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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Orionid Meteor Shower:Watch Live Halley's Comet Crumbs Online Tonight

by tap taru  |  in Meteor Showers at  11:13 PM

Some skywatchers captured incredible views of the Orionid meteor shower earlier this week, but even if you can't catch the peaking shower outside tonight (Oct. 21), you can still see it live online.

Representatives with the online Slooh Community Observatory are hoping to capture some amazing footage of the "shooting stars" during a webcast tonight (Oct. 21). You can watch the broadcast — which will feature views from telescopes in the Canary Islands and Arizona — live directly through Slooh (http://live.slooh.com/) starting at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 Oct. 22 GMT). Slooh experts will be available to discuss the science of the shower, and they have also set up a way for viewers to hear the ionization of the meteors as they streak through the atmosphere. You can also see the meteor shower webcast live on Space.com.

"The Orionids are usually the year’s third-richest meteor shower," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "Not to mention that they zoom away from one of the best known and easily recognized constellations. But this year they’re particularly conspicuous because, unlike the August Perseids that unfolded under a full moon, and the December Geminids, which will also be diminished by moonlight during half the night, the moon will be totally absent for the 2014 Orionids. It should be quite a nice show."


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

World losing race against Ebola, UN official warns

by tap taru  |  in Health at  5:01 PM

The world is falling behind in a desperate race to gain the upper hand over the deadly Ebola outbreak, a top UN official has warned.

The latest death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak ever is 4,447, from 8,914 recorded infection cases.

The three hardest-hit countries are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"Ebola got a head start on us," said Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

"It is far ahead of us, it is running faster than us, and it is winning the race," he told the UN Security Council in New York, by remote link from UNMEER headquarters in Ghana.

"If Ebola wins, we the peoples of the United Nations lose so very much," he said.

"We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan," Mr Banbury stressed.

He said that with infection rates rising exponentially every day, UNMEER will need 7,000 beds for treatment.

"There's much bad news about Ebola but the good news is we know how to stop it," he added.

However, to push back the spread "we must defeat Ebola and we must do it fast," he said.

"With every day that passes, the number of sick people increases.

"Time is our biggest enemy. We must use every minute of every day to our advantage and that is what UNMEER is doing."

WHO assistant director general Bruce Aylward said the epidemic "could reach 5,000 to 10,000 cases per week by the first week of December", but described his figures as a working forecast.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Watch Blood Moon Total Eclipse October 8,2014 Live Broadcast

by tap taru  |  at  5:04 PM
Source:NASA






Monday, October 6, 2014

Majorana Fermion:Antimatter has been discovered by physicists

by tap taru  |  in Science at  1:50 PM

The Majorana fermion has recently been discovered by physicists. This unusual particle, first predicted in 1937, is its own anti-particle, behaving like both matter and anti-matter.

Princeton University researchers were able to examine an iron wire just one atom thick, utilizing a scanning-tunneling microscope. On the thread, they spotted a location on the ultra-thin thread, where the probability of finding the elusive particle was high, confirming an 80-year-old theory.

Ettore Majorana proposed the idea that these strange particles could exist in a theory proposed in the 1930's. The theoretical particle was named after the physicist, but was not observed in nature until now.

Fermions are a class of subatomic particles that are one group of the building blocks of matter.

Investigators utilized an ultrapure lead crystal, which naturally develops thin surface ridges, as a mold for the wire. Iron atoms placed inside one of the ridges formed into a thin wire, just one atom wide and three atoms thick. This wire, along with its attendant lead cast, were placed under a microscope, standing nearly two stories tall, floating to avoid vibrations. The metal piece were then cooled to 457 degrees Fahrenheit, just above absolute zero. The microscope detected an electrically-neutral signal at the end of the nanowire, a distinctive sign of Majorana fermions.

"This is the most direct way of looking for the Majorana fermion since it is expected to emerge at the edge of certain materials. If you want to find this particle within a material you have to use such a microscope, which allows you to see where it actually is," Ali Yazdani, professor of physics at Princeton University and leader of the research team, said.

Physicists began the hunt for the elusive Majorana fermion soon after the existence of anti-matter was deduced through mathematical analysis. In 2012, a group of physicists claimed they had detected a Majorana fermion, but that discovery was never confirmed by other researchers.

Matter and anti-matter usually annihilate each other when they meet, releasing vast amounts of radiation in the process. Unusually, in Majorana fermions, this dichotomy results in a highly-stable particle. This could allow the unusual particles to be utilized in future technology. This research could lead to new computers based on the laws of quantum mechanics, which would operate at much faster speeds than current technology.

A video detailing the new discovery is available on the Princeton University Vimeo channel.

The simple iron and lead construction of the detector could allow other researchers to quickly and easily recreate the results of the experiment, provided they have access to a suitable scanning-tunneling microscope.

Discovery of the Majorana fermion was detailed in the journal Science

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Around 35,000 walruses fled the Arctic waters to come Alaska

by tap taru  |  in Global Warming at  12:03 PM

This is what 35,000 walruses on a beach looks like

Around 35,000 walruses fled the Arctic waters last weekend in search for a place to rest as the earth’s climate continues to grow increasingly warmer melting the sea ice — leading the tusked creatures to the shores of an Alaskan beach.


Astonishing photos were captured Saturday which showed the massive marine mammals “hauled out” onto the shore, the Associated Press reports.

The phenomenon was spotted about 5 miles north of the Eskimo village of Point Lay during the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’s annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, which was conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Walruses — unlike seals — are unable to swim in the ocean continuously and must find a places to rest. They typically mount up on giant chunks of floating ice, but the recent rise in our planet’s temperature as sent the mammals scattering to find new places to lounge.

“It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said managing director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Arctic program, Margaret Williams.

The annual low point of the sea ice this summer was the sixth smallest on record since satellite’s began monitoring its progress in 1979, according to the AP

“The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CDC confirms first case of Ebola in US

by tap taru  |  in Virus at  10:46 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Tuesday that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case diagnosed in the United States.

The patient left Liberia on September 19 and arrived in the United States on September 20, CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. It’s the first patient to be diagnosed with this particular strain of Ebola outside of Africa.

The patient] had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country. But four or five days later on the 24th of September, he began to develop symptoms,” said Frieden.

The patient, who was in the U.S. visiting family in Texas, initially sought care on September 26, but was sent home and was not admitted until two days later. He was placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, where he remains critically ill, according to Frieden.

“The next steps are basically threefold,” said Frieden.  “First, to care for the patient … to provide the most effective care possible as safely as possible to keep to an absolute minimum the likelihood or possibility that anyone would become affected, and second, to maximize the chances that the patient might recover,” said Frieden.

Frieden said the CDC and Texas health officials were working to identify and monitor anyone who may have come in contact with the patient.

“It's only someone who's sick with Ebola who can spread the disease,” said Frieden. “Once those contacts are all identified, they're all monitored for 21 days after exposure to see if they develop a fever.”

Frieden added that while it is possible that someone who had contact with the patient could develop Ebola in the coming weeks, he has no doubt the infection will be contained. At this point, he said, there is zero risk of transmission to anyone on the flight with the patient because he was not showing any symptoms at the time of travel.

It's unclear how the patient became infected, but health officials said he “undoubtedly had close contact with someone who was sick with Ebola or who had died from it.”

The patient will stay at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital for treatment, where epidemiologist Dr. Edward Goodman, said medical staff have a plan in place for some time now in the event that a traveler brought Ebola to the United States, noting that the team had a crisis preparedness meeting just one week before the patient arrived at the facility. 

Hospital officials are currently evaluating different treatment options, including experimental therapies which have been successful in other patients, according to Frieden.

Both the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services performed lab testing that is said to be highly accurate for detecting the Ebola virus disease.

“Our lab has a specially trained team to handle high-risk patients like this,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of Texas Department of State Health Services. “We have no other suspected cases in the state of Texas at this time.”

Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services urged residents to rest assured the agency was doing everything they could to ensure the safety of the community, and that they would be working closely with the CDC and local health officials to follow up and track possible contacts of the patient.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas officials said in a statement Monday that an unnamed patient was being tested for Ebola and had been placed in "strict isolation" due to the patient's symptoms and recent travel history, and that the facility was taking measures to keep its doctors, staff and patients safe.

The hospital had announced a day earlier that the patient's symptoms and recent travel indicated a case of Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and infected a handful of Americans who have traveled to that region.

The CDC has said 12 other people in the U.S. have been tested for Ebola since July 27. Those tests came back negative.

Four American aid workers who have become infected while volunteering in West Africa have been treated in special isolation facilities in hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska, and a U.S. doctor exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone is under observation in a similar facility at the National Institutes of Health.

The U.S. has only four such isolation units but the CDC has insisted that any hospital can safely care for someone with Ebola.

According to the CDC, Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus.

Jason McDonald, spokesman for the CDC, said health officials use two primary guidelines when deciding whether to test a person for the virus.

"The first and foremost determinant is have they traveled to the region (of West Africa)," he said. The second is whether there's been proximity to family, friends or others who've been exposed, he said.

U.S. health officials have been preparing since summer in case an individual traveler arrived here unknowingly infected, telling hospitals what infection-control steps to take to prevent the virus from spreading in health facilities. People boarding planes in the outbreak zone are checked for fever, but symptoms can begin up to 21 days after exposure. Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.

Frieden said there may be a handful of potential patient contacts who need monitoring in the United States. He compared that with the nearly 900 contacts who were monitored when an infected patient brought the Ebola virus to Lagos in July, reiterated his confidence in health officials' ability to control the disease.

“The bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely throughout this country,” Frieden said. “There’s no doubt in my mind, we will stop it here.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Japan's Mt Ontake volcano erupts; several hikers reported injuredSeptember 27,2014

by tap taru  |  in Volcanoes at  5:15 PM

Witnesses have reported smoke billowing down the south face of the 3,000 metre volcano, while the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has observed smoke stretching out 3 kilometres from the volcano.

Tokyo's NHK World TV reports at least 250 climbers are trapped near the summit of Mt Ontake, with rescue crews on the way.

The Nagano fire department has received several reports of injuries to hikers but has not confirmed their severity.

The JMA raised the alert level for Mt Ontake to three on a scale of one to five. It warned people to stay away from the mountain.

The agency is forecasting further eruptions that may affect nearby residents and is warning of volcanic cinder falling within a 4km radius of the crater.

The volcano straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan and is located about 170km south-west of Nagano.

Japan Airlines said all flights will operate as normal, though the eruption may affect flights out of Tanegashima and Yakushima airports.

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