back to article Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Our Solar System may have been born from bubbles of material hurled from a colossal Wolf-Rayet-type star, according to a theory published Friday. Scientists studying the origin of our system generally believe – no, wait, sorry. Stop. You know 2017 has been a bonkers year when the New York Times reveals a classified $22m US …

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  1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

    "complete with grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft"

    Do you mean this video, if so how does the plane manage to bank to the left and point in the same direction at the same time?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

      Anyone got any videos of one of these things in IR mode actually functioning correctly?

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

        @AC "where's the secret alien material hiding in Vegas, that supposedly we can't defend ourselves from?"

        Have you ever pondered where the Blue Man Group came from and why they are so popular on The Strip?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

      Amazing how no matter what the Hornet does, the UFO remains EXACTLY ON TARGET as if it were attached to the plane...

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

        But it doesn't; are you being confused by the recon camera locking in to the 'target' and bracketing it, or the operator apparently switching back and forth between various imaging modes?

        Finally, a (lepidoptera) bug in the optical sensors wouldn't explain the aircraft being vectored to intercept on the basis of ship-based radar.

        Now I haven't a clue what those things are, and whilst the odds of it being an extraterrestrial vehicle are extremely low, it's definitely a very interesting event.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

          As someone pointed out, you can see the angle the camera is at compared to 'dead ahead' on the plane is constantly changing, even though the object is still central, therefore it is tracking the object.

          Eventually the angle decreases to the point that the plane is pointing straight at it.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

        "Amazing how no matter what the Hornet does, the UFO remains EXACTLY ON TARGET as if it were attached to the plane..."

        Not really. It's exactly how target tracking systems are supposed to work. They even carefully explain all that before the video starts, along with what all the numbers on the screen mean.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Grainy videos of possibly alien spacecraft

      "if so how does the plane manage to bank to the left and point in the same direction at the same time?"

      Thrust vectoring?

  2. John Savard Silver badge

    I know that the government tried to research UFOs back in the 50s or 60s, but after a while it gave up on the whole thing as nonsense. Project Blue Book, it was called. And then there was the Condon Report.

    That they were studying them again in 2012 does look like news, but not because there might be something to those flying saucers. No, it's a right proper scandal about government money going out the wrong way, and hopefully it will be investigated.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The oddities of this solar system just continue to accrue. Small rocky planets, instead of gas giants, close to the sun with the gas giants farther out. Now, theoretically, the origin for the solar system is attributable to a Wolf-Rayet star. All grist for the mill when examining the Fermi paradox.

  4. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Coat

    Why the aluminum isotope and not the iron isotope?

    Simple--the aliens space mined all the iron before our piddly backward solar system formed. See? That was easy! Don't any of our boffins actually read science fiction? How about the SyFy channel--don't you eggheads get cable?

    (Mine is the chainmail anti-shark diving suit, in case of Sharknado.)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why the aluminum isotope and not the iron isotope?

      "Simple--the aliens space mined all the iron before our piddly backward solar system formed. "

      No, that was the sauropod civilisation from Earth. They were mining asteroids and sending them back to Earth orbit for smelting, 'till they screwed up the caclulations with a big one....

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alien

    Guys!

    We already had Project Blue Book and Project Sign before that. Not sure what they cost though, AFAIK, it was an understaffed office of people classifying reports and possibly sometimes taking a plane to check out Encounters of the First or Second Kind (back then 3rd Kind Encounters were rather rare, whereas back in the late 20th one had to progress to Encounters of the 4th Kind. Today, we have Boris and stuff).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guys!

      You make a good point about these beliefs. Any unusual and unprovable belief (UFO's, Bigfoot) that attracts followers will start out with everyone trying to convince the unimpressed (and themselves) that it's all true. Then years go by while they do convince themselves, to their own satisfaction at least.

      Once that happens it's all over. An entire subculture will spring up manifesting a life of its own. It just ceases to be important to "prove" the belief. Post-proof, the adherents are freed to go wherever their imaginations take them, much nicer that way.

      Thus are born the narratives of the future, with no telling what forms they will eventually take. Wish I could be there to see...

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Guys!

        @Big John, yes, and as those sub-cultures harden, they become relf-referencing systems, where evidence that on the face of it contradicts their inner belief system is made to fit that inner belief system, sometimes by falsifying the fact, sometimes by expanding the inner belief system to be able to swallow it. An example of this is Christianity when the facts of the solar system were discovered. First, denial, then, their belief system was adjusted so that a heliocentric solar system was of course God's handiwork. Conspiracies operate in the same way. A fact that would negate their beliefs becomes 'that's what they want you to think'. And so on.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Guys!

          An example of this is Christianity when the facts of the solar system were discovered. First, denial, then, their belief system was adjusted so that a heliocentric solar system was of course God's handiwork.

          Actually, it wasn't Christianity that was denying a heliocentric solar system. There were some involved with another group who claims to follow Christ that denied this, but the Bible makes mention of things hateful to those (and to flat-earthers) eg referring to the Earth as a "ball" and also some stuff that could be hinting at orbital mechanics. But people here don't want to know that the Bible was talking of the "Big Rip" thousands of years ago, that thousands of years ago the expansion of the universe was mentioned in the Bible, and so much other stuff that science is "discovering" now that people who've been reading their Bible's could've told you hundreds of years ago (not that there was much reading of it back then but you get the idea).

          Why do I continue to believe? Because I see scientific proof of God being discovered and reported in the likes of New Scientist on a very regular basis. That may not be their intent but when I see stuff that reinforces theories that Christians have come up with long past now being published in such places, I cannot help but smile, thank God for yet another bit of proof, and continue enjoying my day.

          A few hundred years ago some Christians were claiming that the earth went around the sun as did the other planets, but the scientists of the day were telling the so-called "church leaders" that it was just not so and to claim the earth went around the sun was to somehow deny God.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Guys!

            > but the Bible makes mention of things hateful to those (and to flat-earthers)

            The Bible makes geocentric and flat-earth references:

            https://hypertextbook.com/eworld/geocentric/

            Of course you, like everyone else, likes to be highly selective about what bits they use to support whatever various things they want to believe.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Of course there are aliens

    They come across the border from Mexico every day.

    What's that?

    Oh...

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Something for the New Year, Katyanna

    A Beta HeAIdline, with more truth in it than in that from which it is phormed and phished ..... Forget the supernovae, what's this about alien allies? :-)

    And when you know it makes sense, is all the nonsense currently being presented to peasants with arrogant media collusion/ignorant media propagation in deep shit trouble, and in rapid need of a fundamental makeover ....... which also results in what is widely known as IT taking over the future reins and reigns ‽ .

    Simple Words Create, Command and Control and Destroy Complex Worlds, both Real and Virtual. Share them wisely.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Something More Extra ESPecial for the New Year, Katyanna

      Well, well, well ..... what came/comes first, the Easter egg above for Brave New Worlds in the New Year making over and taking over the future with IT reins and reigns, or the chicken squawking below, for both provide for novel multi-interdimensional travel in parallel planes with the one in Live Operational Virtual Environments a more truly honest broker with practically real and virtually life-changing Greater IntelAIgent Games to Play for Pay with Play than the other ......

      The basic premise of the game is that AI robots, designed to usher in an economic golden age for humanity, try to take over the world. To respond to the crisis, the United Nations forms Overwatch, a team of fighters and adventurers recruited to quash the robot rebellion. The Overwatch forces defeat the robots, and then end up battling each other. ..... The Overwatch Videogame League Aims to Become the New NFL

      ....... with the more powerful one of them easily able to enable SMARTR AId Virtual Terrain Team Players to become the New NSA?

      And a question mark to end that AImuse for all Doubting Thomases and any Raging against the Machine Thomasinas to abuse.

      Merry Xmas, El Regers.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our system has an abundance of aluminum-26 because we need it to make hats.

    I thought this would be obvious?

  9. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Oh, the UFOs are absolutely real

    Donal Trump talks to the Plan 9 UFO crews every day:

    Trump: "Why is it so important that you want to contact the governments of our Earth?"

    Eros: "Because of death. Because all you of Earth are idiots!"

  10. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    OK I read the associated article, and having looked at the images (which for some reason list dimensions in cm!) although there a little blurry so maybe im looking at them wrong (i think its saying 1,44E20 cm on the bottom scale), but it would seem to imply that our solar system was in the order of 10000 light years away from this massive star. That seems a hell of a long way away to have an effect on our proto solar system. I mean thats 10% of the way to the galactic core.

    Maybe the scale is logarithmic? I like the idea, and its a good way to explain the discrpancy but something seems off in their numbers. And why in hell would you operate in cm when your talking dimensions in space! Thats just daft!

    1. tfb Silver badge

      1.44E20cm (not 144E20cm: they're using standard scientific notation for numbers) is about 150ly.

      I have no idea why they're using cm however: do astronomers tend to work in cgs units rather than mks when they don't work in some more suitable ones?

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Yes, astrophysicists are a bunch of erg-heads who prefer cgs.

      2. lglethal Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Cheers tfb, I thought something must have been off in my calcs! I rounded down to 1E20 because from the pictures it looked like the bubbles they talk about forming solar systems in happened about 2/3 distance from the star so maybe 100 ly away doesnt sound unreasonable...

        Still using cgs on galactic scales is just daft! ;)

  11. Christoph Silver badge

    Of course there's Aliens!

    It's obvious. Just look at the evidence. The closer you examine it all, the less actual evidence there is. The more detail you look at, the less there's any sign of them.

    So that Proves they exist!!!! Haven't you heard of Homeopathy????

  12. Dr. G. Freeman

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

    Bill Watterson

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's just lightning balls dammit

    ...all this fuss over ball lightning is getting waaay out of hand...

  14. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    Looking at it with both eyes

    It is spelled aluminium.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looking at it with both eyes

      Spelled or Spelt?

      1. Duffy Moon

        Re: Looking at it with both eyes

        I made some lovely bread with spelt flour.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Looking at it with both eyes

          I trumped before and it really spelled.

          I don't think I'm doing this right.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to say it

    That was a really well written as well as funny and informative article.

  16. arctic_haze Silver badge

    America had already one alien invasion

    The aliens had strange pale skin, used dangerous long range weapons and brought alien viruses which decimated the Americans.

    It was about 500 years ago.

  17. Muscleguy Silver badge
    Boffin

    I think the object in the grainy video is much more likely to be a part collapsed weather balloon. That explains it's radar detected plummet and if the collapse partly plugged the hole it would then settle at a lower level and be blown by the wind. If a weather balloon wrapped around its payload it would present a figure much like the one in the video, including the attitude change.

    The crumpled, rippling mylar may confuse radar as to the size and distance to the object, get those wrong and its apparent speed alters too. IOW it was smaller, closer and not moving as fast as thought. Had the fighters riddled it with canon fire it may well have fallen further.

    In the Central Pacific you have a string of island nations with Meteorological Offices as well the navies of many nations and researchers all releasing weather balloons and not notifying the USN of the fact.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      You do raise some valid points, but these were fighter jets seeming not getting any closer to said object while having it in visual range. Even it the wind was at their backs, it was reported as being 126knots, significantly slower than the normal cruise speed of these jets. It's an interesting encounter, but I don't think it's a free flying weather balloon in this case. I think I'll stick with "unidentified".

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        I'm not saying that was it a weather balloon. I'm only offering a non extraterrestrial and more down to earth suggestion of what it might have been rather than jumping to the conclusion that it had to be an alien spacecraft.

        We do not know everything happening or possible on this planet, we need to have that and exclude them all before leaping to the exponentially unlikely suggestion that it must therefore be aliens.

        Especially since it would have been a scout ship and where was/is the mothership? With all our telescopes and satellites in all the wavelengths including gravity we would have almost certainly detected its presence up there. Remember India and China have and had satellites going around the moon so it cannot have been hiding behind Luna, not to mention the problem of hiding a scout ship scooting out from behind and returning.

        Note we also have satellites up there with extremely sensitive gravity detectors on them to detect things like ice cap thickness and denser parts of the planet. If a large mothership type ship went anywhere near such a satellite the fact would show up. It would also occlude stars even if it was otherwise 'dark'. We have telescopes scanning the sky for asteroids using star occlusion.

  18. illiad

    STOP looking for UFOs, develop a better camera!

    Then we can get proper pictures of whatever it really is...

    sooo many frauds and mistaken IDs...

    I will bet earth is like some violent towns, you tread carefully, trying not to attract attention, if you happen to find yourself there.. But then there are the youngsters, who know they are faster, so dare to freak out the poor earthers...

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Bowie beat them to it ...

    We're painting our faces and dressing in thoughts from the skies, from paradise

    But they think that we're holding a secretive ball

    Won't someone invite them. they're just taller children that's all, after all

    1. MrT

      Re: Bowie beat them to it ...

      Mobi too...

  20. Milton Silver badge

    Where's the mass panic?

    "A fucking wing fallen off the back of an intergalactic lorry. No way. Where's the mass panic?"

    Figure it out.

    If the aliens had come along even five years ago and blown the White House to smithereens, there'd have been mass panic.

    Now it's 2017: the Year of Lunatics Taking Over the Asylum. There's more likely to be panic if the aliens *don't* blow up the White House.

    Once again, humanity has shown—with Trump, and Brexit—that it is unfit to govern itself. So if the aliens want to have a go at running things, let 'em. (Unless they're also a bunch of fat old greedy lying white men, that is.)

    1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: Where's the mass panic?

      So it's fine if they're also a bunch of fat old greedy lying Chinese men?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's the mass panic?

      "Unless they're also a bunch of fat old greedy lying white men, that is.)"

      That was the attitude in South Africa after apartheid. Fast forward 25 years. The complaint now is that the white fat cat elite have merely been joined by fat cats of other colours - who if anything are more corrupt. It was always likely to be so. People in the western countries tend to forget that in many other countries the ancient rule is "winner takes all". That is now suffusing into western society too.

      I became disenchanted with "liberation" politics many years ago. It seemed that every oppressed body that finally acquired power - then behaved much the same as their oppressors had. The lesson the oppressed learn from their oppressors is "how to do it that way" - rather than the beneficent "how not to do it that way".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where's the mass panic?

        --->I became disenchanted with "liberation" politics many years ago. It seemed that every oppressed body that finally acquired power - then behaved much the same as their oppressors had. The lesson the oppressed learn from their oppressors is "how to do it that way" - rather than the beneficent "how not to do it that way".

        I take it you never got round to reading Animal Farm then?

      2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Where's the mass panic?

        Turns out that all humans are like all humans. The problem with Marx and his friends is he and they thought that, once oppressed, the workers would live a sharing, caring culture, where no one would oppress or be oppressed. But as soon as any European proletariat were freed up, they instantly tried to be liek their oppressor class: they bought house, nice furniture, better clothes, etc. They did not create communal kitchens and childcare etc.

        Those without power will always seek power. If we abhore oppression, we have to think of a way of giving people enough without their needing to oppress, in their own turn. Our problem is that we have to try to make people be happy with enough. Not surplus, not grotesque heaps of cash and goos, but enough.

        I don't think we can do that. All we can do is to keep moving the oppressions along, a sort of 'change partners and dance.'

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "So if the aliens want to have a go at running things, let 'em. "

      Wasn't that the whole point of Brexit, that slightly more than 1/2 of the people who voted though they were already run by aliens and didn't want to be run by aliens?

      Or something.

      I tried to ask some British people I know who voted Leave why they did it but but the strings of words that came out with bore no connection any objective reality I could recognize.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "So if the aliens want to have a go at running things, let 'em. "

        no thanks at letting "the aliens" run things. They'd be worse than the elitist control freaks that typically rise to positions of power in our current gummints, advocating policies that literally "keep us in our place" so that we don't become a threat to "them" any time soon...

        At least, that's the way HUMANS would do things. Our best and brightest held down, while the biggest takers and leeches are held up as if they're "special" or somehow MORE entitled to the fruits of the labors made by people who are FAR more worthwhile to society than THEY are, while achievement and desire for personal gain are berated and treated as if they're "evil". Nature itself competes for everything, and the STRONG survive, and then breed to make even STRONGER offspring. Whereas an oppressive controlling force would elevate ITSELF at the expense of the rest, twisting the concept of 'fairness' and DISCOURAGING competition...

        And THAT is what I'd expect from any kind of "Alien overlord". Because our OWN gummints ALREADY do that to us, ALL OF THE TIME.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Coat

          "Our best and brightest held down, while..biggest takers..leeches are held up as.."special""

          The cognitive disconnect is strong in this one.

        2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: "So if the aliens want to have a go at running things, let 'em. "

          Evolution is not about the strong, but about the fittest. Often, 'fittest' does not mean the ability to dominate, but the ability to fit in. Althuism appears to be an evolutionary trait in many animal species, including humans. Breeding doesn't really work to make species stronger, as evolution is at the mercy of random terrestrial events and of mutations. The species as a whole has to be flexible enough to mutate in a life-ward direction if it is to be the fittest.

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