Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Small List of Quotes UFO Related

Monsignor Corrado Balducci
Vatican theologian-Interview on Italian television
“We can no longer think… is it true? Is it not true? Are they truths or are they lies–if we believe or if we don’t believe–no! There are already numerous considerations which make the existence of these beings [extraterrestrials] into a certainty we cannot doubt.”

Former Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the CIA Victor Marchetti:  How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon, Second Look, Vol. 1, No. 7, Washington, D.C. (5/1979) — “We have, indeed, been contacted — perhaps even visited — by extraterrestrial beings, and the US government, in collusion with the other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public.”

Deputy Chief of the Royal Belgian Air Force Major-General Wilfred de Brouwer: “Postface” in SOBEPS’ Vague d’OVNI sur la Belgique – Un Dossier Exceptionnel, Brussels: SOBEPS (1991) — “In any case, the Air Force has arrived to the conclusion that a certain number of anomalous phenomena has been produced within Belgian airspace. The numerous testimonies of ground observations compiled in this [SOBEPS] book, reinforced by the reports of the night of March 30-31 [1990], have led us to face the hypothesis that a certain number of unauthorized aerial activities have taken place. Until now, not a single trace of aggressiveness has been signaled; military or civilian air traffic has not been perturbed nor threatened. We can therefore advance that the presumed activities do not constitute a direct menace.”
“The day will come undoubtedly when the phenomenon will be observed with technological means of detection and collection that won’t leave a single doubt about its origin. This should lift a part of the veil that has covered the mystery for a long time. A mystery that continues to the present. But it exists, it is real, and that in itself is an important conclusion.”

Japan’s Top Government Spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura  and Japan’s Defense Minister, Shigeru Ishiba :
Beliefs and Concerns about UFOs – Japan’s top government spokesperson: UFO’s definitely exist.  Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said to reporters on December 18, 2007, “I definitely believe they (UFOs) exist.”
3 days later Japan’s Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba considers how his Self Defence Forces could respond to an attack by space aliens while adhering to limits on military action under the country’s war-renouncing Constitution.  “There are no grounds for us to deny there are unidentified flying objects and some lifeform that controls them”, Ishiba said.  “Few discussions have been held on what the legal grounds are” for military response.  (Bloomberg) by Stuart Biggs

Sworn Affidavit by a Leutenant Walter Haut concerning his experience of the 1947 UFO crash AT Roswell, NM:
Lt. Walter Haut, public relations officer at Roswell Army Air Field in 1947 left a sworn affidavit concerning his experience with the Roswell UFO crash in 1947.  His sworn affidavit was only to be opened after his death.  Haut died in December 2005 and sometime in June of 2007 the text contained therein had been released.  He describes seeing the UFO and the occupants consisting of alien bodies as well as a high-level meeting with Col. William Blanchard and General Roger Ramey, Commander of the Eighth Army Air Force.

Astronaut Scott Carpenter
“At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs.” ~ Astronaut Scott Carpenter – Carpenter photographed a UFO while in orbit on May 24, 1962. NASA still has not released the photograph to the public.

Buzz Aldrin on Fox News
“We just about could have said, ‘Look, we see a UFO out the window going along with us.’  You know what would have happened?  The public would have gone crazy!  We were smart enough to say, ‘Where is the upper stage rocket?  We think we might be looking at that out the window.”

Colonel Joseph J. Bryan III
Founding member of the CIA’s psychological warfare staff, advisor to NATO

“These UFOs are interplanetary devices systematically observing the Earth, either manned or under remote control, or both.”

 “Information on UFOs, including sighting reports, has been and is still being officially withheld.”

President Jimmy Carter
Interview following his sighting of a UFO at Leary, Georgia – October 1969
It was the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. It was big, it was very bright, it changed colors, and it was about the size of the moon. A red and green glowing orb radiated as it hurtled across the southwestern Georgia skies. We watched it for ten minutes, but none of us could figure out what it was. One thing’s for sure: I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified flying objects in the sky.”

Paul Czysz, PhD
McDonnell-Douglas, Professor of Aeronautical Engineering
Disclosure, pp. 511-519
 “When I was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, we had flying saucers that covered the distance from Columbus to Detroit in the equivalent of about 20,000 miles per hour … Zero-point energy represents about 40-50 megawatts of power per cubic inch of space. That’s a lot of power. If you could tap it at will, then no one would have to sell gasoline or oil anymore … Depending on the secrecy level, you have to go through a significant background check.  When you do that, if you’re in a very tight compartment, you sign a statement that you will not divulge the existence of the project or even answer a question that could acknowledge the existence of the project. I know people today that worked on one of the things I worked on, and if you asked them about it, they would say,  ‘No, I have no idea what you’re talking about.’  They’re in their seventies now, but they still absolutely would never admit that they even know what you’re talking about.  If there were non-earthbound sources of information, the people who were doing the design or analysis work would never have any idea of where it came from.”

Colonel Sergio Candiota da Silva
Brazilian Air Force, Assistant to the Minister of Aeronautics
December 19, 1988
“His Excellency recognizes the importance of the [UFO] matter, to the extent that within the Ministry of Aeronautics there exists a Bureau in charge of studying the matter, receiving, analyzing and archiving chronologically the phenomena observed in Brazilian airspace that comes to the attention of this Ministry.”

Mikhail Gorbachev
Premier of the Soviet Union, Interview as reported in Soviet Youth May 4, 1990
“The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously.”

Admiral Lord Hill-Norton
Chief of Defense Staff, Ministry of Defense, Great Britain,
1973; Chairman, Military Committee of NATO, 1974-77
I have frequently been asked why a person of my background—a former Chief of the Defense Staff, a former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee—why I think there is a cover-up (of) the facts about UFOs. I believe governments fear that if they did disclose those facts, people would panic. I don’t believe that at all. There is a serious possibility that we are being visited by people from outer space. It behooves us to find out who they are, where they come from, and what they want.” 

National Press Conference – 2007

Fife Symington, Former Arizona Governor, Moderator
Ray Bowyer, Captain, Aurigny Air Services, Channel Islands
Rodrigo Bravo, Captain and Pilot for the Aviation Army of Chile
General Wilfried De Brouwer, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Belgian Air Force (Ret.)
John Callahan, Chief of Accidents and Investigations for the FAA, 1980’s (Ret.)
Dr. Anthony Choy, founder, 2001, OIFAA, Peruvian Air Force
Jean-Claude Duboc, Captain, Air France (Ret.)
Charles I. Halt, Col. USAF (Ret.), Former Director, Inspections Directorate, DOD I.G.
General Parviz Jafari, Iranian Air Force (Ret.)
Jim Penniston, TSgt USAF (Ret.)
Dr. Claude Poher, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, founder, French GEPAN
Nick Pope, Ministry of Defence, UK, 1985-2006
Dr. Jean-Claude Ribes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, 1963-98
Comandante Oscar Santa Maria Huerta, Commander, Peruvian Air Force (Ret.)

Bill Richardson
Governor New Mexico
Forward to The Roswell Dig Diaries
“The mystery surrounding this crash (at Roswell) has never been adequately explained – not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government.”

“It would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows.  With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July of 1947.  The American people can handle the truth no matter how bizarre or mundane, and contrary to what you see in the movies.”

Disclosure Conference – September 27, 2010

Velikovsky, Hero or Villain? Plasma Cosmology Astronomy

Velikovsky: Periodic Cataclysm

Recollections of a Fallen Sky


In his address, Dr Velikovsky elaborates upon his theory of Cultural Amnesia. According to his theory, mankind forgot about unpleasant catastrophic events on the conscious level, but remembers on the unconscious level. Furthermore it would appear that the unconscious memory is transmitted genetically from one generation to the next, a concept already postulated by Freud and Jung but in disagreement with much of the current biological thinking. Nevertheless, there are, as will be shown in the papers following Velikovsky’s, substantial reasons for thinking that memory is indeed transmitted, if not racially, then in some other way.

If the cultural amnesia theory is correct, then it is possible to suggest that every generation lives in a state of trauma induced by the conflict between subconscious memories of past  catastrophic events and the refusal of the conscious mind to recognize that these events actually occurred in prehistoric and historic times. Dr. Velikovsky believes that the trauma is responsible for mankind’s aggressive hostility, a concept of importance to every individual frightened by the prospect of thermonuclear war or of the instability which seems to be increasing in society.

Moreover, the trauma is also responsible for the inability and at times the outright refusal of science to recognize the overwhelming evidence pointing to the catastrophic past of the Earth and the entire solar System. The trauma is also responsible, in part at least, for the actions of some scientists who denounced Velikovsky without even reading his work. Perhaps the men who did this really are saying that the truth is too awful; if the public knew they would be furious, and the great prestige accorded to the leading spokespersons for modern science would decline.

Paradigm Transformation – Cosmic in Scale

“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one new delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.
…Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” 

-– Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1852

The astronomer Fred Hoyle once wrote of the herd mentality in his profession:

“The trouble with conformity is that the process has strong positive feedback. The baaing starts up at a volume low enough to permit stronger-minded animals to think for themselves without too much trouble. Progressively, however, we break down one-by-one, losing all power of sensible judgement, to the point where we can do nothing but add our own baaing to the uproar, which eventually rises to such monumental proportions that nothing remains for the flock except the butcher’s shop.”

“Study plunges standard Theory of Cosmology into Crisis.”

The study of dwarf companion galaxies of the Milky Way support the view that a “modified Newton dynamic” [MOND] must be adopted. “This conclusion has far-reaching consequences for fundamental physics in general, and also for cosmological theories.” One of the researchers involved said, “it is conceivable that we have completely failed to comprehend the actual physics underlying the force of gravity.” 

“Why is it that experts can sometimes be so entirely wrong, and yet so emphatic in their convictions? My own belief is that some of the reason lies in the success of “principles of impotence,” particularly in modern physics. Somehow it seems part of the scientific approach to postulate impotence.” 

—R V Jones, The Scientific Intelligencer


….. Thought is difficult and painful. The difficulties and pain are due to confusion. From time to time, with enormous intellectual effect, someone creates a little order – a small spot of light in the dark sea of confusion. At first we are all dazzled by the light because we are used to living in the darkness. But when we regain our senses and examine the light we find it comes from a farthing candle – the candle of common sense. To change the metaphor, the sages chase their own tails through the ages. A little child says ‘Gentlemen, you are chasing your own tails.’ The sages gradually lose their angular momentum, and, glancing over their shoulders, see what they are pursuing. But most of them cannot believe what they see, and the tail chasing does not die out until a generation has passed…..

– J.L.Synge

Hannes Alfvén 
…made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the behavior of aurorae, the Van Allen radiation belts, the effect of magnetic storms on the Earth’s magnetic field, the terrestrial magnetosphere, and the dynamics of plasmas in the Milky Way galaxy. – Wikipedia

“I was there when Abbe Georges Lemaitre first proposed this theory [Big Bang]. Lemaitre was, at the time, both a member of the Catholic hierarchy and an accomplished scientist. He said in private that this theory was a way to reconcile science with St. Thomas Aquinas’ theological dictum of creatio ex nihilo or creation out of nothing.

“There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time. It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago.”

– Hannes Alfvén


“Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.” 

—from The Sound of Music.


…what everything and everybody is going to be as in how the power shift actually manifests within the structure of society which humanity is evolving….in other words… what is it going to mean to be human to another species….what are we going to say to others that signifies what we see ourselves as and what we are ascribing to be more of…


…trying to slam the door shut as it were in your face and even looking you in the eye and telling you, a conclusion, that is beyond reason…The deliberate brainwashing lie at the end of class one, stating that DISPITE ALL COMMON SENSE, GRAVITY RULES THE UNIVERSE, NOT ELECTRICITY, is the biggest FRUAD of the intellectual community. Indeed the intellectual community is so engrossed with the LIE, that they have no concept of the truth.


“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”

– Max Planck 

Tesla was highly critical of Eintein’s Relativity

“…Supposing that the bodies act upon the surrounding space causing curving of the same, it appears to my simple mind that the curved spaces must react on the bodies, and producing the opposite effects, straightening out the curves. Since action and reaction are coexistent, it follows that the supposed curvature of space is entirely impossible – But even if it existed it would not explain the motions of the bodies, as observed.”

“In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world”

– Speech to the United Nations General Assembly, 42nd General Assembly
September 21, 1987


“The modern astrophysical concept that ascribes the sun’s energy to thermonuclear reactions deep in the solar interior is contradicted by nearly every observable aspect of the sun.” —
– Ralph E. Juergens (1980)

“All knowledge exists as Cause. It is simple. It is limited to Light of Mind and the electric wave of motion which records God’s thinking in matter.”

– Walter Russell


Paradigm Transformation – The Universe Electric


The consequences and possibilities in an Electric Universe are far-reaching. First we must acknowledge our profound ignorance! We know nothing of the origin of the universe.There was no Big Bang. The visible universe is static and much smaller than we thought. We have no idea of the age or extent of the universe. We don’t know the ultimate source of the electrical energy or matter that forms the universe. Galaxies are shaped by electrical forces and form plasma focuses at their centers, which periodically eject quasars and jets of electrons. Quasars evolve into companion galaxies. Galaxies form families with identifiable “parents” and “children”. Stars are electrical “transformers” not thermonuclear devices. There are no neutron stars or Black Holes. We don’t know the age of stars because the thermonuclear evolution theory does not apply to them. Supernovae are totally inadequate as a source of heavy elements. We do not know the age of the Earth because radioactive clocks can be upset by powerful electric discharges.

The powerful electric discharges that form a stellar photosphere create the heavy elements that appear in their spectra. Stars “give birth” electrically to companion stars and gas giant planets. Life is most likely to form inside the radiant plasma envelope of a brown dwarf star! Our Sun has gained new planets, including the Earth. That accounts for the “fruit-salad” of their characteristics. It is not the most hospitable place for life since small changes in the distant Sun could freeze or sterilize the Earth.Planetary surfaces and atmospheres are deposited during their birth from a larger body and during electrical encounters with other planets. Planetary surfaces bear the electrical scars of such cosmic events. The speed of light is not a barrier. Real-time communication over galactic distances may be possible. Therefore time is universal and time travel is impossible. Anti-gravity is possible. Space has no extra dimensions in which to warp or where parallel universes may exist. There is no “zero-point” vacuum energy. The invisible energy source in space is electrical. Clean nuclear power is available from resonant catalytic nuclear systems. Higher energy is available from resonant catalytic chemical systems than in the usual chemical reactions. Biological enzymes are capable of utilizing resonant nuclear catalysis to transmute elements.Biological systems show evidence of communicating via resonant chemical systems, which may lend a physical explanation to the work of Rupert Sheldrake. DNA does not hold the key to life but is more like a blueprint for a set of components and tools in a factory. We may never be able to read the human genome and tell whether it represents a creature with two legs or six because the information that controls the assembly line is external to the DNA. There is more to life than chemistry.

We are not hopelessly isolated in time and space on a tiny rock, orbiting an insignificant star in an insignificant galaxy. We are hopefully connected with the power and intelligence of the universe…

…Plasma has been called the “fourth state” of matter, after solids, liquids and gases. Most of the matter in the universe is in the form of plasma. A plasma is formed if some of the negatively charged electrons are separated from their host atoms in a gas, leaving the atoms with a positive charge. The negatively charged electrons, and the positively charged atoms (known as positive ions) are then free to move separately under the influence of an applied voltage or magnetic field. Their net movement constitutes an electrical current. So, one of the more important properties of a plasma is that it can conduct electrical current. It does so by forming current filaments that follow magnetic field lines. Filamentary patterns are ubiquitous in the cosmos.


I would like to include this ‘Preface’. It describes extremely well what so many ask me nowadays.

It is extremely important to understand this dynamic of the sciences and of theory…of new thought…of transforming the present paradigm to a new one. It is a struggle, and when people argue that scientists would have already ‘found’ this or that, or already ‘proven’ this or that…well, they most likely have, it has just been too difficult to expose it to the masses when the greatest difficulties in communication will occur when one is questioning something already “known” to be true. 

It is a very brief description of the problems scientists have in:

1. Trying to accept a new paradigm of thought and science
2. The challenges they face if they try and expose this paradigm.

“The most merciful thing in the world … is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents… The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but someday the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality… That we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” – H. P. Lovecraft

In a broadly interdisciplinary inquiry such as this, communication itself can pose quite a challenge. Typically, the greatest difficulties in communication will occur when one is questioning something already “known” to be true. On matters of underlying principle, the confidence behind established ideas can be so high that discussion itself may seem quite senseless. This difficulty is aggravated by fragmentation of the process by which information is gathered and evaluated. The specialization of intellectual inquiry carries with it certain risks when assumptions within one discipline rest upon prior assumptions in other disciplines. No one can be an expert on everything, and when considering possibilities outside one’s personal expertise, it is only natural to defer to what specialists in other studies claim to know. But what are the consequences of this when theoretical suppositions, though perceived as fact, cannot account for compelling new fields of data?

Given the extreme fragmentation of established science today it is difficult to imagine that the enterprise as a whole could ever “correlate all its contents.” Yet extraordinary strides toward that “someday” envisioned by Lovecraft may now be possible through a new approach – one in which electrical phenomena receive the full attention they deserve, and all appropriate fields of evidence are included. To some, the prospects may appear every bit as disturbing as Lovecraft imagined. But for those who instinctively seek out unifying principles, the new horizons will be at once breathtaking and hopeful.

This introduction will present a new “deep focus lens” for viewing the physical universe, from sub-atomic particles to galactic realms unknown before the Hubble telescope. The Electric Universe is a holistic answer to myopia* -that narrowing of vision which naturally accompanies the fragmentation of knowledge and learning. For those with the courage to see clearly, the required “unlearning” of fashionable ideas carries no real cost whatsoever. The terror Lovecraft envisioned is only the first rush of uncertainty, when ideas long taken for granted are thrown into question by facts and simple reasoning previously ignored. The “piecing together of dissociated knowledge” will only require us to confront the deep contradictions in things experts have long claimed to know. With the courage to see clearly, the adventure itself could well be “the most merciful thing in the world,” adding new insights into the greatest dramas of early human history and vital perspective to humanity’s situation in the cosmos. Lovecraft did not realize that the “terrifying vistas” are but a mirage seen through an open door. The truth is always unified, and as such it can only be friendly to those who seek the truth first. As we pass through the door, it is not fear that goes with us, but the exhilaration of discovery.
Wal Thornhill / David Talbott

Electro-Magnetics Swirling Across Saturn

New Pictures of Auroras — on Saturn!

Posted on September 24, 2010
As if having the most impressive rings in the solar system isn’t enough, Saturn also boasts some of the shiniest “footwear”—just check out new shots of the planet’s southern auroras:
—Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester
This quartet of candy-colored pictures comes from NASA’s Cassini orbiter, which carries a nifty tool that can collect data in near-infrared wavelengths of light.
By assigning different visible colors to the otherwise invisible wavelengths, we see auroras in bright green, sunlight reflected off Saturn’s rings and high-altitude haze in shades of blue, and heat emissions from the planet’s interior in deep red.
The pictures were taken in May 2007, but they were released this week as part of a study that compiled data on Saturn’s auroras from the entire catalog, to date, of shots by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS).
Here’s a stunning view of the whole planet taken by VIMS in November 2008:
—Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester
In the picture, the ring of green auroras might seem faint, but that curtain of light is shooting up about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the cloud tops of Saturn’s south polar region.
In general, astronomers think auroras on Saturn occur via a process similar to the one that creates Earth’s polar lights.
Charged particles from the sun flow along the planet’s magnetic field lines, hitting the upper atmosphere at the poles. There the particles excite (or transfer energy to) atoms in the atmosphere, and the excited atoms release the excess energy as light.
In Saturn’s case, auroras can also be sparked by electromagnetic waves generated when the planet’s moons move through the charged gas that fills Saturn’s magnetosphere, the bubble around the planet created by its magnetic field.
The new study, presented today at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome, used VIMS data to show how Saturn’s auroras change as the planet rotates on its axis. The data reveal that the auroras can vary significantly over the course of a single Saturnian day, which lasts for just under 11 Earth hours.
For instance, the auroras brighten as the planet changes its angle toward the sun, and some parts of the auroras disappear and reappear at the same time and place each day.
“Saturn’s auroras are very complex, and we are only just beginning to understand all the factors involved,” study leader Tom Stallard said in a NASA statement.
“This study will provide a broader view of the wide variety of different auroral features that can be seen, and will allow us to better understand what controls these changes in appearance.”
Of course, understanding auroras on Saturn can also tell us more about how the phenomenon works on other planets, and not just on Earth: Jupiter also puts on an auroral light show writ large, as do Uranus and Neptune.
The study also shows the power of looking at gassy planets in near-infrared. Adjusting which colors represent which wavelengths, we can see how upper atmosphere haze (green) blocks some heat emissions (red) from deeper in the planet, as well as how cloud systems (dark bands) are structured far below that haze.
—Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
But the buck doesn’t stop at near-infrared.
In a separate study, also being presented at the European meeting, astronomers used three more of Cassini’s instruments to study Saturn’s radio auroras.
Sometimes the auroral curtain can extend far above the visible light show, where it’s made of light in radio wavelengths. The radio emissions come from fast-moving electrons spiraling along the planet’s magnetic field lines.
We’ve seen this phenomenon happening above Earth. But in October 2008, Cassini flew 153 million miles (247 million kilometers) above Saturn’s polar cloud tops, collecting the first direct data on another planet’s radio aurora.
“The instrument that measures radio waves, RPWS, can tell us the direction that each radio wave detected is travelling. By mapping this information onto magnetic field lines, we can work out the location of each radio source,” study leader Laurent Lamy, of France’s Observatoire de Paris, said in a statement.
Tracing the radio sources allowed the team to pick out which magnetic field lines were carrying the radio-emitting electrical currents.
The results showed that the source of the radio emission traces an oval around the planet’s south pole that nicely matches auroral features seen at ultraviolet wavelengths, Lamy said.
Saturn’s auroras in UV light.
—Image courtesy ESA/NASA/Hubble
Cassini had previously crossed the region above Saturn where radio auroras can occur. But the October dive was the first time its instruments had picked up such intense electrical activity at the same time a visible aurora was in action.
The scientists think the intense phenomenon was caused by solar wind squeezing on Saturn’s magnetic field.

A Thought on Influx of Cosmic Rays and the KNOT

This is just a thought I have concerning these recent developments on the Knot.

There is an area of interstellar space where there has been a very high influx of cosmic rays.  This high influx is coming from a specific place, but scientists were not able to figure out what was the source of the increased cosmic rays.

I wonder if this knot and its unwinding is the cause?  I have to look up the area of the knot, and the increased cosmic ray ‘source’ to see if they match up…

A Knot Unties at Edge of Solar System

Knot in the Ribbon at the Edge of the Solar System ‘Unties’

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010)The unusual “knot” in the bright, narrow ribbon of neutral atoms emanating in from the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space appears to have “untied,” according to a paper published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Top: The IBEX science team compares the first and second maps to reveal whether there are time variations in the ribbon or the more distributed emissions around the ribbon. We see that the first and second maps are relatively similar; however, there are significant time variations as well. Bottom: One of the clear features visible in the IBEX maps is an apparent knot in the ribbon. This visualization shows a close-up of the ribbon (green and red) superimposed on the stars and constellations in the nighttime sky. (Credit: IBEX Science Team/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio/ESA)

Analyses of the first map, released last fall, suggest the ribbon is somehow ordered by the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field outside the heliosphere, influencing the structure of the heliosphere more than researchers had previously believed. The knot feature seen in the northern portion of the ribbon in the first map stood apart from the rest of the ribbon as the brightest feature at higher energies.

While the second map, released publicly with the just-published paper, shows the large-scale structure of the ribbon to be generally stable within the six-month period, changes are also apparent. The polar regions of the ribbon display lower emissions and the knot diminishes by as much as a third and appears to “untie” as it spreads out to both lower and higher latitudes.

“What we’re seeing is the knot pull apart as it spreads across a region of the ribbon,” says Dr. David J. McComas, IBEX principal investigator and an assistant vice president at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “To this day the science team can’t agree on exactly what causes the knot or the ribbon, but by comparing different sky maps we find the surprising result that the region is changing over relatively short time periods. Now we have to figure out why.”

As the IBEX spacecraft gathers a wealth of new information about the dynamic interactions at the edge of the solar system — the region of space that shields our solar system from the majority of galactic cosmic ray radiation — the IBEX team continues to study numerous theories about the source of the ribbon and its unusual features.

Space Ribbon Unwinds from Science News on Vimeo.

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