Sunday, December 31, 2017

Everything We Learned About (Probable) Aliens in 2017

(Lauren TousignantThe truth is probably already here.

The evidence that aliens exist has been slowly mounting for decades and 2017 marks the most convincing year yet for the belief that life must exist beyond our planet.

Related The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs

Source - NY Post

by Lauren Tousignant, December 27th, 2017

And believing in the extraterrestrial is no longer reserved for conspiracy theorists in tinfoil hats. Nearly half of humanity believes aliens are out there, according to a recent study, and in June, the European Space Agency signed off on a $668 million mission that will hunt for other life forms 932,000 miles into space. Meanwhile, scientists continue to be baffled by a bunch of mysterious signals that keep emanating from faraway galaxies.

Here are five stories that prove it’s only a matter of time before we meet our celestial neighbors.

1. Scientists keep finding Earth-like planets

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Scientists have long presumed that if we’re going to find life on other planets, we’re going to find them in the “Goldilocks zone” — spots throughout the universe where conditions are just right for water to exist.

The intergalactic search for our neighbors grew more promising in 2017 with dozens more “super-Earth” discoveries.

And even though we don’t yet have the technology to reach these planets, 2017’s “super-Earths” have included:
  • Wolf 1061c: Discovered in January, located 14 light years away
  • LHS 1140b: Discovered in April, located 40 light years away
  • Ross 128b: Discovered in November, located 11 light years away
  • K2-18b: Discovered in December, located 111 light years away
In June, NASA’s Kepler telescope found 10 “Goldilocks-zone” planets and in October, the telescope found 20 more “hiding in plain sight.”

“Are we alone?” Kepler scientist Mario Perez asked at a news conference following NASA’s June discovery. “Maybe Kepler today has told us indirectly, although we need confirmation, that we are probably not alone.”

2. Reported UFO sightings are at their highest ever

Getty Images/iStockphoto

In February, a doctoral student found that UFO sightings have hit an all-time high and that most of the sightings come from the US.

Sam Manafort, who’s studying Human Factors and Applied Cognition at George Mason University, crunched numbers from the National UFO Reporting Center. In his report, he found that since the first recorded UFO flew over Portugal in 1905, there have been at least 104,947 sightings.

But the number of yearly sightings has spiked dramatically from about 5,000 in 1980 to about 45,000 in 2010. In the US alone, there are 2,500 sightings per 10 million people — something Manafort attributes to the fact that most of the US has access to the internet.

Most of the sightings have come from the West and Northwest, an area that lines up with America’s “UFO highway” — a latitude line across the US that a pair of sibling alien hunters believes is an entrance for extraterrestrial spacecraft.

The duo, whose book “37th Parallel” is being made into a movie, state that during years-long travels across the US, the most bizarre paranormal phenomenon took place along the 37th latitude line.

This line stretches from California through Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and across to Virginia.

3. Life may already be hanging out in our own solar system

Pluto might have been demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet back in 2006, but the icy world could be holding a lot more than hurt feelings.

In November, NASA scientists revealed that ice planets, like Pluto and Neptune, could harbor life deep beneath their icy surfaces, thanks to their moons.

Dubbed Trans-Neptunian objects, these celestial bodies might benefit from tidal heating. This means that these icy planets have moons with enough gravitational pull to create energy beneath the planet’s surface — which generates heat and allows a sub-surface ocean to exist. The findings were published in Icarus.

“These objects need to be considered as potential reservoirs of water and life,” Prabal Saxena of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said in a press release. “If our study is correct, we now may have more places in our solar system that possess some of the critical elements for extraterrestrial life.”

A separate study published in May suggested that Pluto, Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa may have life due to a different process known as radiolysis. And in December, the American Geophysical Union reported that tectonic activity on Europacould be feeding life to Jupiter’s icy moon.

4. NASA hired someone to protect us from aliens

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Eve

In August, NASA posted a job listing that quickly went viral.

The space agency was looking to hire a planetary protection officer — someone in charge of making sure that spacecraft and astronauts don’t contaminate other worlds and don’t bring back anything that could contaminate our own.

“NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration,” the job description stated.

The job, which pays between $124,406 and $187,000, is only one of two full-time posts in the world. It became available after Catherine Conley, the former planetary protection officer, accepted a different position inside NASA.

NASA first created the position following the signing of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 — a UN-approved agreement that outlines international space law.

The application closed Aug. 14 and there’s been no update on who landed the extraterrestrial gig.

In November, a NASA scientist at Goddard Institute For Space Studies said he believes we’ll find alien life within the next 20 years.

5. The Pentagon has receipts

Eerie footage of Navy pilots spotting unidentified objects

In December, the Pentagon released footage of Navy pilots seemingly coming into contact with UFOs. The eerie clip from 2004 shows a glowing white orb rotating while the F/A-18F fighter jet pilots try to figure out if what they’re looking at is a drone or something more… universal.

The footage, which was taken off the coast of California, was released after the Pentagon acknowledged the existence of the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. This program, which costs $22 millionbetween 2008 and 2012, was set up to investigate reports of unidentified flying objects. Some officials have said that parts of the program have continued.

“It was a real object, it exists and I saw it,” Cmdr. David Fravor, one of the pilots who saw the UFO, told the Washington Post. Fravor said the object resembled a white Tic Tac and was “something not from the earth.”

found on Exo News

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