February 2015 part 2

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At the RE.WORK Deep Learning Summit last month, Baidu's Chief Scientist, Andrew Ng discussed how the technology is progressing, and also touched on the problem of technological unemployment artificial...

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People perceive colors differently! Two individuals looking at the same red object will rarely perceive the same exact color due to differences in retinal photo-receptors ratios. Color perception is ...

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HAWKING: OUR AGGRESSION WILL DESTROY HUMANITY: The renowned British theoretical physicist has a warning: If we, as a civilization, do not check our aggressive ways, we will be doomed. dne.ws/1B...

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PRIMORDIAL SWIRL: The patterns and colors in this visualization represent the polarization and temperature of the cosmic microwave background in a small patch of space, emitted when the universe was about 380,000 years old. The Planck mission released a new map encompassing four years of data on this primordial light.
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The patterns and colors in this visualization represent the polarization and temperature of the cosmic microwave background in a small patch of space, emitted when the universe was about 380,000 years...

PRIMORDIAL SWIRL:  The patterns and colors in this visualization represent the polarization and temperature of the cosmic microwave background in a small patch of space, emitted when the universe was about 380,000 years old. The Planck mission released a new map encompassing four years of data on this primordial light.

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Europe IXV Spaceplane's Successful Test

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Hidden away inside a world-class life sciences lab on Google's campus, doctors are trying to change the way people think about their health. Watch more episo...

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Space Mining

"NASA has contracted with two private space firms to prepare and execute missions to land on and mine asteroids for valuable resources. Space mining could help provide deep space missions with vital resources such as water, silicate or minerals."

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Space Mining "NASA has contracted with two private space firms to prepare and execute missions to land on and mine asteroids for valuable resources. Space mining could help provide deep space missio...

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RNA may be the key to beating cancer! RNA provides a scheme for our cells that allows human cells can produce any kind of protein. You don't have to modify the RNA, you insert foreign elements into t...

In March 2015, NASA will launch the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, or MMS, to learn more about a mysterious process that drives giant explosions in space via a process called magnetic reconnection.

The Science of Magnetic Reconnection

Understanding vast systems in space requires understanding what's happening on widely different scales. Giant events can turn out to have tiny drivers -- take, for example, what rocked near-Earth space in October 2003. On Oct. 28, 2003, and again on Oct. 29, massive solar flares erupted on the sun, sending X-rays zooming through the solar system. Along with the flares, the sun expelled giant clouds of solar material, called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. The CMEs slammed into Earth's magnetic field pushed material and energy in toward Earth. This created what's called a geomagnetic storm.

The Halloween Storms, as they have come to be called, triggered brilliant aurora that could be seen over much of North America -- reaching as far south as Texas. But they also interfered with GPS signals and radio communications, and caused the Federal Aviation Administration to issue their first ever warning to airlines to avoid excess radiation by flying at low altitudes.

Every step leading to these intense storms -- the flare, the CME, the transfer of energy from the CME to Earth's magnetosphere – was ultimately driven by the catalyst of magnetic reconnection. This little understood process can occur in thin layers just miles thick. Yet it can accelerate particles up to nearly the speed of light and can initiate giant eruptions from the sun many times the size of Earth. The effects of reconnection have been observed in space, but the actual reconnection process has only been observed in the laboratory.

In March 2015, NASA will launch a new mission to study magnetic reconnection. The Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission will be the first ever mission dedicated to studying this universal process by orbiting Earth to pass directly through nearby magnetic reconnection regions and to observe the minute details of such events.

Reconnection occurs wherever charged gases, called plasma, are present. It's rare on Earth, but plasma makes up 99% of the visible universe. Plasma fuels stars and fills the near vacuum of space. Plasmas behave unlike what we regularly experience on Earth because they travel with their own set of magnetic fields entrapped in the material. Changing magnetic fields affect the way charged particles move and vice versa, so the net effect is a complex, constantly-adjusting system that is sensitive to minute variations.

Under normal conditions, the magnetic field lines inside plasmas don't break or merge with other field lines. But sometimes, as field lines get close to each other, the entire pattern changes and everything realign into a new configuration. The amount of energy released can be formidable. Magnetic reconnection taps into the stored energy of the magnetic field, converting it into heat and kinetic energy that sends particles streaming out along the field lines.

Scientists want to know exactly what conditions, what tipping points, trigger magnetic reconnection events. Much of what we currently know about the small-scale physics of magnetic reconnection comes from theoretical studies, computer models, and laboratory experiments. True understanding, however, requires observing magnetic reconnection up close – so MMS will take its measurements in Earth's own magnetosphere, an ideal natural laboratory in which reconnection can be observed under a wide range of conditions.

Orbiting Earth, MMS will pass through known areas of magnetic reconnection. During its first phase it will travel through reconnection sites on the sun side of Earth. Here the interplanetary magnetic field connects with Earth's magnetic field, transferring particles, momentum and energy to the magnetosphere via magnetic reconnection. During the second phase of its mission, MMS will observe reconnection on the night side of Earth, where that connected field flows around both sides of Earth to a second reconnection point in what's known as the magnetotail, where they then disconnect.

These reconnection sites are so thin, that MMS will fly through them in under a second -- but the MMS sensors have been built to be fast, operating at unprecedented speed. As the spacecraft fly through such a site, they will measure the magnetic and electric fields present as well as the movement of particles.
Armed with this data, scientists will have their first chance to watch magnetic reconnection from the inside, right as it's occurring. By focusing on the small-scale process, scientists open the door to understanding what happens on larger scales throughout the universe. Determining how reconnection occurs nearby will improve our understanding of how this fundamental process works on the sun, on other stars, throughout space -- and, of course, it will teach us more about giant geomagnetic storms like the Halloween storms, thus helping us safeguard our home planet Earth.

www.nasa.gov/…/go…/science-of-magnetic-reconnection/…

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Scientists Michael Hesse and John Dorelli explain the science objectives of the MMS mission. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is comprised of four...

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Quantum World Law Decree: TODAY you are responsible for the crimes you perpetrated in the FUTURE. It may seem bizarre but in the quantum world the future dictates what will happen in the past. This c...

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Smart Watch and Dumb Phone What if your watch is smart enough to make any phone dumb or smart at same time? What if you don't have worry about losing your phone as long as your have your watch? And...

Published on Feb 18, 2015

Almost every cell in your body has the same DNA sequence. So how come a heart cell is different from a brain cell? Cells use their DNA code in different ways, depending on their jobs. Just like orchestras can perform one piece of music in many different ways. A cell’s combined set of changes in gene expression is called its epigenome.

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Almost every cell in your body has the same DNA sequence. So how come a heart cell is different from a brain cell? Cells use their DNA code in different ways...

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OKINAWA DIET IS THE FOOD OF CENTENARIANS Japanese people hold the world record for longevity. The largest amount of centenarians is located on the Japanese Okinawa islands in the south part of the co...

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3D Stomach within a Petri Dish Human stomach is unique in its composition and cell arrangement. Animal models provide nice tool but results are not guaranteed to be replicated in human. With advent o...


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World's Most Non-Invasive Cancer test to detect cancer earlier Usually, patients only visit the doctor when they already present symptoms or signs indicating something might be wrong. Researchers fro...

Spinning 'Origami' Antenna Successfully Deployed In Space | Video
Spinning 'Origami' Antenna Successfully Deployed In Space
| Video from SPACE.com February 26, 2015 at 10:16PM

The mission will track and map soil moisture on Earth.

www.space.com/28675-spinning-origami-antenna-success
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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission team deployed its spacecraft's large antenna on Feb. 24th, 2015. The mission will track and map soil moisture on Earth.

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Graphene - Anti Cancer Material? Graphene has been known to have amazing electric and mechanical properties but it seem graphene may have implications beyond computers and electronic devices. Latest...

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Giant black hole presents an impossible size and growth rate for its age Professor Karl Schwarzschild proposed the existence of black holes in 1916, but it was only in 1958 Professor David Finkelstei...

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Automated vehicles will eliminate all stops at intersections, just like this. Imagine only making one stop, at the end of your destination.
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Jason Silva on the Power of Ideas

"We are co-authors of the meme space."

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"Just as the biosphere stands above the world of nonliving matter, so an 'abstract kingdom' rises above the biosphere. The denizens of this kingdom? Ideas" T...

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New app to help you find the perfect pizza! Domino's has a new app that will help you find the perfect pizza. The Tummy Translator listens to the noises from one's stomach and will translate it into ...