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Meta Research Bulletin On-Line

2007 Sept. 15 issue

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Meta Research Bulletin 2007

Meta Science in the News


Hyperion: another example of the “black axiom”

From Nature 448:54-56 (2007). Hyperion, Saturn's eighth largest icy satellite, is a body of irregular shape in a state of chaotic rotation. The surface is segregated into two distinct units: a spatially dominant high-albedo unit having the strong signature of water ice; and a unit that is about a factor of four lower in albedo and is found mostly in the bottoms of cup-like craters. New observations of Hyperion's surface were made in the ultraviolet and near-infrared spectral regions by the Cassini spacecraft at closest approach during a fly-by on 2005 September 25–26. The low-albedo material has spectral similarities and compositional signatures that link it with the surface of asteroid-like outer moon Phoebe, and also with the hemisphere-wide dark coating on Iapetus. [TVF: Hyperion’s rotation period is 21 days, as contrasted with 79 days for Iapetus. So the passing blast wave from the planetary explosion event (EPH) coated almost Hyperion’s entire surface, but not uniformly. Part of the surface was coated as densely as that on Iapetus, while other parts were coated only sparsely. These findings support a common origin for this dark material, and the coating is consistent with a distant origin event arriving over 2-4 weeks, as in the EPH’s “black axiom”. See Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets by T. Van Flandern, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 2nd ed. 1999.]


NASA establishes new office to study cosmic phenomena

NASA HQ Press Release 07-1726, 2007 June 26: NASA has created a new office to study in more detail some of the universe's most exotic phenomena: dark energy, black holes and cosmic microwave background radiation. The new Einstein Probes Office will facilitate NASA's future medium-class science missions to investigate these profound cosmic mysteries. The office will be housed in the Beyond Einstein Program Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The Beyond Einstein Program consists of five proposed missions: two major observatories and three smaller probes. Technology development already is under way on the proposed observatories. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna would orbit the sun measuring gravitational waves in our galaxy and beyond. Constellation-X would view matter falling into supermassive black holes.

The proposed probes would investigate the nature of dark energy, the physics of the Big Bang and the distribution and types of black holes in the universe. NASA previously has supported initial mission concept studies for the Dark Energy, Inflation, and Black Hole Finder probes. The agency currently is funding three other, more detailed, dark energy mission concept studies.


[TVF: The irony here is that, to the extent that Meta Science is an improvement over mainstream science, none of these missions can succeed as designed. In Meta Science, there was no Big Bang, so there was no inflation period; black holes cannot exist (collapsed stars become “Mitchell stars”, not singularities); dark matter and dark energy are unnecessary fudge factors; and gravitational waves are spin 1 (photonic) rather than spin 2 (exotic).]


Quasar light curves challenge cosmic distance scale

ApJ 553:L97-L100 (2001). Author: M.R.S. Hawkins, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. Abstract: “The timescale of quasar variability is widely expected to show the effects of time dilation. In this Letter, we analyze the Fourier spectra of a large sample of quasar light curves to look for such an effect. We find that the timescale of quasar variation does not increase with redshift, as required by time dilation. Possible explanations of this result all conflict with widely held consensus in the scientific community.” Two ways out of this conclusion were considered: (1) The timescale of quasar variations might be a function of wavelength. (But when the data is divided by color, the expected effect is not seen.) (2) The timescale of quasar variation decreases by a factor of (1+z) toward high redshift through some as yet unspecified physical process to exactly cancel out the time dilation. (But there is no independent motivation for such a “cosmic conspiracy”, which would require a considerable degree of fine-tuning because of the non-trivial shape of the timescale-luminosity curve.) Given that no time dilation exists, three possible explanations arise: (1) The universe is not expanding. (2) Quasars are not at their cosmological distances. (3) The observed variations are not intrinsic to the quasars. (The author prefers gravitational microlensing as the explanation of choice. But this defies conventional wisdom that quasar variations are caused by instability of their accretion disks, and observational evidence exists for this mode of variability in active galaxies and gravitationally lensed quasars, where the presence of intrinsic variations cannot be in doubt. But perhaps this type of variability doesn't apply to the longer timescale variations used in this study.)


[TVF: Unless a fault with this analysis is found, this result squarely falsifies some accepted element in Big Bang cosmology. The simplest explanation is that the universe is not really expanding. The explanation most likely to prevail, in the light of other evidence, is that the assumption that the cosmological redshift of quasars is a distance indicator is invalid. It seems increasingly clear on many fronts that assumption is about to fall, and with it will go much of modern cosmology. It will be interesting to see how long the paradigm shift takes, and how deep it goes.]


Aurigids meteor outburst happens as predicted

An outburst of the Alpha-Aurigids, a small annual meteor shower of about 5-10 meteors per hour that has experienced two or three previous unpredicted outbursts during the 20th century, was predicted to occur at ~ 11:20 UT (4:20 a.m. PDT) on the morning of Sept. 1. The prediction was made by Esko Lyytinen of Finland using the satellite model for comets, a corollary of the exploded planet hypothesis. The predicted maximum meteor rate during the outburst was ~ 300/hour, but with an uncertainty of a factor of three. The peak time was also uncertain by ~ 20 minutes. These meteors are normally relatively bright and leave nice trains, so moonlight interference was not expected to spoil the show.


Preliminary results are now available. The first report to the International Meteor Association suggested an observed zenith hourly rate (ZHR) of 140 meteors at close to the predicted time. Meta Researchers Tom Van Flandern and Blaine Pugsley each independently observed the outburst from the North Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, which was well-situated for seeing the event at a high altitude in a dark sky. Their observed average meteor rate (ZHR) during the hour centered on the peak was about 50, showing that this year’s shower rivaled the Perseids of August. However, the peak rate itself was sustained for only about five minutes, during which the hourly rate exceeded a few hundred (based on a much smaller number of observed meteors). The time of the peak in the Pacific NW was 11:32 UT. So both the rate and the time fell within the one-sigma uncertainty of the predictions.


This was the first successful prediction of a meteor outburst arising from a long-period comet. The standard dirty snowball model cannot make such predictions without a history of previous events to set several model parameters. This is because cometary “jets” supposedly responsible occur at unknown times, sending out meteoroids in unknown directions with unknown speeds. However, the satellite model for comets needs little more than the law of gravity, because the meteoroids originate from orbit around the nucleus, not by ejection from the nucleus. They therefore escape through the comet’s Lagrange points at known times in known directions with known speeds as the comet approaches the Sun. And that has opened up the field of predicting meteor storms and outbursts since the model’s first success in 1999.


Leaving the important implications for the origins of comets aside, this process is an amazing triumph of celestial mechanics. These meteoroids are too small to be seen or discovered before they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Yet we now know enough about comets and gravity to predict their locations in space and the times and places when they will run into the Earth!


Breaking news: the latest on Iapetus “The Cassini spacecraft made its closest fly-by of Saturn’s moon Iapetus on 2007 September 10, and took some fascinating new images of the black-white transition region on its surface. One of the important new results is that no clear evidence can be found that erupted fluids have resurfaced Cassini Regio, the blackened hemisphere. The high density of impact craters argues that the terrain underlying the dark coating is relatively ancient and has not been eradicated by its emplacement.” [TVF: Under EPH premises, it argues that the bombarded areas are the youngest.]

“Thus, Cassini Regio may have had its origin in plume-style eruptions in which dark particulate materials accumulated on the surface as fallout, perhaps in conjunction with the creation of the equatorial ridge. On the other hand, the dark deposits in Cassini Regio may be a surface coating consistent with, and perhaps more simply explained by, the fall of dark materials from outside.”


[TVF: While we see here the usual attempt to salvage the mainstream explanation, the evidence is showing signs of converging on an exogenous origin, which leaves the source in doubt unless an EPH event is considered.]






Kids’ quotes: Actual quiz answers –

** “Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.”

** “When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.”

** “H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.”

** “Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.

** “Blood flows down one leg and up the other.”

** “The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.”


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