Is Saturn about to give birth to a new moon called Peggy?

‘We have not seen anything like this before’ say scientists, as they spot a bulge in planet’s ring

LAST UPDATED AT 15:41 ON Wed 16 Apr 2014

SCIENTISTS believe they are witnessing the formation of a new moon in our solar system for the first time in the history of humanity.

Images from Nasa’s Cassini-Huygens space probe show a bulge in Saturn’s ‘A-ring’, the planet’s brightest and outermost ring, suggesting that a new moon is being formed there. Scientists say the new arrival, nicknamed ‘Peggy’, could soon join Saturn’s 62 other moons.

“We have not seen anything like this before,” said astronomer Carl Murray, lead author of a study in science journal Icarus, which outlined the findings. “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.”

Scientists are hoping that the “birth” will shed light on how Saturn’s larger moons formed over the last few billion years.

Peggy is likely to be tiny in comparison to the largest of Saturn’s moons, Titan, which has a diameter of more than 3,100 miles and a mass nearly double that of Earth’s moon. Peggy would perhaps only be 0.5 miles in diameter – “really a moonlet”, says Slate.

Its tiny size suggests that Saturn’s satellite-bearing days may soon be over, says The Independent, with each successive moon appearing smaller than the last, as the supply of potentially moon-forming material is depleted.

“The theory holds that Saturn long ago had a much more massive ring system capable of giving birth to larger moons,” says Murray. “As the moons formed near the edge, they depleted the rings and evolved, so the ones that formed earliest are the largest and the farthest out.”

Saturn’s rings are made from individual fragments of ice, with a small amount of rocky material, ranging in size from tiny particles to boulder-like lumps. It is thought that material gradually clumped together in orbit to gather enough momentum to separate and become a moon.

According to Nasa, the Cassini space probe’s orbit will take it closer to the outer edge of the A ring in late 2016, providing an opportunity to study Peggy in more detail.


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Quantum Physics and Mysticism

by IMU Graduate and Doctoral Candidate Nanda Kumar

Quantum physics and Mysticism stand rubbing their shoulders today. The quantum theory is truly mind twisting. The following are some of the paradoxes in quantum mechanics.

  • Particles may be in two or more place at once.
  • The same object may appear to be a particle locatable in one place or may appear to be a wave spread out over space and time.
  • Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than light. But quantum physics demonstrated that subatomic particles seem to communicate instantaneously over any expanse of space.
  • Seemingly solid matter is not really solid, but at the core of its subatomic structure there remains huge expanse of ‘empty’ space, which is not really empty. This space is packed with enormous amount of energy. Implication: Solidity of the matter is an illusion.
  • Subatomic particles are not solid either. Depending on how we look at the sub atomic particles, they either behave as particle or as wave. As waves, electrons or photons (particles of light) have no precise location. They merely exist as probability fields. This wave collapses as particles when there is an observer to observe. Unobserved, particles behave as waves. Implication: Matter exists only when there is an observer. It is a mental construct. It is an illusion.
  • When electrons move from one orbit A to another orbit B, around the nucleus, they do not move like ordinary objects move in space and time. They disappear from orbit A and instantaneously appear in orbit B. This phenomenon is known in quantum physics as quantum jumping.
  • Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that “no matter how hard you try, you cannot get a precise measurement of both velocity and position of an electron. The more we focus on one, the more lost in the uncertainty the measurement of the other becomes.”
  • Albert Einstein did not like Quantum Physics. This is because he believed that nothing can travel faster than light. In 1935, Einstein, Pedolsky and Rosen (EPR) devised a thought experiment to disprove Quantum entanglement theory. EPR suggested considering two particles being created at the same time and sending one particle to one side of the universe and the other to the opposite side of the universe. Since both particles are created together, they are entangled. In such a scenario, any changes made to one particle should instantaneously mimicked by the other particle, if quantum entanglement is to be true. EPR argued that this will not happen, since nothing travels faster than light and hence nothing will be instantaneous. In 1964 John Bell created a theory that effectively proved that the other particle in fact did mimic the changes instantaneously. At quantum level everything is non-local. All  particles are intimately linked at a level beyond time and space! Implication: ONENESS

The existence of an external objective reality is imperative for science for its very survival. Science is built on the   assumption where the universe is a mechanical system composed of solid, material, elementary building blocks. An external objective reality is, therefore, essential for science to thrive. It is understandable that science cannot digest the quantum assertion that an observer is required for particle or matter to manifest.

With blind beliefs, we take many things for granted. Stanley Sabottka of the University of Virginia has brought forth an interesting analogy. When we leave our office every day after work at 5 PM, he said, we just assume that our office will still be there, with all its tables, chairs, computers, files etc, even if we are not there to observe it. According to quantum theory, the office would have collapsed into a wave and would have ceased to exist for us since we are not there to observe its presence. We have an absolute belief that the office is there, even though we have no means to verify this.  In quantum physics, the observer influences the object observed. However, there are no isolated observers of a mechanical universe. Everything participates in the universe.

Mystics did not have any trouble with any of the above. Bulk of the mysticism was before the time of quantum physics anyway. Vedanta is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. Advaita Vedanta  is the teaching of nonduality, first formulated  by Sankara (C 788 -820), and is the monistic interpretation of Vedanata. Advaita Vedanta ascribes all reality to a single unitary source that  Sankara identified as “Brahaman”. Brahman is all that there is. He declared that plurality and differentiation as nothing but an illusion. The concept of an external world is not primary in Advaita Vedanta, unlike in science. Consciousness is primary and the external world is only a mental construct based on sense impressions. This resonates with the hermetic axiom “The universe is mental” of Kybalion.

Why the external physical reality looks the same for all?

Following is the Vedantic explanation for quantum physics.

  • When the wave collapses as particle, materials appear.  ( Quantum Physics )
  • When an “observer” (Consciousness) observes, wave collapses and matter appears.
  • When an “observer” goes to sleep, the external reality collapses back to wave form. Why? Because, for a sleeping “observer” (Consciousness), there is no observation and hence no wave is collapsing. When the “observer” wakes up, again the wave collapses and materials form for the wakeful “observer”.
  • Why then everyone observes the same physical reality, then?  Because it is the same ONE Consciousness that functions through every observer. (ONENESS – the Brahman of Advaita Vedanta)
  • But then why all “observers” do not perceive the same matter in the same way, even though they are all observing the same reality in the same manner?
  • Because the observing Consciousness, under an illusion,  perceives  differently depending on their intensity of illusion. Even though all observers are wakeful (not asleep), they are not fully wakened. They are at different levels of unconsciousness. Every one observes the same reality, but they do not perceive it the same way.
  • Just as the sleep state has different levels to itself (Delta wave – (0.1 – 3 Hz) / Theta wave – (4 – 7 Hz) /Alpha wave – (8 – 15 Hz). Zero is Death state), wakeful state also has different levels to itself, marked by levels of illusion.
  • As below, so above, As above, so below.

The work of quantum scientists like Bohm, Pribram, Wheeler is too important for the evolution of human understanding. Similarly, mysticism is too profound and life changing if understood in its full depth, as it already encompasses material sciences. Let scientists and mystics interact with each other for the highest good of the mankind. They are should be partners and not adversaries.

Now, watch this conversation among four of the finest minds of our times. They are Jiddu Krishnamurti  (Hindu Mystic, 1895 -1986), David Bohm (Professor of Theoretical Physics, 1917 – 1992), Rupert Sheldrake (Biologist), and John Hiddley (Psychiatrist)

Topic of their discussion is “Nature of the Mind”

NASA photo captures strange, bright light on Mars

mars light

A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet’s surface.

The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet.

Although the space agency hasn’t issued any official statement yet about the phenomenon, bloggers and NASA enthusiasts have started chiming in.

RELATED: The biggest hoaxes ever exposed

Scott C. Waring, who maintains the websiteUFO Sightings Daily, posted the photo April 6.

Waring noted that the light shines upward, as if from the ground, and is very flat across the bottom.

“This could indicate there there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do,” Waring wrote on his website. “This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process.”

On Tuesday,’s Bad Astronomy blog suggested that a UFO conspiracy site might not be the best source of information for exploring serious planetary phenomena. A more serious source of this light, said blogger Phil Plait, is that “a subatomic particle smacked into the camera, leaving behind its trail of energy.” Vast ocean found on Saturn – could it sustain life?

Earlier this month, NASA announced that on April 2, the Curiosity rover drove the last 98 feet needed to arrive at “the Kimberley,” a spot where it can study rock clues about ancient environments that might have been favorable for life, according to a news release.

The Kimberley, where four different types of rock intersect, is named for a region of western Australia. The rover’s stay there has been planned since early last year, the release said.

“This is the spot on the map we’ve been headed for, on a little rise that gives us a great view for context imaging of the outcrops at the Kimberley,” Melissa Rice of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said in the release.

Rice is the scientist in charge of planning several weeks of observations, sample-drilling and on-site laboratory analysis of the area’s rocks.

Arrival at this location means Curiosity has driven 3.8 miles since August 2012, when it landed inside Mars’ Gale Crater. Space station sidesteps space junk again

The Kimberley investigations are to be the most extensive since Curiosity spent the first half of 2013 in an area called Yellowknife Bay, the release said.

At Yellowknife Bay, the one-ton rover examined the first samples ever drilled from rocks on Mars. These samples showed signs of an ancient lakebed environment that provided the chemical ingredients and energy necessary for life, the release said.

At the Kimberley and, later, at outcrops on the slope of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater, researchers plan to use Curiosity’s science instruments to learn more about habitable past conditions and environmental changes.

What does the “Global Mind” Mean?

by IMU Instructor Carl Johan Calleman

March 17, 2014

The first volume of “The Paradigm Shift Trilogy” is called The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization, and if we are now truly part of a paradigm shift it seems we should not be thinking exactly in the same terms or using the same kinds of concepts that we have been doing in the past. While “the Rise of Civilization” seems clear enough and means pretty much the same as it always has, the “Global Mind” is a new concept that has never been used in this sense before.

“The Global Mind” in the sense it is used in The Paradigm Shift Trilogy is not the sum of all the minds of the human individuals, nor is it necessarily the same as “collective consciousness,” which sometimes is used to mean exactly such a sum. Instead, the “Global Mind” is a name for a global holographic structure that every human being is in resonance with and shapes the kind of mental abilities and thoughts that we have. Ancient sources describing it as it first appeared show that this hologram indeed exists. No humans (or extraterrestrials) rule the Global Mind. The Global Mind rules us and sets the limit to what we can think and do at any given point in time. This does not mean that some of us cannot be happy about life, but it does mean that as long as we are unaware of the existence of this Global Mind our consciousness, and our view of who we are will be limited and constrained. We will not be able to fully grasp the purpose of the human species.

Seeing through the Global Mind and understanding what it is, I believe is the key meaning of the paradigm shift that is now beginning and was prepared for by the significant mental shift in the Mayan calendar. Our minds have been very helpful and led us to the creation of the civilization in which we are now living, but if we are truly to become free as a species we will have to be able to understand what the “Global Mind” is. A paradigm shift always carries some fundamentally new concepts that were never used in the past. The Global Mind is such a concept, which is of critical importance for those that at the current time want to take the next step.


Ventura/3 a.m.: Toast on a Park Bench



Austin Chronicle – April 4, 2014

Every generation is like a ship casting off under sealed orders, on a mission fraught with dangers, and only the captain knows the truth: There will be no survivors.

That’s the thing about getting old: One day you look around at your contemporaries and it dawns on you that there were will be no survivors. One by one, you’re all going down.

Why the only certainty in the world comes as sort of a surprise is a mystery beyond my powers to penetrate.

(“I never expected to be this age,” I said to Carlene.

“I expected to be this age,” she replied, “but I didn’t expect to be old.”)

Some take comfort in their kids and grandkids, and that’s lovely, but the same goes for offspring, no matter what their circumstances: No survivors.

It’s a very democratic arrangement: Everybody dies.

What’s lousy about dying of old age is that you’ve got to grow old, which is a little bit of dying every day.

Anthony Powell said it: “Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”

In a society that tends to disregard and/or discard the old, you may wonder what you’re still here for – especially when something always hurts, mental and physical agility decrease by the year (so do your looks), and people you care about – people who care about you – die and die and die.

What then, old woman in the mirror? What are you here for, old man in the mirror? What use are you?

Oh, boohoo, boohoo, boohoo. If those questions are coated with self-pity, to hell with it. It’s bad enough to be decrepit, but being decrepit and feeling sorry for oneself on top of it? That’s too messy a heap to deal with.

However, when those questions are asked in a spirit of practicality, they become immediate and important. As in:

Mayer Vishner took his cat to Texas last August and brought those questions with him. He and his documentarian, Justin Schein, came on a Monday, gave me Mayer’s cat, and flew back to New York on Wednesday. Around 3am Thursday, Mayer ended his life.

But Tuesday … Tuesday was quite a day. Justin piled himself and his gear into my old Chevy’s back seat. Mayer rode shotgun. We drove on and on, over terrain as horizontal as Manhattan is vertical: the High Plains. I pulled off on a dirt road – horizon to horizon of cultivated fields, prairie grass, dozens of oil wells, and an old-timey windmill.

I believed my friend Mayer would do what he said he’d do, so I felt I was talking to a dead man. That was hard to get used to.

I said something like, “Look, I understand what you’re doing, and I even sort of bless it, it’s your right, but I fucking hate it.”

“It’s too late for a do-over,” Mayer said.

To New Yorkers of our generation, “do-over” has a special ring: You’re playing stoop-ball and a passing pedestrian makes you miss your catch through no fault of your own – so you call out “Do-over!” That play doesn’t count. You get to do it over.

“It’s too late for do-overs,” Mayer repeated. And repeated again.

Mayer was 64 – or, as my generation is fond of saying, “only 64.” We qualify pretty much any age under 80 with “only.” A chickenshit usage.

Anyway, he was 64, and alone, alcoholic, nutty, ill, and all but disabled; also brilliant, accomplished (back in the day), incredibly funny (even at his most depressed), and a pain in the ass. Don’t argue with him, because Mayer could talk rings around anyone except our esteemed and late colleague, Bob LaBrasca. (Like I said: People you love die and die and die.)

So Mayer, in constant existential and physical pain, asked, “Who do I owe it to to go on suffering? And what use am I? What good can I do now? I can’t do a damn thing, I can’t concentrate, even. I’m useless.”

It sounds self-pitying but, as far as it went, it was factual.

I took a deep breath, and said something – because I had to, though I knew Mayer wouldn’t agree or care. It went like this:

“There’s a way of thought – a construct – a way of life – that would say: If you walked the few blocks from your apartment to Washington Square Park and you sat on a park bench for a while – and looked upon your fellow sharers of the day, especially the young – looked upon them with generosity, with benevolence, beholding their beauty, wishing them well, yes, especially the young – there is a way of thought that says you’d be doing something – doing something concrete and useful – giving energy and a kind of power to those around you and to the day itself. Jaz calls it ‘the power of beholding.’”

Mayer didn’t blast my speech with sarcasm or scorn – which, in itself, was, for Mayer, unusually polite. But he looked at me emptily. Let me have my say and that was that.

I said it because I used to think that the end of my ability to write would be the end of my life. If age dried up my capacities, why outlive my purpose? Then slowly I came to believe something that I wrote in a long-ago column when I was “only” 55, which tonight I reconstruct like this:

Beauty cannot exist on its own. Beauty cannot do its work unless we meet it and absorb it and carry it. Take responsibility for it. Make it our responsibility, individually, our very own. When we perceive and value beauty we make beauty stronger, we become a node of the network through which beauty fulfills its function, and that function is to hallow and transmute everyday experience so as to redeem ourselves from the catastrophe we call “history.”

You needn’t be mystic to see the obvious fact that every human being radiates being. Or the lack of it.

So you’re old and maybe there’s nothing left but to go sit on a park bench. Doing nothing special. Observing. Beholding. Hey: Looking at children matters, if there is a blessing in your heart, in your look. Sounds corny, but it’s real life. Beholding what’s around you matters, if you behold with your whole heart. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson knew this; they were great teachers and celebrants of what it means to behold, anywhere, anytime, in a backyard, on a ferry, even in the dark.

Some time before he died Mayer became a ghost. A being that was and was not there. Not there enough. That’s what he died of.

I shall always thank him for making clear to me the great choices of aging:

Shall we become as ghosts or shall we be like the angels in Wings of Desire,beholding without judgment and offering the energy of our wonder at the immediate beauty of the everyday? The beauty that doesn’t require achievement and that you don’t have to deserve.

Even a little is a lot to the starved. I promise, so many who pass your park bench, no matter how fat they seem, are in truth curled up clutching themselves and howling with starvation.

John Donne: “I am involved in mankind.” That’s what a park bench is all about. It’s not my parade but it’s still a parade.

I suppose the park bench is not for people who get bored. (A hypothesis: People who get bored are afraid of their own minds.) But for those who don’t, the park bench is a fine and honorable place to end up. Useful, too. I look forward to it. Now and again someone young or old, fat or skinny, turned out or turned down, will look back at me and their eyes will brighten as though to say, “Oh, I get it! This is the only day in the world. Every day is the only day in the world.”

Maybe you on your park bench, me on mine – perhaps, coming or going, we’ll nod to one another, with a little glint, because we share that secret.



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