We’re losing Mars

The research team behind the asteroid fly-by in 2015 is publishing their latest asteroid findings in Nature, and the news is not good. The team is a well-known group of individuals who specialize in asteroid study, who often use simulations as part of their work to determine the paths their subjects will trace through our solar system. They have been tracking the hundreds of thousands of asteroids (332,908, as of this writing) per year, and after three years of research they are able to provide us with evidence that Mars is leaving our Solar System.

While working on the asteroid fly-by by a robot in 2015, the team had identified certain discrepancies in their data. The team worked together on the asteroid robot fly-by mission, had prepared its telemetry, calculated the burn times, etc. Doing this required keeping an eye on the celestial neighborhood. One didn’t want to slam into the wrong comet, splatter on an asteroid that happened to cross paths with yours. So they ran queries around the somewhat-recent data coming to them about each and every asteroid known to us, kept an eye out for ones that could come close to the spaceship.

It was during this research that the team had noticed a strange pattern of asteroid paths, a concentration of heavier asteroids. They flew through our System more often in a specific region, a region that shifted around the Solar System, the team learned as they combed through years of data. Looking backwards in time through archived logs they were able to see that the concentration of asteroids passes had shifted around the System in a clear pattern. It was centered around Mars.

There was a large concentration of asteroid fly-bys through an area that rotated around Mars. Mars’ orbit was also changing, slowly, a recent progression that few had identified and fewer yet had thought much about. Each time an asteroid passed close to Mars, Mars’ orbit changed toward the asteroid, ever slightly, due to gravitational attraction. The orbit was expanding, and tilting, but very slowly for both. If the these changes continued at their present rate, Mars would leave our Solar System and in approximately eighty million years would reach N899, a star system discovered earlier this year. This pattern has been observed and recorded continuously for the last six years, and has been identified in countless earlier observations.

N899 is a star similar in size to our Sun, and it has in its orbit six Jupiter-like gas giants. Two of these are located in the so-called habitable zone, a donut-like region in a star system where the planets were in orbit, not too close or far from the sun, and water was thought to be liquid. Life, some think, would have the best chance to arise in this area.

If N899.3 and .4 are anything like our own Jupiter, then they can have dozens or even hundreds of moons orbiting them. Jupiter itself has Europa, an ice-covered world that is home to a great ocean of water. If this world were closer to the sun, would life have developed there? Perhaps.

Those questions aside, the team has identified an unmistakable pattern of asteroids that make close fly-bys to Mars, and always in a way to eventually bring Mars to N899. This could take as long as 80 million years, which in the astronomical terms is very quick.

The team is using a pattern of asteroid fly-bys to not only prove the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life in the universe, but also to imply that this intelligence is stealing Mars from this Solar System.

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