From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
The uncertainty of science: A new analysis of past data from Venus suggests that the planet’s atmospheric sulfur cannot be causing the atmosphere’s dark stripes seen in the ultraviolet.
If we look at Venus in a normal optical telescope, we see only a dull yellowish-white sphere without any other distinguishing features. However, if we capture an image in the ultraviolet range, the picture changes drastically – dark and light areas appear on the disc, reflecting the dynamics of the atmosphere. “These areas mean that somewhere in the upper cloud layer there is a substance that is absorbing UV radiation. Over the past 30 years there have been a wide range of hypotheses as to what this substance could be. Many scientists believed that sulfur particles were responsible for the absorption. But now we will have to abandon this hypothesis,” says Krasnopolsky.
It appears that the new analysis puts the sulfur too low in the atmosphere.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
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