Physicists Find Evidence That The Universe Is A Giant Brain

https://i1.wp.com/themindunleashed.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/scienceee.jpg?w=660

The idea of the universe as a ‘giant brain’ has been proposed by scientists – and science fiction writers – for decades.

But now physicists say there may be some evidence that it’s actually true. In a sense.

According to a study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the universe may be growing in the same way as a giant brain – with the electrical firing between brain cells ‘mirrored’ by the shape of expanding galaxies.

The results of a computer simulation suggest that “natural growth dynamics” – the way that systems evolve – are the same for different kinds of networks – whether its the internet, the human brain or the universe as a whole.

A co-author of the study, Dmitri Krioukov from the University of California San Diego, said that while such systems appear very different, they have evolved in very similar ways.

“The result, they argue, is that the universe really does grow like a brain. The study raises profound questions about how the universe works.” Krioukov said.

“For a physicist it’s an immediate signal that there is some missing understanding of how nature works,” he told Space.com.

The team’s simulation modeled the very early life of the universe, shortly after the big bang, by looking at how quantum units of space-time smaller than subatomic particles ‘networked’ with each other as the universe grew.

They found that the simulation mirrored that of other networks. Some links between similar nodes resulted in limited growth, while others acted as junctions for many different connections.

For instance, some connections are limited and similar – like a person who likes sports visiting many other sports websites – and some are major and connect to many other parts of the network, like Google and Yahoo.

No, it doesn’t quite mean that the universe is ‘thinking’ – but as has been previously pointed out online, it might just mean there’s more similarity between the very small and the very large than first appearances suggest.

We talk about consciousness being the underlying fabric of the universe from which all things emerge (M-theory, string theory, Unified Field Theory, etc). Consciousness has been known to be the ground of being. So not only is the universe conscious like a brain, it is growing like a brain as well. But here’s a question…a brain to what? Is it possible we exist as a thought within the mind of some Super Intelligence? Are we just brain cells operating within a Cosmic Mind? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s fascinating to think about.

JOHN HAGELIN, PH.D ON CONSCIOUSNESS & SUPERSTRING UNIFIED FIELD THEORY:

 

SourceHuffington Post

Spectacular UFO Footage From NASA’s STS-48 Discovery Space Shuttle

When it comes to real footage of UFOs (unidentified flying objects), film from the 1991 NASA STS-48 Discovery Space Shuttle mission is definitely one at the top of the list. This footage is real, well documented, and has been the subject of rigorous scientific investigation by multiple researchers and institutions. (1)(2)(3)

The video below shows as many as a dozen objects moving in unusual fashion. Apart from that, the most fascinating part is when we see one object at a point near the horizon, as a flash occurs, followed by another object or stream that moves rapidly across the field of view, the object shoots off into space.

Explanations have varied from intelligent extraterrestrial spacecraft, to space weather events and more. There is however, no definite explanation, and many of them don’t take into account the dozens of objects that are captured on film.

“There is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time. That their appearance is bizarre from any kind of traditional materialistic western point of view. That these visitors use the technologies of consciousness, they use toroids, co-rotating magnetic disks for their propulsion systems, that seems to be a common denominator of the UFO phenomenon” (4) –Dr Brian O’leary, Fmr NASA Astronaut, Princeton Physics Professor

This might be some of the evidence O’leary (quoted above) is talking about. I have personally had a craft sighting that looked exactly like this one, minus the flash of light. I saw the object travel towards me, stop and then shoot up into space at a ninety degree angle a second or two after it stopped.

Dozens of governments have declassified thousands of pages of UFO related documents within the past few years. As a result, we’ve seen high-ranking military and political personnel step forward and share what they believe to be true. Not long ago, Canada’s former Minister of National Defence said that there are “at least 4 known alien species visiting our planet.”

The UFO subject continues to gain some much deserved attention as we move through 2014 and beyond.

 

 

Sources:

(1) http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_09_1_carlotto.pdf

(2) http://www.nicap.org/muj_kasher_sts48.htm

(3) http://www.carlotto.us/newfrontiersinscience/Papers/v04n04a/v04n04a.pdf

(4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO0T05kQkbs

– See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/01/23/spectacular-ufo-footage-from-nasas-sts-48-discovery-space-shuttle/#sthash.5muw5kIP.dpuf

Gaia-ESO data show Milky Way may have formed ‘inside-out’, and provide new insight into Galactic evolution

 

Research on first data release from Gaia-ESO project suggests the Milky Way formed by expanding out from the centre, and reveals new insights into the way our Galaxy was assembled.

 

We have been able to shed new light on the timescale of chemical enrichment across the Milky Way disc, showing that outer regions of the disc take a much longer time to form

Maria Bergemann

A breakthrough using data from the Gaia-ESO project has provided evidence backing up theoretically-predicted divisions in the chemical composition of the stars that make up the Milky Way’s disc – the vast collection of giant gas clouds and billions of stars that give our Galaxy its ‘flying saucer’ shape.

By tracking fast-produced elements, specifically magnesium in this study, astronomers can determine how rapidly different parts of the Milky Way were formed. The research suggests the inner regions of the Galaxy assembled faster than the outer regions, which took much longer time to form, supporting ideas that our Galaxy grew from the inside-out.

Using data from the 8-m VLT in Chile, one of the world’s largest telescopes, an international team of astronomers took detailed observations of stars with a wide range of ages and locations in the Galactic disc to accurately determine their ‘metallicity’: the amount of chemical elements in a star other than hydrogen and helium, the two elements most stars are made from.

Immediately after the Big Bang, the Universe consisted almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with levels of “contaminant metals” growing over time. Consequently, older stars have fewer elements in their make-up – so have lower metallicity.

“The different chemical elements of which stars – and we – are made are created at different rates – some in massive stars which live fast and die young, and others in sun-like stars with more sedate multi-billion-year lifetimes,” said Professor Gerry Gilmore, lead investigator on the Gaia-ESO Project.

Click right-hand image to enlarge.

Massive stars, which have short lives and die as ‘core-collapse supernovae’, produce huge amounts of magnesium during their explosive death throes. This catastrophic event can form a neutron star or a black hole, and even trigger the formation of new stars.

The team have shown that older, ‘metal-poor’ stars inside the Solar Circle – the orbit of our Sun around the centre of the Milky Way, which takes roughly 250 million years to complete – are far more likely to have high levels of magnesium. The higher level of the element inside the Solar Circle suggests this area contained more stars that “lived fast and die young” in the past.

The stars that lie in the outer regions of the Galactic disc – outside the Solar Circle – are predominantly younger, both ‘metal-rich’ and ‘metal-poor’, and have surprisingly low magnesium levels compared to their metallicity.

This discovery signifies important differences in stellar evolution across the Milky Way disc, with very efficient and short star formation times occurring inside the Solar Circle; whereas, outside the Sun’s orbit, star formation took much longer.

“We have been able to shed new light on the timescale of chemical enrichment across the Milky Way disc, showing that outer regions of the disc take a much longer time to form,” said Maria Bergemann from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, who led the study.

“This supports theoretical models for the formation of disc galaxies in the context of Cold Dark Matter cosmology, which predict that galaxy discs grow inside-out.”

The findings offer new insights into the assembly history of our Galaxy, and are the part of the first wave of new observations from the Gaia-ESO survey, the ground-based extension to the Gaia space mission – launched by the European Space Agency at the end of last year – and the first large-scale survey conducted on one the world’s largest telescopes: the 8-m VLT in Paranal, Chile.

The study is published online today through the astronomical database Astro-ph, and has been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The new research also sheds further light on another much debated “double structure” in the Milky Way’s disc – the so-called ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ discs.

“The thin disc hosts spiral arms, young stars, giant molecular clouds – all objects which are young, at least in the context of the Galaxy,” explains Aldo Serenelli from the Institute of Space Sciences (Barcelona), a co-author of the study. “But astronomers have long suspected there is another disc, which is thicker, shorter and older. This thick disc hosts many old stars that have low metallicity.”

During the latest research, the team found that:

• Stars in the young, ‘thin’ disc aged between 0 – 8 billion years all have a similar degree of metallicity, regardless of age in that range, with many of them considered ‘metal-rich’.
• There is a “steep decline” in metallicity for stars aged over 9 billion years, typical of the ‘thick’ disc, with no detectable ‘metal-rich’ stars found at all over this age.
• But stars of different ages and metallicity can be found in both discs.

“From what we now know, the Galaxy is not an ‘either-or’ system. You can find stars of different ages and metal content everywhere!” said Bergemann. “There is no clear separation between the thin and thick disc. The proportion of stars with different properties is not the same in both discs – that’s how we know these two discs probably exist – but they could have very different origins.”

Added Gilmore: “This study provides exciting new evidence that the inner parts of the Milky Way’s thick disc formed much more rapidly than did the thin disc stars, which dominate near our Solar neighbourhood.”

In theory, say astronomers, the thick disc – first proposed by Gilmore 30 years ago – could have emerged in a variety of ways, from massive gravitational instabilities to consuming satellite galaxies in its formative years. “The Milky Way has cannibalised many small galaxies during its formation. Now, with the Gaia-ESO Survey, we can study the detailed tracers of these events, essentially dissecting the belly of the beast,” said Greg Ruchti, a researcher at Lund Observatory in Sweden, who co-leads the project.

With upcoming releases from Gaia-ESO, an even better handle on the age-metallicity relation and the structure of the Galactic disc is expected, say the team. In a couple of years, these data will be complemented by positions and kinematics provided by the Gaia satellite and together will revolutionise the field of Galactic astronomy.

– See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/gaia-eso-data-show-milky-way-may-have-formed-inside-out-and-provide-new-insight-into-galactic#sthash.NwNT4BAh.dpuf

Observations of the Solar System’s biggest asteroid suggest it is spewing plumes of water vapour into space

By Jonathan AmosScience correspondent, BBC News

Ceres impression
An artist’s impression of water out-gassing from two sources on Ceres
Observations of the Solar System’s biggest asteroid suggest it is spewing plumes of water vapour into space.

Ceres has long been thought to contain substantial quantities of ice within its body, but this is the first time such releases have been detected.

The discovery was made by Europe’s infrared Herschel space telescope, and is reported in the journal Nature.

Scientists believe the vapour is coming from dark coloured regions on Ceres’ surface, but are not sure of the cause.

One idea is that surface, or near-surface, ice is being warmed by the Sun, turning it directly to a gas that then escapes to space.

“Another possibility,” says the European Space Agency’s Michael Kuppers, “is that there is still some energy in the interior of Ceres, and this energy would make the water vent out in a similar way as for geysers on Earth, only that with the low pressure at the surface of the asteroid, what comes out would be a vapour and not a liquid.”

The quantity being out-gassed is not great – just 6kg per second – but the signature is unmistakable to Herschel, which was perfectly tuned to detect water molecules in space.

The telescope’s observations were made before its decommissioning last year.

Ceres pictured by HubbleCurrently, our best image of Ceres comes from the Hubble Space Telescope

Scientists will get a better idea of what is going on in 2015, when Ceres is visited by theAmerican space agency’s Dawn probe.

The satellite will go into orbit around the 950km-wide body, mapping its surface and determining its composition and structure.

“It will be able to observe those dark regions at high resolution, and will probably solve the question of what process is creating the water vapour,” explained Dr Kuppers.

Ceres is often now referred to as a “dwarf planet” – the same designation used to describe Pluto following its demotion from full planet status in 2006.

The asteroid’s sheer size means gravity has pulled it into a near-spherical form.

It is regarded as quite a primitive body in that it has clearly not undergone the same heating and processing of its materials that the many other objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter have experienced.

Scientists suspect water-ice is buried under Ceres’ crust because its density is less than that of the Earth’s. And this reputation as a “wet body” is supported by the presence of a lot of minerals at its surface that have water bound into their structure.

One theory to explain why Ceres has so much more water-ice than other members of the surrounding asteroid population is that it formed further away from the Sun, and only later migrated to its present location.

This could have happened if perturbed by Jupiter, whose gravity plays a key role in corralling the asteroids in the belt they occupy today.

“We now have a more sophisticated model for the evolution of the Solar System called the Nice model, which successfully explains many of the features of the Solar System, with the planets having migrated outwards and then maybe also inwards,” said Dr Kuppers.

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter:@BBCAmos

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Graham Hancock: “New Archaeological Discoveries Uncover The Mysteries Of A Lost Civilization”

Alternative history author Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods) has been traveling the globe, investigating a number of ‘anomalous’ megalithic sites that seem to push the date of the first human civilisations back many years, such as Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and Gunung Padang in Indonesia. Though Graham’s new book about this topic isn’t due till next year, interested readers will definitely want to check out a new feature article, about his research so far, that has just gone live on his website: “From Indonesia To Turkey New Archaeological Discoveries Uncover The Mysteries Of A Lost Civilisation“. 

“Everything we’ve been taught about the origins of civilization may be wrong,” says Danny Natawidjaja, PhD, senior geologist with the Research Centre for Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. “Old stories about Atlantis and other a great lost civilizations of prehistory, long dismissed as myths by archaeologists, look set to be proved true.”

I’m climbing with Dr Natawidjaja up the steep slope of a 300-ft high step-pyramid set amidst a magical landscape of volcanoes, mountains and jungles interspersed with paddy fields and tea plantations a hundred miles from the city of Bandung in West Java, Indonesia.

The pyramid has been known to archaeology since 1914 when megalithic structures formed from blocks of columnar basalt were found scattered amongst the dense trees and undergrowth that then covered its summit. Local people held the site to be sacred and called it Gunung Padang, the name it still goes by today, which means “Mountain of Light”, or “Mountain of Enlightenment”, in the local Sundanese language. The summit, where the megaliths were found arranged across five terraces had been used as a place of meditation and retreat since time immemorial, archaeologists were told, and again this remains true today.

However neither the archaeologists, nor apparently the locals realized the pyramid was a pyramid. It was believed to be a natural hill, somewhat modified by human activity, until Natawidjaja and his team began a geological survey here in 2011. By then the summit had long since been cleared and the megalithic terraces recognized to be ancient and man-made, but no radiocarbon dating was ever done and the previously accepted age of the site – about 1,500 to 2,500 BC — was based on guesswork rather than on excavations.

The first scientific radiocarbon dating was done by Natawidjaja himself on soils underlying the megaliths at or near the surface. The dates produced – around 500 to 1,500 BC – were very close to the archaeological guesswork and caused no controversy. However a surprise was in store as Natawidjaja and his team extended their investigation using tubular drills that brought up cores of earth and stone from much deeper levels.

First the drill cores contained evidence – fragments of columnar basalt – that man-made megalithic structures lay far beneath the surface. Secondly the organic materials brought up in the drill cores began to yield older and older dates – 3,000 BC to 5,000 BC, then 9,600 BC as the drills bit deeper, then around 11,000 BC, then, 15,000 BC and finally at depths of 90 feet and more an astonishing sequence of dates of 20,000 BC to 22,000 BC and earlier.

“This was not at all what my colleagues in the world of archaeology expected or wanted to hear” says Natawidjaja, who earned his PhD at Cal Tech in the United States and who, it becomes apparent, regards archaeology as a thoroughly unscientific discipline.

The problem is that those dates from 9,600 BC and earlier belong to the period that archaeologists call the “Upper Palaeolithic” and take us back deep into the last Ice Age when Indonesia was not a series of islands as it is today but was part of a vast southeast Asian continent dubbed “Sundaland” by geologists.

Click through to read the entire article.

GRAHAM HANCOCK’S “QUEST FOR THE LOST CIVILIZATION” **FULL MOVIE*

Remember too that you can find Graham on Facebook and on Twitter.

Credits: DailyGrail

MEXICAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES PROOF OF E.T.S AND ANCIENT SPACE TRAVEL

In what will soon be considered as the Holy Grail of extraterrestrial research, the Mexican government has released ancient documents proving the existence of E.T.’s once and for all.
CALAKMUL, MEXICO (INTELLIHUB) — Newly released Mayan documents, i.e. artifacts, dating back at least 1300-years reveal that the human race is not alone and highly advanced technologies including space travel have likely existed for quite some time.

Not only does this documentation released by the Mexican government show the existence of an explorer race, it may also reveal the roots of mankind.

Some consider the government’s presentation of the information to be a major step forward for humanity as the truth is finally being slowly let out. Hopefully this will prompt other governments around the world to be more forthcoming with such information, turning the tide in the UFO and extraterrestrial research community for good.

Sundance winner Juan Carlos Rulfo’s Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond also touches on such technology. “Producer Raul Julia-Levy said the documentary-makers were working in cooperation with the Mexican government for what he said was “the good of mankind”. He said the order to collaborate had come directly from the country’s president, Álvaro Colom Caballeros.

“Mexico will release codices, artifacts and significant documents with evidence of Mayan and extraterrestrial contact, and all of their information will be corroborated by archaeologists,” he said. “The Mexican government is not making this statement on their own – everything we say, we’re going to back it up.”

Caballeros himself was conspicuous by his absence from the statement released by Julia-Levy. So far, the minister of tourism for the Mexican state of Campeche, Luis Augusto García Rosado, appears to be the highest-ranking government official to go on record confirming the discovery of extraterrestrial life, but he’s not holding back.

In a statement, Rosado spoke of contact “between the Mayans and extraterrestrials, supported by translations of certain codices, which the government has kept secure in underground vaults for some time”. In a telephone conversation with the Wrap, he also spoke of “landing pads in the jungle that are 3,000 years old”.[2]

These secrets have been said to be “protected” by the mexican government for as long as 80-years.

Sources:

[1] The Mexican government reveals Mayan documents proving extraterrestrial contacts – Arcturius.org

[2] Mayan documentary to show ‘evidence’ of alien contact in ancient Mexico – TheGuardian.com

[3] Aliens and UFOs Depicted In Mayan Artifacts Released By Mexican Government – ConciusLifeNews.com

*****

Scientists Uncover The Very First ‘Official’ Proof Of Extraterrestrial Life

sri lankaEarlier this year, a group of scientists claimed with certainty that tiny fossils uncovered inside a meteorite found in Sri Lanka in late December 2012, are proof of extraterrestrial life. A paper was published in the Journal of Cosmology (1)(3) by Chandra Wickramasinghe. Wickramasinghe is the director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham in the U.K. The study was conducted alongside researchers at the School of Mathematics at Cardiff University and from the Medical Research Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

While reading this article, please keep in mind that there is already a large amount of evidence that supports the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Please browse through our exopolitics sections under the alternative news tab for more information on that.

They found “a microstructure and morphology characteristic of a wide class of terrestrial diatoms.” The group concluded that “the presence of structures of this kind in any extraterrestrial setting could be constructed as unequivocal proof of biology.” Cardiff University was asked to proof-check and analyze the findings, which it did, concluding that the samples were “unequivocally meteorites” and that the analysis of the material structure showed that algae-like fossils were native to it.

This is the first-ever evidence of extraterrestrial life found in a celestial body. The researchers used sophisticated methods like X-ray diffraction, triple oxygen isotope analysis and scanning electron microscopy.

In 1962, Hoyle and I pioneered the theory of carbon grains in space to replace the old ice grain theory. This was vehemently resisted by the astronomical community at the outset, but with the dawn of infrared spectroscopy, the ice grain theory gave way to the carbon dust theory. Over a few years, after a great deal of model-fitting, we came to the conclusion that material similar to biomaterial fitted all the available data in astronomy. We considered the possibility that microbiology had a universal character, and no observations in astronomy or new information from biology has provided contrary evidence.If only ideas that are considered orthodox are given support through award of grans or publication opportunities, it is certain that the progress of science will be stifled as it was throughout the middle ages – Wickramsinghe

English astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle along with Wickramasinghe co-developed a theory known as “panspermia,” which suggests that life exists throughout the universe and is distributed by meteoroids and asteroids. It’s quite a synchronicity that this meteorite found in Sri Lanka happened to fall in their lap, potentially proving their theory correct.

We conclude that the identification of fossilized diatoms in the Polonnaruwa meteorite is firmly established and unimpeachable. Since this meteorite is considered to be an extinct commentary fragment, the idea of microbial life carried within comets and the theory of cometary panspermia is thus vindicated. This was also the guess of the Sri Lankan geologists who first looked at the rock. I personally have no doubt whatsoever that this was a stone that fell from the skies – Wickramsinghe

This isn’t the first time that extraterrestrial life has been confirmed, according to Wickramasinghe. In an earlier paper (2) that he co-authored in 2012 titled “Non-terrestrial origin of life: a transformative research paradigm shift”  where the abstract reads:

Theories and hypotheses in science are continually subject to verification, critical re-evaluation, revision and indeed evolution, in response to new observations and discoveries. Theories of the origin of life have been more constrained than other scientific theories and hypotheses in this regard, through the force of social and cultural pressures. There has been a tendency to adhere too rigidly to a class of theory that demands a purely terrestrial origin of life. For nearly five decades evidence in favour of a non-terrestrial origin of life and panspermia has accumulated which has not been properly assessed. A point has now been reached that demands the serious attention of biologists to a possibly transformative paradigm shift of the question of the origin of life, with profound implications across many disciplines – Wickramsinghe

Just to reiterate, these scientists are claiming to have found fossilized biological structures in a Sri Lankan meteorite of extraterrestrial origin. The researchers say that tiny algae-like fossils found in meteorite fragments could not have originated on our planet. There have been critics that say the stone was of terrestrial origin, and the study addressees these concerns and debunks them with scientific evidence (1)(3).

Extraterrestrial Life and Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life

This is a very significant finding, it’s the first time that a direct scientific find of extraterrestrial life can be confirmed. You would think that it would make major headlines, but unfortunately it didn’t. As illustrated in an earlier paper (2), a point has now been reached that demands the serious attention of biologists to a possibly transformative paradigm shift on the question about the origin of life. It’s well known that theories about the origin of life have been very constrained, more so than other scientific theories and hypotheses due to the force of social and cultural pressures(2). The question of extraterrestrial life, and even beyond that, intelligent extraterrestrial life is currently playing a large role in a massive and transformative paradigm shift that is currently occurring on our planet.

On one hand, we have mainstream science looking for signs for extraterrestrial life, on the other hand we have a very large amount of evidence to suggest that intelligent extraterrestrial life has already been discovered -and that this shocking paradigm shifting information has been concealed from the public for over 70 years.  I use this clip a lot, but it’s a great statement made by a researcher who examined the subject from the perspective that not only has extraterrestrial life been discovered, but intelligent extraterrestrial life exists and is engaging with this planet and the human race. What do you think?

 

 

A lot of this ‘evidence’ has been provided and written about by many. Collective Evolution has multiple articles that provide official documentation as well as witness testimony from multiple sources. For more on the intelligent extraterrestrial life debate, please visit our “Exopolitics” section under our “Alternative News” tab.

Sources:

(1) http://journalofcosmology.com/JOC21/PolonnaruwaRRRR.pdf

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23225070

(3) http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1303/1303.1845.pdf

http://rt.com/news/british-researchers-meteorite-fossils-167/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/extraterresterial-life-exists-chandra-wickramasinghe_n_2500008.html

– See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/16/extraterrestrial-fossils-uncovered-inside-meteorite-found-in-sri-lanka/#sthash.x9EOjZY5.dpuf

Atomic Bond Types Clearly Discernible Thanks to Single-Molecule Images

atomic-bonds

A team from IBM in Zürich has released images they captured of single-molecules that are so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned.

The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. The same IBM team took the first ever single-molecule images in 2009 and most recently published the images of the pentacene, the molecule shaped like the Olympic rings.

afm-atomic-bonds-molecule

These new images will allow scientists to study the imperfections of graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions.

The team included French and Spanish collaborators, and they used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM uses a tiny metal tip that passes over a surface, where even tinier deflections are measured as the tip is scanned as it moves to and fro over a sample.

The pentacene molecule was scanned by using a carbon monoxide molecule, which acted like a recording needle, allowing for unprecedented accuracy of the surfaces of atoms.

The experiments themselves must be isolated from any kind of vibrations. Room temperatures themselves induce movements of the AFM’s constituent molecules, which would blur the image, so the actual apparatus must be kept at -268 °C.

The tiny distortions in the regular hexagonal pattern of carbon bonds are what interested the researchers. Fullerenes and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which have linked rings of carbon atoms at their cores, were the focus of this study.

The images showcased how long the atomic bonds are. The bright and dark spots correspond to higher and lower densities of electrons. There are different physical properties of different bonds.

Sun will ‘flip upside down’ within weeks, says Nasa

The sun’s magnetic field will reverse polarity at some point in the coming weeks, sending ripples to the edge of interstellar space

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The sun is set to “flip upside down” within weeks as its magnetic field reverses polarity in an event that will send ripple effects throughout the solar system.

Although it may sound like a catastrophic occurrence, there’s no need to run for cover. The sun switches its polarity, flipping its magnetic north and south, once every eleven years through an internal mechanism about which little is understood.

The swap could however cause intergalactic weather fronts such as geomagnetic storms, which can interfere with satellites and cause radio blackouts.

UPDATE: Sun has ‘flipped upside down’ as new magnetic cycle begins

Nasa said in August that the change would happen in three to four months time, but it is impossible to give a more specific date. Scientist won’t know for around another three weeks whether the flip is complete.

The impact of the transfer will be widespread as the sun’s magnetic field exerts influence well beyond Pluto, past Nasa’s Voyager probes positioned near the edge of interstellar space.

The event will be watched closely by researchers at Stanford University’s Wilcox Solar Observatory, which monitors the sun’s magnetic field on a daily basis.

Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory, said the polarity change is built up throughout the eleven year cycle through areas of intense magnetic activity known as sunspots which gradually move towards the poles, eroding the existing opposite polarity.

Eventually, the magnetic field reduces to zero, before rebounding with the opposite polarity. “It’s kind of like a tide coming in or going out,” Hoeksema said. “Each little wave brings a little more water in, and eventually you get to the full reversal.”

One of the most noticeable effect on Earth will be a boost in the occurrence, range and visibility of auroras – the Northern Lights. “It’s not a catastrophic event, it’s a large scale event that has some real implications, but its not something we need to worry about,” added Hoeksema.

sun (1)