Several of you sent me various versions of this story, and in and of itself, it is an intriguing story, but, within the context of what we've been talking about on this site over the past few weeks and months of space blogs, there may be other aspects to this story(and its associated technology, the Hubble telescope) than meets the eye.
But first things first. It seems that the Hubble space telescope has now found planets outside our solar system with circulating clouds:
Now, I suspect we all know what one of the intended subtexts is here: if there can be large exo-solar system gas giants with their own "weather," there might just be smaller Earth-like planets with something more akin to Earth-like weather... and possibly, life, and possibly, intelligent life.
I suspect however, there are other subtexts here, ones that may be (deliberately) hidden from view. The first is the implication of the Hubble technology itself: an orbital optical telescope with tremendous ability to spot things at great distance. I suspect, given our high octane speculations here on this site concerning hidden systems of finance, and a hidden breakaway group and hidden outer space technologies, that more such platforms might exist for keeping an eye on things in local space.
In that respect, recall recently that I blogged about the US shipping new equipment to Australia for monitoring objects the size of softballs in Earth orbit, a necessary capability and one that could obviously do double duty monitoring UFO activity in nearby Earth-space.
But that capability, as I implied then, also argued a that similar capability - a similar planetary security matter - had to be envisioned to monitor deeper space activity, and not just near earth asteroids. The ability to sweep the skies for "soft ball sized objects" and then to track them would imply a similar ability to sweep farther out, with less resolution, and then, if anomalies were spotted that required further investigation, platforms such a space-born telescopes like Hubble would be not only an ideal component in such a reconnaissance system, but a vital and necessary one. In that respect, also recall Russia's announcements prior to and after the Chelyabinsk meteor episode that it would, unilaterally, build an asteroid tracking system as a first step in a defense shield against them, and this came as a statement from then president Dmitri Medvedev. So the long and short of it is, spotting distant planets with "weather" is in indication of capabilities that may have other uses and intentions, in conjunction with other platforms. On their own, they're just "space telescopes" peering where astronomers guess their might be something. In conjunction with other platforms, however, they might be used for ultra-long-range surveillance and reconnaissance of a wholly different sort.
And that means, Hubble is probably not the only such platform.
See you on the flip side.