Thursday, December 31, 2020

NASA Approves Heliophysics Missions to Explore Sun, Earth’s Aurora - UNIVERSE


From the International Space Station’s orbit 269 miles above the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia, this nighttime photograph captures the aurora australis, or "southern lights." Russia's Soyuz MS-12 crew ship is in the foreground and Progress 72 resupply ship in the background.

Credits: NASA

NASA has approved two heliophysics missions to explore the Sun and the system that drives space weather near Earth. Together, NASA’s contribution to the Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon Mission, or EUVST, and the Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer, or EZIE, will help us understand the Sun and Earth as an interconnected system.

Understanding the physics that drive the solar wind and solar explosions – including solar flares and coronal mass ejections – could one day help scientists predict these events, which can impact human technology and explorers in space.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) leads the Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope (EUVST) Epsilon Mission (Solar-C EUVST Mission), along with other international partners. Targeted for launch in 2026, EUVST is a solar telescope that will study how the solar atmosphere releases solar wind and drives eruptions of solar material. These phenomena propagate out from the Sun and influence the space radiation environment throughout the solar system. NASA’s hardware contributions to the mission include an intensified UV detector and support electronics, spectrograph components, a guide telescope, software, and a slit-jaw imaging system to provide context for the spectrographic measurement. The budget for NASA contributions to EUVST is $55 million. The principal investigator for the NASA contribution to EUVST is Harry Warren at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.

The Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) will study electric currents in Earth’s atmosphere linking aurora to the Earth’s magnetosphere – one piece of Earth’s complicated space weather system, which responds to solar activity and other factors. The Auroral Electrojet (AE) index is a common measure of geomagnetic activity levels, even though the details of the structure of these currents is not understood. EZIE will launch no earlier than June 2024. The total budget for the EZIE mission is $53.3 million. The principal investigator for the mission is Jeng-Hwa (Sam) Yee at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

“We are very pleased to add these new missions to the growing fleet of satellites that are studying our Sun-Earth system using an amazing array of unprecedented observational tools,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In addition to my enthusiasm at selecting a pioneering multi-point observatory focused on the auroral electrojets, I am particularly excited to follow up the success of the Yohkoh and Hinode solar science missions with another international collaboration with JAXA and other European partners on EUVST.”

The EUVST mission addresses the recommendations of a July 2017 final report delivered by the multi-agency Next Generation Solar Physics Mission Science Objectives Team. EUVST will take comprehensive UV spectroscopy measurements of the solar atmosphere at the highest level of detail to date, which will allow scientists to tease out how different magnetic and plasma processes drive coronal heating and energy release.

“We’re excited to work with our international partners to answer some of our fundamental questions about the Sun,” said Nicky Fox, Heliophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “EUVST’s observations will complement our current missions to give us new insight into our star.”

EZIE is an investigation comprising a trio of CubeSats that will study the source of and changes in the auroral electrojet, an electric current circling through Earth’s atmosphere around 60-90 miles above the surface and extending into the Earth’s magnetosphere. The interaction of the magnetosphere and the solar wind compresses the Sun-facing side of the magnetosphere and drags out the night-time side of the magnetosphere into what is called a “magnetotail.” Auroral electrojets are generated by changes in the structure of the magnetotail. The same space weather phenomena that power the beautiful aurora can cause interference with radio and communication signals and utility grids on Earth’s surface, and damage to spacecraft in orbit.

“With these new missions, we’re expanding how we study the Sun, space, and Earth as an interconnected system,” said Peg Luce, deputy director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “EZIE’s use of instrument technology proven on Earth science CubeSat missions is just one example of how science and technology development at NASA go hand in hand across disciplines.”

Funding for these missions of opportunity comes from the Heliophysics Explorers Program, managed by the Explorers Program Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

For more information about NASA’s Heliophysics Division, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/sunearth

For more information about Heliophysics missions of opportunity, visit: https://explorers.gsfc.nasa.gov/missions.html

Source: NASA Approves Heliophysics Missions to Explore Sun, Aurora | NASA

 

Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work



 To understand how COVID-19 vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. Our immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red cells, which carry oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, which fight infection. Different types of white blood cells fight infection in different ways:

·         Macrophages are white blood cells that swallow up and digest germs and dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave behind parts of the invading germs called antigens. The body identifies antigens as dangerous and stimulates antibodies to attack them.

·         B-lymphocytes are defensive white blood cells. They produce antibodies that attack the pieces of the virus left behind by the macrophages.

·         T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.

The first time a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it can take several days or weeks for their body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After the infection, the person’s immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

The body keeps a few T-lymphocytes, called memory cells, that go into action quickly if the body encounters the same virus again. When the familiar antigens are detected, B-lymphocytes produce antibodies to attack them. Experts are still learning how long these memory cells protect a person against the virus that causes COVID-19.

How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Types of Vaccines

Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States. Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

·         mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

·         Protein subunit vaccines include harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that cause COVID-19 instead of the entire germ. Once vaccinated, our immune system recognizes that the proteins don’t belong in the body and begins making T-lymphocytes and antibodies. If we are ever infected in the future, memory cells will recognize and fight the virus.

·         Vector vaccines contain a weakened version of a live virus—a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19—that has genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted in it (this is called a viral vector). Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

Most COVID-19 Vaccines Require More Than One Shot

All but one of the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States use two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. One vaccine in Phase 3 clinical trials only needs one shot.

The Bottom Line

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, it can cause severe illness or death.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html

Infographic via Compound Interest

Source: Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work – Scents of Science (myfusimotors.com)

Noomi Rapace To Star As Hamlet In “Insane & Bloody” Adaptation From ‘Border’ Director Ali Abbasi - DEADLINE


 Noomi Rapace
Sandra Myhrberg

Noomi Rapace will lead cast in a gender-swapped adaptation of Hamlet from filmmaker Ali Abbasi.

The film will reunite Abbasi with The Wife and Melancholia outfit Meta Film after they produced the director’s Oscar-nominated Cannes 2018 hit Border.

Iceland’s Sjón (The Northman) is writing the project, with Stine Meldgaard Madsen (Borgen) producing for Meta Film. The film will be produced in collaboration with Boom Films, with principal photography scheduled for autumn 2021.

Swedish-Danish-Iranian filmmaker Abbasi said: “Shakespeare stole the Hamlet story from us. Now it’s our turn to claim it back and make a version so insane and so bloody that make him turn in his grave. Let’s make Hamlet great again!”

Prometheus and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rapace added: “Hamlet is a dream project in its purest and most explosive way. I’ve been hoping, dreaming, wishing for this as long as I’ve been an actress. I base this as much on the material as on the creative alliance that surrounds it. Ali, Sjón and Meta are for me creatives on the highest level. They’re truly brave and groundbreaking in their different areas and always on top of their game. To take on a Danish story with a Scandinavian touch and bring it out into the world with this group of people is a dream.”

Abbasi trained at the Danish Film School and made his feature debut in 2018 with Shelley, which was selected for the Panorama competition at the Berlin Film Festival. His second film, Border, won in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival in the same year.

Rapace is represented by Stella Härnström, CAA, Narrative and attorney Howard Fishman of Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matlof and Fishman.


DEADLINE By Andreas Wiseman December 17, 2020 4:42am

Source: https://deadline.com/2020/12/noomi-rapace-hamlet-movie-ali-abbasi-1234658232/

Best TV News Bloopers Of 2020 - Funny Local News

 

Short Film - The Roof (2016) - Ian McKellen, Jude Law, Natalie Dormer



A brief comedy about a visit from a legendary theatre maker and his legion of fans.

Director:

 Natalie Abrahami

How To: Tie A Bow Tie





The Twilight Saga - Unseen Bloopers HD

 

MONSTER HUNTER | A Look Inside Featurette

 

Funny and Weird Clips (2225)




















 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Prominences of the Sun - UNIVERSE


 

The prominences of the Sun are solar filaments of matter projected above its surface and characterizing the activity of the Sun. This activity seems to vary by up to another within a cycle.


In absolute terms, solar activity is regulated by a cycle of an average period of 11.2 years but the duration can vary between 8 and 15 years.


Eruptive prominences of the sun are huge geysers of solar material that take place in the chromosphere and soar to hundreds of thousands of miles in space.


Info: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/what-is-a-solar-prominence

Source: Prominences of the Sun – Scents of Science (myfusimotors.com)

Can it go any higher? // Top Biggest Rockets // Saturn - 5 // Falcon 9 // Falcon Heavy - PRO ROBOTS

 

Short Film - Noomi Rapace - Selfridges Presents: Future Fantasy - A Christmas for Modern Times

 


Former Secret Service Agent Reviews Presidential Films, from 'Air Force One' to 'VEEP' | Vanity Fair


 

STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK | Celebrating 40 Years of Empire: The Legacy



 

JACKIE - VFX Breakdown - VFX GURU



 

Funny and Weird Clips (2224)