New solar observatory offers new insight into sun’s atmosphere

Solar observatory Sunrise, which was carried aloft by a NASA scientific balloon in early June 2013, has provided unique insights into a layer on the sun called the chromosphere.

Sunrise provided the highest-resolution images to date in ultraviolet light of this thin corrugated layer, which lies between the sun’s visible surface and the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona. With its one-meter mirror, Sunrise is the largest solar telescope to fly above the atmosphere. The telescope weighed in at almost 7,000 pounds and flew some 20 miles up in the air.

 

Sunrise was launched from Kiruna in the north of Sweden and, after five days drifting over the Atlantic, it landed on the remote Boothia Peninsula in northern Canada, gathering information about the chromosphere throughout its journey. The temperature in the chromosphere rises from 6,000 K/10,340 F/5,272 C at the surface of the sun to about 20,000 K/ 35,540 F/19,730 C. It’s an area that’s constantly in motion, with different temperatures of hot material mixed over a range of heights, stretching from the sun’s surface to many thousands of miles up. The temperatures continue to rise further into the corona and no one knows exactly what powers any of that heating.

Scientists believe these bright points to be signs of what’s called magnetic flux tubes, which are the building blocks of the sun’s magnetic field. The magnetic field is of particular interest to scientists since it is ultimately responsible for all of the dynamic activity we see on our closest star.nrise’s extremely high-resolution images in this wavelength painted a complex picture of the chromosphere. Where the sun is quiet and inactive, dark regions with a diameter of around 600 miles can be discerned surrounded by bright rims. This pattern is created by the enormous flows of solar material rising up from within the sun, cooling off and sinking down again. Especially eye-catching are bright points that flash up occasionally—much richer in contrast in these ultraviolet images than have been seen before.

 

 

Google celebrated 15th birthday, updated search engine

Google introduces Hummingbird update for its search engine on its 15th Birthday.

Google celebrates 15th birthday, updates search engine

Google celebrates 15th birthday, updates search engine

Google has added an interactive piñata doodle that releases virtual sweets when wacked for its 15th Birthday. Along with the Doodle, Google has also introduced a major update to its core search engine, the update has been branded Hummingbird.

According to Google, this change to the core algorithm is its biggest since the launch of Caffeine in 2010. To celebrate its birthday, the company invited a small number of reporters to the Menlo Park garage where the company started out and revealed out some new search features of the Hummingbird update.

According to the company, in the new update, Google’s Knowledge Graph will play a larger role. That means users will be able to do more personalized searches using more natural sounding sentences instead of key words.

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search, stated that the latest “Hummingbird” algorithm was introduced about a month ago and affects about 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google. He added, that the change includes “a simpler, more unified design on mobile devices. You can explore the world with the Knowledge Graph, ask questions aloud with voice search, and get info before you even need to ask with Google Now.”

“You’ll also notice a new look and feel for Google Search and ads on your phones and tablets. It’s cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for,” he stated.

For fun, Google has added a simple Easter egg on Google.com where users can type “Google in 1998” into the search field and the website will transform into the retro design it had 15 years ago when it first launched. Users can click on the “take me back to 2013” to get the modern-day Google.

Google has recently introduced a flatter new logo. The revamped logo has a flatter look with cleaner line and comes with a new navigation bar. Google has also added a new ‘app launcher bar’ that allows users to quickly access Google services like Gmail and Google+.

Source: ZDNETHindu Business Line