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  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on April 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: An HII region CTB 102 has been difficult to study, , , , , Futurity, , , Taeduk Radio Astronomy Observatory in South Korea   

    From Iowa State University via Futurity: “Maps reveal massive clouds in star-forming region” 

    From Iowa State University

    via

    Futurity

    April 16th, 2019
    Mike Krapfl-Iowa State

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    (Credit: Filip Bunkens/Unsplash)

    Astronomers have made the first high-resolution, radio telescope observations of the molecular clouds within a huge star-forming region of the outer Milky Way.

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    This image from a radio telescope shows a huge star-forming region of the outer Milky Way galaxy. The ovals identify the main subdivisions of the region’s molecular cloud, including the smaller 1a, which is very efficient at producing stars. (Credit: Charles Kerton)

    “This region is behind a nearby cloud of dust and gas,” says Charles Kerton, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University and a member of the study team.

    “The cloud blocks the light and so we have to use infrared or radio observations to study it.”

    The Milky Way region, called CTB 102, is about 14,000 light years from Earth. It’s classified as an HII region, meaning it contains clouds of ionized—charged—hydrogen atoms. And, because of its distance from Earth and the dust and gas in between, it has been difficult to study.

    And so, “this region has been very poorly mapped out,” Kerton says.

    The astronomers used a newly commissioned radio telescope at the Taeduk Radio Astronomy Observatory in South Korea to take high resolution, carbon monoxide observations of the galactic region’s molecular clouds, Kerton says.

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    Taeduk Radio Astronomy Observatory owned and operated by Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute. It is located in the science town of Taeduk, part of Daejeon, South Korea. in South Korea

    “That tells us the mass and structure of the material in the interstellar medium there.”

    The astronomers also compared their radio observations with existing infrared data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and the Two Micron All Sky Survey. The infrared data allowed them to classify young stars forming within the region’s molecular clouds.

    NASA Wise Telescope


    Caltech 2MASS Telescopes, a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech, at the Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins south of Tucson, AZ, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft) and at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at an altitude of 2200 meters near La Serena, Chile.

    The data yield three major observations, the astronomers report in their paper, which will appear in The Astrophysical Journal.

    First, the astronomers used radio data to describe the physical structure and characteristics of the region’s newly mapped molecular clouds—they’re fairly large, about 180 light years across with a mass equal to about 100,000 masses of our sun. Next, they used infrared data to determine the young stellar content within the clouds. And finally, they combined the two data streams to study the efficiency of star formation within the galactic region.

    The researchers report the star formation efficiency of the entire CTB 102 region is about 5 to 10 percent, similar to other giant molecular clouds within the galaxy. But, they found one subregion of the clouds with a star formation efficiency of 17 to 37 percent (depending on how they calculate the mass of the subregion). That’s much higher than astronomers would expect for a subregion of its size. The researchers speculate the subregion is the site of a massive cluster of young, developing stars embedded in the molecular cloud.

    Why all the star formation in that one subregion? Kerton says that’s a question for further study. Maybe, he says, there’s something special about the interstellar material in that subregion, which is next to the massive HII region.

    “This is our first look at all of this,” Kerton says. “The older data were just a few dots, a few pixels. We couldn’t isolate this relatively small region of the galaxy.”

    But now they can—with the help of the new South Korean radio observatory.

    The study’s high-resolution observations, Kerton says, “are also a demonstration that the telescope is ideal for studying similar regions in our galaxy—there are many other potential targets.”

    Additional researchers from Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and the University of Nebraska contributed to the work.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Iowa State University is a public, land-grant university, where students get a great academic start in learning communities and stay active in 800-plus student organizations, undergrad research, internships and study abroad. They learn from world-class scholars who are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges — feeding the hungry, finding alternative fuels and advancing manufacturing.

    Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm (now Iowa State University) was officially established on March 22, 1858, by the legislature of the State of Iowa. Story County was selected as a site on June 21, 1859, and the original farm of 648 acres was purchased for a cost of $5,379. The Farm House, the first building on the Iowa State campus, was completed in 1861, and in 1862, the Iowa legislature voted to accept the provision of the Morrill Act, which was awarded to the agricultural college in 1864.

    Iowa State University Knapp-Wilson Farm House. Photo between 1911-1926

    Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts as of 1898), as a land grant institution, focused on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all and that the university should teach liberal and practical subjects. These ideals are integral to the land-grant university.

    The first official class entered at Ames in 1869, and the first class (24 men and 2 women) graduated in 1872. Iowa State was and is a leader in agriculture, engineering, extension, home economics, and created the nation’s first state veterinary medicine school in 1879.

    In 1959, the college was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology. The focus on technology has led directly to many research patents and inventions including the first binary computer (the ABC), Maytag blue cheese, the round hay baler, and many more.

    Beginning with a small number of students and Old Main, Iowa State University now has approximately 27,000 students and over 100 buildings with world class programs in agriculture, technology, science, and art.

    Iowa State University is a very special place, full of history. But what truly makes it unique is a rare combination of campus beauty, the opportunity to be a part of the land-grant experiment, and to create a progressive and inventive spirit that we call the Cyclone experience. Appreciate what we have here, for it is indeed, one of a kind.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:23 pm on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ferrimagnets, , Futurity, National University of Singapore, Special magnets make spin-based memory more efficient   

    From Futurism via Futurity: “Special magnets make spin-based memory more efficient” 

    futurism-bloc

    From Futurism

    via

    1

    Futurity

    December 28th, 2018
    National University of Singapore

    2
    (Credit: Getty Images)

    A new magnetic device can manipulate digital information 20 times more efficiently and with 10 times more stability than commercial spintronic digital memories, say researchers.

    The spintronic memory device, which employs ferrimagnets, has the potential to accelerate the commercial growth of spin-based memory.

    “Our discovery could provide a new device platform to the spintronic industry, which at present struggles with issues around instability and scalability due to the thin magnetic elements that are used,” says Yang Hyunsoo, associate professor from the electrical and computer engineering department at the National University of Singapore, who spearheaded the project.

    More data requires better memory

    Digital information is being generated in unprecedented amounts all over the world, and as a result there’s an increasing demand for low-cost, low-power, highly-stable, and highly-scalable memory and computing products. One way to achieve this is with new spintronic materials, which use up or down magnetic states of tiny magnets to store digital data.

    While existing spintronic memory products based on ferromagnets succeed in meeting some of these demands, they are still very costly due to scalability and stability issues.

    “Ferromagnet-based memories cannot be grown beyond a few nanometers thick as their writing efficiency decays exponentially with increasing thickness. This thickness range is insufficient to ensure the stability of stored digital data against normal temperature variations,” says Yu Jiawei, who contributed to the project while pursuing her doctoral studies at NUS.

    To address these challenges, the team fabricated a magnetic memory device using an interesting class of magnetic material—ferrimagnets. Crucially, they discovered that they could grow ferrimagnetic materials 10 times thicker without compromising on the overall data writing efficiency.

    “The spin of the current carrying electrons, which basically represents the data you want to write, experiences minimal resistance in ferrimagnets. Imagine the difference in efficiency when you drive your car on an eight lane highway compared to a narrow city lane. While a ferromagnet is like a city street for an electron’s spin, a ferrimagnet is a welcoming freeway where its spin or the underlying information can survive for a very long distance,” says Rahul Mishra, a current doctoral candidate with the group who was part of the research team.

    Using an electronic current, the researchers were able to write information in a ferrimagnet memory element which was 10 times more stable and 20 times more efficient than a ferromagnet.
    Ferrimagnets make the difference

    To make this discovery, the researchers took advantage of the unique atomic arrangement in ferrimagnets.

    “In ferrimagnets, the neighboring atomic magnets are opposite to each other. The disturbance caused by one atom to an incoming spin is compensated by the next one, and as a result information travels faster and further with less power. We hope that the computing and storage industry can take advantage of our invention to improve the performance and data retention capabilities of emerging spin memories,” says Yang.

    The researchers now plan to look into the data writing and reading speed of their device. They expect that the distinctive atomic properties of their device will also result in its ultrafast performance. In addition, they are also planning to collaborate with industry partners to accelerate the commercial translation of their discovery.

    A paper on the device appears in the journal Nature Materials. Researchers from Toyota Technological Institute in Nagoya and Korea University in Seoul also contributed to the project.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Futurism covers the breakthrough technologies and scientific discoveries that will shape humanity’s future. Our mission is to empower our readers and drive the development of these transformative technologies towards maximizing human potential.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:30 am on August 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A billion-year-old lake could help find alien life, , Futurity, , , Oxygenization   

    From METI and McGill via Futurity: “A billion-year-old lake could help find alien life” 

    1

    METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International has announced plans to start sending signals into space

    McGill University

    McGill University

    From METI International and McGill University

    via

    1

    Futurity

    July 18th, 2018 [Just appeared in social media.]
    Justin Dupuis-McGill

    1
    Credit: Getty Images

    A sample of ancient oxygen from a 1.4 billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario provides fresh evidence of what the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere were like leading up to the emergence of animal life, according to new research.

    The findings, which appear in the journal Nature, represent the oldest measurement of atmospheric oxygen isotopes by nearly a billion years. The results support previous research suggesting that oxygen levels in the air during this time in Earth history were a tiny fraction of what they are today due to a much less productive biosphere.

    “It has been suggested for many decades now that the composition of the atmosphere has significantly varied through time,” says Peter Crockford, a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science who led the study as a PhD student at McGill University. “We provide unambiguous evidence that it was indeed much different 1.4 billion years ago.”

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    An image of the history of life and atmospheric oxygen on Earth over its 4.6 billion year history. The magnifying glass shows a picture of cyanobacteria that would have dominated life on Earth across much of the Proterozoic beginning around 2.4 billion years ago. On the far right is an image of the Earth that highlights vegetation on the continents and cholorphyll concentrations in the ocean. What the new study shows is that these colors would have been much less vibrant in Earth’s deep past due to a smaller biosphere. (Credit: McGill)

    The study provides the oldest gauge yet of what earth scientists refer to as “primary production,” in which micro-organisms at the base of the food chain—algae, cyanobacteria, and the like—produce organic matter from carbon dioxide and pour oxygen into the air.

    An image of Cyanobacteria, Tolypothrix

    Our planet, 1.4 billion years ago

    “This study shows that primary production 1.4 billion years ago was much less than today,” says senior coauthor Boswell Wing, an associate professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder who helped supervise Crockford’s work at McGill.

    “This means that the size of the global biosphere had to be smaller, and likely just didn’t yield enough food—organic carbon—to support a lot of complex macroscopic life,” says Wing.

    To come up with these findings, Crockford teamed up with colleagues who had collected pristine samples of ancient salts, known as sulfates, found in a sedimentary rock formation north of Lake Superior.

    The work also sheds new light on a stretch of Earth’s history known as the “boring billion” because it yielded little apparent biological or environmental change.

    “Subdued primary productivity during the mid-Proterozoic era—roughly 2 billion to 800 million years ago—has long been implied, but no hard data had been generated to lend strong support to this idea,” notes study coauthor Galen Halverson, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences.

    “That left open the possibility that there was another explanation for why the middle Proterozoic ocean was so uninteresting, in terms of the production and deposit of organic carbon.” Crockford’s data “provide the direct evidence that this boring carbon cycle was due to low primary productivity.”

    Beyond Earth

    The findings could also help inform astronomers’ search for life outside our own solar system.

    “For most of Earth history our planet was populated with microbes, and projecting into the future they will likely be the stewards of the planet long after we are gone,” says Crockford.

    “Understanding the environments they shape not only informs us of our own past and how we got here, but also provides clues to what we might find if we discover an inhabited exoplanet,” he says.

    Researchers from Rice University; Yale University; the University of California, Riverside; Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Louisiana State University also contributed to the work.

    Funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Nature et Technologies, and the University of Colorado Boulder supported the research.

    Article part from McGill

    Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth’s ancient biosphere

    18 July 2018

    Contact Information

    Peter Crockford
    peter.crockford@weizmann.ac.il

    Secondary Contact Information

    Justin Dupuis
    Media Relations Office
    justin.dupuis@mcgill.ca
    Office Phone:
    514-398-6751

    3
    No caption or credit.

    A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4 billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life.

    The findings, published in the journal Nature [link is above] , represent the oldest measurement of atmospheric oxygen isotopes by nearly a billion years. The results support previous research suggesting that oxygen levels in the air during this time in Earth history were a tiny fraction of what they are today due to a much less productive biosphere.

    “It has been suggested for many decades now that the composition of the atmosphere has significantly varied through time,” says Peter Crockford, who led the study as a PhD student at McGill University. “We provide unambiguous evidence that it was indeed much different 1.4 billion years ago.”

    The study provides the oldest gauge yet of what earth scientists refer to as “primary production,” in which micro-organisms at the base of the food chain – algae, cyanobacteria, and the like – produce organic matter from carbon dioxide and pour oxygen into the air.

    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 primary objectives and purposes of METI International are to:

    Conduct scientific research and educational programs in Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

    Promote international cooperation and collaboration in METI, SETI, and astrobiology.

    Understand and communicate the societal implications and relevance of searching for life beyond Earth, even before detection of extraterrestrial life.

    Foster multidisciplinary research on the design and transmission of interstellar messages, building a global community of scholars from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts.

    Research and communicate to the public the many factors that influence the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe, with a special emphasis on the last three terms of the Drake Equation: (1) the fraction of life-bearing worlds on which intelligence evolves, (2) the fraction of intelligence-bearing worlds with civilizations having the capacity and motivation for interstellar communication, and (3) the longevity of such civilizations.

    Offer programs to the public and to the scholarly community that foster increased awareness of the challenges facing our civilization’s longevity, while encouraging individual and community activities that support the sustainability of human culture on multigenerational timescales, which is essential for long-term METI and SETI research.

     
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