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A Solar Forecast With Good News for Civilization as We Know It

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The sun is beginning to perk up again.

An international panel of scientists announced on Tuesday that the sun had emerged from the quietest part of its 11-year sunspot cycle and had now entered the 25th numbered cycle. (The numbering of sunspot cycles goes back to 1755.)

The researchers predicted that the forthcoming cycle would be a pretty quiet one.

Solar scientists track the cycle through the ebb and flow in the number of sunspots, which reflects the level of ferocity in the sun’s magnetic fields. Sunspots can shoot out bursts of radiation called solar flares as well as giant eruptions of particles known as coronal mass ejections. If a giant coronal mass ejection hit Earth, it could upend modern civilization, knocking out satellites and inflicting continentwide blackouts.

Such a solar explosion in 1859, known as the Carrington event, disrupted telegraph systems. Today, the world is more electrically interconnected, and giant transformers that are part of power grids are thought to be particularly vulnerable.

Just as economists wait months to declare the start or end of a recession, scientists delay such pronouncements for solar cycles, because they average the sunspot numbers over 13 months to avoid being fooled by short-term fluctuations in the sun’s activity. Nine months ago, in December, the sunspot cycle reached its calmest state.

“Since then it’s been slowly but steadily increasing,” said Lisa Upton, a solar scientist at the Space Systems Research Corporation and co-chair of Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, which is sponsored by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Over the past half century, the solar cycles have become progressively weaker, leading some scientists to speculate that the sun might be on the cusp of an extended quiet period. The last solar maximum, with an average sunspot number of 114, was the weakest since 1928 and the fourth weakest over all.

The prediction panel expects that activity during this solar cycle will be well below average, with a peak of 115 in the sunspot number, give or take 10. That would be about the same as the last cycle. The maximum is predicted to occur in July 2025.

“If this turned out to be true, this would make Cycle 25 almost identical to the Solar Cycle 24,” said Douglas A. Biesecker of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., the other co-chair of the panel. A very active cycle reaches a sunspot number greater than 200, he said.

Forecasts by individual scientists still vary widely, with some predicting an even more quiet cycle and others foreseeing a rebound to higher levels. But Dr. Upton and Dr. Biesecker said the panel reached a consensus fairly easily, relying on models that use measurements of the magnetic fields in the sun’s polar regions to infer what would happen in the coming years.

“We’ve gotten very good at modeling the evolution of the polar magnetic fields,” Dr. Upton said. “This is one of the best indicators for the amplitude of the coming cycle and was one of the main features that the prediction panel looked at.”

She said there were other indicators that this cycle would remain quiet, including a large number of spotless days during the solar minimum. But if in the coming months the sunspot cycle ramps up faster than expected, that will be a sign that perhaps the experts underestimated the coming cycle’s intensity, she said.

Even during weaker solar cycles, the sun can unleash gigantic explosions. In 2012, an eruption rivaling the Carrington event erupted off the sun’s surface — but fortunately it was not aimed at Earth.

Still, a quieter sun increases the odds that our planet will not be struck by a solar cataclysm in the next 11 years.

 

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Source:- The New York Times

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Science Saturday 0919 – CGTN

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In this week’s Science Saturday, we look at science news ranging from possible signs of life on Venus to wildlife protection.

Scientists detect gas in Venus clouds linked to life on Earth

First, evidence of potential for life on the planet next door! A smelly, flammable gas called “phosphine” has been found on Venus. Here on Earth, phosphine is produced predominantly by anaerobic biological sources. So with this discovery, there’s a chance that there are some living organisms in the clouds of Venus. But scientists say further observations and modeling are needed to explore the origin of the gas in the planet’s atmosphere. The findings are published in the peer-reviewed journal – Nature Astronomy.

Washington bans TikTok downloads from U.S. app stores

Washington has announced a decision to ban TikTok downloads from app stores in the United States. Donald Trump, the U.S. president, is questioning plans by Chinese tech firm, ByteDance, to keep a majority stake in TikTok’s U.S. operations as part of a partnership deal with Oracle. Trump says any agreement to continue operating in U.S. must be “100% as far as national security is concerned.” He has called the popular video-sharing app a security threat, and says he will ban it unless it’s sold by ByteDance.

WWF report: Wildlife populations down by an average of 68 percent over past four decades

The world’s wildlife population is under threat! A new report by the World Wildlife Fund says human activity has wiped out two-thirds of the world’s wildlife since 1970. Latin America and the Caribbean are the world’s worst-affected areas, which have seen an average drop of 94 percent. The report says humans’ over-exploitation of wildlife, grassland conversion and climate change are among the major drivers of this devastating decline. Researchers are calling for changes in production and consumption patterns of food and energy, increased conservation efforts and a global collective effort.

Winners of Breakthrough Prizes announced for 2021

The winners of the 2021 Oscars of Science, also known as Breakthrough Prizes, have been revealed. Eight scientists have been recognized for their achievements in Mathematics, Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences. One of the recipients is David Baker, whose team designed a molecule that potentially inhabits the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The team also successfully synthesized the proteins, which demonstrated a neutralizing antibody, shedding light on a potential new treatment to the disease. The prizes total 21 million U.S. dollars. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony has been postponed until March 2021.

“Science Saturday” is part of CGTN’s science and technology series “Tech It Out.” The segment brings you the latest news about innovations and technological breakthroughs in the past two weeks from across the world.

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Physicists may have the first experimental evidence for a new type of Dark Boson

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Two experiments looking for the whisper of a particle that prevents the entire galaxy from flying away have recently published some contradictory results. One came out empty-handed, and the other gives you all the reasons to keep searching.

dark Bosons are Dark matter It is actually a candidate based on particles that transmit forces that do not exert much force.

Unlike bosons that we know better, like photons that bind molecules and gluons that bind atomic nuclei together, the exchange of dark bosons has little effect on the surrounding environment.

On the other hand, if they exist, their collective energy may be responsible for making up dark matter. The lost mass that provides the extra gravity needed to keep our stellar universe in a familiar form.

Unfortunately, the presence of such bosons will be as detectable as the murmurs in a storm. But for a physicist, given the right kind of experimentation, the noise can still be enough to stand out.

Two studies led by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and two studies led by Aarhus University in Denmark, examined the subtle differences in the position of electrons in isotopes that jump between energy levels. If it shook, this could be an obvious sign of the dark Boson’s nudge.

Theoretically, the boson comes from the interaction between the orbiting electron and the quarks that make up the neutron in the nucleus.

The team led by MIT used a small number of isotopes of ytterbium for the experiment, and calcium was a factor of choice by a group led by the University of Aarhus.

Both experiments sorted the data on specific plot types that measure this kind of motion in isotopes. Although the calcium-based experiment appeared as expected, the ytterbium plot was off and there was a statistically significant deviation in the linearity of the plot.

This is not the cause of any kind of celebration. First of all, boson can explain the number, but there may be a difference in the way you perform the calculations, this type of correction is called quadratic field shift.

You also need to explain exactly why you found something strange in one experiment and nothing in the other.

As always, we need more data. Much more. But figuring out exactly what makes up more than a quarter of the universe is one of the biggest questions in science, so every potential lead will be pursued with excitement.

Particles that transmit a new kind of force Standard model It’s not exactly ruled out in physics, but finding one is tremendous.

Last year, physicists were excited about particles moving at odd angles, alluding to a hitherto unknown force.

Similarly, the number of rebounding electrons in the XENON1T dark matter setup shook its tongue earlier this year, sparking speculation about a hypothetical dark matter candidate. Called axion.

While this result is interesting, we’ve broken our hearts before. In 2016, the dark matter candidate type was Madala Boson Was Rumors of discovery Among the data collected by the Large Hadron Collider to find Higgs particles.

This particle can be thought of as a kind of dark version of Higgs Boson, and dark matter lends its power without being clearly revealed in other ways.

CERN throws cold water Sad to say about that little gossip. This does not mean that such particles do not exist or that the signal is not tempting. It’s just that we really can’t confirm with some degree of confidence.

Larger colliderA clever new way of searching for subtle nudges and whispers of particles, more sensitive equipment, and almost non-existent, may one day get the answers we need.

Dark matter certainly won’t make it easier.

This study is Physical review letter, here and here.

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Source:- haveeruonline

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A new study finds that an iceberg may not have sunk the Titanic

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From famous mechanics

Just knowing when we think we know everything here TitanicUnsinkable ships, giant icebergs, “I am the king of the world,” etc. – come with interesting new discoveries that raise big questions about what really happened on the terrible night of April 14, 1912. The weather effect from space is really the reason Titanic Drowning?

🚢 You like ugly planes. so do we. Let’s get them together.

The main finding of the new study is that the northern hemisphere was subjected to a “moderate to severe” magnetic storm that night, which could have caused a change. TitanicNavigational readings affect its planned course And The crew shared their location during SOS signals.

The idea is very simple. The sun, which is powered by an atomic dynamo that burns millions of degrees, is bathed in sunlight. These, in turn, are punctuated by the size of the Earth by gigantic or larger explosives: solar flares.

“In a few minutes, they heat the material to millions of degrees and generate one billion megatons of TNT.” NASA explains that once the release is released. ”These flares are often caused by magnetic changes or collapses, and their explosions cause magnetic waves through the solar system.

It instinctively suggests that the hottest thing in the solar system experiences a lot of responses to rotating and changing magnetic fields. Earth is a successful habitat for living organisms, in part because humans have a protective magnetic field that represents an enormous amount of solar radiation and cosmic air that would throw us to the surface of a lifeless Mars-like planet. .

This magnetic field changes and changes over time, especially as the magnetic poles revolve around the Earth’s surface. Animals and humans have learned to rely on magnetic poles, in the form of man-made devices such as compasses. Animal knowledge for migration and navigation. Compasses, like hours, should be set to the correct units, for example Calculate magnetic answers It turns out in a natural way.

From here we reconnect Titanic. The newspaper is owned by author Mila Zinkova, which has published about four previous papers Titanic In the magazine RMetS Weather, Investigated the theory that mirrors or other visual disturbances played a role in the sinking. Now, Zinkova is using weather and space data to explore a different theory.

If a solar flare is so intense that it was marked by what is called Aurora borealis on that historic night, it could encircle the Earth’s magnetic field and wreak havoc with magnetic devices like the compass. Even today, solar flares disrupt the power grid and space traffic, and truly valuable backups. Safety can be maintained in a Faraday cage.

Image credit: Paramount – Twentieth Century Focus

 

Genkova writes that the impact on the compass affected the coordinates contained in the signs of the crisis. “The Titanic A fourth officer, Joseph Backshall, worked in the ship’s SOS condition. The Paxhall site was about 13 nautical kilometers (24 kilometers) from its original location, Zenkova wrote.

But the rescue plane Carpathia Perhaps this was wrong information. The Carpathian Compasses could be under the influence of a geomagnetic storm for 5.5 hours before and after. TitanicIt has SOS, and even hitting lifeboats, “Zinkova continues.” Therefore, a potential compound compass error may be one of the contributing factors to the successful rescue of survivors of the Titanic. “

It also indicates how the solar flare is localized. Ships caught in a certain area. Receive radio calls or miss them altogether. Returning to the ground or outside the affected area, everything seemed normal except upon contact or attempt Titanic And other ships nearby.

Source:- Aviation Analysis Wing

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