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Moon’s now-defunct magnetic field ‘protected Earths from solar storms’ 4 billion years ago 

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moons now defunct magnetic field protected earths from solar storms 4 billion years ago

The Moon’s once powerful magnetic field helped shield Earth and its developing atmosphere from powerful solar storms 4 billion years ago, a new study claims.

Researchers led by James Green, NASA’s chief scientist, created computer models simulating the protective impact the Moon once had over Earth.  

The combined magnetic fields of both the Moon and the Earth sheltered the latter’s developing atmosphere before the Moon’s magnetism waned, they concluded. 

This protective and previously unrecognised buffer prevented Earth’s early atmosphere from eroding when the young Sun stirred up ‘violent space weather’ – which would otherwise have burnt our planet’s surface to a crisp.  

The 'magnetospheres' of the Moon and Earth become intertwined providing protection from the solar wind and Earth atmosphere is deposited on the Moon

The 'magnetospheres' of the Moon and Earth become intertwined providing protection from the solar wind and Earth atmosphere is deposited on the Moon

The ‘magnetospheres’ of the Moon and Earth become intertwined providing protection from the solar wind and Earth atmosphere is deposited on the Moon

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‘Our planet has a special shield called a magnetosphere that protects us from harmful radiation from the Sun,’ said Dr Green. 

‘The Moon is not so lucky – it doesn’t have a magnetosphere, at least not today, but scientists are learning that, billions of years ago, the Moon may have had a magnetic field just as strong as ours.

‘This kind of research is tremendously exciting because it tells us that these bodies, our solar system bodies or planets or Moons, are evolving over time.’ 

The Earth’s magnetic field is the product of the electric currents generated as liquid metal moves around in our planet’s core.

The Moon, meanwhile, used to have a robust magnetic field – but it has long since faded away. 

In 1969, astronauts on the Apollo 12 mission – the the second to land on the Moon – discovered that the Moon’s magnetic field is about 1,000 times weaker than present-day Earth’s. 

Our Moon, 4 billion years ago generated its own magnetic field, which acted as a protective buffer for the Earth

Our Moon, 4 billion years ago generated its own magnetic field, which acted as a protective buffer for the Earth

Our Moon, 4 billion years ago generated its own magnetic field, which acted as a protective buffer for the Earth 

But when today’s scientists re-examined the Apollo mission’s lunar samples using modern techniques, they said the early Moon possessed a much stronger magnetic field. 

The magnetic properties of rocks can be revealed by the presence of minerals, which can provide a snapshot of a certain time.  

‘From a scientific perspective, I keep saying the samples are a gift that keeps on giving because as we understand them more, we can go back and look at those and tease out more and more information,’ said Dr Green. 

Additionally, research has called into question how the early Earth’s magnetic field alone could have sufficiently protected it from intense and destructive bouts of solar wind and radiation. 

To learn more, Dr Green and colleagues modelled the overlapping magnetic dipole fields (MDFs) or ‘magnetospheres’ of the ancient Earth and Moon. 

MDFs are the fields of electric charge between a pair of equal and magnetised poles, separated by a distance.  

Billions of years ago, the Moon’s magnetic field was at peak intensity.

The Moon’s now-Defunct magnetic field may have protected our planet's nascent atmosphere

The Moon’s now-Defunct magnetic field may have protected our planet's nascent atmosphere

The Moon’s now-Defunct magnetic field may have protected our planet’s nascent atmosphere 

It was also much closer to Earth – only about 18 Earth radii away, compared with roughly 60 Earth radii today.

One Earth radii is simply the Earth’s radius – the distance from the centre of Earth to its surface (3,958 miles).

The Moon is still slowly drifting away from us, at a rate of about a single inch, or around 2.5cm, every year. 

Dr Green’s simulations suggested that the Moon’s magnetic field acted like a protective bubble, taking the brunt of fierce solar winds and offering Earth’s atmosphere ‘an extra line of defence’. 

The team anticipate that further trips to the Moon could provide further evidence to build on this study, which has been published in Science Advances

Samples gathered during NASA’s upcoming Artemis program, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, could be crucial.         

Earlier this year, scientists revealed that the moon’s once-strong protective magnetic field disappeared around one billion years ago when its internal dynamo stopped working.

Researchers found that the field one billion years ago had dropped down to 0.1 microteslas -around 500 times weaker than the Earth's today. Pictured, the total magnetic field strength at the surface of the moon as recorded by NASA's Lunar Prospector in November 2006

Researchers found that the field one billion years ago had dropped down to 0.1 microteslas -around 500 times weaker than the Earth's today. Pictured, the total magnetic field strength at the surface of the moon as recorded by NASA's Lunar Prospector in November 2006

Researchers found that the field one billion years ago had dropped down to 0.1 microteslas -around 500 times weaker than the Earth’s today. Pictured, the total magnetic field strength at the surface of the moon as recorded by NASA’s Lunar Prospector in November 2006

To determine the past strength of the field, researchers studied rocks from the moon’s surface that were formed out of molten material generated by a large impact.

As this rock cooled, tiny grains inside lined up with the magnetic field to form a snapshot of the field’s strength and direction at that time.

Researchers found that the field one billion years ago had dropped down to 0.1 microteslas – around 500 times weaker than the Earth’s today.

The dynamo that powered the field, driven by the crystallisation of matter in the lunar core, had ceased by this time.

WHEN IS NASA GOING BACK TO THE MOON?

In a statement in March, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine doubled down on plans to send humans first to the moon and then to Mars and said NASA is on track to have humans back on the moon by 2028.

The plan relies on the developing Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, along with the Gateway orbital platform.

SLS and Orion are expected to be ready for their first uncrewed test flight in 2020.

Construction on Gateway – an orbiting lunar outpost – is expected to begin as soon as 2022.

‘We will go to the Moon in the next decade with innovative, new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the lunar surface than ever before,’ Bridenstine said.

‘This time, when we go to the Moon, we will stay.

‘We will use what we learn as we move forward to the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.’

Vice President Mike Pence, however, tore up these plans and statements when he unexpectedly revealed a new deadline in March stating intentions to put humans on the moon by 2024 – four years earlier. 

The VP called on NASA to ‘reignite the spark of urgency’ for space exploration and make it a priority to set ‘bold goals’ and stay on schedule.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine added a week later, at the start of April, that the agency would get ‘really close’ to delivering a plan by April 15. 

This has been missed by several weeks and the House Science Committee is now vocalising its displeasure at having no viable plan or programme from the space agency.  

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cyclist, 70, brain-damaged after dog ran into his path could get up to £50k damages

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cyclist 70 brain damaged after dog ran into his path could get up to 50k damages

A cyclist could be awarded up to £50,000 after successfully suing a woman when her dog ran in front of him, causing a crash which left him brain damaged.   

David Crane says he suffered a brain haemorrhage when he flew over the handlebars after braking to avoid Carina Read’s cocker spaniel on Acton Green Common in west London.

The publishing executive, 70, took his fight to the Central London County Court where his lawyers claimed investment banker Ms Read was negligent in failing to properly control her dog, Felix.

Ms Reid, 48, denied all blame and insisted the accident was a ‘freak occurrence’ and said Felix only ran in front of the bike because he was ‘stunned’ after the ball hit him on the head.

She also claimed Mr Crane was going too fast and should not have been riding on the path which was out of bounds to cyclists in line with local bylaws.

But Judge Patrick Andrews has now ruled that Ms Read was negligent, having failed to call back Felix as he shot towards the path and the oncoming cyclist.

Dog owner Carina Read outside Central London County Court

Dog owner Carina Read outside Central London County Court

David Crane outside Central London County Court

David Crane outside Central London County Court

Dog owner Carina Read outside Central London County Court, left, and right, David Crane who has won his fight for damages from Ms Read

Mr Crane sued Ms Read under the 1972 Animals Act, but her lawyers said the Act only relates to damage done by a dangerous animal and that Felix (pictured) was not remotely dangerous

Mr Crane sued Ms Read under the 1972 Animals Act, but her lawyers said the Act only relates to damage done by a dangerous animal and that Felix (pictured) was not remotely dangerous

Mr Crane sued Ms Read under the 1972 Animals Act, but her lawyers said the Act only relates to damage done by a dangerous animal and that Felix (pictured) was not remotely dangerous

Mr Crane sued Ms Read for negligence as well as under the 1972 Animals Act, which her lawyers argued only relates to damage done by a dangerous animal. 

Her legal team said Felix was not remotely dangerous. 

The judge told the court today: ‘After considering all the facts and evidence, I find that on balance of probabilities, in failing to call back Felix, which she clearly had time to do, Ms Reid exposed Mr Crane to risk of injury.’

The ruling means Mr Crane, who claimed up to £50,000, is entitled to a damages payout, with the amount due to be assessed at another hearing.

The ‘seasoned cyclist’, who said he has ridden a bike around London for over 40 years without mishap, said he was cycling with care and at no more than five miles per hour when the dog ran in front of him in March 2016.

He said the accident occurred in a ‘split second’, adding: ‘The first time I was aware of the dog was when it was right in front of me’.

He denied claims he was hurrying to get to work on time or that he was riding too fast, saying he was incapable of speeding along because he had weighed 18 stone. 

His barrister Helen Pooley said he sustained a ‘not insignificant brain injury’, affecting his hearing, memory, concentration and ability to drive, leaving him with headaches and impairing his sense of taste and smell.

Mr Crane, from Chiswick, declared himself ‘100% a dog lover’, and said outside court that he now walks friends’ dogs for exercise because he can no longer ride his bike or go skiing.

Insisting Ms Read should be cleared of blame for the accident, her barrister Nigel Lewers told the judge that when she threw the ball for Felix the path was clear. 

In documents filed at Central London County Court, Ms Read (pictured) argues cycling across the park's path was barred by a local borough bye-law

In documents filed at Central London County Court, Ms Read (pictured) argues cycling across the park's path was barred by a local borough bye-law

David Crane, 70, was riding to work across a park on his morning commute when Carina Read's cocker spaniel ran into his path while chasing a ball

David Crane, 70, was riding to work across a park on his morning commute when Carina Read's cocker spaniel ran into his path while chasing a ball

In documents filed at Central London County Court, Ms Read (left) argues cycling across the park’s path was barred by a local borough bye-law

He said the ball bounced off the dog’s head as he chased it, deflecting it towards the path: ‘At that point, she became aware of Mr Crane cycling at speed with his head down.

‘She tried to warn him, but Felix chased the ball across the path and was struck by the front wheel of the bicycle.

‘She was doing what she and no doubt many others had done in the same or similar areas of the common – throwing a ball for her dog down an open strip of grass and not in the direction of the path.’

Felix had seemed ‘momentarily stunned’ when he was accidentally hit on the head by the ball, Ms Read had said in her evidence.

‘The chance of Felix deflecting the ball beyond the daffodils and across the path must have been remote,’ her barrister said.

Mr Crane denied claims he had 'sped' down the path to get to work on time and failed to keep a proper look out. He insists he had no time to avoid the spaniel (pictured), despite riding at no more than 5mph

Mr Crane denied claims he had 'sped' down the path to get to work on time and failed to keep a proper look out. He insists he had no time to avoid the spaniel (pictured), despite riding at no more than 5mph

Mr Crane denied claims he had ‘sped’ down the path to get to work on time and failed to keep a proper look out. He insists he had no time to avoid the spaniel (pictured), despite riding at no more than 5mph

And exercising dogs on the common was ‘part of the way of life of the residents in the locality,’ he added.

But giving his ruling on the case, Judge Andrews found that Ms Read should have done more to keep Felix in check.

The dog should have been warned and called back, he said, also questioning whether it was safe to have thrown the ball when Felix was so close to the path.

The cyclist ‘had no time to take any evasive action when Felix ran across his path’, explained the judge.

Judge Andrews noted Felix was a ‘well trained dog who returned when called’, but concluded Ms Read had not called the dog back and so was liable to pay damages.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Bodies of mother and ‘her young son and daughter’ are found at a home in Dublin 

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bodies of mother and her young son and daughter are found at a home in dublin

The bodies of a mother and her two young children have been found at a home in Dublin. 

Gardai have sealed off a property on the Llewelyn estate in Ballinteer, South Dublin, where the bodies were found.  

The victims are a woman, said to be the children’s mother, and a young boy and girl, both aged between six and 11, the Irish Post reports. 

Gardai at a house in Llewellyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, following the discovery of bodies of a woman and two young children

Gardai at a house in Llewellyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, following the discovery of bodies of a woman and two young children

Gardai at a house in Llewellyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, following the discovery of bodies of a woman and two young children

‘Gardaí are currently at the scene of an incident at a residential property in South Dublin where the bodies of two children and an adult have been discovered,’ Garda Headquarters told the Irish Times in a statement. 

‘There is no further information available at this time.’ 

Officers are said to have broken into the property after neighbours reported they were concerned for the mother and children inside earlier this morning. 

The Irish Times confirmed the woman was married and lived with her children at the property. 

Gardai are pictured at the house in Ballinteer, south Dublin. Officers are said to have broken into the property after becoming concerned about the welfare of the people inside

Gardai are pictured at the house in Ballinteer, south Dublin. Officers are said to have broken into the property after becoming concerned about the welfare of the people inside

Gardai are pictured at the house in Ballinteer, south Dublin. Officers are said to have broken into the property after becoming concerned about the welfare of the people inside 

Locator map shows the location where the mother and her two children were found in south Dublin

Locator map shows the location where the mother and her two children were found in south Dublin

Locator map shows the location where the mother and her two children were found in south Dublin 

News of the tragedy comes just two days after a father and his two grown-up sons were found dead on a farm in an alleged dispute over inheritance money.   

The father, 59, and his two sons, aged 22 and 25, were discovered at Assolas near Kanturk, County Cork, on Monday.

Neighbours called the police at around 6.30am to report that a distraught woman was saying that gunshots had gone off in her home.

The shootings were related to simmering tensions over a will and the inheritance of the 150-acre farm, the Irish Times reported. 

Detectives said that one of the sons and his mother had returned to the family home on Sunday night after spending time away.

That son was shot dead in his bedroom, according to The Times. The mother, in her 60s, managed to flee the home and raise the alarm.

While the police were on their way to the home, they were informed that further gunfire had been heard.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus Wales: Student’s kidney transplant postponed second time

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coronavirus wales students kidney transplant postponed second time

A student’s kidney transplant from her brother has been postponed for the second time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Mali Elwy, of the Conwy Valley in North Wales, was due for the operation with her sibling Morgan last week after a previous postponement in August at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

The 19-year-old, who lives with chronic renal failure after her right kidney had post-operational failure following cancer treatment as a child, will have her situation reassessed in six weeks. 

Mali Elwy (above, during an interview), 19, from Conwy Valley in North Wales, lives with chronic renal failure after her right kidney had post-operational failure when she was a child

Mali Elwy (above, during an interview), 19, from Conwy Valley in North Wales, lives with chronic renal failure after her right kidney had post-operational failure when she was a child

Mali Elwy (above, during an interview), 19, from Conwy Valley in North Wales, lives with chronic renal failure after her right kidney had post-operational failure when she was a child

was due for the operation with her sibling Morgan (both pictured above) last week after a previous postponement from August at the Royal Liverpool Hospital

was due for the operation with her sibling Morgan (both pictured above) last week after a previous postponement from August at the Royal Liverpool Hospital

was due for the operation with her sibling Morgan (both pictured above) last week after a previous postponement from August at the Royal Liverpool Hospital

She told BBC Wales: ‘They thought it would be too much of a risk for us to go in. It was cancelled three days before because of the situation with the coronavirus.

‘We were both absolutely gutted, and everyone around us.’

She is currently taking a year out from Bangor University to be able to recover from the operation at home.

As a result of the delay, she is worried about the recovery time affecting her return to university next year. 

Mali said: ‘Obviously we understood why it’s been cancelled because we’ve been seeing how bad it has been and how many cases they’ve been having there.

‘We’ve got to the point again where they’re cancelling major operations with treatment being refused because it’s more of a risk in the hospital.’

The student, above, is taking a year out from Bangor University to be able to recover from the operation at home. She is worried about her return next year being affected by the delay

The student, above, is taking a year out from Bangor University to be able to recover from the operation at home. She is worried about her return next year being affected by the delay

The student, above, is taking a year out from Bangor University to be able to recover from the operation at home. She is worried about her return next year being affected by the delay

It follows Liverpool councillor Paul Brant previously claiming the city’s critical-care units were already 95 per cent full and ‘filling up very fast’ amid a spike in Covid-19 cases. 

But Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust dismissed the claim, insisting that its units were only 80 per cent full with just 47 of 61 critical-care beds occupied. The trust’s intensive care unit is normally 85 per cent full in October. 

Dr Tristan Cope, the NHS trust’s medical director, has also said beds occupied by Covid-19 patients had already surpassed levels in April and that they were ‘continuing to rise’, but did not offer any data to back it up. 

There were 390 beds occupied by Covid-19 patients at the peak of the city’s crisis on April 13, official figures show. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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