пятница, 22 марта 2019 г.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 23-29, 2019

                              This brilliant fireball was recorded at 23:19 UT on March 27, 2019, from Neroth Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.

                              © Capella Observatory, Josef Poepsel, Dr.Stefan Binnewies, and Frank Sackenheim. www.capella-observatory.com

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Thursday March 28th. At this time the moon will be located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near 03:00 local daylight saving time (DST) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the late evening hours and will ruin the sky for the remainder of the night. Hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 3 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 8 from the southern tropics. 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. Morning rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. 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 March 23/24 . 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 near 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 20:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 1:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 6:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

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

Details of each source will continue next week when viewing conditions are more favorable for meteor observing.

RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
Anthelion (ANT) 13:04 (196) -07 30 02:00 1 – 1 II
gamma Normids (GNO) Mar 24 15:56 (239) -51 68 05:00 <1 – 1 II

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Arianespace’s Vega success with PRISMA in numbers: 3 + 14 + 308 = 600!

Arianespace – Vega Flight VV14 Mission poster.

March 22, 2019

Image above: Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019.

Vega launches PRISMA

An Arianespace Vega launch vehicle (Flight VV14) launched the PRISMA Earth observation satellite from the Vega Launch Complex (SLV) in Kourou, French Guiana, on 22 March 2019, at 01:50:35 UTC (21 March, at 22:50:35 local time).

PRISMA satellite deployment

Arianespace’s third mission of 2019 – which marked the Vega rocket’s 14th consecutive success – orbited the Italian PRISMA Earth observation satellite tonight, bringing the total number of spacecraft lofted by the launch services company to 600. It was the 308th flight overall of an Arianespace launcher.

PRISMA satellite

PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa) was produced for the Italian ASI space agency by OHB Italia as prime contractor, with Leonardo responsible for the Earth observation system. Operating from low Earth orbit, the satellite is designed to provide major applications for protection of the planet and for Italy’s national environmental safety. It is equipped with a state-of-the-art electro-optical instrument with a medium-resolution camera and an innovative hyperspectral sensor. Once operational, PRISMA will provide data for environmental monitoring, resources management, the identification and classification of crops, the fight against pollution and other uses.

More information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/

Images, Videos, Text, Credits: Arianespace/SciNews.

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2019 March 22 A Symphony in Northern Winter Skies Image Credit…

2019 March 22

A Symphony in Northern Winter Skies
Image Credit & Copyright: Lorenzo Ranieri Tenti

Explanation: Despite the cold, a chance to view the shimmering northern lights coaxed this skygazer onto the frozen surface of Lake Superior on the west coast of the Keweenaw Peninusla and offered this nocturnal crescendo as a reward. A northern late winter night sky also plays across the panoramic composition of images made between 10pm and 1am on the night of February 28/March 1. At left, a faint band of Zodiacal light rises sharply from the horizon crossing Mars and the Pleides star cluster. Both the distant galaxy M31 and our own Milky Way shine above the greenish auroral arc. Navigational north pole star Polaris is centered above and accompanied on the right by the northern night’s most recognizable asterism, the Big Dipper. Terrestrial lights include markers for two breakwaters on the the horizon near the center of the scene.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190322.html

Fluorite with Galena | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality:…

Fluorite with Galena | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Central Tennessee Ba-F-Pb-Zn District, Smith County, Tennessee USA

Specimen size: 7.5 × 7.3 × 7.5 cm

Photo Copyright © Fabre Minerals

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Fingal’s Cave | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Fingal’s Cave | #Geology #GeologyPage #Scotland

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics. The National Trust for Scotland owns the cave as part of a National Nature Reserve.It became known as Fingal’s Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson.

Read More & More Photos: http://www.geologypage.com/2018/07/fingals-cave.html

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Proustite on Calcite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality:…

Proustite on Calcite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Bouismas Mine, Bouismas, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Souss-Massa-Drâa Region Morocco

Specimen size: 4.6 × 3.4 × 2.3 cm

Main crystal size: 0.5 × 0.2 cm

Photo Copyright © Fabre Minerals

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Beryl (variety emerald) with Calcite | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Beryl (variety emerald) with Calcite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Muzo mining district, Western Emerald Belt, Boyacá Department Colombia

Specimen size: 4.5 × 3.6 × 3.4 cm

Main crystal size: 1 × 0.9 cm

Photo Copyright © Fabre Minerals

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Fluorite & Sphalerite | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Fluorite & Sphalerite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Minerva No 1 Mine, Illinois, United States of America

Size: 8 × 5 × 7 cm

Photo Copyright © JL MINERALS /e-rocks. com

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Jupiter Marble

NASA – JUNO Mission logo.

March 21, 2019

This striking view of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet.

Juno took the three images used to produce this color-enhanced view on Feb. 12, 2019, between 9:59 a.m. PST (12:59 p.m. EST) and 10:39 p.m. PST (1:39 p.m. EST), as the spacecraft performed its 17th science pass of Jupiter. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 16,700 miles (26,900 kilometers) and 59,300 miles (95,400 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, above a southern latitude spanning from about 40 to 74 degrees.

Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

JunoCam’s raw images are available at http://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.

More information about Juno is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

JUNO spacecraft orbiting Jupiter

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

Image, Animation, Text, Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill.

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Final Suit Checks and Reviews before Friday’s Spacewalk

ISS – Expedition 59 Mission patch.

March 21, 2019

Two Expedition 59 astronauts are checking their spacesuits today and reviewing procedures one final time before tomorrow’s spacewalk. The other four residents aboard the International Space Station assisted the spacewalkers, maintained the orbital lab and conducted space science.

NASA Flight Engineers Anne McClain and Nick Hague readied the Quest airlock today where they will begin the first spacewalk of 2019 Friday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. The spacewalkers will work outside for about 6.5 hours of battery upgrade work on the Port-4 truss structure. NASA TV begins its live spacewalk coverage at 6:30 a.m.

NASA experts discuss the upcoming power upgrade spacewalks

The duo also confirmed their U.S. spacesuits are ready for the excursion with all the necessary components, such as helmet lights and communications gear, installed. Afterward, Hague and McClain conducted one more spacewalk timeline review.

They then joined astronauts Christina Koch and David Saint-Jacques for a final conference with spacewalk experts in Mission Control. Both astronauts also charged and set up GoPro cameras before attaching them to the spacewalkers’ suit helmets.

Image above: NASA astronaut Anne McClain assists fellow NASA astronauts Christina Koch (left) and Nick Hague as they verify their U.S. spacesuits are sized correctly and fit properly ahead of a set of upcoming spacewalks. Image Credit: NASA.

Koch started her day cleaning ventilation screens in the Unity module and installing lights in the Permanent Multi-purpose Module. Saint-Jacques set up the AstroPi science education hardware in the Harmony module’s window then swapped fan cables in the Life Sciences Glovebox.

Commander Oleg Kononenko and fellow cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin spent the majority of their day in the station’s Russian segment. Kononenko and Ovchinin first collected and stowed their blood samples in a science freezer for a Russian metabolism experiment. Ovchinin then unpacked supplies from the recently arrived Soyuz MS-12 crew ship. Kononenko also worked on heart and radiation detection research before assisting the U.S. spacewalkers.

Related links:

NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Expedition 59: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition59/index.html

Quest airlock: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/joint-quest-airlock

Port-4 truss structure: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/truss-structure

Unity module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/unity

Permanent Multi-purpose Module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/permanent-multipurpose-module

AstroPi: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7534

Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony

Life Sciences Glovebox: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7676

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Image (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

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Ancient island hopping in the western Mediterranean (Fernandes et al. 2019 preprint)

Over at bioRxiv at this LINK. Here’s the abstract, emphasis is mine:

A series of studies have documented how Steppe pastoralist-related ancestry reached central Europe by at least 2500 BCE, while Iranian farmer-related ancestry was present in Aegean Europe by at least 1900 BCE. However, the spread of these ancestries into the western Mediterranean where they have contributed to many populations living today remains poorly understood. We generated genome-wide ancient DNA from the Balearic Islands, Sicily, and Sardinia, increasing the number of individuals with reported data from these islands from 3 to 52. We obtained data from the oldest skeleton excavated from the Balearic islands (dating to ~2400 BCE), and show that this individual had substantial Steppe pastoralist-derived ancestry; however, later Balearic individuals had less Steppe heritage reflecting geographic heterogeneity or immigration from groups with more European first farmer-related ancestry. In Sicily, Steppe pastoralist ancestry arrived by ~2200 BCE and likely came at least in part from Spain as it was associated with Iberian-specific Y chromosomes. In Sicily, Iranian-related ancestry also arrived by the Middle Bronze Age, thus revealing that this ancestry type, which was ubiquitous in the Aegean by this time, also spread further west prior to the classical period of Greek expansion. In Sardinia, we find no evidence of either eastern ancestry type in the Nuragic Bronze Age, but show that Iranian-related ancestry arrived by at least ~300 BCE and Steppe ancestry arrived by ~300 CE, joined at that time or later by North African ancestry. These results falsify the view that the people of Sardinia are isolated descendants of Europe’s first farmers. Instead, our results show that the island’s admixture history since the Bronze Age is as complex as that in many other parts of Europe.

Fernandes et al., The Arrival of Steppe and Iranian Related Ancestry in the Islands of the Western Mediterranean, bioRxiv, posted March 21, 2019, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/584714


Cork Stone Prehistoric Feature, Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, 17.3.19.

Cork Stone Prehistoric Feature, Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, 17.3.19.

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Caption Spotlight (21 March 2019): Bedrock in the Central Peaks…

Caption Spotlight (21 March 2019): Bedrock in the Central Peaks of Hale Crater

This long image is entirely over the extensive central peak complex of Hale Crater.

Of particular interest are bedrock outcrops and associated fine-grained sediments with different colors. This 153-kilometer diameter crater was named after American astronomer George Ellery Hale.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

LHCb sees a new flavour of matter–antimatter asymmetry

CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

March 21, 2019

The LHCb collaboration has observed a phenomenon known as CP violation in the decays of a particle known as a D0 meson for the first time 

Image above: A CP-symmetry transformation swaps a particle with the mirror image of its antiparticle. The LHCb collaboration has observed a breakdown of this symmetry in the decays of the D0 meson (illustrated by the big sphere on the right) and its antimatter counterpart, the anti-D0 (big sphere on the left), into other particles (smaller spheres). The extent of the breakdown was deduced from the difference in the number of decays in each case (vertical bars, for illustration only) (Image: CERN).

The LHCb collaboration at CERN1 has seen, for the first time, the matter–antimatter asymmetry known as CP violation in a particle dubbed the D0 meson. The finding, presented today at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference and in a dedicated CERN seminar, is sure to make it into the textbooks of particle physics.

“The result is a milestone in the history of particle physics. Ever since the discovery of the D meson more than 40 years ago, particle physicists have suspected that CP violation also occurs in this system, but it was only now, using essentially the full data sample collected by the experiment, that the LHCb collaboration has finally been able to observe the effect,” said CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen.

The term CP refers to the transformation that swaps a particle with the mirror image of its antiparticle. The weak interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics are known to induce a difference in the behaviour of some particles and of their CP counterparts, an asymmetry known as CP violation. The effect was first observed in the 1960s at Brookhaven Laboratory in the US in particles called neutral K mesons, which contain a “strange quark”, and, in 2001, experiments at the SLAC laboratory in the US and the KEK laboratory in Japan also observed the phenomenon in neutral B mesons, which contain a “bottom quark”. These findings led to the attribution of two Nobel prizes in physics, one in 1980 and another in 2008.

CP violation is an essential feature of our universe, necessary to induce the processes that, following the Big Bang, established the abundance of matter over antimatter that we observe in the present-day universe. The size of CP violation observed so far in Standard Model interactions, however, is too small to account for the present-day matter–antimatter imbalance, suggesting the existence of additional as-yet-unknown sources of CP violation.

The D0 meson is made of a charm quark and an up antiquark. So far, CP violation has only been observed in particles containing a strange or a bottom quark. These observations have confirmed the pattern of CP violation described in the Standard Model by the so-called Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) mixing matrix, which characterises how quarks of different types transform into each other via weak interactions. The deep origin of the CKM matrix, and the quest for additional sources and manifestations of CP violation, are among the big open questions of particle physics. The discovery of CP violation in the D0 meson is the first evidence of this asymmetry for the charm quark, adding new elements to the exploration of these questions.

To observe this CP asymmetry, the LHCb researchers used the full dataset delivered by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to the LHCb experiment between 2011 and 2018 to look for decays of the D0 meson and its antiparticle, the anti-D0, into either kaons or pions. “Looking for these two decay products in our unprecedented sample of D0 particles gave us the required sensitivity to measure the tiny amount of CP violation expected for such decays. Measuring the extent of the violation then boiled down to counting the D0 and anti-D0 decays and taking the difference,” explained Giovanni Passaleva, spokesperson for the LHCb collaboration.

The result has a statistical significance of 5.3 standard deviations, exceeding the threshold of 5 standard deviations used by particle physicists to claim a discovery. This measurement will stimulate renewed theoretical work to assess its impact on the CKM description of CP violation built into the Standard Model, and will open the window to the search for possible new sources of CP violation using charmed particles.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

Related links:

Rencontres de Moriond: http://moriond.in2p3.fr/2019/

CERN seminar: https://indico.cern.ch/event/807176/

Standard Model of particle physics: https://home.cern/science/physics/standard-model

Antimatter: https://home.cern/science/physics/antimatter

LHCb: http://lhcb-public.web.cern.ch/lhcb-public/Welcome.html

LHCb paper: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2668357/

For more information about European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Visit: https://home.cern/

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: CERN.

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