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Sat, 04 Feb 2023
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Science & Technology


Evidence for magnetic reconnection between Ganymede and Jupiter revealed in new study

ganymede jupiter
© Geophysical Research Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1029/2022GL099775
Interpretation of magnetic topology and electron flow direction for two different reconnection scenarios at Ganymede's upstream magnetopause. The Y-Z projection of the magnetic field line configuration is adapted from Jia et al. (2008). Yellow dashed line indicates Juno's trajectory.
In June 2021, NASA's Juno spacecraft flew close to Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, observing evidence of magnetic reconnection. A team led by Southwest Research Institute used Juno data to examine the electron and ion particles and magnetic fields as the magnetic field lines of Jupiter and Ganymede merged, snapped and reoriented, heating and accelerating the charged particles in the region.

"Ganymede is the only moon in our solar system with its own magnetic field," said Juno Principal Investigator Dr. Scott Bolton of SwRI. "The snapping and reconnecting of Ganymede's magnetic field lines with Jupiter's creates the magnetospheric fireworks."

Magnetic reconnection is an explosive physical process that converts stored magnetic energy into kinetic energy and heat. Ganymede's mini-magnetosphere interacts with Jupiter's massive magnetosphere, in the magnetopause, the boundary between the two regions.

Comment: There's even more evidence that similar connections exist throughout our solar system, and that the influence they have can be profound: And check out SOTT radio's:

Arrow Down

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy linked to increased risk of traffic accidents

New research suggests that individuals who disregard recommendations for vaccination against coronaviruses may also disregard rules of road safety.

Traffic Accident
© Sci-Tech Daily
Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death and injury worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.35 million people die each year in road traffic accidents, and an additional 20 to 50 million people are injured.
A new study published in The American Journal of Medicine has identified a link between vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 and increased risks of traffic accidents. Researchers found that individuals who neglect health recommendations for vaccination may also neglect basic road safety measures. The study suggests that raising awareness about the connection between vaccination and road safety may encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is the first study that explores the possible relationship between vaccine hesitancy and traffic crashes, which are a major cause of injury and death, and can be made worse by other underlying health conditions.

"COVID-19 vaccination is an objective, available, important, authenticated, and timely indicator of human behavior - albeit in a domain separate from motor vehicle traffic," explained lead investigator Donald A. Redelmeier, MD, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute; Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences; and Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Barf Bag
© Sodahead


850-year-old supernova left 'zombie star' behind

Nebula PA 30
© Robert Fesen
The unusual fireworks-like structure of nebula Pa 30 may result from the merger of two dying stars.
A supernova explosion that skywatchers in the Far East observed almost 850 years ago has produced the most unusual remnant astronomers have ever found. "I've worked on supernovae for [decades], and I've never seen anything like this," says Robert Fesen (Dartmouth College), who photographed the weird object in late October 2022 with the 2.4-meter Hiltner telescope at Kitt Peak.

Fesen presented his results at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle; a paper has been submitted to Astrophysical Journal Letters (preprint available here). In other work presented at the AAS meeting and submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (preprint here), his coauthor Bradley Schaefer (Louisiana State University) argues that the supernova resulted when two white dwarf stars collided, leaving an extremely energetic "zombie" star behind.

Amateur astronomer (and Fesen's second coauthor) Dana Patchick discovered the nebula in August 2013 in archived images from NASA's Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The infrared images didn't show much detail, though. Originally, Patchick believed he had found a planetary nebula — his 30th find, hence the name Pa 30 — but later spectroscopic observations revealed that it's more likely to be a supernova remnant. However, the nebula doesn't produce many radio or X-ray waves, and there's no neutron star or black hole in its center. Instead, the central star (sometimes known as Parker's Star, after University of Hong Kong astronomer Quentin Parker who first studied its spectrum) turns out to be a peculiar white dwarf.

Still, astronomers are now confident about its relation with SN1181, a zero-magnitude supernova that appeared in northern Cassiopeia on August 6th of 1181 AD. Chinese and Japanese observers recorded this "guest star" slowly fading over a period of six months.


AI writes articles for website for months and 'no one noticed'

Artificial intelligence
A POPULAR news outlet has been publishing articles written by AI since November, keeping it on the down low.

Tech media site CNET has been publishing the articles since November, and lots of readers don't seem to have noticed.

"What is a credit card charge-off?" was the first AI-written article, published on November 11 by CNET Money.

The portal has reportedly churned out and published 73 AI-generated articles since then, reports Futurism.

Comment: Mainstream journalism that consists of churning out articles that parrot establishment press releases - sometimes even word for word - is already pretty close to computer generated content.


Is the end of science near?

the end wall
© Crawford Jolly Unsplash
Science writer Tibi Puiu reports on new findings that reflect what many today, have begun to suspect:
"Over the past few decades, the number of science and technology research papers published has soared, rising at a rate of nearly 10% each year. In the biomedical field alone, there are more than a million papers pouring into the PubMed database each year, or around two studies per minute...

The new study revealed that the "disruptiveness" of contemporary science has decreased, rendering ever diminishing returns. In this particular context, authors define disruptiveness as the degree to which a study departs from previous literature and renders it obsolete. In other words, a highly disruptive study is one that completely changes the way we think about a particular topic and renders previous research on the subject obsolete."

Similarly, Kelsey Piper at Vox tells readers of her Future Perfect newsletter, despite a more than tenfold inflation-adjusted increase in U.S.-government spending on science — and that of many other sources — since 1955, "It feels like we're doing more research and getting less out of it."

Comment: Government funding is where science goes to die.

Better Earth

Antarctic icebergs recorded by 1700-era sailors are STILL there today

antarctica iceberg
© Journal of Glaciology
Comparison of the modern and historical datasets: BYU/NIC in red, AWI in orange, Halley, Bouvet and Riou observations in black and Cook's cruise tracks and data points in blue.
A new study comparing observations of large Antarctic icebergs from the 1700s with modern satellite datasets shows the massive icebergs are found in the same areas where they were pinpointed three centuries ago. The study shows that despite their rudimentary tools, the old explorers truly knew their craft, and it confirms that the icebergs have behaved consistently for more than 300 years.

Using primarily the journal records of Captain James Cook's 1772-1775 Antarctic circumnavigation on the HMS Resolution (where he noted the positions of hundreds of icebergs), a trio of researchers from Brigham Young University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Washington's School of Oceanography made comparisons with the two largest modern datasets available today: the BYU/National Ice Center and Alfred Wegener Institute datasets.

Comment: Whilst there have indeed been changes documented in the environment and climate of Antarctica throughout the years, what this research supports is that our planet is not suffering CO2 driven, man-made global warming:


Sweden discovers largest rare earth deposit in Europe

sweden mine
© Jonas Ekstromer/ TT News Agency via AFP
A view of the iron mine of the state-owned Swedish mining company LKAB in Kiruna. EU is looking for other sources than China for these crucial minerals, but it will take at least a decade before Sweden’s are available to industry.
Sweden's state-owned mining company says it has identified more than 1 million tonnes of rare earth minerals in the northern area of Kiruna.

LKAB said on Thursday that the deposit, found next to its iron ore mine, was the largest of rare earth oxides in Europe.

Rare earth minerals are vital to making many high-tech goods. They are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, portable electronics, microphones and speakers.

Fireball 4

A 'green' comet is on approach for a flyby of Earth

Comet C/2022 E3
© Dan Bartlett
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)'s brighter greenish coma, short broad dust tail and long faint ion tail on Dec. 25.
A comet from the outer solar system is set to swing through our cosmic neighborhood this month for the first time in 50,000 years, offering skywatchers a glimpse of this celestial object as it nears Earth and the sun in a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

The comet, officially known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), will make its closest approach to the sun on Thursday and could be bright enough to be seen through telescopes and binoculars.

Comets can be tricky to spot in the night sky, but this cosmic interloper has been steadily brightening as it moves through the inner solar system, which should help people catch a glimpse, according to NASA.

Life Preserver

Russia to launch mission to rescue stranded ISS crew after meteoroid strike

© Dmitri Lovetsky/AP
US astronaut Frank Rubio (right) with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev (centre) and Dmitri Petelin wave to relatives and friends before the launch of the Soyuz-2.1 rocket in Kazakhstan last September.
Moscow will launch a rescue vessel to the International Space Station next month to bring home three crew members who are in effect stuck in orbit after their original capsule was hit by a meteoroid.

The docked Soyuz MS-22 sprang a major leak last month, spraying radiator coolant into space and prompting a pair of cosmonauts to abort a planned spacewalk.

While Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, said the strike caused no immediate threat to the crew of the space station, it raised concerns about whether everyone on the orbital outpost could return to Earth in an emergency situation.

Comment: It may be a sign of how 'busy' our region of space is becoming that only 6 months earlier NASA's James Webb Telescope was also struck by a micrometeorite, just months into its mission: 'Unprecedented': Shockwave & 'huge roar' reported in Gran Canaria following meteor fireball event

See also: Classified: Roscosmos knows "exactly what happened" to Soyuz spacecraft


Britain's first rocket launch from home soil will put 9 satellites into orbit - UPDATE: Mission fails!

plane rocket
© The Telegraph
Britain is set to join an exclusive club of 10 countries capable of launching rockets into orbit when it sends up the first satellite payload from Spaceport Cornwall on Monday.

Virgin Orbit is scheduled to make its first UK flight shortly before 10pm, in a historic lift-off that could open the door to human spaceflight from British soil.

Comment: They might be getting ahead themselves..

Unlike vertical launches, the LauncherOne rocket containing nine satellites is attached to a wing of a former Virgin Atlantic 747 passenger plane - dubbed Cosmic Girl.


UPDATE: 10th January 2022 @ 13:03 CET Virgin Orbit tweeted in real time about their initial suspicions of failing to reach orbit, prior to the mission returning, and then a few hours later issued a press release confirming:

Virgin orbit