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We like to think of ourselves as unique. That conceit may even be true when it comes to our cosmic neighborhood: Despite the fact that planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune appear to be the most common in the cosmos, no such intermediate-mass planets can be found in the solar system. The problem is, our best theories of planet formation — cast as they are from the molds of what we observe in our own backyard — haven't been sufficient to truly explain how planets form. A new study, however, published in Nature Astronomy in February, demonstrates that by taking magnetism into account, astronomers may be able to explain the striking diversity of planets orbiting alien stars. It's too early to tell if magnetism is the key missing ingredient in our planet-formation models, but the new work is nevertheless "a very cool new result," said Anders Johansen, a planetary scientist at the University of Copenhagen who was not involved with the work. Until recently, gravity has been the star of the show. In the most commonly cited theory for how planets form, known as core accretion, hefty rocks orbiting a young sun violently collide over and over again, attaching to one another and growing larger over time. They eventually create objects with enough gravity to scoop up ever more material — first becoming a small planetesimal, then a larger protoplanet, then perhaps a full-blown planet. Yet gravity does not act alone. The star constantly blows out radiation and winds that push material out into space. Rocky materials are harder to expel, so they coalesce nearer the sun into rocky planets. But the radiation blasts more easily vaporized elements and compounds — various ices, hydrogen, helium and other light elements — out into the distant frontiers of the star system, where they form gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn and ice giants like Uranus and Neptune. But a key problem with this idea is that for most would-be planetary systems, the winds spoil the party. The dust and gas needed to make a gas giant get blown out faster than a hefty, gassy world can form. Within just a few million years, this matter either tumbles into the host star or gets pushed out by those stellar winds into deep, inaccessible space. For some time now, scientists have suspected that magnetism may also play a role. What, specifically, magnetic fields do has remained unclear, partly because of the difficulty in including magnetic fields alongside gravity in the computer models used to investigate planet formation. In astronomy, said Meredith MacGregor, an astronomer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, there's a common refrain: "We don't bring up magnetic fields, because they're difficult." And yet magnetic fields are commonplace around planetesimals and protoplanets, coming either from the star itself or from the movement of starlight-washed gas and dust. In general terms, astronomers know that magnetic fields may be able to protect nascent planets from a star's wind, or perhaps stir up the disk and move planet-making material about. "We've known for a long time that magnetic fields can be used as a shield and be used to disrupt things," said Zoë Leinhardt, a planetary scientist at the University of Bristol who was not involved with the work. But details have been lacking, and the physics of magnetic fields at this scale are poorly understood. "It's hard enough to model the gravity of these disks in high enough resolution and to understand what's going on," said Ravit Helled, a planetary scientist at the University of Zurich. Adding magnetic fields is a significantly larger challenge. In the new work, Helled, along with her Zurich colleague Lucio Mayer and Hongping Deng of the University of Cambridge, used the PizDaint supercomputer, the fastest in Europe, to run extremely high-resolution simulations that incorporated magnetic fields alongside gravity. Magnetism seems to have three key effects. First, magnetic fields shield certain clumps of gas — those that may grow up to be smaller planets — from the destructive influence of stellar radiation. In addition, those magnetic cocoons also slow down the growth of what would have become supermassive planets. The magnetic pressure pushing out into space "stops the infalling of new matter," said Mayer, "maybe not completely, but it reduces it a lot." The third apparent effect is both destructive and creative. Magnetic fields can stir gas up. In some cases, this influence disintegrates protoplanetary clumps. In others, it pushes gas closer together, which encourages clumping. Taken together, these influences seem to result in a larger number of smaller worlds, and fewer giants. And while these simulations only examined the formation of gassy worlds, in reality those prototypical realms can accrete solid material too, perhaps becoming rocky realms instead. Altogether, these simulations hint that magnetism may be partly responsible for the abundance of intermediate-mass exoplanets out there, whether they are smaller Neptunes or larger Earths. "I like their results; I think it shows promise," said Leinhardt. But even though the researchers had a supercomputer on their side, the resolution of individual worlds remains fuzzy. At this stage, we can't be totally sure what is happening with magnetic fields on a protoplanetary scale. "This is more a proof of concept, that they can do this, they can marry the gravity and the magnetic fields to do something very interesting that I haven't seen before." The researchers don't claim that magnetism is the arbiter of the fate of all worlds. Instead, magnetism is just another ingredient in the planet-forming potpourri. In some cases, it may be important; in others, not so much. Which fits, once you consider the billions upon billions of individual planets out there in our own galaxy alone. "That's what makes the field so exciting and lively," said Helled: There is never, nor will there ever be, a lack of astronomical curiosities to explore and understand. https://www.sott.net/article/453858-Magnetic-fields-may-be-secret-to-planetary-formation-supercomputer-model-reveals
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The so-called Etruscan Pyramid is a megalithic rock-cut monument, located in the Tacchiolo valley near the city of Viterbo, Italy. The monuments name is owed to its lateral pyramidal shape carved from natural magmatic rock, whilst its construction is probably first attributed to the Rinaldonian Civilisation that preceded the Etruscans. The Rinaldonian Civilisation emerged between 4000-2000 BC, and were highly skilled in working stone to construct complex ceremonial monuments, such as the Poggio Rota Stone Circle in Tuscany. Other sources still suggest that the pyramid was an Etruscan construction, or was adapted from Rinaldonian construction from around 700 BC to 400 BC, which has some weight as a theory, as there are several other Etruscan ruins in the vicinity. The Etruscans emerged around 900 BC and established three confederacies of cities, until they were succeeded by the rising Roman Kingdom that spread to dominate the region in the 5th and 4th century BC. The pyramid was carefully sculpted from a single block of volcanic rock, and frontally looks more like a large altar complex with a series of terraces accessed by staircases. On the left side of the pyramid, a long staircase reaches the first altar, whilst on the right side there is a second altar flanked by a ladder. Between both areas, a series of larger steps has been cut leading to the "high place", that is hypothesized to serve a religious purpose in connection to water. This theory is supported by a quadrangular stone basin that overlooks the pyramid for sacred ablution rites (a ceremonial act of washing parts of the body, animals, or sacred containers), whilst a long channel cut in the rock was probably used for the drainage of liquids. The suggestion of sacrificial ceremonies has not been ascertained, but the positioning of the monument results in it being completely obscured from the sun by noon, whilst its alignment faces a northwest direction which the Etruscans believed the gods of the underworld lived. The pyramid was first discovered by two local archaeologists, Giovanni Lamoratta and Giuseppe Maiorano in 1991, but the discovery gained little attention from scholars and academics. It wasn't until 2008, that Salvatore Fosci, a local resident of Bomarzo cleared the overgrown vegetation to reveal the magnitude of the monument. https://www.sott.net/article/453849-The-Etruscan-Pyramid
53 views · Jun 8th
Another new scientific study has concluded that it is more likely than not that the COVID pandemic originated with a virus engineered inside a lab. Dr. Stephen Quay and Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller revealed the findings in The Wall Street Journal Sunday, noting that The research points to the genome sequencing of the virus 'CGG-CGG', which is one of 36 sequencing patterns observed, but does not occur in nature. "The most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. COVID-19 has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus. The CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn't present in any other virus." They also noted that the CGG-CGG combination IS commonly used in 'gain of function' research, which is known to have been used with coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The scientists urge that those who believe COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans "must explain why it happened to pick its least favorite combination: CGG-CGG. Why did it replicate the choice the lab's gain-of-function researchers would have made? Yes, it could have happened randomly, through mutations. But do you believe that? At the minimum, this fact — that the coronavirus, with all its random possibilities, took the rare and unnatural combination used by human researchers — implies that the leading theory for the origin of the coronavirus must be laboratory escape." This latest study comes on the heels of a revitalised focus on scientific research by Professor Angus Dalgleish of St George's Hospital, University of London and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen which presents compelling evidence suggesting the virus was manufactured in a laboratory. As the scientists noted, they were ostracised and ignored until recently when intelligence findings revealed that workers at the Wuhan lab fell sick with COVID-19 symptoms in November 2019. As the global pandemic unfolded, scores of scientists came forward suggesting the genome sequencing of the virus was unnatural, and should be further investigated. The lab leak theory was effectively shut down, however, when scientists led by Dr Peter Daszak "orchestrated a 'bullying' campaign and coerced top scientists into signing off on a letter to The Lancet journal aimed at removing blame for Covid-19 from the Wuhan lab he was funding with US money." Daszak, who keeps appearing as the lead figure in investigations of the research he funded with US grant money via his own organisation, reportedly used his influence to get The Lancet to publish the letter, which stated that to even suggest the lab leak theory had any credibility was equal to spreading "fear, rumours, and prejudice." The release of Dr Fauci's emails has also reconfirmed that Fauci was discussing the lab leak scenario with other scientists, and knew full well that it was a distinct possibility, despite making statements to the contrary in public, before any robust scientific research into the matter had been carried out. Now former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, has revealed that Fauci briefed world health leaders in the spring of 2020 that the lab leak was a possibility. Appearing on CBS News this past weekend, Gottlieb admitted that Fauci told government health advisors that the virus "looked unusual," and that scientists he was working with "had suspicions" that it was manipulated. https://www.sott.net/article/453878-Yet-another-scientific-study-concludes-COVID-is-likely-lab-engineered
73 views · Jun 8th
50 views · Jun 8th

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The so-called Etruscan Pyramid is a megalithic rock-cut monument, located in the Tacchiolo valley near the city of Viterbo, Italy. The monuments name is owed to its lateral pyramidal shape carved from natural magmatic rock, whilst its construction is probably first attributed to the Rinaldonian Civilisation that preceded the Etruscans. The Rinaldonian Civilisation emerged between 4000-2000 BC, and were highly skilled in working stone to construct complex ceremonial monuments, such as the Poggio Rota Stone Circle in Tuscany. Other sources still suggest that the pyramid was an Etruscan construction, or was adapted from Rinaldonian construction from around 700 BC to 400 BC, which has some weight as a theory, as there are several other Etruscan ruins in the vicinity. The Etruscans emerged around 900 BC and established three confederacies of cities, until they were succeeded by the rising Roman Kingdom that spread to dominate the region in the 5th and 4th century BC. The pyramid was carefully sculpted from a single block of volcanic rock, and frontally looks more like a large altar complex with a series of terraces accessed by staircases. On the left side of the pyramid, a long staircase reaches the first altar, whilst on the right side there is a second altar flanked by a ladder. Between both areas, a series of larger steps has been cut leading to the "high place", that is hypothesized to serve a religious purpose in connection to water. This theory is supported by a quadrangular stone basin that overlooks the pyramid for sacred ablution rites (a ceremonial act of washing parts of the body, animals, or sacred containers), whilst a long channel cut in the rock was probably used for the drainage of liquids. The suggestion of sacrificial ceremonies has not been ascertained, but the positioning of the monument results in it being completely obscured from the sun by noon, whilst its alignment faces a northwest direction which the Etruscans believed the gods of the underworld lived. The pyramid was first discovered by two local archaeologists, Giovanni Lamoratta and Giuseppe Maiorano in 1991, but the discovery gained little attention from scholars and academics. It wasn't until 2008, that Salvatore Fosci, a local resident of Bomarzo cleared the overgrown vegetation to reveal the magnitude of the monument. https://www.sott.net/article/453849-The-Etruscan-Pyramid
53 views · Jun 8th
Another new scientific study has concluded that it is more likely than not that the COVID pandemic originated with a virus engineered inside a lab. Dr. Stephen Quay and Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller revealed the findings in The Wall Street Journal Sunday, noting that The research points to the genome sequencing of the virus 'CGG-CGG', which is one of 36 sequencing patterns observed, but does not occur in nature. "The most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. COVID-19 has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus. The CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn't present in any other virus." They also noted that the CGG-CGG combination IS commonly used in 'gain of function' research, which is known to have been used with coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The scientists urge that those who believe COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans "must explain why it happened to pick its least favorite combination: CGG-CGG. Why did it replicate the choice the lab's gain-of-function researchers would have made? Yes, it could have happened randomly, through mutations. But do you believe that? At the minimum, this fact — that the coronavirus, with all its random possibilities, took the rare and unnatural combination used by human researchers — implies that the leading theory for the origin of the coronavirus must be laboratory escape." This latest study comes on the heels of a revitalised focus on scientific research by Professor Angus Dalgleish of St George's Hospital, University of London and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen which presents compelling evidence suggesting the virus was manufactured in a laboratory. As the scientists noted, they were ostracised and ignored until recently when intelligence findings revealed that workers at the Wuhan lab fell sick with COVID-19 symptoms in November 2019. As the global pandemic unfolded, scores of scientists came forward suggesting the genome sequencing of the virus was unnatural, and should be further investigated. The lab leak theory was effectively shut down, however, when scientists led by Dr Peter Daszak "orchestrated a 'bullying' campaign and coerced top scientists into signing off on a letter to The Lancet journal aimed at removing blame for Covid-19 from the Wuhan lab he was funding with US money." Daszak, who keeps appearing as the lead figure in investigations of the research he funded with US grant money via his own organisation, reportedly used his influence to get The Lancet to publish the letter, which stated that to even suggest the lab leak theory had any credibility was equal to spreading "fear, rumours, and prejudice." The release of Dr Fauci's emails has also reconfirmed that Fauci was discussing the lab leak scenario with other scientists, and knew full well that it was a distinct possibility, despite making statements to the contrary in public, before any robust scientific research into the matter had been carried out. Now former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, has revealed that Fauci briefed world health leaders in the spring of 2020 that the lab leak was a possibility. Appearing on CBS News this past weekend, Gottlieb admitted that Fauci told government health advisors that the virus "looked unusual," and that scientists he was working with "had suspicions" that it was manipulated. https://www.sott.net/article/453878-Yet-another-scientific-study-concludes-COVID-is-likely-lab-engineered
73 views · Jun 8th
50 views · Jun 8th