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Colliding Auroras Produce Explosions of Light

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the pretty-pictures dept.

Space 30

elyons writes "Another neat discovery has come from the lab of Larry Lyons at UCLA. As reported earlier on Slashdot, Lyons' group studies the dynamics of auroras. Their most recent discovery reveals for the first time the sequence of events leading to dramatic space-weather disturbances. Using a network of cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA's THEMIS mission, they recorded over 200 instances of auroras colliding, causing brilliant displays of northern lights (see time 8:22 for such an example)."

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Defective Russian Missile (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30499988)

Very defective.

Re:Defective Russian Missile (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500106)

How is this off-topic? Auroras look impressive in the sky, and that Russian rocket in the Norwegian sky was also impressive.

Re:Defective Russian Missile (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500394)

Nope, it's the evil lab coats at HAARP [alaska.edu] this time...

Science is cool (-1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500036)

Nature is cool, and Science is cool. The majesty of these auroras is impressive, and the scientific mind to study it is just as impressive.

If there were ever a reason to want to believe in a "Creator", it's things like these spectacular astronomical occurrences.

What set me off about this is a story I heard on NPR about Uganda's Christian population proposing and overwhelmingly supporting a bill that would outlaw homosexual behavior. The punishments ranged from jail time for being found to be gay all the way to the death penalty if you were found to be HIV positive. How much energy is being wasted on these witch hunts? How much progress could be made if these religious fanatics (including Islamic states like Iran) could focus their energy on science rather than their own petty prejudices?

America also has this problem, and slowly but surely there is a growing contingent that would rather blind our kids with Bible stories than provide them a good scientific education. How long before we are the backwards Uganda of the world? Not long, I'm afraid.

Re:Science is cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500118)

America also has this problem, and slowly but surely there is a growing contingent that would rather blind our kids with Bible stories than provide them a good scientific education. How long before we are the backwards Uganda of the world? Not long, I'm afraid.

Please fix the bug in the BadAnalogyGuy script by removing the if/then statement that drops it into nationalistic dick face mode when it finds NASA in the text.

Re:Science is cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500182)

i know how you feel, the bitter irony is that earth is for sinners. yes even seemingly innocent children, i should know afterall i did a stint here for writing ai scripts. i'm taking my medicine i even claim it works. anyways things are going fine for me. anon for obvious reasons

Re:Science is cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500682)

You know, here is an experiment... Any religion that has God (or any supernatural/out of this universe Protector) as it's backer will not be able to be stamped out. Look at all the religions that claim to be the one true religion over human history, so few left. (also note how alike in their teachings they are. i.e. immortal soul/spirit)

So now for the experiment. Starting with 'taliban-esque' religions, remove their protections and expose their lies. You want to lobby/coerce government, sure go ahead, no more protections for you. Pay your taxes.

You want to teach The God of Love (and Justice) will burn forever the 16-year old for following his hormones and not hearing about Jesus Christ. Sure, no protections.

Holy war? Surely God needs/wants you to kill his kids... No Protections.

That includes the Islam religions in Muslim countries, Catholics in France/Italy, and Orthodox in Eastern Europe. No more de facto state religions. No more religion in bed with/riding on the back of governments.*

Any God will protect his/her/its religion and it will survive. Non-backed ones... Gone. Any atheists, take heart, maybe no more religions. Faithful, take heart, surely yours is the one to be protected.

*See the principle of Separation of Church and State.

Re:Science is cool (1)

DoctorPhish (626559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30501408)

Small nitpick: Atheists aren't those who are looking for an abolition of religion (they couldn't care less, provided it doesn't interfere with them). Anti-theists on the other hand, are.

Re:Science is cool (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502130)

  Well said.

SB

No, that's not atheism at all. (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502676)

Atheists aren't those who are looking for an abolition of religion (they couldn't care less, provided it doesn't interfere with them). Anti-theists on the other hand, are.

Atheism is the state of being without a belief in a god or gods. No more, no less.

This state of mind incorporates no agenda. There is no dogma for atheism, no book or agenda or canon that says an atheist "must" be ok with religion, or not. Atheism doesn't define "couldn't care less" any more than it does "cares a lot" with regard to anything, including the lack of belief itself.

In the terms you're throwing around, an atheist might be anti-theist, or not. This is not a consequence of atheism, however. It is a consequence of how the individual sees theism -- which I suspect is in turn a consequence of how theists and the doings of theists have impacted the life of the individual, and those the individual cares about.

Re:No, that's not atheism at all. (1)

DoctorPhish (626559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502944)

Thanks for nitpicking my nitpick. Your definition of terms is more highly evolved than my own, and I'm glad you took the time to try and increase the calibre of discussion here.

Re:Science is cool (2, Insightful)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502644)

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" - Seneca

For that reason , you will never be able to remove it's "protections" . The rulers won't allow it , as that would destroy there must powerful tool for supressing the people.

I don't consider myself an atheist though. I do believe in some things , but i don't need a church for that . I need merely to close my eyes on a sunny day and listen to the birds sing.

Re:Science is cool (1, Offtopic)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502516)

How much progress could be made if these religious fanatics (including Islamic states like Iran) could focus their energy on science rather than their own petty prejudices?

Well, when countries like Iran attempt to make their own advances in science, they get accused of wanting to develop WMDs and get threatened with military action by Israel. Could you imagine the uproar if Tehran tried to get into space exploration?

A good article [washingtonpost.com] on why the nuclear issue in Iran is also medical, and not just energy / weapons research.

I do agree with your point overall though. As someone who has visited Iran, their situation would be much nicer if the government spent their funds on their own people rather than propping up Hezbollah over in Lebanon. Their water treatment plants are antiquated, they have virtually no space program, and most of their technologies are hand-me-downs from US tech from the 70s or Russian-made.

Theocracies just do not work and will do anything possible to continue their survival, even if it means sacrificing their own citizens.

Re:Science is cool (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502860)

They also import Gas... makes you go WTF. They have so much oil, what do they need nuclear tech for? Yes, yes, i know medical isos.. they can buy those. I will be very surprised if Iran doesn't go for the A-Bomb.

Iran should spend that money on oil refineries, not uranium refineries.. reduce it's need to import gasoline.. use the fuel for electricity. Makes so much sense!

Re:Science is cool (0, Offtopic)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30502952)

They also import Gas... makes you go WTF.

Ugh, don't remind me. :\ It really does make you go WTF!

They have so much oil, what do they need nuclear tech for?

Iran's nuclear history started in the 1970s with the help of the US, back when Iran was an ally. The Shah was very forward-thinking and understood that oil wouldn't last forever. I believe the current estimate is that Iran has enough oil for maybe 75 years. This sounds like a long time, but only if everything remains constant.

Iran's population has doubled in the last twenty years, meaning their demand for power is far outweighing their supply. Even if they were to completely refine all of their own oil, they're going to simply pollute their own environment and burn through their oil supply much faster.

No single nation should put all of their eggs in one basket and nobody should be dependent on another country for their sole source of power. I hear the argument for the US to build more nuclear reactors all the time because it's cheaper and cleaner than burning fossil fuels. Why not Iran?

I will be very surprised if Iran doesn't go for the A-Bomb.

This is a legitimate concern - I can't argue that. The alternative is for outside nations to supply Iran with the enriched uranium and disposing of the spent fuel rods, but we go back to my previous comment about not depending on any nation for their sole source of power.

The government of Iran only has themselves to blame and unfortunately, the people there will suffer because of it.

Re:Science is cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30503074)

They also import Gas... makes you go WTF

This is by design. Iranians are pretty smart and could refine oil themselves, but the regime takes a big cut in bribes from the foreign refining & import business.

Re:Science is cool (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30507838)

They have so much oil, what do they need nuclear tech for?

They want a nuclear deterrent but any indigenous use of nuclear power by Iran can displace oil which can then be exported. A nuclear power plant might as well be a bottomless cash machine from their perspective.

Re:Science is cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30503054)

Well, the Ayatollahs signed the NPT and got nuclear technology, and now they laugh in the face in inspections which catch them with their pants down, time after time.
Is there any reason to think they are NOT developing WMD?

It IS, however, a valid concern that they may be bluffing with regard to their progress,
and western intelligence may be misled by the opposition groups, which clearly have an agenda, in a similar fashion to the Iraq intelligence fiasco.

Could you imagine the uproar if Tehran tried to get into space exploration?

Last I checked they've claimed to launch a satellite twice. I don't recall much of an "uproar" with regard to that.
When the Ayatollahs claim, however, to "wipe Israel of the map" there was lots of whining from Israel, some from the US.

But then again take it with the caveat that I'm an Israeli.

Re:Science is cool (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30508488)

Is there any reason to think they are NOT developing WMD?

No, they've been plenty evasive about their research and deserve the scrutiny, but for people like me, it's also a matter of sovereignty and nationalistic pride. Does anyone ever question the U.S. when they develop high-tech weapons systems that later gets used to kill people on the battlefield? Nope. And if they do, they tell the world to fuck off, and rightfully so.

Part of me really wishes that the Iranians would just quit screwing around and focusing solely on nuclear research for energy purposes only. Like I mentioned in a previous post, their population has doubled and they cannot afford to rely on petroleum.

Last I checked they've claimed to launch a satellite twice. I don't recall much of an "uproar" with regard to that.

I do. [foxnews.com]

And that's what baffles me the most. Everyone is under the impression that the Iranians are living in the stone age, but when they try to do something in the field of science, they get branded as terrorists with nefarious motives.

When the Ayatollahs claim, however, to "wipe Israel of the map" there was lots of whining from Israel, some from the US.

Ahmadinejad never said anything about wiping Israel off the map [wikipedia.org] . It was a misquote, and some speculate that it was done on purpose to muddy the waters. Also, the President of Iran has no authority to wage war or mobilize troops. Only the Supreme Ayatollah can do that, and he knows he'll be in a world of trouble if he ever directly threatened Israel.

I won't begin to try to defend the President of Iran, I mean, take a look at the link that I posted above. He's said and done plenty of things to be critical of, but it's very dishonest to misquote someone. Those kinds of things can start wars, heh.

But then again take it with the caveat that I'm an Israeli.

Let me take the opportunity to wish you and your people peace and safety, and hope that no more wars break out between the Israelis and their surrounding neighbors. That's all I can ever hope for.

new stuff (0, Offtopic)

Pharago (1197161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500150)

first magnetic reconection, now explosive behaviour on auroras, we might aswell be about to discover some neat fuel source that dosn't imply burning dinosaur remains

Re:new stuff (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500162)

Yeah! We could call it "the Sun".

Re:new stuff (1)

Pharago (1197161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500166)

...no kidding

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500308)

A post about work by Lyons....from eLyons. Can anyone spell "sockpuppet?"

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30502838)

s-o-c-k-p-u-p-p-e-t.

There. What do I get?

Awesome title (4, Funny)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500388)

I just love the title. It's like ordering a pizza and getting the wrong toppings, so you get a free pizza, but you love the toppings on the first pizza anyway.

Re:Awesome title (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500802)

PizzaAnalogyGuy, you forgot to log into your other account.

Minus 1, Troll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500482)

Re:Minus 1, Troll) (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30501240)

this link is even SFW! take a look at this halloween parody..

everything's black & white near the pole (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500632)

"It can be a little tricky," Nishimura says. "Each camera has its own local weather and lighting conditions, and the auroras are different distances from each camera. I've got to account for these factors for six or more cameras simultaneously to make a coherent, large-scale movie."

It almost makes me feel bad for thinking it ought to have been in color.

This is why I avoid crowds, the colliding auras. (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500982)

Oh, auroras. Never mind.

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