Russell Brand on Vaccine Passports: Is It Really a Good Idea to Let Big Tech Dictate Everyday Freedoms?

By Children’s Health Defense Team | The Defender

No matter where you are in the world, vaccine passports are being discussed as a way to prove you’ve been vaccinated against COVID.

Big Tech companies are rushing to develop proof-of-vaccination technologies. And airlines, cruise ships, stadiums, and other businesses are considering — or already using — vaccine passports to exclude the unvaccinated.

In the video below, “Vaccine Passports: THIS Is Where it Leads,” Russell Brand questions whether it’s a good idea to let Big Tech and Big Government dictate which everyday freedoms we can enjoy.

Are we “further empowering massive centralized authorities that we have good reason to distrust?” asks Brand. “The institutions that have the power to carry this out have not behaved in a way that engenders trust, up until now.”

Brand highlights the mass surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency, an illegal program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“Often disasters and times of crises are used to leverage further power for already powerful entities,” said Brand — whether that be government agencies or corporations.

If we use fear as the reason to grant “more power to organizations and institutions that have not behaved with our best interests in mind,” said Brand, “we are facilitating a future that might be very difficult for us to participate in.”

Watch “Vaccine Passports: THIS Is Where it Leads:” 

A New Super-Earth Detected Orbiting a Red Dwarf Star

By Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) | Science Daily

In recent years there has been an exhaustive study of red dwarf stars to find exoplanets in orbit around them. These stars have effective surface temperatures between 2400 and 3700 K (over 2000 degrees cooler than the Sun), and masses between 0.08 and 0.45 solar masses. In this context, a team of researchers led by Borja Toledo Padrón, a Severo Ochoa-La Caixa doctoral student at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), specializing in the search for planets around this type of stars, has discovered a super-Earth orbiting the star GJ 740, a red dwarf star situated some 36 light years from Earth.

The planet orbits its star with a period of 2.4 days and its mass is around 3 times the mass of Earth. Because the star is so close to the Sun, and the planet so close to the star, this new super-Earth could be the object of future researches with very large diameter telescopes towards the end of this decade. The results of the study were recently published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

“This is the planet with the second shortest orbital period around this type of star. The mass and the period suggest a rocky planet, with a radius of around 1.4 Earth radii, which could be confirmed in future observations with the TESS satellite,” explains Borja Toledo Padrón, the first author of the article. The data also indicate the presence of a second planet with an orbital period of 9 years, and a mass comparable to that of Saturn (close to 100 Earth masses), although its radial velocity signal could be due to the magnetic cycle of the star (similar to that of the Sun), so that more data are needed to confirm that the signal is really due to a planet.

The Kepler mission, recognised at one of the most successful in detecting exoplanets using the transit method (which is the search for small variations in the brightness of a star caused by the transit between it and ourselves of planets orbiting around it), has discovered a total of 156 new planets around cool stars. From its data it has been estimated that this type of stars harbours an average of 2.5 planets with orbital periods of less than 200 days. “The search for new exoplanets around cool stars is driven by the smaller difference between the planet’s mass and the star’s mass compared with stars in warmer spectral classes (which facilitates the detection of the planets’ signals), as well as the large number of this type of stars in our Galaxy,” comments Borja Toledo Padrón.

Cool stars are also an ideal target for the search for planets via the radial velocity method. This method is based on the detection of small variations in the velocity of a star due to the gravitational attraction of a planet in orbit around it, using spectroscopic observations. Since the discovery in 1998 of the first radial velocity signal of an exoplanet around a cool star, until now, a total of 116 exoplanets has been discovered around this class of stars using the radial velocity method. “The main difficulty of this method is related to the intense magnetic activity of this type of stars, which can produce spectroscopic signals very similar to those due to an exoplanet,” says Jonay I. González Hernández, an IAC researcher who is a co-author of this article.

The study is part of the project HADES (HArps-n red Dwarf Exoplanet Survey), in which the IAC is collaborating with the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC) of Catalonia, and the Italian programme GAPS (Global Architecture of Planetary Systems), whose objective is the detection and characterization of exoplanets round cool stars, in which are being used HARPS-N, on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). This detection was possible due to a six year observing campaign with HARPS-N, complemented with measurements with the CARMENES spectrograph on the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory (Almería) and HARPS, on the 3.6m telescope at the La Silla Observatory (Chile), as well as photometric support from the ASAP and EXORAP surveys. Also participating in this work are IAC researchers Alejandro Suárez Mascareño, and Rafael Rebolo.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).

Journal Reference:

  1. B. Toledo-Padrón, A. Suárez Mascareño, J. I. González Hernández, R. Rebolo, M. Pinamonti, M. Perger, G. Scandariato, M. Damasso, A. Sozzetti, J. Maldonado, S. Desidera, I. Ribas, G. Micela, L. Affer, E. González-Alvarez, G. Leto, I. Pagano, R. Zanmar Sánchez, P. Giacobbe, E. Herrero, J. C. Morales, P. J. Amado, J. A. Caballero, A. Quirrenbach, A. Reiners, M. Zechmeister. A super-Earth on a close-in orbit around the M1V star GJ 740Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2021; 648: A20 DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202040099

Highly Efficient Solar-Powered Evaporator Promises Up to 20 Liters of Fresh Water Daily

Regular access to fresh water is a luxury for more than 1.5 billion people who live in arid locations. On the other hand, sunshine is abundant in these places that lack fresh water. With this in mind, a team of researchers is developing a device that creates fresh water using the power of the sun. The team’s new device can produce water sufficient for a family of four every day.

To make this possible, researchers at the University of South Australia (UniSA) fine-tuned existing solar evaporator technology to make the process highly efficient. The resulting tweaks enabled the production of fresh drinking water for a day – enough for a family of four – from a square meter of either seawater or contaminated water.

The solar evaporator system can be produced from inexpensive materials, yet can still show exceptional performance. Between 10 to 20 liters of fresh water daily can be harvested from each square meter of unfiltered water. The researchers’ study, published in Solar RRL, also indicated that the resulting potable water registered a salinity level well below 50 parts per billion.

The evaporator is based on a photo-thermal structure placed on the surface of a water source. It then converts sunlight to heat and helps evaporate the top layer of the liquid, which can then be collected as fresh water. The secret of the system lies in the fin-shaped evaporator that performs like a heatsink.

According to the UniSA researchers, “all surfaces of the evaporator remain at a lower temperature than the surrounding water and air” because of the heatsink technique. This subsequently enables additional energy from outside the evaporator to flow toward it. Furthermore, its three-dimensional design “shifts surplus heat away from the evaporator’s top surfaces” and redirects the heat to the water.

The new solar evaporator boasts of being a high efficiency and low maintenance system

The researchers touted the advantages of their 3D solar evaporator over other similar photo-thermal systems. Associate professor and lead study author Haolan Xu remarked: “Previously, many of the experimental photo-thermal evaporators were basically two-dimensional. [They] were just a flat surface, and they could lose 10 to 20 percent of solar energy to the bulk water and the surrounding environment.”

Aside from preventing solar energy loss, the evaporator developed by Xu and his team “draws additional energy from the bulk water and surrounding environment.” The UniSA associate professor elaborates: “[The] system operates at 100 percent efficiency for the solar input, and draws up to another 170 percent energy from the water and environment.”

Moreover, the solar evaporator is inexpensive and easy to construct and deploy. “Because it is so simple and requires virtually no maintenance, there is no technical expertise needed to keep it running and upkeep costs are minimal,” Xu said.

The design also contributes to its low-maintenance requirement, as it prevents the buildup of salt and other contaminants on the evaporator’s surface. Because of this, it has the potential to become a low-cost alternative to more expensive desalination plants.

“This technology really has the potential to provide a long-term clean water solution to people and communities who can’t afford other options. [These] are the places such solutions are most needed,” Xu commented.

American researchers develop similar, solar-powered water purifier

Researchers from Princeton University in the U.S. also launched a similar technology that uses the sun to turn dirty water into potable water. While the team from Australia made use of a 3D solar evaporator, their American counterparts developed a low-cost filter made from hydrogel encased in two layers. The filter which looks like a sponge soaks up dirty water at room temperature but releases clean water when exposed to sunlight.

The Princeton researchers said the solar water filter can purify water tainted with contaminants such as petroleum, lead, small molecules, and different kinds of pathogens. The hydrogel core traps pure water inside while the outer layers keep contaminants out.

Device co-inventor Xiaohui Xu – unrelated to the UniSA associate professor – described the filter: “Sunlight is free and the materials to make this device are low-cost and non-toxic. [So] this is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to generate pure water.” She even proposed putting it in a water source the night before, letting the morning sun do the work of filtering the water for use.

Visit CleanWater.news to read more about novel ways to obtain fresh water using solar power.

Sources include:




By Ramon Tomey | Science.News

WATCH Awesome Clips of the First Supermoon of 2021 As It Lights Up Skies Around the World

Video Source: The Telegraph

Skygazers were treated to a glimpse of a “pink supermoon” as the celestial event lit up the skies across the globe. See what they saw. The image of the supermoon above the Statue of Liberty is particularly spectacular.

Visual Sclerotherapy Treatment: Answering the Hard Questions

Did you know that over 324,000 sclerotherapy procedures were done in the USA in 2017 alone? These figures show that visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins is a popular method for treating this venous condition. This treatment method is minimally invasive and entails injecting chemicals into the affected veins. The method diminishes spider veins’ appearance and reduces the pain or side effects damaged veins cause.

But when is this medical procedure necessary? What can you expect after undergoing it? This post answers these and other hard questions you might have regarding this method.

When is Sclerotherapy Necessary?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment is used to treat spider veins. It’s also effective for treating other conditions like varicose veins. Additionally, it treats hemorrhoids when other treatment options fail. This condition occurs when blood vessels around the rectum swell and start irritating patients.

This method also treats deformed lymph vessels that carry lymphatic fluid or lymph, helping the immune system fight infections. It’s also beneficial for hydroceles, an unhealthy development of fluid in a body cavity. The procedure is ideal for cosmetic purposes to enhance spider veins’ appearance. Additionally, it’s effective for relieving symptoms like burning, night cramps, swelling, and aching.

Which Areas Can Sclerotherapy Treat?

Spider veins and varicose veins can develop on any body part. However, they usually affect the legs and feet. The veins the condition affects become discolored, raised, swell, and can become uncomfortable. Spider veins are smaller and closer to the skin. They appear red, blue, or purple. So, visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins can treat damaged veins and spider veins in the following body areas:

  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Face
  • Anus

How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins depends on several factors like the severity of the patient’s condition. The procedure can last anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes. The surgeon gets you to lie on your back with raised legs if spider veins are on your legs. Additionally, the vein specialist may use an ultrasound scan as part of the treatment, but all that depends on the condition’s severity.

The doctor starts the procedure by cleaning the skin surrounding the affected area requiring treatment. They inject the affected region using a fine needle with a sclerosing agent. These agents or solutions usually include polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, and hypertonic saline. These solutions shut the injected veins’ walls. The shutting redirects blood to healthy veins. Gradually, the body absorbs the affected veins, making them less visible and more comfortable. The number of treatment sessions you need depends on the treated vein’s size.

How Many Sessions Are Enough?

It’s difficult to fix the number of sessions one needs to recover from spider veins. The reason is that the number of sessions differs among patients based on their desired results or expectations and how many veins require treatment. Averagely, one may need between three and four sessions to enjoy the best results. It’s also recommended for patients with spider veins to undergo regular checkups to ensure new ones don’t develop with time.

What Should You Expect After the Procedure?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment is the best remedy for spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Most patients start seeing improvements after just a few weeks. Those battling larger varicose veins can wait for up to several months before they register any significant results. Thus, they also need to undergo several sessions to enjoy optimal results.

Different studies have shown that 83% of those who undergo visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins experience decreased pain. However, it’s important to set reasonable expectations before undergoing this procedure. The reason is that the procedure doesn’t guarantee 100% elimination of these veins.

However, it minimizes their appearance so that they don’t become an unsightly sight to behold. The procedure also doesn’t guarantee zero side effects. So, be hopeful but also realistic to avoid unnecessary disappointments.

How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost?

This medical procedure will cost you some money. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery placed the average cost of a sclerotherapy procedure in 2017 at $369. However, the actual cost depends on other factors that vary among patients. For example, the number and size of veins requiring treatment affect the price. Your geographical location also determines how much you will spend on the procedure.

It’s also worth noting that this procedure is for cosmetic purposes. Therefore, insurance doesn’t cover it. But if you suffer medical symptoms resulting from spider or varicose veins, your insurer will pay for it.

That is it. This post has answered all the fundamental hard questions you had about this procedure. It’s up to you to use this information to make a smart decision.

Astronomers Release New All-Sky Map of Milky Way’s Outer Reaches

By NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Science Daily

Astronomers using data from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. [Editor’s note: See Related Multimedia link below.] Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside the swirling spiral arms that form the Milky Way’s recognizable central disk and is sparsely populated with stars. Though the halo may appear mostly empty, it is also predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe.

The data for the new map comes from ESA’s Gaia mission and NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or NEOWISE, which operated from 2009 to 2013 under the moniker WISE. The study makes use of data collected by the spacecraft between 2009 and 2018.

The new map reveals how a small galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) — so named because it is the larger of two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way — has sailed through the Milky Way’s galactic halo like a ship through water, its gravity creating a wake in the stars behind it. The LMC is located about 160,000 light-years from Earth and is less than one-quarter the mass of the Milky Way.

Though the inner portions of the halo have been mapped with a high level of accuracy, this is the first map to provide a similar picture of the halo’s outer regions, where the wake is found — about 200,000 light-years to 325,000 light-years from the galactic center. Previous studies have hinted at the wake’s existence, but the all-sky map confirms its presence and offers a detailed view of its shape, size, and location.

This disturbance in the halo also provides astronomers with an opportunity to study something they can’t observe directly: dark matter. While it doesn’t emit, reflect, or absorb light, the gravitational influence of dark matter has been observed across the universe. It is thought to create a scaffolding on which galaxies are built, such that without it, galaxies would fly apart as they spin. Dark matter is estimated to be five times more common in the universe than all the matter that emits and/or interacts with light, from stars to planets to gas clouds.

Although there are multiple theories about the nature of dark matter, all of them indicate that it should be present in the Milky Way’s halo. If that’s the case, then as the LMC sails through this region, it should leave a wake in the dark matter as well. The wake observed in the new star map is thought to be the outline of this dark matter wake; the stars are like leaves on the surface of this invisible ocean, their position shifting with the dark matter.

The interaction between the dark matter and the Large Magellanic Cloud has big implications for our galaxy. As the LMC orbits the Milky Way, the dark matter’s gravity drags on the LMC and slows it down. This will cause the dwarf galaxy’s orbit to get smaller and smaller until the galaxy finally collides with the Milky Way in about 2 billion years. These types of mergers might be a key driver in the growth of massive galaxies across the universe. In fact, astronomers think the Milky Way merged with another small galaxy about 10 billion years ago.

“This robbing of a smaller galaxy’s energy is not only why the LMC is merging with the Milky Way, but also why all galaxy mergers happen,” said Rohan Naidu, a doctoral student in astronomy at Harvard University and a co-author of the new paper. “The wake in our map is a really neat confirmation that our basic picture for how galaxies merge is on point!”

A Rare Opportunity

The authors of the paper also think the new map — along with additional data and theoretical analyses — may provide a test for different theories about the nature of dark matter, such as whether it consists of particles, like regular matter, and what the properties of those particles are.

“You can imagine that the wake behind a boat will be different if the boat is sailing through water or through honey,” said Charlie Conroy, a professor at Harvard University and an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, who co-authored the study. “In this case, the properties of the wake are determined by which dark matter theory we apply.”

Conroy led the team that mapped the positions of over 1,300 stars in the halo. The challenge arose in trying to measure the exact distance from Earth to a large portion of those stars: It’s often impossible to figure out whether a star is faint and closes by or bright and far away. The team used data from ESA’s Gaia mission, which provides the location of many stars in the sky but cannot measure distances to the stars in the Milky Way’s outer regions.

After identifying stars most likely located in the halo (because they were not obviously inside our galaxy or the LMC), the team looked for stars belonging to a class of giant stars with a specific light “signature” detectable by NEOWISE. Knowing the basic properties of the selected stars enabled the team to figure out their distance from Earth and create a new map. It charts a region starting about 200,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s center, or about where the LMC’s wake was predicted to begin and extends about 125,000 light-years beyond that.

Conroy and his colleagues were inspired to hunt for LMC’s wake after learning about a team of astrophysicists at the University of Arizona in Tucson that makes computer models predicting what dark matter in the galactic halo should look like. The two groups worked together on the new study.

One model by the Arizona team, included in the new study, predicted the general structure and specific location of the star wake revealed in the new map. Once the data had confirmed that the model was correct, the team could confirm what other investigations have also hinted at: that the LMC is likely on its first orbit around the Milky Way. If the smaller galaxy had already made multiple orbits, the shape and location of the wake would be significantly different from what has been observed. Astronomers think the LMC formed in the same environment as the Milky Way and another nearby galaxy, M31, and that it is close to completing a long first orbit around our galaxy (about 13 billion years). Its next orbit will be much shorter due to its interaction with the Milky Way.

“Confirming our theoretical prediction with observational data tells us that our understanding of the interaction between these two galaxies, including the dark matter, is on the right track,” said University of Arizona doctoral student in astronomy Nicolás Garavito-Camargo, who led work on the model used in the paper.

The new map also provides astronomers with a rare opportunity to test the properties of the dark matter (the notional water or honey) in our own galaxy. In the new study, Garavito-Camargo and colleagues used a popular dark matter theory called cold dark matter that fits the observed star map relatively well. Now the University of Arizona team is running simulations that use different dark matter theories to see which one best matches the wake observed in the stars.

“It’s a really special set of circumstances that came together to create this scenario that lets us test our dark matter theories,” said Gurtina Besla, a co-author of the study and an associate professor at the University of Arizona. “But we can only realize that test with the combination of this new map and the dark matter simulations that we built.”

Launched in 2009, the WISE spacecraft was placed into hibernation in 2011 after completing its primary mission. In September 2013, NASA reactivated the spacecraft with the primary goal of scanning for near-Earth objects, or NEOs, and the mission and spacecraft were renamed NEOWISE. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California managed and operated WISE for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The mission was selected competitively under NASA’s Explorers Program managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NEOWISE is a project of JPL, a division of Caltech, and the University of Arizona, supported by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

Story Source:

Materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion LaboratoryNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Charlie Conroy, Rohan P. Naidu, Nicolás Garavito-Camargo, Gurtina Besla, Dennis Zaritsky, Ana Bonaca, Benjamin D. Johnson. All-sky dynamical response of the Galactic halo to the Large Magellanic CloudNature, 2021; 592 (7855): 534 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03385-7

Telescopes Unite in Unprecedented Observations of Famous Black Hole

By Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Science Daily

In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.

Data from 19 observatories released today promise to give unparalleled insight into this black hole and the system it powers, and to improve tests of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

“We knew that the first direct image of a black hole would be groundbreaking,” says Kazuhiro Hada of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, a co-author of a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that describes the large set of data. “But to get the most out of this remarkable image, we need to know everything we can about the black hole’s behavior at that time by observing over the entire electromagnetic spectrum.”

The immense gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole can power jets of particles that travel at almost the speed of light across vast distances. M87’s jets produce light spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to visible light to gamma rays. This pattern is different for each black hole. Identifying this pattern gives crucial insight into a black hole’s properties — for example, its spin and energy output — but is a challenge because the pattern changes with time.

Scientists compensated for this variability by coordinating observations with many of the world’s most powerful telescopes on the ground and in space, collecting light from across the spectrum. These 2017 observations were the largest simultaneous observing campaign ever undertaken on a supermassive black hole with jets.

Three observatories managed by the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian participated in the landmark campaign: the Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hilo, Hawaii; the space-based Chandra X-ray Observatory; and the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) in southern Arizona.

Beginning with the EHT’s now-iconic image of M87, a new video takes viewers on a journey through the data from each telescope. Each consecutive frame shows data across many factors often in scale, both of wavelengths of light and physical size.

The sequence begins with the April 2019 image of the black hole. It then moves through images from other radio telescope arrays from around the globe (SMA), moving outward in the field of view during each step. Next, the view changes to telescopes that detect visible light, ultraviolet light, and X-rays (Chandra). The screen splits to show how these images, which cover the same amount of the sky at the same time, compare to one another. The sequence finishes by showing what gamma-ray telescopes on the ground (VERITAS), and Fermi in space, detect from this black hole and its jet.

Each telescope delivers different information about the behavior and impact of the 6.5-billion-solar-mass black hole at the center of M87, which is located about 55 million light-years from Earth.

“There are multiple groups eager to see if their models are a match for these rich observations, and we’re excited to see the whole community use this public data set to help us better understand the deep links between black holes and their jets,” says co-author Daryl Haggard of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The data were collected by a team of 760 scientists and engineers from nearly 200 institutions, spanning 32 countries or regions, and using observatories funded by agencies and institutions around the globe. The observations were concentrated from the end of March to the middle of April 2017.

“This incredible set of observations includes many of the world’s best telescopes,” says co-author Juan Carlos Algaba of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “This is a wonderful example of astronomers around the world working together in the pursuit of science.”

The first results show that the intensity of the light produced by material around M87’s supermassive black hole was the lowest that had ever been observed. This produced ideal conditions for viewing the ‘shadow’ of the black hole, as well as being able to isolate the light from regions close to the event horizon from those tens of thousands of light-years away from the black hole.

The combination of data from these telescopes, and current (and future) EHT observations, will allow scientists to conduct important lines of investigation into some of the astrophysics’ most significant and challenging fields of study. For example, scientists plan to use this data to improve tests of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Currently, uncertainties about the material rotating around the black hole and being blasted away in jets, in particular the properties that determine the emitted light, represent a major hurdle for these General Relativity tests.

A related question that is addressed by today’s study concerns the origin of energetic particles called “cosmic rays,” which continually bombard the Earth from outer space. Their energies can be a million times higher than what can be produced in the most powerful accelerator on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider. The huge jets launched from black holes, like the ones shown in today’s images, are thought to be the most likely source of the highest energy cosmic rays, but there are many questions about the details, including the precise locations where the particles get accelerated. Because cosmic rays produce light via their collisions, the highest-energy gamma rays can pinpoint this location, and the new study indicates that these gamma rays are likely not produced near the event horizon — at least not in 2017. A key to settling this debate will be a comparison to the observations from 2018, and the new data being collected this week.

“Understanding the particle acceleration is really central to our understanding of both the EHT image as well as the jets, in all their ‘colors’,” says co-author Sera Markoff from the University of Amsterdam. “These jets manage to transport energy released by the black hole out to scales larger than the host galaxy, like a huge power cord. Our results will help us calculate the amount of power carried, and the effect the black hole’s jets have on its environment.”

The release of this new treasure trove of data coincides with the EHT’s 2021 observing run, which leverages a worldwide array of radio dishes, the first since 2018. Last year’s campaign was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the previous year was suspended because of unforeseen technical problems. This very week, for six nights, EHT astronomers are targeting several supermassive black holes: the one in M87 again, the one in our Galaxy called Sagittarius A*, and several more distant black holes. Compared to 2017, the array has been improved by adding three more radio telescopes: the Greenland Telescope, the Kitt Peak 12-meter Telescope in Arizona, and the Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) in France.

“With the release of these data, combined with the resumption of observing and an improved EHT, we know many exciting new results are on the horizon,” says co-author Mislav Balokovi? of Yale University.

“I’m really excited to see these results come out, along with my fellow colleagues working on the SMA, some of whom were directly involved in collecting some of the data for this spectacular view into M87,” says co-author Garrett Keating, a Submillimeter Array project scientist. “And with the results of Sagittarius A* — the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way — coming out soon, and the resumption of observing this year, we are looking forward to even more amazing results with the EHT for years to come.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. The EHT MWL Science Working Group et al. Broadband Multi-wavelength Properties of M87 during the 2017 Event Horizon Telescope CampaignThe Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2021; 911 (1): L11 DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/abef71

21st Century Nikola Tesla: Maxwell Chikumbutso

By Neenah Payne | Activist Post

When Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble released the 2011 documentary Thrive: What On Earth Will It Take? it became one of the most widely seen films. The Gambles created the Thrive Movement with its 13 Sectors to help people around the world develop solutions to many problems.

The Gambles released Thrive II: This Is What It Takes in October 2020. They had found the answers to the questions they raised a decade ago and share them in this amazing documentary. Thrive II explores breakthrough innovations from around the world, shows the principles they have in common and offers insights, tools, and strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future. Foster and Kimberly have traveled the world for decades looking for solutions but did not plan to make a second documentary. However, what they discovered was so compelling and can provide the world with so many solutions to problems that they felt compelled to make Thrive II share the information.

RELATED ARTICLE: Maxwell Chikumbutso’s Game-Changing Free Energy Devices!

These insights are especially important now as the World Economic Forum threatens the world with The Great Reset and The Fourth Industrial Revolution for which none of the world’s peoples voted. Foster Gamble was the featured last speaker at THE GREATER RESET on January 31 as shown in THE GREATER RESET: Inspiring Vision For Humanity!

One of the most important discoveries Foster made was the free energy generator developed by Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, founder and Chief Technical Officer of Saith Holdings, in Zimbabwe. Foster explained in Thrive II that about 95% of free energy devices he has investigated failed to perform as claimed. However, when he learned about an inventor in Africa who had built a generator, car, helicopter, and drone that run on radio frequencies – a true free-energy mechanism that keeps batteries consistently charged — Foster decided to go see for himself. He asked electronics engineer and researcher Nils Rognerud of Rognerud Research Inc. to accompany him.

Will Chikumbutso’s Greener Power Machine End Use of Fossil Fuels?

Chikumbutso explained that his generator is a “Microsonic Energy Device”. It generates half a megawatt which can power about 300 homes. Chikumbutso said the generator is powered by “the natural energy that God put in the air, the radio frequency”. He explained that because the machine does not run on solar energy, it is not affected by clouds. The radio frequencies the device uses are always available. Chikumbutso said about the frequencies, “One thing we don’t know for sure is – is it man-made, alien from another planet, or from God?!”

Although the generator is not powered by batteries, it uses eighteen 12-volt batteries to channel the energy. The goal for the test was to establish that the generator could power a welding machine — which uses a lot of electricity quickly — long enough to show it wasn’t running just on batteries. Nils measured the voltage of the batteries to determine if what Chikumbutso claimed was real or not.

Radio Frequencies or the Free Energy Solution for Entire Cities – Saith Technologies says: “When an African invents the new machine that produces electricity from radio frequencies, the first reaction is … it’s impossible. Impossible actually means I’M POSSIBLE.” The Greener Power Machine produces no carbon dioxide emissions – ending the justification for a “carbon tax” to support a global government!

The test was successful!  Foster said, “A final check of the battery voltage revealed a shocking result. Not only had the machine outlasted the expected battery life, but the batteries were still fully charged! This proved that the device was being powered by an unknown energy source!”

This means the batteries won’t need to be replaced often – or perhaps at all – saving lots of money! Foster hugged Chikumbutso and said, “This is one of the happiest days of my life and I am so proud of this man who has gone through so much. He’s listened to the voice of the Divine coming through him and he’s done whatever it takes to bring this through for humanity.”

The next day, Nils said “The test is historic. I am still digesting it because basically, it means the end of fossil fuels!” Free energy is the fulfillment of the dream of the legendary Nikola Tesla discussed below.

Chikumbutso’s Electric Car Doesn’t Need To Be Charged!

Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric System That Charges Itself, says: “A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric-powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first-ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.”

Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.

The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire to change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…

The full story and more is covered in their new film, Thrive II: This Is What It Takes.


The Saith EV car has an electric motor that runs on energy developed by the Greener Power Machine (GPM). It does not need to be recharged using a power source. It is equipped with five batteries that produce the energy to drive up to 90 km / h (56 mph). The batteries charge when the car is in motion.

Chikumbutso’s Hybrid Helicopter

Zim innovator breaks into global hi-tech commercial sector say:

Chikumbutso designed four major world-changing innovations — a green power generating machine, a helicopter, an electric car and drone using rudimentary materials sourced from the capital’s popular Siyaso market in a “Eureka” moment that could have revolutionised the country’s energy and transportation system… He has over the years attracted international attention for his innovations….

“We have built a house in Madokero, Harare, Zimbabwe, that fully runs on GPM. Amazingly, everything in the house runs on free energy! This technology violates thermodynamics laws. The stage we have now reached is a culmination of work that has been ongoing since 2003. We have finally made it! Saith Holdings is going to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange!”

“The world is in need of clean energy. We are inundated with orders coming from all parts of the world. We have received orders and inquiries from as far afield as Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, to India, USA, Russia, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and UAE, just to mention a few.”…

Chikumbutso is dreaming big and wants to build Saith Technologies into a billion-dollar concern that distributes electric cars, helicopters, telecoms solutions, security and surveillance, UAVs, traffic safety and lightning products as well as MSED Powered home lights.”

Chikumbutso’s hybrid helicopter (Saith Hex_Copter) has two seats. It can use any of six fuels and has a hybrid propulsion engine. Saith Hex Copter is lighter at altitude because of its use of electric flight controls to alternate manual control with electronics.

Chikumbutso’s Intelligent Drone

Chikumbutso’s intelligent drone has an automatic pilot function that allows it to operate without aid. This is extremely rare as drones usually have a remote control. The drone can be programmed to turn around when the atmospheric conditions are not good or the planned research is not fruitful. In a Great interview with Maxwell Chikumbutso, Chikumbutso explains that he didn’t know the computer language he used to program his drone with Artificial Intelligence. That information came to him through visions.

Chikumbutso: A True Visionary

Sangulani Maxwell Chikumbutso, the Zimbabwean inventor tells his story says:

A devout Christian, Maxwell says that in September of 1997, while praying at a certain mountain he received the scripture in Isaiah 46 from where the name Saith Technologies came, as in “thus saith the Lord”. That is also the time he began receiving strange visions and visible blueprints even though he did not know any electronics at all. He says he learned most of what he knows about electronics from those visions.

Chikumbutso, born in 1980, is the inventor of the world’s first green power generator which produces electricity using radio frequencies, the electric car, hybrid helicopter, and intelligent drone. Chikumbutso wanted to be a mechanic like his father who had abandoned the family. After dropping out of school at age 14 for financial reasons, Chikumbutso worked on the farm to help his mother. He helped put his sister through school and she now works for his firm as a finance editor. Chikumbutso has no formal training in technology or science. His education came from visions and revelations of blueprints which he used to create his inventions.

In a Great interview with Maxwell Chikumbutso, the inventor explains that his Greener Power Machine harnesses radio frequencies and converts them into energy. He describes his very unconventional “education” through visions. Chikumbutso points out that Nikola Tesla began experimenting with radio frequencies in the early 20th century. Chikumbutso says God gave him the calling to finish that work.

Chikumbutso explains that science and spirituality go hand in hand. This is the reality Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble show in their documentaries. In 13 years from 2007-2020, Chikumbutso made seven ground-breaking inventions. He believes he is fulfilling what God sent him on Earth to do. He says there is nothing he can take credit for. He says he’s just a simple person and he likes it that way. Tesla also thought his mind was just a receiving station rather than the originator of his ideas.

The Genius of Nikola Tesla

The Croatian genius Nikola Tesla came to the US In the early 20th century where he worked briefly with Thomas Edison who was promoting the use of direct current (DC) electricity. However, with a DC system, a power station could deliver electricity only about one mile while with Tesla’s alternating current (AC) system, one power station could deliver electricity across many miles.

Tesla lit the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago with his AC system and that ended the “War of the Currents”. The World’s Fair of 1893 (Excerpt from Tesla Master of Light) shows what a turning point this was. Tesla then won the right to harness Niagara Falls to light Buffalo, New York, and alternating current became the standard of the power grid.

Tesla invented the radio and had 300 patents. He is responsible for 80% of today’s technology! Yet, Tesla’s dream was to provide the world with free energy, but his financial backer JP Morgan withdrew his funding.

From his death in 1943 until the 1980s, books about Tesla were forbidden! The Tragic Story of Nikola Tesla explains that Tesla received visions of his devices, much as Chikumbutso does.

Prodigal Genius, The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla says:

Before the turn of the 20th century, electricity remained a mere scientific curiosity. Nikola Tesla, arguably more than anyone else, changed that. But Tesla’s pioneering research in electricity represents only a portion of the scientific and technical innovations that elevated him to science godhood.

The Secret of Nikola Tesla is one of the best documentaries with Orson Wells playing JP Morgan

Chikumbutso: The New Nikola Tesla

Maxwell Chikumbutso – New Nikola Tesla of the 21st century says,

Our world has discovered the greatest genius in the field of electrical energy since the days of Nikola Tesla. It’s Mr. Maxwell Sangulani Chikumbutso from Zimbabwe. Maxwell’s technology breaks some physical laws in the form of their current knowledge. It is time to open our eyes and move towards clean, green, decentralized electrical energy. This is the beginning of the new era, free energy is real. Many thanks to all the people who are helping Maxwell on his journey to help Zimbabwe, Africa, and the world. GOD BLESS YOU.

Chikumbutso’s Goal: Free Energy For Everyone

In Maxwell Chikumbutso – TV news in Zimbabwe (September 2020), Chikumbutso points out that he was poisoned (when the government jailed him to stop his inventions), but he believes he has to keep on fighting so everyone can have free energy. Chikumbutso is giving the blueprints for his Green Power Machine generator to poorer African communities for free.

In the Presentation of breakthrough free energy technology by Maxwell Chikumbutso, Foster and Kimberly Clarke Gamble hosted an after-party following the initial showing of Thrive II. The video features Chikumbutso giving a demonstration of his Greener Power Machine. Since Chikumbutso can’t patent his inventions because they are said to “defy the laws of physics”, he is re-writing science!

Blockchain Protects Chikumbutso’s Intellectual Property

In Maxwell Chikumbutso presents a house fully powered by a 50kW GPM (Free energy Greener Power Machine), Chikumbutso says: “We have built a house in Madokero, Harare Zimbabwe that fully runs on 50kW PM. Amazingly, everything in the house runs on Free Energy! The future belongs to free energy and decentralized solutions.” It is the only home in the area with electricity.

In Maxwell’s Chikumbutso intellectual property is protected by technology Blockchain, Chikumbutso points out:

Even if I am killed today, this invention will move forward because the IP is in secure locations around the world and there are people who will take over and ensure that the work is successfully executed. God will always win.

Foster Gamble says open-source technology is the best way to protect groundbreaking inventors and inventions. Chikumbutso chose to work with the Gambles because he wanted to use open source. Kimberly explains that even some of the early oil families recognize that the handwriting is on the wall now and want to be in on what’s next.

In addition to his Greener Power Machine, the car, helicopter, and drone, Chikumbutso invented a mobile broadcast communication backpack, intelligent IP Mesh backpack, MSED powered home lights, and a household transformer that can multiply power a hundredfold. His innovations provide clean energy with no carbon footprint. The decentralized energy provided by Chikumbutso’s inventions will play key roles in The Greater Reset. See The GREATER Reset — Inspiring Vision For Humanity!

How Vocal Removal Software Can Help You

If you’re somebody who likes producing high quality content for music videos, blogs, or streams, then something you always have to keep in mind is audio quality. Audio quality can mean a lot of different things from how good the audio in your video sounds to how well it enhances the experience of the viewer or the one listening. Typically, it’s good practice to have audio that can be distinctly heard but doesn’t overtake the person speaking or else it will prove to be overbearing and distracting. One way to ensure that audio is high-quality and not detrimental to the experience is by splitting the vocal tracks in the instrumentals from each other.

The Ways that Your Projects can be Strengthened

With the vocal remover online software that you can install on your phone, you now have the ability to split songs and audio tracks into distinctive elements. This could mean you isolate the vocals of your favorite song to make sure music videos are high-quality or create an instrumental version of a song to use in the background of the video when somebody is speaking. By separating audio tracks into these elements users can utilize their selected songs in more diverse ways and discover elements to these tracks that they might not even have been aware of before thanks to other aspects of those songs no longer getting in the way.

For production projects this can be very useful because audio is often one of the most overlooked aspects, and yet is one of the most important. By creating a track that is isolated to just the core essentials that will benefit the project, the audio can now enhance the experience of the entire production for the viewer or listener because the audio is now working with the subject matter instead of distracting from it. These vocal remover‘s are high-quality and easy to use thanks to a simple user interface and plenty of options that are specifically labeled to ensure that users know exactly what the output will be like. There are options for creating instrumentals, removing song portions that are sung out loud, and even separating aspects such as bass and drums from the rest of the instrumentals. Music videos can sample vocals and specific parts of different songs without users having to cover or we mix it themselves which can save a tremendous amount of time and effort and more importantly is accessible to everyone, even ones who do not have skills to do with themselves. With tools like this so accessible, we’re sure to see a greater output of content that takes it’s audio seriously and uses it to complement each new project.

These tools are available for everyone to use, not just trained musicians or production facilities. As long as you have a phone and the song you want to use, the services are sure to come in handy. Whether it be for creative content or just satisfying your curiosity of how your songs would sound like without certain parts, a vocal remover is a tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Tesla’s BIG Disruption Looming Ahead, and It’s Not Electric Vehicles

Video Source: EV Source

It’s no secret that Tesla has had a very disruptive effect on the current automotive industry, but that disruption is just beginning. There’s another disruption looming ahead that many people haven’t realized yet and it’s not about electric vehicles. This disruption falls into a category of its own and could be a much bigger market than cars could ever be.

Portal to the New Earth! ~ With Harlan Emil & Xi Earthstar | Interviewed by Laura Eisenhower


Source: Laura Eisenhower

Watch this inspirational video with visionaries Harlan Emil & Xi Earthstar whose mission is to create a higher-dimensional, new earth reality. – interviewed by Laura Eisenhower. Be sure to watch until the end to experience Xi’s angelic voice.

Harlan Emil received a BFA in environmental design from Parsons School of Design after studying physics at Emory University and electrical engineering at Georgia Tech and University of Miami. He has combined these interests into a lifelong art and design profession that has been exhibited internationally. Harlan Emil worked for the design firm SITE Projects of New York before launching his independent career in 1987. He has been attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada since 1999, creating large-scale Portal sculptures, both on his own and in collaboration with other artists since 2004. He is currently focused on developing ecologically sustainable human habitations. https://portaltothenewearth.com/

Xi EarthStar is the Andromedan Visionary of the EarthStar Sanctuary. Xi is an angelic geneticist upstairs, for these skills and knowledge she was called forth to support the Starseed Mission, weaving divine strands of DNA for the wanderers to arrive on Earth with. Xi’s work now is in Landing the Galactic Administration presence On Earth, through sound, community, galactic wisdom, and architecture! https://www.earthstar.tk www.youtube.com/earthstarhealer

Laura Eisenhower is a Global Alchemist, Researcher and Medical and Intuitive Astrologist.. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker who has presented her work world wide. Laura is the great-granddaughter of President Dwight David Eisenhower and she reveals Exopolitical information about his administration, that has been largely held in secrecy. She is considered by many to be one of North Americas leading researchers on: Health, Exopolitics, Alchemy, Metaphysics, and Galactic History. Laura works to free us from the 3-D holographic time-loop, False Archonic systems and Military Industrial Complex and exposes hidden agendas so we can take our power back. Feeling a calling regarding her mission since she was a child, she has gained incredible insight through her wilderness adventures, psychic development and has been connecting major dots about how to guide us into higher Earth energies. She has a deep understanding of Gaia-Sophia and our Divine Blueprint and how they connect to the Venus transits, Earth grids, Global Alchemy, DNA & ET races. Her passion is to inspire unity consciousness and bring us back to the Zero point/Unified field, the totality of our divine powers.

Study Shows Stronger Brain Activity After Writing on Paper Than on Tablet or Smartphone

By University of Tokyo | Science Daily

A study of Japanese university students and recent graduates has revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial, and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory.

“Actually, paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall,” said Professor Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo and corresponding author of the research recently published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The research was completed with collaborators from the NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting.

Contrary to the popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, volunteers who used paper completed the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smartphones.

Although volunteers wrote by hand both with pen and paper or stylus and digital tablet, researchers say paper notebooks contain more complex spatial information than digital paper. Physical paper allows for tangible permanence, irregular strokes, and uneven shape, like folded corners. In contrast, digital paper is uniform, has no fixed position when scrolling, and disappears when you close the app.

“Our take-home message is to use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize,” said Sakai.

In the study, a total of 48 volunteers read a fictional conversation between characters discussing their plans for two months in the near future, including 14 different class times, assignment due dates, and personal appointments. Researchers performed pre-test analyses to ensure that the volunteers, all 18-29 years old and recruited from university campuses or NTT offices, were equally sorted into three groups based on memory skills, personal preference for digital or analog methods, gender, age, and other aspects.

Volunteers then recorded the fictional schedule using a paper datebook and pen, a calendar app on a digital tablet and a stylus, or a calendar app on a large smartphone and a touch-screen keyboard. There was no time limit and volunteers were asked to record the fictional events in the same way as they would for their real-life schedules, without spending extra time to memorize the schedule.

After one hour, including a break and an interference task to distract them from thinking about the calendar, volunteers answered a range of simple (When is the assignment due?) and complex (Which is the earlier due date for the assignments?) multiple-choice questions to test their memory of the schedule. While they completed the test, volunteers were inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, which measures blood flow around the brain. This is a technique called functional MRI (fMRI), and increased blood flow observed in a specific region of the brain is a sign of increased neuronal activity in that area.

Participants who used a paper datebook filled in the calendar within about 11 minutes. Tablet users took 14 minutes and smartphone users took about 16 minutes. Volunteers who used analog methods in their personal life were just as slow at using the devices as volunteers who regularly use digital tools, so researchers are confident that the difference in speed was related to memorization or associated encoding in the brain, not just differences in the habitual use of the tools.

Volunteers who used analog methods scored better than other volunteers only on simple test questions. However, researchers say that the brain activation data revealed significant differences.

Volunteers who used paper had more brain activity in areas associated with language, imaginary visualization, and in the hippocampus — an area known to be important for memory and navigation. Researchers say that the activation of the hippocampus indicates that analog methods contain richer spatial details that can be recalled and navigated in the mind’s eye.

“Digital tools have uniform scrolling up and down and standardized arrangement of text and picture size, like on a webpage. But if you remember a physical textbook printed on paper, you can close your eyes and visualize the photo one-third of the way down on the left-side page, as well as the notes you added in the bottom margin,” Sakai explained.

Researchers say that personalizing digital documents by highlighting, underlining, circling, drawing arrows, handwriting color-coded notes in the margins, adding virtual sticky notes, or other types of unique mark-ups can mimic analog-style spatial enrichment that may enhance memory.

Although they have no data from younger volunteers, researchers suspect that the difference in brain activation between analog and digital methods is likely to be stronger in younger people.

“High school students’ brains are still developing and are so much more sensitive than adult brains,” said Sakai.

Although the current research focused on learning and memorization, the researchers encourage using paper for creative pursuits as well.

“It is reasonable that one’s creativity will likely become more fruitful if prior knowledge is stored with stronger learning and more precisely retrieved from memory. For art, composing music, or other creative works, I would emphasize the use of paper instead of digital methods,” said Sakai.

Story Source:

Materials provided by the University of Tokyo.

Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo, is a research institute covering almost all the areas of engineering disciplines. It is mainly located in Komaba, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo.

The research field of IIS is very multidisciplinary and covers almost all the areas of engineering disciplines from micro and nano scales such as quantum levels to large scales such as the global level and space. IIS is one of the largest university-attached research institutions in Japan.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keita Umejima, Takuya Ibaraki, Takahiro Yamazaki, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai. Paper Notebooks vs. Mobile Devices: Brain Activation Differences During Memory RetrievalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2021; 15 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.634158

A Giant, Sizzling Planet May Be Orbiting the Star Vega

By University of Colorado at Boulder | Science Daily

Astronomers have discovered new hints of a giant, scorching-hot planet orbiting Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

The research, published this month in The Astrophysical Journal, was led by University of Colorado Boulder student Spencer Hurt, an undergraduate in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences.

It focuses on an iconic and relatively young star, Vega, which is part of the constellation Lyra and has a mass twice that of our own sun. This celestial body sits just 25 light-years, or about 150 trillion miles, from Earth — pretty close, astronomically speaking.

Scientists can also see Vega with telescopes even when it’s light out, which makes it a prime candidate for research, said study coauthor Samuel Quinn.

“It’s bright enough that you can observe it at twilight when other stars are getting washed out by sunlight,” said Quinn, an astronomer at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

Despite the star’s fame, researchers have yet to find a single planet in orbit around Vega. That might be about to change: Drawing on a decade of observations from the ground, Hurt, Quinn, and their colleagues unearthed a curious signal that could be the star’s first-known world.

If the team’s findings bear out, the alien planet would orbit so close to Vega that its years would last less than two-and-a-half Earth days. (Mercury, in contrast, takes 88 days to circle the sun). This candidate planet could also rank as the second hottest world known to science — with surface temperatures averaging a searing 5,390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hurt said the group’s research also helps to narrow down where other, exotic worlds might be hiding in Vega’s neighborhood.

“This is a massive system, much larger than our own solar system,” Hurt said. “There could be other planets throughout that system. It’s just a matter of whether we can detect them.”

Youthful energy

Quinn would like to try. Scientists have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets, or planets beyond Earth’s solar system, to date. Few of those, however, circle stars that are as bright or as close to Earth as Vega. That means that, if there are planets around the star, scientists could get a really detailed look at them.

“It would be really exciting to find a planet around Vega because it offers possibilities for future characterization in ways that planets around fainter stars wouldn’t,” Quinn said.

There’s just one catch: Vega is what scientists call an A-type star, the name for objects that tend to be bigger, younger, and much faster-spinning than our own sun. Vega, for example, rotates around its axis once every 16 hours — much faster than the sun with a rotational period that clocks in at 27 Earth days. Such a lightning-fast pace, Quinn said, can make it difficult for scientists to collect precise data on the star’s motion and, by extension, any planets in orbit around it.

To take on that game of celestial hide-and-seek, he and colleagues pored through roughly 10 years of data on Vega collected by the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. In particular, the team was looking for a tell-tale signal of an alien planet — a slight jiggle in the star’s velocity.

“If you have a planet around a star, it can tug on the star, causing it to wobble back and forth,” Quinn said.

Hot and puffy

The search may have paid off, said Hurt, who began the study as a summer research fellow working for Quinn at the CFA. The team discovered a signal that indicates that Vega might host what astronomers call a “hot Neptune” or maybe a “hot Jupiter.”

“It would be at least the size of Neptune, potentially as big as Jupiter, and would be closer to Vega than Mercury is to the sun,” Hurt said.

That close to Vega, he added, the candidate world might puff up like a balloon, and even iron would melt into gas in its atmosphere.

The researchers have a lot more work to do before they can definitively say that they’ve discovered this sizzling planet. Hurt noted that the easiest way to look for it might be to scan the stellar system directly to look for light emitted from the hot, bright planet.

For now, the student is excited to see his hard work reflected in the constellations: “Whenever I get to go outside and look at the night sky and see Vega, I say ‘Hey, I know that star.”

Other co-authors on the new study include David Latham, Gilbert Esquerdo, Michael Calkins, Perry Berlind, Christian Latham, and George Zhou at the CfA; Andrew Vanderburg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Ruth Angus at the American Museum of Natural History.

Story Source:

Materials provided by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Originally written by Daniel Strain. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Spencer A. Hurt, Samuel N. Quinn, David W. Latham, Andrew Vanderburg, Gilbert A. Esquerdo, Michael L. Calkins, Perry Berlind, Ruth Angus, Christian A. Latham, George Zhou. A Decade of Radial-velocity Monitoring of Vega and New Limits on the Presence of PlanetsThe Astronomical Journal, 2021; 161 (4): 157 DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/abdec8

Monkey Plays Video Games With Its Mind Using Elon Musk’s Neuralink

Neuralink, a company founded by Musk that develops artificial intelligence-powered microchips to go into people’s brains, released a video Thursday that appeared to show a macaque using the technology to play video games, including “Pong.”

Musk has boasted about Neuralink’s tests on primates before, but this is the first time the company has exhibited one. During a presentation in 2019, Musk said the company allowed a monkey to “control a computer with its brain.”

Following up on this claim, the company has now released a video of a 9-year-old macaque named Pager using a fully wireless brain-machine interface (BMI) to play the classic game Pong.

As the narrator of the video explains, the Neuralink device was first implanted in Pager’s brain about six weeks before the footage was filmed.

By Hasnain | Scientific Mindset

Scientists Discover X-Rays Coming From Uranus For Very First Time

By | TheMindUnleashed.com

Scientists are seeing X-rays being emitted from Uranus for the very first time, according to new research.

On Wednesday, the study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research that lays out how a comparison of two images of the planet taken by the Chandra Observatory in 2002 and 2017 show a clear detection of X-rays in the first image, while the second shows a possible flare of X-rays on the enigmatic and icy planet.

According to NASA, the reason for these X-rays is “mainly the sun.”

However, “there are tantalizing hints that at least one other source of X-rays is present,” the space agency noted.

“One possibility is that the rings of Uranus are producing X-rays themselves, which is the case for Saturn’s rings,” NASA said. “Another possibility is that at least some of the X-rays come from auroras on Uranus, a phenomenon that has previously been observed on this planet at other wavelengths.”

X-rays can provide a crucial window into the processes and characteristics of our universe. In the case of Uranus, these characteristics can include “atmospheric, surface and planetary ring composition.”

And while X-ray lights given off by the sun have been previously observed by astronomers on Jupiter and Saturn, this hasn’t been the case for icy giants like Uranus and Neptune.

The agency hopes that by figuring out the origin of the X-rays observed at Uranus, researchers can better grasp how mysterious objects including black holes and neutron stars emit X-rays.

Uranus is roughly four times the diameter of Earth and is the seventh planet from the sun, and is known for its distinct pair of rings around its equator and its unique side rotation.