Tag Archives: moon

19 Really Shocking Things You Want to Know about Earthquakes

Did you know that there are about 1.3 million earthquakes yearly around the world and that they kill an average of 8,000 people?

1. About 80 percent of all earthquakes occur along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the Ring of Fire, where there are 452 volcanoes or 75 percent of the world’s most active and dormant volcanoes. Natural events such as volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts can cause earthquakes, but the majority of are triggered by movement of the Earth’s plates.

2. The Earth’s surface consists of 20 constantly moving plates. The pressure increase from shifting plates can cause the crust to break, causing earthquakes.

3. There are about 1.3 million earthquakes a year. Most are 2.9 magnitude or lower.

4. There are about 10,000 earthquakes a year in California alone.

5. Earthquakes kill approximately 8,000 people each year and have caused an estimated 13 million deaths in the past 4,000 years.

6. Earthquakes are mostly caused by geological faults, but they can also be caused by landslides, nuclear testing, mine tests, and volcanic activity.a

7. Earthquakes can set off volcanoes, as was the case in the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and the Mount Etna eruption in 2002.

8. At least one 8 magnitude quake occurs every year.

9. An earthquake can release hundreds times more energy than the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in 1945.

10. Quakes on one side of Earth can rattle the other side. Scientists studying the massive 2004 earthquake that caused tsunamis across the Indian Ocean found that the quake had weakened at least a portion of California’s San Andreas Fault. The Chilean quake of 1960 shook the entire Earth for many days.

11. The deadliest earthquake ever struck January 23, 1556 in Shansi, China. Some 830,000 are estimated to have died.

12. The worst earthquake ever apparently occurred in A.D. 1201 in the eastern Mediterranean. It killed over one million people.

13. The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude 9.5 in Chile on May 22, 1960. The largest in the U.S. was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 28, 1964.

14. The world’s worst landslide started by an earthquake occurred in 1920 in the Kansu province in China. The landslide killed about 200,000 people, while the highest tsunami happened in Japan in 1771 generating waves as high as 85 meters or just over 255 feet.

15. Scientists think that animals may sense weak tremors before a quake. Other scientists think that animals may sense electrical signals set off by the shifting of underground rocks.

16. The San Andreas Fault is moving about 2 inches a year. At this rate, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be next to each other in 15 million years.

17. Japan’s massive 2011 earthquake shifted the earth’s mass toward the center, causing the planet to spin faster and shortening the day by 1.6 microseconds. The 2004 Sumatra quake shorted the day by 6.8 microseconds.

18. The sun and moon cause tremors. It’s long been known that they create tides in the planet’s crust, very minor versions of ocean tides. Now researchers say the tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground.

19. A city in Chile moved 10 feet in the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake Feb. 27, 2010. The rip in Earth’s crust shifted the city of Concepcion that much to the west. The quake is also thought to have changed the planet’s rotation slightly and shortened Earth’s day.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
“http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/19-Really-Shoking-Things-You-Need-to-Know-about-Earthquakes-20160417-0038.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

Unexplained Bright Lights and a 3 mile high geometrically perfect pyramid. We bring you Ceres



If you thought Ceres’ spots were weird, wait until you see its mystifying ‘pyramid.’

Indeed, Ceres has intrigued NASA scientists and worked fringe UFO bloggers into a frenzy since the Dawn spacecraft arrived for a close-up of the dwarf planet in March. Upon arrival, Dawn imaged a cluster of bright spots in a crater; now, a pyramid towering over a flat landscape serves as the latest addition to Ceres’ scrapbook of oddities.

Scientists have plenty of questions about Ceres’ features, but will we get answers? Maybe.

Right now, Dawn is in its second orbiting phase roughly 2,700 miles above Ceres, which has given us a closer look at the now famous bright spots. We now know there are even more spots than we initially saw in early images.

Scientists believe a highly reflective substance — ice or salt are leading contenders — is responsible for the spots, but they are still considering other options (a thriving alien metropolis is probably not one of them). Thankfully, Dawn is equipped with an infrared mapping spectrometer that can identify minerals based on the way they reflect light. As scientists get more images and data from Dawn, they’ll certainly learn more about the composition of those spots.
And That Pyramid

Dawn also photographed a pyramid-shaped landform in its latest crop of photographs. Based on visual evidence, the mountain rises roughly 3 miles into the sky, and it’s smack-dab in the middle of a relatively flat area on Ceres’ surface. This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise: Ceres bears all the telltale signs ancient, and perhaps present, geologic activity. Ceres has scars on its surface that hint at ancient lava flows, landslides and collapsed structures.

Ceres’ story is only going to get more interesting. Dawn will continue to orbit 2,700 miles above the dwarf planet’s surface until June 30. Then, it will edge even closer, entering orbit at an altitude of 900 miles sometime in August.

When that time comes, it’s safe to say another strange chapter will be added to the book of Ceres.


US won’t be returning to moon, NASA chief

US won’t be returning to moon, NASA chief

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America won’t be repeating that historic one small step anytime soon — not according to NASA chief Charlie Bolden, anyway.

“NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime,” Bolden told a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington last week, according to Jeff Foust of SpacePolitics.com. “And the reason is, we can only do so many things.”

Instead, he said the focus would remain on human missions to asteroids and to Mars. “We intend to do that, and we think it can be done.” Meanwhile, interest in the moon has been growing in both the private sector and in foreign countries.

Last week, Russia rekindled its plans for a robotic moon exploration program, unveiling its first new moon mission since the Soviet Union launched Luna 24 in 1976. Russian space scientists are scripting a new plan to reconnect with the moon, one scientist explained.

“Exploration of the moon is an important part of the program,” said Igor Mitrofanov of the Institute for Space Research during Microsymposium 54 on “Lunar Farside and Poles — New Destinations for Exploration,” held in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 16 and 17.

‘I just want to emphasize that Russia is a spacefaring country not only with the robotic but also manned flight,” he added.

And private interest in the moon as a resource is heating up. Several companies have announced plans to mine the moon, thought to contain a ransom in precious minerals including titanium, platinum, and helium 3, a rare isotope of helium that many feel could be the future of energy on Earth and in space.

Moon Express, one of the companies targeting the moon and competing in Google’s Lunar X Prize to reach our satellite, recently said it plans a mission to begin exploring the moon in 2015.

In his remarks last Thursday, NASA’s Bolden acknowledged the widespread interest in the moon from other nations, and said his agency would be willing to help.

“They all have dreams of putting humans on the Moon,” he said. “I have told every head of agency of every partner agency that if you assume the lead in a human lunar mission, NASA will be a part of that. NASA wants to be a participant.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/04/08/us-wont-be-returning-to-moon-nasa-chief-says/?intcmp=features#ixzz2PszH1DHe

A Colombian Enterprise to Endeavor for the Discovery of Atlantis… and all Challengers shall be destroyed

A Colombian Enterprise to Endeavor for the Discovery of Atlantis… and all Challengers shall be destroyed

NASA Masonic Conspiracy
Apollo Mission’s Masonic Symbols

In 1961, William Branham said: “I tell you now, it’s a program that’ll take you a hundred billion, billion, million light years beyond the moon. That’s right. And there if you go to the moon you couldn’t set down because see, you’d jump right back up unless you had some magnet to hold you there. You couldn’t stay over night; you’d freeze to death. In the daytime you’d burn up.

What you going to do when you get there?” (Basis of Fellowship 61-0214)

NASA was created to make interstellar travel believable. The Apollo Space Program foisted the idea that man could travel to, and walk upon, the moon. Every Apollo mission was carefully rehearsed and then filmed in large sound stages at the Atomic Energy Commissions Top Secret test site in the Nevada Desert and in a secured and guarded sound stage at the Walt Disney Studios within which was a huge scale mock-up of the moon.

All of the names, missions, landing sites, and events in the Apollo Space Program echoed the occult metaphors, rituals, and symbology of the Illuminati’s secret religion: The most transparent was the faked explosion on the spacecraft Apollo 13, named “Aquarius” (new age) at 1:13 (1313 military time) on April 13, 1970 which was the metaphor for the initiation ceremony involving the death (explosion), placement in the coffin (period of uncertainty of their survival), communion with the spiritual world and the imparting of esoteric knowledge to the candidate (orbit and observation of the moon without physical contact), rebirth of the initiate (solution of problem and repairs), and the raising up (of the Phoenix, the new age of Aquarius) by the grip of the lions paw (reentry and recovery of Apollo 13). 13 is the number of death and rebirth, death and reincarnation, sacrifice, the Phoenix, the Christ (perfected soul imprisoned in matter), and the transition from the old to the new. Another revelation to those who understand the symbolic language of the Illuminati is the hidden meaning of the names of the Space Shuttles, “A Colombian Enterprise to Endeavor for the Discovery of Atlantis… and all Challengers shall be destroyed.”

Exploration of the moon stopped because it was impossible to continue the hoax without being ultimately discovered: And of course they ran out of pre-filmed episodes.

No man has ever ascended higher than 300 miles, if that high, above the Earth’s surface. No man has ever orbited, landed on, or walked upon the moon in any publicly known space program. If man has ever truly been to the moon it has been done in secret and with a far different technology.

The tremendous radiation encountered in the Van Allen Belt, solar radiation, cosmic radiation, temperature control, and many other problems connected with space travel prevent living organisms leaving our atmosphere with our known level of technology. Any intelligent high school student with a basic physics book can prove NASA faked the Apollo moon landings.

If you doubt this please explain how the astronauts walked upon the moons surface enclosed in a space suit in full sunlight absorbing a minimum of 265 degrees of heat surrounded by a vacuum.
NASA tells us the moon has no atmosphere and that the astronauts were surrounded by the vacuum of space.

Heat is defined as the vibration or movement of molecules within matter. The faster the molecular motion the higher the temperature. The slower the molecular motion the colder the temperature. Absolute zero is that point where all molecular motion ceases. In order to have hot or cold molecules must be present.

A vacuum is a condition of nothingness where there are no molecules. Vacuums exist in degrees.
Some scientists tell us that there is no such thing as an absolute vacuum. Space is the closest thing to an absolute vacuum that is known to us. There are so few molecules present in most areas of what we know as “space” that any concept of “hot” or “cold” is impossible to measure. A vacuum is a perfect insulator. That is why a “Thermos” or vacuum bottle is used to store hot or cold liquids in order to maintain the temperature for the longest time possible without re-heating or re-cooling.

Radiation of all types will travel through a vacuum but will not affect the vacuum. Radiant heat from the sun travels through the vacuum of space but does not “warm” space. In fact the radiant heat of the sun has no affect whatsoever until it strikes matter. Molecular movement will increase in direct proportion to the radiant energy which is absorbed by matter. The time it takes to heat matter exposed to direct sunlight in space is determined by its color, its elemental properties, its distance from the sun, and its rate of absorption of radiant heat energy. Space is NOT hot. Space is NOT cold.

Objects which are heated cannot be cooled by space. In order for an object to cool it must first be removed from direct sunlight. Objects which are in the shadow of another object will eventually cool but not because space is “cold.” Space is not cold. Hot and cold do not exist in the vacuum of space. Objects cool because the laws of motion dictate that the molecules of the object will slow down due to the resistance resulting from striking other molecules until eventually all motion will stop provided the object is sheltered from the direct and/or indirect radiation of the sun and that there is no other source of heat. Since the vacuum of space is the perfect insulator objects take a very long time to cool even when removed from all sources of heat, radiated or otherwise.

NASA insists the space suits the astronauts supposedly wore on the lunar surface were air conditioned. An air conditioner cannot, and will not work without a heat exchanger. A heat exchanger simply takes heat gathered in a medium such as freon from one place and transfers it to another place. This requires a medium of molecules which can absorb and transfer the heat such as an atmosphere or water. An air conditioner will not and cannot work in a vacuum. A space suit surrounded by a vacuum cannot transfer heat from the inside of the suit to any other place. The vacuum, remember, is a perfect insulator. A man would roast in his suit in such a circumstance.

NASA claims the spacesuits were cooled by a water system which was piped around the body, then through a system of coils sheltered from the sun in the backpack. NASA claims that water was sprayed on the coils causing a coating of ice to form. The ice then supposedly absorbed the tremendous heat collected in the water and evaporated into space. There are two problems with this that cannot be explained away. 1) The amount of water needed to be carried by the astronauts in order to make this work for even a very small length of time in the direct 55 degrees over the boiling point of water (210 degrees F at sea level on Earth) heat of the sun could not have possibly been carried by the astronauts. 2) NASA has since claimed that they found ice in moon craters. NASA claims that ice sheltered from the direct rays of the sun will NOT evaporate destroying their own bogus “air conditioning” explanation.

Remember this. Think about it the next time you go off in the morning with a “vacuum bottle” filled with hot coffee. Think about it long and hard when you sit down and pour a piping hot cup from your thermos to drink with your lunch four hours later… and then think about it again when you pour the last still very warm cup of coffee at the end of the day.

The same laws of physics apply to any vehicle traveling through space. NASA claims that the spacecraft was slowly rotated causing the shadowed side to be cooled by the intense cold of space… an intense cold that DOES NOT EXIST. In fact the only thing that could have been accomplished by a rotation of the spacecraft is a more even and constant heating such as that obtained by rotating a hot dog on a spit. In reality a dish called Astronaut a la Apollo would have been served. At the very least you would not want to open the hatch upon the crafts return.

NASA knows better than to claim, in addition, that a water cooling apparatus such as that which they claim cooled the astronauts suits cooled the spacecraft. No rocket could ever have beenlaunched with the amount of water needed to work such a system for even a very short period of time. Fresh water weighs a little over 62 lbs. per cubic foot. Space and weight capacity were critical given the lift capability of the rockets used in the Apollo Space Program. No such extra water was carried by any mission whatsoever for suits or for cooling the spacecraft.

On the tapes the Astronauts complained bitterly of the cold during their journey and while on the surface of the moon. They spoke of using heaters that did not give off enough heat to overcome the intense cold of space. It was imperative that NASA use this ruse because to tell the truth would TELL THE TRUTH. It is also proof of the arrogance and contempt in which the Illuminati holds the common man.

What we heard is in reality indicative of an over zealous cooling system in the props used during the filming of the missions at the Atomic Energy Commissions Nevada desert test site, where it is common to see temperatures well over 100 degrees. In the glaring unfiltered direct heat of the sun the Astronauts could never have been cold at any time whatsoever in the perfect insulating vacuum of space.

NASA claims that the space suits worn by the astronauts were pressurized at 5 psi over the ambient pressure (0 psi vacuum) on the moon’s surface. We have examined the gloves NASA claims the astronauts wore and find they are made of pliable material containing no mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical devices which would aid the astronauts in the dexterous use of their
fingers and hands while wearing the gloves. Experiments prove absolutely that such gloves are impossible to use and that the wearer cannot bend the wrist or fingers to do any dexterous work whatsoever when filled with 5 psi over ambient pressure either in a vacuum or in the earth’s atmosphere. NASA actually showed film and television footage of astronauts using their hands and fingers normally during their EVAs on the so-called lunar surface. The films show clearly that there is no pressure whatsoever within the gloves . . . a condition that would have caused explosive decompression of the astronauts resulting in almost immediate death if they had really been surrounded by the vacuum of space.

If you don’t believe it try it yourself . . . it is a very simple experiment and does not require a rocket scientist to perform. These are just two of over a hundred very simple and very easy to prove valid scientific reasons why NASA and the Apollo Space Program are two of the biggest lies ever foisted upon the unsuspecting and trusting People of the world.

Most, if not all, of the photos, films, and videotape of the Apollo Moon Missions are easily proven to be fake. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of photography, lighting, and physics can easily prove that NASA faked the visual records of the Apollo Space Program. Some are so obviously fake that when the discrepancies are pointed out to unsuspecting viewers an audible gasp has been heard. Some have actually gone into a mild state of shock. Some People break down and cry. I have seen others become so angry that they have ripped the offending photos to shreds while screaming incoherently.

C. Fred Kleinknect, head of NASA at the time of the Apollo Space Program, is now the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Council of the 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction. It was his reward for pulling it off. All of the first astronauts were Freemasons. There is a photograph in the House of the Temple in Washington D.C. of Neil Armstrong on the moons surface (supposedly) in his spacesuit holding his Masonic Apron in front of his groin.

The effect upon the people of the world was, that if we could go to the moon other creatures from other worlds could travel to our Earth. The escalation of the artificial alien threat scenario since that time is obvious.

The recent revelations of the fraudulent nature of NASA and the Apollo space program by the Intelligence Service and others has resulted in a flood of propaganda, television programs, and films designed to keep the sheople trapped in a deep ignorant sleep. The most ambitious are “Apollo 13” and “From the Earth to the Moon,” both involving the actor/producer Tom Hanks. The latter opens with a monologue by Mr. Hanks who walks forward revealing a huge representation of the “God” Apollo (Sun, Osiris, lost word, etc.) guiding his chariot pulled by 4 horses through the heavens.

(End Excerpt from William Cooper’s Recent Conspiracy Overview)

Apollo is “Lucifer.” And remember, that the international flag of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is the United Nations Flag (according to their own site). As Bill Cooper points out, the United Nations Flag depicts the nations of the world encircled by the laurel of Apollo. masonapo.htm

If water equals life..then?

There’s more water on Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth

By Robert T. Gonzalez

Remember that image from a few weeks back that showed Earth with all its water gathered up in a sphere beside it? Well here’s that image again, only this time, it also features Jupiter’s moon Europa, along with all of its water. Notice anything interesting?

Based on data acquired by NASA’s Galileo satellite, astronomers think the global oceans sloshing around beneath Europa’s icy exterior are likely 2—3 times more voluminous than the oceans here on Earth. Not 2—3 times more proportionally, 2—3 times more in total volume.

Yeah. That “little” moon is packing quite the supply of H2O — and with it, scientists think, a significant chance of harboring life.

Looking at this image, I can’t help but think back on what Michael Shara, curator in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, had to say when we spoke with him about Europa last November:

There’s more water on Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth

If we can figure out a way of putting a probe through [Europa’s] ice — and the ice may be hundreds of yards thick, it could be very difficult to do this — but if we could put a probe down that could melt its way through the ice, and then send out little submarines, who knows what we could find down there. It would be fascinating to go look. I think we have no choice but to go look. We must do it.

Emphasis mine. Because hell yes, let’s do it.


Russia to finally send man to the Moon

Russia to finally send man to the Moon

By Tom Parfitt, Moscow

A spacecraft will “conduct a demonstrative manned circumlunar test flight with the subsequent landing of cosmonauts on [the Moon’s] surface and their return to Earth” by 2030, according to a leaked strategy document from Russia’s space agency, Roskosmos.

Moscow has periodically announced ambitious plans for space exploration in recent years, but this is the first time a firm deadline has been set for a manned lunar mission.

Russia won the first round of the space race when it launched the first man to orbit the Earth, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Jr, however, fulfilled John F Kennedy’s promise to reach the Moon by the end of the decade, landing there on July 20, 1969, with Nasa’s Apollo 11. The Soviet Union subsequently cancelled its lunar programmes.

Plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon could help revive Russia’s space programme after a troubled period. A series of satellites crashed last year and in January the Mars probe, Fobos Grunt, fell to Earth after a faulty launch two months earlier. Last week, Roskosmos suffered another humiliation after reports that the head of the agency, Vladimir Popovkin, had sustained head injuries after an alleged brawl at work.

Yury Karash, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, said that prestige would not be restored with a symbolic flight to the Moon. “Back in the 1960s the Soviet Union was competing head-to-head with the United States,” he said.
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“But it is hard to find a better way to hurt Russian prestige and emphasise Russian technological backwardness than by sending cosmonauts to the Moon around 2030, 60 years after Apollo.”

Mr Karash said resources would be better spent on funding a manned flight to Mars, which would stimulate science because of the demand for new technology to serve a 450-day round trip to the Red Planet.

The Soviet Union had two Moon programmes which it closed in the 1970s after the success of Apollo 11. The US knew about them, but their existence was not admitted publicly until 1990.

In the post-Soviet era, Russia has co-operated with other countries on Mir and the International Space Station (ISS). It currently shoulders the burden of shuttling supplies to the ISS in Soyuz capsules. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister and president-elect, wants to restore Russia’s space programme to its former glory.

Speaking last year on the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight, he said: “Russia should not limit itself to the role of an international space ferryman.”

Mr Putin said piloted space missions should be revived by 2018, when the first flights are expected from Vostochny, a $13.5?billion (£8.6?billion) spaceport being built in Russia’s far east.

The Soviet Union, the United States and China are the only countries so far to have launched manned space flights. India’s space agency declared in 2010 that it wanted to launch a human mission to the Moon by 2020, and scientists have indicated that China could do the same by 2025.

Barack Obama, the US president, said in 2010 that he hoped to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s, but he cut funding for robotic missions to the planet last month. He also cancelled George W Bush’s plan to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

Scientists believe that precious metals and Helium-3, a rare isotope that has potential for power generation, could be extracted from the Moon’s surface. Roskosmos has also suggested that a base built on the Moon could be used as a launch pad for a flight to Mars.



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In Space
Yuri Gagarin prepares for lift-off in April 1961
Russia’s space programme
A brilliant aurora borealis display is seen over a road near Yellowknife, North West Territories, Canada
Aurora borealis displays
The northern lights or aurora borealis fill the sky above Soldotna, Alaska, early on March 7, 2012,. The display lasted much of the night. Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are predicting an active aurora again tonight.
Northern lights shine in Solar storm
The sun erupts with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle in this NASA handout photo taken on March 6, 2012
Huge solar flare to hit Earth
A mysterious, slow-moving bright light appeared in the night sky above northern Britain on Saturday, trailing bewilderment and wonder in its wake.
Meteor filmed burning across UK sky


Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Count On It

Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Bet On It


The probability that there is intelligent life somewhere other than earth increases as we discover more and more solar systems that seem capable of sustaining life. The thought that there might be extraterrestrial intelligences (ETI) somewhere out there excites us and has led to organized efforts to contact any such beings. We have sent space probes with data about us, and we transmit signals with a structured content (like symbols expressing mathematical formulae) to what we hope will be an intergalactic audience. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence project (SETI) is obviously based on the assumption that the possible benefits of contact with ETI outweigh the possible harms. But do they?

A recent study by researchers at Penn State and NASA provides a useful outline of the various ways that encounters with ETI could be beneficial, neutral or harmful to us. The study faces up to the most chilling possibilities: ETI might “eat us, enslave us, attack us,” inadvertently infect us with horrible diseases or just decide to eliminate us for the greater good of the universe. (Regarding this last point, the report is especially concerned that ETI might be at least metaphorically green and see us a threat to the universe’s ecology.)

The report draws no conclusions about the wisdom of pursuing SETI, though it does urge the need to develop quantitative measures of possible harms and benefits. Its final sentence seems content with the idea that we will “continue the search for extraterrestrials into the future.” Especially after reading the report, I am not so content.

What is likely to happen if we make contact with ETI? Given the size of astronomical distances and assuming the speed of light as the maximum possible velocity, the most likely outcome is not real contact but merely an exchange of messages, perhaps at very long intervals. Little chance of harm there.

But there is still non-zero probability of real contact. Since we have no way of predicting with any certainty the outcome of such contact, it might seem that we have no reason to assume a bad rather than a good result. From this we might conclude that there is no objection to pursuing SETI, if only to satisfy our curiosity.

But we do know this: for the foreseeable future, contact with ETI would have to result from their coming here, which would in all likelihood mean that they far surpassed us technologically. They would be able to enslave us, hunt us as prey, torture us as objects of scientific experiments, or even exterminate us and leave no trace of our civilization. They would, in other words, be able to treat us as we treat animals — or as our technologically more advanced societies have often treated less advanced ones.

This suggests an argument against SETI that is the reverse of Pascal’s famous wager argument for believing in God. Pascal’s idea was that even a small probability of bringing about an enormous good (without risking unacceptable evil) was good reason for acting. This is a reasonable principle: even a small prospect of enormous good can swamp the prospect of more probable but much lesser goods. Pascal’s argument runs into trouble not because of this principle but because of worries about, for example, which God we ought to believe in. (There is also, as William James pointed out, the disconcerting possibility that God might be particularly ill-disposed to people who believe in him through the calculating reasoning of the wager argument.)

The swamping principle also applies to a small possibility of an enormous evil, which can provide a good reason for not acting. This would seem to be the case with ETI. Since there’s at least a small (and perhaps a not so small) probability that they will bring us catastrophic evil, why should we risk such an outcome?

One reason might be that ETI could instead bring us enormous benefits: they might even lead us to a paradise of peace, wisdom and joy. But there is no reason to think that such a paradise is more probable than a hell of slavery or extermination. And enormous gains are not worth the equal risk of horrendous loss. Who would take a bet that promised, at equal odds, either a lifetime of unalloyed happiness or a lifetime of utter misery? Better to stick with the likelihood of a normal human life, mixed with joy and sorrow.

Another possible reason is that ETI might in fact save us from horrors equal to the worst they might inflict on us. If the probability of their saving us were equal to or greater than of their destroying us, then the bet of making contact might well be worth it. Here the most plausible suggestion is that, without intervention from powerful and good ETI, we are likely to destroy ourselves through nuclear war. But there is a failure of imagination in thinking that nuclear annihilation is as bad as the worse that ETI might do to us. They might, for example, give us each thousands of years of excruciatingly painful existence as their slaves. This might not even be due to moral perversity; they might be so beyond us that they were incapable of recognizing us as objects of moral concern.

We cannot know what might happen to us from contact with ETI. But we do know that there may well be unthinkably horrible outcomes that are not likely to be offset by potential benefits. We should not take the SETI bet.


Moon No-Fly Zone?

No-fly zones will come into effect on the moon for the very first time by the end of this month! Why, even buffer zones that spacecraft may have to avoid will come into existence. The reason: avoiding any spraying of rocket exhaust or dust onto certain historical sites and artifacts on the moon.

The historical sites are of course the Apollo landing sites and artifacts present on the moon. And the “recommendations” are for preserving and protecting these historical sites. There are currently more than three dozen historical sites that preserve the more than four-decade-old remains.

“Apollo 11 and 17 sites [will] remain off-limits, with ground-travel buffers of 75 metres and 225 metres from each respective lunar lander,”
states the July 20 guidelines of NASA. Science journal had obtained the guidelines.

No legal binding

According to Science, by the end of this month NASA is expected to come up with a set of “recommendations” for spacecraft and astronauts visiting the “U.S. government property on the moon.” Of course, these recommendations will not be legally binding as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty makes it clear that the lunar surface has no owner.

Despite the lack of ownership, NASA is hopeful that other countries will respect the U.S. sentiments. Incidentally, the restriction list contains more than the historical sites. For instance, the list includes studying discarded food and abandoned astronaut feces.

Study of bacteria

Though these restrictions may appear preposterous, there are clear scientific compulsions to collect and study them. For example, studying the discarded food will reveal the viability of bacteria on the moon and, if present, how they have mutated and survived after years of exposure to solar radiation.

It is worthwhile to remember that all scientific experiments conducted on board during space travel are of a few days duration and pale in comparison with decades of constant exposure to several stressful lunar conditions/environment.

Similarly, there are other scientific compulsions to study the artefacts left behind on the moon. For instance, any metallic objects would reveal how these materials have degraded after prolonged exposure to solar radiation and other peculiar conditions prevailing on the moon.

What prompted the space agency to act was the Google Lunar X prize for those landing a robot that moves 500 metres and sends images from the moon. Precise landing near the Apollo sites would get them more money.

Very recently, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. The paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface have been very clearly captured by the images.

According to NASA, at the Apollo 17 site, the tracks laid down by the lunar rover are clearly visible, along with the last foot trails left on the Moon. The images also show where the astronauts placed some of the scientific instruments that provided the first insights into the Moon’s environment and interior.

PECAN: It does make you wonder if the stated purpose is genuine. After all. Some say we have never been to the moon. Some question the REAL reason the space shuttle program was discontinued? And some…some…..don’t think at all.