Category Archives: NASA

Russia plans to colonize the Moon

Dr. Eowyn:

. . . whereas under Obama, not only is America NOT returning to the Moon, NASA’s “foremost” mission is to improve relations with the Muslim world.

The enemy of the United States is sitting in the Oval Office of the White House.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

This is what’s happened to the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Barack Obama’s presidency:
  • Cancellation of NASA’s Constellation program to build new rockets and spaceships capable of returning astronauts to the Moon.
  • Since February 2006 NASA’s mission statement is to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. In July 2010, however, NASA administrator Charles Bolden declared that his “foremost” mission as the head of America’s space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
  • In 2011, NASA ended its space shuttle program.
  • In April 2013, Bolden told a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington that “NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime.”

Charles Bolden

But Russia not only will return to the Moon, they plan to colonize it. Will Stewart reports for

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Creation: So who created God?

Ring galaxyThe Ring Galaxy, with a span of 100,000 light years, is 600 million light years away from Earth. Visible in the gap (at about one o’clock) is yet another ring galaxy that likely lies even farther in the distance. [NASA]

Dr. Hugh Ross is a Christian physicist and astronomer who writes books and a terrific blog, Reasons to Believe, showing how science and Christianity can be very compatible. More than that, Dr. Ross uses science to demonstrate the truths of our Christian faith.

In his Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) famously reasoned for the existence of God by pointing to “the chains of effecting causes that exist in the world. Things here are produced by their causes; these causes in turn were produced by their causes, and so on. Ultimately, there must be a first cause….”

In his post of April 7, 2014, Dr. Ross answers a very good question from a non-believer on who/what created that first cause. Here’s the question:

Hello,

Let me start by saying I’m not actually a believer at this moment. When listening to the lectures, I hear a lot of talk about the complexity of things being a big proponent for creation or design because somebody created it. But at some point in the paradigm you’re at least admitting that, somewhere, something just existed that was at least as complex as, or more complex than, us….If we couldn’t have just existed, how could you say God just existed without something creating him. I’d like to hear your answer on that.

— Submitted by an attendee of an RTB event in San Antonio, TX

Dr. Ross gave a brilliant answer, pointing out that cause-and-effect can only happen in our Universe of space and time.

For if we say that X caused Y, X must have happened some time before Y.

But the Creator of the Universe cannot Himself be contained in that Universe. That means the Creator is outside our Universe of space and time, which in turn means that the Creator, the First Cause, is outside of time and, therefore, has no cause.

As St. Thomas Aquinas put it:

Where there is motion, there is a mover, and ultimately a first mover, itself unmoved. This is God.Ultimately, there must be a first cause which is itself uncaused. This is God.

Here is Dr. Ross’s answer:

Dear not-yet-a-believer,

Your question is one of the most important any human being could ask—and one that most Christians are ill prepared to answer.

As I understand your query, if explaining the natural realm’s ability to support life, especially human life, requires extreme levels of complexity and design, then would not the cause of all this complexity and design need a cause that is even greater than Him? As Richard Dawkins puts it, the problem with Christianity is accounting for who “designed the Designer?”1

The question of who created God was the heart of my debate with Lewis Wolpert at Imperial College in London. (You can listen to the debate here). In a nutshell, I explained that, today, physicists across the philosophical spectrum acknowledge that the space-time theorems are unassailable. If the universe contains mass and if general relativity reliably describes the movements of bodies in the universe, the theorems are valid. Those theorems establish that space and time had a beginning at the origin of the universe. They imply that the causal agent of the universe is not subject to space and time—thus, that agent can create space-time dimensions at will.

Of course, any entity—such as the universe and everything subject to the laws and dimensions of the universe—that is constrained to a single dimension of time, where time cannot be stopped or reversed, must have a beginning. Ultimately, such entities must be traceable back to a creation event. However, an entity not constrained by time need not have been created.

The Bible declares in multiple passages that God created time (e.g., John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17). Psalm 90 adds that God can arbitrarily compress or expand time as we know it. In my book Beyond the Cosmos (3rd edition), I include diagrams illustrating that this compression and expansion of time is only possible for beings with access to the equivalent of at least two dimensions of time. Scripture also declares that God has no beginning, no ending, and is not created (e.g., Psalm 90:2; Hebrews 7:3). These declarations could be true only of a Being who created time, rather than one who is subject to time.

Philosophers responding to Dawkins have pointed out that he made a category error. God is in a different category than the universe or humans in that He is not subject to the physical laws of the universe or to its space-time dimensionality.

For a more thorough answer to this question, I suggest reading Beyond the Cosmos. The book includes a description of scientific evidence for the existence of nine dimensions of space and for a Being who brought into existence ten space-time dimensions.

~Eowyn

Vatican co-hosts science conference on search for alien life

galaxies1Artist rendering of the different types of planets in our Milky Way galaxy detected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. A new analysis of Kepler data found there are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth. (AP Photo/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Bigots persist in portraying the Catholic Church as hostile to science.

None other than the Vatican Observatory is co-hosting a science conference on the search for life beyond Earth, at the University of Arizona this week.

The Vatican Observatory (Specola Vaticana) is an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See. Originally based in the Roman College of Rome, its headquarters are now in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Vatican Observatory also has an observatory at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeast Arizona’s Pinaleno Mountains. MGIO is a division of Steward Observatory, the research arm for the Department of Astronomy at The University of Arizona.

Megan Gannon reports for Fox News, March 17, 2014, that the Vatican Observatory is co-hosting, with the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, a science conference called “The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignature & Instruments.”

Nearly 200 scientists are attending the conference, which runs from March 16 through 21 at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 

“Finding life beyond Earth is one of the great challenges of modern science and we are excited to have the world leaders in this field together in Tucson,” said event co-chair Daniel Apai, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the UA Steward Observatory, in a statement. “But reaching such an ambitious goal takes planning and time. The goal of this meeting is to discuss how we can find life among the stars within the next two decades.”

Rev. Paul Gabor of the Vatican Observatory, the conference’s other co-chair, added that scientists will give more than 160 research presentations during this week’s conference.

According to the organizers, the conference will cover the technical challenges of finding and imaging exoplanets and identifying biosignatures in the atmospheres of far-flung worlds. Other presentations will discuss the study of life forms that live in extreme environments on Earth, which could be apt analogs for life on other planets.

The conference is not open to the public, but NASA’s Astrobiology Institute is broadcasting a live feed of the sessions. You can learn more about the conference via its website: http://www.ebi2014.org/

~Eowyn

Creation: Dazzling distant galaxies

An artistic sampling of some far-away worlds (source: Yahoo)

galaxies1

Above is an artist rendering of  the different types of planets in our Milky Way galaxy detected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. A new analysis of Kepler data found there are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth. (AP Photo/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

galaxies2

Artist’s impression of five possible planets orbiting the star Tau Ceti, which is just 11.9 light-years from Earth.

galaxies3

This very wide-field view of the Milky Way shows the extent of the 84-million-star VISTA infrared image of the center of the galaxy (delineated by red rectangle).

galaxies4

This photo from the new Dark Energy Camera, taken in September 2012, shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365, in the Fornax cluster of galaxies, which lies about 60 million light years from Earth.

galaxies5

An artist’s illustration of the alien solar system Kepler-47, a twin star system that is home to two planets. The planets have two suns like the fictional planet Tatooine in the “Star Wars” universe.

~Eowyn

Creation: The Hand of God

By Martin Barillas - Spero News – Jan. 10, 2014

A mysterious image has astronomers and other observers of the heavens wondering. The color-enhanced image shows what was left of a star that exploded about 17,000 light years away from earth. Resembling the x-ray of a hand, some astronomers are calling it the “Hand of God.”

Scientists are not certain whether the hand shape is an optical illusion or not.

The image shows a pulsar wind nebula, or dying star. It is not known whether the nebula resembles a human hand because of the interaction of stellar particles with magnetic fields, or if the particles are hand-shaped. According to the NuSTAR statement, “The stellar corpse, called PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short, is a pulsar: it rapidly spins around, seven times per second, firing out a particle wind into the material around it — material that was ejected in the star’s explosion.”

The image combines images taken by NuSTAR and the Chandra x-ray observatory.  NuSTAR has imaged the pulsar in high-energy X-rays, which are shown in blue. Lower-energy X-ray light detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory previously is shown in green and red.

The star is approximately 12 miles in diameter and spins at about seven revolutions per second. As it revolves, the star emits particles thrown out during the star’s violent death.

NASA launched the NuSTAR space telescope into the void in 2012 with the intention of providing data on black holes, exploding and dead stars, as well as “other extreme objects” said a statement from NuSTAR.

Creation: Strange structures on Moon

Here’s something different from our usual Sunday “Creation” posts.

Straight lines and angles are very very rare in nature and, therefore, usually signify something that’s man made — at least on Earth.

Some years ago, I read George H. Leonard’s 1978 book, Someone Else Is On Our Moon, as well as Richard E. Hoagland’s writings — both print and on the Internet — on NASA, the Moon, and Mars.

I haven’t revisited those subjects until I happened across a Daily Mail article that, once again, plunged me down that rabbit hole. LOL

rabbit hole

The UK’s Daily Mail of Jan. 17, 2014, draws attention to a triangular anomaly (pic below) that’s been spotted on Google’s map of the Moon.

Not only does the shape appear to have straight lines and 90º angles, the wedge-shaped thing has rows of seven light-like dots along its edge that have been likened to an alien base or spaceship.

triangle on Moon

It can be found on the Google Moon viewer at coordinates 22042’38.46N and 142034’44.52E. Google Moon works in a similar way to Google Earth. It was launched in 2009 on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Tech and Gadget News says:

“The gigantic shape actually looks like the leading edge of an immense, triangular space ship, similar to, so far, super secret stealth aircraft technology, but is much larger than any airplane ever built on Earth.

The regularly spaced, circular promontory shapes which make up the seven points on the perfectly formed triangle wedge seem to be intelligently designed.

To date, no other feature has ever been discovered which matches this shape on the moon, or any other planet observed by satellite or exploratory rover.

The anomaly is so huge, it’s possible it is some sort of moon base used as a facility for storing and launching alien UFO spacecraft.”

Here’s a video on the wedge-shaped structure:

And here’s a video of a tall “shard” on the edge of a small crater on the Moon:

~Eowyn

U.S. Spy Rocket Has Octopus-Themed ‘Nothing Is Beyond Our Reach’ Logo. Seriously.

nrol

Forbes: The Office of National Intelligence was very excited about sending a rocket into space Thursday with a bunch of new satellites and live tweeted its launch. This would usually be a cute display of social media, along the lines of NASA getting the world excited about its Mars Curiosity Rover, except these are spy satellites that will likely be used to gather communications flotsam and who knows what else from people around the world.

Dragnet surveillance is a touchy subject these days what with the Snowden leaks and constant new revelations about cell phones being turned into location trackers, listening in on foreign leaders’ phone calls and the vacuuming up of any information sent digitally that’s not encrypted. Given that, I was a little surprised that ODNI was bragging about the launch on Twitter and putting the mission patch for the rocket on prominent display as it looks like it was drawn by a writer for The Simpsons with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

“Ready for launch? An Atlas 5 will blast off at just past 11PM, PST carrying an classified NRO payload (also cubesats),” tweeted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, including a pic of the logo for the satellite: a cartoon octopus wrapping its arms around the world, emblazoned, “Nothing is beyond our reach.” It’s maybe a little bit tone-deaf given the current controversy about just how much is within the reach of the NSA and other intel agencies. Or maybe it’s an attempt to embrace its new image.

“NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide,” says Karen Furgerson, a spokesperson for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). “‘Nothing is beyond our reach’ defines this mission and the value it brings to our nation and the warfighters it supports, who serve valiently all over the globe, protecting our nation.”

It’s amazingly cartoon-like for an agency with a $10.3 billion budget, and it is decidedly more ominous that the logos slapped on previous missions, with the exception of a three-headed dragon licking the Earth like an ice cream cone.

Ready for launch? An Atlas 5 will blast off at just past 11PM, PST carrying an classified NRO payload (also cubesats) pic.twitter.com/ll7s0nCOPg

— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) December 5, 2013

The “payload” might be classified, but the Twitter account does share a few details.

“In addition its primary payload, the rocket will also carry a dozen mini satellites funded by the National Reconnaissance Office and @NASA,” tweets @ODNIgov. “Founded in 1961 the NRO is the agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites.”

In other words, spy satellites. The logo is certainly accurate, but maybe they should make it friendlier next time. Like a big Care Bear circling its arms around the world instead of a scary kraken.

nrol2

How stealth, putting a logo on a spy satellite – brilliant!

h/t Anon

DCG

Creation: Pale blue dot

Earth as seen from Saturn

On July 19, 2013, the cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this rare look at Earth and its moon from Saturn’s orbit.  This is the second time that Cassini has imaged Earth from within Saturn’s shadow, and only the third time ever that our planet has been imaged from the outer solar system.

Earth is the blue point of light on the left. I inserted the pale blue arrow and the word “Earth”.

The moon is fainter, white, and on the right. Both are seen here through the faint, diffuse E ring of Saturn.

It took Cassini seven years to reach Saturn – the 6th planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our solar system, after Jupiter. A gas planet, Saturn’s average radius is about 9 times that of Earth.

Here’s a stunning image of Saturn and its rings (click to enlarge!):

Saturn and its rings

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional

Psalm 145

I will extol you, my God and king,
I will bless your name forever.
Every day I will bless you;
I will praise your name forever.
Great is the Lord and worthy of high praise;
God’s grandeur is beyond understanding.
One generation praises your deeds to the next
and proclaims your mighty works.
They speak of the splendor of your majestic glory,
tell of your wonderful deeds.
They speak of your fearsome power
and attest to your great deeds.
They publish the renown of your abounding goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.

S106This pic of what appears to be a celestial angel was taken by NASA’s Hubble, of a star-forming region S106 in an isolated area of the Milky Way galaxy 2,000 light years away from Earth. (Click to enlarge)

~Eowyn

Why is the U.S. helping China militarize space?

Dr. Eowyn:

At best, the POS has no foreign policy. At worst, his policy is to actively aid and abet our enemies.

China is a case in point.

And WTF is Congress doing about it?

~Dr. Eowyn

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

That’s whatGordon Changis asking, writing for PJMedia on Oct. 29, 2013.

Ames Research CenterNASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California

After howls of protests from both American scientists and Beijing propagandists screaming “discrimination,” NASA has reversed its initial decision to exclude Chinese nationals from the Kepler Science Conference at the Ames Research Center in California early next month.

The reversal came after Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), the author of legislation restricting contacts between NASA and China, indicated the Chinese should not be barred.“The congressional provision — which has been in place since early 2011 — primarily restricts bilateral, not multilateral, meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies,” he wrote to NASA on the 8th of this month. “It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government.”

Wolf gave NASA Administrator…

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