contactee-confessions

theparanormalblog:

Schoolgirl Captures Video of a Strange Sparking Fireball Flying Over England?

Today we’re headed to Northhamptonshire, England to look at a peculiar video that was shot by an 11 year-old schoolgirl. On June 1st, 2014, Katie Real and her sister Macie were at home playing with their mother’s laptop. They looked out the window and that’s when they noticed a bright fireball flying around not to far from their home. Katie grabbed her mother’s laptop and began filming the fireball as it flew through the air erratically, leaving behind a trail of smoke and sparks. About half way through the video, the fireball turns to a red-ish color and eventually flies down towards the ground, disappearing from view. The girls’ mother, 30 year-old Fiona Fearon, wasn’t home when the video was captured, but she says the girls were eager to show her the video once she got home. “Initially we thought it could be a plane on fire but it appeared to be dancing across the sky. It was an amazing sight.” Fiona said. “It looked like it went crashing into the field and that’s the end – but there was no noise.” She called the nearby airfield and asked if they had anything to do with the fireball, but they said no. “It was pretty scary.” Katie said. “I’d love to know what it was.”

The picture quality is actually pretty good considering this was recorded on a laptop. In fact, some videos that were shot with a camcorder don’t even look this good, and that’s pretty sad. But anyway, let’s talk about the fireball. Some have suggested that the fireball was just a kite with a tail, or something attached to the tail, that had been set aflame. Even though it seems to fly around like a kite, I don’t think that’s what this is. The fireball looks too big to be something attached to the tail of a kite. Some have also suggested that this was an RC plane with flares attached to it. If you take a look at this video, you’ll see that even though they looks somewhat similar, the fireball looks to be much larger. While it is more believable than the kite theory, unless someone attached a large number of flares to an RC plane, I don’t think that that’s what the fireball was either. Maybe it was some kind of crazy firework. Or it could’ve been ball lightning. While I don’t think this has anything to do with aliens, I’m pretty stumped as to what the fireball really was, but what do you think? Is the fireball somehow related to alien activity, was it something like an RC plane with flares attached to it, or could it have been something weather-related, such as ball lightning?

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the-actual-universe
the-actual-universe:

A recent, habitable environment on Mars?Earlier this week, a very interesting study was published in the journal Icarus showing images taken by spacecraft orbiting Mars. The scientists focused on the edge of a volcano known as Arsia Mons and suggested large amounts of water on the planet’s surface only 200 million years ago, a result many press outlets described as a recent, “Habitable environment” on Mars.The research itself is really well done and great work, but I’m going to explain why “a habitable environment” may be stretching it too far. This project came from the research group of Dr. Jim Head at Brown University and was led by Kathleen Scanlon.The scientists used the high-resolution imaging instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. This photo comes from the CTX imaging system; the Context Imager that takes wide-field photos alongside the amazing HiRISE high-resolution imaging system. When multiple images are taken of an area at different angles, the images can be combined digitally and converted into topography; measures of slopes, shapes, and steepness of surfaces.In this photo you see the northwestern side of Arsia Mons. There are a series of concentric ridges surrounding the mountain with occasional impact craters and a large ridge at the bottom right. These ridges relate to one part of Mars’s history; the story of large climate changes. Unlike Earth, Mars has no large moon. Tidal interactions with our Moon actually stabilize Earth’s rotation, keeping our North Pole pointed mostly up. Mars, on the other hand, tips over on its side dramatically every few hundred thousand years. The position we see Mars in now, with its North Pole pointed up relative to the planet’s orbit around the sun, is actually uncommon in the planet’s history.Today, Mars’s North and South poles are covered with icecaps because those areas receive the least energy from the Sun. But when Mars tips over, the poles get more sunlight and areas near the modern-day equator start moving into shadows. In that state, the mountains near the equator become cold traps and tend to form glaciers.These ridges are the result of those glaciers. Geologists call them moraines; they’re piles of dirt and rock carried and pushed down the slope by glaciers and left in place when the glaciers disappeared.This setup is important. Moraines on the side of a large volcano means that Mars the glaciers could have met lava. Mixing ice and lava, of course, will produce large amounts of water, and water is the key ingredient in a “habitable” environment. In addition to evidence for ice, the scientists found lots of specific evidence for flowing water. The arrows on this plot mark a channel that cuts across the moraine. Using the topographic data, the scientists found that the channel’s profile was shaped like a V – the characteristic shape of streams carved by flowing water. This channel is just one of many bits of evidence presented showing that large amounts of water flowed down the slopes of Arsia Mons.This combination of water and moraines suggests that Arsia Mons has occasionally erupted while covered with ice. The lava met the ice and melted it, generating water that formed lakes deep beneath the glaciers and occasionally erupted onto the surface as huge floods; similar floods from beneath glaciers in Iceland are given the name jökulhlaup. Other analyses by this group lcated potential pillow lavas; a characteristic shape made when lavas intrude beneath ice and are rapidly cooled (see here).So, there is strong evidence for large amounts of water. As the press reports have said, large lakes could be a habitable environment on Mars recently, only a few hundred million years ago. So what’s my problem?Well, the fact is that these lakes would be ephemeral (short-lived). The lakes could exist for thousands or even tens of thousands of years when the volcano was active, but over hundreds of thousands of years things would change a lot. There would be long times when the volcano would become quiet, removing the heat and allowing the ice to re-freeze. There would also be times when the planet’s orientation changed and the glaciers completely left the volcano as we see on Mars today, drying it completely.Furthermore, the rocks haven’t interacted with water for very long. Rocks on Earth that are exposed to water for tens of thousands of years will react and begin to erode; very little of that has happened here. Most of these rocks are still fairly strong and in-tact. They haven’t fallen apart.That combination means the water was only present for fairly short times, too short for life to evolve in this location. This environment could have been habitable, but for anything to actually inhabit it, that life would have to have survived elsewhere.It is possible that there are environments similar to this volcano buried deep within Mars; deep aquifers where salty waters are warm enough to stay liquid and where life could survive for billions of years. When an environment like this formed, any life that was present could have migrated to it. But to me, saying this is a habitable environment really doesn’t add much because life couldn’t exist here on its own, it could only come here temporarily if it had a permanent refuge somewhere else.The press release version of this science focuses on this being a habitable environment, but the paper instead focuses on how interesting the geological record of interaction between ice and water really is. They mention habitability briefly but don’t focus on it; the paper does this right from a scientific perspective. The press release is accurate that this was “habitable” but to me, saying it that strips out the important context of the word as life could not have begun in this location.So great science and a press setup I have some issues with. Hope you found that discussion interesting.-JBBImage credit and original paperPress release versions: 1, 2, 3

the-actual-universe:

A recent, habitable environment on Mars?

Earlier this week, a very interesting study was published in the journal Icarus showing images taken by spacecraft orbiting Mars. The scientists focused on the edge of a volcano known as Arsia Mons and suggested large amounts of water on the planet’s surface only 200 million years ago, a result many press outlets described as a recent, “Habitable environment” on Mars.

The research itself is really well done and great work, but I’m going to explain why “a habitable environment” may be stretching it too far. This project came from the research group of Dr. Jim Head at Brown University and was led by Kathleen Scanlon.

The scientists used the high-resolution imaging instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. This photo comes from the CTX imaging system; the Context Imager that takes wide-field photos alongside the amazing HiRISE high-resolution imaging system. When multiple images are taken of an area at different angles, the images can be combined digitally and converted into topography; measures of slopes, shapes, and steepness of surfaces.

In this photo you see the northwestern side of Arsia Mons. There are a series of concentric ridges surrounding the mountain with occasional impact craters and a large ridge at the bottom right. These ridges relate to one part of Mars’s history; the story of large climate changes. 

Unlike Earth, Mars has no large moon. Tidal interactions with our Moon actually stabilize Earth’s rotation, keeping our North Pole pointed mostly up. Mars, on the other hand, tips over on its side dramatically every few hundred thousand years. The position we see Mars in now, with its North Pole pointed up relative to the planet’s orbit around the sun, is actually uncommon in the planet’s history.

Today, Mars’s North and South poles are covered with icecaps because those areas receive the least energy from the Sun. But when Mars tips over, the poles get more sunlight and areas near the modern-day equator start moving into shadows. In that state, the mountains near the equator become cold traps and tend to form glaciers.

These ridges are the result of those glaciers. Geologists call them moraines; they’re piles of dirt and rock carried and pushed down the slope by glaciers and left in place when the glaciers disappeared.

This setup is important. Moraines on the side of a large volcano means that Mars the glaciers could have met lava. Mixing ice and lava, of course, will produce large amounts of water, and water is the key ingredient in a “habitable” environment. 

In addition to evidence for ice, the scientists found lots of specific evidence for flowing water. The arrows on this plot mark a channel that cuts across the moraine. Using the topographic data, the scientists found that the channel’s profile was shaped like a V – the characteristic shape of streams carved by flowing water. This channel is just one of many bits of evidence presented showing that large amounts of water flowed down the slopes of Arsia Mons.

This combination of water and moraines suggests that Arsia Mons has occasionally erupted while covered with ice. The lava met the ice and melted it, generating water that formed lakes deep beneath the glaciers and occasionally erupted onto the surface as huge floods; similar floods from beneath glaciers in Iceland are given the name jökulhlaup. Other analyses by this group lcated potential pillow lavas; a characteristic shape made when lavas intrude beneath ice and are rapidly cooled (see here).

So, there is strong evidence for large amounts of water. As the press reports have said, large lakes could be a habitable environment on Mars recently, only a few hundred million years ago. So what’s my problem?

Well, the fact is that these lakes would be ephemeral (short-lived). The lakes could exist for thousands or even tens of thousands of years when the volcano was active, but over hundreds of thousands of years things would change a lot. There would be long times when the volcano would become quiet, removing the heat and allowing the ice to re-freeze. There would also be times when the planet’s orientation changed and the glaciers completely left the volcano as we see on Mars today, drying it completely.

Furthermore, the rocks haven’t interacted with water for very long. Rocks on Earth that are exposed to water for tens of thousands of years will react and begin to erode; very little of that has happened here. Most of these rocks are still fairly strong and in-tact. They haven’t fallen apart.

That combination means the water was only present for fairly short times, too short for life to evolve in this location. This environment could have been habitable, but for anything to actually inhabit it, that life would have to have survived elsewhere.

It is possible that there are environments similar to this volcano buried deep within Mars; deep aquifers where salty waters are warm enough to stay liquid and where life could survive for billions of years. When an environment like this formed, any life that was present could have migrated to it. But to me, saying this is a habitable environment really doesn’t add much because life couldn’t exist here on its own, it could only come here temporarily if it had a permanent refuge somewhere else.

The press release version of this science focuses on this being a habitable environment, but the paper instead focuses on how interesting the geological record of interaction between ice and water really is. They mention habitability briefly but don’t focus on it; the paper does this right from a scientific perspective. The press release is accurate that this was “habitable” but to me, saying it that strips out the important context of the word as life could not have begun in this location.

So great science and a press setup I have some issues with. Hope you found that discussion interesting.

-JBB

Image credit and original paper

Press release versions: 1, 2, 3