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Was Venus Once Habitable?

Future interplanetary tourists are more likely to choose Mars over Venus as a desirable destination, but in the very distant past, that may not have been the case. While Venus today may be a scorching hell, there is new evidence that, once upon a time, it could have actually been quite habitable.

According to Cornell University professor Michael Way and his colleagues, depending on the rate of spin, Venus might once have had balmy temperatures, not unlike Earth’s. In a paper prepared for the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Way says Venus could have been much wetter than now, and have had liquid oceans. The end may have come, he argues, about three-quarters of a billion years ago when volcanic activity ended its potential as a tourist destination.

While the habitability of Venus, in the view of current Earth science, is impossible, there have been those in the esoteric community who have argued that while life as we know it on Earth may not have been viable, there are actually those living at other frequencies of being, for whom the constraints of Earthly existence do not apply. Indeed, the great eighteenth century Swedish polymath Emanuel Swedenborg, credited with many major scientific advances, claimed that the majority of planets are inhabited and described in extensive detail his personal encounters with many of them. On the other hand, Immanuel Velikovsky, the scientist widely credited with the theory of ‘catastrophism’, to account for many unexplained details of natural history, believed that Venus entered the solar system only recently—in the last few thousand years—as a comet, before becoming a permanent fixture. Go figure.

CAPTION: Venus is in the Sun’s habitable zone, but its extreme temperatures and pressures would make life there impossible. But, has it always been that way? (NASA/JPL/USGS)


Alien Megastructure Not Yet Ruled Out

The mystery star is still blinking irregularly, and there is still no explanation as to why. The idea of an alien megastructure at work is still on the table.

We reported on the strange case of KIC 8462852 in the Cygnus region (aka ‘Tabby’s Star’, for its discoverer Tabetha Boyajian) early in 2015 (“ Has Kepler Space Telescope Detected an Alien Megastructure?” AR #115). During the time the star has been in the field of view of Kepler, it has shown numerous huge, but short-lived, dips in its light. Overall it is getting dimmer. Now a new paper has been published in the open source journal arXiv confirming the rapid erratic, non-predictable dimming. Any natural cause, like orbiting planets getting in the way, should be predictable and measurable. It is not.

Astronomers Ben Montet and Joshua Simon, study authors, found the star was initially dimming by about 0.34 per cent per year. Then a dramatic dip over the course of just 200 days saw its light fall by about 2.5 per cent. Since then, Tabby’s Star has continued to fade at its original rate. One idea: A cloud of dark comets passing between us and the star; but a look at 500 stars in the neighborhood show no others flickering, and the brightness for all similar stars in the area has remained consistent.

The sensational suggestion, put forward a year ago, that we might have encountered a “Dyson Sphere,” caused a lot of excitement; it still is. The idea that some very advanced civilization might have harnessed an entire star with some kind of enormous virtual lantern shade—while considered very unlikely—still cannot be ruled out.

CAPTION: Artist’s Concept of a Dyson Sphere.


ESP Confirmed by New Lab Study

For those who have experienced it, the existence of extrasensory perception (ESP) is indisputable; but still, they may be pleased to learn, by way of our regular methods of communication, that maybe even hard science could be coming around. In a new peer reviewed study, “EEG correlates of social interaction at a distance” researchers at the University of Bucharest in Romania, showed that when the brains of close friends are electrically stimulated, there is a corresponding neural spike in the electrocardiogram of the subject.

That may sound like a breakthrough, but don’t expect any rush from the scientific establishment to embrace the findings. For over a century many studies have produced evidence for ESP and other paranormal faculties at least as strong (i.e., biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s extensively-documented research as expressed in his books, The Sense of Being Stared At, and others), but the materialistic mindset of the prevailing scientific establishment remains largely unchanged. Perhaps a little electro-stimulation might be in order.