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Thorfinn Hrolfsson
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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Still reading and following some ground breaking politics elsewhere
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Still going, but UK needs at least 1 nights sleep before continuing on this unexpected journey.
Labour Party in shock "Eleven members of the Labour shadow cabinet have resigned and one has been sacked"
We did not mean it petition at 3.5M
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the universe. It’s also the simplest—sporting only a single electron in each atom. But that simplicity is deceptive, because there is still so much we have to learn about hydrogen.

One of the biggest unknowns is its transformation under the extreme pressures and temperatures found in the interiors of giant planets, where it is squeezed until it becomes liquid metal, capable of conducting electricity. New work published in Physical Review Letters by Carnegie’s Alexander Goncharov and University of Edinburgh’s Stewart McWilliams measures the conditions under which hydrogen undergoes this transition in the lab and finds an intermediate state between gas and metal, which they’re calling “dark hydrogen.”

On the surface of giant planets like Jupiter, hydrogen is a gas. But between this gaseous surface and the liquid metal hydrogen in the planet’s core lies a layer of dark hydrogen, according to findings gleaned from the team’s lab mimicry.
Journal Reference:
R. Stewart McWilliams, D. Allen Dalton, Mohammad F. Mahmood, Alexander F. Goncharov. Optical Properties of Fluid Hydrogen at the Transition to a Conducting State. Physical Review Letters, 2016; 116 (25)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.255501
Washington, DC— Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the universe. It’s also the simplest—sporting only a single electron in each atom. But that simplicity is deceptive, because there is still so much we have to learn about hydrogen.
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IloveDoubleD's profile photoK.L. Connor's profile photoPaper Kosmonaut's profile photo
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+K.L. Connor, read the article, if you will. It explains it a lot better than doing it here in a few words.
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
In the first billion years of Earth’s history, the planet was bombarded by primordial asteroids, while a faint Sun provided much less heat. A Southwest Research Institute-led team posits that this tumultuous beginning may have ultimately fostered life on Earth, particularly in terms of sustaining liquid water.

“The early impacts caused temporary, localized destruction and hostile conditions for life. But at the same time, they had a long-term beneficial effect in stabilizing surface temperatures and delivering key elements for life as we know it,” said Dr. Simone Marchi, a senior research scientist at SwRI’s Planetary Science Directorate in Boulder, Colo. He is the lead author of a paper, “Massive Impact-induced Release of Carbon and Sulfur Gases in the Early Earth’s Atmosphere,” recently published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The paper addresses a major problem, one of the outstanding mysteries in the history of the solar system and Earth — the faint young Sun paradox.
Journal Reference:
S. Marchi, B.A. Black, L.T. Elkins-Tanton, W.F. Bottke. Massive impact-induced release of carbon and sulfur gases in the early Earth's atmosphere. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2016; 449: 96
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.032
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Utilizing the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) astrophysicist Dr. Tracy Clarke and an international team of researchers have peered into the feeding habits of a supermassive black hole and witnessed the first evidence of a new diet. The black hole, whose mass is nearly 300 million times that of our sun, is on the verge of gulping down massive clumps of cold gas which each contain as much material as a million suns.
Previously, astronomers generally believed that supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies slowly grazed on a steadfast diet of hot ionized gas from the galaxy’s halo. The new ALMA observations show that under the right intergalactic conditions, the black hole can instead feed on a chaotic downpour of cold, clumpy clouds that have condensed out of the hot gas and plummeted into the heart of the galaxy where the supermassive black hole resides. These new observations — recently published in a Nature letter led by Dr. Grant Tremblay, Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics — will help recast astronomers models of how supermassive black holes grow through a process known as accretion.
The team of astronomers used ALMA to study an unusually bright cluster of individual galaxies, collectively referred to as Abell 2597, in hopes of mapping the spatial structure and velocity of the cold gas in the system. Earlier work by Clarke revealed that the hot gas in the core of this cluster is riddled with X-ray cavities excavated by powerful radio jets driven by outbursts from the central supermassive black hole. The ALMA observations were aimed at searching for evidence that the powerful radio jets can also pull cold gas out of the cluster core to stop catastrophic runaway cooling.
Journal Reference:
Grant R. Tremblay, J. B. Raymond Oonk, Françoise Combes, Philippe Salomé, Christopher, P. O’Dea, Stefi A. Baum, G. Mark Voit, Megan Donahue, Brian R. McNamara, Timothy A. Davis, Michael A. McDonald, Alastair C. Edge, Tracy E. Clarke, Roberto Galván-Madrid, Malcolm N. Bremer, Louise O. V. Edwards, Andrew C. Fabian, Stephen Hamer, Yuan Li, Anaëlle Maury, Helen R. Russell, Alice C. Quillen, C. Megan Urry, Jeremy S. Sanders, Michael W. Wise. Cold, clumpy accretion onto an active supermassive black hole. Nature, 2016; 534 (7606): 218
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature17969
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
With eruptions of ice and water vapour, and an ocean covered by an ice shell, Saturn's moon Enceladus is one of the most fascinating in the Solar System, especially as interpretations of data provided by the Cassini spacecraft have been contradictory until now. An international team including researchers from the Laboratoire de Planétologie Géodynamique de Nantes (CNRS/Université de Nantes/Université d'Angers), Charles University in Prague, and the Royal Observatory of Belgium1 recently proposed a new model that reconciles different data sets and shows that the ice shell at Enceladus's south pole may be only a few kilometres thick. This suggests that there is a strong heat source in the interior of Enceladus, an additional factor supporting the possible emergence of life in its ocean. The study has just been published online on the website of Geophysical Research Letters.

Initial interpretations of data from Cassini flybys of Enceladus estimated that the thickness of its ice shell ranged from 30 to 40 km at the south pole to 60 km at the equator. These models were unable to settle the question of whether or not its ocean extended beneath the entire ice shell. However, the discovery in 2015 of an oscillation in Enceladus's rotation known as a libration, which is linked to tidal effects, suggests that it has a global ocean and a much thinner ice shell than predicted, with a mean thickness of around 20 km. Nonetheless, this thickness appeared to be inconsistent with other gravity and topography data.
Journal Reference:
Ondřej Čadek, Gabriel Tobie, Tim Van Hoolst, Marion Massé, Gaël Choblet, Axel Lefèvre, Giuseppe Mitri, Rose-Marie Baland, Marie Běhounková, Olivier Bourgeois, Anthony Trinh. Enceladus's internal ocean and ice shell constrained from Cassini gravity, shape and libration data. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068634
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We will find a way to transport it if situation calls for it, in time, i am sure ☺
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by Earth's magnetic field, protects our planet from the harsh battering of the solar wind. Like a protective shield, the magnetosphere absorbs and deflects plasma from the solar wind which originates from the Sun. When conditions are right, beautiful dancing auroral displays are generated. But when the solar wind is most violent, extreme space weather storms can create intense radiation in the Van Allen belts and drive electrical currents which can damage terrestrial electrical power grids. Earth could then be at risk for up to trillions of dollars of damage.

Announced today in Nature Physics, a new discovery led by researchers at the University of Alberta shows for the first time how the puzzling third Van Allen radiation belt is created by a "space tsunami." Intense so-called ultra-low frequency (ULF) plasma waves, which are excited on the scale of the whole magnetosphere, transport the outer part of the belt radiation harmlessly into interplanetary space and create the previously unexplained feature of the third belt.
Journal Reference:
F. Honary et al. Explaining the dynamics of the ultra-relativistic third Van Allen radiation belt. Nature Physics, June 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys3799
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
New work from Carnegie’s Peter Driscoll suggests Earth’s ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two. It is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth generates a strong magnetic field extending from the core out into space that shields the atmosphere and deflects harmful high-energy particles from the Sun and the cosmos. Without it, our planet would be bombarded by cosmic radiation, and life on Earth’s surface might not exist. The motion of liquid iron in Earth’s outer core drives a phenomenon called the geodynamo, which creates Earth’s magnetic field. This motion is driven by the loss of heat from the core and the solidification of the inner core.

But the planet’s inner core was not always solid. What effect did the initial solidification of the inner core have on the magnetic field? Figuring out when it happened and how the field responded has created a particularly vexing and elusive problem for those trying to understand our planet’s geologic evolution, a problem that Driscoll set out to resolve.
Journal Reference:
Peter E. Driscoll. Simulating Two Billion Years of Geodynamo History. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068858
Washington, DC— New work from Carnegie’s Peter Driscoll suggests Earth’s ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two. It is published in Geophysical Research Letters.
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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It seems some functions keep going
full paper at http://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/06/11/058305.full.pdf
This is a first draft pre-review version
A continuing enigma in the study of biological systems is what happens to highly ordered structures, far from equilibrium, when their regulatory systems suddenly become disabled. In life, genetic and epigenetic networks precisely coordinate the expression of genes -- but in death, it is not known if gene expression diminishes gradually or abruptly stops or if specific genes are involved. We investigated the unwinding of the clock by identifying u...
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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Link to show why an open web is best
The House reconvenes for legislative business after a day-long recess. Democrats have been staging a sit-in since 11:25 a.m. ET in an effort to force a vote on gun control legislation. Coverage has…
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Our universe came to life nearly 14 billion years ago in the Big Bang — a tremendously energetic fireball from which the cosmos has been expanding ever since. Today, space is filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, including our solar system's own galactic home, the Milky Way. But how exactly did the infant universe develop into its current state, and what does it tell us about our future?

These are the fundamental questions "astrophysical archaeologists" like Risa Wechsler want to answer. At the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) of Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, her team combines experimental data with theory in computer simulations that dig deeply into cosmic history and trace back how matter particles clumped together to form larger and larger structures in the expanding universe.
Computer models suggest how the first clumps of matter formed and what our universe’s future holds.
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+Rhys Taylor But here we are talking off topic! You should ban us! 
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

Space Exploration  - 
 
When the NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft buzzed by Pluto last year, it revealed tantalizing clues that the dwarf planet might have — or had at one time — a liquid ocean sloshing around under its icy crust. According to a new analysis led by a Brown University Ph.D. student, such an ocean likely still exists today.

The study, which used a thermal evolution model for Pluto updated with data from New Horizons, found that if Pluto’s ocean had frozen into oblivion millions or billions of years ago, it would have caused the entire planet to shrink. But there are no signs of a global contraction to be found on Pluto’s surface. On the contrary, New Horizons showed signs that Pluto has been expanding.

“Thanks to the incredible data returned by New Horizons, we were able to observe tectonic features on Pluto’s surface, update our thermal evolution model with new data and infer that Pluto most likely has a subsurface ocean today,” said Noah Hammond, a graduate student in Brown’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, and the study’s lead author.
Journal Reference:
Noah P. Hammond, Amy C. Barr, Edgar M. Parmentier. Recent Tectonic Activity on Pluto Driven by Phase Changes in the Ice Shell. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL069220
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For the past 20 years, exoplanets known as 'hot Jupiters' have puzzled astronomers. These giant planets orbit 100 times closer to their host stars than Jupiter does to the Sun, which increases their surface temperatures. But how and when in their history did they migrate so close to their star? Now, an international team of astronomers has announced the discovery of a very young hot Jupiter orbiting in the immediate vicinity of a star that is barely two million years old—the stellar equivalent of a week-old infant. This first-ever evidence that hot Jupiters can appear at such an early stage represents a major step forward in our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve. The work, led by researchers at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP, CNRS/Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier)1, in collaboration, amongst others2, with colleagues at the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes)3, is published on 20 June 2016 in the journal Nature.

It was while monitoring a star barely two million years old called V830 Tau, located in the Taurus stellar nursery some 430 light years away, that an international team of astronomers discovered the youngest known hot Jupiter. The team observed the star for a month and a half and detected a regular fluctuation in the star's velocity, revealing the presence of a planet almost as massive as Jupiter, orbiting its host star at a distance only one twentieth of that between the Earth and the Sun. The discovery shows for the first time that hot Jupiters can appear at a very early stage in the formation of planetary systems, and therefore have a major impact on their architecture.
Journal Reference:
J. F. Donati, C. Moutou, L. Malo, C. Baruteau, L. Yu, E. Hébrard, G. Hussain, S. Alencar, F. Ménard, J. Bouvier, P. Petit, M. Takami, R. Doyon, A. Collier Cameron. A hot Jupiter orbiting a 2-million-year-old solar-mass T Tauri star. Nature, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18305
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+Herbert Miller Maybe it was not just gas drifting in the disk. Maybe the planet formed at the same time as the star but the star firmed faster. If it is large enough it's gravity would stop the gas in the planet from being blown away by the stars solar wind after fusion began.

There is the discussion that Jupiter formed closer to the sun and migrated out to where it is today. 
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