UFO Buster Radio News – 433: Apollo Aliens No Show, Space is not Dark?, and Chicken Little Hits It Big
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Showed That Aliens Might Be More Than Science Fiction
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on Earth’s moon for the first time in human history. Four days later, they — along with Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins — were locked up on an American aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The triumphant astronauts were in quarantine. Per a NASA safety protocol written half a decade earlier, the three lunar visitors were escorted directly from their splashdown site in the central Pacific to a modified trailer aboard the USS Hornet, where a 21-day isolation period began. The objective? To ensure that no potentially hazardous lunar microbes hitchhiked back to Earth with them. [5 Strange, Cool Things We’ve Recently Learned About the Moon]
Of course, as NASA quickly confirmed, there were no tiny aliens lurking in the astronauts’ armpits or in the 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of lunar rocks and soil they had collected. But despite this absence of literal extraterrestrial life, the Apollo 11 astronauts still may have succeeded in bringing aliens back to Earth in another way that can still be felt 50 years later.
LS: In 1969, did scientists think there might be aliens somewhere else in the solar system?
Shostak: Mars was the Great Red Hope, if you will, of extraterrestrial life in the solar system. People were very optimistic in 1976 when the Viking landers plopped down onto Mars that there would be life. Even Carl Sagan thought there might be critters with legs and heads running around there. Scientists were kind of disappointed when it didn’t look like Mars had much life, either.
“Today, about 30 percent of the public thinks the Earth is being visited by aliens in saucers, despite the evidence of that being very poor,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute
Scientists Discover Outer Space Isn’t Pitch Black After All
“Is space truly black?” says Tod Lauer, an astronomer with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona. He says if you could look at the night sky without stars, galaxies, and everything else known to give off visible light, “does the universe itself put out a glow?”
Researchers with NASA’s New Horizons space mission say they’ve finally been able to do it, using a spacecraft that’s travelling far beyond the dwarf planet Pluto. The group has posted their work online, and it will soon appear in the Astrophysical Journal.
New Horizons was originally designed to explore Pluto, but after whizzing past the dwarf planet in 2015, the intrepid spacecraft just kept going. It’s now more than four billion miles from home—nearly 50 times farther away from the Sun than the Earth is.
They then went a step further still, subtracting out light that they could attribute to all the galaxies thought to be out there. And it turns out, once that was done, there was still plenty of unexplained light.
In fact, the amount of light coming from mysterious sources was about equal to all the light coming in from the known galaxies, says Marc Postman, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. So maybe there are unrecognized galaxies out there, he says, “or some other source of light that we don’t yet know what it is.”
So where does the light come from? Perhaps, he says, there are far more small, faint dwarf galaxies and other faint regions on the outskirts of galaxies that instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope can’t detect and so scientists just aren’t aware of them. Or, maybe there’s more dust out there interfering with the measurements than scientists expected.
Or perhaps there’s a more exotic explanation—some unknown phenomenon out in the universe that creates visible light. It’s even possible it’s something associated with dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull on visible matter but has never been seen directly.
Rare meteorite worth $2 million crashes through man’s roof
An Indonesian man became astronomically rich after a precious meteorite worth nearly $2 million smashed through the veranda of his home.
“When I lifted it, the stone was still warm, and I brought it into the house,” Josua Hutagalung told local news outlet Kompas about the fortuitous find. The 33-year-old coffin maker was reportedly working next to his home in Sumatra in August when the pricey space rock shard crashed through his home’s overhang.
“The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking, too,” said the rock star. “And after I searched, I saw that the tin roof of the house had broken.” A clip on his Facebook page shows where the 4.5-pound meteor smashed through the awning before burying itself several inches into the dirt.
Hutagalung said he strongly suspected that the object was a meteor “because it is impossible someone deliberately threw it or dropped it from above.”
The fortune-making fragment, which is estimated to to be 4.5 billion years old, likely fetched more than enough to put a new roof over his head, the Daily Mail reported. Classified as a CM1/2 carbonaceous chondrite — an extremely rare variety — the space rock is valued at around $850 per gram, or $1,858,556 total.
Hutagalung was reportedly paid the equivalent of 30 years salary for his find, which he said he’ll use to erect a church in his community.
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