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Archive for March, 2010

Will CERN scientists find the ‘God particle’?

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/30/2010

Scientists view the first collision pictures at full power in the control room

CERN scientists are today successfully crashing particles together at nearly the speed of light. With such high-speed collisions, they hope to finally detect the elusive Higgs boson.

Like followers of God, followers of the Higgs boson act on faith. The Higgs boson has never been observed, and some physicists doubt it even exists.

Scientists on Tuesday came a little closer to understanding the Big Bang — the event that created the universe — when they slammed together two streams of sub atomic particles, moving at very high speed at an energy level never before achieved in the laboratory.

The collision was orchestrated at around 4:30 pm (IST) in the world’s largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva.

The collision sought to recreate — on a vastly reduced scale — the conditions that scientists believe came into being right after the Big Bang.

Once analysed, the results could change the way physicists understand the origin and structure of the universe.

“This is the first time we have a collision which will answer some very fundamental questions definitively, such as the origin of mass and the existence of dark matter,” said Atul Gurtu, a senior professor in the department of high-energy physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. Gurtu has been collaborating with CERN since 1994. (Scientists believe the existence of dark matter accounts for some of the earth’s gravitational irregularities.)

When sub atomic particles slam together at very high speeds, they shatter, leaving behind new elements. Scientists are hoping one of the new elements created by the collision and shattering will be the fabled Higgs boson — popularly called ‘God Particle’ — the particle that some theories claim is responsible for the mass of everything in the universe.

The LHC is a 26.6 km circular tube buried nearly 100 mt below the earth’s surface. Two clouds of sub atomic particles were set in motion in this in opposite directions 10 days ago. Bouncing off the walls and picking up energy, they smashed into each other, creating an energy field that, if it were converted into heat, would be hotter than the surface of the sun.

Indian scientists have contributed to the Compact Muon Solenoid, one of the ultra-sensitive detectors scientists at CERN used to monitor and photograph the collision. The TIFR, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Punjab University and Delhi University have all been involved.

“The smaller the particles you want to see, the more high-energy the collision has to be,” said Satyaki Bhattacharya, associate professor at DU who worked on the CMS for 11 years.


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Astronomers could have miscounted the number of galaxies in the universe.

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/27/2010

Astronomers may have underestimated the tally of galaxies in some parts of the universe by as much as 90 percent, according to a study reported on Wednesday in Nature, the weekly British science journal.

Surveys of the cosmos are based on a signature of ultraviolet light that turns out to be a poor indicator of what’s out there, its authors say.

In the case of very distant, old galaxies, the telltale light may not reach Earth as it is blocked by interstellar clouds of dust and gas  and, as a result, these galaxies are missed by the map-makers.

“Astronomers always knew they were missing some fraction of the galaxies… but for the first time we now have a measurement. The number of missed galaxies is substantial,” said Matthew Hayes of the University of Geneva’s observatory, who led the investigation.

Hayes’ team used the world’s most advanced optical instrument — Europe’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, which has four 8.2-meter (26.65-feet) behemoths — to carry out the experiment.

They turned two of the giants towards a well-studied area of deep space called the GOODS-South field.

The astronomers carried out two sets of observations in the same region, hunting for light emitted by galaxies born 10 billion years ago.

The first looked for so-called Lyman-alpha light, the classic telltale used to compile cosmic maps, named after its U.S. discoverer, Theodore Lyman. Lyman-alpha is energy released by excited hydrogen atoms.

The second observation used a special camera called HAWK-1 to look for a signature emitted at a different wavelength, also by glowing hydrogen, which is known as the hydrogen-alpha (or H-alpha) line.

The second sweep yielded a whole bagful of light sources that had not been spotted using the Lyman-alpha technique.

They include some of the faintest galaxies ever found, forged at a time when the universe was just a child.

The astronomers conclude that Lyman-alpha surveys may only spot just a tiny number of the total light emitted from far galaxies. Astonishingly, as many as 90 percent of such distant galaxies may go unseen in these exercises.

“If there are 10 galaxies seen, there could be a hundred there,” said Hayes.

The discovery could add powerfully to knowledge about the timeline by which stars and then galaxies formed.

“Now that we know how much light we’ve been missing, we can start to create far more accurate representations of the cosmos, understanding better how quickly stars have formed at different times in the life of the universe,” co-author Miguel Mas-Hesse said in a press release issued by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Only a small part of the light spectrum is visible to the human eye, which is why astronomers use ultraviolet, gamma and other radiation sources as additional sources for observation.

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South Korea warship sinks after ‘explosion’ in disputed territory

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/26/2010

A South Korean navy ship sank today leaving scores of sailors missing and several reported dead, following an apparent explosion as it patrolled the disputed sea border with the North.

Seoul sought to play down suggestions the damage may have resulted from an attack by its neighbour, after claims that the ship may have been sunk by a North Korean torpedo. A presidential spokeswoman, Kim Eun-hye, said it was premature to say what caused the disaster, telling Reuters: “It is not clear whether North Korea was involved.”

Defence officials said that the 1,500-tonne ship began to sink at 9.45pm on Thursday local time off the island of Baengnyeong in the Yellow Sea, near North Korea. Helicopters, naval frigates and coastguard vessels had saved 58 of the 104-strong crew by midnight. Local media reported deaths, citing an unnamed naval official.

The navy told the Yonhap news agency in a statement: “The ship appears to have begun sinking after an explosion at the rear of the ship. We have been unable to find the exact cause as of this moment.”

A second South Korean ship reportedly fired at an apparently unidentified vessel sailing away from the area towards North Korea, although a defence official said movements on the radar might have been a flock of birds.

The South’s YTN TV network reported that the government was investigating whether the sinking was due to an attack by the North.

Pyongyang has yet to respond to the incident. If it were involved, it would be a massive escalation of its longstanding tensions with the South. It would also anger the US and China, which have been hoping it is moving towards returning to stalled aid-for-denuclearisation talks.

Christian Le Miere, senior analyst in Asia for Jane’s Country Risk, said: “It is still unclear whether this was hostile action. It could have been a mine or an accident involving explosives.”

Selig Harrison, director of the Asia programme of the Centre for International Policy in Washington and author of Korean Endgame, said: “It’s generally not understood that there’s been a progressively growing crisis between North and South Korea. Now we’re in a new situation and I’ve been afraid something would give, because the present government [in Seoul] has cancelled the basic premises between North and South.”

He said Seoul had announced it would review the statements in which it repudiated policies of predecessor governments designed to bring about a collapse of the North and affirmed a relationship of coexistence. “That was really a fundamental step because to North Korea it means the south is going back to the policy of promoting collapse,” Harrison added.

However, others had seen signs of some improvements in relations on the peninsula.

The Northern Limit Line has long been an area of tension. In 1999, at least 17 North Korean sailors were killed in a firefight there. Three years later, another clash saw six South Korean and an estimated 13 North Korean sailors die.

In November last year it saw its first exchange of fire for seven years in November, damaging vessels on both sides.

Le Miere said it appeared that the stricken vessel was the Cheonan, a Pohang class corvette commissioned in 1989.

“It is very rare for a ship of this size to be involved in a clash in the west … [if that is the case] it is a significant development in the engagements,” he added.

President Lee Myung-bak called an emergency security meeting, reportedly telling his ministers: “Finding the truth [behind the incident] is important, but saving our soldiers is more important.”

The two sides are technically still at war because the 1950-3 conflict ended with a ceasefire and not a peace treaty. Relations improved when the South introduced a “sunshine policy”, but deteriorated sharply when Lee took office in 2008 with a pledge to be tougher, cutting off free-flowing aid.

In May last year the North claimed to have tested a nuclear device as large as that which destroyed Hiroshima, less than two months after a rocket launch which Tokyo and Washington believed was a test of long-range missile technology. Pyongyang said it was launching a satellite.

Many analysts believe the moves were intended to grab Washington’s attention and set the stage for a return to stalled denuclearisation talks in conditions more favourable to Pyongyang. Bolstering support for the government and advertising technology to potential customers could also have been factors.

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Ice circles resembling crop circles found on frozen lake.

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/22/2010

Recently, one evening in Arna, Norway, 77 year old JohanJohan Hansen, observed a light hovering over a nearby lake.

Watching through binoculars, he estimated the light to be about 6 feet wide.

But fearing the danger of falling through the frozen ice, Hansen did not venture out until the next day to look for clues of what he had seen.

What he found was a mystery by even the most die-hard skeptic of unexplained phenomenon. The markings resembled a strange symmetric pattern.

For decades, crop circles have been found in fields, where people have used simple tools to make the designs.

The invention of crop circles came in 1978, from two pranksters, who thought it would be fun to make fake patterns in fields of grass and barely–to fuel the UFO craze.

JohanJohan Hansen

Doug Bower and Dave Chorley used some planks, rope, and wires to create their first patterns. But they advanced to more complex designs, when their creations weren’t getting the publicity they were seeking.

Their work created a lot of controversy.

Were they man-made or something more other worldly? Could they have been made by wind tunnels or some other natural occurrence?

For years, crop circle artists and other practitioners fooled the world with their ornate crop circles, until Bower confessed to the pranks , after his wife became suspicious he was having an affair, because he would venture out in the middle of the night for hours.

These days, anyone who wants to make a crop circle can simply go on the Internet and find plenty of instructions on how to do so.

But ice circles?

Either someone has come up with a new spin on an old tale, or something odd and unexplained has happened in Norway.

Link to Norwegian announcement.

Posted in Bigfoot UFO Science Space Mystery unexplained, crop cirles Ice circles | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Boomerang UFO caught over Sacramento foothills (Video Below)

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/22/2010

A boomerang shaped object moved across the foothills of Sacramento California on the early evening of March 20th 2010 and was captured on camera and reported as a UFO.


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The “cloak” Invisibility created in 3-D

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/19/2010

The "nanostructure" of tiny rods bends light around a bump in the gold surface

Scientists have created the first device to render an object invisible in three dimensions. Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology report they were able to cloak a tiny bump in a layer of gold, preventing its detection at nearly visible infrared frequencies.

Their cloaking device also worked in three dimensions, while previously developed cloaks worked in two dimensions, lead researcher Tolga Ergin said.

The cloak is a structure of crystals with air spaces in between, sort of like a woodpile, that bends light, hiding the bump in the gold later beneath, the researchers reported in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science.

In this case, the bump was tiny, a mere 0.00004 inch high and 0.0005 inch across, so that a magnifying lens was needed to see it.

“In principle, the cloak design is completely scalable; there is no limit to it,” Ergin said. But, he added, developing a cloak to hide something takes a long time, “so cloaking larger items with that technology is not really feasible.”

“Other fabrication techniques, though, might lead to larger cloaks,” he added in an interview via e-mail.

The value of the finding, Ergin said, “is that we learn more about the concepts of transformation optics, and that we have made a first step in producing 3-D structures in that field.”

“Invisibility cloaks are a beautiful and fascinating benchmark for the field of transformation optics, and it is very seldom that one can foretell what practical applications might arise out of a field of fundamental research,” he added.

In earlier research, a team led by David Schurig at Duke University developed a way to cloak objects in two dimensions from microwaves. Like light and radar waves, microwaves usually bounce off objects, making them visible to instruments and creating a shadow that can be detected.

Invisibility cloak using the technology – optical camouflage – developed by University of Tokyo, Japan.

The new research led by Ergin used infrared waves, which are close to the spectrum of visible light.

In cloaking, special materials deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream. It differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.

Ergin’s research was supported by the German Research Council, the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the European Commission and the German Ministry for Education and Research.

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UFOs/Triangle in Borrego? Ghosthunter says yes. (Video Below)

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/18/2010

Picture Maritza Skandunas snapped

ORIGINAL SOURCE (CBS 8.)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8.) – It was one of those late November days in the Anza Borrego Desert when the azure sky appeared to go on forever. It was just about 2 p.m., and Maritza Skandunas and her husband were eating a picnic lunch in Grapevine Canyon when they spotted it.

“When I looked up and saw it, you know it’s like you go into shock a little bit, because you can’t believe what you’re seeing,” Maritza said. “Up in the sky we saw three circular balls and it was just hovering above us.

“It just kind of moved like this and it would go forward and when it went back, it went ‘bink’ and made a bigger triangle. My husband says, ‘Oh my God, that’s a UFO’, so I had my camera with a telephoto lens and I took four pictures of it.”

What really intrigued the couple was the final picture Maritza snapped, the one in which the object appears to vanish.

“I took the last picture and I got it disappearing. It kind of fades out, it didn’t just zoom off and disappear, it just disappeared in place,” Maritza said.

It should be noted for the record this is not the first close encounter for Maritza Skandunas.

“I just kind of grew up with it, seeing things at the foot of my bed and not understanding,” she said.

She has a predisposition for the paranormal and founded a web site called San Diego Ghost Hunters. Maritza and I once went looking for things that go bump in the night at the Whaley House.

Whether you think she is a kook or a clairvoyant, Maritza claims the proof is in the pictures.

“You have to wonder, what is it?” she said.

Just remember, the next time you head to the serenity of the Anza Borrego Desert, you may not be alone.

Posted in Bigfoot UFO Science Space Mystery unexplained | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Scientist solves 37-year old space mystery using lunar images

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/18/2010

Phil Stooke of the University of Western Ontario spotted tracks made 37 years ago by Lunokhod 2, a Soviet moon rover, on this new image from the U.S. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The tracks can be seen running up from the bottom right of the photo then veering left past a crater. (University of Western Ontario/NASA)

Reports indicate that a researcher from The University of Western Ontario in Canada has helped solve a 37-year old space mystery using lunar images released by NASA and maps from his own atlas of the moon.

Using his atlas and the NASA images, Phil Stooke, a professor cross appointed to Western’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Geography, pinpointed the exact location of the Russian rover Lunokhod 2, discovering tracks left by the lunar sampler 37 years ago after it made a 35-kilometre trek.

The journey was the longest any robotic rover has ever been driven on another celestial body.

As soon as the NASA photos were released, scientists around the world, including Stooke, began work to locate the rover.

Stooke set up a searchable image database and located the photograph he needed, among thousands of others.

“The tracks were visible at once,” said Stooke.

“Knowing the history of the mission, it’s possible to trace the rover’s activities in fine detail. We can see where it measured the magnetic field, driving back and forth over the same route to improve the data,” he said.

And we can also see where it drove into a small crater, and accidentally covered its heat radiator with soil as it struggled to get out again. That ultimately caused it to overheat and stop working. And the rover itself shows up as a dark spot right where it stopped,” he added.

The find will mean that older maps published by Russia will now need to be revised, he said.

Stooke said that NASA scientists have used his atlas in both preparation and data recovery.

His next project is a similar volume on Mars exploration which will include the best maps of the moons of Mars.

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Star set to collide with solar system

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/17/2010

Scientific AmericanHave a good look at this star. For astronomers have discovered that it is on course to collide with the outskirts of our solar system with potentially catastrophic consequences.

New calculations show that the orange dwarf, called Gliese 710, will crash through the Oort Cloud that surrounds the Sun. The disruption to this shell of many billions of icy fragments would launch a shower of comets into the inner solar system, threatening the planets with devastating impacts.

Some believe it could lead to a repeat of the Late Heavy Bombardment that left the Moon covered with craters around 4 billion years ago. The good news is that the star is not expected to arrive for a million or more years.

The threat from Gliese 710, a star with about half the mass of the sun 63 light-years away in the constellation of the Serpent, is rated as 86 per cent likely. That is nearly as good as a certainty.

It comes after a European space telescope called Hipparcos measured precise positions and motions for 1000,000 stars in our cosmic neighbourhood. This allowed astronomers to work out accurately which might come close to the sun as they travel around the galaxy.

Russian astronomer Dr Vadim Bobylev, of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St Petersburg examined new data from 2007. He identified nine stars that have had or will have particularly close encounters by coming within 3 light-years of us.

But he was startled to find that Gliese 710, which can be seen in small telescopes, has our solar system clearly in its sights. He says it is racing towards us at 30,000mph and on course to crash through the Oort Cloud, which lies around a light-year away, within the next million and a half years.

It could even come within a zone of asteroid-like bodies around Pluto called the Kuiper Belt, though the chances of this are put at only one in a thousand. But some astronomers are suggesting that Gliese 710 might be circled by its own Oort Cloud, which could produce a double shower of hazardous comets.

Dr Bobylev’s scientific paper, Searching for Stars Closely Encountering with the Solar System, was submitted to professional journal Astronomy Letters last week. He says: “Our statistical simulations showed that the star has not only a high probability of penetrating into the Oort Cloud, but also a non-zero probability of penetrating into the region where the influence on Kuiper Belt objects is significant.”

The new alert comes days after a NASA astrobiology site reported that an invisible brown dwarf star nicknamed Nemesis may be circling the sun and causing mass extinctions of life on Earth every 26 million years. There are hopes that if Nemesis exists, it will be detected by NASA’s heat-sensitive Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite, WISE, which is currently scanning the sky for brown dwarfs.

Orange dwarf called Gliese 710

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Bigfoot sightings reported across Fayette County

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/17/2010

An article about a Bigfoot sighting north of Uniontown by a woman who wished to remain anonymous was published in August. Her account was investigated by members of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society and researcher Stan Gordon of Greensburg, perhaps best known for his investigation into an alleged 1965 UFO crash in Kecksburg in Westmoreland County.

Following the publication of the article, Eric Altman, director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, reports that he has received phone calls about eight additional Bigfoot sightings in Fayette County, four of which were clustered around Dunbar.

“We also had a fifth second-hand report of a teen boy who is alleged to have seen a creature following him through the woods in the Dunbar area while he rode his quad,” said Altman, 39, of Jeannette. “The boy is said to be so shook up by the incident that he doesn’t want to be interviewed and was so frightened he won’t go back to the area.”

Altman claims that Fayette County seems to be quite an active area for Bigfoot sightings, based on the inordinate number of calls he has received over the past six months. Besides the Dunbar sightings, two have been reported in the Jumonville area, one in Confluence and one in Connellsville.

“Since the name of the witness in the newspaper account was kept confidential, I feel that people experiencing the same phenomena are now more comfortable and are coming forth to tell their stories,” he said

When conducting his research, Altman first interviews the witness on the phone, claiming that, over the years, he has become quite adept at determining if they’re telling the truth. After trying to get as much information as he can, he then sets up a face-to-face meeting, preferably at the location of the sighting.

“In a person-to-person meeting, I can read a lot from a witness’ body language, eye contact and facial expressions,” he said.

The latest sighting report came from Heath Landman of Dunbar, who said he doesn’t mind revealing his identity and claims he and his son, Heath Nickolas Jr., 20, saw “something” crossing the road in front of them about 35 to 40 yards away as they were driving on Ferguson Road in Dunbar at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

“The creature was walking at a fast pace on two feet, stood about 6 feet 3 inches tall and had a cone-shaped head,” said Landman. “It was moving at a good clip without running, got across the road in three steps, then headed up an embankment and into a thicket. The next thing I knew, I heard my son say, “My god, Dad, what was that?”

In a state of shock, Landman turned his car around, headed for home and called his three brothers on the phone. They, along with two nephews, later went with the Landmans to the site where the creature was spotted. After exploring the area, one brother found pieces of hair stuck on brier and a nephew took photos of footprints in the snow, which were shown to Altman during his subsequent investigation.

“The hair found at the site is now protected in a container,” said Altman. “We have contacts across the country who can conduct lab tests to try to match the hair to that of known species. We can also do DNA tests on the sample.”

Another incident took place on Sept. 23 in the mountains near Dunbar. A mother and daughter out for a drive stopped at a pipeline to take in the view and heard a rustling noise in the brush below. Thinking it might be a bear or a deer, they later saw that it was an upright creature, very muscular and tall, Altman recounted.

“They reported that the creature got to within 150 feet, and just walked away without looking at them or threatening them in any way,” said Altman, who met with the witnesses the following morning. “While hiking around the vicinity of the sighting, we discovered a large 19-inch, foot-shaped impression in very hard ground and an area where the brush had been trampled underfoot.” While investigating yet another sighting report in the Dunbar area, Altman discovered a deer kill that had been eaten away until only the head and hide remained, as well as a 3-by-10-foot lean-to type structure in the area.

One unusual sighting at the end of July involved a woman who claims to have spotted two creatures just outside Dunbar – one a smaller one eating on some blackberries and a much larger one estimated to be about 10 feet tall. “There have been several reports of multiple sightings in other parts of the state,” said Altman. “Many claim that the creatures have large dark eyes and range in size from 7 to 10 feet, are muscular and bulky and have a variety of hair color.”

With the recent snowfall, Altman is hoping that people in the area come across unusual or revelatory footprints. Since the recent snowfall, members of the Bigfoot Society have gone back to sighting areas in search of footprints five or six times — but have found no additional evidence.

Posted in Bigfoot UFO Science Space Mystery unexplained, Strange News And The UneXplained! Unexplained Phenomena, Natural Anomalies | Tagged: | 4 Comments »