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  • richardmitnick 8:39 am on June 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Two Time Crystals Have Been Successfully Linked Together For The First Time", A Bose-Einstein condensate is formed from bosons cooled to just a fraction above absolute zero (but not reaching absolute zero at which point atoms stop moving)., B-phase superfluid, , Earlier this year a different team of physicists announced that they had successfully created room temperature time crystals that don't need to be isolated from their ambient surroundings., Having a time crystal operating in a two-state system provides rich new pickings as a basis for quantum-based technologies., , Magnons emerge when helium-3 – a stable isotope of helium with two protons but just one neutron – is cooled to within one ten thousandth of a degree of absolute zero., , , Science Alert(AU), The time crystals formed as spatially distinct Bose-Einstein condensates., The time crystals the team have been working with consist of quasiparticles called magnons.   

    From Lancaster University (UK) via “Science Alert(AU)” : “Two Time Crystals Have Been Successfully Linked Together For The First Time” 

    From Lancaster University (UK)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    “Science Alert(AU)”

    2 JUNE 2022
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    (Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting/Moment/Getty Images)

    In condensed matter physics, a time crystal is a quantum system of particles whose lowest-energy state is one in which the particles are in repetitive motion.

    Physicists have just taken an amazing step towards quantum devices that sound like something out of science fiction.

    For the first time, isolated groups of particles behaving like bizarre states of matter known as time crystals have been linked into a single, evolving system that could be incredibly useful in quantum computing.

    Following the first observation of the interaction between two time crystals, detailed in a paper two years ago [Nature Materials], this is the next step towards potentially harnessing time crystals for practical purposes, such as quantum information processing.

    Time crystals, only officially discovered and confirmed a few years ago in 2016, were once thought to be physically impossible. They are a phase of matter very similar to normal crystals, but for one additional, peculiar, and very special property.

    In regular crystals, the atoms are arranged in a fixed, three-dimensional grid structure, like the atomic lattice of a diamond or quartz crystal. These repeating lattices can differ in configuration, but any movement they exhibit comes exclusively from external pushes.

    In time crystals, the atoms behave a bit differently. They exhibit patterns of movement in time that can’t be so easily explained by an external push or shove. These oscillations – referred to as ‘ticking’ – are locked to a regular and particular frequency.

    Theoretically, time crystals tick at their lowest possible energy state – known as the ground state – and are therefore stable and coherent over long periods of time. So, where the structure of regular crystals repeats in space, in time crystals it repeats in space and time, thus exhibiting perpetual ground state motion.

    “Everybody knows that perpetual motion machines are impossible,” says physicist and lead author Samuli Autti of Lancaster University in the UK.

    “However, in quantum physics perpetual motion is okay as long as we keep our eyes closed. By sneaking through this crack we can make time crystals.”

    The time crystals the team have been working with consist of quasiparticles called magnons. Magnons are not true particles, but consist of a collective excitation of the spin of electrons, like a wave that propagates through a lattice of spins.

    Magnons emerge when helium-3 – a stable isotope of helium with two protons but just one neutron – is cooled to within one ten thousandth of a degree of absolute zero. This creates what is called a B-phase superfluid, a zero-viscosity fluid with low pressure.

    In this medium, time crystals formed as spatially distinct Bose-Einstein condensates, each consisting of a trillion magnon quasiparticles.

    A Bose-Einstein condensate is formed from bosons cooled to just a fraction above absolute zero (but not reaching absolute zero at which point atoms stop moving).

    This causes them to sink to their lowest-energy state, moving extremely slowly, and coming together close enough to overlap, producing a high density cloud of atoms that acts like one ‘super atom’ or matter wave.

    When the two time crystals were allowed to touch each other, they exchanged magnons. This exchange influenced the oscillation of each of the time crystals, creating a single system with an option of functioning in two, discrete states.

    In quantum physics, objects that can have more than one state exist in a mix of those states before they’ve been pinned down by a clear measurement. So having a time crystal operating in a two-state system provides rich new pickings as a basis for quantum-based technologies.

    Time crystals are a fair way from being deployed as qubits, as there are a significant number of hurdles to solve first. But the pieces are starting to fall into place.

    Earlier this year a different team of physicists announced that they had successfully created room temperature time crystals that don’t need to be isolated from their ambient surroundings [Nature Communications].

    More sophisticated interactions between time crystals, and the fine control thereof, will need to be developed further, as will observing interacting time crystals without the need for cooled superfluids. But scientists are optimistic.

    “It turns out putting two of them together works beautifully, even if time crystals should not exist in the first place,” Autti says. “And we already know they also exist at room temperature.”

    The research has been published in Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .

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    lancaster-u-uk-campus

    University of Lancaster (UK) is a collegiate public research university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964, one of several new universities created in the 1960s.

    The university was initially based in St Leonard’s Gate in the city centre, before moving in 1968 to a purpose-built 300 acres (120 ha) campus at Bailrigg, 4 km (2.5 mi) to the south. The campus buildings are arranged around a central walkway known as the Spine, which is connected to a central plaza, named Alexandra Square in honour of its first chancellor, Princess Alexandra.

    Lancaster is one of only six collegiate universities in the UK; the colleges are weakly autonomous. The eight undergraduate colleges are named after places in the historic county of Lancashire, and each have their own campus residence blocks, common rooms, administration staff and bar.

    Lancaster is ranked in the top ten in all three national league tables, and received a Gold rating in the Government’s inaugural (2017) Teaching Excellence Framework. The annual income of the institution for 2018/19 was £317.9 million of which £42.0 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £352.7 million. Along with Durham University (UK), University of Leeds (UK), University of Liverpool (UK), University of Manchester (UK), University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), University of Sheffield (UK) and University of York (UK), Lancaster is a member of the N8 Research Partnership (UK). Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is the visitor of the University.

    Research
    Lancaster’s research income for 2015-16 was £38.3 million. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, Lancaster was ranked 18th out of 128 UK universities, including 13th for the percentage of world-leading research. The University places a particular focus on interdisciplinary research, encouraging collaborative research across academic departments.

    In 2012, Lancaster University announced a partnership with the UK’s biggest arms company, (BAE Systems), and four other North-Western universities (Liverpool, University of Salford (UK), University of Central Lancaster (UK) and Manchester) in order to work on the Gamma Programme which aims to develop “autonomous systems”. According to the University of Liverpool when referring to the programme, “autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:43 am on June 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dying Early Universe Galaxies Could Be Killed by Their Supermassive Black Holes", , , , , , , Science Alert(AU), ,   

    From “Science Alert(AU)” : “Dying Early Universe Galaxies Could Be Killed by Their Supermassive Black Holes” 

    ScienceAlert

    From “Science Alert(AU)”

    1 JUNE 2022
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Nearby giant elliptical galaxy ESO 325-G004. NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team/STScI/AURA; J. Blakeslee /Washington State University.

    The Milky Way galaxy isn’t very active, as far as galaxies go. Every year, it produces around three to four Suns’ worth of new stars in the entirety of its spiral body, and stars of all ages can be found sprinkled throughout.

    But there are some galaxies even quieter – elliptical galaxies, for which most star formation ceased long ago. In these galaxies, none or very few stars can be found younger than a certain age, suggesting that at some point most star formation abruptly ceased, leaving the galaxy to slowly wink out over the eons, star by star.

    Exactly how star formation is switched off in these smooth, nearly featureless galaxies is something of a mystery, but astronomers believe it has something to do with the supermassive black holes found at the center of every galaxy. Now an international team of astronomers led by Kei Ito of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI in Japan has peered back into the early Universe to find out if that’s the case.

    Using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, they have collected data in multiple wavelengths of light to identify galaxies whose light has traveled 9.5 billion to 12.5 billion years across the gulf of space-time – ancient galaxies like those elliptical galaxies closer to us in space and time, for whom star formation is on the brink of being snuffed out.

    For the future:

    The first step was to use optical and infrared data to identify galaxies for which star formation is ongoing, and those in which star formation has ceased.

    The next step was to use X-ray and radio data to identify supermassive black hole activity. This is the mechanism by which astronomers believe star formation may be quenched. When a supermassive black hole is active, it devours vast amounts of matter from the space around it. This process is a messy, violent one, producing what is collectively known as “feedback”.

    We all know nothing can emerge from beyond the event horizon of a black hole, but the space around it is a different matter. Material swirls around the black hole, like water circling a drain; the gravity and friction generate intense radiation that blazes across the Universe.

    Another form of feedback takes the form of jets blasting from the black hole’s polar regions. Material outside the event horizon is thought to be accelerated along the black hole’s exterior magnetic field, to be launched from the poles as powerful, focused jets of plasma that travel at a significant percentage of the speed of light.

    Finally, active supermassive black holes generate intense winds that sweep out into their galaxies. All three forms of feedback – the radiation, the jets and the winds – are thought to heat and push away the cold molecular gas that is required for the formation of baby stars.

    Across such vast distances, galaxies are much harder to see; they are very small and very faint, from our point of view in the here and now. So the researchers had to ‘stack’ the galaxies together in order to emphasize the radio and X-ray light that are the telltale signs of an active supermassive black hole all those billions of years ago.

    But it worked; the team found an “excess” X-ray and radio signal too strong to be explained by the stars alone in the galaxies with little to no star formation. The best explanation for this signal is an active supermassive black hole. Moreover, the signal wasn’t as pronounced in the galaxies with ongoing star formation.

    This suggests, the researchers concluded, that it’s very plausible an active supermassive black hole plays a role in the abrupt deaths of these mysterious, ghostly galaxies.

    Future research, they said, may help shed light on the detailed physics of this mysterious process.

    The research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 7:54 am on May 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Satellite Data Reveals a Concerning Change Is Happening to Earth's Water Cycle", , As global temperatures increase climate scientists expect there will be greater evaporation on the ocean surface which will make the top layer of the sea saltier and add moisture to the atmosphere., , , It might even have started speeding up snow melt as rainfall has been increasing in polar regions., Science Alert(AU), The authors argue that future ocean models should include satellite salinity data as it seems to be a faithful proxy for global fluxes in evaporation and precipitation., The new satellite analysis is the first to provide a global perspective on the matter., The only way to ensure heatwaves; droughts and storms don't intensify in the future is to limit global warming., The pattern can basically be described as "wet-gets-wetter-dry-gets-drier"., Wet areas could grow 7 percent wetter and dry areas 7 percent drier on average.et areas could grow 7 percent wetter and dry areas 7 percent drier on average.   

    From Science Alert(AU): “Satellite Data Reveals a Concerning Change Is Happening to Earth’s Water Cycle” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    2 MAY 2022
    CARLY CASSELLA

    1
    Satellite view of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Credit: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images.

    Climate change is throwing Earth’s water cycle severely out of whack. According to new satellite data, freshwaters are growing fresher and salt waters are growing saltier at an increasingly rapid rate all around the world. If this pattern continues, it will turbocharge rainstorms.

    The findings indicate a severe acceleration of the global water cycle – a sign that isn’t as clearly observed in direct salinity measurements from ocean buoys, which typically measure a little below the surface of the ocean. However, it’s commonly predicted in climate models [Nature] [Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences].

    As global temperatures increase, climate scientists expect there will be greater evaporation on the ocean surface, which will make the top layer of the sea saltier and add moisture to the atmosphere.

    This, in turn, will increase rainfall in other parts of the world, diluting some bodies of water to make them even less salty.

    The pattern can basically be described as “wet-gets-wetter-dry-gets-drier”, and it’s a real cause for concern. If the water cycle accelerates with global warming, it could have profound impacts on modern society, driving drought and water shortages, as well as greater storms and flooding.

    It might even have started speeding up snow melt as rainfall has been increasing in polar regions.

    “This higher amount of water circulating in the atmosphere could also explain the increase in rainfall that is being detected in some polar areas, where the fact that it is raining instead of snowing is speeding up the melting,” explains The Institute of Marine Sciences Barcelona (ES) mathematician Estrella Olmedo.

    In the far North and far South poles of our planet, there are fewer ocean buoys that directly measure surface salinity. The new satellite analysis is the first to provide a global perspective on the matter.

    “Where the wind is no longer so strong, the surface water warms up, but does not exchange heat with the water below, allowing the surface to become more saline than the lower layers and enabling the effect of evaporation to be observed with satellite measurements,” explains physicist Antonio Turiel from The Institute of Marine Sciences Barcelona .

    “[T]his tells us that the atmosphere and the ocean interact in a stronger way than we imagined, with important consequences for the continental and polar areas.”

    Recent climate models predict that for every degree Celsius of warming Earth’s water cycle could intensify by up to 7 percent.

    Practically, that means wet areas could grow 7 percent wetter and dry areas 7 percent drier on average.

    Global satellite data now back up those predictions. In tropical and mid-latitude regions, researchers found significant differences between buoy measurements of salinity and satellite measurements of salinity.

    The latter measurements more clearly showed changes in Earth’s water cycle.

    “Specifically, in the Pacific we have seen that surface salinity decreases more slowly than subsurface salinity and, in this same region, we have observed an increase in sea surface temperature and a decrease in the intensity of winds and the depth of the mixing layer,” says Estrella Olmedo.

    The authors argue that future ocean models should include satellite salinity data as it seems to be a faithful proxy for global fluxes in evaporation and precipitation.

    The only way to ensure heatwaves; droughts and storms don’t intensify in the future is to limit global warming – and there’s plenty humanity can still do.

    The world is already locked in to a certain amount of change. The most recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change estimates that if we can keep global warming to 2 °C, extreme weather events will be 14 percent stronger than they were at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

    That’s a concerning amount of change. In 2021, the United Nations warned the coming decades would likely bring a litany of catastrophic droughts. When nearly a quarter of the world is already experiencing water shortages, the consequences could be dire.

    The study was published in Scientific Reports.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 10:06 am on April 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "WHO warns a Shocking 99% of Us Are Now Breathing Unhealthy Air", , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Science Alert(AU): “WHO warns a Shocking 99% of Us Are Now Breathing Unhealthy Air” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    6 APRIL 2022
    TESSA KOUMOUNDOUROS

    1
    Seattle: An eerie red wildfire haze. Credit: Patricia Zavala/Unsplash.

    We often take the air we breathe for granted, but new data reveals that the pollutants behind millions of preventable deaths now taint the air most of us breathe at unhealthy levels.

    “Air pollution has an impact at a much lower level than previously thought,” says World Health Organization technical officer Sophie Gumy, in reference to WHO’s recently updated air quality guidelines.

    Based on an analysis of air pollution data covering more than 6,000 cities in 117 countries, WHO says 99 percent of the world’s population now breathes air that does not meet the updated safety guidelines. This covers 80 percent of the world’s urban areas.

    With each breath, invisible nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from vehicles, construction equipment, industrial boilers, power plants, and so on, flows deep into our lungs. There, it can irritate our delicate airway tissues, causing increasing inflammation, triggering allergies, and asthma and reducing lung function.

    NO2 also greatly increases the risk of developing childhood asthma childhood asthma. It has also been associated with lower weight in newborns, as well as cardiovascular disease, even with short term exposure.

    We also inhale fine particulate matter (PM) carried by the air, made up of many different substances including natural desert dust as well as all sorts of pollutants from microplastics, cooking fires, industry, agricultural activities, burning fossil fuels, and wildfires. WHO is monitoring particulate matter with diameters equal or smaller than 10 μm (PM10) or 2.5 μm (PM2.5).

    “Particulate matter, especially PM2.5, is capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and entering the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (stroke) and respiratory impacts,” says WHO. “There is emerging evidence that particulate matter impacts other organs and causes other diseases as well.”

    While developing nations still struggle with particulate matter to a greater extent than wealthy nations – with the highest recorded levels of PM10 in India and PM2.5 in China – that difference is not so clear when it comes to NO2.

    Globally, only 23 percent of people across the 4,000 cities measured breathe NO2 levels that are within WHO’s safety guidelines, with the highest concentrations found in the Mediterranean.

    Last month, another large-scale air quality report by Swiss company IQAir came to similar conclusions, finding no country met WHO’s air quality guidelines for PM2.5 in 2021.

    Climate change-fueled wildfires contributed to the US experiencing a spike in PM2.5 air pollution compared to 2020, the IQAir team found. Lower-income communities in the US typically suffered the most air pollution, and the US city with the worst pollution was Los Angeles.

    The good news is that many cities in China showed improvement in air quality last year, but they still have a long way to go. Developing countries face additional challenges around cooking and heating fires, as well as industry.

    “It is a shocking fact that no major city or country is providing safe and healthy air to their citizens according to the latest World Health Organization air quality guideline,” says Frank Hammes, CEO of IQAir.

    “This report underscores just how much work remains to be done to ensure that everyone has safe, clean and healthy air to breathe. The time for action is now.”

    Both reports indicate almost all of us face an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and cancer because of these pollutants. WHO estimates outdoor pollution was responsible for around 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016, from PM2.5 alone.

    WHO notes fossil fuels produce the most harmful emissions linked to both acute and chronic sickness, as well as exacerbating conditions that trigger greater natural pollutants like bushfires and dust storms. The organization urges for widespread and systemic reductions in their use.

    The solutions happen to be the same as those we desperately need to apply to tackle the climate crisis: switch to electric vehicles, use more public transport, converting to renewable energy, and practicing sustainable development and agriculture.

    “Current energy concerns highlight the importance of speeding up the transition to cleaner, healthier energy systems,” says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    “High fossil fuel prices, energy security, and the urgency of addressing the twin health challenges of air pollution and climate change, underscore the pressing need to move faster towards a world that is much less dependent on fossil fuels.”

    While fossil fuels may still be stubbornly viewed as the most convenient form of energy, despite cheaper, healthier options, the new data demonstrate that most of us are risking our health every day to pay for them.

    WHO’s Air Quality Database 2022 report can be read here.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 9:54 am on April 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "One of The Milky Way's 'Bones' Was Just Fully Mapped For The First Time", , , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Science Alert(AU): “One of The Milky Way’s ‘Bones’ Was Just Fully Mapped For The First Time” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    6 APRIL 2022
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    The magnetic field lines of G47. (The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Ke Wang et al. 2015/Stephens et al. 2021)

    For the first time, scientists have completely mapped one of the ‘bones’ of the Milky Way galaxy.

    That bone is a long, dense filament of cold gas in the densest part of one of the galaxy’s spiral arms. It measures around 195 light-years in length; the map, acquired using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) plane, gives us the first complete picture of the magnetic fields therein.

    The result defies expectations. Rather than aligned along the length of the bone, the magnetic fields are more higgledy-piggledy, and the average magnetic field is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the bone. This, the researchers said, can help us to better understand not just the structures of spiral galaxies, but their star formation.

    “Before SOFIA, it was difficult to image magnetic fields at high resolution over the entirety of the bones,” said astrophysicist Ian Stephens of Worcester State University, Massachusetts.
    ===
    “We are now able to get so many independent measurements of the magnetic field direction across these bones, allowing us to really delve into the importance of the magnetic field in these massive filamentary clouds.”

    Scientists first identified one of the Milky Way’s bones back in 2013; since then, they’ve found 18 of these galactic bones in total. Our galaxy currently has a pretty low rate of star formation, around three solar masses per year; however, what star formation does take place tends to do so in these so-called bones.

    Just as your bones are the densest part of your arms, so too are galactic bones the densest part of the Milky Way’s arms. The defining properties of these bones are that they must be at least 50 times longer than they are wide, and be close and mostly parallel to the galactic plane.

    Astronomers have also conducted thorough measurements of their size, mass, temperature, altitude, and density.

    However, the magnetic fields of said bones have been poorly constrained. Stephens and team have made use of SOFIA, a modified Boeing that flies above Earth’s stratosphere to avoid infrared interference, to take measurements of 10 of the bones. The first of these is G47.

    “Magnetic fields…can potentially set the rate at which stars form in a cloud. They can also guide the flow of gas, shape the bones, and affect the quantity and size of the densest pockets of gas that will eventually collapse to form stars,” Stephens said.

    “By mapping the orientation of the fields, we can estimate the relative importance of the magnetic field to that of gravity, to quantify how much magnetic fields affect the star formation process.”

    The team used SOFIA to take observations of the infrared light emitted by dust in G47. Non-spherical dust grains align along the direction of the magnetic field, which can be detected in the polarization of the infrared light they emit. Researchers can use that polarization to map the orientation of magnetic field lines within a volume of space.

    The study revealed that the magnetic fields are sometimes, but often not, perpendicular to the center of the bone. Those regions with perpendicular magnetic fields tend to be the regions that are the densest – with the most active star formation.

    In other regions, the magnetic fields are either parallel or randomly aligned. Those regions are where the magnetic field appears to be strongest against the gravitational collapse of the bones; the star formation regions are the weakest against gravitational collapse, the researchers said.

    This suggests that magnetic fields play a role in keeping the G47 bone from collapsing, and shaping the bone in the higher density regions. However, the magnetic fields in the lower density regions are complicated and messy, and the role the magnetic field plays is unclear.

    Since G47 was just the first in a series of in-depth studies of the magnetic fields of galactic bones, the remaining work may help resolve this mystery. The first look has been tantalizing for sure.

    The research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 9:59 am on April 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Warn 'Flash Droughts' Are Striking Faster as The World Warms", , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From Science Alert(AU): “Scientists Warn ‘Flash Droughts’ Are Striking Faster as The World Warms” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    5 APRIL 2022
    PETER DOCKRILL

    1
    Credit: Md. Hasanuzzaman Himel/Unsplash.

    Most people have heard of a flash flood. “Flash droughts”, on the other hand, aren’t as familiar. Sadly, that may be about to change, as anomalous, sudden drought episodes are speeding up under the warmer conditions of climate change.

    A new analysis of flash droughts finds that droughts coming on suddenly seem to be striking faster in the last two decades, with approximately 33–46 percent of flash droughts now emerging within just five days.

    Compared to our traditional understanding of droughts – events that build up slowly over time due to a long deficit in rainfall – flash droughts are marked by a rapid intensification of drought conditions, including significant loss of moisture from soils, that develop quickly and with little warning.

    The phenomenon has been observed in several countries, including the 2012–2013 North American drought, during which rapid drought conditions emerged in the central US in the space of weeks, along with recent episodes in Australia, China, and Africa, among others.

    While these rapid events have been documented in many places, there’s much we still don’t fully understand about flash droughts, and why they appear so quickly.

    “Few studies explore the rapid onset phase of flash droughts and underlying causes of the rapid onset which is the most important characteristic of flash droughts,” an international team explains in the new study, led by co-first authors Yamin Qing and Shuo Wang from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University [香港理工大學](HK).

    “A global picture of flash drought onset is needed to reveal the spatial pattern and temporal variability of the speed of flash drought development, advancing our understanding of flash droughts on a global scale.”

    To provide such an overview, the researchers analyzed 21 years of hydroclimate data, gleaned from satellite measurements of rapid and severe declines in soil moisture around the world from 2000 to 2020.

    The results suggest that flash droughts are not increasing in number, but these fast-paced events do seem to be emerging even faster as time passes.

    “Specifically, the onset development of flash droughts is becoming faster, and ~33.64−46.18 percent of flash droughts occur within five days for the period 2000−2020, which poses a great challenge for drought monitoring,” the researchers explain.

    “In general, more than 70 percent of flash droughts develop within half a month, and more than 30 percent of flash droughts develop only within 5 days accompanied by a high intensification rate, whereas the traditional droughts may take five-six months to develop due to the cumulative effects of related climate variables.”

    According to the researchers, flash droughts are likely to be triggered during episodes of atmospheric aridity, characterized by high temperatures, low precipitation, and high vapor pressure deficit, which exacerbates soil moisture depletion.

    Regionally speaking, flash droughts are most likely to occur in humid and semi-humid regions – such as Southeast Asia, East Asia, the Amazon Basin, Eastern North America, and Southern South American – although they can also occur outside these hotspots.

    “We should pay close attention to the vulnerable regions with a high probability of concurrent soil drought and atmospheric aridity,” says Wang.

    In addition to monitoring vulnerable areas, the findings could help us mitigate the devastation of future flash droughts, by hopefully identifying them quicker using the criteria defined here, the researchers suggest.

    “To further improve the ability of monitoring and predicting flash droughts, the criterion of a rapid intensification rate should be taken into account in addition to the relatively short onset timescales for capturing the unique characteristics of flash droughts,” the researchers conclude.

    “The change in the state of the climate should also be incorporated into flash drought monitoring and prediction so that it remains meaningful in a warming climate.”

    The findings are reported in Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 10:27 am on April 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Even The Currents in The Ocean's Depths Can't Escape The Effects of Climate Change", , , , , Science Alert(AU)   

    From University of Sydney(AU): “Global warming speeds up currents in the ocean’s abyss” 

    U Sidney bloc

    From The University of Sydney(AU)

    25 March 2022

    Loren Smith
    Media & PR Adviser – Science
    loren.smith@sydney.edu.au

    Kobi Print
    Media & PR Adviser
    Phone+61 2 9036 7589
    kobi.print@sydney.edu.au

    1
    Global warming speeds up currents in the oceans abyss.

    Finding could help refine climate modelling

    University of Sydney scientists have used the geological record of the deep sea to discover that past global warming has sped up deep ocean circulation. This is one of the missing links for predicting how future climate change may affect heat and carbon capture by the oceans.

    2
    Circulation of the global ocean. Credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

    University of Sydney scientists have used the geological record of the deep sea to discover [Geology] that past global warming has sped up deep ocean circulation.

    This is one of the missing links for predicting how future climate change may affect heat and carbon capture by the oceans: more vigorous ocean currents make it easier for carbon and heat to be ‘mixed in’.

    “So far, the ocean has absorbed a quarter of anthropogenic CO2 and over 90 percent of the associated excess heat,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz from the EarthByte group in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney.

    Microscopic marine organisms called plankton use this dissolved carbon to build their shells. They sink down to the seabed after they die, sequestering the carbon. These sedimentary deposits form the Earth’s largest carbon sink.

    The authors note that climate observations and models have been used alternatively to argue that deep ocean circulation may be slowing down or speeding up during global warming. This inconsistency is a problem for modelling future climate trends and the new study, published today in the leading journal Geology, helps resolve this controversy.

    “The satellite data typically used to inform ocean models only cover a few decades, leading to a poor understanding of longer-term ocean variability. This prompted us to look at the deep-sea geological record to decipher these changes,” Dr Dutkiewicz said.

    Scientific ocean drilling data collected over half a century have generated a treasure trove from which to map deep sea currents. Dr Dutkiewicz and co-author Professor Dietmar Müller compiled data from more than 200 drill sites to map the deep-sea sedimentary record, which can indicate current speed.

    “A break in sedimentation indicates vigorous deep-sea currents, while continuous sediment accumulation indicates calmer conditions,” Professor Müller said. “Combining these data with reconstructions of ocean basins has allowed geologists to track where and when these sediment breaks occurred.”
    ===
    Past global cooling led to sluggish currents

    The maps indicate that over the last 13 million years as the earth progressively cooled and developed expanding inland ice caps, sediment breaks gradually became less frequent – a tell-tale sign of deep-sea circulation becoming more sluggish.

    By contrast, during the ‘hothouse climate’ period immediately before that with global temperatures 3-4°C warmer than today, deep-ocean circulation was significantly more vigorous.

    “Fast-forward to today, independent studies using satellite data suggest that large-scale ocean circulation [The Scientist] and ocean eddies [Nature Climate Change] have become more intense over the last two to three decades of global warming, supporting our results”, Professor Müller said.

    Another recent study, focused on the ocean floor around New Zealand, found that the production of seashells preserved as carbonate sediment was higher during ancient periods of climate warming, despite ocean acidification during those times.

    Dr Dutkiewicz added: “Combining their results with ours leads us to conclude that warmer oceans not only have more vigorous deep circulation but are potentially also more efficient at storing carbon.”

    Yet the authors cautioned that we need to better understand how the ocean’s capacity to store heat and carbon dioxide will be affected by future warming. “A more comprehensive analysis of the geological history of ocean basins is needed to verify this,” Dr Dutkiewicz said.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Sydney (AU)
    Our founding principle as Australia’s first university, U Sydney was that we would be a modern and progressive institution. It’s an ideal we still hold dear today.

    When Charles William Wentworth proposed the idea of Australia’s first university in 1850, he imagined “the opportunity for the child of every class to become great and useful in the destinies of this country”.

    We’ve stayed true to that original value and purpose by promoting inclusion and diversity for the past 160 years.

    It’s the reason that, as early as 1881, we admitted women on an equal footing to male students. The University of Oxford (UK) didn’t follow suit until 30 years later, and Jesus College at The University of Cambridge (UK) did not begin admitting female students until 1974.
    It’s also why, from the very start, talented students of all backgrounds were given the chance to access further education through bursaries and scholarships.

    Today we offer hundreds of scholarships to support and encourage talented students, and a range of grants and bursaries to those who need a financial helping hand.

    The University of Sydney (AU) is an Australian public research university in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1850, it is Australia’s first university and is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. The university is known as one of Australia’s six sandstone universities. Its campus, spreading across the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington, is ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most beautiful universities by the British Daily Telegraph and the American Huffington Post.The university comprises eight academic faculties and university schools, through which it offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

    The QS World University Rankings ranked the university as one of the world’s top 25 universities for academic reputation, and top 5 in the world and first in Australia for graduate employability. It is one of the first universities in the world to admit students solely on academic merit, and opened their doors to women on the same basis as men.

    Five Nobel and two Crafoord laureates have been affiliated with the university as graduates and faculty. The university has educated seven Australian prime ministers, two governors-general of Australia, nine state governors and territory administrators, and 24 justices of the High Court of Australia, including four chief justices. The university has produced 110 Rhodes Scholars and 19 Gates Scholars.

    The University of Sydney (AU) is a member of The Group of Eight (AU), CEMS, The Association of Pacific Rim Universities and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:03 am on March 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Built by an Unknown Culture This Is The Oldest Sun Observatory in The Americas", , , , Science Alert(AU),   

    From Science Alert(AU): “Built by an Unknown Culture This Is The Oldest Sun Observatory in The Americas” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert(AU)

    29 MARCH 2022
    CARLY CASSELLA

    1
    The Fortified Temple at Chankillo. Credit: Janine Costa/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images.

    Long before the Incas rose to power in Peru and began to celebrate their sun god, a little known civilization was building the earliest known astronomical observatory in the Americas.

    While not quite as old as sites like Stonehenge, these ancient ruins, known as Chankillo, are considered a “masterpiece of human creative genius”, holding unique features not seen anywhere else in the world.

    Based in the coastal desert of Peru, the archaeological site famously contains a row of 13 stone towers, which together trace the horizon of a hill, north to south, like a toothy bottom grin.

    2
    The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo. Credit: David Edgar/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0.

    Apart from this remarkable structure, known as the Thirteen Towers, the ruins of the observatory also include a triple-walled hilltop complex called the Fortified Temple and two building complexes called the Observatory and the Administrative Center.

    Completed over 2,300 years ago and abandoned in the first century of the common era, the site has remained a mystery to travelers for centuries.

    Only when official excavations began at the turn of the 21st century, did archaeologists realize what they were looking at.

    3
    Aerial view of the towers. Credit: Janine Costa/AFP via Getty Images.

    Against a barren desert landscape and in broad daylight, the hilltop stone structures, which span roughly 300 meters (980 feet), don’t look like much. But it’s another story at dawn and dusk.

    As the Sun rises in the east, an orb of light emerges somewhere along the ridge of towers. As the year proceeds, so too does the position of the sunrise, almost as though the light is flossing the toothy horizon.

    On the summer solstice, for example, the sunrise emerges to the right of the rightmost tower. Whereas on the winter solstice, the sunrise emerges to the left of the leftmost tower.

    The Towers of Chankillo were so carefully placed, that when an onlooker stands at a specific observation point below the ridge, they can predict the time of year within two or three days based just on sunrise or sunset. The observation point looking west towards the ridge – this is the Observatory structure – uses the sunset. At what’s thought to be the east observation point, all that’s left is the incomplete stone outline of a room, but it’s in a symmetrical location and would have used the sunrise.

    The September equinox, for example, is defined when the Sun sets between the sixth and the seventh tower, as captured in the image below.

    4
    The September equinox sunset. Credit: World Monuments Fund/Youtube Screenshot.

    The ancient civilization that designed the solar observatory is barely known, but it would have been one of the oldest cultures in the Americas. In fact, this culture predates the Inca culture, which also excelled at astronomy, by more than 1,000 years.

    Because the Chankillo ruins attributed to this civilization are based in the coastal desert between Peru’s Casma River and the Sechin river, the original builders are now known as the Casma-Sechin culture.

    Similar to the Incas, this civilization would probably have considered the Sun a deity of some sort. The staircases leading up to each tower strongly suggest the site was once used for rituals.

    According to archaeological excavations, the observatory was probably built sometime between 500 and 200 BCE. Then, for some reason, the site was abandoned, and the towers fell into disrepair. In their heyday, archaeologists say the structures would have been plastered yellow, ochre or white and painted with graffiti or fingerprints.


    Mind-blowing Ancient Solar Calender | Wonders of the Universe w/ Brian Cox | BBC Studios.

    Even when stripped of decoration and falling apart, however, the remains of these stone towers still faithfully record the days of the year. Conservation efforts are now under way to uphold the accuracy of the ancient calendar.

    In 2021, the Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex officially joined the UNESCO World Heritage List for its outstanding craftsmanship and its insight into the worldview of ancient societies.

    “Unlike architectural alignments upon a single astronomical target found at many ancient sites around the world, the line of towers spans the entire annual solar rising and setting arcs as viewed, respectively, from two distinct observation points, one of which is still clearly visible above ground,” reads the UNESCO description.

    “The solar observatory at Chankillo is thus a testimony of the culmination of a long historical evolution of astronomical practices in the Casma Valley.”

    You can read even more details about this observatory at the Portal to the Heritage of 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

     
  • richardmitnick 8:57 am on March 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Record-Smashing Heatwaves Are Hitting Antarctica And The Arctic at The Same Time", , , , Science Alert(AU),   

    From The Conversation (AU) via Science Alert(AU): “Record-Smashing Heatwaves Are Hitting Antarctica And The Arctic at The Same Time” 

    From The Conversation (AU)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    23 MARCH 2022
    DANA M BERGSTROM ET AL.

    1
    Sunset reflection in Antarctic Sound, Antarctica. Credit: Enrique Aguirre Aves/Getty Images.

    Record-breaking heatwaves hit both Antarctica and the Arctic simultaneously this week, with temperatures reaching 47°C and 30°C higher than normal.

    Heatwaves are bizarre at any time in Antarctica, but particularly now at the equinox as Antarctica is about to descend into winter darkness. Likewise, up north, the Arctic is just emerging from winter.
    Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture; Ecology
    Are these two heatwaves linked? We don’t know yet, and it’s most likely a coincidence. But we do know weather systems in Antarctica and the Arctic are connected to regions nearest to them, and these connections sometimes reach all the way to the tropics.

    And is climate change the cause? It might be. While it’s too soon to say for sure, we do know climate change is making polar heatwaves more common and severe, and the poles are warming faster than the global average.

    So let’s take a closer look at what’s driving the extreme anomalies for each region, and the flow-on effects for polar wildlife like penguins and polar bears.

    What happened in Antarctica?

    Antarctica’s heatwave was driven by a slow, intense high pressure system located southeast of Australia, which carried vast amounts of warm air and moisture deep into Antarctica’s interior. It was coupled with a very intense low pressure system over the east Antarctic interior.

    To make matters worse, cloud cover over the Antarctic ice plateau trapped heat radiating from the surface.

    Since it’s autumn in Antarctica, temperatures in the continent’s interior weren’t high enough to melt glaciers and the ice cap. But that’s not to say large swings in temperature didn’t occur.

    2
    (ClimateReanalyzer.org)
    Above: Air temperature anomalies across Antarctica at 2 meters above the ground for 18 March 2022.

    For example, Vostok in the middle of the ice plateau hit a provisional high of -17.7°C (15°C higher than previous record of -32.6°C). Concordia, the Italian-French research station also on the high plateau, experienced its highest ever temperature for any month, which was about 40°C above the March average.

    The story is very different on the coast as rain fell, which isn’t really common for the continent.

    The rain was driven primarily by an atmospheric river – a narrow band of moisture collected from warm oceans. Atmospheric rivers are found on the edge of low pressure systems and can move large amounts of water across vast distances, at scales greater than continents.

    Despite their rarity, atmospheric rivers make an important contribution to the continent’s ice sheets, as they dump relatively large amounts of snow. When surface temperatures rise above freezing, rain rather than snow falls over Antarctica.

    Last Monday (March 14) air temperatures at the Australian Casey Station reached a maximum of -1.9°C. Two days later, they were more like mid-summer temperatures, reaching a new March maximum of 5.6°C, which will melt ice.

    This is the second heatwave at Casey Station in two years. In February 2020, Casey hit 9.2°C, followed by a shocking high of 18.3°C on the Antarctic Peninsula.

    So what might this mean for wildlife?

    Adélie penguins, which live across the entire Antarctic coastline, have recently finished their summer breeding. But thankfully, the Adélie penguin chicks had already left for sea to start hunting for food on their own, so the heatwave did not impact them.

    The rain may have affected the local plant life, such as mosses, especially as they were in their annual phase of drying out for the winter. But we won’t know if there’s any damage to the plants until next summer when we can visit the moss beds again.

    What about the Arctic?

    A similar weather pattern occurred last week in the Arctic. An intense low pressure system began forming off the north-east coast of the United States. An atmospheric river formed at its junction with an adjacent high pressure system.

    This weather pattern funneled warm air into the Arctic circle. Svalbald, in Norway, recorded a new maximum temperature of 3.9°C.

    US researchers called the low pressure system a “bomb cyclone” because it formed so rapidly, undergoing the delightfully termed “bombogenesis”.

    3
    (ClimateReanalyzer.org)

    Above: Arctic air temperature anomalies at 2 meters above the ground for 17 March 2022.

    Winter sea ice conditions this year were already very low, and on land there was recent record-breaking rain across Greenland.

    If the warm conditions cause sea ice to break up earlier than normal, it could have dire impacts for many animals. For example, sea ice is a crucial habitat for polar bears, enabling them to hunt seals and travel long distances.

    Many people live in the Arctic, including Arctic Indigenous people, and we know losing sea ice disrupts subsistence hunting and cultural practices.

    What’s more, the bomb cyclone weather system brought chaotic weather to many populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere. In northern Norway, for instance, flowers have began blooming early due to three weeks of abnormally warm weather.

    A harbinger for the future

    Modelling suggests large-scale climate patterns are become more variable. This means this seemingly one-off heatwave may be a harbinger for the future under climate change.

    In particular, the Arctic has been warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This is because the melting sea ice reveals more ocean beneath, and the ocean absorbs more heat as it’s darker.

    In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects Arctic sea ice to continue its current retreat, with ice-free summers possible by the 2050s.

    Antarctica’s future looks similarly concerning. The IPCC finds global warming between 2 and 3°C this century would see the West Antarctic Ice Sheet almost completely lost. Bringing global emissions down to net zero as fast as possible will help avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

    Dana M Bergstrom, Principal Research Scientist, The University of Wollongong (AU); Sharon Robinson, Professor, University of Wollongong, and Simon Alexander, Atmospheric scientist, The University of Tasmania(AU).

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

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

     
  • richardmitnick 10:52 am on March 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Lose Yourself in These Mesmerizing New Pics of a 'Grand Design' Galaxy", An object called NGC 4254 or Messier 99, , Science Alert(AU),   

    From The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral] [Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL) via Science Alert(AU): “Lose Yourself in These Mesmerizing New Pics of a ‘Grand Design’ Galaxy” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral] [Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    21 MARCH 2022
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    NGC 4254 in multiple wavelengths, imaged by MUSE. (The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europaiche Sûdsternwarte] (EU)(CL)/PHANGS)

    A new image shows a breathtaking galaxy as you have never seen it before.

    Not only is the image absolutely spectacular, it’s scientifically valuable: By studying the galaxy’s light across multiple wavelengths, scientists can gain a better understanding of star formation and evolution processes.

    The galaxy in question is an object called NGC 4254 or Messier 99; the new capture reveals it across multiple spectra of light, thanks to the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope [below].

    All galaxies are special, but NGC 4254, located around 50 million light-years from the Milky Way, belongs to a subset deemed spectacular among spectacular, like an albino peacock: a “grand design” spiral galaxy.

    This is a spiral galaxy with prominent, well-formed and visible spiral arms; almost the platonic ideal of what a spiral galaxy should look like, unlike a flocculent spiral galaxy, with fluffy, patchy and broken arms.

    2
    Hubble’s visible light image of NCG 4254.Credit: Janice Lee/Leo Shatz/NASA/ESA Hubble.

    However, through the eye of MUSE, NGC 4254 becomes a lot fluffier, as it reveals the interstellar gas ionized by newborn stars. Although the galaxy isn’t birthing stars at a rate high enough to categorize it as a starburst galaxy, its activity is three times higher than the average for galaxies of its type.

    Astronomers think this could be because of an interaction with another galaxy, millions of years ago. The clue to support this lies with one of NGC 4254’s spiral arms, which seems looser and more extended than the other.

    This ancient interaction would have perturbed NGC 4254, causing enough compression in its molecular gas to trigger heightened star formation activity.

    4
    The new MUSE image of NGC 4354. (ESO/PHANGS)

    Whatever the cause, its relatively close proximity to the Milky Way, and the angle at which we can view it, combine to make NGC 4254 an excellent example for studying star formation processes.

    The MUSE image was taken as part of the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) project, which takes high-resolution, multi-wavelength images of nearby galaxies in order to study the entire cycle of how stars are born.

    You can download wallpaper-sized versions of the new image from the ESO website.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Visit ESO (EU) in Social Media-

    Facebook

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    ESO Bloc Icon

    The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte] (EU)(CL) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. today ESO is supported by 16 Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious program focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organizing cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: Cerro La Silla, Cerro Paranaland Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) enables scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all. We design, build and operate world-class observatories on the ground — which astronomers use to tackle exciting questions and spread the fascination of astronomy — and promote international collaboration in astronomy. Established as an intergovernmental organisation in 1962, ESO’s headquarters and its visitor centre and planetarium, the ESO Supernova, are located close to Munich in Germany, while the Chilean Atacama Desert, a marvellous place with unique conditions to observe the sky, hosts our telescopes. At Paranal ESO will host and operate the Čerenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory.


    Cerro La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun).

    3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG-Institut für Astronomie](DE) European Southern Observatory(EU) 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory (EU) Cerro La Silla Observatory 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) , Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ) •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ) •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star). Elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ), •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ), •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT Survey telescope.

    ESO Very Large Telescope 4 lasers on Yepun (CL).

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO’s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT, a major asset of the Adaptive Optics system.

    ESO New Technology Telescope at Cerro La Silla, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory the VLT Survey Telescope (VISTA) observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. It is the largest survey telescope in the world in visible light, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    European Southern ObservatoryNational Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) ELT 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    European Southern Observatory(EU)/MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) ESO’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment(CL) high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    The Leiden Observatory [Sterrewacht Leiden](NL) MASCARA instrument cabinet at Cerro La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey telescopes, an array of twelve robotic 20-centimetre telescopes at Cerro Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.


    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1 meter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level.

    TAROT telescope at Cerro LaSilla, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    European Southern Observatory (EU) ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. A large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile at, ESO Cerro Paranal site The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), The new Test-Bed Telescope 2 is housed inside the shiny white dome shown in this picture, at ESO’s Cerro LaSilla Facility in Chile. The telescope has now started operations and will assist its northern-hemisphere twin in protecting us from potentially hazardous, near-Earth objects. The domes of ESO’s 0.5 m and the Danish 0.5 m telescopes are visible in the background of this image.Part of the world-wide effort to scan and identify near-Earth objects, the European Space Agency’s Test-Bed Telescope 2 (TBT2), a technology demonstrator hosted at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, has now started operating. Working alongside its northern-hemisphere partner telescope, TBT2 will keep a close eye on the sky for asteroids that could pose a risk to Earth, testing hardware and software for a future telescope network.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) ‘s The open dome of The black telescope structure of the European Space Agency Test-Bed Telescope 2 peers out of its open dome in front of the rolling desert landscape. The telescope is located at ESO’s Cerro La Silla Observatory, which sits at a 2400 metre altitude in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

     
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