BREAKING NEWS: Ring Of Fire Starts to Light Up with Earthquakes

A series of earthquakes have occurred over the last 48 hours around the ring of fire. This is exactly what I would expect as we come closure to this windows apex. Although it would be more pleasant being able to say coming earthquakes will remain about the same magnitude, but that would be disingenuous, and in fact, telling you this sequence of earthquakes is all there is would contribute to ones anxiousness.

Below is the list of this recent earthquake string

Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Hits Philippines

(Aug. 11)An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 hit the Philippines’ northern island of Luzon on Aug. 11th and was felt in the capital Manila, shaking buildings and forcing the evacuation of offices and schools.There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries in the quake, which the United States Geological Survey earlier measured at 6.6. The quake struck at 1:28 pm (0528 GMT) 10.7 km (6.6 miles) southeast of Nasugbu, in the province of Batangas, at a depth of 168 km (104 miles). No tsunami warning was issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which put the magnitude of the quake at 6.3, and said it expected aftershocks.

5.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile

(Aug. 12) The earthquake struck around 25km north east of Santiago at around 3.15am Aug. 12th (7.15 UK time), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center. The quake struck at a depth of 74km and was felt in Las Condes, Puente Alto, Maipu and across the border in Argentina. Concerned residents among the city’s 5.1 million inhabitants told of shaking buildings after being woken up in the middle of the night by the tremor.

Mag. 5.6 Earthquake Hits Off Coast of Peru

(Aug. 12) A 5.6-magnitude undersea earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean off of Peru’s southern coast on August 11th , triggering landslides on local roads that killed one person and wounded two, a regional governor said. Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio added on Twitter that authorities were working to clear roads affected by landslides from surrounding hills. The 41-kilometer deep (25.5 miles) quake struck the Pacific some 89 km (55.3 miles) from the coastal city of Canama late on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Magnitude 6.5 Quake Strikes Off Indonesian Island of Sumatra

(Aug. 13) An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck west of Indonesia’s island of Sumatra on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in the quake, which hit at a depth of 67 km (42 miles), at a distance of 81 km (50 miles) west of the city of Bengkulu.

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There Will Be Civil Disturbance

Yes, Charlottesville, Virginia does fit my prediction of civil disturbance. North Korea remains at a 67% of a military exchange. But let me turn the page for a second. I think this would be a good time to remind ourselves, there are events (people,places,things) that are not subject to ‘fate’. If there is a causal mechanism which contributes to human disturbance, then I would suggest there is also perhaps a less defined energy, that when brought together in collective consciousness, can shift a mood or perception thereby providing a different outcome.

I’m not suggesting you can just pray an event away by and of itself, and I must admit I am far from being a pacifist, actually I’m a little embarrassed of some of my low-brow moments, but I do believe charged particles are charged particles – magnetic fields are magnetic fields, chemistry is chemistry. No, we can’t pray the coming earthquakes away, but we sure can be best prepared for them, and to a degree, facilitate their occurrence including the ability to minimizing their effective destruction. Okay, time to hug the kids – oh, and could you pass the potatoes.  Cheers

Coming Tonight: NASA Escalates Concern Over Galactic Cosmic Rays Influence on Humans and Earth

NASA highlights the very real danger astronauts and cosmonauts will face is the serious consequences from exposure to high-energy galactic cosmic rays, including direct damage to DNA and changes in the biochemistry of cells and tissues.

The question is: With a now 19% increase in cosmic ray flux just over the last 24 months, and a weakening magnetic field which is reducing approx. 5-7% every decade, and with its cycle perhaps 85% complete – I would suggest it is more than just astronauts and cosmonauts that face serious consequences as we march ahead in these natural cyclical affairs.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Battle Between ‘Disclosure vs Omission’

Before I disclose coming announcements regarding civil disturbance and Earth changing events, I think it is important to gain a foundation regarding the nature of news which will be coming forth.

Over the next hours, days, and weeks I will be sending out what will be extraordinary breaking news occurrences and developments. I feel it is most important to maintain a sense of groundedness and empowerment. The upcoming articles will be alarming, and there is the risk of setting off inherent defense triggers every human possess. It is this very necessary ‘fight or flight’ defense posture which is ‘hard wired’ for survival. However, it is also this very human and compulsory reflex which can work against us.

It will be up to each and every one of us, to stride toward minimizing, or perhaps better stated ‘preparing’, for events ahead which could generate distorted ’cause and effect’ reactions, often triggered by past experiences. It is also important to have some understanding of our ability, or inability, to handle rapid change. It is my belief we will need to practice our innate skills and powers of adaptability.

As events unfold in the next days and weeks, it will be more important than ever before to sharpen our coping skills and survivor instincts. This preparation involves the whole being such as: Physical (basic survival equipment); Mental (ability to handle stress, anxiety, fear, bewilderment); Spiritual (having a sense of purpose, a understanding of process, evolution, transition, and synchronicity. I might add, a general understanding of cycles does present a sorted level of comfort and you may find some assurance that you are just going crazy.

Here In-Lies My Dilemma

There have been several studies on how the public at large would react to sudden, shocking, and possible life threatening scenarios. Examples: 1) Nuclear Attack 2) Natural Disasters 3) Asteroid heading directly at Earth.

On Sept. 11th 2001, and the following days, weeks, and months, various government officials on our television screens arguing for and against allowing the public to be informed of the when-where-how of what happened, and what is going to happen. We heard it was not wise to disclose information which would “panic” the public out of a fear of anarchy, violence, suicides, and general civil-unrest. It was argued, the better way to “minimize” panic was through informing the public of very real and ongoing events, thereby giving the public a chance to understand, prepare and adjust to whatever threats were announced.

My studies have directed me to the latter argument of ‘disclosure’. I believe it is far better to assist in minimizing shock and surprise through education, information and preparation. The theory of ‘omission’ to better serve the public is simply out-dated, assuming it was ever useful at all. I believe we have evolved significantly in our abilities to acquire and process news as it occurs, regardless of its imminent dangers.

Therefore, I have decided to disclose information to you as I receive it. I trust that you can, and will, use your gift of “discernment”. Yes, it is true that many could be prone to suffer negative reactions such as PTSD consequences, but at this time, I believe it is better to be “aware and prepare”. In fact, there are studies which state clearly it is the action of being “aware and prepare” which will minimize the effects of shock, denial and bewilderment.





Coming Next: More on types and areas of civil disturbance and earth changing events.

JUST IN: New NASA Mission Explores ‘Cosmic Rain’

A new experiment set for an Aug. 14 launch to the International Space Station will provide an unprecedented look at a rain of particles from deep space, called cosmic rays, that constantly showers our planet. The Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass mission destined for the International Space Station (ISS-CREAM) is designed to measure the highest-energy particles of any detector yet flown in space.

Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass

The ISS-CREAM experiment will be delivered to the space station as part of the 12th SpaceX commercial resupply service mission. Once there, ISS-CREAM will be moved to the Exposed Facility platform extending from Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module. “High-energy cosmic rays carry a great deal of information about our interstellar neighborhood and our galaxy, but we haven’t been able to read these messages very clearly,” said co-investigator John Mitchell at Goddard. “ISS-CREAM represents one significant step in this direction.”

At energies above about 1 billion electron volts, most cosmic rays come to us from beyond our solar system. Various lines of evidence, including observations from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, support the idea that shock waves from the expanding debris of stars that exploded as supernovas accelerate cosmic rays up to energies of 1,000 trillion electron volts (PeV). That’s 10 million times the energy of medical proton beams used to treat cancer. ISS-CREAM data will allow scientists to examine how sources other than supernova remnants contribute to the population of cosmic rays.

Protons are the most common cosmic ray particles, but electrons, helium nuclei and the nuclei of heavier elements make up a small percentage. All are direct samples of matter from interstellar space. But because the particles are electrically charged, they interact with galactic magnetic fields, causing them to wander in their journey to Earth. This scrambles their paths and makes it impossible to trace cosmic ray particles back to their sources.

Day To Night And Back Again: Earth’s Ionosphere During The Total Solar Eclipse

On Aug. 21, 2017, the Moon will slide in front of the Sun and for a brief moment, day will melt into a dusky night. Moving across the country, the Moon’s shadow will block the Sun’s light, and weather permitting, those within the path of totality will be treated to a view of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona.

But the total solar eclipse will also have imperceptible effects, such as the sudden loss of extreme ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, which generates the ionized layer of Earth’s atmosphere, called the ionosphere. This ever-changing region grows and shrinks based on solar conditions, and is the focus of several NASA-funded science teams that will use the eclipse as a ready-made experiment, courtesy of nature.

NASA is taking advantage of the Aug. 21 eclipse by funding 11 ground-based science investigations across the United States. Three of these will look to the ionosphere in order to improve our understanding of the Sun’s relationship to this region, where satellites orbit and radio signals are reflected back toward the Earth.

“The eclipse turns off the ionosphere’s source of high-energy radiation,” said Bob Marshall, a space scientist at University of Colorado Boulder and principal investigator for one of the studies. “Without ionizing radiation, the ionosphere will relax, going from daytime conditions to nighttime conditions and then back again after the eclipse.”

Stretching from roughly 50 to 400 miles above Earth’s surface, the tenuous ionosphere is an electrified layer of the atmosphere that reacts to changes from both Earth below and space above. Such changes in the lower atmosphere or space weather can manifest as disruptions in the ionosphere that can interfere with communication and navigation signals.

“In our lifetime, this is the best eclipse to see,” said Greg Earle, an electrical and computer engineer at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, who is leading another of the studies. “But we’ve also got a denser network of satellites, GPS and radio traffic than ever before. It’s the first time we’ll have such a wealth of information to study the effects of this eclipse; we’ll be drowning in data.”

Pinning down ionospheric dynamics can be tricky. “Compared to visible light, the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet output is highly variable,” said Phil Erickson, a principal investigator of a third study and space scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts.

“That creates variability in ionospheric weather. Because our planet has a strong magnetic field, charged particles are also affected along magnetic field lines all over the planet—all of this means the ionosphere is complicated.”

But when totality hits on Aug. 21, scientists will know exactly how much solar radiation is blocked, the area of land it’s blocked over and for how long. Combined with measurements of the ionosphere during the eclipse, they’ll have information on both the solar input and corresponding ionosphere response, enabling them to study the mechanisms underlying ionospheric changes better than ever before.

Tying the three studies together is the use of automated communication or navigation signals to probe the ionosphere’s behavior during the eclipse. During typical day-night cycles, the concentration of charged atmospheric particles, or plasma, waxes and wanes with the Sun.

“In the daytime, ionospheric plasma is dense,” Earle said. “When the Sun sets, production goes away, charged particles recombine gradually through the night and density drops. During the eclipse, we’re expecting that process in a much shorter interval.”

The denser the plasma, the more likely these signals are to bump into charged particles along their way from the signal transmitter to receiver. These interactions refract, or bend, the path taken by the signals. In the eclipse-induced artificial night the scientists expect stronger signals, since the atmosphere and ionosphere will absorb less of the transmitted energy.

“If we set up a receiver somewhere, measurements at that location provide information on the part of the ionosphere between the transmitter and receiver,” Marshall said. “We use the receivers to monitor the phase and amplitude of the signal. When the signal wiggles up and down, that’s entirely produced by changes in the ionosphere.”

Using a range of different electromagnetic signals, each of the teams will send signals back and forth across the path of totality. By monitoring how their signals propagate from transmitter to receiver, they can map out changes in ionospheric density. The teams will also use these techniques to collect data before and after the eclipse, so they can compare the well-defined eclipse response to the region’s baseline behavior, allowing them to discern the eclipse-related effects.

Probing the Ionosphere

The ionosphere is roughly divided into three regions in altitude based on what wavelength of solar radiation is absorbed: the D, E and F, with D being the lowermost region and F, the uppermost. In combination, the three experiment teams will study the entirety of the ionosphere.

Marshall and his team, from the University of Colorado Boulder, will probe the D-region’s response to the eclipse with very low frequency, or VLF, radio signals. This is the lowest and least dense part of the ionosphere—and because of that, the least understood.

“Just because the density is low, doesn’t mean it’s unimportant,” Marshall said. “The D-region has implications for communications systems actively used by many military, naval and engineering operations.”

Marshall’s team will take advantage of the U.S. Navy’s existing network of powerful VLF transmitters to examine the D-region’s response to changes in solar output. Radio wave transmissions sent from Lamoure, North Dakota, will be monitored at receiving stations across the eclipse path in Boulder, Colorado, and Bear Lake, Utah. They plan to combine their data with observations from several space-based missions, including NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and NASA’s Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, to characterize the effect of the Sun’s radiation on this particular region of the ionosphere.

Erickson and team will look further up, to the E- and F-regions of the ionosphere. Using over 6,000 ground-based GPS sensors alongside powerful radar systems at MIT’s Haystack Observatory and Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, along with data from several NASA space-based missions, the MIT-based team will also work with citizen radio scientists who will send radio signals back and forth over long distances across the path.
MIT’s science team will use their data to track travelling ionospheric disturbances—which are sometimes responsible for space weather patterns in the upper atmosphere—and their large-scale effects. These disturbances in the ionosphere are often linked to a phenomenon known as atmospheric gravity waves, which can also be triggered by eclipses.

“We may even see global-scale effects,” Erickson said. “Earth’s magnetic field is like a wire that connects two different hemispheres together. Whenever electrical variations happen in one hemisphere, they show up in the other.”

Earle and his Virginia Tech-based team will station themselves across the country in Bend, Oregon; Holton, Kansas; and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. Using state-of-the-art transceiver instruments called ionosondes, they will measure the ionosphere’s height and density, and combine their measurements with data from a nation-wide GPS network and signals from the ham radio Reverse Beacon Network. The team will also utilize data from SuperDARN high frequency radars, two of which lie along the eclipse path in Christmas Valley, Oregon, and Hays, Kansas.

“We’re looking at the bottom side of the F-region, and how it changes during the eclipse,” Earle said. “This is the part of the ionosphere where changes in signal propagation are strong.” Their work could one day help mitigate disturbances to radio signal propagation, which can affect AM broadcasts, ham radio and GPS signals.

Ultimately, the scientists plan to use their data to improve models of ionospheric dynamics. With these unprecedented data sets, they hope to better our understanding of this perplexing region.

“Others have studied eclipses throughout the years, but with more instrumentation, we keep getting better at our ability to measure the ionosphere,” Erickson said. “It usually uncovers questions we never thought to ask.”

Galactic Winds Push Researchers To Probe Galaxies At Unprecedented Scale

When astronomers peer into the universe, what they see often exceeds the limits of human understanding. Such is the case with low-mass galaxies — galaxies a fraction of the size of our own Milky Way.

These small, faint systems made up of millions or billions of stars, dust, and gas constitute the most common type of galaxy observed in the universe. But according to astrophysicists’ most advanced models, low-mass galaxies should contain many more stars than they appear to contain.

A leading theory for this discrepancy hinges on the fountain-like outflows of gas observed exiting some galaxies. These outflows are driven by the life and death of stars, specifically stellar winds and supernova explosions, which collectively give rise to a phenomenon known as “galactic wind.” As star activity expels gas into intergalactic space, galaxies lose precious raw material to make new stars. The physics and forces at play during this process, however, remain something of a mystery.

To better understand how galactic wind affects star formation in galaxies, a two-person team led by the University of California, Santa Cruz, turned to high-performance computing at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Specifically, UC Santa Cruz astrophysicist Brant Robertson and University of Arizona graduate student Evan Schneider (now a Hubble Fellow at Princeton University), scaled up their Cholla hydrodynamics code on the OLCF’s Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer to create highly detailed simulations of galactic wind.

“The process of generating galactic winds is something that requires exquisite resolution over a large volume to understand — much better resolution than other cosmological simulations that model populations of galaxies,” Robertson said. “This is something you really need a machine like Titan to do.”

After earning an allocation on Titan through DOE’s INCITE program, Robertson and Schneider started small, simulating a hot, supernova-driven wind colliding with a cool cloud of gas across 300 light years of space. (A light year equals the distance light travels in 1 year.) The results allowed the team to rule out a potential mechanism for galactic wind.

Now the team is setting its sights higher, aiming to generate nearly a trillion-cell simulation of an entire galaxy, which would be the largest simulation of a galaxy ever. Beyond breaking records, Robertson and Schneider are striving to uncover new details about galactic wind and the forces that regulate galaxies, insights that could improve our understanding of low-mass galaxies, dark matter, and the evolution of the universe.

Simulating cold clouds

About 12 million light years from Earth resides one of the Milky Way’s closest neighbors, a disk galaxy called Messier 82 (M82). Smaller than the Milky Way, M82’s cigar shape underscores a volatile personality. The galaxy produces new stars about five times faster than our own galaxy’s rate of star production. This star-making frenzy gives rise to galactic wind that pushes out more gas than the system keeps in, leading astronomers to estimate that M82 will run out of fuel in just 8 million years.

Analyzing images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, scientists can observe this slow-developing exodus of gas and dust. Data gathered from such observations can help Robertson and Schneider gauge if they are on the right track when simulating galactic wind.

“With galaxies like M82, you see a lot of cold material at large radius that’s flowing out very fast. We wanted to see, if you took a realistic cloud of cold gas and hit it with a hot, fast-flowing, supernova-driven outflow, if you could accelerate that cold material to velocities like what are observed,” Robertson said.

Answering this question in high resolution required an efficient code that could solve the problem based on well-known physics, such as the motion of liquids. Robertson and Schneider developed Cholla to carry out hydrodynamics calculations entirely on GPUs, highly parallelized accelerators that excel at simple number crunching, thus achieving high-resolution results.

In Titan, a 27-petaflop system containing more than 18,000 GPUs, Cholla found its match. After testing the code on a GPU cluster at the University of Arizona, Robertson and Schneider benchmarked Cholla under two small OLCF Director’s Discretionary awards before letting the code loose under INCITE. In test runs, the code has maintained scaling across more than 16,000 GPUs.

“We can use all of Titan,” Robertson said, “which is kind of amazing because the vast majority of the power of that system is in GPUs.”

The pairing of code and computer gave Robertson and Schneider the tools needed to produce high-fidelity simulations of gas clouds measuring more than 15 light years in diameter. Furthermore, the team can zoom in on parts of the simulation to study phases and properties of galactic wind in isolation. This capability helped the team to rule out a theory that posited cold clouds close to the galaxy’s center could be pushed out by fast-moving, hot wind from supernovas.

“The answer is it isn’t possible,” Robertson said. “The hot wind actually shreds the clouds and the clouds become sheared and very narrow. They’re like little ribbons that are very difficult to push on.”

Galactic goals

Having proven Cholla’s computing chops, Robertson and Schneider are now planning a full-galaxy simulation about 10 to 20 times larger than their previous effort. Expanding the size of the simulation will allow the team to test an alternate theory for the emergence of galactic wind in disk galaxies like M82. The theory suggests that clouds of cold gas condense out of the hot outflow as they expand and cool.

“That’s something that’s been posited in analytical models but not tested in simulation,” Robertson said. “You have to model the whole galaxy to capture this process because the dynamics of the outflows are such that you need a global simulation of the disk.”

The full-galaxy simulation will likely be composed of hundreds of billions of cells representing more than 30,000 light years of space. To cover this expanse, the team must sacrifice resolution. It can rely on its detailed gas cloud simulations, however, to bridge scales and inform unresolved physics within the larger simulation.

“That’s what’s interesting about doing these simulations at widely different scales,” Robertson said. “We can calibrate after the fact to inform ourselves in how we might be getting the story wrong with the coarser, larger simulation.”

Lunar Dynamo’s Lifetime Extended By At Least 1 Billion Years

New evidence from ancient lunar rocks suggests that an active dynamo once churned within the molten metallic core of the moon, generating a magnetic field that lasted at least 1 billion years longer than previously thought. Dynamos are natural generators of magnetic fields around terrestrial bodies, and are powered by the churning of conducting fluids within many stars and planets. In a paper published today in Science Advances, researchers from MIT and Rutgers University report that a lunar rock collected by NASA’s Apollo 15 mission exhibits signs that it formed 1 to 2.5 billion years ago in the presence of a relatively weak magnetic field of about 5 microtesla. That’s around 10 times weaker than Earth’s current magnetic field but still 1,000 times larger than fields in interplanetary space today.

Several years ago, the same researchers identified 4-billion-year-old lunar rocks that formed under a much stronger field of about 100 microtesla, and they determined that the strength of this field dropped off precipitously around 3 billion years ago. At the time, the researchers were unsure whether the moon’s dynamo — the related magnetic field — died out shortly thereafter or lingered in a weakened state before dissipating completely.

The results reported today support the latter scenario: After the moon’s magnetic field dwindled, it nonetheless persisted for at least another billion years, existing for a total of at least 2 billion years.

Study co-author Benjamin Weiss, professor of planetary sciences in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), says this new extended lifetime helps to pinpoint the phenomena that powered the moon’s dynamo. Specifically, the results raise the possibility of two different mechanisms — one that may have driven an earlier, much stronger dynamo, and a second that kept the moon’s core simmering at a much slower boil toward the end of its lifetime.

“The concept of a planetary magnetic field produced by moving liquid metal is an idea that is really only a few decades old,” Weiss says. “What powers this motion on Earth and other bodies, particularly on the moon, is not well-understood. We can figure this out by knowing the lifetime of the lunar dynamo.”

Weiss’ co-authors are lead author Sonia Tikoo, a former MIT graduate student who is now an assistant professor at Rutgers; David Shuster of the University of California at Berkeley; Clément Suavet and Huapei Wang of EAPS; and Timothy Grove, the R.R. Schrock Professor of Geology and associate head of EAPS.

Apollo’s glassy recorders

Since NASA’s Apollo astronauts brought back samples from the lunar surface, scientists have found some of these rocks to be accurate “recorders” of the moon’s ancient magnetic field. Such rocks contain thousands of tiny grains that, like compass needles, aligned in the direction of ancient fields when the rocks crystallized eons ago. Such grains can give scientists a measure of the moon’s ancient field strength.

Until recently, Weiss and others had been unable to find samples much younger than 3.2 billion years old that could accurately record magnetic fields. As a result, they had only been able to gauge the strength of the moon’s magnetic field between 3.2 and 4.2 billion years ago.

“The problem is, there are very few lunar rocks that are younger than about 3 billion years old, because right around then, the moon cooled off, volcanism largely ceased and, along with it, formation of new igneous rocks on the lunar surface,” Weiss explains. “So there were no young samples we could measure to see if there was a field after 3 billion years.”

There is, however, a small class of rocks brought back from the Apollo missions that formed not from ancient lunar eruptions but from asteroid impacts later in the moon’s history. These rocks melted from the heat of such impacts and recrystallized in orientations determined by the moon’s magnetic field.

Weiss and his colleagues analyzed one such rock, known as Apollo 15 sample 15498, which was originally collected on Aug. 1, 1971, from the southern rim of the moon’s Dune Crater. The sample is a mix of minerals and rock fragments, welded together by a glassy matrix, the grains of which preserve records of the moon’s magnetic field at the time the rock was assembled.

“We found that this glassy material that welds things together has excellent magnetic recording properties,” Weiss says.

Baking rocks

The team determined that the rock sample was about 1 to 2.5 billion years old — much younger than the samples they previously analyzed. They developed a technique to decipher the ancient magnetic field recorded in the rock’s glassy matrix by first measuring the rock’s natural magnetic properties using a very sensitive magnetometer.

They then exposed the rock to a known magnetic field in the lab, and heated the rock to close to the extreme temperatures in which it originally formed. They measured how the rock’s magnetization changed as they increased the surrounding temperature.

“You see how magnetized it gets from getting heated in that known magnetic field, then you compare that field to the natural magnetic field you measured beforehand, and from that you can figure out what the ancient field strength was,” Weiss explains.

The researchers did have to make one significant adjustment to the experiment to better simulate the original lunar environment, and in particular, its atmosphere. While the Earth’s atmosphere contains around 20 percent oxygen, the moon has only imperceptible traces of the gas. In collaboration with Grove, Suavet built a customized, oxygen-deprived oven in which to heat the rocks, preventing them from rusting while at the same time simulating the oxygen-free environment in which the rocks were originally magnetized.

“In this way, we finally have gotten an accurate measurement of the lunar field,” Weiss says.

From ice cream makers to lava lamps

From their experiments, the researchers determined that, around 1 to 2.5 billion years ago, the moon harbored a relatively weak magnetic field, with a strength of about 5 microtesla — two orders of magnitude weaker than the moon’s field around 3 to 4 billion years ago. Such a dramatic dip suggests to Weiss and his colleagues that the moon’s dynamo may have been driven by two distinct mechanisms.

Scientists have proposed that the moon’s dynamo may have been powered by the Earth’s gravitational pull. Early in its history, the moon orbited much closer to the Earth, and the Earth’s gravity, in such close proximity, may have been strong enough to pull on and rotate the rocky exterior of the moon. The moon’s liquid center may have been dragged along with the moon’s outer shell, generating a very strong magnetic field in the process.

It’s thought that the moon may have moved sufficiently far away from the Earth by about 3 billion years ago, such that the power available for the dynamo by this mechanism became insufficient. This happens to be right around the time the moon’s magnetic field strength dropped. A different mechanism may have then kicked in to sustain this weakened field. As the moon moved away from the Earth, its core likely sustained a low boil via a slow process of cooling over at least 1 billion years.

“As the moon cools, its core acts like a lava lamp — low-density stuff rises because it’s hot or because its composition is different from that of the surrounding fluid,” Weiss says. “That’s how we think the Earth’s dynamo works, and that’s what we suggest the late lunar dynamo was doing as well.”

The researchers are planning to analyze even younger lunar rocks to determine when the dynamo died off completely.

“Today the moon’s field is essentially zero,” Weiss says. “And we now know it turned off somewhere between the formation of this rock and today.”

This research was supported, in part, by NASA.

Tornado-Like Funnels Captured Over Cornwall As Torrential Rain And Flash Floods Hit Parts Of The UK

A series of tornado-like funnels have been caught as they spiraled across Cornwall and other parts of the country yesterday.

Flash floods hit some parts of the UK as a month’s worth of rain fell in 12 hours.

Footage captured by Damon Webb shows one twister spiralling above the ground on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

And in south east Cornwall, a funnel cloud was captured over houses in Saltash. Last week a similar cloud was filmed over Fowey.

Weather experts declared the phenomenon was a funnel clouds, stressing it only becomes a tornado if it touches the ground.

Britain sees around 30 to 35 tornadoes each year, though they rarely cause significant damage.

The funnels were seen as the British summer took a depressing turn.

In parts of eastern England, more than a month’s worth of rain fell in just 12 hours.

Torrential downpours caused flash floods in parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and heavy rain also affected the World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Met Office figures showed 58mm of rainfall was recorded at Painshill Reservoir in Surrey in just 12 hours during Wednesday – more than the county’s August average monthly rainfall of 56.8mm.

Some of the worst flooding was reported near the port city of Hull in East Yorkshire. An area in Withernsea was submerged under three feet of standing water.

A spokesman for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “From 7pm we received calls relating to flooding in Withernsea.

“The water is three feet deep in some streets and this is where there is a real risk of homes flooding and we are keeping a close eye on them.

“There are also reports of cellars flooding in some pubs in the town.”

Numerous incidents were also reported across the Grimsby and Immingham areas.

There were also flood-related incidents further south.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service received calls to incidents of localised flooding, while standing water in south-east London, caused disruption to trains between Dartford and the capital.

Competitors at the World Athletics’ Championship at the London Stadium had to battle a deluge of torrential rain with the track and long-jump run-ups under streams of water and thousands of spectators soaked by the persistent rain.

The worst of the wet weather is now over, although some rain was still falling in London early during Thursday’s rush-hour.

But it should clear up for most of the UK during Thursday.

Much of the country, apart from north-west and far east, should enjoy a fine, clear day with plenty of sunshine.

It will feel quite warm in the sunshine with top temperatures around London expected to reach 23C.

But this will be short-lived with more widespread rain arriving on Friday, although it is not expected to be as heavy as Wednesday’s downpours.

The weekend should also be pleasant with fine weather predicted for Saturday and Sunday and just the occasional shower.