The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mysterious Radio Bursts from Space, Pingos, and Sixth Extinction ... OH MY!

Ever since I was a teen, I've lived for the stories that rise up out of nowhere, leave you puzzling, and disappear as quickly and strangely as they came. In time you wonder if you ever heard them at all. I have just had that experience once again with two large radio telescopes on planet Earth picking up picking up brief and intensely powerful radio bursts from somewhere out there in deep space. At this point, no one knows what they are. However, having them picked up by two separate radio telescopes knocks out the idea that this is simply a hiccup in the one telescope. The Parkes telescope in Australia and the famous Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico have both picked up this burst. This beats the "Wow" signal picked up back in the day by SETI once and never repeated.

What causes this signal. I almost don't want to know. Right now it's all a tantalizing mystery: it could bd blitzars (bursts from supermassive stars collapsing into black holes ... how freakish is that), powerful solar flares closer to our own solar system, or ... wait for it ... in the scientific literature it has even been floated that this could be "signatures of extraterrestrial civilizations." YES! Now that's mysterious. Linked with NASA's belief that in the next couple of decades we will find Earth-like planets with life on them confirmed in a galaxy we now know is riddled with planets, this is drool-worthy if this kind of thing gets your juices flowing ... so to speak. 

But, don't believe me! Listen for yourself as Joe Palca on NPR explains: 

Meanwhile, things are getting "holey" in Yamal ("End of the Earth"), a region in subarctic Siberia. Two large and deep holes have been discovered there that look like the end of the Earth in progress. Whatever caused these holes happened from underground and burst upward given the pattern of debris. No UFOs here, no meteors, not old space junk returning home. The two strongest theories right now are global warming related. Either a mix of water, salt and gas is combining explosively or permafrost is eroding to the surface, melting away and leaving massive holes behind as the frozen ground collapses, leaving "pingos," which fits in with cold water, ice and snow being found in the depths of these spooky deep holes in the ground. The area appears to be living up to its name.  Speaking of global warming issues, NASA has reported that the American West is using up deep underground reserves of water at a high rate during their multi-year drought. It is way past time to start taking our part in global warming seriously.

Speaking of which, scientists state they firmly believe we are on the teetering edge of the sixth planetary mass extinction event ... the first one we humans can claim responsibility for. Species are dying off at an alarming rate since we got a real hold on things on old terra firma here. There is a ray of hope here, as with global warming. If we get serious, there is time to divert this planet-wide catastrophe from happening. If we can't make that happen, really, we don't deserve to stay ... or to meet anyone from elsewhere with sentience from another world. As for the brave soul who admitted he refuses to believe in global warming because it would make him feel guilty, I say nevermind the guilt. Let's get on with all we need to do for the fix, for our sake, every species on the planet's sake, and for the sake of the very life of the fragile ecosystem of this planet itself. Things are getting far too interesting to miss out on what's coming next. Let's pull together and make the new astounding, mind boggling discoveries of the next century and beyond. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to see myself growing old in one of those dystopian futures we read so much about and see so much of in sci-fi movies and books.

For additional stories of the weird, see the following posts:, and

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