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April 1, 2011

Research Journal: April's Fools Day joke or not?

The article:

Epic Discovery: China's National Radio-Astronomy Observatory Announces Monitoring of 'Dark' Satellite in Orbit Around Saturn - "Transmitting the Universal Genetic Code"

China's Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) announced Thursday that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory   has been monitoring signals from a previously unknown "dark" satellite in orbit around Saturn for the past 90 days. According to government officials, the signals appear to be the first verified transmission from an alien civilization.

China's leading astrobiologist, Dr. Xi Chang, a graduate of MIT, told Xinhua that "the sigal repeats itself continuosly in 2 minute long sequences and appears to be the four bases of the genetic code A,G, U and C that ribosomes must convert mRNA sequences into proteins and the twenty different amino acids that proteins are comprised of."

Dr. Rosie Redfield, the newly appointed director of the Astrobiology Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, confirmed China's dicovery this morning. In a press release Redfield said that  "China's discovery has monumental consequences, and has been shared with the world's premier scientific instituions for vetting and peer review. If confirmed this will be the first proof of extraterrestrial life in the universe and confirmation that our DNA basis for life may be universal throughout the known universe."

  "The genetic code," Redfield (left), explained, "allows an organism to translate the genetic information found in its chromosomes into usable proteins . Stretches of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are built from four different nucleotide bases, while proteins are made from twenty unique subunits called amino acids . This numerical disparity presents an interesting problem: How does the cell translate the genetic information in the four-letter alphabet of DNA into the twenty-letter alphabet of protein? The conversion code is called the genetic code.

"The information transfer from DNA to protein, called gene expression , occurs in two steps. In the first step, called transcription , a DNA sequence is copied to make a template for protein synthesis called messenger ribonucleic acid -messenger RNA, or mRNA. During protein synthesis, ribosomes and transfer RNA (tRNA) use the genetic code to convert genetic information contained in mRNA into functional protein. Formally speaking, the genetic code refers to the RNA-amino acid conversion code and not to DNA, though usage has expanded to refer more broadly to DNA.

  "Mathematics reveals the minimum requirements for a genetic code. The ribosome must convert mRNA sequences that are written in four bases—A, G, U, and C—into proteins, which are made up of twenty different amino acids. A one base to one amino acid correspondence would code for only four amino acids (4 1 ). Similarly, all combinations of a two-base code -for example, AA, AU, AG, AC, etc.- will provide for only sixteen amino acids (4 2 ). However, blocks of three RNA bases allow sixty-four (4 3 ) combinations of the four nucleotides, which is more than enough combinations to correspond to the twenty distinct amino acids.
So, the genetic code must use blocks of at least three RNA bases to specify each amino acid. This reasoning assumes that each amino acid is encoded by the same size block of RNA."

Redfield added that NASA expects a more detailed press conference to be held at the White House later today or tomorrow, pending announcement from the Obama administration.

Dr. Dimitri Kardashev of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told The Daily Galaxy that "This discovery comes as no surprise to me. It was always just a matter of time. The Earth is only some four billion years old. Our universe is some 14 billion years old. There may be millions of advanced technological civilizations that are billions of years older than ours. Keep in my that the radio was only invented 120 years ago. Quantum computers and singularity are at most two or three gereration distant. The technologies of ET civilizations a million years old and older are beyond our comprehension."

Sir Martin Rees, a leading Cambridge University cosmologist and astrophysicist who is the president of Britain's Royal Society and astronomer to the Queen of England, said: “I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can't conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can't understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”

If verified, China's startling annoucement means you don't need a miracle to arrive at the chemical cocktail for early life, just a decently large asteroid with the right components.  That's all.  The entire universe could be stuffed with life, from the earliest prebiotic protein-a-likes to fully DNAed descendants.  The path from one to the other is long, but we've had thirteen and a half billion years so far and it's happened at least once.

The other ten amino acids aren't as easy to form, but they'll still turn up - and the process of "stepwise evolution" means that once the simpler systems work, they can grab the rarer "epic drops" of more sophisticated chemicals as they occur - kind of a World of Lifecraft except you literally get a life when you play.  And once even the most sophisticated structure is part of a replicating organism, there's plenty to go round.

It's no accident that we see stars in the sky, says famed Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins : they are a vital part of any universe capable of generating us. But, as Dawkins emphasizes, that does not mean that stars exists in order to make us."It is just that without stars there would be no atoms heavier than lithium in the periodic table," Dawkins writes in The Ancestors Tale -A Pilgramage to the Dawn of Evolution , "and a chemistry of only three elements is too impoverished to support life. Seeing is the kind of activity that can go on only in the kind of universe where what you see is stars."

China's discovery puts an end to the questions of whether DNA is inevitable as the foundation for the coding of life, or has life started with DNA in only one place in the solar system and then spread among the livable habitats through panspermia. Microbial life can land on and seed another planet, thereby not requiring that you have to create life from scratch multiple times and in multiple places.

It is the relentless shifting and mutating of DNA, says Dennis Overbye of The New York Times , that generates the raw material for evolution to act on and ensures the success of life on Earth and beyond. Dr.Paul Davies co-director of the Arizona State University Cosmology Initiative "that some sections of junk DNA seem to be markedly resistant to change, and have remained identical in humans, rats, mice, chickens and dogs for at least 300 million years."

China's epic announcement may shows that DNA the cosmic code for life in the universe, or is it possible that there's are alien, unknown foundations? At the Galaxy, we place our chips on DNA.


The Daily Galaxy staff assumes that China is using supercomputers similar to those at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in the USA where Sukanya Chakrabarti has developed a mathematical method uncover  “dark” satellites. When she applied this method on a more vast scale to our Milky Way galaxy, Chakrabarti discovered a faint satellite might be lurking on the opposite side of the galaxy from Earth, approximately 300,000 light-years from the galactic center.

The technique involves an analysis of the cold atomic hydrogen gas that comprise the outskirts of a large spiral galaxy's disk. This cold gas is gravitationally confined to the galactic disk and extends much further out than the visible stars—sometimes up to five times the diameter of the visible spiral. This gas can be mapped by radio telescopes.

With the help of NERSC systems, she successfully validated her method by analyzing the radio observations of the Whirlpool Galaxy, which has a visible satellite one-third of its size, and NGC 1512, which has a satellite one-hundredth its size. Her calculations correctly predicted the mass and location of both of the known satellite galaxies.

The headquarters of China's NAOC are situated in the northern suburbs of Beijing on the site of the former Beijing Astronomical Observatory.

The National Astronomy Observatory of China (NAOC, the acronym was officially claimed as standing for National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) was founded on April 25, 2001 through the merging of four CAS observatories, three CAS observing stations and one CAS research centre.

Casey Kazan and The Daily Galaxy via NASA and Xinhua News Agency

Image top of page: "Dragon Storm" Saturn: Photo courtesy NASA

Links to references added by Bookofresearch


Research: April's Fools Day joke or not?

Sunday April 3 2011
Okay now this is weird .. i've checked all the references named in the article in the order they are mentioned and they are all valid, thats a lot of effort looking all of that up for just an April's Fools Day joke. It all matches, just nothing 2 b found about the discovery (except many copies of the same article) so the discovery is the only thing invalid?? .. strange ..
U can check the references here (i've looked them al up):

Nasa's website: http://www.nasa.gov/
Xinhua News Agency's website http://www.xinhuanet.com/english2010/
Statements and Releases site of the White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-and-releases
MIT http://web.mit.edu/ MIT Media Lab http://www.media.mit.edu/
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) http://www.nrao.edu/
astrobiologist, Dr. Xi Chang -
Nasa Headquarters http://www.hq.nasa.gov/
Dr. Rosie Redfield http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~redfield/ and http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/
Dr. Dimitri Kardashev -
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/
Sir Martin Rees cosmologist and astrophysicist http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Rees
Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins
Dennis Overbye http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Overbye of The New York Times: Recent and archived news articles by Dennis Overbye of The New York Times http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/o/dennis_overbye/index.html
Dr.Paul Davies co-director of the Arizona State University Cosmology Initiative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Davies
National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) http://www.nersc.gov/
Sukanya Chakrabarti http://astro.berkeley.edu/~sukanya/ and https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~schakrab/ and http://berkeley.academia.edu/astroberkeleyedusukanya
The headquarters of China's NAOC are situated in the northern suburbs of Beijing on the site of the former Beijing Astronomical Observatory. The National Astronomy Observatory of China (NAOC, the acronym was officially claimed as standing for National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) http://www.naoc.cn/english/home.asp was founded on April 25, 2001 through the merging of four CAS observatories http://english.nao.cas.cn/, three CAS observing stations and one CAS research centre

* Link to China Digital Times: Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, April 11-April 19, 2011 | China Digital Times (CDT)

Message posted in comment section of the article:
Posted by: April Fools' Day | April 01, 2011 at 01:53 AM

['Daily Galaxy' Readers: Internet sites in the USA have a long tradition of great April Fools' Day stunts, including media site such as Google , Huffington Post , and TechCrunch to name a few. Google has a tradition of creating April Fools' Day jokes. For example, Google MentalPlex allegedly featured the use of mental power to search the web. In 2007, Google's Gmail page displayed an announcement for Gmail Paper, allowing users to have email messages printed and shipped to them.In 2010, Google jokingly changed its company name to Topeka in honor of Topeka, Kansas, whose mayor actually changed the city's name to Google for a short amount of time in an attempt to sway Google's decision in its new Google Fiber Project In 2011, Google's April Fool's Joke announced Gmail Motion, an interactive way of controlling Gmail and your computer with body movements via the user's webcam. We hope you've enjoyed ours! The Daily Galaxy staff.]


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Monday April 4, 2011
i think i may have found the source info 4 the article
Cassini Finds Saturn Sends Mixed Signals


Saturn is sending out mixed signals in recent data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. › Download video

Like a petulant adolescent, Saturn is sending out mixed signals.

Recent data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show that the variation in radio waves controlled by the planet's rotation is different in the northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, the northern and southern rotational variations also appear to change with the Saturnian seasons, and the hemispheres have actually swapped rates. These two radio waves, converted to the human audio range, can be heard in a new video available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=74390781

"These data just go to show how weird Saturn is," said Don Gurnett, Cassini's radio and plasma wave science instrument team lead and professor of physics at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. "We thought we understood these radio wave patterns at gas giants, since Jupiter was so straightforward. Without Cassini's long stay, scientists wouldn't have understood that the radio emissions from Saturn are so different."

Saturn emits radio waves known as Saturn Kilometric Radiation, or SKR for short. To Cassini, they sound a bit like bursts of a spinning air raid siren, since the radio waves vary with each rotation of the planet. This kind of radio wave pattern had been previously used at Jupiter to measure the planet's rotation rate, but at Saturn, as is the case with teenagers, the situation turned out to be much more complicated.

When NASA's Voyager spacecraft visited Saturn in the early 1980s, the radiation emissions indicated the length of Saturn's day was about 10.66 hours. But as its clocking continued by a flyby of the joint ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft and Cassini, the radio burst varied by seconds to minutes. A paper in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009 analyzing Cassini data showed that the Saturn Kilometric Radiation was not even a solo, but a duet, with two singers out of sync. Radio waves emanating from near the north pole had a period of around 10.6 hours; radio waves near the south pole had a period of around 10.8 hours.

A new paper led by Gurnett that was published in Geophysical Research Letters in December 2010 shows that, in recent Cassini data, the southern and northern SKR periods crossed over around March 2010, about seven months after equinox, when the sun shines directly over a planet's equator. The southern SKR period decreased from about 10.8 hours on Jan. 1, 2008 and crossed with the northern SKR period around March 1, 2010, at around 10.67 hours. The northern period increased from about 10.58 hours to that convergence point.

Seeing this kind of crossover led the Cassini scientists to go back into data from previous Saturnian visits. With a new eye, they saw that NASA's Voyager data taken in 1980, about a year after Saturn's 1979 equinox, showed different warbles from Saturn's northern and southern poles. They also saw a similar kind of effect in the Ulysses radio data between 1993 and 2000. The northern and southern periods detected by Ulysses converged and crossed over around August 1996, about nine months after the previous Saturnian equinox.

Cassini scientists don't think the differences in the radio wave periods had to do with hemispheres actually rotating at different rates, but more likely came from variations in high-altitude winds in the northern and southern hemispheres. Two other papers involving Cassini investigators were published in December, with results complementary to the radio and plasma wave science instrument -- one by Jon Nichols, University of Leicester, U.K., in the same issue of Geophysical Research Letters, and the other led by David Andrews, also of University of Leicester, in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

In the Nichols paper, data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showed the northern and southern auroras on Saturn wobbled back and forth in latitude in a pattern matching the radio wave variations, from January to March 2009, just before equinox. The radio signal and aurora data are complementary because they are both related to the behavior of the magnetic bubble around Saturn, known as the magnetosphere. The paper by Andrews, a Cassini magnetometer team associate, showed that from mid-2004 to mid-2009, Saturn's magnetic field over the two poles wobbled at the same separate periods as the radio waves and the aurora.

"The rain of electrons into the atmosphere that produces the auroras also produces the radio emissions and affects the magnetic field, so scientists think that all these variations we see are related to the sun's changing influence on the planet," said Stanley Cowley, a co-author on both papers, co-investigator on Cassini's magnetometer instrument, and professor at the University of Leicester.

As the sun continues to climb towards the north pole of Saturn, Gurnett's group has continued to see the crossover trend in radio signals through Jan. 1, 2011. The period of the southern radio signals continued to decrease to about 10.54 hours, while the period of the northern radio signals increased to 10.71 hours.

"These papers are important in helping to explain the complicated dance between the sun and Saturn's magnetic bubble, something normally invisible to the human eye and imperceptible to the human ear," said Marcia Burton, a Cassini fields and particles scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who was not involved in the work. "Cassini will continue to keep an eye on these changes."

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radio and plasma wave science team is based at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where the instrument was built. The magnetometer team is based at Imperial College, London, U.K.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.

Media contact:
Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Monday April 4, 2011

The funniest part of the Aprils Foolsday Joke is that it seems that the story could b true after all, there's a serious research going on on this since 2002 already (from what i found so far)
The only joke i can find in the article seems 2 b the date: April 1st.

Youtube video posted on june 20, 2007- Alien Speech? Found in NASA's Saturn Radio Signal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGeWBiLVn8g&feature=related
Link to NASA wav File for Download of Saturn's Radio Signal http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/saturn/audio/pia07967-072504.wav
NASA Casini's website: Bizarre Features of Saturn's Radio Emissions (july 25, day 207, 2004) http://www.news-releases.uiowa.edu/2005/july/072505saturn_emissions.html
May 23 2005 Cassini Radio Signals Decipher Saturn Ring Structure
University of Iowa News Release - July 25, 2005 - Cassini Reveals Saturn's Eerie-Sounding Radio Emissions http://www.news-releases.uiowa.edu/2005/july/072505saturn_emissions.html
Some research is already done http://www.tjmitchell.com/stuart/saturnrosslyn.html

Official NSA Document: Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Howard H. Campaigne
Approved for release by NSA on 10-21-2004 FOIA Case # 41472

Found on Youtube: (was posted on 30 jun 2007)
Link to NASA WAV File for Download
NASA Casini's website Bizarre Features of Saturn's Radio Emissions

University of Iowa News Release - July 25, 2005 - Cassini Reveals Saturn's Eerie-Sounding Radio Emissions

Some research is already done http://www.tjmitchell.com/stuart/saturnrosslyn.html

Original Caption Released with Image:

A small new found object, temporarily designated S/2004 S 3, has been seen orbiting Saturn's outer F ring. The tiny object, seen in this movie centered in a green box, orbits the planet at a distance of approximately 141,000 kilometers (86,420 miles) from the center of Saturn. Its nature, moon or clump, is not presently known.

This movie is a sequence of 18 images taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on June 21, 2004. Images were taken every eight minutes over the course of two and one-quarter hours. Each image has been enhanced to show the presence of the newly detected object.

In the first frame, the small moon Atlas (32 kilometers or 20 miles across) can be seen near the main rings at lower left. About one-third of the way through the sequence the moon Janus (181 kilometers or 112 miles across) appears in two images at upper right.

The size of the object has been estimated to be four to five kilometers (two to three miles) across. Because it is so small, it is not resolved and appears as a faint point of light just barely visible above the background noise.

These images, which are part of a sequence specifically designed to search for small new moons in the inner Saturnian system, have not been cleaned of artifacts but have been greatly enhanced in contrast to increase visibility. Consequently, the main rings are overexposed, and many cosmic ray hits and noise patterns are clearly apparent. The image scale is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information, about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Image Addition Date: 2004-09-09

Also see this image of Saturns Satellites and Ring structure

Saturday April 8, 2011
Quote from the article "Newly Discovered Fast-Changing Comet Visible in Small Telescopes" : Comet Ikeya-Murakami (C/2010 V1) has been visible near the brilliant ringed planet Saturn in recent days
Source of "Dark Satellite in Orbit around Saturn"?

So far there are references to about almost everything in the above article, except a link to the article in China's Xinhua News Agency paper that announced the discovery.

Tuesday April 19 2011
Cassini Sees Saturn Electric Link With Enceladus

Enceladus 'Footprint' on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has spotted a glowing patch of ultraviolet light near Saturn's north pole that marks the presence of an electrical circuit that connects Saturn with its moon Enceladus. This newly discovered patch occurs at the "footprint" of the magnetic connection between Saturn and Enceladus and indicates electrons and ions accelerating along magnetic field lines. White boxes indicate the location of this footprint, which scientists have long predicted but never before seen.

The patch glows because of the same phenomenon that makes Saturn's well-known north and south polar auroras glow: energetic electrons diving into the planet's atmosphere. However, the footprint is not connected to the rings of auroras around Saturn's poles.

The two images shown here were obtained by Cassini's ultraviolet imaging spectrograph on Aug. 26, 2008, separated by 80 minutes. The footprint moved according to changes in the position of Enceladus. In the image, the colors represent how bright the extreme ultraviolet emissions are. The lowest emission areas (one to two extreme ultraviolet counts per pixel) are in black/blue. The brightest emission areas (500 to 1,000 extreme ultraviolet counts per pixel) are in yellow/white.

The footprint appeared at about 65 degrees north latitude. It measured about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) in the longitude direction and less than 400 kilometers (250 miles) in latitude, covering an area comparable to that of California or Sweden.

In the brightest image the footprint shone with an ultraviolet light intensity of about 1.6 kilorayleighs, far less than the Saturnian polar auroral rings. This is comparable to the faintest aurora visible at Earth without a telescope in the visible light spectrum.

The sun was illuminating Saturn's north pole from the left and the footprint is on the day side of the planet. The night side of the planet was to the right of the hashed line.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The ultraviolet imaging spectrograph was designed and built at, and the team is based at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The ultraviolet imaging spectrograph team home page is at http://lasp.colorado.edu/cassini .

Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Colorado/Central Arizona College
Download Image › Full Size › 1600 x 1200 › 1024 x 768 › 800 x 600

to be continued ..

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