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Fri, 19 Oct 2018
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Strange Skies

UFO

Leaked: US government video of UFO flying over Puerto Rico airport in 2013

Image
This is a fantastic capture of a UFO. I often say that infrared cameras will reveal cloaked UFOs and here we are with a confirmed UFO by US government aircraft, and a massive report to boot. The UFO is seen for almost 3 minutes, and followed closely, cloaking off and on along the way. At 2:57 the UFO is recorded diving into the water and not returning. From the screenshots I can tell you, this object 100% alien tech. The UFO is rotating slowly, about one time per 5 seconds, which gives us a nice view from different angles. It is an unmanned drone. It looks to be about the size of a motorcycle, and the report confirms this by stating, "it was about 3 to 5 feet in length and its speed varied between 40 to 120 mph."

Airplane

AOPA seeks answers about notice-to-airmen (notam)

TCAS Display
© Wikimedia Commons
AOPA is trying to get to the bottom of ambiguous notam language and determine why the aviation community was given just one day's advance notice of military exercises that could make Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and TCAS unreliable along a significant portion of the East Coast for a month.

A notam issued Sept. 1 announced that, beginning Sept. 2, both ADS-B surveillance and TCAS may be unreliable in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, as well as in airspace extending approximately 200 nautical miles off shore. The situation is expected to last through Oct. 1 as a result of military exercises in the area.

But similar military exercises in the past have caused no interference with civilian ADS-B or TCAS, and AOPA is asking the FAA to explain both why the notam was issued so late and what has changed to raise these new concerns.

"We are working to get answers for our members," said Rune Duke, AOPA director of air traffic and airspace. "This notam has caused considerable alarm and much confusion, while giving pilots little time to prepare. The long duration, ambiguous language, and short notice of this notam are all cause for serious concern. We have spoken with representatives of the FAA and the Department of Defense and will continue to pursue this until we get the answers pilots need."

The wording of the notam has led many general aviation pilots to believe that ADS-B-based traffic information might not be available to them. But the notam does not specify any interference with 978 MHz ADS-B systems, which are most commonly used by light GA aircraft. As a result pilots should continue to have access to TIS-B and FIS-B services. The greatest impact will be on aircraft using 1090 MHz ADS-B systems or TCAS, which are primarily used by larger, faster aircraft operating in the flight levels. Air traffic controllers will help ensure separation between military and civilian traffic during the exercises, and no delays or reductions in ATC services are anticipated.

Question

There may be a massive disturber beyond Pluto

KBO
© The Monitor Daily
Artist’s impression of a Kuiper Belt Object.
After New Horizons probe's historic flyby of planet Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA plans to get the tiny craft even further. New Horizons is now slated to reach a tiny icy body in the Kuiper belt on New Year's Day, 2019, but scientists believe that beyond that region a hidden planet may be lurking, the famous Planet X.

Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution of Washington explained that the some of the rocky bodies in the Kuiper belt are large enough to be qualified as dwarf planets, but none of the known KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) is larger than Pluto.

Yet, there's a chance that scientists missed out something since there are clues that a tenth planet may be lurking in our galaxy's outer reaches. Planet X may be larger than Pluto and our planet. Sheppard thinks that it may be as big as Neptune.

"I think there are definitely things out there bigger than Pluto that are yet to be discovered," he added.

Sheppard and a fellow researcher disclosed the theory in the journal Nature last year. According to the document, there may be a "massive perturber" located beyond the Kuiper Belt. Scientists believe that the mysterious planet is a dwarf planet that is located three times farther from our star than Pluto is. Astronomers based their theory on awkward disruptions in the orbits of several large space objects in the region.

Solar Flares

Comet plunges into the Sun

On Friday, Aug.28th, the sun swallowed a comet. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spotted the icy visitor from the outer solar system making a headlong plunge into our star. One comet went in; none came out. Click to play the movie:


Heated by the sun at point blankrange, the comet's fragile ices vaporized, leaving at most a "rubble pile" of rock and gravel scattered along its sungrazing orbit. Any remains are invisible from Earth.

The comet, R.I.P., was probably a member of the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. Several Kreutz fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most, measuring less than a few meters across, are too small to see, but occasionally a bigger fragment like this one (~10 m to 50 m) attracts attention.

Cloud Lightning

Unusual Cape Town lightning storm

Weird weather took hold this past weekend as both Saturday and Sunday evening saw the skies over the Mother City light up due to thunder and lightning storms.

Many in Cape Town took to social media to document the unusual weather, saying they felt as if they were in Joburg or Durban.

Following are seven shots we thought completely nailed the stunning occurrence.

The South African Weather Service confirmed in an update on Sunday afternoon that there was a 30% chance of rainfall for Sunday evening with similar conditions for the Western Cape continuing into Monday and Tuesday.

Mild conditions can be expected in Cape Town on Monday with maximum temperatures reaching a 17°C, while cold conditions could be expected in the Northern Cape with Sutherland reaching a low of 2°C.

Weather conditions for Joburg, Pretoria and Vereeniging would be fine and warm with maximum temperatures of 25°C but the SA Weather Service warned of extremely high fire dangers over the western interior of the Eastern Cape.
Lightning Storm Cape Town_1
© Instagram

Bizarro Earth

Rare "fire rainbow" seen in skies over South Carolina

Image
© Twitter/@TiffanyBJenks

A rare 'fire rainbow' has been sighted in the sky over South Carolina, dazzling viewers for about an hour before fading away.

The display, known as circumhorizontal arcs, occurs when light hits tiny ice crystals in high-level cirrus clouds. The photo was taken by Tiffany B Jenks and posted on Twitter.

Despite the popular name of 'fire rainbow', it has nothing to do with fire. It is the lower part of a large halo of the sun and runs parallel to the horizon.

It only occurs when the sun is high in the sky - above 58 degrees. The display was seen in the skies over Isle of Palms in South Carolina.

The unusual natural phenomena inspired onlookers, with channel 14 News quoting one woman as saying the display reminded her of a dear friend. "I'm sure she came to visit us on the beach we all love!" said Tracey Smith.

Info

Giant mystery ring of galaxies should not exist

Ring of Galaxies
© L. Balazs
An image of the distribution of GRBs on the sky at a distance of 7 billion light years, centred on the newly discovered ring. The positions of the GRBs are marked by blue dots and the Milky Way is indicated for reference, running from left to right across the image.
Astronomers are constantly uncovering the "most distant," "most massive" or "most energetic" objects in our universe, but today, researchers have announced the discovery of a truly monstrous structure consisting of a ring of galaxies around 5 billion light-years across.

The galactic ring, which was revealed by 9 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), is located 7 billion light-years away and spans an area of the sky more than 70 times the diameter of a full moon.

GRBs are thought to be detonated when a massive star reaches the end of its life. As the star implodes after running out of fuel, a black hole is formed and vast quantities of energy are blasted in collimated beams. Should Earth be aligned with these beams, an incredibly luminous signal can be observed and these beacons can be used to precisely gauge the distance to the GRB and the location of the galaxy that hosts it.

The GRBs are all cataloged in the Gamma Ray Burst Online Index, which precisely records each GRB distance and location, like pins on a cosmic map.

Astronomers believe these GRBs (and therefore the galaxies they inhabit) are somehow associated as all 9 are located at a similar distance from Earth. According to its discoverers, there's a 1 in 20,000 probability of the GRBs being in this distribution by chance — in other words, they are very likely associated with the same structure, a structure that, according to cosmological models, should not exist.

Sun

Mysterious light seen in the sky in Deane, UK

Deane sky light
© Martin Fawkes
A colourful light in the sky over Haslam Park in Deane was snapped by resident Martin Fawkes.
A glaring light in the sky caught the attention of a resident who thought it was part of the Northern Lights.

The bright colored light appeared in the sky on Wednesday and caught Martin Fawkes by surprise as he was putting his daughter to bed at their home in Deane.

After taking a picture of the strange red orange and blue light, which was hovering over Haslam Park, the dad of one sent the pictures to The Met Office.

Staff there confirmed that it wasn't part of the Northern Lights but that he had in fact just witnessed a very rare occurrence.

Comment: These displays of strange plasma lights and clouds in the sky are becoming more and more common:


Info

Dormant monster black hole just woke up

Black hole with stellar companion
© ESA
Black hole with stellar companion.
What you're seeing is V404 Cygni, a binary system consisting of a star and a black hole, some 7800 light-years away. It has laid quiet for the last 25 years, but a week ago, NASA's Swift satellite noticed a burst of new activity.

V404 is a binary system, consisting of a star and a black hole orbiting one another. Matter flows from the star to the black hole, where it heats up and lets off all sorts of x-ray and gamma-ray waves, before vanishing into the black hole.

The last time V404 was active was way back in 1989, but NASA's Swift satellite started picking up renewed bursts of gamma rays on June 15.

Attention

Northern Lights making 'rare' appearance in the skies above Cornwall, UK

Image
© Geoff Robinson
Beautiful: Incredible aurora appears over Bude beach
A photographer taking night time beach shots could not believe his eyes as he spotted the natural phenomenon

This stunning time-lapse footage shows the beautiful sight of the Northern Lights appearing in the skies over Cornwall.

A photographer taking night time beach shots could not believe his eyes as he spotted the natural phenomenon.

Chris Small was on the beach at Bude around 1.30am on Tuesday when the eerie ribbons of purple light appeared in the star strewn sky above.

The Northern Lights are frequently sighted in the Arctic Circle and Scandinavia and sometimes even Scotland but very rarely seen as far south as Cornwall.

And Mr Small was delighted.

"I've never seen them before although I've always wanted to," he said.