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Mystery object spotted by LIGO–Virgo gravitational-wave detectors – physicsworld.com

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A distant object that could be smallest known black hole, or the largest known neutron star, has been spotted by the LIGO–Virgo gravitational-wave detectors. The 2.6 solar-mass object appears to have merged with a 23 solar-mass black hole, creating gravitational waves that were detected here on Earth in August 2019. Unlike a previously observed merger between two neutron stars, no electromagnetic signal was observed. At nearly 9:1, the ratio of masses of the two objects is the greatest ever detected by LIGO–Virgo.

LIGO and Virgo are three huge interferometers – two in the US and one in Italy – that have detected gravitational waves from the mergers of black holes and neutron stars for nearly five years.

Neutron stars and stellar black holes are the final stages of evolution for large stars – with black holes being more massive than neutron stars. In theory, the maximum mass of a neutron star is about 2.1 solar masses. However, there is some indirect evidence that more massive neutron stars could exist. There is little evidence for the existence of black holes smaller than about 5 solar masses, leading to a mass gap in our observations of these compact objects.

Record breaking

What is intriguing about the August 2019 merger – dubbed GW190814 – is the mass of the smaller object, which appears to fall within this gap. “Whether any objects exist in the mass gap has been an ongoing mystery in astrophysics for decades,” says Charlie Hoy of the UK’s Cardiff University, who played a key role in analysing data from the detection and writing the paper that describes the observation, which has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “What we still don’t know is whether this object is the heaviest known neutron star or the lightest known black hole, but we do know that either way it breaks a record.”

LIGO Scientific Collaboration spokesperson Patrick Brady at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee adds, “This is going to change how scientists talk about neutron stars and black holes. The mass gap may in fact not exist at all but may have been due to limitations in observational capabilities. Time and more observations will tell.”

According to LIGO team member Vicky Kalogera of Northwestern University in the US, the large mass ratio will encourage astrophysicists to rethink models of how such binary compact objects form. “It’s a challenge for current theoretical models to form merging pairs of compact objects with such a large mass ratio in which the low-mass partner resides in the mass gap,” she says.

I think of Pac-Man eating a little dot

Vicky Kalogera

Unlike the merger of two neutron stars that was observed by LIGO–Virgo in 2017, no electromagnetic radiation was detected with the gravitational waves of GW190814. According to LIGO-Virgo scientists there are three possible explanations for this. One is the great distance to where the merger occurred – 800 million light-years – which is about six times the distance as the 2017 neutron-star merger. Another possibility is that both objects were black holes, and no electromagnetic radiation has been detected from any black-hole mergers spotted by LIGO–Virgo. A third possible explanation is that the neutron star was “swallowed whole” by the black hole in such a way that no radiation was emitted.

“I think of Pac-Man eating a little dot,” quips Kalogera, adding “When the masses are highly asymmetric, the smaller neutron star can be eaten in one bite.”

The above video is a visualization of the period leading up to the GW190814 merger, showing the two objects and the gravitational waves they emitted.

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Hashtag Trending – EMS use SpaceX’s Starlink; Cross-platform messaging on Facebook; Talking COVID-19 via social media – IT World Canada

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Washington emergency responders are the first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet, Facebook will be launching cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger, and why social media should be used more to inform young people about Covid-19 in Canada.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, October 1 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

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Washington emergency responders first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet in the field: ‘It’s amazing’ from technology

Washington emergency responders are the first to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet and they say the results are a huge success. Washington’s state military began using Starlink in early August to bring internet service to areas damaged by wildfires. Washington state’s emergency telecommunications leader Richard Hall told CNBC, “I have spent the better part of four or five hours with some satellite equipment trying to get a good [connection]. So, to me, it’s amazing,” Starlink internet has been developed to deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. The full Starlink network is planned to have about 12,000 satellites flying in low Earth orbit which is much closer to the surface than traditional satellites.

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Facebook is launching cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger. Facebook will now integrate various messaging platforms where users on messenger and Instagram to message one another app to app. Instagram will also get a major change in its DM system, which will get more features taken from Messenger. With the cross-platform features, users will also search for profiles across both apps simultaneously. Instagram will get updates like vanishing messages, selfie stickers, custom emoji, chat colours, new ways to block unwanted messages, and Messenger’s Watch Together feature, which lets users collectivity watch videos with friends during a video call.

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The second wave of Covid-19 is largely attributed to younger people. A Toronto Star article about the benefits platforms like TikTok could have on delivering important information about COVID is trending on Twitter. Dr. Naheed Dosani was an early adopter of TikTok to inform younger audiences about Covid-19. His early videos quickly went viral, reaching more than 100,000 people. However, he says social media apps can be better used to effectively communicate with young people. I can’t understand why public health messaging hasn’t prioritized these (social media) platforms for COVID-19 education,” Dosani said. He suggests involving clinicians that use the platforms or influencers and celebrities to get out the proper messaging could be highly effective in convincing younger audiences with bite-sized information. [Twitter thread]

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.


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Well Hello there – country94.ca

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It’s here!! The most beautiful month of the year! OCTOBER!

Do you love it as much I do?

October arrived under a full Harvest Moon… and we actually have 2 full moons this month both the first and the last day of this month have full moon, which is super rare. It’s also why the second one is called a blue moon… no, it won’t show up blue, its only because the next time there will be 2 full moons in 1 month won’t be until August 31, 2023 … and it won’t arrive on Halloween again until 2039…. WOW!

Every year I think I post this particular quote on my Facebook Wall… Both because of my love of October and my love of Anne of Green Gables.

I just wish the colors would last a little longer… I know it’s the cycle. Leaves grow and stay green but then the temperatures drop and the green gives way to natures best color show! Reds, yellows, orange, … I mean who’s heart doesn’t smile when you drive down a country road lined with such a beautiful sight? I actually think I like Sunday drives even more in October because of the color show. It’s such a short season after all.

It’s also why I think I’m obsessed with Fall Family Photo’s too… My mother would say “why do you need more pictures, it’s not like you’re hanging them all up” but maybe I’m just trying to capture my favorite season, one fall photo session at a time… a moment in time that capture both my family growing up and my favorite season. Even when I’m old and grey I think I’ll still want to have them done….

So enjoy all that October has to offer. Take that Sunday drive, go apple picking, get those family photo’s done. It’s such a short season and we never know what next year might bring.

Happy October.

Bobbi

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Oceans have become stable and are absorbin less CO2. – Middle East Headlines

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Global warming is making the oceans more stable. It is expanding surface temperatures and decreasing the carbon they can ingest. It has been indicated by research distributed Monday by atmosphere researchers who cautioned that the discoveries have “significant and upsetting” ramifications.

The Long Term Effects Are Bad

Man-made environmental change has expanded surface temperatures over the planet. It is prompting barometrical precariousness and intensifying extraordinary climate occasions, for example, storms. In any case, in the oceans, higher temperatures have an alternate impact, easing back the blending between the warming surface and the cooler, oxygen-rich waters beneath, analysts said.

This ocean “stratification” signifies less profound water is ascending towards the surface conveying oxygen and supplements. Tthe water at the surface retains less air carbon dioxide to cover at profundity. In a report distributed in the diary Nature Climate Change, the worldwide group of atmosphere researchers said they found that definition globally had expanded by a “considerable” 5.3 percent from 1960 to 2018. The majority of this adjustment happened towards the surface.

They said this cycle is additionally exacerbated by the liquefying of ocean ice. It is implying that more new water  likewise amasses on the outside of the ocean. The fresh water is lighter than salt water.

CO2 Absorption Ability Of Oceans Is Lowering Drastically

Study co-creator Michael Mann, an atmosphere science teacher at Pennsylvania State University, said in an editorial distributed in Newsweek that the “apparently specialized finding has significant and alarming ramifications”. These incorporate conceivably driving more “extraordinary, damaging typhoons”. It happens as ocean surfaces warm. Mann likewise highlighted a decrease in the measure of CO2 assimilated. It could imply that carbon contamination develops quicker than anticipated in the environment.

He cautioned that refined atmosphere models frequently disparage ocean separation and may likewise be thinking little of its effect. With hotter upper waters accepting less oxygen, there are likewise suggestions for marine life. By engrossing a fourth of man-made CO2, oceans keep the populace alive. Yet it is so at an awful expense, as per the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Oceans have become acidic, conceivably sabotaging their ability to draw down CO2. Hotter surface water has extended the power and scope of savage hurricanes.

Marine heatwaves are clearing out coral reefs, and quickening the dissolve off of icy masses and ice sheets driving ocean level ascent. A year ago, research distributed in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences determined that environmental change would discharge the ocean of almost a fifth of every single living animal, estimated by mass, before the century’s over.

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