воскресенье, 12 августа 2018 г.

Lost and Found It’s strange to think that a whole chunk of our…


Lost and Found


It’s strange to think that a whole chunk of our brain was thought to simply disappear after we are born. The cells in the subplate, shown here in green in a young developing brain, are among the first cells to develop and are important in setting up the brain’s circuitry of ‘wires’. Since the subplate doesn’t seem to exist in the adult brain, it was thought that these cells vanish after they’ve served their purpose. However, it turns out that this theory isn’t quite true. Instead, scientists have recently shown that subplate cells survive and mature into various types of cells found deep in the cerebral cortex, which houses everything from memory, cognition and language, to thought and consciousness. The mysterious case of the disappearing brain resolved, scientists will now look at understanding what this means in the wider context of brain development, in particular how these surviving cells influence childhood disorders like autism


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Written by Gaëlle Coullon



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Archive link


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/lost-and-found-its-strange-to-think-that-a-whole-chunk-of-our/

HiPOD (12 August 2018): A Linear Ridge Network to the North of…


HiPOD (12 August 2018): A Linear Ridge Network to the North of Antoniadi Crater 


   – The objective of this observation is to examine a linear ridge network. This network may have been a consequence of fluids raised along faults created by impacts. They have also been associated with clays. (285 km above the surface, less than 5 km across.)


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/hipod-12-august-2018-a-linear-ridge-network-to-the-north-of/

Temple of Mithras, Brocolitia, Hadrian’s Wall,…











Temple of Mithras, Brocolitia, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 11.8.18.


A Mithraic temple near the fort of Brocolitia along Hadrian’s Wall. The temple features stalls for a standing congregation and replica altar stones. The originals are in the Great North Museum, Newcastle.


Source link


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/temple-of-mithras-brocolitia-hadrians-wall/

2018 August 12 Meteor before Galaxy Image Credit &…


2018 August 12


Meteor before Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich


Explanation: What’s that green streak in front of the Andromeda galaxy? A meteor. While photographing the Andromeda galaxy in 2016, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a sand-sized rock from deep space crossed right in front of our Milky Way Galaxy’s far-distant companion. The small meteor took only a fraction of a second to pass through this 10-degree field. The meteor flared several times while braking violently upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. The green color was created, at least in part, by the meteor’s gas glowing as it vaporized. Although the exposure was timed to catch a Perseids meteor, the orientation of the imaged streak seems a better match to a meteor from the Southern Delta Aquariids, a meteor shower that peaked a few weeks earlier. Not coincidentally, the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks again tonight.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180812.html


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/2018-august-12-meteor-before-galaxy-image-credit/

Ловля Толстолобика сачком

Ловля Толстолобика Сачком


Source: ➽ Акулы нашего пруда | Ловля Толстолобика Сачком by tantina


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp ("серебряный карп"). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.  При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp ("серебряный карп"). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.  При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp ("серебряный карп"). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.  При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp ("серебряный карп"). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.  При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp ("серебряный карп"). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.  При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.


Толстолобики или толстолобы (лат. Hypophthalmichthys) — род пресноводных рыб семейства карповых. Крупная стайная рыба семейства карповых. Английское название silver carp («серебряный карп»). Раньше он подразделялся на роды Hypophthalmichthys и Aristichthys в составе подсемейства Hypophthalmichthyinae. В роде три современных и один вымерший вид.


При помощи своего цедильного ротового аппарата толстолобик профильтровывает от детрита зацветшую, зелёную и мутную воду. Поэтому, чтобы в пруду была прозрачная вода, помимо фильтрационной системы в водоём запускают толстолобика.



https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/%d0%bb%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bb%d1%8f-%d1%82%d0%be%d0%bb%d1%81%d1%82%d0%be%d0%bb%d0%be%d0%b1%d0%b8%d0%ba%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b0%d1%87%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%bc/

NASA, ULA Launch Parker Solar Probe on Historic Journey to Touch Sun


ULA – Delta IV Heavy / Parker Solar Probe Mission poster.


Aug. 12, 2018


Hours before the rise of the very star it will study, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched from Florida Sunday to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission. The spacecraft will transmit its first science observations in December, beginning a revolution in our understanding of the star that makes life on Earth possible.


Roughly the size of a small car, the spacecraft lifted off at 3:31 a.m. EDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 5:33 a.m., the mission operations manager reported that the spacecraft was healthy and operating normally.



Image above: The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first-ever mission into a part of the Sun’s atmosphere called the corona. Here it will directly explore solar processes that are key to understanding and forecasting space weather events that can impact life on Earth. Image Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls.


The mission’s findings will help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites and harm astronauts on orbit, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, overwhelm power grids.


“This mission truly marks humanity’s first visit to a star that will have implications not just here on Earth, but how we better understand our universe,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “We’ve accomplished something that decades ago, lived solely in the realm of science fiction.”



Parker Solar Probe Mission Launches to Touch the Sun

During the first week of its journey, the spacecraft will deploy its high-gain antenna and magnetometer boom. It also will perform the first of a two-part deployment of its electric field antennas. Instrument testing will begin in early September and last approximately four weeks, after which Parker Solar Probe can begin science operations.


“Today’s launch was the culmination of six decades of scientific study and millions of hours of effort,” said project manager Andy Driesman, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. “Now, Parker Solar Probe is operating normally and on its way to begin a seven-year mission of extreme science.”


Over the next two months, Parker Solar Probe will fly towards Venus, performing its first Venus gravity assist in early October – a maneuver a bit like a handbrake turn – that whips the spacecraft around the planet, using Venus’s gravity to trim the spacecraft’s orbit tighter around the Sun. This first flyby will place Parker Solar Probe in position in early November to fly as close as 15 million miles from the Sun – within the blazing solar atmosphere, known as the corona – closer than anything made by humanity has ever gone before.



Animation above: Illustration of Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. Animation Credits: NASA/JHUAPL.


Throughout its seven-year mission, Parker Solar Probe will make six more Venus flybys and 24 total passes by the Sun, journeying steadily closer to the Sun until it makes its closest approach at 3.8 million miles. At this point, the probe will be moving at roughly 430,000 miles per hour, setting the record for the fastest-moving object made by humanity.


Parker Solar Probe will set its sights on the corona to solve long-standing, foundational mysteries of our Sun. What is the secret of the scorching corona, which is more than 300 times hotter than the Sun’s surface, thousands of miles below? What drives the supersonic solar wind – the constant stream of solar material that blows through the entire solar system? And finally, what accelerates solar energetic particles, which can reach speeds up to more than half the speed of light as they rocket away from the Sun?


Scientists have sought these answers for more than 60 years, but the investigation requires sending a probe right through the unrelenting heat of the corona. Today, this is finally possible with cutting-edge thermal engineering advances that can protect the mission on its daring journey.


“Exploring the Sun’s corona with a spacecraft has been one of the hardest challenges for space exploration,” said Nicola Fox, project scientist at APL. “We’re finally going to be able to answer questions about the corona and solar wind raised by Gene Parker in 1958 – using a spacecraft that bears his name – and I can’t wait to find out what discoveries we make. The science will be remarkable.”


Parker Solar Probe carries four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and capture images of the solar wind. The University of California, Berkeley, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Princeton University in New Jersey lead these investigations.


Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. The Living with a Star program is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. APL designed and built, and operates the spacecraft.


The mission is named for Eugene Parker, the physicist who first theorized the existence of the solar wind in 1958. It’s the first NASA mission to be named for a living researcher.



Image above: Renowned physicist Eugene Parker watches the launch of the spacecraft that bears his name – NASA’s Parker Solar Probe – early in the morning on Aug. 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Image Credits: NASA/Glenn Benson.


A plaque dedicating the mission to Parker was attached to the spacecraft in May. It includes a quote from the renowned physicist – “Let’s see what lies ahead.” It also holds a memory card containing more than 1.1 million names submitted by the public to travel with the spacecraft to the Sun.


For more information on Parker Solar Probe, go to: https://www.nasa.gov/solarprobe


Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Video (NASA TV), Text, Credits: NASA/Dwayne Brown/Karen Fox/Karen Northon/KSC/Tori McLendon/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Geoffrey Brown.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/nasa-ula-launch-parker-solar-probe-on-historic-journey-to-touch-sun/

Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация

Сияние моря и серебристые облака 25 и 26 июнь 2018


 Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции  привлечение добычи или партнёров коммуникация предупреждение или угроза отпугивание или отвлечение маскировка на фоне естественных источников света Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена.
Сияние моря

Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции


привлечение добычи или партнёров

коммуникация

предупреждение или угроза

отпугивание или отвлечение

маскировка на фоне естественных источников света

Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена.


 Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции  привлечение добычи или партнёров коммуникация предупреждение или угроза отпугивание или отвлечение маскировка на фоне естественных источников света Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена.


 Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции  привлечение добычи или партнёров коммуникация предупреждение или угроза отпугивание или отвлечение маскировка на фоне естественных источников света Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена. Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции  привлечение добычи или партнёров коммуникация предупреждение или угроза отпугивание или отвлечение маскировка на фоне естественных источников света Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена.


 Сияние моря и серебристые облака gif анимация Биолюминесценция выполняет следующие биологические функции  привлечение добычи или партнёров коммуникация предупреждение или угроза отпугивание или отвлечение маскировка на фоне естественных источников света Во многих случаях функция биолюминесценции в жизни отдельных светящихся организмов выяснена не до конца, либо вообще не изучена.


 


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/%d1%81%d0%b8%d1%8f%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%b5-%d0%bc%d0%be%d1%80%d1%8f-%d0%b8-%d1%81%d0%b5%d1%80%d0%b5%d0%b1%d1%80%d0%b8%d1%81%d1%82%d1%8b%d0%b5-%d0%be%d0%b1%d0%bb%d0%b0%d0%ba%d0%b0-gif-%d0%b0%d0%bd%d0%b8/

Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Colorado, USA | #Geology…


Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Colorado, USA | #Geology #GeologyPage #Colorado


Located in the northeast section of the County near Calhan with approximately 750 acres. The paint mines have evidence of human life as far back as 9,000 years ago.


The colorful clays were used by Native Americans. The park features fantastic geological formations including spires and hoodoos that were formed through erosive action that created incised gullies and exposed layers of seienite clay and jasper. The park includes a restroom facility, four miles of trails, interpretive signage, and many natural wonders.


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/paint-mines-interpretive-park-colorado-usa-geology/

Parker Solar Probe is Go for Launch

Tomorrow, Aug. 11, we’re launching a spacecraft to touch the Sun.


image

The first chance to launch Parker Solar Probe is 3:33 a.m. EDT on Aug. 11 from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch coverage on NASA TV starts at 3 a.m. EDT at nasa.gov/live.


After launch, Parker Solar Probe begins its daring journey to the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona, going closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history and facing brutal heat and radiation.


Though Parker Solar Probe weighs a mere 1,400 pounds — pretty light for a spacecraft — it’s launching aboard one of the world’s most powerful rockets, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy with a third stage added.


image


Even though you might think the Sun’s massive means things would just fall into it, it’s surprisingly difficult to actually go there. Any object leaving Earth starts off traveling at about 67,000 miles per hour, same as Earth — and most of that is in a sideways direction, so you have to shed most of that sideways speed to make it to the Sun. All that means that it takes 55 times more launch energy to go to the Sun than it does to go to Mars. On top of its powerful launch vehicle, Parker Solar Probe will use seven Venus gravity assists to shed sideways speed.


Even though Parker Solar Probe will lose a lot of sideways speed, it’ll still be going incredibly fast as its orbit draws closer to the Sun throughout its seven-year mission. At its fastest, Parker Solar Probe will travel at 430,000 miles per hour — fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. in one second — setting the record for the fastest spacecraft in history.


image

But the real challenge was to keep the spacecraft from frying once it got there.


We’ve always wanted to send a mission to the corona, but we literally haven’t had the technology that can protect a spacecraft and its instruments from its scorching heat. Only recent advances have enabled engineers to build a heat shield that will protect the spacecraft on this journey of extremes — a tricky feat that requires withstanding the Sun’s intense radiation on the front and staying cool at the back, so the spacecraft and instruments can work properly.


image


The 4.5-inches-thick heat shield is built like a sandwich. There’s a thin layer of carbon material like you might find in your golf clubs or tennis rackets, carbon foam, and then another thin piece of carbon-carbon on the back. Even while the Sun-facing side broils at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the back of the shield will remain a balmy 85 degrees — just above room temperature. There are so few particles in this region that it’s a vacuum, so blocking the Sun’s radiation goes a long way towards keeping the spacecraft cool.


Parker Solar Probe is also our first mission to be named after a living individual: Dr. Eugene Parker, famed solar physicist who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the solar wind.


image

“Solar wind” is what Dr. Parker dubbed the stream of charged particles that flows constantly from the Sun, bathing Earth and our entire solar system in the Sun’s magnetic fields. Parker Solar Probe’s flight right through the corona allows it to observe the birth of the very solar wind that Dr. Parker predicted, right as it speeds up and over the speed of sound.  


image

The corona is where solar material is heated to millions of degrees and where the most extreme eruptions on the Sun occur, like solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which fling particles out to space at incredible speeds near the speed of light. These explosions can also spark space weather storms near Earth that can endanger satellites and astronauts, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, trigger power outages.


image

Thanks to Parker Solar Probe’s landmark mission, solar scientists will be able to see the objects of their study up close and personal for the very first time.


Up until now, all of our studies of the corona have been remote — that is, taken from a distance, rather than at the mysterious region itself. Scientists have been very creative to glean as much as possible from their remote data, but there’s nothing like actually sending a probe to the corona to see what’s going on.


image

And scientists aren’t the only ones along for the adventure — Parker Solar Probe holds a microchip carrying the names of more than 1.1 million people who signed up to send their name to the Sun. This summer, these names and 1,400 pounds of science equipment begin their journey to the center of our solar system.


Three months later in November 2018, Parker Solar Probe makes its first close approach to the Sun, and in December, it will send back the data. The corona is one of the last places in the solar system where no spacecraft has visited before; each observation Parker Solar Probe makes is a potential discovery.


Stay tuned — Parker Solar Probe is about to take flight.


Keep up with the latest on the mission at nasa.gov/solarprobe or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com. 


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/parker-solar-probe-is-go-for-launch/

Sarmatian burial discovered in southeastern Ukraine

A group of archaeologists working on the Mamai Mountain, located in Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region, have unearthed a female burial thought to belong to the Sarmatian culture dating to the sixth/fourth centuries BC.











Sarmatian burial discovered in southeastern Ukraine
Credit: Информ-UAП

A ceramic vase, numerous beads which likely embroidered the woman’s clothing, and a small bronze mirror with a floral decoration were found in the grave.


This is the second Sarmatian burial discovered on the Mamai Mountain in the last 30 years.


Originating in the central parts of the Eurasian Steppe, the Sarmatians were part of the Indo-Iranian steppe peoples, among whom were also Scythians and Saka.


By the 1st century AD, these tribes ranged from the Vistula River to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian seas as well as the Caucasus to the south.


Their territory, which was known as Sarmatia to Graeco-Roman ethnographers, corresponded to the western part of greater Scythia (it included todays Central Ukraine, South-Eastern Ukraine, Southern Russia, Russian Volga and South-Ural regions, also to a smaller extent north-eastern Balkans and around Moldova).


Source: Информ-UAП / Wikipedia [August 08, 2018]



TANN



Archive


https://xissufotoday.space/2018/08/sarmatian-burial-discovered-in-southeastern-ukraine/

Omega Centauri unlikely to harbour life

Searching for life in the vast universe is an overwhelming task, but scientists can cross one place off their list.











Omega Centauri unlikely to harbour life
There are colourful stars galore, but likely no habitable planets, inside the globular star cluster Omega Centauri
[Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team]

Omega Centauri—a densely packed cluster of stars in our galactic backyard—is unlikely to be home to habitable planets, according to a study by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and San Francisco State University.


Forthcoming in The Astrophysical Journal, the study was led by Stephen Kane, an associate professor of planetary astrophysics in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences and a pioneer in the search for habitable planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. Sarah Deveny, a graduate student at San Francisco State who is working with Kane, co-authored the paper.


In the hunt for habitable exoplanets, Omega Centauri, the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way, seemed like a good place to look. Comprising an estimated 10 million stars, the cluster is nearly 16,000 light years from Earth, making it visible to the naked eye and a relatively close target for observations by the Hubble Space Telescope.


“Despite the large number of stars concentrated in Omega Centauri’s core, the prevalence of exoplanets remains somewhat unknown,” Kane said. “However, since this type of compact star cluster exists across the universe, it is an intriguing place to look for habitability.”


Starting with a rainbow-colored assortment of 470,000 stars in Omega Centauri’s core, the researchers homed in on 350,000 stars whose color—a gauge of their temperature and age—means they could potentially harbor life-bearing planets.


For each star, they then calculated the habitable zone—the orbital region around each star in which a rocky planet could have liquid water, which is a key ingredient for life as we know it. Since most of the stars in Omega Centauri’s core are red dwarfs, their habitable zones are much closer than the one surrounding our own larger sun.


“The core of Omega Centauri could potentially be populated with a plethora of compact planetary systems that harbor habitable-zone planets close to a host star,” Kane said. “An example of such a system is TRAPPIST-1, a miniature version of our own solar system that is 40 light years away and is currently viewed as one of the most promising places to look for alien life.”


Ultimately, though, the cozy nature of stars in Omega Centauri forced the researchers to conclude that such planetary systems, however compact, cannot exist in the cluster’s core. While our own sun is a comfortable 4.22 light years from its nearest neighbor, the average distance between stars in Omega Centauri’s core is 0.16 light years, meaning they would encounter neighboring stars about once every 1 million years.


“The rate at which stars gravitationally interact with each other would be too high to harbor stable habitable planets,” Deveny said. “Looking at clusters with similar or higher encounter rates to Omega Centauri’s could lead to the same conclusion. So, studying globular clusters with lower encounter rates might lead to a higher probability of finding stable habitable planets.”


Author: Sarah Nightingale | Source: University of California, Riverside [August 09, 2018]



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Pairs of small colliding galaxies may seed future stars

A pair of dwarf galaxies closely circling the Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, were in the throes of merging into one when they fell into our galaxy. The duo is thought to hold enough gas to replenish half of the Milky Way’s supply of star-making fuel, and now, a study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society offers new insights into how galaxies like ours are able to capture this gas so easily.











Pairs of small colliding galaxies may seed future stars
In a new study, astronomers show how gas expelled in the merger of two small galaxies can linger across vast distances
for billions of years, where it may eventually feed gas to more massive galaxies to make new stars. The Large Magellanic
Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud pictured above are a pair of dwarf galaxies that were in the process of merging
 when they fell into the Milky Way. Their gas is expected to replenish half of the gas consumed by our galaxy
 as it forms new stars [Credit: S. Brunier/European Southern Observatory]

“You have this enormous reserve of star formation fuel sitting there ready to be stripped by another system,” says study coauthor Mary Putman, an astronomer at Columbia University.


Home to millions of stars, dwarf galaxies are outshined by bigger galaxies like the Milky Way with hundreds to thousands of times more stars. But what dwarf galaxies lack in brightness, they make up for in their sheer abundance of star-making fuel. The hydrogen gas swirling through the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and dwarf galaxies like them are thought to play a key role in birthing new stars and other small galaxies.


To explore the star-making potential of dwarf galaxy pairs, a research team led by then-Columbia graduate student Sarah Pearson turned to a remote pair—NGC 4490 and NGC 4485—23 million light years away. Similar to the Large Magellanic Cloud, NGC 4490 is several times larger than its companion galaxy. But its isolated location allowed the researchers to simulate its eventual merger with NGC 4485 without interference from the Milky Way’s gravitational pull.


In their simulations, they watched the bigger galaxy, NGC 4490, peel off gas from its smaller sibling, a gravitational effect due to their lopsided difference in size. As the pair circled ever closer to each other, the smaller galaxy’s tail of gas was swept farther and farther away, a finding that supports a study earlier this year that fingerprinted the gas streaming from the Magellanic Clouds into the Milky Way as belonging to the Small Magellanic Cloud.


Long after NGC 4490 collided with its smaller companion and merged into one in the researchers’ simulation, their gas footprint continue to expand, the researchers found. In five billion years, they found, the pair’s gas tails would extend over a distance of 1 million light years, nearly twice its current length. “After 5 billion years, 10 percent of the gas envelope still resides more than 260,000 light years from the merged remnant, suggesting it takes a very long time before all the gas falls back to the merged remnant, ” says Pearson, who is now a fellow at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics.











Pairs of small colliding galaxies may seed future stars
Researchers simulated the collision of a pair of distant dwarf galaxies to understand how their gas gets dispersed in
the merger process. In the above simulation, the larger galaxy pulls gas off the smaller galaxy, creating a vast tail
 of gas that can last for billions of years [Credit: Sarah Pearson/Columbia University]

When the researchers compared their results to real-world observations of NGC 4490/4485 made by telescope, the results matched, indicating their model was accurate.


Their findings are also consistent with what astronomers know about the recycling of gas in the universe. As gas clouds grow more extended, the looser the gas becomes, thus making it easier for a bigger galaxy to come along and gobble it up. The simulation suggests that this dispersal process has helped the Milky Way efficiently strip gas from the Small Magellanic Cloud, and that this sort of gas-transfer may be fairly common elsewhere in the universe.


“Our study suggests that similar dwarf pairs exist out there,” says Pearson. “Because their gas is so extended, if they fall into something like the Milky Way, their gas is easily shed.”


The study further suggests that declining gas density on the outskirts of colliding dwarf galaxies makes it hard for new stars to form, a conclusion matched by observations. The researchers plan to continue studying other pairs of dwarf galaxy collisions to refine their model.


Author: Kim Martineau | Source: Columbia University [August 09, 2018]



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Study helps solve mystery under Jupiter’s coloured bands

Scientists from Australia and the United States have helped to solve the mystery underlying Jupiter’s coloured bands in a new study on the interaction between atmospheres and magnetic fields.











Study helps solve mystery under Jupiter's coloured bands
Colourful swirling cloud belts dominate Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in this image
captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft [Credit: NASA]

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Unlike Earth, Jupiter has no solid surface – it is a gaseous planet, consisting mostly of hydrogen and helium.


Several strong jet streams flow west to east in Jupiter’s atmosphere that are, in a way, similar to Earth’s jet streams. Clouds of ammonia at Jupiter’s outer atmosphere are carried along by these jet streams to form Jupiter’s coloured bands, which are shades white, red, orange, brown and yellow.


Dr Navid Constantinou from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, one of the researchers on the study, said that until recently little was known about what happened below Jupiter’s clouds.


“We know a lot about the jet streams in Earth’s atmosphere and the key role they play in the weather and climate, but we still have a lot to learn about Jupiter’s atmosphere,” he said.


“Scientists have long debated how deep the jet streams reach beneath the surfaces of Jupiter and other gas giants, and why they do not appear in the sun’s interior.”


Recent evidence from NASA’s spacecraft Juno indicates these jet streams reach as deep as 3,000 kilometres below Jupiter’s clouds.


Co-researcher Dr Jeffrey Parker from Livermore National Laboratory in the United States said their theory showed that jet streams were suppressed by a strong magnetic field.


“The gas in the interior of Jupiter is magnetised, so we think our new theory explains why the jet streams go as deep as they do under the gas giant’s surface but don’t go any deeper,” said Dr Parker.


The polar and subtropical jet streams in Earth’s atmosphere shape the climate, especially in the mid-latitudes such as in Australia, Europe and North America.











Study helps solve mystery under Jupiter's coloured bands
This image captures a high-altitude cloud formation surrounded by swirling patterns in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s
North North Temperate Belt region. The North North Temperate Belt is one of Jupiter’s many colourful, swirling
cloud bands. Scientists have wondered for decades how deep these bands extend. Gravity measurements collected
by Juno during its close flybys discovered that these bands of flowing atmosphere actually penetrate deep
 into the planet, to a depth of about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) [Credit: NASA]

“Earth’s jet streams have a huge impact on the weather and climate by acting as a barrier and making it harder for air on either side of them to exchange properties such as heat, moisture and carbon,” said Dr Constantinou.


The jet streams on Earth are wavy and irregular, while they are much straighter on Jupiter.


“There are no continents and mountains below Jupiter’s atmosphere to obstruct the path of the jet streams,” Dr Parker said.


“This makes the jet streams on Jupiter simpler. By studying Jupiter, not only do we unravel the mysteries in the interior of the gas giant, but we can also use Jupiter as a laboratory for studying how atmospheric flows work in general.”


The research involved mathematical calculations for the instability that leads to jet streams when magnetic fields are present, as well as work comparing the theoretical predictions with results from previous computer simulations.


The study is published in The Astrophysical Journal.


Source: Australian National University [August 09, 2018]




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Astrophysicists discover that ultrahot planets have starlike atmospheres

Recent observations by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes of ultrahot Jupiter-like planets have perplexed theorists. The spectra of these planets have suggested they have exotic — and improbable — compositions.











Astrophysicists discover that ultrahot planets have starlike atmospheres
These simulated views of the ultrahot Jupiter WASP-121b show what the planet might look like to the human eye from five 
different vantage points, each illuminated to different degrees by its parent star. The images were made with a computer
 simulation being used to help scientists understand the atmospheres of these planets. Ultrahot Jupiters reflect almost no 
light, much like charcoal. However, their daysides have temperatures of between 3,600 F and 5,400 F, so they produce
 their own glow like a hot ember. The orange color in this simulated image thus comes from the planet’s own heat 
[Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Vivien Parmentier/Aix-Marseille University (AMU)]

However, a new study just published by a research team that includes Arizona State University astrophysicist Michael Line, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, proposes an explanation — that these gas-rich planets have compositions that are basically normal, going by what is known about planet formation. What’s different about them is that the atmospheres on their daysides look more like the atmosphere of a star than a planet.


“Interpreting the spectra of the hottest of these Jupiter-like planets has posed a thorny puzzle for researchers for years,” Line said.


The biggest puzzle is why water vapor appears to be missing from these worlds’ atmospheres, when it is abundant in similar but slightly cooler planets.


According to the new study, ultrahot Jupiters do in fact possess the ingredients for water (hydrogen and oxygen atoms). But due to the strong radiation on the planet’s daysides, temperatures there go high enough that water molecules are completely torn apart.


With ultrahot Jupiters orbiting extremely close to their stars, one side of the planet faces the star perpetually, while the nightside is gripped by endless darkness.


Dayside temperatures reach between 3,600 to 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 to 3,000 degrees Celsius), ranking ultrahot Jupiters among the hottest exoplanets known. And nightside temperatures are around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.


Star-planet hybrids


Among the growing catalogue of planets outside our solar system — known as exoplanets — ultrahot Jupiters have stood out as a distinct class for about a decade.


“The daysides of these worlds are furnaces that look more like a stellar atmosphere than a planetary atmosphere,” said Vivien Parmentier, an astrophysicist at Aix Marseille University in France and lead author of the new study published in Astronomy and Astrophysics. “In this way, ultrahot Jupiters stretch out what we think planets should look like.”


While telescopes like Spitzer and Hubble can gather some information about the daysides of ultrahot Jupiters, their nightsides are difficult for current instruments to probe.


The new paper proposes a model for what might be happening on both the illuminated and dark sides of these planets. The model is based largely on observations and analysis from three recently published studies, coauthored by Parmentier, Line, and others, that focus on three ultrahot Jupiters, WASP-103b, WASP-18b, and HAT-P-7b.


The new study suggests that fierce winds driven by heating may blow the torn-apart water molecules into the planets’ cooler nightside hemispheres. There the atoms can recombine into molecules and condense into clouds, all before drifting back into the dayside to be ripped apart again.


Family resemblance?


Hot Jupiters were the first widely discovered kind of exoplanet, starting back in the mid-1990s. These are cooler cousins to ultrahot Jupiters, with dayside temperatures below 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 Celsius).











Astrophysicists discover that ultrahot planets have starlike atmospheres
Jupiter-like exoplanets are 99 percent molecular hydrogen and helium with smaller amounts of water and other molecules.
But what their spectra show depends strongly on temperature. Warm-to-hot planets form clouds of minerals, while hotter
planets make starlight-absorbing molecules of titanium oxide. Yet to understand ultrahot Jupiter spectra, the research
team had to turn to processes more commonly found in stars [Credit: Michael Line/ASU]

Water has proven to be common in their atmospheres, and thus when ultrahot Jupiters began to be found, astronomers expected them to show water in their atmospheres as well. But water turned out to be missing on their easily observed daysides, which got theorists looking at alternative, even exotic, compositions.


One hypothesis for why water appeared absent in ultrahot Jupiters has been that these planets must have formed with very high levels of carbon instead of oxygen. Yet this idea could not explain the traces of water sometimes detected at the dayside-nightside boundary.


To break the logjam, the research team took a cue from well-established physical models of stellar atmospheres, as well as “failed stars,” known as brown dwarfs, whose properties overlap somewhat with hot and ultrahot Jupiters.


“Unsatisfied with exteme compositions, we thought harder about the problem,” Line said. “Then we realized that many earlier interpretations were missing some key physics and chemistry that happens at these ultrahot temperatures.”


The team adapted a brown dwarf model developed by Mark Marley, one of the paper’s co-authors and a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, to the case of ultrahot Jupiters. Treating the atmospheres of ultrahot Jupiters more like blazing stars than conventionally colder planets offered a way to make sense of the Spitzer and Hubble observations.


“With these studies, we are bringing some of the century-old knowledge gained from studying the astrophysics of stars, to the new field of investigating exoplanetary atmospheres,” Parmentier said.


“Our role in this research has been to take the observed spectra of these planets and model their physics carefully,” Line said. “This showed us how to produce the observed spectra using gases that are more likely to be present under the extreme conditions. These planets don’t need exotic compositions or unusual pathways to make them.”


Author: Robert Burnham | Source: Arizona State University. [August 09, 2018]



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Earth now and 2.5 billion years ago: New study of air helps understanding both

Sulfur isotope has helped reveal surprising information about both the origins of life on Earth and modern sources of air pollution in China, according to a new study from an international collaboration of researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.











Earth now and 2.5 billion years ago: New study of air helps understanding both
Credit: Getty Images

“For the origin of life on Earth, perhaps one of the most important questions is how it started and evolved,” said lead author Mark H. Thiemens, the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Chancellors Associate Chair at the University of California San Diego.


“This new work provides, in an unexpected way, data that allows us to zoom in on those mechanisms in greater detail,” Thiemens added.


The team built upon a method of tracking the origin and evolution of life through changes in atmospheric oxygen using stable sulfur isotopes. In the Earth’s early days, the surface was violent, with volcanic eruptions spewing heat and sulfur into atmosphere. At that time, sulfur was far more abundant than oxygen.


As the Earth’s surface settled, the atmospheric composition shifted. Oxygen became more plentiful as the dust calmed and the temperatures cooled, but sulfur isotope signatures were trapped in the rocks of billions years old. From these signatures, researchers can mark each shift of the atmosphere’s composition to follow biological evolution.


“This method was also utilized in analyzing ancient Mars meteorites to understand the interaction between the atmosphere and surface on the red planet,” said LIN Mang, an author of the paper and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellow who conducts research in the School of Materials and Chemical Technology & Earth-Life Science Institute of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.


“Recently, we found that similar isotopic signatures were widely observed in present-day Earth’s atmosphere–in the polluted air of China–a phenomenon that we did not expect,” LIN said.


The problem, LIN added, was that no one knew the origins of such atmospheric signatures. To solve the mystery, the researchers measured all sulfur isotopes in several representative coal and air samples across China to support their interpretation of high-sensitivity measurements of sulfur isotopes in today’s atmosphere.


“We discovered an additional, previously unknown sulfur isotope effect,” LIN said.


In addition to the four stable and one radiogenic sulfur isotopes in sulfur samples from Earth’s atmosphere and surface, the researchers also saw unusual chemical measurements in the air samples. Together, the sulfur isotope signature with the distinct coal combustion chemicals could be used to identify sources of air pollution in China.


“Air pollution has caused serious problems in public health and in the Chinese economy. The new data suggest that biomass burning may have played a significant role in aerosol formation,” said paper author SHEN Yanan, a professor of biogeochemistry at the School of Earth and Space Sciences of the University of Science and Technology of China.


The researchers said that the unique signature of this sulfur isotope effect, as LIN called it, may provide a new tool for understanding where sulfate aerosols in the modern atmosphere originate and how they chemically transform to further pollute the air.


Next, the researchers plan to design and conduct experiments to further explore the chemical mechanisms of their observations. They also plan to model the sulfur isotopic effect to fully analyze how it might influence–or be influenced by–other variables to not only understand Earth’s current atmosphere but to also better understand Earth’s evolution.


“We hope to quantify this sulfur isotopic effect on an experimental and theoretical basis, which can be incorporated into model analysis to sharpen our interpretations of the Earth’s early atmosphere and life record,” LIN said.


The researchers are also looking toward the future. “We aim to fully understand how aerosols are formed and transported in the atmosphere in China and globally. We hope that our results will help in formulating policies and taking measures to mitigate polluted air and, ultimately, to take back a clear and blue sky,” SHEN said.


Source: University of Science and Technology of China [August 09, 2018]



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NASA satellites assist states in estimating abundance of key wildlife species

Climate and land-use change are shrinking natural wildlife habitats around the world. Yet despite their importance to rural economies and natural ecosystems, remarkably little is known about the geographic distribution of most wild species – especially those that migrate seasonally over large areas. By combining NASA satellite imagery with wildlife surveys conducted by state natural resources agencies, a team of researchers at Utah State University and the University of Maryland, and the U.S. Geological Survey modeled the effects of plant productivity on populations of mule deer and mountain lions. Specifically, they mapped the abundance of both species over a climatically diverse region spanning multiple western states.











NASA satellites assist states in estimating abundance of key wildlife species
Mountain lions are the most common predator of mule deer in western North American ecosystems; their distribution,
abundance, and population trends are closely tied to those of their prey (adult female
in the Oquirrh Mountains, Utah) [Credit: D. Stoner]

These models provide new insights into how differences in climate are transmitted through the food chain, from plants to herbivores and then to predators. Prey and predator abundance both increased with plant productivity, which is governed by precipitation and temperature. Conversely, animals responded to decreases in food availability by moving and foraging over larger areas, which could lead to increased conflict with humans.


David Stoner, lead author of the study, “Climatically driven changes in primary production propagate through trophic levels” published in the journal Global Change Biology, remarked that, “We expected to see that satellite measurements of plant productivity would explain the abundance of deer. However, we were surprised to see how closely the maps of productivity also predicted the distribution of the mountain lion, their major predator.”


The study also reveals a disruption in the way scientists study the biosphere. Joseph Sexton, Chief Scientist of terraPulse, Inc. and a coauthor on the study, described the changing technology, “Up until about a decade ago, we were limited to analyzing landscapes through highly simplified maps representing a single point in time. This just doesn’t work in regions experiencing rapid economic or environmental change–the map is irrelevant by the time it’s finished.”


Now, given developments in machine learning, “big data” computation, and the “cloud”, ecologists and other scientists are studying large, dynamic ecosystems in ever-increasing detail and resolution. “We’re now mining global archives of satellite imagery spanning nearly forty years, we’re updating our maps in pace with ecosystem changes, and we’re getting that information out to government agencies and private land managers working in the field”.











NASA satellites assist states in estimating abundance of key wildlife species
The mule deer is a common, widely distributed species closely monitored throughout western North America
because of its economic value as a big game species (mule deer during fall migration,
Oquirrh Mountains, Utah) [Credit: D. Stoner]

The authors predict that, by enabling land managers to monitor rangeland and agricultural productivity, forest loss and regrowth, urban growth, and the dynamics of wildlife habitat, this expanding stream of information will help humanity adapt to climate and other environmental changes.


Stoner noted, “State wildlife agencies are tasked with estimating animal abundance in remote and rugged habitats, which is difficult and expensive. Integration of satellite imagery can help establish baseline population estimates, monitor environmental conditions, and identify populations at risk to climate and land-use change.”


Source: Utah State University [August 09, 2018]



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