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  • richardmitnick 4:00 pm on July 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Lasers light the way to discovery of ancient crust beneath WA", , Curtin University researchers have found evidence of an almost four billion-year-old piece of the Earth’s crust that lies beneath the South-West of WA., , From Curtin University (AU), , , ,   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “Lasers light the way to discovery of ancient crust beneath WA” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    4 July 2022
    Media Contacts
    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

    By firing lasers finer than a human hair at tiny grains of a mineral extracted from beach sand, Curtin researchers have found evidence of an almost four billion-year-old piece of the Earth’s crust that lies beneath the South-West of WA.

    1
    A beach sand sample collection site near Augusta.

    In a new finding that helps explain the planet’s evolution from uninhabitable to life supporting, lead researcher and PhD student Maximilian Droellner, from the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group within Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said the lasers were used to vaporise portions of individual grains of the mineral zircon and revealed from where the grains were originally eroded as well as the geological history of the region.

    “There is evidence that an up to four billion-year-old piece of crust about the size of Ireland has been influencing the geological evolution of WA for the past few billions of years and is a key ingredient of rocks formed in WA across this time,” Mr Droellner said.

    “This piece of crust has survived multiple mountain-building events between Australia, India and Antarctica and appears to still exist at tens of kilometres of depth under the South-West corner of WA.

    “When comparing our findings to existing data, it appears many regions around the world experienced a similar timing of early crust formation and preservation.

    “This suggests a significant change in the evolution of the Earth some four billion years ago, as meteorite bombardment waned, crust stabilised and life on Earth began to establish.”

    Research supervisor Dr Milo Barham, also from the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group within Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said no large-scale study of this region had been done before and the results, when compared with existing data, had revealed exciting new insights.

    “The edge of the ancient piece of crust appears to define an important crustal boundary controlling where economically important minerals are found,” Dr Barham said.

    “Recognising these ancient crustal remnants is important for the future of optimized sustainable resource exploration.

    “Studying the early Earth is challenging given the enormity of time that has elapsed, but it has profound importance for understanding life’s significance on Earth and our quest to find it on other planets.”

    Mr Droellner, Dr Barham and research co-supervisor Professor Chris Kirkland are affiliated with The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s flagship Earth Sciences research institute and the research was funded by the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia.

    The full research paper is published in journal Terra Nova.

    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 10:04 am on October 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Curtin researchers help date the youngest rocks ever found on the Moon", From Curtin University (AU),   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “Curtin researchers help date the youngest rocks ever found on the Moon” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    8 October 2021

    Yasmine Phillips
    Media Relations Manager (Work days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)
    Tel: +61 8 9266 9085
    Mob: +61 401 103 877
    yasmine.phillips@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 helped to determine the age of the youngest rocks ever found on the Moon, as part of a global space mission that is working to refine the chronology of the entire Solar System.

    1
    China’s Chang’e-5 Moon landing in December 2020. Source: China National Space Administration [国家航天局](CN) Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center.

    The new research, published in Science, determined the basaltic volcanic rocks, collected as part of China’s Chang’e-5 Moon landing in December 2020, were about two billion years old – or one billion years younger than those previously found on the Moon.

    The rock samples were collected by the Chinese National Space Agency during the Chang’e-5 mission, which marked the first time any nation had collected rocks from the Moon since 1976.

    Lead Australian author Professor Alexander Nemchin, from Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre in the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said researchers determined the age of the lunar rock samples during remote sessions with the Beijing laboratory using large mass spectrometers that have helped revolutionise geology, similar to Curtin’s Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probe Facility (SHRIMP).

    “Previously, the youngest lunar basalt rocks collected as part of the Apollo and Luna missions, as well as lunar meteorites, were found to be older than about three billion years,” Professor Nemchin said.

    “After analysing the chemistry of the new Moon rocks collected as part of China’s recent mission, we determined the new samples were about two billion years old, making them the youngest volcanic rocks identified on the Moon so far.

    “This discovery puts Australia at the heart of efforts to internationalise scientific collaboration around China’s lunar exploration program, including samples returned from China’s Chang’e-5 mission and the upcoming Chang’e-6 Moon landing in 2024.”

    Co-author Professor Gretchen Benedix, also from Curtin’s Space Science and Technology Centre, said the new results would provide researchers with more calibration points for cratering chronology, enabling them to derive more accurate and higher resolution ages across many planetary surfaces.

    “These results confirm what experts had long predicted based on remotely obtained images of the Moon and raise further questions as to why these young basalts exist,” Professor Benedix said.

    “The task will now turn to finding a mechanism that will explain how this relatively recent heating of the Moon may have supported the formation of basaltic magmas with temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Celsius – and ultimately help researchers improve age dating of the entire Solar System.”

    Professor Fred Jourdan from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences was also a co-author of this paper.

    The research was carried out in collaboration with experts from the International Lunar and Planetary Research Center of China, The Beijing SHRIMP Center, The Australian National University, Washington University in St Louis, Notre Dame University and Brown University in the United States of America, the University of Colorado, Manchester University in the United Kingdom and the Natural History Museum in Sweden.

    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 2:48 pm on September 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The future of extraterrestrial intelligence", , , From Curtin University (AU), ,   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “The future of extraterrestrial intelligence” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    3 September 2021

    1
    How would you feel if, after many decades of searching, we finally found signs of extraterrestrial intelligence?

    Would you be consumed by wonder and excitement, or does the thought of making contact with an unknown life force somewhere out there in the universe fill you with fear and trepidation?

    And what impact would this discovery have on us collectively – would it unite us or divide us here on Earth?

    “Maybe the search for extraterrestrials actually tells us more about ourselves than anything else,” says world-renowned astronomer and deputy executive director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Professor Steven Tingay, who has been pondering these and other weighty existential questions in the course of his research.

    Tingay and his CSIRO colleague Dr Chenoa Tremblay have been involved in the deepest and broadest search yet for signs of alien life, thanks to the capabilities offered by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) – the highly sensitive, low frequency radio telescope with a fantastically wide field of view that is supporting a trove of new scientific endeavours from its whisper-quiet location in inland Western Australia.

    So far, no signals have been detected to suggest we are not alone. But with the MWA now allowing much-expanded searches to be conducted alongside other astrophysical investigations, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – commonly referred to as SETI – is definitely ramping up.

    For example, it will no doubt add to fresh questions about our cosmic exclusivity generated by NASA’s latest mission to Mars, where the Perseverance rover is collecting rock and soil samples that will be probed for signs of ancient microbial life.

    In 2018, the MWA was used to scan part of the Vela constellation, known to cover at least 10 million star systems. Within this field are six known exoplanets: planets that orbit around other stars, like the Earth orbits around the Sun, that could potentially offer the right conditions for hosting life. Through this and two previous surveys, Tingay and Tremblay examined 75 known exoplanets, searching for narrow-band signals consistent with radio transmissions from intelligent civilisations, with a further 144 exoplanets examined in research to be published soon.

    Fortuitously, the MWA allows the search for extraterrestrial intelligence to piggyback onto science that is already taking place – offering, as Tingay describes it, “two bits of science for one”. As part of her PhD research, Chenoa was using the radio telescope to observe molecular signatures from stars, gas and dust in our galaxy in the hopes of detecting the complex molecules that are the precursor to life. The pair then realised that these data could be simultaneously used for the search for radio signals from advanced civilisations.

    “It’s a very high-return, low-effort route at this stage, which means that if you strike it lucky it hasn’t really cost you all that much along the way,” explains Tingay. “So that’s almost a perfect scenario for science.”

    So what exactly are they looking for in their MWA surveys?

    “We’re not one hundred per cent sure,” admits Tremblay.

    “It’s like asking a toddler to go and find an object in the house and they very excitedly go and run around and look under the couch and then come back with big eyes and go, ‘What does it look like?’

    “In general, we’re looking for intense signals that show up in very narrow wavelength ranges, and it could be anywhere within the electromagnetic spectrum. We use models from our understanding of the cosmos and what the signals have looked like so far to narrow down the search.

    While the 2018 survey was far more comprehensive than ever before, Tingay is keen to point out that it was still just a drop in the ocean.

    “Our galaxy contains billions and billions of stars, so 10 million out of multiple billions is a very small fraction,” he explains.

    “If that entire search space was represented by the Earth’s oceans, we’re talking about searching about a swimming pool’s worth of water out of the ocean. Having said that, what we did was a hundred times better than anyone had done previously – and the previous best was also us!

    “So what we’re doing is proving up techniques that will allow us to go further and deeper as we develop more powerful telescopes. And the next step in that progression is the Square Kilometre Array.”

    The MWA is effectively the warm-up act for the Square Kilometre Array, which has started its construction phase in Western Australia and South Africa, following more than a decade of design and engineering work by hundreds of experts from more than a dozen countries.

    [See MWA low frequency above]

    This global mega science project will deliver the two largest and most complex networks of radio telescopes ever built, designed to unlock some of the most fascinating secrets of our Universe – and it no doubt has SETI enthusiasts very, very excited.

    Asked to sum up his own reaction should this new frontier of astronomy confirm signs of extraterrestrial intelligence sometime soon, Tingay is quick to respond: “I’ll rush to the telescope to get more data!”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The MWA, SKA and SARAO are not alone in the search for E.T.

    Breakthrough Listen Project

    1

    SKA SARAO Meerkat telescope(SA) 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA.

    Newly added

    University of Arizona Veritas Four Čerenkov telescopes A novel gamma ray telescope under construction at the CfA Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (US), Mount Hopkins, Arizona (US), altitude 2,606 m 8,550 ft. A large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias ](ES) in the Canary Islands and Chile at European Southern Observatory Cerro Paranal(EU) site. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (US) and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev. _____________________________________________________________________________________

    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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