A recent research into the mysterious flight of spiders for more than a thousand miles even in the absence of any wind has been solved by scientists. The findings of this research might surprise you given the fact that these insects actually use the help of electricity to travel such far distance. The process of ballooning which is the release of long silk fans while floating away with the help of the same has been under the scrutiny of scientists for a long time.
It has been found that these arachnids use the process of electrostatic energy present in our atmosphere to facilitate their journeys. This particular force has been described as “E-Field” which can easily be detected around many insects and the same is being used by the honeybees for proper communication with its hive.
Spider silk works as an electric insulator which is highly effective. However, it wasn’t until now that scientists confirmed that these spiders could easily detect the presence of this field in method similar to the bees. Biologists working at University of Bristol came up with the answer that the mystery is all around APG which is Atmospheric Potential Gradient. This is a global circuit for electric current which is present all around us.
APGs as well as electric fields surround all the matter in the atmosphere which can easily be detected by the bumblebees as well as spiders. Bumblebees can effectively detect the e-field that arises between the flowers and themselves. To test this theory, the Linyphiid spiders were exposed to the e-fields generated in a lab controlled environment which was equivalent to the one found in our atmosphere. It was noticed that subsequent changes in the e-fields caused the spiders to fluctuate in an upward and downward direction. This was proof enough to state that the spiders can easily become airborne insects even in the absence of air but with the presence of e-fields.
The research also stated that the sensory hairs which are termed trichobothria, located in the surface exoskeleton of spiders aptly respond to the electric fields. It was concluded that the spiders can react to the charge present in air with the use of the same hairs that help them in detection of a breeze. It is highly likely that the combination of atmosphere based electric fields paired with drag effect helped the insects move without the presence of air acting like air-borne spiders.
The entire world is ready to witness this beautiful celestial event set to occur on 27th July night. As the eclipse begins, the moon shall enter earth’s shadow for duration of 4 hours and this event shall be visible for people ranging across a minimum of three continents. The event has been termed “Blood Moon” given the reddish hue reflected by the moon during the eclipse.
The eclipse shall be visible to onlookers in two different phases. The first phase shall consist of the Total Lunar Eclipse which shall be followed by the Partial Eclipse. Both these phases shall last more than an hour. The complete duration of the phase has been estimated to be 4 hours as per the reports collected from various observatories.
However, Star gazers from most countries shall not be able to peek at both sections of the eclipse. For people in India, the geographical advantage comes with the fact that both these phases shall be visible for the space enthusiasts. Not just India, the complete phase shall be visible to parts of the world that include names such as Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, and South America. According to sources, it has been confirmed that full eclipse shall last close to 1.5 hours while partial eclipse shall last just over the duration of an hour.
As per reports collected from NASA, this lunar eclipse shall be longest one in the century while being 4 minutes short from the longest one seen till date on Earth. If you take a look at the timings of the eclipse from an Indian Standard Time, the partial phase shall initiate from 11:54 pm on 27th July while total phase shall initiate at 1:00 am dated July 28. This event shall continue till 2:43 am. The second partial eclipse shall last till 3:49 am.
The interesting fact here is that the moon shall follow the farthest orbital point from our Earth which means it is smallest yet longest full moon in the year. The scientists have rendered that it is safe for the sky gazers to take a peek at this event without having to wear anything. The light emitted from moon during lunar eclipse is actually less intense as compared to the one that is emitted when you take a look at the solar eclipse as it happens. This is why scientists advise people to refrain from staring right at the sun during solar eclipse.
In recent news, astronomers have managed to capture an awe-inspiring event leading to the birth of a whole new planet. It has been confirmed that the planet is forming inside the swirling dust around a star that is very young. Scientists said that on Monday, this particular planet appeared like a shiny spot when the snapshot of the same was being taken with the help of Chile based European Southern Observatory. The team used the Very Large Telescope to acquire this picture with SPHERE instrument fitted inside the telescope.
According to Miriam Kepler from Max Planck Institute for Astronomy located in Germany, numerous hints of the formation of baby planets around stars have been acquired before. However, it wasn’t sure if these observations were simply the features of dust swirling around in the deep space.
The research paper for this particular finding shall be divulged through the journal named Astronomy & Astrophysics. The scientists involved in this study describe this new planet as a body located around 3 Billion Kilometers away from its star named PDS 70. According to the findings, this particular gas giant might be bigger than our own Jupiter itself.
Further research into the planet’s features has revealed that it houses an atmosphere that is cloudy along with surface temperature of more than 1000 degrees in Celsius scale. The PDS 70 is a star located around 370 light years away from our planet Earth. When you take a look at the image, you can see a black circle which is located in the central periphery towards the left of this new planet. It is actually a filter being used by the astronomers in order to block out the intense light coming from its parent star which when allowed to flow in can block out all the other features from being seen.
This mask allows the formation of this planet to be visible without the star’s light overwhelming everything in its pathway. The SPHERE instrument was monumental in this new discovery by the astronomers at Chile. Also known as Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research, this particular instrument successfully made its very first detection of the newborn planet. The instrument measured the various wavelengths of the light via its atmosphere to confirm the presence of a planet so far away. This new discovery has initiated the acceleration of space exploration while providing new insights in the formation of planets.