Andy Lloyd's Dark Star Blog
Blog 12 (March 2014)
WISE Fails to Find Dark Star
A significant sweep of the sky in the infra-red spectrum by WISE has so far failed to detect a massive Planet X object in the outer solar system.
Image Credit: Penn State University
The detection range of WISE means that scientists are able to constrain the possibilities of such a world existing out there:
"This recent study, which involved an examination of WISE data covering the entire sky in infrared light, found no object the size of Saturn or larger exists out to a distance of 10,000 astronomical units (au), and no object larger than Jupiter exists out to 26,000 au. One astronomical unit equals 93 million miles. Earth is 1 au, and Pluto about 40 au, from the sun." (1)
A Daily Mail article today sets out the disappointment among several astronomers hoping to find a massive Planet X body using WISE, the infra-red sky search conducted a couple of years ago. It seems that they've now ruled out the chance of finding such an object, with this one caveat:
"Both of the WISE searches were able to find objects the other missed, suggesting many other celestial bodies likely await discovery in the WISE data. 'We think there are even more stars out there left to find with WISE. 'We don't know our own sun's backyard as well as you might think,' said Wright." (2)
I'll admit that this is not the news I had hoped for from WISE. Is it possible that WISE could miss a Dark Star not once, but twice? Even given the very short time periods when WISE was scanning the star-fields, the statistical likelihood of a double miss seems, on the face of it, low. Unless, of course, the data somewhere along the line has been suppressed. There are precedents in modern times when returning raw data was filtered through contractors first, e.g. Malin Space Science Systems, before being crunched by scientists.
Given how reliant modern astronomy is on advanced computers, there is also scope for significant government intrusion - in exactly the same way that possibly all electronic communication is now routinely monitored by intelligence agencies like GCHQ and NSA. And these organisations employ very smart technically-minded people, who are certainly capable of delving through cutting-edge astrophysical data. One can take nothing for granted in our modern hyper-connected era. I've explored these possibilities in my fictional work, but it would be a very tough thing to prove in reality.
Despite these, and other caveats, many scientists will naturally conclude that, even if such an object shaped the formation of the solar system in the past, it is no longer out there now. Despite this, brown dwarf hunter Kevin Luhman thinks that the search is definitely still on - that the vastness of the solar system may yet provide us with the elusive companion object (3). But his mood music is still rather downbeat:
""The outer solar system probably does not contain a large gas giant planet, or a small, companion star," said Kevin Luhman of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University, University Park, Pa., author of a paper in the Astrophysical Journal describing the results." (1)
3) Nola Taylor Redd "Could Planet X Still be Lurking Out There?" 28 March 2014 (article no longer available online)
Heliopauses in Collision
Scientists working on the forces shaping the edge of the solar system (at the boundary known as the Heliosphere) have concluded that there is indeed a tangible 'ribbon' of interaction between the solar boundary and external, interstellar magnetic field.
This mysterious "ribbon" of energy and particles at the edge of our solar system appears to be a roadmap across the Heliopause boundary indicating the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field.
But there remain some strange factors at play, not least of which is the apparent changes in the local field over time, as measured by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer survey as opposed to direct data from Voyager 1:
"Interestingly, when scientists compared the IBEX and cosmic ray data with Voyager 1's measurements, the Voyager 1 data provide a different direction for the magnetic fields just outside our heliosphere." (1)
These fluctuations in what one would otherwise imagine would be a uniform field effect, have led NASA to dream up the concept of 'interstellar fluff'. I have wondered in the past whether these local effects might be the fingerprints of something more substantial - a distant object interacting with our Heliosheath through its own intense magnetic field. Given the disparity between the data from IBEX and Voyager, I remain open to that possibility.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 12th March 2014
1) Daily Galaxy "Gigantic Galactic Magnetic Field Extends Far Beyond Our Solar System" 14 February 2014, with thanks to Lee (article no longer online)
Siberian Super Megaliths
Following discussion of ancient stone structures in Russia in last month's blog, the Internet has been buzzing about a new, rather sensational archaeological find in southern Siberia near the mountains of Gornaya Shoria (1). Two names associated with the find, researcher Valery Uvarov and the expedition leader Georgy Sidorov, are both heavily involved in the alternative knowledge field and I, for one, have previously encountered material promulgated by Mr Uvarov which I have found rather too wild for my tastes. But, that is not to say that there may not be any truth to this story. The images that originate from Valery Uvarov's site seem genuine enough, showing as they do walls seemingly constructed by truly enormous megalithic stones - perhaps weighing as much as 4000 tonnes each (2).
Some commentators have opined that these might turn out to be natural formations, however much they seem to resemble other, smaller scale (!) megalithic sites around the world - although the conditions that might have caused these kinds of geological formations (common earthquake events, for instance) are not prevalent in this region (3).
Valery Uvarov indicates on his website that he plans a further expedition to the region in 2014, and speculates that the structure might have succumbed in the past to a "colossal power explosion" (2). Let's hope he takes a professional surveyor and a qualified geologist along with him this time.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 12th March 2014
1) John Jenson, "Super Megaliths" 22 February 2014, with thanks to Barry
2) Valery Uvarov "Megalithic structures in Gornaya Shoria (Russia, Siberia)" (article no longer available online) but see:
3) Martin Clemens "Super-megalithic Site Found in Russia: Natural or Man-made?" 28 February 2014
Meteors, Planes and Flying Objects
Author Erich von Däniken's new book provides many new photos of megalithic monuments, some obscure and others more celebrated. During his discussion he makes a short but, to my eyes, important diversion into a controversial translation of the Sumerian "Temple Hymns of Enheduanna", written about 2300BCE. He discusses translations by Dr Hermann Burgard, who "studied Sumerology for decades, who can read cuneiform writing in the original and who knows the ancient texts and their interpreters..." (1).
The author notes how Dr Burgard's translations of the Temple Hymns openly discuss "ramps for flying machines, production of fuel, storage rooms for fuel, terrible explosions in which hundreds of people died, flying machines rising into the heavens, spaceships in orbit, radio traffic, refinement of scrap metals and metal alloys for flying machines." (1)
This work clearly has a lot in common with that of the late Zecharia Sitchin, whose writings von Däniken's camp has consistently considered heretical. Perhaps this explains the author's very next comment "This is not some amateur spinning a yarn." (1)
Regrettably, my efforts to locate an English version of Dr Burgard's translation from Sumerian cuneiform into German has failed to come up with anything. Here's what's I've gleaned from Google translations about Dr Burgard himself, available on the Internet in German:
Born in Saarbrücken, Germany, 8th November 1932
After graduating with a degree in economics, he became a civil servant in the Commission of the European Economic Community (EEC) and had most recently held the rank of Ministerial Director functions as Head of International Monetary Affairs, Director for Structural Policy and Director of Innovation funding.
In 1959 he received his doctorate in political science.
He has extensive language skills in several modern and ancient languages. Fluent in French and English, largely Dutch; understanding of Italian, Spanish and Latin; some Ancient Greek.
Since his retirement, Dr. Burgard studied Assyriology and Sumerology.
From about 1998 specializing in the cuneiform texts of the king's daughter and twin High Priestess Encheduanna, the first author known by name in world history.
Since 2004, work on the transfer of their so-called temple hymns. (2)
I'm quite excited to hear of this independent work on Sumerian texts and its potential connection to ancient astronauts. Dr Burgard may not be an academic scholar of ancient Sumerian, but he is evidently a learned and intelligent man who enjoyed a high profile career in the European civil service, and has dedicated himself to these ancient linguistic and textural studies since his retirement. Hopefully, I'll be able to locate an English translation before long.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 12th May 2014
1) Erich von Däniken, "Remnants of the Gods: A Visual Tour of Alien Influence in Egypt, Spain, France, Turkey, and Italy", pp121-2, New Page Books, 2014
2) Vitae Dr Hermand Burgard, translation courtesy of Google Translate (article no longer available online)
Early Earth Was Cool and Wet
Despite the upheavals in the early solar system, and the strength of the Sun's activity as a young star, the Earth appears to have cooled dramatically very early indeed. This early cooling also allowed water to form on the Earth's surface which led to the formation of life.
New scientific work on some extremely old zircon crystals, obtained from a sheep ranch in Australia (1), date the crust to at least 4.4 billion years ago, just 160 million years after the formation of our solar system.
"The microscopic zircon crystal used by Valley and his group in the current study is now confirmed to be the oldest known material of any kind formed on Earth. The study, according to Valley, strengthens the theory of a "cool early Earth," where temperatures were low enough for liquid water, oceans and a hydrosphere not long after the planet's crust congealed from a sea of molten rock. "The study reinforces our conclusion that Earth had a hydrosphere before 4.3 billion years ago," and possibly life not long after, says [geoscience Professor John] Valley." (2)
Assuming this scientific evidence is correct (the work has some academic critics) then this leaves us with some questions to answer about the early solar system.
The Earth was struck very early on by a Mars-sized planet, inflicting a massive wound and resulting in the formation of the Moon. That must have happened before the date when these zircon crystals formed. So, that earliest period of 160 million years in the Earth's life included the age of the molten magma oceans, a colossal planetary impact, then a fundamental temperature shift downwards whilst orbiting a stable star in a non-eccentric orbit. What's wrong with this picture?
Solar temperature variation over time in green
The Earth's position in the inner solar system is like being sat near the living room fire. Without the protective sheath of an atmosphere, the solar wind drives off volatiles, like water vapour, meaning that the early Earth should have struggled to hold onto its water - especially during a time when the planet was still raging hot. Given the short timeline for cooling, it's almost as if God threw a bucket of cold water over the Earth 4.3 billion years ago.
I think this finding points to a totally different scenario - that the early Earth was located at a greater distance from the Sun, enabling it to cool far quicker. It then migrated inwards following a catastrophic encounter with a rogue planet 3.9 billion years ago (during the period known as the late, heavy bombardment). That way, it arrived in its current location as an already cooled planet covered with water and, potentially, teeming with life.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 14th March 2014
1) Sudeshna Chowdhury "What can a 4.4-billion-year-old bit of Earth's crust tell us about the origins of life?" 24 February 2014, with thanks to Lee
2) University of Wisconsin-Madison Press Release "Oldest bit of Crust Firms up Idea of Cool Early Earth" 23 February 2014
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