Modelling extreme magnetic fields and temperature variation on distant stars

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IMAGE: The maps show the heat distribution. The bue regions are cooler – and the yellow regions are hotter.

It describes data taken from the following magentars: 4U 0142+61, 1E 1547.0-5408, XTE…
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Credit: University of Leeds

New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years – what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.

Magnetars were formed from stellar explosions or supernovae and they have extremely strong magnetic fields, estimated to be around 100 million, million times greater than the magnetic field found on earth.

The magnetic field generates intense heat and x-rays. It is so strong it also affects the physical properties of matter, most notably the way that heat is conducted through the crust of the star and across its surface, creating the variations in brightness across the star which has puzzled

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Black hole-sized magnetic fields could be created on Earth, study says

Scientists should be able to create magnetic fields on Earth that rival the strength of those seen in black holes and neutron stars, a new study suggests. 

Such strong magnetic fields, which would be created by blasting microtubules with lasers, are important for conducting basic physics, materials science and astronomy research, according to a new research paper authored by Osaka University engineer Masakatsu Murakami and colleagues. The paper was published Oct. 6 in the open-access journal Scientific Reports.

Most magnetic fields on Earth, even artificial ones, are not particularly strong. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used in hospitals typically produces fields of around 1 tesla, or 10,000 gauss. (For comparison, the geomagnetic field that swings compass needles to the north registers between 0.3 and 0.5 gauss.) Some research MRI machines use fields as high as 10.5 tesla, or 105,000 gauss, and a 2018 lab experiment involving lasers

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How tech-savvy farmers are harnessing big data to tend the fields of the future

In the old days, farmers kept track of their crops’ vital stats in logbooks and on whiteboards — but in the new days, that’s just not going to cut it.



a plane flying in the air: Drones can help apple growers survey their orchards to gauge their health. (Innov8 Ag Photo)


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Drones can help apple growers survey their orchards to gauge their health. (Innov8 Ag Photo)

“Shun analog,” said Steve Mantle, the founder and CEO of Innov8 Ag Solutions, a farm management venture that’s headquartered in Walla Walla, Wash. “Digital first. If a grower is still putting things in logbooks, they have to shift to it.”

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Mantle and other experts and entrepreneurs surveyed the state of agricultural tech today during Washington State University’s Digital Agriculture Summit — and it’s clear that the field is in a state of flux.

The panelists gave a shout-out to technologies ranging from sensor-equipped drones and 5G connectivity to robotic harvesters and artificial intelligence. But at the same time, some

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NASA Mars probes discover billion-year-old dune fields frozen in time

The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped these dune fields in Valles Marineris. They’re estimated to be a billion years old


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mars has a roughly 4.5-billion-year history. Thanks to our robotic explorers, we have a good sense of its current climate and atmosphere. A new study of ancient sand dunes points to what it might have been like a billion years ago on the red planet. 

A team led by Planetary Science Institute (PSI) research scientist Matthew Chojnacki took a close look a wind-driven dune fields in Valles Marineris, an area of Mars known for its extensive canyons. The dunes appear to have been preserved through lithification, a geologic process that turns sediments into rock.

The team published a study on this window into the martian past in the journal

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How farmers are harnessing big data to tend fields of the future

Drone survey
Drones can help apple growers survey their orchards to gauge their health. (Innov8 Ag Photo)

In the old days, farmers kept track of their crops’ vital stats in logbooks and on whiteboards — but in the new days, that’s just not going to cut it.

“Shun analog,” said Steve Mantle, the founder and CEO of Innov8 Ag Solutions, a farm management venture that’s headquartered in Walla Walla, Wash. “Digital first. If a grower is still putting things in logbooks, they have to shift to it.”

Mantle and other experts and entrepreneurs surveyed the state of agricultural tech today during Washington State University’s Digital Agriculture Summit — and it’s clear that the field is in a state of flux.

The panelists gave a shout-out to technologies ranging from sensor-equipped drones and 5G connectivity to robotic harvesters and artificial intelligence. But at the same time, some in the virtual audience complained about

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Could megatesla magnetic fields be realized on Earth? — ScienceDaily

Magnetic fields are used in various areas of modern physics and engineering, with practical applications ranging from doorbells to maglev trains. Since Nikola Tesla’s discoveries in the 19th century, researchers have strived to realize strong magnetic fields in laboratories for fundamental studies and diverse applications, but the magnetic strength of familiar examples are relatively weak. Geomagnetism is 0.3-0.5 gauss (G) and magnetic tomography (MRI) used in hospitals is about 1 tesla (T = 104 G). By contrast, future magnetic fusion and maglev trains will require magnetic fields on the kilotesla (kT = 107 G) order. To date, the highest magnetic fields experimentally observed are on the kT order.

Recently, scientists at Osaka University discovered a novel mechanism called a “microtube implosion,” and demonstrated the generation of megatesla (MT = 1010G) order magnetic fields via particle simulations using a supercomputer. Astonishingly, this is three orders of magnitude

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The Nobel Prizes Have a Diversity Problem Worse Than the Scientific Fields They Honor | Best Countries

In 2007, I served as a consultant for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ deliberations about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As a result, I was invited to attend the Nobel ceremonies. Staying at the Grand Hotel with all the awardees, I got to see how scientists – excellent but largely unknown outside their fields – suddenly became superstars.

As soon as they’re announced annually in early October, Nobel laureates become role models who are invited to give seminars all around the world. In Stockholm for the awards, these scientists were interviewed on radio and television and hobnobbed with Swedish royalty. Swedish television aired the events of Nobel week live.

As a chemist who has also investigated how science is done, seeing scientists and their research jump to the top of the public’s consciousness thanks to all the Nobel hoopla is gratifying. But in the 119 years since the Nobel

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Army fields new chemical detection technology

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IMAGE: Research through the U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer program, results in a product to accurately detect chemical weapons at low concentration levels. It is now being used by National…
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Credit: U.S. Army

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Chemical weapons pose a serious threat to civilian and warfighter lives, but technology from the U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer program reduces those risks. Researchers developed a product to detect chemical weapons accurately at low concentration levels.

Active Army, Reserve and National Guard units started to receive the Chemical Agent Disclosure Spray and the Contamination Indicator/Decontamination Assurance System, known as CIDAS. The Army is fielding it to all units in areas where there is a threat of chemical agents.

The Chemical Agent Disclosure Spray, purchased by FLIR Systems, Inc., has transitioned into the CIDAS Program of Record within the Joint Program Executive Office for CBRN Defense. The research,

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