Summary of Bygone Visions of Cosmic Neighbors

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The video discusses various theories about the Ashen Light, a faint light on the night side of Venus, and how it may be related to solar activity. However, the evidence is inconclusive, and the light has never been recorded on camera. The search for cosmic neighbors continues.

  • 00:00:00 In 1806, two German astronomers noticed that the hemisphere facing away from the Sun did not perfectly blend with the blackness of space, and they hypothesized that this was caused by sunlight reflecting off of a moon on Venus. In 1836, Franz von Gruithuisen proposed that the Ashen Light on Venus was the result of sweeping fires on the surface of Venus, and this idea was largely forgotten until 1967 when a Soviet spacecraft descended into the clouds of Venus and photographed the features on the surface. Today, the theory that Venus has a moon and that the Ashen Light is caused by sunlight reflecting off of it is still considered plausible by some astronomers.
  • 00:05:00 Following his investigations of the Martian canals, American astronomer Lowell became obsessed with the linear markings on Venus. He wrote three books filled with intricate maps and illustrations of the canals, arguing that they must be the workings of an intelligence. However, many were skeptical of his ideas, and the idea that Mars could be inhabited eventually faded away. In 1965, photographs transmitted by Mariner IV failed to provide any evidence for the existence of the canals, ending the debate for good.
  • 00:10:00 The video discusses how early astronomers believed that the strange bands of colors seen around planets such as Venus were only an optical illusion. However, in the late 1800s, after the first successful spacecraft to orbit Venus was launched, more reliable observations were made which revealed that the bands of colors were actually emanating from the clouds below. Despite this evidence, doubts continued to persist, primarily because the phenomena were infrequent, unpredictable, and inconsistent. However, in 1975, after the Soviet spacecraft Venera 9 landed on Venus and detected faint flashes of light, it was finally proven that the Ashen Light actually exists.
  • 00:15:00 This video traces the history of the idea that dark patches on the Moon are continents, and how this misconception still persists in nomenclature. It also discusses how astronomers like Franz von Gruithuisen observed various habitats on the moon, including star-like temples and dwellings with wings similar to those of bats. However, it was later revealed that the story of the man-bats was fabricated by an American journalist.
  • 00:20:00 The "Phobos II incident" was a mystery involving an unidentified spacecraft that was thought to be an alien attack on Phobos II, which caused the probe's signal to be obscured by its shadow. The story persisted for a few decades until the raw data from the Phobos II mission became readily accessible and revealed that the shadow was actually from Phobos.
  • 00:25:00 The video discusses how some events or discoveries that leave information vacuums are immediately filled by fantastical speculation, such as people believing that a printing artifact on the Moon is a tower, that a human face was seen on Mars, or that a Chinese rover on the Moon captured an image of a hut that turned out to be a rock. The video discusses how people are never immune to this kind of delusion, and how even experienced people can be fooled by their own expectations. The video also discusses how in 1937, world-renowned inventor Nikola Tesla announced his plans to unveil a new technology that would allow for interstellar communication, and how he was confident that he would be awarded the 100,000 francs prize. However, the prize was instead awarded to the crew of Apollo 11 in 1969. The video discusses how the alleged message from Mars, which claimed that Tesla had received an interplanetary message, was never actually received.
  • 00:30:00 The author discusses how the Ashen Light, a faint, transient light on the night side of Venus, may be related to solar activity. However, the evidence is inconclusive, and the light has never been recorded on camera. The search for cosmic neighbors continues.

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