Perhaps the universe is trying to send Earth a message.
Astronomers might have received the first radio signals from a planet outside of our solar system, The Independent‘s Andrew Griffen reported Thursday.
The breakthrough, according to the scientists who found it, could pave the way for an important new means of examining and understanding far-flung planetary bodies.
This news is the latest in otherworldly stories reported this year relating to UFOs and little green men. That they aren’t the more memorable stories from this year goes to show how bizarre the 2020 news cycle has been.
However, researchers indicate that more specifically the aforementioned radio signals are originating from an exoplanet, marking the first time humans have ever collected a radio emission from another planet outside of our own neighborhood, the United Kingdom-based publication reported. In particular, the radio bursts are emanating from the constellation Boötes, which can be viewed in the northern sky.
“We present one of the first hints of detecting an exoplanet in the radio realm,” said Jake D. Turner, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University who helped spearhead the study, the findings of which are reported in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
“The signal is from the Tau Boötes system, which contains a binary star and an exoplanet,” Turner added. “We make the case for an emission by the planet itself. From the strength and polarization of the radio signal and the planet’s magnetic field, it is compatible with theoretical predictions.”
Furthermore, in order to verify the origin of the bursts, additional research must be conducted. However, if it is the case, then it will offer a completely new way to understand worlds that are many light years away, according to The Independent.
By utilizing a radio telescope in the Netherlands, the astronomers discovered the bursts. They located signals emanating from a star system that is a host to a variety of planet known as a hot Jupiter, which is massive and gaseous like Earth’s neighbor but much closer to its own system’s star, per The Independent.
“If confirmed through follow-up observations,” explains Ray Jayawardhana, a Cornell professor and a co-author on the new research, “this radio detection opens up a new window on exoplanets, giving us a novel way to examine alien worlds that are tens of light-years away.”
If scientists are able to analyze radio signals from far-away worlds, they could use them in order to understand their magnetic field, according to The Independent. Consequentially, that would help them discover what the properties of its interior and its atmosphere are, as well as the interactions between stars and planets–all of which could be used to understand how habitable it might be.
This latest research arose from work the team conducted in the past to examine our neighbor Jupiter, and extrapolate to understand how it might look if viewed from up to 100 light-years away, The Independent reported. That gave them the pattern that might show if a similar planet was found elsewhere–which they now believe to have done.
It should be noted, though, that the signal is still weak and unconfirmed, per The Independent. Additional examination using other radio telescopes should help provide more details and finally confirm whether or not the enigmatic bursts are really originating from another planet outside our solar system.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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China Ratchets Up Propaganda as Pelosi Prepares to Visit Taiwan
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks like she is moving forward with her planned visit to Taiwan, China is ratcheting up its propaganda war against Taiwan and the United States. Chinese government media is stating that Taiwan is part of China, China is prepared to use force over Taiwan, Chinese “countermeasures” to any visit by Pelosi will be severe, and the United States and Taiwan are the ones that are instigating conflict.
Chinese state-run media continues to claim that Taiwan is an integral part of the mainland. A Pelosi visit to Taiwan would “seriously harm China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, as cited by XinhuaNet. A Global Times article cited a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as stating that Taiwan is an issue of “national reunification,” and “at the heart of China’s core interests.” Another Global Times article welcomed the possibility of China’s eventual intrusion into “the airspace above Taiwan” as “a legitimate and righteous move to manifest China’s sovereignty over the island.”
LISTEN TO #TheSaraCarterShow ON CHINA IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Chinese government media also claims that China is prepared to use force over Taiwan. A Global Times article cites the above professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as stating that “[r]eunification by force is the most effective way to prevent Taiwan secessionism.” Another Global Times article cites “an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,” as claiming that China threatened “the possibility of extremely drastic diplomatic and military measures against the US [if Pelosi visits Taiwan], and the US cannot afford to face such a response.”
Chinese state-run media further specifies this hypothetical use of force if Pelosi visits Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit would result in an “overwhelming response” that would result in “a game-changer for cross-Straits relations,” according to Global Times. Potential responses from China would include PLA aircraft escorting Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, “set[ting] a great precedent for the PLA to patrol above the island,” according to a Global Times article. Another Global Times article, citing a “Chinese military expert,” floated the idea of the Chinese military declaring Taiwan a PLA drill zone, and intercepting planes flying over Taiwan in the event that Pelosi visits Taiwan [meaning, establishing a “no-fly” zone]. This military expert further suggested that China’s PLA Rocket Force could similarly conduct “drills” targeting US ships.
And according to Chinese government media, it is the US and Taiwan that are at fault for the current crisis over Taiwan. According to China Daily, Pelosi’s visit would demonstrate that the US is “trying to seize the initiative to change the status quo across the Straits, and use the island as a launch pad for confrontation with China. Another China Daily article remarked that the potential for Pelosi’s visit shows that the “Taiwan question [is] being recklessly hijacked by Washington politicians” and that “[s]ome of the more hawkish US politicians have been unable to hide their glee that…[Pelosi’s visit] might lead to a military clash.”
Chinese state-run media is also asserting that the US and Taiwan are unprepared for any situation in the Taiwan Strait. The US is “semi-paralyzed and divided” and “politically weak,” according to Global Times. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called for visiting Taiwan with Nancy Pelosi, is a “‘marginal figure’ with limited funding” and a “troublemaker,” according to Global Times. Taiwan’s recent Han Kuang military drills “are more of a show rather than anything of military significance,” according to a “Beijing-based military expert” as cited by Global Times.
Chinese government media continues to peddle an anti-US and anti-Taiwan narrative. With this narrative, China hopes to justify, for domestic and international consumption, an attempted confrontation or invasion of Taiwan. As the global supply chain, semi-conductors, and peace in the Pacific hang in the balance, the Biden administration needs to counter Chinese aggression in both word and deed.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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