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Fact or fiction

Sirius, UFO trickster extraordinaire

by Bob King

Scintillating Sirius is sometimes mistaken for a UFO

I’ve never seen a UFO that stayed a UFO. I remember certain moving lights as a kid but they turned out to be airplanes or geese aglow with light pollution. And who hasn’t been tricked into thinking they’ve discovered the next Milky Way supernova only to realize it was a distant aircraft in your line of sight?

Pilot Kenneth Arnold with an illustration of a UFO he saw in 1947. The modern run of UFO sightings began when Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in a V-formation over Mt. Ranier in Washington. Click for more on the story.

Pilot Kenneth Arnold with an illustration of a UFO he saw in 1947. The modern run of UFO sightings began when Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in a V-formation over Mt. Ranier in Washington. Click for more on the story.

For all the hours of dark sky time amateur astronomers accumulate, few of us have seen a UFO. It makes sense. We’re generally familiar with the stars and their movements, where the planets happen to be and the atmosphere’s uncanny ability to distort and parse light into strange and beautiful phenomena. Not that some skywatchers haven’t seen a few things that defy immediate explanation.

While some might say this takes away the magic of the night sky, rendering us blind to the possibility of UFOs, I’d argue the contrary. Knowledge deepens our appreciation of all we see, hear, smell and touch.

Sirius, nicknamed the Dog Star is the brightest star in Canis Major and brightest in the night sky. This map show Sirius about 1/3 of the way up in the southern sky during late twilight this month. Stellarium

Sirius, nicknamed the Dog Star, is the brightest star in Canis Major and brightest in the night sky. This map show Sirius about 1/3 of the way up in the southern sky during late twilight this month. Stellarium

Familiar objects often mistaken for UFOs include bright stars, planets and satellites, but high – if not highest – on the list is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog.

Sirius has attained UFO status for several good reasons: at magnitude -1.5 it’s the brightest star in the sky, it “moves” both slowly and rapidly and shoots out light of different colors.

Because it’s bright, and for many of us, falls along an easy line of sight on March evenings, we’re bound to notice it. No star sparkles more intensely especially when hovering low in the sky.

For skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes, Sirius is the bright, often flashing star in the southern sky at nightfall. Credit: Bob King

For skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes, Sirius is the bright, often flashing star in the southern sky at nightfall. Credit: Bob King

Stars. So big but yet so tiny. Despite their enormous size, distance reduces stars to tiny pinpoints even in the largest telescopes. When a star beam hits our atmosphere, it gets yanked around by parcels of air of varying density, speed and size. Each parcel acts like a individual lens, refracting or bending the star’s light into a tiny image. As the air churns overhead, the positions of all those individual images continually change, zigging the star in random directions. While our eyes aren’t keen enough to distinguish the many tiny images moving to and fro, we sense the starlight’s tortured path as sputtering light or twinkling. All stars flitter around – just ask telescopic observers –  but twinkling is most noticeable in bright stars like Vega, Canopus, Rigel and especially Sirius.

Twinkling is caused by moving air pockets in our atmosphere. Twinkling is much stronger and more noticeable near the horizon, because our line of sight passes through a much greater thickness of air. Illustration: Bob King - See more at: http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2011/09/04/why-stars-twinkle-and-sputter-in-color/#sthash.MNP51ROv.dpuf

Twinkling is caused by moving air pockets in our atmosphere. Twinkling is much stronger and more noticeable near the horizon, because our line of sight passes through a much greater thickness of air. Illustration: Bob King

Mind you, it doesn’t necessarily matter how calm it is on the ground. Some 10 miles of relatively thick air between you and Sirius provide plenty of opportunities for fluttering images on many otherwise tranquil nights. Bright planets generally don’t twinkle because they’re close enough to show actual disks.  Tiny shifts induced by atmospheric turbulence can bodily move a star with ease, but planets are big enough compared to the size of the air cells to hold their own and beam forth a steady light.

 

For some, Sirius’ twinkling creates the sense that a star is moving or shooting about, making it that much more mysterious. Superimposed on this apparent rapid movement is the slow westward drift of the stars caused by Earth’s rotation. People have contacted me about brilliant, slow-moving objects, and it’s clear they’ve been watching a star get a free ride from our revolving planet.

The color and brightness of Sirius can change rapidly as it twinkles. I shot these slightly out of focus to spread the color out and show it more clearly. Not only are the hues striking but brightness changes are obvious, too. Photo: Bob King

The color and brightness of Sirius changes rapidly as it twinkles. I shot these individual 1/30″ photos slightly out of focus to spread the color out and show it more clearly. Not only are the hues striking but brightness changes are obvious, too. The short video at the top of this story captures Sirius’ twinkling “live”.Credit: Bob King

So we’ve got brightness and movement going for us – what about color? Colors come from the air, too. Just as white light is composed of a rainbow or spectrum of individual colors from indigo to red, so is starlight. When Sirius is low above the horizon, refraction (bending of light) is strong enough to create images of the star in every color of the rainbow and cast them about in different directions. Split-second variations in air density and flow make for continuous multi-color sparkles.

Sirius’ colors are fairly obvious with the naked eye, but I’ve found binoculars show them even better. By the way, the jerkiness induced in holding binoculars steady adds another motion factor to the UFO equation.

Sirius is hotter, brighter and 1.75 times the size of our own sun. It's located nearby as stars go at a distance of 8.7 light years, the main reason it appears so bright in the sky. Credit: Wikipedia

Sirius is hotter, brighter and 1.75 times the size of our own sun. As stars go, it’s practically in our backyard at just 8.7 light years away – the main reason it appears so bright in the nighttime sky. Credit: Wikipedia

Once, a fellow came to our local planetarium with video he’d taken of a UFO, hoping for help in identifying the object. We watched it change from a star to a bloated disk and back to a star again as the image jumped wildly about in the shaky, hand-held camera. Knowing the date and time of the footage, we instantly knew it was the camera struggling to maintain autofocus on Sirius.

Sirius is orbited by an Earth-sized, superdense white dwarf nicknamed the "Pup". Credit: NASA/ESA

Sirius is orbited by an Earth-sized, superdense white dwarf nicknamed the “Pup”. Credit: NASA/ESA

I remember thinking, “wow, we really helped this guy out”, but he was less than pleased. We tried to explain that he was seeing not only the brightest star in the sky but one twice as massive as the sun and nearly twice its size. But facts were of no use. Convinced he had recorded a UFO anyway, he took his video and promptly left!

I’d love to see a real space ship UFO powered by alien biology. Deep down many of us suspect they exist. With 1,779 extra-solar planets confirmed to date, habitats for potential life seem more certain than ever. But what are the odds of little green men dropping by anything soon? Not only are the distances between stars daunting, but intelligent species may have no interest in outer space or leaving the home planet. After all, whales don’t build space ships.

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Fact or fiction

Scientists have found fragments of bones and wood in nails, which could be used to crucify Jesus Christ

Researchers have not yet undertaken to draw parallels with the biblical story, but they argue that the found nails have definitely crucified someone.

Scientists have discovered fragments of ancient bone and wood in nails that could have crucified Jesus Christ. Debates about their authenticity are still ongoing in scientific circles. It is reported by The Sun.

The nails are believed to have been found in Jerusalem, in a first-century burial cave that could have been the resting place of Caiaphas, the Jewish priest who sent Jesus to death, according to the Bible.

But in 1990, from the excavation site, the aforementioned nails disappeared.

Years later, filmmaker Simha Yakubovich announced that he had found nails driven by the Romans into the cross of Jesus. Then scientists rejected Yakubovich’s statement, saying that the nails he found did not resemble those that were found in the tomb of Caiaphas.

nails, Jesus Christ, crucifix
One of the nails found. Photo: Pen News / Aryeh Shimron

But a new study showed not only that the nails were from the same tomb, but also that they actually crucified someone.

nails, Jesus Christ, crucifix
Another found nail. Photo: Pen News / Aryeh Shimron

The lead author of the study, Aryeh Shimron, compared the material from the nails to the material from the ossuaries of the tomb – limestone boxes in which the bones of the dead were kept.

“The material entering the caves does not differ significantly from burial to burial depending on the topography, soil composition in the region, microclimate and surrounding vegetation. Consequently, the caves have excellent physical and chemical characteristics,” says Shimron.

He investigated the properties of the materials that had fallen into the tomb and its ossuaries over the centuries. Shimron discovered that Caiaphas’s cave was the only place where the nails could have been. A total of 25 tombs were checked.

nails, Jesus Christ, crucifix
Ossuary for the bones of the deceased. Photo: Pen News / Aryeh Shimron

“We also found small pieces of wood in the iron oxide rust on the nails. They were well preserved and completely fossilized. Therefore, this is an ancient tree, not accidentally or artificially attached to nails. In the rust and sediment on the nails, we also identified and photographed several microscopic bone fragments “, – the scientist notes.

For Dr. Shimron, a retired geologist who worked with the Israel Geological Survey, the evidence is compelling.

“I believe that the scientific evidence that nails were used to crucify someone is strong enough,” the author emphasizes.

nails, Jesus Christ, crucifix
Pieces of wood on nails. Photo: Pen News / Aryeh Shimron

It is also important to note that crucifixion nails were previously considered powerful amulets. Therefore, the repentant Caiaphas could have left the nails with him, Yakubovich claims. He also says that the nails found would be enough to nail a human hand to the bar. The nails themselves could be bent at the ends to prevent the convict from freeing himself.

nails, Jesus Christ, crucifix
A fragment of bone on one of the nails. Photo: Pen News / Aryeh Shimron

But Dr. Shimron believes that his discovery does not in any way connect the ancient nails with Christ.

“The evidence that the nails were used in the crucifixion is really compelling. But the only evidence of their connection to Jesus is that they were found in Caiaphas’s tomb. Is there enough evidence? on assumptions “, – summed up Shimron.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) previously argued that the found nails had nothing to do with Caiaphas’ tomb. The department decided not to change its position now, in the light of a new study.

“It seems that the nails mentioned were indeed found in one of the caves in Jerusalem dating back to the same period. However, a direct connection with this particular cave has not been proven. In fact, even if such a connection were found, we still cannot confirm with certainty that the burial place belonged to the high priest Caiaphas,” the department said in a statement.

They also note that in the past there were many questions related to the arrangement of the cave, which was too simple and did not correspond to the higher social status of the priest.

Be that as it may, if the nails were indeed used in the crucifixion, it is a surprisingly rare find. There is currently only one undeniable example of a crucifix found in 1968. Then archaeologists discovered a heel bone with a nail driven into it.

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Fact or fiction

The date of the beginning of the Great War has become known?

As our readers and visitors to many other sites and forums have already noticed more than once, in the past few months people around the world have begun to see some alarming, sometimes even completely wild and crazy dreams – atomic war, rain from asteroids, zombie invasion etc. Is it connected with the approach of something like that, or is it someone is inspiring people?

It is impossible to unequivocally answer this question, nevertheless, it can be assumed that if the world is waiting for a war, it means that if not every person on Earth, then many people will be somehow informed about this by some prophetic dreams.

A couple of days ago, one of the participants in the discussion on abovetopsecret.com shared a dream with interlocutors, which he rightly qualifies as prophetic. Since in this prophetic dream we are talking about the approximate date of the beginning of the Third World War, we offer it to the attention of our readers. So:

Good day all, I normally keep this stuff to myself as it’s usually along the lines of Deja Vu, but as most of it is lining up with current events I figured I’d throw it up here. Take it as you will.

About the beginning or middle of last year I had an unusual dream. It lasted the entire night. It ran in chronological order and after each set I woke up. After going back to sleep the dream picked back up at where it left off.

The dream:

I was leaving a vehicle and walking towards a large, long building. I was walking through the parking lot towards it. A woman walked up to me and showed me a box, or frame with something important on it that I needed to see. I could not make out what it was. The moment froze and it was explained to me that what was on the frame was not important. The moment was the image that I needed to remember. That moment of standing in this parking lot, outside this building, with this woman presenting a frame or box for me to observe, this was a marker for me to know that the events to follow were about to start. I woke up and then went back to sleep.

I will make a note that this event happened in Oct of last year, 2019. I was taking a Class A driving course and had pulled the rig into the DMV parking lot for the test. I got out and started walking towards the building when the female instructor came out and met me in the parking and presented a clip-box with paperwork on it for me to read. That moment popped and I remembered the dream and knew it was that moment I had seen.

Returning to the dream. I was shown a series of events in succession as I was led through the streets. People were roaming the streets in protest and bewilderment. The elderly had been removed from society and placed into homes that were now off limits to anyone younger. No one could go in and see them. Throngs of people gathered around these homes demanding access but were denied. Resources grew scarce and a conflict arose between the young and the old. The elderly argued that they should be provided some of the few resources as they could not obtain it themselves due to their predicament. The young argued that all resources should be given to them alone as they were the future and had to survive. This is the second time I woke up.

After falling back asleep a voice spoke to me and said that Cannabis would be decriminalized at the Federal level. I was told this was the second marker for me to watch for. When this happened it would signal the beginning of the great war. I was told that this war, unlike the others, was not going to be about land or money or religious ideologies, but the strife between the young and the old. After this I woke up.

Upon going back to sleep, I saw a figure of a woman like a warrior on a field of flame and strife. She said each night she would return to the battle grounds.

Given recent events I figured I’d share. I don’t completely get the whole strife between young and old causing a war, but who knows what tomorrow brings.

This dream is now being discussed in several forums, since in the summer of 2020 a bill was put to the vote in the US Senate to legalize marijuana at the federal level – now it can only be smoked in a few states. Voting was scheduled for September 18th, but when September 18th came, the Senate moved the vote to “post-election.” Thus, the third and most important part coincided with the prophecy from the dream.

Only the story about young and old is not very clear. Some see it as a fight against a pandemic, during which older people in many countries were indeed locked in their homes. There is also an opinion that this part of the dream is allegorical. That is, the elderly are conservatives, republicans, and the young are liberals and democrats or, the elderly are the West and the United States, and the young are the recently reared China.

The author of the post finds it difficult to interpret. Nevertheless, a 2/3 dream came true and its last third is the legalization of marijuana in America. As soon as the bill is voted on, will the Great War begin?

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Fact or fiction

Earth is threatened by asteroid collision a day before US elections

A refrigerator-sized asteroid could hit Earth a day before the US presidential election , which is scheduled for November 3. American astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson announced this on his Instagram page.

“Asteroid 2018VP1, a refrigerator-sized asteroid in space, is speeding towards us at over 25,000 miles per hour,” he wrote.

At the same time, the scientist assured that there would be no particular harm from such a collision, since the asteroid is relatively small in size. According to Tyson, if “the end of the world comes in 2020, it is not the fault of the universe.”

According to NASA, the probability that an asteroid will enter the Earth’s atmosphere is 0.41 percent. It is expected to flyby at 384 thousand kilometers.

Asteroid 2018 VP1 was discovered on November 3, 2018. It belongs to the “Apollo” group – these are asteroids whose paths cross the earth’s orbit.

No protection from dangerous asteroids

Humanity does not have the technical ability to prevent a large asteroid from falling to Earth. Currently, there are no such opportunities. The only means is to notify the population. However, we cannot predict where on Earth the asteroid will hit. The orbit and angles of entry into the atmosphere are determined with an error. It turns out that one asteroid can have a whole track from possible points of impact, which can stretch for half of the Earth.

The origin of life when an asteroid falls

Japanese scientists studying the origin of life on Earth simulated on an experimental setup the conditions that arise when an asteroid falls into the ocean. It turned out that with such an event complex organic compounds such as amino acids are formed in water.It turned out that the shock produces amino acids such as glycine and alanine, which serve as building blocks for proteins involved in many biological reactions.In the early stages of development on Mars, as on Earth, falls of meteorites and asteroids were common, and the formation of amino acids induced by impacts could well be the first step towards the origin of life, scientists say.

US presidential election

The US presidential election will be held on November 3. The current leader of the country, Donald Trump, is running for a second Republican term. His main rival is Democratic candidate Joe Biden. 

According to the data on the number of views in the past debate, Biden’s speech was watched by 600 thousand more people than Trump.

Most states vote in whole or in part by mail. Earlier, Trump called Biden “the worst presidential candidate in history” and jokingly promised to leave the United States if he loses the election.

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