I Am Excited to be Back; and For More Than One Reason

Hello ‘Science Of Cycles’ patrons. I’m coming off a surgery to remove a large tumor from my upper leg. What would have been a mostly unenthusiastic surgery, took a turn with a false-positive biopsy. As you have probably surmised, the final result is a benign and known as Lipoma. However, not all Lipoma’s are the same. They usually do not exhibit pain, of course mine did; and they usually grow at a very slow pace, mine seem to be in a hurry.

It appears the lump was entangled in muscle which was the cause of pain. As for the apparent faster than usual growth, it seems to have something to do with muscle entanglement. So to end this somewhat morbid explanation to my absence of articles, I am now resting reasonable well – and most importantly, able to return to my research and of bringing you the latest cutting edge news in the fields of Earth Science, Space Weather, and AstroPhysics which in fact affirms almost on a daily basis, the defining a symbiotic connection with our galaxy and universe. To date, the element which connects our little home to the seemingly vast universe is ‘charged particles’.

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Piggy Bank is empty…need your support as always to keep this machine running. I think you know I love what I do, but what’s really rewarding is when it loves me back. I attribute my thoughts to that of a healthy marriage. To give a hundred percent is a good thing, but many of us who are married, add a bit more if you have kids, have realized that sometimes a hundred percent is not enough. This is to say, even on those times you are absolutely right, it’s better to let your partner be right too.

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As we gain increased knowledge of the when-where-how of various charged particles, which encompasses such things as Black Holes, Supernovas, Gamma Ray Blasts, and Coronal Mass Ejections – we develop a cognizance lending itself to a measure of predictability. As a naturally directed outcome of evolving research – it is the “Science Of Cycles” which takes us to the next level of aptitude which could very well bring us to the cusp of an extraterrestrial neighborhood.

ps, I should mention one of the shortcomings of my healing process, is a curtailed period on the keyboard. Hence, moving on, and expect a Part II and most likely a Part III to this and coming articles.

There has been a whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks. The July 27th 2018 total lunar eclipse was visible in large parts of Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. Totality lasted for 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century. Then, on August 11th a partial solar eclipse was visible from northern and Eastern Europe, northern parts of North America, and some northern and western locations in Asia, making it the most watched solar eclipse of 2018.

In Part II of this article, I will cover the 14 day prior and 14 day post events of July 27th total Lunar Eclipse, and the August 11th Partial Solar Eclipse – both of which my research has been able to identify a connection to significant earth changing events during these windows of opportunity. Events such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and extreme weather are among those which I will outline. Some outcomes are related to gravity, others with rapid temperature flux, and yet others with fluid displacement.

In Part III will encompass the incredible discoveries as it relates to Cosmic Rays, one of which is the identification of a ultra-high-energy cosmic ray, now labeled as the “OMG Particle”. Also, new information indicating a 30% increase of cosmic rays entering Earth’s atmosphere.

I hope this article refreshes your memory and enthusiasm that you can only find right here at ‘Science Of Cycles’ research and news service.

Stay Tuned…………

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Enduring ‘Radio Rebound’ Powered By Jets From Gamma-Ray Burst

In the blink of an eye, a massive star more than 2 billion light-years away lost a million-year-long fight against gravity and collapsed, triggering a supernova and forming a black hole at its center.

This newborn black hole belched a fleeting yet astonishingly intense flash of gamma rays known as a gamma-ray burst (GRB) toward Earth, where it was detected by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on 19 December 2016.

While the gamma rays from the burst disappeared from view a scant seven seconds later, longer wavelengths of light from the explosion — including X-ray, visible light, and radio — continued to shine for weeks. This allowed astronomers to study the aftermath of this fantastically energetic event, known as GRB 161219B, with many ground-based observatories, including the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array.

The unique capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), however, enabled a team of astronomers to make an extended study of this explosion at millimeter wavelengths, gaining new insights into this particular GRB and the size and composition of its powerful jets.

“Since ALMA sees in millimeter-wavelength light, which carries information on how the jets interact with the surrounding dust and gas, it is a powerful probe of these violent cosmic explosions,” said Tanmoy Laskar, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Jansky Postdoctoral Fellow of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Laskar is lead author of the study, which appears in the Astrophysical Journal.

These observations enabled the astronomers to produce ALMA’s first-ever time-lapse movie of a cosmic explosion, which revealed a surprisingly long-lasting reverse shockwave from the explosion echoing back through the jets. “With our current understanding of GRBs, we would normally expect a reverse shock to last only a few seconds. This one lasted a good portion of an entire day,” Laskar said.

A reverse shock occurs when material blasted away from a GRB by its jets runs into the surrounding gas. This encounter slows down the escaping material, sending a shockwave back down the jet.

Since jets are expected to last no more than a few seconds, a reverse shock should be an equally short-lived event. But that now appears not to be the case.

“For decades, astronomers thought this reverse shock would produce a bright flash of visible light, which has so far been really hard to find despite careful searches. Our ALMA observations show that we may have been looking in the wrong place, and that millimeter observations are our best hope of catching these cosmic fireworks,” said Carole Mundell of the University of Bath, and co-author of the study.

Instead, the light from the reverse shock shines most brightly at the millimeter wavelengths on timescales of about a day, which is most likely why it has been so difficult to detect previously. While the early millimeter light was created by the reverse shock, the X-ray and visible light came from the blast-wave shock riding ahead of the jet.

“What was unique about this event,” Laskar adds, “is that as the reverse shock entered the jet, it slowly but continuously transferred the jet’s energy into the forward-moving blast wave, causing the X-ray and visible light to fade much slower than expected. Astronomers have always puzzled where this extra energy in the blast wave comes from. Thanks to ALMA, we know this energy — up to 85 percent of the total in the case of GRB 161219B — is hidden in slow-moving material within the jet itself.”

The bright reverse shock emission faded away within a week. The blast wave then shone through in the millimeter band, giving ALMA a chance to study the geometry of the jet.

The visible light from the blast wave at this critical time, when the outflow has slowed just enough for all of the jet to become visible at Earth, was overshadowed by the emerging supernova from the exploded star. But ALMA’s observations, unencumbered by supernova light, enabled the astronomers to constrain the opening angle of the outflow from the jet to about 13 degrees.

Understanding the shape and duration of the outflow from the star is essential for determining the true energy of the burst. In this case, the astronomers find the jets contained as much energy as our Sun puts out in a billion years.

“This is a fantastical amount of energy, but it is actually one of the least energetic events we have ever seen. Why this is so remains a mystery,” says Kate Alexander, a graduate student at Harvard University who led the VLA observations reported in this study. “Though more than two billion light-years away, this GRB is actually the nearest such event for which we have measured the detailed properties of the outflow, thanks to the combined power of ALMA and the VLA.”

The VLA, which observes at longer wavelengths, continued observing the radio emission from the reverse shock after it faded from ALMA’s view.

This is only the fourth gamma-ray burst with a convincing, multi-frequency detection of a reverse shock, the researchers note. The material around the collapsing star was about 3,000 times less dense than the average density of gas in our galaxy, and these new ALMA observations suggest that such low-density environments are essential for producing reverse shock emission, which may explain why such signatures are so rare.

“Our rapid-response observations highlight the key role ALMA can play in following up transients, revealing the energy source that powers them, and using them to map the physics of the universe to the dawn of the first stars,” concludes Laskar. “In particular, our study demonstrates that ALMA’s superb sensitivity and new rapid-response capabilities makes it the only facility that can routinely detect reverse shocks, allowing us to probe the nature of the relativistic jets in these energetic transients, and the engines that launch and feed them.”

Galaxy Outskirts Likely Hunting Grounds For Dying Massive Stars And Black Holes

Findings from a Rochester Institute of Technology study provide further evidence that the outskirts of spiral galaxies host massive black holes. These overlooked regions are new places to observe gravitational waves created when the massive bodies collide, the authors report.

The study winds back time on massive black holes by analyzing their visible precursors — supernovae with collapsing cores. The slow decay of these massive stars creates bright signatures in the electromagnetic spectrum before stellar evolution ends in black holes.

Using data from the Lick Observatory Supernova Search, a survey of nearby galaxies, the team compared the supernovae rate in outer spiral galaxies with that of known hosts — dwarf/satellite galaxies — and found comparable numbers for typical spiral outskirts and typical dwarf galaxies, roughly two core-collapse supernovae per millennium.

The study, “Supernova Rate beyond the Optical Radius,” will appear in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Low levels of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium found in dwarf/satellite galaxies create favorable conditions for massive black holes to form and create binary pairs. A similar galactic environment in the outer disks of spiral galaxies also creates likely hunting grounds for massive black holes, said Sukanya Chakrabarti, lead author and assistant professor in the RIT School of Physics and Astronomy.

“If these core-collapse supernovae are the predecessors to the binary black holes detected by LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), then what we’ve found is a reliable method of identifying the host galaxies of LIGO sources,” said Chakrabarti. “Because these black holes have an electromagnetic counterpart at an earlier stage in their life, we can pinpoint their location in the sky and watch for massive black holes.”

The study’s findings complement Chakrabarti’s 2017 study, which showed that the outer parts of spiral galaxies could contribute to LIGO detection rates. The regions form stars at a comparable rate to dwarf galaxies and are low in heavy element content, creating a conducive home for massive black holes. The current study isolates potential candidates within these favorable galactic environments.

“We see now that these are both important contributors,” Chakrabarti said. “The next step is to do deeper surveys to see if we can improve the rate.”

Co-author Brennan Dell, a recent graduate from RIT’s computer science program, analyzed the data with Chakrabarti during his undergraduate co-op.

“This work may help us determine which galaxies to be on the lookout for electromagnetic counterparts of massive black holes,” Dell said.

Young Galaxy’s Halo Offers Clues To Its Growth And Evolution

A team of astronomers has discovered a new way to unlock the mysteries of how the first galaxies formed and evolved.

In a study published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters, lead author Dawn Erb of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her team — for the very first time — used new capabilities at W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii to examine Q2343-BX418, a small, young galaxy located about 10 billion light years away from Earth.

This distant galaxy is an analog for younger galaxies that are too faint to study in detail, making it an ideal candidate for learning more about what galaxies looked like shortly after the birth of the universe.

BX418 is also attracting astronomers’ attention because its gas halo is giving off a special type of light.

“In the last several years, we’ve learned that the gaseous halos surrounding galaxies glow with a particular ultraviolet wavelength called Lyman alpha emission. There are a lot of different theories about what produces this Lyman alpha emission in the halos of galaxies, but at least some of it is probably due to light that is originally produced by star formation in the galaxy being absorbed and re-emitted by gas in the halo,” said Erb.

Erb’s team, which includes Charles Steidel and Yuguang Chen of Caltech, used one of the observatory’s newest instruments, the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), to perform a detailed spectral analysis of BX418’s gas halo; its properties could offer clues about the stars forming within the galaxy.

“Most of the ordinary matter in the universe isn’t in the form of a star or a planet, but gas. And most of that gas exists not in galaxies, but around and between them,” said Erb.

The halo is where gas enters and exits the system. The gas surrounding galaxies can fuel them; gas from within a galaxy can also escape into the halo. This inflow and outflow of gas influences the fate of stars.

“The inflow of new gas accreting into a galaxy provides fuel for new star formation, while outflows of gas limit a galaxy’s ability to form stars by removing gas,” says Erb.

“So, understanding the complex interactions happening in this gaseous halo is key to finding out how galaxies form stars and evolve.”

This study is part of a large ongoing survey that Steidel has been leading for many years. Previously, Steidel’s team studied BX418 using other instruments at Keck Observatory.

This most recent study using KCWI adds detail and clarity to the image of the galaxy and its gas halo that was not possible before; the instrument is specifically engineered to study wispy currents of faint gas that connect galaxies, known as the cosmic web.

“Our study was really enabled by the design and sensitivity of this new instrument. It’s not just an ordinary spectrograph — it’s an integral field spectrograph, which means that it’s a sort of combination camera and spectrograph, where you get a spectrum of every pixel in the image,” said Erb.

The power of KCWI, combined with the Keck telescopes’ location on Maunakea where viewing conditions are among the most pristine on Earth, provides some of the most detailed glimpses of the cosmos.

Erb’s team used KCWI to take spectra of the Lyman alpha emission of BX418’s halo. This allowed them to trace the gas, plot its velocity and spatial extent, then create a 3-D map showing the structure of the gas and its behavior.

The team’s data suggests that the galaxy is surrounded by a roughly spherical outflow of gas and that there are significant variations in the density and velocity range of this gas.

Erb says this analysis is the first of its kind. Because it has only been tested on one galaxy, other galaxies need to be studied to see if these results are typical.

Now that the team has discovered a new way to learn about the properties of the gaseous halo, the hope is that further analysis of the data they collected and computer simulations modeling the processes will yield additional insights into the characteristics of the first galaxies in our universe.

“As we work to complete more detailed modeling, we will be able to test how the properties of Lyman alpha emission in the gas halo are related to the properties of the galaxies themselves, which will then tell us something about how the star formation in the galaxy influences the gas in the halo,” Erb said.

Southwest China Builds High Altitude Cosmic-Ray Observatory

Construction has begun on a large, high altitude cosmic-ray observatory in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday, which is expected to become one of the world’s four biggest research institutes in the field.

The observatory will focus on exploring the origin of cosmic rays which “is the only sample of material obtained by humans from deep inside the universe,” Xinhua reported, citing Cao Zhen, chief expert on the project.

The project, Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in December 2015 with an estimated budget of 1.2 billion yuan ($187.2 million), and is expected to be completed by 2021, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Discovered in 1912, many things about cosmic rays remain a mystery. Cosmic rays are high energy particles that rain down on the Earth from beyond the solar system. Carrying information about the origins of the universe, celestial bodies and solar activities, it is considered a valuable scientific resource for space exploration.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the government of Sichuan Province are collaborating on the project, together with 20 Chinese universities and research institutes and hundreds of scientists from China and foreign countries including Italy, France and Russia, Xinhua News Agency reported.

When completed, the observatory will be one of the four biggest cosmic-ray observatories in the world. The other three are located in South America, the South Pole and Europe.

It is also expected to be more sensitive in detecting gamma rays and have a wider range of measuring cosmic rays than any other observatory in the world.

NEW STUDY: Can We Protect the Brain From Cosmic Radiation?

Although this new study is focused space travel and the damage cosmic rays can impose on the human brain, it is important to reflect upon the current trend of a diminishing strength of Earth’s magnetic field allowing a significant increase of cosmic rays.

Another factor is the predicted lessening of solar cycle strengths – perhaps over the next 100 years. When there is a lower number of sunspots, there will be fewer solar storms such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and coronal holes. It is the stronger solar winds which deflect galactic cosmic rays. There is a considerable scientific argument which propose cosmic ray radiation is more harmful to Earth and humans than solar storm events.

As we prepare to enter a new era of space travel, we must find ways of averting health risks posed by the cosmic environment. Deep space radiation, in particular, is known to impair cognitive function. Have researchers found a way to undo that damage?

This is the eve of sending astronauts to explore deep space, colonizing and terraforming other planets, and planning for space tourism. One main threat comes from cosmic radiation, which can harm the central nervous system, altering cognitive function and leading to symptoms similar to those found in Alzheimer’s disease.

With their colonizing missions to Mars planned for as soon as the 2030s, NASA – as well as private companies interested in space travel concepts – have been looking into effective ways of protecting astronauts from the harms of radiation.

So far, researchers have focused mainly on how to enhance spacecrafts and protective outfits for outer space travelers to fend off this strong radiation. Now, however, investigators from the University of California, San Francisco – led by Susanna Rosi – have started developing a treatment that might offset the neuro-degeneration triggered by cosmic rays.

The results of their experiments, which they carried out on mouse models, are now published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Announcement: What are Sunspots and Where Did They Go

Note: Join me tonight on Coast to Coast AM radio. I will do a news brief on the subject of this article. I will also discuss the dynamics of cosmic rays influx during solar minimum and its influence on Earth and us.    Radio Stations: Click Here

Sunspots are relatively cool regions of hot gas on the Sun’s surface, prevented by intense magnetic fields from plunging back into the depths of the Sun for a reheat. These spots wax and wane in a cycle that averages 11 years.

During the peak of the cycle, the Sun is at its most active, generating solar flares, prominence, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and coronal hole outbursts. All of these can occur at any time during the solar cycle, but they are most frequent during its peak.

The Sun and stars are powered by fusion rather than fission. The core of the sun is dominated by hydrogen and at temperatures where hydrogen fusion is possible. Evidence for a potential long-term slowdown or even halt to sunspots for a period of time come through three sets of measurements.

Drawing on 13 years of sunspot data, National Solar Observatory researchers Matt Penn and William Livingston have documented a consistent decline in the strength of the magnetic fields associated with sunspots. If the strength of those fields drops below a certain level, the spots vanish.

If the decline in magnetic-field strength continues at its current pace, Dr. Penn says, cycle 25 may have no sunspots at all.”

Hill’s group at the National Solar Observatory used measurements of the Sun’s acoustic signals to gauge the movement of high-speed jet streams of solar material inside the Sun’s northern and southern hemisphere. These jet streams tend to form at high latitudes and migrate toward the equator over the course of a sunspot cycle. And they tend to be the spawning grounds for sunspots.

Typically, new jets, the foundations for a new sunspot maximum, form even before the existing jets reach the equator and vanish, Hill explains. The new jets should have started forming in 2008. They have yet to appear.