Archive for category astronomy
I saw on some facebook page a bit of a self indulgent reminiscence by one of my generation recalling the good old days when we had face-to-face friends not face-book friends; when we built go carts to race downhill against our mates rather than played X Box games against avatars. When someone else took photos of us if the occasion was significant and we kept those photo prints in a private album. There is nothing new in the older generation despairing for the younger generation; that has been going on since at least the time of Socrates, but the difference today is not so much attitudinal as it is technological. Today’s technology has had an influence on the behaviour of youth that Socrates could never imagine in his wildest philosophies.
The facebook post put the timing of this quantum shift in normality at the mid 1980’s. Those of us born before that time had real lives, but the post 80’s generation are now living a fake online life and they seem to be really struggling, emotionally, to adapt their natural human psyche to this self-created virtual world.
Computers in primitive form had been around well before the 1980’s but they were just big, cumbersome calculating machines. I tried, unsuccessfully, to learn to speak to one of these great machines when I did accounting at university in the early 1970’s. The computer then needed its own room, actually it was the size of a small room itself. It spake strange tongues of Portran and Fortran. It told me, numerically speaking, that it was in control of me, not the other way around. If what I put in did not compute, it spat it back out. Start again human.
But it was in the late 1970’s that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started a business to bring these giant computing machines down to size and into our homes. They wanted computers to be fun for all. They named the company Apple. In his biography Steve Jobs said that it was just a serendipitous choice; that he was on a fruitarian diet at the time and had just returned from an apple farm and thought the fresh, fun name suited his company’s vibe. If so, the coincidence is uncanny. The apple has an established historical connection with a quantum leap in mankind’s knowledge of universal law when Isaac Newton said he had his ‘eureka’ moment about gravity when he watched an apple fall from a tree.
The apple also has a prehistorical connection with man’s quest for knowledge and even immortality.
In Norse mythology the goddess Idun was the keeper of the apples of the tree of knowledge and life and is known as the goddess of eternal youth.
In Greek mythology, the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, ruled the Garden of the Hesperides (nymphs) where there was an orchard in which trees bearing golden apples had the power to heal and renew.
The Hebrew mythology, which is the one most well known in the Judaeo-Christian world, is that Lucifer (the enlightened one) gave Eve, the mother of all mankind, an apple from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. Yahweh was most displeased because mortal man was not ready for such knowledge and so was banished from the lush farmlands of Eden; sent back to the wild to forage like the beasts lest man also eats the apple from the tree of eternal life.
And yet still mankind flourished. According to Genesis 6, the sons of God mated with the daughters of man to create ‘great men’. However the next chapter of genesis describes a cataclysmic forty day flood over all the earth that might well have resulted in our species becoming extinct. Geological and climatic research has now shown us that the biblical and mythical global flood that killed most of humankind, at least in the northern hemisphere, did actually happen 13,000 years ago and the cause was a massive meteor strike on earth, just like the one that had caused the dinosaurs’ extinction 66 million years earlier.
At the time, planet earth was emerging from an ice age; but still the whole of Canada and countries across northern Europe were under an ice cap that would have been about two kilometres thick. And this is where the biggest chunks of the comet hit. The evidence it left behind is in the form of nano diamonds; beds of micro diamonds that were created from a massive explosion creating heat of over 2,200 degrees centigrade. By comparison, fire is 600 degrees C and volcanic molten larva is 700-1200 degrees C. The immediate impact was the instantaneous melting of large parts of the ice cap and an unimaginable tsunami that washed over much of the known world. The meteorological evidence shows that 13,000 years ago, just as earth was emerging naturally from an ice age, it was suddenly plunged back into a big chill referred to as the ‘Younger Dryas.’ This winter lasted 1200 years before the climate recovered again.
Archeological evidence of civilisation pre deluge is understandably a bit thin on the ground. Such a cataclysmic event would not leave much behind. But we do have writings from the middle east region; the authors of the Book of Genesis, the authors of Gilgamesh and those writings of a prophet called Zarathustra. The first two write of an ark in which the selected humans, plants and animals floated above the flood and survived to restart civilisation again. Zarathustra wrote of a prediction that a giant serpent would fly through the sky and that, in readiness for this event, underground, multi level caverns called Vara were built with sophisticated entranceways between the levels and artificial lighting. Such multi-level caverns have recently been excavated in Cabbadicia, southern Turkey. Only the highest quality human, plant and animal species were housed there and they were control- bred to maintain the population levels. When the long winter was over, they were sent out in boats to repopulate the world and to utilise, in secret, the technological knowledge that had been preserved.
But the knowledge that these great men, survivors of the great deluge, possessed must have been quite advanced. The meteor would have done a few circuits around the solar system before zooming in for the kill; so if we, or the gods, had prepared for it then then we must have had sophisticated astronomical knowledge. And as all myths record that there was indeed a plan to save the best of humanity, animal life and plants, so there must have been that astronomical knowledge to allow those plans to be made and executed. Soon human civilisation re-established itself to the level that we now have archeological evidence of sophisticated buildings and civilisations dating back 10,000 years in Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey. We know of sophisticated cities, such as Babel in Mesopotamia. Babel meant a place where many people gather to talk together. A place of debate and learning. Its modern meaning is voices talking over the top of each other in excited discussion. And it was here, in Babel, that the idea of building a tower with which they would endeavour to reach the heavens was conceived.
Was the tower of Babel a bricks and mortar tower as we assume? Or was it actually a rocket ship, which is also a tower, designed to reach the heavens. Interestingly the discovery of 5,000 year old clay tablets in southern Iraq, ancient Mesopotamia, showed an astronomical map of our solar system that included the outer planets of Uranus and Neptune which were not discovered by the post-flood modern man until the 18th and 19th centuries, after the invention of the telescope. It also shows the two largest dwarf planets of Pluto and Eris. Prior to the re-invention of the telescope only the planets visible to the naked eye were known to ancient sky watchers. As we know, Yahweh ‘confused’ the Babel, scattered the men who conceived it across the lands and the project to reach the heavens apparently never got off the ground.
But after the deluge we redeveloped our knowledge of agriculture, pottery, metallurgy, astronomy and technology. Mankind survived and flourished; the scattered regrouped, their babel no longer confused. And the two Steve’s have brought the Apple computer into our homes. Well they did not immediately arrive into our homes; in the 1970’s and 80’s they were still a geeky, impractical and expensive machine that most homes could happily live without. But while Wozniak was the brains behind the machine itself he would never have taken it beyond the techno geek market and as such would not have survived commercially. His Apple would have withered on the branch. Jobs was most certainly the man (the Satan, the enlightened one) responsible for giving the Apple to mankind. And in a very strategic move, he first took it into the classroom, actually donating the original Apple 1 to some schools just to whet the appetite. He was less interested in wasting the fruits of the Apple on the elders of humankind, he wanted to give it to the children. In 1978 he won a contract to supply 500 Apple II computers to schools in Minnesota. In 1983 he sold a computer package (including floppy disc) to over 9,000 schools in California at a cost per package then for what you would now get a decent I-Mac. The Macintosh (an actual variety of apple) was launched in 1984 and the flood gates started to open. One generation after the Apple from the tree of knowledge was fed to our children, we could no longer imagine education without computers. We could not imagine homes without computers, or people without smartphones.
My little grand daughter is two years old. Her innate demand for language, knowledge and technology led us to the conclusion that we had no option but to give her her own personal connection into the universal consciousness. Her very own Apple i-pad. She took to it like a duck to water. Her knowledge, understanding and communication skills have taken quantum leaps; she swipes through the icons as though she invented them.
So once again an apple from the tree of knowledge is the means by which knowledge and imagination is being spread throughout humanity. It is the means by which we have built our rocket propelled towers with which to explore the heavens. In history Babel was the place where many voices come to speak together. Could the modern day Babels be the headquarters of Google, Apple, NASA and Spacex? Or is 21st century Babel located in the cloud and refers to the inanity of Twitter? The fake lives of Instagram? The pretend friends of Facebook? Interestingly while the Bible’s Genesis tells us that is was man’s corruption and evil that cause the great flood, the pre-dated original Sumerian clay texts said it was the noise and unending chatter of humans that caused the Gods to bring the great flood.
The changes in our lifestyle are, in reality, just as dramatic as noted in the Facebook post that began this blog. The irony being that he used Facebook to express his concerns; he did not call around to voice his concerns to me in person over a cup of coffee.
If Steve Jobs was the 21st century Lucifer then let us hope that humanity is ready for such knowledge this time around and that we are not once again expelled from our Eden to forage like the beasts in the wild for trying to use the Apple to gain eternal life.
What is time? is sounds a simple question but is one that has been intruding into my sleep time, so I posed it to Dan and Isamu over morning coffee. ‘What is time?’ I asked. ‘Its a noun’ said Dan. Then mumbled something off the cuff about organising things with it. End of conversation. Dan is a retired school teacher, but clearly off his game. The coffee had not yet arrived.
If Dan was on his game he would probably have said that, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, time is “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past present and future regarded as a whole.” He would then have presented a slide show with his laser-light pointer to demonstrate his definition, thus:
The Vacheron Constantin model 57260 pocket watch, named the “Tivoli”, was built by three watchmakers over eight years for one client and is a complex and sophisticated monitor of the procession of time.
The front of this watch is the side with the gold Roman numerals up top. There’s an astronomical calendar, which includes a display of the phases and age of the moon, a hand that tracks the movement through the Zodiac along with the equinoxes and solstices, a rotating sky chart, hands showing both hours and minutes for sidereal time for telling the difference between sidereal and solar time. Sidereal time tracks the earth in relation to the stars instead of in relation to the sun and differs from solar time by plus or minus a few minutes. You can also see what time the sun will rise and what time it will set in the watch owner’s home city as well as how long the day and night will each be on that day. There are three full calendar systems in this watch. The first is a Gregorian perpetual calendar that includes displays for the date with a retrograde hand, day of the week, month and year in the leap year cycle. There are also indicators for the number of the day of the week and number of the week in the year in accordance with the ISO 8601 standard calendar. The second calendar is a Hebrew perpetual calendar. This shows the Hebrew name of the day, Hebrew name of the month, Hebrew date, Hebrew secular calendar, Hebrew year, whether the year has 12 or 13 months, where in the 19-year lunar cycle that year is, and the date of Jewish holy day Yom Kippur, which moves around the calendar. It has a Double retrograde split-seconds chronograph and…. it also tells the time. The hours and minutes are shown with regulator-style hands, meaning the hours and minutes are on separate axes. The small gold hands show a second time zone.
This is how time is measured in a practical day-to-day way. But it does not explain the mind’s perception of time; of how, when Dan is supervising an examination room, time for him drags at a snail’s pace whereas time for the students, with so much to do, races like a mouse (a house mouse’s actual top speed is 13kmh while it ‘feels like’ 260kmh. another time-distorting example). This pocket-watch device is simply the measure of our observation of the motion of our planet in relation to the observable environment in which we exist, but is that all there is to time?
I needed more. If Dan had been a retired Physics teacher he might have said that, according to Minkowski, who was Einstein’s Professor, time is the 4th dimension of Space-Time, additional to the three spatial dimensions of length, breadth and depth. This formed a basis for Einstein’s theory of relativity. While the watch is a time-based micro management tool, Minkowski and Einstein were trying to understand macro time in a past, present and future sense. But what does this 4th dimension mean? The three dimensions of space are easy enough to understand because we can see them, but no-one seems to quite understand how time works as a 4th dimension.
We do know that we process information about our universe in a delayed sense according to the speed of light. The furthest star in the Southern Cross group is 364 light years away. So when looking at the Southern Cross tonight the furthest star is, to our eye, as it was when Oliver Cromwell ruled England and the closest star in that constellation is 88 light years away, showing us what that star was like when Franklin D Roosevelt was President of the USA. This is simply the nature of the universe, the further something is from us, the slower the delivery of awareness of that something. Therefore the further out from earth we look the further back in time we see.
So we have a mechanical device that monitors time as observed by the rotation of earth relative to the stars; a theoretical, invisible ‘fourth dimension’ formula that Minkowski and Einstein understand, but which is incomprehensible to the vast majority of humans; and we also know that light, or the speed of it, seems to have a real effect on ‘time’ in a cosmological environment. So is time the effect of the motion of our planet on our lives, a fourth dimension of nature or is it simply the product of the motion of light particles? Or does time perhaps really only exist in our minds?
This brings us to observe a tiny gland buried in our brain, right between our right and left hemisphere. It is illustrated here in green. We call it the pineal gland, because it looks like a pine cone, even though it is only the size of a pea. In fact the Sumerians referred to the pine cone shaped gland in clay tablets thousands of years old, which is extraordinary medical knowledge to have had so long ago. The ‘sacred’ nature of this gland was also known thousands of years before modern science now tells us that this gland produces melatonin, a serotonin-derived hormone which modulates sleep patterns in both circadian and seasonal cycles. Melatonin is a structurally simple hormone that communicates information about environmental lighting to various parts of the body. Ultimately, melatonin has the ability to control biological rhythms. The light-transducing ability of the pineal gland has led some to call the pineal the ‘third eye’. The pineal gland is also capable of making a compound called Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is a powerful psychedelic chemical released during extraordinary states such as time of birth and the time of death. DMT is also the chemical that induces our dreams of life in a timeless state.
The pine cone symbol has appeared in religious and spiritual images for thousands of years. Depictions of Hindu deities are interwoven with both literal and symbolic representations of serpents and pinecones. The Egyptian Staff of Osiris, dating back to approximately 1224 BC, depicts two intertwining serpents rising up to meet at a pine cone. A statue of the Mexican god “Chicomecoatl” (“Seven Snakes”) depicts the deity offering forth pinecones in one hand, and an evergreen tree in the other. Those who have visited the Vatican may recall the large pine cone sculpture that is displayed and which was built by the Romans, in pagan times, as a fountain alongside the temple of Isis. The pine cone symbolism is common throughout Greek and Roman art in reference to religion and it is hypothesised that the pine cone is the “fruit from the tree of life” referred to in Genesis. With all the references to serpents, it should be noted that, even today, the serpent remain the emblem of the medical profession.
So how did I get from a multi-million dollar customised pocket watch to a pea-sized pine cone? I was wondering that myself. Are we still talking about time? Yes we are, well about time and the absence of it. I am now wondering if time is the mechanism that our brain uses to process data. Our brain needs to organise events in a sequential list just to comprehend them and manage our lives.
Those yogis who achieve a very deep meditation state through the awakening of the ‘third eye’ put themselves into a state of timelessness, as do those under the influence of the psychedelic chemical DMT. Those who have returned from a near death experience, Anita Moorjani and Dr Mary Neale being two of the more famous living examples, also experience this timeless awareness. The pineal is the first gland to be created in the body, one month after conception, and is the last functioning part of the body at death with a great psychedelic shot of DMT to take us into the next dimension of body-less timelessness.
And in that timeless sense of time we are describing what the Greeks referred to as “Kairos” as distinct from “Kronos.” Kronos is a god associated with sequential time and is represented by the scythe-yielding, cloaked and hooded old man, Father Time, leading us all to the grave. His Roman name was Saturn and the sixth planet from the sun was named for him. From ‘Kronos’ comes the word ‘chronological’. Kairos refers to time being a “timeless moment’. In Greek mythology Kairos is a young heroic god, youngest son of Zeus and the spirit of opportunity. But it was said you needed to seize Kairos from the front as he approached because, once he has passed, not even Zeus can seize him. Often this moment of opportunity is represented in movies, when the hero is suddenly aware of the heroine for the first time, by voiceless sounds, slow motion action and surreal lighting. In the book of Ecclesiastes phrase “to every thing there is a time”, time is translated in the first Greek Bible as Kairos. In Wm Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the quote “There is a time in the affairs of men” also refers to Kairos.
So, with all due respect to Minkowski, whose language of formulae I just don’t understand, and to the skilled watchmakers who for eight years crafted the Vacheron Constantin model 57260 pocket-watch, let me suggest that time is created by a pea-sized, pine cone shaped gland that controls the transfer of infinite and timeless events entering our brain for chronological processing and response. That the pineal gland is simply aware of everything in our personal universe in a timeless sense and it transfers this awareness in sequential bytes of electrical impulses to the brain at a speed that allows the brain to process and instruct muscles to react. And that electrical sequential transfer is called ‘time’. So perhaps the pineal gland is just our brain-computer’s wi-fi device connecting us to the universe.
Goodness is that the time? Doesn’t it just fly by when you are immersed in writing? I must get off to bed; my melatonin levels are signalling that I need eight hours of timeless downtime from this game of life. I need to sleep…..to sleep perchance to dream. (credit: Hamlet, an avatar of Wm. Shakespeare).
Being a Pisces it would have been remiss of me not to acknowledge that today is a solar eclipse in Pisces. And not just any solar eclipse but actually the grand finale act of two years of solar eclipses and the likes of this solar eclipse in Pisces will not be seen again for a very long time. And a long time in cosmic terms is very long time. I watched a great series on the Pyramid Code on Netflix (yep finally got internet flowing from a trickle to a river) and from this great series realised that a great year in earth terms is actually 25-26,000 years; that is the time it takes us to wobble the 360 degree circuit of the twelve constellations, moving at a snail’s pace one degree each 72 years. So approximately one degree every single human lifetime. 360 x 72 = 25,920 to go from the winter solstice sun being in, say Aquarius, moving all the way around the circuit until it is in Aquarius again (according to my memory of the 70’s, even though cool cats claim that if you remember the 70’s you weren’t there, and the musical “Hair” (yep saw it in Melbourne in ’71) then this is actually the dawn of the age of Aquarius. If my maths is correct we will spend just over 2,000 years in Aquarius so we are still just starting on that trip, man.
But tonight is all about acknowledging the new moon and the solar eclipse in Pisces on the same day/night and the impact that has on our lives. Don’t believe me? Sure the horoscopes in the paper and trash mags are total bollocks and some experts get so complicated about the whole astrology thing that who can be bothered. But there are some astrologers who just seem to get it right. If you want to see what this guy thinks about the impact of the new moon and solar eclipse in Pisces has on you, check this out…http://chaninicholas.com/2017/02/solar-eclipse-pisces-new-moon-horoscopes-week-february-20th/. Go on, I dare you……read a horoscope once in your life without sneering.
Any-old-how, back to the pyramids and just how old they are. Carbon dating and the records of the local pharaoh has us dating the construction of the pyramids as 4,500-5000 years ago. But carbon dating cannot date stone! It can only date organic matter. So that is the archeological equivalent of painting your house 10 years ago and having a carbon-dating analyst declare your house is 10 years old. No doubt there was a bit of repair work done during the time of the pharaohs as the limestone coating crumbled away, leaving a carbon footprint 4-5,000 years old and no doubt the pharaohs did build replicas of the Giza pyramids for their own grand tombs and these are genuinely 4-5,000 years old. But let us focus on the originals, the three pyramids of Giza. The big question is that we know the Egyptians of 4-5,000 years ago simply did not have the technology to build them. Anyone who has studied the pyramids or even visited them concurs with that. There is a flat surfaced circular stone at the site that simply cannot have been carved by primitive tools. The location over a magnetic lay line, the mathematical and cosmic precision of the dimensions and location on the planet’s surface, the alignment with the stars, none of this is coincidental nor within the non-computerised capabilities of the Egyptians of 3,000 bc. At this point everyone just shakes their heads and thinks of something else.
Back again to the “great year” of 25,920 years. That is real and mathematically undeniable. From this there is the theory that just as in our 12 hour day we humans have energy cycles going high to low, creative cycles, mood cycles, and just as our planet has seasonal cycles, all perfectly natural, so too does the planet and the human species have great “age” cycles. We move from light, or enlightened, ages to the dark ages in cycles. It is the natural way of things.
Some speculate that humans have destroyed the planet and undermined the morality of our species so irreversibly that we face an imminent “Mad Max” scenario. But what if, in reality, our species has already had its Mad Max age; here is the chart that those naked onstage performers in the Hair Musical were working off. In the 25,000 year great cycle, the last Golden or enlightened age ended about 18,000 years ago. According to this chart of the great year cycle, our civilisation then gradually deteriorated into silver and bronze phases until it slumped into the darkness of the iron phase. Enter Mad Max when hordes of barbarians roamed Europe with armour plated bodies riding chariots, tanks and eventually aircraft to inhumanely slaughter people at a whim. As an example, in 2013 the oldest known megalithic temple was discovered at the enormous site of Gobekli Tepe in Southern Turkey. The oldest parts of this great temple are accurately dated back to 12,000 years ago. But what is most interesting is that the newer parts of the complex are markedly less impressive than the oldest parts of the complex. What started as brilliant engineering and architecture became progressively much less impressive as the centuries rolled on in complete contrast to what we would expect. The standard of civilisation was in a noticeable decline. But now we are now just emerging from that dark place and it is all upwards and brighter as we enter the next golden, enlightened age of Aquarius. I can sense the mocking coming through the screen already but look at the extraordinary progress in technology in the 40 years since the 1970’s relative to the 4000 years before. We really have to stop thinking of civilisation in terms relative to our own personal lifespan. We cannot be so small-minded as to think that anything beyond our written and witnessed history books simply never existed. Or that history existed only in the most primitive forms until it evolved to the ultimate glory which is us (well, I mean me, not us).
And the pyramids are staring at us, stone-faced, as monuments that long before us was an age of inhabitants, presumably human, with technology that we are only now starting to catch up with. It is only in the last 50 years that we have developed (or remembered?) the computer technology that may now enable us to contemplate a technological achievement like the great Pyramid of Giza.
So back again to the question of just how old the Giza pyramids and Sphinx are. The Sphinx is an astrological alignment facing due east for the Spring equinox, which is no accident. It is in lion body form, which also was not just a whim of the architect and the sun at spring equinox was last in the constellation of Leo in the 9,000 bc era. At the moment of sunrise then, if you turned 90 degrees to face due south you would have seen the three stars of Orion’s belt appear in the exact same alignment as the three pyramids of Giza. This again is not coincidence; the Egyptians were very astrologically astute. This is far more scientific than the age of some organic matter on the current surface of the pyramid. This would put the construction of the Giza pyramids back in the silver age and, coincidently, about the time the planet had to start recovering from the great comet strike and global deluge as detailed in an earlier blog,
But if we could build a great pyramid, why would we? Well, perhaps as a far superior energy source than fossil fuels for a start. You see the latest studies of the Giza pyramids have concluded that they were in fact super power plants producing an ecologically friendly ‘implosive’ power source rather than the fossil-fuelled ‘explosive’ power source. They were all built in hard granite and, as we all know, granite makes the highest quality batteries. Then they were sheathed in a low conductive limestone to contain the energy within.
The largest of the great pyramids was actually gleaming white in its original state. The other two smaller pyramids were red and black granite respectively; very AC/DC. There was a water table beneath the pyramids, they were built on a magnetic lay line and they had the direct energy source of the sun. In effect, all the elements of a power generator that could supply the nearby city.
Let there be light. And there was light.
Recovered memory of ancient technology will save our planet and bring us into the next golden age. It is written in the stars. This is the dawning of enlightenment.
we are here to worship you and seek wisdom. After forty plus years of flirting with the supreme deity of Zeus, aka planet Jupiter, yesterday NASA put a spacecraft, Juno, into orbit around the planet for the ultimate research project which will, hopefully, unlock the secrets of the origins of our solar system and our own creation. Powerful stuff when you get a computerised audience with the supreme deity of humanity’s ancient cultures.
Since the 70’s we have sent nine space missions up that way; it is the best part of 600 million kilometres away, or in more manageable terms, from Dunedin to Oamaru and back again once a day, every day for 7,000 years and when you say it like that it doesn’t seem so bad.
In 1995 Galileo actually entered Jupiter’s orbit and stayed there until 2003 and observed Jupiter. Juno’s mission is to get to the very core of Jupiter and get answers to some fundamental questions about the creation of our solar system, and of us. Juno will orbit in a path that passes over Jupiter’s poles and will measure microwave emissions, the gravity field and the magnetic field, which apparently is how the scientists will gain the vital clues into the formation of our solar system.
Don’t ask me to explain how all that works, I was bewildered just watching a real estate agent hovering a camera drone over the house next door. But if you ever wondered why Zeus (Greek)/ Thor (Norse) / Taranis (Celtic)/ Jupiter (Roman) was associated with the lightning, hammer and shield wielding warrior deity, considered the chief of the planet-gods in their mythologies, you might be interested to know that Jupiter is in fact a protector of earth. The massive energy of magnetic field and gravity of the gaseous giant has either deflected comets back out of our solar system or taken one for the team when its gravitational pull has dragged asteroids and comets to their death and preventing them turning their attention to earth. Such impacts are noted regularly and there is calculation that Jupiter’s size and gravitational pull drag in up to six asteroids/ comets per year. But some of the comets and asteroid strikes that our astronomers have actually observed have been real monsters.
Back in the eighteenth century there was a comet that appeared in our skies known as Lexell’s Comet, named after the astronomer Anders Johan Lexell who first calculated its orbit. He showed that the comet had made a close approach to earth of just 2.2 million kilometers. That was the closest a comet has ever been witnessed to approach the Earth and, in astronomical terms, it was a very near miss. Lexell worked out that with the speed the comet orbited around the Sun, we would see it again in 12 years, possibly a lot closer to earth and, if in an attack formation, would actually smash earth. In 1782, however, the comet was nowhere in sight.
The French mathematician Pierre Simon-Laplace then calculated that the comet had experienced a set of encounters with the giant planet Jupiter. After the 1770 sighting from earth, the second encounter with Jupiter modified the comet’s orbit, ejecting it from the Solar System altogether and removing it as a potential hazard.
A very serious comet in more recent times was named Shoemaker-Levy 9. The comet had orbited the Sun for billions of years but, in the 1960s or 1970s, it changed orbit and made a close pass at Jupiter and the giant planet captured it and it orbited Jupiter on a highly elongated path. On July 7, 1992, it passed so close to Jupiter that the planet’s mighty tides (hammer/ magic belt?) tore the comet apart. When it was re-discovered a year or so the comet had a squashed look due to having been smashed into fragments.
By observing the orbit of the comet, the astronomers calculated that it would collide with Jupiter in July of 1994. Having broken up the comet into bite-size chunks, the first piece of the comet that was pulled onto the planet’s surface was about 2 kilometres in diameter and hit with the equivalent of over a million one-megaton nuclear bombs exploding at the same time. It was probably Zeus’ version of having a really good curry, I imagine. That, however, was not the largest chunk which was fragment G. As illustrated, it made quite a bang.
More recently again in 2009 an asteroid impact, from a rock some 500 metres long, created a created a surface dent the size of the Pacific Ocean. Jupiter is just like our great big personal bodyguard. And the latest asteroid strike to be captured on camera was in fact on St Patrick’s day this year.
So if Jupiter is the mighty protector deity of earth then that explains why, as a planet, it was so respected and revered by ancient cultures as the warrior hero-god. In Norse Mythology, Thor (Jupiter) rode through the skies during a thunderstorm to kill the giants, the enemies of the gods (planets), and to kill the mighty serpent that flies through the skies with the lightning from his hammer and his magical ‘belt’ that doubles his strength.
In Greek mythology, Zeus, the presiding deity of the universe, ruler of the skies and the earth, was the god-master of all natural phenomena in the heavens. The personification of the laws of nature; the ruler of the state; and finally, the father of gods and men. At his command, mighty thunders would flash and lightnings would roll; he represented the grand laws of unchanging and harmonious order, by which both the natural and the spiritual world were governed.
Just how the ancients had any knowledge from which to create such myths about Jupiter performing such god-like protection roles is a matter of speculation, but the reality is, they did. But whatever the ancients thought, this is the moment when we finally have the technology to approach this chief planet deity that can unlock the secrets of the solar system and finally ask ‘what’s it all about, Alfie?’
What goes around comes around. So if, as my recently read historian/ author Graham Hancock so convincingly proposed, fragments of a big comet hit earth about 12,800 years ago causing the great Biblical flood, we should be wondering whether there are a few decent-sized remnants of the debris stream still doing the circuit of the solar system and, if so, will they be back?
As already outlined in last week’s blog, Hancock’s theory is that pre-deluge there was a highly intelligent civilisation living on the planet quite separate from the majority of Homo sapiens who were still hunter-gatherer nomads. It was only post-deluge that archeologists see the emergence of farming and domestication of animals and people. And why would there not be an advanced civilisation 13,000+ years ago? Homo sapiens had been around for around 190,000 years at that time; an advanced intelligence could quite conceivably have emerged. And if we look at the Biblical verses in Genesis 6 immediately preceding the story of Noah and the flood, we read the story that “The Sons of God took the daughters of man for their wives and had children by them. These children were the great men of ancient times. At this time the Nephilim (cast down/ giants) were on the earth.” We also note in the Book of Job, that the “Sons of God” were clarified as angels who made up God’s Council, and indeed, also according to the Book of Job, Satan was one of these “Sons of God”. Genesis also tells us that it was Satan who tempted Eve, a daughter of man, with the gift of intelligence (his ‘fruit’ from the tree of knowledge). So far from being a wacky conspiracy, Hancock’s theory actually has the backing of the Bible in addition to his own archeological and astronomical research.
So let’s think about that. A civilisation existed 13,000 years and more ago that was at least as advanced as we are today. According to Hancock’s research there was a huge comet impact around 12,800 years ago that caused massive global flooding and plunged the earth back into an ice age, from which it had been recovering, for another 1,000 years. Post-deluge signs of the emergence of ‘civilisation’ often focus on the megaliths, the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge in England etc. These have been carbon-dated and aligned with Egyptian records to date them as approximately 4,000 years old. Carbon-dating however is based on dating organic matter, it cannot actually date stone itself. Hancock’s analysis of Egyptian history concludes that the Pharaohs to whom the pyramids were credited, were in fact quite probably just repairing or extending older constructions. His study was inspired by the discovery of a huge megalithic monument site, Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey. This massive construction was, for some reason, back-filled with rocks soon after it was completed and so enables the archeologists to precisely date its original construction to 12,600 years ago which is a couple of hundred years after the impact of the comet. The first discoveries of the agricultural revolution on the planet also come from this archeological site.
The Israelite Bible talks about Noah and his ark taking plants and seeds to Canaan, near Lebanon to repopulate the world. Subsequently, Moses’ Israelite army, under the instructions of Yahweh, God, slaughtered the Canaanites who included the ‘giants’ who were descendants of Ham, son of Noah to claim Canaan for themselves as their promised land. Sumerian clay tablets dating back to as far as 5,000 years ago are the oldest written documents discovered. They pre-date the Bible by over 1,000 years. They also have a tale of the Flood, although their hero of the flood is named Ziusudra not Noah. The cause of the flood in Sumerian texts was not so much the ‘evil’ of mankind but rather that they were simply too noisy, bothersome and populous for the gods to tolerate any longer. Just too many of us starting to make a bloody nuisance of ourselves. I do get that. Many is the time that I have been surrounded by a crowd of noisy and bothersome people and wished I could just create a flood and flush them all away. In these Sumerian clay tablets is also reference, post-deluge, to the seven sages, the magicians of the Gods, travelling and sailing to different parts of the globe on a mission to re-civilise the world. Egypt was first port of call for the civilising process, Turkey and Babylon not far after. China was also an early starter in the modern civilisation process followed by Japan. South Americans have similar tales about Gods arriving after the flood and teaching them metal-craft, gold-smithing and the engineering skills to build intricately designed irrigation schemes on the sides of mountains and precision pyramids with accurate astronomical references.
Hancock’s research led him to the Zoroastrian texts referring to Vara, underground multi storey shelters recorded as having been built to preserve the seeds of the best of homo sapiens, plants and animals, awaiting the post-deluge ‘long winter’ to pass. Hancock did then visit the Cappadicia region of Turkey where a large number of these multi-level underground constructions have been discovered, as detailed in my previous blog. His conclusion is that an ancient, highly sophisticated civilisation, at least as technologically advanced as we are today, predicted the arrival of the comet and preserved the seeds of man, plants and animals in these underground laboratory-shelters. Then, when the dust settled and the planet was ready for replanting, a handful of the survivors took ‘civilisation’ including a genetically intelligent species of human, the best plants and animals to distant parts of earth, teaching their technology to the surviving more primitive hunter gatherers, introducing domesticated farming, pottery, metal-smelting, urban development, legal and commercial systems, art and languages. Ten thousand years later, here we are.
If intelligent man (homo sapiens) was recovering lost knowledge it was very gradual in the first few thousand years, to be expected I guess. So often our primitive neanderthal and earlier primate genes got in the way. It took 10,000 years to get to the Industrial Revolution but since then our intelligence growth has been exponential, matched by our population growth. In our own lifetime the computer age has provided us with outcomes for our species well beyond the capabilities of our own brains. Today we are even landing crafts on far distant Mars
and planning a human settlement there. You may recall my earlier blog on our mission to Mars. The reason why our global leaders would commit billions to developing a Mars life-support system when we have so many more immediate needs for that funding here on earth is a mystery at this point. Unless, as Hancock speculates, the remnants of that comet may actually be quite close to returning. His reasoning was complex and, to be frank, I turned off. It may well be possible. If there are those influential astrophysicists who have reason to agree with Hancock, then a life support module on Mars could be our generation’s version of the underground life support complexes found in Turkey where the seeds of man, plants and animals were preserved awaiting the effects of the comet strike to dissipate. If we had been around 12,800 years ago would we have wanted to survive? Freezing, starving, or being one of the lucky ones living underground for a few hundred years to preserve the species. Never seeing the sun through the dense dust in the atmosphere. If it happened again tomorrow, would we want to be a survivor on earth or even living in a bubble on Mars protecting specimens that someone in a few hundred years might take back to planet earth if / when it recovers?
While I am awfully grateful that the sons of the sons of God did survive in the underground Turkish cities for however long it took and then undertook their re-civilisation mission on earth for however long that took, this time around I am very aware that I have either neither the critical intellect nor the billions of dollars to score a seat on the last rocket out of here to Mars. So I think I will sit quietly pour a brandy and toast those wonderful sages who went to so much effort to ensure that I would be able to do so. For I would not want the gods to think me too noisy and bothersome to deal with and I shall set up a ‘lets not make any noise and maybe the comet won’t come’ movement. Surviving on earth for however many minutes, days, months or years in such post-apocalyptic conditions seems a very dreary prospect.
I presume that, like me, you have spent some time over the summer studying up on the great Biblical flood.
Actually, although I have given the whole subject some philosophical thought over the years, I stumbled on a slightly new take on it with one of the books I bought for my summer reading. It was a book by Graham Hancock, who is a well-established researcher and writer of ancient geology, archeology and astronomy.
He started this book looking at another discovery of megalithic pillars, found in Southern Turkey (yawn more big rocks left by the ancients). The only somewhat interesting feature is that a major part of this structure had been so well preserved that it could be accurately dated to 9,600 bc, much older than any of our previous estimates for great monoliths, including the great pyramids of Giza. But then Hancock actually got my interest a bit more when he then turned to a place referred to as the Scablands of North America.
Throughout the 20th century there had been much debate around the formation of these monumental channels. To put them into perspective, what is referred now to as “The Dry Falls” would have, at the time they were formed, been almost three times higher than Niagara Falls and 50% higher than the Victoria Falls in southern Africa. They would also have been six times wider than Niagara. So the great debate in the 20th century community of geologists was the cause. The geological establishment always favoured the gradual erosion theory following the end of the ice age around 12,000 years ago when Canada and this northern part of North America was under two kilometres of ice. A few geologists who did not buy this gradual erosion, arguing the impact on the landscape was just too dramatic for erosion and had to be the result of a catastrophic event. The two camps argued for a few decades and the community eventually ‘met in the middle’ with the theory of the collapse of a glacial lake causing the dramatic creation of the channels. But neither side really believed in this middle ground. The gradual erosion side were just of that geological religion and the catastrophic geologists just thought that the lake in question, Missoula, would never have contained anywhere near enough water volume to result in the scouring today visible. But they simply had no alternative theory to seize.
But enter the 21st century and geologists are now studying an apparently unrelated geological feature: nano diamonds. A team of 25 Geophysicists, with Richard Firestone, a nuclear physicist as its team leader and including Jim Kennett, an oceanographer at the University of California, presented a paper in 2007 claiming that evidence found in a number of 12,900 year old carbon-rich sites (in the form of nano-diamonds) across North America and one site in Belgium, convinced them that a comet had come into earth’s atmosphere in the time of the last ice age, with North America taking the biggest hit, and caused the extinction of the great animals that once roamed through North America. The absence of a crater was explained by the fact that it would have impacted on the 2km deep ice sheet over Canada and Northern USA. The nano-diamond evidence was created by thermal heat up to, or greater than, 2,200 degrees centigrade. The evidence of glass-like carbon is the smoking gun, or at least the residue from a smoking gun. The evidence began to mount over the next few years. The search has now found evidence of this residue over North America and Northern Europe.
Aha, say the catastrophic geologists of the Scablands study. We have our cause. A 2km wide comet (as estimated from the nano-diamond evidence) impact landing on the 2km ice sheet of North America would account for an instant melting of 10% of the icecap which volume of water would certainly be supported by the evidence of the scablands. Further Geophysical evidence from Greenland core studies of the earth’s temperature movements over the millennia show that the earth was emerging from an ice age 13,000 years ago and warming up again quite nicely before it was suddenly plunged back into another ice age. Game, set and match. It’s not rocket science, the idea of a comet hitting earth is not outrageous sci-fi. A little one did land in Siberia in 1908, a meteor land in Russia back in 2013. These things happen. But if this big 2km one hit Canada 12,800 years ago spraying debris over two continents, melting 10% of the Canadian ice cap ice cap in minutes and also some of the ice sheet along northern Europe, then that would have been one very big wall of water plunging into the ocean and sweeping across the globe. Bigger than any tidal wave we have ever known. The Indonesian tidal wave disaster a few years ago would have been just a kid jumping into a paddling pool incident by comparison. So was this the great flood, made most famous by the story of Noah in the Bible but also turning up in other ancient myths? The climatic impact would have caused massive tidal waves, rains for months and the dust in the atmosphere would have blocked the sun and plunged the planet back into ice age conditions.
We learn from the Bible that this event was foretold to Noah who built an ark to survive the impending flood with only his immediate family of wife, three sons and their wives, with plants and animals as the only survivors on the planet. That is where the story beggars belief. That a mating pair of every animal with all the seeds of plants survived on this ark is a bit far-fetched. That the whole of humanity today was based on the interbreeding of first cousins from three marriages is a bit scary.
However Graham Hancock went down this same path of study linking the Comet strike of 12,800 years ago with the great flood myths. One part of his research led him to the writings of the prophet Zarathustra who is reported by Pluto to have lived 5,000 years before the Trojan War. Exactly when that was no one is quite sure, but it is known that Zarathustra borrowed from more ancient writings. His writings talk of the prediction of a great serpent that would sweep through the sky and bring forth a great winter. That sort of aligns with the comet and subsequent plunge back to the ice age. But then the Zoroastrian texts, as they are known, talk of the building of an underground shelter to survive this impending great winter. Into this underground shelter, called a Vara, some remnants of humanity would take refuge, keeping safe the seeds of all animals and plants until the dire winter passed and spring returned. The texts specified that no lepers, lunatics, impotent or deformed humans would be taken into this Vara; and only the seeds of the fruits and vegetables that are ‘fullest of food and sweetest of odour’. Vara was to be constructed on three subterranean levels, each smaller than the one above, the largest with nine streets, the middle with six streets and the smallest three streets. It also described the use of “uncreated lights that shine from below’ since the sun and moon would not be visible. Someone called Yima was given responsibility by the Gods for the construction. He was to bring the seeds of men and women, the seeds of every kind of fruit and of tree. Finally we learn from these texts that ‘every fortieth year, to every couple two are born, a male and a female. And thus it is for every sort of cattle.’ There is also a note that the humans live in Vara for 150 years. Moreover, intriguingly, the births of offspring to every couple do not result from sexual union but from the seeds deposited in the Vara. Actually as sci-fi as this Zorastrian text sounds, it resonates with how we would try to survive a cataclysmic global event today and is much more plausible than Noah and his sons and the animals on their ark being the source of all life today.
Now here’s the thing, being a great traveller and researcher, Hancock went in search of such underground laboratory/ depository and did find that in Turkey’s Cappadicia region there are a large number of underground structures carved out of solid rock and usually, as described with Vara, consisting of multiple levels. He actually visited the one called Derinkuyu, in 2013. Eight of its levels are open to the public, but there are others below still closed off. It also features a subterranean tunnel several kilometres long connecting with another underground ‘city’. Large stone doors shaped like millstones and weighing around half a ton were located ready to be rolled into place to block access. They had a remarkable system of ventilation shafts connecting from the bottom levels to the surface. It was a remarkable feat carved from volcanic rock and extending over four square kilometres. In Turkey over two hundred underground complexes have been found, forty of them at three or more levels. These may have been built before the great Flood to survive the climatic catastrophe of a comet strike or built much later as defence against marauders. We just don’t know.
I will very briefly paraphrase Hancock’s further research, as I am sure you have had enough for one blog already. But he studied ancient scripts in Egypt and Mesopotamia relating to this same period, roughly 12,000 years ago, and found reference to “the seven sages who set forth in ships to all parts of the world to take with them humans, animals and seeds with which to repopulate a world that had been devastated by the great flood”. Possibly Noah was one of these seven sages? And while they may have repopulated the species of a highly civilised and technically advanced race that existed before the flood of 12,800 years ago, no doubt there were still many thousands of simplistic hunter-gatherer humans around the globe, such as those in southern Africa, southern Asia, Australia and South America who had survived the great flood. They were well south of the North American ice sheet and also out of range of the main impact of the comet so possibly were the ones who witnessed the arrival of these god-like humans from the Middle East with their hi-tech magic who came to show them how build great pyramids and temples and how to fashion metals and gems. Uluru, virtually in the centre of Australia, may even have its secrets from the dreamtime.
Having discarded Pluto as a real planet, we now once again have our real Number 9 planet. We cannot see it because it is about 56 billion miles from the sun, where we are a very neighbourly 150 million miles away from the sun. Where we take one year to orbit the sun, Planet 9 takes a leisurely 10-20,000 years. It’s a long time then since it got anywhere near the sun to possibly be observed by even the most powerful telescope. But two researchers, Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, observed the movements of bodies within the Kuiper belt, where Pluto lives, and computer-modelling of the orbits of space bodies convinced them that there is a body about 10 times earth’s mass and 2-4 times our diameter out there inflicting its gravitational pull on these other bodies’ orbits.
So there it is, come in number nine, your time is up, you have been deduced. A magical number, is number nine. There is definitely something cosmic about it. It is the last number in the decimal system of 0-9. Ten is a combination of 1+0. It is the last and the limit of all that is. The ancients believe number 9 contains a hidden code that effects everyone on earth and reveals the great truth. Ok aside from the occultists, we can look at the interesting mathematical facts about number 9. Did you know that the sum of any multiplication equals nine? 2×9 = 18, 1+8 = 9; 6×9 = 54, 5+4 = 9,638 x 9 = 5742 —> 5 + 7 + 4 + 2 = 18 —> 1 + 8 = 9, And on and on it goes. Another little trick of #9 is that any number divided by 9 simply has no end. The final digit repeats ad infinitum. For example 8/9 = 0.8888…….; 50/9 = 5.55555555……; let’s try another one: If 12345679 (excludes number 8) multiplied by 1-9 multiples of 9 then the result will contain the numbers over and over. So:
12345679 x 9 = 111111111
12345679 x 18 = 222222222 —> 12345679 x 9 x 2
12345679 x 27 = 333333333 —> 12345679 x 9 x 3
12345679 x 36 = 444444444 —> 12345679 x 9 x 4
The weird flip side to this pattern is that if you add #9 to any other number, the sum of the answer is always the other number, not the nine. So
6+9 = 15; 1+5 = 6
2+9 = 11. 1+1 = 2
17+9 = 26; 1+7=8, 2+6 = 8
and on ad infinitum
Not sure what this means but I have a feeling if you work it out you will have solved the secret of the universe.
Ok so we now have a mysterious planet number nine in our solar system. The last planet in our decimal solar system if the Sun = 10. That is probably why ancient knowledge decided the decimal system was more cosmic than the ‘base 12’ or duodecimal system which was based on the number of Titans and Gods of Olympus. The duodecimal system actually has four non-trivial factors whereas the decimal system only has two non-trivial factors if that helps you differentiate them.
But why do we care? If Planet 9 is so far away, we will never see it, so what does it matter? Perhaps it matters because we have a quest. We have a curiosity born of intelligence. We want to know what is out there. We want to know who our creator is in the same way that those abandoned children on reality TV shows search out their birth parents. Everyone wants to know: ‘having created us, why have you forsaken us’? Fair enough.
But we, in Dunedin, New Zealand, live on a tiny dot of a planet that floats in a relatively small solar system (our sun is a dwarf sun) which is located in a remote corner of the Milky Way which itself is a remote little galaxy within the incomprehensible universe.
It sort of reminds me of an interesting part of a David Attenborough documentary about the Kalahari desert in Namibia. They filmed down a cave, named Aigamas cave, 60 metres below the desert, in which there is the earth’s largest known underground lake.Down in this lake lives a little fish named the golden catfish. It grows up to 16 centimetres long. It is an air-breathing fish and as such could move a short distance on land, like an eel. To the golden catfish, this lake of almost 2 hectares is the entire universe. They have no conception of the narrow portal that leads to a completely alien world of the Kalahari desert with its huge night sky above it and the rest of Africa surrounding it.
But imagine if that fish had a genetic desire to search for its DNA relatives beyond its own universe. ‘Why have you forsaken us, oh great Golden Catfish?’ It is, after all, what drives other fish species to travel huge distances back to their birthplace. And, with that drive, the golden catfish explores the edges of its known universe and finds a small underground stream that eventually finds its way to another river or swamp down in the southern rainforests. What a discovery. What a new world with sunlight above it instead of the darkness of its cave. Imagine the change in organisms to feed on, the change in temperature and the new creatures it would meet along the way. But it would not find any more little cave golden catfish; their cave environment has resulted in them evolving as unique to that little universe; and I am not sure they would survive meeting their closest dna relative in African rivers and swamps, the sharp-tooth catfish, which gets to an average length about a metre. But, if they made it to shore and crawled briefly onto land, they would then be confronted with all manner of terrifying flying insects and birds, crawling ants and scorpions; they would hardly comprehend larger animals of hippos or elephants; hyenas or lions; it’s life Jim, but not as we know it. At what point does the catfish wonder why he left the cave.
So why do we get so excited about Planet #9 and beyond? About black holes and space portals. We are far more intelligent and imaginative than a catfish. We have watched the entire Star Wars series as well as Star Trek. We would not just stumble unknowingly into terrifying alien worlds to become nothing but a rather unmemorable snack before lunch. We may believe we are the divinely anointed masters of all beasts of the land and birds of the air, but that franchise is only for this planet. We have no rights beyond our atmosphere.
Similarly in the Aegamas cave the Golden catfish rules all the organisms in its own little universe. But that doesn’t mean much if they come up against a metre long saw-toothed relative who doesn’t feel the same family connection or a scorpion looking for lunch. As a life-form they were created from base organisms just like us. Then they evolved over millions of years to the creature they are now.
If we believe that homo-sapiens evolution has been fast-tracked from primate beasts to become super intelligent species, then we are suggesting that, between us and the primary divine creation of all life from which our forebear primates evolved, there is an alien life-form that re-wired our brains and dna 200,000 years ago to achieve that intelligence. If we find them we should be prepared in case they may not welcome us as children, rather they may say ‘Hey look at our little monkeys, how did they get here?’
But I don’t know why I bother to write this. Fifty percent of my readership would not contemplate space exploration because, at the end of it, zero-gravity golf would just seem silly; the other 50% is of the firm conviction that ruling of the beasts and the birds is solely for the purpose of having them lightly sautéed in a brandy sauce, served with a pear and blue cheese salad and washed down with delightful chilled chablis; the thought of being a guinea pig for sautéed extra terrestrial is just disgusting. So I am fairly confident that neither reader got past the first three lines before disengaging. My words therefore simply go into the ether, just in case ‘they’ are out there and monitoring me: ‘I come in peace’.
Of course the other theory could well be that the sun itself is the 1st heavenly body, not Mercury, in which case, Neptune becomes #9 and the search is over.