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A loo with a view! Roman Latrines, Housesteads Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland,...

A loo with a view! Roman Latrines, Housesteads Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.



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Cigar shaped UFO

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Channel: Terry's Theories  

Cigar shaped UFO spotted during a recording of a meteor shower in Wyoming on Aug. 8 2019.What do you believe we are looking at here. Please donate a dime nickel or a dollar it would be a wonderful help. https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/Franklin1275?locale.x=en_US
Source video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uiAx3Golhg

Video length: 1:56
Category: Science & Technology
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Granaries, Housesteads Roman Fort, Northumberland, 8.2.20.

Granaries, Housesteads Roman Fort, Northumberland, 8.2.20.



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Roman Milecastle 37, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.

Roman Milecastle 37, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.



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Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.

Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.



* This article was originally published here

Exploring strangeness and the primordial Universe


Physicists believe that in the Universe's first ten microseconds free quarks and gluons filled all of spacetime, forming a new phase of matter named 'quark-gluon plasma' (QGP). Experimental and theoretical work at CERN was instrumental in the discovery of this hot soup of primordial matter, which is recreated today in accelerator-based lab experiments. To discover QGP in such experiments, the observation of exotic 'strange' quarks is very important. If QGP is created, strangeness is readily produced through collisions between gluons. In analysis published in EPJ ST, Dr Johann Rafelski from The University of Arizona, United States, also working at CERN, presents how our understanding of this characteristic strangeness production signature has evolved over the span of his long career.

Exploring strangeness and the primordial Universe
Movement of particles during experiments at CERN which are believed to give
some idea of how the Big Bang may have looked [Credit: CERN]
Using the style of a 'personal diary', Rafelski firstly reviews and summarises decades of work. Describing leading experimental and theoretical contributions, he recounts how and why strange quarks are produced so efficiently in QGP, and how this behaviour has been exploited for QGP discovery.

He also explores strangeness as a tool in the search and discovery of this primordial phase of matter; existent at unimaginably high temperatures and pressures. He then follows the line of research through to the ongoing experimental ultra-high-energy experiments involving head-on collisions between both heavy nuclei and lighter protons, carried out at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).


Secondly, Rafelski follows the narrative with a commented set of his own unpublished work, focusing on pioneering theories and QGP discovery. He also includes a selection from the comments of referees offering both criticism and praise for these studies; along with his own present-day perspectives.

This review highlights the numerous successes enjoyed by theorists, through decades of tireless effort to explain and understand the primordial QGP. All the same, it shows that many pressing questions remain to be answered. Rafelski continues to contribute to the field through his rich research experience and will undoubtedly inspire new generations of physicists to continue the study of exotic quarks in the primordial Universe.

Source: Springer [January 31, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.I was last to leave the site...

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.

I was last to leave the site tonight but the light was lovely.



* This article was originally published here

Showing how the tiniest particles in our universe saved us from complete annihilation


Recently discovered ripples of spacetime called gravitational waves could contain evidence to prove the theory that life survived the Big Bang because of a phase transition that allowed neutrino particles to reshuffle matter and anti-matter, explains a new study by an international team of researchers.

Showing how the tiniest particles in our universe saved us from complete annihilation
Inflation stretched the initial microscopic Universe to a macroscopic size and turned the cosmic energy into matter.
However, it likely created an equal amount of matter and anti-matter predicting complete annihilation of our universe.
The authors discuss the possibility that a phase transition after inflation led to a tiny imbalance between the amount
of matter and anti-matter, so that some matter could survive a near-complete annihilation. Such a phase transition
is likely to lead to a network of "rubber-band"-like objects called cosmic strings, that would produce ripples of
space-time known as gravitational waves. These propagating waves can get through the hot and dense Universe
 and reach us today, 13.8 billion years after the phase transition. Such gravitational waves can most likely
be discovered by current and future experiments [Credit: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL, NASA,
and ESA/Kavli IPMU - Kavli IPMU]
How we were saved from a complete annihilation is not a question in science fiction or a Hollywood movie. According to the Big Bang theory of modern cosmology, matter was created with an equal amount of anti-matter. If it had stayed that way, matter and anti-matter should have eventually met and annihilated one to one, leading up to a complete annihilation.

But our existence contradicts this theory. To overcome a complete annihilation, the Universe must have turned a small amount of anti-matter into matter creating an imbalance between them. The imbalance needed is only a part in a billion. But it has remained a complete mystery when and how the imbalance was created.

"The Universe becomes opaque to light once we look back to around a million years after its birth. This makes the fundamental question of 'why are we here?' difficult to answer," says paper co-author Jeff Dror, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and physics researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


Since matter and anti-matter have the opposite electrical charges, they cannot turn into each other, unless they are electrical neutral. Neutrinos are the only electrical neutral matter particles we know, and they are the strongest contender to do this job. A theory many researchers support is that the Universe went through a phase transition so that neutrinos could reshuffle matter and anti-matter.

"A phase transition is like boiling water to vapor, or cooling water to ice. The behavior of matter changes at specific temperatures called critical temperature. When a certain metal is cooled to a low temperature, it loses electrical resistance completely by a phase transition, becoming a superconductor. It is the basis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for cancer diagnosis or maglev technology that floats a train so that it can run at 300 miles an hour without causing dizziness. Just like a superconductor, the phase transition in the early Universe may have created a very thin tube of magnetic fields called cosmic strings," explains paper co-author Hitoshi Murayama, MacAdams Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, Principal Investigator at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, University of Tokyo, and senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dror and Murayama are part of a team of researchers from Japan, US and Canada who believe the cosmic strings then try to simplify themselves, leading up to tiny wobbling of spacetime called gravitational waves. These could be detected by future space-borne observatories such as LISA, BBO (European Space Agency) or DECIGO (Japanese Astronautical Exploration Agency) for nearly all possible critical temperatures.


"The recent discovery of gravitational waves opens up a new opportunity to look back further to a time, as the Universe is transparent to gravity all the way back to the beginning. When the Universe might have been a trillion to a quadrillion times hotter than the hottest place in the Universe today, neutrinos are likely to have behaved in just the way we require to ensure our survival. We demonstrated that they probably also left behind a background of detectable gravitational ripples to let us know," says paper co-author Graham White, a postdoctoral fellow at TRIUMF.

"Cosmic strings used to be popular as a way of creating small variations in mass densities that eventually became stars and galaxies, but it died because recent data excluded this idea. Now with our work, the idea comes back for a different reason. This is exciting!" says Takashi Hiramatsu, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo, which runs Japan's gravitational wave detector KAGRA and Hyper-Kamiokande experiments.

"Gravitational wave from cosmic strings has a spectrum very different from astrophysical sources such as merger of black holes. It is quite plausible that we will be completely convinced the source is indeed cosmic strings," says Kazunori Kohri, Associate Professor at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization Theory Center in Japan.

"It would be really exciting to learn why we exist at all," says Murayama. "This is the ultimate question in science."

The paper was published in Physical Review Letters.

Source: Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe [February 03, 2020]



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‘Limestone Corner’ at Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.This is the location...

‘Limestone Corner’ at Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 8.2.20.

This is the location where the natural landscape forced the Roman Army to modify the route of Hadrian’s Wall. Still visible are the marks where the Roman engineers tried to break the larger rocks.



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Extinction is difficult to prove for Earth's ultra-rare species


A recent study by the University of Kent has called for an increase in scientific surveys and collection of specimens to confirm the extinction of ultra-rare species.

Extinction is difficult to prove for Earth's ultra-rare species
East Coast, Madagascar: Angraecum sesquipedale Thouars, Hist. O
[Credit: University of Kent]
Dr David Roberts, a conservation scientist at Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, concluded from research that there is currently insufficient scientific surveys to determine whether many of the Earth's rarest species, those known only from a single specimen, still exist.

As a case study, Dr Roberts investigated the orchids of Madagascar utilising three different methods of scientific survey effort. Results showed that as of 2000, up to nine of the 236 orchid species known from a single specimen could be extinct. Furthermore, up to two additional species could be considered as extinct by 2018 - assuming no new scientific collections have been made. However, whether the remaining 225 orchid species still exist is unknown as there have been insufficient scientific surveys to determine their fate.


As extinction is final, we need to have as much information as possible. This can come from digitising and making already existing data (that is currently locked away in museum cupboards) widely available. Furthermore, it can come from collecting new knowledge through scientific surveys and making this data widely available as quickly as possible, as well as collecting other information such as the current state of habitats which can be a useful indicator as to whether species still possibly exist.

Dr Roberts said: 'Most species are poorly known because of the very fact they are rare, which brings challenges for conservation practitioners. With conclusions of extinction being made on available data, it is difficult to know if an ultra-rare species is extinct or may have just gone unnoticed. The conservation community needs to work in collaboration to adapt to developing species data resources to deliver more accurate assessments of some of the world's rarest species.'

The study is published in Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation.

Author: Olivia Miller | Source: University of Kent [February 03, 2020]



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Black Carts Roman Turret and Hadrian’s Wall Section, Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham,...

Black Carts Roman Turret and Hadrian’s Wall Section, Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham, Northumberland, 8.2.20.



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Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated


Abrupt thawing of permafrost will double previous estimates of potential carbon emissions from permafrost thaw in the Arctic, and is already rapidly changing the landscape and ecology of the circumpolar north, a new CU Boulder-led study finds.

Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated
Aerial image of interspersed a permafrost peatland in Innoko National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska interspersed
with smaller areas of thermokarst wetlands [Credit: Miriam Jones, U.S. Geological Survey]
Permafrost, a perpetually frozen layer under the seasonally thawed surface layer of the ground, affects 18 million square kilometers at high latitudes or one quarter of all the exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere. Current estimates predict permafrost contains an estimated 1,500 petagrams of carbon, which is equivalent to 1.5 trillion metric tons of carbon.

The new study distinguishes between gradual permafrost thaw, which affects permafrost and its carbon stores slowly, versus more abrupt types of permafrost thaw. Some 20% of the Arctic region has conditions conducive to abrupt thaw due to its ice-rich permafrost layer. Permafrost that abruptly thaws is a large emitter of carbon, including the release of carbon dioxide as well as methane, which is more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. That means that even though at any given time less than 5% of the Arctic permafrost region is likely to be experiencing abrupt thaw, their emissions will equal those of areas experiencing gradual thaw.


This abrupt thawing is "fast and dramatic, affecting landscapes in unprecedented ways," said Merritt Turetsky, director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at CU Boulder and lead author of the study published in Nature Geoscience. "Forests can become lakes in the course of a month, landslides occur with no warning, and invisible methane seep holes can swallow snowmobiles whole."

Abrupt permafrost thaw can occur in a variety of ways, but it always represents a dramatic abrupt ecological shift, Turetsky added.

"Systems that you could walk on with regular hiking boots and that were dry enough to support tree growth when frozen can thaw, and now all of a sudden these ecosystems turn into a soupy mess," Turetsky said.

Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated
Trees struggle to remain upright in a lake formed by abrupt permafrost thaw
[Credit: David Olefeldt]
Permafrost contains rocks, soil, sand, and in some cases, pockets of pure ground ice. It stores on average twice as much carbon as is in the atmosphere because it stores the remains of life that once flourished in the Arctic, including dead plants, animal and microbes. This matter, which never fully decomposed, has been locked away in Earth's refrigerator for thousands of years.

As the climate warms, permafrost cannot remain frozen. Across 80 percent of the circumpolar Arctic's north, a warming climate is likely to trigger gradual permafrost thaw that manifests over decades to centuries.


But in the remaining parts of the Arctic, where ground ice content is high, abrupt thaw can happen in a matter of months - leading to extreme consequences on the landscape and the atmosphere, especially where there is ice-rich permafrost. This fast process is called "thermokarst" because a thermal change causes subsidence. This leads to a karst landscape, known for its erosion and sinkholes.

Turetsky said this is the first paper to pull together the wide body of literature on past and current abrupt thaw across different types of landscapes.

The authors then used this information along with a numerical model to project future abrupt thaw carbon losses. They found that thermokarst always involves flooding, inundation, or landslides. Intense rainfall events and the open, black landscapes that result from wildfires can speed up this dramatic process.

Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated
A massive thaw slump on the Yedoma coast of the Bykovsky Peninsula is inspected by an Alfred Wegener
 Institute permafrost team [Credit: Guido Grosse, Alfred Wegener Institute]
The researchers compared abrupt permafrost thaw carbon release to that of gradual permafrost thaw, trying to quantify a "known unknown." There are general estimates of gradual thaw contributing to carbon emissions, but they had no idea how much of that would be caused by thermokarst.

They also wanted to find out how important this information would be to include in global climate models. At present, there are no climate models that incorporate thermokarst, and only a handful that consider permafrost thaw at all. While large-scale models over the past decade have tried to better account for feedback loops in the Arctic, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s most recent report only includes estimates of gradual permafrost thaw as an unresolved Earth system feedback.


"The impacts from abrupt thaw are not represented in any existing global model and our findings indicate that this could amplify the permafrost climate-carbon feedback by up to a factor of two, thereby exacerbating the problem of permissible emissions to stay below specific climate change targets," said David Lawrence, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a coauthor of the study.

The findings bring new urgency to including permafrost in all types of climate models, along with implementing strong climate policy and mitigation, Turetsky added.

"We can definitely stave off the worst consequences of climate change if we act in the next decade," said Turetsky. "We have clear evidence that policy is going to help the north and thus it's going to help dictate our future climate."

Author: Kelsey Simpkins | Source: University of Colorado at Boulder [February 03, 2020]



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Lancaster Roman Bath House Ruins, Lancaster City Centre, Lancashire, 8.2.20.

Lancaster Roman Bath House Ruins, Lancaster City Centre, Lancashire, 8.2.20.



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How the development of skulls and beaks made Darwin's finches one of the most diverse species


Darwin's finches are among the most celebrated examples of adaptive radiation in the evolution of modern vertebrates and now a new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has provided fresh insights into their rapid development and evolutionary success.

How the development of skulls and beaks made Darwin's finches one of the most diverse species
Main coordinated changes in both the shape of the beak and the shape of the skull found in the study to have
characterized the evolution of the skull in both Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers. Drawings
of some of the species representing the extremes of skull shape [Credit: Guillermo Navalon]
Study of the finches has been relevant since the journeys of the HMS Beagle in the 18th century which catalysed some of the first ideas about natural selection in the mind of a young Charles Darwin.

Despite many years of research which has led to a detailed understanding of the biology of these perching birds, including impressive decades-long studies in natural populations, there are still unanswered questions.

Specifically, the factors explaining why this particular group of birds evolved to be much more diverse in species and shapes than other birds evolving alongside them in Galapagos and Cocos islands have remained largely unknown.

A similar phenomenon is that of the honeycreepers endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago. These true finches (unlike Darwin's finches which are finch-like birds belonging to a different family) radiated to achieve an order of magnitude more in species and shapes than the rest of the birds inhabiting those islands.


An international team of researchers from the UK and Spain tackled the question of why the rapid evolution in these birds from a different perspective.

They showed in their study published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution that one of the key factors related to the evolutionary success of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers might lie in how their beaks and skulls evolved.

Previous studies have demonstrated a tight link between the shapes and sizes of the beak and the feeding habits in both groups, which suggests that adaptation by natural selection to the different feeding resources available at the islands may have been one of the main processes driving their explosive evolution.

Furthermore, changes in beak size and shape have been observed in natural populations of Darwin's finches as a response to variations in feeding resources, strengthening these views.

However, recent studies on other groups of birds, some of which stem from the previous recent research of the team, have suggested that this strong match between beak and cranial morphology and ecology might not be pervasive in all birds.


Professor Emily Rayfield, from the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, co-authored the new study. She said: "Other factors such as constraints on skull shape during development, the use of the beak for many other functions and the fact that the skull and beak develop and function as a coherent unit may have contributed to this mismatch.

"Therefore, the strong connection between beak, cranial morphology and feeding ecology over the evolution of Darwin's finches, Hawaiian honeycreepers, and perhaps other lineages of birds, might have been only possible if this tight coevolution of cranial regions is somehow 'relaxed' and those regions are able to evolve more freely."

Lead author Guillermo Navalon, recently graduated from a PhD at the University of Bristol and now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford, added: "By taking a broad scale, numerical approach at more than 400 species of landbirds (the group that encompasses all perching birds and many other lineages such as parrots, kingfishers, hornbills, eagles, vultures, owls and many others) we found that the beaks of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers evolved in a stronger association with the rest of the skull than in most of the other lineages of landbirds.

"In other words, in these groups the beak is less independent in evolutionary terms than in most other landbirds."

Jesus Marugan-Lobon co-author of the study and Lecturer at the Autonomous University of Madrid, said: "We found that as a result of this stronger cranial integration, these birds could evolve in a more versatile way but mostly constrained along a very specific direction of adaptive change in the shape of their skulls.


"Paradoxically, we hypothesised that this allowed them to evolve many different shapes very rapidly, filling many of the available niches in their archipelagos as a result."

In contrast, the authors asserted that the other sympatric bird lineages that occupied the island archipelagos at similar time to the ancestors of finches and honeycreepers all belong to the group with the lowest cranial integration in their study and suggest that this was a limiting factor for rapid evolution in other lineages.

Guillermo Navalon added: "While these results are exciting, this is mainly the work of my PhD and at the minute we are working on solving different unanswered questions that stem from this research.

"For instance, are these evolutionary situations isolated phenomena in these two archipelagos or have those been more common in the evolution of island or continental bird communities? Do these patterns characterise other adaptive radiations in birds?

"Future research will likely solve at least some of these mysteries, bringing us one step closer to understanding better the evolution of the wonderful diversity of shapes in birds."

Source: University of Bristol [February 03, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

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