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Confirmed COVID-19 case at Vernon's Carrington Place seniors home – Vernon News –



A staff member at a Vernon seniors home has come down with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Twyla Wygle, spokesperson for Carrington Place, says a casual, part-time employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“They are a very casual employee, and they haven’t been in the building for several days,” Wygle said.

She says Interior Health was immediately notified of the case, and the health authority determined the risk of exposure was low.

“We’ve taken several extra steps to be careful,” said Wygle, including keeping residents confined to their rooms “for the next few days.”

“We want to take that extra precaution and watch for any symptoms…. For the time being, residents are having their meals in the rooms.”

The single case is the first at Carrington, and is not considered an outbreak.

Meanwhile, confirmed outbreaks continue at Noric House and Heritage Square in Vernon.

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Earth’s Atmosphere Can Generate a “Space Hurricane” – Universe Today



There are hurricanes in space.

Researchers looking through archival data found evidence of a previously unobserved phenomenon — a giant swirling mass of plasma above Earth’s northern polar region. The “space hurricane,” as the science team calls it, churned for hours, raining down electrons instead of water.

“Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible,” said Mike Lockwood, space scientist at the University of Reading in the UK, in a press release.

The disturbance, which was captured in satellite data from 2014, resembled and behaved like hurricanes on Earth. But this rotating storm was a 1,000 km-wide swirling mass of plasma, hovering several hundred kilometers above the North Pole. The space hurricane was spinning in an anticlockwise direction, had multiple spiral arms, and lasted almost eight hours before gradually breaking down.

Unlike geomagnetic storms which come from strong solar activity and variations in the solar wind, this event occurred during a period of low solar and geomagnetic activity.

“The hurricane imparted large energy and momentum deposition into the ionosphere despite otherwise extremely quiet conditions,” the team wrote in their paper, published in Nature Communications. “The observations and simulations reveal that the space hurricane is generated by steady high-latitude lobe magnetic reconnection and current continuity during a several hour period of northward interplanetary magnetic field and very low solar wind density and speed.”

However, Lockwood said these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Schematic of the space hurricane and its formation mechanism during an extremely quiet geomagnetic condition. Credit Qing-He Zhang, Shandong University, et al.

Astronomers have spotted hurricanes on Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, which are similar to terrestrial hurricanes in the low atmosphere. There are also “solar tornados” — solar gases swirling in monstrous formations deep within the Sun’s atmosphere, which can be several Earth radii wide.

But space hurricanes like the one captured in 2014 have not been reported in the upper atmosphere of the other planets in our Solar System. And although vortex structures of aurora, called auroral spirals, have been observed above Earth, they are not unusually intense and do not have similar features of a typical hurricane.

At Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft snapped pictures showing a high-resolution view of a hexagon-shaped jet stream in Saturn’s atmosphere. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton

The researchers said that the fact the space hurricane occurred during a period of low geomagnetic activity suggests they could be more relatively common within our solar system and beyond.

“Plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of planets exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomena,” said Lockwood.

The finding also highlights the importance of improved monitoring of space weather, which can disrupt GPS signals and data from other satellite systems.

The team included scientists from China, the USA, Norway and the UK, using observations made by four DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) satellites.  

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Planet Earth Report –“NASA’s Hunts for Fossils on Mars has Begun to Space Hurricane Above North Pole” – The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries Channel



Earth from Space

“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.

Abigail Allwood’s Hunt for Alien Fossils on Mars Has Begun, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo –When the NASA Mars rover Perseverance was dramatically airlifted through the Red Planet’s atmosphere and touched down on the iron-rich soil, geologist and astrobiologist Abigail Allwood was at home on Earth, watching the events unfold via livestream like the rest of us. Speaking over the phone the next day, her thought process was probably similar to yours: “Amazing—talk about incredible,” she said. “Excitement yesterday about landing and today about the landing site.” But in the months to come, Allwood will have a unique charge, one that years of terrestrial study have prepared her for: seeking out life on Mars.

The Secret Life of a Coronavirus –An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don’t quite know what to make of it, reports Carl Zimmer for the New York Times. ”
Nature was expanding as billions of people were retreating from the Covid-19 pandemic. The change was so swift, so striking that scientists needed a new name for it: the anthropause.”

The six numbers that define the entire Universe, reports BBC Science Focus –In this edited extract from The Little Book of Cosmology, physicist Prof Lyman Page explains how our model of the Universe relies on just six parameters.”The first three parameters tell us about the contents of the Universe. We describe them as fractions of a total matter and energy budget, like the components of a pie chart. The first parameter describes the amount of normal matter, or atoms, in the Universe, and it says that atoms account for just 5 per cent of the Universe. The second parameter describes dark matter, some type of new fundamental particle that we do not yet understand, which accounts for 25 per cent of the Universe.”

‘Space hurricane’ observed above the North Pole –The space hurricane was detected in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ‘rained electrons’ over the North Pole for nearly eight hours, reports Science Focus.

Earth’s Hidden ‘Innermost-Inner’ Core –“May Reveal an Unknown, Dramatic Event in the Planet’s History”, reports The Daily Galaxy. “We found evidence that may indicate a change in the structure of iron, which suggests perhaps two separate cooling events in Earth’s history,” said Joanne Stephenson, a researcher from The Australian National University (ANU), about the confirmation of the existence of the Earth’s “innermost inner core” that may point to an unknown, dramatic event in the Earth’s history.

“The Methuselah Dilemma” — Atacama Cosmology Telescope Resolves True Age of Our Universe, reports The Daily Galaxy. In 2013, the Hubble Space Telescope found the birth certificate of oldest known star in the universe, cataloged as HD 140283, aptly named “methuselah”. The star, located in the constellation Libra, which is at the very first stages of expanding into a red giant, could be as old as 14.5 billion years (plus or minus 0.8 billion years), which at first glance would make it older than the universe’s calculated age of about 13.8 billion years, creating what we commonly call a dilemma.

The Moon Has a Comet-Like Tail. Every Month It Shoots a Beam Around Earth, reports Robin George Andrews for The New York Times –“It almost seems like a magical thing,” said one of the astronomers involved in studying the lunar phenomenon.

Surface Bubbles Could Have Evolved into Earth’s First Cells –Artificial “protocells” suggest the complex biochemical mechanisms used by living cells could have originated in simple bubbles, reports Inside Science.

How our abuse of nature makes pandemics like covid-19 more likely –From habitat degradation to squalid animal treatment, our part in allowing “zoonotic” diseases like covid-19 to leap into humans is becoming ever clearer, reports New Scientist.

Neanderthals Listened to the World Much Like Us –A reconstructed Neanderthal ear adds a new piece to the puzzle of whether the early humans could speak, reports The New York Times.

One of the largest ecosystems on Earth lives beneath the seafloor and eats radiation byproducts, reports ZME Science.

Butterflies are vanishing out West. Scientists say climate change is to blame. –The rate of decline is “calamitous,” one scientist said, and has implications for crops and the environment, reports The Washington Post.

India’s revolutionary sustainable roads –From lower carbon emissions to fewer potholes, there are a number of benefits to building a layer of plastic into roads, reports Chermaine Lee for BBC Future

Did Woolly Mammoths Overlap With First Humans in New England? asks Amy Olson for Dartmouth News/
Researchers trace the age of a Mount Holly mammoth rib fragment from Mount Holly, Vt. –“It has long been thought that megafauna and humans in New England did not overlap in time and space and that it was probably ultimately environmental change that led to the extinction of these animals in the region, but our research provides some of the first evidence that they may have actually co-existed,” says co-author Nathaniel Kitchel.

Strange Earthquakes in Utah Reveal Volcanic Activity Hidden Below The Desert, reports ScienceAlert –It might not look like it, but the arid expanses of Utah conceal an ancient volcanic complex, and this hidden underground system is still active far below the desert’s surface, scientists say.

Largest Glowing Shark Species Discovered Near New Zealand –It’s the biggest bioluminescent vertebrate found on land or sea, so far, reports The New York Times.

THe Galaxy Report

The Galaxy Report newsletter brings you twice-weekly news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch.

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Dr. Vera Etches says it seems Ottawa's 3rd COVID-19 wave is coming –



Ottawa’s medical offficer of health said Friday it seems the city’s third wave is coming, and is asking people to maintain physical distancing to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“It looks like [a third wave] is coming. It’s apparent in the wastewater and that’s been a pretty reliable predictor,” said Dr. Vera Etches in an interview on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.

Etches said the spread is being driven in social settings and people can’t get complacent with behaviour such as distancing and wearing masks because of positive news about vaccines.

It will still be a few months until vaccination has an impact on the general population, she said.

On Wednesday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) warned it’s seeing a rise in the number of people believed to have one of the more contagious variants.

People testing Ottawa’s wastewater for the coronavirus began seeing an increase in the back half of February. (

So far, 10 people have tested positive for variants of concern first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

But according to Etches, 73 more people have a genetic indicator after initial screening that could signal they’ve contracted one of the variants and wastewater testing also suggests there could be more.

WATCH | Dr. Vera Etches on Ottawa Morning:

The health authority also said some the city’s key indicators, used to track the spread of the virus, are also trending closer to the red zone on the province’s pandemic scale.

Such a move would mean stricter restrictions such as smaller gatherings and sports being limited to practices.

At the same time, vaccine appointments were made available to more Ottawans this week.

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