back to article Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

An enormous, mysteriously stationary structure high over the surface of Venus may be the largest gravity wave in the Solar System, according to Japanese astronomers. In 2015, cameras onboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) spacecraft Akatsuki captured images of a humungous boomerang-shaped bulge measuring more …

  1. Def Silver badge

    Click baity headline is click bait

    If all 'alien structures' are mountains, are all moutains alien structures? ;)

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Click baity headline is click bait

      I remember when ironic headlines lampooning the bonkers Brit tabloid culture weren't called clickbait, they were just Register headlines. This is back before the kids ruined everything with their Upworthies and BuzzFeeds.

      Oh well, if you want boring, ZDNet's that way ----->

      C.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Click baity headline is click bait

        Na - just a type -should be its 'A LINE'.

        1. frank ly Silver badge

          Re: Click baity headline is click bait

          I think that irony is misunderstood and the word misused a lot lately. The headline is parody and satire and it's corny but I'd say it's not ironic. If it turns out that it really is an alien structure than that would be ironic.

          1. TitterYeNot

            Re: Click baity headline is click bait

            "I think that irony is misunderstood and the word misused a lot lately. The headline is parody and satire and it's corny but I'd say it's not ironic."

            Agreed. A much better example of irony would be that most, if not all, of the examples of irony in the song 'Isn't It Ironic' by Alanis Morissette aren't, in fact, ironic...

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: Click baity headline is click bait

              You are Ed Byrne AICMFP.

            2. LionelB

              Re: Click baity headline is click bait

              A much better example of irony would be that most, if not all, of the examples of irony in the song 'Isn't It Ironic' by Alanis Morissette aren't, in fact, ironic..."

              Errm no, that's not irony either. Irony is when a statement expresses the opposite of (or at least something different to) it's literal interpretation. E.g. (lame example): "Alanis Morissette perfectly understands the meaning of the word ironic".

              Anyhow, I guess "Isn't it annoying?" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Still a catchy tune, though (no irony intended).

              1. Gobhicks

                Re: Click baity headline is click bait

                Is it or is it not ironic that a person seeks to establish their intellectual superiority by asserting one meaning of the word "irony":

                - the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect;

                while apparently failing to be aware of another:

                - a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

                ?

                1. LionelB

                  Re: Click baity headline is click bait

                  @Gobhicks

                  a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

                  I was/am genuinely not aware of that alternative meaning of irony. Do you have a reference?

                  Not claiming any intellectual superiority, BTW (if I was, then surely so are you, which I'm sure you're not [no irony intended]). Just being pedantic.

              2. Deltics
                Joke

                Re: Click baity headline is click bait

                "Isn't it ironic" is a question and is not semantically equivalent to the statement "All that follows is (or is not) ironic".

                If all that follows is clearly not ironic then the question itself *could* be intended to be ironic, with the implication that the positor of the question is well aware of the lack of irony and is precipitating in the respondent the notion that the non-ironic observations may be ironic when they are not.

                Or the positor is just using "ironic" poetically or even perhaps ignorantly.

                Pays your money. Takes your choice.

                Either way, it's a catchy little ditty.

            3. Nolveys Silver badge

              Re: Click baity headline is click bait

              A much better example of irony would be that most, if not all, of the examples of irony in the song 'Isn't It Ironic' by Alanis Morissette aren't, in fact, ironic...

              I agree, there wasn't a single example of anyone ironing in the entire song.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Click baity headline is click bait

        The majority of Reg readers, and other star gazers (armchair or otherwise) know that 'Alien Megastructure' is shorthand for 'Hmm, we've observed something weird that we can't yet explain'. The use of the phrase isn't to deceive, but to make you feel a part of the gang you in the joke.

        Were a flying saucer the size of Australia suddenly appear in Earth orbit, I'd likely hear about it on the radio ("We interrupt this broadcast with a special bulletin..." ) and would then drive straight to the pub. There I can find beer, lots of beer, some physicists and, should the UFO prove to unfriendly, a willing member of barstaff to spend my last five minutes with.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Click baity headline is click bait

          "Were a flying saucer the size of Australia suddenly appear in Earth orbit, I'd likely hear about it on the radio ("We interrupt this broadcast with a special bulletin..." ) and would then drive straight to the pub. There I can find beer, lots of beer, "

          Don't forget the peanuts. And the towel.

    2. Richard 81

      Re: Click baity headline is click bait

      "If all 'alien structures' are mountains, are all moutains alien structures?"

      adjective: alien

      1. belonging to a foreign country.

      2. unfamiliar and disturbing or distasteful.

      3. supposedly from another world; extraterrestrial.

      So the answer is "yes", if they're in another country, really weird looking or on another planet.

      1. smartermind

        Re: Click baity headline is click bait

        By that definition, anything extra-terrestrial would be alien, making the term redundant in this context. The whole planet Venus is alien. The word "Alien" in the clickbait headline is capitalised making it into a noun suggestive of "living aliens" rather than an entity.

    3. Paul Renault

      Re: Click baity headline is click bait

      I actually came here to reprise a question I asked months ago:

      Aren't ALL structures on Venus 'alien' structures?

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Click baity headline is click bait

        "Aren't ALL structures on Venus 'alien' structures?"

        Yes. That's the gag.

        C.

        1. Paul Renault

          Re: Click baity headline is click bait

          I suppose 'Boffins find Huge Hidden Structure of Extraterrestrial Origin on Venus' would have been even clickier.

          P

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Wrong planet

    Looks like the visitors buried their monolith on the wrong planet.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Wrong planet

      Maybe it's buried there so we don't find it until we're advanced enough.

      And who says it's put there for us to find!

      Obviously --------------->

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Wrong planet

      Somewhere there's a star child going, *facepalm*

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        You're slipping

        Surely it's a megastructure not just a boring old structure.

  3. Sam Therapy

    I welcome our Venusian Overlords.

    Thought I'd get that one in before anyone else. :)

    1. Diginerd

      Alert Dan Dare!

  4. Ralph B

    Will nobody think of the tax payers?

    Let me check I've understood this correctly. You're telling me that if you want to detect gravity waves, there was no need to spend $620million overhauling the LIGO detectors? We could have just pointed a telescope at Venus?

    1. Michael Hoffmann
      Boffin

      Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

      Had to upvote this, because my eyebrows crawled way up my forehead as well.

      Something that normally requires something of the magnitude of black holes smacking into each other and then sets of microscopic shifts and here there's one covering half a planet?

      I though El Reg was oversimplifying for clickbaity reasons but reading the abstract in Nature that's precisely what they're saying: mountain gravity waves.

      Anybody here able to explain what they mean? Same term for something different?

      1. Spacedinvader

        Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

        gravitational waves transport energy as gravitational radiation, a form of radiant energy similar to electromagnetic radiation.

        gravity wave - a wave propagated on a liquid surface or in a fluid through the effects of gravity.

        1. Little Mouse
          Thumb Up

          Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

          @SpaceInvader.

          Thanks for the clarification.

          The article makes a whole lot more sense now.

          1. Ralph B

            Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

            Thanks for the clarifications from me too. I knew I must have misunderstood something.

        2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

          Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

          Thank you, Spacedinvader, for that clarification.

          It is a pity the Reg could not make it that clear in the first place. They seem to have lost all their science-qualified writers who could examine critically a press release or abstract rather than just copying the words.

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

            "It is a pity the Reg could not make it that clear in the first place. They seem to have lost all their science-qualified writers who could examine critically a press release or abstract rather than just copying the words."

            Are you kidding me??? We used the correct term in the correct context, and we're the ones who screwed up?

            So you're saying we have to caveat everything we write in case someone doesn't understand. You want articles that read like: "The board has 4GB of RAM – that's readable-writeable memory not read-only ROM - and an ARMv8 CPU - that's CPU not GPU..."

            Get outta here.

            PS: The article was written by someone with an astrophysics degree and edited by someone with an engineering degree.

            C.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

              "PS: The article was written by someone with an astrophysics degree and edited by someone with an engineering degree."

              Yeahbut, are they proper degrees from proper universities or are they from trendy new lefty-liberal ex-polytechnics?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

          "gravity wave - a wave propagated on a liquid surface or in a fluid through the effects of gravity."

          Only problem with applying that definition to the phenomenon observed on Venus is that the 'wave' is stationary and so isn't 'propagated'.

          My best guess (lacking data) would be that it's an amplified mountain wave, the amplification coming from the combination of the high density and speed, and therefore momentum, of Venus's atmosphere. Purely a guess though.

          1. Wilco
            Holmes

            Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

            If the fluid is moving and the phenomenon is stationary, then it's surely it is being propagated.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

              "If the fluid is moving and the phenomenon is stationary *, then it's surely it is being propagated." [my emphasis]

              How can something that even you describe as 'stationary' * be regarded as propagating?

              But if you're going to use that criteria then you'd also have to say that the surface of Venus is being propagated.

              Hmm... no idea why the superscript tag also seems to be inserting an underline today.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

                Looks like a strikeout. Note the height of the bar.

                The pages HTML shows an s tag, not a sup tag. Unless El Reg has filtered your post, it looks more like your own error rather than something more suspicious.

                testy thingy

                ****strikeout**** and ****superscript****

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

                  @JB(NB) Yup - you're right - definitely suffering from memory fade.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Alien

        Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

        It's obvious, someone is using an artificial singularity to generate power deep inside their mountain lair.

      3. Diginerd

        Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

        "Mountain Gravity waves"?

        Surely you're not asking if James Cameron's groundbreaking creative vision and nuanced story telling was actually a documentary?

        Jokes aside - WTF? Something very odd going on here.

    2. Spudley

      Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

      They are entirely different things. Gravity waves are mundane, easy to see and to measure. Gravitational waves are so small and faint as to be virtually undetectable, even the ones created when black holes collide.

      This one is a gravity wave.

      The ones detected by LIGO are gravitational waves.

      Not the same thing.

      However I do agree with you that the similarity in terminology is an open door to confusion.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

        Thanks for the clarification everyone. I assumed it was a translation error.

        gravity wave != gravitational wave, got it.

  5. Slx

    It'll turn out to be something like slow moving sulphur snow clouds or something we aren't used to looking at. The scale of it would seem far too big to be anything artificial or life-based. Although, there's no harm in sending a probe to take a look...

    1. smartermind

      By the time the probe gets there, the "aliens" will have scampered off to Alpha Centauri or where-ever they came from.

      Besides, the probe will be fried within minutes in the sulphuric acid atmosphere of Venus as the Soviets found out when they sent their probes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @smartermind

        " the probe will be fried within minutes in the sulphuric acid atmosphere of Venus"

        So it sounds like we need to fund research into developing probes that are made out of sulphuric acid so they can withstand the Venusian atmosphere. I'd think $1.5 Beeeellion and 20 years should do it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The scale of it would seem far too big to be anything artificial or life-based. Although, there's no harm in sending a probe to take a look...

      "The chances of anything come from Mars are a million to one." I say we don't ring the door bell until we know where we can run away and hide.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Alert

        No one would have believed, in the early years of the twenty-first century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.

  6. Dr Scrum Master

    This is a job for...

    Dan Dare.

    1. Les Matthew

      Re: This is a job for...

      Aha, it must be down to the Treens.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: This is a job for...

        The arc is probably the 'Silicon mass' being controlled by the Mekon.

  7. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Today's pedantry

    at approximately 100 metres per second (223 miles per hour)

    Do I really need to say?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Today's pedantry

      Yes you do. Won't somebody think of the sheep? although in this case, most definitely not in a vacuum.

  8. Potemkine Silver badge
    Joke

    Net culture

    Venus is making a smiley... so what?

  9. Shaha Alam

    i'm not saying it's aliens...

    but it's aliens.

  10. ukgnome
    Alien

    I for one am disappointed that this isn't alien overlords.

    1. John Gamble
      Alien

      The alien overlords are extremely busy and wouldn't waste their time on this.

      The alien middle management are the ones for this job.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    It's simple

    They Are Watching Now.

    They have lifted their UltraPlanetWatch Mk VII telescope from the depths of storage and are now in full preparation mode for the invasion, gathering all the information on us that they can.

    Before that they were a bit fixated on I Love Lucy reruns, but Trump's election demonstrated that we weren't as harmless as they thought. They're gearing up to correct that oversight.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: It's simple

      If they really are watching us they must be waving their tentacles in despair.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It's simple

      Before that they were a bit fixated on I Love Lucy reruns, but Trump's election demonstrated that we weren't as harmless as they thought. They're gearing up to correct that oversight

      Oh. did I miss a Tweet? Did he come out say we need to deport all undocumented aliens from the solar system?

  12. MrT

    Norrin Radd...

    It's the Silver Surfer whipping up a decent curl without risking dinging his board dodging Barneys...

    "You've shown me that we make wider ripples in the celestial ocean than we know."

  13. Vinyl-Junkie
    Alien

    This is just a side effect...

    ...of someone having given the command "Energise the demolition beams!" followed by the sotto voce comment "I don't know; apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all..."

  14. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Re: gravity wave

    Interesting - but the real question is: can you surf it?

    1. Blitheringeejit
      Thumb Up

      Re: gravity wave

      Of course you can...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luaRtGn2tsI

      (You might want to skip to about 7 minutes in.)

  15. adam payne Silver badge

    "An enormous, mysteriously stationary structure high over the surface of Venus may be the largest gravity wave in the Solar System, according to Japanese astronomers."

    It's not a gravity wave it's an alien unreality minefield to drive of potential looters.

  16. lukewarmdog

    Entirely! Different! Things!

    Google Search Results - gravity wave

    noun Physics

    noun: gravity wave; plural noun: gravity waves

    1. another term for gravitational wave.

    2. a wave propagated on a liquid surface or in a fluid through the effects of gravity.

    -1 Internets for Google.

  17. armyknife

    Article More Opaque than Venusian Atmosphere

    There I said it.

  18. Pirate Dave
    Pirate

    So, errrr...

    Has anyone ever actually SEEN an illudium Q-35 explosive space modulator "in the wild"? Is there any chance one might look like a gravity-wave-induced bulge on Venus?

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It's just the exhaust plume from a venting Atmospheric Processor.

    You know we manufacture those?

  20. Joe 59

    well done

    this entire story was one long penis joke

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: well done

      But jokes about short penises are SO much funnier...

  21. Pliny the Whiner

    And it's an original colony

    "[i]ts miserable hellscape is shrouded in thick sulphur dioxide clouds peppered with drops of sulphuric acid."

    This pretty much describes my recollection of the atmosphere in New Jersey.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And it's an original colony

      And it could also describe the Goddess of love. Pretty looking from a distance, yet shrouded with thick clouds of noxious and smothering gasses.

      At least now we know where the perfumes industry got their ideas from!

  22. Your alien overlord - fear me

    If the Trumpster closes his eyes and mouth (if only), that looks like a picture of him.

  23. The IT Ghost
    Alien

    That's the alien colony ship trying to hide from us while they wait for the planetary cleansing ships to arrive to clean up planet ZooleNix (Earth, to us) to make way for them to settle here.

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    "a background wind that moves at approximately 100 metres per second"

    Like a Bank Holiday weekend at Llandudno then...

  25. Baldrickk Silver badge

    Extra orbits

    "JAXA’s mission to study Venus was initially shaky. Akatsuki failed to enter the planet’s orbit in December 2010, and made a second successful orbital burn to get the spacecraft out of the Sun’s orbit and into Venus’s five years later"

    I didn't realise I was remotely controlling a real probe while playing KSP.

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