Friday, 12 January 2018

Huge Water Reserves Found All Over Mars

By National Geographic

New NASA images show layers of ice peeking out of eroded cliffs—a potential boon for future humans on the red planet.

Eroded banks throughout Mars's mid-latitudes reveal underground bands of bluish material. Spectra of these layers—which start three to six feet beneath the surface—strongly suggest that they are made of water ice.

At sites across the midsection of Mars, scientists have found layers of water ice buried mere feet beneath the red planet’s surface. The discovery adds crucial detail to Mars’s geologic history, and it may shape how future humans on Mars get their water.

"This is a new window into ground ice on Mars," says Colin Dundas, the U.S. Geological Survey geologist who co-discovered the ice layers.

Scientists have long theorized that reserves of water ice are locked underground on Mars. In 2002, the NASA Odyssey mission scanned the planet from orbit and detected signs of shallow ground ice at high latitudes. In 2008, the NASA Phoenix mission dug up water ice at its landing site near the Martian north pole.

Mars 101 Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, has been a source of intrigue throughout human history. Recent NASA exploratory expeditions revealed some of the planet's biggest mysteries. This video explains what makes Mars so different from Earth and what would happen if humans lived there.

And in late 2016, scientists using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found a buried ice sheet at Mars’s mid-latitudes that holds about as much water as Lake Superior. But until Dundas’s study, published today in Science, scientists struggled to understand the extent and accessibility of Mars’s subsurface ice layers.

The eight sites featured in the new study include steep banks where, much like cutting into a cake, erosion has exposed layers of rock and ice that MRO could see from overhead. The bands of ice first appear between three and six feet underground, supporting the notion that Mars’s mid-latitudes periodically saw large snowfalls millions of years ago, when Mars was tilted on its axis at a steeper angle than it is today, says Dundas.

The discovery could also influence how future astronauts—who may one day land in Mars’s mid-latitudes—slake their thirst.

Human missions to Mars would likely rely on extracting water from the local environment, either baking it out of hydrated minerals or mining it from ice deposits. Humans would then drink the water or break it down into hydrogen and oxygen, which could then be used to make breathable air and methane for rocket fuel.
As a 2016 NASA study makes clear, ice may yield more water per scoop than minerals, but if accessing this ice requires digging through 30 feet of rock, then ice mining ends up being too inefficient. That picture changes, however, if ice sheets lie within only a few feet of the surface.
"It’s looking more encouraging that water ice could be available at depths shallow enough that could be used as resources for human missions to Mars," says Angel Abbud-Madrid, the director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.

'Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception'

By Kari Kenner

There’s the “Alien” film series, “Signs,” “Arrival,” “Independence Day,” “War of the Worlds” and even “Avengers.” Pop culture and especially popular sci-fi films are riddled with references to life beyond Earth and the existence of extra-terrestrials: you know, aliens.
Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum of belief in “life beyond,” there’s something to be said about UFO reports, personal accounts of alien encounters and even the United States government’s spotty past with extra-terrestrially-suspicious, which is where the film “Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception” comes in.
'Ran recently' (Mac Edit)  at the Cinemark at Provo Towne Centre and University Mall, “Alien Intrusion” is a new documentary intended to confront alien phenomenon head on, including analyzing UFO sightings across the globe and real-life accounts of paranormal experiences, as well as discussing the events that took place at Roswell in New Mexico, government cover-ups and even the ties between the “otherworldly” and religion. The documentary is narrated by actor John Schneider, produced by writer and producer Gary Bates and taps into the knowledge of author and scientist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Biologist Dr. Robert Carter, author Nick Redfern and pastor Dr. Johnny Hunt.

'Zoo Theory' Finally Explains Why Aliens Haven't Contacted Us Yet?

By Matthew Loffhagen

At present, there are two contradictory issues surrounding the existence of aliens that are seemingly increasingly at odds with each other.

On the one hand, our every attempt to survey the stars in the hopes of finding alien life is turning up absolutely nothing.

There doesn't seem to be any organic life on Mars that we haven't accidentally put there ourselves, and we haven't yet got a response from any of our needy broadcasts out into the cosmos in the hopes of finding intelligent beings somewhere beyond our own world.

On the other hand, many people are convinced that UFOs are genuinely the work of advanced alien races that frequently visit the Earth. This belief is so strong among some of the world's most powerful people that the US government has been investigating its own version of The X-Files for several years now.

So if there are intelligent aliens out there, why haven't seen even the slightest evidence of their existence?

The so-called "Zoo Theory" hopes to explain this, and the logic is pretty much what you'd expect from its title. 

MIT radio astronomer John A Ball has proposed the theory that the planet Earth is a kind of nature preserve, overseen by caretaker aliens who keep us from making contact with anyone else in the universe.

Ball has even written a paper documenting his theory, claiming that occasionally spotted UFOs are in fact the signs of Extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) aliens, who slip up every now and then in their goal of observing, but never interfering, with our species' social order.

"Why are we unaware of ETI? A premise of most searches is that ETI are trying to communicate with us, but we are not quite clever enough to see or hear them. I suggest, instead, that if ETI had chosen to announce their presence to us, we would be aware. Since we are not, I presume they have not," Ball explains in the paper.

This is a relatively common idea in science fiction; the notion that humanity is just a little bit too stupid or uncivilized to be welcomed into the intergalactic community.

In Star Trek, Vulcans make first contact with humans after our species proves capable of creating warp-drive technology, while in Mass Effect, it's only after humanity advances enough to stumble into an accidental war with the Turians that anyone on the galactic stage starts paying us any attention.

If Ball's theory is correct, all alien species are really going out of their way to remain hidden, to the point that they must be carefully cloaking their entire civilizations at all times in fear of being spotted by us.

We're getting better at spotting distant objects throughout the universe, so you have to assume that if an alien race exists close enough to be able to reach our planet, we'd also be able to spot their home colonies as well.

It's possible that aliens exist trapped under layers of ice that keep them hidden, or that they only exist around the equators of planets which makes them harder to spot, but there's really not enough evidence to assume that UFOs are proof of alien visitations when we can't even be sure that there are other sentient species living anywhere in the Milky Way galaxy.

The idea that we're alone is very scary to a lot of people—perhaps even scarier than the prospect of being visited periodically by mysterious aliens. It's hard to handle the possibility that our civilization is the only one that's ever been aware enough to observe the universe, in all its majesty, and that the knowledge that we've accrued will die with us.

That's the scariest possibility of all; and one that theorists like John A Ball like to try to avoid thinking about—maybe, in all the grand, beautiful wonder of the cosmos, we really are just a random, rare accident that will never happen again.

Plus, if this is true, we can never live out our Captain Kirk fantasies of romancing beautiful green-skinned aliens, and that seems like a big let-down based on everything that science fiction has been promising us for the past 50 years.

The final part of Britain’s real-life X Files has been released – but does the Government have something to hide?

By George Harrison

Government officials have finally finished the ten-year process of declassifying Britain's real-life X Files, but some think they've been made deliberately hard to access. Former MoD alien expert Nick Pope wonders what's really been going on.

THE MoD has spent ten years releasing a trickle of declassified files relating to UFO sightings... and now the final three documents have been made public.

This final release completes the Government's long process of publishing Britain's real-life X Files, formerly top-secret papers containing eyewitness accounts, sketches and police reports of UFO sightings from the 1970s to the early noughties.

Nick Pope, former UFO investigator at the MoD, has suggested that alien enthusiasts won't be too chuffed with this final release

Over the past decade, the files, which have been drip-fed into the public domain to hush any claims of a conspiracy, were ushered out without any fanfare from the Government, with batches steadily and unceremoniously cropping up online.

The final three documents appeared on the National Archives website on January 1, and are all dated from 1986.

One is described as UFO incidents, while the others are filed under UFO reports and UFO correspondence.

But, even after spending the past three decades behind the closed doors of the MoD, they're unlikely to satisfy conspiracy theorists.

Past file releases have included eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings

Unlike many of the releases before it, this final wave of files won't be available online, and the timing of their publication is sure to cause more a stir among the UFO community.

Officials originally decided to circulate the documents to save the hassle of responding to thousands of freedom of information requests about the Government's knowledge of UFOs.

But Nick Pope, who used to run the Ministry of Defence's UFO project, says conspiracy theorists are likely to be "incensed" by the questions thrown up by the final file dump.

Now, believers will want to know why the Government waited ten years to release these files, and why they've been made so hard to get hold of.

The release of these files prove governments are taking alien life more seriously than we thought... and some reckon they're still hiding something

Why January 1?

One reason why UFO hunters are unlikely to be happy is the precise timing of the release, on New Years Day.

Nick says: "This looks suspiciously as if The National Archives tried to sneak out this release when nobody was looking."

Some will be asking whether this was an attempt to bury the release by shuffling it out on a bank holiday when everyone was in bed.

It's true that January 1 is a common release date for public files, but hardcore UFO hunters will want to know why the MoD has held on to these for so long in the first place.

Previous files include sketches and police reports relating to UFO sightings

Is there a link to the Pentagon's UFO research?

This final wave of files, which caps off a ten-year release programme, was published after the big news broke that the American government was hiding its own X Files.

Nick said: "Coming so soon after the revelations about the Pentagon's UFO program, this will raise suspicion in the UFO community that there's been co-ordination between the US and UK government on this."

Conspiracy theorists may also wonder whether the MoD's UFO reports ever tied in with the Pentagon's £16 million investigation into the existence of UFOs and aliens.

Dubbed the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, the secret project ran for five years, proving that both US and UK governments take aliens more seriously than we all thought

Why aren't they online?

Unlike many of the other X Files, the final three documents haven't been digitised.

That means anyone who wants to read them will have to either visit the National Archives in person or fork out to order a copy of the documents.

While hardcore alien chasers are unlikely to be put off by this, it does make it harder for members of the public to access the declassified files.

Nick has previously been critical of the way the release has been handled, and he says having to pay for the final files is sure to outrage the UFO community.

He added: "Having worked on the MoD's UFO investigations in the Nineties I'm pleased that these files are finally in the open.

"There's no smoking gun in these files that says UFOs are extraterrestrial, but there are plenty of interesting sighting reports and other related material relating to MoD research on the subject.

"These recent revelations in the UK and the US show that whatever you believe about the UFO mystery, some of us in government took the subject seriously."