Video:Mexico earthquake: Mysterious green flashes light up the sky after tremor

Friday’s 8.2-magnitude quake in Mexico caused a rare phenomenon known as earthquake lights in skies above the capital city.
The lights could be seen flashing above Mexico City in hues of greens and white. Video uploaded from the scene shows the dramatic display.
Little is known about the phenomenon, which can sometimes be explained by exploding generators or power systems. Another explanation claims that the tectonic movement of rocks including quartz, generates a piezoelectric field which produces flashes of light.
A 2014 study said the stress of the tectonic plates can break apart pairs of negatively-charged oxygen atoms, pushing them towards the Earth’s surface and forming a light-emitting plasma when it combines with air.
A tsunami warning is in place following Friday’s earthquake, the strongest in a century. At least five people are reported dead with the number expected to rise.

French girl mutilated by rats in night attack at home

French girl mutilated by rats in night attack at home

Brown rat - file pic
Rats may have been attracted to rubbish piled up in a nearby car park
A disabled French girl covered in rat bites is critically ill in hospital after a pack swarmed into her bedroom in north-eastern France.
The 14-year-old paraplegic was sleeping on the ground floor when the attack happened, in a rented house in Roubaix.
A medical expert quoted by France Info said the girl had 45 facial lesions, 150 on her hands and 30 on her feet. 
The girl's father is suing the landlord for alleged negligence. Reports say rubbish bins nearby were overflowing.
The father, who has two other children, said he found his paraplegic daughter Samantha "drenched in blood" in her bed last Saturday.
He said everything had been fine when the family had gone to bed. He was sleeping upstairs. 
"There was blood coming from her ears - I was terrified that she might have had a brain haemorrhage," he said, quoted by the local newspaper Courrier-Picard.
Some of her fingertips were bitten off and surgeons cannot repair them, he said. 
The family has now been moved to a different house and police are investigating the attack. 
The hospital has run checks on Samantha for possible infections, including rabies. The rabies test was negative. 
Such attacks on humans are rare, though hungry rats do sometimes feed on corpses.

Mexico Rocked by Earthquake M.8.6 Called Its Strongest in a Century

Residents of Mexico City gathered outdoors after an earthquake struck off the Pacific Coast, about 450 miles away, late Thursday. Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

MEXICO CITY — The most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in 100 years struck off the nation’s Pacific Coast late Thursday, rattling millions of residents in Mexico City with its violent tremors, claiming at least five lives and leveling some areas in the southern part of the country closest to where the quake occurred.
About 50 million people across the country felt the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.2, according to the Mexican government. The force sent residents of the megacity fleeing into the streets at midnight, shaken by the alarms blaring over loudspeakers and a full minute of tremors. Windows broke, walls collapsed, and the city seemed to convulse in terrifying waves; the quake even rocked the city’s landmark Angel of Independence monument.

And while the capital seems to have been spared any vast damage to infrastructure in the government’s preliminary assessment, the effects in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca were probably more severe. The tally of damage — and death — will probably be difficult to assess initially, given how remote many areas of the states are.
But at least two women died in the state of Chiapas, and two children died in the state of Tabasco, one when a wall collapsed, the other after a respirator lost power. Local officials in Oaxaca have said residents there remain buried under the rubble of buildings. The effects were also felt in Guatemala, where at least one person died and homes along the border with Mexico were leveled.
Schools in at least 10 Mexican states were ordered closed on Friday as the president ordered an immediate assessment of the damage nationwide. In the hours after the quake, the National Seismological Service registered several aftershocks.
Still, the resounding feeling in the country was one at least initially of relief that the damage was not more widespread, given the nation’s vulnerability to earthquakes and the capital’s extreme density.

Damage to a building in Oaxaca, Mexico, after the earthquake late Thursday. Mario Arturo Martinez/European Pressphoto Agency 

“We are assessing the damage, which will probably take hours, if not days,” said President Enrique Peña Nieto, who addressed the nation just two hours after the quake. “But the population is safe over all. There should not be a major sense of panic.”
While Mexico is no stranger to earthquakes, situated as it is near several boundaries where portions of the earth’s crust collide, Thursday’s earthquake was more powerful than even the 1985 one that killed nearly 10,000 people.
But while the quake on Thursday struck nearly 450 miles from the capital, off the coast of Chiapas State, the one in 1985 was much closer to the city — so the shaking, coupled with Mexico City being situated on an ancient lake bed, proved much more deadly back then.
After the 1985 disaster, construction codes were reviewed and stiffened. Today, Mexico’s construction laws are as strict as those in the United States or Japan.
After the quake hit, people in Mexico City streamed out of their homes just before midnight wearing nightclothes, standing amid the apartment buildings, cafes and bars in upscale neighborhoods and the dense warrens of the city’s working-class communities. In the neighborhood of Condesa, neighbors watched in awe as power lines swayed alongside trees and buildings. In several neighborhoods, the power was out, though it was restored within an hour, at least in the wealthier areas of the city.
For a city used to earthquakes, Thursday’s quake left a lasting impression on residents, for both its force and duration.
“The scariest part of it all is that if you are an adult, and you’ve lived in this city your adult life, you remember 1985 very vividly,” said Alberto Briseño, a 58-year-old bar manager in Condesa. “This felt as strong and as bad, but from what I see, we’ve been spared from major tragedy.”
“Now we will do what us Mexicans do so well: Take the bitter taste of this night and move on,” he added.
Thursday’s earthquake occurred near the Middle America Trench, a zone in the eastern Pacific where one slab of the earth’s crust, called the Cocos Plate, is sliding under another, the North American, in a process called subduction.
The movement is very slow — about three inches a year — and over time stresses build because of friction between the slabs. At some point the strain becomes so great that the rock breaks and slips along a fault. This releases vast amounts of energy and, if the slip occurs under the ocean, can move a lot of water suddenly, causing a tsunami.
Subduction zones ring the Pacific Ocean and are found in other regions as well. They are responsible for the world’s largest earthquakes and most devastating tsunamis. The magnitude 9 earthquake off Japan in 2011 that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the magnitude 9.1 quake in Indonesia in 2004 that spawned tsunamis that killed a quarter of a million people around the Indian Ocean are recent examples.
Those quakes each released about 30 times as much energy as the one in Mexico.
Mexico’s government issued a tsunami warning off the coast of Oaxaca and Chiapas after Thursday’s quake, but neither state appeared to have been adversely affected by waves in the aftermath. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the largest wave recorded on Mexico’s Pacific Coast measured less than four feet.

Patients in a clinic in Puebla, Mexico, were taken outside after the quake. Imelda Medina/Reuters 

In his address, Mr. Peña Nieto said that aftershocks were of greater concern than the waves generated by the earthquake, which he said was the strongest to hit the country in a century.
Rudy Gomez, 28, who lives in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, said that he spoke to relatives in Chiapas by phone after the quake and that they were all fine. They were worried, however, about the aftershocks.
“After the earthquake, there were three more,” he said of the aftershocks in Chiapas. “They are just waiting to see if there is another one to come, but right now they are O.K.”
In the state of Oaxaca, the town of Juchitán appeared particularly hard-hit. In a video posted on the Facebook page of a local TV station, Pamela Terán, who introduced herself as a city councilor, begged the state and federal authorities for help.
“Please, we urgently need as much help as you can send,” she said. “We need hands and manpower to try and dig out the people that we know are buried under the rubble.”
The same TV station, Cortamortaja, reported the collapse of a hospital in Juchitán and showed images of doctors and nurses treating patients in the backyard.
In Guatemala, which shares Mexico’s southern border, the military was out early Friday morning assessing the damage.
The earthquake struck mainly in the west of the country. In the state capital of Huehuetenango, bricks and glass were strewn on the ground as walls collapsed. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second-largest city, which was beginning to recover from a tremor in June, suffered more damage to its historic center.


Video:Sun unleashes most powerful solar flare since 2006 disrupting radio comm...

Two powerful solar flares erupted from the  surface of the sun on Wednesday, disrupting radio communications on Earth's day side. And we might see some other effects in the coming days, mainly in the form of northern lights.

Solar flares occur in cooler regions of the sun, called sunspots. Like Earth, the sun has a magnetic field, sort of like a looped rubber band: at one end is the south pole, the other the north. And as the sun rotates, magnetic loops become wrapped, becoming tighter and tighter as they twist. If they become too entangled, the stored energy is released in the form of a solar flare.

These flares are measured on a scale from one to nine in C, M and X classes, with X being the most powerful. 

On Wednesday, two solar flares erupted from sunspot region 2673: an X9.3 flare followed by a an X2.2 flare. The last such powerful X-class flare was 9.0 on Dec. 5, 2006.

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Heads up! Chance to see northern lights on Wednesday night
The flares were powerful enough to cause radio disruptions on the day side of Earth but will continue to disrupt HAM radio communications into the night, space meteorologist Tamitha Skov said in a Periscope Live video.

Solar flares most often produce a secondary effect called a coronal mass ejection, or CME. This is a huge cloud of magnetized particles that travels along the solar wind at incredible speeds, sometimes hundreds of kilometres a second or as fast as thousands of kilometres per second.

If Earth is in the CME's path, the particles interact with our magnetic field. While we're treated to a fantastic light show in the form of the northern lights (which are expected tonight, due to a CME that left the sun on Tuesday), powerful CMEs can cause power grid disruptions. In March 1989, such an event knocked out power to much of Quebec.

While a CME did erupt in the wake of these two solar flares, NASA is still trying to analyze whether or not Earth is in its path.

Today's X9.33 event was the strongest flare of this solar cycle. STEREO A coronagraph imagery shows the CME.

"Radio emissions suggest a coronal mass ejection (CME) may be associated with the X9.3 flare," they wrote as of Wednesday morning eastern time. "But we await SOHO/LASCO coronagraph imagery for confirmation."

The most powerful event to effect Earth on record is the Carrington Event, named after Richard Carrington, an amateur astronomer who witnessed a solar flare (estimated to be an X10) while sketching sunspots in England in 1859. Less than 12 hours later, northern lights so bright that people were said to have heard birds chirping, were seen; telegraphs failed with some catching fire. 

A 2014 study concluded that Earth narrowly missed a powerful CME in July 2012 that would have rivalled the Carrington Event, in terms of its effects felt, though the flare associated with it was not the strongest recorded.

The most most powerful X-class flare was an incredible X28 (which is the limit of the measuring devices) on Nov. 4, 2003.

Video:NASA Filmed UFOs Accidentally While Flew Over the Beautiful Aurora Austr...

It's pretty easy to be continually in awe of space and new discoveries around it, but every now and then, NASA outdoes itself. This time it comes from a time-lapse video the organization released on June 30, showcasing the aurora australis lights in the southern hemisphere. Captured by the International Space Station (ISS) on June 25, the video of the lights is truly breathtaking.But the camera captures something else...Here is the NASA's original footage link you can check it out:


Video:See 2.8 million stars shine in one stunning image captured by ESAs Satel...

Stunning 2.8 million stars image near the Galactic center

ESA’s Gaia sky mapper captured this new image of 2.8 million stars just below the Milky Way‘s center.

In this area the stellar density is roughly 4.6 million stars per square degree.
Gaia, ESA’s billion-star surveyor, is detecting stars and measuring their properties in order to build up the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way. By accurately measuring the motion of each star, astronomers will be able to peer back in time to understand the Milky Way’s history, its evolution and its destiny.
In general, as Gaia registers stars, only data covering the object of interest are transmitted to the ground. However, in the densest regions on the sky there are more stars close to each other than the detection and processing system of Gaia can cope with, which could result in a less complete census in these crowded areas. To help mitigate this, a scientific selection of high-density regions is made to cover them in a special imaging mode, as illustrated here. These types of observations are carried out routinely every time Gaia scans over these regions.
The image, taken on 7 February 2017, covers part of the Sagittarius I Window (Sgr-I) located only two degrees below the Galactic Center. Sgr-I has a relatively low amount of interstellar dust along the line of sight from Earth, giving a ‘window’ to stars close to the Galactic Center.
The stellar density here is an incredible 4.6 million stars per square degree. The image covers about 0.6 square degrees, making it conceivable that there are some 2.8 million stars captured in this image sequence alone.
Image credit ESA/Gaia/DPAC

5.7 Million Years Old Unmistakable Human Footprints Found in Greece:Video

Who Made These Footprints 5.7 Million Years Ago?

A set of ancient footprints has been found on a Greek island. They are extremely old – 5.7 million years – yet they seem to have been made by one of our hominin ancestors.
At that time, hominins are thought to have been confined to Africa. The discovery supports the controversial suggestion that they may also have been living in eastern Europe.
The earliest stages of hominin evolution are still mysterious. Our lineage split from chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, between 7 and 13 million years ago. The oldest undoubted hominin fossils were found in east Africa and date back about 4 million years – but there are a few older, possible hominin fossils from 6 to 7 million years ago. These include Orrorin from Kenya, and Sahelanthropus from Chad – locations that are roughly 2500 kilometres apart.
The ancient footprints discovered by Gerard Gierliński of the Polish Research Institute in Warsaw are a further 2500 kilometres away from Chad – this time to the north-east, on the tiny island of Trachilos near Crete. Gierliński teamed up with colleagues, including Per Ahlberg at Uppsala University, Sweden, to analyse the tracks.
The team found they could recognise two distinct sets of footprints, both apparently left by an animal that walked upright on two legs.

Out for a walk

The shape of the prints suggests similarities with hominin feet. Most obviously, they were clearly left by an animal that walked on the soles of its feet, as hominins do, rather than just on its toes. The prints show the track-maker had five toes, with the big toe particularly well developed – another hominin feature. And there is no evidence of claw marks, consistent with the fact that hominins have toenails rather than claws.
But surprisingly, fossil and geological evidence indicates that the footprints are 5.7 million years old. That means they predate the period during which hominins are conventionally believed to have left Africa by about 4 million years.
“They are almost without doubt actual footprints of a bipedally-walking animal,” says Robin Crompton at the University of Liverpool, UK, who was not involved in the study but who has analysed other hominin footprints.
However, exactly what sort of animal is still unclear.

Mystery feet

The oldest hominin foot fossils we have are from the 4.4-million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus. But Ardipithecus had an opposable big toe that would have left a distinctive pattern in its footprints. The Trachilos track-maker appears to have held all five toes parallel.
“There’s something slightly funny about the big toe,” says Ahlberg. “Its position and shape are very similar to those of a modern human, but it seems to be more mobile,” a bit like the opposable thumb of a chimpanzee.
David Begun at the University of Toronto, Canada, wonders about this point too. “It’s theoretically possible that Ardipithecus could use its muscles to squeeze its big toe in line with the rest of its foot and provide a more modern-looking footprint,” he says.
An alternative is that the prints belong to an ape, unrelated to hominins, that also evolved to walk upright at least some of the time. Both Crompton and Begun point out that modern gorillas produce footprints that are far more similar to human than chimpanzee prints, so perhaps another distantly-related ape evolved similar feet 5.7 million years ago.

Apes from Eurpe

The announcement of the footprint discovery comes just months after Begun and his colleagues presented evidence that Graecopithecus, a poorly known extinct ape found in 7.2-million-year-old rocks in eastern Europe, may in fact have been a homininThe suggestion proved to be highly controversial. Some prominent researchers savaged the idea that early hominins could have lived outside Africa. “There are people who simply dismiss the idea because they think it’s just not possible,” says Begun. “But it’s widely accepted that what became the African savannah fauna – giraffes, antelopes, rhinos – those species lived in the southern Balkans and migrated from there into Africa.”
In principle, Begun says hominins might also have originated in eastern Europe and migrated south with these other species. “It doesn’t mean it’s true – but it’s certainly plausible,” he says.
But even discussing this idea in formal academic papers is difficult, he says. It took months for Begun to find a journal prepared to publish the Graecopithecus research – even though the papers were written by well-regarded researchers. Ahlberg says the paper on the Trachilos footprints proved similarly difficult to publish.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the Geologists’ AssociationDOI: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2017.07.006

It rains solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune Experiments Confirm

Move over Jupiter and Saturn, a crap load of diamonds could be found in two of the most mysterious places in the Solar System: Uranus and Neptune. Researchers using the Linac Coherent Light Source at Stanford have demonstrated in the lab— with one of the brightest sources of X-rays on the planet—that the depths of these ice giants are perfect for the formation of diamonds.
The scientists behind this are excited as it’s the first time this effect has been reproduced in a lab environment similar to the lower reaches of the icy giants’ atmospheres. Scientist have long wondered about the effects of having copious amounts of hydrogen, helium, and methane (which give the outer planets their distinctive blue hue), and whether these chemical circumstances are ideal for diamond formation.
“This [condition] will generate diamond precipitation inside such celestial bodies,” Dominik Kraus, a researcher with Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Dresden and author on the paper told Gizmodo in an email. “This means that there is not necessarily a pure diamond core but certainly a large diamond envelope around the rocky cores that are supposed to exist inside Neptune and Uranus.”
On Jupiter and Saturn, the current thinking goes like this: when storms roll through clouds of methane molecules, lightning strikes cause carbon atoms to disassociate from their chemical bonds. When they collect in the air, you get clouds of soot which then sink into the lower atmosphere, being put under more and more pressure. That pressure is what squeezes the carbon into graphite and then again into diamond. It’s also under the effect of gravity, so it would truly fall to the middle of the planet as “diamond rain.”
On Uranus and Neptune there could be a cloud layer where a sea of hot methane forms which then separates in a high pressure environment causing the resulting carbon to squeeze into diamond.
But we’ve never actually recreated those conditions in a lab. Until now.
Using a tool called the Matter in Extreme Condition instrument, the scientists shocked a thin polystyrene sheet with a laser blast which produced pressure of up to 150 gigapascals. That laser heated the material to about 6,000 Kelvin, which is very hot, but not hot enough to melt diamond. Since the polystyrene is a hydrocarbon polymer, it happily breaks up into its constituent hydrogen and carbon atoms which then are compressed. For an incredibly short moment, this causes nanodiamonds to form.
Because scientists are now able to reproduce an environment similar to the one located about 10,000 km in the interior of Neptune and Uranus, further research could show us if there are more stable options beyond diamond precipitation.
“If the temperature is high enough close to the core (some calculations predict that) it could also be ‘oceans of liquid carbon’ with gigantic ‘diamond icebergs, swimming on top of it,” said Kraus. “But most theories suggest that diamond would remain solid, at least inside Neptune and Uranus, but this may be different for some exoplanets.”
It’s pretty hard to actually test what’s being created in real time with the laser pulse, so that’s where the ultrabright X-rays come in. Think of it like an incredibly bright and extremely short—firing only for 50 femtoseconds—camera flash.
“We can only produce this exotic state for about a nanosecond and during this time we need enough X-rays to probe it,” said Kraus. “We then do simple X-ray diffraction (that’s the method how nearly every crystal structure is identified) and we got a surprisingly clear diamond signal.”
Previous experiments either never really provided direct evidence of this process, or results from the method used to normally compress carbon, diamond anvils, was not clear enough. “The problem with diamond anvil cell experiments is that it is very difficult to distinguish tiny pieces of diamond created from hydrocarbons to diamond pieces that might stem from the comparably huge diamond anvils themselves,” said Kraus.

Elon Musk Reveals SpaceX Futuristic Space Suit

Elon Musk has posted the official first photo of his SpaceX space suit on Instagram, teasing that more details will come in a few days. Musk says the suit actually works, and was tested to double vacuum pressure. The suit itself is very white and very spacey, and Musk acknowledges that it was “incredibly hard” to balance the suit’s look and its function.
Musk didn’t specify, but the SpaceX suits are meant to be worn by astronauts when riding inside the company’s Dragon Capsule. They’re pressure suits, so they’re not meant for spacewalks, but are worn by astronauts during transport in case the capsule depressurizes. The suits will be worn by NASA astronauts for the commercial crew program when SpaceX starts launching people to and from the International Space Station. In January, Boeing revealed its own spacesuit design that astronauts will wear on route to the ISS.
The reveal today is similar to photos of a SpaceX suit that surfaced years ago on reddit. The design is very elegant and feels right at home in a sci-fi flick, while simultaneously paying homage to the old school suits NASA astronauts wore to the Moon. We compiled a list ofscience fiction spacesuits from worst to best, though in my opinion, this real SpaceX suit tops the list of best.

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