четверг, 6 июня 2019 г.

Marijuana Mechanisms Cannabinoids, the pharmacologically…

Marijuana Mechanisms

Cannabinoids, the pharmacologically active compounds in cannabis, mimic the brain’s own endocannabinoids – secreted molecules that influence brain functions such as mood, appetite, pain and memory. This mimicry explains both the drug’s high and its potential medical effects. But a fuller understanding of the drug’s mechanism is needed to create new therapies that provide benefits with fewer side effects. To that end, some researchers are turning their attention to the drug’s biological target: the cannabinoid receptor, found on the surface of brain cells. It’s been discovered, for example, that in neurons (like the one pictured) the receptors are constrained to the cell’s axons (yellow)– projections that send electrical signals to other neurons – and are absent from dendrites (pink), which receive signals. Determining how the receptor is produced and distributed in the cell and how this affects cannabinoid action could ultimately lead to the creation of better-targeted cannabinoid-based therapies.

Written by Ruth Williams

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2019 June 6 Messier 63: The Sunflower Galaxy Image Credit…

2019 June 6

Messier 63: The Sunflower Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Bernard Miller

Explanation: A bright spiral galaxy of the northern sky, Messier 63 is about 25 million light-years distant in the loyal constellation Canes Venatici. Also cataloged as NGC 5055, the majestic island universe is nearly 100,000 light-years across. That’s about the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Known by the popular moniker, The Sunflower Galaxy, M63 sports a bright yellowish core in this sharp telescopic portrait. Its sweeping blue spiral arms are streaked with cosmic dust lanes and dotted with pink star forming regions. A dominant member of a known galaxy group, M63 has faint, extended features that are likely star streams from tidally disrupted satellite galaxies. M63 shines across the electromagnetic spectrum and is thought to have undergone bursts of intense star formation.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190606.html

In hot pursuit of dinosaurs: Tracking extinct species on ancient…

In hot pursuit of dinosaurs: Tracking extinct species on ancient Earth via biogeography http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/in-hot-pursuit-of-dinosaurs-tracking-extinct-species-on-ancient-earth-via-biogeography.html

Glacial sediments greased the gears of plate tectonics…

Glacial sediments greased the gears of plate tectonics http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/glacial-sediments-greased-the-gears-of-plate-tectonics.html

Feathers came first, then birds…

Feathers came first, then birds http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/feathers-came-first-then-birds.html

Rare fossils provide more detailed picture of biodiversity…

Rare fossils provide more detailed picture of biodiversity during Middle Ordovician http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/rare-fossils-provide-more-detailed-picture-of-biodiversity-during-middle-ordovician.html

Pterosaur : What Is a Pterosaur?…

Pterosaur : What Is a Pterosaur? http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/pterosaur-what-is-a-pterosaur.html

Amethyst | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Artigas,…

Amethyst | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Artigas, Artigas Department, Uruguay

Size: 5.3 × 6.9 × 5.2 cm

Photo Copyright © Classic Rocks and Gems /e-rocks. com

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A Pair of Fledgling Planets Directly Seen Growing Around a Young Star

Credits:J. Olmsted (STScI)


Credits:  ESO and S. Haffert (Leiden Observatory)

Astronomers have directly imaged two exoplanets that are gravitationally carving out a wide gap within a planet-forming disk surrounding a young star. While over a dozen exoplanets have been directly imaged, this is only the second multi-planet system to be photographed. (The first was a four-planet system orbiting the star HR 8799.) Unlike HR 8799, though, the planets in this system are still growing by accreting material from the disk.

“This is the first unambiguous detection of a two-planet system carving a disk gap,” said Julien Girard of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

The host star, known as PDS 70, is located about 370 light-years from Earth. The young 6-million-year-old star is slightly smaller and less massive than our Sun, and is still accreting gas. It is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust that has a large gap extending from about 1.9 to 3.8 billion miles.

PDS 70 b, the innermost known planet, is located within the disk gap at a distance of about 2 billion miles from its star, similar to the orbit of Uranus in our solar system. The team estimates that it weighs anywhere from 4 to 17 times as much as Jupiter. It was first detected in 2018.

PDS 70 c, the newly discovered planet, is located near the outer edge of the disk gap at about 3.3 billion miles from the star, similar to Neptune’s distance from our Sun. It is less massive than planet b, weighing between 1 and 10 times as much as Jupiter. The two planetary orbits are near a 2-to-1 resonance, meaning that the inner planet circles the star twice in the time it takes the outer planet to go around once.

The discovery of these two worlds is significant because it provides direct evidence that forming planets can sweep enough material out of a protoplanetary disk to create an observable gap.

“With facilities like ALMA, Hubble, or large ground-based optical telescopes with adaptive optics we see disks with rings and gaps all over. The open question has been, are there planets there? In this case, the answer is yes,” explained Girard.

The team detected PDS 70 c from the ground, using the MUSE spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Their new technique relied on the combination of the high spatial resolution provided by the 8-meter telescope equipped with four lasers and the instrument’s medium spectral resolution that allows it to “lock onto” light emitted by hydrogen, which is a sign of gas accretion.

“This new observing mode was developed to study galaxies and star clusters at higher spatial resolution. But this new mode also makes it suitable for exoplanet imaging, which was not the original science driver for the MUSE instrument,” said Sebastiaan Haffert of Leiden Observatory, lead author on the paper.

“We were very surprised when we found the second planet,” Haffert added.

In the future, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope may be able to study this system and other planet nurseries using a similar spectral technique to narrow in on various wavelengths of light from hydrogen. This would allow scientists to measure the temperature and density of gas within the disk, which would help our understanding of the growth of gas giant planets. The system might also be targeted by the WFIRST mission, which will carry a high-performance coronagraph technology demonstration that can block out the star’s light to reveal fainter light from the surrounding disk and companion planets.

These results were published in the June 3 issue of Nature Astronomy.

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GPS: Coming to a Moon Near You!


The next generation of lunar explorers – the Artemis generation – will establish a sustained presence on the Moon, making revolutionary discoveries, prospecting for resources and proving technologies key to future deep space exploration. To support these ambitions, our navigation engineers are developing an architecture that will provide accurate, robust location services all the way out to lunar orbit.

How? We’re teaming up with the U.S. Air Force to extend the use of GPS in space by developing advanced space receivers capable of tracking weak GPS signals far out in space.


Spacecraft near Earth have long relied on GPS signals for navigation data, just as users on the ground might use their phones to maneuver through a highway system. Below approximately 1,860 miles, spacecraft in low-Earth orbit can rely on GPS for near-instantaneous location data. This is an enormous benefit to these missions, allowing many satellites the autonomy to react and respond to unforeseen events without much hands-on oversight.


Beyond this altitude, navigation becomes more challenging. To reliably calculate their position, spacecraft must use signals from the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), the collection of international GPS-like satellite constellations. The region of space that can be serviced by these satellites is called the Space Service Volume, which extends from 1,860 miles to about 22,000 miles, or geosynchronous orbit.


In this area of service, missions don’t rely on GNSS signals in the same way one would on Earth or in low-Earth orbit. They orbit too high to “see” enough signals from GNSS satellites on their side of the globe, so they must rely on signals from GNSS satellite signals spilling over to the opposite side of the globe.  This is because the Earth blocks the main signals of these satellites, so the spacecraft must “listen” for the fainter signals that extend out from the sides of their antennas, known as “side-lobes.”


Though 22,000 miles is considered the end of the Space Service Volume, that hasn’t stopped our engineers from reaching higher. In fact, our simulations prove that GNSS signals could even be used for reliable navigation in lunar orbit, far outside the Space Service Volume, over 200,000 miles from Earth. We’re even planning to use GNSS signals in the navigation architecture for the Gateway, an outpost in orbit around the Moon that will enable sustained lunar surface exploration.


It’s amazing that the same systems you might use to navigate the highways are putting us on the path forward to the Moon!

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

China’s first sea launch: Long March-11 launches from a ship at sea

CASC — China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

June 5, 2019

First sea launch for an Long March-11 rocket

For the first time in China, a Long March-11 launch vehicle was launched from a ship in the Yellow Sea, on 5 June 2019, at 04:06 UTC (12:06 local time). The rocket, also known as CZ-11 WEY, launched two technology experiment satellites, Bufeng-1A and Bufeng-1B (捕风一号A, 捕风一号B), and five commercial satellites: Tao Xingzhi Education No.1 (陶行知教育一号), Tianqi No.3 (天启三号), Xiaoxiang-1 04 (潇湘一号04), Jilin-1 Gaofen 03A (吉林一号高分03A).

China’s first sea launch: Long March-11 launches from a ship at sea

Long March-11 is a solid-fueled rocket (21m length, 2m diameter) capable of sending a 500 kilograms spacecraft into a 500 kilometers orbit.

Jilin-1 Optical-A Chang Guang Sat. Tech. Co.

According to Li Tongyu, Chief Commander of Long March-11, a bigger solid-fueled carrier rocket is under development, which has a carrying capacity of 1.5 to two tons and can cover the sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers.

Long March-11’s first launch from sea

The two Jilin 1 Earth-imaging satellites for Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd. The solid-fueled Long March 11 rocket will take off from an ocean platform in the Yellow Sea on China’s first sea-based orbital launch attempt.

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html

Images, videos, Text, Credits: CASC/China Central Television (CCTV)/SciNews/China Daily/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

Chandra Detects a Coronal Mass Ejection From Another Star

NASA — Chandra X-ray Observatory patch.

June 5, 2019

This artist’s illustration depicts a coronal mass ejection, or CME, which involves a large-scale expulsion of material, and have frequently been observed on our Sun. A new study using the Chandra X-ray Observatory detected a CME from a star other than our own for the first time, 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.

 Artist’s illustration of Chandra X-ray Observatory. Image Credits: NASA/CXC

This «extrasolar» CME was seen emanating 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 our 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.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/main/index.html

Image, Text, Credits: NNASA/Yvette Smith/CXC/INAF/Argiroffi, C. et al./S. Wiessinger.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

Eye and Artery Scans, Robotics and Fluid Studies for Earth and Space Benefits

ISS — Expedition 59 Mission patch.

June 5, 2019

The International Space Station residents continued exploring today what living off the Earth for long periods is doing to their body. The Expedition 59 crew also researched ways to improve life in space and even filmed a virtual experience aboard the orbiting lab.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch took turns serving as Crew Medical Officer during a round of ultrasound eye exams Wednesday morning. The duo scanned the eyes of Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques ahead of their homecoming June 24. Astronauts have reported vision issues during and after their missions. The eye imaging helps doctors understand how microgravity impacts the cornea, lens, optic nerve and the shape of the eyeball.

Image above: The six-member Expedition 59 crew gathers for a portrait inside of the vestibule between the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft and the Harmony module the day before the commercial space freighter’s departure. Image Credit: NASA.

Saint-Jacques once again had his blood pressure checked and arteries scanned with an ultrasound device to investigate how weightlessness affects the cardiovascular system. Arterial stiffness has been observed in space and the study may help offset the negative effects improving life in space and on Earth. The astronaut from the Canadian Space Agency also recorded a virtual reality video of his biomedical activities for later viewing on Earth.

McClain monitored a small cube-shaped robot called the Astrobee and tested its ability to float around the Kibo laboratory module autonomously. Engineers are assessing the free-flying device’s potential to perform routine maintenance duties and provide additional lab monitoring capabilities.

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

Koch wrapped up the day in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module setting up a fluid physics study that has been observing sloshing and waves on the station since 2016. The Fluidics study uses a motorized instrument to slosh fluids in tanks with video and data downlinked to researchers on the ground. Results could optimize the design of satellite fuel systems and increase the understanding of Earth’s oceans and climate.

Related links:

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

Cardiovascular system: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1664

Virtual reality video: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7877

Astrobee: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891

Kibo laboratory module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/japan-kibo-laboratory

Columbus laboratory module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/europe-columbus-laboratory

Fluidics: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2043

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

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


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