For the first time ever, astronomers got a close-up peek at a black hole ripping apart a star, a rare event that results in some of the star’s material getting ejected out into space. To research this phenomenon, astronomers used data from a tidal disruption that happened 3.9 billion years ago. Studying tidal disruptions like this one is revealing new information about how black holes behave.
A scientist will tell you that our cells are powered by combustion reactions. Combustion is just another word for the reactions involved in Fire.
A scientist will explain that your blood is the same salinity as the oceans were 3.6 billion years ago, when living creatures first incorporated circulated Water into their basic structure - the precursors of blood.
A scientist might teach you about the millions of tiny chambers in our lungs called alveolar sacs that inflate and deflate every time we breathe, allowing our blood to mix with Air to feed our cells.
A scientist could tell you about the many minerals and metals that make up our bodies, from the metal in our bones to the phosphorus in our DNA, constructing our bodies out of Earth.
Our bodies are made of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit - the Elements of Magick
They’re also made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, sulphur, iron, chlorine, potassium, sodium, and a million other elements and compounds - the Elements of Science
The Elements of Science and the Elements of Magick are not mutually exclusive.
Science and Witchcraft are not mutually exclusive.
You can be a scientifically-minded Witch, or a Witchcraft-practicing scientist, or anything in between. Your magick does not have to conflict with your science, and your Elements of Magick can be the same as your Elements of Science.
Illuminate the worlds of science and Witchery with your knowledge and your light. Let yourself shine, a beacon of bright knowledge and wisdom in the night of ignorance and fear.
LIGO BEGINS NEXT SEARCH FOR GRAVITATIONAL WAVES:
NSF DIRECTOR REFLECTS ON THE LASER INTERFEROMETER
GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE OBSERVATORY’S NEWEST QUEST
Statement from National Science Foundation Director France Córdova regarding news that, after a series of upgrades, researchers have reactivated the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), and resumed the search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves:
“The last time scientists from the NSF-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) searched for gravitational waves, they succeeded.
They detected gravitational waves from merging black holes 1.3 billion light-years away.
Researchers devoted more than 40 years to get to this point, and the National Science Foundation – I’m proud to say – was there all along the way, providing critical support to make this scientific achievement possible.
Today, that journey continues.
Already LIGO has exceeded our expectations, and, like most of the scientific world and beyond, I am excited to see what a more sensitive, upgraded LIGO will detect next.
“The significance of this expanding ‘window to the universe’ cannot be stressed enough, as it will illuminate the physics of merging black holes, neutron stars and other astronomical phenomena that cannot be reproduced in a laboratory setting.
The world waits with eager anticipation of what we will see and learn next, all because of the long-range vision and skills of hundreds of researchers around the world.”
When black holes collide, the energy of the event generates intense gravitational waves. These waves were predicted by Einstein in his theories, but scientists have only recently been able to detect them experimentally. In this SciCafe, Barnard College professor and astronomer Janna Levin shares her scientific research on the first recordings of a gravitational wave from the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago.
Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day
As children, we learned about our solar system’s planets by certain characteristics – Jupiter is the largest, Saturn has rings, Mercury is closest to the sun. Mars is red, but it’s possible that one of our closest neighbors also had rings at one point and may have them again someday.
That’s the theory put forth by Purdue University scientists, whose findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience. David Minton, assistant professor of Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, and Andrew Hesselbrock, a doctoral student in physics and astronomy, developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon.
A theory exists that Mars’ large North Polar Basin or Borealis Basin, which covers about 40 percent of the planet in its northern hemisphere, was created by that impact, sending debris into space.
Life took hold on land 300 million years earlier than thought
Life took hold on land at least as early as 3.2 billion years ago, suggests a study by scientists from Berlin, Potsdam and Jena (Germany).
The team led by Sami Nabhan of the Freie Universität Berlin studied ancient rock formations from South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.
These rocks are some of the oldest known on Earth, with their formation dating back to 3.5 billion years.
In a layer that has been dated at 3.22 billion years old, tiny grains of the iron sulfide mineral pyrite were discovered that show telltale signs of microbial activity.
These signs are recorded both in trace element distributions as well as in the ratio between the sulfur isotopes 34S and 32S in the pyrite.
Using instrumentation installed in Potsdam in 2013, the scientists showed that the fraction of 34S in the core of some crystals differ characteristically from that of the same crystal’s rim, indicating that the exterior of the grain involved a processing of sulfur by microbes, so-called biogenic fractionation.
The determination of the 34S/32S ratio, using sample masses less than one billionth of a gram, was carried out at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences by Michael Wiedenbeck of the GFZ’s secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) lab.
The composition of the rock, the shape of the crystals, and the layering visible in the field all indicate that the studied rock sequence was derived from an ancient soil profile; this so-called paleosol developed on a river flood plain 3.22 billion years ago.
Field data collected during this study imply that a braided river system transported the sediment containing the iron sulfide crystals.
It is interpreted that microbes living in the soil, at a level that was continually shifting between wet and dry conditions, subsequently produced the rim overgrowths on the pyrite crystals.
Based on this evidence, the scientists conclude in their publication in the journal Geology that they found evidence for biological activity on land at this very early date.
Their research pushes back the date for the oldest evidence of life on land to some 300 million years earlier than previously documented.
I mean sure, theoretically, aliens could have noticed any time from the Great Oxygenation Event 2.3 billion years ago onwards that life was probably happening here, which might be reason enough to investigate, and sure, in principle, if there were aliens who were significantly longer lived than us, visiting more-or-less nearby places around the galaxy might be a very possible thing to do even with, yknow, currently-known-possible-by-earthlings technology;
And sure, hypothetically, given a few thousands or maybe millions of years head-start in technical development, they would probably find it easy to, like, biosynthesize human or other animal bodies to drive around and explore this weird rock, and sure, it’s possible that some of them might have come here with weird ideas about what are better or worse ways of arranging this world that have nothing to do with the views of its current inhabitants, and i mean sure, in principle, those who wouldn’t have come with those ideas would be really really sorry about what those other people did.
But there’s no aliens on Earth, people! You do not need to suspect anyone of being a nearly immortal alien! Such people cannot be found on Earth and do not need to be searched for!
The nine-member council unanimously approved an ordinance to end its nearly two-decade relationship with its primary financial services provider, Wells Fargo, which is an investor in the pipeline and the company building it, Energy Transfer Partners of Texas. The bank handles about $3 billion a year for the city.
Yet questions over how effective such a move might be rose even before the hearing began, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, following instructions from President Trump, informed Congress earlier Tuesday that it planned to issue the final easement for the pipeline as soon as Wednesday.
The $3.8 billion, 1,170-mile pipeline would travel from North Dakota to Illinois, with the most controversial segment running beneath a dammed section of the Missouri River just north of the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe, which says the pipeline threatens its water supply and sacred sites, said Tuesday it would continue to fight the project’s completion.
Hundreds of protesters remain in snowy camps near the planned river crossing in North Dakota — a fact noted by many people in the far more comfortable City Council chambers.
“It really moves me to think of the people who are hundreds of miles away from us today, waiting in the cold for our vote,” Lisa Herbold, a council member, said shortly before the vote.
Seattle, which is thriving on science and technology a thousand miles west of the pipeline’s route, would not seem to suffer obvious impacts if the pipeline were completed. But the city is deeply liberal, environmentally minded and riding a wave of activism that has put it at the forefront of social and economic causes — most recently as the location where state lawyers persuaded a federal judge, appointed by George W. Bush, to order a stay of President Trump’s travel ban.
The area also has a large Native American community that has actively opposed the pipeline, and one member of the council, Debora Juarez, is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation tribe in Montana. Another council member, Kshama Sawant, is a socialist.
Discovery of what looks like a giant humanoid footprint millions of years old is being touted as evidence of a giant alien race that lived on or visited Earth hundreds of millions of years ago.
The footprint was first discovered near the South African town of Mpuluzi in the northeastern Mpumalanga province close to the border with Swaziland in 1912 by a hunter named Stoffel Coetzee.
According to Michael Tellinger, who uploaded to YouTube a video of his visit to the site in 2012 (see below), the “footprint,” known to locals as the “Footprint of God,” is about four feet (1.2 meters) in length.
Based on the relative proportions of the human body, the hypothetical owner of the footprint would have been 24-27 feet (7.5-8 meters) in height, according to Tellinger.
Although he estimated the age of the rock at “somewhere between 200 million and 3 billion years old,” the granite outcrop is part of South Africa’s geological formation known as the Mpuluzi Batholith, and according to geologists, it was formed about 3.1 billion years ago.