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  • richardmitnick 8:43 pm on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Intergalactic three-dimensional map built in Western Australian outback", "WALLABY": Widefield ASKAP L-band All-sky Blind surveY, A survey of the night sky by the 36-dish radio telescope array in Western Australia has completed its first phase in a project that aims to build a three-dimensional intergalactic map., ASKAP is one of the precursor instruments to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – an international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope., , , , , COSMOS (AU), Data from the completed survey will help astronomers measure the distribution of dark matter and internal motion of galaxies and how these galactic and intergalactic systems evolve and interact., The Australia National Telescope Facility (AU), The final project will map a quarter of a million galaxies generating 30 terabytes of data collected each day from the ASKAP radio telescope in the remote mid-west region of Western Australia., The WALLABY Pilot Survey has charted hundreds of galaxies covering 180 square degrees of observable sky – equivalent in area to over 700 full moons.   

    From The Australia National Telescope Facility (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Intergalactic three-dimensional map built in Western Australian outback” 

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    From The Australia National Telescope Facility (AU)

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    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    11.15.22
    Evrim Yazgin

    The map will help us better understand nearby galaxies and galactic clusters.

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    ASKAP panorama. Credit: CSIRO.

    A survey of the night sky by the 36-dish radio telescope array in Western Australia has completed its first phase in a project that aims to build a three-dimensional intergalactic map.

    The WALLABY (the Widefield ASKAP L-band All-sky Blind surveY) Pilot Survey has charted hundreds of galaxies, covering 180 square degrees of observable sky – equivalent in area to over 700 full moons.

    The data, published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia [below], will help us better understand nearby galaxies and galactic clusters.

    Data from the completed survey will help astronomers measure the distribution of dark matter, internal motion of galaxies, and how these galactic and intergalactic systems evolve and interact.

    It will be the first full 3D survey of this scale. The final project will map a quarter of a million galaxies, generating 30 terabytes of data collected each eight-hour day from the ASKAP radio telescope in the remote mid-west region of Western Australia. The site provides excellent sky coverage, radio quietness and calm tropospheric conditions, making it perfect for radio astronomy.

    ASKAP is one of the precursor instruments to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – an international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope.

    Lead author Dr Tobias Westmeier, from the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research [ICRAR (AU)], says WALLABY’s data will allow researchers to see the universe at a scale that simply isn’t possible with optical telescopes.

    “If our own Milky Way is between us and the galaxy we’re trying to observe, the sheer number of stars and dust makes it incredibly hard to see anything else,” says Westmeier. “WALLABY isn’t affected by these limitations. It’s one of the great strengths of radio surveys; they can simply peer through all the stars and dust in our own Milky Way.”

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    Composite image of NGC 4632 (located around 50 million light years from Earth) showing the distribution of the galaxy’s gases in a three-dimensional space. Credit: Dr Tobias Westmeier, ICRAR & Astro3D.

    “WALLABY will enable us to directly map and detect hydrogen gas, the fuel for star-formation,” says co-author Dr Karen Lee-Waddell, director of the Australia SKA Regional Centre. “With this data, astronomers can accurately group galaxies to better understand how they affect each other when clustered together, providing insight on how galaxies form and change over time.”

    Lee-Waddell adds that the project’s ability to show where the galaxies sit in three-dimensional space will split up those that appear clustered together but are really millions of light years apart.

    WALLABY is expected to lead to many new observations and discoveries.

    “Of the over 600 galaxies measured so far, many have not been previously catalogued at any other waveband and are considered new discoveries,” says co-author Professor Lister Staveley-Smith, WALLABY’s Principal Investigator. “Over a dozen papers have been published so far describing new discoveries from these early observations.”

    Science paper:
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
    See the science paper for detailed material with images.

    See the full article here .

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    WELCOME TO THE AUSTRALIA TELESCOPE NATIONAL FACILITY

    CSIRO (AU) , Australia’s national science agency, operates a number of world-class radio astronomy observatories that are collectively known as The Australia Telescope National Facility or ATNF. The facility offers a powerful view of the southern hemisphere radio spectrum and supports world-leading research by Australian and international astronomers. CSIRO also manages the Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, where the Square Kilometre Array telescope infrastructure in Australia is to be centred.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:04 pm on November 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tax oil companies says UN secretary-general in COP27 address", , “Shared suicide” if things do not change, , , , Climate is "the defining issue of our age"., COSMOS (AU), , Guterres says humanity on a “highway to hell” without concrete action to stop carbon emissions., Guterres singled out global superpowers China and the United States as needing to shoulder “particular responsibility”., The required global funding for adaptation measures is expected to be in excess of US$300 billion by the end of the decade., The World Meteorological Organization this week declared 1.5°C as “barely within reach”.   

    From “COSMOS (AU)” : “Tax oil companies says UN secretary-general in COP27 address” 

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    From “COSMOS (AU)”

    11.8.22
    Matthew Agius

    Guterres says humanity on a “highway to hell” without concrete action to stop carbon emissions.

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    António Guterres addresses COP27. Credit: Kiara Worth/UNCCC.

    UN secretary-general António Guterres says humanity can either cooperate on substantive action to halt climate change or face a “shared suicide” by letting the disastrous effects of global warming continue unabated.

    The stark message was delivered at the opening of COP27 – the annual UN climate change summit, this year held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

    Guterres has called for a Climate Solidarity Pact which would see nations take additional carbon reductions measures, including the transfer of finance from wealthy nations to developing economies.

    He singled out global superpowers China and the United States as needing to shoulder “particular responsibility” to bring such a proposal into being.

    “This is our only hope of meeting our climate goals,” Guterres says.

    “It is the defining issue of our age. It is the central challenge of our century. It is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.

    “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”

    War in Ukraine a result of perilous climate

    Guterres went further in his address by singling out geopolitical conflict like the war between Russia and Ukraine as the product of “fossil fuel addiction.”

    The consequences of that conflict have been an increase in the price of fossil fuels – like gas – which have rippled across neighbouring European nations and the wider world.

    In a brief appearance at COP27, British prime minister Rishi Sunak called for the climate fight to become “a global mission for new jobs and clean growth” and to “move further and faster” to keep global average temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

    That is, however, a preferable target under the language of the Paris Climate Agreement. Experts are increasingly describing such a target as borderline, and likely to be exceeded in coming years.

    The World Meteorological Organization this week declared 1.5°C as “barely within reach”.

    Given the slow pace of global action, containing warming to below two degrees appears more likely. However, that is reliant on developed economies substantially cutting fossil fuel use and implementing renewable energy generation at scale.

    Solutions proposed by the UN secretary-general include implementing taxation on oil companies’ windfall profits and redirect proceeds to developing nations as part of climate finance measures to help buffer against climate change.

    The world’s developing countries – located closer to the equator than more developed northern hemisphere nations – are expected to be disproportionately impacted by climate change effects.

    Finance is expected to be a sticking point at the COP27 negotiations, despite a UN Environment Programme report finding less than a third of US$100 billion climate finance has been delivered since it was committed at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009.

    The required global funding for adaptation measures is expected to be in excess of US$300 billion by the end of the decade.

    COP27 continues for the remainder of the week, with negotiations to focus on loss and damage compensation and adaptation finance.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 7:26 pm on November 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Research Council unveils 11 new 'Centres of Excellence'", , , , COSMOS (AU)   

    From ARC Centres of Excellence (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Research Council unveils 11 new ‘Centres of Excellence'” 

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    From ARC Centres of Excellence (AU)

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    “COSMOS (AU)”

    11.4.22

    Technology, weather, space, Indigenous culture, ending violence against women reflect Albanese government priorities.

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    The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced $385 million in research funding for eleven “ARC Centres of Excellence” to conduct research in areas of national priority over a seven-year period.

    It says the funding will be matched by Universities and 221 other partners for a total of cash and in kind financial support of more than $1 billion.

    ARC CEO, Ms Judi Zielke, said that the scheme plays an important role in supporting partnerships between universities, industry, community and government to produce “transformative research outcomes” and will “…address Australia’s most important research problems.”

    One of the recipients was James Cook University which is to receive $89million over 7 years to host a new “Centre of Excellence for Indigenous and Environmental Histories and Futures.”

    It will be led by Professor Sean Ulm.

    “Australia’s future depends on learning lessons from the past and applying them to problems that confront our modern world. Yet we know surprisingly little about how tens of thousands of years of Indigenous engagement and management have shaped Australia’s lands and seas,” said Ulm.

    “The recent Australian State of the Environment Report paints a grim picture of how climate change, land-clearing, and habitat modification are impacting the Australian environment.

    “But conventional approaches to land and sea management frequently fail to incorporate or value Indigenous histories and knowledges, leading to poorer outcomes for Country.

    “We simply can’t plan for the future without understanding both the long and short-term interactions of people, climate, lands, and seas.”

    Selection report for 2023 funding grants.

    The ARC Centres of Excellence awarded funding to start in 2023 are:

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Carbon Science and Innovation, led by the University of New South Wales, will develop carbon-based catalysts for clean energy, CO2 capture, and green chemistry to reduce emissions.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous and Environmental Histories and Futures, led by James Cook University, aims to generate a new direction in knowledge creation based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led approaches to managing Land and Sea Country.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Green Electrochemical Transformation for Carbon Dioxide, led by The University of Queensland, will develop new manufacturing businesses for Australia based on the conversion of carbon dioxide into value-added products, such as alcohols, and help transition Australia to a carbon-neutral economy.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology, led by the University of Queensland, aims to develop new quantum technologies to observe biological processes and transform our understanding of life.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Futures, led by the University of Queensland, will transform and improve the life chances of Indigenous Australians by utilising Indigenous knowledges to enhance our understanding of the complex nature of Indigenous intergenerational inequity.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space, led by the University of Adelaide, aims to create on-demand, zero-waste, high-efficiency plants and plant products to address grand challenges in sustainability for Space and on Earth.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, led by Monash University, will work closely with practitioners and Indigenous leadership across Australia and the Indo-Pacific to generate new knowledge to understand the root causes of violence against women.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century, led by Monash University, aims to determine how Australia’s weather is being reshaped by climate change.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence in Optical Microcombs for Breakthrough Science, led by RMIT University, aims to explore the society wide transformations that will flow from optical technology by leveraging and building upon the latest breakthroughs in physics, materials science, and nanofabrication.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, led by Swinburne University of Technology, will harness a national and international network of highly trained astrophysicists to detect and analyse gravitational waves, which will expand our knowledge of fundamental physics, the Universe, and the nature of ultra-dense matter.

    The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Mathematical Analysis of Cellular Systems, led by the University of Melbourne, will deliver advanced mathematics to study biological processes through whole cell modelling and will develop methods for engineering biotechnological applications.

    See the full article here .


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    The objectives for the ARC Centres of Excellence (AU) are to to:

    Undertake highly innovative and potentially transformational research that aims to achieve international standing in the fields of research envisaged and leads to a significant advancement of capabilities and knowledge.
    Link existing Australian research strengths and build critical mass with new capacity for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to address the most challenging and significant research problems.
    Develop relationships and build new networks with major national and international centres and research programs to help strengthen research, achieve global competitiveness and gain recognition for Australian research.
    Build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas by attracting and retaining, from within Australia and abroad, researchers of high international standing as well as the most promising research students.
    Provide high-quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments for the next generation of researchers.
    Offer Australian researchers opportunities to work on large-scale problems over long periods of time.
    Establish Centres that have an impact on the wider community through interaction with higher education institutes, governments, industry and the private and non-profit sector.

    ARC funds research and researchers under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), and also administers Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Australia’s national research evaluation framework. ARC Centres of Excellence, funded for a limited period, are collaborations established among Australian and international universities and other institutions to support research in a variety of fields.

    Since 2011, ARC has awarded the annual Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship and the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship, which are research fellowships for female Australian and international researchers, intended to support innovative research programs and mentor early career researchers.

    The Australian Research Council was established as an independent body under the Australian Research Council Act 2001.

    As of 2021 the agency is administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, headed by the Minister for Education and Youth.

    The ARC’s mission is to deliver policy and programs that advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community. It supports fundamental and applied research and research training through national competition across all disciplines except clinical and other medical and dental research, for which the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is primarily responsible. ARC is the primary source of advice to the government on investment in the national research effort.

    Excellence in Research for Australia

    ARC administers Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Australia’s national research evaluation framework. ERA identifies and promotes excellence across the full spectrum of research activity in higher education institutions.

    ERA is a comprehensive quality evaluation of all research produced in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks. The ratings are determined and moderated by committees of distinguished researchers, drawn from Australia and overseas. The unit of evaluation is broadly defined as the field of research (FoR) within an institution based on the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification (ANZSRC).

    ERA is based on expert review informed by a range of indicators. The indicators used in ERA include a range of metrics, such as citation profiles which are common to disciplines in the sciences, and peer review of a sample of research outputs, which is more common in the humanities and social sciences.

    A set of discipline-specific indicators has been developed in close consultation with the research community. This approach ensures that the indicators used are both appropriate and necessary, which minimizes the resourcing burden of ERA for government and universities, and ensures that ERA results are robust and broadly accepted.

    The first full round of ERA occurred in 2010 and the results were published in early 2011. This was the first time a nationwide stock take of discipline strengths and areas for development had ever been conducted in Australia. There have been two subsequent rounds of ERA in 2012 and 2015.

    Centres of excellence

    ARC Centres of Excellence are “prestigious foci of expertise through which high-quality researchers maintain and develop Australia’s international standing in research areas of national priority”. Funded by the ARC for a limited period (often seven years), collaborations are established among Australian and international universities, research organisations, governments and businesses, to support research in a number of fields. Recent funding rounds have occurred in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020.

    Past ARC Centres of Excellence include:

    The Centre for Cross-Cultural Research (CCR) at the Australian National University (AU), cited as an “ARC Special Research Centre focussing on scholarly and public understandings of cross-cultural relations and histories, particularly but not exclusively in Australia and in the immediate region”, existed from 1997/8 to around 2006/7. Anthropologist Nicholas Thomas was its inaugural director.
    ARC Centre for Complex Systems (ACCS), 2004–2009.
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), 2005–2013.
    ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), 2011–2018.

    Continuing Centres include:

    ARC Centre of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), 2017–
    ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE), 2011–
    ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), 2011–
    ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET), 2017–

     
  • richardmitnick 8:43 am on November 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A neat way to store and purify hydrogen", , , , COSMOS (AU), , Hydrogen gas is going to be an increasingly important substance over the next decade as a means of storing and transporting renewable energy., It’s not emissions-free but it is a smart way to store it., Less costly purification methods to isolate the hydrogen prior to storage are necessary., , The most common method of making hydrogen at the moment produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.   

    From Osaka University [大阪大学](JP) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “A neat way to store and purify hydrogen” 

    From Osaka University [大阪大学](JP)

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.30.22
    Ellen Phiddian

    It’s not emissions-free, but it is a smart way to store it.

    1
    Hoshimoto’s concept art for the researchers’ new reaction. The lion – boranes and 2-methylquinoline – finds and holds the hydrogen molecules. Credit: Y. Hoshimoto.

    Hydrogen gas is going to be an increasingly important substance over the next decade, as a means of storing and transporting renewable energy.

    But hydrogen itself is hard to store and transport: as a flammable, invisible gas, it could make for dangerous cargo.

    And the most common method of making it at the moment produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.

    New research, published in Science Advances [below], might have landed on both an easier way to store it – and a cheaper and less carbon-intensive way to make it.

    The researchers, at Osaka University in Japan, have found some substances that react with hydrogen, and only hydrogen – so they can store and release the gas with ease.


    Cosmos Shorts: What is green hydrogen and the hydrogen rainbow?

    Currently, most commercial hydrogen is made from steam-reforming natural (methane) gas, producing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the process.

    The hydrogen made by this method is only about 70% pure: it also contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases, each of which have to be removed individually through laborious, energy-intensive ways.

    “Even a small amount of carbon monoxide can hinder hydrogen uptake,” says corresponding author Associate Professor Yoichi Hoshimoto, from Osaka University’s Department of Applied Chemistry.

    “Thus, costly purification methods to isolate the hydrogen prior to storage are necessary.”

    The Osaka research has found that boron-based compounds called triaryl boranes could catalyze a reaction between hydrogen and another substance called 2-methylquinoline, causing the hydrogen to stick to the 2-methylquinoline.

    2
    The shortcut this work takes: carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are still released to make crude hydrogen, but it can then be purified more easily. Credit: Y. Hoshimoto.

    When heated at 200°C for three hours, the 2-methylquinoline released the hydrogen again.

    The resulting method is a 99% efficient way to store hydrogen, and releases hydrogen with 99.9% purity.

    3
    The reaction: borane-catalysed hydrogenation of 2-methylquinoline. After heating, the hydrogen is released again. Credit: Y. Hoshimoto.

    This method still produces some carbon emissions in its first stage – unlike electrolysis, which can be a near zero-emissions way of making hydrogen.

    But this chemical trick could help boost the industry in its nascency, and provide a neat storage method.

    “The industrial value of molecular hydrogen has long been plagued by substantial quantities of carbon monoxide and other contaminants,” says Hoshimoto.

    “However, in the catalytic hydrogenation method we developed, even a five-fold excess of a contaminant wasn’t a problem, and hydrogen uptake and release were each achieved without using any solvents.”

    Boron is being recognized for its gas storage potential around the world – a few months ago, Australian researchers showed [Materials Today (below)] it could store and separate carbon-based gases too.

    Science papers:
    Science Advances
    See this above science paper for detailed material with images.
    Materials Today

    See the full article here.

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    Osaka University [大阪大学](JP) is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was one of Imperial Universities in Japan, one of the Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. It is usually ranked among the top three public universities in Japan, along with The University of Tokyo[(東京大] (JP) and Kyoto University [京都大学](JP).

    It is ranked third overall among Japanese universities and 71st worldwide in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. Thomson Reuters, in its “World’s Most Innovative Universities” ranking ranked Osaka University as the 18th in the world and 1st in Japan.

    Osaka University was the sixth modern university in Japan at its founding in 1931. However, the history of the institution includes much older predecessors in Osaka such as the Kaitokudō founded in 1724 and the Tekijuku founded in 1838. Numerous prominent scholars and scientists have attended or worked at Osaka University, such as Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa, manga artist Osamu Tezuka, Lasker Award winner Hidesaburō Hanafusa, author Ryōtarō Shiba, and discoverer of regulatory T cells Shimon Sakaguchi.

    Osaka University’s English-medium degree programs attract international students from all over the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:47 pm on October 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Aquaporins": a protein structure that regulate the movement of water molecules through cell membranes., "Plant water loss - it’s complicated", , , , COSMOS (AU), , , Plant water loss: first described in 1889 might just be about to change.,   

    From The Australian National University (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Plant water loss – it’s complicated” 

    ANU Australian National University Bloc

    From The Australian National University (AU)

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    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.17.22
    Matthew Cawood

    It has long been thought that plants lose water through the same pathway as they acquire CO2. New evidence that this isn’t the case – that water loss and CO2 acquisition may occur via different pathways – not only overturns more than a century of plant physiology: it suggests there may be new approaches to developing drought-resistant crop species.

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    New research on the mechanism of plant water loss reveals the role of humidity is important Credit: Witthaya Prasongsin Getty Images.

    Plant water loss mechanisms have been led by science’s long-standing assumption that stomata, the tiny orifices on leaf surfaces, are where CO2 enters the plant, and where water exits it.

    On warm days, it was thought, the stomata’s opening to allow the plant to acquire CO2 also allowed water from the humid area inside the leaf to diffuse into drier air.

    This water loss is costly, and one of the reasons it takes about 300 grams of water to grow one gram of plant dry matter.

    But 14 years of intermittent experiments by Dr Suan Chin Wong, a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University’s Farquhar Laboratory, and colleagues have revealed an equation more complex than just “CO2 in -> H2O out”.

    It has long been assumed that relative humidity inside the leaf is always 100% because there is no method directly measuring the relative humidity of the air inside leaves. But in the late 2000s, Wong did a series of experiments in which he found that the relative humidity inside cotton and sunflower leaves could be as low as 80%.

    In 2018, a collaboration with colleagues with access to new equipment fully corroborated his earlier findings, and sparked a more in-depth investigation into the cause.

    “It was thought that a plant taking in carbon dioxide couldn’t avoid losing water,” Wong says. “But we’re saying that it’s possible to take in CO2 and not lose water – at least, much less water than we thought possible.”

    Plant water loss: first described in 1889 might just be about to change.

    In the subsequent search for other mechanisms, the researchers identified a probable answer in “aquaporins”. Discovered in 1992 by American researcher Peter Agre – who won a 2003 Nobel Prize for his work – aquaporins are a protein structure that regulate the movement of water molecules through cell membranes. In humans, aquaporins regulate the water content of blood cells, are vital to kidney function, and to the flow of body fluids in general.

    And right now, as reported in a recent Nature Plants [below] paper, that’s where this long, patient scientific process currently rests – with an important new understanding, and many questions.

    The understanding that plant water loss and CO2 acquisition are on different control mechanisms overturns assumptions that have been in place since stomata were first described in 1889.

    ”I’ve been working on stomata for over 40 years,” Wong says ruefully, “and I only realised this in the last few months.”

    Next, the questions. Are aquaporins really influential in controlling plant water loss? How? And if that process is understood, what does that mean for future plant breeding? Particularly in a world where the temperature is climbing.

    “First we have to really pinpoint the mechanism that’s a work in regulating water loss,” says Wong. “And then we work out what it all means.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Plants

    See the full article here .

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    ANU Campus

    The Australian National University (AU) is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

    Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

    Australian National University (AU) is regarded as one of the world’s leading research universities, and is ranked as the number one university in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere by the 2021 QS World University Rankings. It is ranked 31st in the world by the 2021 QS World University Rankings, and 59th in the world (third in Australia) by the 2021 Times Higher Education.

    In the 2020 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates’ employability, Australian National University (AU) was ranked 15th in the world (first in Australia). According to the 2020 QS World University by Subject, the university was also ranked among the top 10 in the world for Anthropology, Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography, Geology, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

    Established in 1946, ANU is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. It traces its origins to Canberra University College, which was established in 1929 and was integrated into Australian National University (AU) in 1960. Australian National University (AU) enrolls 10,052 undergraduate and 10,840 postgraduate students and employs 3,753 staff. The university’s endowment stood at A$1.8 billion as of 2018.

    Australian National University (AU) counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of government departments of Australia. The latest releases of ANU’s scholarly publications are held through ANU Press online.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:48 pm on October 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New semiconductor structure involving exciton pairs has implications for microchip technology", COSMOS (AU), , Electrical engineers at ANU believe their research could lay the foundations for a new generation of faster and more energy efficient smartphones and computers., , The discovery could help the researchers achieve room-temperature superfluidity where electrical currents can travel without any loss of energy., The fun happens when you put n-type and p-type semiconductors together getting interesting effects at the “junction” between them., Two types of semiconductors: "n-type" and "p-type"   

    From The Australian National University (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “New semiconductor structure involving exciton pairs has implications for microchip technology” 

    ANU Australian National University Bloc

    From The Australian National University (AU)

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    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.13.22
    Evrim Yazgin

    With implications for faster and more energy efficient smartphones and computers.

    1
    Robotic arm welding and installing components on a semiconductor circuit board. Credit: Comezora / Moment / Getty.

    A new semiconductor structure created by researchers at the Australian National University could pave the way for next generation technologies.

    Semiconductors are among the most important pieces of technical hardware in modern life, being the key ingredient in producing microchips used in computers, smartphones and tablets, and have been critical in making these devices smaller and more mobile.

    Semiconductors are materials which conduct better than an insulator (like glass), but not as well as a conductor (usually metals).

    By adding “impurities” into a non-conducting material like silicon, you can make it conduct. This process, known as “doping,” produces two types of semiconductors: n-type and p-type.

    In n-type semiconductors, an atom is added into a crystalline structure with more electrons than the other atoms in the lattice. For example, silicon (which has four outer-shell electrons) can be doped with phosphorous or arsenic (both with five outer-shell electrons). Because the fifth electron in the phosphorous or arsenic atoms have nothing to bond to, they are free to move around and conduct their negative charge through the material – hence these are called n-type semiconductors, conducting negative charge.

    P-type semiconductors involve the doping of atoms with fewer electrons. Again, taking silicon as an example, boron or gallium (both with three outer-shell electrons) can be added to create what is called a “hole” in the lattice where a silicon electron has nothing to which to bond. In this case, when an electron moves to “fill” the hole, the hole acts like a moving positive charge – hence p­-type semiconductors conduct positive charge.

    The fun happens when you put n-type and p-type semiconductors together, getting interesting effects at the “junction” between them.

    Electrical engineers at ANU have come up with a new way of putting semiconductors together which has yielded some exciting results. They believe their research could lay the foundations for a new generation of faster and more energy efficient smartphones and computers. Their results are published in Nature [below].

    Sandwiching two sheets of semiconductor material, the researchers have found that they have produced an “exciton” pair between the layers with some useful properties.

    Excitons are a type of “quasiparticle” – a microscopic physical phenomenon, first theorised by Soviet physicist Lev Landau, which is not really a particle like an electron or proton but has the properties of a particle. Excitons are formed when an electron (negative charge) and an electron hole (positive charge) bind together to form a “bound state” – they are bound by the Coulomb force of attraction which governs electrostatics.

    When light is absorbed by the double-layered semiconductor, these bound states are formed and the exciton layer produced.

    “Interlayer exciton pairs were predicted by theory decades ago, but we are the first to observe them in experiment,” says lead author of the new study, ANU’s Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu.

    The discovery could help the researchers achieve room-temperature superfluidity where electrical currents can travel without any loss of energy. Superfluids are presently restricted to super low-temperature experiments (approaching absolute zero). Superfluids have no viscosity or friction and, by virtue of their remarkable properties, can flow without energy loss – even penetrating non-porous materials and defying gravity by flowing upward.

    PhD researcher at ANU and first author of the paper Xueqian Sun says superfluidity is best visualized as a “super highway” that allows excitons to travel at incredibly fast speeds. Current semiconductor technologies cause electron traffic jams.

    “The current generation of semiconductor technology used in our smartphones and laptops limits the speed that excitons can travel, stopping them from reaching their full potential,” she explains. “A good way to visualise this is to think of a car that is bumper-to-bumper on a highway full of traffic. A car can only travel so fast in these conditions, and the same is true for excitons.”

    “The incredibly small, lightweight and versatile nature of this new semiconductor structure, which isn’t visible to the naked eye, means it can be incorporated into a range of miniature technologies, with promising implications for the space sector, quantum lasers and other quantum light sources,” adds Lu.

    Currently, the experiments have shown the formation of exciton pairs in interlayer semiconductors at room temperature, but they aren’t functionally useful except at very low temperatures. Professor Lu says the next challenge is to figure out a way to make an exciton super highway at room temperature to be able to integrate the new discovery into our smart devices.

    Science paper:
    Nature

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ANU Campus

    The Australian National University (AU) is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

    Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

    Australian National University (AU) is regarded as one of the world’s leading research universities, and is ranked as the number one university in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere by the 2021 QS World University Rankings. It is ranked 31st in the world by the 2021 QS World University Rankings, and 59th in the world (third in Australia) by the 2021 Times Higher Education.

    In the 2020 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates’ employability, Australian National University (AU) was ranked 15th in the world (first in Australia). According to the 2020 QS World University by Subject, the university was also ranked among the top 10 in the world for Anthropology, Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography, Geology, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

    Established in 1946, ANU is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. It traces its origins to Canberra University College, which was established in 1929 and was integrated into Australian National University (AU) in 1960. Australian National University (AU) enrolls 10,052 undergraduate and 10,840 postgraduate students and employs 3,753 staff. The university’s endowment stood at A$1.8 billion as of 2018.

    Australian National University (AU) counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of government departments of Australia. The latest releases of ANU’s scholarly publications are held through ANU Press online.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:57 am on October 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Sustainable aviation fuels – is Australia being left behind?", , , COSMOS (AU), While we wait for zero emission options "SAFs" offer a part solution.   

    From “COSMOS (AU)” : “Sustainable aviation fuels – is Australia being left behind?” 

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    From “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.10.22
    Jacinta Bowler

    While we wait for zero emission options “SAFs” offer a part solution.

    1
    A Qantas passenger plane lands on Sydney International Airport on February 24, 2022, amid Australian airline reported a large six-month loss as it weathered global coronavirus-related travel shutdowns, with Omicron extending its woes. (Photo by Muhammad FAROOQ / AFP)

    Some solutions in renewable energy are relatively easy. Solar panels on roofs for example, or battery powered cars.

    But our obsession with air travel is significantly harder to decarbonise. Batteries are too heavy except on very short flights, and other zero carbon solutions in aviation are few and far between. Without removing air travel altogether, the next best thing is something called ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ or SAFs.

    While many other countries are ramping up their SAF production and already mixing it in with traditional fuels, Australia is being left behind.

    “It’s a shame if Qantas meets its 10 per cent sustainable aviation fuel target in 2030 by just buying it offshore,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce earlier this year.

    “That would be terrible outrage in my mind, and it’s a terrible dropping of the ball in Australia.”

    What is sustainable aviation fuel?

    “SAFs” are lower carbon fuels. They can be made of either biomass like waste oil or alcohol – called biofuels, or built chemically, brick-by-brick from carbon dioxide and green hydrogen – called “e-fuels”.

    Biofuels particularly are not a zero-carbon alternative, but they are markedly better than traditional fossil fuel-based jet fuel.

    These fuels can be used just by themselves – called 100% SAF-powered – and they have very similar chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel so they’re just as effective.

    The problem though is the cost. They’re up to four times as expensive as traditional jet fuel, and around the world there’s just not that much of it on the market – less than 1% of jet fuel available.

    “Aviation fuels represent about 7-8% of all fuel consumption I believe, and of course in a country like Australia it’s an even bigger part of our liquid fuel consumption,” Lars Nielsen, a professor at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, told Cosmos.

    “A very large part of the cost of flying is the aviation fuel. Nobody’s jumping to pay more for flying to Europe, therefore, it’s market demand. Are the customers willing to pay the extra price that would be involved with it?”

    As we decarbonise other areas of emissions – like electricity, transport and agriculture – aviation emissions as a percentage of total emissions are likely to skyrocket. While we could lower our reliance on flying (a small but growing habit), or discover completely zero carbon solutions for aviation, working out how to make SAFs sustainable and cost effective is important.

    Nielsen has worked with SAF in the past, as part of a project called the Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative.

    The group was trying to work out if three different sources of biofuels – sugar cane crop, algae, and a drought resistant tree called pongamia – could be made cost efficient compared to traditional fossil based jet fuels.

    “Whenever the prices of jet fuel go high, people start getting interested,” he says.

    “The only thing that could happen at a reasonable speed was sugar to fuel. But even then, we could see the prices were not competitive [even though] it’s technically very feasible.”

    International Jet Fuel

    Despite these problems, companies have started creating SAFs and selling them to aviation companies around the world.

    Heathrow for example is the largest major airport user of SAFs. This is partially due to a government mandate requiring 10% of jet fuel be SAF by 2030, and a priority to have at least 5 commercial-scale SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025.

    This is on top of Heathrow airport putting in place SAF incentives earlier this year.

    In the US, the government has launched the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to reduce the cost, enhance the sustainability, and expand the production and use of SAF.

    United Airlines has used over five million gallons at Los Angeles International Airport, while JetBlue has signed a ten-year uptake agreement to receive at least 670 million gallons of blended SAF to its three New York area airports – JFK, La Guardia, and Newark.

    But there have already been some kinks in the system, particularly with first generation biofuels.

    “What was really quite disastrous is that in 2005 Europe committed to using biodiesel. Of course, biodiesel manufacturers in Europe found out the cheapest oil source we have is palm oil,” Nielson said.

    “It expanded quite significantly the amount of biodiesel incorporated.”

    Unfortunately, a report in 2016 found that Europe’s switch might have increased greenhouse gas emissions. They reported that emissions from biodiesel are more than three times higher than those from conventional diesel engines when indirect effects are considered.

    The EU has now committed to phasing out these ‘first generation biofuels’ by 2030, but it highlights that not all sustainable fuels are equal.

    Australia is being left behind

    Meanwhile, in Australia we have barely made it into first-generation biofuels. The Queensland Sustainable Fuel Initiative shut down in the early 2010s, and there hasn’t been much traction since.

    This is both in getting the SAF into planes, as well as creating the fuel in Australia. Having a SAF industry in Australia would create jobs, potentially use waste products like used fry oil, as well as lower the emissions getting the fuel shipped halfway across the world.

    There have been a few toes dipped into the water in the past few years.

    In 2017 Virgin Australia announced a trial to add SAF through Brisbane Airport’s fuel supply system. It finished up in 2018, after being used in 195 flights from Brisbane. However, since the completion of the trial, there has been no other SAF incorporated into Australia’s jet fuel supply.

    Despite Virgin committing to net zero emissions by 2050, there’s currently no concrete plans for SAF to be used in their planes. Instead, they are prioritising modernising planes, lowering operational efficiencies, ground emissions, waste management and expanding the carbon offsetting programs.

    “Virgin Australia continues to work proactively with government and industry to establish a program for the viable commercial production of sustainable aviation fuel here in Australia,” a Virgin Australia Spokesperson told Cosmos in a statement.

    In March this year Qantas announced a Climate Action Plan where they pledged 10% SAF by 2030, and 60% by 2050. They also invested $50 million dollars in domestic production of SAF.

    Currently, the only SAF being used in the Qantas fleet is from the Heathrow Airport, but they’ve agreed to purchase SAF for its operations from California from 2025.

    In April, the Queensland government announced the first commercial sustainable aviation fuel biorefinery in Australia, which is hoping to provide 350 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel once it’s up and running.

    We might be waiting a while though – construction isn’t set to start until 2023, and the company behind the facility – Oceania Biofuels – has suggested that operations won’t begin until at least 2025.

    With the government’s 35% reduction in emissions by 2030, and net zero by 2050, working out how to create and incorporate SAFs to meet demand needs to be a priority.

    The previous government released a ‘bioenergy roadmap’ back in November last year, however the report has almost no commitments and limited funding for SAFs.

    Currently the Albanese government is still in the planning stages of creating any SAF initiatives.

    “The Minister for Transport has already outlined her intention to form a Jet Zero-style council to work across the aviation sector to help co-ordinate ongoing work to drive down aviation emissions,” a spokesperson for the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, told Cosmos.

    “In addition, our upcoming Aviation White Paper will consider as a priority how to maximise the aviation sector’s contribution to achieving net zero carbon emissions, including through sustainable aviation fuel and emerging technologies.

    “The Minister is also establishing a unit in the department to work across government and with industry to drive down domestic transport sector emissions.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 11:07 am on October 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Webb on Webb - How JWST peers back in time at the earliest stages of the Universe", COSMOS (AU), How the James Webb Space Telescope is looking back into the very origins of the cosmos., ,   

    From The Swinburne University of Technology (AU) Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Webb on Webb – How JWST peers back in time at the earliest stages of the Universe” 

    Swinburne U bloc

    From The Swinburne University of Technology (AU)

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.7.22
    Clare Kenyon

    How the James Webb Space Telescope is looking back into the very origins of the cosmos.

    1
    Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI.

    What did the first galaxies and stars look like? How have they evolved over time? Does life exist somewhere else out there in the great inky blackness of the universe? How can astronomers possibly hope to see through the vast amounts of gas and dust to uncover nascent stars nestled in their cloudy nurseries?

    In Cosmos Magazine #96, Swinburne University postdoctoral researcher, Sarah Webb, explains how astronomers are exploring these questions, uncovering the deepest mysteries of the universe and space and time.

    2
    Golden mirrors on Webb. Credit: NASA/Desiree Stover

    The appropriately named Webb, walks us through the most powerful time machine we’ve ever built, showing us how the golden mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) allow it to peer through the space dense with gas and dust and look at (but not touch!) the very early days of our universe.

    Be dazzled by beautiful, swirling galaxies and cliffs of dust hiding bright new-born stars as Webb explains the science behind her favourite JWST images, including the Southern Ring Nebula, spiral galaxy NGC 628 and the Cartwheel galaxy.

    Comparing the Hubble Deep Field with the JWST First Deep Field, we can see just how far technology, engineering and science have come, with JWST seeing further and more clearly than any instrument before it.

    Australia’s research contribution is highlighted, as Webb discusses some of the incredible science being done by astronomers right here in Australia – work which demonstrates Webb’s unbelievable potential to contribute to an enormous number of fields such as finding the most distant galaxy, early galaxy birth and evolution, dead stars, planets and asteroids, and of course looking for the most promising exoplanetary candidates for signs of life elsewhere in the Universe.

    Read more: The James Webb Space Telescope data is a treasure trove of material: what are we hoping to find?

    There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS).

    Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Swinburne U Campus

    The Swinburne University of Technology (AU) is an Australian public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1908 as the Eastern Suburbs Technical College by George Swinburne in order to serve those without access to further education in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Its main campus is located in Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne which is located 7.5 km from the Melbourne central business district.

    In addition to its main Hawthorn campus, Swinburne has campuses in the Melbourne metropolitan area at Wantirna and Croydon as well as a campus in Sarawak, Malaysia.

    In the 2016 QS World University Rankings, Swinburne was ranked 32nd for art and design, making it one of the top art and design schools in Australia and the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:42 pm on October 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA catches Sun releasing an ‘X level’ solar flare", A 1989 solar flare left six million Canadians without power for nine hours., A solar flare on Oct. 2 2022., COSMOS (AU), Flares regularly come with coronal mass ejections which can impact radio communications; electric power grids; navigation signals and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts., In 2000 an X5-class solar flare on Bastille Day caused some satellites to short circuit and led to radio blackouts., Major solar flares can knock out certain radio frequencies and can make GPS positioning less accurate., , The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, X-flares are the top classification and these are 10 times stronger than the next level down – M flares.   

    From The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “NASA catches Sun releasing an ‘X level’ solar flare” 

    From The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.5.22
    Jacinta Bowler

    1
    NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash on the top right – on Oct. 2, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in orange. Credit: NASA/SDO.

    NASA has snapped the most powerful catagory of solar flare on camera while it was on it’s way to Earth.

    The flare – which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [below]– is classed as an X1. X-class denotes that it’s one of the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

    X-flares are the top classification and these are 10 times stronger than the next level down – M flares.

    Major solar flares can knock out certain radio frequencies and can make GPS positioning less accurate.

    We’re currently heading towards the Solar Maximum – a time when solar flares are at their most frequent, strong, and potentially catastrophic if they hit Earth.

    But even before we get there, the last few months have exceeded predictions and occasionally SpaceX satellites fall out of the sky as a result.

    Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy, creating an eruption of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun’s atmosphere. Flares regularly come with coronal mass ejections, or solar radiation storms, which can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

    As we become increasingly reliant on technology and satellites which are less protected from solar activity, such events could be even more troubling.

    In 1972, a solar flare knocked out long-distance telephone communication across the US while a 1989 solar flare left six million Canadians without power for nine hours. And in 2000 an X5-class solar flare on Bastille Day caused some satellites to short circuit and led to radio blackouts.

    A huge silver lining though is that auroras are more common and can be seen further from the poles after a big solar storm.

    This rise and fall of solar activity is on an 11 year cycle, and at its most active, called solar maximum, the Sun is freckled with sunspots and its magnetic poles reverse.

    During solar minimum, on the other hand, sunspots are few and far between. Often, the Sun is as blank and featureless as an egg yolk.

    December 2019 marked the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and already we’re seeing a huge ramp up of solar activity before the next solar maximum in 2025.

    Space.com reported that the X1 solar flare might have disrupted Hurricane Ian disaster response. The radio blackout, classed by NOAA as ‘R3’, likely affected rescue workers using 25 MHz radios to communicate.

    The disruption in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere caused by the flare may also have disrupted some GPS positioning.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory is a NASA mission which has been observing the Sun since 2010. Launched on 11 February 2010, the observatory is part of the Living With a Star (LWS) program.

    The goal of the LWS program is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to effectively address those aspects of the connected Sun–Earth system directly affecting life and society. The goal of the SDO is to understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. SDO has been investigating how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured, how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.

    The SDO spacecraft was developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and launched on 11 February 2010, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The primary mission lasted five years and three months, with expendables expected to last at least ten years. Some consider SDO to be a follow-on mission to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

    SDO is a three-axis stabilized spacecraft, with two solar arrays, and two high-gain antennas, in an inclined geosynchronous orbit around Earth.

    The spacecraft includes three instruments:

    the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) built in partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP),
    the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) built in partnership with Stanford University, and
    the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) built in partnership with the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL).

    Data which is collected by the craft is made available as soon as possible, after it is received.

    As of February 2020, SDO is expected to remain operational until 2030.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [NASA/ESA Hubble, NASA Chandra, NASA Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:41 am on October 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Self-assembly breakthrough offers new promise for microscopic materials by mimicking biology", , , COSMOS (AU), ,   

    From New York University Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “Self-assembly breakthrough offers new promise for microscopic materials by mimicking biology” 

    NYU BLOC

    From New York University

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.1.22
    Evrim Yazgin

    1
    The illustration shows how droplets with different DNA strands first combine into chains, which are then programmed to fold into specific geometries, analogous to protein folding. The carpet highlights one folding pathway of a hexamer chain folding into a polytetrahedron. The zoom shows how the formation of DNA double helices drives droplet-droplet binding. Credit: Kaitlynn Snyder.

    A new method for self-assembly in particles by physicists at New York University (NYU) offers promise for developing complex and innovative microscopic materials.

    A note here that the “particles” exhibiting self-assembly are not subatomic particles – like protons and electrons – but particles like molecules, usually only visible through a microscope.

    Such self-assembling of particles is believed to be useful in future drug and vaccine delivery as well as other medical applications.

    Self-assembly was initially put forward in the early 2000s as the potential for nanotechnology began to make headlines. By “pre-programing” particles, scientists and engineers would be able to build materials at the microscopic level without human intervention. The particles organise themselves.

    Think of it like microscopic Ikea furniture that can assemble itself.

    But, don’t get the wrong end of the microscopic stick – this has nothing to do with artificial intelligence or particles with consciousness. The particles are programmed through chemistry.

    This self-assembly is reliably done to great effect if all the pieces being assembled are distinct or different. However, systems with fewer different types of particles are much harder to program. The work done at NYU is aimed at producing self-assembly in these systems.

    The NYU physicists reported their breakthrough in the journal Nature [below]. Their research centres on emulsion – droplets of oil in water. Droplet chains are made to fold into unique shapes – called “foldamers” – which can be theoretically predicted from the sequence of interactions between the droplets.

    Self-assembly already exists in nature. The team borrowed from what we understand of the physical chemistry of folding in proteins and RNA using colloids – a mixture of two or more substances which are not chemically combined, like an emulsion.

    By placing an array of DNA sequences on the tiny oil droplets, which served as assembly “instructions”, the team was able to get the droplets to first form flexible chains before sequentially folding or collapsing via the sticky DNA molecules.

    The physicists found that a simple alternating chain of up to 13 droplets, with two different types of oil, self-assembled into 11 two-dimensional ‘foldamers’ and an additional one in three dimensions.

    3
    Microscopy images show a chain of alternating blue and yellow droplets folding into a crown geometry through blue-blue, blue-yellow, and finally yellow-yellow interactions, mediated by sticky DNA strands. Microscopic droplets are programmed to interact via sticky DNA strands to uniquely fold into well-defined shapes, as shown here. Credit: The Brujic Lab.

    “Being able to pre-program colloidal architectures gives us the means to create materials with intricate and innovative properties,” explains senior author Jasna Brujic, a professor in New York University’s Department of Physics. “Our work shows how hundreds of self-assembled geometries can be uniquely created, offering new possibilities for the creation of the next generation of materials.”

    They say the counterintuitive and pioneering aspect of their research is in requiring fewer building blocks to produce a wide variety of shapes.

    “Unlike a jigsaw puzzle, in which every piece is different, our process uses only two types of particles, which greatly reduces the variety of building blocks needed to encode a particular shape. The innovation lies in using folding, similar to the way that proteins do, but on a length scale 1,000 times bigger – about one-tenth the width of a strand of hair. These particles first bind together to make a chain, which then folds, according to pre-programmed interactions that guide the chain through complex pathways, into a unique geometry,” says Brujic.

    “The ability to obtain a lexicon of shapes opens the path to further assembly into larger scale materials, just as proteins hierarchically aggregate to build cellular compartments in biology.”

    Science paper:
    Nature

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NYU Campus

    More than 175 years ago, Albert Gallatin, the distinguished statesman who served as secretary of the treasury under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, declared his intention to establish “in this immense and fast-growing city … a system of rational and practical education fitting for all and graciously opened to all.” Founded in 1831, New York University is now one of the largest private universities in the United States. Of the more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America, New York University is one of only 60 member institutions of the distinguished Association of American Universities.

    New York University is a private research university in New York City. Chartered in 1831 by the New York State Legislature, NYU was founded by a group of New Yorkers led by then Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin.

    In 1832, the initial non-denominational all-male institution began its first classes near City Hall based on a curriculum focused on a secular education. The university, in 1833, then moved and has maintained its main campus in Greenwich Village surrounding Washington Square Park. Since then, the university has added an engineering school in Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center and graduate schools throughout Manhattan. New York University has become the largest private university in the United States by enrollment, with a total of 51,848 enrolled students, including 26,733 undergraduate students and 25,115 graduate students, in 2019. New York University also receives the most applications of any private institution in the United States and admissions is considered highly selective.

    New York University is organized into 10 undergraduate schools, including the College of Arts & Science, Gallatin School, Steinhart School, Stern School of Business, Tandon School of Engineering, and the Tisch School of Arts. New York University’s 15 graduate schools includes the Grossman School of Medicine, School of Law, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, School of Professional Studies, School of Social Work, Rory Meyers School of Nursing, and Silver School of Social Work. The university’s internal academic centers include the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Center for Data Science, Center for Neural Science, Clive Davis Institute, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Institute of Fine Arts, and the New York University Langone Health System. New York University is a global university with degree-granting campuses at New York University Abu Dhabi and New York University Shanghai, and academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.

    Past and present faculty and alumni include 38 Nobel Laureates, 8 Turing Award winners, 5 Fields Medalists, 31 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Pulitzer Prize winners, 3 heads of state, a U.S. Supreme Court justice, 5 U.S. governors, 4 mayors of New York City, 12 U.S. Senators, 58 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, two Federal Reserve Chairmen, 38 Academy Award winners, 30 Emmy Award winners, 25 Tony Award winners, 12 Grammy Award winners, 17 billionaires, and seven Olympic medalists. The university has also produced six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, 29 Schwarzman Scholars, and one Mitchell Scholar.

    Research

    New York University is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and research expenditures totaled $917.7 million in 2017. The university was the founding institution of the American Chemical Society. The New York University Grossman School of Medicine received $305 million in external research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2014. New York University was granted 90 patents in 2014, the 19th most of any institution in the world. New York University owns the fastest supercomputer in New York City. As of 2016, New York University hardware researchers and their collaborators enjoy the largest outside funding level for hardware security of any institution in the United States, including grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the United States Army Research Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and companies including Twitter, Boeing, Microsoft, and Google.

    In 2019, four New York University Arts & Science departments ranked in Top 10 of Shanghai Academic Rankings of World Universities by Academic Subjects (Economics, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology).

     
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