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Old 15th September 2018, 09:50 AM   #1
Planigale
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national solar observatory shut by FBI

The FBI has apparently shut down and closed the national solar observatory - why?
https://www.nso.edu
https://science.slashdot.org/story/1...co-observatory
This seems very odd. Is this something to do with the current administration's view on global warming and the belief this is to do with sunspot activity? Or as the BBc hint that it is near area 51.
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Old 15th September 2018, 09:56 AM   #2
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Espionage has been mentioned as a possible reason.
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Old 15th September 2018, 12:25 PM   #3
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They are spying on the Solarians?
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Old 15th September 2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The FBI has apparently shut down and closed the national solar observatory - why?
https://www.nso.edu
https://science.slashdot.org/story/1...co-observatory
This seems very odd. Is this something to do with the current administration's view on global warming and the belief this is to do with sunspot activity? Or as the BBc hint that it is near area 51.
Is the BBC really reporting that the observatory is near Area 51? It's only near in the sense that they're both in the same half of the country. It's between 800 and 900 miles from one to the other. Not exactly next door.

The closure is kind of weird, though. I think they evacuated the area over a week ago, including the handful of residents in the small town there, and the Post Office.

Because of the FBI involvement, I've been wondering if it's in response to a threat of some kind. But a week is a long time to keep up an evacuation with nothing apparently happening.

http://earthsky.org/human-world/why-...-nm-closed-fbi

https://www.alamogordonews.com/story...ue/1227788002/
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Old 15th September 2018, 01:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
They are spying on the Solarians?
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Old 16th September 2018, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
Is the BBC really reporting that the observatory is near Area 51? It's only near in the sense that they're both in the same half of the country. It's between 800 and 900 miles from one to the other. Not exactly next door.

The closure is kind of weird, though. I think they evacuated the area over a week ago, including the handful of residents in the small town there, and the Post Office.

Because of the FBI involvement, I've been wondering if it's in response to a threat of some kind. But a week is a long time to keep up an evacuation with nothing apparently happening.

http://earthsky.org/human-world/why-...-nm-closed-fbi

https://www.alamogordonews.com/story...ue/1227788002/
Yeah, but it's a really big telescope, that can see really special stuff, who knows where they're pointing that thing?
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Old 16th September 2018, 09:56 AM   #7
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It's obvious to students of human nature why the solar observatory was shut down: they were only supposed to observe the sun, not get involved with it. But they did the one thing no scientist can ever do: they fell in love with the object of their studies. Is it worth it, tossing aside glittering science careers for love? Yes, of course. Go for it, you crazy kids! It can work if you believe in love!!
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Old 16th September 2018, 11:58 AM   #8
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Someone mentioned to Mr Wray they were moonlighting looking at Uranus.
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Old 16th September 2018, 02:58 PM   #9
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My Facebook friend is going crazy over this, saying they found a UFO next to the Sun and it's on YouTube. Oh dear...
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Old 16th September 2018, 03:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
My Facebook friend is going crazy over this, saying they found a UFO next to the Sun and it's on YouTube. Oh dear...
They should never have pointed that telescope at Youtube.
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Old 16th September 2018, 05:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
My Facebook friend is going crazy over this, saying they found a UFO next to the Sun and it's on YouTube. Oh dear...
I looked for that video, but got sidetracked by "Instant Karma Road Rage: You Won't Believe What Happens!", "Crazy Neighbors 94", and "Celebrity Tattoo Regrets". If the aliens see those videos too they won't even bother discussing using their death ray, they'll just hit the button. It's probably for the best.
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Old 16th September 2018, 05:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I looked for that video, but got sidetracked by "Instant Karma Road Rage: You Won't Believe What Happens!", "Crazy Neighbors 94", and "Celebrity Tattoo Regrets". If the aliens see those videos too they won't even bother discussing using their death ray, they'll just hit the button. It's probably for the best.
Go ahead, do it ET... you judgemental bastards.

#noregerts

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Old 16th September 2018, 11:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
They are spying on the Solarians?
The FBI is worried that they will send a message to Trisolaris through the solar amplification method.
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Old 16th September 2018, 11:57 PM   #15
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Surely if it was aliens it would have been the CIA? Isn't the FBI the body responsible for prosecuting federal crime?

It was probably some adminstrator cheating on taxes or something.
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Old Yesterday, 12:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Surely if it was aliens it would have been the CIA? Isn't the FBI the body responsible for prosecuting federal crime?
you forget that all of Space belongs to the US, meaning all Galactic Matters fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI.
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Old Yesterday, 12:15 AM   #17
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My guess is someone was growing cannabis, or something of that sort.
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Old Yesterday, 04:38 AM   #18
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An explanation has now been officially given:
Quote:
Sunspot Solar Observatory is transitioning back to regular operations as of September 17th

On September 6th, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) made the decision to temporarily vacate the Sunspot Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico as a precautionary measure while addressing a security issue. The facility closed down in an orderly fashion and is now re-opening. The residents that vacated their homes will be returning to the site, and all employees will return to work this week.

AURA has been cooperating with an on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak. During this time, we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents. For this reason, AURA temporarily vacated the facility and ceased science activities at this location.

The decision to vacate was based on the logistical challenges associated with protecting personnel at such a remote location, and the need for expeditious response to the potential threat. AURA determined that moving the small number of on-site staff and residents off the mountain was the most prudent and effective action to ensure their safety.

In light of recent developments in the investigation, we have determined there is no risk to staff, and Sunspot Solar Observatory is transitioning back to regular operations as of September 17th. Given the significant amount of publicity the temporary closure has generated, and the consequent expectation of an unusual number of visitors to the site, we are temporarily engaging a security service while the facility returns to a normal working environment.

We recognize that the lack of communications while the facility was vacated was concerning and frustrating for some. However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. That was a risk we could not take.
(link: http://www.aura-astronomy.org/news/news.asp?newsID=389 )

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Old Yesterday, 05:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Surely if it was aliens it would have been the CIA? Isn't the FBI the body responsible for prosecuting federal crime?

It was probably some adminstrator cheating on taxes or something.
You act as if the The X-Files wasn't a documentary.
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Old Yesterday, 05:46 AM   #20
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I’ve been getting this from my Google News feed all week. The consensus seemed to be that some sort of espionage might have been involved; there is a nearby missile-launch facility and there’s a lot of monitoring equipment at the observatory that could conceivably be hacked or added-to.
The above information, mundane as it seems, is also the most likely.
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 AM   #21
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Dammit. I had my money on someone using the site's computers to attempt a cyberattack on US interests.
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Old Yesterday, 07:47 AM   #22
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Principal Skinner: 'Now let's have no more curiosity about this bizarre cover-up.'
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Old Yesterday, 08:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The FBI has apparently shut down and closed the national solar observatory - why?
https://www.nso.edu
https://science.slashdot.org/story/1...co-observatory
This seems very odd. Is this something to do with the current administration's view on global warming and the belief this is to do with sunspot activity? Or as the BBc hint that it is near area 51.
The solar observatory is not near area 51. It is, however, not too far from Roswell. In any case, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's highly unlikely that the closure has anything to do with extraterrestrial visitors.

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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I looked for that video, but got sidetracked by "Instant Karma Road Rage: You Won't Believe What Happens!", "Crazy Neighbors 94", and "Celebrity Tattoo Regrets". If the aliens see those videos too they won't even bother discussing using their death ray, they'll just hit the button. It's probably for the best.
Maybe we'll get lucky, and after looking at youtube, the aliens will just say, "There's no intelligent life on that planet" and leave us alone.

OTOH, that's probably wishful thinking. Your scenario is much more likely.
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Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
An explanation has now been officially given:

(link: http://www.aura-astronomy.org/news/news.asp?newsID=389 )


That still doesn't really explain everything, though. Why were the local cops kept out of the loop? Unless it was someone on their staff who was the threat, surely they'd have been informed about what was going on.

If they did know, why not just "No comment" any questions that might have tipped the suspect, rather than stir the pot with claims that they were just as in the dark as everyone else?
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Old Yesterday, 08:54 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
The solar observatory is not near area 51. It is, however, not too far from Roswell. In any case, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's highly unlikely that the closure has anything to do with extraterrestrial visitors.
Correct.
The flash of light they saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM   #27
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Antennas are antennas. Interference happens. A solar researcher's noise from terrestrial sources is a spy's national security communications data.

Something like that, I imagine.

I wouldn't be surprised if both China and Russia have maps of the US that show high points with a good view of terrestrial signal sources, along with which of those points have antennas suitable for surveilling terrestrial signals. And I wouldn't be surprised if they have playbooks for infiltrating and compromising such sites.

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Old Yesterday, 09:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
That still doesn't really explain everything, though. Why were the local cops kept out of the loop? Unless it was someone on their staff who was the threat, surely they'd have been informed about what was going on.

If they did know, why not just "No comment" any questions that might have tipped the suspect, rather than stir the pot with claims that they were just as in the dark as everyone else?
I agree with you, it seems that citizens have not been given a full and complete explanation. But we know that a certain president likes to speak of "national security reasons" (and likes "non-disclosure agreements").

Last edited by Michel H; Yesterday at 09:51 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
That still doesn't really explain everything, though. Why were the local cops kept out of the loop? Unless it was someone on their staff who was the threat, surely they'd have been informed about what was going on.

If they did know, why not just "No comment" any questions that might have tipped the suspect, rather than stir the pot with claims that they were just as in the dark as everyone else?
My guess is drug smuggling operation going on nearby, and somebody at the observatory observed it. DEA stuff to handle, not local cops (who might be complicit).
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
You act as if the The X-Files wasn't a documentary.
Every knows it was just TV however Warehouse 13 was completely real - really!
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 AM   #31
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Reopening today, apparently. An employee was a subject of a criminal investigation and might have posed a threat.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Reopening today, apparently. An employee was a subject of a criminal investigation and might have posed a threat.
It turns out the alien was just an astronomer in a rubber mask, trying to frighten people away from his smuggling operation. He would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those interfering youths.
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Old Yesterday, 11:43 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Correct.
The flash of light they saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
You left out mass hysteria.
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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My guess is drug smuggling operation going on nearby, and somebody at the observatory observed it. DEA stuff to handle, not local cops (who might be complicit).
Smuggling from where to where? Wasn't the location pretty remote?
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Old Today, 06:28 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Smuggling from where to where? Wasn't the location pretty remote?
From Mexico into the US. Remoteness would be a plus for reducing chances of being overseen, although possibly not in this instance. That was my guess, anyway. Cartel stuff. Perhaps it was a domestic violence thing instead.
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Old Today, 07:42 AM   #36
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We are at solar minimum anyway so the shutdown timing was perfect.
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Old Today, 02:53 PM   #37
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Could be meth manufacturer or someone going postal
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