Cambridge, Ma. — A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.The object, nicknamed ‘Oumuamua, meaning “a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” in Hawaiian, was first discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid, before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of “interstellar objects.”Now, a new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might have an “artificial origin.”“‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.The theory is based on the object’s “excess acceleration,” or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January 2018.“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” wrote the paper’s authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.The paper, written by Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, points out that comparable light-sails already exist on earth.“Light-sails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by our own civilization, including the IKAROS project and the Starshot Initiative. The light-sail technology might be abundantly used for transportation of cargos between planets or between stars.”In the paper, the pair theorize that the object’s high speed and its unusual trajectory could be the result of it no longer being operational.“This would account for the various anomalies of ‘Oumuamua, such as the unusual geometry inferred from its light-curve, its low thermal emission, suggesting high reflectivity, and its deviation from a Keplerian orbit without any sign of a cometary tail or spin-up torques.”‘Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.At first, astronomers thought the rapidly moving faint light was a regular comet or an asteroid that had originated in our solar system.Comets, in particular, are known to speed-up due to a process known as “outgassing,” in which the sun heats up the surface of the icy comet, releasing melted gas. But ‘Oumuamua didn’t have a “coma,” the atmosphere and dust that surrounds comets as they melt.Multiple telescopes focused on the object for three nights to determine what it was before it moved out of sight.“We are fortunate that our sky survey telescope was looking in the right place at the right time to capture this historic moment,” NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a statement last year.“This serendipitous discovery is bonus science enabled by NASA’s efforts to find, track and characterize near-Earth objects that could potentially pose a threat to our planet.” CNN Wire Report
Moenchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoringBerlin, Germany | AFP | French star Marcus Thuram and England international Jadon Sancho joined the protests over racism and police brutality in the United States on Sunday after scoring in the Bundesliga.Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the game against Union Berlin.Sancho marked his goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words “Justice for George Floyd”.On Saturday, Schalke’s US midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband against Werder Bremen bearing the words “Justice for George”.Thuram’s gesture echoed past protests by National Football League players in the US in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.The issue has surged back into the headlines following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis.Sancho revealed his protest after scoring in the 57th minute – and was promptly yellow-carded for his troubles.Thuram, a 22-year-old French striker, continued his recent hot form with two goals as Borussia Moenchengladbach beat visiting Union Berlin 4-1.Because of social distancing rules, goal celebrations were muted but after Thuram headed his team’s second goal just before half-time he took the opportunity to make a solitary statement, kneeling and bowing his head.At half-time, his club tweeted a photo with the caption: “No explanation needed.”After the game, Gladbach coach Marco Rose said Thuram had his backing.“Marcus has made the point. He has set an example against racism that we all support,” Rose said.Thuram, whose father, French World Cup winner Lilian runs the Education against Racism foundation in Paris, was the latest show of solidarity with the current protests sweeping the United States.On Saturday, McKennie said it had been crucial to make a stand. “To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on too long feels good!!!” he tweeted.Meanwhile, in the United States, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said there “remains an urgent need for action” as violent protests rocked the country.“The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel,” Goodell said. “As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league.”Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown returned to his native Georgia to lead a peaceful protest march in Atlanta.“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community,” Brown said. “Being a celebrity, being an NBA player, don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost, I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community.”-‘Am I next?’ –NBA star LeBron James was among those who contrasted pictures of police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck with the kneeling protests of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick in 2016.Kaepernick, who was ostracised by the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice, has launched a fund to pay for legal representation for protesters who need it.Serena Williams tweeted a video by Nike, which also sponsors Kaepernick, picking out the line: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.”Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka posted pictures of protests from Minneapolis on her Instagram account.“Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all,” wrote Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and whose father is Haitian.Rising US tennis star Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old African American, showed on Instagram the faces of black Americans who died in recent years at the hands of authorities or white fellow citizens.“Am I next?” Gauff asked.Share on: WhatsApp
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Washington State is reporting that they have arrested a woman who posed as a photographer in an effort to kidnap a woman’s newborn.The Sheriff’s department says they began investigating the suspect who went by the name Juliette Parker on Facebook after the victim contacted them believing she may have been drugged by the suspect.The victim told authorities that she met Parker in a Facebook group where Parker advertised free newborn photo sessions because she wanted to build her photography portfolio.The victim told investigators that the suspect visited her home three times with her 16-year-old daughter and took selfies with the newborn. She also said that she noticed that the suspect would wipe her fingerprints off of everything she touched.On the third visit, Parker and her daughter brought the mother a cupcake and several moments after the victim ingested the cupcake she began feeling drowsy and numb.The victim then kicked the pair out of her home. While the suspect and her daughter did leave, the victim noticed that her house keys were missing and contacted the police believing she may have been drugged.After an investigation, authorities reported that they found evidence that there were several other victims and that the suspect planned to steal a newborn and raise it as her own:“Our detectives have worked tirelessly on this case, conducting multiple interviews and obtaining several search warrants,” the department said. “This detailed investigation identified additional victims and garnered evidence that indicate that the suspect was planning to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own.”
Richard Baltas9015131317%46%$1,034,369 Carla Gaines3972218%28%$468,360 Abel Lezcano6072412%22%$294,619 Jerry Hollendorfer10817101516%39%$1,106,516 Mike Smith76971312%38%$1,053,200 Gary Stevens52116821%48%$1,154,003 Mike Puype61611410%34%$308,780 (Current Through Sunday, March 6) JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won SMITH EXPECTS BIG EFFORT FROM EFFINEX Mike Smith seeks an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the 79th Santa Anita Handicap when he rides favored Effinex in the $1 million race presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on Saturday’s dynamite racing program also highlighted by the Grade II San Felipe Stakes for three-year-old Triple Crown contenders, the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf and the Grade II San Carlos Stakes for top sprinters.Smith won the Santa Anita Handicap last year aboard the ill-fated Shared Belief, and in 2014 and 2013 with Game On Dude. Effinex had his only breeze over Santa Anita’s main track Tuesday with Smith up, going four furlongs in a bullet 47.80. He went the first quarter mile in 24 seconds flat and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.20.“He felt real good,” Smith said of the drill. “He looks wonderful coming off his layoff. He seems to have put some weight on, he’s training well, he’s happy, and got over the track just beautiful Tuesday morning.“If that’s any indication as to how he’s going to run, I guess he should run extremely well. Given the opportunity, I think he’ll run big. I know his connections are really happy with him. He was doing a lot of good things back in Florida before he got here as well.”Smith has ridden Effinex in his last two races, a victory in the Grade I Clark Handicap last Nov. 27, and a second to Triple Crown king American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Oct. 31.“Effinex got a good draw. We couldn’t be happier with that, and he came out of his work really good,” said Kent Sweezey, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “We took him to the gate today, jogged him once around and schooled him in the afternoon.“Tomorrow we’ll gallop him and then walk him through the paddock.”The field for the Santa Anita Handicap, the 10th of 11 races: Point Piper, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Melatonin, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Donworth, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; General a Rod, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Effinex, Mike Smith, 2-1; Cyrus Alexander, Martin Garcia, 20-1; Hard Aces, Abel Lezcano, 12-1; Imperative, Santiago Gonzalez, 3-1; and Class Leader, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1.Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Todd Pletcher, said General a Rod is due to arrive at Santa Anita tonight from the East Coast.Fans at Santa Anita on Big Cap Day will receive a free Santa Anita Fleece Blanket presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino with paid admission while supplies last. First post time is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. Santiago Gonzalez22442302619%44%$1,609,338 Martin Garcia1011691016%35%$918,159 MILLION DOLLAR LINEUP IN SAN FELIPE How good is the field of three-year-olds in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, a major steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9?“This is the race that should have a $1 million purse,” said Bob Baffert, who sends out favored Mor Spirit and Cupid in the Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles. Baffert will be seeking his record sixth win in the San Felipe, which goes as the seventh race.The San Felipe: Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez, 8-1; Danzing Candy, Mike Smith, 4-1; Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Cupid, Martin Garcia, 12-1; I Will Score, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; and Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, 5-2.Trainer Gary Sherlock would prefer a post other than No. 1, if he had his druthers. “It’s not where I want to be, but it’s the post position, so I’ll deal with it,” he said. “He’s coming up to the race in good shape; no excuses.” Doug O’Neill14722212115%44%$1,170,683 Kent Desormeaux9113231614%57%$1,068,485 Joseph Talamo18620222311%35%$1,082,904 Jeff Bonde3372521%42%$173,110 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Tyler Baze20820313010%39%$1,094,401 David Lopez1282191716%37%$631,526 Brayan Pena573495%28%$130,605 Agapito Delgadillo80119714%34%$312,362 Patrick Gallagher3163619%48%$475,433 John Sadler69128617%38%$553,999 Jose Verenzuela3131310%23%$106,545 Edwin Maldonado14126131518%38%$901,860 Rafael Bejarano20949382123%52%$2,086,762 Victor Espinoza6799613%36%$723,705 Brice Blanc474579%34%$452,580 Peter Miller1051291311%32%$504,870 SMITH EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT BIG ‘CAP VICTORYBAFFERT HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN SAN FELIPETRAINER SEES FAST FRACTIONS FOR KILROE MILENO OPTIONS FOR KOBE’S BACK IN SAN CARLOSNYQUIST IN SHARP WORKOUT FOR FLORIDA DERBY J. Keith Desormeaux3766816%54%$246,014 Alex Solis2030415%35%$219,423 Fernando Perez1411215199%33%$678,444 Peter Eurton7612201116%57%$766,712 Alonso Quinonez664866%27%$213,900 William Spawr3485324%47%$224,977 Drayden Van Dyke12113131711%36%$759,264 Vladimir Cerin3593526%49%$312,499 Bob Baffert8318121222%51%$1,304,635 Flavien Prat20134343017%49%$2,059,316 Tiago Pereira8531064%22%$259,854 Mario Gutierrez15719292112%44%$1,175,584 FINISH LINES: Undefeated male two-year-old champion of 2015 Nyquist worked a mile on Santa Anita’s fast main track under Jonny Garcia on a spectacular Thursday morning in 1:46, going the last five-eighths in 1:01 and change, according to trainer Doug O’Neill. “It was a solid work,” O’Neill said. “We plan to leave for the (April 2) Florida Derby on March 28.” Santa Anita’s clockers had Nyquist going five furlongs 1:01.40 . . . El Camino Real Derby winner Frank Conversation, headed to the UAE Derby on March 26, went five furlongs for O’Neill in 1:02.20 . . . Jerry Hollendorfer has 10, count ’em, 10 horses entered to run at Santa Anita on Saturday. “I don’t know if I’ve ever run that many on one card in one day before,” the Hall of Fame trainer with more than 7,000 career wins said. “I’ve run a lot of horses on a lot of different days, but I don’t think I’ve ever run that many at Santa Anita in one day.” . . . Three-time Eclipse champion Beholder could surface in a race before her long-range goal of the Grade I Vanity Stakes on June 4. “We’re in no hurry (for the Vanity),” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said Thursday morning. “Hopefully, there will be something before that.” . . . Agent Derek Lawson reports that Flavien Prat, the meet’s third-leading rider with 34 wins through 43 racing days, leaves for Dubai on March 21 to ride Hoppertunity in the $10 million World Cup against 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome on March 26. Hoppertunity worked five furlongs Thursday in a minute flat . . . John Sadler has stretch-running English-bred import Nancy From Nairobi ticketed for the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf March 26 . . . Episode 2 of ‘Down Home with Team O’Neill’ is available now. This month Team O’Neill met with and received some coaching advice from retired NBA, WNBA and NCAA basketball coach Paul Westhead, who has led several teams to National Championships. Says Doug: “You’ll get to meet our assistant coaches and even the ultimate, Coach Lava Man, who helps with the mail bag . . . Track announcer Frank Mirahmadi and Santa Anita simulcast host Michelle Yu will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. on Sunday . . .Condolences to family and friends of iconic San Diego radio and television personality Ernie Myers. Known as “Mr. San Diego,” Myers was Del Mar’s longtime simulcast television host from 1989 through the 1990s. He died Tuesday morning in La Mesa, California at age 86 following a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease . . . Nine horses were entered in today’s first race, five of them sired by Unusual Heat and three by Square Eddie. The lone dissenter was 30-1 morning line chance Bishops of Compton, sired by Desert Code . . . Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday. Set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. Kristin Mulhall4096223%43%$342,665 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won KOBE‘S BACK WILL COME RUNNING IN SAN CARLOS Kobe’s Back won from the rail in the Palos Verdes Stakes on Feb. 7. The committed stretch runner, a notoriously slow starter, could win Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Stakes breaking from the outside No. eight post position.It matters not, says his jockey, Gary Stevens.“He comes from out of it,” Stevens said, plain and simple. “He broke good the other day, just dropped back and that’s just his style. There really is no option. He calls the shots. I’m just a passenger until the last three-eighths of a mile.“He’s been training unbelievably. He was training great before his last race, he’s come back and trained the same way. He’s really sharp and had a really sharp half-mile breeze last weekend; he’s ready.”The San Carlos: Calculator, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Coastline, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Cautious Giant, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Mystery Train, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Outside Nashville, Martin Garcia, 20-1; and Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 2-1. George Papaprodromou4173617%39%$216,335 Steven Miyadi53912817%55%$318,069 OM WILL RUN HIS RACE IN GRADE I KILROE Trainer Dan Hendricks expects another solid effort from Om when the multiple graded stakes winner goes in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf.“He’ll run his race in his usual spot right up front,” Hendricks said of Om, who drew the rail in a field of seven.“We’ll see how the turf plays, how the other horses come out of there and decide what to do. There’s speed in the race–not Obviously’s speed–but quite a bit, so I think there will be fast fractions for whoever is out front.”The Kilroe: Om, Gary Stevens, 3-1; What a View, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Bal a Bali, Flavien Prat, 7-2; Bolo, Mike Smith, 2-1; Kenjisstorm, Edwin Maldonado, 50-1; Midnight Storm, Victor Espinoza, 3-1; and De Treville, Tyler Baze, 8-1. Philip D’Amato10521181920%55%$1,146,575 Martin Pedroza78119514%32%$304,265 Jeff Mullins2666023%46%$174,579 Michael Machowsky3365418%45%$261,561 Mark Glatt7198413%30%$395,005 Ron Ellis2462325%46%$176,850 -30-
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2016)–Last with three furlongs to run, California-bred Bad Ju Ju surged to the lead a sixteenth of a mile from home to take Friday’s $75,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita by 2 ½ lengths under Norberto Arroyo, Jr. Trained by Peter Miller, the 4-year-old daughter of Desert Code got 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.04 over a main track listed as wet fast.Claimed three starts back for $40,000 on Oct. 8, Bad Ju Ju got her first stakes win while winning for the third consecutive time for Rockingham Ranch. Off at 4-1 in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up, she paid $10.80, $5.20 and $5.00.“What a ride!” exclaimed Miller. “She was down inside and then he was able to tip outside coming to the quarter pole…I could see he was loaded, but I was afraid he was going to get stopped. We’ll nominate to the Santa Monica (Grade II, seven furlongs on Jan. 21), but she’s Cal-bred and we’ll look at all those races as well.The Kalookan Queen capped a stellar year for Bad Ju Ju, who is based with Miller at San Luis Rey Downs. In her 11th start of 2016, she picked up her fifth win and improved her overall record to 17-7-1-4. With a Cal-bred bonus of $22,500, she received $61,740 for the win, boosting her career earnings to $305,731.“I was very confident going into the race and I was confident during the race,” said Arroyo, who was covered in mud following the race. “I’ve been going down to San Luis Rey to work her and I knew she was doing well.”Head and head for the early lead with longshot Tuscany Beauty and favored Fantastic Style, Brainspin, ridden by Luis Contreras, tired late and had to settle for second, one length in front of Ponder Lea. Off at 6-1, Brainspin paid $7.00 and $7.00.Next to last after a quarter mile, Ponder Lea was off at 18-1 and paid $15.00 to show with Flavien Prat.Fantastic Style, with Rafael Bejarano up for Bob Baffert, was heavily favored at 1-2 but caved readily the final three sixteenths, finishing fifth.Fractions on the race were 21.44, 44.18 and 1:09.40.