Are Our Days Are Getting Longer?

As we move forward in life, it begins to seem that the days are getting longer and longer. Many of us might attribute that to exhaustion or lack of sleep, however, there is some scientific evidence behind the fact that the days truly are getting longer. Research shows that as the moon moves further away, the days on Earth seem to extend.

The moon, that we see every night is around 4.5 billion years old and is 200,000 plus miles away from Earth. However, it is said that because of the tidal forces that take place between the moon and Earth, the moon moves around 1.5 inches away from the Earth every year. This causes the Earth to rotate more slowly than it did the year before.

Scientists use a statistical method that is called astrochronology. Through this, astronomers looked back into the Earth’s past and tried to recreate the history of the planet. The results from the software revealed that only 1.5 billion years ago the moon was substantially closer to Earth than it is now. This, as a result, made Earth spin faster and a day on the Earth lasted around 18 hours.

So, through this observation it seems that as the moon moves farther away from Earth – Earth, in turn, spins slower. Hence, leading to a comparatively longer day. The moon and other solar bodies can greatly influence the spin of earth. Milankovitch cycles can help determine exactly where the sun’s light falls and then determine the days.

It is said that 6 million years ago during the cretaceous period, the day was 23 and a half hours long, now it is 24 hours long, which seems to be a huge difference in just this many years.

However, an interesting thing to note and keep in mind is that through geological research, it was found that in this same period the year would be a full week longer. This is because, through the measurements done in a geological study, they found that the year used to be longer than it is in the current time.

This change can also be attributed to the moon. This is because Earth’s orbit around the sun does not change. However, the tidal forces we discussed about have led to this change too. So as the days tend to get longer because of the moon, the years also get shorter due to it.

This discovery shows us how amazing and dynamic Earth and the solar system are. It shows us the secrets that the solar system holds and how humans are unaware of most of which has already happened in the planet’s past. As technology will further develop and new innovations will begin to take place, we will start to uncover more about Earth’s past and exactly how it impacts our future.

Viruses with No Genes

It is said that scientists found a mysterious virus with almost no genes that are known to us. This news is a strange and frightening one. Especially after the COVID-19 takeover across the world. It is said that in Brazil within a lake that has been artificially made, a team of international researchers has made a strange yet important discovery.

They first found giant viruses that have been affecting the lake’s amoebae population. However, other than these giant viruses, they also spotted a much smaller specimen. So, this piqued their curiosity and they decided to test it, revealing that the genes the virus had, had never been known or recorded by scientists before. Up to 90 percent of its genes were unknown.

After the analysis, researchers decided to publish their paper on a preprint server called bioRxiv. In the paper they mentioned all the details and analyses of the new virus they had discovered. They even named the virus. Calling it Yaravirus after the Brazilian Mythological Yara, who is known as the mother of waters in Tupi-Guarani tribes in Brazil.

After a detailed sequencing of the Yaravirus, scientists found only 6 genomes that may actually mirror some of the qualities that other previously recoded genes in public records might have. The rest were all novel and unknown, which were around 68 genes.

The discovery of this new virus is said to worry people because of the Novel Corona Virus which has been taking a terrible toll around the world since December.

However, what should help you calm your nerves is that the world is full of unknown and strange things, especially viruses. Scientists keep finding new and strange viruses.

Another important bit of information is that scientists only know of 1000 viruses that can replicate within humans and use their body as a host, the rest are harmless to us. This is why this discovery even though very important, might not be dangerous. The Yaravirus is one of those viruses that does not really affect people, rather it affects amoebas. Also, even if it did infect us, it doesn’t necessarily mean something bad, some viruses can actually help make us healthier.

In conclusion, the discovery of the Yaravirus adds to human knowledge and helps gives us a deeper understanding of the world we live in and how such tiny, microscopic creatures could play a major role in improving the environment, without being a danger to humans.

Hand Sanitizer Made by Prisoners

As the Corona Virus takes over the world, there is one way to battle it. It is by washing our hands regularly and using sanitizer to kill bacteria. This has, however, led to shortages of sanitizers all over the country and people have started to overstock items. As officials have ordered social isolation, people have begun to stock up on their supplies. However, some have gone so overboard that they have taken months worth of supplies including hand sanitizers. Because of this shortage the Governor of New York, Andrew M Cuomo, decided to use prison inmates to urgently produce more sanitizers.

His plan to use the prisoners was met with protest, however, because of the situation the world currently finds itself in, he has decided to proceed with his original idea. He unveiled the sanitizer made by Corcraft, a prison-based product company, last week, and it will be displayed in every store and supermarket across the country. He did warn online retailers, however, to not use the sanitizer for their own benefit or sell it overpriced because of the high demand.

He even believes that the product is better those currently on the market because of the high alcohol content, meaning it works more efficiently, and the better fragrances it comes with. He also emphasized that it was cheaper to make at just $6.10 per gallon.

Soon after his sales pitch he was criticized heavily by lawmakers and criminal justice reform groups. Some believed that prisoners should be given minimum wage like the rest if they are being relied upon in such a health crisis. In New York, inmates are often paid up to 60 cents an hour, which is way below minimum wage. This is why last year a bill was introduced to make the minimum wage for prisoners 3 dollars per hour.

Another thing that concerned people is that even though these prisoners might be making the sanitizer, they will not be able to use it because of the alcohol content within it which is forbidden in prison, as well as being threatened with solitary confinement if they refuse to work.

However, Corcraft, the prison-based company responsible for the manufacturing of the sanitizer, claims that job training and learning new skills are part of prison life and an essential skill for their development, helping them get back on their feet and giving them a way to earn.

What Would Happen in a Nuclear War?

With talks of another world war in the news, it is a frightening thought of what actually would happen if the United States were to become involved in a war with Russia or Iran. As we live in the modern age, wars have changed greatly compared to the last world war. We have better-developed weapons, we have better ammunition, and worst of all, many of the world’s countries have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have the ability to kill substantial portions of the population of a country or state. The thought of such a war happening is heartbreaking and frightening.

Historians and climatologists have tried to map out exactly what would happen if a nuclear war were to occur and as expected the results were horrendous. They believe that the people within a specific radius of the bomb would be obliterated immediately, but the impact would not stop there. Every part of the world would feel the impact of the bomb, including the oceans and wildlife.

They refer to the nuclear bomb as the sun coming to the surface of the Earth for a flash of a second and destroying everything with fire and storm. The nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved just how devastating they can be at ground zero. Those two nuclear bombs contained 15 kilotons of ammunition and incinerated everything in the two cities.

Scientists report that in a nuclear war that there would be so much smoke and dust generated that it could block the Sun’s light for up to 5 years. They believe that not only would it be much colder with a significant lack of sunlight, but also there will be excess UV rays as the ozone layer would become damaged or even destroyed during a nuclear war. Lower temperatures, due to smoke and dust blocking the sun would result in freezing, even in the summers, destroying fruit, vegetable and grain crops.

The impact of nuclear war on the Earth’s climate would not be limited to the land areas of Earth. Increasing the carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s air would mean that the air absorbed by water would turn the water acidic. The water would become acidic enough to dissolve shelled creatures and kill aquatic plants resulting in the extinction of marine life.

With a little study, it is obvious that there would be no winners in a nuclear war. All of humanity and Earth as we now know it would be lost.

Deep Space Signal

The question of whether alien life exists or not has been debated, pondered and experimented upon for decades. People have been trying to find a sign or a signal that will indicate life beyond our planet. Now, a Harvard professor believes we might be receiving a signal that may prove that aliens do exist.

In Canada, researchers discovered a very powerful radio signal that they believe could be coming from another distant galaxy. This signal seems to repeat itself every 16 days. A Harvard professor, who is the chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, believes that this signal could be a sign of an alien civilization. However, he does acknowledge that signals could also be generated through young neutron stars or another phenomenon that is not familiar to us yet. The signal is called a fast radio bust or FBR.

He believes that a possibility could be that alien life could be using a beam of energy to transport something within space. The signal that is being received by the Canadian researchers is the energy or radiation that is being leaked from that. However, the amount of energy needed for such a beam would be equivalent to the energy needed to sustain Earth, which seems unlikely.

The Canadian researchers do not seem to have the same point of view as the Harvard researchers and have said that non-professionals claim it as extraterrestrial life when they do not believe so. However, the Harvard professor is insistent that it is a possibility that needs to be considered and should be looked into with detail, with regards to possible natural causes and phenomena.

If we think about how our lives will change if alien contact is made, the thought itself is staggering. When the news of this signal spread, some people began to express their worry and fear while others wanted to know more. Scientists believe that actual contact with such life are close to impossible, because traveling in space is too difficult for them to come to Earth, or for humans to meet them where they are situated.

At times, such news may show some signs of extraterrestrial life and may have researchers excited for what they may discover; however, there has never been any substantial proof of whether life exists beyond Earth.

Cyborg Jellyfish

When we consider jellyfish, we never think of them as cyborgs. They are fish in the sea that are usually transparent and sting when you get near their tentacles, sometimes powerful enough to kill a human. However, scientists have created cyborg jellyfish to explore the ocean in a more efficient way.

A team of scientists and researchers from world-class universities such as Caltech and Stanford decided to attach microelectronics that are low powered onto Jellyfish. These electronics will enable the jellyfish to swim three times as fast as the original, creating a bio-hybrid jellyfish.

The reason that researchers have done this is to enable themselves to look within area of the ocean where humans have been unable to explore. If we consider submarines, they are able to cover certain depths, however there is a limit to which they can go down. The jellyfish will be installed with sensors that will enable scientists to look and explore the depths of the oceans.

In the trials that were conducted by the scientists, the researchers were able to shock the jellyfish with the electronic device they had installed and it led to the jellyfish swimming faster and more efficiently. Hence proving to the researchers that exploring the oceans through jellyfish may actually be a very real possibility.

They claim that they have shown that jellyfish can move much faster with the help of the technology the scientists have installed without any effect to their metabolism. Normally jellyfish do not have the need to swim fast, but do hold the capability to swim much faster than their usual speed.

The simplicity of the electronics that have been designed by the researchers is such that the electronics use very little power, even less than aquatic robots, which is what makes them so efficient and well suited.

This discovery could revolutionize the way oceans are explored. Scientists believe they can take this electronic device a step further by making modifications to the design to allow measuring of temperature and depth, as well as directing and controlling the jellyfish.

This would change the way we see oceans. We will be able to see creatures that live far deeper than we’ve ever explored before and better understand life beneath the waves.