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Strong Solar Storm Could Disrupt Communications And Produce Northern Lights In US

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CAPE Florida’s Cape Coral — This weekend, a very powerful solar storm approaching Earth may cause communications outages and cause the northern lights to appear in the United States.

For the first time in almost 20 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a rare geomagnetic storm watch. The entire weekend is under scrutiny, beginning on Friday.

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Strong Solar Storm Could Disrupt Communications And Produce Northern Lights In US

According to NOAA, the sun started to create powerful solar flares on Wednesday, which led to five plasma explosions that might have disrupted Earth’s power infrastructures and satellites in orbit. A coronal mass ejection, or eruption, can produce billions of tons of solar plasma.

The flares appear to be connected to a sunspot that is 16 times the diameter of Earth, which is why NOAA is classifying this as an uncommon occurrence. In 2003, a strong geomagnetic storm destroyed power transformers in South Africa and knocked out power in Sweden.

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Strong Solar Storm Could Disrupt Communications And Produce Northern Lights In US

According to NOAA, the most recent storm may cause northern lights as far south as Alabama and Northern California in the United States.

An amazing natural occurrence is the aurora borealis, sometimes known as the northern lights. The night sky in Earth’s polar regions is home to these vibrant, dancing lights. When charged solar particles clash with atmospheric gasses, these lights are created. 

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Strong Solar Storm Could Disrupt Communications And Produce Northern Lights In US

Though the lights are usually observed in green, pink, and violet hues, they can occasionally be seen in other colors as well. Countless people travel to locations like Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia every year to see this amazing show in person since it is such a stunning sight.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The Webb Space Telescope discovered the earliest known merger of black holes.

These two massive holes and their galaxies formed only 740 million years after the universe-creating Big Bang. Scientists claimed Thursday that they have made the furthest distant detection of merging holes ever.

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Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

A black hole is 50 million times bigger than our sun. The other is estimated to be similar in size but buried in dense gas, making it difficult to measure.

Until today, astronomers didn’t know how supermassive black holes got so huge.

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Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

The current findings, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, imply that mergers explain how holes can expand quickly — “even at cosmic dawn,” according to lead author Hannah Ubler of the University of Cambridge.

“Massive holes have been shaping the evolution of galaxies from the very beginning,” Ubler stated.

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Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

Webb, the largest and most powerful observatory ever launched into space, will be the successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope when it launches in 2021. The infrared observatory, a joint US-European initiative, scans the universe from one million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth.

SOURCE – (AP)

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China Launches Long March-5 to the “Dark Side of Moon”

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China Launches Long March-5
China Launches Long March-5 Spacecraft: Getty Images

China has launched an unmanned spacecraft on a nearly two-month journey to gather rocks and soil from the moon’s far side, becoming the first country to undertake such an ambitious task.

China’s heaviest rocket, the Long March-5, lifted off at 5:27 p.m. Beijing time (0927 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan, carrying the Chang’e-6 probe weighing more than 8 metric tons.

China’s Chang’e-6 is entrusted with landing in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the moon’s far side, which is continuously facing away from Earth, and retrieving and returning samples.

The launch is another significant milestone in China’s lunar and space exploration mission.

“It is a bit of a mystery to us how China has been able to develop such an ambitious and successful programme in such a short time,” said Pierre-Yves Meslin, a French researcher working on one of the Chang’e-6 mission’s scientific objectives.

In 2018, Chang’e-4 made China’s first unmanned moon landing on the far side. Chang’e-5 returned lunar samples for the first time in 44 years in 2020, and Chang’e-6 has the potential to make China the first country to retrieve samples from the moon’s “hidden” side.

Scientists, diplomats, and space agency officials from France, Italy, Pakistan, and the European Space Agency all attended the launch, which carried moon-study payloads on Chang’e-6.

However, no US groups requested for a payload place, according to Ge Ping, deputy director of the China National Space Administration’s (CNSA) Lunar Exploration and Space Program.

U.S. law prohibits China from collaborating with the United States’ space agency, NASA.

The Dark Side of the Moon

The far side of the moon, also known as the “dark side of the moon” despite receiving sunlight, is the hemisphere that always faces away from Earth. The Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft made the first observation of this strange region in 1959.

Unlike the near side, the far side lacks enormous, dark basins known as marias. Instead, hundreds of craters produced by asteroid collisions over billions of years blanket it.

The South Pole-Aitken Basin, an immense crater more than 1,500 miles wide and several miles deep, is one of the most visible landforms on the far side. This ancient impact basin is among the largest known crater formations in our solar system. The far side likewise has many mountains, ridges, and other harsh topography formed by cosmic collisions.

Studying the far side provides insights into the moon’s genesis and early history because it maintains impact records from the solar system’s turbulent childhood.

Scientists also intend to investigate it for potential resources and future lunar bases. With no atmosphere or magnetic field, the far side displays the wounds of endless meteor bombardments, exposing information about Earth’s only natural satellite that the near side lacks.

Source: Reuters

Apple Boss Tim Cook Makes Surprise China Visit

Apple Boss Tim Cook Makes Surprise China Visit

 

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What Marijuana Reclassification Means For The United States

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Washington — The United States Narcotic Enforcement Administration is considering reclassifying marijuana as a less harmful narcotic. The Justice Department’s proposal would recognize cannabis’ medical purposes but not legalize it for recreational use.

The proposal would shift marijuana from the “Schedule I” category to the less stringent “Schedule III.”

So, what does this mean, and what are the implications?

Technically, nothing has happened. The White House Office of Management and Budget must first examine the idea, followed by a public comment period and an administrative judge’s assessment, which could be a lengthy process.

Nonetheless, the change is considered “paradigm-shifting, and it’s very exciting,” Vince Sliwoski, a Portland, Oregon-based cannabis and psychedelics attorney who runs well-known legal blogs on those topics, told The Associated Press when the federal Health and Human Services Department recommended it.

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What Marijuana Reclassification Means For The United States

“I can’t emphasize enough how big of news it is,” he said.

It came after President Joe Biden last year requested that HHS and the attorney general, who controls the DEA, investigate how marijuana was classified. Schedule I legalized it alongside heroin, LSD, quaaludes, and ecstasy, among other substances.

Biden, a Democrat, is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana “where appropriate, consistent with medical and scientific evidence,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday. “That is why it is important for this independent review to go through.”

No. Schedule III medicines, such as ketamine, anabolic steroids, and several acetaminophen-codeine combos, are still considered controlled narcotics.

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What Marijuana Reclassification Means For The United States

They are subject to a variety of restrictions that allow for some medical usage as well as federal criminal punishment of anyone who traffics in the medications illegally.

Medical marijuana programs, which are already regulated in 38 states, and legal recreational cannabis markets in 23 states are expected to remain unchanged, but they are unlikely to meet federal production, record-keeping, prescribing, and other Schedule III drug criteria.

There haven’t been many federal prosecutions for simply possessing marijuana in recent years, even with marijuana’s existing Schedule I designation, but reclassification would have no immediate impact on those currently in the criminal justice system.

“Put simply, this shift from Schedule I to Schedule III is not keeping people out of jail,” said David Culver, senior vice president of public relations of the United States Cannabis Council.

However, rescheduling would have an impact, especially on research and marijuana business taxes.

Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, it has been extremely difficult to undertake permitted clinical trials involving its administration. This has produced a Catch-22 situation: there is a need for further study, but there are hurdles to doing so. (Sometimes, scientists rely on people’s claims of marijuana use.)

Schedule III medications are easier to study, although reclassification would take time to remove all hurdles to research.

“It’s going to be really confusing for a long time,” says Ziva Cooper, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. “When the dust has settled, I don’t know how many years from now, research will be easier.”

Among the unknowns include whether academics will be permitted to study marijuana from state-licensed shops and how the federal Food and Drug Administration would regulate this.

Some researchers remain optimistic.

“Reducing the schedule to schedule 3 will allow us to conduct research with human subjects using cannabis,” said Susan Ferguson, director of the University of Washington’s Addictions, Drug, and Alcohol Institute in Seattle.

Firms involved in “trafficking” marijuana or any other Schedule I or II substance are not allowed to deduct rent, payroll, or other expenses that other firms can. (Yes, despite the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana, at least some cannabis firms, particularly those permitted by states, pay federal taxes.) According to industry associations, tax rates frequently reach 70% or more.

The deduction regulation does not apply to Schedule III medications, so the proposed amendment would significantly reduce cannabis companies’ taxes.

They claim it would treat them like other industries and let them compete with unlawful competitors that frustrate licensees and officials in locations like New York.

“You’re going to make these state-legal programs stronger,” says Adam Goers, an executive at Columbia Care, a medicinal and recreational cannabis provider. He co-chairs a group of corporate and other stakeholders advocating for rescheduling.

According to Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Center, deducting those expenditures could result in greater cannabis marketing and advertising.

Rescheduling would have no direct impact on another marijuana business issue: limited access to banks, particularly for loans, due to federally regulated institutions’ concerns about the drug’s legal status. Instead, the sector has focused on the SAFE Banking Act. It has frequently passed the House but is stuck in the Senate.

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What Marijuana Reclassification Means For The United States

Yes, there are, notably the national anti-legalization organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana. President Kevin Sabet, a former Obama administration drug policy official, said the HHS suggestion “flies in the face of science, reeks of politics” and gives a disappointing nod to an industry “desperately looking for legitimacy.”

Some legalization supporters argue that rescheduling marijuana is too modest. They want to keep the focus on totally removing it from the controlled substances list, which does not include alcohol or tobacco (although they are regulated).

According to Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, simply reclassifying marijuana would be “perpetuating the existing divide between state and federal marijuana policies.” According to Kaliko Castille, President of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, rescheduling simply “re-brands prohibition,” rather than giving state licensees the green light and bringing an end to decades of arrests that disproportionately affected people of color.

“Schedule III is going to leave it in this kind of amorphous, mucky middle where people are not going to understand the danger of it still being federally illegal,” the senator stated.

Peltz reported from New York. Associated Press writers Colleen Long in Washington and Carla K. Johnson in Seattle contributed to this story.

SOURCE – (AP)

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