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  • richardmitnick 8:31 pm on September 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Australia is also expected to play a role in this important Earth event first colliding with Asia and then connecting America and Asia once the Pacific Ocean closes., Curtin University AU, , , Mirage News, Over the past two billion years Earth’s continents have collided together to form a supercontinent every 600 million years., The Pacific Ocean is what is left of the Panthalassa super ocean that started to form 700 million years ago when the previous supercontinent started to break apart., The resulting new supercontinent has already been named Amasia because some believe that the Pacific Ocean will close when America collides with Asia., The world’s next supercontinent-Amasia-will most likely form when the Pacific Ocean closes in 200 to 300 million years.   

    From Curtin University (AU) Via Mirage News: “Pacific Ocean set to make way for world’s next supercontinent” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    Via

    Mirage News

    9.30.22

    New Curtin University-led research has found that the world’s next supercontinent-Amasia-will most likely form when the Pacific Ocean closes in 200 to 300 million years.

    1
    A possible Amasia configuration 280 Myr into the future.

    Published in National Science Review [below], the research team used a supercomputer to simulate how a supercontinent forms and found that because the Earth has been cooling for billions of years, the thickness and strength of the plates under the oceans reduce with time, making it difficult for the next supercontinent to assemble by closing the “young” oceans, such as the Atlantic or Indian oceans.

    Lead author Dr Chuan Huang, from Curtin’s Earth Dynamics Research Group and the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said the new findings were significant and provided insights into what would happen to Earth in the next 200 million years.

    “Over the past two billion years Earth’s continents have collided together to form a supercontinent every 600 million years, known as the supercontinent cycle. This means that the current continents are due to come together again in a couple of hundred of million years’ time,” Dr Huang said.

    “The resulting new supercontinent has already been named Amasia because some believe that the Pacific Ocean will close (as opposed to the Atlantic and Indian oceans) when America collides with Asia. Australia is also expected to play a role in this important Earth event, first colliding with Asia and then connecting America and Asia once the Pacific Ocean closes.

    “By simulating how the Earth’s tectonic plates are expected to evolve using a supercomputer, we were able to show that in less than 300 million years’ time it is likely to be the Pacific Ocean that will close, allowing for the formation of Amasia, debunking some previous scientific theories.”

    The Pacific Ocean is what is left of the Panthalassa super ocean that started to form 700 million years ago when the previous supercontinent started to break apart. It is the oldest ocean we have on Earth, and it started shrinking from its maximum size since the dinosaur time. It is currently shrinking in size by a few centimetres per year and its current dimension of about 10 thousand kilometres is predicted to take two to three hundred million years to close.

    Co-author John Curtin Distinguished Professor Zheng-Xiang Li, also from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said that having the whole world dominated by a single continental mass would dramatically alter Earth’s ecosystem and environment.

    “Earth as we know it will be drastically different when Amasia forms. The sea level is expected to be lower, and the vast interior of the supercontinent will be very arid with high daily temperature ranges,” Professor Li said.

    “Currently, Earth consists of seven continents with widely different ecosystems and human cultures, so it would be fascinating to think what the world might look like in 200 to 300 million years’ time.”

    The research was co-authored by researchers from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Peking University in China.

    Science paper:
    National Science Review

    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) 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 12:03 pm on August 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Comet impacts formed continents when Solar System entered galactic arms", , , , , Curtin University AU,   

    From Curtin University (AU): “Comet impacts formed continents when Solar System entered galactic arms” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    8.24.22
    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

    New Curtin research has found evidence that Earth’s early continents resulted from being hit by comets as our Solar System passed into and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, turning traditional thinking about our planet’s formation on its head.

    1
    Milky Way taken from Australia.

    The new research, published in Geology [below], challenges the existing theory that Earth’s crust was solely formed by processes inside our planet, casting a new light on the formative history of Earth and our place in the cosmos.

    Lead researcher Professor Chris Kirkland, from the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group within Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said studying minerals in the Earth’s crust revealed a rhythm of crust production every 200 million years or so that matched our Solar System’s transit through areas of the galaxy with a higher density of stars.

    “The Solar System orbits around the Milky Way, passing between the spiral arms of the galaxy approximately every 200 million years,” Professor Kirkland said.

    “From looking at the age and isotopic signature of minerals from both the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia and North Atlantic Craton in Greenland, we see a similar rhythm of crust production, which coincides with periods during which the Solar System journeyed through areas of the galaxy most heavily populated by stars.”

    “When passing through regions of higher star density, comets would have been dislodged from the most distant reaches of the Solar System, some of which impacted Earth.

    “Increased comet impact on Earth would have led to greater melting of the Earth’s surface to produce the buoyant nuclei of the early continents.”

    Professor Kirkland said the findings challenged the existing theory that crust production was entirely related to processes internal to the Earth.

    “Our study reveals an exciting link between geological processes on Earth and the movement of the Solar System in our galaxy,” Professor Kirkland said.

    “Linking the formation of continents, the landmasses on which we all live and where we find the majority of our mineral resources, to the passage of the Solar System through the Milky Way casts a whole new light on the formative history of our planet and its place in the cosmos.”

    Professor Kirkland is affiliated with The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s flagship Earth Sciences research institute.

    Also contributing to the study were researchers from the University of Lincoln, the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division within NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Geological Survey of Western Australia.

    Science paper:
    Geology

    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) 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 12:48 pm on August 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Curtin University AU, , Findings indicate that much of the seawater initially bound within the ancient primitive lavas would have been released at temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius., , How water is stored and transported through Earth’s crust influences everything from where volcanoes and mineral deposits form to where earthquakes occur., , New Curtin research has provided evidence that Earth's continents were formed by giant meteorite impacts prevalent during the first billion years of our planet's four-and-a-half-billion year history., , Such high temperature waters' release would have caused surrounding rocks to melt ultimately to form the continents.   

    From Curtin University (AU): Conflicting stores from one university:: “Study shows Earth’s ancient water cycle was key to making continents” vs “Evidence that giant meteorite impacts created the continents” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    The first story:

    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

    A new Curtin University study has found that water was transported much deeper in the early Earth than previously thought, shedding new light on how the continents were originally formed.

    1

    The study, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters [below], answers long-standing questions about the early Earth water cycle.

    Lead researcher Dr Michael Hartnady, from the Curtin School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said how water is stored and transported through Earth’s crust influences everything, from where volcanoes and mineral deposits form to where earthquakes occur.

    “Although we understand the modern deep-water cycle, we know very little about how it worked when Earth was still a very young planet,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “Multiple lines of geological evidence show that water was transported to great depths within Earth all the way back to 3.5 billion years ago, although it is not well understood how exactly it got there.”

    Researchers used sophisticated modelling to show that primitive high-magnesium volcanic rocks – that erupted onto the ocean floor in the early Earth – would have soaked up much more seawater than more modern lavas.

    “This water, which is locked into particular crystals within the rock, would have been released as the rocks were buried and began to ‘sweat’. In modern lavas, this sweating happens at a temperature of about 500 degrees Celsius,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “Our findings indicate that much of the seawater initially bound within the ancient primitive lavas would have been released at much higher temperatures, greater than 700 degrees Celsius.

    “Importantly, this means that the water was transported much deeper into the early Earth than previously thought. Its release would have caused surrounding rocks to melt ultimately to form the continents.”

    Dr Hartnady said this research helped to explain the inner workings of the planet from more than 2.5 billion years ago.

    “Interestingly, the oldest parts of the continents, the cratons, also contain some of the largest gold deposits on Earth including the Golden Mile near Kalgoorlie,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “These gold deposits required huge volumes of water to form, and we still don’t have a good explanation for where it came from. Our new research may help solve these and other questions, perhaps even those related to the origins of life.”

    This research was funded by the Australian Research Council, Geological Survey of Western Australia and Northern Star Resources Ltd.

    The second story:

    Evidence that giant meteorite impacts created the continents

    New Curtin research has provided the strongest evidence yet that Earth’s continents were formed by giant meteorite impacts that were particularly prevalent during the first billion years or so of our planet’s four-and-a-half-billion year history.

    Dr Tim Johnson from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences said the idea that the continents originally formed at sites of giant meteorite impacts had been around for decades, but until now there was little solid evidence to support the theory.

    “By examining tiny crystals of the mineral zircon in rocks from the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia, which represents Earth’s best-preserved remnant of ancient crust, we found evidence of these giant meteorite impacts,” Dr Johnson said.

    2
    A gorge at Karijini National Park shows off the rocks of the Pilbara craton. Credit: iStock

    “Studying the composition of oxygen isotopes in these zircon crystals revealed a ‘top-down’ process starting with the melting of rocks near the surface and progressing deeper, consistent with the geological effect of giant meteorite impacts.

    “Our research provides the first solid evidence that the processes that ultimately formed the continents began with giant meteorite impacts, similar to those responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, but which occurred billions of years earlier.”

    Dr Johnson said understanding the formation and ongoing evolution of the Earth’s continents was crucial given that these landmasses host the majority of Earth’s biomass, all humans and almost all of the planet’s important mineral deposits.

    “Not least, the continents host critical metals such as lithium, tin and nickel, commodities that are essential to the emerging green technologies needed to fulfill our obligation to mitigate climate change,” Dr Johnson said.

    “These mineral deposits are the end result of a process known as crustal differentiation, which began with the formation of the earliest landmasses, of which the Pilbara Craton is just one of many.

    “Data related to other areas of ancient continental crust on Earth appears to show patterns similar to those recognised in Western Australia. We would like to test our findings on these ancient rocks to see if, as we suspect, our model is more widely applicable.”

    Dr Johnson is affiliated with The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s flagship earth sciences research institute.

    Take your pick.

    Science papers:
    First story
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters

    Second story
    Nature

    See the First story full article here .

    See the Second story 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) 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 3:31 pm on July 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Curtin University AU, , , How water is stored and transported through Earth’s crust influences everything., Much of the seawater initially bound within the ancient primitive lavas would have been released at much higher temperatures-greater than 700 degrees Celsius., , The water was transported much deeper into the early Earth than previously thought., Water's release would have caused surrounding rocks to melt ultimately to form the continents., We know very little about how the deep-water cycle worked when Earth was still a very young planet.   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “Study shows Earth’s ancient water cycle was key to making continents” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    27 July 2022

    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

    1
    The study, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters [below], answers long-standing questions about the early Earth water cycle.

    Lead researcher Dr Michael Hartnady, from the Curtin School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said how water is stored and transported through Earth’s crust influences everything, from where volcanoes and mineral deposits form to where earthquakes occur.

    “Although we understand the modern deep-water cycle, we know very little about how it worked when Earth was still a very young planet,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “Multiple lines of geological evidence show that water was transported to great depths within Earth all the way back to 3.5 billion years ago, although it is not well understood how exactly it got there.”

    Researchers used sophisticated modelling to show that primitive high-magnesium volcanic rocks – that erupted onto the ocean floor in the early Earth – would have soaked up much more seawater than more modern lavas.

    “This water, which is locked into particular crystals within the rock, would have been released as the rocks were buried and began to ‘sweat’. In modern lavas, this sweating happens at a temperature of about 500 degrees Celsius,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “Our findings indicate that much of the seawater initially bound within the ancient primitive lavas would have been released at much higher temperatures-greater than 700 degrees Celsius.

    “Importantly, this means that the water was transported much deeper into the early Earth than previously thought. Its release would have caused surrounding rocks to melt ultimately to form the continents.”

    Dr Hartnady said this research helped to explain the inner workings of the planet from more than 2.5 billion years ago.

    “Interestingly, the oldest parts of the continents, the cratons, also contain some of the largest gold deposits on Earth including the Golden Mile near Kalgoorlie,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “These gold deposits required huge volumes of water to form, and we still don’t have a good explanation for where it came from. Our new research may help solve these and other questions, perhaps even those related to the origins of life.”

    This research was funded by the Australian Research Council, Geological Survey of Western Australia and Northern Star Resources Ltd.

    Dr Hartnady said this research helped to explain the inner workings of the planet from more than 2.5 billion years ago.

    “Interestingly, the oldest parts of the continents, the cratons, also contain some of the largest gold deposits on Earth including the Golden Mile near Kalgoorlie,” Dr Hartnady said.

    “These gold deposits required huge volumes of water to form, and we still don’t have a good explanation for where it came from. Our new research may help solve these and other questions, perhaps even those related to the origins of life.”

    This research was funded by the Australian Research Council, Geological Survey of Western Australia and Northern Star Resources Ltd.

    Science paper:
    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 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.

     
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