Wil je een videoclip bekijken en stoort het X-files-deuntje jou daarbij. Schakel het deuntje gewoon uit door in deze kolon, helemaal beneden op de 2 witte balkjes in het blauwe cirkeltje te klikken, tot een pijltje verschijnt. Veel kijk- en luisterplezier en bedankt voor jouw bezoek.
The purpose of this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category. Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
Deze blog is opgedragen aan mijn overleden echtgenote Lucienne.
In 2012 verloor ze haar moedige strijd tegen kanker!
In 2011 startte ik deze blog, omdat ik niet mocht stoppen met mijn UFO-onderzoek.
UFO'S - MET HET LAATSTE NIEUWS OVER UFO'S BOVEN BELGIË EN IN ANDERE LANDEN...
UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE ww.ufo.be.
Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch...
Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site www.ufowijzer.nl bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels.
MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen.
MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity...
Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder www.mufon.com.
Ze geven een maandeliiks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal. Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
CNN Now Getting Beaten In Primetime By History Channel’s Ancient Aliens
CNN Now Getting Beaten In Primetime By History Channel’s Ancient Aliens
Things have gotten so bad for the far left CNN that they are now being beaten in prime time by the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens show. People would rather hear theories about aliens creating the human race than listen to Anderson Cooper talk. That’s got to sting.
History Channel’s ‘Ancient Aliens’ Outperforms CNN in Primetime
CNN tanked in the cable ratings between August 6 and August 12, losing out to Fox News, MSNBC, and even the History Channel show Ancient Aliens, according to the latest data from Nielsen Media Research.
CNN’s competitors, Fox News and MSNBC, defeated CNN handily in the ratings war this week. Fox News took the number one slot for primetime viewership at 2.18 million viewers, and MSNBC came in second with 1.75 million viewers…
they shut down big names on social media; especially ones that call out false flags. Aside from Alex Jones, they also nuked a bunch of libertarians and other accounts that you didn't notice because the mainstream media is focused on Jones.
they have a terror training camp teaching kids to do school shootings; all under FBI surveillance for a number of months. The sheriffs went into the camp against FBI orders, otherwise, we would have never heard of it.
they need a big false flag before midterms to distract from FBI/DOJ corruption, crashing currencies in emerging markets, and to take the guns.
I'm afraid they are going for their 'big move' soon. This may be the calm before the storm.
What in the world is going on at the New York Times? Did you happen to catch its latest pass at UFOs? They’ve shrunk from breaking the biggest related story in memory back in December to dribbling out the sort of featherweight beginners blog fare that appeared on Aug. 3. How does this happen? Who’s running the show?
All appearances aside, De Void really doesn’t like to rant. It’s usually juvenile and rarely cathartic. Plus it never changes anything. But this, this, this thing that ran in the Times two weeks ago belongs in a truly special category of regression, like four-legged tadpoles deciding they’d rather revert to gills than take their chances on lungs and land. Normally you see formula writing of this caliber farmed out to Newsweek interns, or maybe to poor overworked Wiki-trolling legacy-media newbies pressured to generate quick traffic in off-peak hours.
Questionable judgment can sometimes be amusing — but not always/
Eight months ago, the Times startled the world by exposing the Pentagon’s $22M UFO research initiative, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. But despite intense reader interest in the 2004 Nimitz incident, in which at least one UFO was videotaped by a Top Gun F-18 pilot who was thoroughly outmaneuvered, the Times hasn’t done a lick of followup.
But suddenly, on Aug. 3, from out of nowhere, without any news peg whatsoever, with no anniversary date that ends in a 0 or a 5, or any additional eyewitnesses or supporting documentation, the Times decided to dust off a moldy oldie from 1952. It’s one of the most famous cases, involving UFOs that buzzed the nation’s capital on consecutive weekends in July that year. Perhaps feeling the need to justify recapping this old story, reporter Laura M. Holson tossed in a few quasi-newsy cultural references in the third graph, e.g., Gillian “X-Files” Anderson’s upcoming role in a UFO movie next month, and a planned reboot of the “Men In Black” franchise.
The only new voice Holson brings to light is the 68-year-old daughter of a commercial pilot who saw UFOs during one of those summer night incursions in ‘52. Too young to remember the event, Faith McClory tells the Times “My sister has memories of men (reporters) coming to our home. People were enthralled with the flying saucers.”
Her sister. Fascinating. Do go on.
“It should be noted,” the Times tells readers, “that the term U.F.O., as used by the government, does not mean extraterrestrials from outer space. It means any object in the sky that has not been identified.” Whoa, wait, what? It doesn’t mean Martians? Since, like, when? “When asked recently about the 1952 Washington sightings, Ann Stefanek, chief of media operations for the Air Force, wrote in an email that” – now this should be interesting, a PIO who probably wasn’t even born in 1952, I wonder what she’ll say – “the objects had posed no threat to national security.
OK, yo, hold up. What’s with the periods between U.F.O.? Is this another formalistic brand quirk like using a proper salutation before each and every surname reference, no matter how undeserving or grotesque? Before boiling Mr. Doe’s flayed skull in acid, Mr. Dahmer cued up Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” and contemplated refreshing his spice rack. Does anyone else but the Times put periods between UFO? It’s distracting. It’s so distracting I haven’t finished my rant yet. Back to it:
“The events in Washington were not the first unexplained encounter report. Debris from what observers called a ‘flying disc’ had been spotted in Roswell, N.M., five years earlier, which Army officials said was from a ‘weather balloon.’” Wow! Interesting! I wonder if anybody claimed to have picked up any of that Roswell stuff. Hm. “By 1952, though, a number of sightings of U.F.O.s were being reported across the country and the nation was on edge.”
OK, look, I can’t hang with this anymore. The thing ends with how the USAF’s official explanation of the July ’52 phenomena was temperature inversions, a hand-rinse that’s only been out there for 66 years. And this article – “A Radar Blip, a Flash of Light: How U.F.O.s ‘Exploded’ Into Public View” – ran under the Times’ heading “Science.” Even as the Times continues to ignore the continuing expansion of the story it set into motion.
The Times’ reluctance to revisit its game-changing coup got even weirder yesterday with its publication of yet another “U.F.O.” story, dateline Los Angeles, titled “They’ve ‘Seen Things.’” It’s about a guy named Robert Bingham who has attracted a considerable following for his alleged ability to “summon” UFOs into view. Not insignificantly, this piece actually references its own reporting into the Nimitz incident, but steers well clear of updating that story. Otherwise, this is just another garden-variety piece on “believers.”
So to reiterate: Who’s calling the shots on UFO coverage back in New York? Was the inclusion of the Times’ scoop on the Nimitz incident in Tuesday’s profile of Bingham a reporter’s dog whistle for management to get its s*%# together? If the Times has had a change of heart on going deep with UFOs, why bother with the sort of innocuous filler it ran on Aug. 3, or a personality piece that won’t move anybody’s bar on standards of evidence? When it comes to shepherding material with this amount of public interest from the fringe to the mainstream, the Times’ news judgement is looking more incoherent by the month.
Thousands of new documents from Project MKUltra, the Central Intelligence Agency’s mid-century mind control program, will soon be released. The new records include 4,358 undisclosed pages regarding MKUltra’s “behavior modification” efforts.
John Greenewald, founder of The Black Vault, a site specializing in declassified government records obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, first uploaded MKUltra documents in 2004—tens of thousands of pages, spread over four CD-ROMs. The document index alone is 85 pages.
Still, the trove of MKUltra material available on The Black Vault represent only a small fraction of the material from the sprawling, multi-decade program, with the majority lost to history after CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973. This makes the new documents crucial to expanding our narrow perspective on the CIA’s actions from the operation’s beginnings in 1953 through the cover-up twenty years later.
Project MKUltra was an illegal program of human experimentation undertaken by the CIA to discover methods, both pharmacological and psychological, for controlling the human mind, particularly in interrogation settings. Amphetamines, MDMA, scopolamine, cannabis, salvia, sodium pentothal, psilocybin and LSD were administered to thousands of unsuspecting people, throughout the United States and Canada. Others were subject to sensory deprivation, psychological abuse and rape, including the sexual abuse of children.
Frank Olson, a biological warfare scientist working with the CIA, plummeted to his death a little over a week after his supervisor covertly dosed him with LSD. Though his death was considered a suicide, the Netflix documentary miniseries Wormwood convincingly argues he was instead assassinated by the CIA after threatening to disclose his work, particularly the United States’ alleged use of biological weapons in the Korean War.
More than 80 colleges, prisons, pharma companies and hospitals collaborated in the program, including renowned psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, who served president of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association. The destruction of decades of documentation and subsequent CIA stonewalling has made Project MKUltra a central element of numerous conspiracy theories.
The existence of the previously unknown MKUltra pages was discovered in 2016, when a Black Vault user, Oscar Diggs, discovered irregularities in the collection the CIA disclosed to Greenewald. Diggs created a list of missing records and pages described in the index. The CIA refused to fill in the gaps in their original FOIA disclosure, claiming that extant MKUltra documents pertaining to “behavioral modification” were not the same as those pertaining to “mind control.” Greenewald is currently crowdfunding to cover the fees imposed by the CIA for the remaining 4,358 pages.
In a new paper published in Nature Astronomy, Tom Nordheim from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and his colleagues put Jupiter’s moon Europaback on the front burner in the search for life beyond Earth.
They found that potential biosignatures such as amino acids might be preserved at high to mid-latitudes of Europa only a few centimeters below the moon’s icy surface. Even in the equatorial regions, where the radiation hazard is much more brutal, detectable levels of amino acids may still be recoverable at depths ofonly 10 centimeters—assuming the ice crust is not older than 10 million years.
On our own planet, of course, water ice is greatfor preservingbiological molecules. The problem on Europa is the huge amount of radiation that this moon receives from Jupiter. A lander mission would be challenging, as the spacecraft would have to be radiation-hardened.A human mission is completely out of the question.
But the astonishing results by Nordheim and colleagues, if validated by other research groups, open up new possibilities for exploration. Ifa spacecraft were to land in the right location on Europa, it would need only a heat source to melt the ice and a scooper to collect biologically interesting samples. No deep drilling would be necessary, which saves a lot of technology development and expense.
Ideally, a Europa landerwould search for biomolecules in regionsonthe moon’ssurface younger than the average age of 30 to 90 million years old(which is still comparatively young compared to other icy moons).A prime landing location would be thejumbled-up surface terraincalled the Chaos region, which is thought to be much younger than the average crust. A particularly good target would be the region from which transient water plumes have been detectedemanating from the moon’s surfacein the past. Here we would expect that water from the deeper Europanoceanis getting close to the moon’s surface.
The findings by Nordheim and his colleaguesshould swing Europa back tobeingthe top priority for astrobiology missions in the outer Solar System, surpassingSaturn’s moon Enceladus, which recently has received a lot of interest fromthe scientific community. Europa is the only body in our Solar System where not just microbial life, but conceivably also multicellularcomplex life, might be present—particularly if hydrothermal vent systems like the “black smokers”on Earth exist on the moon’s ocean floor. And perhaps we could find some of that Europan life, or more likely its traces, very close to the moon’s icy surface.
Why don’t more people appreciate science? Personally, I believe it has something to do with science communication and the way we teach science in our schools.
With this in mind, here are a couple amazing scientific facts that I hope will inspire you to learn something new every day — they’ve certainly done so for me. However, this list is much too short; keep it growing by adding your own science facts in the comments section.
1. There is enough DNA in the average person’s body to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back — 17 times
The human genome (the genetic code in each human cell) contains 23 DNA molecules (called chromosomes), each containing from 500,000 to 2.5 million nucleotide pairs. DNA molecules of this size are 1.7 to 8.5 cm long when uncoiled — about 5 cm on average. There are about 37 trillion cells in the human body, so if you were to uncoil all of the DNA encased in each cell and place the molecules end to end, it would sum to a total length of 2×1014 meters — enough for 17 Pluto round-trips (the distance from the sun to Pluto and then back again is 1.2×1013 meters). As an added bonus, you should know that we each share 99% of our DNA with every other human — just to show that we’re far more alike than different.
2. The average human body carries ten times more bacterial cells than human cells
It’s funny how we compulsively wash our hands, spray our countertops, or make a grimace when someone sneezes near us, when, in fact, each and every one of us is a walking petri dish! All the bacteria living inside you could fill a half-gallon jug — there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho. Don’t worry, though: most of these bacteria are helpful. In fact, we couldn’t survive without them.
For example, bacteria produce chemicals that help us harness energy and nutrients from our food. Germ-free rodents have to consume nearly a third more calories than normal rodents to maintain their body weight, and when the same animals were later given a dose of bacteria, their body fat levels spiked despite the fact that they didn’t eat any more than they had before. Gut bacteria is also very important for maintaining immunity. (image source).
3. It takes a photon up to 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to its surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to Earth
A photon travels, on average, a particular distance before being briefly absorbed and released by an atom, which scatters it in a new random direction. To travel from the sun’s core to the sun’s surface (696,000 kilometers) so it can escape into space, a photon needs to make a huge number of drunken jumps.
The calculation is a little tricky, but the conclusion is that a photon takes many thousands and many millions of years to drunkenly wander to the surface of the Sun. In a way, some of the light that reaches us today is energy produced millions of years ago. Amazing!
4. At over 2,000 kilometers long, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth
Coral reefs consist of huge numbers of individual coral polyps (soft-bodied, invertebrate animals) that are linked together by tissue. The Great Barrier Reef is an interlinked system of about 3,000 reefs and 900 coral islands divided by narrow passages, located just beneath the surface of the Coral Sea. Spanning more than 2,000 km and covering an area of some 350,000 sq km, it is the largest living structure on Earth and the only one visible from space. However, this fragile coral colony is beginning to crumble, battered by the effects of climate change, pollution, and manmade disasters.
5. There are 8 times as many atoms in a teaspoonful of water as there are teaspoonfuls of water in the Atlantic ocean
A teaspoon of water (about 5 mL) contains 2×1023 water molecules, but each water molecule is comprised of 3 atoms: two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen. Moreover, if you’d laid down end to end each water molecule from a teaspoon down end to end, you’d end up with a length of 50 billion km — 10 times the width of our solar system.
RELATEDFun and Exciting Chemical Experiments for Teaching and Learning
6. In an entire lifetime, the average person walks the equivalent of five times around the world
The average moderately active person takes around 7,500 step/day. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime. Doing the math; the average person with the average stride living until 80 will walk a distance of around 110,000 miles — which is the equivalent of walking about 5 times around the Earth, right on the equator.
7. There are actually over two dozen states of matter (that we know of)
Everybody knows that there at least three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. If you’re a little bit more versed in physics, you also know about the fourth fundamental state of matter called plasma — a hot ionized gas, with prime examples including lightning or neon signs. But beyond these common states of matter, scientists have discovered a myriad of exotic states of matter that occur under special conditions. One of them is the Bose-Einsteincondensate, where atoms chilled to only 0.000001 degrees above absolute zero start behaving like waves, rather than particles as they ought to on the macroscopic scale. Essentially, the atoms behave like one super atom, acting in unison.
Another interesting exotic state of matter is represented by time crystals — regular, boringly ordered crystals with a twist: A fourth dimension, time, is added so that the material exhibits different periodic structures over time. What makes these crystals particularly remarkable has less to do with the fact that they repeat in time but rather more with the fact that they’re intrinsically out of equilibrium. Because time crystals are never able to settle down, say into a diamond or ruby, there’s a lot we can learn from them.
8. Killer whales are actually dolphins
Despite their name, killer whales or orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family. Technically, orcas are also whales because delphinids belong to the Cetacean order within the toothed whale (Odontoceti) suborder. However, the term whale is typically reserved for baleen whales of the Mysticeti suborder.
The major physical feature that ensures orcas are dolphins is the presence of a melon — a fatty deposit that assists the animals in echolocation and only exists in dolphins.
Orcas are highly intelligent, highly adaptable and able to communicate and coordinate hunting tactics. They are extremely fast swimmers and have been recorded at speeds of up to 54kph! A wild orca pod can cover over 160 kilometers a day, foraging, and socializing.
9. Grasshoppers have ears in their bellies
Unlike humans, grasshoppers do not have ears on the side of their head. Like the ears of people, the grasshopper sound detector is a thin membrane called a tympanum, or “eardrum”. In adults, the tympanum is covered and protected by the wings, and allows the grasshopper to hear the songs of its fellow grasshoppers.
The grasshopper tympanum is adapted to vibrate in response to signals that are important to the grasshopper. Male grasshoppers use sounds to call for mates and to claim territory. Females can hear the sound that males make and judge the relative size of the male from the pitch of the call (large males make deeper sounds). Other males can hear the sounds and judge the size of a potential rival. Males use this information to avoid fights with larger male grasshoppers or to chase smaller rivals from their territory.
10. You can’t taste food without saliva
In order for food to have taste, chemicals from the food must first dissolve in saliva. It’s only once they’ve been dissolved in a liquid that the chemicals can be detected by receptors on taste buds. During this process, some salivary constituents chemically interact with taste substances. For example, salivary buffers (e.g., bicarbonate ions) decrease the concentration of free hydrogen ions (sour taste), and there are some salivary proteins which may bind with bitter taste substances.
Here’s a quick science experiment to test this out — get out a clean towel, and rub your tongue dry; then place some dry foods on your tongue, one by one, such as a cookie, pretzel, or some other dry food. After this session, drink a glass of water and repeat. Did you feel a difference?
11. When Helium is cooled to almost absolute zero (-460°F or -273°C, the lowest temperature possible), it becomes a liquid with surprising properties: it flows against gravity and will start running up and over the lip of a glass container!
We all know helium as a gas for blowing up balloons and making people talk like chipmunks, but what most people don’t know is that it comes in two distinct liquid states — one of which is borderline creepy. When helium is just a few degrees below its boiling point of –452°F (–269°C), it can suddenly do things that other fluids can’t, like dribble through molecule-thin cracks, climb up and over the sides of a dish, and remain motionless when its container is spun. No longer a mere liquid, the helium has become a superfluid — a liquid that flows without friction.
“If you set [down] a cup with a liquid circulating around and you come back 10 minutes later, of course, it’s stopped moving,” says John Beamish, an experimental physicist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
This happens because atoms in the liquid will collide with one another and slow down.
“But if you did that with helium at low temperature and came back a million years later,” he says, “it would still be moving”.
12. If Betelgeuse exploded, transitioning from the red supergiant stage to supernova, it would light our sky continuously for two months. It could happen anytime — within a couple of thousand years, tomorrow or even now
Betelgeuse lies some 430 light-years from Earth, yet it’s already one of the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. The reason is that Betelgeuse is a supergiant star — the largest type of star in the Universe. Betelgeuse has a luminosity about 10,000 times greater than that of the Sun and its radius is calculated to be about 370 times that of the sun. If it were positioned at the center of our sun, its radius would extend out past the orbit of Mars. Because it’s near the end of its lifetime, Betelgeuse is likely to explode into a supernova.
13. Octopuses have three hearts, nine brains, and blue blood
Two of the hearts work exclusively to move blood beyond the animal’s gills, while the third keeps circulation flowing for the organs. When the octopus swims, the organ heart stops beating, which explains why these creatures prefer to crawl rather than swim (it exhausts them).
An octopus also has nine brains — well, sort of. There’s one ‘main’ brain where all the analysis and decision making takes place and eight ancillary brains — one at the base of each arm — that function as preprocessors for all the information obtained by that arm. Two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons reside in its arms, which can independently figure out how to open a shellfish, for instance, while the main brain is busy doing something else.
Our blood is red due to the fact that it contains iron-based hemoglobin to transport oxygen to cells. Octopuses, on the other hand, use the copper-based cyanoglobin, which performs the same function, albeit less efficiently — this makes octopuses have less stamina than you might expect.
14. An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body
You have about 5 liters of blood in your body (at least, most people do) and the average heart pumps about 70 mL of blood out with each beat. A healthy heart also beats around 70 times a minute. So, if you multiply the amount of blood that the heart can pump by the number of beats in a minute, you actually get about 4.9 liters of blood pumped per minute, which is almost your whole body’s worth of blood. In just a minute, the heart pumps the entire blood volume around your body.
15. The known universe is made up of 50,000,000,000 galaxies.
There are between 100,000,000,000 and 1,000,000,000,000 stars in a normal galaxy. In the Milky Way alone there might be as many 100 billion Earth-like planets. Still think we’re alone?
Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 12:14 PM - Are humans the only civilization that face climate change? A look at aliens and climate change, the 'carbon bubble' that could collapse the global economy, India's plastics ban, and the surprisingly environmentally-friendly behaviours of climate change skeptics. Its What's Up in Climate Change.
Can aliens survive climate change?
Is sustainability ever a possibility for civilizations that use natural resources? Some scientists question if our current climate change predicament is unique to human beings or simply inevitable for any type of life form that intensively harvests natural resources using technology, such as farming practices, to develop civilizations.
Scientists wonder if life forms other than humans can harvest energy without causing climate change that destroy the civilization.
Previous astrobiological studies have indicated the possibility that other planets in the universe can support energy-harvesting species, such as Kepler-62f and Kepler-62e, however there is currently no available data indicating the existence of such exo-civilizations, or more commonly ‘aliens’.
To further understand the human-induced climate change on Earth, a recent study from the University of Rochester investigated if aliens are capable of living sustainably without compromising the health of their environment, or if population growth and the use of natural resources will result in catastrophic climate change that would wipe out the entire civilization.
The evolution of a civilization’s population growth and use of natural resources was modelled with feedback relationships and demonstrated four potential outcomes:
1) Sustainability - a stable balance between population growth and environmental health - population gradually rises and the use of natural resources minimally fluctuates and reaches a consistent level that can support a large population. 2) Oscillation - population and natural resource use fluctuates to highs and lows while maintaining a stable relationship. 3) Die-off - population grows so dramatically that it exceeds the environment’s capacity to provide natural resources and space, and there is significant fluctuation in population and natural resources. The population peaks and then declines as the environment reaches a new stable state. 4) Collapse - population skyrockets and there is no stable relationship between population growth and natural resource use. Population rapidly declines as natural resource use peaks, and collapse occurs even after attempts to reduce population growth and usage of natural resources.
While there is a possibility for alien civilizations to live sustainability, this study forces us to ask ourselves - what will the outcome for humans be?
The 'carbon bubble' could collapse the global economy
The good news is that one day low-carbon technologies will power the world, the bad news is that it will crash the global economy in the process, according to a new study.
Global economic growth has created such a high demand in fossil fuels that companies’ assets in fossil fuels are overvalued and have created a ‘carbon bubble’ - a sudden drop in fossil fuel demand could leave companies with trillions of dollars in stranded assets and unable to make profit from these investments, which could collapse the global economy and trigger a financial crisis similar to the Great Recession of 2008.
Researchers predict that the world will slowly transition to low-carbon energies, a transition that puts the fossil fuel industry at risk.
The bubble is expected to burst by 2035 according researchers from the University of Cambridge who predict the world will transition to low-carbon economies as renewable energies become cheaper and more efficient. The study shows that this transition will occur even if there are no additional international climate change policies or additional efforts to follow the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
There are clear winners and losers in this transition - oil producing countries like Russia, Canada (the new owner of an oil pipeline that will cost at least $4.5 billion CND), and the United States could lose their entire oil and gas industries, countries with limited exposure to fossil fuel exposure will benefit, including Germany, and the European Union. The study explains that resisting a renewable energy transition and continuing to invest in a fossil fuel economy will cause even more economic loss as the value of fossil fuels will drop so low production will not be affordable as assets become stranded.
A renewable energy transition would result in a global wealth loss of $1-4 trillion USD and the consequences of an economic collapse can be managed by nations divesting from fossil fuels as an ‘insurance policy’ against the decisions of the rest of the world.
India will ban all single-use plastics by 2022
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that India will ban all plastic in the country by 2022 and the state of Tamil Nadu will ban plastic by 2019 - with exclusions for plastic packages for essential items like medicines and oil. The environmental impact of banning single-use plastic is expected to be huge - by 2050 India is projected to have the largest population of 1.6 billion people who won’t be using disposable plastics.
Plastic pollution on a beach in Mumbai, India.
Credit: Ravi Khemka
The national plastic ban announcement came on June 5 as India was hosting the United Nations World Environment Day with ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ as this year’s main theme. India has struggled with a number of environmental issues - air pollution is extreme that breathing in New Delhi is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day and extensive garbage pollution in cities.
Do climate skeptics act the most environmentally-friendly?
Individuals that believe in climate change might not be the ones that act the most sustainably, according to a new year-long study that measured Americans climate change beliefs and their engagement in pro-environmental behaviours, such as recycling.
Pro-environmental actions, such as recycling, can be a result of societal norms, individual values, and government programs.
These researchers wanted to know how belief in climate change affects pro-environmental behaviours and found that climate change skeptics were more likely to report their participation in pro-environmental behaviours, and those with high belief in climate change were more concerned with federal climate change policies.
Previous research provides different insights as to why some people do not engage in pro-environmental behaviours - some outright deny that climate change is occurring whereas others that do believe in climate change are reluctant to take action because of perceptions that it is not an urgent threat.
The researchers were unable to conclude why the skeptics reported more pro-environmental behaviours as they did not report greater identify fit with environmentalism or endorse individual action to reduce climate change. Possible explanations for the surprising outcome is that pro-environmental behaviours could be conducted to address issues like waste instead of the broad topic of climate change or pro-environmental behaviours might be considered a ‘moral issue’ instead of a climate change issue.
Lockheed Martin F-35A filmed "In Beast Mode" over California
Lockheed Martin F-35A filmed "In Beast Mode" over California
A video of a test flight of a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth multi-purpose combat aircraft of the Royal Dutch Air Force has appeared on YouTube.
The jet flew over the Sierra Nevada mountains in the USA in "Beast Mode"
The machine recorded in the video was equipped with four laser-guided GBU-12 bombs and two heat-seeking short-range air-to-air guided weapons AIM-9 Sidewinder.
According to the portal "The Aviationist", the fighter is currently at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The first F-35A Lightning II will be delivered from the USA to the Netherlands in November 2019. The Royal Air Forces are to receive a total of 27 aircraft. Beast Mode equipment includes weapons on the outside of the jet, as opposed to Stealth Mode, where the weaponry is placed inside the fighter jet only.
So-called Ediacaran organisms have puzzled biologists for decades. To the untrained eye they look like fossilized plants, in tube or frond shapes up to 2 meters long. These strange life forms dominated Earth’s seas half a billion years ago, and scientists have long struggled to figure out whether they’re algae, fungi, or even an entirely different kingdom of life that failed to survive. Now, two paleontologists think they have finally established the identity of the mysterious creatures: They were animals, some of which could move around, but they were unlike any living on Earth today.
Scientists first discovered the Ediacaran organisms in 1946 in South Australia’s Ediacara Hills. To date, researchers have identified about 200 different types in ancient rocks across the world. Almost all appear to have died out by 541 million years ago, just before fossils of familiar animals like sponges and the ancestors of crabs and lobsters appeared in an event dubbed the Cambrian explosion. One reason these creatures have proved so tricky to place in the tree of life is that some of them had an anatomy unique in nature. Their bodies were made up of branched fronds with a strange fractal architecture, in which the frond subunits resembled small versions of the whole frond.
Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Jian Han at Northwest University in Xi’an, China, have now found key evidence that the Ediacaran organisms were animals. They analyzed more than 200 fossils of a 518-million-year-old marine species named Stromatoverispsygmoglena. Paleontologists had previously concluded that the 10-centimeter-tall species was some sort of animal—in part, says Hoyal Cuthill, because it was found alongside other known animals, and all of the fossils are preserved in a similar way. Hoyal Cuthill and Han argue S. psygmoglena was also an Ediacaran organism, a rare “survivor” that somehow clung on through the Cambrian explosion.
The Stromatoveris fossils, which were all unearthed in Yunnan province in southwestern China, are beautifully preserved, Hoyal Cuthill says. As she examined specimen after specimen she became increasingly excited. “I began thinking: My goodness, I’ve seen these features before.” Like some of the strange Ediacaran organisms, Stromatoveris was made up of several radially repeated, branched fronds with a fractal internal architecture.
To find out what sort of animals Stromatoveris and the other Ediacaran organisms were, Hoyal Cuthill and Han ran a computer analysis that uses anatomical features to reconstruct evolutionary relationships. They found that Stromatoveris and the other Ediacaran organisms don’t belong to any living animal group or “phylum.” Instead, they cluster on their own branch in the animal evolutionary tree, between the sponges and complex animals with a digestive cavity like worms, mollusks, and vertebrates, the team reports today in Palaeontology. “This branch, the Petalonamae, could well be its own phylum, and it apparently lacks any living descendants,” Hoyal Cuthill says.
“It looks very likely [the Ediacaran organisms] are animals,” says Simon Conway Morris, a paleontologist at the University of Cambridge, who worked with Han on the first description of Stromatoveris in 2006, but who was not involved in the current study. At that point there were just a handful of known Stromatoveris fossils. The researchers argued that they were similar to some Ediacaran organisms, although others later questioned that link. Conway Morris says the new study “extends the story very nicely” by exploring the Ediacaran nature of Stromatoveris in more detail.
Geobiologist Simon Darroch at Vanderbilt University in Nashville is also comfortable with the idea that the Ediacaran organisms were animals and that a few survived into the Cambrian. But on a first look he is not convinced that Stromatoveris was one such survivor; he thinks the evidence that it had the fractal architecture of an Ediacaran organism isn’t strong—yet he’s open to persuasion.
If the new conclusion settles one mystery, though, it introduces another. The Ediacaran organisms represent the first major explosion of complex life on Earth, and they thrived for 30 million years. Their demise has been linked to the appearance of animals in the Cambrian Explosion, Hoyal Cuthill says. But that simple explanation doesn’t work as well if Ediacaran organisms were animals themselves, and some were still alive tens of millions of years later. “It’s not quite so neat anymore,” she says. “As to what led to their eventual extinction I think it’s very hard to say.”
Figure 1 — Major events during the Ediacaran period, and the main palaeontological Ediacaran field localities. A, Key tectonic, geochemical and extraterrestrial events during the Ediacaran period (635 million to 541 million years ago), and the approximate ranges of the Avalon, White Sea and Nama biotic assemblages of soft-bodied Ediacaran macrofossils. The Shuram excursion is the largest recorded change in the carbon-isotope record in Earth history, and indicates a substantial shift in the global carbon cycle. However, the precise timing of this event is unclear. B, Notable Ediacaran fossil localities. All are macrofossil sites, except Weng’an, which houses the well-known Doushantuo microfossil assemblages. Credit: F. Dunn and A. Liu.
Figure 2 — Fossils discovered between 1840 and 1957 in rocks of ‘Azoic’ age. A, Charnia masoni, discovered by schoolchildren in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, UK, in the 1950s. This specimen is the holotype (type specimen) of Charnia masoni, and is housed at the New Walk Museum, Leicester. B, Aspidella terranovica, from St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada. C, ‘Ring fossils’ from the ‘ring pit’, Charnwood Forest, first documented in the 1840s. These disc-shaped fossils are now recognized to be the anchoring holdfasts of frond-like organisms. Scale bars, 10 mm (A–B) and 50 mm (C).
Credit: F. Dunn and A. Liu.
Figure 3 — Ediacaran fossils from the Ediacara Member, South Australia. All specimens reside at the South Australia Museum. A, Dickinsonia, SAM P40135. B, Parvancorina, SAM P40695. C, Two specimens of Spriggina, SAM P29802 and P29803. D, Kimberella, SAM P48935. Scale bars, 10 mm.
Credit: F. Dunn and A. Liu.
Figure 4 — Further soft-bodied Ediacaran organisms from the Ediacara Member, South Australia. All specimens reside at the South Australia Museum. A, Funisia, SAM P40726. B, Tribrachidium, SAM P12898 (holotype). C, Palaeophragmodictya, SAM P48140. D, Eoandromeda, SAM P44349. E, Arkarua, SAM P49266. F, Palaeopascichnus, SAM P36854d. G, Nemiana, SAM P49342. Scale bars, 10 mm.
This meteorite from Siberia contains tiny, so far completely unknown crystals
This meteorite from Siberia contains tiny, so far completely unknown crystals
The extremely rare quasicrystal has been found in the Siberian Khatyrka meteorite.
Luca Bindi et al
Created under extreme heat and almost as hard as a diamond: A meteorite from Siberia contains tiny, so far completely unknown crystals.
A previously unknown mineral that does not occur on Earth was found in a meteorite by a Russian team led by Viktor Sharygin from Novosibirsk State University.
The new material "uakitite" is a nitride, forms cube-shaped crystals and consists of vanadium, nitrogen and small amounts of iron and chromium. According to the Russian working group, the crystals form only tiny inclusions of a few micrometers in diameter in the Uakite meteorite found in Siberia in 2016, which consists of an iron-nickel alloy. Because the particles are so small, the team was only able to directly determine the composition and structure of the mineral; the researchers have deduced other physical properties from comparisons with vanadium nitride. Thus Uakitite together with other nitrides is one of the hardest known minerals, only surpassed by diamond.
The composition of the meteorite shows that uakitite must have formed under extreme conditions - many of the minerals found there only form at well over 1000 degrees Celsius.
A grain of the Khatyrka meteorite, in which the quasicrystal was found
The newly discovered mineral is surrounded by a slightly larger mass of iron and chromium sulphides, which separated from the original iron-nickel melt at such high temperatures. The mostly undisturbed form of the Uakitite crystals indicates that the material crystallized out of the melt very early and is an independent mineral - other nitrides with similar composition are far and wide nothing to be seen. Because of its extreme formation conditions, uakitite can only occur in space in iron-nickel asteroids that once melted at high temperatures.
With one exception, however: The earth's core probably also consists predominantly of iron and nickel - but we will probably never know whether the rare mineral is hidden there.
Your Brain Contains Magnetic Particles, and Scientists Want to Know Why
Your Brain Contains Magnetic Particles, and Scientists Want to Know Why
By Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer
This article was updated Aug. 9 at 3:30 pm E.T.
In a remote forest laboratory in Germany, free from the widespread pollution found in cities, scientists are studying slices of human brains.
The lab's isolated location, 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Munich, gives the researchers the opportunity to examine a bizarre quirk of the brain: the presence of magnetic particles deep within the organ's tissues.
Scientists have known since the 1990s that the human brain contains these particles, but researchers didn't know why. Some experts proposed that these particles served some biological purpose, while other researchers suggested that the magnets came from environmental pollution. [Inside the Brain: A Photo Journey Through Time]
Now, the German scientists have evidence for the former explanation. In a new, small study that included data on seven postmortem brains, researchers found that some parts of the brains were more magnetic than others. That is, these areas contained more magnetic particles. What's more, all seven brains in the study had very similar distributions of magnetic particles throughout, suggesting that the particles are not a result of environmental absorption but rather serve some biological function, the team wrote in the study, published July 27 in the journal Scientific Reports.
Joseph Kirschvink, a professor of geobiology at Caltech who was not part of the study, said that the new research is "a very important advance, as it rules out obvious sources of external contamination" from pollution. Contamination is always possible, "but would not be the same in multiple individuals," he told Live Science in an email.
In the study, the researchers looked at slices of brain from seven people who had died in the early 1990s at ages 54 to 87. In the remote forest lab, far from widespread sources of magnetic pollution including car exhaust and cigarette ashes, and shielded by leaves known to absorb magnetic particles, the scientists placed their slices under a device that measures magnetic forces.
After taking a control reading, the researchers placed the brain slices next to very strong magnets to magnetize the samples and then took another reading. If the slice contained magnetic particles, those particles would then show up as a reading in the magnetometer.
(Don't worry about your brain particles magnetizing in day-to-day life, though: The kind of magnet used in the experiment is way stronger than anything you would come across in nature, said lead author Stuart Gilder, a professor of geophysics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. The magnet in the study was 1 tesla strong, or 20,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field, which is about 50 microteslas strong. An MRI, at 1 to 3 teslas strong, however, could magnetize the particles, Kirschvink said. But "to do damage you need to pull on those [particles] hard enough to break the cell membranes," Kirschvink said, and added that he is unaware of "any studies showing damage from the strong, static magnetic fields of an MRI.")
The scientists found that most parts of the brain could be magnetized; in other words, these areas all contained magnetic particles. But in all seven brains, the brain stem and the cerebellum had greater magnetism than the higher-up cerebral cortex. Both the brain stem and the cerebellum are in the lower back portions in the brain, and both are more evolutionarily ancient than the cerebral cortex.
It's still unclear why the particles appear in this pattern of concentrations, the scientists said. But because the researchers spotted the pattern in all of the brains examined, "it probably has, or had, some kind of biological significance," Gilder said.
For example, because these particles were more concentrated lower down in the brain and then tapered off higher up, they likely play a role in helping electrical signals travel from the spine up and into the brain, Gilder told Live Science. However, he stressed that the finding remains fully open to interpretation.
Furthermore, because the particles weren't found specifically at higher concentrations near the olfactory bulb — which is what would happen if the particles were absorbed from the environment — Gilder said he doesn't think the particles are the result of exposure to pollution. (Here, the idea is that the particles would be inhaled through the nose and then pass into the brain's olfactory bulb.)
The researchers hypothesized that the type of magnetic particle found in these brain regions is a compound called magnetite (Fe3O4), based on previous studies that found this particle in human brains. It's possible, however, that other kinds of magnetic particles exist in the brain besides magnetite, Gilder noted.
Many animals also have magnetic particles in their brains. Some past research has suggested that animals such as eels or sea turtles use these particles to help navigate. But Gilder said that only one group of creatures are definitely known to use particles of magnetite for orienting themselves in space: magnetotactic bacteria. These bacteria migrate along magnetic field lines of the Earth's magnetic field.
Humans, on the other hand, probably don't do that, Gilder said.
Editor's note:This article was updated on Aug. 9 to include information about the effects of MRIs on magnetic particles in the brain.
Anyone who has ever watched the night sky has probably seen at least a few shooting stars from time to time. These bits of stellar debris begin to burn as they are met with the friction of our atmosphere, becoming balls of colorful fire once they reach a distance of around 15 to 55 miles above our planet.
Meteors can possess a variety of colors, ranging from blue and green to bright yellow, pink, and red. But what actually causes these colors when we see meteors streaking through the sky?
The darker colors in the spectrum are generally the result of metals present within the meteor; the same is the case for yellowish hues that appear as they burn, although reddish colors are generally a result of the air around the meteor itself. The resulting combinations can result in quite a light show during peak times of the year when meteor showers occur.
The famous Esquell meteorite, which features yellowish crystals of olivine encased in and outer matrix of iron-nickel (Wikimedia Commons).
We know, of course, that meteors contain a variety of metals and other minerals, including a few that are fairly rare here on Earth (more on that a bit later). However, one meteor that was recently discovered in Russia has actually yielded an entirely new kind of mineral, which some experts are rightly calling an “alien” material from space.
Dubbed ‘Uakitite,’ the mineral was found in an iron meteorite discovered in 2016 called Uakit, recovered from the Baunt Evenk district, Republic of Buryatia, in Russia. The discovery was formally acknowledged the following year on June 28, 2017 by the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee.
According to a paper published by the 81st Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society 2018, Kamacite is the main mineral found within the meteorite, although minor and accessory minerals include a cavalcade of seldom-discussed varieties such as schreibersite (rhabdite), nickelphosphide, taenite, plessite, cohenite, tetrataenite, daubreelite, kalininite, troilite, carlsbergite, sphalerite, among others.
The Uakitite was found in small amounts, and “was observed in small troilite-daubreelite inclusions.” The mineral is described as grayish in color, and reflecting a pinkish color under light. It is nearly as hard as diamond (possessing a 9-10 ration on the Mohs’ scale).
A variety of elements that are rarely seen here on Earth are commonly found in meteors. Examples of such rare-earth elements include iridium, platinum, neodymium, and many others, which have practical applications that include an array of industrial uses (magnets made of neodymium can be purchased, for instance, which are renowned for their strength).
When geologists find a prevalence of a particular rare-earth element along a widespread geological boundary, one thing that it may often indicate is an extraterrestrial impact that occurred during the period in history associated with the strata in question. The presence of a so-called “iridium anomaly” such as this was what helped physicist Luis Alvarez and his son, geologist Walter Alvarez, determine that an extraterrestrial impact occurred in the Cretaceous period, which is associated with the widespread extinction of the dinosaurs.
A similar controversial theory has been proposed for a platinum anomaly discovered at around 12,700 BCE, which coincides with a period of abrupt climate change in Paleoindian times known as the Younger Dryas.
While there are no “anomalies” present in relation to the Russian meteor discussed earlier, it is certainly a novel discovery to have found traces of an “alien” mineral within it. The discovery marks the first instance where, to our knowledge, the newly-dubbed Uakitite mineral has ever appeared on our world.
In 1959, popular TV comedian Jackie Gleason became so obsessed with life on galaxies far, far away that he built his house to look like a giant spaceship — and now, the round, winding structure is on the market for $12 million.
Anthony Acocella Photography
Using The Honeymooners star’s love of outer space and UFOs as inspiration, architect Robert Cika designed the house and an adjacent cottage in Cortland Manor, New York, from scratch. Everything in the two buildings — nicknamed “The Spaceship” and “The Motherhsip” by Gleason — is circular, with the structure supported by exposed wooden ship beams spiraling out from the middle.
Anthony Acocella Photography
Gleason, who rose to fame after landing small roles in 1940s movies and eventually landing a prime comedy slot on CBS’ The Jackie Gleason Show in 1949, took six years to build the house specifically to his liking. Even today, the Spaceship and the Mothership look like something straight out of the future — the stairs, curved floorboards, master bed and cabinets are all built as a spiral without a single right angle in view.
Anthony Acocella Photography
Listed by Keller Williams’ Margaret Bailey, Howard Payson and Jacqueline Campanelli, the estate boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms and more than eight acres of land. From the marble staircases and curving kitchen to the winding bar that can accommodate up to 14 people, each detail was built to honor Gleason’s lifelong love of space and science fiction.
Anthony Acocella Photography
But perhaps the most significant part of the Spaceship House is its history as a place of entertainment — Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon and Frank Sinatra have all partied in its halls at the height of Gleason’s fame. The current owner, a recently retired orthodontist, bought the house in 1976 for $150,000.
China has successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons that evade existing anti-missile defence systems, according reports.
The next-generation weapon, known as Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2, will ride the shockwave generated by the initial launch, which is handled by a rocket, to travel at six times the speed of sound, or Mach 6 – around 4,563mph (7,344kmph).
Starry Sky-2 will purportedly be able to switch direction during its flight, making it harder to track and intercept.
When the aircraft fires its missiles, these will also travel at top speeds of 4,563mph (7,344kmph) and will easily defeat conventional anti-missile defence systems.
Scientists involved in the latest test flight have heralded it as a 'huge success', with experts saying the aircraft signals China is now neck-and-neck with Russia and the United States in the race to create hypersonic warheads.
China has long been suspected of building an arsenal of hypersonic weapons, but this new test flight is the first proof the technology is actively being developed.
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China has tested a hypersonic aircraft called Starry Sky-2 (pictured) that could carry nuclear weapons and evade anti-missile defence systems, reports suggest
The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) said in a statement the latest test flight – carried out at an undisclosed location in northwest of the country – was a 'huge success', writes South China Morning Post.
The Starry Sky-2 aircraft was carried into space before separating from the launcher rocket and flying on its own power.
Known as a 'waverider', these hypersonic aircrafts uses the shockwaves from its own flight as a lifting surface to travel through the air at fast speeds.
In the latest tests, the aircraft was able to maintain speeds greater than five-and-a-half times the speed of sound for 400 seconds at an altitude of 30km (19 miles).
Local reports suggest it also achieved a top speed of Mach 6.
'The test … has laid a solid technological foundation for engineering applications of the waverider design,' the CAAA statement claimed.
Hypersonic weapons can defeat existing anti-missile defences as they are designed to switch direction during their flight.
These missiles do not follow a predictable ballistic arc like conventional projectiles, making them much harder to track and intercept.
According to the CAAA, the aircraft landed 'whole' in the designated target zone.
However, this technology is not ready to be rolled-out yet.
The next-generation weapon, known as Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2, will ride the shockwave generated by the initial launch, which is handled by a rocket, to travel at six times the speed of sound, or Mach 6 – around 4,563mph (7,344kmph)
Starry Sky-2 (pictured) will purportedly be able to switch direction during its flight, making it harder to track and intercept
'I think there are still three to five years before this technology can be weaponised,' said Beijing-based military analyst, Zhou Chenming.
'As well as being fitted to missiles, it may also have other military applications, which are still being explored.'
Russia is widely-tipped to be developing a hypersonic weapon known as 'Zircon'.
The Zircon cruise missile purportedly travels between 3,800mph (6,115kph) and 4,600mph (7,400kph) – five to six times the speed of sound – putting Russia 'half a decade ahead of the US'.
According to Russian news agency Tass, it is set to go into production this year.
When the aircraft fires its missiles, these will also travel at top speeds of 4,563mph (7,344kmph) and will easily defeat conventional anti-missile defence systems
Known as a 'waverider', these hypersonic aircrafts uses the shockwaves from its own flight as a lifting surface to travel through the air at fast speeds
In the latest tests, the aircraft was able to maintain speeds greater than five-and-a-half times the speed of sound for 400 seconds at an altitude of 30km (19 miles)
In June, it was also revealed a US hypersonic missile had taken a step closer to reality.
Defence firm Lockheed Martin revealed details of a $928 million (£661 million) contract to make a radical new weapon that will travel more than five times the speed of sound.
The aerospace firm is working on an air-launched weapon system, dubbed the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), under a new deal with the US Air Force.
In the first phase, the team will finalise the system requirements before moving on to design, flight tests, and initial production and deployment.
Work on the ultra-fast missile is taking place in Huntsville, Alabama, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and Orlando, Florida, according to Lockheed Martin.
Russia is believed to be developing a hypersonic weapon called the Zircon. The missile is capable of travelling twice as fast as the Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor missile (pictured), which would be responsible for shooting it down were it to attack British troops or mainland UK
WHAT ARE HYPERSONIC AIRCRAFT AND WHO IS DEVELOPING THEM?
Hypersonic aircraft are those capable of a hitting speeds five times the speed of sound or more.
The vehicles could be used to deliver missiles, including nuclear weapons, to targets around the world in a fraction of the time achieved by current craft.
Hypersonic vehicles travel so rapidly and unpredictably they could provide an almost-immediate threat to nations across the globe.
Once developed, the gap between identifying a military threat and launching an attack on it will drop from hours to minutes, even at long distances.
Since 2013, China has conducted seven successful test flights of its hypersonic glider DF-ZF.
The vehicle will be capable of speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or five to 10 times the speed of sound.
US officials tested tested HTV-2 in 2011, an unmanned aircraft capable of Mach 20, but the hypersonic flight lasted just a few minutes before the vehicle crashed.
Additional expertise in Denver, Colorado, and Sunnyvale, California will also be involved in the project.
The US Air Force will grant Lockheed Martin up to $928 million for development of the weapon through early operational capability.
'Our goal is rapid development and fielding of the HCSW system, and this contract is the first step in achieving that goal,' said John Snyder, vice president of Air Force Strategic Programs at Lockheed Martin.
'Design, development, production, integration and test experts from across Lockheed Martin will partner with the Air Force to achieve early operational capability and deliver the system to our warfighters.
'We are incredibly proud to be leading this effort.'
It was first revealed back in April that the Pentagon pushed through development of the highly maneuverable weapons, which are designed to outpace detection and defensive capabilities.
The move follows repeated warnings from senior officials about rapid advances by China and Russia, who have unveiled their own versions in recent months.
Defence firm Lockheed Martin revealed details of a $928 million (£661 million) contract to make a radical new weapon that will travel more than five times the speed of sound. This 2010 file photo shows rival Boeing's X-51A WaveRider hypersonic vehicle under a B-52 bomber
Hypersonic weapons can beat regular anti-missile defences. This artist's impression, courtesy of the US Air Force, shows Boeing's hypersonic X-51A Waverider cruise missile currently under development
Arsenals of the ultra-fast intercontinental weapons could also be equipped with nuclear warheads with the capability of delivering devastating strikes across the planet.
In a statement, the Pentagon said Lockheed will receive up to $928 million to build a new, non-nuclear missile it is calling the 'hypersonic conventional strike weapon.'
'This contract provides for the design, development, engineering, systems integration, test, logistics planning, and aircraft integration support of all the elements of a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched, stand-off weapon,' the statement read.
Mike Griffin, the Pentagon's new defense undersecretary for research and engineering, said China had built 'a pretty mature system' for a hypersonic missile to strike from thousands of kilometres (miles) away.
'We will, with today's defensive systems, not see these things coming,' Mr Griffin said.
WHAT DOES RUSSIA CLAIM TO HAVE IN ITS MILITARY ARSENAL?
The Russian Ministry of Defence has been keen to promote a range of new super weapons currently believed to be in development.
President Putin unveiled a catalogue of doomsday weaponry as part of his annual 'State of the Nation' speech in March 2018.
However, questions remain about the true nature of their capabilities, how far into development the weapons truly are, and when they will be combat-ready.
RS-28 Sarmat ICBM
The RS-28 Sarmat is intended to replace the Soviet-designed SS-18 Voyevoda, the world's heaviest ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).
It is known as 'Satan' in the West and carries 10 nuclear warheads.
Sarmat can unleash ten large thermonuclear warheads, 16 smaller ones, or a combination of both, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence.
Each warhead is purportedly capable of taking aim at a different target.
The hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed Avangard, launches atop an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) before sailing on top of the atmosphere toward its target. Russia tested its latest IBM, the Sarmat missile, for the first time last year (pictured)
The (ICBM) weapons can strike targets via both the North and South poles.
TV broadcaster Zvezda, which is run by the Russian Ministry of Defence, has previously claimed the missile will be capable of wiping out areas the size of Texas or France.
It is also capable of carrying up to 24 of Russia's new Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles, designed to sit atop of an ICBM.
Putin says both weapons will be combat-ready in 2020.
Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle
Russia is also believed to be developing a hypersonic weapon that can breach even the world's most advanced missile defence systems.
The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle purportedly travels at 20 times the speed of sound and can hit targets anywhere in the world within half an hour.
The vehicle launches atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, before gliding on top of the atmosphere toward its target.
It is loaded with advanced countermeasure systems that allow it to skirt around the latest-generation of missile defence systems, Russia claims.
The vehicles are equipped with onboard countermeasure systems capable of dodging even the most advanced missile defence systems. This artist's impression shows how the glider could manoeuvre at high speed to bypass missile defences
The gliders are also highly unpredictable thanks to their manoeuvrability, making them almost impossible to track using conventional systems.
Each weapon could be loaded with a nuclear warhead, however military experts say the sheer speed of the vehicles means they could do damage even without an explosive payload attached.
Putin described his hypersonic arsenal as 'invincible' during a state-of-the-nation address in March 2018.
He claimed Avangard strikes 'like a meteorite, like a fireball' and was capable of reaching targets at 20 times the speed of sound.
At this speed the weapon could circle the Earth in just over half an hour.
Speaking to MailOnline, Neil Gibson, senior weapons analyst for Jane's by IHS Markit, said: 'I think the ability of hypersonic systems to defeat air-defence system is highly exaggerated.
'They have advantages and disadvantages as per any other weapon system.
'The fact is, the vast majority of ballistic missiles are already hypersonic anyway, it's the controlled flight when still hypersonic that we are talking about here.
'If nuclear armed, they just come under 'mutually assured destruction' style posturing. Using them is always possible of course.
'Conventionally-armed versions are more likely to be used, though any confusion with what they carry - nuclear or conventional warhead - could start an exchange of nuclear weapons if it is mistaken for a nuclear attack.'
Kinzhal Hypersonic Air Launched Missile
Another new missile, the hypersonic Kinzhal, travels at ten times the speed of sound, Putin says.
It is currently undergoing tests in southern Russia.
The hypersonic Kinzhal missile is launched from a high-altitude MiG-31 fighter jet and can be fitted with either nuclear, or conventional weapons.
This still shows the hypersonic Kinzhal, which travels at ten times the speed of sound and is currently undergoing tests in southern Russia
It has an effective range of 1,250 miles (2,000 km), although Putin claims its total range is actually 'unlimited'.
Russia has already conducted some 350 training missions with the military unit tasked with testing the Kinzhal.
Putin claims the new missile would be capable of striking 'anywhere in the world', and that its high speed and manoeuvrability allowed it to pierce any missile defence.
However, despite Putin's major promises, the missile has still not been able to stay airborne for more than a few minutes, according to US intelligence sources.
The new missile has purportedly been tested four times between November and February and crashed every time.
Burevestnik nuclear powered cruise missile
The burevestnik, or thunderbird, nuclear propulsion system for Russian cruise missiles aims to give them 'unlimited range and unlimited ability to manoeuvre', according to Sergey Pertsev, a developer.
Ministry of Defence officials said in July, 2018, that work on the unlimited-range missile is going according to plan.
Footage purported to show the missile in action, although it is unclear whether it was being powered by nuclear or conventional fuel.
The 'Burevestnik' nuclear propulsion system for Russian cruise missiles, pictured, is said to have 'unlimited range and unlimited ability to manoeuvre'
'Launching systems are also being designed, while technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being improved,' an official said at the time.
However, experts have criticised the missile, including Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
He told Vice's Motherboard: 'The nuclear-powered cruise missile is new—and bats**t crazy.'
Poseidon Drone Submarine
The Poseidon drone submarine is a sister project to burevestnik.
It is essentially a giant, nuclear-capable torpedo capable of carrying a two megaton nuclear warhead capable of obliterating military ports.
The Kremlin's Poseidon torpedo sub is designed to destroy 'enemy navy bases' and will be able to travel up to 70 knots (80 miles per hour), it claims.
Russian state news agency TASS says it has not been able to confirm details of the weapon.
The Poseidon drone submarine - with a miniature nuclear propulsion system - is shown undergoing a static test
However, it quoted a military source as saying: 'It will be possible to mount various nuclear charges on the 'torpedo' of the Poseidon multipurpose seaborne system, with the thermonuclear single warhead similar to the Avangard charge to have the maximum capacity of up to two megatonnes in TNT equivalent.'
With its nuke, the weapon 'is primarily designed to destroy reinforced naval bases of a potential enemy,' the report added.
Peresvet Combat Laser System
Named after a medieval warrior monk, very little is known about this system.
Many believe Peresvet is a jamming system carried on the back of military lorries, which can be used to 'blind' optical electronic equipment inside enemy vehicles using a laser beam.
According to ex-Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov the 'combat laser systems' that Putin addressed in his State of the Nation speech back in March had already been delivered to the nation's armed forces last year.
Many believe Peresvet is a jamming system carried on the back of military lorries (pictured), which can be used to 'blind' optical electronic equipment inside enemy vehicles using a laser beam
Once found only in works of fiction, Mr Borisov said such devices were now a very real and necessary tool of modern warfare.
'We can talk a lot about laser weapons and movies were made about them a long time ago and fantastic books have been written, and everyone knows about this,' Mr Borisov said in comments translated by the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.
But the fact that these systems have started entering service is indeed today's reality.'
China Just Tested a Hypersonic Weapon That Could Launch Nukes at 6 Times the Speed of Sound
China Just Tested a Hypersonic Weapon That Could Launch Nukes at 6 Times the Speed of Sound
By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer
China successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft on Friday (Aug. 3), one that could one day be capable of firing nuclear missiles around the planet at up to six times the speed of sound, according to China's state-run news site China Daily.
The aircraft, known as Starry Sky-2, is reportedly capable of screaming across the sky at speeds of up to 4,563 mph (7,344 km/h) and rapidly switching direction mid-flight, China Daily reported, potentially allowing the rocket to blast right past existing missile defense systems.
China has tested a hypersonic aircraft called Starry Sky-2 (pictured) that could carry nuclear weapons and evade anti-missile defence systems, reports suggest
Video of the Starry Sky-2 test launch (which was conducted in an undisclosed location in northwestern China) showed the aircraft being launched into space on a multistage rocket. The aircraft then separated from its launcher and continued flying on its own power, soaring at about Mach-5.5 (five and a half times the speed of sound) for 400 seconds, China Daily reported. The aircraft then performed several maneuvers at an altitude of about 18 miles (29 km) before landing in a designated target zone — a demonstration that witnesses heralded as a "huge success," according to a statement quoted in the South China Morning Post.
Starry Sky-2, which is being developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing, is an example of a "waverider" vehicle. As the name suggests, waveriders are sleek, arrow-shaped planes built to glide along the pressure waves created by their own supersonic lift — essentially allowing the aircraft to surf on shockwaves. Waveriders are thus able to maintain impressive hypersonic speeds (speeds of Mach 5 or above) while making rapid, midair changes in trajectory — making them particularly difficult for current missile defense systems to thwart.
While the technology is still likely years away from being ready for use in a combat setting, Chinese military expert Song Zhongping told China's Global Times that the successful test puts China "shoulder to shoulder" with the U.S. and Russia in the development of hypersonic striking systems.
The U.S., meanwhile, is also eagerly developing its own hypersonic weaponry, including a hypersonic missile capable of being launched from a warplane. The American defense company Lockheed Martin revealed in June that they had been granted a nearly $100 million contract to develop the missile for the U.S. Air Force.
The year is 600 million BC — and the Earth is a completely different place from what we know it to be. The most advanced creatures on Earth are (probably) the so-called Ediacaran fauna. To the untrained eye, they look just like plants, static and seemingly inactive. But things are not always as they seem.
The Ediacaran fauna has fascinated scientists for years, trying to figure out whether they were algae, fungi, animals, or of a completely different kingdom. Now, a group of scientists believes they finally have the answer. In a new study, they present convincing arguments that the Ediacaran fauna were indeed animals.
Dickinsonia costata, an iconic Ediacaran organism.
Image credits: Verisimilus / Wikipedia.
They dominated the seas all around the world, with traces of their fossils appearing in all corners of the Earth. The Ediacaran fauna first emerged some 635 million years ago, only to disappear quickly after the Cambrian Explosion, some 542 million years ago. Part of the reason why these creatures have been so hard to pin down is their unique anatomy. They featured tubular-type fronds, which branch out in a fractal matter. They bear a resemblance to mollusks (and other creatures with a similar symmetry), but they also resemble some sponges and even jellyfish. Some paleontologists have suggested that they represent a completely extinct branch of life, perhaps even a link between plants and animals.
But a new study says that they were definitely animals — and it brings the evidence to back it up.
Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Jian Han at Northwest University in Xi’an, China, analyzed more than 200 fossils of a 518-million-year-old marine species named Stromatoverispsygmoglena.
It was already believed that this creature was some sort of animal, but it was not clear whether it also belonged to the Ediacaran fauna. If this connection could be established, then it would indicate that the Ediacaran fauna were indeed animals.
Cuthill and Han ran a computer analysis, using anatomical features to reconstruct evolutionary relationships between Stromatoveris and creatures genetically close to it. They found that Stromatoveris, just like all other Ediacaran organisms they analyzed, didn’t belong to any living animal group (or phylum). They have their own branch, somewhere between the simple sea sponges and more complex animals such as worms and mollusks.
“This branch, the Petalonamae, could well be its own phylum, and it apparently lacks any living descendants,” Hoyal Cuthill says.
There’s a very good chance that the Ediacaran fauna were the world’s first animals, but this opens up another thorny question: the extinction of the Ediacaran was linked to Cambrian animals. But if they themselves were animals (and some survived well into the Cambrian), the explanation isn’t so elegant anymore.
“It’s not quite so neat anymore,” she says. “As to what led to their eventual extinction I think it’s very hard to say.”
A treasure hunter has made an astonishing 'unexplained' discovery deep beneath the Bermuda Triangle that he believes could provide the first evidence of an extra-terrestrial visit to earth hundreds of years ago.
Explorer Darrell Miklos has been using secret maps created by his close friend and famed NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper to find shipwrecks in the Caribbean.
His amazing discoveries have featured over two seasons of hit Discovery Channel docuseries Cooper's Treasure.
But in recent months his team stumbled on something that he believes will shock the world.
Using maps put together in the 1960s by Cooper to identify more than 100 magnetic 'anomalies' in the Caribbean, Miklos dived at an undisclosed location near the Bahamas to investigate what he thought could be an ancient shipwreck.
Search for USOs in Discovery Channel hit Cooper's Treasure
Darrell Miklos and his team discovered the USO (unidentified submerged object) in the Bermuda Triangle close to the Bahamas. He spotted the large obtrusions while exploring the area in a submersible looking for shipwrecks. 'I was trying to identify shipwreck material based on one of the anomaly readings on Gordon's charts when I noticed something that stuck out, that shocked me,' said Miklos in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
Horizontal cylinder structures jut out from this large dome feature at the center of the site. Geophysicists on the team report that the coral covering these structures appears to be more than 5000 years old.
A close up of one of the horizontal structures which has scientists baffled. Because of the extreme currents at the location it's almost impossible for coral to grow at all, let alone into a anything this large
Here, what he describes as the right jutting section of the USO. According to scientists on Darrell's team, no coral anywhere in the world could grow in this formation naturally, there would have to be an underlying structure to support that type of growth
Miklos, 55, described what he found while filming episode seven of Cooper's Treasure and tells how he and his team want to bring the 'alien spaceship' to the surface 'It was a formation unlike anything I've ever seen related to shipwreck material, it was too big for that. 'It was also something that was completely different from anything that I've seen that was made by nature'
These horizontal structures are massive, each measures as much as 300 feet straight out, the length of a US football field. The explorer also found other bizarre and unexplained formations around the main object, all of which are covered in thick coral which he believes are hundreds if not thousands of years old
These mystery shapes score the top of the massive central mound. Each of these lines is the width of a family home
Here you can see the gigantic mound rising above the ring of structures that stick out from the center. The entire site's diameter is some 600 feet - the length of two football fields
But instead the veteran treasure hunter found a bizarre structure like nothing he's ever seen.
The huge unidentified submerged object (USO) has 15, 300ft long obtrusions jutting from its side.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Miklos, 55, described what he found while filming episode seven of Cooper's Treasure and tells how he and his team want to bring the 'alien spaceship' to the surface.
He recalls: 'We were doing a scene where I was sitting in a two man submersible.
'We were out in the Bahamas and we were on an English shipwreck trail, somehow related to Sir Francis Drake.
'I was trying to identify shipwreck material based on one of the anomaly readings on Gordon's charts when I noticed something that stuck out, that shocked me.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Miklos, 55, described what he found while filming episode seven of Cooper's Treasure and tells how he and his team want to bring the 'alien spaceship' to the surface
'It was a formation unlike anything I've ever seen related to shipwreck material, it was too big for that.
'It was also something that was completely different from anything that I've seen that was made by nature.
'It's almost like there are five arms coming out of a steep wall cliff and each one of these is the size of a gun on a battleship. They're enormous and then there's five over here and five over there, 15 in total.
'There's identical formations in three different areas and they don't look nature made, they don't look man made, certainly nothing I've ever seen based on my experience and I have years of experience at doing this, we've identified multiple different types of shipwreck material, this doesn't match or look anything like that.'
The deepest part of the site is 300 feet below the surface, divers had to use special breathing apparatus and a state of the art submarine to access it.
The explorer also found other bizarre and unexplained formations around the main object, all of which are covered in thick coral which he believes are hundreds if not thousands of years old.
Blown away by the discovery, when back on board his ship, Miklos decided to dig further into Cooper's files to find further clues.
Significantly, the astronaut had written 'unidentified object' on the chart of the area rather than mentioning any historical shipwreck.
'I investigated some of Gordon's charts, I realized that there was something else on there that Gordon was referring to,' he said.
'Then it made sense to me why it wasn't identified as a shipwreck... he had to mean it might be something from another world.
'Gordon believed in aliens. He believed that we had visitors from other planets and he also believed that a lot of these things landed in this particular part of the world.'
The treasure hunter has made the astonishing 'unexplained' discovery deep beneath the Bermuda Triangle. Miklos believes it could provide the first evidence of an extra-terrestrial visit to earth hundreds of years ago.
The deepest part of the site is 300 feet below the surface, divers had to use special breathing apparatus and a state of the art submarine to access it
Gordon Cooper successfully piloted the Mercury-Atlas 9 Faith 7 Spacecraft around the Earth 22 times in 1963 paving the way for men to reach the Moon.
He was a pioneer who became the first American to sleep in space and the first to fly twice.
He was also the first American televised from space.
But as well as researching the limits of human endurance he was also charged with a secret spy mission while in orbit.
Using special 'long range detection equipment' Cooper was asked by the US government to look for 'nuclear threats' - which likely meant Russian submarines or nuclear missile sites.
But Miklos says Cooper - an avid treasure hunter - also noted the positions of Caribbean shipwrecks while he conducted this spy mission, and created a map on his return to Earth.
The shipwreck hunter claims long time friend Cooper gave him the maps - which included detailed charts and exact coordinates - after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's and then died in 2004 aged 77.
In the first season of the show Miklos and his team used Cooper's map to make a remarkable discovery in the Caribbean - a centuries-old anchor believed to be from one of Christopher Columbus’ ships.
Cooper's maps led Miklos to dozens of other significant ship wrecks across the Caribbean worth millions of dollars.
But with this latest discovery the Californian is conscious of being labeled 'crazy' by coming out with wild claims that Cooper's map might now have led him to an alien spaceship submerged under the ocean.
That's why he says he wants to remain 'neutral' until he can investigate the mysterious site further.
Miklos and TV production company AMPLE Entertainment are now hoping the Discovery Channel will commission a third season of Cooper's Treasure so they can do just that.
United States astronaut Gordon Cooper (1927-2004) pictured wearing his Mercury space suit used in early phases of the Project Gemini training program in the United States circa 1961. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Miklos said: 'I want to investigate it. I want to see what it is, because it may be nature made, just a freak of nature, but given its placement in this particular part of the Caribbean and given what Gordon has told me about visitors from another planet and the things that I've seen, I think it's definitely worthwhile investigating.'
AMPLE Entertainment founders Ari Mark and Phil Lott, who are behind Cooper's Treasure, are equally as excited.
Mark told DailyMail.com: 'In the first two seasons we didn't enter too far into Cooper's UFO interests and what he had told Darrell about what he had seen.
'I don't feel like we've even scratched the surface of what's in Cooper's files, but that's what we hope to do in a third season.
'The bottom line is that Cooper spotted anomalies and it is his maps that led Darrell to this discovery.
'Cooper was a reliable source for treasure, then based on his findings Darrell found something that does not appear to be a shipwreck or anything that anybody has ever seen.
'We want to find out exactly what it is and establish whether it ties in with Cooper's belief that we're not alone.'
During his post-NASA career, former US Air Force Cooper became well known as an outspoken believer in UFOs and claimed the government was covering up its knowledge of extra-terrestrial activity.
'I believe that these extra-terrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little more technically advanced than we are here on Earth,' he told a United Nations panel in 1985.
'I feel that we need to have a top-level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the Earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with these visitors in a friendly fashion.'
He added: 'For many years I have lived with a secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specialists and astronauts. I can now reveal that every day, in the USA, our radar instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us.'
Miklos said Cooper often told him stories of UFO sightings and believed a lot of the world's technological advances had been passed on to governments by messengers from alien planets.
Cooper even designed his own miniature 'UFO' based on an alien design he claimed to have seen.
Using special 'long range detection equipment' Cooper was asked by the US government to look for 'nuclear threats' - which likely meant Russian submarines or nuclear missile sites. But Miklos says Cooper - an avid treasure hunter - also noted the positions of Caribbean shipwrecks while he conducted this spy mission, and created a map on his return to Earth. The shipwreck hunter claims long time friend Cooper gave him the maps - which included detailed charts and exact coordinates
Miklos said Cooper often told him stories of UFO sightings and believed a lot of the world's technological advances had been passed on to governments by messengers from alien planets
Producers Ari Mark (top left) and Phil Lott (top right) with treasure hunter Miklos, host of Discovery Channel's 'Cooper's Treasure
But as for Cooper being a UFO 'nut job', Miklos couldn't disagree more.
He described him as a 'close friend' and 'father figure' who was of 'sane mind'.
'I can tell you one thing for sure, there was a lot of conspiracy theorists and UFO nut jobs that he wanted nothing to do with,' said Miklos.
'Just because he had actual encounters with something that he couldn't explain and other encounters to which he did have an explanation for, but he wasn't going to go and befriend all of these crazy different types of groups.
'In the early days he wasn't going to overstep the bounds of what he could reveal out of fear of getting killed (by the government) and what good would that do. So he kept a lid on it, he kept a lot of it quiet until later in his life.
'So the man I knew wasn't a whack job, he wasn't hallucinating and he wasn't making things up to gain attention, that wasn't him.
'He truly believed in what he saw and he tried to tell it in such a way to make people believe it and he knew because of his background in NASA as a rocket scientist that he was more credible than most.'
Nevertheless, Cooper was often discredited for expressing his beliefs on extra-terrestrial activity, but Miklos added: 'As serious as I'm talking here right now with a clear mind to you, that's who he was.
'He was an honest, straight forward individual who only wanted to investigate and explore the possibilities of the unknown, even if it meant risking his professional career.'
The next episode of Cooper's Treasure airs this Friday on the Discovery Channel at 9pm (PST)
It was going to be the factory of the future. Dubbed the “Alien Dreadnought,”Tesla’s new manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, was designed to be fully automated — no humans need apply. If all went well, AI-powered robots would enable the company to achieve a weekly production of 5,000 Model 3 electric cars to keep up with burgeoning demand. But Tesla fell far short of that mark, manufacturing just 2,000 vehicles a week. The problem, as the company painfully discovered, was that full automation wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be. According to CEO Elon Musk, the sophisticated robots actually slowed down production instead of speeding it up.
Tesla’s solution was to shut down production to address the bottlenecks and then to erect a large temporary structure — essentially a tent — for additional capacity. The company has also hired hundreds of workers to revamp production processes, train (and retrain) the robots, and swap them out when needed, among other tasks. As Musk himself tweeted last April, “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
Tesla is not the only company to learn the pitfalls of excessive automation. In our global study of more than 1,000 companies at the forefront of implementing AI systems, we have found that the greatest performance gains are achieved not when machines are used to replace employees, but when they are deployed to work alongside them. In such collaborative relationships, people help machines become better, and machines enable people to achieve step-level increases in performance.
Adding Humans to the Mix
For Tesla, adding more human labor to the mix means extending traditional jobs with additional responsibilities that would help ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the Alien Dreadnought. So, for instance, an equipment maintenance supervisor must be able to do more than just supervise hourly technicians and manage the repair of equipment. The worker must also possess robotics and controls engineering skills, according to our analysis of Tesla’s recent recruiting efforts. Similarly, equipment maintenance technicians need more than just the know-how to diagnose and troubleshoot industrial equipment. They must also be able to use a variety of analytics, such as thermography and vibration analysis, to proactively determine when certain maintenance procedures should be performed on machinery before a breakdown occurs.
And it’s not just traditional jobs that are being extended to encompass new tasks. Our analysis has uncovered that entirely new categories of jobs are being created. Just as the internet revolution ushered in completely novel jobs — for example, web designer and search-engine optimization engineer — so will the new era of AI. Telsa, for instance, is recruiting robot engineers, computer vision scientists, deep learning scientists, and machine learning systems engineers. And the company has also posted job listings for more-esoteric AI specialties such as a battery algorithms engineer and a sensor-fusion object tracking and prediction engineer. For the former position, the requirements go beyond knowledge of lithium-ion cells (cell capacity, impedance, energy, and so on) to include expertise to develop algorithms for state-of-the-art feedback control and estimation. Moreover, it’s not just technology-related jobs that are being reimagined with AI. In fact, as Tesla and other companies have discovered, AI technologies are having a profound impact throughout the enterprise, from sales and marketing, to R&D, to back-office functions like accounting and finance. As just one example, Tesla deploys an AI system to process its customer data, including information from an online forum, in order to identify common problems with the company’s vehicles.
Some Training Required
Obviously, finding the right individuals to fill roles like “battery algorithms engineer” is not an easy task, especially given the severe shortage of AI expertise, which has pushed some annual salaries well above $300,000. As such, many companies are trying to grow the talent they need in-house. Yet in our global study, we found that although executives have realized that their reskilling programs will require a bigger and different set of activities than in the past, nearly three-quarters of the 1,500 global companies we surveyed said they have struggled with how to proceed.
The solution will require significant new investments in reskilling — especially given that only about 3% of companies are planning along these lines — and may call for collaboration with outside partners as well as government agencies. Consider Adidas’s “Speedfactory,” an advanced manufacturing plant that recently started production outside Atlanta. To open the 74,000-square-foot robotic plant, which will enable manufacturing flexibility for making sneakers designed specifically for local consumers, Adidas worked closely with local authorities in Georgia and with German-based partner OECHSLER Motion. Currently, the facility employs about 150 people in numerous jobs that are highly technical: planners, engineers, stitchers, and technicians. As the factory was being built, OECHSLER staff worked from a startup hub that was run as a partnership between Chattahoochee Technical College, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, and the Woodstock Office of Economic Development. Other incentives included a state tax credit of $3,500 per job created, as well as assistance from Georgia Quick Start, a state program that provides training support. In addition, Adidas flew employees to Germany for training, to work with the specialized AI-based robotic machinery.
As the amount of employee training increases, some companies have begun to develop their own certification programs to help employees acquire the knowledge and expertise they’ll need. Take, for example, GE Global Research, which has set up online programs to teach machine learning and other specific skills. Several hundred employees have already completed the company’s certification program for data analytics, which have enabled people to assume new roles.
Back at Tesla, Model 3 workers receive more training than other production staff, and this includes classroom training in both manufacturing essentials and manufacturing fundamentals. Tesla has also been launching new technician training programs that, for example, help people make the transition from working on internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. And the company has partnered with colleges to provide students with the education they’ll need for a career in the electric-vehicle industry.
As much as Tesla has embraced automation and AI, the company’s success will ultimately depend on humans. To meet burgeoning demand for the Model 3, Musk has expressed his desire to eventually run three shifts of manufacturing a day, essentially keeping the assembly line in nonstop operation. To accomplish that, the plan is to hire about 400 employees a week, resulting in considerable demands for onboard training to accommodate that influx. Meeting that challenge of employee training will be crucial to attain the necessary economies of scale, given the Model 3’s relatively low entry price point, starting at $35,000. According to one analysis, the car has the potential to achieve a 30% margin, which would be unprecedented for a battery-powered vehicle. Yet even as the company finally achieved the targeted production of 5,000 vehicles in the last week of June, whether it can maintain and accelerate that aggressive pace remains to be seen. Ironically, even in the factory of the future, humans may be needed now more than ever.
Researchers say that 98 percent of the meteorite is made up of kamacite, an alloy of iron and nickel. This alloy is made of nearly 90 to 95 percent iron and about 5 to 10 percent nickel. It is formed in space and only found in its natural state in meteors, notes a report by LiveScience.
The remaining 1 to 2 percent of the Uakit meteorite was found to be made of about a dozen minerals that are known to have formed only in space. The composition of this meteorite suggests that it was formed under extreme heat of well over 1,000 degree C, say the researchers.
Kamacite is an alloy commonly found in meteorites. In the case of a new discovery in Siberia, it was found to contain traces of a new mineral completely alien to science.
Photo / Supplied
On further study, researchers found the uakitite as miniscule grains in the rock, no larger than 5 micrometres—less than 25 times the size of a grain of sand. The quantity of Uakitite was so small that scientists could not even accurately put together all of its properties, notes the report.
However, researchers found that it is structurally comparable to two other out-of this-world minerals—carlsbergite and osbornite. Referred to as mononitrides, these minerals contain one nitrogen atom in their make up, notes the report.
Mononitrides are described as being hard and can even be used as an abrasive, said lead researcher Victor Sharygin, from the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy.
While rumours have spread that uakitite is actually harder than diamond—the hardest naturally formed mineral on Earth—Sharygin clarified that this claim is untrue. In fact, "the hardness of uakitite was not measured directly," because the grains were too small, he said. Researchers instead estimated the hardness of uakitite using vanadium nitride, because it closely resembles Uakitite.
The meteorite found in the Siberian region of Uakit. It has been found to contain a hard, never-before-seen, mineral.
Photo / Supplied
Researchers have said that uakitite falls between 9 and 10 on the Mohs hardness scale where a diamond is placed at 10. That means it is hard, but not diamond hard.
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Ik ben Pieter, en gebruik soms ook wel de schuilnaam Peter2011.
Ik ben een man en woon in Linter (België) en mijn beroep is Ik ben op rust..
Ik ben geboren op 18/10/1950 en ben nu dus 67 jaar jong.
Mijn hobby's zijn: Ufologie en andere esoterische onderwerpen.
Op deze blog vind je onder artikels, werk van mezelf. Mijn dank gaat ook naar André, Ingrid, Oliver, Paul, Vincent, Georges Filer en MUFON voor de bijdragen voor de verschillende categorieën...
Veel leesplezier en geef je mening over deze blog.