The Haystack Observatory in Westford Had a Big Role in the Black Hole’s Image

Wednesday, April 7, 2019, was a great day in humankind history. The National Science Foundation shared the first image of a black hole! The impressive black hole is inside the Virgo Galaxy, also known as Messier 87. The image was captured in 2017, and until now it has taken two years to process. The historic accomplishment couldn’t be realized without the EHT system, the international project that combined telescopes from nine sites around the world. Moreover, Haystack Observatory had made a crucial contribution to the project.

How Was the Project Organized?

With the global coordination from all the sites, they have created a lens the size of Earth. But the first step was made at the Haystack Observatory, in Westford, where the data was captured and processed. After that, the other half of the process was made at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.

How Was the Process Been Made?

Michael Titus, a technical associate from Groton, worked to correlate all the data from all the telescopes connected to the EHT. After that, the data must be synthesized for the image process to take place. In those almost two years, researchers like Engineer Jason Soohoo, of Chelmsford, had visited telescopes from all the sites to set up and test the equipment, and after that to gather the data. The process was demanding because of wheatear factors like on the South Pole, and other technical problems encountered on the long.

However, the most impressive fact is that Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity formed more than a century ago, has been confirmed by the existence of a black hole. The scientists don’t know what is happening in a black hole, but they found that this one revealed on images, is about 55 million light years from Earth. With Einstein’s theory and the help of Haystack Observatory, we have witnessed a crucial moment in history.

Green Meteor Was Spotted On Tuesday In The Skyline Over Carolinas, Georgia

The internet was flooded with pictures of a green fireball running through the Earth’s atmosphere on Tuesday morning. This happened early in the morning when people were going to school and work and this is why the green fireball was trending on social media. The fireball is classified as an “Earth Gazer” and according to NASA, the Earth Gazer is a small meteor that enters the planet’s atmosphere.

It’s Raining Fireballs!

What’s interesting about these fireballs is that they happen more often that you’d think. Bill Cooke is the leader of NASA’s meteoroid environment office and he said that the only difference between Tuesday’s meteorite and all the others is that this one entered the atmosphere at a shallow angle which made it look spectacular.

“They kind of skim along the top of the atmosphere. Some hit at such a shallow angle they literally bounce off the atmosphere,” added Bill Cooke.

The Meteor’s Pieces Didn’t Hit the Earth

Since the Earth Gazer traveled for such a long time through the atmosphere, it burned and there weren’t any pieces that fell on Earth. “A lot of fireballs are reported with a greenish color and that greenish color comes from oxygen,” said Bill Cooke in response to the meteor’s strange color.

“It’s dumping energy in the air and that excited the oxygen molecules and when oxygen gets excited it gives off a green color. That’s not due to the meteor, that’s due to the oxygen in our atmosphere being excited by the passage of the meteor,” stated the NASA leader.

The Earth Gazer made the skyline look amazing Tuesday morning and everyone who was getting ready to leave for school or work had a great start to their morning. Nonetheless, the last thing that we want to mention about the Earth Gazer is that it traveled through the atmosphere at 31,000 miles per hour.

Why Are Plant and Animal Genomes So Important?

For those of you who might not know, a genome is the genetic material of an organism that consists of DNA.

Back in 1998 scientists started to produce the first genome from an animal, a worm. Luckily, because of the advances in technology, they have now begun to produce genomes for all life forms on Earth. So two months ago, the scientists have published the DNAs code of the Antarctic blackfin icefish, the great white shark, the paper mulberry tree, and the strawberry. Also, with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, they have now produced the genome of Lil BUB, the female cat from the Internet.

But Why Do Scientists Care about This?

The purpose of this is to create a project with all the life forms of genomes. By doing this, they will learn a lot of secrets about the organism they studying and the discoveries about how life works or how to prevent diseases.

As an example, the mosquito genome of a dangerous species, Aedes aegypti, that spreads Zika. After the analysis of 80 species of mosquito in the Rockefeller University’s laboratory, the achievement has come. They mated the two sexes of mosquitos to obtain much more for the study.

Moreover, you can see a genome like an instruction book. It’s formed from a four-letter alphabet that stands for the four pieces that create the DNA, so in that way, the molecule is the code. During this study, they pay attention to a series of reactions from the mosquitos. That could help a lot at developing better traps or repellents.

However, if the searches have good results, in the future this could prevent severe flu illness or other infection from the viruses.

Case Study: The Axolotl Genome

The Axolotl is a salamander known by the capacity to regrow severed limbs and other body parts. The case of the axolotl genome was published in January last year on a publication. Its genome is ten times the size of the human one, which makes it harder to analyze.

Finally, Jeramiah Smith from the University of Kentucky says that the incredible species can replace everything you cut from it if you don’t cut its head.  And this could be a serious outcome for human medicine.

Pangolins Found in Their Natural Habitat Hugging Trees

A new video of huge pangolins shows these creatures at their most normal in Uganda. In the video, the creatures, which are the only mammals that have scales, are seen roaming around, sniffing for food. In one other clip, the baby pangolin stays on its mother’s back. In another, another pangolin is seen climbing a tree’s trunk. Another one is quite adorable, being tangles in a stick and hiking the vegetation that’s wrapped around its torso.

RFU and Chester Zoo gathered the videos

All of these videos were gathered by scientists from Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, together with Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU for short). As you may have understood from the name, the organization is working to protect the rhinoceroses in Uganda. They keep finding pangolins while they’re on patrol. When Chester Zoo wanted to know more about the creatures, RFU was more than happy to help.

What do they have in common with rhinoceros?

They do share the same habitat, and, also, they have something else in common with rhinos: their scales are made of keratin, which is the same stuff that the rhinoceros horn can be made (also human fingernails and hair). These mammals are found across central Africa, and they weight about 35 kilograms (that’s 77 lbs).

These animals are listed as “vulnerable” on The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists. This happened due to the fact that climate change has altered their habitat. Also, humans have their part in this: they hunt the creatures for food and for the black market.

These creatures eat insects. They eat the insects with the help of their long tongues. However, there’s not much we know about them, other than we’ve already said.

Who is Responsible for the Death of the Huge Killer Shark

The largest marine predator to ever live, the megalodon, became extinct and in recent months new theories have cropped up as to who is to blame for that. Now, the giant shark is said to have died earlier than previously presumed according to a new study and the faulty might have been the great white, its successor.

What is the study talking about?

PeerJ is where the study has been published and suggest that about 3.6 million years ago the megalodons may have died making it 1 million years sooner than initially thought. Fossils found in Baja California, California, and Mexico along with other types of evidence have been re-examined which show that the responsible with its dead might have been their smaller, more agile cousin.

Approximately 4 million years ago the first great white shark has made its appearance on Earth which gives them a sufficient 400,000-year gap to become the apex predator of the seas, according to Robert Boessenecker, lead author and vertebrate paleontologist.

The College of Charleston professor was not so sure of megalodon extinction’s cause.

Approximately 2.5-million-years-ago, a mass extinction event took place which might have caused the megalodon to go extinct. This has also been the reason why hundreds of marine species die including a number of different walruses, porpoises, seals, sea cows, whales, and dolphins.

What is the truth about this event?

Another theory has come up in recent months, and many people were focused on it. According to it, the megalodon was not able to regulate their body temperatures as they were such big animals measuring 60 feet in length and having teeth nearly the size of a standard sheet of paper. During the Pliocene era the ocean temperatures where cooler which made whales, its favorite food, adapt while it did not.