Does Our Sun Have a Twin?
Astronomers are taking another look at the theory that our sun may have a long-lost twin. They haven’t found it yet, but, nevertheless, they call it ‘Nemesis.’ According to a soon-to-be-published study with the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, some astronomers believe that most stars begin life as a pair. Some stay close, but others move far apart.
A new mathematical model from the University of California at Berkeley says that a hypothetical Nemesis may have migrated out into the Milky Way. It might even be hiding behind the Perseus cloud of gas and dust that appears as a black spot in the sky, hiding whatever is behind it. Sarah Sadavoy and Steven Stahler, co-authors of the study, have found many such binary stars.
Researcher Walter Cruttenden, author of the book Lost Star of Myth and Time and head of the Binary Research Institute in Newport Beach, California, has long argued that our sun is part of a binary system. Sirius, in the Orion constellation—the brightest star in the night sky of the northern hemisphere—in addition to having a twin that we can see (Sirius B), is in binary orbit with our sun. The gravitational influence of Sirius, Cruttenden believes, accounts for the precession of the equinoxes, sometimes called “the Great Year.” In the 26,000-year precession cycle, the sun’s solstice point can be seen to move slowly backward through the zodiac (most authorities attribute this to a slow wobble in Earth’s axis). Precession gives us our astrological ages (as the song goes, “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius”). The ancients, Cruttenden believes, understood this and memorialized it in their architecture by pointing to Sirius, revered by ancient Egyptians as Isis.
CAPTION: An artist’s rendition of the Kepler-35 planetary system, in which a Saturn-size planet orbits a pair of stars. Credits: Lynette Cook/ extrasolar.spaceart.org
Indus Valley Teeth Now Talking Again
Ancient Indus Valley natives have been silent for millennia. Even though we have, on thousands of ceramic seals, fragments of a written language, science has not yet decoded them. And even though we know the Indus/Harappan civilization possessed a sophisticated understanding of advanced math, practical architecture, and city planning, we still have not learned their complete story.
The good news is: the mouths of the Indus people may now be talking. Scientists from the University of Florida have been studying tooth enamel in the remains of people in the ancient city of Harappa and have made some startling discoveries. Tooth enamel, it turns out, keeps a record of the food, water, and air of the local environment. According to a paper published in April, 2017 by the journal PLOS One, the skeletal remains found in Harappa reveal origins in areas far from the place where they ended up. The researchers think this means the people came from the hinterlands, though they aren’t sure why they would have been drawn to the city. The evidence, however, points to a much more cosmopolitan society than mainstream scholars have previously been willing to concede.
If, as other discoveries indicate, the Indus people were the inheritors of the lost Saraswati/Vedic culture, here is evidence for just how far-reaching that prehistoric culture may have been, pointing to beginnings in vast and, perhaps, teeming lands further east, and, maybe, even to sites now underwater off the Indian coast.
For more on the newly unfolding story of Indus culture see, “Lost River of the Vedas,” the cover story for the July/August issue (#124) of Atlantis Rising.
Giant Martian Hole Defies Explanation
Could a hole on Mars be some kind of portal into a previously unknown underground domain? Or is it something else? NASA doesn’t yet know what to make of a giant hole that has suddenly appeared in the southern polar region. Photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the almost perfectly circular hole, or pit, is, so far, unexplained by any authoritative analysis.
Hundreds of yards wide and seemingly smooth and regular in shape, the hole is quite distinct from anything in its vicinity. The region is, in fact, mostly covered with frozen carbon dioxide in a pattern resembling Swiss cheese. A reflecting pattern of ice appears at the bottom of the feature, yet NASA scientists say they do not know what might have caused it. Maybe some kind of bolide hit or a surface collapse, but they can’t be sure. Lava tubes, which might collapse, can be found on the red planet, but it is not clear if that had anything to do with this feature.
Taken by what is called a high-resolution imaging science experiment, the photo was shot with visible light through a telescope capable of resolving objects as small as three feet across. The MRO has been orbiting Mars for 11 years, but before this recent image, the hole had never been seen.
CAPTION: “Swiss cheese”-like terrain and pit of unknown origins on Mars (MRO, NASA)