Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 13 Base Harmonics Of Universal Tones

This is concerning isochronic tones and the Schumann resonance. I was meditating with a 432Hz Schumann resonance tone, and I noticed that these frequencies are closely related to my equations concerning gravitational force in my article "The theory of Time and Gravitation".

According to the equations in my last post " The theory of Time and Gravitation", the Schumann frequencies are a little bit off.

The standard equation for resonance states that (C / (2πr)) √(n(n+1) = Earth's resonant frequency = 7.8 to 8.6

My calculations from "The theory of Time and Gravitation": C m / (2π^2 r) = 7.782623Hz.

m = 1 meter or 3.281 feet.

Frequency = 1 / time

The resonant frequency of our solar/planetary system is equal to: (√C G) / (C G) = 7.083608085Hz.

Resonance is caused by the Galactic, Solar, and planetary motion through space time, and it is measured against the speed of light.

The speed of light 299,323,377.019201 m/sec. can also be seen as the 3rd harmonic base frequency of the SOURCE frequency = C^3 = 2.681772352 x 10^25cps. or Hz. Unfortunately this is too high in frequency for us to hear, we can only feel the vibrations of this frequency. Source energy is not to be confused with the Source of Universal infinite mind,or spirit = (God)

However, The 6th harmonic base frequency of 17,301Hz. can be used as a energy body expansion tool. √299,323,377.019201 = 17,301Hz.

We can take the square root of 17,301Hz and get a usable base harmonic frequency for the mind and material body. This is the 12th harmonic base frequency of the Source Energy.

√17,301Hz = 131.53Hz.

From the base harmonic frequencies we can multiply or divide by 2, 3, 4, 5,... to get the harmonics of the base harmonics.

Remember the audible range is 20Hz. to 20,000Hz. 17,301Hz - 131.53Hz is the total range of base harmonic Source Energy vibration that we can detect audibly.

G = 6.6581 x 10^-11sec. This is what modern science calls the gravitational constant, and is measured in(m^3/kg) This is actually what would follow the number, but this makes no sense at all. If mass 1: is made of sandstone and has no iron core, mass 2: is made of granite with a large iron core. Both masses are equal in size. There is no equality in mass, as mass 2 is much heavier than mass 1, even though they are the same size by volume.

Gravitation is measured by the distance the mass is away from the black hole, or mass that rotates the dark matter which carries everything in it's current.

I use seconds (sec) instead. It is what I call the Galactic time position. This gives us a better way to evaluate mass because it measures the orbital speed of the mass around the circumference of the Galactic and Universal centers against the speed of light, which gives us a precise measurement of mass because rotational and linear velocity are determined by the mass itself.

1 / time = frequency. So our Galactic frequency position is 15,019,299,800.2433 or about 15.02 GHz.

SOURCE frequency = C^3 = 2.681772352 x 10^25Hz.

Professor Einstein calculated that E = MC^2. What he did not calculate was the fact that we live in a Toroidal Universe that has an outside and an inside. The inside portion of our Universe is 3 dimensional, while the outside portion is 2 dimensional. The speed of light squared is the way we evaluate energy from our 3 dimensional perspective, while the speed of light^1 is how energy is evaluated from a 2 dimensional perspective. We live in a bi-polar Universe that evaluates energy from separate perspectives, yet it is 1 Universe. This implies that the overall SOURCE energy frequency and combined energy is C^3.

There is a hyper magnetic field dividing the 2, as any contact would spell the end of all things in this Universe. Positive and negative matter can't co-exist together, they explode violently upon contact.

I bring this to light in our discussion on frequency because C^3 is the real source of all frequencies concerning material existence. This is the speed of light cubed. Of course Source's true frequency can't be measured because the speed of thought is instantaneous and unmeasurable.

Galactic frequency position = 1 / G = 15,019,299,800.2433Hz.

Solar/planetary time position = C G =.01992924977sec.

Solar/planetary frequency position = 1 / (C G) = 50.1775035075Hz.

Identity frequency position = (C m)^2 / (2π^2 r)^2 = 60.5692249 Hz.

These are the core tone frequencies we will use to help with maximizing our meditations. From this point on we take the X root of the base frequencies to get a harmonic of that frequency. 3^√15019299800.2433Hz. = 2467.269341Hz. This is the 3rd harmonic of 1 / G.

I have purchased a tone generator to test my theory on this. So far the results are tremendous, and I would love to share them with anyone interested in testing new tones for brainwave enhancement. I am in the infancy of my brainwave engineering, but I think that my frequencies derived from the harmonics of SOURCE and resonant frequencies will change the way we look at brainwaves and how to enhance them forever.

The scale looks like this: From (√Base frequency) to (13^√Base frequency) I calculate that there are 13 root harmonics not 12. We have been programmed to see the # 13 as a bad number. This is a number that has a relation to the Fibonacci sequence and is related to the lunar cycle of our planet. We are supposed to have 13 months not 12, the 13th month is split from 14 days at the end of the year and 14 days into the new year, all months are 28.077 day periods. What I'm saying is that there are 12 root harmonics and 1 base frequency equaling 13. The base frequency is the 1st root harmonic.

Universal Base Harmonics; All numbers are measured in Hertz


1) 2.681772352^25--- 8.959448403^16---------- 299323377.019201

2) 5.178583158^12--- 299323377.019201------- 17300.96463668.9292893

3) 299323377.02------ 447466.3941-------------- 668.9292893

4) 2275650.026------- 17300.96463-------------- 131.5331313

5) 121810.4024------- 2457.289102-------------- 49.57105105

6) 17300.96463------- 668.9292893-------------- 25.86366736

7) 4291.723147------- 264.0915269-------------- 16.25089311

8) 1508.525779------- 131.5331313-------------- 11.46878944

9) 668.9292893------- 76.48685574-------------- 8.745676403

10) 349.0134702------ 49.57105105------------- 7.040671207

11) 204.9626452------ 34.76293844------------- 5.896010383

12) 131.5331313------ 25.86366736------------- 5.085633428

13) 90.37170023------ 20.13824575------------- 4.487565682


1 / G; All numders are measued in Hertz

1) 15019299800.2433

2) 122553.2529

3) 2467.269341

4) 350.0760673

5) 108.4750696

6) 49.67161504

7) 28.43197955

8) 18.71031981

9) 13.51259792

10) 10.41513656

11) 8.416857442

12) 7.047809237

13) 6.064838026


ASCENDING; All numbers are measured in Hertz

13)1.130599592^11---- 3.84271437^11

12)1.596078691^10---- 4.937556706^10

11)2253200166--------- 6344334728

10)318086508.9--------- 815192321.6

9)44904588.88---------- 104745186

8)6339225.483---------- 13458853.45

7)894914.7676---------- 1729346.647

6)126336.008------------ 222206.1364

5)17834.97992----------- 28551.57301

4 )2517.781858----------- 3668.631005

3) 355.4377695------------471.3874589

2) 50.1775035075---------60.5692249

1) 7.083608085------------7.782623266

---√(C G) / (C G)---------------C m / (2π^2 r)

Resonant frequency base & root harmonics Base = 1st root

DESCENDING; All numbers are measured in Hertz

------1 / (C G)--------------(C m)^2 / (2π^2 r)^2

1) 50.1775035075----- 60.5692249

2) 7.083608085-------- 7.782623266

3) 3.688385873-------- 3.927208919

4) 2.661504854-------- 2.78973534

5) 2.188274553-------- 2.272220131

6) 1.920517085-------- 1.981718678

7) 1.749564123-------- 1.797245608

8) 1.63141192--------- 1.670250083

9) 1.545060358-------- 1.577712992

10) 1.479281769------- 1.507388514

11) 1.427551326------- 1.452188224

12) 1.38582722-------- 1.407735301

13) 1.351376158------- 1.371185806

From these base frequencies we can establish the full range of frequencies by finding the natural harmonics = N x root frequency

Example: 2(60.5692249 Hz.) = 121.1384498Hz. or the 2nd harmonic of the identity resonant frequency base harmonic.

The mean resonant frequency is (7.782623Hz + 7.083608085Hz) / 2 = 7.441328121Hz.

The square of these resonant frequencies are equal to the solar/planetary time position frequencies. See my article: "The theory of Time and Gravitation" for more information on this.

7.083608085Hz^2 = 50.17750351 Hz

7.441328121Hz^2 = 55.3733642046Hz

7.782623Hz^2 = 60.5692249018Hz.

This gives us the foundation for the harmonic tones we should be using in our daily meditations.

Low harmonic frequency = (7.083608085Hz)(50.17750351Hz. ) = 355.4377695502Hz

Low mean harmonic frequency = (7.083608085Hz)(55.3733642046Hz) = 392.2432103952Hz

True mean harmonic frequency = (7.441328121Hz)(55.3733642046Hz) = 412.051372211Hz

High mean harmonic frequency = (7.782623Hz)(55.3733642046Hz) = 430.95003258Hz

High harmonic frequency = (7.782623Hz)(60.5692249018Hz) = 471.387458929Hz

Base harmonic frequencies in order, from lowest to highest, and a prescribed daily usage for each frequency.

50Hz.; 3.6 cps. pulse for 25 minutes/day

55Hz.; 3.6 cps. pulse for 27.5 minute/day

55Hz.; 3.7 cps. pulse for 27.5 minute/day

55Hz.; 3.9 cps. pulse for 27.5 minute/day

61Hz.; 3.9 cps. pulse for 30 minute/day

355Hz.; 7.1 cps. pulse for 50 minutes/day

392Hz.; 7.1 cps. pulse for 55 minutes/day

412Hz.; 7.4 cps. pulse for 55 minutes/day

431Hz.; 7.8 cps. pulse for 55 minutes/day

471Hz.; 7.8 cps. pulse for 60 minutes/day

We can continue the quest for usable frequencies by simply adding or subtracting combinations of any 2 of these base frequencies together to get a harmonic total. The frequencies used can be from any base or harmonic group. This is called mixing, and is applied to radio tuners of all sorts.

The base and then the following natural harmonic frequencies are the most powerful of the tones. Subdividing the tones weakens the vibrational connection to us, but they are still useful. Also the higher you go up the harmonic scale, the weaker the connection is to our physical bodies. The higher the frequency is, the closer to source energy the vibration is.

431Hz - 392Hz = 39Hz @ (7.8cps + 7.1cps) / 2 = 7.45cps. pulse for 55 minutes/day

431Hz - 55Hz = 376Hz @ (7.8cps + 3.6cps) / 2 = 5.7cps. pulse for (55min. + 27.5min.) / 2 = 41.25 minutes/day

To be a usable frequency, it must be in the range of 20Hz. to 20k Hz. Lower frequencies are generally better for connecting to the physical body because they are closer to the base frequencies of our solar system and planet.

The second harmonic frequency of the Base harmonic frequencies is calculated simply by multiplying and dividing any of the Base harmonic frequencies by 2.

50Hz. @ 3.6 cps. pulse for 25 minutes/day) x 2 = 100Hz. @ 5.4 cps. pulse for 37.5 minutes/day

55Hz. @ 3.6 cps. pulse for 27.5 minute/day) x 2 = 110Hz. @ 5.4 cps. pulse for 41.25 minutes/day

55Hz. @ 3.7 cps. pulse for 27.5 minute/day) x 2 = 110Hz. @ 5.55 cps.pulse for 41.25 minutes/day

471Hz. @ 7.8 cps. pulse for 60 minutes/day) x 2 = 942Hz. @ 11.7 cps. pulse for 90 minutes/day

The third harmonic frequency of the Base harmonic frequencies is calculated like the second harmonic frequency, by multiplying any of the Base harmonic frequencies by 3.

50Hz. @ 3.6 cps. pulse for 25 minutes/day) x 3 = 150Hz. @ 6 cps. pulse for 37.5 minutes/day

471Hz. @ 7.8 cps. pulse for 60 minutes/day) x 3 = 1413Hz. @ 13 cps. pulse for 100 minutes/day

Various frequencies have different applications. The lower frequencies are good for the centering of the mind, also the contraction of the energy body to the lower body, while the higher frequencies are good for the expansion of the mind, energy body, and getting into a closer vibrational pattern to source energy.

Use them as often as possible to promote unity within the mind, body, and energy

Forth harmonic frequency is as follows:

50Hz. @ 3.6 cps. pulse for 25 minutes/day) x 4 = 200Hz. @ 6.3 cps. pulse for 43.75minutes/day

471Hz. @ 7.8 cps. pulse for 60 minutes/day) x 4 = 1884Hz. @ 13.65 cps. pulse for 105 minutes/day

These frequencies are currently under testing. From the 6 frequencies that I have tested with a single tone process, I have had results that far exceeded my expectations. These tones took me to an Alpha state or higher, almost instantly. Some of my writing has been affected greatly by the use of these tones, and I expect even better results with the rest of the tones.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Strange Case Of Fomalhaut b

Some exoplanets just refuse to go gentle into that good night! Fomalhaut b is such a planet--a dying and rising remote world that refuses to stay dead. It is an object that was at first declared to be a planet, but was later determined not to be a planet--until it was again designated a planet in October 2012!

Astronomers have been searching for planets orbiting stars beyond our own Sun for centuries. The Dutch astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), carried out the first known search for exoplanets hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, the next few centuries were richly marred by false alarms and dashed hopes. But, at last, on October 6, 1995, Dr. Michel Mayor and Dr. Didier Queloz of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, made the historic announcement in the journal Nature that they had indeed discovered the very first exoplanet orbiting a normal Sun-like star, 51 Pegasi. Since then, hundreds of other exoplanets have been spotted and later confirmed by dedicated planet-hunters. Most of the exoplanets discovered so far have been found by astronomers using the radial velocity method (Doppler shift method), that searches for a tattletale wobble in a parent star, indicating that there is a planet circling it, and tugging on it gravitationally. The radial velocity method favors the detection of extremely massive planets, like the gas-giants of our own Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn. However, the method also favors the discovery of planets orbiting their stars in fast, close orbits which means that, unlike Jupiter and Saturn that whirl around our Sun in distant orbits, the massive gas-giant exoplanets discovered are at roasting distance from their fiery stellar parents. These massive gas-giant planets that orbit close to their parent stars are called hot Jupiters and, until 51 Pegasi b was discovered, astronomers did not believe that such weird worlds could possibly exist--and that gas-giants could only form in orbits much more distant from the ovens of their parent stars.

Many astronomers were bewildered by the this discovery. The then-new observations suggested a planet as hefty as Jupiter, circling very close to its parent star 51 Pegasi (51 Peg, for short)--dwelling in the constellation Pegasus. 51 Peg b is roughly 4,300,000 miles away from its star--a very tiny fraction of the distance between our Sun and Mercury--the innermost planet in our Solar System. It orbits 51 Peg every 4.2 days.

What was the hefty 51 Peg b doing so close to its stellar parent? How could this newly discovered faraway world even survive in its weird and hellish orbit? Within days, however, other astronomers confirmed the Mayor and Queloz discovery, and several teams of astrophysicists tested out the possibility for such a planet's existence by using computer models. To their surprise, the calculations suggested that a planet such as 51 Peg b could indeed easily survive the extreme radiation pouring out from its parent star, and would likely shed only a very small amount of its mass during the billions of years both it and its stellar parent dwelled together in such a tight gravitational embrace.

Of the hundreds of exoplanets discovered since 51 Peg b some have proven to be extremely bizarre beasts dwelling in the cosmic zoo, while others are hauntingly similar to the familiar planets in our own Solar System. However, there has never been a discovery--at least, not yet--like the exoplanet Fomalhaut b.

Fomalhaut is one of the brightest stars in the sky. It is also relatively close to Earth--a "mere" 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. One light-year is equivalent to the distance that light can travel in a vacuum in one year--which is 5,880,000,000,000 miles. This brilliantly incandescent nearby star has captured the attention of astronomers for a very long time. In 2008, astronomers who had been observing this bewitching star, using the venerable Hubble Space Telescope (HST), announced that they had spotted a planet circling it. The planet, Fomalhaut b, was shrouded by a heavy veil of obscuring dust as it circled its stellar parent. In fact, the planet was whirling around its star from within a vast debris ring that was surrounding, but slightly offset from, Fomalhaut. Based on Fomalhaut b's mass (originally thought to be about three times that of Jupiter), as well as where it is situated, astronomers suggested that its gravitational pull probably explained the debris ring's characteristics. Dr. Paul Kalas of the University of California at Berkeley, one of the original discoverers of Fomalhaut b, told the press on November 13, 2008 that "The gravity of Fomalhaut b is the key reason that the vast dust belt surrounding Fomalhaut is cleanly sculpted into a ring and offset by the star." The sharp edge and off-center belt suggested to Kalas that a planet in an elliptical (football-shaped) orbit around the star was shaping the inner edge of the belt, in a way very similar to how the moons of Saturn shape the edges of its rings. Fomalhaut b also had the distinction of being the first exoplanet to be imaged in a visible-light snapshot! Kalas added in 2008 that "It's a profound and overwhelming experience to lay eyes on a planet never before seen."

The strange case of Fomalhaut b commenced when some astronomers began to question the object's planetary status. These scientists suggested that Fomalhaut b, far from being a long-lived planet, was in reality merely a short-lived dust cloud--and they cited brightness variations reported by the discovery team, as well as the disquieting fact that NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope was unable to resolve its infrared signature, as strong clues indicating that Fomalhaut b was merely a dust cloud circling the brilliant star.

The original study that had determined Fomalhaut b was a planet reported that its brightness varied by roughly a factor of two, and claimed that this was evidence that it was a planet accreting gas. However, the skeptical astronomers said this really indicated that the mysterious object was merely a transient dust cloud.

Debate flourished for many years over Fomalhaut b's true identity. But, in October 2012, after much heated controversy, Fomalhaut b soared, like the Phoenix bird rising, back up to true exoplanet status. NASA finally determined that the original theory was correct.

"Although our results seriously challenge the original discovery paper, they do so in a way that actually makes the object's interpretation much cleaner and leaves intact the core conclusion, that Fomalhaut b is indeed a massive planet," said Dr. Thayne Currie to the press on October 26, 2012. Currie, one of the authors of the new paper, is now at the University of Toronto. This second study, bouncing Fomalhaut b back up into the pantheon of exoplanets,was developed by NASA scientists after they had taken a second peek at the Hubble data.

Currie and his team reexamined the Hubble observations of the star dating from 2004 to 2006, and discovered that the hotly disputed exoplanet was easily seen at visible wavelengths. They also made a new detection in violet light. In contrast to the earlier team's findings, Currie's team found that the exoplanet maintained a constant brightness. However the second team was also unable to spot Fomalhaut b in the infrared using the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, probably because the exoplanet must really have less than twice the mass of Jupiter.

In addition, Currie's team claims that they have also settled the disputed issue pertaining to the exoplanet's orbit around its star. Fomalhaut b is traveling at a speed and direction consistent with the Kalas team's idea that its gravity is shaping the ring.

"What we've seen from our analysis is that the object's minimum distance from the disk has hardly changed at all in two years, which is a good sign that it's in a nice ring-sculpting orbit," said Timothy Rodigas to the press on October 26, 2012. Rodigas is a graduate student at the University of Arizona.

Furthermore, near Fomalhaut's ring, orbital dynamics should completely dissolve a compact dust cloud in as little as 60,000 years.

Fomalhaut is about 200 million years old and will likely burn out in about a billion years. It is a much more short-lived star than our Sun, which is about 4.5 billion years old, and will not burn out for another 5 billion years. Kalas commented to the press back in 2008 that "Fomalhaut b is surrounded by a planetary ring system so vast it would make Saturn's rings look pocket-sized by comparison. Fomalhaut b may actually show us what Jupiter and Saturn resembled when the Solar System was about a hundred million years old."

I am a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various newspapers, magazines, and journals. Although I have written on a variety of topics, I particularly love writing about astronomy because it gives me the opportunity to communicate to others the many wonders of my field. My first book, "Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke," will be published soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Find the Right Backyard Domes for Sale Online

Many people are looking for high quality professional domes for sale. There are a few places that sell them on the internet, however, the make and model is the main determining factor when selecting the right product. Gazing into the stars is a hobby one cannot get bored with. However, without the right high quality domes, it is impossible to maintain the stability and focus on the sky. The below article would provide essential information about selecting the right astronomy domes for sale.

Backyard Domes

Most of the domes are suitable for mounting in the back yard, and take up little space. It is important to ensure that they are made of a strong and flexible material; withstanding the weather. Some of the domes offer expansion and adjusting opportunities, and they are also lightweight. It is also essential that the domes would be strong but lightweight; metal ones would simply require too much maintenance and regular painting. The best astronomy domes can be made of fiberglass; the most resistant and flexible lightweight material. However, this is the most expensive material for domes as well, due to the labor involved.

Explora-Dome features

The difference between regular domes and Explora-domes is the price and the material. A 100% recyclable Polyethylene is lightweight and extremely strong. The manufacturer of the Explora-domes for sale molds the material, the cost involved is lower, and the appearance of the building is not affected. The material is also UV stabilized, providing extremely powerful protection against the forces of nature. Further, all the domes for sale offered by the company are ready assembled and easy to mount in the back garden by one person. Explora-domes come in different sizes, shapes and designs, allowing owners extra flexibility. The shutters of the domes are also professionally designed for maximum durability.

Dome Functions

Most of the backyard domes for sale have a side door with a width of around 29 inches. The dome shaped top opens from the inside and securely closes after the observation is finished. Some of these buildings come with a long warranty and can withstand a wind of 65 m/s and even a smaller earthquake. Snow is also not a problem when erecting them in the back garden; most domes are made of materials that are strong and flexible enough to withstand the pressure. A dome can house a telescope as long as 2.5 meters and come with an electric, battery-operated shutter system.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stormy Weather On Saturn

Saturn is probably the most beautiful member of our Sun's enchanting family of eight major planets. It is the second-largest planet in our Solar System, after Jupiter, and it is circled by 62 known moons, and myriads of dancing, tiny moonlets that are a mere 2 to 3 kilometers across. They are mostly icy objects, glittering both within and outside of Saturn's magnificent system of rings.

Saturn and Jupiter are our Solar System's two gas-giant planets. Both are denizens of the outer Solar System, and are primarily composed of extremely dense, deep gaseous atmospheres. Some planetary scientists think that the two immense worlds have no solid surface beneath their heavy envelopes of gas. However, other planetary scientists think that Jupiter and Saturn do have relatively tiny solid cores. The other two major planets that dwell in the outer regions of our Solar System are Uranus and Neptune. Uranus and Neptune are thought to have large cores composed of icy, rocky material, as well as gaseous envelopes that are not nearly as thick as those possessed by Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus and Neptune are the two ice-giant planets of the outer Solar System, and they are smaller than the gas-giants Jupiter and Saturn.

For many scientists and the public, Saturn's rings always steal the show. The rings are a collection of innumerable icy bits that range in size from that of minuscule smoke-sized particles to chunks as large as houses. These small orbiting icy objects interact with each other in an exquisite dance, and they are also effected by their planet's magnetosophere--which is the region of a planet's magnetic influence--as well as by the larger moons. The main rings create a very wide but unusually thin and ethereal expanse that is approximately 250,000 kilometers across but only tens of hundreds of meters deep. The origins and ages of the rings remain delightfully mysterious. Theories abound and vary greatly. Differing viewpoints suggest that the rings may be as young as 100 million years or as old as the 4.5 billion-year-old planet itself. Determining the age of the rings is an important scientific endeavor. This is because the answer to this elusive question will ultimately provide a fundamental and necessary clue to the origin and evolution of the Saturnian system itself. Although the rings have numerous attributes that make them appear to be quite young, they may have been around for as long as Saturn has.

Saturn's magnificent ring system is divided by astronomers into 5 main components: the G, F, A, B, and C rings, that are listed from the outermost to the innermost. Reality, however, is somewhat more complicated than this simple classification would indicate. These main divisions are subdivided into thousands of individual ringlets. The A, B, and C rings are easy to see, and are very wide. However, the F and G rings are slender and ethereal and very difficult to observe. There is also a large gap between the A ring and the B ring, which is termed the Cassini Division.

Although Saturn's ring system is the most famous and easiest to observe, all of the giant planets dwelling in the outer limits of our Solar System sport ring systems. However, the ring systems circling the other three giant planets are not nearly as spectacular as Saturn's. But, this doesn't mean that the ring systems of the other giant planets are uninteresting. Like Saturn, the other three outer planets also host a myriad of little dancing moonlets that orbit just beyond or very close to the rings, followed by an admirable retinue of larger moons.

On July 1, 2004 NASA's Cassini spacecraft swept into orbit around Saturn and began taking some remarkable pictures. Although Saturn appears to be a placid planet on the surface, Cassini showed that looks can be deceiving, when it imaged the "Great Springtime Storm" that blasted Saturn in early 2011. NASA announced the discovery of this immense tempest on October 25, 2012. The terrible storm sported a gigantic cloud cover as big as the entire Earth, as well as the "largest and hottest stratospheric vortex ever detected in our Solar System". At one point Cassini also detected on Saturn an "almost unbelievable"spike in regional temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which represents the biggest jump ever observed in our Solar System. Dr. Brigette Hesman, part of the Cassini team, noted in the October 26, 2012 online National Geographic News that "We were quite shocked when we detected the temperature change--nothing like that was ever observed before." Dr. Hesman is a research scientist at the University of Maryland.

Along with the dramatic temperature spike came an immense deposit of the hydrocarbon gas ethylene, which is a byproduct of methane, that had been previously observed only in trace amounts in the ringed planet's atmosphere. How this ethylene became so dramatically and suddenly abundant is a mystery.

"We know this was all caused by a big storm in the lower atmosphere," where temperatures are warm enough for water to condense and form clouds, Hesman continued to note.

The oval-shaped tempest formed when two warm spots in Saturn's ever-churning cloud deck collided and merged. The resulting storm was not visible to human eyes. However, it did shine brightly at infrared wavelengths. The tempest raged through Saturn's northern latitudes over the latter part of 2010 and most of 2011, and was the largest recorded maelstrom since 1903. Indeed, the storm grew so immense that it swept all the way across the entire planet, and actually caught its own tail. At its peak, the tempest--which produced extremely high winds and devastating flashes of intense lightning--formed a cloud cover that circled Saturn in a band that was 9,000 miles wide!

A Saturnian year is approximately equal to 30 Earth-years. Saturn is stricken by a major storm at roughly the same interval. The "Great Springtime Storm" arrived eleven years ahead of schedule and lingered for more than half a year. The visible storm spread within the cloud deck of Saturn's troposphere, and waves of energy shot up hundreds of miles. This created immense "beacons" of hot air, which pushed into the stratosphere. Although planetary scientists expected these beacons to disintegrate and cool down, by early 2011 they had instead clung together creating one immense vortex that for a short time was actually larger than Jupiter's famously enormous Great Red Spot. A bizarre soupy cauldron of hot gases was also seen encircling the enormous vortex.

The brilliant beacon is expected to fade away and eventually disappear by 2012. However, planetary scientists wonder what other surprises are in store on this beautiful, mysterious, puzzle of a giant planet. Two papers describing the vortex will be published in November 2012, one in the journal Icarus, the other in the Astrophysical Journal.

Why did this Saturnian storm produce so many weird occurrences? "We'll be studying this one for years to try to figure it out," Hesman told National Geographic.

I am a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various magazines, newspapers, and journals. Although I have written on a variety of topics, I particularly love writing about astronomy because it gives me the opportunity to communicate to others the many wonders of my field. My first book, "Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke," will be published soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lonesome Stars Glow In The Background

An ethereal Cosmic Infrared Background Radiation (CIB) travels to Earth from all directions in Space, carrying with it marvelous clues about our Universe's "first fireworks". This lumpy, weak infrared glow, emitted by some mysterious and very ancient objects, first began an incredibly long journey to us in visible or even ultraviolet wavelengths. But, due to the expansion of the Universe, this ancient traveling light was stretched out to longer wavelengths that astronomers now observe as a faint infrared glow all over the entire sky.

The CIB was first discovered in 2005, and then studied more intensely about two years later, by astronomers using NASA's highly successful Spitzer Space Telescope that sees the sky with infrared vision. Spitzer is a remarkable piece of technology that has succeeded in obtaining precious scientific information about the Universe since its launch on August 25, 2003, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base aboard a Delta II rocket. Spitzer ultimately drifted into a one-of-a-kind Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun, where it now observes an optically invisible Universe heavily cloaked by dust and stars. Glittering starlight is absorbed by dense veiling dust, that is re-emitted in the infrared, and therefore can be observed with Spitzer's infrared eyes. Spitzer is the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories program which includes the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO), and the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO).

Spitzer has been able to look far back in time to see the lumpy, faint glow of the CIB, emitted by the very first objects dwelling in the ancient Universe. Whereas visible light reveals to astronomers the well-kept secrets of the beautiful incandescent stars that dwell within our Universe's billions and billions of galaxies, the far-infrared is emitted by cold dust that is hiding the newly formed stars like an impenetrable veil. Spotting this surprisingly great multitude of dusty galaxies has proven to be a difficult quest for astronomers. Space telescopes are necessary in order to observe far-infrared light sent forth from the very brightest of the objects that contribute to the infrared background.

In June 2012, astronomers using Spitzer reported that they may have detected these very first objects--our Universe's "first fireworks". The ancient objects may be huge stars--much larger than the familiar stars of today's Cosmos--or hungry black holes. The astronomers were quick to point out that the objects are so remote that they were extraordinarily difficult to resolve individually. However, Spitzer successfully obtained hints of what appears to be an overall pattern formed by their collective light. The observations helped to confirm the idea that these first objects were great in number, and that they burned with furious, brilliant fire.

Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Kashlinsky of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, lead author of a research paper discussing the findings that were published in the Astrophysical Journal, told the press on June 7, 2012 that "These objects would have been tremendously bright. We can't yet directly rule out mysterious sources for this light that could be coming from our nearby Universe, but it is now becoming increasingly likely that we are catching a glimpse of an ancient epoch. Spitzer is laying down a roadmap for NASA's upcoming James Webb Telescope, which will tell us exactly what and where these first objects were." The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large infrared-optimized space telescope currently set for a 2018 launch.

The June 2012 study was designed to improve on earlier observations by measuring the CIB out to scales approximately equal to two full Moons. This is considerably larger than what had been observed previously.

However, in October 2012, other astronomers proposed a different origin for the mysterious softly glowing CIB. This later study also used data from Spitzer, and suggests that the source of the bewitching glow comes from lonesome stars hovering beyond the edges of galaxies. These isolated stars are believed to have once been denizens of these galaxies before violent galaxy mergers tore them away and then hurled them ruthlessly into the empty, cold, dark space outside of their erstwhile homes.

Dr. Asantha Cooray of the University of California at Irvine, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature, explained in an October 24, 2012, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Press Release that "The infrared background glow in our sky has been a huge mystery. We have new evidence this light is from the stars that linger between galaxies. Individually, the stars are too faint to be seen, but we think we are seeing their collective glow."

This later study is at variance with the earlier theory proposed by Kashlinsky and his colleagues, who argue that this mysterious glow is emanating from the very first stars and galaxies in the Universe.

In the later study, Cooray and co-workers looked at information gathered from a larger region of the sky, that covered an arc approximately equal to 50 full Moons. These observations, however, were not as sensitive as those from the Kashlinsky group, but the larger scale enabled the Cooray team to better scrutinize the pattern of the CIB light. They surveyed the larger region of the sky, called the Bootes field, for 250 hours.

The Cooray team ultimately reached the conclusion that the pattern of light, seen in the infrared glow, was inconsistent with those theories and computer simulations that suggested it came traveling to Earth from light emitted by the very first stars and galaxies in the Universe. They determined that the glow was too bright to be dispatched from the first galaxies, which were probably not as large or as numerous as the galaxies dwelling in today's Cosmos. Therefore, Cooray's team went on to explain the lumpy all-pervasive infrared glow based on existing theories of "intrahalo" or "intracluster" starlight.

These theories predict that there is a diffuse population of lonely stars dwelling beyond the outer limits of galaxies, as well as in the dark and relatively empty spaces between galaxies. Young galaxies were still growing in size during the Universe's early days, and as they grew, they tended to collide with one another, gaining increasingly more and more mass. As the growing galaxies crashed into one another, they became inextricably intertwined gravitationally, causing lovely ribbons of dazzling stars to be violently shredded, hurling the stars into space. In addition, galaxies also grow when they devour smaller dwarf galaxies, and this can be a very messy dinner. The mess can result in stray stars being thrown out of their galactic homes.

Cooray commented in the October 24, 2012 JPL Press Release that "A light bulb went off when reading some research papers predicting the existence of diffuse stars. They could explain what we are seeing with Spitzer."

More research is needed to determine the true origins of the CIB. Perhaps the keen vision of JWST will at long last solve the lingering mystery once and for all. Dr. Eric Smith, JWST's deputy program manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. noted in the October 24, 2012 JPL Press Release that "The keen infrared vision of the James Webb Telescope will be able to see some of the earliest stars and galaxies directly, as well as the stray stars lurking between the outskirts of nearby galaxies. The mystery objects making up the background infrared light may finally be exposed."

I am a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various journals, magazines, and newspapers. Although I have written on a variety of topics, I particularly love writing about astronomy because it gives me the opportunity to communicate to others the many wonders of my field. My first book, "Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke," will be published soon