Monday 18 January 2016

The Approaching Doom.

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When you have a family you look much further into the future than you would do when you're single, and generally don't see any further than the approaching weekend. You think about the world you want your children to live in, and very occasionally maybe grand-children as well. This is when you think about things outside your normal circle of life, things like the planet itself. Every decade seems to bring its own fears for this beautiful water covered piece of rock we call earth. In the seventies it was the next ice-age, in the eighties in was nuclear war, the nineties it was the disappearing ozone layer and since 2000 on wards it has been global warming.

The signs of this latest threat to humanity we are told are playing out with the global weather system, and the unusual patterns that are unfurling as we speak. Record breaking heat-waves in winter while other places suffer terrible floods. In my first book FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, in chapter 11, Mary tells Daniel the story about the arrival in the Orb, and the devastating affects it had on the earth. The Orb is a planet sized object that silently floats through the universe, and the closer it gets to us the more its gravitational pull fights against the moons, and the more the weather is effected here. In the end it is disastrous for humanity as everything from earth quakes to massive floods finish off modern society as we know it.

As the U.K suffers terrible flooding the recently released news that a lone planet has been discovered floating silently through space, not orbiting  any star, does make your think!

Is it a planet or is it the Orb? Is the unusual weather that is causing so much pain around the world telling us something the authorities don't want us to know? Is there something sinister silently heading our way?  

The below article was a press release that shows the truth is out there. We only need to find it.



Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have spotted something extraordinary. Apparently there are planet-sized objects wandering through a distant globular cluster of stars. Unlike the planets in our own solar system, however, these objects are loners -- they have no central star of their own.
Because the findings are so surprising, researchers caution that they must be confirmed by follow-up observations. But if this discovery is verified, it could change the way astronomers think about stars and planets, and how the two are related.
Above: This stylized view shows Hubble peering through globular cluster M22 in search of microlensing "flares" from background stars. Credit: Zolt Levay (STScI) [more]
The unusual objects in question are too dim to be seen directly, even by Hubble. Instead they were detected by the way their gravitational field bends and amplifies light from distant background stars, a technique called "microlensing." From February 22nd to June 15th, 1999, Kailash Sahu (Space Telescope Science Institute) and colleagues monitored 83,000 stars in parts of our Galaxy lying behind the globular cluster M22. They detected one clear microlensing event caused by a normal dwarf star -- a star in M22 about one tenth the mass of our Sun. The dwarf star's gravitational field focused the light from the background star, causing it to appear 10 times brighter before it returned to normal over a period of 18 days.
In addition to the microlensing event caused by the dwarf star, Sahu and his team recorded six even more interesting, unexpectedly brief events where a background star jumped in brightness by as much as a factor of two for less than 20 hours. This means that the microlensing object must have been much smaller than a normal star.
These microlensing events were unusually brief, indicating that the mass of the intervening object could be as little as 80 times that of Earth. Objects this small have never before been detected by microlensing observations. If these results are confirmed by follow-up Hubble observations, the bodies would be the smallest celestial objects ever seen that are not orbiting a star.
So what are they? Theoretically, planets can be gravitationally torn from their parent stars in the cluster to form a population of wanderers. But, say researchers, that explanation won't work. The planet-sized mystery bodies in M22 could make up as much as 10 percent of the cluster's mass. They are too numerous to have once been parts of normal planetary systems.
What's next? More observations!

Because microlensing events are unpredictable and rare, astronomers improve their chances of observing one by looking at many stars at once -- much like a person buying several lottery tickets for the same drawing. Most microlensing searches for low-mass stars and planets have been aimed at the central bulge of our galaxy or out towards the Magellanic Clouds -- the densest observable regions of stars in the sky. Sahu and his team decided to aim the Hubble telescope directly through the center of globular cluster M22, which lies between Earth and the galactic bulge. This provided the team with a very dense stellar region to probe for drifting low-mass foreground objects and a very rich background field of stars that might be amplified (or "lensed," as astronomers like to say).
When a background star is microlensed, it brightens and dims for a length of time depending on the mass, distance, and velocity of the intervening lens. Because lensing objects in M22 are all part of the same cluster, the astronomers know their distance (8,500 light-years) and their approximate velocity. As a result, it's possible to estimate the mass of such lenses from the light curve of the background star.
The six brief events Sahu's team detected were even shorter than the interval between the Hubble observations, so in practice they could only estimate a limit on the mass of the lenses. The lenses could be as lightweight as one quarter the mass of the planet Jupiter -- a sensational finding!
To confirm these extraordinary, but tentative results, Sahu and colleagues next plan to monitor the center of the globular cluster continuously over a seven-day interval. They expect to detect 10 to 25 short-duration microlensing events, which will be well-sampled enough to yield direct measurements of the true masses of the small bodies, perhaps confirming their planetary character.
The modern word "planet" comes from a Greek root that means "wanderer," so named by ancient astronomers who watched the worlds of our solar system move among the stars in the night sky. But our planets are not true nomads, they obediently circle the Sun. The mystery objects of M22, however, appear to be genuine wanderers -- plying their own course in a distant sea of stars. Will they eventually lay claim to the title "planets?" Only time -- and lots more data -- will tell.

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