пятница, 19 октября 2018 г.

Immune Avengers Assemble There are membranes wrapped around…


Immune Avengers Assemble


There are membranes wrapped around all of our cells, and single-celled organisms like bacteria, too. But they do more than just hold everything in – tiny tunnel-like pores control the flow of important chemicals in and out. Usually this delicate balance helps life along. But here is a pore-making protein that can kill. The complement membrane attack complex (MAC) assembles from a group of proteins in our blood, triggered by our immune system to punch holes in nasty pathogens like bacteria – its long strands piercing the cell surface while precious chemicals burst out. Examining the structure of MAC using cryogenic electron microscopy allows scientists to spot a crucial step in how these avenging proteins come together – slotting together a series of identical protein pieces into a ring shape, before it can begin to penetrate the cell. This insight may help the design of drugs to help MAC tackle infections.


Written by John Ankers



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Мои мысли расшифровка рукописи Войнич

Код Земли Моя расшифровка рукописи Войнич 2016
на первый взгляд Шрифт манусрикпта, только кажется сложным
на самом деле он самый простой и самый для каждого государя Земли родной
Язык рукописи тот самый, на котором глаголили наши предки,
тот самый, из которого искусственно вывели современные диалекты,
Язык рукописи самый первый язык, после удачного расщепления Гиганта Аса, из него пошли русский язык, латиница, арабский, группа диалектов сино-тибетской языковой семьи.
Моя расшифровка манускрипта рукописи Войнич. Рукопись долгое время пребывает абсолютной тайной неразгаданных образов. Более точнее и детально я рассказала о том, что отображено в манускрипте, в 2012 году в фильме ТАМ тайны мира История Земли Личный взгляд моя расшифровка манускрипта Войнич . В фильме я детально показываю какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри.
Детально https://tamsecret.blogspot.com/2016/08/blog-post.html в данном фильме я рассказываю отчего особый род Гигантов обратил сам себя в камень и почему никто из сильных Гигантов не откликнулся на зов спасения рода Катара рода Расена Русина, и не избавил людей от истребления
Source My interpretation of the Voynich Manuscript decoding by SpaceTrack
Manuscript Decode English
https://xfilecomander.blogspot.com/2016/08/2016_26.html More precisely and in detail, I said that is displayed in the manuscript, in 2012 in the film TAM secrets of the world - the Earth's history, my personal opinion decoding the Voynich manuscript. In the film I show in detail which plants release the human body from the program of death and pain. Why do women get out of vats, and that means the pictures with the stars, giants faces inside.
 XissUfoToday Space
Моя расшифровка манускрипта Войнич. Рукопись долгое время пребывает абсолютной тайной неразгаданных образов.
Точнее и детально я рассказала о том, что отображено в манускрипте, в 2012 году в фильме ТАМ тайны мира История Земли Личный взгляд моя расшифровка манускрипта Войнич
 В фильме я детально показываю какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
Моя расшифровка рукописи Войнич Код Земли 2016
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
Моя расшифровка манускрипта Войнич Код Земли ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.
 ТАМ Тайны Тэрра Код Земли Отчего особый род Гигантов ВЕДы обратил сам себя в камень Почему никто из рода гигантов ВЕДа не спасли от уничтожения рода Катара, рода Расена Почему женщины выходят из чанов и что означают рисунки со звёздами и лицами гигантов внутри. Какие растения освобождают человеческое тело от программы смерти и боли. Из кого творятся Сумервы. Из кого формируется эктоплазма. Процесс сотворения мира Сумерв.

BepiColombo – Swiss Technology on Mercury


ESA – BepiColombo Mission patch.


Oct. 19, 2018


Ariane 5 will take off this weekend from Kourou, with two probes and instruments designed by the University of Bern on board.


Swiss researchers and companies took part in the ambitious Mercure research mission to be launched on the night of Friday to Saturday. The instruments developed must help reveal the secrets of the planet closest to the sun.



BepiColombo in the withe room

Instruments designed and manufactured by the Institute of Physics at the University of Bern will travel aboard the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) probes.


This is the Bela laser altimeter, the largest and most fragile instrument of the mission, and the brand new Strofio mass spectrometer, says the University of Bern.



BepiColombo Laser Altimeter – BELA

The BepiColombo mission consists of two space vehicles: one built by Europeans, Mercury Planetary Orbiter (DFO), and the other by the Japanese agency, Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).


The two vehicles will travel together to Mercury in a coupled system, but once there, they will be placed in different orbits. The MMO will study the interaction between the planet and the solar wind, while DFO will be responsible for mapping the surface of Mercury.


3D representation of the planet


The objective of the Bela laser altimeter, one of the elements on board DFO, is to measure the shape, topography and morphology of the Mercury surface. “Bela essentially allows us to create a 3D representation of the whole planet,” explains Nicolas Thomas, co-director of the project and director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Bern.



BepiColombo configuration

The all-new Strofio mass spectrometer is designed to capture the very fine atmosphere of Mercury – the exosphere – and to analyze its chemical composition.


The researchers had to design instruments so that they could withstand the heat of the sun: on Mercury, the temperature can be ten times higher than on Earth.


Neuchatel micro-cameras


The academic world is not the only Swiss player involved in the BepiColombo research mission. Neuchâtel equipment developed by Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration (MCSE) is part of the trip.




Digital Space Micro-Camera

MCSE has completely produced an instrument panel consisting of three micro-cameras. These will be used especially to photograph the passages near Venus and the approach of Mercury.


For its part, the armament and aeronautics group Ruag notably delivered the structure of the MPO vehicle in aluminum panels.


BepiColombo is the first European mission to Mercury, the smallest and least explored planet in the inner Solar System. It is the first Mercury mission to send two science orbiters to make complementary measurements of the planet’s dynamic environment at the same time.


A third module will transport the orbiters on the seven year cruise to Mercury, using a combination of solar electric propulsion and nine gravity assist flybys at Earth, Venus and Mercury.


Watch live as the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury is launched on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana:


BepiColombo launch live broadcast: https://livestream.com/ESA/BepiColomboLaunch


Schedule:


03:15 CEST Start of live transmission
03:45 CEST Liftoff, followed by confirmation of acquisition of signal, expected 40 minutes after launch
04:30 CEST End of live transmission


Related links:


ESA’s BepiColombo: http://sci.esa.int/bepicolombo/


BepiColombo Laser Altimeter – BELA: http://www.bela.space.unibe.ch/


Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration (MCSE): http://www.microcameras.ch/site/


Images, Text, Credits: ESA/ATS/University of Bern/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Captioned Image Spotlight: The Pits of Elysium MonsDuring the…


Captioned Image Spotlight: The Pits of Elysium Mons


During the 2018 Mars dust storm, we obtained a clear view of the summit of the giant volcano Elysium Mons. We see the western rim and floor of the caldera, and a chain of pits (called a “catena”) extending from the caldera towards the north. The chain of pits likely formed by volcanic processes, such as the collapse of a lava tube after it drained. Or by a tectonic process, such as a rift in the rocks below that drained loose material from the surface.


An unexpected feature of this catena is the presence of avalanches in two of the pits (marked A and B in the cutout, with the uphill direction towards the top of the image.) The flows in both pits could be ancient, produced during the formation of the catena, but they are not found in the other pits in the chain. They might have formed more recently by the collapse of steep dust deposits like those in a degraded crater to the left of the catena (marked C).


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Two degrees decimated Puerto Rico’s insect populations

While temperatures in the tropical forests of northeastern Puerto Rico have climbed two degrees Celsius since the mid-1970s, the biomass of arthropods—invertebrate animals such as insects, millipedes, and sowbugs—has declined by as much as 60-fold, according to new findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.











Two degrees decimated Puerto Rico's insect populations
Credit: RPI

The finding supports the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warnings of severe environmental threats given a 2.0 degree Celsius elevation in global temperature. Like some other tropical locations, the study area in the Luquillo rainforest has already reached or exceeded a 2.0 degree Celsius rise in average temperature, and the study finds that the consequences are potentially catastrophic.
“Our results suggest that the effects of climate warming in tropical forests may be even greater than anticipated” said Brad Lister lead author of the study and a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “The insect populations in the Luquillo forest are crashing, and once that begins the animals that eat the insects have insufficient food, which results in decreased reproduction and survivorship and consequent declines in abundance.”


“Climate Driven Declines in Arthropod Abundance Restructure a Rainforest Food Web” is based on data collected between 1976 and 2013 by the authors and the Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research program at three mid-elevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s protected Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 degrees Celsius.


Major findings include:


– Sticky traps used to sample arthropods on the ground and in the forest canopy were indicative of a collapse in forest arthropods, with biomass catch rates falling up to 60-fold between 1976 and 2013.


– The biomass of arthropods collected by ground-level sweep netting also declined as much as eight-fold from 1976 to 2013.


– As arthropods declined, simultaneous decreases occurred in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds.


– The authors also compared estimates of arthropod abundance they made in the 1980s in the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve in western Mexico with estimates from 2014. Over this time period mean temperature increased 2.4 Celsius and arthropod biomass declined eightfold.


Cold blooded animals living in tropical climates are particularly vulnerable to climate warming since that they are adapted to relatively stable year-round temperatures. Given their analyses of the data, which included new techniques to assess causality, the authors conclude that climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance in the Luquillo forest. These reductions have precipitated a major bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.


Given that tropical forests harbor two thirds of the Earth’s species, these results have profound implications for the future stability and biodiversity of rainforest ecosystems, as well as conservation efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of climate forcing.


Andres Garcia, of the Universidad Nacional Autònoma de Mèxico, was co-author on the study which was funded by the National Science Foundation.


Research into the effects of climate change is an exciting aspect of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The foundation for this vision is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.


Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [October 15, 2018]



TANN



Archive


Why tropical forests are so ecologically diverse

Working with high-resolution satellite imaging technology, researchers from Brown University and the University of California, Los Angeles have uncovered new clues in an age-old question about why tropical forests are so ecologically diverse.











Why tropical forests are so ecologically diverse
In this photo of the tropical rain forest canopy in Panama, Handroanthus guayacan, the focus of a new Brown/UCLA
study, blooms in yellow while Jacaranda copaia has blue flowers and Cavanillesia plantanifolia has pink fruit.
Taking advantage of regular annual changes, like flowering and fruiting, allowed Brown ecologist Jim Kellner
 to track individual trees through time and map distributions of some species throughout a large area
[Credit: Jonathan Dandois and Helene Muller-Landau/Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute]

In studying Handroanthus guayacan,a common tropical tree species, over a 10-year period, they found that the tree population increased mainly in locations where the tree is rare, rather than in locations where it is common.
“There are more tree species living in an area not much larger than a few football fields in Panama than in all of North America north of Mexico combined,” said Jim Kellner, first author on the paper and an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown. “How this diversity originated, and why it persists over time is a paradox that has challenged naturalists for more than a century.”


Until now.


“The take-home of the study is that there is a ‘negative feedback’ on population growth,” Kellner said, which puts the brakes on population growth in locations where the species is common.


The findings confirm a prediction from the 1970s, which posited that tropical forests are diverse because natural enemies keep populations in check. An enemy could be a seed eater, an herbivore or a pathogen, said Kellner, who is affiliated with the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.


For example, consider an oak tree and a squirrel. The squirrel eats acorns and prefers to forage where oak trees are abundant. A lone acorn in the middle of a grove of maples is likely to go unnoticed by a squirrel, whereas many acorns in an oak grove will be eaten. If this kind of behavior is widespread in tropical rainforests, it could keep species from becoming too common, Kellner said.


Earlier studies have shown that this negative feedback phenomenon holds true among young trees — seeds, seedlings and saplings — but ecologists hadn’t been able to determine whether it influences adult trees, the reproductive portion of populations, he said.


“It takes decades for trees to become reproductive in tropical forests, and the problem is compounded by how rare each species is,” Kellner said. “We found that for this species, you would have to search about 250 acres to find one new adult tree every year.”


That challenge isn’t feasible on foot, but remote sensing can overcome the challenges of observing large areas.


Kellner and co-author Stephen Hubbell, an ecology professor emeritus at UCLA, used high-resolution satellite images to track individuals on Barro Colorado Island, a six-square-mile island in the middle of the Panama Canal, over 10 years. They looked for Handroanthus guayacan, a tropical rainforest tree that produces bright yellow flowers for a few days a year.


“By timing the satellite image acquisition with seasonal flowering, we were able to identify most of the adults for this species on the island,” said Kellner.


They found 1,006 adult trees. Starting in 2012 and looking backward over the 10-year study period, Kellner and Hubbell were able to identify when new trees joined the adult population for the first time. They used advanced statistical methods to make sure that they were in fact identifying new adults and not just trees that had skipped a year of flowering or had flowered early or late.


The researchers found that negative feedback affected the abundance of new adult trees and that it can influence the population of new adult trees in an area of almost 100 football fields. This contrasts with prior studies of juvenile trees, which found the effects of host-specific enemies are usually restricted to small areas, Kellner said.


To confirm the locations of trees from the satellite data, they went to the island and independently found 123 adult trees of the same species. Of these, 89 percent had been detected in the high-resolution images, suggesting that their data are a nearly complete census of the species.


Kellner said the implications could be broad.


“I can’t think of any idea in ecology that is more important than population dynamics,” he said. “It’s important for everything from fishing licenses to forecasting disease outbreaks.”


The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Source: Brown University [October 15, 2018]



TANN



Archive


How geology tells the story of evolutionary bottlenecks and life on Earth

Evidence that catastrophic geological events could have created evolutionary bottlenecks that changed the course of life on Earth may be buried within ancient rocks beneath our feet.











How geology tells the story of evolutionary bottlenecks and life on Earth
Giant asteroid impacts could have created evolutionary bottlenecks that decided
 the path that evolution should take [Credit: NASA/Don Davis]

There is a 700-million year gap in Earth’s history, and in that time one of the most transformative events happened: life appeared. This missing epoch could hold not just the secret of humanity’s first ancestor, but could guide our search for life on other planets.
To this end a recent paper, published in the scientific journal Astrobiology, tries to bring the worlds of geology and chemistry together by laying out what Earth’s ancient geology tells us about when life began on the planet, and how geological constraints – such as those caused by an asteroid impact or evolutionary bottlenecks – can be used to vet the different theories about the evolution of life.


“Geologists have only weakly constrained the time when the Earth became habitable and the later time when life actually existed to the long interval between about 4.5 billion years ago and 3.85 billion years ago,” Norm Sleep, a geologist at Stanford University in the United States, writes in his paper.


A dangerous time


However, this was a dangerous time to be in the vicinity of Earth. Although evidence for it has become increasingly disputed in recent years, many scientists still think that during this period asteroids pummelled the young Earth and its neighbouring planets in what has become known as the Late Heavy Bombardment.


An asteroid impact is one of the events that could have created what is called an evolutionary bottleneck, whereby a few species are able to dominate, often as the result of a sudden decrease in the number of other organisms, says Sleep.


If a big asteroid were to hit Earth, the planet’s surface temperature would sky-rocket and the oceans would vaporize into the atmosphere. It would be catastrophic for the majority of life on Earth. But if an organism could survive that, it would be able to take over the planet – and possibly evolve over the course of billions of years to what would eventually become humans.


“If you wipe out most life geologically, the survivors are going to find a lot of vacant niches to occupy, and there will be rapid evolution,” Sleep tells Astrobiology Magazine. For example, thermophiles (which are heat-loving organisms) may have been able to survive temperatures that would have killed other organisms.


“This type of bottleneck, we know from the physics,” Sleep says. “The inside of Earth would be cooler, thermal microbes would be comfortable. “


Carbon-based evidence


Unfortunately, ancient asteroid impacts are difficult to detect in Earth’s geology, in part because of our planet’s shifting tectonic plates. However, traces of sequestered carbon trapped in ancient rocks could offer a clue: post-catastrophic asteroid impact, the atmosphere would have contained abundant quantities of carbon dioxide, linked to the high temperatures and high atmospheric pressures that would have made it difficult for live to thrive on Earth. “The Earth did not become habitable until the bulk of this carbon dioxide was subducted into the mantle,” Sleep writes in his paper. So far, scientists have not found reliable evidence of this sequestered carbon dioxide.











How geology tells the story of evolutionary bottlenecks and life on Earth
A fragment of rock from the Acasta Gneiss formation in Canada’s Northwest Territories, which contains
 the oldest known exposed rock in the world. Could carbon, sequestered in such rocks, reveal
the existence of asteroid impacts that caused evolutionary bottlenecks?
[Credit: Pedroalexandrade/WikiCommons]

Another evolutionary bottleneck for life could have been innovation: an organism innovates a trait that makes it very fit for its environment, and it is able to outcompete other organisms. “It quickly takes over all suitable habitable places on Earth and it becomes very abundant very quickly,” says Sleep.


An example would be an organism that evolves the ability to use iron or sulfur to photosynthesize. “The organism goes from being dependent on hydrogen to sunlight, and its biomass increases by an order of magnitude,” he says.


“Once this threshold was reached, the transition would be rapid, as in human time scale: years, hundreds of years, millennia. The organism could go from just barely eking it out, to multiplying and inhabiting the whole planet. “These are all potentially testable hypotheses,” he says.


His paper notes that the majority of known mineral species owe their existence to biological processes.


Getting people thinking


When asked which was the most likely cause of these bottlenecks, Sleep says it was probably a mixture of both. The purpose of his paper was not to advocate one cause over another, but “to get people thinking”


“It is to get people to work together, [to] pose things in a way that is helpful to everybody, [and] stir up more thinking about it,” he says.


William Martin, Director of the Institute for Molecular Evolution at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, reveals to Astrobiology Magazine that “There is a diversity of views in both disciplines, [and] getting everyone on the same page is no easy task. [Sleep] made a great effort to reach out across disciplines, that is for sure. Views about early evolution change slowly, but [Norm Sleep’s paper] is an important contribution.


Ultimately geology is crucial, as it defines the environment within which biologists and chemists have to operate, he says.


Author: Sarah Wild | Source: Astrobiology Magazine [October 15, 2018]



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Not everything is where it seems to be

Scientists at TU Wien, the University of Innsbruck and the ÖAW have for the first time demonstrated a wave effect that can lead to measurement errors in the optical position estimation of objects. The work now published in Nature Physics could have consequences for optical microscopy and optical astronomy, but could also play a role in position measurements using sound, radar, or gravitational waves.











Not everything is where it seems to be
The spiral wavefront of the elliptically polarized light hits the lens at a slight angle, leading
to the impression that the source of the light is somewhat off its actual position
[Credit: IQOQI Innsbruck/Harald Ritsch]

With modern optical imaging techniques, the position of objects can be measured with a precision that reaches a few nanometers. These techniques are used in the laboratory, for example, to determine the position of atoms in quantum experiments.


“We want to know the position of our quantum bits very precisely so that we can manipulate and measure them with laser beams,” explains Gabriel Araneda from the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck.


A collaborative work between physicists at TU Wien, Vienna, led by Professor Arno Rauschenbeutel, and researchers at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, led by Rainer Blatt, has now demonstrated that a systematic error can occur when determining the position of particles that emit elliptically polarized light.


“The elliptical polarization causes the wavefronts of the light to have a spiral shape and to hit the imaging optics at a slight angle. This leads to the impression that the source of the light is somewhat off its actual position,” explains Yves Colombe from Rainer Blatt’s team.


This could be relevant, for example, in biomedical research, where luminous proteins or nanoparticles are used as markers to determine biological structures. The effect that has now been proven would possibly lead to a distorted image of the actual structures.


Any kind of waves could show this behaviour


More than 80 years ago, the physicist Charles G. Darwin, grandson of the British natural scientist Charles Darwin, predicted this effect. Since that time, several theoretical studies have substantiated his prediction. Now, it has been possible for the first time to clearly prove the wave effect in experiments, and this twice: At the University of Innsbruck, physicists determined, through single photon emission, the position of a single barium atom trapped in an ion trap. Physicists at Atominstitut of TU Wien (Vienna) determined the position of a small gold sphere, about 100 nanometers in size, by analyzing its scattered light. In both cases, there was a difference between the observed and the actual position of the particle.


“The deviation is on the order of the wavelength of the light and it can add up to a considerable measurement error in many applications,” says Stefan Walser from Arno Rauschenbeutel’s team. “Super-resolution light microscopy, for example, has already penetrated far into the nanometer range, whereas this effect can lead to errors of several 100 nanometers.”


The scientists believe it is very likely that this fundamental systematic error will also play a role in these applications, but this has yet to be proven in separate studies. The researchers also assume that this effect will not only be observed with light sources, but that radar or sonar measurements, for example, could also be affected. The effect could even play a role in future applications for the position estimation of astronomical objects using their gravitational waves emission.


Source: University of Innsbruck [October 16, 2018]



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Arctic sea ice decline driving ocean phytoplankton farther north

Phytoplankton blooms that form the base of the marine food web are expanding northward into ice-free waters where they have never been seen before, according to new research.











Arctic sea ice decline driving ocean phytoplankton farther north
This true-colour image, captured by the NOAA-20 satellite on July 30, 2018, shows a large phytoplankton bloom
 in the Barents Sea [Credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory]

A new study based on satellite imagery of ocean color reveals phytoplankton spring blooms in the Arctic Ocean, which were previously nonexistent, are expanding northward at a rate of 1 degree of latitude per decade. Although blooms, or large explosions of phytoplankton, did not previously occur in this area, phytoplankton were present in the Arctic’s central basin at low biomass. The study also found the primary productivity of the phytoplankton, or the rate at which phytoplankton are converting sunlight into chemical energy, is increasing during the spring blooms.


The decline in Arctic sea ice over the past several decades has made way for areas of open water where phytoplankton can thrive, driving their northward expansion, according to the study’s authors. The researchers are unsure what effect this expansion will have on the food web, but the results suggest the decline of ice cover is impacting marine ecosystems in unforeseen ways.


If sea ice continues to decline, it could drive phytoplankton spring blooms farther north and increase primary productivity even more. These changes could affect the fate of the Arctic Ocean as a carbon source or a carbon sink, according to the study.


“If the ice pack totally disappears in summer, there will be consequences for the phytoplankton spring bloom,” said Sophie Renaut, a Ph.D. student at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, and lead author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. “We cannot exactly predict how it will evolve, but we’re pretty sure there are going to be drastic consequences for the entire ecosystem.”


Phytoplankton in the ecosystem


Phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that live in water, consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis. In this process, they convert sunlight into chemical energy. Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web, indirectly feeding everything from small fish to multi-ton whales.


Phytoplankton growth depends on the availability of carbon dioxide, sunlight, nutrients, water temperature and salinity, water depth and grazing animals, according to the NASA Earth Observatory. When conditions are ideal, phytoplankton population growth can explode, or bloom. While a bloom may last several weeks, the lifespan of an individual phytoplankton is seldom more than a few days.


Phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean typically bloom every spring. In the past, phytoplankton blooms have been virtually absent from the highest Arctic latitudes, because these areas are usually covered by sea ice. In recent decades sea ice has declined, breaking up earlier in the spring or not forming at all in some areas of the Arctic.











Arctic sea ice decline driving ocean phytoplankton farther north
Estimates of annual trends in daily flux of primary productivity (PP) during the phytoplankton spring bloom determined
from satellite ocean color data. Green pixels correspond to new phytoplankton spring blooms observed since 2010
[Credit: S. Renaut et al. 2018]

In the new study, Renaut and her colleagues wanted to see if recent sea ice declines have had any effect on spring phytoplankton blooms. They used satellite observations of ocean color–which provide estimates of phytoplankton biomass and primary productivity–to track changes of the blooms each spring from 2003 to 2013.


They found the spring blooms are expanding farther north and increasing in primary productivity. In the spring and summer months, net primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean increased by 31 percent between 2003 and 2013, according to the study. The researchers also found that these blooms in the Barents and Kara Seas, north of Russia, are expanding north at a rate of 1 degree of latitude per decade.


Unexpected effects of sea ice decline


Sea ice melt occurring earlier in the season creates larger open water areas that act as incubators for phytoplankton growth and elongate their growing season, according to Renaut.


The authors suspect spring blooms could someday extend into the Arctic’s central basin, which encompasses almost everything north of 80 degrees latitude. Primary productivity, though, would likely remain low due to a lack of nutrients. Less ice cover means spring blooms and under-ice blooms may also have to compete for light and nutrients, thus altering the flow of the marine ecosystem. The results suggest a large change in this region, which has never been free of ice cover.


“The polar regions–the Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean–they’re really important because they play a critical role in regulating the global climate,” Renaut said. “If sea ice disappears completely in summer in the Arctic Ocean, which is what we expect in some decades, it’s going to have an impact on the ecosystem but also likely on the climate.”


Patricia Yager, professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia who was not involved with the new study, said the earlier algal bloom growth they observed in some areas could have considerable impacts if animals are not yet ready to graze on the phytoplankton.


“Such a mismatch in time could cause major changes to the Arctic food web, impacting not only the local animals and the people who live there, but also the global population of migrating animals who depend on these Arctic resources,” Yager said. “What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.”


Cecile Rousseaux, a research scientist at the Universities Space Research Association, who was not involved in the new study, said the study advances research in this area by investigating individual regions of the Arctic for phytoplankton productivity, and represents evidence of the effects that reduced ice cover have on the biochemical cycle of the Arctic Ocean. However, Rousseaux noted that the study does have limitations.


“It is also important to remember that we are currently limited by the amount of data available to study these changes,” Rousseaux said. “Longer time series of satellite data will allow us to confirm whether these trends in phytoplankton productivity persist or not.”


Source: American Geophysical Union [October 16, 2018]



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A selfish gene makes mice into migrants

House mice carrying a specific selfish supergene move from one population to another much more frequently than their peers. This finding of a University of Zurich study shows for the first time that a gene of this type can influence animal migratory behavior. It could help in dealing with invasive plagues of mice.











A selfish gene makes mice into migrants
Switch between groups or leave the barn? This may be decided by a selfish supergene [Credit: iStock]

Usually the cooperation of genes helps an organism to grow and flourish. But some genes are pursuing a different agenda: Their aim is to propagate themselves by eliminating other genes. One of these selfish supergenes is called the t haplotype. It’s a complex of various inherited genes that occurs naturally in house mice.
“When it comes to heredity, this supergene gains an unfair advantage over other genes,” explains Jan-Niklas Runge, first author of the study and a doctoral candidate in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich. Any gene should actually have a fifty-fifty chance of being transferred to offspring. But sperm that carry the supergene poison rival sperm of the same animal to increase their probability of fertilization to 90 percent. Similar mechanisms can be found in other organisms such as fruit flies and corn.


Supergene carriers emigrate


The researchers have now conducted a long-term study to find out how this supergene affects the migratory behavior of house mice. This involved keeping precise records of comings and goings in four groups of free-ranging wild house mice in a barn near Zurich. With the help of genetic analyses, radio transmitters and regular headcounts, they were able to demonstrate that carriers of the t haplotype were more likely to switch between groups or leave the barn completely. The probability of migration of this sort was almost 50 percent higher than with normal animals. The study focused on young individuals representing the typical age group for house mice when they migrate.


Self-preservation


The scientists believe that the supergene manipulates the mice’s behavior in this way to enable it to propagate further and further. Moreover, this migration probably also ensures that the t haplotype is preserved in the house mice’s gene pool: If the supergene gets the upper hand in a population, it can lead to its own eradication. For example, mice that receive two copies of the supergene (from their father and their mother) are no longer viable. Apart from this, supergene sperm have trouble asserting themselves in competition with normal sperm if a female mates with several males during the same ovarian cycle.


“This means that large populations with a lot of competition for females that are ready to mate, and populations with a high percentage of t haplotype carriers, are fairly bad for the supergene,” explains Runge. “This is probably why carriers of the supergene emigrate and join populations where they have a better chance of propagation.”


This hunch is confirmed by the study findings: The larger the population, the more pronounced the migratory behavior observed. This would also explain why despite all the handicaps, the supergene has managed to survive in the mice’s genetic material for some two million years. The UZH researchers are now working on computer simulations and additional experiments to verify this hypothesis.


Containing invasion


Biologists in other research groups are already planning to use this supergene to control invasive house mice. If these animals multiply uncontrolled in places where they’re not indigenous, they can throw the entire ecosystem out of balance. For this reason researchers want to manipulate the genetic material of these mice to make them infertile. The idea is that the supergene would then help this modification spread within the population as quickly as possible.


“Our insights are very important in this context, and could help develop a safe and reliable method to combat invasions of this sort,” hopes Runge.


The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.


Source: University of Zurich [October 16, 2018]



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A curious branch of plankton evolution

Planktonic foraminifera (forams) — tiny, shelled organisms that float in the sea — left behind one of the most complete fossil records of evolutionary history in deep sea deposits. Consequently, evolutionists have a relatively sturdy grasp on when and how new lineages arose and developed their own unique features. However, a study published in the journal iScience reveals that one foram lineage evolved much more rapidly than everyone predicted, and researchers are looking beyond Darwin’s original theories of gradual evolution to understand why.











A curious branch of plankton evolution
Evolution of planktonic foraminiferal anatomy across Miocene/Pliocene boundary
[Credit: Russell D.C. Bicknell et al. 2018]

“It was an exciting moment. What our study and many others are starting to agree on is that evolution of forams is not necessarily gradual, as Darwin and more recent scientists thought,” says first author Russell Bicknell, a palaeontologist at the University of New England’s Palaeoscience Research Centre in Australia. “Life can exist for long periods of time exhibiting only minor changes followed by rapid, punctuated shifts.”
Bicknell’s team, made up of researchers from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, measured the size and shape of one lineage of forams, called Truncorotalia, using 1,459 fossils from 5.9 and 4.5 million years ago. Using these measurements and time series analyses, they found that the shape of Truncorotalia’s shell rapidly morphed 5.1 million years ago. At that time, oceans were cooling and flooding the earth.


“The abrupt change in the shape of Truncorotalia’s shell shows that foram lineages can evolve rapidly, explosively, and dramatically,” says Bicknell. “That points to more complex evolutionary dynamics than previously thought and justifies a re-evaluation of the evolutionary dynamics of other foram lineages.”


The researchers think either of two post-Darwinian theories could describe the rapid changes they observed: punctuated equilibrium and quantum evolution. Punctuated equilibrium describes short bursts and subsequent steady periods of morphological change within a lineage. The theory of quantum evolution describes broader, rapid splits into new families, orders, and classes. If the theory fits, the researchers have potentially observed quantum evolution at a species level for the first time. In either case, the researchers believe previous theories of gradual evolution in foram lineages need reassessment.


Although the researchers’ analyses were limited to a specific window of history, the tools they used can be applied widely to various moderately complete fossil records. They hope that more evolutionists will adopt these tools and continue to challenge standard theories on the foram’s evolution.


“Evolution is so much more complicated than we think,” says Bicknell. “How, when, and why evolutionary changes occur constantly surprise us. It is one of the reasons working in evolution is so much fun.”


Source: Cell Press [October 17, 2018]



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Ancient Andean genomes show distinct adaptations to farming and altitude

Ancient populations in the Andes of Peru adapted to their high-altitude environment and the introduction of agriculture in ways distinct from other global populations that faced similar circumstances, according to findings presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2018 Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.











Ancient Andean genomes show distinct adaptations to farming and altitude
Inca terrace farming [Credit: Imgur]

John Lindo, PhD, JD, assistant professor of anthropology at Emory University, and a group of international collaborators headed by Anna Di Rienzo, PhD, at the University of Chicago and Mark Aldenderfer, PhD, at the University of California, Merced, set out to use newly available samples of 7,000-year-old DNA from seven whole genomes to study how ancient people in the Andes adapted to their environment. They compared these genomes with 64 modern-day genomes from both highland Andean populations and lowland populations in Chile, in order to identify the genetic adaptations that took place before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s.


“Contact with Europeans had a devastating impact on South American populations, such as the introduction of disease, war, and social disruption,” explained Dr. Lindo. “By focusing on the period before that, we were able to distinguish environmental adaptations from adaptations that stemmed from historical events.”


They found that Andean populations’ genomes adapted to the introduction of agriculture and resulting increase in starch consumption differently from other populations. For example, the genomes of European farming populations show an increased number of copies of the gene coding for amylase, an enzyme in saliva that helps break down starch. While Andeans also followed a high-starch diet after they started to farm, their genomes did not have additional copies of the amylase gene, prompting questions about how they may have adapted to this change.


Similarly, Tibetan genomes, which have been studied extensively for their adaptations to high altitude, show many genetic changes related to the hypoxia response — how the body responds to low levels of oxygen. The Andean genomes did not show such changes, suggesting that this group adapted to high altitude in another way.


The researchers also found that after contact with Europeans, highland Andeans experienced an effective population reduction of 27 percent, far below the estimated 96 percent experienced by lowland populations. Previous archaeological findings showed some uncertainty to this point, and the genetic results suggested that by living in a harsher environment, highland populations may have been somewhat buffered from the reach and resulting effects of European contact. The findings also showed some selection for immune-related genes after the arrival of Europeans, suggesting that Andeans who survived were better able to respond to newly introduced diseases like smallpox.


Building on these findings, Dr. Lindo and his colleagues are currently exploring a new set of ancient DNA samples from the Incan capital Cusco, as well as a nearby lowland group. They are also interested in gene flow and genetic exchange resulting from the wide-ranging trade routes of ancient Andeans.


“Our findings thus far are a great start to an interesting body of research,” said Dr. Lindo. “We would like to see future studies involving larger numbers of genomes in order to achieve a better resolution of genetic adaptations throughout history,” he said.


Source: American Society of Human Genetics [October 17, 2018]



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Agate | #Geology #GeologyPage #Agate #Mineral Photo Copyright ©…


Agate | #Geology #GeologyPage #Agate #Mineral


Photo Copyright © Pascal Petit/flickr


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGomcqFBmS/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=182z4wwd0vr2r


Great Blue Hole | #Geology #GeologyPage #Belize The Great Blue…


Great Blue Hole | #Geology #GeologyPage #Belize


The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City.


Read more & More Photos: http://www.geologypage.com/2016/06/great-blue-hole.html


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGomf3lyTr/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=8ldu4mduqxgm


Tourmaline with Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage…


Tourmaline with Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Minas Gerais, Brazil

Size: 5.5 x 3.9 x 1.8


Photo Copyright © Saphira Minerals


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGouy2F5ff/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=cjabcxtg7pzf


Aragonite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality:…


Aragonite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Minglanilla, Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha, Spain

Size: 6.0 x 5.5. x 2.5 cm


Photo Copyright © Spirifer Minerals


Geology Page

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGo3ZrlOaE/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=afbaepcudjc2


Blue Hole (Red Sea) | #Geology #GeologyPage #Egypt Blue Hole is…


Blue Hole (Red Sea) | #Geology #GeologyPage #Egypt


Blue Hole is a diving location on east Sinai, a few kilometres north of Dahab, Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea.


The Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole, around 94 m (300 feet) deep. There is a shallow opening around 6 m deep, known as “the saddle”, opening out to the sea, and a 26 m long tunnel, known as “the arch”, whose top is at a depth of 56 m (184 feet). The hole and the surrounding area have an abundance of coral and reef fish.


Geology Page

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGo7gjFD_O/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=jp9f88e181l7


Tourmaline var. Elbaite crystal | #Geology #GeologyPage…


Tourmaline var. Elbaite crystal | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Ouarzazate Province, Souss-Massa-Draa Region, Morocco


Size: 2.0 x 1.3 x 1.3 cm


Photo Copyright © Spirifer Minerals


Geology Page

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BpGpHebl916/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=oh09kryr360u


2018 October 19 Summer to Winter Milky Way Image Credit &…


2018 October 19


Summer to Winter Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Dong Han


Explanation: Taken near local midnight, this autumn night’s panorama follows the arch of the Milky Way across the northern horizon from the High Fens, Eifel Nature Park at the border of Belgium and Germany. Shift your gaze across the wetlands from west to east (left to right) and you can watch stars once more prominent in northern summer give way to those that will soon dominate northern winter nights. Setting, wanderer Mars is brightest at the far left, still shinning against almost overwhelming city lights along the southwestern horizon. Bright stars Altair, Deneb, and Vega form the northern sky’s summer triangle, straddling the Milky Way left of center. Part of the winter hexagon Capella and Aldebaran, along with the beautiful Pleiades star cluster shine across the northeastern sky. The line-of-sight along the hikers boardwalk leads almost directly toward the Big Dipper, an all season asterism from these northern latitudes. Follow the Big Dipper’s pointer stars to Polaris and the north celestial pole nearly centered above it. Andromeda, the other large galaxy in the skyscape, is near the top of the frame.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap181019.html


NASA Calls for Instruments, Technologies for Delivery to the Moon


NASA logo.


Oct. 18, 2018


NASA has announced a call for Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads that will fly to the Moon on commercial lunar landers as early as next year or 2020. The agency is working with U.S. industry and international partners to expand human exploration from the Moon to Mars. It all starts with robotic missions on the lunar surface, as well as a Gateway for astronauts in space orbiting the Moon.



Moon

NASA is preparing to purchase commercial lunar payload delivery services for small payloads, and develop lunar landers for large payloads, to conduct more research on the Moon’s surface ahead of a human return. The agency is seeking investigations that advance capabilities for science, exploration, or commercial development of the Moon. This call is specifically geared towards small payloads that can be ready for early commercial flights. Future calls for lunar payloads will occur at regular intervals for later missions, with the next call released in approximately one year.
“We are looking for ways to not only conduct lunar science but to also use the Moon as a science platform to look back at the Earth, observe the Sun, or view the vast Universe,” said Steve Clarke, Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In terms of technology, we are interested in those instruments or systems that will help future missions—both human and robotic—explore the Moon and feed forward to future Mars missions.”


On early missions, science instruments will likely gather data related to heat flow within the Moon’s interior, solar wind and atmosphere as well as dust detection. Lander payloads could also conduct technology demonstrations, using the Moon as a technology testbed for Mars.


“The strategy is that these early missions will help us prepare for more complex future missions such as searching for useable resources, building up a seismic network to understand the Moon’s internal structure, and studying the lunar mineralogy and chemistry to understand the Moon’s origins,” Clarke said.  “NASA is also looking forward to supporting U.S. industry efforts to provide more commercial exploration services for multiple customers, including NASA.”


The agency requests payloads be ready for delivery and integration into lunar landers no later than December 2021. In most cases, payloads will be delivered in place and remain under the principal investigator’s control until they are selected for a specific flight.


The call for payloads falls under the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) funding program and requests proposals for principal investigator-led science instrument and technology investigations. The initial proposal deadline is November 19, 2018.



Apollo 17

The United States has not soft-landed on the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. The Moon has scientific value and the potential to yield resources, such as water and oxygen, in relatively close proximity to Earth to help sustain deep space exploration.


For more information on the call for proposals, please go to:
https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary!init.do?solId={2D390C4D-39F9-E880-34C8-C07DC523698E}&path=open


For more information on NASA’s Exploration program, please go to:
https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars


Related links:


Moon to Mars: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-outlines-new-lunar-science-human-exploration-missions


Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars/lunar-outpost


Lunar payload delivery services: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-commercial-partners-key-to-sustainable-moon-presence


Image, Animation, Text, Credits:  NASA/Tricia Talbert.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Meteor Activity Outlook for October 20-26, 2018

This fantastic fireball/cloud photograph was captured by Monika L. from near Veszprém, Hungary. It was captured on September 28, 2018 at 18:28 Universal Time. She commented that it was slow and may have produced sounds.

During this period the moon will reach its full phase on Wednesday October 24h. At this time the moon will be located opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours leaving a small window of opportunity to view under dark skies between moonset and the start of morning twilight. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for those viewing from the northern hemisphere and 2 for those located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 18 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 13 from the southern tropics. Rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.


The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning October 20/21. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies at the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.





Radiant Positions at 9pm LST


Radiant Positions at 21:00

Local Daylight Saving Time






Radiant Positions at 01:00 Local Daylight Saving Time


Radiant Positions at 01:00

Local Daylight Saving Time






Radiant Positions at 5am LDT


Radiant Positions at 5:00

Local Daylight Saving Time





These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week..


The Northern Taurids (NTA) are active from a large radiant located at 02:26 (037) +18. This area of the sky is located in central Aries, 5 degrees southeast of the 2nd magnitude star known as Hamal (alpha Arietis). This position is close to the Southern Taurids so care must be taken in separating these meteors. You should have the two radiants near the center of your field of view to properly differentiate these sources. The maximum is not expected until early November so current rates would be 1 per hour or less. These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near 0200 DST when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 28 km/sec., the average Northern Taurid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The Southern Taurids (STA) are active from a large radiant centered near 02:40 (040) +11. This position lies in southern Aries, 2 degrees northwest of the 4th magnitude star known as mu Ceti. These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near 0200 DST when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 2 per hour regardless of your location. With an entry velocity of 27 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The omicron Eridanids (OER) were discovered by Japanese observers using video data from SonotoCo in 2007-2008. The activity period ranges from October 16 – November 24 with maximum activity occurring on November 4th. This is a weak shower that usually produces rates less than 1 per hour, even at maximum activity. The radiant is currently located at 02:44 (041) -03, which places it on the Cetus/Eridanus border, 5 degrees south of the 3rd magnitude star known as Menkar (alpha Ceti). This location is close to the source of the Southern Taurids so care must be taken to separate these meteors. Like the STA’s these meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near 0200 DST when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 29 km/sec., the average omicron Eridanid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The chi Taurids (CTA) were discovered by Dr. Peter Brown  during his 7 year survey using the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR). This source is active from October 20 through November 17 with a maximum occurring near November 3rd. Current rates would be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. The radiant is currently located at 03:15 (049) +24, which places it in eastern Aries , 6 degrees west of the famous naked eye open cluster known as the Pleiades. This location is close to the source of the Northern Taurids so care must be taken to separate these meteors. These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near 0300 LDT when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 41 km/sec., the average chi Taurid meteor would be of medium velocity.


The Orionids (ORI) reach maximum activity on the morning of October 22nd. Unfortunately the full moon will obscure all but the brighter meteors, severely reducing the number of meteors seen. The is radiant located at 06:20 (095) +16, which places it  in northeastern Orion, 3 degrees west of the 2nd magnitude star known as Alhena (gamma Geminorum). This area of the sky rise between 2200 and 2300 and is best placed near 05:00 DST, when it lies highest above the horizon. Rates with moonlight, with the radiant high in the sky, should be near 5 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.


The nu Eridanids (NUE) were co-discovered by Japanese observers using SonotoCo and Juergen Rendtel and Sirko Molau of the IMO. Activity from this long-period stream stretches from August 23 all the way to November 16. A very shallow maximum occurred near September 24. The radiant currently lies at 06:24 (103) +12, which places it in northeastern Monoceros, 2 degrees southeast of the 3rd magnitude star known as Alzirr (xi Geminorum). This area of the sky is best seen during the last dark hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Current rates are expected to be less than 1 per hour during this period no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity. Some experts feel that these meteors are early members of the Orionid shower, which peaks on October 22.


The epsilon Geminids (EGE) are active from September 30 through October 25 with maximum activity occurring on October 11. The radiant is currently located at 06:29 (105) +28, which places it in north-central Gemini, 4 degrees northeast of the 3rd magnitude star known as Mebsuta (epsilon Geminorum). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Current rates should be less than 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 70 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.


The lambda Ursae Majorids (LUM) are a recent discovery by Željko Andreić and the Croatian Meteor Network team based on studying SonotaCo and CMN observations (SonotaCo 2007-2011, CMN 2007-2010).  This weak shower is active from October 27-29 maximum activity occurring on the 28th. At maximum the radiant is located at 10:24 (156) +49. This position lies in a sparse area of central Ursa Major, between the 2nd magnitude star Merak (Beta Ursae Majoris) and 3rd magnitude Tania Borealis (Lambda Ursa Majoris). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates at maximum would be less than 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 61 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.


The Leonis Minorids (LMI) are active from October 12-Nov 5 with maximum activity occurring on October 22nd. This radiant is currently located at 10:36 (159) +37, which places it in northeastern Leo Minor, 2 degrees northeast of the 4th magnitude star known as beta Leonis Minoris. The radiant is best placed just before dawn when it lies highest in a dark sky. This shower is better situated for observers situated in the northern hemisphere where the radiant rises far higher into the sky before the start of morning twilight. Current rates would be less than 1 no matter your location. At 62km/sec., the average Leonis Minorid is swift. From my personal experience this minor shower produces a high proportion of bright meteors.


As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 8 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 2 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 6 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 1 per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures. Rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight.


The list below offers the information from above in tabular form. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning except where noted in the shower descriptions.








































































































SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
Northern Taurids (NTA) Nov 02 02:26 (037) +18 28 02:00 1 – <1 II
Southern Taurids (STA) Oct 29 02:40 (040) +11 27 02:00 2 – 2 II
omicron Eridanids (OER) Nov 04 02:44 (041) -03 29 02:00 <1 – <1 IV
chi Taurids (CTA) Nov 03 03:15 (049) +24 41 03:00 <1 – <1 IV
Orionids (ORI) Oct 22 05:51 (088) +16 67 05:00 5 – 4 I
nu Eridanids (NUE) Sep 24 06:24 (096) +10 67 06:00 1 -1 IV
epsilon Geminids (EGE) Oct 11 06:29 (105) +28 70 06:00 <1 – <1 II
lambda Ursae Majorids (LUM) Oct 28 10:24 (156) +49 62 10:00 <1 – <1 IV
Leonis Minorids (LMI) Oct 22 10:36 (159) +37 62 10:00 1 – <1 IV

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