Lake of the Pines, CA, United States
Lake of the Pines, CA, United States

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News Article | February 15, 2017

There is a super-Earth existing outside the solar system near our planet. This must be good news when efforts are underway to colonize Mars. This was revealed in the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey by a team of international scientists. It was led by astronomers Steve Vogt, Geoffrey Marcy from the University of California, and Carnegie Institute of Science's Paul Butler at Washington. The team discovered 60 new planets and 54 potential planets outside the solar system making a total of 114 new planets. According to the scientists, many of these planets are Earth-like and can support life. The study will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. The hot "super-Earth" named Gliese 411-b is an exoplanet with a rocky surface and the fourth nearest to the solar system. The premise of super-Earth supporting life is based on the fact that planets were found orbiting all stars near the sun. So, it is normal to expect Earth-like conditions supporting alien life might be present. The survey results were derived from an average 60,000 observations of 1,600 stars, which the team tracked for more than 20-years, with the help of Hawaii's Keck-I telescope. "This paper and data release is one of my crowning achievements as an astronomer and represents a good chunk of my life's work," Butler, one of the research leaders said. The newly discovered planets would enhance the understanding of the processes in planetary formations and help in future efforts for imaging planets directly, according to the researchers. Lick-Carnegie survey has made a commendable contribution in increasing scientists' understanding of planets in the last two decades by tracking movements of nearby stars and the effect of orbiting planets. One of the researchers, Dr. Mikko Tuomi, noted that Keck-I telescope has been a wonderful tool in proving that all stars have orbiting planets. "These new discoveries will further help us characterize the population of planets in the immediate solar neighborhood," he added. The methodology of the research involved measuring periodic changes in the colors of target stars that indicated the existence of planets. Using iodine cell radial velocity technique, they monitored the signatures of planets by using iodine lines as a reference point that stays static with lines of the star responding to the planets that are orbiting. Meanwhile, NASA developed a new technology for detecting signs of life beyond earth and claimed it was far more effective than the ones used by spaceship Mars Curiosity rover. In a paper published "Enhanced Resolution of Chiral Amino Acids with Capillary Electrophoresis for Biosignature Detection in Extraterrestrial Samples," a NASA researcher suggested "laser-provoked fluorescence recognition" by blazing a laser through a mixture of organic molecules to identify amino acids, which are the building blocks of all life. Also, in detecting a distant planet's habitability, NASA has developed a new model. Based on that yardstick, the newly discovered exoplanet Proxima Centauri b is not habitable. Proxima Centauri b was discovered in August 2016 as an Earth-sized planet with hints that water was present. However, a new research by NASA suggests Proxima Centauri b is a dead world because of the violence by its host star. Though in the Goldilocks zone, a region around a star where it is "not too hot, not too cold," stellar eruptions from the star can beam charged particles into the atmosphere and destroy water-producing ingredients. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Wessels K.J.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Mathieu R.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Erasmus B.F.N.,University of Witwatersrand | Asner G.P.,Carnegie Institute of Science | And 10 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011

Millions of people rely on savannas for ecosystem services, such as the provision of grazing and fuel wood, so it is important to determine the extent to which utilization affects woody vegetation resources. Using airborne LiDAR from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), we quantified and compared tree canopy cover and height distributions between areas of contrasting management in the Lowveld savanna region of South Africa - a region connecting communal landscapes with heavy utilization (especially fuel wood harvesting) to fully protected public (Kruger National Park - KNP) and private reserves (SabiSand Game Reserve - SSGR) that conserve biodiversity. Differences in total woody vegetation cover and cover within functional height classes (1-2. m, 2-3. m, 3-5. m, 5-7. m and >7. m) were investigated between 7 sites located within (i) conservation areas (in KNP, SSGR), (ii) communal rangelands or (iii) cultivated fields in communal areas. The impact of human utilization on wood resources in the communal areas varied widely between sites. Heavy utilization on gabbro substrate greatly reduced total woody cover of the rangelands, while two other communal rangelands that were presumably less intensively utilised had double the total woody cover of conservation areas. Rangelands and fields in most of the communal sites had more vegetation cover in the 5-7. m and >7. m classes than most of the conservation sites, presumably due to the absence of elephants in communal rangelands and the active preservation of large fruiting trees. On granite substrates, which account for the majority of the study area, there was a 50% reduction in woody cover below 5. m in communal rangelands. Although large trees were clearly being conserved in communal rangelands and fields, there was a relatively low cover of vegetation below 5. m, which raise doubts about recruitment and long-term sustainability of the tree resources. These results in conjunction with other studies based on the CAO LiDAR data for experimental burn plots and large mammal exclosures in KNP, suggest that communal land use on granite substrates have a higher impact on the woody cover below 5. m than both elephants and fire. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Wessels K.J.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Mathieu R.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Erasmus B.F.N.,University of Witwatersrand | Asner G.P.,Carnegie Institute of Science | And 5 more authors.
34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment - The GEOSS Era: Towards Operational Environmental Monitoring | Year: 2011

People in the rural, communal areas of South Africa rely on live fuel wood for more than 90% of their energy requirements. Using airborne lidar from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) we compared tree canopy cover and height distributions between communal landscapes with heavy utilization to fully protected public and private reserves in the Lowveld of South Africa. Rangelands and fields in most of the communal sites had more vegetation cover in the 5-7m and >7m classes than most of the conservation sites, presumably due to the absence of elephants in communal rangelands. On granite substrates there was a 50% reduction in woody cover below 5m in communal rangelands. These results in conjunction with related studies, suggest that communal land use have a higher impact on the woody cover below 5m than both elephants and fire.

Nobel Prize Winning Institution for Science Turns to Qumulo To Deliver Performance, Scalability and Simplicity SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Nov 14, 2016) - Qumulo, the leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, today announced that the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science has chosen Qumulo Core to deliver the performance, scalability and simplicity needed to keep pace with evolving research data requirements. The Carnegie Institution for Science conducts an extensive range of pure scientific research, from earth science and biology to magnetism and astronomy. The Institution's Department of Embryology, established in 1913, is globally recognized for its innovative experimental studies, using molecular biology, genetic techniques and animal models to investigate developmental processes from single-cell embryos to whole organisms -- research that has led to numerous scientific insights and three Nobel Prizes. Embryology's research data can be roughly divided into three categories: images collected from microscopes and other imaging systems, nucleotide sequencing data from next-generation sequencers, and the usual variety of common document files used to collect, report and present results. While document storage is relatively straightforward, the imaging and sequencing data present substantial challenges; data sets can consist of millions of kilobyte-sized files, or dozens of hundred-gigabyte files. These files are accessed for processing and analysis from client computers running all of the major operating systems (Windows, Mac OSX, Linux). Embryology had relied on an EMC/Isilon system as its primary storage. However, that system was approaching end-of-life, and a replacement became necessary to deal with the department's increasing demands for storage, performance and capacity. "One of our major replacement criteria was finding a storage system that could bridge that file volume and variety," says Bill Kupiec, IT Manager for Carnegie's Department of Embryology. "It had to handle both the streaming needed for very large data sets and the fast processing required for millions of small files. That made locating a workable solution extremely challenging." Qumulo is the leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, delivering flexible, fast and highly scalable storage together with the real-time analytics necessary for visibility into data usage. The combination provides the storage performance and scale the department's team wanted, packaged in a simple and affordable appliance architecture that leverages commodity hardware. After an exhaustive search looking at more than a dozen vendors, that ability to combine performance, scalability and simplicity won the day. The department selected Qumulo's QC208 hybrid storage appliances, deploying a four node, NFS and SMB-based cluster with almost a petabyte of raw capacity. With the Qumulo cluster in place, the department's challenge of maintaining system performance across file types and sizes has rapidly become a thing of the past. "Most storage vendors tout aggregate bandwidth, which isn't relevant to us," explained Mahmud Siddiqi, Microscopy Facility Manager for the Department of Embryology. "We care about how quickly each client can get files back and forth from the storage system, or how it handles high volume from a metadata or directory standpoint. Virtually every storage system we looked at addressed our aggregate load, but all stumbled when pushed by a single client. Except for Qumulo." The team found that the new Qumulo cluster was able to quickly traverse large directories, feed high file volumes and easily deliver or ingest large streaming files. When the team has needed help in configuring the system, the Qumulo Care support has been a quick call -- or an easy Slack channel -- away. "Our interaction with the Qumulo support team has been great," noted Kupiec. "It's so refreshing to have multiple people quickly, knowledgeably and pleasantly come together to help us sort issues." The Qumulo team is helping to keep pace with this evolution through agile two-week software sprints that continually enhance the system, and help ensure it's always meeting the department's needs. "Our research organization falls between the cracks for most storage vendors, with giant imaging sets and millions of tiny genetic sequencing scraps. Finding a system that reasonably handled all our complex workflows was difficult, and in the end only Qumulo was the right fit," concluded Kupiec. To read the full Carnegie Institute of Science case study, please visit: Suggested Tweet: The department of embryology at @carnegiescience turns to @Qumulo to deliver performance, scalability & simplicity About Qumulo Qumulo, headquartered in Seattle, pioneered data-aware scale-out NAS, enabling enterprises to manage and store enormous numbers of digital assets through real-time analytics built directly into the file system. Qumulo Core is a software-only solution designed to leverage the price/performance of commodity hardware coupled with the modern technologies of flash, virtualization and cloud. Qumulo was founded in 2012 by the inventors of scale-out NAS, and has attracted a team of storage innovators from Isilon, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft. Qumulo has raised $100 million in three rounds of funding from leading investors. For more information, visit

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