HOW TO DETECT EXTRATERRESTRIAL SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES: THE ICECUBE NEUTRINO OBSERVATORY AT THE SOUTH POLE
Sheldon Lee Glashow, 1979 Nobel Laureate in Physics: "A page-turning chronicle of the decades-long struggle by hundreds of physicists and engineers to create a frontier laboratory for the pursuit of the new discipline of neutrino astronomy."
The Telescope in the Ice is about the building of IceCube, which Scientific American has called the "weirdest" of the seven wonders of modern astronomy. It's the inside story of the people who built the instrument, the mistakes they made, the blind alleys they went down, the solutions they found, their conflicts, and their teamwork. It's a success story.
Located at the U. S. Amundsen-Scott Research Station at the geographic South Pole, IceCube is unlike most telescopes in that it is not designed to detect light. It employs a cubic kilometer of diamond-clear ice, more than a mile beneath the surface, to detect an elementary particle known as the neutrino. In 2010, it detected the first extraterrestrial high-energy neutrinos and thus gave birth to a new field of astronomy.
Aside from being a telescope, IceCube is the largest particle physics detector ever built. Its scientific goals span not only astrophysics and cosmology but also pure particle physics. And since the neutrino is one of the strangest and least understood of the known elementary particles, this is fertile ground. Neutrino physics is perhaps the most active field in particle physics today, and IceCube is at this forefront.
This book is mainly about people and the thrill of the chase: the struggle to understand the neutrino ever since it was "invented" by the extraordinary Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, the early researchers who helped understand it, the strange things it taught them about the nature of space and time, and the pioneers and inventors of neutrino astronomy.
First peoples in the Americas my have included European as well as Asian lineage. @nicholaswade.
A European contribution to Native American ancestry could explain two longstanding puzzles about the people’s origins. One is that many ancient Native American skulls, including that of the well-known Kennewick man, look very different from those of the present day population. Another is that one of the five mitochondrial DNA lineages found in Native Americans, the lineage known as X, also occurs in Europeans. One explanation is that Europeans managed to cross the Atlantic in small boats some 20,000 years ago and joined the Native Americans from Siberia.
Dr. Willerslev thinks it more likely that European bearers of the X lineage had migrated across Siberia with the ancestors of the Mal’ta culture and joined them in their trek across the Beringian land bridge.
Indiana Hoenlein & the Lost Napoleon battle of Jaffa. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. @thadmccotter
On March 3, the French army reached the fortified hilltop city of Jaffa. The Ottoman fortress with its 1.3-meter thick walls constituted a formidable challenge.
French military buttons found in Jaffa from Napoleon conquest Moshe Hartal, Israel Antiquities Authority.
As the French and Turks struggled, the Turks collected the heads of fallen French infantry soldiers, and placed the severed heads on poles above the walls. On March 7, Bonaparte sent an officer bearing a flag of truce to negotiate Jaffa's surrender. The Turks opened the city gates and let the officer through. Minutes later his head was raised on a pole.
A Napoleon coin, minted in 1858, found in debris taken from Temple Mount, Jerusalem Olivier Fitoussi.
The furious Napoleon ordered a general assault. He remained outside the city, where he was told that 3,000 Ottoman soldiers were willing to surrender if their lives would be spared.
But further outraging the emperor, among the captives were soldiers who had been caught in Al Arish, Gaza and Ramla, and who had promised never to take up arms against the French again.
Again, the French were having difficulty provisioning their own troops, let alone prisoners of war. Also, Napoleon didn't want to stretch his already outnumbered soldiers by making them guard the captives. But he didn't want them rejoining the enemy ranks.
Years later, exiled on the island of Saint Helena, Napoleon wrote: "to have acted otherwise than as I did, would probably have caused the destruction of my whole army…I therefore… ordered that the prisoners taken at El Arish, who in defiance of their capitulation, had been found bearing arms against me, should be selected out and shot. The rest, amounting to a considerable number, were spared."
We do not know if Napoleon slaughtered all 3,000 Turkish prisoners at Jaffa or only men who resumed fighting him after their release, as he tells us. There is no archaeological evidence to support the mass slaughter described in the memoirs of Napoleon´s secretary, Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, who never missed an opportunity to stain the Corsican's reputation.
The booty the French found in Jaffa included small vessels anchored in its harbor, and also cannons, that would shortly prove useful.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.790107
Babylonian destruction found in the City of David. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm "Indiana" Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. @thadmccotter
During the excavations, concentrated on the eastern slope of the City of David, structures dating back more than 2,600 years were unearthed after being delicately extricated from collapsed layers of stone, the authority said Wednesday.
“Nestled within the collapse, many findings have surfaced, including: charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique and rare artifacts,” it said in a statement. “These findings depict the affluence and character of Jerusalem, capital of the Judean Kingdom, and are mesmerizing proof of the city’s demise at the hands of the Babylonians.”
Notable among the findings were dozens of storage jars, used to contain both grain and liquids, with stamped handles depicting the seal of a rosette.
According to the excavation’s directors, Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, the seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple period and were used for the administrative system that developed toward the end of the Judean realm.
“Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields,” the researchers said in a joint statement. “The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system,” they explained.
“The wealth of the Judean Kingdom’s capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts surfacing in situ. One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut, or wig, is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high caliber of the artifact’s artistic level, and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.”
Chalaf and Uziel added that the excavation’s findings illustrate that Jerusalem had extended beyond the line of the city wall before its destruction.
“The row of structures exposed in the excavations is located outside, beyond the city wall that would have constituted the eastern border of the city during this period,” they said. “Throughout the Iron Age, Jerusalem underwent constant growth, expressed both in the construction of numerous city walls, and the fact that the city later spread beyond them.”
Moreover, they said excavations carried out in the past in the area of the Jewish Quarter have shown how the growth of the population at the end of the eighth century BCE led to the annexation of the western area of Jerusalem.
“In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east as well,” the researchers said.
The excavation was funded by the Ir David Foundation (Elad).
“A funny, witty and highly personal account.” (Sandra Dallas - Denver Post)
“Full of insights . . . Roberts captivates the reader with the thrill of finding artifacts.” (Durango Herald)
“Engaging . . . enjoyable reading.” (Alex Heard - Pasatiempo)
“Stimulating, provoking, mournful. . . . [Roberts] has a deep and infectious passion for the landscapes, history and people of the Southwest.” (Gerard Helferich - Wall Street Journal)
“An utterly fascinating, beautifully written and elegiac exploration.” (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times best-selling author)
“[H]as the pull and excitement of a suspense novel and appeals to a wide range of readers interested in this region’s deep past and great beauty.” (Booklist, Starred review)
“The rare sequel that stands alone yet also takes its rightful place as a classic alongside its predecessor volume.” (Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La)
“Part ethnographer, part archaeologist―with healthy doses of skeptical enquirer, curiosity seeker, and professional mountain climber mixed in―this talented writer navigates the secret canyons and hidden watercourses of the American Southwest in search of a lost civilization.” (Alex Beam, author of American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church)
About the Author: A veteran mountain climber, David Roberts is the award-winning author of Alone on the Ice, The Lost World of the Old Ones, and True Summit, and twenty-six other books about mountaineering, exploration, adventure, and Western history and anthropology. He lives in Massachusetts.
".. in the journal Cell, researchers report that the bacterium was infecting people as long as 5,000 years ago.
"...Exactly what those early outbreaks were like is impossible to know. But the authors of the new study suggest that plague epidemics in the Bronze Age may have opened the doors to waves of migrants in regions decimated by disease.
“To my mind, this leaves little doubt that this has played a major role in those population replacements,” said Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the new study and the director of the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen.
"David M. Wagner, a microbial geneticist at Northern Arizona University who was not involved in the study, said that the new research should prompt other scientists to look at mysterious outbreaks in early history, such as the epidemic that devastated Athens during the Peloponnesian War. “It opens up whole new areas of research,” he said...."
On the Road to Jerusalem: Ali Baba's Cave & solved mysteries of the time of Jesus and Pilate. Gideon Avni, Israel Antiquities Authority. Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres.
Dr. Gideon Avni (PhD – 1997) is the Head of the Archaeological Division in the Israel Antiquities Authority and a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University. In 1989 – 2000 he was the IAA Jerusalem District Archaeologist.
His academic interests focus on various aspects of Classical, Late Antique and Early Islamic archaeology, the cultural and religious transformation of the Near East from Byzantine to Islamic rule, and the archaeology of desert societies in the Levant. During the last 30 years he has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Negev Desert (1979-1988; 2005-2011), Beth Govrin (1983-1992), Jerusalem (1984-2003) and Ramla (2002-2004). In 1996-2002 he headed a comprehensive survey and excavations project at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
In 2004-2007 he co-directed a research team supported by the Israel Science foundation on the urban centers of Palestine in the Early Islamic period. He was a fellow at Institute of Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2008-2009). He is currently a member of a research group of the Hebrew University and the Israel Academy of Sciences on the formation of Islamic society in Palestine, and a co-director of an interdisciplinary study on the ancient agriculture of the Negev during Byzantine and Early Islamic times.
THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM
Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Ilibagiza and Steve Erwin.
In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family, when the death of Rwanda's Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis in the country. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor's tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days.
This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza's experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. Her account of the miracles that protected her is simple and vivid. Her Catholic faith shines through, but the book will speak on a deep level to any person of faith. Ilibagiza's remarkable path to forgiving the perpetrators and releasing her anger is a beacon to others who have suffered injustice. She brings the battlefield between good and evil out of the genocide around her and into her own heart, mind and soul.
This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind's seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God. (Mar.)
About the Author
Immaculée Ilibagiza is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis. Men, women and children, including her entire family except for one of her brothers, were massacred at the hands of Hutu marauders. Immaculée found shelter at a pastor's home, where she and seven other women hid from the deadly rebel mob in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days.
During those 91 days of unimaginable suffering, Immaculée found her faith, taught herself English, and most incredibly, committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness, even for those who had murdered her family.
After the Genocide finally ended, Immaculée found work at the United Nations, emigrating from Rwanda to the United States in 1998. She has gone on the receive five honorary doctoral degrees, write seven books about her faith and her life journey, and is the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
Immaculée's first book, Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Hay House) was released in March of 2006.
Left to Tell quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. To date, it has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold nearly two million copies. Immaculée's story has also been made into a documentary entitled The Diary of Immaculée.
Left to Tell has received a Christopher Award "affirming the highest values of human spirit," and was chosen as Outreach Magazine's selection for "Best Outreach Testimony/Biography Resource of 2007." Left to Tell has been adopted into the curriculum of dozens of high schools and universities, including Villanova University, which selected it for their "One Book Program," making Left to Tell mandatory reading for its 6,000 students.
Immaculée has written six additional books in recent years - Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide, Our Lady of Kibeho, If Only We Had Listened, Visit from Heaven, and The Boy Who Met Jesus, and The Rosary: The Prayer that Saved my Life.
She has appeared on 60 Minutes, The CBS Early Show, CNN, EWTN, CBS Evening News, The Aljazeera Network and in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, and many other domestic and international media outlets. She was recently featured in Michael Collopy's Architects of Peace project, which has honored legendary people like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
Today, Immaculée is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness. She has shared this universal message with world leaders, school children, multinational corporations, churches, and at events and conferences around the world, including a recent presentation to over 200,000 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
For nearly four centuries, the Ottoman sultans dwelt amid the secret splendors of Topkapi Palace. Access to the Grand Seraglio--which served as the empire's administrative, legislative, and judicial center and an academy of fine arts, as well as the ruler's home--was jealously guarded, even after the sultans ceased to reside there in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1936, a distinguished scholar of Orientalism, Norman Mosley Penzer (1892-1960), was afforded a rare opportunity to step inside the Grand Seraglio; in this eagerly embraced and much-consulted volume, he reveals what he found.
Constructed between 1459 and 1465 at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Topkapi Palace stands in present-day Istanbul, near the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Marmara Sea. Penzer surveyed the entire palace from end to end during numerous visits over the course of two years, and he presents photographs and floor plans that provide a comprehensive view of Topkapi's structure. Penzer's illustrations of the opulent gardens, chambers, and pavilions come to imaginative life with his explorations of day-to-day palace life--particularly among the women of the harem and their eunuch guards. His evocative accounts of the manners, dress, and politics of Turkish court life continue to influence the scholarly work of the twenty-first century, and this classic history remains indispensable to studies of harem life.
Inside Turkish Harem: Various Residences
The Baghdad Kiosk
Hall of Ceremonies: Housing Military expeditionary swords
Inside Courtyard of Harem Quarters
Inside The Black Eunuchs Quarters
Outside South Africa, the fate of the Sudur Havid was never big news. It was just another foreign fishing boat in trouble. Really, I should be calling her the Sudurhavid, or even Suðurhavið, for I have come to learn that this was her proper name. But on board I only ever saw the word split on life-rings, and I’ve known her as the Sudur Havid for far too long to change. To continue with the confessional, I have used the more familiar term ‘Antarctic Seas’ for the subtitle of the book when we were technically only 54° South – but we were south of the Antarctic convergence, so the water masses and ecology are much the same.
I waited a long time before I started writing Last Man Off. Partly this was due to a lack of self-belief, but it was also because I was trying to get on with my life and forget. I was trying to persuade myself that nothing of any significance had happened, so to write a book about the events was the last thing on my mind.
I’m glad I waited to start writing. In the immediate aftermath of the accident I was so caught up in being a participant, and there was so much emotion, that it was impossible to be objective in description. When the police in the Falkland Islands asked me what had happened, I barely paused for breath for three hours, producing sixty-five pages of descriptions, times and details. I kept the transcript of the interview and, eight years later, this and other evidence helped me relive and reconstruct the events. By that time the need to blame had mellowed, I had listened to others as they discussed what had happened, and processed the events myself. Time passed has made the story clearer, and less painful to tell.
There was coverage of the Sudur Havid in Cape Town. Some accounts were based on fact, some were more like fiction, but none were complete. I slipped quietly back into the UK, no cameras or journalists waiting for me at the airport, and I was grateful. My friends and family let me be; they didn’t want to drag up traumatic memories, and assumed that I would talk about things in my own time. But I didn’t want to tell those I cared about for fear of scaring them, and didn’t tell others for fear of upsetting myself. It took years for me to realize that there was a story that deserved to be known. How could the struggle of a crew against the toughest seas in the world have slipped by? While I have been writing, a number of my fellow survivors have died, leaving the biggest story of their lives untold.
I knew that I would need to describe events that I had not directly witnessed. After years out of touch, I managed to make contact with Phil Marshall of the Isla Camila and Magnus Johnson from the Northern Pride, and met to interview them. For Phil, in particular, the memories were upsetting. It wasn’t pleasant to ask him to recall as much detail as I needed, but he helped me to describe the search and the moment of rescue.
As the book took shape, and I became more committed, I travelled to South Africa to interview some of the crew. In a series of one-on-one interviews, I checked my recollections with Morné Van Geems, Sven Lizamore and Stephan Truter from the Sudur Havid, and they described events I couldn’t have witnessed in the other raft. There were small conflicts between their memories and mine, but I expected this. They also helped me to build up a better picture of the techniques that we used in fishing, which was something I wanted to describe as vividly as I could. We sat and chatted in the shade, outside their comfortable Cape Town homes, and their stories took me back to the Southern Ocean. Their enthusiasm and drive to fish still humble and mystify me; they are fishermen to the core. By the end of the book I had also been helped by Big Danie from the Sudur Havid, and finally Captain Ernesto Sandoval from the Isla Camila.
Writing has not been the healing process I had hoped for; I have been reduced to tears on many occasions. It has been less of a catharsis and more of a self-imposed torture as I have forced myself to picture and relive painful events, again and again. I am fearful of misportraying men who were operating under great stress, and know that for some I am describing the deaths of loved ones.
I wish I had more photos, which would make the boat and the people more vivid for you and for me. But my camera is still on the Sudur Havid. Port side, aft cabin, on the main deck, in the right-hand drawer under my bunk. If anyone wants to get it for me, it’s at 53º56´S, 041º30´W.
The surprise for me, in writing, was realizing how much I miss the sea, the boat and the adventure. For a short time in the Southern Ocean, I was at my most alive, at my best.
An Amazon Best Book of May 2015: In 1998, a young Scotsman named Matt Lewis sought to boost to his budding career as a marine biologist by securing a position as the "scientific observer" on a fishing vessel. Though he would be considered an officer, his role would be limited and relatively tame compared to the rest of the crews’: documenting wildlife the boat encountered, while also keeping notes on the crew’s adherence to fishing regulations. A coin flip landed him aboard the Sudur Havid, a South African boat bound for the outer waters of Antarctica’s frigid and tempestuous Southern Ocean. Even though his novice eyes, Lewis was immediately struck by its apparent unreadiness, including a dearth of adequate boots and survival suits, and a crew seemingly unprepared for work in the harsh polar environment.
His misgivings were soon realized. As winds rose and whipped the seas into a ship-tossing frenzy, the fuel- and fish-heavy boat listed, taking on water. A disastrous and inexplicable chain of decisions--starting with the Sudur Havid’s chief officers and running down through the ship’s engineers and some of the crew--doomed the ship, putting Lewis in the unlikely position of organizing the frantic evacuation. These are not spoilers--Lewis’s narrative is rich with detail, putting readers in the thick of the action as the panic-struck men stuff themselves into three inadequate rafts and embark on a nightmarish struggle on the open ocean. Last Man Off is a tale of survival, not an adventure story; and while the particulars are often grim and the outcome unhappy, Lewis's book is a sort of catharsis, a compelling testimonial to his experience and the ones that didn’t return. --Jon Foro
"A story that reminds us of the unforgiving nature of the sea and the courage that lies within the everyday heroes that have found themselves in hell."—Bear Grylls, bestselling author of Mud, Sweat, and Tears
“Reads like a sinister version of The Perfect Storm... Thrilling, compelling, unsettling, rewarding.”—Sunday Times
“A dramatic tale of survival in one of the most brutal situations on earth. Feels like reading the diary of a doomed man...so personal and chillingly real; totally takes you there in a way that is not always comfortable.”—Steve Backshall, Deadly 60
"Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska's Ladd Field on a routine flight to test their hastily retrofitted B-24 Liberator in harsh winter conditions. The mission ended in a crash that claimed all but one—Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with no wilderness experience. With little more than a parachute for cover and an old Boy Scout knife in his pocket, Crane found himself alone in subzero temperatures. 81 Days Below Zero recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane's remarkable twelve-week saga."
"In 81 Days Below Zero, Brian Murphy rediscovers one of the most astounding survival stories in Alaskan history. The account is all the more remarkable because of Leon Crane's lifelong reluctance to talk about his ordeal. Murphy has saved from oblivion a tale that resonates with inspiration more than seventy years later."
—David Roberts, author of Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
"This is a great story, wonderfully told. From the moment the doomed plane takes off until the lone survivor rejoins civilization, the reader is taken on a thrilling, emotional, and hugely satisfying ride. Seamlessly interweaving the pilot's intense struggle against the elements with the broader history of the war, Alaska, and the home front, Brian Murphy has created a fascinating page-turner that you will not want to put down."
—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan and When America First Met China
"The hardships endured by Leon Crane are unimaginable, and author Brian Murphy expertly takes the reader into Crane's inspiring journey of survival. You will find yourself rooting for Crane to take the next step, make the next right decision, and fight on. 81 Days Below Zero pulls you into Crane's thought process, and you might find yourself wondering, 'What would I have done in a similar situation?' Few of us would have that combination of creativeness and mental fortitude to do what Crane did."
—Michael J. Tougias, author of Fatal Forecast, A Storm Too Soon, and Overboard
Kirkus Reviews, 4/1/15
“A gripping story”
“A solid entry in the perennially popular canon of real-life adventure stories.”
Roanoke Times review, 6/17/15
“[A] thrilling true story… Many have been the tales of man against nature, the struggle for survival among icy peaks in a howling wilderness—some fictitious (Jack London's “To Build a Fire”), others far too true (“Alive”). Few if any have chronicled such an epic battle as this, the journey of a lone airman from near death to life, in the course of which might be seen a series of miracles, fortified by his indomitable will to survive… It is a well-told tale.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 6/28/15
“81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy, is a thrilling page-turner of true-live adventure… Murphy's instincts for pacing and re-creating emotions, dialogue and details are so finely crafted that you might find yourself shivering right along with Crane as he struggles to hang on in subzero conditions with only his Boy Scout knife, 40 matches, a parachute and the clothes on his back.”
Alaska Dispatch News, 7/12/15
“Pilot's genuine Alaska survival story puts reality TV to shame… As survival tales go, this one is epic…81 Days Below Zero is a traditionally crafted narrative that balances historical details with themes of adventure and unlikely survival. But there is more here than just an unexpected World War II story, which is compelling enough…Murphy shows how close the 21st century is to the events of the past and the quietly heroic actions a historian can take. Reality television has very nearly convinced us that it takes manufactured drama to get our attention. Kudos to Brian Murphy for reminding readers how far from the truth that assertion can be.”
Portland Review of Books
“An exciting, caring, and interesting story.”
Jacksonville Journal-Courier, 8/16/15
“Murphy relays the incredible survival story in subzero conditions with masterful suspense.”
Washington Post, 10/11/15
“This would be a great read at the beach on a hot summer day…A riveting story…An interesting saga of survival against formidable odds.”
WWII History magazine, December 2015
“Leon Crane's amazing story is recounted in great detail. The author relates the young aviator's harrowing tale in smooth prose, which beckons the reader to continue reading. There are many survival stories of airmen and sailors adrift at sea and how they beat the odds. This story reveals how one flyer endured an experience just as extreme and lived to tell about it.”
Charleston Post and Courier, 1/17/16
“[A] sharply detailed, gripping account…The reader shivers with Crane as he ponders each next step through a desolate Alaskan forest when a warm day during the winter of 1943 is zero degrees Fahrenheit…A fresh, vivid, film-worthy tale of World War II survival.”
Military Officer, February 2016
“Murphy vividly describes Crane's World War II Alaskan ordeal.”
Collected Miscellany, 1/28/16
“Gripping…Murphy perfectly captures Crane's predicament of trying to survive in some of the most brutal terrain and weather on the planet…This book is an epic story of one man's will to survive in a harsh environment.”
About the Author
Brian Murphy is a journalist at the Washington Post. He joined the paper after more than twenty years as an award-winning foreign correspondent and bureau chief for The Associated Press in Europe and the Middle East. He has two previous books and currently lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Toula Vlahou.
A direct localization of a fast radio burst and its host fast radio bursts are astronomical radio flashes of unknown physical nature with durations of milliseconds. Their dispersive arrival times suggest an extragalactic origin and imply radio luminosities that are orders of magnitude larger than those of all known short-duration radio transients. So far all fast radio bursts have been detected with large single-dish telescopes with arcminute (a unit of angular distance equal to 160 of one degree, 1/3600 of a degree) localizations, and attempts to identify their counterparts (source or host galaxy) have relied on the contemporaneous variability of field sources or the presence of peculiar field stars or galaxies.
These attempts have not resulted in an unambiguous association with a host or multi-wavelength counterpart. Here we report the subarcsecond (less than an arcsecond which is a unit of angular distance equal to a 160th of a arcminute 1/3600 of a minute) localization of the fast radio burst FRB 121102, the only known repeating burst source, using high-time-resolution radio interferometric observations that directly image the bursts. Our precise localization reveals that FRB 121102 originates within 100 milliarcseconds of a faint 180-microJansky persistent radio source with a continuum spectrum that is consistent with nonthermal emission, and a faint (twenty-fifth magnitude) optical counterpart. The flux density of the persistent radio source varies by around ten per cent on day timescales, and very long baseline radio interferometry yields an angular size of less than 1.7 milliarcseconds.
Our observations are inconsistent with the fast radio burst having a Galactic origin or its source being located within a prominent star-forming galaxy. Instead, the source appears to be co-located with a low-luminosity active galactic nucleus or a previously unknown type of extragalactic source. Localization and identification of a host or counterpart has been essential to understanding the origins and physics of other kinds of transient events, including gamma-ray bursts and tidal disruption events. However, if other fast radio bursts have similarly faint radio and optical counterparts, our findings imply that direct subarcsecond localizations may be the only way to provide reliable associations.
Confounding Transient Event 2 Billion Light Years Away. Shami Chatterjee, Cornell University. @shamichatterjee