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4MIN News August 24 2013: ISON Update, Planetary Alignments, NOAA EVL

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Solar Flair ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 7

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK07, Serial Number: 86 Issue, Time: 2012 Oct 01 0305 UTC
ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 7
Power system voltage irregularities possible, false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices.  Spacecraft - Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur.  Navigation - Intermittent satellite navigation (GPS) problems, including loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur.

Threshold Reached: 2012 Oct 01 0300 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0000-0300 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G3 - Strong
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 50 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power system voltage irregularities possible, false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices.
Spacecraft - Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur.

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Humans aren't the only ones who can play a mean game of cards.

Sleight of hand is a trait that belongs mainly to humans. Or so scientists thought. Studies of common, microscopic ocean plankton named Prochlorococcus show that humans aren't the only ones who can play a mean game of cards. Their method lurks in the Black Queen Hypothesis, as it's called, after the Queen of Spades in the card game Hearts.

Scientists Jeffrey Morris and Richard Lenski of Michigan State University and the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, and Erik Zinser of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, knew that smaller genomes were the norm in symbiotic microbes--those that have reciprocally beneficial relationships--but wondered how non-symbionts got away with cutting out functions it appeared they needed.

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Quantum Computation & Cryptography at Los Alamos

The idea of quantum computation and cryptography is to use the laws of quantum mechanics for either computing or exchange secrets messages. Using quantum mechanics instead of classical mechanics has huge advantages but also some drawbacks. Quantum mechanics makes the applications much more powerful but at the same time much more fragile against noise. To learn more about this browse around! 

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Physicalism Versus Quantum Mechanics

In the context of theories of the connection between mind and brain, physicalism is the demand that all is basically purely physical. But the conception of “physical” embodied in this demand is characterized essentially by the properties of the physical that hold in classical physical theories. Certain of those properties contradict the character of the physical in quantum mechanics, which provides a better, more comprehensive, and more fundamental account of phenomena. It is argued that the difficulties that have plagued physicalists for half a century, and that continue to do so, dissolve when the classical idea of the physical is replaced by its quantum successor. The argument is concretized in way that makes it accessible to non-physicists by exploiting the recent evidence connecting our conscious experiences to macroscopic measurable synchronous oscillations occurring in well-separated parts of the brain. A specific new model of the mind-brain connection that is fundamentally quantum mechanical but that ties conscious experiences to these macroscopic synchronous oscillations is used to illustrate the essential disparities between the classical and quantum notions of the physical, and in particular to demonstrate the failure in the quantum world of the principle of the causal closure of the physical, a failure that goes beyond what is entailed by the randomness in the outcomes of observations, and that accommodates the efficacy in the brain of conscious intention. 

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NASA Spacecraft Detects Changes in Martian Sand Dunes

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed that movement in sand dune fields on the Red Planet occurs on a surprisingly large scale, about the same as in dune fields on Earth.  This is unexpected because Mars has a much thinner atmosphere than Earth, is only about one percent as dense, and its high-speed winds are less frequent and weaker than Earth's. For years, researchers debated whether sand dunes observed on Mars were mostly fossil features related to past climate, rather than currently active. In the past two years, researchers using images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera have detected and reported sand movement. 

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NASA Survey Counts Potentially Hazardous Asteroids


Observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to the best assessment yet of our solar system's population of potentially hazardous asteroids. The results reveal new information about their total numbers, origins and the possible dangers they may pose.

Potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are a subset of the larger group of near-Earth asteroids. The PHAs have the closest orbits to Earth's, coming within five million miles (about eight million kilometers), and they are big enough to survive passing through Earth's atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale. 

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Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) directly to you

So I was searching the Internet and came across this interesting SETILive website. They are searching for interesting signals coming from the Kepler Field. And they are using real people for this search, people like you! I thought it was cool so I joind in on the search and now I am sharing it with you. THis is more informtion from their seti website.


The Search

Learn more about SETI
SETILive is taking the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) directly to you by presenting radio frequency signals LIVE from the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) while it's pointed at stars that, based on Kepler exoplanet discoveries, have the best chances of being home to an alien civilization. We'll also be putting you "in the loop" where if enough of you see a potential extraterrestrial (ET) signal in the same data, then within minutes, the ATA will be interrupted and sent back to take a second look. The data you see will be from frequencies where human-made Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) crowds them and we believe the human eye will have a better chance than SETI's computer algorithms to find ET signals there.

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Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide

May 02, 2012


Astronomers have gathered the most direct evidence yet of a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, a space-based observatory, and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on the summit of Haleakala in Hawaii were among the first to help identify the stellar remains.

Supermassive black holes, weighing millions to billions times more than the sun, lurk in the centers of most galaxies. These hefty monsters lie quietly until an unsuspecting victim, such as a star, wanders close enough to get ripped apart by their powerful gravitational clutches.


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Paydirt at 8-Year-Old Mars Rover's 'New Landing Site'


This color view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum. "Homestake" is near the edge of the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Exposures combined into this view were taken through Pancam filters admitting light with wavelengths centered at 601 nanometers (red), 535 nanometers (green) and 482 nanometers (blue). The view is presented in approximate true color. This "natural color" is the rover team's best estimate of what the scene would look like if humans were there and able to see it with their own eyes. The exposures were taken during the 2,769th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's career on Mars (Nov. 7, 2011).


Joe Leonard photographer


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