In our last update, we posted a sensor analysis in repsone to the most common debunking issue. That being, this object is a reflection because it appears, to be seen in front of the clouds. Here is an example from the Planet X Town Hall Today by spaceboy:
The object is unnaturally bright through very dark clouds, and it does not seem to vary in intensity as the cloud density changes. It also tends to be brighter when the sun is up, which would seem to indicate a direct flaring of something on the lens or lens cover. If it were emitting light itself, as in a star, or reflecting it from the sun, then I would expect the brightness level to remain relatively constant, factoring in its' solar orbit, of course.
I think it would be good to hear a more detailed explanation of how that is possible.
What spaceboy is positing is his assumption is that he "would expect the brightness level to remain relatively constant." So lets talk to this assumption as it is typical of these dances with clouds posts.
It's interesting to not that while giving an interview on the Jack Stockwell show, a caller was making similar demands as spaceboy but in rather caustic way.
But as we went along I asked him how much time he's actually spent looking at the skies around a volcano at 10,000 feet.
The caller refused to answer and when I politely insisted, he went off on me and Jack pulled the plug on it. He wasn't phased by it and in fact he told me something that has been a real help to me.
"If you're not taking flak, you're not over the target."
Oh boy, is he right. This topic really is like watching the bomb run from movie Memphis Belle, on continuous loop play.
But the question nonetheless remains.
How many debunkers have driven to the top of a volcano to watch a sunrise or sunst - from an altitude of 10,000 feet?
I have and I show that in my Object of Interest video. With that in mind, what am I seeing now with Turrialba is vapor from venting, passing clouds and massive cloud banks.
These vapors and passing clouds can move and change shape very quickly and are tens of meters thick. On the other hand, the slow moving massive cloud banks surrounding Turrialba are tens of kilometers thick.
All in all, it's a perpetual atmospheric dance around a volcano that sees many days with a relative humidity over ninety percent. So these dances with clouds assumptions are about perception.
To illustrate the point, hold a playing card in front of your face.
First, look square on at the face of the card and describe to yourself (in inches or millimeters) what the physical width and length of the card is. Then turn the card on it's side so you're looking at the edge of the card square on, and repeat the process.
The point here is that all of these dances with clouds debunkings are purely a matter of subjective perception and assumptions and these debunkers tend to have a two-dimensional bead on this.
For me, it's three dimensional. This is a bright object and given the atmospherics surrounding the Turrialba volcano, Bluebonnet can blaze through patchy clouds and vapor like the fog lamps on your car.
I use this analogy because we live in a foggy area with mountain roads. So when I drive on a foggy night, what my fog lamps can illuminate cahnges from one bend in the road to the next. It changes.
However, the principal benefit of the dances with the clouds position is that it frees you from having to explain why Bluebonnet moves and behaves like a natural object.
That being said, we noticed the object brightened a bit in February, as compared with January, so we're going through the archive to see if we can trend a larger pattern. You'll have to wait for those results, but for now, there's always Venus.
Why Bluebonnet Is Not Venus
The second most popular debunking angle, is that this is Venus. Here we can first respond with a web page debunkers cannot easily attack.
Here is screen capture from today. Please note the location of Venus on the opposite side of the Sun.
DEBUNKER CHALLENGE #1: Explain how can Venus be visible from Turrialba when it is at (or very near to) a superior conjunction with the Earth?
Time for a infomercial class. "But wait, there's more!"
Well by golly there is, thanks to Planet X Town Hall member costaricakelly. He found an image archive for 2012. Consisting of 76 images, it's now available for download.
This means we now have a well-organized archive with over 1,000 images thanks to the Barbara's efforts. She's the lead administrator for the Planet X Town Hall.
With this update in mind, I decided to have a go at a new Venus angle as a way to test drive Barbara's newfangled, turbocharged image archive. Zowie, you could say I really got my kicks on Route 66.
That's because only twice a century, can we mere mortals view a transit of Venus.
During a transit Venus passes in front of the Sun like a big black dot and the last time was June 5, 2012.
Holy archive Batman!
It just so happens we have an image of Bluebonnet on that very same day.
DEBUNKER CHALLENGE #2: Explain how Venus can be at two places at the same time during a transit.
But yet there is another Venus angle that is still spoken in whispers.
One that offers the dark possibility that this actually could be Venus, but not where we expect it to be. And should that be so, what could be the meaning of all that?
But again, this is a grand mystery though it does have it's more mundane aspects, such as lens defects and scratches.
Why Bluebonnet Is Not a Lens Defect or Scratch
For our third issue, we're looping back to a different issue in spaceboy's post. Two birds with one stone you might say. In his post he says:
It also tends to be brighter when the sun is up, which would seem to indicate a direct flaring of something on the lens or lens cover.
What doesn't make sense about this is that he's saying "when the sun is up," as in rising up in the East. However, we only observe Bluebonnet before sunset in the West when the sun is going down.
Spaceboym, I'll take a pass on that one and simply deal with the "direct flaring of something on the lens or lens cover" remark.
To do that, I tip my hat to shofar34u, another new member of the Planet X Town Hall.
He came across a most amazing find. 2010 motion studies of Turrialba from the older SD NTSC surveillance camera, that preceded the newer HD Volcan feed we see today.
Shofar34u found Youtuber Rodolfo Quesada and according to his profile, he is a technology professional living in Barva, Provincia de Heredia, Costa Rica.
While his current interest is a nature videos, he posted a series of 25 motion study videos from the Turrialba Cámara OVSICORI surveillance camera feed. What a great find! Thank you Rodolfo.
While we've just begun to review this older image data we've noted the following:
The OVSICORI camera is a lower resolution, last generation NTSC 720 SD camera whereas the current Volcan feed uses a newer HD 1296 camera.
The OVSICORI camera is pointed more to the Southwest than the newer Volcan camera. Hence the sun mostly borders the camera's fixed point of view.
Obviously, the resolution is lower and so is imaging technology, which delivers a more oversaturated image than the newer HD Volcan camera.
As to Bluebonnet, it appears much further South of the ecliptic. In the image above April 18, 2010, Bluebonnet is seen South of the ecliptic in constellation Pisces near Cetus.
We also see that Bluebonnet shows up much later in the day and briefly at that. In terms of brightness, it is not as bright as it is today. However, that could be a difference of camera technology. We'll have to mark that one TBD (To Be Determined.)
DEBUNKER CHALLENGE #3: Explain how Bluebonnet can appear on two very different cameras. An SD camera pointed Southwest and an HD camera pointed West by Southwest, both with the same horizon?
Finally to all of you who support our efforts. We thank you for listening to us when we say that unless the Volcan feed is corraborated, what we have a single-source mystery.
Your fair-mindedness inspires us and we will continue to pursue this to an answer, no matter where the truth leads.
Hopefully, it will all lead to a good punch line and a hearty laugh - but nonetheless - we must resolve this with certainty.
One reader asked me to comment on the current rash of comets, meteors and asteroids.
I find it most interesting that NASA was so busy talking about the 2012 DA14 flyby non-event, that they totally missed the Russian meteor, it was the biggest in over a century and NASA with all it's resources was completely blind sided. Maybe the Sequester isn't such a bad thing after all?
Bottom line. If you have something big coming through the system, don't be surprised to hear something like "say hello to my little friends." Heads up and eyes open folks. If we see this trend continue or worse yet accelerate, it's time to re-read the Plagues of Exodus.
Personally, this project is about as much fun as watching the movie Melancholia. Remember that scene where they're using the wire frame looking device?
I'm tired of this itch I cannot scratch so hey there Costa Ricans and Costa Rica adventurers, we're hoping one or more of you comes crashing through with a serious observation attempt at Irazu.
Look at it this way. Either you'll have a good laugh at the expense of some crazy Americans (and we'll be laughing with you) or you may see something that changes your life. Either way, it will be an adventure.
Turrialba Object of Interet Links
The best viewing time is between 15:30 and 17:30 CST, weather permitting. Also note, the volcano is active and venting.