Monthly Archives: August 2019

Endeavours Orbiting Tool Bag Can Be Seen Using 10 x 50 Binoculars

first_img Citation: Endeavour’s Orbiting Tool Bag Can Be Seen Using 10 x 50 Binoculars (2008, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from STS-126 ISS Starboard Section – Credit: NASA Explore further has launched a satellite tracking system which allows the public to input their zip code and get a schedule of when the ISS tool bag will be doing a flyby in their neighborhood. The satellite tracking system provides the time, date, direction to look, transit time, maximum elevation and magnitude of the ISS Toolbag. Close behind the ISS Toolbag is the International Space Station doing its flyby. The ISS has a very bright appearance compared to the tool bag. The site gives a week ahead calendar of the flyby events. If you miss one evening, you can catch it some other night. The ISS Toolbag is expected to continue to orbit until its fiery reentry some time in June, 2009. According to NASA scientist Nicholas Johnson, the exact date of reentry is dependent on solar activity. So, the actual fiery end of the ISS Toolbag could be sooner or later than the predicted June date. It is not expected that any components of the Toolbag will reach the Earth´s surface. A reentry survivability analysis has not been conducted, but in all likelihood it will simply burn up during reentry. The orbiting tool bag weighs approximately 30-pounds. It measures 20-inches wide and 12-inches long. The tool bag contains two grease guns, a scraper tool, a large trash bag and a small debris bag. Given the size and dim magnitude of the orbiting tool bag, star gazers will need binoculars or a small telescope to view it. On November 22, Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario Canada captured the orbiting ISS Tool Bag on video. See his Lost Tool Bag YouTube Video above. Astronaut Heidi Stefanyshyn-Piper’s now infamous tool bag fumble can be viewed in another Short Version YouTube video. In the weeks to come the ISS Tool Bag will be visible to all of North America. © 2008 ISS Crew Repair Carbon Dioxide Removal System, Prepare For New Supplies ( — Endeavor astronaut Heidi Stefanyshyn-Piper’s loss has turned out to be an amateur star gazers’ event of the season. The $100,000 tool bag slipped out of her reach and floated into space while she was trying to clean up a greasy mess on the starboard section of the space station. The tool bag is now dubbed ISS Toolbag and is orbiting the Earth. According to, Edward Light spotted the orbiting tool bag using 10 x 50 binoculars from his backyard in Lakewood, New Jersey. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Italian scientists who failed to predict LAquila earthquake may face manslaughter charges

first_imgA government’s office damaged by the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. The L’Aquila public prosecutor’s office issued the indictments on June 3, a step that usually precedes a request for a court trial. The investigation originated when about 30 L’Aquila citizens registered an official complaint that the scientists had failed to recognize the danger of the earthquake during the days and weeks in advance.In the six months leading up to the earthquake, a series of smaller seismic movements and tremors were recorded nearby, including a magnitude-4.0 earthquake on March 30. On March 31, six days before the large earthquake struck, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency held a meeting with the Major Risks Committee – composed of the six scientists – to assess the risk of a major earthquake. At that time, the committee concluded that there was “no reason to suppose a sequence of small earthquakes could be the prelude to a strong event” and that “a major earthquake in the area is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.”At a press conference after the meeting, government official Bernardo De Bernardinis, deputy technical head of the Civil Protection Agency, told reporters that “the scientific community tells us there is no danger, because there is an ongoing discharge of energy. The situation looks favorable.” In addition to the six scientists, De Bernardinis is also under investigation.According to the group of local citizens, many of the earthquake’s victims had been planning to leave their homes, but had changed their minds after the committee’s statements. “Those responsible are people who should have given different answers to the public,” said Alfredo Rossini, L’Aquila’s public prosecutor. “We’re not talking about the lack of an alarm, the alarm came with the movements of the ground. We’re talking about the lack of advice telling people to leave their homes.”Minutes from the March 31 meeting show that the scientists recommended that buildings in the area should be monitored to assess their ability to handle a major shock. Although the scientists are unable to comment due to the investigation, an article in Nature News reported that one of the scientists, Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) in Rome, wrote in a letter last September that the meeting was too short and that he had not been informed about the following press conference. Only one of the seismologists from the committee, Franco Barberi, a volcanologist at the University of Roma Tre, was at the press conference. © 2010 Explore further ( — Six of Italy’s top seismologists are being investigated for manslaughter for not warning the city of L’Aquila about an earthquake that struck on April 6, 2009. The magnitude-6.3 earthquake caused 308 deaths and 1600 injuries, and left more than 65,000 people homeless. More information: via: Nature News and The Independentcenter_img Citation: Italian scientists who failed to predict L’Aquila earthquake may face manslaughter charges (2010, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Fewer earthquake fatalities in 2005 Susah Hough, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey in Pasadena, California, who is not involved in the investigation, also disagrees with some of the remarks from the press conference. “The idea that minor earthquakes release energy and thus make things better is a common misperception,” she said. “But seismologists know it’s not true. I doubt any scientist could have said that.”The article in Nature News lists the six scientists and officials under investigation for manslaughter as Boschi; Barberi; Giulio Selvaggi, director of the National Earthquake Center based at INGV; Claudio Eva, a professor of earth physics at the University of Genoa; Mauro Dolce, head of the seismic risk office in the Civil Protection Agency; and Gian Michele Calvi, director of the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering in Pavia.Coming to the defense of the seismologists, nearly 4,000 scientists from around the world have signed a letter to Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, urging him to focus on earthquake preparation rather than holding scientists responsible for something that they cannot do – predict earthquakes.”The proven and effective way of protecting populations is by enforcing strict building codes,” said Barry Parsons of the University of Oxford, who signed the letter. “Scientists are often asked the wrong question, which is ‘when will the next earthquake hit?’ The right question is ‘how do we make sure it won’t kill so many people when it hits?'” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

NASA engineer proposes new type of fusion thruster for space travel

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — John J. Chapman, a physicist working for NASA has presented an idea for a new type of fusion thruster for possible use by space traveling vehicles at the IEEE Symposium going on in Chicago this week. In the presentation, as explained on IEEE Spectrum, Chapman suggests that boron be used as an “aneutronic” fuel source, stating that doing so makes the energetic particles easier to deal with than traditional materials. Chapman’s idea is to use an off-the-shelf laser to shoot at a double-layer target. The first would be comprised of a “thick” sheet of metal foil, which would respond to the laser shots by accelerating the protons. The ensuing out-rush of electrons would leave behind an increased positive charge, which would wind up creating an unbalance between the protons left behind, resulting in a small explosion, which in turn would speed up the protons hurtling towards the second layer, a thin slice of boron-11.When those protons hit the boron, carbon nuclei would be formed, excited by the impact, which would immediately decay to a helium-4 nucleus and a beryllium nucleus, which would then decay to a pair of alpha particles. This means that each reaction would result in the creation of three alpha particles, which Chapman describes as “very efficient.” Electromagnetic forces would then force the alpha particles and the stuff it hits, in opposite directions, with the alpha particles exiting out a nozzle. The end result would be the craft carrying the fusion thruster, being pushed forward. With the amounts tested, each blip of the laser should theoretically create 100,000 particles, and with some fine tuning, according to Chapman, that would make it far more efficient than current ion propulsion systems.Unfortunately, as great as this all sounds, it doesn’t mean we’ll have spacecraft utilizing such technology any time soon; even if it pans out as Chapman suggests, he says it would still likely be a decade before anything tangible could be produced, and that’s if a concerted effort were made over that time frame by scientists all over the world to figure out how to make it all work as proposed. Explore further Wave power could contain fusion plasmacenter_img Citation: NASA engineer proposes new type of fusion thruster for space travel (2011, June 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 Illustration: NASA Langley Research Centerlast_img read more

Creating time crystals with a rotating ion ring

first_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Related SimonsFoundation ( —There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of building what has come to be known as a time crystal. In February 2012, Frank Wilczek originally proposed the idea that under certain conditions, physical structures can move in a repeating pattern without expending any energy. Last June, a group of researchers at Berkeley proposed a time crystal could be realized as a persistently rotating ring of charged atoms. Unfortunately a problem with that approach was pointed out by Patrick Bruno, who noted that to be a time crystal, an object must exhibit perpetual motion in its lowest energy state—the ground state. Commenting in Physical Review Letters in March, Bruno showed that the particular example described by Wilczek was actually one of a system in an excited state, and therefore not a time crystal. Taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in the construction of low noise ion traps, Berkeley researchers now plan to build an ion trap that will satisfy the critics. Citation: Creating time crystals with a rotating ion ring (2013, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2013 Physics team proposes a way to create an actual space-time crystalcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Berkeley team, led by Xiang Zhang and Hartmut Häffner, will attempt to build a time crystal by introducing 100 calcium ions into a 100-micron wide ion trap. The calcium ions will be confined by electric fields to form a crystalline ring, which will then be induced to rotate under the influence of a static magnetic field. According to the group’s calculations, this ring should settle into the ground state when the atoms are pre-cooled with lasers to around one-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.There are several different kinds of laser cooling, but the basic principle is to set up conditions where photons from the laser hit the atoms, and cause them to emit photons of a higher average energy than the one initially absorbed. The extra energy comes from the thermal excitations of the atoms (heat), and this energy is converted into the photon that leaves the atom. The lower bound on the temperature that could be obtained in this fashion had previously been limited by background heat emanating from impurities in the electrodes used in the trap. The new technique, which may now allow a time crystal to be made, involves cleaning the electrodes with an argon-ion beam that is integral to the trap. Experiments have shown that this cleaning permits up to 100-fold reduction electric-field noise in the trap.The experimental plan is to properly cool the chamber and then apply the proper magnetic fields. At this point, the ions should begin to cycle around their starting point at regular intervals, forming the repeating lattice of the time crystal. To observe this ion rotation, one of the 100 calcium ions will then be toggled into a new electronic state using a laser. If the scientists observe that ion rotating at steady state, they will have in effect, “broken the translational symmetry of time.” Atoms within a crystal are said to break translational symmetry in space because they once confined by the discrete symmetry of the crystal, they are no longer free to take up any position along the spatial continuum. Wilczek got to thinking about the idea of a time crystal by imagining a system that would have time-periodic ground states that would break translational time symmetry. He previously considered both classical and quantum systems that are both spatially ordered, and move perpetually in the ground state in an oscillatory or rotational way. The new Berkeley experiments to test these ideas may take a while to get underway. A few physicists, including Bruno, are still skeptical. His main objection is that it may not be possible to detect motion in the ground state. In other words, it may be feasible to set up the rotating ring of ions inside the trap, but not possible to ever observe it. It does not, however, appear that time crystals would violate any principle of thermodynamics. If they are ever made, potential applications could include ultra-precise clocks, or simulation of ground states in quantum computing schemes. It is probably too early to draw any definitive conclusions on building time crystals, and the new Berkeley experiment is probably not the last we will hear about. Ion Ring for Time Crystal Experiment. Credit: Explore furtherlast_img read more

Kids dont read for leisure anymore

first_imgPenning and illustrating over 35 children’s books published throughout the world does seem to lend weight to Australian author Frane Lessac’s opinion that kids nowadays probably tend to read less for leisure.‘Children are reading more now they might be reading more on the Internet, maybe more of graphic novels etc, but they are definitely reading. What may be happening is they might be reading less for leisure,’ says Frane, who was in the city for the just concluded Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The author who is well known in the US, Australia, UK Carribian Islands among other places is no stranger to India too, a country she has now visited four times in total.‘This time I went to schools and had events in Kolkata, Chandigarh, Gurgaon and am overwhelmed meeting so many children. They are warm, polite, gorgeous and some of them have voracious reading habits,’ Frane told PTI.Every visit for the 58-year-old storyteller is an adventure. She has been to Varanasi, Rajasthan, Kochi and Punjab among other places. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘India is an adventure. One of my bestselling books called The Bird Who Was an Elephant is a story based here and the book has come out in five different versions including Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Urdu,’ says Frane who was also participating in a multi-city tour organised as part of the Oz Fest, the ongoing Australian cultural festival in India.Nine O’ Clock Lullaby and Simpson and His Donkey are her other books capturing stories from India that she has written and filled with beautiful and vivid watercolour illustrations.Born in the US and raised on the small Carribbean island of Montserrat, the who has later lived in London before moving to Australia is a collector of stories too.‘I collect stories especially folk tales from all the places I have been to. In Chandigarh the children loved hearing folk tales,’ says Frane.last_img read more

Of fun and fantasy

first_imgBangalore based artist, Nilofer Suleman is in Love with India and with each of her exhibition it grows. She started her journey fifteen years back as a cartographer and miniature artist, collecting and recreating columbus-esque old maps, creating rivers and mountains in delicate ink spelt detail.Her next solo show titled, Jantar Mantar is all set open in the Capital.In her latest compositions, references are made to popular pictures of Hindu deities, to film posters and shop signs. These are decorated with detail, peopled with famous idols of religion or just the popular culture gully of Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Suleman is known for her ability to depict a certain vision of India, one that elicits humor and a sense of nostalgia. It’s an invitation to accept the illusion, to engage with it and follow where it leads, is a psychic leap, one that subtly alters our way of perspective for our beloved city, ‘Delhi’. Her use of colour is generous, an onslaught of competing tones. The paintings are difficult to see all at once. They require repeated viewing, a return in search of nuance.  It’s when the paintings get activated, and its rich narrative becomes apparent.The images within her images move beyond their delineations, carrying their own weight and irony, drawing notice to the representational nature of the works while playing with its limitations. Are these pictures within the paintings merely objects, or do they become characters in their own right? We leave you with these questions. To find out the answers pay your visit there!last_img read more

Spiritually flamboyant

first_imgChiki Sarkar, publisher of Penguin Books India, introduced the visionary, mystic, philosopher, author, poet and the thinker, Sadhguru and Barkha Dutt who was in conversation with him at the Spring Fever. A video by Isha Foundation was played – explaining the various programs undertaken by the organization and its volunteers- from education to forestation.Sadhguru asked her if she drove. “Unlike you, I have a fear of driving,” Barkha replied. “In an unfamiliar terrain, it is sensible to take instructions – like from a GPS,” Sadhguru went on to say. “Are you saying Gurus are the new GPS?” “Not new, Guru Positioning System has always been around.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Barkha and Sadhguru spoke about the book on him by Arundhati Subramaniam who has written that he is not a dictatorial guru like other godmen. “I want everyone to ask questions, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous. There is a vacuum, someone is trying to fill it, but are they qualified?” Barkha asked him about the challenges he may have faced in running programmes through the Isha Foundation. He also clarified that he is not a capitalist – “I’m not one of those who want poverty or poor people to be hungry. I don’t want people to postpone their dinner – it is not a joke. Humanism should not be enforced. Karl Marx, who I was gung-ho about at 14, knew about economy and not the human aspirations, to build a society that way, then it will be a disaster.” He also explained that in his ashram, there is communism by choice and willingness. “It is fantastic to share, but ugly if I force you to share.”The session ended with a question and answer with the audience – questions ranged from whether he was dependent on machines, to whether intensity was required to be peaceful.last_img read more

Transport dept runs 50 extra buses diverts vehicles along alternate routes to

first_imgKolkata: The state Transport department operated 50 additional buses on different routes in South Kolkata, to ensure that people do not face any trouble in reaching their destinations, as rescue work continued at Majerhat on Wednesday.Soon after the middle portion of Majerhat Bridge caved in on Tuesday, the top brass of the state Transport department had felt the necessity of operating additional buses on different routes, so that commuters do not face any inconvenience. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn Tuesday, additional buses operated on routes including Taratala to Budge Budge, Taratala to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Metro Station, Behala to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Metro Station, Behala Chowrasta to Dostipur, Behala to Diamond Harbour and New Alipore station to Behala Chowrasta.A senior officer of the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) said that they have assessed where there is need of more number of buses and accordingly reoriented the number of buses on different routes. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior officials of the state Transport department held a meeting soon after the incident and decisions were taken for diversion of buses on certain routes. State-run buses on routes including E-4, 7A, 7C, 7E and 7D from Howrah Station will operate on their usual route up to Kidderpore and will then pass through Hyde Road, Babubazar, Brace Bridge and Taratala Crossing.Similarly, state-run buses on routes including S-12D, AC-49A, AC 4, S 47 and S 47A will divert through New Alipore, Durgapur Bridge, Alipore Road and Mominpore. Buses from Esplanade to different places including Usthi, Burul, Raidighi, Pathar Bazar, Namkhana, Dhola, Kulpi and Diamond Harbour will divert through Hyde Road, Babubazar, Brace Bridge and Taratala Crossing.Besides diverting vehicles through alternate routes, the Kolkata Traffic Police has also imposed a restriction on plying of goods vehicles from 6 am to 11 pm on thoroughfares including Circular Garden Reach Road, Taratala Road, Hyde Road, Sahapur Road, Alipore Station Road, Tollygunge Circular Road, DPS Road, Prince Anwar Shah Road, NSC Bose Road, Alipore Road, Belvedere Road and Diamond Harbour Road.Tram service remained suspended along Circular Garden Reach Road – Diamond Harbour Road and Judges Court Road. No goods vehicles coming from South 24-Parganas area via Diamond Harbour Road, Budge Budge Trunk Road and from Howrah Commissionerate area through Vidyasagar Setu, will be allowed to enter Kolkata from 6 am to 11 pm.Behala bound buses and other vehicles availing Diamond Harbour Road from Hastings Crossing will be diverted through Kidderpore crossing, Circular Garden Reach Road, Hyde Road, Brace Bridge, Taratala Road, Taratala Crossing and further south.North bound vehicles of Diamond Harbour Road will be diverted from Taratala Crossing through Taratala Road, Brace Bridge, Hyde Road, Circular Garden Reach Road and Hastings Crossing.All Behala bound vehicles availing Alipore Road will be diverted via Lalbati Crossing, Bardhman Road and Remount Road, while the city bound vehicles from Budge Budge area will be diverted from Jhinjira Bazar Crossing via Taratala Road, Brooklyn Road, Garden Reach Flyover, Remount Road and Diamond Harbour Road.last_img read more

TMC workers wife shot dead

first_imgKalyani (WB): A woman was shot dead at her home in Nadia district on Thursday by gunmen while resisting them to enter her house allegedly in search of her husband who is a Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker, police said. The family members alleged that the incident was the result of a factional feud of the TMC, Nadia Superintendent of Police Rupesh Kumar said a dispute over irrigating land was behind the killing. Four to five men went to the home of Tahajul Seikh in Hatishala village under Chapra police station area around 2.30 pm and tried to enter the house by force. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The SP said Seikh’s wife, 26-year-old Marjina Bibi, tried to stop them and they gunned her down. Seikh, in the meantime, fled through the back door, the SP said. After failing to find him, the gunmen returned. “An altercation had taken place yesterday over irrigating lands in the area and the murder is a result of that,” Kumar said. There has been no written complaint received by the police and there is no arrest, he said. Chapra MLA Rookbanoor Rahaman said, “Tahajul was our worker. Some miscreants tried to kill him but his wife died. Politics was not the reason for the murder.” Sources in the victim’s family, however, alleged that Marjina Bibi was killed because of the feud of two groups of the TMC. They also claimed that gunmen looted Rs 1. 5 lakh cash and and some golden ornaments from the house after firing Marjina Bibi.last_img read more