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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Bruce Wayne, Apr 13, 2015.
New Mexico observatory's sudden closure sparks wild speculation
The temporary closure of a New Mexico observatory last week sparked wide-ranging theories, especially after reports that federal authorities were involved.
The Sunspot Solar Observatory, located near the Sacramento Mountains, closed over an unspecified security issue, the facility said in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday.
“Sunspot apologizes for the continued closure of the facilities,” the statement said. “The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is addressing a security issue at the National Solar Observatory facility at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico and has decided to temporarily vacate the facility as a precautionary measure.
“AURA, which manages Sacramento Peak with funding from NSF (National Science Foundation), is working with the proper authorities on this issue. We have no further comment at this time.”
Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News last week the sheriff’s office was asked to stand by and mentioned that the FBI was involved.
“The FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on,” House told the newspaper. “We’ve got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say.”
House said there were a lot of unanswered questions over Sunspot’s closure.
“But for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there,” House told the newspaper. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything.”
It was unclear when the observatory was going to re-open and workers decided to evacuate the facility as a “precautionary measure,” AURA spokeswoman Shari Lifson told the Alamogordo Daily News. Lifson couldn’t comment as to whether the FBI was involved.
Frank Fisher, an FBI spokesman, couldn’t confirm or deny the agency’s involvement, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
The mysterious nature of the closure sparked all kinds of speculation on the internet.
“When the aliens invade we have nowhere to evacuate to anyway; the truth will be our destiny,” Gene Alexander wrote on the observatory’s Facebook page, according to the Kansas City Star.
"There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything."
- Otero County Sheriff Benny House
“Maybe a celestial body that we have not encountered in a long while for thousands of years is finally making its way back into our solar system,” John Pleites-Sandoval hypothesized.
Whatever is happening at the observatory, one employee told the Albuquerque Journal they weren’t too concerned just yet because they didn’t have enough information.
“That’s what happens when you do something and don’t tell anybody why,” the employee said.
Japanese lander about to land on an asteroid.
Rocket failure. Emergency astronaut return.
Damn this is awesome
That thing looks like it’s from a transformers movie. It’s interesting to see just how big the rovers sent to Mars are. Opportunity is like the size of a go cart and curiosity is the size of a Jeep. You never really get that scale from the pictures they send back while on Mars
Reminds me of the Armageddon drill
The Oumuamua stuff is especially cool
yottawatts, more like lottawatts
Antonio ParisVerified account @AntonioParis
Moon and Saturn.
Coverage of the InSight landing starts in about 30 minutes:
A fun The Oatmeal comic to explain it:
This picture is amazing but gives me awful anxiety for some reason.
We did it!
go on Nasa lads
Fucking amazing that we can get pictures back that quickly
Mars looks like chocolate chip ice cream?
Retractable dust cover
The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this picture of the Martian surface on Nov. 26, 2018, the same day the spacecraft touched down on the Red Planet. The camera's transparent dust cover is still on in this image, to prevent particulates kicked up during landing from settling on the camera's lens. This image was relayed from InSight to Earth via NASA's Odyssey spacecraft, currently orbiting Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Cousin works for NASA, she's in a bunch of those photos. She's the Data Visualization Developer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Did she do that badass* handshake when they touched down?
No that wasn't her
Do you know how high up?
I'm assuming it's ISS, so 250 miles.
They may have solved dark matter and dark energy, ....with a minus sign.
lol and of course it was something Einstein predicted years ago.
Even better, it was something he thought he made a mistake on.
That little twitter box doesn't do the picture justice.
Artist renderings of how each explanet may look.
We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
— Carl Sagan, speech at Cornell University, October 13, 1994
Also one of my favorites: "Black Marble"
You can see Hurricane Sandy by Florida
It’s crazy to think that Sagan had to fight to even get that original picture taken. The folks in charge of the voyager missions didn’t want to turn the spacecraft around and possibly damage the instruments by pointing them back towards the sun just to take a picture that would have no scientific value. Sagan argued that the picture would be one of the most valuable pictures to mankind ever taken.
I mentioned it once in this thread, but if you haven't seen "The Farthest: Voyager in Space" on Netflix, you really should give it a try. It's amazing.
Voyager 2 probe moves into interstellar space
An illustration of NASA's Voyager 2 space probe
Eleven billion miles from Earth, NASA's long-lived Voyager 2 probe, still beaming back data 41 years after its launch in 1977, has finally moved into interstellar space, scientists revealed Monday, joining its sister ship Voyager 1 in the vast, uncharted realm between the stars.
Voyager 2 moved past the boundary of the heliosphere, the protective bubble defined by the sun's magnetic field and electrically charged solar wind, on Nov. 5. The transition was marked by a sharp decline in the number of charged particles detected by the spacecraft's plasma science experiment, or PLS.