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  • richardmitnick 10:46 am on March 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Can Now Trace Earth's History in Individual Grains of Sand", Curtin University AU, , , , New research reveals that grains of sand on a beach can tell us more than you might think about the history of the planet., , , Sedimentology   

    From Curtin University (AU) via Science Alert (AU): “Scientists Can Now Trace Earth’s History in Individual Grains of Sand” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert (AU)

    3 MARCH 2022
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    (Sam Mgrdichian/Unsplash)

    New research reveals that grains of sand on a beach can tell us more than you might think about the history of the planet-something to think about the next time you’re heading to the coast for a swim or splash around.

    Scientists have developed a new metric to determine what they call the “age distribution fingerprint” of the mineral zircon in sand. That fingerprint can then be used to reveal more about the evolution of the surface of the Earth across billions of years.

    Zircon is something that geologists look out for, because it can be formed when continents crash into each other. These crystals can in some cases be billions of years old, carrying a huge amount of history with them.

    The durability of zircon makes it resistant to geological erosion, and as it forms sediments, it stores information along with it.

    As the crust grinds together, forcing new rocks to congeal, a time stamp of the rock’s age is preserved in its makeup. Even once it crumbles into tiny grains, it’s possible to gather traces of this history.

    “The world’s beaches faithfully record a detailed history of our planet’s geological past, with billions of years of Earth’s history imprinted in the geology of each grain of sand, and our technique helps unlock this information,” says sedimentologist Milo Barham from Curtin University in Australia.

    By figuring out the age distribution of zircon in a sand sample – from infants to the elderly, in geological terms – the new technique enables scientists to work out what mountain-generating events were taking place in the eons leading up to the depositing of that bank of sediment.

    The approach is even able to shed light on how Earth first developed a habitable biosphere, according to the researchers, peering back further in time than other methods of geological analysis.

    Another advantage that this new research technique has over existing methods is that it can be used to understand tectonic movements even when the age of the sediment deposit itself isn’t known (a scenario that researchers often find themselves in).

    The team put their new method to the test with three case studies that highlighted how the age distribution fingerprint works, studying sediment in South America, East Antarctica, and Western Australia.

    “For example, the sediment on the west and east coasts of South America are completely different because there are many young grains on the west side that were created from crust plunging beneath the continent, driving earthquakes and volcanoes in the Andes,” says geochronologist Chris Kirkland from Curtin University.

    “Whereas, on the east coast, all is relatively calm geologically and there is a mix of old and young grains picked up from a diversity of rocks across the Amazon basin.”

    The new analysis matched what previous research had uncovered about the sites. Even individual grains of sand can reveal the tectonic forces that created them, based on the age distribution of the sediment around them, the researchers say.

    The new technique can be used to reanalyze data from older studies, the researchers suggest, as well as to tease out more details from suitable sediment in future research.

    “This new approach allows a greater understanding of the nature of ancient geology in order to reconstruct the arrangement and movement of tectonic plates on Earth through time,” says Barham.

    The research has been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:26 pm on December 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Closing in on the first light in the Universe", , , , , Curtin University AU, , , , Research using new antennas in the Australian hinterland has reduced background noise and brought us closer to finding a 13-billion-year-old signal.,   

    From ARC Centres of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D (AU) : “Closing in on the first light in the Universe” 

    arc-centers-of-excellence-bloc

    From ARC Centres of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D (AU)

    15 December, 2021

    Tamzin Byrne
    tamzin@scienceinpublic.com.au
    +61 432 47 42 48

    Niall Byrne
    niall@scienceinpublic.com.au
    +61 417 131 977

    1
    Dr Christene Lynch at MWA.

    Research using new antennas in the Australian hinterland has reduced background noise and brought us closer to finding a 13-billion-year-old signal.

    The early Universe was dark, filled with a hot soup of opaque particles. These condensed to form neutral hydrogen which coalesced to form the first stars in what astronomers call the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR).

    “Finding the weak signal of this first light will help us understand how the early stars and galaxies formed,” says Dr Christene Lynch from ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

    Dr Lynch is first author on a paper published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. She and her colleagues from Curtin University (AU) and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (AU) have reduced the background noise in their observations allowing them to home in on the elusive signal.

    The team worked with new equipment installed on the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA)[below], a radio telescope situated inland and some 800 kilometres north of Perth.

    The MWA started operation a decade ago. One of its aims is to find the radio wave signature of that first light, known as the Epoch of Reionisation, or “EoR.”

    Universe Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimeter Array (CL) [ALMA] Years After the Big Bang Credit: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan[国立天文台] (JP).

    It comprises multiple low-frequency “antenna tiles” which work together to search the sky for the faint remnant of the out-pouring of ionised hydrogen atoms that accompanied first light, which began around 500 million to one billion years after the Big Bang.

    Recently the number of antenna tiles was doubled from 128 to 256, significantly extending the land area occupied by the facility – and greatly upping its power.

    By combining some of the existing tiles with 56 of the new ones, ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions scientist Dr Christene Lynch and her team were able to run a new sky experiment, called the Long Baseline Epoch of Reionisation Survey (LoBES), to refine the hunt for the long-sought signal.

    “Our challenge is that the Universe is very, very crowded,” Dr Lynch explained.

    “There are too many other radio sources that are much brighter than the EoR signal lying between it and us. It is like trying to hear someone whispering from across the room, when between you and that person there are thousands of other people shouting as loudly as possible.

    “By using the new tiles and thus expanding the physical area over which the antenna work we were able to reduce a lot of that interference. As more and more of the tiles are added in, we’ll have a much better chance of finding the echo of that first light.”

    Dr Lynch worked with colleagues from ASTRO 3D and the Curtin University (AU) node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research [ICRAR].

    They surveyed more than 80,000 radio signal sources, taking 16 spectral measurements for each. Running the results, they produced real and simulated models in which the noisiest foreground radio signals were reduced by a factor of three.

    “The Epoch of Reionisation signal started life as a hydrogen atom radio wavelength of 21 centimetres,” explained Dr Lynch.

    “Over the intervening billions of years it has been stretched and grown very, very faint. It’s clear that our new LoBES sky model will significantly improve efforts to properly locate it.”

    Co-author Professor Cathryn Trott, an ASTRO 3D Chief Investigator with ICRAR and Curtin, added: “This is our deepest and most detailed view to-date of the radio sky in these EoR fields, and this new catalogue provides us with a cleaner path to locating the EoR signal – a detection that will be a very major achievement for astronomy.”

    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 ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (AU)

    Unifies over 200 world-leading astronomers to understand the evolution of the matter, light, and elements from the Big Bang to the present day.

    We are combining Australian innovative 3D optical and radio technology with new theoretical supercomputer simulations on a massive scale, requiring new big data techniques.

    Through our nationwide training and education programs, we are training young scientific leaders and inspiring high-school students into STEM sciences to prepare Australia for the next generation of telescopes: the Square Kilometre Array and the Extremely Large Optical telescopes.

    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.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array (AU), Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory,on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples, in outback Western Australia will house up to 130,000 antennas like these and the associated advanced technologies.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    SKA ASKAP Pathfinder Radio Telescope.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on November 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Study suggests Sun is likely an unaccounted source of the Earth's water", , , Curtin University AU,   

    From Curtin University (AU) via phys.org : “Study suggests Sun is likely an unaccounted source of the Earth’s water” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    phys.org

    1
    Graphic of the sun, solar winds and itokawa. Credit: Curtin University.

    A University of Glasgow (SCT)-led international team of researchers including those from Curtin’s Space Science and Technology Center (SSTC) found the solar wind, comprised of charged particles from the Sun largely made of hydrogen ions, created water on the surface of dust grains carried on asteroids that smashed into the Earth during the early days of the Solar System.

    Solar winds-Sun’s coronal holes release solar winds towards Earth. National Geophysical Data Cantre.

    SSTC Director, John Curtin Distinguished Professor Phil Bland said the Earth was very water-rich compared to other rocky planets in the Solar System, with oceans covering more than 70 percent of its surface, and scientists had long puzzled over the exact source of it all.

    “An existing theory is that water was carried to Earth in the final stages of its formation on C-type asteroids, however previous testing of the isotopic ‘fingerprint’ of these asteroids found they, on average, didn’t match with the water found on Earth meaning there was at least one other unaccounted for source,” Professor Bland said.

    “Our research suggests the solar wind created water on the surface of tiny dust grains and this isotopically lighter water likely provided the remainder of the Earth’s water.

    “This new solar wind theory is based on meticulous atom-by-atom analysis of miniscule fragments of an S-type near-Earth asteroid known as Itokawa, samples of which were collected by the Japanese space probe Hayabusa and returned to Earth in 2010.

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Hayabusa2

    “Our world-class atom probe tomography system here at Curtin University allowed us to take an incredibly detailed look inside the first 50 nanometres or so of the surface of Itokawa dust grains, which we found contained enough water that, if scaled up, would amount to about 20 liters for every cubic meter of rock.”

    Curtin graduate Dr. Luke Daly, now of the University of Glasgow, said the research not only gives scientists a remarkable insight into the past source of Earth’s water, but could also help future space missions.

    “How astronauts would get sufficient water, without carrying supplies, is one of the barriers of future space exploration,” Dr. Daly said.

    “Our research shows that the same space weathering process which created water on Itokawa likely occurred on other airless planets, meaning astronauts may be able to process fresh supplies of water straight from the dust on a planet’s surface, such as the Moon.”

    The paper was published in Nature Astronomy.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:56 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present", , Curtin University AU, , ,   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    6 September 2021

    Lucien Wilkinson
    Media Consultant
    Tel: +61 8 9266 9185
    Mob: +61 401 103 683
    lucien.wilkinson@curtin.edu.au

    Vanessa Beasley
    Deputy Director
    Tel: +61 8 9266 1811
    Mob: +61 466 853 121
    vanessa.beasley@curtin.edu.au

    Curtin scientists are part of an international research team that studied an ancient supervolcano in Indonesia and found such volcanoes remain active and hazardous for thousands of years after a super-eruption, prompting the need for a rethink of how these potentially catastrophic events are predicted.

    1
    Lake Toba, which filled the Toba caldera after the super-eruption.

    Associate Professor Martin Danišík, lead Australian author from the John de Laeter Centre based at Curtin University, said supervolcanoes often erupted several times with intervals of tens of thousands of years between the big eruptions but it was not known what happened during the dormant periods.

    “Gaining an understanding of those lengthy dormant periods will determine what we look for in young active supervolcanoes to help us predict future eruptions,” Associate Professor Danišík said.

    “Super-eruptions are among the most catastrophic events in Earth’s history, venting tremendous amounts of magma almost instantaneously. They can impact global climate to the point of tipping the Earth into a ‘volcanic winter’, which is an abnormally cold period that may result in widespread famine and population disruption.

    “Learning how supervolcanos work is important for understanding the future threat of an inevitable super-eruption, which happen about once every 17,000 years.”

    Associate Professor Danišík said the team investigated the fate of magma left behind after the Toba super-eruption 75,000 years ago, using the minerals feldspar and zircon, which contain independent records of time based on the accumulation of gasses argon and helium as time capsules in the volcanic rocks.

    “Using these geochronological data, statistical inference and thermal modelling, we showed that magma continued to ooze out within the caldera, or deep depression created by the eruption of magma, for 5000 to 13,000 years after the super-eruption, and then the carapace of solidified left-over magma was pushed upward like a giant turtle shell,” Associate Professor Danišík said.

    “The findings challenged existing knowledge and studying of eruptions, which normally involves looking for liquid magma under a volcano to assess future hazard. We must now consider that eruptions can occur even if no liquid magma is found underneath a volcano – the concept of what is ‘eruptible’ needs to be re-evaluated.

    “While a super-eruption can be regionally and globally impactful and recovery may take decades or even centuries, our results show the hazard is not over with the super-eruption and the threat of further hazards exists for many thousands of years after.

    “Learning when and how eruptible magma accumulates, and in what state the magma is in before and after such eruptions, is critical for understanding supervolcanoes.”

    The study was led by researchers from The Oregon State University (US), and co-authored by researchers from Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg [Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg](DE), the Geological Agency, Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (BGL ESDM)(IDSA), and by Dr Jack Gillespie from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences and The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s flagship earth sciences research institute.

    Science paper:
    Communications Earth & Environment

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:44 pm on May 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How scientists are tuning in to the universe-man", , , , , , Curtin University AU, , ,   

    From Curtin University (AU) via phys.org : “How scientists are tuning in to the universe-man” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    phys.org

    May 13, 2021

    1
    An artist’s impression of a pulsar. Credit: International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research /Curtin University (AU)

    You’re driving down the freeway listening to the radio, but you’re getting static. Enjoy it. That’s the sounds of the universe.

    You’re driving down the freeway listening to the radio. Unfortunately, the radio is picking up some static. Sounds a bit rough, doesn’t it?

    It may surprise you to learn that static is actually the grand opera of the universe—stars, pulsars, galaxies—all of which blast out radio waves and have been doing so for billions of years.

    Yup, the car radio in your 2002 Honda Civic is tuned in to the universe, man.

    But while we all may be able to tune in to Cosmic FM, not all of us can make sense of the noise.

    That’s where Professor Steven Tingay comes in. He’s the Executive Director of the Curtin University CIRA Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (AU) at Curtin University and Deputy Executive Director at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (AU), a joint venture between Curtin University and the University of Western Australia (AU). And his team has found some pretty cool stuff in that static.

    Turning the cosmic dial

    Using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope, a cutting-edge radio astronomy tech, Steven’s team has discovered a pulsar—a dense and rapidly spinning neutron star that pulses radio waves out into the universe.

    While this is the first pulsar detected by the MWA, which is situated in Western Australia’s remote Mid-West region, it’s sure to not be the last. Indeed, this find shows how many of today’s great discoveries aren’t made by traveling to new worlds but by just listening to what’s already around us.

    As Steven explains, “Each MWA antenna receives radio waves from all parts of the sky—all objects simultaneously, 24/7.

    Yet you may be wondering, if your car radio can pick up radio waves from the universe, what makes the MWA so cutting edge?

    Chunky data

    Tuning in to Cosmic FM is only the first step. The hard part is crunching the numbers.

    2
    One of 256 tiles of the SKA Murchison Widefield Array (AU) (MWA) radio telescope. Credit: Pete Wheeler, ICRAR

    “Once the MWA collects data, you need to process those data in different ways to extract different bits of information about different objects,” says Steven.

    “We can turn the radio waves into an enormously rich dataset, and you can process those data in lots of different ways to learn different things … as long as you can afford the computing power.”

    Indeed, if there is something limiting radio astronomers, it’s not their ability to pick up information. It’s the ability of computers to actually process the huge amounts of data.

    So far, the MWA has collected about 40 petabytes of data—that’s equivalent to 40 million gigabytes. And if you thought that was big, say hello to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA)


    Hip to be square

    One of the largest scientific endeavors in history, the SKA is a telescope with a lens of—you guessed it—a square kilometer. Although, importantly, it’s not one lens. It’s thousands of tiny lenses scattered across the world, from high-frequency dishes in South Africa to smaller low-frequency antennas in WA.


    “The MWA is comprised of 4000 individual antennas in WA, whereas the SKA will be comprised of more than 130,000 individual antennas in WA spread out over 120km.”

    “The SKA will be much more sensitive than the MWA and will be able to make images in much finer detail.”

    “MWA is 1% of what the SKA will be.”

    The final frontier

    That’s going to be a lot of data to crunch, but Steven is looking forward to using this incredible tool to ‘explore’ the last unexplored epoch in the universe’s evolution: its first billion years.

    “Within that first billion years, the first generation of stars and galaxies formed, setting the scene for the evolution of the universe.”

    Unlocking the mysteries of the first billion years of the universe? Let’s see your 2002 Honda Civic do that!

    So next time you’re driving down the freeway and can’t quite tune in to the cricket, just sit and enjoy the static for a moment. You’re listening to the biggest radio show in the universe, and it’s all about how we got here.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:00 am on April 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers Trace Wild 22-Million-Year Journey of a Meteorite That Crashed to Earth", Asteroid 2018 LA, Curtin University AU,   

    From Curtin University (AU) via Science Alert (AU) : “Astronomers Trace Wild 22-Million-Year Journey of a Meteorite That Crashed to Earth” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert (AU)

    23 APRIL 2021
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    (ANU SkyMapper telescope images of asteroid 2018 LA. (Christian Wolf and colleagues/Australian National University (AU))

    The asteroid 2018 LA crashed into Earth in the Kalahari Desert on 2 June 2018 – and now scientists have been able to trace it back 22 million years to the place where it originated from.

    This is the first time a meteorite’s entire voyage to Earth has been charted in this way, and it’s only the second time that we’ve ever had the opportunity to observe an asteroid in space before it enters the atmosphere and becomes a meteor.

    Based on those early observations, analysis of the recovered meteorite fragments, and various other factors, a new study pinpoints the origin of 2018 LA as Vesta – the Solar System’s second largest asteroid and the only one that can sometimes be seen from Earth with the naked eye.


    ORIGNAL CCTV Footage of Asteroid 2018 LA (ZLAF9B2)

    “Analysis of the meteorite indicates it was deeply buried under the surface of Vesta prior to being ejected all those years ago,” says astronomer Hadrien Devillepoix, from Curtin University in Perth.

    “This achievement is complementary to sample-return probes like Hayabusa2. This research allows us to progressively map out the composition of the asteroid belt, and we can get a better idea of the type of material Earth-threatening asteroids are made of.”

    Key to the analysis was the images of 2018 LA in space that were picked up by the ANU SkyMapper telescope in Australia.

    These pictures were added together with data from other telescopes, and local CCTV footage that showed the last few moments before impact in Botswana, to figure out where the meteorite had come from.

    The fragments discovered in the field offered more clues: techniques including spectroscopy and microtomography were used to determine that the rocks matched up with those from the 2015 Sariçiçek meteorite, which also came from Vesta.

    “Billions of years ago, two giant impacts on Vesta created a family of larger, more dangerous asteroids. The newly recovered meteorites gave us a clue on when those impacts might have happened,” explains one of the team, SETI Institute (US) astronomer Peter Jenniskens.

    Both the 2015 and 2018 objects are Howardite Eucrite Diogenite (HED) meteorites, so called because of their chemical and mineral compositions.

    Plotting these meteorites back to their origins in space, through the use of chemical analysis and computer modeling, tells us more about those origins too – the Veneneia basin on Vesta where these asteroids first detached.

    3
    Different fragments of 2018 LA. (ANU).

    “The oldest known materials found in both Vesta and in the meteorite are zircon grains that date back to more than 4.5 billion years ago, during the early phase of the Solar System,” says astronomer Christopher Onken, from the Australian National University (ANU).

    When the 2018 LA asteroid hit Earth’s atmosphere, it was travelling at some 60,000 kilometers-per-hour (37,282 mph), the data show. It would have had a 1.5-meter (4.9-foot) diameter, and a weight of about 5,700 kilograms (12,566 pounds).

    The meteor would have broken up around 27 kilometers (16.8 miles) above ground, the researchers established, creating a glow 20,000 times brighter than the full Moon as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

    A total of 23 meteorite fragments were ultimately recovered as researchers triangulated the location of the fall, and spent days scouring the ground at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, kept safe from leopards and lions by national parks staff.

    “The meteorite is named ‘Motopi Pan’ after a local watering hole,” said geoscientist Mohutsiwa Gabadirwe of the Botswana Geoscience Institute (BW). “This meteorite is a national treasure of Botswana.”

    The research is due to be published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science[no link].

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:14 pm on April 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First continents formed with a dash of mantle water", , , Curtin University AU, , ,   

    From Curtin University (AU) via COSMOS (AU): “First continents formed with a dash of mantle water” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS (AU)

    5 April 2021

    Chris Kirkland, Curtin University
    Hugh Smithies, Curtin University
    Tim Johnson, Curtin University

    1
    Karijini National Park, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Credit: TED MEAD / Getty Images.

    Earth is an amazing planet. As far as we know, it’s the only planet in the universe where life exists. It’s also the only planet known to have continents: the land masses on which we live and which host the minerals needed to support our complex lives.

    Experts still vigorously debate how the continents formed. We do know water was an essential ingredient for this — and many geologists have proposed this water would have come from Earth’s surface via subduction zones (as is the case now).

    But our new research [Nature] shows this water would have actually come from deep within the planet. This suggests Earth in its youth behaved very differently to how it does today, containing more primordial water than previously thought.

    How to grow a continent

    The solid Earth is comprised of a series of layers including a dense iron-rich core, thick mantle and a rocky outer layer called the lithosphere.

    But it wasn’t always this way. When Earth first formed about 4.5 billion years ago, it was a ball of molten rock that was regularly pummelled by meteorites.

    As it cooled over a period of a billion years or so, the first continents began to emerge, made of pale-coloured granite. Exactly how they came to be has long intrigued scientists.

    2
    Earth comprises a core, mantle and outer crust. Credit: Shutterstock.

    To make granitic continental crust capable of floating, dark volcanic rocks known as basalts have to be melted. Basalts, which are formed as a result of melting in the mantle, would have covered Earth when the planet was starting out.

    However, to make continental crust from basalt requires another essential ingredient: water. Knowing how this water got into the rocks at enough depth is key to understanding how the first continents formed.

    One mechanism of taking water to depth is through subduction. This is how most new continental crust is produced today, including the Andes mountain range in South America.

    In subduction zones, rocky plates at the bottom of the ocean chill and become increasingly dense until they’re forced under the continents and back into the mantle below, taking ocean water with them.

    When this water interacts with basalt in the mantle, it creates granitic crust. But Earth was much hotter billions of years ago, so many experts have argued subduction (at least in the form we currently understand) couldn’t have operated [Nature].

    Long linear mountain belts such as the Andes contrast starkly with the structure of the granitic crust preserved in the Pilbara region of outback Western Australia.

    This ancient crust viewed from above has a “dome-and-keel” pattern, with balloons (domes) of pale-coloured granite rising into the surrounding darker and denser basalts (the keels).

    2
    Satellite images of the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. Pale-coloured granite domes are surrounded by dark-coloured basalts. Credit: Google Earth.

    But where did the water needed to produce these domes come from?

    Tiny crystals record Earth’s early history

    Our research, led by scientists at the Geological Survey of Western Australia and Curtin University, addressed this question. We analysed tiny crystals trapped in the ancient magmas that cooled and solidified to form the Pilbara’s granite domes.

    These crystals, made of a mineral called zircon, contain uranium which turns into lead over time. We know the rate of this change, and can measure the amounts of uranium and lead contained within. As such, we can obtain a record of their age.

    3
    Zircon crystals grown in an ancient magma.

    The crystals also contain clues to their origin, which can be unravelled by measuring their oxygen isotope composition. Importantly, zircons that crystallised in molten rocks hydrated by water from Earth’s surface have different compositions to zircons that formed deep in the mantle.

    Measurements show the water required for the most primitive ancient WA granites would have come from deep within Earth’s mantle and not from the surface.

    4
    Chris Kirkland (left) and Tim Johnson loading samples into a secondary-ion mass spectrometer, which shoots a beam of ions into zircon crystals to determine their age and oxygen isotope composition.

    Is the present always the key to the past?

    How the first continents formed is part of a broader debate regarding one of the central tenets of the physical sciences: uniformitarianism. This is the idea that the processes which operated on Earth in the distant past are the same as those observed today.

    Earth today loses heat through plate tectonics, when the ridged lithospheric plates that form the planet’s solid, outer shell move around. This helps regulate its internal temperature, stabilises atmospheric composition, and probably also facilitated the development of complex life.

    Subduction is one of the most important components of this process. But several lines of evidence [Terra Nova] are inconsistent with subduction and plate tectonics on an early Earth. They indicate strongly that our planet behaved very differently in the first two billion years following its formation than it does today.

    So while uniformitarianism is a useful way to think about many geological processes, the present may not always be the key to the past.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:28 pm on March 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Curtin research finds first clues to start of Earth’s supercontinent cycle", , Curtin University AU, , , ,   

    From Curtin University (AU): “Curtin research finds first clues to start of Earth’s supercontinent cycle” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    24 March 2021

    Greta Carlshausen
    Media Officer
    Tel: +61 8 9266 3549
    Mob: +61 422 993 535
    greta.carlshausen@curtin.edu.au

    Vanessa Beasley
    Deputy Director
    Tel: +61 8 9266 1811
    Mob: +61 466 853 121
    vanessa.beasley@curtin.edu.au

    Curtin University research has uncovered the first solid clues about the very beginning of the supercontinent cycle of Earth, finding it was kick-started two billion years ago.

    1
    The Blue Marble.

    Detailed in a paper published in Geology, a team of researchers from Curtin’s Earth Dynamics Research Group found that plate tectonics operated differently before two billion years ago, and the 600 million years supercontinent cycle likely only started during the second half of Earth’s life.

    Lead researcher Dr Yebo Liu from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences said that the shift in plate tectonics marked a regime change in the Earth System.

    “This regime change impacted on the eventual emergence of complex life and even how Earth resources are formed and preserved,” Dr Liu said.

    “Pangea was the first supercontinent scientists discovered early last century that existed some 300 million years ago and lasted until the age of the dinosaurs.

    3
    Map of Pangaea 200 million years ago. Mollweide projection centred on 0°,0°. Made using GPlates and data sets listed below:

    Amante, C. and Eakins, B. W. 2009. ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19.
    Matthews, K.J., Maloney, K.T., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Seton, M., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic, Global and Planetary Change, 146, 226-250. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.10.002
    Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J. & Cannon, J. 2016. Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, vol. 44, pp. 107 . DOI: 10.1146/annurev-earth-060115-012211.
    Credit: Fama Clamosa

    Geologists realised more recently that at least two older supercontinents existed before Pangea in the past two billion years (Ga) in a 600 million year cycle. But what happened in the first 2.5 billion years of Earth’s history is anybody’s guess.”

    “Our research was essentially testing two hypotheses – one is that the supercontinent cycle started prior to two billion years ago. Alternatively, the ancient continents (called cratons) only managed to get together in multiple clusters called supercratons, instead of forming a singular supercontinent.”

    To conduct their tests, the Curtin researchers ventured into the hills east of Perth, Western Australia, an area known as the Yilgarn craton.

    Dr Liu said Yilgarn was a critical piece of the puzzle not only because it is old, but also because there are a series of dark rocks or dolerite dykes that recorded Earth’s ancient magnetic field at the time that the rocks formed.

    “By precisely dating the rocks and measuring the samples’ magnetic record, using a technique called palaeomagnetism, we are able to reconstruct where those rocks were (relative to the magnetic North pole) when they formed,” Dr Liu said.

    Co-author John Curtin Distinguished Professor Zheng-Xiang Li, from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said by analysing their new data from Yilgarn, and comparing it with data available globally for other cratons, one thing became clear.

    “It was clear that we can almost rule out the existence of a long-lived single supercontinent before two billion years ago (2 Ga), although transient supercontinents may have existed” Professor Li said.

    “More likely, there could have been two long-lived clusters of cratons, or supercratons, before 2 Ga that were geographically isolated from each other, never forming a singular supercontinent.”

    Professor Ross Mitchell of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who was previously a member of Curtin’s Earth Dynamics Research Group, said the research goes some way to solving a long-standing mystery.

    “The idea of an even older supercontinent has been speculated about for years. But while it has been difficult to prove, it has also been difficult to disprove,” Professor Mitchell said.

    Dr Liu said more studies now need to be done.

    “This study surely isn’t the final word on the debate, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction and we need to collect data from a lot more similar rocks to further test the hypotheses,” Dr Liu said.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:52 pm on February 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scintillating discovery: these distant ‘baby’ black holes seem to be misbehaving-and experts are perplexed", , , , , , Curtin University AU, , , , What is a radio galaxy?   

    From Curtin University (AU) via The Conversation (AU): “Scintillating discovery: these distant ‘baby’ black holes seem to be misbehaving — and experts are perplexed” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    via

    The Conversation (AU)

    February 4, 2021

    Kathryn Ross
    PhD Student, Curtin University

    Natasha Hurley-Walker
    Radio Astronomer, Curtin University

    1
    Credit: Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker (Curtin / ICRAR) and The GLEAM Team, CC BY-NC.

    Radio images of the sky have revealed hundreds of “baby” and supermassive black holes in distant galaxies, with the galaxies’ light bouncing around in unexpected ways.

    Galaxies are vast cosmic bodies, tens of thousands of light years in size, made up of gas, dust, and stars (like our Sun).

    Given their size, you’d expect the amount of light emitted from galaxies would change slowly and steadily, over timescales far beyond a person’s lifetime.

    But our research, published in MNRAS, found a surprising population of galaxies whose light changes much more quickly, in just a matter of years.

    What is a radio galaxy?

    Astronomers think there’s a supermassive black hole at the centre of most galaxies. Some of these are “active”, which means they emit a lot of radiation.

    Their powerful gravitational fields pull in matter from their surroundings and rip it apart into an orbiting donut of hot plasma called an “accretion disk”.

    This disk orbits the black hole at nearly the speed of light. Magnetic fields accelerate high-energy particles from the disk in long, thin streams or “jets” along the rotational axes of the black hole. As they get further from the black hole, these jets blossom into large mushroom-shaped clouds or “lobes”.

    2
    The radio galaxy Hercules A has an active supermassive black hole at its centre. Here it is pictured emitting high energy particles in jets expanding out into radio lobes. NASA/ESA/NRAO.

    This entire structure is what makes up a radio galaxy, so called because it gives off a lot of radio-frequency radiation. It can be hundreds, thousands or even millions of light years across and therefore can take aeons to show any dramatic changes.

    Astronomers have long questioned why some radio galaxies host enormous lobes, while others remain small and confined. Two theories exist. One is that the jets are held back by dense material around the black hole, often referred to as frustrated lobes.

    However, the details around this phenomenon remain unknown. It’s still unclear whether the lobes are only temporarily confined by a small, extremely dense surrounding environment — or if they’re slowly pushing through a larger but less dense environment.

    The second theory to explain smaller lobes is the jets are young and have not yet extended to great distances.

    Old ones are red, babies are blue

    Both young and old radio galaxies can be identified by a clever use of modern radio astronomy: looking at their “radio colour”.

    We looked at data from the GaLactic and Extragalactic All Sky MWA (GLEAM) survey, which sees the sky at 20 different radio frequencies, giving astronomers an unparalleled “radio colour” view of the sky.

    From the data, baby radio galaxies appear blue, which means they’re brighter at higher radio frequencies. Meanwhile the old and dying radio galaxies appear red and are brighter in the lower radio frequencies.

    We identified 554 baby radio galaxies. When we looked at identical data taken a year later, we were surprised to see 123 of these were bouncing around in their brightness, appearing to flicker. This left us with a puzzle.

    Something more than one light year in size can’t vary so much in brightness over less than one year without breaking the laws of physics. So, either our galaxies were far smaller than expected, or something else was happening.

    Luckily, we had the data we needed to find out.

    Past research on the variability of radio galaxies has used either a small number of galaxies, archival data collected from many different telescopes, or was conducted using only a single frequency.

    For our research, we surveyed more than 21,000 galaxies over one year across multiple radio frequencies. This makes it the first “spectral variability” survey, enabling us to see how galaxies change brightness at different frequencies.

    Some of our bouncing baby radio galaxies changed so much over the year we doubt they are babies at all. There’s a chance these compact radio galaxies are actually angsty teens rapidly growing into adults much faster than we expected.

    While most of our variable galaxies increased or decreased in brightness by roughly the same amount across all radio colours, some didn’t. Also, 51 galaxies changed in both brightness and colour, which may be a clue as to what causes the variability.

    3 possibilities for what is happening

    1) Twinkling galaxies

    As light from stars travels through Earth’s atmosphere, it is distorted. This creates the twinkling effect of stars we see in the night sky, called “scintillation”. The light from the radio galaxies in this survey passed through our Milky Way galaxy to reach our telescopes on Earth.

    Thus, the gas and dust within our galaxy could have distorted it the same way, resulting in a twinkling effect.

    2) Looking down the barrel

    In our three-dimensional Universe, sometimes black holes shoot high energy particles directly towards us on Earth. These radio galaxies are called “blazars”.

    Instead of seeing long thin jets and large mushroom-shaped lobes, we see blazars as a very tiny bright dot. They can show extreme variability in short timescales, since any little ejection of matter from the supermassive black hole itself is directed straight towards us.

    3) Black hole burps

    When the central supermassive black hole “burps” some extra particles they form a clump slowly travelling along the jets. As the clump propagates outwards, we can detect it first in the “radio blue” and then later in the “radio red”.

    So we may be detecting giant black hole burps slowly travelling through space.

    Where to now?

    This is the first time we’ve had the technological ability to conduct a large-scale variability survey over multiple radio colours. The results suggest our understanding of the radio sky is lacking and perhaps radio galaxies are more dynamic than we expected.

    SKA-Mid. Square KIlometer Array, Australia.

    SKA -low frequency at Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

    As the next generation of telescopes come online, in particular the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), astronomers will build up a dynamic picture of the sky over many years.

    In the meantime, it’s worth watching these weirdly behaving radio galaxies and keeping a particularly close eye on the bouncing babies, too.

    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 Conversation launched as a pilot project in October 2014. It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.
    Our team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.
    Access to independent, high quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation.

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on January 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New study of Earth’s crust shows global growth spurt three billion years ago", A widespread bloom in crust production three billion years ago during a peak in mantle temperatures, Ancient zircon crystals, , , Curtin University AU, , , Seeds for later growth of continents, The chemistry of old crystals preserved within stream sediments in arctic Greenland, Three-billion-year-old magmas from the mantle had penetrated even more ancient four-billion-year-old crust to create rocks of mixed composition.   

    From Curtin University (AU): “New study of Earth’s crust shows global growth spurt three billion years ago” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    13 January 2021

    Media Contacts

    Lucien Wilkinson, writer
    Media Consultant
    Tel: +61 8 9266 9185
    Mob: +61 401 103 683
    lucien.wilkinson@curtin.edu.au

    Vanessa Beasley
    Deputy Director
    Tel: +61 8 9266 1811
    Mob: +61 466 853 121
    vanessa.beasley@curtin.edu.au

    Curtin University researchers have used ancient crystals from eroded rocks found in stream sediments in Greenland to successfully test the theory that portions of Earth’s ancient crust acted as ‘seeds’ from which later generations of crust grew.

    1
    A melt water stream in Greenland carrying ancient zircon crystals.

    The findings not only advance an understanding of the production of the Earth’s crust through deep time, along with its structure and composition, but reveal a planet-wide crustal growth spurt three billion years ago when mantle temperatures peaked.

    Lead author Professor Chris Kirkland, from Curtin University’s Timescales of Mineral Systems Group, said the research used the chemistry of old crystals preserved within stream sediments in arctic Greenland to test the idea that portions of ancient crust served as seeds for later growth of continents.

    “We found there was a widespread bloom in crust production three billion years ago, during a peak in mantle temperatures,” Professor Kirkland said.

    “Three-billion-year-old magmas from the mantle had penetrated even more ancient four-billion-year-old crust to create rocks of mixed composition.

    “Old crust appeared to be critical in continent production as it acted much like a life raft to preserve crust through later stages of earth history.

    “The spike in the age of crust production in Greenland matches other regions across the globe and points to a significant widespread event that formed crust relatively early in the history of our planet.”

    Professor Kirkland said understanding the production of crust improved the understanding of its structure and composition.

    “The Earth’s crust hosts concentrations of economically valuable ores and minerals but finding them is becoming increasingly challenging as more near-surface deposits are exhausted,” Professor Kirkland said.

    “Understanding that later crust is ‘seeded’ on older pre-existing crust refines our understanding of the generation of where certain metals are hosted and ultimately explains the habitable part of our planet.”

    Funded by the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources, the full research paper, ‘Widespread reworking of Hadean-to-Eoarchean continents during Earth’s thermal peak,’ was published in Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
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