The hacker group Anonymous appears to have moved beyond its role of hacking into networks. Now the group has released a video that says "we are not alone." In the coming weeks, they plan to release evidence of extra terrestrial beings that have been on Earth since the early 1900s.
The group's posting said that the "truth" of the aliens are much more intricate than simple UFOs and flying saucers. Apparently within a few days Anonymous will release the information it has about the extra terrestrials who already interact with humans.
What a shock this weird news will be if it really is true. This seems a little off for the group, but you never know. Because they hack into top-secret networks perhaps they found the truth in some highly classified government computer. What do you think? Do you believe this message is true, or is it just some type of hoax to generate some buzz around the group.
The message from the group said, "Greetings citizens of the world. We now have the knowledge of the illuminati and we will share this information with you. We can perceive why those withholding this knowledge are doing so, but completely disagree, with that policy. It is every human's birthright, to be given the truth regarding reality and our place in the universe."
They go on to say that they realize that many people will not believe the details when they release them. Do you think you will doubt, or will you realize it is true? Check out the video below. What do you think?
As the Arab Spring hits its first anniversary, tech activists around the globe are continuing their efforts to enable secure communications—especially in areas of the world that are in conflict or transition. After all, it's become an open secret that governments ranging from Assad's Syria to local American law enforcement to the newly created government of South Sudan are actively trying to find out what is being said and transmitted over their airwaves and networks.
In response to the pressure, a huge range of projects, apps and strategies have been designed to protect mobile communications (voice, text, and data) as well as more traditional Wi-Fi networks and even individual computers.
These projects are being developed all over the world by some small, local organizations, as well as larger, more ambitious projects that are receiving funding from the likes of the New America Foundation. The organization is a key part of the US Department of State's $70 million being spent on "Internet freedom" projects, including a so-called "Internet-in-a-suitcase" deployment.
As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear in a speech last year, "The United States will continue to promote an Internet where people’s rights are protected and that it is open to innovation, interoperable all over the world, secure enough to hold people’s trust, and reliable enough to support their work."
But technology both gives and takes away. Just as tools to help activists become cheaper and easier to use, so too do the surveillance countermeasures often deployed by government agencies with deeper pockets.
The "security" of disposable phones
Out of the six billion mobile phones in the world, less than 30 percent are smartphones. That means the overwhelming majority of phones in use today are fairly limited in their capabilities; generally speaking, they don't have extensive storage capacity and are not very sophisticated in terms of their Internet capability. Of course, the main reason why people use them is that they're cheap—the classic Nokia 1600 still sells for under $20 on eBay. The company's newer version, which include a small flashlight, and even a dual-SIM option, costs just $50.
Security experts agree that trying to protect communications on a non-smartphone is basically a lost cause. But there may be a small silver lining, according to Nathan Freitas, an adjunct professor at New York University and the head of the Guardian Project.
"There's a different kind of security there," he said. "[Cheaper phones] tend to be disposable. You can change SIM cards and change phones. In that range, there's maybe greater social security because you're not worried about a really expensive device and you can have 10 of them. So I think there's perhaps more anonymity in a $20 phone."
Activists have become sensitized to the fact that their phones can easily be tracked, and many advise taking out the SIM card and battery when headed to a potentially sensitive location. In countries where phones and SIM cards can be bought for little cash and with no identification, it may actually be easier to fool authorities by using featurephones—swapping the physical locations of cheap phones and also varying the SIMs.
For phones that may be slightly more sophisticated, such as the Nokia 6300, which has the ability to run Java applications, apps like OTR4j provide for the Off-the-Record (OTR) protocol.
"The problem has always been usability," Freitas added. "The complexity of security when scaled down to a small screen and a nine-digit input pad doesn't really work."
Of course, securing communications, whether over mobile networks, WiFi, or even a single computer, ultimately comes down to one phrase: strong cryptography.
Implementing such crypto for phone communications used to be expensive. Just think of President Barack Obama's phone, a BlackBerry that features a tightly controlled whitelist of people who are allowed to interact with him. Other commercial products that offer end-to-end encryption range from British-made Cellcrypt software (over $4,000 for a five-year license) to the Cryptophone, produced and sold by a small team from the famed Berlin hacker collective the Chaos Computer Club.
But most activists aren't able to afford such a high level of protection, and many security experts and researchers are skeptical of phones that don't release their source code and thus cannot be fully vetted and audited.
However, as the need for more secure mobile communications has gone up, the price of smartphones has come down. While iPhones and BlackBerrys go for hundreds of dollars, Android smartphones are rapidly approaching the $100 mark. In fact, a used Google Nexus One is going for less than $100 on eBay these days.
"The era of the super-cheap dumbphone is ending in most places, except perhaps in Congo and Sudan," Freitas added. "The era of needing the super-secret $5,000 ninja phone is also ending because we can replicate all those features on a $100 phone."
Smartphones get crypto, Tor
On Android phones, two projects in particular are worth keeping an eye on for those interested in securing voice, text, and data communications.
Orbot in action
One key piece of open-source software is Orbot, a year-old project that emerged from the Guardian Project. Orbot basically brings Tor to mobile browsing, anonymizing online use and routing around a network that may be blocked or filtered.
So far, Freitas says, there have been about 300,000 downloads via the Android Market—but he adds that as an organization concerned with privacy and anonymity, the Guardian Project doesn't keep very close tabs on who is using it.
"I can tell you I get about 10 e-mails a week from Iran," he added.
The second is the suite of programs available from famed security researcher Moxie Marlinspike and his security startup Whisper Systems, which was acquired by Twitter in November 2011.
Two programs, RedPhone and TextSecure, respectively aim to provide strong cryptography for voice calls—by turning them into end-to-end encrypted VOIP calls—and text messages. RedPhone uses the well-established ZRTP protocol developed originally by Phil Zimmermann of PGP fame, while TextSecure uses a variant of the Off-the-Record (OTR) protocol. (Both had been temporarily pulled in the wake of the Twitter acquisition, but they have since been re-released with open-source licenses.)
When installed, both applications are designed to automatically switch from a traditional voice call or text message to using the strong encryption when possible. If the person on the other end of the call or text also has the same apps installed, a small secure icon will appear on the screen, making it simple for even non-geeks to understand that the security is active.
"Really, our focus was to make something as frictionless and invisible as possible," Marlinspike said.
Security experts are quick to note that no security tactic is ever 100 percent bulletproof. The idea, of course, is to mitigate risk and reduce the chances of something terrible happening. In the mobile world, there are two main possible attack vectors: a "virtual" breach, where someone has access to intercepted text messages, voice, and data traffic, and a "physical" breach, where someone has access to a mobile phone's hardware. The tools above only address the virtual breach; but what about a physical breach?
"Using a program like RedPhone or TextSecure is great, but it's like putting bulletproof glass on a cardboard box," said Chris Soghoian, a Washington, DC-based computer security researcher.
"The bigger issue for researchers and activists is that the state of security on mobile is so bad. Google made a deal with the devil, allowing carriers to control the update process."
As a result, he explained, most Android users have out-of-date versions of the operating system, with known security holes. Worse still, until late last year, no Android phone offered full-disk encryption.
"If the police seize your phone, it's probably going to be easy for them to exploit a flaw to steal your data," Soghoian said.
"Spooks are listening into calls, just like they always have," said Eric King of London's Privacy International, in an e-mail. "With A5/1 being broken—you can decrypt and listen into 60 calls at once with a box smaller than a laptop."
Another possible attack vector is through the use of an IMSI catcher. An International Mobile Subscriber Identity number is a 15-digit unique number that sits on every SIM card. IMSI catchers effectively fool a phone and SIM into thinking that the IMSI catcher is a mobile phone tower. Such devices can be used as a simple way to just see what phone numbers are being used in a given area, or even to intercept the audio off of voice calls.
Portable IMSI catchers are made by Swiss and British companies, among others, but in 2010, security researcher Chris Paget announced that he had built his own IMSI catcher for only $1,500. (Strong crypto comes to the rescue again, though; as Marlinspike pointed out, "You can’t IMSI catch a RedPhone call.")
But mobile security remains spy-versus-spy to some degree, each measure matched by a countermeasure. In December 2011, Karsten Nohl released "Catcher Catcher"—a piece of software that monitors network traffic and looks at the likelihood an IMSI catcher is in use.
It’s well known that the immune systems of young children aren’t as well developed as those of adults. Additionally, children haven’t had time to build up immunity to many of the viruses that cycle through the school systems, especially during the winter months when people are more likely to be in confined spaces.
Unfortunately, way too many parents take the wrong approach to protecting their children. Their first line of defense is unnecessary immunization shots and forcing their children to persistently wash their hands with toxic antibacterial soaps.
The really effective strategy to protecting young children is to simply focus on strengthening their internal immune systems. The human immune system is simply incredible – the first and best line of defense against getting sick. And, perhaps more so than any other bodily function, we have a lot of control over how effective it is.
One of the biggest obstacles to health children face these days is their lack of sun exposure. Sun exposure is critical for vitamin D production, and in turn, vitamin D is a critical component to immune system strength. Too many children spend too much time indoors, and when they do go outside, they are slathered in toxic sunscreens, which actually block vitamin D production. The result is that the majority of children are vitamin D deficient, which means the majority of children have compromised immune systems. Simply put, they’re getting sick unnecessarily.
I have two young children who go to crowded public schools, and we’ve been tremendously successful at keeping them healthy all year long — and they have never received a flu vaccine. All of our friends are envious of how infrequently our kids get sick.
What’s our big secret? Since they’ve been infants, we’ve been diligent about supplementing their diets vitamin D. How do you get small children to take vitamin D you ask? It’s easy. We use liquid vitamin D, which is odorless and tasteless, so it’s easy to add to their food or beverages. They don’t even know about it, so they can’t put up a fight!
We use Stop Aging Now’s Liquid Vitamin D, but feel free to shop around. There are several good options out there. Just make sure it’s vitamin D3, and make sure there aren’t any unnecessary additives, sweeteners or other junk that kids just don’t need. We give our children 1,500 IU daily (15 drops), but it’s up to each parent to gauge what’s best for their children. I can tell you that the current US RDA of 600 IU is pathetically low. I’d recommend 1,000 IU to 2,000 IU daily, and keep in mind, they may be getting some vitamin D from fortified foods, and of course, from sun exposure.
In addition to supplementing our children’s diets with vitamin D, we also make sure they spend plenty of time outside, and we make sure not to apply sunscreen for about the first 30 minutes they are outside. This gives them time for their body’s to produce vitamin D. When we do apply sun screen, we use an all natural product that is free of toxins. Our favorite brand is TruKid.
If you’re wondering if vitamin D is really a panacea to protecting children from getting sick, consider this amazing new study that was just published by the Journal of Pediatrics. The research, conducted by Harvard Medical School professor of Medicine Carlos Camargo, MD, concluded that vitamin D supplementation cuts childhood colds and flu in half!
Here are a two other strategies we employ that help keep our kids healthy all year-round:
1. Well-rounded nutrition
Again, the best strategy is keeping your kid’s immune system strong, and good nutrition plays a key role in this. Sadly, too many kids eat a steady diet of processed junk food, which severely compromises their immune system.
Make sure your children are eating as much fresh food as possible, and as little packaged food as possible. One great tip is to always have a bowl on a table, within their reach, filled with a good variety of fruit. We used to keep the fruit in the fridge. However the expression “out of sight, out of mind” rang true and our kids weren’t eating enough. When we moved the fruit to a bowl on the kitchen table, they were always reaching for it when they got hungry.
When it comes to vegetables, it’s no secret that kids don’t love them. But don’t be afraid to bribe your kids and be strict about making them eat vegetables. We have a strict rule in our house: no vegetables, no desert.
Lastly, a good multivitamin makes a lot of sense. Gummies are the easiest way to get them to take multivitamins, but be careful – there are way too many gummy multivitamin brands that are basically glorified candy. Our favorite brand is MegaFoods Kid’s One Daily.
The vast majority of the human immune system lives in the intestines, and the friendly bacteria that live there play a huge role in keeping the immune system strong. But once again processed food takes it’s toll and can kill of friendly bacteria. Also, kids are more prone to taking antibiotics (which are way too overly prescribed by doctors), which kills of the friendly bacteria in mass. Having your kids take probiotics each morning will make sure they have the friendly bacteria they need to have strong, healthy immune systems
Discovery enters Smithsonian as historic relic of bygone era
BY JUSTIN RAY
The most-flown spaceship in human history, sailing on 39 voyages to deploy and retrieve satellites, open a new window on the universe by launching the Hubble Space Telescope and help to construct the International Space Station, the shuttle orbiter Discovery reached her final resting place today at the Smithsonian.
Former crew members induct their Discovery into the Smithsonian. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight Now See full image
Having orbited the planet 5,830 times and traveled 148,221,675 miles, Discovery was the fleet-leading vehicle for the space shuttle program, serving the United States in flight from 1984 to 2011.
"Space shuttle Discovery is the star, it has the most extensive record of all the shuttle fleet. It's 39 missions included a whole bunch of things, but it became a science platform for nine flights, a satellite launcher for 12 flights, a telescope repair station. ... And also served as a plain, flat-out truck. It was the first space station delivery truck, 13 flights it made to put together the space station that goes over us even today," said John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth in 1962 and a payload specialist aboard Discovery in 1998.
"Discovery was truly a heavy hauler in construction of the International Space Station, and that station is now doing continuing research with 15 international partners for us in the most unique scientific laboratory ever conceived."
But with the decision by then-President George W. Bush in 2004 to wind down the shuttle program, Discovery flew into a forced retirement.
"The unfortunate decision made eight-and-a-half years ago to terminate the shuttle fleet in my view prematurely grounded Discovery and delayed our research. But those decisions have been made, we recovered and now we move on with new programs and possibilities unlimited," Glenn said at today's Smithsonian ceremony.
United Space Alliance ground technicians watch the ceremony. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight Now
Discovery underwent an extensive decommissioning and safing process over the past year that culminated with this morning's ceremony outside the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Northern Virginia to make the spaceplane an artifact in the Smithsonian's national collection of aerospace treasures.
"The hope that we leave with you today is that this magnificent flying machine that carried more people to space than any vehicle ever before will be a testament, not only to overcoming the human and technological obstacles of the day, but a tangible example that our dreams of exploration, of reaching our higher potential are always within reach if we stretch for them," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former Discovery mission commander.
"I hope people appreciate the workmanship, the craftsmanship, the expertise that went into making that vehicle over and over again," said Steve Bowen, a spacewalker on last year's final Discovery mission.
Over 500 days have passed since the disaster at Fukushima and there has yet to be any transparency as to the true depth of the damage to us and our planet. Reports and findings of actual radiation levels and leaks are elusive at best. If the damage stops right now, this is apparently the second worst nuclear accident ever in the history of nuclear power. Meanwhile, the jet stream continues to carry radioactive materials from Fukushima to North America, Europe and beyond.
The main cancer risk for anyone in the path of nuclear fallout is from inhaled uranium oxide and other tiny, airborne, radioactive particles that lodge deep in the lungs. These particles eventually lodge in bone, brain, ovaries, testes, lymph and hormone producing glands. They remain there for decades while being very slowly excreted in the urine. Exposure to radiation causes a cascade of free radicals that wreak havoc in the body and decimates the body's supply of glutathione.
Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be released into the air then breathed into the lungs. Radioactive iodine contaminates local food supplies to invade the body through food or drink. Once inside the body, the thyroid quickly absorbs the radioactive iodine, injuring the thyroid gland. The biggest threat is that radioactive iodine from nuclear fallout quickly permeates and injures anyone that is iodine deficient (estimated, 90 percent of Americans).
Iodine is the most obvious and important element in protecting against radiation damage.
Stable iodine keeps radioactive iodine from assimilating in the thyroid gland and also in attaching to any thyroid receptors. Iodine protects the thyroid, breast, prostate and ovary glands as well as other tissues in the body from radiation - if iodine is present in sufficient quantities. Research indicates that if a person is iodine deficient, it takes about three months to absorb enough iodine while taking 50 mg of iodine daily and a whole year taking just 12.5 mg. However, iodine will not protect a person from exposure to radioactive uranium, cesium or plutonium.
As with the Fukushima disaster, by the time the alarm for a nuclear emergency is sounded there will be little time to consult a health care practitioner, let alone to find and get the proper dosage of iodine. The standard daily dose for KI (potassium iodide) during radiation emergencies is as follows: for infants, birth through one month, 16 mg; for one month through three years, 32 mg; for 3-12 years, 65 mg; for adolescents ages 12-18 years, 65 mg; for adult size and up, 120 mg or more.
After radiation exposure...
In the event of a nuclear disaster, by the time you can reach competent medical help it may be too late. Here are some home remedies to start immediately until help is found.
• Bentonite clay will help remove radioactive iodine, uranium, cesium or plutonium particles from the body. Drink it and soak in it. Buy bulk/pure bentonite in the form of unscented kitty litter, pour some into a pillowcase (to keep it from clogging the bath drain) and place it in bath water to soak in daily. Drinkable bentonite clay can be purchased at your local health food store. • Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), mixed with water several times a day will diminish the severity of damage produced in the kidneys by uranium • Cilantro loosens heavy metals and radioactive material from the cells and chlorella removes them from the body • Glutathione in large amounts help fight the free radical damage and replenish glutathione supplies reduced by radioactive substances
If you have been exposed to x-rays or CAT scans, if you fly, work with diagnostic medical equipment or are environmentally sensitive and have ingested elevated levels of radioactive contaminated food, air or water, you also want to partake in these remedies on a semi-regular basis.
How dangerous is the radiation spreading across the Ocean soon to reach the U.S.?
Watch Video Below
Radiation Heading towards U.S.
Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, joins Thom Hartmann. California beware! A radioactive wave is headed toward the West Coast of the United States courtesy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster? So with nuclear power still wreaking havoc on the environment - why are the Japanese about to flip on more of their nuclear reactors?
Going underground: The massive European network of Stone Age tunnels that weaves from Scotland to Turkey
Evidence of tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements
That so many tunnels have survived after 12,000 years shows that the original network must have been enormous
Stone Age man created a massive network of underground tunnels criss-crossing Europe from Scotland to Turkey, a new book on the ancient superhighways has claimed. German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch said evidence of the tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over the continent.
In his book - Secrets Of The Underground Door To An Ancient World - he claims the fact that so many have survived after 12,000 years shows that the original tunnel network must have been enormous.
Evidence of Stone Age tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe - the fact that so many have survived after 12,000 years shows the original tunnel network must have been huge
'In Bavaria in Germany alone we have found 700metres of these underground tunnel networks. In Styria in Austria we have found 350metres,' he said.
'Across Europe there were thousands of them - from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean.
'Most are not much larger than big wormholes - just 70cm wide - just wide enough for a person to wriggle along but nothing else.
'They are interspersed with nooks, at some places it's larger and there is seating, or storage chambers and rooms.
'They do not all link up but taken together it is a massive underground network.'
Not for the claustrophobic: Most of the tunnels are just 70cm wide - just wide enough for a person to slowly wriggle through
Some experts believe the network was a way of protecting man from predators while others believe that some of the linked tunnels were used like motorways are today, for people to travel safely regardless of wars or violence or even weather above ground.
The book notes that chapels were often built by the entrances perhaps because the Church were afraid of the heathen legacy the tunnels might have represented, and wanted to negate their influence.
In some cases writings have been discovered referring to the tunnels seen as a gateway to the underworld.
Dr. Simos’ presentation on Tesla was eye-opening as well as mathematically and theoretically rigorous in showing that some of Tesla’s ideas that were dismissed over a century ago are now seen in a different light. This due to looking back and showing that the ideas, far advanced for the time, are now shown to comply with Maxwell’s equations and do not violate any classical laws of mathematics or physics as once thought.The presentation was based on what we understand as classical, mainstream physics to help us understand what Tesla was talking about with his brilliant theories. Dr. Simos showed that certain far-reaching assertions or experimental observations made by Tesla were within fundamental laws.
Tesla was a scientist of electromagnetic theory according to Maxwell’s equations; fluid mechanics exemplified by his energy bladeless turbine concept in 1892; resonance, Tesla stated, as “Everything oscillates” in the earth-ultimately, a few years later, a complete set of resonance curves was calculated and the earth’s two eigenvalues were determined (See the book Advances in Geophysics edited by Helmut Erich Landsberg). Resonance was Tesla’s key to efficient transmission and reception of radio signals.
Dr. Simos also discussed the narrow areas of inconsistencies in Maxwell’s equations which manage to describe most governing principles but is not the “Holy Grail” of electromagnetics. There exist discontinuous or singular solutions which are not allowed in Maxwell’s mathematics—Absence of point-wise concentrated charges and avoidance of singular solutions do exist as we have found out in modern science.
We now accept wireless energy transmission as a capacitive effect. Tesla envisioned a capacitor on a grand scale. While in Colorado Springs he tested large discharges that returned un-diminished. He had created a singularity. In today’s electromagnetics we know that there are transversal waves (Hertzian) and Longitudinal waves (Vortex rings). He was exciting modes, not waves. Applying a high voltage discharge here and across the globe there was an instant effect from it. Tesla used to say “ride” the modes; that is, pick up the “ride” with energy already there.
He had found that a resonant frequency of 8 Hz was made by the earth and the ionosphere spherical capacitor effect. In 1952 Schumann said that 8 Hz was the self-oscillation of the earth and ionosphere—–50 years later!
Tesla aimed to use the strata 80 km above which was the ionosphere to transmit an electrical energy across the globe from Shoreham, Long Island to Ireland. He was not sure how to send power to so high an altitude, but conceived a plasma-type conductor that might do it. We use that effect today at the National Laboratories around the world.
Electrostatic induction is a capacitive coupling effect. He would have an energy-sucking antenna in Ireland and send the plasma wave from Shoreham up his tower into the ionosphere and it would travel across the ionosphere as if it were a current traveling the easiest path to return to its source back down a tower in Ireland and into the earth closing the circuit back to the Shoreham tower!
MIT’s “Witricity” is proving the Tesla theory! It is on a larger scale than anyone ever dreamed, but still not to the extent that Tesla envisioned it—-give science a little more time and another of Tesla’s theories may be proved.
MIT’s demonstration of wireless power transfer showed a 60 watt light bulb being illuminated from a power source over 2 meters away
More important than simply proving they could illuminate a light bulb, the experiment validated their theoretical models of how electric power is wirelessly transferred as a function of the geometry, distance, and electrical properties of the devices used.
PRESS Release Date Released: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Source: NASA HQ
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected light emanating from a "super-Earth" planet beyond our solar system for the first time. While the planet is not habitable, the detection is a historic step toward the eventual search for signs of life on other planets.
"Spitzer has amazed us yet again," said Bill Danchi, Spitzer program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The spacecraft is pioneering the study of atmospheres of distant planets and paving the way for NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to apply a similar technique on potentially habitable planets."
The planet, called 55 Cancri e, falls into a class of planets termed super Earths, which are more massive than our home world but lighter than giant planets like Neptune. Fifty-five Cancri e is about twice as big and eight times as massive as Earth. The planet orbits a bright star, called 55 Cancri, in a mere 18 hours.
Previously, Spitzer and other telescopes were able to study the planet by analyzing how the light from 55 Cancri changed as the planet passed in front of the star. In the new study, Spitzer measured how much infrared light comes from the planet itself. The results reveal the planet is likely dark and its sun-facing side is more than 2,000 Kelvin (3,140 degrees Fahrenheit), hot enough to melt metal.
The new information is consistent with a prior theory that 55 Cancri e is a water world: a rocky core surrounded by a layer of water in a "supercritical" state where it is both liquid and gas, and topped by a blanket of steam.
"It could be very similar to Neptune, if you pulled Neptune in toward our sun and watched its atmosphere boil away," said Michael Gillon of Universite de Liege in Belgium, principal investigator of the research, which appears in the Astrophysical Journal. The lead author is Brice-Olivier Demory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
The 55 Cancri system is relatively close to Earth at 41 light-years away. It has five planets, with 55 Cancri e being the closest to the star and tidally locked, so one side always faces the star. Spitzer discovered the sun-facing side is extremely hot, indicating the planet probably does not have a substantial atmosphere to carry the sun's heat to the unlit side.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018, likely will be able to learn even more about the planet's composition. The telescope might be able to use a similar infrared method as Spitzer to search other potentially habitable planets for signs of molecules possibly related to life.
"When we conceived of Spitzer more than 40 years ago, exoplanets hadn't even been discovered," said Michael Werner, Spitzer project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "Because Spitzer was built very well, it's been able to adapt to this new field and make historic advances such as this."
In 2005, Spitzer became the first telescope to detect light from a planet beyond our solar system. To the surprise of many, the observatory saw the infrared light of a "hot Jupiter," a gaseous planet much larger than the solid 55 Cancri e. Since then, other telescopes, including NASA's Hubble and Kepler space telescopes, have performed similar feats with gas giants using the same method.
In this method, a telescope gazes at a star as a planet circles behind it. When the planet disappears from view, the light from the star system dips ever so slightly, but enough that astronomers can determine how much light came from the planet itself. This information reveals the temperature of a planet, and, in some cases, its atmospheric components. Most other current planet-hunting methods obtain indirect measurements of a planet by observing its effects on the star.
During Spitzer's ongoing extended mission, steps were taken to enhance its unique ability to see exoplanets, including 55 Cancri e. Those steps, which included changing the cycling of a heater and using an instrument in a new way, led to improvements in how precisely the telescope points at targets.
JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
For more information about Spitzer, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer
Pilot Chased UFO, Saw It Crash, Visited Crash Site
Speaking on the Jeff Rense show, retired Colonel Robert B. Willingham admitted chasing a UFO across West Texas in his fighter jet, seeing it crash-land near Del Rio, Texas, and then visiting the crash site later that same day in 1955. The former pilot is convinced that the crashed object was extraterrestrial.