly visible, here.


    For those in the mountain states of the U.S., it wasn’t possible to see Mars at the moment it went behind the moon (the moon and Mars had not risen yet). But many caught the moment Mars came out from behind the moon’s darkened limb. Geraint Smith in San Cristobal, New Mexico, captured this scene as Mars crept out from behind the moon and through the clouds. Thank you, Geraint!


    Mars – as it came out from behind the moon – as captured in Tucson, Arizona, on February 18, 2020, by Eliot Herman. Eliot used a Questar telescope and a Nikon D850 to capture the scene at 5:40 a.m. Mountain Time. Thanks, Eliot!



    Ken Gallagher in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, wrote: “Overslept and missed beginning of occultation, but just in time to catch the end.” Super! Thanks, Ken!
    Last edited by ilan; 02-22-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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