Friday, November 22, 2013
NASA sees 'watershed' cosmic blast in unique detail
On April 27, a blast of light from a dying star in a distant galaxy became the focus of astronomers around the world. The explosion, known as a gamma-ray burst and designated GRB 130427A, tops the charts as one of the brightest ever seen.
Telescopes operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of the Rapid Telescopes for Optical Response Project quickly turned to the spot, detecting a flash at magnitude 7 on the astronomical brightness scale. (Full Story)
Black hole birth captured: Biggest, brightest to happen in at least 20 years
Data from the gamma ray burst.
"Los Alamos' RAPTOR telescopes in New Mexico and Hawaii received a very bright cosmic birth announcement for a black hole on April 27," said astrophysicist Tom Vestrand.
"This was the burst of the century," said Los Alamos co-author James Wren. "It's the biggest, brightest one to happen in at least 20 years, and maybe even longer than that." (Full Story)
This story also appeared in Air & Cosmos
10 Inventions to change the world
#1 Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System — In the old TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man,” astronaut Steve Austin was given bionic body parts, he gets a an arm, two legs and a left eye with a zoom lens and night-vision.
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System isn’t quite that advanced. But for the vision-impaired, the “bionic retina” is a huge leap forward. (Full Story)
Researchers investigate spread and evolution of HIV virus
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are investigating the complex relationships between the spread of the HIV virus in a population and the actual, rapid evolution of the virus within each patient’s body.
“We have developed novel ways of estimating epidemics dynamics such as who infected whom, and the true population incidence of infection versus mere diagnoses dates,” said Thomas Leitner, principal investigator. (Full Story)
LANL reveals historic JFK artifacts
While the nation remembers the man whose presidency was cut short, we look back at just a year before his death when he became the first president to visit the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Lab workers went through their archives to find special artifacts from that historic presidential visit, some things they were even seeing for the first time. Nearly 6,000 people gathered in Los Alamos when President John F. Kennedy visited Dec. 7, 1962. (Full Story)
JFK: The tragedy still resonates
JFK’s motorcade passes by the Los Alamos post office. LANL image.
Kennedy made several visits to New Mexico during the campaign and his presidency, including a whirlwind tour on Dec. 7, 1962, of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia Laboratory.
In Los Alamos – where he was the first president to visit the laboratory where the atomic bomb was born – Kennedy got a classified briefing on Project Rover, a program to develop nuclear rocket engines for space travel, and met with lab officials and Rover scientists. (Full Story)
SC13: Elevation plays a role in memory error rates
The Cielo supercomputer had more errors than Jaguar, Probably due to the difference in elevation. LANL image.
With memory, as with real estate, location matters. A group of researchers from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory have found that the altitude at which SRAM (static random access memory) resides can influence how many random errors the memory produces. (Full Story)
From Tesla’s lab to Los Alamos: Powerful magnets come full circle
LANL celebrates the 100 Tesla record. YouTube Video.
In March 2012, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory set a world record by achieving a 100.75 tesla magnetic pulse, about 2,000,000 times more powerful than the Earth’s magnetic field.
The Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Lab includes the capacitor banks, generators and technical systems necessary to support an array of powerful magnets. One of those is the 100 tesla multi-shot magnet, which produces the most powerful non-destructive magnetic field in the world. (Full Story)
LANL community leaders’ breakfast draws crowd
Alan Bishop, LANL Principal Associate Director for Science, Technology, and Engineering, told the group that 63.2 percent of LANL purchasing is done in New Mexico and 46.1 percent of that amount in spent in northern New Mexico.
This year, LANL will contribute $3 million to education, economic development and charity in New Mexico, Bishop said. (Full Story)
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