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  • richardmitnick 9:53 am on September 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UArizona Engineer Awarded $5M to Build Quantum-Powered Navigation Tools", , Gaining an Edge on Earth and Beyond, Many electronics including cellphones are equipped with tiny gyroscopes and accelerometers that enable features like automatic screen rotation and directional pointers for GPS apps., , , , Quantum technology and AI innovation are a priority for the National Science Foundation, The National Science Foundation (US) Convergence Accelerator, University of Arizona (US), Upgrading Gyroscopes and Accelerometers   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “UArizona Engineer Awarded $5M to Build Quantum-Powered Navigation Tools” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    9.16.21
    Emily Dieckman, College of Engineering

    Funded by The National Science Foundation (US) Convergence Accelerator Program the Quantum Sensors project aims to make space and terrestrial navigation far more sensitive, accurate and affordable.

    1
    Zheshen Zhang. Credit: Emily Dieckman.

    Zheshen Zhang, a University of Arizona assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is leading a $5 million quantum technology project to advance navigation for autonomous vehicles and spacecraft, as well as measurement of otherworldly materials such as Dark Matter and gravitational waves.

    The National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Program, which fast-tracks multidisciplinary efforts to solve real-world problems, is funding the Quantum Sensors project.

    In September 2020, 29 U.S. teams received phase I funding to develop solutions in either quantum technology or artificial intelligence-driven data sharing and modeling. Ten prototypes have advanced to phase II, each receiving $5 million, including two projects led by UArizona researchers – Zhang’s project and another by hydrology and atmospheric sciences assistant professor Laura Condon.

    “Quantum technology and AI innovation are a priority for the National Science Foundation,” said Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. “Today’s scientific priorities and national-scale societal challenges cannot be solved by a single discipline. Instead, the merging of new ideas, techniques and approaches, plus the Convergence Accelerator’s innovation curriculum, enables teams to speed their research into application. We are excited to welcome Quantum Sensors into phase II and to assist them in applying our program fundamentals to ensure their solution provides a positive impact on society at large.”

    Upgrading Gyroscopes and Accelerometers

    The objects we interact with in our daily lives adhere to classic laws of physics, like gravity and thermodynamics. Quantum physics, however, has different rules, and objects in quantum states can exhibit strange but useful properties. For example, when two particles are linked by quantum entanglement, anything that happens to one particle affects the other, no matter how far apart they are. This means probes in two locations can share information, allowing for more precise measurements. Or, while “classical” light emits photons at random intervals, scientists can induce a quantum state called “squeezed” light to make photon emission more regular and reduce uncertainty – or “noise” – in measurements.

    The Quantum Sensors project will take advantage of quantum states to create ultrasensitive gyroscopes, accelerometers and other sensors. Gyroscopes are used in navigation of aircraft and other vehicles to maintain balance as orientation shifts. In tandem, accelerometers measure vibration or acceleration of motion. These navigation-grade gyroscopes and accelerometers are light-based and can be extremely precise, but they are bulky and expensive.

    Many electronics including cellphones are equipped with tiny gyroscopes and accelerometers that enable features like automatic screen rotation and directional pointers for GPS apps. At this scale, gyroscopes are made up of micromechanical parts, rather than lasers or other light sources, rendering them far less precise. Zhang and his team aim to develop chip-scale light-based gyroscopes and accelerometers to outperform current mechanical methods. However, the detection of light at this scale is limited by the laws of quantum physics, presenting a fundamental performance limit for such optical gyroscopes and accelerometers.

    Rather than combat these quantum limitations with classical resources, Zhang and his team are fighting fire with fire, so to speak, by using quantum resources. For example, the stability of squeezed light can counterbalance the uncertainty of quantum fluctuations, which are temporary changes in variables such as position and momentum.

    “The fundamental quantum limit is induced by quantum fluctuations, but this limit can be broken using a quantum state of light, like entangled photons or squeezed light, for the laser itself,” said Zhang, director of The University of Arizona (US) Quantum Information and Materials Group. “With this method, we can arrive at much better measurements.”

    Gaining an Edge on Earth and Beyond

    The benefits of extremely precise measurements are numerous. If a self-driving car could determine its exact location and speed using only a compact, quantum-enhanced, onboard gyroscope and accelerometer, it wouldn’t need to rely on GPS to navigate. A self-contained navigation system would protect the car from hackers and provide more stability. The same goes for navigation of spacecraft and terrestrial vehicles sent to other planets.

    “In both space-based and terrestrial technologies, there are a lot of fluctuations. In an urban environment, you might lose GPS signal driving through a tunnel,” Zhang said. “This method could capture information not provided by a GPS. GPS tells you where you are, but it doesn’t tell you your altitude, the direction your vehicle is driving or the angle of the road. With all of this information, the safety of the passengers would be ensured.”

    Zhang is collaborating with partners at General Dynamics Mission Systems, Honeywell, NASA JPL-Caltech (US) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (US), Purdue University (US), The Texas A&M University (US), The University of California-Los Angeles (US) and Morgan State University (US).

    “We are excited to work with the University of Arizona on this NSF Convergence Accelerator project,” said Jianfeng Wu, Honeywell representative and project co-principal investigator. “The integrated entangled light sources can reduce the noise floor and enable the navigation-grade performance from chip-scale gyroscopes. The success of this program will significantly disrupt the current gyroscope landscape from many perspectives.”

    Because precise navigation would directly affect 700 million people worldwide, researchers estimate that quantum sensors could create a $2.5 billion market by 2035. They also expect that the precision and stability offered by the technology will give researchers a way to measure previously unmeasurable forces, such as gravitational waves and Dark Matter.

    “As a leading international research university bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to life, we are deeply committed to advance amazing new information technologies like quantum networking to benefit humankind,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “The University of Arizona is an internationally recognized leader in this area, and I look forward to seeing how Dr. Zhang’s Quantum Sensors project moves us forward in addressing real-world challenges with quantum technology.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:19 am on September 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "This is What it Looks Like When a Black Hole Snacks on a Star", , , , , Intermediate-mass black hole, , The spin measurement allows astrophysicists to test hypotheses about the nature of dark matter., , University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “This is What it Looks Like When a Black Hole Snacks on a Star” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    9.16.21

    Media contact
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact
    Ann Zabludoff
    Steward Observatory
    aiz@arizona.edu

    Analyzing observations of an X-ray flare and fitting the data with theoretical models, UArizona astronomers documented a fatal encounter between an unlucky star and an intermediate-mass black hole.

    1
    This illustration shows a glowing stream of material from a star, torn to shreds as it was being devoured by a supermassive black hole. The feeding black hole is surrounded by a ring of dust, not unlike the plate of a toddler is surrounded by crumbs after a meal. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (US).

    While black holes and toddlers don’t seem to have much in common, they are remarkably similar in one aspect: Both are messy eaters, generating ample evidence that a meal has taken place.

    But whereas one might leave behind droppings of pasta or splatters of yogurt, the other creates an aftermath of mind-boggling proportions. When a black hole gobbles up a star, it produces what astronomers call a “tidal disruption event.” The shredding of the hapless star is accompanied by an outburst of radiation that can outshine the combined light of every star in the black hole’s host galaxy for months, even years.

    In a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, a team of astronomers led by Sixiang Wen, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory, use the X-rays emitted by a tidal disruption event known as J2150 to make the first measurements of both the black hole’s mass and spin.

    This black hole is of a particular type – an intermediate-mass black hole – which has long eluded observation.

    “The fact that we were able to catch this black hole while it was devouring a star offers a remarkable opportunity to observe what otherwise would be invisible,” said Ann Zabludoff, UArizona professor of astronomy and co-author on the paper. “Not only that, by analyzing the flare we were able to better understand this elusive category of black holes, which may well account for the majority of black holes in the centers of galaxies.”

    By re-analyzing the X-ray data used to observe the J2150 flare, and comparing it with sophisticated theoretical models, the authors showed that this flare did indeed originate from an encounter between an unlucky star and an intermediate-mass black hole. The intermediate black hole in question is of particularly low mass – for a black hole, that is – weighing in at roughly 10,000 times the mass of the sun.

    “The X-ray emissions from the inner disk formed by the debris of the dead star made it possible for us to infer the mass and spin of this black hole and classify it as an intermediate black hole,” Wen said.

    Dozens of tidal disruption events have been seen in the centers of large galaxies hosting supermassive black holes, and a handful have also been observed in the centers of small galaxies that might contain intermediate black holes. However, past data has never been detailed enough to prove that an individual tidal disruption flare was powered by an intermediate black hole.

    “Thanks to modern astronomical observations, we know that the centers of almost all galaxies that are similar to or larger in size than our Milky Way host central supermassive black holes,” said study co-author Nicholas Stone, a senior lecturer at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (IL). “These behemoths range in size from 1 million to 10 billion times the mass of our sun, and they become powerful sources of electromagnetic radiation when too much interstellar gas falls into their vicinity.”

    The mass of these black holes correlates closely with the total mass of their host galaxies; the largest galaxies host the largest supermassive black holes.

    “We still know very little about the existence of black holes in the centers of galaxies smaller than the Milky Way,” said co-author Peter Jonker of Radboud University Nijmegen [Radboud Universiteit](NL) and Netherlands Institute for Space Research [Nederlands Instituut voor Ruimteonderzoek](SRON)(NL), both in the Netherlands. “Due to observational limitations, it is challenging to discover central black holes much smaller than 1 million solar masses.”

    Despite their presumed abundance, the origins of supermassive black holes remain unknown, and many different theories currently vie to explain them, according to Jonker. Intermediate-mass black holes could be the seeds from which supermassive black holes grow.

    “Therefore, if we get a better handle of how many bona fide intermediate black holes are out there, it can help determine which theories of supermassive black hole formation are correct,” he said.

    Even more exciting, according to Zabludoff, is the measurement of J2150’s spin that the group was able to obtain. The spin measurement holds clues as to how black holes grow, and possibly to particle physics.

    2
    When a star ventures too close to a black hole, gravitational forces create intense tides that break the star apart into a stream of gas, resulting in a cataclysmic phenomenon known as a tidal disruption event. Tremendous amounts of energy are released, causing a tidal disruption to outshine its galaxy in some cases. Credit: Chris Smith (Universities Space Research Association (US)/Goddard Earth Science Technology and Research/ NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    This black hole has a fast spin, but not the fastest possible spin, Zabludoff explained, begging the question of how the black hole ends up with a spin in this range.

    “It’s possible that the black hole formed that way and hasn’t changed much since, or that two intermediate-mass black holes merged recently to form this one,” she said. “We do know that the spin we measured excludes scenarios where the black hole grows over a long time from steadily eating gas or from many quick gas snacks that arrive from random directions.”

    In addition, the spin measurement allows astrophysicists to test hypotheses about the nature of dark matter, which is thought to make up most of the matter in the universe. Dark matter may consist of unknown elementary particles not yet seen in laboratory experiments. Among the candidates are hypothetical particles known as ultralight bosons, Stone explained.

    “If those particles exist and have masses in a certain range, they will prevent an intermediate-mass black hole from having a fast spin,” he said. “Yet J2150’s black hole is spinning fast. So, our spin measurement rules out a broad class of ultralight boson theories, showcasing the value of black holes as extraterrestrial laboratories for particle physics.”

    In the future, new observations of tidal disruption flares might let astronomers fill in the gaps in the black hole mass distribution, the authors hope.

    “If it turns out that most dwarf galaxies contain intermediate-mass black holes, then they will dominate the rate of stellar tidal disruption,” Stone said. “By fitting the X-ray emission from these flares to theoretical models, we can conduct a census of the intermediate-mass black hole population in the universe,” Wen added.

    To do that, however, more tidal disruption events have to be observed. That’s why astronomers hold high hopes for new telescopes coming online soon, both on Earth and in space, including the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, also known as the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, or LSST, which is expected to discover thousands of tidal disruption events per year.

    This research was supported by grants from NASA and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:30 am on July 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Instrument Ready to Discover New Planets", , , , NEID spectrometer on the 3.5 meter WIYN telescope in the U Arizona Steward Observatory at Kitt Peak., , , University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) and Pennsylvania State University (US) : “Instrument Ready to Discover New Planets” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    and

    Penn State Bloc

    Pennsylvania State University (US)

    7.20.21

    Media contact:
    Mikayla Mace Kelley
    Science Writer, University Communications
    mikaylamace@arizona.edu
    520-621-1878

    Researcher contact:
    Chad Bender
    Steward Observatory
    cbender@email.arizona.edu
    520-626-8795

    As the NEID spectrometer on Kitt Peak begins its scientific mission of discovering Earth-like planets elsewhere in the Milky Way, a University of Arizona team is providing the software hub that allows the instrument to probe stars for telltale signs of invisible planets.

    After successfully passing final review by National Aeronautics Space Agency (US) and the National Science Foundation (US), the NEID spectrometer – a new tool for discovering planets outside of our solar system – has begun its scientific mission at Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona. The newest and one of the most precise tools ever built to detect exoplanets, NEID will discover new planets by measuring the minute gravitational tug they make on their host stars.

    Over the past year, researchers at the University of Arizona have led instrument commissioning and demonstrated that the tool meets the technical and scientific requirements for operation. The university also serves as the hub for NEID’s software pipeline, which translates subtle shifts in the spectrum of starlight into data that tell astronomers about any planets orbiting a star that would be impossible to observe directly.

    NEID detects exoplanets by measuring the subtle effect these planets have on their parent stars. Planets tug gravitationally on the star they orbit, producing a small “wobble” – a periodic shift in the velocity of the star that can be measured. Jupiter, for example, induces a 29 mph wobble on the sun. Smaller planets induce smaller wobbles; Earth induces a wobble of 0.23 mph – about as fast as a desert tortoise.

    Existing instruments can measure speeds as low as just over 2 mph, which is a slow walking pace, but NEID was built to be more than twice as precise, so that it can detect the wobble of Earth-mass exoplanets.

    “The instrument is performing exceptionally well, more than beating our precision requirement, and we believe it is sensitive to planets only slightly larger than the Earth,” said Chad Bender, NEID’s instrument scientist and an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory (US).

    The seething convection on the surface of stars, threaded by invisible lines of magnetic force and marred by ever-changing active regions and dark starspots, can pose a substantial challenge to NEID’s measurements. This stellar activity is one of the major impediments to detecting rocky planets like Earth.

    For very small signals, it is difficult to separate the signal caused by a small planet from signals caused by stellar activity. To better understand this problem, the NEID team uses a small solar telescope to point the instrument at the sun during the daytime.

    “We can use observations of the sun to better understand stellar activity and then apply that knowledge to other stars that are similar to the sun, where we are looking for Earth-like planets,” Bender said.

    The NEID spectrometer derives its name from the Tohono O’odham word ñeid which means “to see,” a name selected after consultation with the Tohono O’odham Nation. The researchers are honored to be able to conduct their research on Iolkam Du’ag, or Kitt Peak, in Arizona – a site with cultural significance to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

    NEID also stands for NN-EXPLORE Exoplanet Investigations with Doppler spectroscopy. (NN-EXPLORE is a joint NASA/NSF Exoplanet Exploration Program.) The new instrument, an extreme precision radial velocity spectrometer, is collecting starlight on the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a program of the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, or NOIRLab. NEID’s solar telescope marks the return of solar observations to the peak.

    “The sun points the way,” said Suvrath Mahadevan, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University (US) and NEID principal investigator. “For decades, the iconic and now decommissioned McMath Pierce telescope at Kitt Peak was the premier facility for studying the sun. NEID is now the bridge that connects exoplanet science to solar observations, the sun to the stars, and a bridge that connects Kitt Peak’s history to its present and future.”

    All data from NEID’s observations of the sun are being released publicly.

    “We’ve already released more than 40,000 solar spectra to the public and add several hundred new spectra each day. This archive provides a wealth of information about stellar activity and also NEID’s underlying performance,” said Taran Esplin, a postdoctoral researcher at Steward Observatory and NEID team member.

    The NEID instrument is funded by the joint NASA/NSF Exoplanet Exploration Program, NN-EXPLORE. The 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope is a partnership of Indiana University (US), the University of Wisconsin (US); Pennsylvania State University (US); the University of Missouri (US), Columbia University (US); Purdue University (US); the National Science Foundation (US) and National Aeronautics Space Agency (US).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Penn State Campus

    The Pennsylvania State University (US) is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State became the state’s only land-grant university in 1863. Today, Penn State is a major research university which conducts teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. In addition to its land-grant designation, it also participates in the sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant research consortia; it is one of only four such universities (along with Cornell University(US), Oregon State University(US), and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa(US)). Its University Park campus, which is the largest and serves as the administrative hub, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has two law schools: Penn State Law, on the school’s University Park campus, and Dickinson Law, in Carlisle. The College of Medicine is in Hershey. Penn State is one university that is geographically distributed throughout Pennsylvania. There are 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special mission campuses located across the state. The University Park campus has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.

    Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 46,800 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world’s largest dues-paying alumni association. The university offers more than 160 majors among all its campuses.

    Annually, the university hosts the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. This event is held at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. The university’s athletics teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Penn State Nittany Lions, competing in the Big Ten Conference for most sports. Penn State students, alumni, faculty and coaches have received a total of 54 Olympic medals.

    Early years

    The school was sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society and founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855, by Pennsylvania’s state legislature as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. The use of “college” or “university” was avoided because of local prejudice against such institutions as being impractical in their courses of study. Centre County, Pennsylvania, became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, donated 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land – the first of 10,101 acres (41 km^2) the school would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school’s name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state’s sole land-grant college. The school’s name changed to the Pennsylvania State College in 1874; enrollment fell to 64 undergraduates the following year as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education.

    George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and broadened the curriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became one of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, for which the school began receiving regular appropriations from the state in 1887. A major road in State College has been named in Atherton’s honor. Additionally, Penn State’s Atherton Hall, a well-furnished and centrally located residence hall, is named not after George Atherton himself, but after his wife, Frances Washburn Atherton. His grave is in front of Schwab Auditorium near Old Main, marked by an engraved marble block in front of his statue.

    Early 20th century

    In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state’s largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around that time, a system of commonwealth campuses was started by President Ralph Dorn Hetzel to provide an alternative for Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college.

    In 1953, President Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, sought and won permission to elevate the school to university status as The Pennsylvania State University. Under his successor Eric A. Walker (1956–1970), the university acquired hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and enrollment nearly tripled. In addition, in 1967, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established in Hershey with a $50 million gift from the Hershey Trust Company.

    Modern era

    In the 1970s, the university became a state-related institution. As such, it now belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. In 1975, the lyrics in Penn State’s alma mater song were revised to be gender-neutral in honor of International Women’s Year; the revised lyrics were taken from the posthumously-published autobiography of the writer of the original lyrics, Fred Lewis Pattee, and Professor Patricia Farrell acted as a spokesperson for those who wanted the change.

    In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the university, and in 2000, so did the Dickinson School of Law. The university is now the largest in Pennsylvania. To offset the lack of funding due to the limited growth in state appropriations to Penn State, the university has concentrated its efforts on philanthropy.

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:54 am on July 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Mapping Extreme Snowmelt and its Potential Dangers", , , , , University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “Mapping Extreme Snowmelt and its Potential Dangers” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    7.13.21

    Media contact:
    Mikayla Mace Kelley
    Science Writer, University Communications
    mikaylamace@arizona.edu
    520-621-1878

    Researcher contact:
    Xubin Zeng
    Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
    xubin@arizona.edu
    520-661-8680

    Rapid snowmelt can be dangerous, and understanding its drivers is important for understanding the world under the influence of climate change.

    1
    Rising temperatures are the main source of extreme snowmelt events, but relatively warm rainwater falling on snow is also a driver in many parts of the country.

    Snowmelt – the surface runoff from melting snow – is an essential water resource for communities and ecosystems. But extreme snow melt, which occurs when snow melts too rapidly over a short amount of time, can be destructive and deadly, causing floods, landslides and dam failures.

    To better understand the processes that drive such rapid melting, researchers set out to map extreme snowmelt events over the last 30 years. Their findings are published in a new paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

    “When we talk about snowmelt, people want to know the basic numbers, just like the weather, but no one has ever provided anything like that before. It’s like if nobody told you the maximum and minimum temperature or record temperature in your city,” said study co-author Xubin Zeng, director of the UArizona Climate Dynamics and Hydrometeorology Center and a professor of atmospheric sciences. “We are the first to create a map that characterizes snowmelt across the U.S. Now, people can talk about the record snowmelt events over each small area of 2.5 miles by 2.5 miles.”

    Zeng and lead study author Josh Welty, who received his doctoral degree under Zeng’s advising, created a map that catalogs the top-10 extreme snowmelt events in terms of frequency, magnitude, temperature and precipitation over every 2.5-mile square of the U.S. between 1988 and 2017. They also used machine learning to understand how large-scale weather patterns affect extreme snow melt.

    2
    The map shows the greatest amount of snow loss over a two day period across the United States within a 30-year window. The largest snow loss, indicated by green and blue, occurs in the mountains of the western United States. Units are millimeters of snow mass lost per two days. Only pixels, which equate to 2.5 square miles each, with extreme snow loss (exceeding 50 mm per two days) are included. Credit: Josh Welty.

    They found that in the western half of the country, winds transport water vapor from the Pacific Ocean eastward. However, in the eastern half of the country, weather patterns transport moisture primarily south to north from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Great Lakes and New England.

    Their maps also reveal that in most cases, extreme snowmelt is caused by unusually warm temperatures. This conclusion is fairly intuitive, but a surprising finding revealed that in certain regions, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and the northeastern U.S., extreme snowmelt events are driven by rain – which is relatively warm – falling on snow. In these cases, extreme snowmelt events become immediately dangerous.

    The paper outlines one such example in detail: The Oroville Dam in Butte County, California, holds the second-largest reservoir in the state. In 2017, a series of storms dropped huge amounts of warm rain on the snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains, resulting in rapid snowmelt that filled the dam past its brim. Spillways, which provide controlled water runoff, failed, and over 180,000 people were evacuated.

    Such events might happen more often in the future, according to Zeng and Welty’s findings. The researchers found only a slight increase in the frequency of such events over the 30-year period, and they didn’t see a trend in terms of the magnitude of extreme snowmelt events. However, 30 years isn’t long enough to establish a trend, said Zeng, who is also the Agnes N. Haury Endowed Chair in Environment in the UArizona Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. That means future research will be especially important.

    “This paper serves as foundation and a reference point to see if and how things will be changing in different regions over the next 10 to 15 years,” Welty said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:15 pm on July 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Methane in the Plumes of Saturn's Moon Enceladus: Possible Signs of Life?", , , , University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “Methane in the Plumes of Saturn’s Moon Enceladus: Possible Signs of Life?” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    7.6.21

    Media contact(s)
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact(s)
    Régis Ferrière
    Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    regisf@arizona.edu
    520-626-4741

    A study published in Nature Astronomy concludes that known geochemical processes can’t explain the levels of methane measured by the Cassini spacecraft on Saturn’s icy moon.

    1
    This artist’s impression depicts NASA’s Cassini spacecraft flying through a plume of presumed water erupting from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Credit: National Aeronautics Space Agency (US).

    An unknown methane-producing process is likely at work in the hidden ocean beneath the icy shell of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, suggests a new study published in Nature Astronomy by scientists at the University of Arizona and Paris Sciences et Lettres University [Université Paris Sciences et Lettres Université PSL] (FR).

    Giant water plumes erupting from Enceladus have long fascinated scientists and the public alike, inspiring research and speculation about the vast ocean that is believed to be sandwiched between the moon’s rocky core and its icy shell. Flying through the plumes and sampling their chemical makeup, the Cassini spacecraft detected a relatively high concentration of certain molecules associated with hydrothermal vents on the bottom of Earth’s oceans, specifically dihydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. The amount of methane found in the plumes was particularly unexpected.

    “We wanted to know: Could Earthlike microbes that ‘eat’ the dihydrogen and produce methane explain the surprisingly large amount of methane detected by Cassini?” said Régis Ferrière, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and one of the study’s two lead authors. “Searching for such microbes, known as methanogens, at Enceladus’ seafloor would require extremely challenging deep-dive missions that are not in sight for several decades.”

    Ferrière and his team took a different, easier route: They constructed mathematical models to calculate the probability that different processes, including biological methanogenesis, might explain the Cassini data.

    The authors applied new mathematical models that combine geochemistry and microbial ecology to analyze Cassini plume data and model the possible processes that would best explain the observations. They conclude that Cassini’s data are consistent either with microbial hydrothermal vent activity, or with processes that don’t involve life forms but are different from the ones known to occur on Earth.

    2
    This cutaway view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus is an artist’s rendering that depicts possible hydrothermal activity that may be taking place on and under the seafloor of the moon’s subsurface ocean, based on results from NASA’s Cassini mission. NASA JPL-Caltech.

    On Earth, hydrothermal activity occurs when cold seawater seeps into the ocean floor, circulates through the underlying rock and passes close by a heat source, such as a magma chamber, before spewing out into the water again through hydrothermal vents. On Earth, methane can be produced through hydrothermal activity, but at a slow rate. Most of the production is due to microorganisms that harness the chemical disequilibrium of hydrothermally produced dihydrogen as a source of energy, and produce methane from carbon dioxide in a process called methanogenesis.

    The team looked at Enceladus’ plume composition as the end result of several chemical and physical processes taking place in the moon’s interior. First, the researchers assessed what hydrothermal production of dihydrogen would best fit Cassini’s observations, and whether this production could provide enough “food” to sustain a population of Earthlike hydrogenotrophic methanogens. To do that, they developed a model for the population dynamics of a hypothetical hydrogenotrophic methanogen, whose thermal and energetic niche was modeled after known strains from Earth.

    The authors then ran the model to see whether a given set of chemical conditions, such as the dihydrogen concentration in the hydrothermal fluid, and temperature would provide a suitable environment for these microbes to grow. They also looked at what effect a hypothetical microbe population would have on its environment – for example, on the escape rates of dihydrogen and methane in the plume.

    “In summary, not only could we evaluate whether Cassini’s observations are compatible with an environment habitable for life, but we could also make quantitative predictions about observations to be expected, should methanogenesis actually occur at Enceladus’ seafloor,” Ferrière explained.

    The results suggest that even the highest possible estimate of abiotic methane production – or methane production without biological aid – based on known hydrothermal chemistry is far from sufficient to explain the methane concentration measured in the plumes. Adding biological methanogenesis to the mix, however, could produce enough methane to match Cassini’s observations.

    “Obviously, we are not concluding that life exists in Enceladus’ ocean,” Ferrière said. “Rather, we wanted to understand how likely it would be that Enceladus’ hydrothermal vents could be habitable to Earthlike microorganisms. Very likely, the Cassini data tell us, according to our models.

    “And biological methanogenesis appears to be compatible with the data. In other words, we can’t discard the ‘life hypothesis’ as highly improbable. To reject the life hypothesis, we need more data from future missions,” he added.

    The authors hope their paper provides guidance for studies aimed at better understanding the observations made by Cassini and that it encourages research to elucidate the abiotic processes that could produce enough methane to explain the data.

    For example, methane could come from the chemical breakdown of primordial organic matter that may be present in Enceladus’ core and that could be partially turned into dihydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide through the hydrothermal process. This hypothesis is very plausible if it turns out that Enceladus formed through the accretion of organic-rich material supplied by comets, Ferrière explained.

    “It partly boils down to how probable we believe different hypotheses are to begin with,” he said. “For example, if we deem the probability of life in Enceladus to be extremely low, then such alternative abiotic mechanisms become much more likely, even if they are very alien compared to what we know here on Earth.”

    According to the authors, a very promising advance of the paper lies in its methodology, as it is not limited to specific systems such as interior oceans of icy moons and paves the way to deal with chemical data from planets outside the solar system as they become available in the coming decades.

    A full list of authors and funding information can be found in the paper.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:30 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers Trace Dust Grain's Journey Through Newborn Solar System", A research team led by the University of Arizona has reconstructed in unprecedented detail the history of a dust grain that formed during the birth of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago., A slice through an Allende meteorite reveals various spherical particles known as chondrules., Atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, , , , The samples for this study were taken from the inside of a meteorite and are considered primitive – in other words unaffected by environmental influences., The scientists concluded that the particle formed in a region of the protoplanetary disk not far from where Earth is now., University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “Researchers Trace Dust Grain’s Journey Through Newborn Solar System” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    6.21.21

    Media contact(s)
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact(s)
    Tom Zega
    Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
    tzega@email.arizona.edu
    520-626-1356

    Combining atomic-scale sample analysis and models simulating likely conditions in the nascent solar system, a new study reveals clues about the origin of crystals that formed more than 4.5 billion years ago.

    2
    Artist’s illustration of the early solar system, at a time when no planets had formed yet. A swirling cloud of gas and dust surrounded the young sun. The cutaway through this so-called protoplanetary disk shows its three-dimensional structure. Credit: Heather Roper.

    A research team led by the University of Arizona has reconstructed in unprecedented detail the history of a dust grain that formed during the birth of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. The findings provide insights into the fundamental processes underlying the formation of planetary systems, many of which are still shrouded in mystery.

    For the study, the team developed a new type of framework, which combines quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, to simulate the conditions to which the grain was exposed during its formation, when the solar system was a swirling disk of gas and dust known as a protoplanetary disk or solar nebula. Comparing the predictions from the model to an extremely detailed analysis of the sample’s chemical makeup and crystal structure, along with a model of how matter was transported in the solar nebula, revealed clues about the grain’s journey and the environmental conditions that shaped it along the way.

    The grain analyzed in the study is one of several inclusions, known as calcium-aluminum rich inclusions, or CAIs, discovered in a sample from the Allende meteorite, which fell over the Mexican state of Chihuahua in 1969.

    2
    This piece of the Allende meteorite shows the typical crust of material that melted during entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The grain studied in this study was taken from a similar piece, and from deep within the specimen, where little, if any, alteration would occur during the meteorite fall. Credit: H. Raab/Wikimedia Commons.

    CAIs are of special interest because they are thought to be among the first solids that formed in the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.

    Similar to how stamps in a passport tell a story about a traveler’s journey and stops along the way, the samples’ micro- and atomic-scale structures unlock a record of their formation histories, which were controlled by the collective environments to which they were exposed.

    “As far as we know, our paper is the first to tell an origin story that offers clues about the likely processes that happened at the scale of astronomical distances with what we see in our sample at the scale of atomic distances,” said Tom Zega, a professor in the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the first author of the paper, published in The Planetary Science Journal.

    Zega and his team analyzed the composition of the inclusions embedded in the meteorite using cutting-edge atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopes – one at UArizona’s Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility, and its sister microscope located at the Hitachi factory in Hitachinaka, Japan.

    The inclusions were found to consist mainly of types of minerals known as spinel and perovskite, which also occur in rocks on Earth and are being studied as candidate materials for applications such as microelectronics and photovoltaics.

    Similar kinds of solids occur in other types of meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, which are particularly interesting to planetary scientists as they are known to be leftovers from the formation of the solar system and contain organic molecules, including those that may have provided the raw materials for life.

    3
    A slice through an Allende meteorite reveals various spherical particles known as chondrules. The irregularly shaped “island” left of the center is a calcium-aluminum rich inclusion, or CAI. The grain in this study was isolated from such a CAI. Credit: “Shiny Things”/Wikimedia Commons.

    Precisely analyzing the spatial arrangement of atoms allowed the team to study the makeup of the underlying crystal structures in great detail. To the team’s surprise, some of the results were at odds with current theories on the physical processes thought to be active inside protoplanetary disks, prompting them to dig deeper.

    “Our challenge is that we don’t know what chemical pathways led to the origins of these inclusions,” Zega said. “Nature is our lab beaker, and that experiment took place billions of years before we existed, in a completely alien environment.”

    Zega said the team set out to “reverse-engineer” the makeup of the extraterrestrial samples by designing new models that simulated complex chemical processes, which the samples would be subjected to inside a protoplanetary disk.

    “Such models require an intimate convergence of expertise spanning the fields of planetary science, materials science, mineral science and microscopy, which was what we set out to do,” added Krishna Muralidharan, a study co-author and an associate professor in the UArizona’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

    Based on the data the authors were able to tease from their samples, they concluded that the particle formed in a region of the protoplanetary disk not far from where Earth is now, then made a journey closer to the sun, where it was progressively hotter, only to later reverse course and wash up in cooler parts farther from the young sun. Eventually, it was incorporated into an asteroid, which later broke apart into pieces. Some of those pieces were captured by Earth’s gravity and fell as meteorites.

    The samples for this study were taken from the inside of a meteorite and are considered primitive – in other words unaffected by environmental influences. Such primitive material is believed to not have undergone any significant changes since it first formed more than 4.5 billion years ago, which is rare. Whether similar objects occur in asteroid Bennu, samples of which will be returned to Earth by the UArizona-led OSIRIS-REx mission in 2023, remains to be seen. Until then, scientists rely on samples that fall to Earth via meteorites.

    4
    Illustration of the dynamic history that the modeled particle could have experienced during the formation of the solar system. Analyzing the particle’s micro- and atomic-scale structures and combining them with new models that simulated complex chemical processes in the disk revealed its possible journey over the course of many orbits around the sun (callout box and diagram on the right). Originating not far from where Earth would form, the grain was transported into the inner, hotter regions, and eventually washed up in cooler regions. Heather Roper/Zega et al.

    “This material is our only record of what happened 4.567 billion years ago in the solar nebula,” said Venkat Manga, a co-author of the paper and an assistant research professor in the UArizona Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Being able to look at the microstructure of our sample at different scales, down to the length of individual atoms, is like opening a book.”

    The authors said that studies like this one could bring planetary scientists a step closer to “a grand model of planet formation” – a detailed understanding of the material moving around the disk, what it is composed of, and how it gives rise to the sun and the planets.

    Powerful radio telescopes like the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, in Chile now allow astronomers to see stellar systems as they evolve, Zega said.

    “Perhaps at some point we can peer into evolving disks, and then we can really compare our data between disciplines and begin answering some of those really big questions,” Zega said. “Are these dust particles forming where we think they did in our own solar system? Are they common to all stellar systems? Should we expect the pattern we see in our solar system – rocky planets close to the central star and gas giants farther out – in all systems?

    “It’s a really interesting time to be a scientist when these fields are evolving so rapidly,” he added. “And it’s awesome to be at an institution where researchers can form transdisciplinary collaborations among leading astronomy, planetary and materials science departments at the same university.”

    The study was co-authored by Fred Ciesla at the University of Chicago (US) and Keitaro Watanabe and Hiromi Inada, both with the Nano-Technology Solution Business Group at Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. in Japan.

    Funding was provided through NASA’s Emerging Worlds Program; NASA’s Origins Program; and NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research coordination network, which is sponsored by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. National Aeronautics Space Agency (US) and the National Science Foundation (US) provided the funding for the instrumentation in LPL’s Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:46 am on June 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UArizona to Lead Mission to Discover Potentially Dangerous Asteroids", Congress directed NASA to discover 90 percent of NEOs larger than 140 meters (459 feet) in size. NEO Surveyor is being designed to meet this goal within a decade of its launch date., Mainzer's research group will deliver a key piece of hardware for the new telescope: a total of eight infrared camera detectors each with 4 megapixels of resolution., NEO Surveyor Infrared Space Telescope, Searching for asteroids by sensing their heat emission allows astronomers to not only detect their position and movement in space but also to compute the sizes of the objects., The Near-Earth Object Surveyor mission has been approved by NASA to begin its preliminary design phase., University of Arizona (US), Women in STEM-Amy Mainzer   

    From University of Arizona (US) : Women in STEM-Amy Mainzer “UArizona to Lead Mission to Discover Potentially Dangerous Asteroids” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    6.11.21

    Media contact:
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact:
    Amy Mainzer
    Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
    amainzer@email.arizona.edu
    520-621-4676

    National Aeronautics Space Agency (US) has tasked Amy Mainzer, an expert in infrared astronomy at the University of Arizona, with delivering NEO Surveyor, a mission to find, track and characterize yet unseen asteroids and comets that may pose a threat to Earth.


    The NEO Surveyor infrared space telescope is optimized for finding, tracking and characterizing potentially hazardous asteroids and comets. The spacecraft’s sunshade (silver vertical part) blocks out sunlight and keeps the telescope shielded so that it can search for the faint heat signatures from Earth-approaching objects. The asteroids will appear as strings of dots (color-coded red in the background image) that will stand out against the background stars (color-coded blue). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (US)

    A new mission to find, track and characterize asteroids and comets that may pose a threat to Earth has moved one step closer to launch. Led by Amy Mainzer, a professor in the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the Near-Earth Object Surveyor mission has been approved by NASA to begin its preliminary design phase.

    NEO Surveyor is an infrared space telescope designed to help advance NASA’s planetary defense efforts by expediting our ability to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit. These asteroids and comets are collectively known as near-earth objects, or NEOs.

    “The fact that NASA tasked Dr. Mainzer and her group with the scientific leadership of this mission is a direct testament to her incredible leadership and expertise, as well as our university’s strong foundation in infrared astronomy, led by Marcia and George Rieke at Steward Observatory, and our strengths in asteroid science, as with the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “With NEO Surveyor, we are embarking on a project that transcends basic research and directly tackles one of humankind’s grand challenges: keeping our planet safe from devastating asteroid impacts.”

    Following completion of the goal to discover 90 percent of all NEOs larger than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) in size in 2010, Congress directed NASA to discover 90 percent of NEOs larger than 140 meters (459 feet) in size. NEO Surveyor is being designed to meet this goal within a decade of its launch date.

    “We think there are about 25,000 NEOs large enough to wipe out an area like Southern California,” Mainzer said. “Once they get bigger than about 450 feet in diameter, they can cause severe regional damage. We want to find these, and as many smaller ones as possible.”

    3
    Amy Mainzer is an expert in infrared astronomy at the University of Arizona.

    Ongoing programs tasked with finding asteroids, such as UArizona’s Catalina Sky Survey, have discovered about 40% of such objects, and they continue to be successful at finding more. However, because infrared observations are extremely difficult to make with Earth-based telescopes and many asteroids are extremely faint in visible wavelengths of light, it would take decades to find the remainder of these objects. This is where NEO Surveyor and its highly sensitive heat-sensing cameras come in.

    “Earth-approaching asteroids and comets are warmed by the sun, and they give off heat that the NEO Surveyor mission will be able to pick up,” Mainzer said. “Even asteroids as dark as a chunk of coal won’t be able to hide from our infrared eyes.”

    NEO Surveyor is designed to rapidly accelerate progress in finding these objects, as well as finding a large number of smaller objects that could still cause great harm to cities. The mission will obtain enough observations to discover NEOs and determine their orbits.

    4
    The NEO Surveyor mission uses camera chips like the one shown here that are sensitive to infrared wavelengths of light, which are redder than the reddest light that the human eye can see. Sensitive camera chips allow the mission to pick up the heat signatures from near-Earth asteroids and comets that are warmed by the sun. Credit: Teledyne.

    Searching for asteroids by sensing their heat emission allows astronomers to not only detect their position and movement in space but also to compute the sizes of the objects.

    “Impact energy depends heavily on how big an individual asteroid is, so the infrared observations delivered by NEO Surveyor will greatly expand our ability to predict the behavior of some of Earth’s neighbors that could be on a trajectory to pay us a surprise visit,” Mainzer said.

    The University of Arizona is providing scientific leadership of the overall mission, building and testing the flight infrared detector assemblies, monitoring the observatory’s performance, managing the investigation team and supporting operations after it is launched. Specifically Mainzer’s research group will deliver a key piece of hardware for the new telescope: a total of eight infrared camera detectors each with 4 megapixels of resolution, which allow the telescope to spot the tiny, glowing spots marking the positions of asteroids and comets as they move across the sky.

    Because it senses the heat from NEOs, the NEO Surveyor telescope, which will be about 20 feet long, will go into the cold space environment provided by an orbit that takes it outside the Earth’s moon. From this vantage point, the observatory will continuously scan the sky, particularly the regions near the sun where asteroids with the most Earthlike orbits spend much of their time.

    In addition to selecting and testing the flight detector chips, Mainzer’s group will produce detailed simulations of the observatory’s performance and will generate the scan pattern that the telescope will follow once it is in space.

    5
    Amy Mainzer’s research group is gearing up to perform a rigorous testing program on a pool of camera detector assemblies and select the best 8 as flight hardware for the space telescope. Credit: Chris Richards.

    “The university’s leading roles in infrared astronomy and asteroid science make it uniquely suited to leading this next-generation infrared sky survey,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation at UArizona.

    UArizona has delivered instruments for NASA missions such as the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, as well as the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

    Mainzer is the lead scientist of a smaller Earth-orbiting telescope that characterizes NEOs, called the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Surveyor, or NEOWISE.

    NEOWISE serves as a key precursor mission for the NEO Surveyor, which will greatly expand NASA’s ability to find Earth-approaching asteroids and comets.

    “With NEO Surveyor, we want to spot potentially hazardous NEOs when they’re years to decades away from possible impact,” Mainzer said. “The whole idea is to provide as much time as possible to develop mitigation efforts that enable us to push them out of the way.”

    The NEO Surveyor mission is a joint project of the University of Arizona and NASA’s JPL-Caltech (US), supported by NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Other major partners include Ball Aerospace (US) (Colorado); Space Dynamics Laboratory Utah State University (US) (Utah); Teledyne Technologies (California); L3 Harris (Massachusetts); University of Rochester (US); Caltech IPAC-Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (US) (California); Planetary Science Institute (US)(Arizona) and the University of California-Los Angeles.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on June 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Organic Molecules Offer Clues About Dying Stars and Outskirts of the Milky Way", , , Atacama Large Millimeter Array (CL), , , , , GHZ: Galactic Habitable Zone, , , , , The Milky Way's GHZ region which includes the solar system is considered to have favorable conditions for the formation of life., University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : Women in STEM-Lucy Ziurys; Lilia Koelemay “Organic Molecules Offer Clues About Dying Stars and Outskirts of the Milky Way” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    6.9.21

    Media contact:
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact(s)
    Lucy Ziurys
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    lziurys@email.arizona.edu
    520-621-6525

    Researchers from the University of Arizona have detected organic molecules in planetary nebulae and in the far reaches of the Milky Way.

    1
    UArizona Regents Professor Lucy Ziurys and her collaborators took advantage of the radio antennas at the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (CL), or ALMA, to detect the very faint emissions of organic molecules in various planetary nebulae, remnants of dying stars. ALMA sits atop a plateau in Chile’s Atacama Desert, 16,500 feet above sea level, where the atmosphere is undisturbed and allows for clear observing. C. Padilla, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US)/Associated Universities Inc (US)/National Science Foundation (US).

    University of Arizona researchers have observed, in unprecedented detail and spatial resolution, organic molecules in planetary nebulae, or the aftermath of dying stars. Their work sheds new light on how stars form and die.

    Using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, UArizona Regents Professor Lucy Ziurys and her collaborators observed radio emissions from hydrogen cyanide, formyl ion and carbon monoxide in five planetary nebulae: M2-48, M1-7, M3-28, K3-45 and K3-58.

    The researchers presented their findings during the virtual 238th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (US) on Tuesday.

    Planetary nebulae are bright objects produced when stars of a certain type reach the end of their evolution. Most stars in the galaxy, including the sun, are expected to end their lives this way.

    2
    The Twin Jet Nebula, or PN M2-9, is a striking example of a bipolar planetary nebula. The molecule emissions observed by Ziurys and her team outlined the shapes of some planetary nebulae, which previously had only been observed in visible light. In some cases, molecular signatures revealed previously unseen features. SA/Hubble & NASA/Judy Schmidt.

    As a dying star sheds large amounts of mass into space and becomes a white dwarf, it usually emits strong ultraviolet radiation. That radiation was long thought to break up any molecules hurled into the interstellar medium from the dying star and reduce them to atoms. However, detections of organic molecules in planetary nebulae in recent years have shown that this is not the case.

    The new observations by Ziurys and her team further support the idea that planetary nebulae instead seed the interstellar medium with molecules that serve as the raw ingredients for the formation of new stars and planets. Planetary nebulae are thought to provide 90% of the material in the interstellar medium, with supernovae adding the remaining 10%.

    “It was thought that molecular clouds, which would give rise to new stellar systems, would have to start from scratch and form these molecules from atoms,” said Ziurys, a Regents Professor of Chemistry and Astronomy at UArizona. “But if the process starts with molecules instead, it could dramatically accelerate chemical evolution in nascent star systems.”

    The molecule emissions observed by Ziurys and her team outlined the shapes of the planetary nebulae, which previously had only been observed in visible light. In some cases, molecular signatures revealed previously unseen features. A high resolution of one arcsecond – equivalent to a dime viewed from 2.5 miles away – resulted in striking images of the nebulae, showing the complex geometries of the dense, ejected material with bars, lobes and arcs never clearly observed before.

    Ziurys and her team believe the shapeshifting behavior in the nebulae geometry may be driven by certain processes involved in nucleosynthesis, or the forging of new elements inside a star.

    “It tells us that in a dying star, which is spherical until its final phase, some very interesting dynamics occur once it goes through the planetary nebula stage, which changes that spherical shape,” Ziurys said. “These stars just lose their mass, and so there’s really no mechanism for them to all of a sudden become bipolar or even quadrupolar.”

    It’s possible that helium flashes, which originate in a hot, convective shell around the core of a dying star, could provide a source of explosive nuclear synthesis away from the star’s center, resulting in the complex shapes seen in some nebulae, Ziurys said.

    “This could probably distort the spherical shape because a helium flash can explode through the poles of a star, where it will be directed by magnetic fields, and that will have an effect on the shape of the nebula that will form around it,” she said.

    Many planetary nebulae are something of an enigma, Ziurys said.

    “It’s been a puzzle to astronomers as to how you go from a spherical geometry into these multipolar geometries,” she said. “The molecules we observed trace the polar geometries beautifully, and so we’re hoping that this is going to give us some insight into the shaping of planetary nebulae.”

    Organic Molecules Also Present in Outskirts of the Milky Way

    In a second presentation at the AAS meeting, Lilia Koelemay, a doctoral student in Ziurys’ research group, reported on the discovery of organic molecules in the outskirts of the Milky Way, more than twice as far from the galactic center than what is known as the Galactic Habitable Zone, or GHZ.

    The Milky Way’s GHZ region which includes the solar system is considered to have favorable conditions for the formation of life.

    It is thought to extend to only up to 10 kiloparsecs, or about 32,600 light-years, from the galactic center.

    Using the UArizona ARO 12-Meter Telescope on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Koelemay, Ziurys and their collaborators searched 20 molecular clouds in the Milky Way’s Cygnus arms for signature emission spectra of methanol – a basic organic molecule. At 20 degrees Kelvin (approximately minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit), these clouds are extremely cold and far from the galactic center, at a distance of 13 to 23.5 kiloparsecs. The team detected methanol in all 20 clouds.

    According to Koelemay, the detection of these organic molecules at the galactic edge may imply that organic chemistry is still prevalent at the outer reaches of the galaxy, and the GHZ may extend much further from the galactic center than the current established boundary.

    “Scientists have wondered about the extent of organic chemistry in our galaxy for a long time, and it was always thought that not too far beyond our sun, we’re not going to see a lot of organic molecules,” Koelemay said. “The widely held assumption was that in the outskirts of our galaxy, the chemistry necessary to form organics just doesn’t occur.”

    That belief was partly based on the supposed dearth of organic molecules in the outer reaches of the galaxy, Koelemay said. The notion of the galactic habitable zone is based on the idea that for conditions to exist where life can evolve, a planetary system can’t be too close to the galactic center with its extremely high density of stars and intense radiation. It also can’t be too far out, because there would not be enough elements critical for life, such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen.

    Koelemay’s observations were made possible by a new 2-millimeter wavelength receiver with unprecedented sensitivity.

    3
    Detections of organic molecules in the outer reaches of the Milky Way were made possible by this new 2-millimeter wavelength receiver developed in a collaboration with Ziurys, Steward Observatory engineer Gene Lauria and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Steward Observatory/University of Arizona.

    Developed in a collaboration with Ziurys, Steward Observatory engineer Gene Lauria and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the receiver allows for detection of molecular emission lines in a wavelength bandwidth radio astronomers in the U.S. couldn’t access for years.

    “Without this new instrument, these observations would have taken hundreds of hours, which is not feasible,” Ziurys said. “With this new capability, we expect to dramatically open our observation window and detect molecules in other regions of our galaxy previously thought to be devoid of such chemistry.”

    Koelemay has begun looking for other molecules besides methanol – such as methyl cyanide, organic molecules with ring structures, and others that contain functional groups known to be crucial building blocks for biomolecules. Discoveries of those molecules in the interstellar medium have attracted much interest, as many researchers deem them promising candidates for the emergence of life. When organic molecules are present in emerging planetary systems, they can condense onto the surfaces of asteroids, which then deliver them to nascent planets, where they could potentially jumpstart the evolution of life.

    “We’re finding these species way on the outskirts of the galaxy, and the abundance doesn’t even drop off 10 kiloparsecs from the solar system, where the chemistry necessary for building the molecules necessary for life just wasn’t believed to occur,” said Ziurys, Koelemay’s adviser and a co-author of the research. “The fact that they’re there expands the prospects of habitable planets forming far beyond what has been considered the habitable zone, and it is extremely exciting.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:24 am on June 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UArizona Engineers Demonstrate a Quantum Advantage", , How (and When) Quantum Works, Quantum computing and quantum sensing have the potential to be vastly more powerful than their classical counterparts., , , The technology isn't quite there yet, UArizona College of Engineering, UArizona College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “UArizona Engineers Demonstrate a Quantum Advantage” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    6.1.21

    Emily Dieckman
    College of Engineering
    edieckman@email.arizona.edu
    520-621-1992
    760-981-8808

    In a new paper, researchers in the College of Engineering and James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences experimentally demonstrate how quantum resources aren’t just dreams for the distant future – they can improve the technology of today.

    1

    Quantum computing and quantum sensing have the potential to be vastly more powerful than their classical counterparts. Not only could a fully realized quantum computer take just seconds to solve equations that would take a classical computer thousands of years, but it could have incalculable impacts on areas ranging from biomedical imaging to autonomous driving.

    However, the technology isn’t quite there yet.

    In fact, despite widespread theories about the far-reaching impact of quantum technologies, very few researchers have been able to demonstrate, using the technology available now, that quantum methods have an advantage over their classical counterparts.

    In a paper published on June 1 in the journal Physical Review X, University of Arizona researchers experimentally show that quantum has an advantage over classical computing systems.

    2
    Quntao Zhuang (left), PI of the Quantum Information Theory Group, and Zheshen Zhang, PI of the Quantum Information and Materials Group, are both assistant professors in the College of Engineering.

    “Demonstrating a quantum advantage is a long-sought-after goal in the community, and very few experiments have been able to show it,” said paper co-author Zheshen Zhang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, principal investigator of the UArizona Quantum Information and Materials Group and one of the paper’s authors. “We are seeking to demonstrate how we can leverage the quantum technology that already exists to benefit real-world applications.”

    How (and When) Quantum Works

    Quantum computing and other quantum processes rely on tiny, powerful units of information called qubits. The classical computers we use today work with units of information called bits, which exist as either 0s or 1s, but qubits are capable of existing in both states at the same time. This duality makes them both powerful and fragile. The delicate qubits are prone to collapse without warning, making a process called error correction – which addresses such problems as they happen – very important.

    The quantum field is now in an era that John Preskill, a renowned physicist from the California Institute of Technology (US), termed “noisy intermediate scale quantum,” or NISQ. In the NISQ era, quantum computers can perform tasks that only require about 50 to a few hundred qubits, though with a significant amount of noise, or interference. Any more than that and the noisiness overpowers the usefulness, causing everything to collapse. It is widely believed that 10,000 to several million qubits would be needed to carry out practically useful quantum applications.

    Imagine inventing a system that guarantees every meal you cook will turn out perfectly, and then giving that system to a group of children who don’t have the right ingredients. It will be great in a few years, once the kids become adults and can buy what they need. But until then, the usefulness of the system is limited. Similarly, until researchers advance the field of error correction, which can reduce noise levels, quantum computations are limited to a small scale.

    Entanglement Advantages

    The experiment described in the paper used a mix of both classical and quantum techniques. Specifically, it used three sensors to classify the average amplitude and angle of radio frequency signals.

    The sensors were equipped with another quantum resource called entanglement, which allows them to share information with one another and provides two major benefits: First, it improves the sensitivity of the sensors and reduces errors. Second, because they are entangled, the sensors evaluate global properties rather than gathering data about specific parts of a system. This is useful for applications that only need a binary answer; for example, in medical imaging, researchers don’t need to know about every single cell in a tissue sample that isn’t cancerous – just whether there’s one cell that is cancerous. The same concept applies to detecting hazardous chemicals in drinking water.

    The experiment demonstrated that equipping the sensors with quantum entanglement gave them an advantage over classical sensors, reducing the likelihood of errors by a small but critical margin.

    “This idea of using entanglement to improve sensors is not limited to a specific type of sensor, so it could be used for a range of different applications, as long as you have the equipment to entangle the sensors,” said study co-author Quntao Zhuang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and principal investigator of the Quantum Information Theory Group”In theory, you could consider applications like lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) for self-driving cars, for example.”

    Zhuang and Zhang developed the theory behind the experiment and described it in a 2019 Physical Review X paper. They co-authored the new paper with lead author Yi Xia, a doctoral student in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, and Wei Li, a postdoctoral researcher in materials science and engineering.

    Qubit Classifiers

    There are existing applications that use a mix of quantum and classical processing in the NISQ era, but they rely on preexisting classical datasets that must be converted and classified in the quantum realm. Imagine taking a series of photos of cats and dogs, then uploading the photos into a system that uses quantum methods to label the photos as either “cat” or “dog.”

    The team is tackling the labeling process from a different angle, by using quantum sensors to gather their own data in the first place. It’s more like using a specialized quantum camera that labels the photos as either “dog” or “cat” as the photos are taken.

    “A lot of algorithms consider data stored on a computer disk, and then convert that into a quantum system, which takes time and effort,” Zhuang said. “Our system works on a different problem by evaluating physical processes that are happening in real time.”

    The team is excited for future applications of their work at the intersection of quantum sensing and quantum computing. They even envision one day integrating their entire experimental setup onto a chip that could be dipped into a biomaterial or water sample to identify disease or harmful chemicals.

    “We think it’s a new paradigm for both quantum computing, quantum machine learning and quantum sensors, because it really creates a bridge to interconnect all these different domains,” Zhang said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:25 am on May 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UArizona Geologists to 'X-ray' the Andes", , , , , , , One of the most extensive network of earthquake sensors-seismometers-to ever be installed in the Andes region of South America., Orogeny-mountain building, , TANGO-Trans Andean Great Orogeny, The formation of mountain ranges., University of Arizona (US)   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “UArizona Geologists to ‘X-ray’ the Andes” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    5.26.21

    Media contact
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact
    Susan Beck
    Department of Geosciences
    slbeck@arizona.edu
    520-621-8628

    A network of seismic stations poised to record images from deep underground will help scientists understand the mechanisms driving the formation of mountain ranges in unprecedented detail.

    1
    Andean Mountain range in Argentina showing the snow-capped peak of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas, rising 22,837 feet above sea level. Credit: Peter DeCelles.

    Led by geoscientists at the University of Arizona, an international research team will use data from earthquakes, geology and geochemistry to study, in greater detail than ever before, how mountain ranges are built.

    Supported by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (US), the project will shed light on how the Andes in South America formed, and produce a 3D model of mountain-building based on the Andes as a natural laboratory.

    The project, which is part of the NSF Frontier Research in Earth Science program, is dubbed TANGO, which stands for Trans Andean Great Orogeny. At the heart of the project is one of the most extensive network of earthquake sensors-seismometers-to ever be installed in the Andes region of South America. Scientists will use seismic waves traveling through Earth’s interior from quakes around the globe to better understand the geologic processes underlying the formation of mountain ranges.

    TANGO will focus specifically on the Andes from northern to southern Chile and in Argentina.

    “TANGO is an excellent example of the type of international collaboration that characterizes the University of Arizona’s unique capacity to tackle the grand challenges of our time,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “Building on our strengths and ongoing research in the geosciences, our faculty laid the groundwork that allowed them to successfully assemble an international team to help us gain a better understanding of a natural process where there is still a lot to learn.”

    Susan Beck, a UArizona professor of geosciences, will serve as TANGO’s lead principal investigator, with co-principal investigators Barbara Carrapa, Peter DeCelles, Mihai Ducea and Eric Kiser of the UArizona Department of Geosciences.

    A major part of the TANGO project centers around seismic imaging, which works much like medical imaging such as CT scans, which use X-ray images to make tissues visible based on their densities. Just like bone and soft tissue show up as different features, geologic features beneath the Earth’s surface show up distinctly when geologists “X-ray” them by recording shockwaves from earthquakes as they travel through the Andes.

    “Instead of sending X-rays through your head, we use seismic waves,” Beck said. “We deploy our instruments across a large area, and we wait for earthquakes to happen. We might take a year’s worth of data, from which we then assemble a tomographic image of what’s down there.”

    While many of the processes involved in mountain-building — known as orogeny — are known to take place at the surface, other processes take place very deep inside the Earth, hidden from view. Seismic imaging allows researchers to probe the Earth’s interior down to about 700 miles, Beck said.

    “Combined with geologic and geochemistry data from the rocks, we can understand how the Andes formed over the last 90 million years,” she said.

    Along the western edge of South America, a chunk of ocean floor known as the Nazca plate pushes against its neighbor — the plate that contains the South American continent — at a rate of a little over 2 inches per year. This process, known as subduction, causes Earth’s crust to fold up, pushing up mountain peaks up to 20,000 feet in elevation.

    “Subduction affects almost every aspect of our lives,” Beck said. “Think of it as a recycling program for Earth’s crust; it affects where mountains will rise up, where minerals and ores are formed, where tension is released as earthquakes and where the largest volcanic eruptions occur.”

    Piecing Together ‘A Giant Puzzle’

    Geologists still only have a vague idea of the details of mountain-building processes, Beck said, and TANGO is poised to fill some of the gaps.

    “For example, we know that as one plate goes under the other, it causes earthquakes, it drags layers of rock down with it and causes volcanoes to erupt,” she said. “But what happens with that molten rock before it gets to the surface? How deep does the Nazca plate go before it gets assimilated into the mantle?”

    The Andes serve as a giant natural laboratory to study the complex process involved in building a mountain range, Beck said.

    “When you make mountains, rocks erode, and all that eroded rock has to go somewhere,” Beck said. “In a large mountain range like the Andes, that eroded material adds up.”

    As debris from the eroding mountains accumulates in basins on the east side of the Andes, it creates a layered archive of time that “is amazing to unravel,” Beck said, but also presents geologists with head-scratchers.

    2
    The east face of Aconcagua clearly shows the layers of the lavas and volcanic deposits that make up the mountain. The large glacier on the northeast face is known as the Polish Glacier. Credit: Peter DeCelles.

    “We have a decent understanding of the big picture, but we don’t really understand the dynamics of it in detail,” Beck said. “For example, we find deposits from those basins high up in the mountains, and we don’t really know how they ended up there, so it’s like a giant puzzle.”

    Beck said she is excited about the seismic imaging component of TANGO.

    “Each seismic wave has a travel time that we can measure,” she said. “The time it takes a seismic wave to get from the epicenter of an earthquake to our station depends on the materials it travels through at different speeds, and we can unravel that. For example, a seismic wave that goes through a magma body really slows down compared to a wave that doesn’t, and we will see that difference.”

    To record thousands of earthquakes occurring in South America and around the globe, the team will install seismic stations across an area measuring about 800 miles by 400 miles. Deploying the technology in the field will involve many students from UArizona and partner institutions.

    “Some stations are easy, as they are in readily accessible locations and we just need to dig a hole and insert the sensors,” Beck said, “but others are in very remote locations, at high elevations. Some seismic stations require building a vault, mounting solar panels and batteries so the seismic station can run for years.”

    TANGO differs from similar efforts in scope and scale, Beck said.

    “In a typical scenario, people would put these stations out for a month, pull them up and call it good, but we will be going into very remote areas, and we will have to deploy our instruments over many months to years. We look at this as our one-time chance to get the data that could help us answer these fundamental questions. It’s going to be a huge field effort.”

    Since orogenic mechanisms are not unique to the Andes, TANGO will help scientists better understand tectonic processes in other areas as well. Beck said the Andes are a modern analog for what the western margin of North America looked like between 70 and 90 million years ago.

    “Similar processes have happened through geologic time in many places throughout the world,” she said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
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