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annarita ruberto
We can achieve what strongly we want!
We can achieve what strongly we want!

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What Is the Smith Cloud? How Does it Really Work?

Monstrous Cloud Boomerangs Back to Our Galaxy, Hubble Space Telescope astronomers say in a research, appeared in the January 1, 2016, issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Smith Cloud is a high-velocity cloud of hydrogen gas located in the constellation Aquila. The cloud was discovered in 1963 by Gail Bieger, née Smith, who was an astronomy student at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

The old adage "what goes up must come down" even applies to an immense cloud of hydrogen gas outside our Milky Way galaxy. This comet-shaped cloud is 11,000 light-years long and 2,500 light-years across. If the cloud could be seen in visible light, it would span the sky with an apparent diameter 30 times greater than the size of the full moon.

The cloud, which is invisible at optical wavelengths, is plummeting toward our galaxy at nearly 700,000 miles per hour. Hubble was used to measure the chemical composition of the cloud as a means of assessing where it came from.

Hubble astronomers were surprised to find that the cloud, which is largely composed of hydrogen, also has heavier elements that could only come from stars. This means the cloud came from the star-rich disk of our galaxy.

The Smith Cloud is following a ballistic trajectory: it is on a return collision course and is expected to plow into the Milky Way's disk in about 30 million years.
When it does, astronomers believe it will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation, perhaps providing enough gas to make 2 million suns

Read the full story>>

► The paper appeared in The Astrophysical Journal Letters: On the Metallicity and Origin of the Smith High-Velocity Cloud>>;

► The preprint version in arXiv>>

Image source>>
► Image explanation: This diagram shows the 100-million-year-long trajectory of the Smith Cloud as it arcs out of the plane of our Milky Way galaxy and then returns like a boomerang. Measurements made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show that the cloud, because of its chemical composition, came out of a region near the edge of the galaxy's disc of stars 70 million years ago. The cloud is now stretched into the shape of a comet by gravity and gas pressure. Following a ballistic path, the cloud will fall back into the disc and trigger new star formation 30 million years from now.

Fourther reading

► Giant gas cloud to crash into our galaxy>>

► Smith's Cloud: A High-velocity Cloud Colliding with the Milky Way>>

► The Smith Cloud: High-Velocity Accretion and Dark Matter Confinement>>

► Smith's Cloud>>

#astrophysics, #universe, #smith_cloud, #hubble_site_telescope, #astronomy, #research#galaxyevolution

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N6946-BH1, the Big Star That Couldn't Become a Supernova

While all stars of 8 solar masses or more must undergo core collapse, the core-collapse supernova (SN) explosion mechanism is not fully understood. Despite decades of effort, simulations have difficulty producing robust SN explosions except at the very bottom of this mass range.
While a majority of core collapses must produce SNe (failed supernovae), there is no requirement that all must do so, and it has long been expected that the core collapse of high-mass, low-metallicity stars may fail to explode the star.
More recently, multiple lines of evidence have emerged to suggest that some solar metallicity stars in the local Universe may also result in failed SNe.

A team of astronomers at The Ohio State University watched a star- which was 25 times as massive as our sun- disappear and possibly become a black hole. Instead of becoming a black hole through the expected process of a supernova, the black hole candidate formed through a "failed supernova."

More precisely, among the galaxies they’ve been watching is NGC 6946, a galaxy 22 million light-years away that is nicknamed the “Fireworks Galaxy” because supernovae frequently happen there—indeed, SN 2017eaw, discovered on May 14th, is shining near maximum brightness now.

Starting in 2009, one particular star in the Fireworks Galaxy, named N6946-BH1, began to brighten weakly. By 2015, it appeared to have winked out of existence.

The team used NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes and the Large Binocular Telescope to observe and monitor this star throughout the past decade. If confirmed, this would be the first time anyone has witnessed the birth of a black hole and the first discovery of a failed supernova.

Since 2008, the previously mentioned astronomers have been monitoring a million massive stars in 27 nearby galaxies with the Large Binocular Telescope to see if any vanish without producing a final luminous transient.

► Learn more>>

► The study "The search for failed supernovae with the Large Binocular Telescope: constraints from 7 yr of data", published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.>>

► The preprint version in arXiv>>

► Watch the video "Star Gives Birth to Possible Black Hole in Hubble and Spitzer Images">>

► Image explanation:
In the failed supernova of a red supergiant, the envelope of the star is ejected and expands, producing a cold, red transient source surrounding the newly formed black hole, as illustrated by the expanding shell (left to right). Some residual material may fall onto the black hole, as illustrated by the stream and the disk, potentially powering some optical and infrared emissions years after the collapse.
Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Jeffries (STScI)

#Astrophysics, #Research, #BlackHolePhysics, #MassiveStars, #FailedSupernovae, #LargeBinocularTelescope, #N6946_BH1 

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CAST Project Places New Limitations on Dark Matter

CERN research results deliver no evidence for the existence of solar axions

Axions are particles whose hypothetical existence was introduced in 1977 by Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn. The particles have been the talk of the town lately because their existence could largely explain so-called dark matter.

In order to make a solid claim, researchers have been measuring the interaction between axions and photons. A team of international scientists from the project CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) at the European research center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, including Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer from the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg, have set strict limits to the probability that axions turn into photons.

They have presented their findings in the latest issue of Nature Physics.

► Learn more>>

► Read the original publication "New CAST limit on the axion–photon interaction" in Nature Physics>>

► Image explanation: The strong magnet can be found in the blue pipe of the CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) with which researchers seek to capture axions from the sun.
Photo credit: CERN

#Physics, #Astrophysics, #SolarAxions, #CAST, #CERN, #Research, #DarkMatter

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The World's Biggest Freestanding Rubik's Cube

A giant Rubik’s Cube recently installed on the University of Michigan’s North Campus is believed to be the world’s largest hand-solvable, stationary version of the famous puzzle.

It took two teams of mechanical engineering students (and one incredibly tolerant advisor) three years to overcome the twin problems of friction and grip. And by the looks of it, it was worth it.

► Learn more>>

► Gif source>>

#SciTech, #ArtandEngineering, #Research, #Rubiks_cube 
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Diphylleia grayi

or "Skeleton Flower"

Nature never ceases to amaze! One of its wonders is an incredibly unique plant known as "the skeleton flower."

Diphylleia grayi (the scientific name of this plant. Family: Berberidaceae (Magnoliophyta)) is a little-known mayapple and fairy wing relative, native to moist wooded mountainsides in colder regions of China and Japan.

Diphylleia grayi is a deciduous perennial which dies back in winter. Its bloom time is May to July, when tiny white flowers with yellow centers burst onto the scene. Not to be overshadowed, the large deeply lobed foliage spreads over the stems with umbrella-like character.

In late summer, the stalks of eye-catching cobalt blue fruit replace the faded flowers. Diphylleia grayi does not like hot summer temperatures so plant it in a cool moist woodland site.

When it rains on the flowers they magically turn transparent then return to white as they dry.
Actually, in air Diphylleia grayi’s petals appear white, but on contact with water they become transparent. This change is not due to a pigment but loose cell structure in the plant petals. On sunny days the air–liquid interface of the petals causes diffuse reflectance, endowing the petals with a white colour, whilst on rainy days water enters the petals, yielding a water–water interface, increasing light transmission so they turn transparent.

► Image source>>

► Watch this video>>

Further reading

► Skeleton Flowers and Leaves>>

#Biology, #Biodiversity, #Diphylleia_grayi, #SkeletonFlower, #Nature, #Science


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Virtual Tour in Our Solar System

(Artist's impression, of course)

For over two decades, NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made some of the most dramatic discoveries in the history of astronomy but it has also helped scientists learn more about our own Solar System. From its vantage point 600 km above the Earth, Hubble has studied every planet in our Solar System except Mercury where light from the Sun would damage its instruments.

The gif below- that I realised by comes from a nice clip, part of Hubblecast 27.>>

By this clip, the viewer is taken on a virtual tour of our Solar System.

Watch the whole clip>>

Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen).

#SolarSystem, #HubbleTelescope, #NASA, #ESA, #Hubblecast27
Animated Photo

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Into the Wave

A stunning creation from Frédéric Vayssouze-Faure

► Gif source>>

I found this interesting and eclectic guy by serendipity. ☺

Frédéric Vayssouze-Faure- Mathematics teacher, Master of Engineering holder, Collège Gambetta, Cahors, France- says:

"Mathematics, music, computer science : these are the roots of the digital pieces of work I create.
My interest for musical theory and its physical and mathematical founding principles (Pythagoras, d'Alembert, Fourier) have led my work on animations composed of simple motions, generally periodic, especially sinusoidal.
Object-oriented programming has given me a great freedom to explore my ideas about forms and motions.
Each piece of work can be seen as a mathematical object developed in multiple dimensions: cloning, position, scale, colour... and, above all, time."

► Read more>>

#gif, #art, #motion, #design, #minimal, #blackandwhite, #wave, #generative #processing, #creativity, #digitalwork 
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MRI of the Fetal Brain

Advancements in MRI are giving us an unprecedented look at the fetal brain.

Until approximately a decade ago, what researchers knew about the developing prenatal brain came primarily from analyzing the brains of aborted or miscarried fetuses. But studying postmortem brains can be confounding because scientists can’t definitively pinpoint whether the injuries to the brain occurred before or during birth.

Over the years, however, improvements to MRI are finally enabling researchers to study the developing brain in real time. With these advancements, researchers are just beginning to understand how normal brains develop, and how abnormalities can manifest over the course of development.
Scientists cataloguing typical infant brain development with the mini-MRI hope to use it eventually to study the brains of premature babies, who have a high risk of brain damage.
Ultimately, clinicians hope to intervene early with therapies, if available and approved, to prevent developmental disorders when there are signs of brain damage in utero or shortly after birth.

► Source "Brains over Baklava">>

► Read "Womb zoom: What advances in fetal and newborn imaging have revealed" in Nature Medicine>>

► The previously mentioned article shared in My Library>>

#Neuroscience, #MRI, #MagneticResonance, #Imaging, #Neonatal, #Fetus, #Science, #Biology, #Gif, #Brain, #FetalBrain

Animated Photo

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Animation Based on the Five Circles Theorem

In geometry, the five circles theorem states that, given five circles centered on a common sixth circle and intersecting each other chainwise on the same circle, the lines joining their second intersection points forms a pentagram whose points lie on the circles themselves.

► Source>>

► Animation source>>

#Math, #Art, #Processing, #Symmetry, #FiveCirclesTheorem, #Geometry, #Gif
Animated Photo

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Kelt-11b: One of the "Puffiest Planets" Known

KELT-11b is an exoplanet orbiting around the yellow subgiant star KELT-11 about 320 light-years away from Earth. It is one of the most inflated planets known and has a radius 1.37 times that of Jupiter, but only 19% of its mass.

KELT-11b is so an extreme version of a gas planet, like Jupiter or Saturn, but is orbiting very close to its host star in an orbit that lasts less than five days. The star, KELT-11, has started using up its nuclear fuel and is evolving into a red giant, so the planet will be engulfed by its star and not survive the next hundred million years.

Discovered in 2016, KELT-11b has the density of styrofoam!

It may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.

► Learn more>>

► Research paper>>

► The preprint version>>

► Image explanation: This is an artist's rendering of KELT-11b, a 'styrofoam'-density exoplanet orbiting a bright star in the southern hemisphere.
Credit: Image by Walter Robinson/Lehigh University

#Research, #Astrophysics, #Kelt_11b, #Exoplanet
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