MIT scientists identify a plasma plume that naturally protects the earth against solar storms.
The Earth’s magnetic field, or magnetosphere, stretches from the planet’s core out into space, where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted by the Sun. For the most part, the magnetosphere acts as a shield to protect the Earth from this high-energy solar activity.
But when this field comes into contact with the Sun’s magnetic field — a process called “magnetic reconnection” — powerful electrical currents from the Sun can stream into Earth’s atmosphere, whipping up geomagnetic storms and space weather phenomena that can affect high-altitude aircraft, as well as astronauts on the International Space Station.
Now scientists at MIT and NASA have identified a process in the Earth’s magnetosphere that reinforces its shielding effect, keeping incoming solar energy at bay.
Astronomers at the University of Michigan have, for the first time, directly measured the spin of a distant supermassive black hole.
The high-energy lasers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employ exquisite pulse-shaping control to achieve ramp compression pressures to 50 Mbar (15x center of earth pressure) and higher. Ramp compression, contrasted to shock compression, keeps sample temperatures low and allows the study of extreme-density compressed-matter.
Using these capabilities, researchers will gain experimental access to giant-planet interior states and the phase space relevant to exotic crystal structures predicted by modern theory. Early experiments are underway, and in Denver Jon Eggert of LLNL will present some of the first results of extreme-compression experiments, which show the ability to compress solid iron and tantalum to nearly 10 Mbar, carbon to 50 Mbar and the first x-ray diffraction done on NIF.
A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.
Following testing and preliminary acceptance in Europe in September 2013, MUSE was shipped to ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It was reassembled at the base camp before being carefully transported to its new home at the VLT, where it is now installed on Unit Telescope 4. MUSE is the latest of the second generation instruments for the VLT; the first two were X-shooter (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso0920) and KMOS (http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1251), and the next, SPHERE (http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann14013), will follow shortly.
Having a bedroom television is associated with weight gain in children and adolescents, and is unrelated to the time they spend watching.
Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Sc.D., of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues.
More than one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese. An estimated 71 percent of children and adolescents (ages 8 to 18 years) have bedroom televisions.