Tag Archives: swirls

NC river swirls with gray muck near flooded coal ash dump

NC river swirls with gray muck near flooded coal ash dumpWILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Gray muck is flowing into the Cape Fear River from the site of a dam breach at a Wilmington power plant Friday where an old coal ash dump had been covered over by Florence's floodwaters.



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Birth of a planet captured for first time as gas giant bigger than Jupiter swirls into existence

Birth of a planet captured for first time as gas giant bigger than Jupiter swirls into existenceEven by astronomical standards it is a discovery that is out of this world. Scientists have for the first time witnessed the birth of a planet, a huge gas giant many times the size of Jupiter, swirling into existence 370 light years from Earth.  The theory of how gas planets form from a vortex of hydrogen and helium molecules captivated by their own gravity, is now widely accepted by scientists. But it has never been seen before, until now. Today scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg and the SPHERE instrument consortium at the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, released a spectacular image of the birth  The planet, currently known as PDS 70b, is shown orbiting within a huge spinning ‘protoplanetary disc’ of gas and dust, which proves it is continuing to accumulate matter, and so is not yet fully formed.  The newborn sits within a 5.4 million year old solar system, orbiting a star called PDS 70 at a distance of 1.8 billion miles.  The planet stands out clearly in the image, visible as a bright point to the right of the blackened centre. The dark region at the centre of the image is due to a coronagraph, a mask which blocks the blinding light of the central star and allows astronomers to detect the faint light from the planet. “For our study, we selected PDS 70, a star that was already suspected of having a young planet circling around it,” says Miriam Keppler, doctoral student at MPIA. “These discs around young stars are the birthplaces of planets, but so far only a handful of observations have detected hints of baby planets in them. Space exploration | Recent exciting discoveries “The problem is that until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disc." This glimpse of the dust-shrouded birth of a planet was only possible because of ESO's SPHERE instrument, which studies exoplanets and discs around nearby stars using a technique known as high-contrast imaging.  Using the instrument, astronomers were able measure the brightness of the planet at different wavelengths, and find out its composition.  It is located roughly three billion kilometres from the central star, roughly equivalent to the distance between Uranus and the Sun. The planet takes about 120 years to orbit its host star.  Spectral analysis shows PDS 70 b is a giant gas planet, with a mass a few times that of Jupiter and a surface temperature of around 1,000C, making it much hotter than any planet in our own solar system.  Signs of life in our Solar System Thomas Henning, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and leader of the teams, summarises the scientific adventure: "After more than a decade of enormous efforts to build this high-tech machine, now SPHERE enables us to reap the harvest with the discovery of baby planets.” To date, astronomers have discovered around 3,800 exoplanets outside of the solar system but have never seen one being born. “The results give us a new window onto the complex and poorly-understood early stages of planetary evolution," said Dr André Müller, leader of the second team to investigate the young planet.  “We needed to observe a planet in a young star's disc to really understand the processes behind planet formation." 



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Mystery swirls around powerful North Korea official as Hwang Pyong-so remains missing

Mystery swirls around powerful North Korea official as Hwang Pyong-so remains missingA North Korean official widely deemed as the nation’s second most powerful figure has been missing for some time, raising speculation that he has been executed.



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Donald Trump approval rating at 70-year low as Russia scandal swirls

Donald Trump approval rating at 70-year low as Russia scandal swirlsDonald Trump’s approval rating has plunged in a national poll, published on Sunday, that charts Americans’ perceptions of a stalling domestic policy agenda and declining leadership on the world stage. The Washington Post/ABC News poll, which put Trump’s six-month approval rating at a historic 70-year low, came amid mounting controversy over Russian interference in the 2016 election. It emerged on Saturday that Trump’s campaign committee made a payment to the legal firm representing the president’s eldest son almost two weeks before a meeting between Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer promising compromising information on Hillary Clinton was made public.



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Very determined man mows the grass as a tornado swirls nearby

Very determined man mows the grass as a tornado swirls nearbyWhat, was the grass supposed to cut itself? A particularly diligent man in Alberta, Canada, was recently photographed mowing his lawn as a tornado swirled menacingly in the distance.  SEE ALSO: America's newest eye in the sky is proving itself one tornado outbreak at a time Theunis Wessels told the
Canadian Press
that he was "keeping an eye on it" and that the twister was moving away from the house as he pushed the red mower along. His wife, Cecilia, said she snapped the photo to show her parents in South Africa, who rarely see tornados. Cecilia Wessels wasn't the only resident of Three Hills, Alberta, to capture the two-toned tornado as it swirled through the small town last Friday. Videos cropped up in recent days showing the 31-mile-an-hour twister rattling trees and ripping across the grass.  No injuries were reported from the tornado, though some photos show downed trees and a barn with its roof ripped off, the
Canadian Press reported. Other images showed driveways slick with tiny spheres of hail. Just 27 minutes after the first tornado alert was issued, Alberta emergency officials reported the tornado threat was over. WATCH:



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Democrats pile on Nunes as intrigue swirls around House Russia probe

Democrats pile on Nunes as intrigue swirls around House Russia probeHouse intelligence committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is resisting growing calls for him to step aside over the revelation he had gone to the White House grounds to receive classified information related to committee’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election. “We’ve been investigating Russia for many, many years,” he said.



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