Brand New family photos of Mars and Saturn by Hubble

In the year 2018, summer, Saturn and Mars are positioned to Earth. On this event, the planets are significantly close to Earth and allow astronomers to observe them in larger detail. Hubble took benefits of this preferred to image both planets long-standing observation of the outer planet in the solar system. When the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope was launched, its main aim is always been studying not only distant but also the planet in the solar system. 

The high-resolution images of Hubble can be surpassed by pictures taken from spacecraft. Hubble has the benefits over space probes and it can look at these objects and observe them for a long time than any passing probe could. 

Last month, on 27th June and 27Th July the Mars and Saturn planets have been in opposition to Earth- Saturn. When the earth, sun, and outer planet are lined up, the Earth sitting between the outer planet and the sun. 

At the time of opposition, a planet is completely by the sun seen from the earth and it marks the time while it nearer to the earth and allowing astronomers to see the planet’s surface features in a larger detail. 

After a month before Saturn opposition on June 6th Hubble was observing the ringed planet. At that time Saturn was 1.4 billion kilometers from the Earth. The images taken could show Saturn’s ring system near its maximum tilt towards the Earth that allows an amazing view of the rings and gaps. The gas giant boast rings of the Saturn are the largest and most amazing stretching out to eight times the planet radius. 

With this, there is a beautiful view of the ring system, and the image of Hubble reveals a hexagonal pattern around the North Pole. This is a stable wind feature explored in the year 1981, during the flyby of the Voyager 1 space probe. When observing this planet Hubble, it managed to capture images of six of Saturn’s 62, presently known as moons, Dione, Enceladus, Tethys, Janus, Epimetheus, and Mimas. Scientists stated that it is a  small, wayward moon like one of these disintegrated 200 million years ago to form Saturn’s ring system.

These new images of Saturn and Mars with previous data gathered by Hubble and other telescopes and space probes allows astronomers to study how the patterns of cloud and the structures of other planets in our solar system change with time. 

Mountaintop coal mining mapping in Appalachia annually

In central Appalachia, a method called mountaintop removal is taking place and the coal industry may have declined because of the cheap natural gas rise up. Here in this place, a new web-based mapping tool shows the land laid bare details that are going back than three decades. The tool uses imagery satellite to map and identify the annual extent of mining activity across Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Between 1985 and 2015, the researchers estimate an average of 21,000 acres was converted to rubble and bare earth in Appalachia each year – an area about half the size of Washington, D.C., that is stated in the PLOS ONE journal. first author Andrew Pericak, who conducted the research in the lab of biology professor Emily Bernhardt at Duke University said that this analysis makes the total estimate since 1970about 1.5 million acres. This area is 18% larger than the state of Delaware and 3 % smaller than Everglades National Park. 

The method of mountaintop mining is a form of surface coal mining. In this coal, companies clear the forest from the hilltop and use heavy and explosive machines to blast the soil and expose to discover coal underneath the layers of soil. The remaining part of debris and rock is pushed into proximity valleys, burying under the streams of rubble called valley fill. 

According to advocates, the process offers the mining companies to harvest shallow seams of coal. However, with the advent of scientific evidence, it destroys fills the air with harmful contamination from the streams, destroys forests. 

Co-author Matthew Ross, previously at Duke and now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said that by determining the time of the coal mining activity is complicated of assessing these human and environmental impacts. In any year, the mining company would operate within an area that is permitted on their mining only. 

Previously it has been mapped that using satellite imagery for mapping surface mining in Appalachia. These updated in the year 2006 and give a mining snapshot in every 10 years rather than every year. 

The group used Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform to process the US government satellite images of invisible and visible light. This is reflected from the surface of the earth, taken over 31 years in a 74 country location. The team combined their mining areas and estimates the previous mining data.

Individual Silver nanoparticles can be observed in real time

A chemist at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum has introduced an ultimate observing method of the chemical reaction of separate silver nanoparticles that only measure thousands of human hair thickness in real time. The particles are used in food, medicine, sports items because they have an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect. In fact, how they degrade and react in biological and ecological systems is rarely understood. 

The Research Group for Electrochemistry and Nanoscale Materials showed the nanoparticles transform into very poor soluble silver chloride particles under some conditions. Prof Dr. Kristina Tschulik led this group and reports on the results in the American Chemical Society from July 11, 2018, this is a journal. 

Kristina Tschulik, he is a member of the Cluster of Excellence Ruhr Explores Solvation.said that under well-defined laboratory conditions, the present research has provided various contradictory results on the silver nanoparticles reaction. In each part of nanoparticles, the individual particle properties such as shape and size difference. 

With another process, a myriad of particles was investigated at the same time. This means that the effects of variations could not be recorded. This measurement took place in a high vacuum and under natural conditions in a rapid solution. The group led by Kristina Tschulik developed a process that enables significant silver particles that should be investigated in a natural environment. The researcher explains that they focus to record the reactivity of individual particles.

The group was able to observe significant nanoparticles as colored and visible pixels. This needs a combination of spectroscopic and electrochemical methods. Using the change in the pixels color or you can say spectral information; the researchers were able to follow about the happening in the electrochemical in real time. The group replicated the silver oxidation in the presence of chloride ions in their experiment. This more often takes place in biological and ecological systems. Kristina Tschulik described that till now it was assumed that the silver particles dissolve in the form of silver ions. This poorly soluble silver chloride was formed in the experiment if the chloride ions were present in the same solution. 

The Bochum-based community wishes to improve its technology for analyzing the nanoparticles for a better understanding of the aging mechanism of these particles. The researchers want to get more information about the silver particles biocompatibility and the aging and lifespan of active catalytically nanoparticles in the near future. This measurement happens in a natural environment.

Is the Soil of Mars too dry to sustain life? 

We all know that for surviving in life, water is required. There is life persists in the driest surroundings on Earth. Then, how dry is too dry? At what point is surrounding is extreme for microorganisms or the smallest resilient life forms to survive? These questions are essential for the scientists to search for life beyond earth, which includes on the planet Mars. To know the answer, a research team of NASA’s Center Ames Research in California traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile. This is the driest place on earth and a 1,000KM strip of land on the coast of South America. 

The Atacama Desert is the closest place to the Martian surface. It is uniformly dry. While traveling from the less dry Southern desert in central Chile to the dry center in Northern Chile, only a few millimeters rain shifts in a year.  The sterile environment offers an option to find for life by minimizing perception levels. The researchers’ team was able to determine the dry limitation of habitability exists by pinning down the number of water needs in the environment. 

Scientists can say how long cells have been dead by studying a kind of molecule that is known as amino acids. These are the blocks of protein buildings. The amino acid structures take two forms – 1. Each mirror reflections to another. 2- it is like a pair of hands. The life on Earth is built with left-handed amino acid molecules. When a cell dies, some amino acids change at a specific rate into the right-handed structure. It can balance 50-50 ratio over many years.

Mary Beth Wilhelm, an astrobiologist at Ames and lead author of the new study published in the journal Astrobiology this month said that they find evidence everywhere on Earth about microbial life. In extreme environments its essential to know whether a microbe is dormant or alive. 

Biologists analyze something as alive if its capable of reproduction and growth. If microbes are surviving a few general functions, they will die within only one generation without providing any genetic information. When searching for life on Mars, scientists require seeing this reproduction should take place that leads to genetic change and population growth from one generation to another.

Wilhelm said that they go to Mars, then they can use the Atacama like a natural laboratory and based on this result, they can adjust their expectations, what they might find when they get there. 

Mission Aeolus

Aeolus, the ESA’s wind mapping satellite will be launched shortly. The real-time mapping of earth’s air pressure and other details will be possible when on 21st August, this satellite will take off from European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The much-anticipated launch is being prepared for a journey that will be memorable. The single satellite is all set for the sail and will be carrying a sophisticated atmospheric laser Doppler instrument, dubbed Aladin. This comprises two powerful lasers, receptors which are extremely sensitive, and a large telescope. The device will be one of the most advanced instruments that have been established into the orbit till date.

Several tests have been carried out to measure the strength of the satellite, along with a twelve-day long trip in which it had to cross the Atlantic Ocean from France to Kourou. It took sixteen years to plan, test and construct the spacecraft and generations of engineers and scientists were involved in its creation. Juan Pineiro, the manager for spacecraft operations, stated that the skill and dedication of several people have finally come to fruition. The ambition of launching Aeolus will be accomplished soon and so will its objectives. 

Weather predictions are challenging, and Aeolus aims at making this tough task a bit easy and accurate. It is the first-ever satellite to measure wind directly from space, located at a distance of some 30 km from earth’s surface. With improved forecasts, the satellite is a valuable addition to satellites observing the plant blue. The satellite will orbit the sun-synchronous orbit in a pole to pole motion and will pass over similar points at a fixed time. The dawn/dusk orbit followed by the satellite and will get energy from the sun, as it runs on solar energy.

ESA’s European Space Operations Centre spent a lot of time to control the launch in every possible manner and make it a success. When a satellite is launched, it goes through several phases, one such phase when it is vulnerable, is when the satellite is not fully functional but is exposed to the hazards of the space.  During this time, there is a worry as well as excitement in the control room. Ground stations do their practice for such a time as it is quite challenging. Though Aeolus has a team of specialists to take care of its flight dynamics, the time is full of anxiety for everyone. 

Dusty Mars? Here’s why

Mars faced a dust storm recently, and we all were wondering if the satellites we planted on the red planet will survive the rain or not. There is a lot of dust on the planet red, but were from so much of dirt came and encapsulated the planet? At John Hopkins, the scientists discovered the reason behind this.

Medusae Fossae formation is the process that takes place on the surface of Mars and is the reason behind such a terrific amount of dust formation. Near the red planet’s equator, a single 1000 km long geological formation has been discovered by the scientists at Johns Hopkins University. They published a report about their discoveries and stated that Mars is dusty because of constant erosion. Since it is not an enormous deposit but a created continuously dust, it is polluting the planet over the period. As shown in the movie – The Martian – dust storm can lead to a cycle of events that can put an astronaut in a problematic situation. 

The dust on Mars can cause serious health issues if a real mission ever gets to land there. The spirit Mars exploration rover could not tolerate the massive sandstorm and preferred to save itself instead of sending data to earth. There are expensive instruments placed on these rovers, and such sand storms can damage them permanently. The solar panel is one such equipment that is like breath to the device. 

On earth, this dust gets separated by nature. Glaciers, volcanoes, wind, waves, etc. have been influencing the soil on earth for centuries. But neither of such things exist on Mars, there is no cleaning agent and thus the dust. 

The chemical composition of this dust when studied reveals that it was rich in sulfur and chlorine. The ratio of sulfur to chlorine is also quite distinct. The data captured by Odysseus – a spacecraft sent to Mars to collect samples – suggests that the MFF region has abundant sulfur and chlorine in the specific mass ratio. Though it was considered that MFF has its origin in the volcano, but the rate resembling that of Mars suggests that the information is not complete yet. 

The particle of dust destroys the environment and also absorbs solar radiation. This can lead to lower temperatures at the ground level while the atmosphere is having a higher degree of warmth. This, in turn, means stronger winds, a higher level of erosion and thus more dust.

A volcanic eruption in depth

Red Sea has witnessed another significant event of getting the water replenished in it in a much faster way than thought previously. The circulation of water is influenced by climatic conditions, sudden weather-related changes or events, etc. KAUST researchers have identified that the water ranging from 300 to 200 meters in the red sea is warmest and saltiest. The temperature here remains 20 degree Celsius and salinity is as high as 40.5 psu. While on an average this ranges less than what was measured in the red sea.

As per the research, the water in the red sea takes about 36 to 90 years to get replenished that means it is relatively stagnant, but the current speed of renewal exceeds what was estimated. The primary source of water replenishment for the red sea is northern Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba.  

Two scientists Ibrahim Hoteit and Fengchao Yao studied deep waters of the red sea. They are specialists in earth fluid modeling and oceanography respectively. When they compared the data of the red sea, with that of six other areas, evidence of the frequent change was found. The period of 20 years between 1982 & 2011 saw a change in the accepted notion. From the year 1982 to 2001, a rapid renewal of sea water was seen. It could be because of the volcanic eruptions of 1982 in El Chichon, Mexico; and that of 1991 at   Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. 

Volcanic eruptions can increase the temperature of the water as they release a tremendous amount of sulfate aerosols. These aerosols can absorb the sun’s rays for about two years. When the ocean tries to adjust for this warmth, western jet across the Atlantic ocean become stronger. With this, the wind flowing above the red sea become dry and cold.  

As per the open-ocean deep convection, when the surface temperature is cold, it triggers the warm water to rising and cold water to sink. It could be the phenomenon behind this change in the renewal of the red sea’s water. 

Hoteit and Yao discussed in their previous studies that this open-ocean deep convection formed the primary source of the replenishment of the Red Sea’s deep water.  The flows of water, on the contrary, originate in the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. These two are secondary sources for replenishment of water. 

Organic matter which falls inside the sea also is a factor that affects the ecosystem beneath the layers of water. Minerals are abundant in the depths of the red sea, but they need to be explored and mined considering sustainability.

Unpredicted heat wave kills 65 in one week in Japan

On Tuesday, government officials said that an unexpected heat wave in Japan killed around 65 people in one week. Now the weather agency is classifying that, this record-breaking weather is called a natural disaster. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said in a statement until this Sunday 65 people died of heat stroke when 22,647 people were hospitalized.

In July 2008, an agency spokesperson told AFP that since the agency is started recording fatalities resulting by heatstroke; both the figures are the worst for any week during summer. 

Total 80 people have died from the heat since the beginning of July, and over 35,000 have been hospitalized, said by The Fire and Disaster Management Agency on Tuesday. Among them, a six-year-old boy lost his consciousness when he was returning from a field trip. Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Tuesday that, the heat wave continues to cover the country, necessary measures are needed to combat the lives of school children. 

The government said that this would supply funds to make sure that all schools are well equipped with air conditioners next summer. Half of the public schools in Japan have more amount of air conditioning, comparing to the public kindergartens. Suga said that the Government would consider extending the school holidays if the heat wave drags on. On Monday in the city of Kumagaya in Saitama outside Tokyo sets a new national record of heat with the temperature hitting 41.1 Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Tokyo’s most of the areas over 40 degrees of temperatures registered for the first time, while the Government is promoting a tradition known as Uchimizu. In this tradition, water is sprinkled on the ground as a summer heat awareness campaign. 

According to national weather agency, On Tuesday it was cooler, 36 degrees in Tokyo and it is a little relief for the people. On late Monday weather agency official, Motoaki Takekawa said that they were observing unpredicted levels of heat in some areas. He noted that the heat wave is fatal and recognized as a natural disaster. The agency warned that the country would face 35 degrees or higher temperatures until early August. In Japan, the summer season is hot and humid. Hundreds of people die in each year from heat stroke, especially elderly persons. 

The heat wave follows the record of rainfall, which devastated in central and Western parts of Japan with landslides and floods. It killed more than 220 people. 

The scientific mysteries of atomic nuclei would unlock by a domestic electron-ion collider

A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that the electron-ion collider (EIC) is a very large accelerator particle that is significant in advancing our understanding about the atomic nuclei that is visible to the universe. 

Beyond this nuclear science impact, the improvement made possible by an EIC could have more beneficial to the national science and technological economy as well as maintain US leadership in accelerator technologies and nuclear physics. 

The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) has asked the National Academies to examine the importance of EIC science and the international influence of building of EIC facility. The committee conducted the report about the science that could be addressed by an EIC and would offer a long-elusive on the nature of matter. 

EIC would allow scientists to experiment with gluons and quarks. The tiny particles made up with protons and neutrons and are located inside the protons and neutrons. The scientists should investigate how they move and interact with each other.  

The popular mass of proton and neutron comes from the interaction of gluons. This occurs during the Higgs mechanism explains the masses. There are so many crucial questions EIC would answer include the origin of atomic nuclei, the spin of neutrons and protons, that is a fundamental property of magnetic resonance imagining (MRI). This stated that how gluons hold nuclei together and see how the emergent forms the matter made of gluons. 

A new EIC accelerator report says that the facility would have the capabilities beyond all the scattering electron machines in Europe, US, and Asia. Comparing to all existing accelerator facilities across the globe, the committee finalized with the high energy EIC and high-energy ion and electron beams. This will be unique and our understanding of visibility matter more. 

The EIC realization is complicated to maintain the health in nuclear physics. Presently, the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Long Island, New York has an ion collider and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory (JLab) in Newport News, Virginia has high-energy electron beams. Both the labs have been proposed to design the concepts for an EIC and it would use for available expertise, experience, and infrastructure. The report says that taking benefits of the existing facilities would make EIC affordable and minimize the risks associated with the large accelerator facility. 

Intense heat waves to hit Japan

Climate changes, global warming, rising temperatures, decreasing fresh water are signals of Nature telling us that a big event is following. Heat waves from the Arctic are reaching Japan indicating towards the deadly wildfires in Greece that are now going to be more frequent all over the globe. The current heat wave is different from what we have witnessed before. It will be accompanied by record high temperatures across the Northern hemisphere, ranging from Norway to Japan.   

More than 80 people died in the wildfires in Greece where summers are actually very hot. It was the worst fire ever seen there. In northern Europe too, the heat wave has exceptionally prevailed and WMO – World Meteorological Organization – predicted that the average seasonal temperature of Ireland, Scandinavia, and other Baltic countries will see an exceptional rise. In the last 250 years, it was the hottest day in July for Sweden. Drought, wildfires have become a common sight in Japan too. California experienced a temperature of around 48.9 C. The heat waves in a segment of the planet are prominent, as declared by Anders Levermann, who is a professor at Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research. Entire Northern Hemisphere is now facing this rise in temperatures. 

French climate expert Jean Jouzel stated that various attributes of human activity are influenced by every small event. The consistently rising temperatures are an output of greenhouse emissions, climatic changes, and other such factors, mentioned Elena Manaenkova, WMO’s deputy secretary-general.   

Global warming was the sole culprit for such soaring temperatures, as per the study published in the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society. In 2016, an extreme heat wave hit Asia.   

The last 3 years are the hottest ever on earth. But is it going to increase the same way as it is doing now? If the emissions and global warming are not controlled, the answer would be in affirmative. An international panel observing climate change has confirmed the increase in droughts, heat waves, floods as well as hurricanes in coming decades.     

In 2017, Europe witnessed the deadliest ever forest fires. Over 800,000 hectares of land was destroyed in Portugal, Italy, and Spain by these forest fires. Even the train shuttles between France and Britain got affected by these heat waves. It is the longest uninterrupted undersea link, opened in 1904, to connect Kent, Southeast England, and Northern France. The 50 kilometers journey was not only delayed, but passengers were advised to stock water before boarding the train.