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Post n°1344 pubblicato il 05 Dicembre 2016 da diegobaratono

DA: ""

4 New Superheavy Elements Have Official Names
4 New Superheavy Elements Have Official Names
Superheavy elements don't occur naturally in nature; instead they are created in labs.
Credit: welcomia,

Four new chemical elements now have official names and symbols, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced this week.

After a five-month review, IUPAC chemists have approved the four names for superheavy elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 proposed by the elements' discoverers. Such superheavy elements, whose atomic numbers indicate how many protons reside in each nucleus, don't occur naturally in nature, so they must be created in labs.

Following tradition, the names needed to honor a place, geographic region or scientist, with the name endings following specific protocols related to each element's placement on the periodic table of elements.

Here are the new names:

  • Element 113: nihonium (Nh)
  • Element 115: moscovium (Mc)
  • Element 117: tennessine (Ts)
  • Element 118: oganesson (Og)

The IUPAC announced in January that the four elements would land on the periodic table, though the elements remained nameless. Then, in June, the IUPAC announced the new names, which had yet to be finalized. [Elementary, My Dear: 8 Elements You've Never Heard Of]

The five-month window was meant to give the public a chance to make suggestions or raise concerns about the element names, considering these names will be used around the world, in many languages, Cleveland Evans, a professor of psychology who studies names and naming at Bellevue University in Nebraska and chairs the Name of the Year committee for the American Name Society, told Live Science in June.

The proposed names seem to have sailed through unscathed, though that doesn't mean interest was lacking.

"Overall, it was a real pleasure to realize that so many people are interested in the naming of the new elements, including high-school students, making essays about possible names and telling how proud they were to have been able to participate in the discussions," Jan Reedijk, president of the IUPAC's Inorganic Chemistry Division, said in a statement. "It is a long process from initial discovery to the final naming, and IUPAC is thankful for the cooperation of everyone involved. For now, we can all cherish our periodic table completed down to the seventh row."

Scientists with Japan's RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science proposed the element name nihonium, which is one way to say "Japan" in Japanese and means "the land of the rising sun," according to the IUPAC. Kosuke Morita and his colleagues created the elusive element on Aug. 12, 2012, after colliding zinc nuclei together in a thin layer of bismuth.

Like other superheavy elements, after 113 was created, it quickly decayed, ultimately turning element 113 into 111, and then 109, 107, 105, 103 and finally into element 101, according to Morita.

Names for elements 115 and 117 were proposed by their discoverers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia; the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee; Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Both element names, moscovium and tennessine, honor regions where experiments linked to creating the elements took place.

The name oganesson, for element 118, honors Yuri Oganessian "for his pioneering contributions to transactinide elements research," IUPAC officials said, referring to elements with atomic numbers 104 through 120. "His many achievements include the discovery of super-heavy elements and significant advances in the nuclear physics of super-heavy nuclei, including experimental evidence for the 'island of stability,'" an idea suggesting that super-heavy elements can become stable at some point in their existence.

Though there is no certain limit for the number of protons that can be stuffed into an atomic nucleus, the higher the number, the more unstable the element, chemists say. Now that the seventh row (called a period) of the periodic table has been completed with element 118, according to the IUPAC, chemists will continue to search for heavier elements beyond that.

Original article on Live Science.

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Post n°1343 pubblicato il 01 Dicembre 2016 da diegobaratono


Lookin' Good, Mars! ExoMars' First High-Res Photos Are Incredible
By Hanneke Weitering, Staff Writer-Producer 
November 29, 2016 01:30pm ET

Behold! The European Space Agency's new Mars orbiter just sent back its first high-resolution images of the Red Planet, and the view is amazing.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) arrived at Mars on Oct. 19, when its companion spacecraft Schiaparelli crash-landed on the planet's surface. Since then, TGO has been circling Mars, testing out its machinery, and taking spectacularly sharp pictures of the landscape using its Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS). ESA stitched together the best of these photos in a cool new flyover video.

"The first images we received are absolutely spectacular ― and it was only meant to be a test," Nicolas Thomas, CaSSIS team leader at the University of Bern's Center of Space and Habitability, said in a statement. [Photos: Europe's ExoMars Missions to Mars in Pictures]

Image of a 0.9 mile-size (1.4 kilometers) crater (left-center) _n the rim of a larger crater near the Mars equator. It was acquired at 7.2 meters/pixel by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
Image of a 0.9 mile-size (1.4 kilometers) crater (left-center) on the rim of a larger crater near the Mars equator. It was acquired at 7.2 meters/pixel by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE

These first images allowed ESA to test the camera's color- and stereo-imaging capabilities, which would allow CaSSIS to build 3D maps of the Martian surface by combining views from different perspectives.

Though the color-imaging equipment was functioning as planned, the first photos appear black and white. That's because the areas photographed are dusty ― volcanic without much color to be seen. "We will have to wait a little until something colorful passes under the spacecraft," Thomas said. 

The first stereo reconstruction of a small area in Noctis Labyrinthus _n Mars, created by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The image gives an altitude map of the region with a resolution of less than 65 feet (20 meters).
The first stereo reconstruction of a small area in Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars, created by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The image gives an altitude map of the region with a resolution of less than 65 feet (20 meters).
Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE

TGO is currently orbiting Mars once every four days in a highly elliptical path. At its closest, the spacecraft flies within 155 miles (250 kilometers) of the ground. These close approaches are happening quickly before the orbiter raises its altitude to about 62,000 miles (100,000 km).

CaSSIS was up and running for two of these approaches during its testing phase and returned a total of 11 images. ESA then combined some of the new photos in the video above to simulate a flyover of Hebes Chasma, a 190-mile-long (310 km) canyon in the Martian surface.

"We saw Hebes Chasma at 2.8 meters per pixel," said Thomas. "That’s a bit like flying over Bern at 15,000 kilometers [9,300 miles] per hour and simultaneously getting sharp pictures of cars in Zürich."

A structure called Arsia Chasmata _n the flanks of _ne of the large Martian volcanoes, Arsia Mons. This view was created by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The width of the image is around 16 miles (25 kilometers). The formation is volcanic in origin, and pit craters are visible.
A structure called Arsia Chasmata on the flanks of one of the large Martian volcanoes, Arsia Mons. This view was created by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The width of the image is around 16 miles (25 kilometers). The formation is volcanic in origin, and pit craters are visible.
Credit: ESA/Roscosmos/ExoMars/CaSSIS/UniBE

After the botched landing of the Schiaparelli spacecraft in October, pressures have been high for the ExoMars team. "A lot of public attention has been on the failed landing of Schiaparelli, but TGO has been working really well, so we have been extremely busy in the past month," Thomas said.

"We were quite nervous but it looks as though almost everything functioned as we planned it. The resulting images are really sharp," Antoine Pommerol, a CaSSIS co-investigator at the Center of Space and Habitability in Bern, said in the same statement.

For the next few months, the team will continue to prepare CaSSIS for its prime mission. "The test was very successful but we have identified a couple of things that need to be improved in the onboard software and in the ground post-processing," Thomas said.

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Post n°1342 pubblicato il 01 Dicembre 2016 da diegobaratono

DA: ""

New Pyramid in Antarctica? Not Quite, Say Geologists

New Pyramid in Antarctica? Not Quite, Say Geologists
This Antarctic mountain bears a striking resemblance to a pyramid.
Credit: Google Maps

An Antarctic mountain with a unique, pyramid-like shape is suddenly internet-famous, with countless theorists contemplating its origin. Some are wondering whether an ancient civilization created the rocky, pyramidal structure, and others are pointing toward outer space, speculating about the involvement of aliens.

But Occam's razor — the idea that the simplest explanation is usually the right one — points to a far more mundane cause: Those steep, pyramid-like sides are likely the work of hundreds of millions of years of erosion, experts told Live Science.

"This is just a mountain that looks like a pyramid," Eric Rignot, a professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, told Live Science in an email. "Pyramid shapes are not impossible — many peaks partially look like pyramids, but they only have one to two faces like that, rarely four." [Photos: The World's Weirdest Geological Formations]

The pyramidal mountain, which doesn't have a formal name, is one of the many peaks that make up Antarctica's Ellsworth Mountains, which were discovered by the American aviator Lincoln Ellsworth during a flight on Nov. 23, 1935, according to a 2007 research paper that was published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

More specifically, the unnamed mountain — located at 79°58’39.25"S 81°57’32.21"W — is in the southern part of the Ellsworth Mountains in an area called Heritage Range, which is known for its extraordinary fossils, including those of Cambrian-period trilobites from more than 500 million years ago, according to a 1972 USGS report.

The mountain isn't that tall by planetary standards — just 4,150 feet (1,265 meters) — or a little less than one-fifth the height of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, according to Google Earth. The mountain may not have Denali's height, but its unique pyramidal shape sets it apart, said Mauri Pelto, a professor of environmental science at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

Freeze-thaw erosion likely led to its pyramid-like shape, Pelto said. This happens when snow or water fills up cracks within a mountain during the day. When night falls and temperatures drop, the snow freezes and expands, turning into ice. The expanding ice causes the cracks to grow, Pelto said.

This freeze-thaw erosion happens countless times, leading to the creation of larger cracks that can, eventually, cause entire rock sections to break off, he said. These forces likely also shaped other pyramidal mountains, including the Matterhorn in the Alps, he said.

A pyramid-shaped peak called Matterhorn in the Alps.
A pyramid-shaped peak called Matterhorn in the Alps.
Credit: Ekaterina Grivet,

Three of the mountain's four sides appear to have eroded at about the same rate. "It suggests, since it came out so evenly, that the rock type is fairly uniform," Pelto said. "You don't have any rock layers that are harder to erode."

In other words, the nameless mountain is likely "all in one rock layer," Pelto said. "It's not a very big mountain, so it's not that surprising." 

However, the eastern ridge of the mountain is decidedly the black sheep of the family. Instead of descending downward like the other ridges, that fourth side extends east, rising toward even higher terrain, Pelto said.

"The erosion probably wasn't as uniform [on the eastern side]," he said.

Pelto added that although some news outlets are saying that the mountain is newly discovered, that's very unlikely to be the case. There's a research base for climate scientists to the south of the mountain in an area known as the Patriot Hills.

"You can actually probably see this mountain from up there in the Patriot Hills," Pelto said.

As for the conspiracy theorists who are wondering about the mountain's pyramidal shape, "at least they're thinking about something," he said. "In the end, maybe they'll learn something in the process."

Original article on Live Science.

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Post n°1341 pubblicato il 24 Novembre 2016 da diegobaratono



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Post n°1340 pubblicato il 24 Novembre 2016 da diegobaratono

DA: ""

Il Gallo Nero festeggia il "Thanksgiving day": brindisi con la comunità americana a Firenze

on 23 November 2016. Pubblicato in Scenari

Ieri il Gallo Nero e i suoi produttori hanno alzato un calice di Gallo Nero per festeggiare insieme alla comunità americana di Firenze una delle più tradizionali feste americane, il Thanksgiving Day, proprio nell’anno che celebra il trecentesimo compleanno del Chianti Classico.

Un doppio brindisi a Firenze: il capoluogo toscano ha un rapporto consolidato con gli Stati Uniti d’America, rinsaldato da una forte presenza di cittadini statunitensi, ormai radicata nella vita della città. I rapporti del Chianti Classico con gli Stati Uniti sono storici: l’esploratore Giovanni da Verrazzano, chiantigiano della Val della Greve, fu il primo europeo a entrare nella Baia di New York nel 1524 e a lui è dedicato il Verrazzano Narrows Bridge. Filippo Mazzei, di una nobile famiglia di viticoltori di Castellina, nel ‘700 ebbe interessi commerciali e politici negli USA, stabilendosi in Virginia e stringendo rapporti d’amicizia con Thomas Jefferson e Benjamin Franklin.

Il console generale degli Stati Uniti Abigail M. Rupp, nel corso del suo saluto agli ospiti, ha ringraziato il Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico e le aziende associate per aver contribuito alla serata celebrativa, “Aspettando il Thanksgiving con il Gallo Nero”. “Simbolo di convivialità e condivisione, elemento importante nelle relazioni tra Toscana e Stati Uniti, - ha dichiarato il console Rupp - il vino Chianti Classico è un prodotto d’eccellenza della Toscana, una regione che ha visto nel 2015 il valore delle esportazioni negli Stati Uniti raggiungere i 3,5 miliardi di Euro, segnando un aumento del 16% rispetto all’anno precedente e con l’augurio di vedere questi dati crescere ancora nel 2016.  Il mio augurio, infine, è che i rapporti sociali e commerciali tra Stati Uniti e Toscana si rafforzino sempre di più, come l’amicizia che dura da tanti secoli e che poggia su radici profonde e su valori condivisi”.

L’assessore allo sviluppo economico e turismo del Comune di Firenze, Giovanni Bettarini, ha commentato: “Con il Consolato collaboriamo da sempre per facilitare le imprese del territorio negli scambi culturali e commerciali con gli Stati Uniti. Ma Firenze è legata agli Stati Uniti non solo attraverso le istituzioni e per rapporti commerciali, ma anche per la qualità del turismo. Gli americani sono i primi visitatori di Firenze e anche i più amati, non ultimo anche per la loro capacità di spesa. Oggi ci uniamo alla comunità americana di Firenze brindando con una delle più antiche e apprezzate espressioni enologiche del nostro territorio, il Chianti Classico. Trecento anni fa a Firenze il granduca Cosimo III de’ Medici promulgò il bando che ne consacrava l’eccellenza qualitativa, da tutelare, istituendo il legame tra un prodotto e la sua zona di origine. Ancora oggi entro quei confini nasce il vino del Gallo Nero, orgoglio dell’enologia italiana, a cui facciamo gli auguri per i suoi primi tre secoli di storia".

Il vicepresidente del Consorzio, Sebastiano Capponi, ha invece sottolineato: “Gli Stati Uniti sono un luogo dove, “accogliere l’altro” ha un valore fondamentale e per questo motivo è un popolo aperto alle interazioni e agli influssi di altre culture, di cui il bere bene è un valore fondamentale. Oggi il legame con gli Stati Uniti è più forte che mai: nel 2015 si è riconfermato come il mercato estero più importante per il Chianti Classico, aggiudicandosi il 31% dell’export totale.”

Le aziende partecipanti alla serata, che hanno offerto i propri Chianti Classico annata, Riserva e Gran Selezione, sono state:
Badia a Coltibuono, Banfi, Bibbiano, Bindi Sergardi, Caparsa, Carobbio, Carpineto, Casa di Monte, Casina di Cornia, Castagnoli, Castellare di Castellina, Castello della Paneretta, Castello di Albola, Castello di Gabbiano, Castello di Monsanto, Castello di Verrazzano, Castello di Volpaia, Castello Vicchiomaggio, Cecchi, Fattoria di Corsignano, Fattoria di Montemaggio, Fattoria San Michele a Torri, Il Colombaio di Cencio, Il Molino di Grace, La Sala, Le Filigare, Le Fonti – Panzano, Lecci e Brocchi , L'Orcio a Ca' di Pesa, Panzanello, Podere Capaccia, Poggio Bonelli , Quercia al Poggio, Renzo Marinai, Rocca delle Macìe, Rocca di Montegrossi, Tenuta del Palagio, Tenuta La Novella, Villa Pomona, Villa Vignamaggio, Villa Calcinaia.


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