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Posts Tagged ‘Comet 67P’

Rosetta_s_detection_of_molecular_oxygen

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission has discovered lots of molecular oxygen being produced in the core of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is compelling evidence in support of the claims made by British astrobiologists that the comet is rich with microbial life.

Normally, the discovery of oxygen being produced would generate great scientific excitement over the likelihood that life of some kind has to be responsible for this process. But the European Space Agency is having none of it and is doing its best to explain away the surprising finding of molecular oxygen by saying that it is due to some “unknown” planetary formation process dating back billions of years.

The Rosetta Mission released its findings on October 28 through its website in a release titled: “First Detection of Molecular Oxygen at a Comet.”  According to the Rosetta Mission scientists:

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has made the first in situ detection of oxygen molecules outgassing from a comet, a surprising observation that suggests they were incorporated into the comet during its formation. 

The idea that the molecular oxygen has been frozen in the core of the comet since its formation is a surprising hypothesis, yet one that the Rosetta Mission scientists are seriously proposing.

“We weren’t really expecting to detect O2 at the comet – and in such high abundance – because it is so chemically reactive, so it was quite a surprise,” says Kathrin Altwegg of the University of Bern, and principal investigator of the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis instrument, ROSINA.

“It’s also unanticipated because there aren’t very many examples of the detection of interstellar O2. And thus, even though it must have been incorporated into the comet during its formation, this is not so easily explained by current Solar System formation models.” 

Rosetta Mission scientists went on to say that the previously unknown process was linked to water:

The amount of molecular oxygen detected showed a strong relationship to the amount of water measured at any given time, suggesting that their origin on the nucleus and release mechanism are linked. By contrast, the amount of O2 seen was poorly correlated with carbon monoxide and molecular nitrogen, even though they have a similar volatility to O2. In addition, no ozone was detected.

Back in July 2015, a group of British astrobiologists and astronomers said that the discovery of organic compounds on comet’s surface by the Philae lander was evidence of microbial life. The scientists claims were covered by the Guardian newspaper that ran a story titled: “The Philae lander could be sitting on comet full of aliens — and wouldn’t know about it.”

The Guardian cited one of the astrobiologists involved in early plans for the Rosetta mission for its startling headline:

Astronomer and astrobiologist Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, who was involved in the mission planning 15 years ago, said: “I wanted to include a very inexpensive life-detection experiment. At the time it was thought this was a bizarre proposition.

European Space Agency scientists were quick to respond and dismiss the claims of Wickramsinghe and his colleagues that the Rosetta Mission could not detect life. In a July 6 Guardian story, one of the Rosetta Mission scientists, Uwe Meierhenrich of Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, responded to Wickramasinghe’s claims:

Life is quite picky about which chemicals it utilises; therefore, if life were present on the comet, this would recognisably boost a number of key molecules. COSAC and the PTOLEMY instrument on Philae could measure this enhancement. “We can thereby well distinguish between the biological and astrochemical formation of organics,” wrote Meierhenrich.

Meierhenrich went on to say: “No scientist active in any of the Rosetta instrument science teams assumes the presence of living micro-organisms beneath the cometary surface crust.”

Consequently, with the discovery of molecular oxygen being released by Comet 67P, Rosetta mission scientists have proclaimed that since there is no life on the comet, that molecular oxygen is therefore not a good biosignature as previously thought:

“If we look at exoplanets, our goal of course will be to detect biosignatures, to see if the planet contains life,” said Kathrin Altwegg, Rosetta scientist with the Physics Institute and Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern in Germany. “And as far as I know, so far the combination of methane and O2 was a hint that you have life underneath it. On the comet, we have both methane and O2, but we don’t have life. So it’s probably not a very good biosignature.”

The discovery of molecular oxygen being produced by the comet’s core is, however, powerful evidence in support of the claims by Wickramsinghe and his colleagues that microbial life exists on Comet 67P.

Is it possible that European Space Agency scientists are misleading the public with their claims that microbial life does not exist on Comet 67P?

A Russian study into a mysterious buildup on the surface of the International Space Station suggests that the European Space Agency is cooperating with NASA in deliberately ignoring the possibility that life can exist and even flourish in the vacuum of space.

On August 19, 2014, Tass announced that Russian scientists had found organisms similar to sea plankton flourishing in the vacuum of space after an exhaustive one year study of what was found on the International Space Station surface. Vladimir Solovyev, chief of the Russian International Space Station orbital mission, said:

Results of the scope of scientific experiments which had been conducted for a quite long time were summed up in the previous year, confirming that some organisms can live on the surface of the International Space Station (ISS) for years amid factors of a space flight, such as zero gravity, temperature conditions and hard cosmic radiation. Several surveys proved that these organisms can even develop.

He went on to say that “it was not quite clear how these microscopic particles could have appeared on the surface of the space station.”

Importantly, the Russian scientists found that the sea plankton was growing suggesting that space based sea plankton is an extremophile capable of reproducing in the vacuum of space with minimal heat.

If sea plankton can thrive on the surface of the International Space Station, then it’s more than likely that similar extremophile forms of life can thrive inside the core of a comet, and on its surface as Wickramasinghe and his colleagues claim.

The connection to water with the oxygen production observed by Rosetta Mission scientists can therefore be explained as resulting from the most hospitable environment for the growth of sea plankton on Comet 67P. Sea plankton is responsible for much of the oxygen production on Earth:

It is estimated that marine plants produce between 70 and 80 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Nearly all marine plants are single celled, photosynthetic algae.

Mainstream media sources are running with the European Space Agency’s claims that life does not exist on Comet 67P and therefore the oxygen being produced there is purely some kind of anomalous astrochemical process. This is leading to claims that oxygen is not a reliable biosignature as previously thought when it comes to the study of exoplanets by space telescopes.

However, the 2014 Russian study has revealed that an extremophile form of sea plankton can exist in the vacuum of space; this suggests that something similar could flourish inside Comet 67P. The discovery of molecular oxygen by the Rosetta Mission may therefore by the byproduct of a form of sea plankton growing inside Comet 67P which has extensive deposits of water inside that heats up as the comet approaches the sun.

The October 28 announcement by the European Space Agency that Comet 67P is producing molecular oxygen supports dissident astrobiologist claims that the comet is teeming with microbial life. By summarily dismissing such claims, and instead proposing a convoluted theory that the oxygen production can be dated back to an unknown process that occurred billions of years ago, is the European Space Agency deceiving the public?

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

FURTHER READING

ESA Singing Comet

The European Space Agency (ESA) today confirmed that it was receiving a mysterious signal from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In a post on its live streaming website, it described the signal as a “mystery song” and uploaded a recording with the caption: “Hear our comet sing.” The confirmation follows months of rumors that the Rosetta mission was originally sent to explore a radio signal from the comet first detected 20 years ago. The November 12 landing of the Rosetta mission’s Philae probe will be live streamed to the world. The ESA’s surprise announcement hints that the significance of the landing may go well beyond the historic first of humanity landing a probe on a comet.

Here is what the ESA said in its December 11 post:

Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. The comet seems to be emitting a ‘song’ in the form of oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet’s environment. It is being sung at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased in this recording…

There was a media frenzy back on September 29 from a UFO Sightings Daily post titled: “NASA Records Radio Signals Coming From Comet 67P For Over 20 Years!”  The author, Scott Waring, cited an anonymous ESA whistleblower who wrote in an email that the mystery signal was detected 20 years ago by NASA and this was the true reason behind the Rosetta mission.

Waring and others making similar claims were criticized by many in the mainstream media who debunked the idea of a mysterious radio signal coming from comet 67P. Huffington Post writer, Michael Rundle, for example, wrote:

If the comet is emitting radio waves, why has no one else been able to tune it?… If the radio waves were picked up by NASA, why did they leave the space mission to investigate to the European Space Agency?

Well guess what? The ESA today confirmed that Waring was right and Rundle was wrong. The mystery signal is in fact “a song” being transmitted by the comet, presumably an oscillation in its magnetic field according to the ESA. The ESA did not say when it first recorded the song, but it does lend plausibility to the claims of the anonymous ESA whistlelower. The big question now is whether the song is a random composition of nature as the ESA implies, or was created by an extraterrestrial intelligence.

A September 10 photo from the Rosetta mission showed what appeared to be a radio tower and a possible UFO on the surface of Comet 67P. The photo was one among others held by the ESA that the anonymous ESA whistleblower referred to as revealing some of the mystery behind Comet 67P. Could the alleged tower be the source of the mystery signal, and does the UFO suggest an extraterrestrial intelligence is involved?

If the mystery signal today confirmed by the ESA was detected 20 years ago and led to the Rosetta mission, then it stands to reason that NASA and ESA believed that the signal was more than a random composition by nature. If extraterrestrials are wanting to announce themselves to a disbelieving world, transmitting a beautiful song from a remote comet does appear to be an elegant form of First Contact.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Comet 67 P UFO

Image Source: UFO Sightings Daily

The Huffington Post today attempted to debunk claims that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is transmitting radio signals and may in fact be an ancient spaceship. Post writer Michael Rundle picked up on an earlier September 29 story released on the popular UFO Sightings Daily blogsite titled: “NASA Records Radio Signals Coming From Comet 67P For Over 20 Years!” The UFO Sightings Daily story repeated claims made a week earlier in a Youtube video that is going viral allegedly showing UFOs and a radio transmission tower on Comet 67P. Rundle concludes that the claims are a sensationalist take on flimsy evidence. Is he correct?

First, let’s start with last week’s announcement that the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission had set November 12 as the date that its lander, Philae, would land on the 2.5 x 2.2 mile Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The scheduled landing will be the first time that a spacecraft will have successfully landed on a comet. In 2005, Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft failed in its landing attempt on another asteroid. For astrobiologists, the landing will be an opportunity to look for and examine any organic materials on Comet 67P to assess their potential as building blocks for life. If Comet 67P is found to contain amino acids, for example, that would make it possible that comets are an effective means to disseminate organic material essential for the creation of life. This would make the comet landing a continuation of a long series of NASA and ESA missions to find where the conditions for life may be found on our solar system.

A recent photograph of the comet taken by the Rosetta spacecraft suggest another reason for the mission. According to BPEarthWatch’s Youtube video one of these photos reveals a number of UFOs flying over the surface of Comet 67P and what looks like a radio transmission tower. BP Watch also displayed an anonymous email from an alleged ESA insider who claims that the Rosetta mission was indeed established to investigate radio signals detected 20 years ago suggestive of an extraterrestrial intelligence in association with the comet. Scott Waring from UFO Sightings agreed and posted his endorsement of BPEarthWatch’s claims on September 28.

The images are too blurry to conclude anything according to Rundle, who in addition points out that the claims fail to address a number of questions:

If the comet is emitting radio waves, why has no one else been able to tune it? If there are UFOs inside, why haven’t they been caught in any detail in any of the hundreds of high-resolution photographs taken by the comet? If the radio waves were picked up by NASA, why did they leave the space mission to investigate to the European Space Agency?

While one can agree with Rundle’s assessment that the blurred objects in the photograph are inconclusive, that is not the same as saying they are NOT artificial objects. Furthermore, his questions fail to acknowledge NASA’s long history of deceiving the public over evidence of extraterrestrial life. For example, on August 19, Russian scientists announced that they had discovered microbes flourishing on the windows of the International Space Station. If true, this would show that microbial life could exist in the vacuum of space. This would revolutionize the scientific understanding of how life can be disseminated through space via comets, thereby lending critical support to the theory of Panspermia. What was NASA’s response to this significant public revelation by Russian scientists? Silence!

There are other examples of NASA deliberately muzzling evidence pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life. Veteran scientists such as Richard Hoover, who worked for NASA for 46 years, have publicly disagreed with NASA’s muzzling which goes high up the chain of command.

In response to Rundle’s questions, it may be that NASA, with the cooperation of the European Space Agency, is again muzzling evidence of extraterrestrial life. A dissident scientist from the European Space Agency may well have leaked the truth about Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through an anonymous email. Based on the photos released so far by the Rosetta Mission showing a tower-like structure, Comet 67P may be transmitting radio signals that were picked up as long as 20 years ago by NASA, and has UFOs flying on its surface. On the other hand, Rundle might be right, and the most we can look forward to after November 12 is that some amino acids are found on the surface of Comet 67P lending support to the theory of Panspermia.

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Exopolitics.org