понедельник, 3 июня 2019 г.

Unconformity : What Is Unconformity? What are Types of…

Unconformity : What Is Unconformity? What are Types of Unconformity? http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/unconformity.html

Garnet Color : What is Garnet’s Color?…

Garnet Color : What is Garnet’s Color? http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/garnet-color.html

A 49 kilometers high volcanic ash column rose up over the Mayan…

A 49 kilometers high volcanic ash column rose up over the Mayan civilization http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/a-49-kilometers-high-volcanic-ash-column-rose-up-over-the-mayan-civilization.html

Mapping groundwater’s influence on the world’s oceans…

Mapping groundwater’s influence on the world’s oceans http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/mapping-groundwaters-influence-on-the-worlds-oceans.html

Earthquakes that talk to each other…

Earthquakes that talk to each other http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/earthquakes-that-talk-to-each-other.html

Stainless Peel When you excitedly peel a promotional sticker…

Stainless Peel

When you excitedly peel a promotional sticker off a shiny new book, you often get left with sticky torn remnants tainting the cover. The same tends to happen when we try to remove biofilms (pictured) – dense mats of bacteria that cause problems when they settle on medical or industrial equipment. Researchers have been trying to understand the physical properties of biofilms that make them so stubborn, and have developed a new technique for removing them. They spotted that the edges of biofilms tend to be water repellant, meaning water can be used to drive a wedge between film and surface. This use of water, plus very gentle peeling, cleanly removed biofilms like when you soak a new glass in water before removing the pesky barcode sticker. Importantly, the technique doesn’t leave any residue, meaning the film is less likely to regrow, and infections can be kept at bay.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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ESO contributes to protecting Earth from dangerous asteroids

Side by side observation and artist’s impression of Asteroid 1999 KW4

Minimum Separation of Asteroid 1999 KW4 and Earth

Artist’s Impression of Asteroid 1999 KW4


ESOcast 202 Light: ESO helps protect Earth from dangerous asteroids

ESOcast 202 Light: ESO helps protect Earth from dangerous asteroids

Artist’s Impression of Asteroid 1999 KW4

Artist’s Impression of Asteroid 1999 KW4

VLT observes a passing double asteroid hurtling by Earth at 70000 km/h

The unique capabilities of the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope have enabled it to obtain the sharpest images of a double asteroid as it flew by Earth on 25 May. While this double asteroid was not itself a threatening object, scientists used the opportunity to rehearse the response to a hazardous Near-Earth Object (NEO), proving that ESO’s front-line technology could be critical in planetary defence.

The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) coordinated a cross-organisational observing campaign of the asteroid 1999 KW4 as it flew by Earth, reaching a minimum distance of 5.2 million km [1] on 25 May 2019. 1999 KW4 is about 1.3 km wide, and does not pose any risk to Earth. Since its orbit is well known, scientists were able to predict this fly-by and prepare the observing campaign.

ESO joined the campaign with its flagship facility, the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The VLT is equipped with SPHERE — one of the very few instruments in the world capable of obtaining images sharp enough to distinguish the two components of the asteroid, which are separated by around 2.6 km.

SPHERE was designed to observe exoplanets; its state-of-the-art adaptive optics (AO) system corrects for the turbulence of the atmosphere, delivering images as sharp as if the telescope were in space. It is also equipped with coronagraphs to dim the glare of bright stars, exposing faint orbiting exoplanets.

Taking a break from its usual night job hunting exoplanets, SPHERE data helped astronomers characterise the double asteroid. In particular, it is now possible to measure whether the smaller satellite has the same composition as the larger object.  

These data, combined with all those that are obtained on other telescopes through the IAWN campaign, will be essential for evaluating effective deflection strategies in the event that an asteroid was found to be on a collision course with Earth,” explained ESO astronomer Olivier Hainaut. “In the worst possible case, this knowledge is also essential to predict how an asteroid could interact with the atmosphere and Earth’s surface, allowing us to mitigate damage in the event of a collision.

The double asteroid was hurtling by the Earth at more than 70 000 km/h, making observing it with the VLT challenging,” said Diego Parraguez, who was piloting the telescope. He had to use all his expertise to lock on to the fast asteroid and capture it with SPHERE.

Bin Yang, VLT astronomer, declared “When we saw the satellite in the AO-corrected images, we were extremely thrilled. At that moment, we felt that all the pain, all the efforts were worth it.” Mathias Jones, another VLT astronomer involved in these observations, elaborated on the difficulties. “During the observations the atmospheric conditions were a bit unstable. In addition, the asteroid was relatively faint and moving very fast in the sky, making these observations particularly challenging, and causing the AO system to crash several times. It was great to see our hard work pay off despite the difficulties!”

While 1999 KW4 is not an impact threat, it bears a striking resemblance to another binary asteroid system called Didymos which could pose a threat to Earth sometime in the distant future.

Didymos and its companion called “Didymoon” are the target of a future pioneering planetary defence experiment. NASA’s DART spacecraft will impact Didymoon in an attempt to change its orbit around its larger twin, in a test of the feasibility of deflecting asteroids. After the impact, ESA’s Hera mission will survey the Didymos asteroids in 2026 to gather key information, including Didymoon’s mass, its surface properties and the shape of the DART crater.

The success of such missions depends on collaborations between organisations, and tracking Near-Earth Objects is a major focus for the collaboration between ESO and ESA. This cooperative effort has been ongoing since their first successful tracking of a potentially hazardous NEO in early 2014.

We are delighted to be playing a role in keeping Earth safe from asteroids,” said Xavier Barcons, ESO’s Director General. “As well as employing the sophisticated capabilities of the VLT, we are working with ESA to create prototypes for a large network to take asteroid detection, tracking and characterization to the next level.

This recent close encounter with 1999 KW4 comes just a month before Asteroid Day, an official United Nations day of education and awareness about asteroids, to be celebrated on 30 June. Events will be held on five continents, and ESO will be among the major astronomical organisations taking part. The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre will host a range of activities on the theme of asteroids on the day, and members of the public are invited to join in the celebrations.


[1] This distance is about 14 times the distance to the Moon — close enough to study, but not close enough to be threatening! Many small asteroids fly past the Earth much closer than 1999 KW4, occasionally closer than the Moon. Earth’s most recent encounter with an asteroid took place on 15 February 2013, when a previously unknown asteroid 18 metres across exploded as it entered Earth’s atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The damage produced by the subsequent shockwave caused injuries to about 1,500 people.

More Information

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 16 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Also at Paranal ESO will host and operate the Cherenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.



Calum Turner
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6670

Source: ESO/News 

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2019 June 3 Stephan’s Quintet from Hubble Image Credit:…

2019 June 3

Stephan’s Quintet from Hubble
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing: Daniel Nobre

Explanation: When did these big galaxies first begin to dance? Really only four of the five of Stephan’s Quintet are locked in a cosmic tango of repeated close encounters taking place some 300 million light-years away. The odd galaxy out is easy to spot in this recently reprocessed image by the Hubble Space Telescope – the interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318B, 7318A, and 7317 (left to right), have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. The mostly bluish galaxy, large NGC 7320 on the lower left, is in the foreground at about 40 million light-years distant, and so is not part of the interacting group. Data and modeling indicate that NGC 7318B is a relatively new intruder. A recently-discovered halo of old red stars surrounding Stephan’s Quintet indicate that at least some of these galaxies started tangling over a billion years. Stephan’s Quintet is visible with a moderate sized-telescope toward the constellation of Winged Horse (Pegasus).

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190603.html

A Giant Stellar Eruption Detected for the First Time

HR 9024

Credit: NASA/CXC/INAF/Argiroffi, C. et al. Illustration: NASA/GSFC/S. Wiessinger 

This artist’s illustration depicts a coronal mass ejection, or CME, from a star. These events involve a large-scale expulsion of material, and have frequently been observed on the Sun. A new study using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has detected a CME from a different star, as reported in a new press release, providing a novel insight into these powerful phenomena. As the name implies these events occur in the corona, which is the outer atmosphere of a star.

This «extrasolar» CME was seen from a star called HR 9024, which is located about 450 light years from Earth. This represents the first time that researchers have thoroughly identified and characterized a CME from a star other than the Sun. This event was marked by an intense flash of X-rays followed by the emission of a giant bubble of plasma, i.e., hot gas containing charged particles.

The results confirm that CMEs are produced in magnetically active stars, and they also open the opportunity to systematically study such dramatic events in stars other than the Sun.

The High-Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer, or HETGS, aboard Chandra is the only instrument that allows measurements of the motions of coronal plasmas with speeds of just a few tens of thousands of miles per hour, like those observed in HR 9024. During the flare, the Chandra observations clearly detected very hot material (between 18 to 45 million degrees Fahrenheit) that first rises and then drops with speeds between 225,000 to 900,000 miles per hour. This is in excellent agreement with the expected behavior for material linked to the stellar flare.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) of our Sun as observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on August 31, 2012.

A paper describing this study appeared in the May 27, 2019 issue of Nature Astronomy and a preprint is available here. The lead author is Costanza Argiroffi of University of Palermo in Italy and the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Italy. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Fast Facts for HR 9024:

Category: Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Coordinates (J2000): RA 23h 49m 40.80s | Dec 36° 25´ 31.00″
Constellation: Andromeda
Observation Date: August 2001
Observation Time: 27 hours 13 minutes
Obs. ID: 1892
Instrument: HETG
References: Argiroffi, C. et al, 2019, Nature Astronomy, arXiv:1905.11325
Distance Estimate: About 450 light years

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2019 June 2 A Live View from the International Space Station…

2019 June 2

A Live View from the International Space Station
Image Credit: NASA, UStream, HDEV Project

Explanation: If you were floating above the Earth right now, this is what you might see. In 2014, a robotic SpaceX Dragon capsule that delivered supplies to the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS) also delivered High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) cameras that take and transmit live views of Earth. Pictured here, when working, is the live video feed that switches between four cameras, each pointed differently. Watch white clouds, tan land, and blue oceans drift by. The featured live view will appear black when it is nighttime on the Earth below, but the space station’s rapid 90-minute orbit compresses this dark time into only 45 minutes. The present location of the ISS above the Earth can be found on the web. If the video appears gray, this indicates that the view is either being switched between cameras, or communications with the ISS is temporarily unavailable. As the HDEV project continues, video quality will be monitored to assess the effects of high energy radiation, which types of cameras work best, and which Earth views are the most popular.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190602.html

Old Oswestry Iron Age Hill Fort, Oswestry, North Wales, 2.6.19.

Old Oswestry Iron Age Hill Fort, Oswestry, North Wales, 2.6.19.

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Austria’s Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

The Salzburg Museum in Austria said it would hand back to Russia a trove of ancient Hellenic artefacts plundered during World War II.

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia
One of the five tombstones looted from the USSR by the Nazis in 1943
[Credit: Salzburg Museum]

A restitution certificate was issued for eight objects. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen presented it to Russia’s Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Sochi earlier in the day.

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia
The other four tombstones looted from the USSR by the Nazis in 1943
[Credit: Salzburg Museum]

The eight artefacts include five grave reliefs and three amphorae dating from the fourth century BC, when the ancient Greeks colonized the shores of the Black Sea.

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia

Austria's Salzburg Museum to return stolen Greek antiquities to Russia
The three amphorae, looted from the USSR by the Nazis in 1943
[Credit: Salzburg Museum]

A Nazi officer of Austrian descent stole the treasures from the Historical Archaeological Museum in Temryuk in Russia’s southwest and sent them to his home in Salzburg. They will be returned next fall.

Author: Fahad Shabbir | Source: UrduPoint [May 28, 2019]



17 amphorae from the 3rd century BC discovered off Cannes

A campaign of underwater archaeological excavations has uncovered 17 amphorae dating from the 3rd century BC at a depth of twenty metres, not far from the Lérins islands off the Bay of Cannes.

17 amphorae from the 3rd century BC discovered off Cannes
Credit: Marc Langleur

According to Anne Joncheray, archaeologist and director of the Saint-Raphaël Museum of Archaeology, the 2,300-year-old amphorae are remarkably well-preserved and were likely used to transport locally produced wine to the Greek trading posts of the Mediterranean.
«Bringing these objects to the surface was not an easy task, as everything was entangled in a mixture of sand and organic matter, which also preserved them for more than two millennia», says Joncheray.

17 amphorae from the 3rd century BC discovered off Cannes
Credit: Marc Langleur

However, there is no trace of the ship that carried them and the arrangement of the scattered amphorae suggests three possible scenarios: either the boat had capsized without sinking and part of the cargo fell out, or it ran aground further afield, or the objects were simply thrown overboard.
One thing is certain: such a deposit is extremely rare as the Mediterranean basin was far from peaceful in the 3rd century BC and the infrequent trade was controlled by the Greek trading posts.

Only four wrecks dating back to this period of history have been discovered to date.

The amphorae will be preserved and then exhibited to the public in a museum in the Alpes-Maritimes department.

Source: Franceinfo [May 28, 2019]



‘Fettuccine’ may be most obvious sign of life on Mars, researchers report

A rover scanning the surface of Mars for evidence of life might want to check for rocks that look like pasta, researchers report in the journal Astrobiology.

'Fettuccine' may be most obvious sign of life on Mars, researchers report
New research focuses on filamentous microbes that make their living in hot springs
and catalyze the formation of travertine rock [Credit: Bruce W. Fouke]

The bacterium that controls the formation of such rocks on Earth is ancient and thrives in harsh environments that are similar to conditions on Mars, said University of Illinois geology professor Bruce Fouke, who led the new, NASA-funded study.
«It has an unusual name, Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense,» he said. «We just call it ‘Sulfuri.'»

The bacterium belongs to a lineage that evolved prior to the oxygenation of Earth roughly 2.35 billion years ago, Fouke said. It can survive in extremely hot, fast-flowing water bubbling up from underground hot springs. It can withstand exposure to ultraviolet light and survives only in environments with extremely low oxygen levels, using sulfur and carbon dioxide as energy sources.

'Fettuccine' may be most obvious sign of life on Mars, researchers report
The new research reveals that the bacterium Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense thrives in harsh
 environments with conditions like those expected on Mars [Credit: Tom Murphy]

«Taken together, these traits make it a prime candidate for colonizing Mars and other planets,» Fouke said.
And because it catalyzes the formation of crystalline rock formations that look like layers of pasta, it would be a relatively easy life form to detect on other planets, he said.

The unique shape and structure of rocks associated with Sulfuri result from its unusual lifestyle, Fouke said. In fast-flowing water, Sulfuri bacteria latch on to one another «and hang on for dear life,» he said.

'Fettuccine' may be most obvious sign of life on Mars, researchers report
In fast-flowing hot springs, the microbe scientists call ‘Sulfuri’ assembles itself into pasta like strands
and promotes the crystallization of calcium carbonate rock — also known as travertine — along
 its surfaces [Credit: Tom Murphy]

«They form tightly wound cables that wave like a flag that is fixed on one end,» he said. The waving cables keep other microbes from attaching. Sulfuri also defends itself by oozing a slippery mucus.
«These Sulfuri cables look amazingly like fettuccine pasta, while further downstream they look more like capellini pasta,» Fouke said. The researchers used sterilized pasta forks to collect their samples from Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

The team analyzed the microbial genomes, evaluated which genes were being actively translated into proteins and deciphered the organism’s metabolic needs, Fouke said.

The team also looked at Sulfuri’s rock-building capabilities, finding that proteins on the bacterial surface speed up the rate at which calcium carbonate — also called travertine — crystallizes in and around the cables «1 billion times faster than in any other natural environment on Earth,» Fouke said. The result is the deposition of broad swaths of hardened rock with an undulating, filamentous texture.

«This should be an easy form of fossilized life for a rover to detect on other planets,» Fouke said.

«If we see the deposition of this kind of extensive filamentous rock on other planets, we would know it’s a fingerprint of life,» Fouke said. «It’s big and it’s unique. No other rocks look like this. It would be definitive evidence of the presences of alien microbes.»

Author: Diana Yates | Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [May 29, 2019]



Mass die-off of puffins recorded in the Bering Sea

A mass die-off of seabirds in the Bering Sea may be partially attributable to climate change, according to a new study publishing in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Timothy Jones of the citizen science program COASST at University of Washington, Lauren Divine from the Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office, and colleagues. The birds appeared to have died from the effects of starvation.

Mass die-off of puffins recorded in the Bering Sea
Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Tufted puffins breeding in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska, feed on fish and marine invertebrates, which in turn feed on ocean plankton. Elevation of sea temperatures has led to major changes in ocean ecosystems, and has been linked to previous mass mortality events in marine birds. Beginning in 2014, increased atmospheric temperatures and decreased winter sea ice led to declines in energy-rich prey species in the Bering Sea, as well as a shift of some species more northward, diminishing puffin food resources in the southern portion of the sea.
In the current study, Jones and colleagues documented a four-month-long die-off of puffins and a second species, the Crested auklet, on St. Paul Island, one of the Pribilof Islands in the southern Bering Sea, about 300 miles east of the mainland. Beginning in October 2016, tribal and community members recovered over 350 severely emaciated carcasses, mostly adults in the process of molting, a known nutritional stressor during the avian life cycle.

Mass die-off of puffins recorded in the Bering Sea
Nineteen tufted puffins found on North Beach, St. Paul, Pribilof Islands, Alaska, on Oct. 19, 2016
[Credit: Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office]

A reduction in food resources before entering molt may have prevented many birds from surviving, the authors suggest. Using wind data to model beachings, they calculated between 3,150 and 8,500 birds could have died in the event. Tufted puffins comprised 87% of this total, or 40-100% of the Pribilofs Islands’ population, making it highly likely that affected birds originated from colonies throughout the Bering Sea. In comparison, puffins have made up less than 1% of recovered carcasses in the region in prior years.
The authors suggest that climate-driven shifts in prey abundance and/or distribution, combined with the onset of molt, may have caused this puffin die-off, and note that further climate variability in this region is probable. Further research and observation will show whether seabirds can remain resilient in an increasingly variable environment.

Divine adds: «This paper is a successful application of citizen science in the real world. Island residents collected high quality data in real time and provided COASST with a detailed context for their analysis. Without the positive and mutually beneficial relationship built over years of collaboration, this massive die-off of Tufted Puffins would have gone unreported in the scientific community.»

Source: Public Library of Science [May 29, 2019]



Replica Roman Temple of the Nymphs, Roman Graves and Roman Devotional Monument,...

Replica Roman Temple of the Nymphs, Roman Graves and Roman Devotional Monument, Vindolanda Roman Fort and Vicus, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 31.5.19.

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https://t.co/hvL60wwELQ — XissUFOtoday Space (@xufospace) August 3, 2021 Жаждущий ежик наслаждается пресной водой после нескольких дней в о...