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Wed, 16 Aug 2017
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Science & Technology


Roger Penrose asks if a cyclic cosmology is lurking in LIGO gravitational-wave detector noise?

Cosmological noise: signals from both LIGO detectors.
Correlated noise in the two LIGO gravitational-wave detectors may provide evidence that the universe is governed by conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC). That is the claim of Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford, who is proposing that the apparent noise is actually a real signal of gravitational waves generated by the decay of hypothetical dark-matter particles predicted by CCC.

Last month, physicists at the Niels Bohr Institute pointed out that some of the noise in the two LIGO detectors appears to be correlated - with a delay that corresponds to the time it takes for a gravitational wave to travel the more than 3000 km between the instruments.

Writing in a preprint on arXiv, Penrose argues that a significant amount of this noise could be a signal of astrophysical or cosmological origin - and specifically CCC.

Cell Phone

Click farms and social media

Ah, click farms...

Click farms are organizations that you can pay to boost you or your product on social media.

They do their thing through the use of "bots" or semi-bots, which are automated systems to like, share, and otherwise promote something.

But hang on, is this real?

According to two US universities, it's very real...

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Our interconnected forests: "A mother tree may be connected to hundreds of other trees"

© TED (ss)
Interconnected Forest Information Ecosystems
Have you ever stood among the trees — those tall, stoic, magnificent plants — listening to their leaves rustle in the wind and imagined quietly to yourself that they're communicating in some way? Perhaps in whispers, or hushed voices?

It turns out that your imagination isn't at wild as you might believe; Trees do, in fact, talk.

However, as forest ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered through her research, this communication happens not in the air but deep below our feet in an incredibly dense, complex network of roots and chemical signals.

"Trees are the foundation of a forest, but a forest is much more than what you see," says Simard. "Underground, there is this "other" other world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate."


Ocean of water beneath moon's surface could help create human colony

© Paul Hanna / Reuters
Scientists who retested mineral samples collected during the Apollo moon missions now believe there's a massive amount of water under the lunar surface - a discovery which may make manned missions to the moon easier than previously thought.

Researchers at Brown University in the US examined glass beads, a type of volcanic crystal gathered during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions in the 1970s, and found they contained similar volumes of water to Earth's basalt rock.

The leaders of the study, which has been published in Nature Geoscience, cite the parallels as evidence that parts of the moon contain a similarly large amount of water. This, they believe, could be useful for future lunar missions as it means water could potentially be extracted rather than carried from home.


Superluminous supernova discovered

At a distance of 10 billion light-years, DES15E2mlf - a Type I superluminous supernova (SLSN-I) spotted by the Dark Energy Survey collaboration - is the most distant superluminous supernova confirmed to date. It also has one of the most massive host galaxies discovered for a SLSN-I.
© D. Gerdes/S. Jouvel.
This image of the superluminous supernova DES15E2mlf was taken with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) gri-band filters mounted on the Blanco 4-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile on December 28, 2015, around the time when DES15E2mlf reached its peak luminosity.
Superluminous supernovae are 10 to 100 times brighter than a typical supernova resulting from the collapse of a massive star. But scientists still don't know exactly what kinds of stars give rise to their luminosity or what physical processes are involved.

DES15E2mlf is unusual even among the small number of superluminous supernovae astronomers have detected so far.

The explosion occurred about 3.5 billion years after the Big Bang at a period known as 'cosmic high noon,' when the rate of star formation in the Universe reached its peak.

It was more than three times as bright as the 100 billion stars of our Milky Way Galaxy combined.

Previous observations of superluminous supernovae found they typically reside in low-mass or dwarf galaxies, which tend to be less enriched in metals than more massive galaxies.


Russian companies show off their futuristic planes in MAKS 2017 air show

© Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters
The international MAKS 2017 Air Show has concluded in Zhukovsky, just outside Moscow. RT highlights the most stunning moments of the six-day event which included breathtaking flight performances and racing duels between planes and cars.

The airshow show turned out to be a landmark business event, surpassing the previous MAKS 2015 spectacle with regard to business activity and deals signed.

Some 800 airspace companies took part in the event, signing contracts and memorandums worth a staggering 394 billion rubles (roughly $6.6 billion). Potential business deals exceeded 600 billion rubles (over $10 billion), according to an official statement issued following the event's conclusion.

Solar Flares

Spectacular CME blasts from the farside of the sun

© Space Weather
On Sunday July 23rd, a spectacular CME emerged from the farside of the sun. Coronagraphs onboard the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) tracked the fast-moving cloud as it billowed into space:

NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, which has a partial view of the sun's farside, identified the source of the blast as active sunspot AR2665, familiar to readers of Spaceweather.com who watched the behemoth cross the Earthside of the sun earlier this month. STEREO-A observed an intense flash of extreme UV radiation from the sunspot's magnetic canopy:


It's not aliens: Astronomers figure out the source of mysterious radio signals emanating from Ross 128

© NASA / Wikipedia
Ross 128 in Celestia
Strange signals emanating from a dwarf star are not evidence of extraterrestrial life. That's according to astronomers who detected the unidentified radio signals, setting off public speculation that aliens were trying to making contact with Earth.

Scientists from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico revealed last week that they were baffled by signals detected on May 12 emanating from the star Ross 128.

The wide-band radio signal was considered unusual because not only did it repeat with time, it also slid down the radio dial, going from a higher note to a lower one.

While the team were quick to point out that it was highly unlikely the signals were from aliens, that didn't stop curious conjecture around their discovery.


Synchronization of autonomic nervous system rhythms with geomagnetic activity found in humans

© Collective Evolution
Over the past few years, a number of publications have emerged from scientists and researchers all over the world regarding the human magnetic field. Not only have they been studying the human magnetic field, they've also been studying the magnetic field of the planet, and how all these fields, including our own, can impact ourselves and the people around us. It's similar to quantum entanglement, in that both show that everybody and every living thing is "connected" in ways we have yet to fully understand.

Leading the charge are the brilliant scientists over at the HearthMath Institute. An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, it dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives.

A large portion of their research has investigated heart and brain interaction. Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, it can yield significant data for researchers. You can read more about that here.

Now, the Institute has published new research which suggests that daily autonomic nervous system activity not only responds to changes in solar and geomagnetic activity, but also synchronizes with the time-varying magnetic fields associated with geomatic field-line resonances and Schumann resonances.

In 1952, German physicist and professor W.O. Schumann of the Technical University of Munich began attempting to answer whether or not the Earth itself has a frequency - a pulse. His assumption about the existence of this frequency came from his understanding that when a sphere exists inside of another sphere, an electrical tension is created. Since the negatively charged Earth exists inside the positively charged ionosphere, there must be tension between the two, giving the Earth a specific frequency. Following his assumptions, through a series of calculations he was able to land upon a frequency he believed was the pulse of the Earth. This frequency was 10hz.

Better Earth

Seafloor data from lost MH370 search publicly released

© Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2017
Strips and bands of color off the western coast of Australia indicate MH370 search area. Earth tone areas indicate higher-elevation seafloor features, blue areas are deeper features.
Detailed maps of the bottom of the Indian Ocean reveal deep canyons and landslides but no wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing in 2014.

A vanished airliner rather than scientific curiosity prompted a recent extensive campaign to map a large swath of the seafloor, one of the last unexplored frontiers of our planet. Now these data have been publicly released for the first time and may offer a lasting boon to science.

On 8 March 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing, lost contact with air traffic control, and disappeared. The Boeing 777, with 239 people on board, is presumed to have veered wildly off course, eventually crashing into a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.