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  • richardmitnick 10:36 pm on July 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists capture most-detailed radio image of Andromeda galaxy to date", , , , , University of British Columbia CA   

    From University of British Columbia (CA) : “Scientists capture most-detailed radio image of Andromeda galaxy to date” 

    U British Columbia bloc

    From University of British Columbia (CA)

    Jul 28, 2021
    Sachintha Wickramasinghe
    UBC Media Relations
    Tel: 604-822-4636
    Cel: 604-754-8289
    sachi.wickramasinghe@ubc.ca

    1
    Radio image of Andromeda galaxy at 6.6 GHz (inset), captured using the Sardinia Radio Telescope in Italy. Credit: S. Fatigoni et al. (2021).

    “Disk of galaxy” identified as region where new stars are born.

    Scientists have published a new, detailed radio image of the Andromeda galaxy – the Milky Way’s sister galaxy – which will allow them to identify and study the regions of Andromeda where new stars are born.

    The study – which is the first to create a radio image of Andromeda at the microwave frequency of 6.6 GHz – was led by University of British Columbia physicist Sofia Fatigoni, with colleagues at Sapienza University of Rome [Sapienza Università di Roma] (IT) and the INAF Italian National Institute for Astrophysics [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica] (IT). It was published online in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    “This image will allow us to study the structure of Andromeda and its content in more detail than has ever been possible,” said Fatigoni, a PhD student in the department of physics and astronomy at UBC. “Understanding the nature of physical processes that take place inside Andromeda allows us to understand what happens in our own galaxy more clearly – as if we were looking at ourselves from the outside.”

    Prior to this study, no maps capturing such a large region of the sky around the Andromeda Galaxy had ever been made in the microwave band frequencies between one GHz to 22 GHz. In this range, the galaxy’s emission is very faint, making it hard to see its structure. However, it is only in this frequency range that particular features are visible, so having a map at this particular frequency is crucial to understanding which physical processes are happening inside Andromeda.

    In order to observe Andromeda at this frequency, the researchers required a single-dish radio telescope with a large effective area. For the study, the scientists turned to the Sardinia Radio Telescope, a 64-metre fully steerable telescope capable of operating at high radio frequencies, located in Italy.

    3
    The Sardinia Radio Telescope, located in Sardinia, Italy. Credit: S. Fatigoni et al (2021)

    It took 66 hours of observation and consistent data analysis for the researchers to map the galaxy with high sensitivity.

    They were then able to estimate the rate of star formation within Andromeda, and produce a detailed map that highlighted the ‘disk of the galaxy,’ as the region where new stars are born.

    “By combining this new image with those previously acquired, we have made significant steps forward in clarifying the nature of Andromeda’s microwave emissions and allowing us to distinguish physical processes that occur in different regions of the galaxy,” said Dr. Elia Battistelli, a professor in the department of physics at Sapienza and coordinator of the study.

    “In particular, we were able to determine the fraction of emissions due to thermal processes related to the early stations of new star formation, and the fraction of radio signals attributable to non-thermal mechanisms due to cosmic rays that spiral in the magnetic field present in the interstellar medium,” Fatigoni said.

    4
    Final image of the Andromeda galaxy after averaging over the whole bandwidth at 6.6 GHz. Credit: S. Fatigoni et al (2021).

    For the study, the team also developed and implemented software that allowed them to test new algorithms to identify never-before-examined lower emission sources in the field of view around Andromeda at a frequency of 6.6 GHz.

    From the resulting map, researchers were able to identify a catalog of about 100 ‘point sources’ including stars, galaxies and other objects in the background of Andromeda.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U British Columbia Campus

    The University of British Columbia (CA) is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s West Coast spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

    The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia’s oldest university. The university ranks among the top three universities in Canada. With an annual research budget of $600 million, UBC funds over 8,000 projects a year.

    The Vancouver campus is situated adjacent to the University Endowment Lands located about 10 km (6 mi) west of downtown Vancouver. UBC is home to TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, which houses the world’s largest cyclotron. In addition to the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and Stuart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, UBC and the Max Planck Society (DE) collectively established the first Max Planck Institute in North America, specializing in quantum materials. One of the largest research libraries in Canada, the UBC Library system has over 9.9 million volumes among its 21 branches. The Okanagan campus, acquired in 2005, is located in Kelowna, British Columbia.

    Eight Nobel laureates, 71 Rhodes scholars, 65 Olympians, ten fellows in both American Academy of Arts & Sciences (US) and the Royal Society, and 273 fellows to the Royal Society of Canada [Société royale du Canada](CA) have been affiliated with UBC. Three Canadian prime ministers, including Canada’s first female prime minister Kim Campbell and current prime minister Justin Trudeau have been educated at UBC.

    Research

    The University of British Columbia is a member of Universitas 21, an international association of research-led institutions and the only Canadian member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of 42 leading research universities in the Pacific Rim. In 2017, the University of British Columbia had the second-largest sponsored research income out of any Canadian university, totalling C$577 million. In the same year, the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $249,900, the eighth highest in the country, while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $55,200.

    The university has been ranked on several bibliometric university rankings, which uses citation analysis to evaluate the impact a university has on academic publications. In 2019, the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities ranked UBC 27th in the world and second in Canada. The University Ranking by Academic Performance 2018–19 rankings placed the university 27th in the world and second in Canada.

    The university operates and manages a number of research centres:

    In 1972, a consortium of the University of British Columbia and four other universities from Alberta and British Columbia established the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Located on Vancouver Island, the centre provides year-round research facilities and technical assistance for biologists, ecologists and oceanographers.
    The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is an interdisciplinary research institute for fundamental research in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
    The UBC Farm is a 24-hectare (59-acre) learning and research farm in UBC’s South Campus area. It features Saturday Farm Markets from early June until early October, selling organic produce and eggs to the community.
    TRIUMF, a laboratory specializing in particle and nuclear physics, is also situated at the university. The name was formerly an acronym for Tri-University Meson Facility, but TRIUMF is now owned and operated by a consortium of eleven Canadian universities. The consortium runs TRIUMF through a contribution of funds from the National Research Council of Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada] (CA) and makes TRIUMF’s facilities available to Canadian scientists and to scientists from around the world.
    BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and UBC have established Professorships in Cannabis Science in 2018 following Canada’s legalization of cannabis.[96]
    The Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions is a research institute for the teaching and study of innovation in democratic practice and institutions. Established in 2002, the centre conducts research and teaching in cooperation with scholars, public officials, NGOs and students. The centre is formally housed in the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), and operates in association with faculty in the UBC Department of Political Science. It was initially funded from the Merilees Chair through a donation by Gail and Stephen Jarislowsky.
    The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, one of three Canadian research institutes focused on quantum materials and technology research, was established in 2015 with the support of the Canada First Excellence Research Fund and a donation from Stewart Blusson.

    In 2017, UBC inked a $3 million research agreement with Huawei for big data and fuel cell technology. The university refused to release the agreement without an access to information request.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:47 am on July 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Molecular Gas in High Redshift Galaxies", , University of British Columbia CA,   

    From University of Toronto (CA) and From University of British Columbia (CA) via National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US) : “Molecular Gas in High Redshift Galaxies” 

    From University of Toronto (CA)

    and

    U British Columbia bloc

    From University of British Columbia (CA)

    via

    NRAO Banner

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US)

    Jeff Shen (University of Toronto) and Allison Man (University of British Columbia)

    1
    White circles in this HST composite color image show the target galaxies at z = 2.9. There are several projected images for some of the galaxies (e.g., 2.a, 2.b and 2.c are three images of the same background galaxy). This effect is caused by gravitational lensing. Blue line indicates the lensing model’s critical line, across which galaxy images are reflected. Adapted from Shen et al. 2021.

    To obtain a complete picture of star formation and galaxy evolution, we must look to high-redshift galaxies in the early Universe. They hold the key to understanding how the galaxies of the past become the galaxies of the present. A crucial epoch is the so-called cosmic noon from z = 2 to 3, when star formation peaked. (Madau and Dickinson 2014). Understanding star formation at these redshifts is often done by observing the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), a tracer for cold gas, which is the immediate fuel for forming stars. This is typically done with powerful radio telescopes. Our team used ALMA to make observations of the CO(3-2) transition in several galaxies at z = 2.9 (Shen et al. 2021; see figure).

    Given that galaxies in the early Universe are very distant, CO observations at these redshifts tend to be biased toward the most extremely star-forming galaxies which harbor large reserves of molecular gas. We use gravitational lensing, whereby a massive foreground galaxy cluster between Earth and the target galaxies magnifies the incoming light from the target galaxies. This allows us to observe galaxies, previously identified in other wavelengths (Borys et al. 2004, Mackenzie et al. 2014), which are far less bright and massive than is typically observed in galaxies at comparable redshifts. To determine the gas mass, we need to convert our CO(3-2) observation into a CO(1-0) equivalent, which introduces significant systematic uncertainty. In the case of the most magnified galaxy, we find gas masses that are an order of magnitude below the typical gas masses of z > 1 galaxies from the literature. This analysis of more “normal” galaxies (i.e., representative of the general galaxy population) is made possible by the fortuitous lensing of the target galaxies, but in the future the ngVLA may make these kinds of observations commonplace.

    The ngVLA would allow for phenomenally detailed observations of cold gas in distant galaxies. With its long baselines, the ngVLA will be able to spatially resolve molecular gas in early galaxies, allowing us to characterize the gas dynamics and obtain virial mass estimates. Additionally, the ngVLA will be able to directly observe the CO(1-0) line, avoiding the uncertainty associated with the conversion from a higher J transition (Casey et al. 2015). These observations will be possible at sensitivities better than ever before, and perhaps more excitingly, it will be possible to detect CO(1-0) across a large range of redshifts, allowing for a more comprehensive view of galaxies through time (Decarli et al. 2018).

    Since 2015, the acronym ngVLA has appeared in 700+ publications indexed in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. This article continues a regular feature intended to highlight some of those publications. We are especially interested in showcasing work done by early-career researchers.

    Received via email, so no link.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Access to ALMA observing time by the North American astronomical community will be through the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC).

    *The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) comprises ten radio telescopes spanning 5,351 miles. It’s the world’s largest, sharpest, dedicated telescope array. With an eye this sharp, you could be in Los Angeles and clearly read a street sign in New York City!

    Astronomers use the continent-sized VLBA to zoom in on objects that shine brightly in radio waves, long-wavelength light that’s well below infrared on the spectrum. They observe blazars, quasars, black holes, and stars in every stage of the stellar life cycle. They plot pulsars, exoplanets, and masers, and track asteroids and planets.

    U British Columbia Campus

    The University of British Columbia (CA) is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s West Coast spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

    The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia’s oldest university. The university ranks among the top three universities in Canada. With an annual research budget of $600 million, UBC funds over 8,000 projects a year.

    The Vancouver campus is situated adjacent to the University Endowment Lands located about 10 km (6 mi) west of downtown Vancouver. UBC is home to TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, which houses the world’s largest cyclotron. In addition to the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and Stuart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, UBC and the Max Planck Society (DE) collectively established the first Max Planck Institute in North America, specializing in quantum materials. One of the largest research libraries in Canada, the UBC Library system has over 9.9 million volumes among its 21 branches. The Okanagan campus, acquired in 2005, is located in Kelowna, British Columbia.

    Eight Nobel laureates, 71 Rhodes scholars, 65 Olympians, ten fellows in both American Academy of Arts & Sciences (US) and the Royal Society, and 273 fellows to the Royal Society of Canada [Société royale du Canada](CA) have been affiliated with UBC. Three Canadian prime ministers, including Canada’s first female prime minister Kim Campbell and current prime minister Justin Trudeau have been educated at UBC.

    Research

    The University of British Columbia is a member of Universitas 21, an international association of research-led institutions and the only Canadian member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of 42 leading research universities in the Pacific Rim. In 2017, the University of British Columbia had the second-largest sponsored research income out of any Canadian university, totalling C$577 million. In the same year, the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $249,900, the eighth highest in the country, while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $55,200.

    The university has been ranked on several bibliometric university rankings, which uses citation analysis to evaluate the impact a university has on academic publications. In 2019, the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities ranked UBC 27th in the world and second in Canada. The University Ranking by Academic Performance 2018–19 rankings placed the university 27th in the world and second in Canada.

    The university operates and manages a number of research centres:

    In 1972, a consortium of the University of British Columbia and four other universities from Alberta and British Columbia established the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Located on Vancouver Island, the centre provides year-round research facilities and technical assistance for biologists, ecologists and oceanographers.
    The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is an interdisciplinary research institute for fundamental research in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
    The UBC Farm is a 24-hectare (59-acre) learning and research farm in UBC’s South Campus area. It features Saturday Farm Markets from early June until early October, selling organic produce and eggs to the community.
    TRIUMF, a laboratory specializing in particle and nuclear physics, is also situated at the university. The name was formerly an acronym for Tri-University Meson Facility, but TRIUMF is now owned and operated by a consortium of eleven Canadian universities. The consortium runs TRIUMF through a contribution of funds from the National Research Council of Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada] (CA) and makes TRIUMF’s facilities available to Canadian scientists and to scientists from around the world.
    BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and UBC have established Professorships in Cannabis Science in 2018 following Canada’s legalization of cannabis.[96]
    The Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions is a research institute for the teaching and study of innovation in democratic practice and institutions. Established in 2002, the centre conducts research and teaching in cooperation with scholars, public officials, NGOs and students. The centre is formally housed in the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), and operates in association with faculty in the UBC Department of Political Science. It was initially funded from the Merilees Chair through a donation by Gail and Stephen Jarislowsky.
    The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, one of three Canadian research institutes focused on quantum materials and technology research, was established in 2015 with the support of the Canada First Excellence Research Fund and a donation from Stewart Blusson.

    In 2017, UBC inked a $3 million research agreement with Huawei for big data and fuel cell technology. The university refused to release the agreement without an access to information request.

    The University of Toronto (CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities (US) outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.

    Research

    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory (CA) in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:19 am on October 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The First Star in Our Galaxy Caught Sending Out Fast Radio Bursts Is Doing It Again", , , , , , Magnetar SGR 1935+2154, , , , University of British Columbia CA   

    From Science Alert: “The First Star in Our Galaxy Caught Sending Out Fast Radio Bursts Is Doing It Again” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert (AU)

    22 OCTOBER 2020
    MICHELLE STARR

    1
    Artist’s impression of a magnetar. Credit: Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF.

    A little dead star that dazzled us earlier this year is not done with its shenanigans.

    Magnetar SGR 1935+2154, which in April emitted the first known fast radio burst from inside the Milky Way, has flared up once more, giving astronomers yet another chance to solve more than one major cosmic mystery.

    On 8 October 2020, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected SGR 1935+2154 emitting three millisecond radio bursts in three seconds.

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia (CA), the University of Toronto (CA), McGill University (CA), Yale and the National Research Council in British Columbia (CA), at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia, CA Altitude 545 m (1,788 ft).

    Following up on the CHIME/FRB detection, the FAST radio telescope found something else – a pulsed radio emission consistent with the magnetar’s spin period.

    “It’s really exciting to see SGR 1935+2154 back again, and I’m optimistic that as we study these bursts more carefully, it will help us better understand the potential relationship between magnetars and fast radio bursts,” astronomer Deborah Good of the University of British Columbia in Canada, and member of the CHIME/FRB, told ScienceAlert.

    The detections, reported in The Astronomer’s Telegram, are currently undergoing analysis.

    Before April of this year, fast radio bursts (FRBs) had only ever been detected coming from outside the galaxy, usually from sources millions of light-years away. The first one was discovered in 2007, and ever since, astronomers have been trying to figure out what causes them.

    As the name implies, FRBs are bursts of extremely powerful radio waves detected in the sky, some discharging more energy than hundreds of millions of Suns. They last mere milliseconds.

    Because most fast radio burst sources seem to flare once and haven’t been detected repeating, they’re extremely unpredictable. In addition, the ones we’ve detected usually come from so far away, our telescopes are unable to pick out individual stars. Both of these characteristics make FRBs challenging to track down either to an exact source galaxy, or a known cause.

    But SGR 1935+2154 is only around 30,000 light-years away. On 28 April 2020, it spat out a powerful millisecond-duration burst, which has since been named FRB 200428 in keeping with fast radio burst naming conventions.

    Once the power of the signal was corrected for distance, FRB 200428 was found to be not quite as powerful as extragalactic fast radio bursts – but everything else about it fit the profile.

    “If the same signal came from a nearby galaxy, like one of the nearby typical FRB galaxies, it would look like an FRB to us,” astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni of Caltech told ScienceAlert in May. “Something like this has never been seen before.”

    We don’t know much about the three new bursts yet. Because scientists are still working on the data, it’s possible that some early conclusions are likely to change, Good told ScienceAlert. But we can already tell that they are both like and unlike FRB 200428.

    They are a little less powerful again, but they are all still incredibly strong, and all just milliseconds long. “Although less bright than the detection earlier this year, these are still very bright bursts which we’d see if they were extragalactic,” Good said.

    “One of the most interesting aspects of this detection is that our three bursts seem to have occurred within one rotation period. The magnetar is known to rotate once every ~3.24 seconds, but our first and second bursts were separated by 0.954 seconds, and the second and third were separated by 1.949 seconds. That’s a bit unusual, and I think it’s something that we’ll be looking into further going forward.”

    That could reveal something new and useful about magnetar behaviour, because – let’s face it – they are pretty weird.

    Magnetars – of which we have only confirmed 24 to date – are a type of neutron star; that’s the collapsed core of a dead star not massive enough to turn into a black hole. Neutron stars are small and dense, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) in diameter, with a maximum mass of about two Suns. But magnetars add something else to the mix: a shockingly powerful magnetic field.

    These jaw-dropping fields are around a quadrillion times more powerful than Earth’s magnetic field, and a thousand times more powerful than that of a normal neutron star. And we still don’t fully understand how they got that way.

    But we do know that magnetars undergo periods of activity. As gravity tries to keep the star together – an inward force – the magnetic field, pulling outward, is so powerful, it distorts the star’s shape. This leads to ongoing tension which occasionally produces gargantuan starquakes and giant magnetar flares.

    SGR 1935+2154 has been undergoing such activity, suggesting a link between magnetar tantrums and at least some FRBs.

    Obviously, astronomers have found the source of the first intra-galactic FRB to be of intense interest. When CHIME/FRB reported their detection, other astronomers went to have a look at the star, including a team led by Zhu Weiwei of the National Astronomical Observatories of China who had access to FAST, the largest single-aperture radio telescope in the world.

    FAST [Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope] radio telescope, with phased arrays from CSIRO engineers Australia located in the Dawodang depression in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, South China.

    And they found something interesting, also reported in The Astronomer’s Telegram – pulsed radio emission. These radio pulses were nowhere near as strong as the bursts, but they’re extremely rare: If validated, SGR 1935+2154 will only be the sixth magnetar with pulsed radio emission. And the pulse period was found to be 3.24781 seconds – almost exactly the star’s spin period.

    This is curious, because so far, astronomers have struggled to find a link between magnetars and radio pulsars. Pulsars are another type of neutron star; they have a more normal magnetic field, but they pulse in radio waves as they spin, and astronomers have long tried to figure out how the two types of stars are related.

    Earlier this year, Australian astronomers identified a magnetar that was behaving like a radio pulsar – a possible “missing link” between the two, and evidence that at least some magnetars could evolve into pulsars. SGR 1935+2154 could be another piece of the puzzle.

    “Based on these results and the increasing bursting activities, we speculate that the magnetar may be in the process of turning into an active radio pulsar,” Weiwei’s team wrote.

    What an absolutely bloody fascinating little star this is turning out to be.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 8:26 am on September 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study Suggests Jupiter Could Have 600 Moons", , , , , , University of British Columbia CA   

    From University of British Columbia CA via Sky & Telescope: “Study Suggests Jupiter Could Have 600 Moons” 

    U British Columbia bloc

    From University of British Columbia CA

    via

    From Sky & Telescope

    September 8, 2020
    Govert Schilling

    From University of British Columbia CA
    Edward Ashton
    Matthew Beaudoin
    Brett Gladman

    New detections of candidate moons suggest that the king of planets could have hundreds of smaller satellites.

    1
    Ganymede and Europa, the largest and smallest of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, cast their shadows on Jupiter. The newly discovered detections reported here are evidence of much smaller moons in farther-out orbits.
    Credit: Damian Peach.

    Jupiter could have some 600 moons measuring at least 800 meters (2,600 feet) in diameter, according to a team of Canadian astronomers. They will present their findings on September 25th at the virtual Europlanet Science Congress 2020. Most of the moons are in wide, irregular, and retrograde orbits.

    Over the past 20 years, astronomers have found dozens of small Jovian moons thanks to the advance of large digital cameras. Back in 2003, Scott Sheppard (Carnegie Institution of Science) already estimated that the number of irregular moons larger than a kilometer would probably be around one hundred.

    Now, Edward Ashton, Matthew Beaudoin, and Brett Gladman (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) have detected about four dozen possible new Jovian moons that are even smaller. Extrapolating from the sky area they have searched (about one square degree), they conclude that there could be some 600 of these tiny objects orbiting the giant planet.

    The team studied 60 archival 140-second exposures of a field close to Jupiter, all of them taken within a 3-hour period on September 8, 2010, with the 340-megapixel MegaPrime camera at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope on Mauna Kea. The astronomers digitally combined the images in 126 different ways, one for every possible combination of speed and direction at which a potential Jovian moon might move across the sky.

    CFHT MegaPrime camera.


    CFHT Telescope, Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, at Maunakea, Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level.

    2
    This discovery image shows one of the brightest new candidate moons (preliminary designation: j22r94a24). The new moon is at the center of the image; stars appear as streaks due to the shift-and-stack process used to combine multiple exposures.
    Edward Ashton (University of British Columbia CA).

    This method revealed 52 objects down to magnitude 25.7, corresponding to diameters of some 800 meters. Seven of the brighter finds turned out to be known irregular satellites of Jupiter; the others are almost certainly retrograde Jovian moons, which orbit the planet in the direction opposite its rotation. A paper describing the results has been accepted for publication in The Planetary Science Journal, The Population of Kilometer-scale Retrograde Jovian Irregular Moons.

    If this sensitive one-square-degree “pencil-beam” search already yields 45 formerly unknown moons, the researchers estimate that the total number of satellites within this size range must be around 600. The current official number of Jovian moons is 79.

    Sheppard (whose team found 20 new satellites of Saturn last year) is not surprised by the new result. “We used a similar shift and stack technique for our Jupiter moon discoveries that were announced in 2018,” he says. “In our paper, we also mentioned detections that we could not confirm as moons, because we didn’t observe them for the months and years required to reliably determine their orbits.”

    3
    This diagram shows the orbits of Jupiter’s 79 confirmed moons. The planet’s prograde moons (purple, blue) orbit relatively close to Jupiter while its retrograde moons (red) are farther out. The newly discovered moons likely belong to the latter group. (Valetudo, a previously discovered moon marked in green, is an exception; it’s farther out but orbits prograde.) Credit: Carnegie Inst. for Science / Roberto Molar Candanosa.

    Likewise, the Canadian team cannot yet claim new discoveries for their 45 new detections, let alone for the extrapolated 600. “It takes a lot of large telescope time to get reliable orbits for these very small and numerous moons,” says Sheppard, “so one has to decide if that is scientifically valuable.”

    According to Ashton, there are currently no plans for follow-up observations of the new moons. “It would be nice to confirm them,” he says, “but there is no way to track them without starting from scratch.” However, the tiny moons will certainly be found again by future instruments like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory.

    Vera C. Rubin Observatory Telescope currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes, altitude 2,715 m (8,907 ft).

    “They will then be linked back, so our observations will eventually be incorporated.”

    The new detections raise the question of how small an object can be and still be called a moon. “Eventually one descends to ring particles, and some kind of cutoff will be useful,” says Ashton. But Sheppard doesn’t believe we need “any more definition of what is a moon.” Anyway, he says, the International Astronomical Union will not name planetary moons smaller than one kilometer in size.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sky & Telescope magazine, founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, has the largest, most experienced staff of any astronomy magazine in the world. Its editors are virtually all amateur or professional astronomers, and every one has built a telescope, written a book, done original research, developed a new product, or otherwise distinguished him or herself.

    Sky & Telescope magazine, now in its eighth decade, came about because of some happy accidents. Its earliest known ancestor was a four-page bulletin called The Amateur Astronomer, which was begun in 1929 by the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York City. Then, in 1935, the American Museum of Natural History opened its Hayden Planetarium and began to issue a monthly bulletin that became a full-size magazine called The Sky within a year. Under the editorship of Hans Christian Adamson, The Sky featured large illustrations and articles from astronomers all over the globe. It immediately absorbed The Amateur Astronomer.

    Despite initial success, by 1939 the planetarium found itself unable to continue financial support of The Sky. Charles A. Federer, who would become the dominant force behind Sky & Telescope, was then working as a lecturer at the planetarium. He was asked to take over publishing The Sky. Federer agreed and started an independent publishing corporation in New York.

    “Our first issue came out in January 1940,” he noted. “We dropped from 32 to 24 pages, used cheaper quality paper…but editorially we further defined the departments and tried to squeeze as much information as possible between the covers.” Federer was The Sky’s editor, and his wife, Helen, served as managing editor. In that January 1940 issue, they stated their goal: “We shall try to make the magazine meet the needs of amateur astronomy, so that amateur astronomers will come to regard it as essential to their pursuit, and professionals to consider it a worthwhile medium in which to bring their work before the public.”

    U British Columbia Campus

    The University of British Columbia CA is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s West Coast spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:38 am on September 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Long live the queen: UBC scientists find clues to queen bee failure", , , Currently there isn’t any method to actually figure out why the queen has failed in a colony., Hours spent in the cargo holds of airplanes and warehouses can subject the queens to large fluctuations in temperature., Researchers identified specific proteins that are activated in queen bees under different stressful conditions: extreme heat; extreme cold; and pesticide exposure., Scientists at UBC are unravelling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality—queen bee failure., University of British Columbia CA   

    From University of British Columbia CA- “Long live the queen: UBC scientists find clues to queen bee failure” 

    U British Columbia bloc

    From University of British Columbia CA

    Sep 8, 2020
    Sachintha Wickramasinghe
    Tel: 604-822-4636
    Cel: 604-754-8289
    Email: sachi.wickramasinghe@ubc.ca

    1
    Queen cells ready to go into mating colonies for a queen production operation.

    Scientists at UBC are unravelling the mysteries behind a persistent problem in commercial beekeeping that is one of the leading causes of colony mortality—queen bee failure.

    This occurs when the queen fails to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain the hive, and is regularly cited by the Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists as one of the top causes of colony mortality.

    In recent research outlined in BMC Genomics, University of British Columbia and North Carolina State University researchers identified specific proteins that are activated in queen bees under different stressful conditions: extreme heat, extreme cold, and pesticide exposure—conditions that can affect the viability of the sperm stored in the honey bee queen’s body. If the queen does not have enough live sperm to produce enough fertilized eggs to maintain its population of worker bees, the colony will eventually die out.

    Scientists then measured the levels of these markers in a collection of queens in B.C. that had failed in the field, and found that they had higher levels of heat-shock and pesticide protein markers compared to healthy queens. The results pave the way for a future diagnostic test to help beekeepers understand, and prevent, queen bee failure in the future.

    “Currently, there isn’t any method to actually figure out why the queen has failed in a colony, and that’s important because there are quite a few different ways that that could happen,” said lead author Alison McAfee, a biochemist at the Michael Smith Labs at UBC and postdoctoral fellow at NC State. “This is a very understudied area.”

    2
    Credit: This figure originally appeared in McAfee et al. (2020) BMC Genomics, 21:571

    Previous research conducted by McAfee and her colleagues determined that queens are safest when kept between 15 and 38 degrees Celsius, and identified five protein markers associated with heat-shock in queens. Now, McAfee has confirmed the two most identifiable biomarkers for heat-shock, along with two protein markers useful for detecting cold-shock, and two associated with sublethal levels of pesticides. The findings open the door to testing that will provide beekeepers with information needed to ensure the long-term viability of their hives.

    “We want to develop a diagnostic test that we can do on a failed queen, which can provide the beekeeper with information on what happened to her in the past that made her fail now,” explained McAfee. “If we can do that reliably, then then the beekeeper could do more to try to prevent that from happening in the future.”

    Currently, beekeepers simply toss away a failed queen. In the future, said McAfee, “they could ship her to a lab, which would measure the abundance of all these different markers and send a report with information on the likelihood of her being stressed by cause X, Y and Z.”

    3
    The mating yard with small mating colonies.

    When it came to failed queens from the field in B.C., the researchers were surprised to find elevated markers associated with heat stress and, to a lesser extent, pesticide exposure.

    “We didn’t have any reason to believe that these queens were heat shocked,” said McAfee. “A substantial number of them had elevated levels of those particular markers, which could mean that there is a lot more temperature stress going on out there than we would expect. It could also be that those markers also become elevated due to other kinds of stresses that we haven’t looked at yet.”

    The effect of extreme temperatures on queen bees is a large concern for Canadian beekeepers who import 250,000 queen bees every year, primarily from Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Hours spent in the cargo holds of airplanes and warehouses can subject the queens to large fluctuations in temperature during their journey—something McAfee has investigated in past work.

    “Every time we put temperature loggers in queen shipments, we have at least some of the shipments coming back is being outside of that Goldilocks zone between 15 and 38 degrees, so I think that happens more frequently than we have been aware of,” she said. “There are no rules for shipping queens, such as including temperature loggers in their shipments. Producers just ship them via whatever courier they choose, and beekeepers are at the mercy of the shipper for handling the package properly.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U British Columbia Campus

    The University of British Columbia CA is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s West Coast spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

     
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