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 on: Today at 05:21 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
The Guardian view on climate change: good news – but not yet good enough


Eleven of the last 12 months have been the hottest on record. Though progress on cutting carbon
emissions is encouraging, more must be done

Sunday 23 October 2016 19.42 BST

The Montreal protocol is the most successful environmental treaty in history, and arguably one of the most successful of any international pact. It phased out the gases that were destroying the ozone layer, averting potential catastrophe and healing the hole that human activities had opened in our protective layer. Unfortunately, it had a side-effect overlooked when it was signed in the 1980s: some of the chemicals substituted for the ozone-destroyers had an effect on the climate thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide. This month, world governments agreed to address that by eliminating the substitute chemicals – called HFCs – potentially reducing rising temperatures by as much as 0.5C in a relatively short time. Scientists put the safe limit on future rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels by the middle of this century: beyond that, catastrophic and irreversible climate changes are judged likely. So the reduction agreed under the Montreal protocol could have an enormous, and swift, impact.

This is just the beginning of the good news. The International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed this month to measures to combat the impact of flying. Planes are not only a rising source of greenhouse gases, but also contribute through the vapour they produce, which – coming at such high altitudes – has a greater warming effect. This week, international shipping will debate similar rules to cut its impacts. This is a trillion-dollar business, and ships use particularly dirty fuel. Governments should take the simple measures needed. Altering the fuel to be less polluting, preventing outflow during shipping and harbourage, and improving monitoring to reduce emissions need not be costly and will be invaluable in the fight against marine and air pollution as well as climate change.

These progressive moves, though belated and insufficient, must be welcomed. They represent an unprecedented run of helpful measures set out internationally since the Paris accord on climate change was signed last December. In further good news, the Paris accord itself has now been ratified, making it harder for future governments in any nation, and of any stripe, to unpick it. Supporters said Paris would unleash a slew of contributory measures that would help reverse the rising trend in greenhouse gases. Based on these conclusions, it looks as if they were right.

Now the bad news. Last Tuesday, Nasa confirmed that September was the hottest on record, albeit by a small margin, making 11 out of the last 12 months record-breakers. This year is expected to set a new record – as last year did, and 2014 before it. These results give the lie to climate sceptics’ claim that global warming has “paused”.

The biggest obstacle to action on climate remains, as it has been for more than 20 years, the US political system. The US has led the world on other environmental reforms, but the Senate is, incredibly, threatening to block the improvements to the Montreal protocol, apparently from partisan spite, industry lobbying and climate denialism rather than any rational basis. And if Donald Trump were to win the White House, though polls now indicate that is unlikely, all bets on action on global warming would be off. He has declared himself a climate change denier and vowed to renege on the Paris agreement.

Scientists say we have a rapidly closing window to reorient the world’s economies to a low-carbon future, just a few years before we are locked into dangerous levels of warming. In 1987, the Montreal protocol was agreed despite clamour from industry that phasing out these destructive gases would be technically impossible or economically catastrophic. Those voices were wrong: the change happened ahead of schedule, with no discernible economic effect. Multiple studies, not least the landmark 2006 Stern review, have shown that reducing greenhouse gases will have an economically beneficial effect. Industries such as coal can be compensated while others flourish, creating jobs and economic opportunity.

To achieve what is needed before the window closes, we must recapture the sense of urgency that motivated the Montreal protocol. Then, a clear and imminent danger – based on only two decades of scientific research, compared with more than 100 years of global warming – led nations, even during the cold war, to come together to protect our planet. Climate change may be slow-burning compared with the ozone layer’s destruction, but it is no less threatening. Montreal should provide the template by which we tackle it.

 on: Today at 05:20 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
In Australia: giant spider carrying a mouse is horrifying and impressive

Forget pizza rat and cigarette crab and prepare yourself for spider mouse, the super strong and very hungry Australian arachnid

Bonnie Malkin
Monday 24 October 2016 04.54 BST

Australia’s litany of fearsome fauna seems to have a new entry. Added to deadly snakes, man-eating crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish comes Hermie the hunstman, a spider so unusually large and strong that it had no problem carrying a sizeable mouse up the outside of a fridge.

Hermie’s feat was captured on film by Jason Wormal, a tradesman from Coppabella in Queensland, who was heading out to work in the early hours of Monday morning when he says he received an offer from a neighbour that he couldn’t refuse.

“So I am just about to leave for work about 0030 and me neighbour says ‘You want to see something cool’ and I say ‘Hell yeah’, he wrote on Facebook.

“So we proceed to his place and he shows me this. Huntsman trying to eat a mouse.”

On the video shot by Wormal a voice can be heard off screen wondering in amazement: “What’s he gonna do with him? Man that is so cool”.

Stills taken of the spider seem to show the arachnid clutching the mouse by its head with its chelicerae while it scurries up the fridge.

The footage quickly circulated online and by Monday afternoon had been viewed more than 6.5m times.

Among the 41,000 comments below the original post were many expressing deep horror at the strength of the spider. Anthony Candelaria Sanchez summed up the general feeling with the simple statement: “Oh hell no.”
Arachnophobes may think about giving Coppabella a miss

In a later post, Wormal assures his friends that the spider is alive and well.

“Ok guys so just letting you all know that the spider is fine. We have named him Hermie, we have adopted him and he is now running his own extermination business out of our town Coppabella. Oh and he is now paying rent. Lol.”

Graham Millage, the manager of the Australian Museum’s arachnology collection, said it was unusual, but not unheard of, for spiders to target vertebrates.

“This is the first time I’ve seen one catch a mouse, but I have seen huntsmen catch geckos. I’ve seen a redback spider catch a snake in its web, I’ve seen a golden orb spiders catch birds.”

Millage said the banded huntsman could grow to have a leg span as large as 16cm.

However his colleague, fellow Australian Museum arachnid expert Helen Smith, said it was unlikely that Hermie had killed the mouse itself.

“I would be very surprised if a huntsman would attack a mouse and even if it did, that the venom would be sufficient to kill it fast enough for the spider to still have hold of it,” she told the Guardian.

“I am a also suspicious because the mouse’s tail looks quite stiff – as though it has been dead some time.”

While the exact cause of the mouse’s demise remained in question, there was no doubt over Hermie’s remarkable size and stamina, she said.

Click to watch: <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 on: Today at 05:16 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
'The atmosphere is being radicalized' by climate change

To paraphrase Donald Trump, this is radical atmospheric change and Republicans won’t even mention the words

Dana Nuccitelli
Monday 24 October 2016 11.00 BST

Climate change’s impacts on extreme weather and society are becoming increasingly clear and undeniable. While we are making progress in solving the problem, we’re still moving too slowly, and one of the two political parties governing the world’s strongest superpower continues to deny the science. This led astrophysicist Katie Mack to make the following suggestion, related to a common refrain from Donald Trump and Republican Party leaders:

    Katie Mack (@AstroKatie)

    Maybe governments will actually listen if we stop saying "extreme weather" & "climate change" & just say the atmosphere is being radicalized
    October 22, 2016

Global warming intensified Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew set a number of records. Its record-breaking rainfall and storm surge caused historic flooding and destructive winds along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Hillary Clinton touched upon the science linking global warming and hurricane impacts in a recent speech in Florida:

At Climate Progress, Joe Romm summarized the various ways in which global warming makes hurricanes like Andrew more intense:

    Hotter sea surface and upper ocean temperatures fuel hurricanes, leading to more of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) storms.

    Hotter ocean temperatures also cause more rapid intensification of hurricanes, and the most intense storms are those that undergo rapid intensification.

    Global warming causes sea level rise, which creates larger storm surges and thus worse flooding.

    Global warming also adds more water vapor to the atmosphere, which causes more intense rainfall and exacerbates flooding.

In short, global warming made Hurricane Andrew and its impacts more severe, and will lead to more such devastating hurricanes in the future.

Arctic sea ice is disappearing

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, 2016 tied for the second-lowest annual Arctic sea ice minimum extent. However, that only accounts for the amount of ice on the surface of the ocean. The ice has also become thinner due to the warming oceans. As a result, we’ve lost about three-quarters of the volume of sea ice in the Arctic ocean in less than four decades, as this video created by Andy Lee Robinson illustrates:

That decline is well outside the range of natural variability over the past 1,500 years, and several studies have found that human-caused global warming is the primary driver of the disappearing Arctic sea ice.
Global temperatures keep shattering records

2014 was the hottest year since our measurements began, breaking the record set in 2010, which had broken the record set in 2005. A year later we saw the temperature record shattered once again in 2015, by more than a tenth of a degree Celsius. This year we’ll see the record broken once again, likely by an even larger margin. Every month in 2016 except June has been the hottest ever recorded. That has never happened before, nor have we ever seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years. It’s simply unprecedented.

California is in the midst of a 5-year drought; its worst in over a millennium. 100% of the state is currently experiencing drought conditions, with over 20% of the state in “exceptional” drought – the most severe category.

The drought has created conditions ripe for severe wildfire seasons. Over the past 5 years, California has seen an average of more than 4,000 wildfires burning over 160,000 acres per year. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that global warming is the main culprit increasing the size of forest fires in the western US:

    We demonstrate that human-caused climate change caused over half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984. This analysis suggests that anthropogenic climate change will continue to chronically enhance the potential for western US forest fire activity while fuels are not limiting.

Denying science won’t stop climate change damages

These are but a few recent examples of climate extremes amplified by human-caused global warming. These extreme events will only come with greater frequency and intensity as the planet continues to heat up.

The only way to curb these impacts is to cut the carbon pollution that’s intensifying them. As any member of Alcoholics Anonymous knows, denying a problem doesn’t make it go away. Only by admitting we have a problem and taking steps to address it can we avoid a catastrophic outcome.

 on: Today at 05:09 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CS Monitor

At Sadhana Forest, trees spring from once-barren land

The nonprofit group shows local people in India, Haiti, and Kenya how to plant trees in dry regions – and improve their lives.

By Gregory M. Lamb, Staff writer 10/24/2016

Aviram Rozin was excited. He had just returned from Haiti where the 80,000 Maya nut trees that volunteers with Sadhana Forest had planted there during the past five years had started to flower. Before long each tree would be producing huge quantities of nuts high in protein and other nutrients. One tree could supply enough yearly protein for a family of five.

The nonprofit Sadhana Forest, cofounded by Mr. Rozin and his wife, Yorit, follows three simple strategies:

• Plant indigenous trees in arid regions that once had been forested but have become barren, useless land.
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• With few exceptions, do the work using volunteers, both local and from around the world.
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• Since trees don’t grow overnight, plan on staying around for a long, long time to see the project through.

The Rozins started Sadhana Forest in 2003, the year after they moved to India from Aviram’s native Israel to live in Auroville, an experimental township in southeast India that emphasizes sustainable living and has attracted immigrants from all over. The couple bought 70 acres of degraded land and set about creating a community dedicated to reforestation.

“We started alone, but volunteers started joining us after a few days,” Mr. Rozin said in a recent interview at the Monitor’s offices. “Now we have about 1,000 residential volunteers in India and a few thousand visitors [each year] from more than 70 countries.”

The aim of Sadhana Forest isn’t to buy and reforest massive tracts of public land. Rather, it is to teach local people how to grow trees on their own land.

Faced with the dry climate, Rozin has come up with a simple, yet innovative, way to water the trees: wick irrigation. A two-liter plastic bottle filled with water is planted up to its neck next to each sapling or tree. A piece of cotton rope fed through a tiny hole in the bottom of the bottle acts as a wick, slowly moistening the soil. Loosening or tightening the bottle’s cap can control the rate of flow.

“The water drips very, very, very slowly toward the roots,” Rozin says, eliminating the need for conventional watering from above, a practice that allows most of the moisture to evaporate. In many places people must carry water to the trees themselves, so every drop saved is precious.

Each wick bottle becomes “a personal watering system for each tree,” Rozin says, yet the materials are readily available locally and cost almost nothing.

In 2010, following the devastation of a large earthquake and Hurricane Tomas, the Rozins started another tree-planting project in Anse-à-Pitres, Haiti. Sadhana Forest, they had come to realize, was a concept, not a place. The trees planted in Haiti have had a survival rate of more than 80 percent. It has bought land to build a place to house volunteers and train local people.

“We know the local community very well; they know us very well,” Rozin says.

In 2014 Sadhana Forest opened a third location in Samburu County, Kenya. The Rozins spent three years talking with people in the area before beginning work there.

Sometimes Sadhana sees other needs and addresses them.

“In Kenya we supply water to people because we have a well” on their property, he says. Mobile phones are becoming very important to Kenyans, but many of them still lack a source of electricity to charge their phones. “We are also charging an average of 65 phones a day,” Rozin says, using Sadhana's solar- and human-powered system.

Saplings, and training in how to plant and care for them, are free to anyone who seeks them. The trees do more than provide a food source; they create shade and encourage the growth of other vegetation. In India, no birds were in the area when the Rozins arrived. “Now there are about 75 different species,” Rozin says. In Haiti, shade-loving iguanas are being spotted where there were none before.

Rozin, who studied psychology and later worked in management for an Israeli medical device company, does not have a degree in forestry but says that may have been a blessing in disguise.

“We found out that, in a way, ignorance is bliss because we’re very open to learning,” he says. “We don’t think we know everything. A lot of innovation comes from listening to people, to being open.”

 on: Today at 05:07 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CS Monitor

Women nurture saplings and earn income while reforesting Pakistan

The 'Billion Tree Tsunami' plans to plant 1 billion trees in degraded forest areas and on private land in Pakistan to provide an ecological and economic boost.   

By Aamir Saeed, Thomson Reuters Foundation 10/24/2016

HARIPUR, Pakistan — Robina Gul has swapped her needle for a trowel. Until recently, the villager from northern Pakistan got by making clothes for family weddings and religious festivals, but now she is encouraging other women to set up tree nurseries like hers that can earn them a handsome monthly income.

Gul is growing some 25,000 saplings of 13 different species crammed into the small courtyard of her two-room house in Najaf Pur, a village of around 8,000 people in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

"It gives me immense pleasure to look after the saplings as this has changed my whole life," said Gul, 35. "It has become a hobby for me and a source of income too."

She set up the nursery at her home in March last year under an agreement with the provincial forest department. The government provides around a quarter of the start-up cost for poor households to set up a tree nursery, with a subsidy amounting to 150,000 rupees ($1,429.93) each over a year.

They first get black polythene bags from the forest department to fill with mud and manure, followed by seeds and training on how to sow them and tend to the trees.

"I am now getting over 12,000 rupees per month [from the subsidy], just by looking after the saplings in my home," Gul said. "I have also acquired the skills I need to grow different seedlings, and this will help me earn enough even after the project is wound up."

The provincial government is planning to spend 21 billion rupees from its budget through to May 2018, when its term ends, on a project called the "Billion Tree Tsunami." The goal is to plant 1 billion trees in degraded forest areas and on private land.

The project is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched in February 2014 in Peshawar by former international cricket star Imran Khan, who is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which governs the province.

The initiative aims to boost local economic development in a way that uses natural resources sustainably, with a focus on increasing clean energy uptake and forest cover.

The government has turned forest restoration into a business model by outsourcing nurseries to the private sector, including widows, poor women, and young people. This provides the government with saplings to plant, as well as green jobs for the community.

At the same time, illegal logging has been almost eliminated in the province following strict disciplinary action against some officials who were involved. Other measures include hiring local people to guard forests and banning wood transportation.

According to government data, Pakistan has forest cover on 4.4 million hectares (10.87 million acres) or 5 percent of its land area, while the current rate of deforestation is 27,000 hectares per year, one of the highest in the world.

The forestry sector contributed $1.3 billion to Pakistan's economy in 2011, or around 0.6 percent of GDP, while employing some 53,000 people directly, according to Global Forest Watch.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, individuals interested in setting up a small-scale nursery of 25,000 plants are selected by Village Development Committees.

The provincial government guarantees to buy the saplings they grow, according to Malik Amin Aslam, adviser to Khan and global vice president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

"The government provides seeds and all relevant technical assistance to the beneficiaries, and then buys back one-year-old saplings at a fixed price of six rupees per seedling," he said.

So far, there are 1,747 private and 280 government-run nurseries in the province, with a planting stock of 45 million and 165 million saplings respectively, he said. They will all be transplanted onto the land in March and April, he added.

"These nurseries are not only providing the planting stock for the 'Billion Tree' drive but are also generating tremendous economic activity throughout the province," he said.

Aslam said the government had planted 115 million saplings so far and sown seeds for 300 million more at a cost of 1.5 billion rupees, with a survival rate of over 80 percent for the young trees planted out in August and September.

Zobia Gul, a community development officer in the forest department, mobilizes women and educated girls in remote areas to play an active part in society by setting up nurseries.

"Most of the families in the rural part of the province are conservative," she said. "Here comes the role of the female forest officials in reaching women in their homes and informing them about the project."

Local men appear happy with efforts to include women in the scheme because it allows them to bring in money without having to go out to work.

Over 500 women are directly involved in the project, giving them pride in their work establishing the nurseries and serving as custodians of the forests around their villages, the officer said.

Inspired by these women, around 150 more across the province have registered with community development officers to start nurseries in the upcoming season, starting from March.

"I am going to become part of Imran Khan's vision and the 'Billion Tree Tsunami' project," said Farwa Ambreen, a recent graduate from the University of Peshawar.

"I believe this is going to help not only Pakistan but also the whole world in boosting the green economy and tackling climate change," she said.

 on: Today at 04:57 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CS Monitor

Is dark energy a real thing? Maybe not, new study suggests

A new study from researchers at Oxford may indicate that the universe is expanding at a constant rate, which means there is no need to posit a 'dark energy' that accelerates its expansion.

By Weston Williams, Staff October 24, 2016

For decades, most scientists have accepted that "dark energy" is a significant, if mysterious, force in the universe.

According to prevailing cosmological theories, the universe is expanding, but not at a constant rate. As the universe gets older, its growth seems to accelerate over time, something that would be impossible without some sort of extra energy being added to the overall system. Dark energy, the theory goes, accounts for nearly 70 percent of all energy in the observable universe.

But a new study from Oxford has called dark energy's existence into question, saying that the data is flawed or based on observations that previously assumed that dark energy was already a universal constant. If this is the case, then scientists may have to go back to reevaluate their understanding of the universe and how it works.

The researchers' study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that the data in their study of supernovae supported the theory that the universe is expanding at a constant rate. Because the rate of expansion is constant, there is no dark energy being added to speed up the process. This theory reflects a model of steady expansion that was widely accepted before dark energy was hypothesized in the late 1990s.

Both this study and the 1990s theory of dark energy are based on Ia supernovae, known to scientists as "standard candles" for measuring the size of the universe. These types of novae occur when a white dwarf star is destroyed, which brightens and fades in an especially predictable way, allowing scientists to more accurately determine the distance of the star based on its luminosity. In the initial 1990s study, researchers found that these explosions were fainter than expected, and they concluded that the universe's expansion was accelerating, and therefore fueled by some kind of previously unknown energy.

During those initial observations, however, researchers lacked access to the wealth of Ia supernovae observations we have now. The Oxford study set out to fine-tune the original research by increasing the initial sample size of the groundbreaking study.

"The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe won the Nobel Prize, the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics," said Subir Sarkar, lead author of the new study, said in a statement. "However, there now exists a much bigger database of supernovae on which to perform rigorous and detailed statistical analyses. We analyzed the latest catalogue of 740 Type Ia supernovae – over ten times bigger than the original samples on which the discovery claim was based – and found that the evidence for accelerated expansion is, at most, what physicists call '3 sigma.' This is far short of the '5 sigma' standard required to claim a discovery of fundamental significance."

In science, it is important to have a large enough sample size to ensure that any conclusions you might reach are not the result of a statistical fluke. If you flip a fair coin 10 times, you should theoretically get heads five times and tails five times, since you should get heads half the time and tails half the time. But in practice, it is very possible you will not get five of each, which could lead you to the conclusion that your chances of getting one side is significantly greater than the odds of getting the other. But if you keep flipping the coin hundreds of times, the number of heads and tails should begin to even out, reflecting the actual mathematical 50-50 chance of getting one face or another.

Since dark energy was hypothesized, there has been other evidence to support the theory of dark energy less dependent on large amounts of observed supernovae. But Dr. Sarkar says that those studies are flawed in other respects.

"All of these tests are indirect, carried out in the framework of an assumed model, and the cosmic microwave background is not directly affected by dark energy," he said in the statement, referring the observation of leftover microwave radiation from the Big Bang. Information from the satellite is thought to support the standard model of the universe, including dark energy.

While this discovery throws the existence of dark energy into question, it is not a deathblow for the theory. Other scientists will have to examine the data and reevaluate the strength of current theories about the nature of the universe.

"Naturally, a lot of work will be necessary to convince the physics community of this, but our work serves to demonstrate that a key pillar of the standard cosmological model is rather shaky," said Sarkar. "Hopefully this will motivate better analyses of cosmological data, as well as inspiring theorists to investigate more nuanced cosmological models."

 on: Today at 04:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CS Monitor

What a new map tells us about the Milky Way

The HI4PI survey improved on the previous hydrogen study, the Leiden-Argentine-Bonn (LAB) survey, by a factor of two in sensitivity and a factor of four in angular resolution. The resulting map was a much clearer and more accurate picture of the galaxy.

By Rowena Lindsay, Staff October 24, 2016

By charting the concentration of neutral hydrogen, the most abundant element in space, a team of international researchers have created a detailed survey of the Milky Way.

Combining 10 billion individual data points and thousands of hours of telescope observations at the Parkes Observatory in Australia and Effelsberg 100-m Radio Telescope in Germany, the HI4PI map shows concentration of stars in the Milky Way as well as the surrounding dwarf galaxies. The research, which began in 2006, was published Wednesday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics and has the potential to make future research about the Milky Way and even surrounding galaxies more accurate.

“We’ve been able to produce a whole-sky image that in many ways is greater than the sum of its parts,” Lister Staveley-Smith of the International Center of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) told CNN. “The new map gives us a much more coherent view of the sky and enables a better understanding of the Milky Way."

The map consists of an animation that portrays the Milky Way, 180,000 light years long, on a plane the way one would see it from Earth.

"Each frame tells us how fast that gas is moving with respect to us [on Earth]," Naomi McClure-Griffiths, a professor at the Australian National University, told Mashable. "When the colors are brightest, that's where there's a lot of gas. When you can see the whole screen filled with bright colors, that's the [gas] that's closest to us."

The HI4PI survey improved on the previous hydrogen study, the Leiden-Argentine-Bonn (LAB) survey, by a factor of two in sensitivity and a factor of four in angular resolution. The resulting map was a much clearer and more accurate picture of the galaxy.

For example, the map was sensitive enough to pick up on very fine details of the clouds existing between the stars in our galaxy.

“Tiny clouds become visible that appear to have fueled star formation in the Milky Way for billions of years,” Staveley-Smith said in a statement. “These objects appear too dim and too small to be detected even in the other galaxies closest to us.”

The researchers hope that the new map will aid in understanding how structures within the Milky Way are formed and where the gas needed to fuel that formation comes from.

What made the data so accurate were the computer algorithms written by the researchers to clean out the radio noise pollution caused from mobile phones and broadcast stations that pollute the data.

“The data processing was an even greater task as we had to write our own software packages to carefully calibrate the data and subtract out spurious signals at each point in the sky,” Staveley-Smith told CNN.

However, with the radio noise cleared out of the picture, the research team was able to create a more accurate map of the Milky Way which, with the data available to scientists through the Strasbourg astronomical data center, will make exploration of the galaxy and beyond easier for future researchers.

“Like the clouds at the sky, all observations we receive from the distant Universe have to pass through hydrogen in our own Milky Way,” Benjamin Winkel from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, said in a statement. “The HI4PI data allows us to correct accurately for these hydrogen clouds and clean the window we are watching through.”

 on: Today at 04:50 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
October 24, 2016

Evidence of ongoing volcanic activity found on Venus

by Chuck Bednar
Red Orbit

Six years after originally finding evidence suggesting that Venus was geologically active, new research presented earlier this week at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences meeting indicates that lava may be flowing from one of its volcanoes.

According to ScienceNews and Astronomy Magazine, a team of planetary researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) reviewed data from the ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft and found hotspots suggesting that the volcano known as Idunn Mons could currently be active.

Using its VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument, the orbiter mapped the planet’s southern hemisphere in the near infrared spectrum, and by using a numerical model to improve the limits of its data resolution, the DLR team analyzed anomalies detected on top of and in the eastern part of the 200 km volcano. They uncovered signs of volcanism.

“We could identify and map distinctive lava flows from the top and eastern flank of the volcano, which might have been recently active in terms of geologic time,” D'Incecco said in a statement. “With our new technique, we could combine the infrared data with much higher-resolution radar images from the NASA Magellan mission,” which orbited Venus from 1990 until 1992.

D’Incecco went on to explain that his team’s work represented “the first time that – combining the datasets from two different missions – we can perform a high-resolution geologic mapping of a recently active volcanic structure from the surface of a planet other than Earth.”
Discovery will likely help direct future Venus-bound missions

Long known to be a hellish landscape with far and away the hottest surface temperatures in the solar system and atmospheric pressure 92 times that found on Earth, the first evidence that Venus may still be geologically active was gathered by the Venus Express’ VIRTIS instrument in 2010.

At the time, the probe found several anomalies with elevated levels of emissivity (or an object’s ability to emit infrared energy), ScienceNews and Astronomy Magazine reported, suggesting that magma may have been flowing beneath the planet’s surface. It also found signs of weathering on warmer rocks, indicating that they were relatively new, geologically speaking.

Using their numerical technique along with the VIRTIS model and the Magellan mission data, D’Incecco and his colleagues conducted a computer simulation to determine how Idunn Mons might have generated the hot spots detected around it. They concluded that five lava flows, one atop the mountain and four running down the sides of the volcano, were likely the source.

Their findings will be used to help shape future missions designed to explore Earth’s so-called “sister planet,” including NASA’s planned Discovery VERITAS mission and the ESA EnVision M5 project, which will combine high-resolution radar with near-infrared mapping, DLR pointed out. Both of those missions are likely to be launched sometime within the next decade.

 on: Oct 23, 2016, 08:07 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by dollydaydream
Thanks Kristin, Rad and others for all the messages and feedback.  Kristin thanks to you for taking the time to go through my comments one at a time.  Wow, there is a lot I missed here.  Because Ganika is in the late third stage evolutionary state I assumed she had, in prior lives, rejected consensus religion and its attendant ways of living.  The possibility of her living the life of a nun never occurred to me.  I can see the desire for isolation and solitary living in order to actualize a relationship with God (Pluto in Libra 2nd house, ruler of south node in the 12th house trine Jupiter in Pisces in the 8th), but because she has been in the individuated stated I assumed she would have pursued that isolation in a more individual way.  You mentioned that she may have felt safe there.  That makes more sense to me, as does increasing disillusionment in that very environment. 

Regarding her need for atonement, I understand the suicide-related guilt, and I can understand how all consuming disillusionment could have prompted someone to give up completely and check out.  Is it possible that disillusionment came about partially as a result of the mistaken feeling that God had abandoned her?

Heather mentioned that past life traumas may be preventing her from spiritualizing.  I was thinking along those same lines.  I cannot imagine anyone being able to face those past traumas without help.   On a practical level, maybe she needs to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist in order to help her uncover, recover and resolve the emotions beneath the surface, someone she really trusts, someone with a lot of patience who can really listen to her and who she can listen to in return.  (Pluto 2nd in Libra, PPP 8th).   Rad mentioned the breath.  In looking at Jupiter in the 8th in Pisces, I am thinking that she could seek help in resolving trauma through direct, internal connection to a true spiritual master, someone like Yogananda or Jesus.  Through that kind of meditation and concentration , the breath would naturally slow (eventually stop) and she could access her inner, intuitive wisdom.  I think the skipped step could start to be resolved by Ganika trusting that intuitive wisdom.  This would mean a shifting into the right side of her brain.  Is it possible that the skipped step is at least partially due to her swinging back and forth between left and right brain relative to her desire to know and understand God?  Not fully developing the trust in her intuition?
Finally, Kristin talked about the celibacy issue in past lives.  With Pluto in the 2nd House, Ganika has a strong sexual impulse.  She will be taking care of those needs herself through masturbation.  The potential for spiritualization of her sexual energy is indicated here, (Virgo/Pisces axis 2nd/8th houses).  She could learn how to direct her sexual energy in specific ways and techniques through the body so she could merge that energy with God.  There is the potential here for a natural healing of her sado-masochic psychology and related traumas.

Yikes, I feel like I am all over the astrological map here.  I don't mean to wander too far away from the skipped step issue, but since everything is related, I am just going for it.   I am grateful for the guidance.  Thanks again to everyone.

 on: Oct 23, 2016, 12:50 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Helena
Hi Everyone,

it has been an amazing learning experience to participate in this thread and even with very busy schedules we keep wanting to follow every post  Smiley A special thanks to Kristin, and Rad, for the effort in responding to all of us.

For now, and with all that has been said, i would like to try the exercise of summarising the way to see Ganika's chart, applying the steps we've been learning so far since the beginning, if that is ok.

So, this is a soul, late 3rd stage individuated, that has been been desiring to feel self-sufficient, self-reliant and secure whitin herself and in the context of relationships (pluto 2nd House Libra).
It has done so in the past lives by trying to set herself free from her own limited thoughts and the ideas her community tried to impose on her (SN 11th in gemini, PPP 8th House) as a way to know and express her own true creative self (NN 5th House in saggitarius).Although, in this movement, this soul keeps getting stuck, forever going back and forth between past and future, until it actually, deeply, knows her own thruth in relation not only to herself but with something much higher - to actually know God, the natural God within herself (jupiter 8th House pisces, jupiter ruler of skipped step planet).

With the ruler of SN (11th House) in the 12h House conjunct saturn, in this life this soul has been putting herself again to relive immense trauma, in order to confront, break free, from constricting beliefs, ideas and depressive thoughts deeply ingrained within the collective unconscious and reflected in the totality of her life. Beliefs that are keeping her to actually know and align with the natural God, making her instead feeling ashamed of herself, guilty for aligning with the truth and beliefs of others and close family (SN ruler in cancer), the level of pain and despair being such that she took her own life.
With the sun in the 11th house conjunct the SN and moon in capricorn opposite SN ruler and Saturn, reinforcing by itself all the dynamics of deep trauma and the relieving of it.

The way to go foward, i would guess, and with pluto in the 2nd house Libra/PPP in the 8th house Aries, would be through living a spirituality anchored in her own body, reconnect with her body and repressed emotions(moon in capricorn), rediscovering her own physical, natural self, first with breathing meditations and ultimately through tantric sacred sexuality shared, experienced, also with another human-being, the merging with another and with God (jupiter pisces 8th house, jupiter NN ruler, neptune in saggitarius in the 5th House). By doing that, this soul can rediscover her deep sacred fire, put off so many times by wrong beliefs and projections (Pluto conjunct vesta, NN vesta conjunct SN ruler and saturn, sn vesta 7th house opposite mars).

Hope this is a correct understanding so far.

Thank you,

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