Friday, October 18, 2019

The Voyager missions saw a 'tsunami' of solar activity

Diagram of the outer solar system, from Gizmodo

The Voyagers 1 and 2 spacecraft measured the Sun sending a pulse like a “tsunami” into the interstellar medium, according to a new paper.

One researcher not involved with the study thought the measurement was exciting and important. “This is a solid scientific result, and I believe the first time they’ve seen this correlated event” between the two probes, Herbert Funsten, a research scientist at Los Alamos National Lab, told Gizmodo. He was excited to see the analysis of more of these GMIR events that the Voyager probes have measured, and see how these measurements compare with NASA’s Earth-orbiting Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission. (Full Story)

How HAWC landed in Mexico

The HAWC observatory, HAWC photo.

In 2000 Magdalena González was in the fourth semester of a PhD in theoretical physics, and her academic life was miserable.

But then she attended a talk by physicist Brenda Dingus of the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. The topic was new to her: experimental research into gamma rays. “It blew my mind,” González says. “I thought, I want to research exactly that.”

She approached Dingus to ask her how she might get involved. Dingus took her on as a graduate student, and she switched to doing satellite analysis and later working in the MILAGRO Gamma Ray Observatory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for her thesis.  (Full Story)

At LANL, breaking down data to address global problems

Guest column author Sara Del Valle, LANL photo.       

Data scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory study data from wide-ranging, public sources to identify patterns, aiming to predict trends that could threaten global security. Multiple data streams are critical because the ground-truth data (such as surveys) are often delayed, biased, sparse, incorrect or sometimes nonexistent.

For example, knowing mosquito incidence in communities would help public health officials predict the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease such as dengue, the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics, or West Nile virus, which has been found in New Mexico each year since 2003. However, mosquito data at a global (and even national) scale is not available. (Full Story)

Los Alamos National Lab studying spread of mosquito-borne diseases

Los Alamos National Lab is studying the threat of mosquitoes and their growing populations.

“We’re studying mosquito populations to understand how they grow and change with seasons, and to understand how they impact infectious diseases that they spread both to humans and animals,” scientist Carrie Manore said.

Researchers say hurricanes, flooding, and standing water all affect how mosquitoes grow and relocate over time. Scientists are now studying precipitation, temperature and water gauge to predict mosquito population. (Full Story)

Seven Los Alamos scientists and engineers honored as 2019 Laboratory Fellows

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and engineers Brian Albright, Patrick Chain, Dana Dattelbaum, Michael Hamada, Anna Hayes-Sterbenz, Michael Prime and Laura Smilowitz are being honored as 2019 Laboratory fellows.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows are the best of our scientists and engineers. This year’s fellows are leaders in their fields who have made exceptional contributions not only to the Laboratory’s national security mission, but also to the broader scientific community,” said Thom Mason, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “It’s an honor to recognize these innovative researchers in such distinct, important fields." 
Also from the Daily Post this week:

UC President Janet Napolitano and Triad’s Thom Mason present $599,600 grant

Janet Napolitano, right, and Thom Mason, left, present funding to LANL Foundation President/CEO Jenny Parks, from the Daily Post.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation’s mission to “inspire excellence in education and learning in Northern New Mexico through innovative programming, collaboration and advocacy” has received a major boost with a $599,600 grant from Los Alamos National Laboratory operator Triad National Security, LLC.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director and Triad President Thom Mason explained that Triad’s Community Commitment Plan builds on the positive impact in the region that comes from the Laboratory’s support for education and economic development projects, and from its own procurement and hiring. (Full Story)

LANL’s fuel cell knowledge tapped for surveys of catalyst technology

Two recent articles in Advanced Materials leverage Los Alamos’s extensive expertise in fuel cell technology. The articles, one by Los Alamos researchers and another with their external colleagues, survey current developments in precious-metal-free electrocatalysts and progress in understanding the main causes of their instability.

The Laboratory’s role in developing fuel cells and hydrogen as an energy source goes back more than 40 years to when DOE awarded the first Fuel Cells for Transportation program to the Lab. (Full Story)

Also from the LA Reporter this week:

LANL volunteers prepare homes for rescued wildlife

Pepper (a raccoon) and Mesquite (a coyote) were illegally being kept as pets before they were rescued and brought to the New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española. Because of their domestic upbringing, they cannot be returned to the wild, but now they can go on to live life to the fullest at the center, thanks to the help of volunteers from the Laboratory.

On Sept. 13 and 14, 10 Lab volunteers worked to finish putting together these ambassador animals’ new enclosures.  “We are so grateful to have had the help of the Los Alamos National Laboratory employees,” said Melissa Moore, executive director at the Center. (Full Story)

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