collision of charged particles

the types as | space phenomena

ISTP // cosmic ray
high-energy radiation, mainly originating from outside the solar system. upon impact with the earth’s atmosphere, they can produce showers of secondary particles that sometimes reach the surface.

ESTP // solar flare
a sudden flash of brightness observed near the sun’s surface. the flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the sun into space.

ISTJ // solar eclipse
an eclipse of the sun happens when the new moon moves between the sun and earth, blocking out the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on parts of earth.

ESTJ // the sun
the star at the centre of our solar system. it is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, and forms the most important source of energy for life on earth.

INFP // supermoon
a full moon that coincides with the closest distance that the moon reaches to earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger-than-usual size of the lunar disk.

ENFP // galaxy
a system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.

INFJ // lunar eclipse
an eclipse in which the moon appears darkened as it passes into the earth’s shadow. this can occur only when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned with the earth in the middle.

ENFJ // constellation
a group of stars forming a recognisable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure.

ISFJ // saturn’s rings
the rings of saturn are the most extensive planetary ring system of any planet in the solar system. although reflection from the rings increases saturn’s brightness, they are not visible from earth with unaided vision.

ESFJ // aurora
an aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.

ISFP // winter solstice
an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest.

ESFP // meteor shower
a number of meteors that appear to radiate from one point in the sky at a particular date each year, due to the earth regularly passing through them at that position in its orbit.

INTP // nebula
a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter. 

ENTP // galactic wind
composed of photons ejected from large stars, it is a powerful cosmic force that can push interstellar dust clouds into intergalactic space. 

INTJ // black hole
a black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. the gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. this can happen when a star is dying.

ENTJ // a supernova
an astronomical event that occurs during the last stages of a massive star’s life, destruction is marked by one final titanic explosion. this causes the sudden appearance of a “new” bright star.

BTS Natural Phenomenons

Volcanic Lightning 

Occurs when lighting is produced in a volcanic plume.

Circumhorizontal Arc ( Fire Rainbow )

Formed by the refraction of the sun -or moonlight in plate-shaped ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.


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‘Perfect liquid’ quark-gluon plasma is the most vortical fluid

Particle collisions recreating the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) that filled the early universe reveal that droplets of this primordial soup swirl far faster than any other fluid.

The new analysis of data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) - a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National Laboratory - shows that the “vorticity” of the QGP surpasses the whirling fluid dynamics of super-cell tornado cores and Jupiter’s Great Red Spot by many orders of magnitude, and even beats out the fastest spin record held by nanodroplets of superfluid helium.

The results, just published in Nature, add a new record to the list of remarkable properties ascribed to the quark-gluon plasma. This soup made of matter’s fundamental building blocks - quarks and gluons - has a temperature hundreds of thousands of times hotter than the center of the sun and an ultralow viscosity, or resistance to flow, leading physicists to describe it as “nearly perfect.”

By studying these properties and the factors that control them, scientists hope to unlock the secrets of the strongest and most poorly understood force in nature - the one responsible for binding quarks and gluons into the protons and neutrons that form most of the visible matter in the universe today.

Specifically, the results on vorticity, or swirling fluid motion, will help scientists sort among different theoretical descriptions of the plasma. And with more data, it may give them a way to measure the strength of the plasma’s magnetic field - an essential variable for exploring other interesting physics phenomena.

“Up until now, the big story in characterizing the QGP is that it’s a hot fluid that expands explosively and flows easily,” said Michael Lisa, a physicist from Ohio State University (OSU) and a member of RHIC’s STAR collaboration. “But we want to understand this fluid at a much finer level. Does it thermalize, or reach equilibrium, quickly enough to form vortices in the fluid itself? And if so, how does the fluid respond to the extreme vorticity?” The new analysis, which was led by Lisa and OSU graduate student Isaac Upsal, gives STAR a way to get at those finer details.

Aligning spins

“The theory is that if I have a fluid with vorticity - a whirling substructure - it tends to align the spins of the particles it emits in the same direction as the whirls,” Lisa said. And, while there can be many small whirlpools within the QGP all pointing in random directions, on average their spins should align with what’s known as the angular momentum of the system - a rotation of the system generated by the colliding particles as they speed past one another at nearly the speed of light.

To track the spinning particles and the angular momentum, STAR physicists correlated simultaneous measurements at two different detector components. The first, known as the Beam-Beam Counters, sit at the front and rear ends of the house-size STAR detector, catching subtle deflections in the paths of colliding particles as they pass by one another. The size and direction of the deflection tells the physicists how much angular momentum there is and which way it is pointing for each collision event.

Meanwhile, STAR’s Time Project Chamber, a gas-filled chamber that surrounds the collision zone, tracks the paths of hundreds or even thousands of particles that come out perpendicular to the center of the collisions.

“We’re specifically looking for signs of Lambda hyperons, spinning particles that decay into a proton and a pion that we measure in the Time Projection Chamber,” said Ernst Sichtermann, a deputy STAR spokesperson and senior scientist at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Because the proton comes out nearly aligned with the hyperon’s spin direction, tracking where these “daughter” protons strike the detector can be a stand-in for tracking how the hyperons’ spins are aligned.

“We are looking for some systematic preference for the direction of these daughter protons aligned with the angular momentum we measure in the Beam-Beam Counters,” Upsal said. “The magnitude of that preference tells us the degree of vorticity - the average rate of swirling - of the QGP.”

Super spin

The results reveal that RHIC collisions create the most vortical fluid ever, a QGP spinning faster than a speeding tornado, more powerful than the fastest spinning fluid on record. “So the most ideal fluid with the smallest viscosity also has the most vorticity,” Lisa said.

This kind of makes sense, because low viscosity in the QGP allows the vorticity to persist, Lisa said. “Viscosity destroys whirls. With QGP, if you set it spinning, it tends to keep on spinning.”

The data are also in the ballpark of what different theories predicted for QGP vorticity. “Different theories predict different amounts, depending on what parameters they include, so our results will help us sort through those theories and determine which factors are most relevant,” said Sergei Voloshin, a STAR collaborator from Wayne State University. “But most of the theoretical predications were too low,” he added. “Our measurements show that the QGP is even more vortical than predicted.”

This discovery was made during the Beam Energy Scan program, which exploits RHIC’s unique ability to systematically vary the energy of collisions over a range in which other particularly interesting phenomena have been observed. In fact, theories suggest that this may be the optimal range for the discovery and subsequent study of the vorticity-induced spin alignment, since the effect is expected to diminish at higher energy.

Increasing the numbers of Lambda hyperons tracked in future collisions at RHIC will improve the STAR scientists’ ability to use these measurements to calculate the strength of the magnetic field generated in RHIC collisions. The strength of magnetism influences the movement of charged particles as they are created and emerge from RHIC collisions, so measuring its strength is important to fully characterize the QGP, including how it separates differently charged particles.

“Theory predicts that the magnetic field created in heavy ion experiments is much higher than any other magnetic field in the universe,” Lisa said. At the very least, being able to measure it accurately may nab another record for QGP.


TOP IMAGE….Tracking particle spins reveals that the quark-gluon plasma created at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is more swirly than the cores of super-cell tornados, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, or any other fluid! Credit Brookhaven National Laboratory

CENTRE IMAGE….Telltale signs of a lambda hyperon (Λ) decaying into a proton (p) and a pion (π-) as tracked by the Time Projection Chamber of the STAR detector. Because the proton comes out nearly aligned with the hyperon’s spin direction, tracking where these 'daughter’ protons strike the detector can be a stand-in for tracking how the hyperons’ spins are aligned. Credit Brookhaven National Laboratory

LOWER IMAGE….The STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory with a superimposed image of particles tracked by the detector. Credit Brookhaven National Laboratory

Why would the sky look like a giant fan? None other than airglow of course! The featured intermittent green glow appeared to rise from a lake through the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy, as captured last summer next to Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The unusual pattern was created by atmospheric gravity waves, ripples of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up.

Now, unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image Credit & Copyright: Dave Lane; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt

A long time ago, when our ancestors admired the beauty of the Northern and Southern Lights, they thought the lights were spirits or souls dancing in the sky. Sometimes the lights were believed to be Gods or Goddesses appearing to mortals. The Northern and Southern Lights caused a range of emotions in the people who witnessed then - alarm, fear, wonder, dread and excitement.  People did not understand what caused these amazing spectacles of lights in the sky. The phenomena of the Northern Lights were explained by different stories.  Today we know that the Aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere.In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the Aurora Borealis (or the Northern Lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.

 Image credit: Gunnar Þór Gunnarsson /My edit

What’s Up for October?

This month is filled with exciting celestial sights. Here are 10 targets you can view this month:

10. Unusual Sunset

During a sunset, our thick atmosphere absorbs most colors of sunlight, but red light is absorbed the least. Rarely, green flashes can be seen just above the sun’s edge. As the last sliver of the disk disappears below the horizon, be sure to watch its color.

9. Belt of Venus

Just after sunset, turn around and face east. A dark shadow will move up from the horizon and gradually cover the pinkish sky. This is caused from the Earth itself blocking the sunlight and is called the Earth Shadow or the Belt of Venus.

8. Crepuscular Rays

Also just after sunset, or before dawn, you may see rays of sunlight spread like a fan. These are called crepuscular rays and are formed when sunlight streams through gaps in the clouds or mountains.

7. Aurora Borealis

The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are caused by collisions between gaseous particles in Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun. The color of the lights can changed depending on the type of gas being struck by particles of solar wind. You can find out when and where to expect aurorae at the Space Weather Prediction Center.

6. Andromeda Galaxy

Did you now that The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the few you can actually see with your naked eye? In October, look nearly overhead after sunset to see it! This galaxy is more than twice the apparent width of the moon.

5. Moon Features

Nights in mid-October are excellent for viewing the features on the moon. Areas like the Sea of Tranquility and the site of the 1969 Apollo 11 landing will be visible.

4. A Comet

This month, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission target, a comet with a complicated name (Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko), is still bright enough for experienced astronomers to pick out in a dark sky. On October 9, you may be able to spot it in the east near the crescent moon and Venus.

3. Meteor Showers

There are multiple meteor showers this month. On the 9th: watch the faint, slow-moving Draconids. On the 10th: catch the slow, super-bright Taurids. And on the 21st: don’t’ miss the swift and bright Orionids from the dust of Comet Halley.

2. Three Close Planets

On October 28, you’ll find a tight grouping of Jupiter, Venus and Mars in the eastern sky before sunrise.

1. Zodiacal Light

The Zodiacal light is a faint triangular glow that can be seen from a dark sky after sunset or before sunrise. What you’re seeing is sunlight reflecting off dust grains that circle the sun in the inner solar system. These dust grains travel in the same plane as the moon and planets as they journey across our sky.

For more stargazing tools visit: Star Tool Box

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Lightning linked to solar wind

Correlation suggests answer to longstanding question about what triggers bolts.

Lightning has been around since the dawn of time, but what triggers it is still an enigma. Now, researchers propose that the answer could lie in solar particles that penetrate the atmosphere and ionize the air, releasing free electrons and leading to a massive discharge.

Thunderclouds become electrically charged from the collisions of microscopic ice particles in their midst, and from air currents that push the negative and positive charges apart. The air is a good insulator, keeping electrons from jumping back and equilibrating the electrostatic charges. But if a pathway of ionized air molecules forms that can act as a conductor between different parts of a cloud, or between the cloud and the ground, the result is a lightning bolt.

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The Southern Lights

Tasmanian locals are blessed with colourful light shows that play across the night sky. This fleeting experience is called the Aurora Australis.

Auroras occur under unique conditions close to the high latitude - Arctic and Antarctic - regions. They are caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere.

This natural phenomenon means that on any given night the multitude of bright stars that beam down on Tasmania will become awash with a multicoloured glow. On your next trip to Tasmania, keep a keen eye on the sky for you never know when the next light show will take over the skyline.

Go Behind The Scenery here.

Photo Credit: Francois Fourie, see more of his stunning photography on his website

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≈ See An Aurora

An aurora is a bright dancing light which are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and 'Aurora australis’ in the south. Auroral displays appear in many colors but pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have also been seen. This lights can appear in many forms and shapes like patches or scattered clouds of light, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. Some of the best places to watch the lights in North America are in the northwestern parts of Canada(Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories) and Alaska. Auroral displays can also be seen over the southern tip of Greenland and Iceland, the northern coast of Norway and over the coastal waters north of Siberia. Southern auroras are not often seen as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean. It is said that in order to get a better view of the lights its better if you are in a light pollution free areas, like open fields and small communities away from the city lights.

Airglow Ripples over Tibet (Jeff Dai)

The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Sky On Fire

The skyline across Tasmania recently lit up in the most spectacular fashion thanks to a beautiful red tinged aurora. The natural phenomenon can be seen on the island thanks to the beautiful, clean skies and proximity to the South Pole. Auroras are caused by the collision of solar wind with magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere. 

Go Behind The Scenery here.

Photo Credit: Published on Instagram by Anthraxprime.

“That was some vacation. But nothing beats stargazing in Arendelle.”

“Yeah… Kristoff?”

“Yeah?”

“Ever wonder what those colorful lights are up there?”

“Olaf. I don’t wonder, I know.”

“Oh. What are they?”

“They’re sky rivers. Rivers that got sucked up onto that big, bluish, black, thing.”

“Oh… Gee… I always thought they were natural light displays in the sky particularly in the ridiculously high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere…”

“Olaf, with you, everything’s ridiculous.”