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  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on February 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Measuring the tempo of Utah’s red rock towers", , , , New research shows that the red rock towers found in Southern Utah and throughout the Colorado Plateau are in constant motion., The research team strove to practice respectful visitation during their fieldwork., The University of Utah (US), University of Utah researchers know well how rock towers and arches shimmy twist and sway in response to far-off earthquakes; wind and even ocean waves., With the help of experienced climbers though University of Utah researchers have now measured the dynamic properties of 14 rock towers and fins in Utah., You won’t hear their vibrations even with your ear pressed to the cool sandstone., You won’t see them move no matter how closely you watch.   

    From The University of Utah (US): “Measuring the tempo of Utah’s red rock towers” 

    From The University of Utah (US)

    February 16, 2022
    Riley Finnegan
    Doctoral candidate, Department of Geology and Geophysics
    The University of Utah (US)
    riley.finnegan@utah.edu

    Jeff Moore
    Associate professor of geology and geophysics
    The University of Utah (US)
    jeff.moore@utah.edu

    Paul Gabrielsen
    Research/science communications specialist
    University of Utah Communications
    Mobile: 801-505-8253
    paul.gabrielsen@utah.edu

    1
    Eagle Plume Tower. Credit: The University of Utah.

    You won’t see them move no matter how closely you watch.

    You won’t hear their vibrations even with your ear pressed to the cool sandstone.

    But new research shows that the red rock towers found in Southern Utah and throughout the Colorado Plateau are in constant motion, vibrating with their own signature rhythms as unique as their dramatic profiles against the depth of the blue desert sky.

    University of Utah researchers know well how rock towers and arches shimmy twist and sway in response to far-off earthquakes; wind and even ocean waves. Their latest research compiles a first-of-its-kind dataset to show that the dynamic properties, i.e. the frequencies at which the rocks vibrate and the ways they deform during that vibration, can be largely predicted using the same mathematics that describe how beams in built structures resonate.

    Knowing these properties is crucial to understanding the seismic stability of a rock tower and its susceptibility to hazardous vibrations. But it’s tough to get the needed data, partly because getting to the base of the towers often requires traveling through treacherous terrain—and then someone has to climb them to place a seismometer at the top.

    With the help of experienced climbers though University of Utah researchers have now measured the dynamic properties of 14 rock towers and fins in Utah, creating a unique dataset with a variety of heights and tower shapes.

    “This ability to make predictions about a tower’s fundamental frequency using just the tower’s width, height, and material properties is powerful because that means someone doesn’t necessarily have to climb a 300-foot (100 m) tower with a seismometer to get this information,” says lead author Riley Finnegan, a doctoral student in geophysics. “And knowing this information is important for any assessments related to the seismic stability of a tower or potential vibration damage.”

    The study is published in Seismological Research Letters and was funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Utah Office of Undergraduate Research.

    Scaling the tops of towers

    Finnegan, Jeff Moore, associate professor of geology and geophysics, and colleagues have spent years measuring and cataloging arches and other rock forms to understand how they move. You can see their 3D models here and read about their studies of Rainbow Bridge, Castleton Tower, multiple arches including Delicate Arch and even the Matterhorn.

    Their new dataset includes the 279-foot (85 m) high monolith of Eagle Plume Tower and the 147-foot (45 m) high Petard Tower, both in Valley of the Gods, Bears Ears, Utah.

    Find photos, videos, animations of exaggerated tower movement, and even sped-up sound recordings of tower vibrations here.

    2
    Climbers descending Eagle Plume Tower. Credit: Eric Albright.

    To get their seismometers to the tops of these towers, the researchers teamed up with climbing expert Kathryn Vollinger, who together with her partner ascended the towers hauling the instruments to the top. Then they waited while the instruments recorded data and carried them back down.

    The researchers drew on the help of others as well. Jackson Bodtker, a recent graduate now at the University of Calgary, climbed three towers in one day. Alex Dzubay, a senior majoring in geophysics, scrambled up a thousand-foot cliff to access one tower. Moore’s family even contributed, measuring dimensions of rock towers in Arizona.

    “So many talented, eager, and helpful people were involved in the fieldwork,” Finnegan says. “A group of us went to three of the sites after Kathryn’s climbs to fly the drone to make 3D models, and I personally could barely get to the base of one of the towers, let alone start thinking about carrying our equipment to the base and then climb up with it all in tow.”

    Respecting the land

    Some of the sites studied have special significance to local Native American tribes, including the towers in Valley of the Gods, Bears Ears, Utah. The valley, according to the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, “…is considered sacred to the Navajo, who interpret the giant sandstone monuments as ancient Navajo warriors frozen in stone—and time.”

    Finnegan says the researchers met with teachers from Whitehorse High in Montezuma Creek near Valley of the Gods and that one of the students, Weston Manygoats, joined them for fieldwork. “He is extremely bright and hardworking, and we were very grateful for his assistance,” Finnegan says.

    The research team strove to practice respectful visitation during their fieldwork, and recommends that others visiting the Bears Ears area consult with guidelines from the Coalition and visit the Friends of Cedar Mesa Visitor Center in Bluff, UT. Visitors are asked to stay on marked trails, visit cultural sites with respect, leave any cultural objects as they are found, and avoid touching rock art.

    “We hope that by recognizing these towers are constantly in motion, trembling, swaying and shuddering in response to wind and energy coursing through the Earth, visitors to these sometimes sacred landscapes will have an added layer of respect, and ultimately that our measurements will inspire a spirit of care for these amazingly unique places,” Moore says.

    3
    A rock tower called “The Bike Seat.” Credit: Geohazards research group.

    Rocks swaying like trees

    In all, this study compiled ambient vibration data for 14 rock towers and fins collected over several years. While the team had previously reported measurements from a single landform, the 120 m high Castleton Tower, the new compilation is larger and broader than any previously published dataset and spans a variety of tower heights and geometries.

    The results showed that the fundamental frequencies of the rock towers varied between ~1 Hz (one cycle per second) and 15 Hz, and that larger towers have lower fundamental frequencies. In general, the towers bend and sway like trees and tall buildings. At higher frequencies the towers twist around their central axis.

    “Probably most surprising to me was how well our data agreed with theory, and how well our models supported the data,” Finnegan says. That theory predicts that the fundamental frequency at which a beam vibrates is proportional to its width divided by its height squared. The rock towers largely followed that relationship.

    The predicted frequencies of the rock towers’ vibrations differed from the observed data by about 4%. And the predicted angle of the towers’ motions deviated from the actual data by 14° on average.”

    “Maybe I’m overly excited and surprised about this,” Finnegan says, “but I’ve made enough models of rock arches in some of our other work that frustratingly didn’t produce strong matches to the data, so it was refreshing to me to be able to predict tower modes given the geometry.”

    The new measurements, together with previously published data, provide guidance on estimating the natural frequencies of other rock towers, pillars and fins, in different settings across the world, values which are needed in order to conduct seismic stability and vibration risk assessments, as well as assess the probable intensity of past shaking. Knowing how to predict rock towers’ properties, Finnegan says, makes it much easier to assess the health of a tower with fewer measurements.

    “Some of the most rewarding times I have had in the field are times when I’m able to slow down, sit and listen and imagine these towers in motion,” Moore says. “We can’t see or hear or feel their motion, but it is very real and is always (and has always been) happening. For me, this new perspective creates a renewed and intimate connection with the landscape.”

    Find multimedia (photos, videos, audio and 3D models) here.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Utah (US) is a public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state’s flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified in the highest ranking: “R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification also considers the university as “selective”, which is its second most selective admissions category. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah’s only medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.

    The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900.

    The university ranks among the top 50 U.S. universities by total research expenditures with over $486 million spent in 2014. 22 Rhodes Scholars, three Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, three MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university’s Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U.S. The university has also been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:26 pm on February 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How the Matterhorn sways", , , The University of Utah (US)   

    From The University of Utah (US) and The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) : “How the Matterhorn sways” 

    From The University of Utah (US)

    and

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    December 22, 2021 [Found in a search]
    Martin Heggli
    The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF[WSL-Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung SLF](CH)

    Dr. Samuel Weber
    scientific staff member
    Alpine environment and natural hazards
    Permafrost
    samuel.weber@slf.ch
    +41 81 417 03 76
    Davos

    Prof. Jeff Moore
    University of Utah (US)
    jeff.moore@utah.edu
    +1-801 -5 85- 04 91

    Prof. Donat Fäh
    Swiss Seismological Service (Schweizer Erdbebendienst) at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH)
    donat.faeh@sed.ethz.ch

    +41 44 63 3 2 6 58

    1
    Researchers installing the reference station in a glacier forefield at the foot of the Matterhorn. The two measuring stations on the Matterhorn are located at 4,470 m a.s.l. just below the summit (in the clouds) and at 4,003 m a.s.l. in the Solvay bivouac on the Hörnligrat (right in the picture) Photo: J. Moore- Univ. Utah)

    Like bridges and tall buildings, large mountains are constantly vibrating, excited by seismic energy form the Earth. An international team of researchers has now been able to measure the resonant swaying of the Matterhorn and to make its motion visible using computer simulations.

    The Matterhorn appears as an immovable, massive mountain that has towered over the landscape near Zermatt for thousands of years. A study just published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters now shows that this impression is wrong. An international research team has proven that the Matterhorn is instead constantly in motion, swaying gently back and forth about once every two seconds. This subtle vibration with normally imperceptible amplitudes is stimulated by seismic energy in the Earth originating from the world’s oceans, earthquakes, as well as human activity.

    Every object vibrates at certain frequencies when excited, like a tuning fork or the strings of a guitar. These so-called natural frequencies depend primarily on the geometry of the object and its material properties. The phenomenon is also observed in bridges, high-rise buildings, and now even mountains. “We wanted to know whether such resonant vibrations can also be detected on a large mountain like the Matterhorn,” says Samuel Weber, who carried out the study during a postdoctoral stay at The Technical University of Munich [Technische Universität München](DE) and is now working at The WSL Institute for Snow andAvalanche Research SLF(CH). He emphasizes that the interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers at the Swiss Seismological Service at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH), the Institute for Computer Engineering and Communication Networks at ETH Zurich, and the Geohazards Research Group at The University of Utah (US) was particularly important for success of this project.

    High alpine measuring devices

    3
    Seismometer at 4470 m a.s.l. directly below the summit of the Matterhorn. Photo: Samuel Weber/SLF.

    For the study, the scientists installed several seismometers on the Matterhorn, including one directly on the summit at 4,470 meters above sea level and another in the Solvay bivouac, an emergency shelter on the northeast ridge, better known as Hörnligrat. Another measuring station at the foot of the mountain served as a reference. Extensive experience from Jan Beutel (ETH Zurich / The University of Innsbruck [Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck](AT)) and Samuel Weber installing equipment for measuring rock movements in high mountains made deployment of the measurement network possible. The data are automatically transmitted to the Swiss Seismological Service.

    The seismometers recorded all movements of the mountain at high resolution, from which the team could derive the frequency and direction of resonance. The measurements show that the Matterhorn oscillates roughly in a north-south direction at a frequency of 0.43 Hertz, and in an east-west direction at a second, similar frequency (see animation below). In turn, by speeding up these ambient vibration measurements 80 times, the team was able to make the vibration landscape of the Matterhorn audible to the human ear, translating the resonant frequencies into audible tones.

    Amplified vibrations at the summit

    Compared to the reference station at the foot of the Matterhorn, measured movements on the summit were up to 14 times stronger. For most of the team’s data these movements were small, typically in the range of nanometers to micrometers. The increase in ground motion with altitude can be explained by the fact that the summit moves freely while the foot of the mountain is fixed, comparable to a tree swaying in the wind. Such amplification of ground motion on the Matterhorn could also be measured during earthquakes, and the team notes this amplification may have important implications for slope stability in the event of strong seismic shaking. Jeff Moore of the University of Utah, who initiated the study on the Matterhorn, explains: “Areas of the mountain experiencing amplified ground motion are likely to be more prone to landslides, rockfall, and rock damage when shaken by a strong earthquake.”

    Such vibrations are not a peculiarity of the Matterhorn, and the team notes that many mountains are expected to vibrate in a similar manner. Researchers from The Swiss Seismological Service (Schweizer Erdbebendienst) at The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH) carried out a complementary experiment on the Grosse Mythen, a peak in Central Switzerland with a similar shape to the Matterhorn but significantly smaller, as part of the study. As expected, the Grosse Mythen vibrates at a frequency around 4 times higher than the Matterhorn, because smaller objects generally vibrate at higher frequencies. The scientists from the University of Utah were then able to simulate resonance of the Matterhorn and Grosse Mythen on the computer making these resonant vibrations visible. Previously, the US scientists have mainly examined smaller objects, such as rock arches in Arches National Park, Utah. “It was exciting to see that our simulation approach also works for a large mountain like the Matterhorn and that the results were confirmed by measurement data,” says Jeff Moore.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische Schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US) and University of Cambridge(UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US), California Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE ExcellenceRanking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London(UK) and the University of Cambridge(UK), respectively.

    The University of Utah (US) is a public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state’s flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified in the highest ranking: “R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification also considers the university as “selective”, which is its second most selective admissions category. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah’s only medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.

    The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900.

    The university ranks among the top 50 U.S. universities by total research expenditures with over $486 million spent in 2014. 22 Rhodes Scholars, three Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, three MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university’s Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U.S. The university has also been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:45 am on January 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Extraordinary black hole found in neighboring galaxy", , , , The University of Utah (US)   

    From The University of Utah (US): “Extraordinary black hole found in neighboring galaxy” 

    From The University of Utah (US)

    January 24, 2022

    Anil Seth
    Associate Professor
    Department of Physics & Astronomy
    aseth@astro.utah.edu

    Renuka Pechetti
    Postdoctoral Research Scholar
    The Liverpool John Moores University (UK)
    R.Pechetti@ljmu.ac.uk

    Lisa Potter
    Research/science communications specialist,
    University of Utah Communications
    Office: 801-585-3093
    Mobile: 949-533-7899
    lisa.potter@utah.edu

    1
    The left panel shows a wide-field image of Messier 31 [Andromeda] with the red box and inset showing the location and image of B023-G78 where the black hole was found.
    PHOTO CREDIT: Iván Éder/ NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope/NASA Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys/HRC.

    Astronomers discovered a black hole unlike any other. At one hundred thousand solar masses, it is smaller than the black holes we have found at the centers of galaxies, but bigger than the black holes that are born when stars explode. This makes it one of the only confirmed intermediate-mass black holes, an object that has long been sought by astronomers.

    “We have very good detections of the biggest, stellar-mass black holes up to 100 times the size of our sun, and supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies that are millions of times the size of our sun, but there aren’t any measurements of black between these. That’s a large gap,” said senior author Anil Seth, associate professor of Astronomy at the University of Utah and co-author of the study. “This discovery fills the gap.”

    The black hole was hidden within B023-G078, an enormous star cluster in our closest neighboring galaxy Andromeda. Long thought to be a globular star cluster, the researchers argue that B023-G078 is instead a stripped nucleus. Stripped nuclei are remnants of small galaxies that fell into bigger ones and had their outer stars stripped away by gravitational forces. What’s left behind is a tiny, dense nucleus orbiting the bigger galaxy and at the center of that nucleus, a black hole.

    “Previously, we’ve found big black holes within massive, stripped nuclei that are much bigger than B023-G078. We knew that there must be smaller black holes in lower mass stripped nuclei, but there’s never been direct evidence,” said lead author Renuka Pechetti of The Liverpool John Moores University (UK), who started the research while at the U. “I think this is a pretty clear case that we have finally found one of these objects.”

    The study published on Jan. 11, 2022, in The Astrophysical Journal.

    A decades-long hunch

    B023-G078 was known as a massive globular star cluster—a spherical collection of stars bound tightly by gravity. However, there had only been a single observation of the object that determined its overall mass, about 6.2 million solar masses. For years, Seth had a feeling it was something else.

    “I knew that the B023-G078 object was one of the most massive objects in Andromeda and thought it could be a candidate for a stripped nucleus. But we needed data to prove it. We’d been applying to various telescopes to get more observations for many, many years and my proposals always failed,” said Seth. “When we discovered a supermassive black hole within a stripped nucleus in 2014, the Gemini Observatory gave us the chance to explore the idea.”

    With their new observational data from the Gemini Observatory and images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Pechetti, Seth and their team calculated how mass was distributed within the object by modeling its light profile. A globular cluster has a signature light profile that has the same shape near the center as it does in the outer regions. B023-G078 is different. The light at the center is round and then gets flatter moving outwards. The chemical makeup of the stars changes too, with more heavy elements in the stars at the center than those near the object’s edge.

    Gemini Observatory

    National Science Foundation(US)’s NOIRLab National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory(US), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the international Gemini Observatory (a facility of NSF, NRC–Canada, Gemini Argentina | Argentina.gob.ar, ANID–Chile, Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications [Ministério da Ciência, Tecnolgia, Inovação e Comunicações](BR),and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute[알림사항])(KR)

    National Science Foundation(US) NOIRLab’s Gemini North Frederick C Gillett telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory Hawai’i (US) Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    Mauna Kea Observatories Hawai’i (US) altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    GEMINI/North GMOS .

    NSF NOIRLab(US) NOAO(US) Gemini South telescope (US) on the summit of Cerro Pachón at an altitude of 7200 feet. There are currently two telescopes commissioned on Cerro Pachón, Gemini South and the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope. A third, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, is under construction.

    NSF NOIRLab NOAO (US) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    NOAO Gemini Planet Imager on Gemini South.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)/European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Hubble Space Telescope.

    “Globular star clusters basically form at the same time. In contrast, these stripped nuclei can have repeated formation episodes, where gas falls into the center of the galaxy, and forms stars. And other star clusters can get dragged into the center by the gravitational forces of the galaxy,” said Seth. “It’s kind of the dumping ground for a bunch of different stuff. So, stars in stripped nuclei will be more complicated than in globular clusters. And that’s what we saw in B023-G078.”

    The researchers used the object’s mass distribution to predict how fast the stars should be moving at any given location within the cluster and compared it to their data. The highest velocity stars were orbiting around the center. When they built a model without including a black hole, the stars at the center were too slow compared their observations. When they added the black hole, they got speeds that matched the data. The black hole adds to the evidence that this object is a stripped nucleus.

    “The stellar velocities we are getting gives us direct evidence that there’s some kind of dark mass right at the center,” said Pechetti. “It’s very hard for globular clusters to form big black holes. But if it’s in a stripped nucleus, then there must already be a black hole present, left as a remnant from the smaller galaxy that fell into the bigger one.”

    The researchers are hoping to observe more stripped nuclei that may hold more intermediate mass black holes. These are an opportunity to learn more about the black hole population at the centers of low-mass galaxies, and to learn about how galaxies are built up from smaller building blocks.

    “We know big galaxies form generally from the merging of smaller galaxies, but these stripped nuclei allow us to decipher the details of those past interactions,” said Seth.

    Other authors include Sebastian Kamann of the Liverpool John Moores University; Nelson Caldwell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Jay Strader, The Michigan State University (US); Mark den Brok, The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics [Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik] Potsdam (DE); Nora Luetzgendorf, The European Space Agency [Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU); Nadine Neumayer, MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie](DE); and Karina Voggel, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory [Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg](FR).

    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 University of Utah (US) is a public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state’s flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified in the highest ranking: “R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification also considers the university as “selective”, which is its second most selective admissions category. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah’s only medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.

    The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900.

    The university ranks among the top 50 U.S. universities by total research expenditures with over $486 million spent in 2014. 22 Rhodes Scholars, three Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, three MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university’s Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U.S. The university has also been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:31 pm on December 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Bayesian inversion", , "Possible chemical leftovers from early Earth sit near the core", A planetary object about the size of Mars may have slammed into the infant planet. As a result a large body of molten material known as a magma ocean formed., An alternate hypothesis: that the ultra-low velocity zones may be regions made of different rocks than the rest of the mantle—and that their composition may hearken back to the early Earth., , , Between the crust and the iron-nickel core at the center of the planet is the mantle., , How can we have any idea what's going on in the mantle and the core? Seismic waves., It's not an ocean of lava—instead it's more like solid rock-but hot and with an ability to move that drives plate tectonics at the surface., Modeling suggests that it's possible some of these zones are leftovers from the processes that shaped the early Earth., Over the following billions of years as the mantle churned and convected the dense layer would have been pushed into small patches showing up as the layered ultra-low velocity zones we see today., , , , Scientific discovery provides tools to understand the initial thermal and chemical status of Earth's mantle., Scientists on the surface can measure how and when the waves arrive at monitoring stations around the world., The ocean would have sorted itself out as it cooled with dense materials sinking and layering on to the bottom of the mantle., The team used a reverse-engineering approach., The University of Utah (US), They can back-calculate how the waves were reflected and deflected by structures within the Earth., Ultra-low velocity zones sit at the bottom of the mantle atop the liquid metal outer core., , What does it mean that there are likely layers?   

    From The University of Utah (US) via phys.org : “Possible chemical leftovers from early Earth sit near the core” 

    From The University of Utah (US)

    via

    phys.org

    December 30, 2021

    1
    Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain.

    Let’s take a journey into the depths of the Earth, down through the crust and mantle nearly to the core. We’ll use seismic waves to show the way, since they echo through the planet following an earthquake and reveal its internal structure like radar waves.

    Down near the core, there are zones where seismic waves slow to a crawl. New research from the University of Utah finds that these enigmatic and descriptively-named ultra-low velocity zones are surprisingly layered. Modeling suggests that it’s possible some of these zones are leftovers from the processes that shaped the early Earth—remnants of incomplete mixing like clumps of flour in the bottom of a bowl of batter.

    “Of all of the features we know about in the deep mantle, ultra-low velocity zones represent what are probably the most extreme,” says Michael S. Thorne, associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. “Indeed, these are some of the most extreme features found anywhere in the planet.”

    The study is published in Nature Geoscience and is funded by The National Science Foundation (US).

    Into the mantle

    Let’s review how the interior of the Earth is structured. We live on the crust, a thin layer of solid rock. Between the crust and the iron-nickel core at the center of the planet is the mantle. It’s not an ocean of lava—instead it’s more like solid rock-but hot and with an ability to move that drives plate tectonics at the surface.

    How can we have any idea what’s going on in the mantle and the core? Seismic waves. As they ripple through the Earth after an earthquake, scientists on the surface can measure how and when the waves arrive at monitoring stations around the world. From those measurements, they can back-calculate how the waves were reflected and deflected by structures within the Earth, including layers of different densities. That’s how we know where the boundaries are between the crust, mantle and core—and partially how we know what they’re made of.

    Ultra-low velocity zones sit at the bottom of the mantle atop the liquid metal outer core. In these areas, seismic waves slow by as much as half, and density goes up by a third.

    Scientists initially thought that these zones were areas where the mantle was partially melted, and might be the source of magma for so-called “hot spot” volcanic regions like Iceland.

    “But most of the things we call ultra-low velocity zones don’t appear to be located beneath hot spot volcanoes,” Thorne says, “so that cannot be the whole story.”

    So Thorne, postdoctoral scholar Surya Pachhai and colleagues from The Australian National University (AU), The Arizona State University (US) and The University of Calgary (CA) set out to explore an alternate hypothesis: that the ultra-low velocity zones may be regions made of different rocks than the rest of the mantle—and that their composition may hearken back to the early Earth.

    Perhaps, Thorne says, ultra-low velocity zones could be collections of iron oxide, which we see as rust at the surface but which can behave as a metal in the deep mantle. If that’s the case, pockets of iron oxide just outside the core might influence the Earth’s magnetic field which is generated just below.

    “The physical properties of ultra-low velocity zones are linked to their origin,” Pachhai says, “which in turn provides important information about the thermal and chemical status, evolution and dynamics of Earth’s lowermost mantle—an essential part of mantle convection that drives plate tectonics.”

    The Tectonic Plates of the world were mapped in 1996, Geological Survey (US).

    Reverse-engineering seismic waves

    To get a clear picture, the researchers studied ultra-low velocity zones beneath the Coral Sea, between Australia and New Zealand. It’s an ideal location because of an abundance of earthquakes in the area, which provide a high-resolution seismic picture of the core-mantle boundary. The hope was that high-resolution observations could reveal more about how ultra-low velocity zones are put together.

    But getting a seismic image of something through nearly 1800 miles of crust and mantle isn’t easy. It’s also not always conclusive—a thick layer of low-velocity material might reflect seismic waves the same way as a thin layer of even lower-velocity material.

    So the team used a reverse-engineering approach.

    “We can create a model of the Earth that includes ultra-low wave speed reductions,” Pachhai says, “and then run a computer simulation that tells us what the seismic waveforms would look like if that is what the Earth actually looked like. Our next step is to compare those predicted recordings with the recordings that we actually have.”

    Over hundreds of thousands of model runs, the method, called “Bayesian inversion,” yields a mathematically robust model of the interior with a good understanding of the uncertainties and trade-offs of different assumptions in the model.

    One particular question the researchers wanted to answer is whether there are internal structures, such as layers, within ultra-low velocity zones. The answer, according to the models, is that layers are highly likely. This is a big deal, because it shows the way to understanding how these zones came to be.

    “To our knowledge this is the first study using such a Bayesian approach at this level of detail to investigate ultra-low velocity zones,” Pachhai says, “and it is also the first study to demonstrate strong layering within an ultra-low velocity zone.”

    Looking back at the origins of the planet

    What does it mean that there are likely layers?

    More than four billion years ago, while dense iron was sinking to the core of the early Earth and lighter minerals were floating up into the mantle, a planetary object about the size of Mars may have slammed into the infant planet. The collision may have thrown debris into Earth’s orbit that could have later formed the Moon. It also raised the temperature of the Earth significantly—as you might expect from two planets smashing into each other.

    “As a result, a large body of molten material, known as a magma ocean, formed,” Pachhai says. The “ocean” would have consisted of rock, gases and crystals suspended in the magma.

    The ocean would have sorted itself out as it cooled, with dense materials sinking and layering on to the bottom of the mantle.

    Over the following billions of years, as the mantle churned and convected, the dense layer would have been pushed into small patches, showing up as the layered ultra-low velocity zones we see today.

    “So the primary and most surprising finding is that the ultra-low velocity zones are not homogenous but contain strong heterogeneities (structural and compositional variations) within them,” Pachhai says. “This finding changes our view on the origin and dynamics of ultra-low velocity zones. We found that this type of ultra-low velocity zone can be explained by chemical heterogeneities created at the very beginning of the Earth’s history and that they are still not well mixed after 4.5 billion years of mantle convection.”

    Not the final word

    The study provides some evidence of the origins of some ultra-low velocity zones, although there’s also evidence to suggest different origins for others, such as melting of ocean crust that’s sinking back into the mantle. But if at least some ultra-low velocity zones are leftovers from the early Earth, they preserve some of the history of the planet that otherwise has been lost.

    “Therefore, our discovery provides a tool to understand the initial thermal and chemical status of Earth’s mantle,” Pachhai says, “and their long-term evolution.”

    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 University of Utah (US) is a public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state’s flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified in the highest ranking: “R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification also considers the university as “selective”, which is its second most selective admissions category. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah’s only medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.

    The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900.

    The university ranks among the top 50 U.S. universities by total research expenditures with over $486 million spent in 2014. 22 Rhodes Scholars, three Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, three MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university’s Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U.S. The university has also been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on October 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Waste of space", , Magnet Experiment, Space debris, The University of Utah (US)   

    From The University of Utah (US) : “Waste of space” 

    From The University of Utah (US)

    October 29, 2021

    Vince Horiuchi
    Public relations associate
    College of Engineering

    1
    Jake J. Abbott.

    Space has become a trash heap.

    According to The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (US), there are more than 27,000 pieces of space debris bigger than the size of a softball currently orbiting Earth, and they are traveling at speeds of up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a small chunk to damage a satellite or spacecraft like an intergalactic cannonball.

    Consequently, cleaning up this space junk will be an important task if agencies are to shoot more rockets and satellites into orbit. University of Utah mechanical engineering professor Jake J. Abbott is leading a team of researchers that has discovered a method to manipulate orbiting debris with spinning magnets. With this technology, robots could one day gently maneuver the scrap to a decaying orbit or further out into space without actually touching it, or they could repair malfunctioning objects to extend their life.

    Their research is detailed in Nature. The co-authors include U graduate students Lan Pham, Griffin Tabor and Ashkan Pourkand, former graduate student Jacob L. B. Aman, and U School of Computing associate professor Tucker Hermans.

    The concept involves moving metallic, non-magnetized objects in space with spinning magnets. When the metallic debris is subjected to a changing magnetic field, electrons circulate within the metal in circular loops, “like when you swirl your cup of coffee and it goes around and around,” says Abbott.

    The process turns the piece of debris into essentially an electromagnet that creates torque and force, which can allow you to control where the debris goes without physically grabbing it.

    While the idea of using these kinds of magnetic currents to manipulate objects in space is not new, what Abbott and his team have discovered is that using multiple magnetic-field sources in a coordinated fashion allows them to move the objects in six degrees of movement, including rotating them. Before, it was only known how to move them in one degree of movement, like just pushing them.

    “What we wanted to do was to manipulate the thing, not just shove it but actually manipulate it like you do on Earth,” he says. “That form of dexterous manipulation has never been done before.”

    With this new knowledge, scientists for example could stop a damaged satellite from wildly spinning in order to repair it, something that would not have been possible before.

    “You have to take this crazy object floating in space, and you have to get it into a position where it can be manipulated by a robot arm,” Abbott says. “But if it’s spinning out of control, you could break the robot arm doing that, which would just create more debris.”

    This method also allows scientists to manipulate objects that are especially fragile. While a robot arm could damage an object because its claw applies force to one part of it, these magnets would apply a gentler force to the entire object so no one section is harmed.


    Magnet Experiment.

    To test their research, the team used a series of magnets to move a copper ball on a plastic raft in a tank of water (the best way to simulate slow-moving objects in microgravity). The magnets moved the sphere not only in a square, but they also rotated the ball.

    Abbott says this newly discovered process could be used with a spinning magnet on a robotic arm, a stationary magnet that creates spinning magnetic fields, or a spinning super-conductive electromagnet like those used in MRI scanners.

    Abbott believes this principle of manipulating non-magnetic metallic objects with magnets could also have applications beyond the clearing of space debris.

    “I’m starting to open my mind to what potential applications there are,” he says. “We have a new way to apply a force to an object for precise alignment without touching it.”

    But for now, this idea could immediately be applied to help fix the problem of space junk orbiting the Earth.

    “NASA is tracking thousands of space debris the same way that air traffic controllers track aircraft.

    2
    Depiction of orbital space debris. Image courtesy of NASA.

    You have to know where they are because you could accidentally crash into them,” Abbott says. “The U.S. government and the governments of the world know of this problem because there is more and more of this stuff accumulating with each passing day.”

    To read a more detailed description on this research, click here.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Utah (US) is a public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state’s flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified in the highest ranking: “R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie Classification also considers the university as “selective”, which is its second most selective admissions category. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah’s only medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.

    The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900.

    The university ranks among the top 50 U.S. universities by total research expenditures with over $486 million spent in 2014. 22 Rhodes Scholars, three Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, three MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university’s Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U.S. The university has also been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country.

     
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