The glowing firefly squids of Toyama Bay

Every year, between March and June, the 14-km shoreline of Japan’s Toyama Bay is lit up in blue. The electrifying light show isn’t man-made; it’s a natural phenomenon, caused by thousands of bioluminescent cephalopods known as ‘Glowing Firefly Squids’. These fascinating creatures normally live 1,200 ft underwater, but are pushed to the surface by waves during the Hotaru Ika (firefly squid) season.

Firefly Squid, or Watasenia Scintillans, are normally about three inches long and covered with photophores. Large photophores are present around their eyes and on the tips of their tentacles, while tiny photophores cover the entire body. These photophores contain light-producing chemicals that are responsible for the squid’s bioluminescence. Fireflies have similar photophores, so the squid are named after them.

The arrival of the Firefly Squid creates a festive atmosphere along the shore – it’s almost like an annual reunion of sorts. Thousands of squid can coordinate their deep blue light to flash in unison or alternate in infinite patterns, creating a twinkling effect. Each pattern serves a different purpose. On-and-off flashes attract small fish, which the squid pounce on with their powerful tentacles. Counter-illumination allows the squid to blend in with the light cascading from above, protecting them from predators. The creatures’ mating season also coincides with this period; millions of squid come to the surface at night to fertilize and drop their eggs in Toyoma Bay. The season brings thousands of tourists to the region, who flock at the bay to admire the unique display of lights.

The Hotaru Ika museum at Namerikawa fishing port, in Toyama prefecture, is the world’s only museum dedicated to the firefly squid. The museum conducts Firefly Squid Sightseeing tours every year between March and May. Sightseeing boats depart the port shortly after 3am, making a short journey to fixed nets located about 1 to 2 km offshore. As the fishermen haul in their nets, the Firefly Squid’s light makes the surface of the sea glow, making tourists gasp with delight.

The museum also has interactive exhibits and a research center that studies squids’ mating behavior and sustainable fishing techniques. There’s a restaurant on the roof that offers a lovely view of Toyama bay, and serves delicacies like firefly squid tempura. The gift shop features squid in freeze-dried, powdered, tinned, and candied varieties.

Firefly Squid is considered a delicacy in Japan, and there are lots of ways to eat it – raw, grilled, stewed or tempura. BBC Travel reports that locals prefer to pop the eyes off freshly caught raw squid and swallow them whole. There’s also fresh squid sushi or sashimi that can be paired with a few glasses of local sake. Don’t expect these dishes to glow on the plate, though!


NASA Designs Spacesuits for Mission to Mars

As NASA plans for the possibility of manned missions to extraterrestrial planets, the agency is starting to realize those bulky old spacesuits hanging in the closet may need some serious upgrades.

Anyone excited about the upcoming Matt Damon film, "The Martian," may have a few questions they’re dying to have answered. After being abandoned on Mars, how, you’ve likely wondered, does one plant a vegetable garden in that arid soil? How does one breathe as the limited supply of oxygen is rapidly used? How does one find water? How does one singlehandedly repair a communications satellite without so much as a call to the Geek Squad?

All of these questions will, likely, be answered in the movie. But the most unrealistic aspect may have less to do with survivability on the Red Planet, and more to do with the design of the spacesuit. In the interest of flexibility, NASA is radically rethinking its fashion line.

The new designs look, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. Forget that form-fitting orange suit pretty boy Damon wears. The new designs would make the star of "Good Will Hunting" look more like a hunchbacked Dr. Evil.

But function over form, I guess. Current spacesuits are designed to operate in microgravity environments. They’re fine for spacewalks, but if astronauts traveled to a planet or other body with more substantial gravitational forces, that extra pressure would make it hard to get around.

That lack of mobility would also make it virtually impossible for astronauts to conduct field work. Traditional suits don’t even bend at the waist, and so need a serious revamp to accommodate scientists who would need to bend to pick up rock samples from the Martian surface.

Nobody wants a multibillion dollar mission grinding to a halt just because a researcher dropped a hammer and can’t figure out how to pick it back up.

To solve the problem, Amy Ross, head of the advanced pressure-garment team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is designing the Z-2. Still in the prototype stages, it could see tests inside the large swimming pool at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory as early as next year.

Ross already thinks the Z-2 is a promising improvement over the old Apollo designs.

"It looks clumsy, and part of that is [that] lunar gravity is weird," she told, speaking about current spacesuits, not the gym-shorts-pulled-over-wrinkled-leather-pants look of the Z-2. "But when you’re designing [only for] a planetary-surface walking configuration, it will be different."

If all goes well in the testing phase, NASA would begin construction of a Z-3 model. This would incorporate a connection port which would allow astronauts to attach portable life-support systems. Live testing of the Z-3 onboard the International Space Station is expected to begin around 2020.

Can’t wait to see it on the catwalk.


Metallic disc-shaped UFO over Laguna, CA

On June 28, 2015, a cyclist drove on a road in Laguna (California, USA). Suddenly, he has spotted a small and strange metallic disc-shaped UFO. Witness has taken several photos and it's impressive...

Witness statement:

It was 2:30-2:45pm PST June 28th, 2015. Fortcast was sunny with about 40% clouds. I was cresting a peak on my mountain bike on Spr Ridge trail in Laguna, CA. 33.557038, -117.797068 All of a sudden this disk shaped object appeared out of the North-East hovering overhead. It moved in short busts in sort of a random zig zag pattern. As the object moved it appeared the object sort of tilted slightly in the direction it was heading. It was completely silent. It was a sunny day and the lights were very bright. The lights were a white-blue color that appeared to be made of many small squares that covered the circumference of the edge of the disk. The lights moved around the circumference of the disk in short waves. I was stunned as to what I was looking at. I tried to picture it as being some sort of balloon or advance military jet (I've been to many Air force Bases)and it was unlike anything I have ever seen. I was slow to react but pulled my camera out before it was out of my sight. I was able to snap one picture. I rode very fast up to the top of the ridge and watched it move toward this location, 33.556073, -117.762938. Then it hovered for a few seconds and took off vertically disappearing. I kept looking around for a while and did not see anything else. There was nobody else around me. I only took one photo, three of the photos attached have been zoomed in.


Strange object flying over Stadium, South Africa

On June 3, 2015, a Youtube user has discovered a possible UFO flying over a stadium in South Africa by using Google Street Views. What is it? A bird? An alien spacecraft? Another thing?

Scott C. Waring explains:

This UFO looks a lot like a jellyfish type of craft. The object has a hanging area that gets thinner as it reaches down, much like tentacles do.  The object was discovered by Youtube user DanielofDoria02 and its shows great detail once you zoom in. I had to auto change the color and contrast so we could see the UFOs actual color and shape. If you want to see it, just copy and paste the coordinates into the google search box on Google Earth. SCW

Google coordinates:  26°16'40.22”S 28°08'01.45"E


Multiple UFO over LaGrange, Indiana

On June 23, 2015, a person was in LaGrange, in the State of Indiana, USA. After the daylight has faded, he would take some photos aurora borealis. But later, when he watched these images, he noticed a huge bright UFO with 7 others objects around!

Witness statement:

On June 23rd at 11:45 p.m. I went outside to see if I could see the aurora borealis, as it was supposed to be visable this night much further south than normal. I did not see the northern lights but looking west I observed what at first glance to be a bright star. After looking at it a few seconds it seemed to be pulsating. I took a picture of it with my camera phone and was surprised that the object was bright enough for the camera to pick it up. A few days later i was looking at the picture and decided to enlarge it. Upon doing that I was amazed to see 7 orbs around a central sphere. I have observed UFOs in the past so I wasn't totally surprised but was excited that I was finally able to photograph one.”


Japan Wants to Buy Anti-Drone Laser

The Japanese government, concerned over the potential threat of terrorist-operated drones, is showing interest in an experimental laser weapon that can shoot the unmanned aerial vehicles out of the sky.

Japan is scheduled to host the Group of Seven summit next year, and organizers want to make the event, which will bring in diplomats from around the world, as secure as possible. For help, Japanese leaders are looking at a new weapon made by German missile manufacturer MBDA Deutschland.

"Commercial mini drones represent a new type of threat that is nearly impossible to counter with conventional effectors," MBDA said. "Highly precise and scalable laser weapon systems could protect major events and critical infrastructures and close a current capability gap."

MBDA's weapon can destroy a small drone from a distance of 500 meters (about 545 yards) in less than four seconds, and it is so small that it can be mounted onto a vehicle and transported just about anywhere, reports Nikkei Asian Review.

The weapon automatically tracks and locks onto flying targets. When it comes time to fire, the device produces four beams that merge to form a single beam. In an MBDA video shown at an international air show in Paris earlier this month, the weapon targeted and shot down a drone in a process that took just 3.39 seconds.

MBDA said a 2013 incident at an election event held in Dresden, in which a mini drone crashed close by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, shows the need for the weapon.

"You can buy [drones] on the internet and easily put explosives on them, but there is no efficient protection against them," Markus Martinstetter, of MBDA, told Defense News.

In France alone, more than 60 overflights by such craft over strategically significant locations have been reported since October 2014, Daily Mail reported.

In Japan in April, a man landed a drone carrying mildly radioactive material on the roof of the prime minister's office. That incident is surely still fresh in the minds of Japanese officials as they prepare for the G-7 summit in Mie Prefecture in May next year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Today's countermeasures include shooting drones down with shotguns or with high-pressure blasts of water – techniques that are effective only at close range, among other drawbacks.

MBDA plans to increase the weapon's range from 500 meters to five kilometers (about three miles) by the time it reaches operational status within the next five years.


Google captures creepy images in a haunted house!

By using Google Street View, a person has discovered proofs that a house located in New York’s Camden neighborhood is really haunted...

This mysterious house has been recently abandoned by his former owners shortly after buying. Since, it has been lying vacant.

It has been built in the 1880s by a former clergyman turned wealthy business owner. Today, it is offered for sale for just $105,000. For this, Internet users claim the low price is due to ghostly residents!

On pictures captured by Google's Street View cameras, we can see three sets of seemingly ghostly handprints across the third-floor windows!

Do ghosts live in this historic house?


Very huge UFO spotted in 1968 in Baton Rouge

On July 15, 1968, a young adult was driving in a road near Baton Rouge (Louisiana) when he has seen an extremely large stationary silent UFO. What is it?

Witness statement:

In 1968 I was 17 years old. It was summer and school was out. At about 10pm I left my grandparents’ house, who lived and proceeded east bound on Main St., which was a two-lane one-way street. The sky was completely dark and clear. I was driving a '62 Buick Invicta with the windows down.

As I approached N. 22nd St. the light turned red and I came to a stop to wait for the green light. This area of town is part of "old" Baton Rouge. To my immediate right was the Magnolia cemetery. At 2 o'clock was the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. To my 9 to 12 o'clock was an old neighborhood of single story residences. There is extensive street lighting in this area of town. There was almost no traffic.

As I came to a stop, I immediately noticed a very large object to the NE of me, about 1500 feet away and about 1000 feet in the air. It was as large as a football stadium, so despite being some distance away, it was impossible to miss.

The shape is hard to describe. Imagine taking two somewhat ornate squat candlestick holders, chop their bases off, and join them at the rims, with the lower half slightly more flattened than then upper half. It was a dull medium gray metal color and did not emit any bright lighting on its own, although it had a circle of small lighter-colored rectangular shapes around its middle. It was dimly visible mostly by the surrounding neighborhood lighting, but the circle of lighter colored rectangles around its middle made it easier to discern and define its overall shape.

I watched it for about 10 seconds trying to make sense of what I was looking at, and then I got out of my car and stood by the driver's door to get a better look. It was absolutely stationary, and absolutely silent, and I was trying to reconcile the impossibility of what I was seeing with possible rational explanations.

My first rationale was that it might be some kind of huge blimp, but I had seen blimps before at LSU football games. First of all, it was not shaped liked any blimp I've ever had experience with. Secondly, even when hovering, a blimp has a very slight movement that can be eventually discerned against its background or with respect to nearby ground objects. This object was absolutely motionless.

My next rationale was that it might be a huge object being suspended by wires from a helicopter above it. But that immediately didn't make sense because it was way too big to be carried by a helicopter and there was no helicopter sound. Then I thought maybe the helicopter was so high in the air that I couldn't hear it, but then the required length of any wires in such a scenario would be absurd, and some movement would be inevitable as well.

By now, I had been watching it for over a minute and the traffic light had turned green for me and back to red again. Another car approached me from behind and came to a stop behind me, driven by a man in his late 20's - early 30's. As he came to a stop behind me, he had an inquisitive look on his face as to why I was standing outside my car door. I immediately pointed to the object, and he looked in that direction and his eyes got huge. He also got out of his car and said, "What is that?". I said, "I don't know. I've been watching it for a while now trying to figure it out." At that point the light turned green again and he got back into his car, drove around me, and continued east on Main St.

I then got into my car and began to slowly drive through the intersection to the east, while continuing to watch the object. As I drove several blocks, it's relative position shifted appropriately (although it never moved itself), and finally the intervening buildings and tree obstructed my view to the point that I just continued eastbound and out of the area.

I told my grandparents about it the next day and they laughed it off. I never told anyone else about it for many decades until I shared the story with an old friend around 2010, and he was "kindly skeptical". I recently became aware of MUFON through the TV show and decided that I owed it to the purpose of MUFON to share my experience with your organization.

I understand it was many decades ago and relatively inconsequential compared to so many more incidents of greater consequence in this subject matter of unexplained objects, but it was an absolutely incomprehensible event that did not reconcile itself to anything in my life experience before or in the many decades since. Given all that I know, how could an object be so large, so unmoving, and so silent and yet just hang there in the sky like that? I've never seen anything like before or since.

Photo: Flag of Baton Rouge (Tapshoe / Wikimedia)


White spherical-shaped UFO over Colorado Springs

On March 6, 2015, a person visited a monument in Colorado Springs. He took several photos of landscapes. Later, he has noticed a white spherical-shaped UFO. Image is very strange...

Witness report:

Visiting Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Driving though the park taking pictures, I took 4 consecutive pictures at in the park not realizing it at the time picture number 3 of 4 an object appeared. I did not see the object when the picture was taken, only after reviewing the pictures on the camera did I see the object in the picture. The picture was taken on 3/6/15 at 9:37:10 (pic3), previous picture taken 9:36:59 (pic2). Never actually saw the object. Hoping you guys could tell what it might be. Pic 4 was inadvertently deleted before I released the object in pic 3, however did undelete it from SD card but don't have exact date and time unless it can be retrieved from SD card.


White cigar-shaped UFO in 1968 in California

On June 1968, when there were children, a brother and his sister have spotted a cigar-shaped UFO that slowly flew over Grass Valley, in California. What is it?

Witness statement:

I was 6-8 years old. My sister and I were out walking through Manzanita groves looking for snakes. I spotted a white object that was slowly flying over. I pointed it out to my sister and we watched. It was only a few hundred feet up. I was scarred but it was if I couldn't move. It was white almost like a rocket ship that the US had been sending into space. It had markings on it but not in anything I have ever seen. It never stopped, just flew over slowly making no sound. After it disappeared we ran back up to the house and tried to explain it to our Grandmother. She just discounted us and thought we had made up the story. My sister and I never spoke about this again.

Photo: The public library named for Josiah Royce (Isaac Crumm / Wikimedia)


Japan: Center on Extraterrestrial Matter Research

The new Japanese research center will try to detect the origin of life by studying Martian sand, ice and asteroid samples.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is creating a new research facility that will focus on studying extraterrestrial substances, local 47News reported.

Scientists will explore the samples of the asteroid Itokawa delivered to the Earth by the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa in 2010, and also rocks from the asteroid 1993 JU3.

It is as well expected that the research body will examine the samples of ice and sand from Mars that will be brought to the Earth in early 2020s.

The ultimate purpose of the new research center's team (10 scientists) is to try to find out how the Universe and life on the Earth emerged.

The new center will be opened on July 1 in Kanagawa Prefecture.


Black cigar-shaped UFO in Plummer, Idaho

On August 15, 1999, an automobilist drove on a road in Plummer (city located in Benewah County, Idaho). Suddenly, a black cigar-shaped UFO with two blue lights at each end is appeared in sky.

Witness report:

I was returning home from a classic car show in Spokane, Washington in my 1967 Mustang. It was about 8:30 at night I had just passed Plummer, Idaho heading south on highway 95 when off to my right I noticed a long cigar shaped object hovering in the air it had three blue lights at each end. I slowed down and was about to pull over to get a better look at what I was seeing when it appears to move toward me. I speed up and the object then speeds up as well I slow down. It does the same. Always remaining parallel with me. I then accelerated to about 125mph it was still there then a few seconds later it accelerated away from me on a westward heading at very high speed. I then slowed back to speed limit. The unsettling part of this encounter is that it's about 1 1/2 hour drive from Spokane Washington to my house in Moscow Idaho. I left Spokane at 7 pm and clearly do not remember stopping at any point on the highway but it was 1:30 am when I got home. So there is approximately 4 hour gap of time I cannot account for.

Photo: Google Maps ©


Metallic flying saucer over San Jose, California

On June 19, 2015, an automobilist caught photos of chemtrail since the city of San Jose (Santa Clara County, California). As he looked photo, he noticed a possible metallic flying saucer...

Witness statement:

I saw a deformed rainbow in a chemtrail. And took a snapshot from a stop light in my car (window rolled down) later I looked at the photo and noticed an object along with 2 birds. I was stunned! I have had other experiences in the past (possible abduction and implant) an now I have captured something on camera but I am still doubtful of what it may be. So i would like to share the photo with MUFON and see if it’s a UFO...


Black Hole Wakes Up After 26-Year Sleep

A supermassive black hole that was dormant for 26 years has once again begun devouring material from other the star in its binary system, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

V404 Cygni, a system in the Milky Way galaxy comprised of a black hole and a star orbiting each other, has again started emitting X-rays and gamma rays after a 26-year sleep, ESA reported.

Erik Kuulkers, a project scientist at ESA, explained that "the behavior of this source is extraordinary at the moment, with repeated bright flashes of light on time scales shorter than an hour, something rarely seen in other black hole systems."

"In these moments, it becomes the brightest object in the X-ray sky — up to fifty times brighter than the Crab Nebula, normally one of the brightest sources in the high-energy sky," he said.

The V404 Cygni system is located almost 8,000 light years away in the Cygnus (Swan) constellation of the Milky Way. The black hole’s sudden awakening activity was first spotted by the Burst Alert Telescope on board NASA's Swift satellite on June 15.

The gamma ray burst from the black hole was automatically detected by Swift’s X-ray optics, something that was also tracked by MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image), a sensor on the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station.

This was followed by a large-scale observation campaign, with ESA’s Integral gamma ray observatory joining in the effort to record the black hole’s activity at multiple wavelengths.

ESA said that in the past few weeks astronomers have observed an "exceptional outburst of high-energy light" as the black hole continued devouring the material of its stellar companions.

Given that this black hole system has not been so bright and active since 1989, the astronomers' community "couldn't be more thrilled," according to Kuulkers, who touted the detection of the black hole's activity as "definitely a once in a professional lifetime opportunity."


Strange: Planet with comet’s tail discovered

The discovery of a comet-like planet 33 light years away is the first of its kind by astronomers.

An exoplanet the size of Neptune with a stream of gas akin to that of a comet has been detected 33 light years away from Earth, marking the first detection of such a phenomenon, announced scientists on Wednesday.

The planet, named Gliese 436b, is about 23 times the mass of Earth, and is trailed by a giant comet-like cloud of hydrogen. It is considered a 'warm Neptune' because of its short distance from its star, Gliese 436; it's orbit is just two days and 15.5 hours.

The planet was discovered by researchers at the Observatory of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, using data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Their findings were published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

"This cloud of hydrogen is very spectacular!" said lead author of the study David Ehrenreich, of the Observatory of the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

"Although the evaporation rate doesn't threaten the planet right now, we know that the star, a faint red dwarf, was more active in the past. This means that the planet's atmosphere evaporated faster during its first billion years of existence. Overall, we estimate that it may have lost up to 10 percent of its atmosphere."

The planet's gaseous tail is about 50 times the size of the parent star; the team suggest that the huge cloud of hydrogen around the planet owes its existence to the relatively cool temperature of the dwarf star Gliese 436, so the gas is not swept away by radiation.

The astronomers believe that such evaporation may also play a part in the history of our solar system since it is known that early Earth had an atmosphere rich in hydrogen, which later escaped. 

In addition, such a process could happen to the Earth's atmosphere at the end of our planet's life, when the Sun becomes a red giant and first boils the Earth's atmosphere, before it consumes the Earth.


An American abducted by aliens in 2014

On October 10, 2014, a person living in Lebanon (State of Oklahoma, USA) is sure to have been abducted by aliens when he was at home. Since this event, he has spotted more than 42 UFOs...

Witness report:

I was in my room about to go to sleep but I hear a little humming noise. Then the only thing I remember is the three figures standing over me while on a cold metal chair. Then the next thing I know I'm in my room woke up in a state of fear and curiosity. The past years I seen 42 different UFOs I've dedicated my life to research and knowledge of UFOs.


Large circular UFO caught over American Fork

On May 31, 2015, an automobilist stopped near city of American Fork (Utah County, USA). He took photo of the landscapes where appeared a large and grey circular-shaped UFO. What is it?

Witness statement:

When driving up American fork canyon, stop to eat a tanking photos of the canyon as I was taking photo I got a photo of the mountain in the sky part of the photo there was a dark gray circle with a wright point on one side and it was in the control of the plane it was behind. In the other photos it is not there.


UFO appears during Copa America in Chile

On June 12, 2015, thousands persons have seen a UFO at National Stadium in Chile during the Copa America for a match between Chile and Ecuador. It exists multiple photos of this anomaly. What is it?

News states:
Source: Radioagricultura (Chile)
Date: 06.12.2015

Chile: UFO Recorded During Soccer Match

A luminous objct startled fans of "La Roja" who were enjoying the game at the National Stadium.

It was crossed the skies ove Nuñoa for nearly 3 minutes. It was gone in the same way it appeared. The alleged UFO during the opening ceremonies of the Copa America at the National Stadium was swift and fleeting,

The fireworks launched at the sports arena drew the attention of one supporter, who took out his cell phone quickly to capture the moment. However, he never thought he'd find a luminous object moving strangely, from side to side - a movement far from what one would expect of an aircraft.

Could it be a UFO? The images are eloquent. The conclusions are yours to draw.


Strange black UFO spotted over a lake in 1948!

On July 15, 1948, a young child and his friends were near in a lake in Oakville (in the State of Connecticut, USA). By looking around him, he has noticed an unidentified flying object suspended over the lake. According to witness, UFO made no sound.

Witness statement:

I was part of a group of children going to ECHO Lake to spend the day. We were walking along the dirt road leading to the lake, I was ahead of everyone else, as I came out from the canopy of trees I looked up and saw this object sitting in mid air above the lake. I called to my companions to hurry to come and see it. Before they could come out from the cover of tree, it sounded like a motor started up and the object dipped down, rose up, flew over the trees to the left and disappeared. The object looked like a black ball that had been cut in half, flat across the bottom and dome shaped on top. It was a matte black and had no shine to it. I was only 8 years old and since I was the only one that saw it, I never told anyone about it until I was 50 years old and people started to talk about seeing UFO's.

Photo: The Connecticut State Capitol in downtown Hartford (Ragesoss / Wikimédia)


Mystery creature wows fishermen in Russia

Fishermen in northern Russia's Arkhangelsk region have reportedly managed to reel in a mutant fish, which features what resembles the head of a brontosaurus.

A mutant fish with a brontosaurus head and fossilized scales has unexpectedly been caught by fishermen in northern Russia's Arkhangelsk region, Russian media reported.

The bizarre creature, which also has huge needle-like barbs and a sucker-like snout, was caught near a ferry line in Bereznik-Osinovo in the Vinogradovsky district, according to the local news website

Upon meticulously studying the photos of similar species on the Internet, the fishermen failed to find any references to what they had caught.

At the same time, they found out that such species as the sea hare and the monkfish shared some of its features.

Local journalists have, meanwhile, recalled that last summer saw fishermen from the Vinogradovsky district manage to land a fish featuring human teeth.


NASA probe photographs 'pyramid’ on Ceres’ surface

NASA's Dawn probe has taken some more stunning photos of the dwarf planet, revealing an inexplicably large pyramid-shaped mountain as well as offering closer looks at the mysterious bright spots that pepper its surface.

Dawn first entered Ceres' orbit in March of this year and the latest images were snapped as the probe took its second orbit at a height of 2,700 miles (4,400 km). By December the probe will have descended to just 225 miles (360 km) above the surface.

But even at its current distance, the images are revealing surprising new features of the dwarf planet. In one image a mountain — which NASA says would be about the size of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the alps — appears in an otherwise relatively flat landscape. Scientists have not yet offered an explanation for its formation.

Other images offer greater details of the bright spots that have been observed in various locations across Ceres' surface. So far, researchers have proposed that either ice or salt formations could explain these bright spots.

"It is exciting seeing these features come into sharper focus," Dr Marc Rayman, Dawn’s mission director and chief engineer, told the Daily Mail Online. "A few months ago, when Dawn began observing its new home from afar, we called it a bright spot. As the explorer closed in and provided better views, we realised it was two bright spots."

Rayman said that there are several theories but that more data is still needed, and that the answer should be clear soon.

"My money is on the remnants from ice that has sublimated. The salts left behind then could be what’s reflecting the light."

A dwarf planet is defined as a body that orbits the sun, with a nearly circular path, and, most importantly, has not "cleared the neighborhood" of its orbital path. That is, a regular planet is large enough to dominate its path gravitationally and leave the area it travels through — the 'neighborhood' — clear of bodies of comparable size or bodies that aren't under its gravitational influence.

The Dawn spacecraft was launched in September 2007, to begin a 3-billion-kilometer journey through the inner solar system to study Ceres and Vesta, the two biggest bodies in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.

Dawn entered the orbit of Vesta in July 2011, and spent a year exploring the asteroid, a rocky body discovered in 1807. Vesta is about the length of Arizona and appears to have a surface of frozen lava, thought to have flowed out of the asteroid's interior shortly after it formed around 4.5 billion years ago.


UFO with blue lights snapped in Steuben

On June 19, 2015, a father and his wife were outside in Steuben (city located in Washington County, Maine). Suddenly, a black object with blue lights is appeared. What is it?

Witness report:

My dad was outside with his wife and they saw a light when they turned to look they saw a large craft hovering. It made no noise. It had stationary blue lights on top and pulsating white lights around the bottom. Suddenly, still without making a sound it zipped to the right, zipped back to the left and that flew away at a crazy speed. My father said he felt it was a craft from the start. While I have believed in UFOS since childhood I have always known my dad to be a skeptic, now he stands outside every night looking for another one.


Three mysterious lights near Momence, Illinois

On June 22, 2015, an automobilist was driving near city of Momence (Kankakee County, Illinois) when he has seen three stagnant and unidentified lights over the road. On one photo, we can notice these bright lights in a triangular formation...

Witness statement:

I was driving to Momence from Chicago when just south of Grant Park, IL, I started taking photos of the lightning storm. I have several photos leading up to the pyramid shaped lights that show nothing in the air. Then several that show a distinct shape of a blue, red, and yellowish lights that is stagnant in the air. It was not visible to the naked eye. The storm was severe and I didn't analyze the photos until I reached my parents' home. I sat in my car trying to explain this with dashboard lights or some other reflection but I'm afraid I'm stumped.