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  • richardmitnick 9:02 am on May 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Space debris- feel the burn", Applied Research & Technology, , ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise, Debris landed in Texas, DRAMA (Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis) software, , , In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage., In theory reentering space hardware is vaporised entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere., Modern space debris regulations demand that such incidents should not happen. Uncontrolled reentries should have a less than 1 in 10 000 chance of injuring anyone on the ground., Testing reentry.   

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “Space debris- feel the burn” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)

    1
    Testing reentry.
    4.23.21
    ESA’s Clean Space initiative performed simulated reentry testing inside a plasma wind tunnel at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s site in Cologne.

    The item seen here is a section of a satellite electronics box, measuring 300 x 200 x 150 mm across – the full-sized box being too large to fit inside the 120 mm-diameter plasma wind tunnel. This aluminium-made section of box also contained a backplane connected to four electronics cards made of glass fibre reinforced plastic.

    The testing investigated the box’s fragmentation behavior, including how the electronics cards were released from the housing, to verify the predictions of reentry simulation software. Other heavy satellite parts were also subjected to this ‘ablation’ testing, including a ball bearing unit, reaction wheel, magnetotorquer, flywheel unit, battery module and battery cells.

    In theory reentering space hardware is vaporised entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.

    Modern space debris regulations demand that such incidents should not happen. Uncontrolled reentries should have a less than 1 in 10 000 chance of injuring anyone on the ground.

    As part of a larger effort called CleanSat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise.


    Oct 1, 2020
    Testing a fiery reentry. ESA.
    What would a satellite look like as it burns up in the atmosphere? Researchers attempted to duplicate this fiery fate for a bulky satellite electronics box using a plasma wind tunnel.

    Their goal was to better understand how satellites burn up during reentry, to minimise the risk of endangering anyone on the ground. Taking place as part of ESA’s Clean Space initiative, the testing occurred inside a plasma wind tunnel at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s site in Cologne.
    The item seen here is a section of a satellite electronics box, measuring 300 x 200 x 150 mm across – the full-sized box being too large to fit inside the 120 mm-diameter plasma wind tunnel. This aluminium-made section of box also contained a backplane connected to four electronics cards made of glass fibre reinforced plastic.

    In theory reentering space hardware is vaporised entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.

    As part of a larger effort called CleanSat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise. ESA.

    28/04/2021
    ESA / Safety & Security / Clean Space

    It might be counter-intuitive, but designing satellites to better fall apart is one of the key strategies to combat space debris. Developed by ESA’s Clean Space initiative, the approach is called ‘Design for Demise’ and involves making sure that derelict satellites will break up and burn up fully as they reenter the atmosphere.

    Reentering space hardware should burn up entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere to be safe. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.

    In 1997, for instance, Texans Steve and Verona Gutowski were woken by the impact of what looked like a “dead rhinoceros” just 50 m from their farmhouse. It turned out to be a 250 kg fuel tank from a rocket stage.

    1
    Debris landed in Texas. The main propellant tank of the second stage of a Delta 2 rocket landed near Georgetown, Texas, USA, on 22 January 1997. This tank of about 250 kg is primarily a stainless steel structure and survived reentry relatively intact. National Aeronautics Space Agency (US)

    2
    During atmospheric reentry, peak heat fluxes and mechanical loads usually result in a satellite’s break-up at around 75 km up. Only after this this altitude will all the internal equipment exposed to the heat flux start ‘demising’ as well. Credit: ESA/ Sacha Berna.

    Modern space debris regulations demand that such incidents should not happen. Uncontrolled reentries should have a less than 1 in 10 000 chance of injuring anyone on the ground.

    As part of a larger effort called cleansat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – design for demise.

    Some heavier satellite elements are more likely to survive the reentry process. These include magnetotorquers which use magnets to shift spacecraft orientation against Earth’s magnetic field, optical instruments, propellant and pressure tanks, the drive mechanisms operating solar arrays and reaction wheels – spinning gyroscopes used to change a satellite’s pointing direction.

    4
    Testing reentry.
    ESA’s Clean Space initiative performed simulated reentry testing inside a plasma wind tunnel at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s site in Cologne.

    The item seen here is a section of a satellite electronics box, measuring 300 x 200 x 150 mm across – the full-sized box being too large to fit inside the 120 mm-diameter plasma wind tunnel. This aluminium-made section of box also contained a backplane connected to four electronics cards made of glass fibre reinforced plastic.

    The testing investigated the box’s fragmentation behavior, including how the electronics cards were released from the housing, to verify the predictions of reentry simulation software. Other heavy satellite parts were also subjected to this ‘ablation’ testing, including a ball bearing unit, reaction wheel, magnetotorquer, flywheel unit, battery module and battery cells.

    In theory reentering space hardware is vaporised entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.

    Modern space debris regulations demand that such incidents should not happen. Uncontrolled reentries should have a less than 1 in 10 000 chance of injuring anyone on the ground.

    As part of a larger effort called CleanSat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise.

    In theory reentering space hardware is vaporised entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.

    As part of a larger effort called CleanSat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise.

    But engineering a higher break-up altitude would imply that the internal equipment would be exposed to the heat flux for a longer time, greatly enhancing its overall demisability. Possible ways to ensure this include more meltable joints holding satellite panels together or the use of ‘shape memory alloys’ which shift shape with temperature.

    Clean Space also uses the DRAMA (Debris Risk Assessment and Mitigation Analysis) software to calculate the compliance of a given satellite design with space debris mitigation standards and to ensure that the latest research findings are accounted for, always aiming to reduce the risk of injury below that crucial 1 in 10 000 value.

    5
    Breaking apart on reentry.
    23/04/2021
    During atmospheric reentry, peak heat fluxes and mechanical loads usually result in a satellite’s break-up at around 75 km up. Only after this this altitude will all the internal equipment exposed to the heat flux start ‘demising’ as well. But engineering a higher break-up altitude would imply that the internal equipment would be exposed to the heat flux for a longer time, greatly enhancing its overall demisability. Possible ways to ensure this include more meltable joints holding satellite panels together or the use of ‘shape memory alloys’ which shift shape with temperature. This is known as ‘Design for Demise’. Credit: ESA/ Sacha Berna.

    8th European Conference on Space Debris

    Last week saw the latest European Conference on Space Debris, the largest dedicated gathering on the subject. International scientists, engineers, operators, industry experts, lawyers and policy makers meet here to discuss different aspects of space debris research, including measurement techniques, environment modelling theories, risk analysis techniques, protection designs, mitigation and remediation concepts, and standardisation, policy, regulation and legal issues. Find out more about the four-day virtual conference here.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL)in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years. A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency(US), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programmes

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, the Canadian Space Agency takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organisations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US)

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others. Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA. Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon. Astronaut selection announcements are expected within two years of the 2024 scheduled launch date.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 8:33 pm on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise From Antarctic Melting Is Possible With Severe Global Warming", Applied Research & Technology, Climate change from human activities is causing sea levels to rise., , Global warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) could lead to catastrophic sea-level rise from Antarctic melting., Ice-sheet collapse is irreversible over thousands of years., , The Antarctic ice sheet is much less likely to become unstable and cause dramatic sea-level rise if the world follows policies that keep global warming below a key 2015 Paris climate agreement target.   

    From Rutgers University (US) : “Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise From Antarctic Melting Is Possible With Severe Global Warming” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University (US)

    May 5, 2021

    Todd Bates
    todd.bates@rutgers.edu

    Antarctic ice sheet is more likely to remain stable if Paris climate agreement is met.

    1
    If Paris Agreement targets are not met, the collapse of melting Antarctic ice shelves – like the Wilkins Ice Shelf in 2009 – could cause catastrophic global sea level rise in the second half of the century. National Aeronautics Space Agency (US).

    The Antarctic ice sheet is much less likely to become unstable and cause dramatic sea-level rise in upcoming centuries if the world follows policies that keep global warming below a key 2015 Paris climate agreement target, according to a Rutgers coauthored study.

    But if global warming exceeds the target – 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – the risk of ice shelves around the ice-sheet’s perimeter melting would increase significantly, and their collapse would trigger rapid Antarctic melting. That would result in at least 0.07 inches of global average sea-level rise a year in 2060 and beyond, according to the study in the journal Nature.

    That’s faster than the average rate of sea-level rise over the past 120 years and, in vulnerable coastal places like downtown Annapolis, Maryland, has led to a dramatic increase in days of extreme flooding.

    Global warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) could lead to catastrophic sea-level rise from Antarctic melting – an increase of at least 0.2 inches per year globally after 2060, on average.

    “Ice-sheet collapse is irreversible over thousands of years, and if the Antarctic ice sheet becomes unstable it could continue to retreat for centuries,” said coauthor Daniel M. Gilford, a postdoctoral associate in the Rutgers Earth System Science & Policy Lab led by coauthor Robert E. Kopp, a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences within the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “That’s regardless of whether emissions mitigation strategies such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are employed.”

    The Paris Agreement, achieved at a United Nations climate change conference, seeks to limit the negative impacts of global warming. Its goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, along with pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The signatories committed to eliminating global net carbon dioxide emissions in the second half of the 21st century.

    Climate change from human activities is causing sea levels to rise, and projecting how Antarctica will contribute to this rise in a warmer climate is a difficult but critical challenge. How ice sheets might respond to warming is not well understood, and we don’t know what the ultimate global policy response to climate change will be. Greenland is losing ice at a faster rate than Antarctica, but Antarctica contains nearly eight times more ice above the ocean level, equivalent to 190 feet of global average sea-level rise, the study notes.

    The study explored how Antarctica might change over the next century and beyond, depending on whether the temperature targets in the Paris Agreement are met or exceeded. To better understand how the ice sheet might respond, scientists trained a state-of-the-art ice-sheet model with modern satellite observations, paleoclimate data and a machine learning technique. They used the model to explore the likelihood of rapid ice-sheet retreat and the western Antarctic ice-sheet’s collapse under different global greenhouse gas emissions policies.

    Current international policies are likely to lead to about 3 degrees Celsius of warming, which could thin Antarctica’s protective ice shelves and trigger rapid ice-sheet retreat between 2050 and 2100. Under this scenario, geoengineering strategies such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering (or storing) it would fail to prevent the worst of Antarctica’s contributions to global sea-level rise.

    “These results demonstrate the possibility that unstoppable, catastrophic sea-level rise from Antarctica will be triggered if Paris Agreement temperature targets are exceeded,” the study says.

    Gilford said “it’s critical to be proactive in mitigating climate change now through active international participation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by continuing to ratchet down proposed policies to meet the ambitious Paris Agreement targets.”

    Rutgers coauthors include Erica Ashe, a postdoctoral scientist in the Rutgers Earth System Science & Policy Lab. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US), Pennsylvania State University (US), University of California Irvine (US), University of Bristol (UK), McGill University (CA), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (US) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) contributed to the study.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (US), is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University (US) is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University (US)), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities (US) and the Universities Research Association (US). Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.

    Research

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (US). This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (US). One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation (US) IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:01 pm on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "JQI Researchers Generate Tunable Twin Particles of Light", A new technique sees two distinct particles of light enter a chip and two identical twin particles of light leave it., Applied Research & Technology, Identical twins might seem “indistinguishable” but in the quantum world the word takes on a new level of meaning., Inside a resonator a photon from each of the beams spontaneously combine. The researchers then observed how the photons reformed into two indistinguishable photons., , , , Quantum interference— needed for quantum computers., , The resulting combination of being indistinguishable and entangled is essential for many potential uses of photons in quantum technologies.   

    From Joint Quantum Institute (US): “JQI Researchers Generate Tunable Twin Particles of Light” 

    JQI bloc

    At


    University of Maryland (US)

    May 10, 2021

    Story by Bailey Bedford

    Mohammad Hafezi
    hafezi@umd.edu

    1
    A new technique sees two distinct particles of light enter a chip and two identical twin particles of light leave it. The image artistically combines the journey of twin particles of light along the outer edge of a checkerboard of rings with the abstract shape of its topological underpinnings. Credit: Kaveh Haerian.

    Identical twins might seem “indistinguishable” but in the quantum world the word takes on a new level of meaning. While identical twins share many traits, the universe treats two indistinguishable quantum particles as intrinsically interchangeable. This opens the door for indistinguishable particles to interact in unique ways—such as in quantum interference—that are needed for quantum computers.

    While generating a crowd of photons—particles of light—is as easy as flipping a light switch, it’s trickier to make a pair of indistinguishable photons. And it takes yet more work to endow that pair with a quantum mechanical link known as entanglement. In a paper published May 10, 2021 in the journal Nature Photonics, JQI researchers and their colleagues describe a new way to make entangled twin particles of light and to tune their properties using a method conveniently housed on a chip, a potential boon for quantum technologies that require a reliable source of well-tailored photon pairs.

    The researchers, led by JQI fellow Mohammad Hafezi, designed the method to harness the advantages of topological physics. Topological physics explores previously untapped physical phenomena using the mathematical field of topology, which describes common traits shared by different shapes. (Where geometry concerns angles and sizes, topology is more about holes and punctures—all-encompassing characteristics that don’t depend on local details.) Researchers have made several major discoveries by applying this approach, which describes how quantum particles—like electrons or, in this case, photons—can move in a particular material or device by analyzing its broad characteristics through the lens of topological features that correspond to abstract shapes (such as the donut in the image above). The topological phenomena that have been revealed are directly tied to the general nature of the material; they must exist even in the presence of material impurities that would upset the smooth movement of photons or electrons in most other circumstances.

    Their new method builds on previous work, including the generation of a series of distinguishable photon pairs. In both the new and old experiments, the team created a checkerboard of rings on a silicon chip. Each ring is a resonator that acts like a tiny race track designed to keep certain photons traveling round and round for a long time. But since individual photons in a resonator live by quantum rules, the racecars (photons) can sometimes just pass unchanged through an intervening wall and proceed to speed along a neighboring track.

    The repeating grid of rings mimics the repeating grid of atoms that electrons travel through in a solid, allowing the researchers to design situations for light that mirror well known topological effects in electronics. By creating and exploring different topological environments, the team has developed new ways to manipulate photons.

    “It’s exactly the same mathematics that applies to electrons and photons,” says Sunil Mittal, a JQI postdoctoral researcher and the first author of the paper. “So you get more or less all the same topological features. All the mathematics that you do with electrons, you can simply carry to photonic systems.”

    In the current work, they recreated an electronic phenomenon called the anomalous quantum Hall effect that opens up paths for electrons on the edge of a material. These edge paths, which are called topological edge states, exist because of topological effects, and they can reliably transport electrons while leaving routes through the interior easily disrupted and impassable. Achieving this particular topological effect requires that localized magnetic fields push on electrons and that the total magnetic field when averaged over larger sections of the material cancels out to zero.

    But photons lack the electrical charge that makes electrons susceptible to magnetic shoves, so the team had to recreate the magnetic push in some other way. To achieve this, they laid out the tracks so that it is easier for the photons to quantum mechanically jump between rings in certain directions. This simulates the missing magnetic influence and creates an environment with a photonic version of the anomalous quantum Hall effect and its stable edge paths.

    For this experiment, the team sent two laser beams of two different colors (frequencies) of light into this carefully designed environment. Inside a resonator a photon from each of the beams spontaneously combine. The researchers then observed how the photons reformed into two indistinguishable photons, travelled through the topological edge paths and were eventually ejected from the chip.

    Since the new photons formed inside a resonator ring, they took on the traits (polarization and spatial mode) of the photons that the resonators are designed to hold. The only trait left that the team needed to worry about was their frequencies.

    The researchers matched the frequencies of the photons by selecting the appropriate input frequencies for the two lasers based on how they would combine inside the silicon resonators. With the appropriate theoretical understanding of the experiment, they can produce photons that are quantum mechanically indistinguishable.

    The nature of the formation of the new photons provides the desired quantum characteristics. The photons are quantum mechanically entangled due to the way they were generated as pairs; their combined properties—like the total energy of the pair—are constrained by what the original photons brought into the mix, so observing the property of one instantly reveals the equivalent fact about the other. Until they are observed—that is, detected by the researchers—they don’t exist as two individual particles with distinct quantum states for their frequencies. Rather, they are identical mixtures of possible frequency states called a superposition. The two photons being indistinguishable means they can quantum mechanically interfere with each other

    The resulting combination of being indistinguishable and entangled is essential for many potential uses of photons in quantum technologies. An additional lucky side effect of the researcher’s topological approach is that it gives them a greater ability to adjust the frequencies of the twin photons based on the frequencies they pump into the chip and how well the frequencies match with the topological states on the edge of the device.

    “This is not the only way to generate entangled photon pairs—there are many other devices—but they are not tunable,” Mittal says. “So once you fabricate your device, it is what it is. If you want to change the bandwidth of the photons or do something else, it’s not possible. But in our case, we don’t have to design a new device. We showed that, just by tuning the pump frequencies, we could tune the interference properties. So, that was very exciting.”

    The combination of the devices being tunable and robust against manufacturing imperfections make them an appealing option for practical applications, the authors say. The team plans to continue exploring the potential of this technique and related topological devices and possible ways to further improve the devices such as using other materials to make them.

    In addition to Hafezi and Mittal, former JQI graduate student Venkata Vikram Orre and former JQI postdoctoral researcher and current assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (US) Elizabeth Goldschmidt were also co-authors of the paper.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    JQI supported by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    We are on the verge of a new technological revolution as the strange and unique properties of quantum physics become relevant and exploitable in the context of information science and technology.

    The Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) (US) is pursuing that goal through the work of leading quantum scientists from the Department of Physics of the University of Maryland (UMD (US)), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS). Each institution brings to JQI major experimental and theoretical research programs that are dedicated to the goals of controlling and exploiting quantum systems.

    U Maryland Campus

    Driven by the pursuit of excellence, the University of Maryland (US) has enjoyed a remarkable rise in accomplishment and reputation over the past two decades. By any measure, Maryland is now one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities and on a path to become one of the world’s best. To fulfill this promise, we must capitalize on our momentum, fully exploit our competitive advantages, and pursue ambitious goals with great discipline and entrepreneurial spirit. This promise is within reach. This strategic plan is our working agenda.

    The plan is comprehensive, bold, and action oriented. It sets forth a vision of the University as an institution unmatched in its capacity to attract talent, address the most important issues of our time, and produce the leaders of tomorrow. The plan will guide the investment of our human and material resources as we strengthen our undergraduate and graduate programs and expand research, outreach and partnerships, become a truly international center, and enhance our surrounding community.

    Our success will benefit Maryland in the near and long term, strengthen the State’s competitive capacity in a challenging and changing environment and enrich the economic, social and cultural life of the region. We will be a catalyst for progress, the State’s most valuable asset, and an indispensable contributor to the nation’s well-being. Achieving the goals of Transforming Maryland requires broad-based and sustained support from our extended community. We ask our stakeholders to join with us to make the University an institution of world-class quality with world-wide reach and unparalleled impact as it serves the people and the state of Maryland.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:25 pm on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists observe modified energy landscapes at the intersection of 2D materials", Applied Research & Technology, Due to this "squeeze" 2D materials have enhanced optical and electronic properties that show great promise as next-generation ultrathin devices., , Modern 2D materials consist of single-atom layers where electrons can move in two dimensions but their motion in the third dimension is restricted., ,   

    From University of Bath (UK) : “Physicists observe modified energy landscapes at the intersection of 2D materials” 

    From University of Bath (UK)

    2
    2D sheets intersect and twist on top of each other, modifying the energy landscape of the materials. Credit: Ventsislav Valev.

    In 1884, Edwin Abbott wrote the novel Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions as a satire of Victorian hierarchy. He imagined a world that existed only in two dimensions, where the beings are 2D geometric figures. The physics of such a world is somewhat akin to that of modern 2D materials, such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides, which include tungsten disulfide (WS2), tungsten diselenide (WSe2), molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2).

    Modern 2D materials consist of single-atom layers where electrons can move in two dimensions but their motion in the third dimension is restricted. Due to this “squeeze” 2D materials have enhanced optical and electronic properties that show great promise as next-generation ultrathin devices in the fields of energy, communications, imaging and quantum computing, among others.

    Typically, for all these applications, the 2D materials are envisioned in flat-lying arrangements. Unfortunately, however, the strength of these materials is also their greatest weakness—they are extremely thin. This means that when they are illuminated, light can interact with them only over a tiny thickness, which limits their usefulness. To overcome this shortcoming, researchers are starting to look for new ways to fold the 2D materials into complex 3D shapes.

    In our 3D universe, 2D materials can be arranged on top of each other. To extend the Flatland metaphor, such an arrangement would quite literally represent parallel worlds inhabited by people who are destined to never meet.

    Now, scientists from the Department of Physics at the University of Bath in the UK have found a way to arrange 2D sheets of WS2 (previously created in their lab) into a 3D configuration, resulting in an energy landscape that is strongly modified when compared to that of the flat-laying WS2 sheets. This particular 3D arrangement is known as a ‘nanomesh’: a webbed network of densely-packed, randomly distributed stacks, containing twisted and/or fused WS2 sheets.

    Modifications of this kind in Flatland would allow people to step into each other’s worlds. “We didn’t set out to distress the inhabitants of Flatland,” said Professor Ventsislav Valev who led the research, “But because of the many defects that we nanoengineered in the 2D materials, these hypothetical inhabitants would find their world quite strange indeed.

    “First, our WS2 sheets have finite dimensions with irregular edges, so their world would have a strangely shaped end. Also, some of the sulphur atoms have been replaced by oxygen, which would feel just wrong to any inhabitant. Most importantly, our sheets intersect and fuse together, and even twist on top of each other, which modifies the energy landscape of the materials. For the Flatlanders, such an effect would look like the laws of the universe had suddenly changed across their entire landscape.”

    Dr. Adelina Ilie, who developed the new material together with her former Ph.D. student and post-doc Zichen Liu, said: “The modified energy landscape is a key point for our study. It is proof that assembling 2D materials into a 3D arrangement does not just result in ‘thicker’ 2D materials—it produces entirely new materials. Our nanomesh is technologically simple to produce, and it offers tunable material properties to meet the demands of future applications.”

    Professor Valev added: “The nanomesh has very strong nonlinear optical properties—it efficiently converts one laser colour into another over a broad palette of colours. Our next goal is to use it on Si waveguides for developing quantum optical communications.”

    Ph.D. student Alexander Murphy, also involved in the research, said: “In order to reveal the modified energy landscape, we devised new characterisation methods and I look forward to applying these to other materials. Who knows what else we could discover?”

    Science paper:
    Laser & Photonics Reviews

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Bath is a public research university located in Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1966, along with a number of other institutions following the Robbins Report. Like the University of Bristol and University of the West of England, Bath can trace its roots to the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College, established in Bristol as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers. The university’s main campus is located on Claverton Down, a site overlooking the city of Bath, and was purpose-built, constructed from 1964 in the modernist style of the time.

    In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 32% of Bath’s submitted research activity achieved the highest possible classification of 4*, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 87% was graded 4*/3*, defined as world-leading/internationally excellent. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £287.9 million of which £37.0 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £283.1 million.

    The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European Quality Improvement System, the European University Association (EU), Universities UK and GW4.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:08 pm on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Volcanic eruptions and hurricanes affect rainfall on Hawaiʻi Island", Applied Research & Technology, , U Hawai’i at Manoa (US)   

    From U Hawai’i at Manoa (US) : “Volcanic eruptions and hurricanes affect rainfall on Hawaiʻi Island” 

    From U Hawai’i at Manoa (US)

    May 7, 2021

    1
    Sampling a rain collector near the Puʻu Lāʻau cabin on Maunakea. Credit: Kiana Frank.

    To better understand how and where groundwater is recharged on Hawaiʻi Island, a team of earth and atmospheric scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa looked to the source—rainfall. In a published study, the team reported a time-series of rainfall data which highlights that extreme events, such as volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, can affect the chemistry of precipitation.

    The researchers measured hydrogen and oxygen isotopes and the chemical composition of rainfall from central to leeward Hawaiʻi Island at 20 stations. Rain water isotopes help scientists identify the origin of groundwater and understand the recharge processes in a region.

    Preparing for future water security

    The results from this study can be used to better quantify and characterize precipitation—the ultimate source of Hawaiʻi’s groundwater.

    “In order to better serve communities in Hawaiʻi, specifically in access to fresh water and ensuring better water management, we need to understand where the groundwater is recharging and how it flows in the different aquifer systems,” said Diamond Tachera, lead author of the study and graduate researcher at UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). “This is critical to future water security.”

    Serendipitous timing

    Hawaiʻi Island is characterized by the interactions of Pacific trade wind flow with two 13,000-feet high mountains, as well as one of the largest natural emitters of sulfur dioxide on the planet—Kīlauea Volcano.

    The study period included an extreme weather event, Hurricane Lane, a major volcanic eruption at Kīlauea in 2018 and the nearly-complete cessation of long-term volcanic emissions after that historic event.

    “These events allowed us the rare opportunity to investigate the impact of volcanic emissions such as sulfate (also known as vog) and a hurricane on precipitation chemistry,” said Tachera.

    Consistent with previous research, the study revealed long-term variability in rainfall chemistry due to changes in atmospheric and climate processes in this region. Additionally, the team found significantly more sulfate in the rain samples collected during the Kīlauea eruption and substantially less after the volcanic activity ceased.

    This research is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawai’I (US)

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.

    The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes near the summit of Maunakea on the island of Hawai’i feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrographs and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems.

    System Overview

    The University of Hawai‘i includes 10 campuses and dozens of educational, training and research centers across the Hawaiian Islands. As the public system of higher education in Hawai‘i, UH offers opportunities as unique and diverse as our Island home.

    The 10 UH campuses and educational centers on six Hawaiian Islands provide unique opportunities for both learning and recreation.

    UH is the State’s leading engine for economic growth and diversification, stimulating the local economy with jobs, research and skilled workers.

    The University of Hawaiʻi system, formally the University of Hawaiʻi is a public college and university system that confers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and various other research facilities distributed across six islands throughout the state of Hawaii in the United States. All schools of the University of Hawaiʻi system are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The U.H. system’s main administrative offices are located on the property of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu CDP.

    The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is the flagship institution of the University of Hawaiʻi system. It was founded as a land-grant college under the terms of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Programs include Hawaiian/Pacific Studies, Astronomy, East Asian Languages and Literature, Asian Studies, Comparative Philosophy, Marine Science, Second Language Studies, along with Botany, Engineering, Ethnomusicology, Geophysics, Law, Business, Linguistics, Mathematics, and Medicine. The second-largest institution is the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on the “Big Island” of Hawaiʻi, with over 3,000 students. The University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu in Kapolei primarily serves students who reside in Honolulu’s western and central suburban communities. The University of Hawaiʻi Community College system comprises four community colleges island campuses on O’ahu and one each on Maui, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi. The schools were created to improve accessibility of courses to more Hawaiʻi residents and provide an affordable means of easing the transition from secondary school/high school to college for many students. University of Hawaiʻi education centers are located in more remote areas of the State and its several islands, supporting rural communities via distance education.

    Research facilities

    Center for Philippine Studies
    Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi
    East-West Center
    Haleakalā Observatory
    Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute
    Institute for Astronomy
    Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
    Institute of Marine Biology
    Lyon Arboretum
    Mauna Kea Observatory
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    Waikīkī Aquarium

     
  • richardmitnick 11:23 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New light emitters developed for quantum circuits", Applied Research & Technology, Harnessing optical photons to integrate quantum computing seamlessly with fiber-optic networks., KTH Royal Institute of Technology [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan] (SE), ,   

    From KTH Royal Institute of Technology [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan] (SE): “New light emitters developed for quantum circuits” 

    From KTH Royal Institute of Technology [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan] (SE)

    May 10, 2021
    David Callahan

    1
    A close-up look at the integrated chip that emits photons. Courtesy of Ali Elshaari.

    The promise of a quantum internet depends on the complexities of harnessing light to transmit quantum information over fiber optic networks. A potential step forward was reported today by researchers at KTH who developed integrated chips that can generate light particles on demand and without the need for extreme refrigeration.

    Quantum computing today relies on states of matter, that is, electrons which carry qubits of information to perform multiple calculations simultaneously, in a fraction of the time it takes with classical computing.

    KTH Professor Val Zwiller says that in order to integrate quantum computing seamlessly with fiber-optic networks—which are used by the internet today—a more promising approach would be to harness optical photons.

    “The photonic approach offers a natural link between communication and computation,” he says. “That’s important, since the end goal is to transmit the processed quantum information using light.”

    Deterministic rather than random

    But in order for photons to deliver qubits on-demand in quantum systems, they need to be emitted in a deterministic, rather than probabilistic, fashion. This can be accomplished at extremely low temperatures in artificial atoms, but today the research group at KTH reported a way to make it work in optical integrated circuits—at room temperature [Advanced Quantum Technologies].

    The new method enables photon emitters to be precisely positioned in integrated optical circuits that resemble copper wires for electricity, except that they carry light instead, says Associate Professor Ali Elshaari.

    The researchers harnessed the single-photon-emitting properties of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), a layered material. hBN is a compound commonly used is used ceramics, alloys, resins, plastics and rubbers to give them self-lubricating properties. They integrated the material with silicon nitride waveguides to direct the emitted photons.

    Quantum circuits with light are either operated at cryogenic temperatures—plus 4 Kelvin above absolute zero—using atom-like single photon sources, or at room temperature using random single photon sources, Elshaari says. By contrast, the technique developed at KTH enables optical circuits with on-demand emission of light particles at room temperature.

    “In existing optical circuits operating at room temperature, you never know when the single photon is generated unless you do a heralding measurement,” Elshaari says. “We realized a deterministic process that precisely positions light-particles emitters operating at room temperature in an integrated photonic circuit.”

    The researchers reported coupling of hBN single photon emitter to silicon nitride waveguides, and they developed a method to image the quantum emitters. Then in a hybrid approach, the team built the photonic circuits with respect to the quantum sources locations using a series of steps involving electron beam lithography and etching, while still preserving the high quality nature of the quantum light.

    The achievement opens a path to hybrid integration, that is, incorporating atom-like single-photon emitters into photonic platforms that cannot emit light efficiently on demand.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    KTH Royal Institute of Technology [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan](SE) is a public research university in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH conducts research and education within engineering and technology, and is Sweden’s largest technical university. Currently, KTH consists of five schools with four campuses in and around Stockholm.

    KTH was established in 1827 as Teknologiska Institutet (Institute of Technology), and had its roots in Mekaniska skolan (School of Mechanics) that was established in 1798 in Stockholm. But the origin of KTH dates back to the predecessor to Mekaniska skolan, the Laboratorium Mechanicum, which was established in 1697 by Swedish scientist and innovator Christopher Polhem. Laboratorium Mechanicum combined education technology, a laboratory and an exhibition space for innovations. In 1877 KTH received its current name, Kungliga Tekniska högskolan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology). It is ranked top 100 in the world among all universities in the 2020 QS World University Rankings.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:21 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago", According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined., Applied Research & Technology, , , , , Harvard Gazette (US), Harvard University (US), Mantle water storage capacity, The primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70; 80; and even 90 percent of the early continents.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    1
    Calculations show that Earth’s oceans may have been 1 to 2 times bigger than previously thought and the planet may have been completely covered in water. Credit: Alec Brenner/Harvard University.

    Harvard scientists calculate early ocean may have been 1 to 2 times bigger.

    April 30, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    In 1995, Universal Studios released what was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made: Waterworld, a film set in the distant future where the planet Earth was almost completely covered in water and its remaining inhabitants could only dream of mythic dry land. Well, take away the future part, the exorbitant budget, the chain-smoking pirates, and the gill-sporting Kevin Costner and the movie may have been onto something.

    According to a new, Harvard-led study, geochemical calculations about the interior of the planet’s water storage capacity suggests Earth’s primordial ocean 3 to 4 billion years ago may have been one to two times larger than it is today, and possibly covered the planet’s entire surface.

    “It depends on the conditions and parameters we look at in the model, such as the height and distribution of the continents, but the primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70, 80, and even 90 percent of the early continents,” said Junjie Dong, a Ph.D. student in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, who led the study. “In the extreme scenarios, if we have an ocean that is two times larger than the amount of water we have today, that might have completely flooded the land masses we had on the surface of the early Earth.”

    The research was published in AGU Advances earlier this month. It challenges long-held assumptions that Earth’s ocean volume hasn’t changed too much since the planet’s formation. At its root, the paper delves into understanding the origins of water and the history of how its bodies have evolved.

    “In the geology community, biology community, and even in the astronomy community, they are all interested in the origins of life, and water is one of the most important key elements that has to be considered,” Dong said.

    Researchers weren’t looking for signs of liquid water, but its chemical equivalent, oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which bond to the interior of the planet. They compiled all the data in the scientific literature they could find on minerals that hold these signs and used the figures to calculate how much water there could be in the Earth’s mantle, which makes up the bulk of the planet’s interior. That number is referred to as the planet’s mantle water storage capacity. It changes as the interior of the planet continues to cool.

    The group calculated what that number could be today and how much could have been stored a few billion years ago to see how the number had changed. The capacity back then was significantly less.

    Scientists then compared those numbers to geochemical estimates of how much water is in the mantle today. Analysis found that the actual water content today is likely higher than the maximum water capacity of the mantle a few billion years ago, meaning the water today wouldn’t have been able to fit in the mantle billions of years ago. This suggests the water was someplace else — on the world’s surface. According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined.

    “There has been water falling into the Earth’s interior over time, which makes sense because with plate tectonics you have some of the plates on the Earth’s surface that subduct and go down into the interior and bring water down with them,” said Rebecca Fischer, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the study’s other lead author. “There’s not really anywhere that water could come from besides the oceans on the surface, so that implies that the oceans had to have been larger in the past.”

    The study isn’t the first to suggest Earth could have been a water world, but the researchers believe it to be the first offering quantitative evidence based on the water storage capacity of the mantle.

    The researchers point out some caveats in the study, the main one being that data on the minerals used to determine the amount of water in the planet’s mantle is limited when it comes to its deeper parts, which go down thousands of kilometers.

    In their next project, Dong and Fischer are looking toward Mars. They plan to use a similar model to determine the amount of water that could have been stored in its interior.

    “Evidence seems to point out that the early Mars had a significant amount of water on its surface,” Dong said. “We want to investigate whether that surface water had some relations with the water that could possibly have been stored in its interior.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:58 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists describe new type of aurora", Applied Research & Technology, , University of Calgary (CS), University of Iowa (US)   

    From University of Iowa (US) with University of Calgary (CA): “Physicists describe new type of aurora” 

    From University of Iowa (US)

    2021.05.06

    Richard Lewis
    Office of Strategic Communication
    319-384-0012
    richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu

    Discovery comes from reanalysis of two-decade-old video.


    Physicists describe new type of aurora.
    The famed northern and southern lights still hold secrets. In a new study, physicists led by the University of Iowa (US) describe a new phenomenon they call “diffuse auroral erasers,” in which patches of the background glow are blotted out, then suddenly intensify and reappear.

    1
    Diffuse auroral erasers. Credit: David Knudsen via University of Iowa.

    For millennia, humans in the high latitudes have been enthralled by auroras—the northern and southern lights. Yet even after all that time, it appears the ethereal, dancing ribbons of light above Earth still hold some secrets.

    In a new study, physicists led by the University of Iowa report a new feature to Earth’s atmospheric light show. Examining video taken nearly two decades ago, the researchers describe multiple instances where a section of the diffuse aurora—the faint, background-like glow accompanying the more vivid light commonly associated with auroras—goes dark, as if scrubbed by a giant blotter. Then, after a short period of time, the blacked-out section suddenly reappears.

    The researchers say the behavior, which they call “diffuse auroral erasers,” has never been mentioned in the scientific literature. The findings appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics.

    Auroras occur when charged particles flowing from the sun—called the solar wind—interact with Earth’s protective magnetic bubble. Some of those particles escape and fall toward our planet, and the energy released during their collisions with gases in Earth’s atmosphere generate the light associated with auroras.

    “The biggest thing about these erasers that we didn’t know before but know now is that they exist,” says Allison Jaynes, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa and study co-author. “It raises the question: Are these a common phenomenon that has been overlooked, or are they rare?

    “Knowing they exist means there is a process that is creating them,” Jaynes continues, “and it may be a process that we haven’t started to look at yet because we never knew they were happening until now.”


    Diffuse auroral erasers.

    It was on March 15, 2002, that David Knudsen, a physicist at the University of Calgary (CA), set up a video camera in Churchill, a town along Hudson Bay in Canada, to film auroras. Knudsen’s group was a little disheartened; the forecast called for clear, dark skies—normally perfect conditions for viewing auroras—but no dazzling illumination was happening. Still, the team was using a camera specially designed to capture low-level light, much like night-vision goggles.

    Though the scientists saw only mostly darkness as they gazed upward with their own eyes, the camera was picking up all sorts of auroral activity, including an unusual sequence where areas of the diffuse aurora disappeared, then came back.

    Knudsen, looking at the video as it was being recorded, scribbled in his notebook, “pulsating ‘black out’ diffuse glow, which then fills in over several seconds.”

    “What surprised me, and what made me write it in the notebook, is when a patch brightened and turned off, the background diffuse aurora was erased. It went away,” says Knudsen, a Fort Dodge, Iowa, native who has studied aurora for more than 35 years and is a co-author on the study. “There was a hole in the diffuse aurora. And then that hole would fill back in after a half-minute or so. I had never seen something like that before.”

    The note lay dormant, and the video unstudied, until Iowa’s Jaynes handed it to graduate student Riley Troyer to investigate. Jaynes learned about Knudsen’s recording at a scientific meeting in 2010 and referenced the eraser note in her doctoral thesis on diffuse aurora a few years later. Now on the faculty at Iowa, she wanted to learn more about the phenomenon.

    “I knew there was something there. I knew it was different and unique,” says Jaynes, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “l had some ideas how it could be analyzed, but I hadn’t done that yet. I handed it to Riley, and he went much further with it by figuring out his own way to analyze the data and produce some significant conclusions.”

    2
    Notes written by David Knudsen, a physicist at the University of Calgary, in 2002 make mention of a “pulsating ‘black out’ diffuse glow, which then fills in over several seconds.”

    Troyer, from Fairbanks, Alaska, took up the assignment with gusto.

    “I’ve seen hundreds of auroras growing up,” says Troyer, who is in his third year of doctoral studies at Iowa. “They’re part of my heritage, something I can study while keeping ties to where I’m from.”

    Troyer created a software program to key in on frames in the video when the faint erasers were visible. In all, he cataloged 22 eraser events in the two-hour recording.

    “The most valuable thing we found is showing the time that it takes for the aurora to go from an eraser event (when the diffuse aurora is blotted out) to be filled or colored again,” says Troyer, who is the paper’s corresponding author, “and how long it takes to go from that erased state back to being diffuse aurora. Having a value on that will help with future modeling of magnetic fields.”

    Jaynes says learning about diffuse auroral erasers is akin to studying DNA to understand the entire human body.

    “Particles that fall into our atmosphere from space can affect our atmospheric layers and our climate,” Jaynes says. “While particles with diffuse aurora may not be the main cause, they are smaller building blocks that can help us understand the aurora system as a whole, and may broaden our understanding how auroras happen on other planets in our solar system.”

    Study co-authors are Sarah Jones, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (US) and who was part of Knudsen’s team in Churchill, and Trond Trondsen, with Keo Scientific Ltd., who built the camera that filmed the diffuse aurora.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Iowa (US) is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest and the second-largest university in the state. The University of Iowa is organized into 12 colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.

    On an urban 1,880-acre campus on the banks of the Iowa River, the University of Iowa is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The university is best known for its programs in health care, law, and the fine arts, with programs ranking among the top 25 nationally in those areas. The university was the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree and it operates the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, which has produced 17 of the university’s 46 Pulitzer Prize winners. Iowa is a member of the Association of American Universities, the Universities Research Association, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

    Among American universities, the University of Iowa was the first public university to open as coeducational, opened the first coeducational medical school, and opened the first Department of Religious Studies at a public university. The University of Iowa’s 33,000 students take part in nearly 500 student organizations. Iowa’s 22 varsity athletic teams, the Iowa Hawkeyes, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are members of the Big Ten Conference. The University of Iowa alumni network exceeds 250,000 graduates.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:18 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New marine symbiosis unseen for 270 million years", Applied Research & Technology, , , ,   

    From University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) and Science Alert (AU) : “New marine symbiosis unseen for 270 million years” 

    From University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL)

    and

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert (AU)

    30 April 2021

    A symbiotic relationship between two marine lifeforms has just been discovered thriving at the bottom of the ocean, after disappearing from the fossil record for hundreds of millions of years.

    Scientists have found non-skeletal corals growing from the stalks of marine animals known as crinoids, or sea lilies, on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Honshu and Shikoku in Japan.

    “These specimens represent the first detailed records and examinations of a recent syn vivo association of a crinoid (host) and a hexacoral (epibiont),” the researchers wrote in their paper, “and therefore analyses of these associations can shed new light on our understanding of these common Paleozoic associations.”

    During the Paleozoic era, crinoids and corals seem to have gotten along very well indeed. The seafloor fossil record is full of it, yielding countless examples of corals overgrowing crinoid stems to climb above the seafloor into the water column, to stronger ocean currents for filter-feeding.

    Prof. Mikołaj Zapalski from the UW Faculty of Geology with researchers from Japan and Poland described an ecological “living fossil” unseen for 273 million years. Their article appeared in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

    1
    Credit: Zapalski et al., Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2021.

    2
    Credit: Zapalski et al., Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2021.

    Palaeozoic seafloors were inhabited by numerous organisms interacting with each other. One of these associations was corals growing on sea lilies (crinoids). As corals grew on crinoids, they were lifted above the seafloor, thus profiting from stronger feeding currents. Fossils of crinoid-coral associations are known from Palaeozoic rocks, and the youngest are known from rocks dated from ca. 273 million years ago. While both corals and crinoids are known from younger rocks, such associations are unknown neither from Meso- and Cenozoic strata nor contemporary seas.

    In a research article [above], Prof. Mikołaj Zapalski from the UW Faculty of Geology with collaborators from Japan and Poland described an ecological “living fossil” unseen for 273 million years; non-skeletal corals growing on crinoid stalks. The investigated animals were collected from depths exceeding 100 m near the Pacific coasts of Honshu and Shikoku. The research was conducted using microtomography scanning and revealed that, unlike their Palaeozoic counterparts, recent corals do not modify the host’s skeleton. Despite such differences in the skeletal record, the newly discovered coral-crinoid associations may serve as a good model of relevant Palaeozoic interactions.

    See the full University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL)article here.

    10 MAY 2021
    MICHELLE STARR

    A symbiotic relationship between two marine lifeforms has just been discovered thriving at the bottom of the ocean, after disappearing from the fossil record for hundreds of millions of years.

    Scientists have found non-skeletal corals growing from the stalks of marine animals known as crinoids, or sea lilies, on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Honshu and Shikoku in Japan.

    “These specimens represent the first detailed records and examinations of a recent syn vivo association of a crinoid (host) and a hexacoral (epibiont),” the researchers wrote in their paper, “and therefore analyses of these associations can shed new light on our understanding of these common Paleozoic associations.”

    During the Paleozoic era, crinoids and corals seem to have gotten along very well indeed. The seafloor fossil record is full of it, yielding countless examples of corals overgrowing crinoid stems to climb above the seafloor into the water column, to stronger ocean currents for filter-feeding.

    Yet these benthic besties disappeared from the fossil record around 273 million years ago, after the specific crinoids and corals in question went extinct. Other species of crinoids and corals emerged in the Mesozoic, following the Permian-Triassic extinction – but never again have we seen them together in a symbiotic relationship.

    Well, until now. At depths exceeding 100 meters (330 feet) below the ocean’s surface, scientists have found two different species of coral – hexacorals of the genera Abyssoanthus, which is very rare, and Metridioidea, a type of sea anemone – growing from the stems of living Japanese sea lilies (Metacrinus rotundus).

    The joint Polish-Japanese research team, led by paleontologist Mikołaj Zapalski of the University of Warsaw in Poland, first used stereoscopic microscopy to observe and photograph the specimens.

    Then, they used non-destructive microtomography to scan the specimens to reveal their interior structures, and DNA barcoding to identify the species.

    They found that the corals, which attached below the feeding fans of the crinoids, likely didn’t compete with their hosts for food; and, being non-skeletal, likely didn’t affect the flexibility of the crinoid stalks, although the anemone may have hindered movement of the host’s cirri – thin strands that line the stalk.

    It’s also unclear what benefit the crinoids gain from a relationship with coral, but one interesting thing did emerge: unlike the Paleozoic corals, the new specimens did not modify the structure of the crinoids’ skeleton.

    This, the researchers said, can help explain the gap in the fossil record. The Paleozoic fossils of symbiotic corals and crinoids involve corals that have a calcite skeleton, such as Rugosa and Tabulata.

    Fossils of soft-bodied organisms – such as non-skeletal corals – are rare. Zoantharia such as Abyssoanthus have no confirmed fossil record, and actiniaria such as Metridioidea (seen as a dry specimen in the image below) also are extremely limited.

    4
    (Zapalski et al., Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2021)

    If these corals don’t modify the host, and leave no fossil record, perhaps they have had a long relationship with crinoids that has simply not been recorded.

    This means the modern relationship between coral and crinoid could contain some clues as to Paleozoic interactions between coral and crinoid. There’s evidence to suggest that zoantharians and rugose corals share a common ancestor, for instance.

    The number of specimens recovered to date is small, but now that we know they are there, perhaps more work can be done to discover the history of this fascinating friendship.

    “As both Actiniaria and Zoantharia have their phylogenetic roots deep in the Palaeozoic, and coral-crinoid associations were common among Palaeozoic Tabulate and Rugose corals, we can speculate that also Palaeozoic non-skeletal corals might have developed this strategy of settling on crinoids,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

    “The coral-crinoid associations, characteristic of Palaeozoic benthic communities, disappeared by the end of Permian, and this current work represents the first detailed examination of their rediscovery in modern seas.”

    See the full Science Alert (AU) article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL), established in 1816, is the largest university in Poland. It employs over 6,000 staff including over 3,100 academic educators. It provides graduate courses for 53,000 students (on top of over 9,200 postgraduate and doctoral candidates). The University offers some 37 different fields of study, 18 faculties and over 100 specializations in Humanities, technical as well as Natural Sciences.

    It was founded as a Royal University on 19 November 1816, when the Partitions of Poland separated Warsaw from the oldest and most influential University of Kraków. Alexander I granted permission for the establishment of five faculties – law and political science, medicine, philosophy, theology and the humanities. The university expanded rapidly but was closed during November Uprising in 1830. It was reopened in 1857 as the Warsaw Academy of Medicine, which was now based in the nearby Staszic Palace with only medical and pharmaceutical faculties. All Polish-language campuses were closed in 1869 after the failed January Uprising, but the university managed to train 3,000 students, many of whom were important part of the Polish intelligentsia; meanwhile the Main Building was reopened for training military personnel. The university was resurrected during the First World War and the number of students reached 4,500 in 1918. After Poland’s independence the new government focused on improving the university, and in the early 1930s it became the country’s largest. New faculties were established and the curriculum was extended. Following the Second World War and the devastation of Warsaw, the University successfully reopened in 1945.

    Today, University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) consists of 126 buildings and educational complexes with over 18 faculties: biology, chemistry, journalism and political science, philosophy and sociology, physics, geography and regional studies, geology, history, applied linguistics and Slavic philology, economics, philology, pedagogy, Polish language, law and public administration, psychology, applied social sciences, management and mathematics, computer science and mechanics.

    The University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) is one of the top Polish universities. It was ranked by Perspektywy magazine as best Polish university in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016. International rankings such as ARWU and University Web Ranking rank the university as the best Polish higher level institution. On the list of 100 best European universities compiled by University Web Ranking, the University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) was placed as 61st. QS World University Rankings previously positioned the University of Warsaw [Uniwersytet Warszawski] (PL) as the best higher level institution among the world’s top 400.

     
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