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I. De Pater, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California, USA,
D. P. Hamilton, University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA,
M. R. Showalter, SETI Institute Mountain View, California, USA,
H. B. Throop, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA,
J. A. Burns, Cornell University Ithaca, New York, USA
We examine whether the dark, orbitally-leading hemisphere of Saturn's satellite Iapetus might be coated by debris from low-albedo Phoebe, which orbits retrograde well exterior to Iapetus. Using simplified analytical models along with more complete numerical integrations, we follow the paths of various-sized particles launched gently off Phoebe following collisions with interplanetary and interstellar meteoroids. Micron grains can quickly reach Iapetus since (due to solar radiation) they trace elliptical orbits; larger grains may only hit after their more-circular orbits collapse due to Poynting-Robertson drag; few very large and very small Phoebe grains strike Iapetus. Despite some inconsistencies with observations, we conclude that Phoebe may possibly be the agent that has darkened Iapetus.
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
The relic “the sack of Saint Francesco” has for the first time been investigated by scientific means. The sack is kept at the Franciscan Friary of Folloni near Montella in southern Italy. According to legend, the sack appeared on the doorstep of the Friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from St Francesco (St Francis of Assisi), who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel. We analyzed samples of the sack to obtain a radiocarbon (14C) date and to search for any remaining traces of bread. The 14C date yielded a calibrated age range of AD 1220–1295 (2σ), which places the textile in the right timeframe according to the legend. Chemical analysis by gas-chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS) revealed the presence of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3b-ol), a known biomarker of brewing, baking, or agriculture. In this paper we have further substantiated the validity of ergosterol as a biomarker for the past presence of bread. It appears that there is a fine correspondence between the Franciscan legend and the two most decisive scientific methods relevant for analyzing the sack. Although it is not proof, our analysis shows that the sack indeed could be authentic.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (or SHEVE) was a joint US-Australian-South African venture with both astronomy and geodesy goals. The principle astronomy goal was to make models or maps of the following sources: at 2.3 GHz (with six antennas and 9 usable baselines) – Centaurus A (the nearest active galaxy), Circinus X-1 (a flaring binary), the VELA pulsar, and 26 other active galactic nuclei and quasars; at 8.4 GHz (only one baseline) – Centaurus A and the galactic center.
Six radio telescopes were operated as the first southern hemisphere VLBI array in April and May 1982. Observations were made at 2.3 and 8.4 Ghz. This array produced VLBI images of 28 southern hemisphere radio sources, high accuracy VLBI geodesy between southern hemisphere sites, and subarcsecond radio astrometry of celestial sources south of declination −45 degrees. This paper discusses only the astrophysical aspects of the experiment.
VLBI observations of the nucleus of Centaurus A were made in April, 1982 at two frequencies with an array of five Australian radio antennas as part of the Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE). Observations were undertaken at 2.29 GHz with all five antennas, while only two were operational at 8.42 GHz. The 2.29 GHz data yielded significant information on the structure of the nuclear jet. At 8.42 GHz a compact unresolved core was detected as well.
Terrestrial gastropods are problematical for radiocarbon (14C) measurement because they tend to incorporate carbon from ancient sources as a result of their dietary behavior. The 14C ecology of the pulmonate land snail, Helix melanostoma in Cyrenaica, northeastern Libya, was investigated as part of a wider study on the potential of using terrestrial mollusk shell for 14C dating of archaeological deposits. H. melanostoma was selected out of the species available in the region as it has the most predictable 14C ecology and also had a ubiquitous presence within the local archaeology. The ecological observations indicate that H. melanostoma has a very homogenous 14C ecology with consistent variations in F14C across sample sites controlled by availability of dietary vegetation. The majority of dated specimens from non-urbanized sample locations have only a small old-carbon effect, weighted mean of 476±48 14C yr, with between ~1% and 9% of dietary F14C from non-organic carbonate sources. Observed instabilities in the 14C ecology can all be attributed to the results of intense human activity not present before the Roman Period. Therefore, H. melanostoma and species with similar ecological behavior are suitable for 14C dating of archaeological and geological deposits with the use of a suitable offset.
Measurements of PSR 0833 − 45 were made at wavelengths of 21, 48, 73 and 100 cm. Pulse broadening proportional to about the fourth power of the wavelength was found, consistent with multipath scattering in the interstellar medium. It is further concluded that the rotation measure was constant at 33.2 rad m−2 across this wavelength range, supporting the conclusion that the radiation originates in the vicinity of a magnetic pole.
Cryogenic detectors for gravitational wave astronomy promise greatly improved sensitivity over room temperature detectors. The 3 mK detector which we have under construction should give an improvement of 106 over existing detectors. The cryogenic antennae are described and the calculated low temperature performance is detailed. New superconducting instrumentation is described.
We conducted a retrospective study of the appropriateness of antimicrobial agents prescribed on discharge from an acute care hospital. Seventy percent of discharge antibiotics were inappropriate in antibiotic drug choice, dose, or duration. Our findings suggest there is a significant need for antimicrobial stewardship at transitions in care.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
Observations at a number of frequencies indicate that for at least two pulsars the average pulse shape has a slow but quite definite frequency dependence. Figure 1 shows average pulse shapes for CP 1919, CP 0950 and CP 1133. With the exception of those at 408 MHz these results were obtained at Parkes. The 408 MHz pulse shapes were obtained at Jodrell Bank by Lyne and Rickett. Circumstances of the observations are listed in Table I. Linearly polarized feeds were used at all frequencies.
The Llanherne telescope is a meridian transit instrument with an instantaneous bandwidth of two octaves in the range 35 to 150 MHz, and was constructed primarily for studying the low frequency properties of pulsars. The antenna is a 78 × 156 metre filled aperture phased array comprising 4096 wire dipole elements arranged in a 64 × 64 matrix. Uniform illumination of the elements produces a single pencil beam response which is scanned electronically along the meridian from Declination -90° to +30°. The beamwidth at 100 MHz is 1 degree in right ascension and two degrees sec(Dec.) in declination and varies proportionally with wavelength, giving a transit time of 4 sec(Dec) × 100/f(MHz) minutes between half power points.
The supernova SN1986j resembles the prototypical Type V supernova SN1961v in the relatively slow ∼1000km/s expansion velocity, the slow light curve, and also in the Hα dominated spectrum. The optical spectrum is similar to the spectra of some novae, and some OB stars with massive winds, being characteristic of a nebular plasma at about 1010cm−3 and 104K. What makes SN1986j exceptional is its tremendous radio luminosity, the brightest radio supernova observed to date. The radio emission indicates the presence of a massive circumstellar wind, with which the SN ejecta are now colliding. Since the cooling time of the optically emitting gas is about an hour, a heat source is required to power the light curve. Shocks moving back into the ejecta offer a natural heat source, and account quantitatively for the observed luminosity and spectral character of SN1986j. The large Hα/Hβ ratio is attributed to trapping of Ly α, which pumps the n = 2 level of hydrogen, causing a finite optical depth in Balmer lines, and converting Hβ to Pα and Hα. The ratio of the derived H(n = 2) density and column density yields a size for the Hα emitting region consistent with the thickness of a cooling shock, but less than 10−7 of the 1017cm VLBI size. An important discriminant between shock models and photoionization models of the spectrum is that shocks predict Lyman 2-photon emission. The mass of the optically emitting material in SN1986j is about 1M⊙, substantially less than the 2000 M⊙ argued in the case of SN1961v by Utrobin. However, there may be, and probably is, considerably more unobserved ejecta. This material should reveal itself as the remnant of SN1986j continues to evolve.
Background: Ependymomas are rare tumors of the central nervous system whose management is controversial. This population-based study of adults and children with ependymoma aims to (1) identify clinical and treatment-related factors that impact survival and (2) determine if postoperative radiotherapy (RT) can improve survival of patients with subtotal resection (STR) to levels similar to patients who had gross total resection (GTR). Methods: This retrospective population-based study evaluated 158 patients with ependymoma diagnosed between 1975-2007 in Alberta, Canada. Results: Younger patients (<7 years of age) were more likely to be diagnosed with grade III tumors compared with adults in whom grade I tumors were more common (p=0.003). Adults were more likely to have spinally located tumors compared to young children whose tumors were typically found in the brain. Overall, young children with ependymoma were more likely to die than older children or adults (p=0.001). An equivalent number of patients underwent GTR as compared with STR (48% vs 45%, respectively). Overall, older age, spinal tumor location, lower grade, and GTR were associated with improved progression free survival but only GTR was associated with significant improvement in overall survival. Median survival after STR and RT was 82 months compared with 122 months in patients who had GTR (p=0.0022). Conclusions: This is the first Canadian population-based analysis of patients with ependymoma including adults and children. Extent of resection appears to be the most important factor determining overall survival. Importantly, the addition of RT to patients initially treated with STR does not improve survival to levels similar to patients receiving GTR.