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'Nocturnal sun': Zonal waves caused 'bright nights' in ancient times claim scientists

© American Geophysical Union
The different layers of Earth’s airglow can be seen from the International Space Station as it orbits Earth. The very thin green layer above the bottom of the window occurs 95 kilometers (59 miles) above Earth’s surface; the red region above is a different type of airglow. The rectangle represents the portion of the airglow measured in a single WINDII image.
Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of "bright nights," when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper or check their watch.

A new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, uses satellite data to present a possible explanation for these puzzling historical phenomena.

The authors suggest that when waves in the upper atmosphere converge over specific locations on Earth, it amplifies naturally occurring airglow, a faint light in the night sky that often appears green due to the activities of atoms of oxygen in the high atmosphere. Normally, people don't notice airglow, but on bright nights it can become visible to the naked eye, producing the unexplained glow detailed in historical observations.

Few, if any, people observe bright nights anymore due to widespread light pollution, but the new findings show that they can be detected by scientists and may still be noticeable in remote areas. Bright airglow can be a concern for astronomers, who must contend with the extra light while making observations with telescopes.

"Bright nights do exist, and they're part of the variability of airglow that can be observed with satellite instruments," said Gordon Shepherd, an aeronomer at York University in Toronto, Canada, and lead author of the new study.

A historical mystery

Historical accounts of bright nights go back centuries. Pliny the Elder described bright nights, saying, "The phenomenon commonly called 'nocturnal sun', i.e. a light emanating from the sky during the night, has been seen during the consulate of C. Caecilius and Cn. Papirius (~ 113 BCE), and many other times, giving an appearance of day during the night."

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Multiple regions deep within the brain collaborate in empathetic and moral decision-making

© Soon-Beom Hong, PLOS One
Duke researchers tracked how signals ping back and forth within the brain during empathic decision-making in rats.
It's a classic conundrum: while rushing to get to an important meeting or appointment on time, you spot a stranger in distress. How do you decide whether to stop and help, or continue on your way?

A new study by neuroscientists at Duke and Stanford University sheds light on how the brain coordinates these complex decisions involving altruism and empathy. The answer lies in the way multiple areas of the brain collaborate to produce the decision, rather than just one area or another making the call.

"The brain is more than just the sum of its individual parts," said Jana Schaich Borg, assistant research professor in the Social Science Research Institute and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke.

Using a technique that combines electrical monitoring of brain activity with machine learning, the team was able to tune into the brain chatter of rats engaged in helping other rats.

Meteor

Do asteroids present the 'greatest challenge' to humanity?


Close encounter: NASA graphic showing asteroid 1998 QE2, which caused a brief scare when it skimmed past Earth in 2013. But one day a space rock is bound to be on target, say worried scientists
Throughout its 4.5-billion-year history, Earth has been repeatedly pummelled by space rocks that have caused anything from an innocuous splash in the ocean to species annihilation.

When the next big impact will be, nobody knows.

But the pressure is on to predict—and intercept—its arrival.
"Sooner or later we will get... a minor or major impact," Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, told AFP ahead of International Asteroid Day on Friday.

It may not happen in our lifetime, he said, but "the risk that Earth will get hit in a devastating event one day is very high."

Brain

Nobel Laureate physicist Brian Josephson "80%" confident in intelligent design

This is new to me. Brian Josephson is a Welsh physicist and 1973 Nobel laureate who estimates his confidence in intelligent design at about 80 percent. It comes up on in an interview with host Robert Lawrence Kuhn for the PBS series Closer to Truth. Click [here] to go there.

Given the choice between ID, theistic evolution, and unguided or "random" evolution, Dr. Josephson opts for intelligent design:
I believe that intelligence may play a role in how evolution has occurred. One of the big mistakes of those who attack intelligent design is to regard evolution and God as mutually exclusive, so they say that someone who believes in intelligent design doesn't believe in evolution, but that's not the case. Also, I'd say science has disappeared into something political, really, as the statement that "creationism disguised as science" is a totally false view of what's happened.
He distinguishes between ID and Young Earth Creationism, saying that while ID proponents may hold religious beliefs, those do not determine their scientific conclusions:
We may have these [religious] beliefs but let's see what science can tell us, and that's what intelligent design is, it isn't "creationism in disguise" at all.

Info

World's brightest laser sparks new behavior in light

© Extreme Light Laboratory|University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Using the brightest light ever produced, University of Nebraska-Lincoln physicists obtained this high-resolution X-ray of a USB drive. The image reveals details not visible with ordinary X-ray imaging
Physicists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are seeing an everyday phenomenon in a new light.

By focusing laser light to a brightness one billion times greater than the surface of the sun - the brightest light ever produced on Earth - the physicists have observed changes in a vision-enabling interaction between light and matter.

Those changes yielded unique X-ray pulses with the potential to generate extremely high-resolution imagery useful for medical, engineering, scientific and security purposes. The team's findings, detailed June 26 in the journal Nature Photonics, should also help inform future experiments involving high-intensity lasers.

Donald Umstadter and colleagues at the university's Extreme Light Laboratory fired their Diocles Laser at helium-suspended electrons to measure how the laser's photons - considered both particles and waves of light - scattered from a single electron after striking it.

Under typical conditions, as when light from a bulb or the sun strikes a surface, that scattering phenomenon makes vision possible. But an electron - the negatively charged particle present in matter-forming atoms - normally scatters just one photon of light at a time. And the average electron rarely enjoys even that privilege, Umstadter said, getting struck only once every four months or so.

Though previous laser-based experiments had scattered a few photons from the same electron, Umstadter's team managed to scatter nearly 1,000 photons at a time. At the ultra-high intensities produced by the laser, both the photons and electron behaved much differently than usual.

"When we have this unimaginably bright light, it turns out that the scattering - this fundamental thing that makes everything visible - fundamentally changes in nature," said Umstadter, the Leland and Dorothy Olson Professor of physics and astronomy.

Mars

NASA's Opportunity rover may have uncovered an ancient Martian lake

© NASA
NASA's Opportunity rover has been busy examining the edge of a crater on the desolate Red Planet that scientists think may have once been the site of an ancient lake.

Opportunity landed on Earth's nearest neighbor 13 years ago and has been scouring the planet for signs of life ever since, despite being hampered by numerous technical problems.

Since 2011, the rover has been investigating sites near a large crater, some 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) across, known as Endeavour. Earlier in June, Opportunity found rocks at the edge of the crater's rim crest above Perseverance Valley.

Info

New form of liquid water discovered

© Mattias Karlén
Liquid water exists in two different forms, new research reveals. Here, an illustration of the water molecule in front of an X-ray pattern from high-density amorphous ice, created by creating high pressures and low temperatures.
Liquid water comes in two forms — low density and high density, scientists have found.

The findings add to the anomalous properties of this ubiquitous, life-giving liquid, which is like no other on Earth.
"The new remarkable property is that we find that water can exist as two different liquids at low temperatures where ice crystallization is slow," Anders Nilsson, a chemical physicist at Stockholm University in Sweden, said in a statement.

Beaker

Researchers hunt for clues linking epigenetics and stress

Studies of human populations suggest that our health and longevity could be affected by the diets and experiences of our grandparents. For example, studies of a small community in northern Sweden where detailed historical records were kept found correlations between food availability for one generation and the mortality rate for that generation's grandchildren.


But the exact nature of these effects and how they are transmitted across generations remain unclear. In Susan Strome's lab at UC Santa Cruz, research on a tiny roundworm called C. elegans is helping to solve this puzzle.
"NIH is supporting this basic research in a model organism because it is the only way to crack open the mechanisms behind the correlations seen in human studies. You can't do these kinds of experiments in humans," said Strome, a distinguished professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology.
Biologists have suspected for years that some kind of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the cellular level. The different kinds of cells in our bodies provide an example. Skin cells and brain cells have different forms and functions, despite having exactly the same DNA.

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: ‌Trauma from your Mama: The DNA -- Stress connection


Tornado2

Thunderbolts Space News: Tornadoes - The Electric Model

© YouTube/Thunderbolts Project (screen capture)
The EU2017 Conference: Future Science -- Aug 17 - 20, Phoenix: https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2017...

The most violent type of weather storm on planet Earth is a tornado. Meteorologists tell us that the unstable air in a thunderstorm produces updrafts and downdrafts, which interacts with a wind shear to ultimately create a tornado vortex. But many scientists acknowledge that the exact processes that cause a tornado remain mysterious. In recent Space News episodes, Thunderbolts contributor Andrew Hall has explored the electrical genesis of lightning and other earthly weather phenomena. Today, Hall offers his own thesis on the electrical genesis of tornadoes on Earth.

Andy's original Thunderblog: https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2017...


Comment: Study: Tornado outbreaks are increasing - but scientists don't understand why. A coauthor of this paper states "What's pushing this rise in extreme outbreaks is far from obvious in the present state of climate science."

The climate scientists have not considered the importance of atmospheric dust loading and the winning Electric Universe model in their research. Such information and much more, are explained in the book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
The accumulation of cometary dust in the Earth's atmosphere plays an important role in the increase of tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes and their associated rainfalls, snowfalls and lightning. To understand this mechanism we must first take into account the electric nature of hurricanes, tornadoes and cyclones, which are actually manifestations of the same electric phenomenon at different scales or levels of power.
Increasing cometary and volcanic dust loading of the atmosphere (one indicator is the intensification of noctilucent clouds we are witnessing) is accentuating electric charge build-up, whereby we can expect to observe more extreme weather and planetary upheaval as well as awesome light shows and other related mysterious phenomena.


Brain

Forgetting actually makes you smarter

The inability to remember has long been considered a failure of the brain, but a new study has found that our brains are actively working to forget memories in order to retain the truly important information.

In fact, the study's researchers believe the brain is not designed to keep memories intact, but its actual purpose is to only hold onto valuable information to optimize intelligent decision making overtime.
"It's important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help make decisions in the real world," says Blake Richards, author of the study and associate fellow in the Learning in Machines and Brains program.

Comment:

Related articles:

Forgetting Is Part Of Remembering

Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows

Forgetting Traumatic Memories

The science of forgetting

Controlling Confusion: Researchers Make Insight Into Memory, Forgetting