NASA's Voyager 1 in 'cosmic purgatory' on verge of entering Milky Way
The spacecraft is close to leaving the Solar System and into the uncharted territory of the Milky Way after more than three decades in space.
Voyager 1 was launched with its twin, Voyager 2, by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) in 1977.
Voyager 1 is travelling at just under 11 miles per second and sending information from nearly 11 billion miles away from the sun.
It is about to become the first man-made object to leave the Solar System, although Nasa expects it to take between several months and years before it completely enters interstellar space. Voyager 2 will follow later.
Ed Stone, the Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said: "Voyager tells us now that we're in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system. Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back.
"We shouldn't have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like."
The primary mission for the spacecrafts was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn.
After uncovering important findings the mission was extended, with the radio contact with mission control lasting longer than had been expected.
Rob Decker, a Voyager Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument co-investigator from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said: "We've been using the flow of energetic charged particles at Voyager 1 as a kind of wind sock to estimate the solar wind velocity. We've found that the wind speeds are low in this region and gust erratically. For the first time, the wind even blows back at us. We are evidently traveling in completely new territory. Scientists had suggested previously that there might be a stagnation layer, but we weren't sure it existed until now."
Voyager 1 and 2 both hold a a gold-coated copper phonograph record.
The record contains over 100 photographs of earth, a selection of greetings from languages around the world and a variety of sounds from the Earth.
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan wrote in an introduction to a CD version of the record that "billion years from now, when everything on Earth we've ever made has crumbled into dust, when the continents have changed beyond recognition and our species is unimaginably altered or extinct, the Voyager record will speak for us."
The Voyagers have enough power and fuel to operate until at least 2020.
It is predicted by that point that Voyager 1 will be 12.4 billion miles from the Sun, whilst Voyager 2 will be 10.5 billion miles away. - telegraph
NASA's Voyager Missions: Exploring the Outer Solar System and Beyond (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
Japan’s Hotel for the Dead
A hotel for the dead, now that’s something. This one is for real, actual corpses. And it’s pretty luxurious, going from the pictures. It’s a place where your folks check you in, and you wait it out until it’s time for you to be cremated. Also, it’s pretty luxurious.
The hotel Lastel run by Hisayoshi Teramura in Japan’s Yokohama suburbs, looks like any other building from the outside. In fact, young couples mistake it for a regular hotel and come asking for accommodation. But the place is not meant for lovers, or for weary travelers. Only for those who have already made their final exit from this world. The need for such a hotel very much exists in Japan, where there is a wait time of at least four days for a crematorium. With a total of 1.2 million deaths in the country in 2010, the annual death rate is at 0.95%, while the global average is only 0.84%. The Japanese also apparently tend to splurge on funerals, on the cost of flowers, coffins and memorial services. Mr. Teramura seems to have found a business opportunity in the area of death.
The corpses stored at the hotel are placed in refrigerated coffins that cost about 12,000 yen (approx. $157). They lay there until an opening is available at one of the overworked crematoriums in the city. Apparently, entry into the business is not all that difficult with the absence of mandatory qualifications or licenses. An office and a telephone will suffice to get started. Mr. Teramura has plans to expand. His second branch will be a bigger space, able to hold up to 40 corpses. His neighbors however, have not even the slightest inkling that they sleep every night next to a group of dead bodies. - odditycentral
Lincolnshire Popular with Demons, Witches and Zombies
Lincolnshire is regarded as a paranormal hotspot in the UK and even has its own team of 'ghostbusters' and it needs it, according to recently uncovered police statistics.
Every year, police have to deal with a number of reports of incidents dealing with a wide range of topics.
Some are clearly of critical importance, whereas as others can be best described as 'non-emergencies.' But if you are convinced there is a vampire living across the street or a hoard of zombies coming through your door, surely that deserves a 999 call?
But there can't be that many people who have rang the police to complain that the neighbours are actually witches cooking up a spell or that that strange light in the sky is definitely an UFO. Well apparently in Lincolnshire - which is considered a 'paranormal hotspot'- there has.
Member of the public and possible X-Files fan Alexis Davey wanted to find out the actually figures for himself. Using the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, where public authorities must respond to any question, he asked to ask just how many paranormal activities had been reported to Lincolnshire police in the last five years.
The information released after the FOI revealed some quite surprising results. They showed that in the past five years there has been a total of:
171 reports of witches
2 reports of werewolves
5 reports of vampires
10 UFO sightings
152 reports of ghosts
9 reports of zombies
627 reports of demons
20 reports of wizards
These figures show that there has been nearly 1000 'paranormal' activities reported to Lincolnshire Police over the past five years, with nearly two-thirds of these cases listed reports of 'demons.'
Lincolnshire police were unable to comment on what the actually reasons for these reports were and how they were eventually resolved. Maybe the demons and wizards left Lincolnshire before a full investigation could take place.
The response did insist that the incidents shown are ones in which the key words were included in the summary of the original FOI, meaning that not all incidents could be classified as "paranormal activity." So whether this means the werewolves were actually big dogs, the ghosts were just the wind or zombies were just morning commuters is still a mystery. Most telling was a statement by the police that: "the sightings include incidents where the person could have a mental health problem."
The city of Lincoln does pride itself on having many areas which they claim are haunted by ghosts or other paranormal beings.
Buildings like the Black Horse restaurant in Nettleham and the County Assembly Rooms in Bailgate has reported mysterious sightings in the past such as strange noises, phantom figures appearing and poltergeist behaviour, according to the paranormal database website. - ibtimes
Ghosts and Legends of Lincolnshire and the Fen Country (Ghosts & Legends)
Close encounter of the 'bowing' kind
Florida - 12/7/2011 - unedited: I went outside to smoke a cigerette around 11:30 at night. I then saw a black object hovering in the sky and I rushed to grab my cell phone to try to record it. For some strange reason my cell phone wouldnt work. I looked up and noticed a beam of light shooting out with orbs straight to the ground with theses tall skinny beings. I wanted to go inside but something was prohibiting me too. Now the orbs were what I would think to be scanning the area while the beings seemed to be instructing them with some black device. Then they made their way towards me and I was beside myself. Now there was one that was slightly taller and seemed to be in charge and somehow communicated with me telipathicall, saying that they mean no harm and that they have been studying man for centuries. Now one of the orbs scanned what I can explained as a scanner like you would see in a science fiction movie. They were examining me for about 5 to 10 minutes and wanted to go inside but pleaded with the one I was talking to not to go in to protect my family. The strangest thing happened! He seemed to do a slight bow of respect and slowly walked off my porch and left! - MUFON CMS
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Two-Disc 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray]