- Boeing Receives Patent for a Force Field that Protects U.S. Military Vehicles from Blasts
- Mystery space explosion in 1670 solved
- Largest ever asteroid impact found in Australia
- Young Jupiter wiped out solar system's early inner planets, study says
- The Strange Case of Mysterious Disappearances in US National Parks ~ Coast To Coast Radio with Host George Knapp
- Top 10 Shocking Statistics About Life in Modern America
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Posted: 23 Mar 2015 10:19 PM PDT
Excerpt from en.yibada.com
The Boeing Company has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a device that generates a "force field" which deflects blasts from shells and explosive weapons.
Technically, the patent is for a "method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc". The device that will generate this force field only protects an American military vehicle from the deadly effects of the high pressure shockwave generated by a bomb blast. These shock waves can instantly kill persons by destroying their internal organs.
The device is a sensor that triggers a laser which then heats up a section of air or water surrounding it. This action creates a "plasma shield" in between the explosion and the vehicle. The plasma shield's temperature and density deflect and absorb the shockwaves from the explosion, said Popular Science.
An arc generator creates high-intensity laser pulses that excite and heat air molecules in the space between the vehicle and the blast site. It then introduces an electric arc that travels along the electrically conductive path produced by the laser.
That massive energy directed into empty space produces a bubble called a "Laser-Induced Plasma Channel" or LIPC. This plasma shield absorbs and deflects much of the incoming energy from the shock wave.
This system might also be able to slow and deflect shrapnel being propelled by the shock wave. The LIPC won't be able to stop or deflect a shell aimed directly at the vehicle.
The device detects an explosion in water or air then estimates the time and location of the explosion. A signal from the sensor then fires the laser. The system will rely on a database of bomb explosion signatures so it knows just much energy to use to create the plasma shield.
The design is expected to protect everything from vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, ships, submarines, buildings and even humans.
Posted: 23 Mar 2015 10:13 PM PDT
Excerpt from thespacereporter.com
A mystery explosion in the night sky turns out to have been caused by colliding stars.
One of history’s mysteries revolved around a strange explosion observed in the sky in 1670, long thought to have been the first nova on record. Recent research suggests that this enigmatic event was actually a rare stellar collision.
According to a report by Astronomy Magazine, the so-called Nova Vulpeculae of 1670 was more likely the collision of two stars, which shines brighter than a nova but not as brightly as a supernova.
Observations made with various telescopes including the Submillimeter Array, the Effelsburg radio telescope and APEX have revealed the more unusual nature of the light source – a violent collision.
When the event first occurred, it would have been visible from Earth with the naked eye. Now, submillimeter telescopes are needed to detect the traces left in the aftermath of the event.
When first observed, 17th century astronomers described what they saw as a new star appearing in the head of Cygnus, the swan constellation.
Having observed the area of the supposed nova with both submillimeter and radio wavelengths, scientists “have found that the surroundings of the remnant are bathed in a cool gas rich in molecules with a very unusual chemical composition,” said Kaminski.
Researchers concluded that the amount of cool material they observed was too much to have been produced by a nova. The nature of the gas debris best fit with the rare scenario of two stars merging in an explosive collision.
The team’s report was published in the journal Nature.
Karl Menten of the Max Planck Institute called the discovery “the most fun – something that is completely unexpected.”
Posted: 23 Mar 2015 09:55 PM PDT
Excerpt from bbc.com
The 400-kilometre (250-mile) wide area is buried deep in the earth's crust and consists of two separate impact scars.
The team behind the discovery, from the Australian National University (ANU), said the asteroid broke into two before it hit, with each fragment more than 10km across.
The impact is thought to have occurred at least 300 million years ago.
The surface crater has long since disappeared from central Australia's Warburton Basin but geophysical modelling below the surface found evidence of two massive impacts, said Dr Andrew Glikson, who led the ANU team.
"It would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time," said Dr Glikson.
But the team, which published its findings in the geology journal Tectonophysics, has not been able to connect the impact to any known extinction.
"It's a mystery - we can't find an extinction event that matches these collisions," said Dr Glikson. "I have a suspicion the impact could be older than 300 million years."
Dr Andrew Glikson examines a sample of suevite - a rock with partially melted material formed during an impact The rocks around the impact zone are roughly 300 to 600 million years old, but a layer of ash that would have been thrown up by the impact has not been detected as sediment in rock layers from the same period.
The large meteorite believed to have killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago corresponds to a layer of sediment in rocks around the world.
"Large impacts like these may have had a far more significant role in the Earth's evolution than previously thought," Dr Glikson said.
The apparent impact zone in the Warburton Basin was discovered by accident while scientists were drilling 2km under the Earth's surface for a geothermal research project.
The dig returned traces of rock that had been turned to glass by extreme temperature and pressure, consistent with a massive impact.
Posted: 23 Mar 2015 09:53 PM PDT
Excerpt from latimes.com
Before Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars occupied the inner solar system, there may have been a previous generation of planets that were bigger and more numerous – but were ultimately doomed by Jupiter, according to a new study.
If indeed the early solar system was crowded with so-called super-Earths, it would have looked a lot more like the planetary systems found elsewhere in the galaxy, scientists wrote Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
As NASA’s Kepler space telescope has found more than 1,000 planets in orbit around other stars, along with more than 4,000 other objects that are believed to be planets but haven’t yet been confirmed. Kepler finds these planets by watching their host stars and registering tiny drops in their brightness – a sign that they are being ever-so-slightly darkened by a planet crossing in front of them.
In addition, ground-based telescopes have detected hundreds of exoplanets by measuring the wiggles of distant stars. Those stars wiggle thanks to the gravitational pull of orbiting planets, and the Doppler effect makes it possible to estimate the size of these planets.
The more planetary systems astronomers discovered, the more our own solar system looked like an oddball. Exoplanets – at least the ones big enough for us to see – tended to be bigger than Earth, with tight orbits that took them much closer to their host stars. In multi-planet systems, these orbits tended to be much closer together than they are in our solar system. For instance, the star known as Kepler-11 has six planets closer to it than Venus is to the sun.
Why does our solar system look so different? Astrophysicists Konstantin Batygin of Caltech and Greg Laughlin of UC Santa Cruz summed it up in one word: Jupiter.
Here’s what could have happened, according to their models:
In Solar System 1.0, the region closest to the sun was occupied by numerous planets with masses several times bigger than that of Earth. There were also planetesimals, “planetary building blocks” that formed within the first million years after the birth of the sun, Batygin and Laughlin wrote.
This is how things might have stayed if the young Jupiter had stayed put at its initial orbit, between 3 and 10 astronomical units away from the sun. (An astronomical unit, or AU, is the distance between the Earth and the sun. Today, Jupiter’s orbit ranges between 5 and 5.5 AUs from the sun.)
But Jupiter was restless, according to a scenario known as the “Grand Tack.” In this version of events, Jupiter was swept up by the currents of gas that surrounded the young sun and drifted toward the center of the solar system.
Jupiter, however, was too big to travel solo. All manner of smaller objects would have been dragged along too. With so many bodies in motion, there would have been a lot of crashes.
The result was “a collisional cascade that grinds down the planetesimal population to smaller sizes,” the astrophysicists wrote. For the most part, these planetary crumbs were swept toward the sun and ultimately destroyed, like disintegrating satellites falling back to Earth.
The planetesimals wouldn’t have been Jupiter’s only victims. Assuming the early solar system resembled the planetary systems spied by Kepler and other telescopes, there would have been “a similar population of first-generation planets,” the pair wrote. “If such planets formed, however, they were destroyed.”
Jupiter probably got about as close to the sun as Mars is today before reversing course, pulled away by the gravity of the newly formed Saturn. That would have ended the chaos in the inner solar system, allowing Earth and the other rocky planets to form from the debris that remained.
“This scenario provides a natural explanation for why the inner Solar System bears scant resemblance to the ubiquitous multi-planet systems” discovered by Kepler and other survey efforts, Batygin and Laughlin wrote.
Although their models show that this is what might have happened, they don’t prove that it actually did. But there may be a way to get closer to the truth.
The scientists’ equations suggest that if a star is orbited by a cluster of close-in planets, there won’t be a larger, farther-out planet in the same system. As astronomers find more exoplanetary systems, they can see whether this prediction holds up.
Also, if far-away solar systems are experiencing a similar series of events, telescopes ought to be able to detect the extra heat thrown off by all of the planetesimal collisions, they added.
Sadly for those hoping to find life on other planets, the pair’s calculations also imply that most Earth-sized planets are lacking in water and other essential compounds that can exist in liquid or solid form. As a result, they would be “uninhabitable,” they wrote.
The Strange Case of Mysterious Disappearances in US National Parks ~ Coast To Coast Radio with Host George Knapp
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