15 Dazzling Photos Of November’s Last Full Moon And Eclipse Around The World

The final full moon of November has been a spectacle to marvel with the added bonus of a crepuscular lunar eclipse, less easy to see but equally dazzling.

This full moon is called Cold Moon, Frost Moon, Winter Moon, Beaver Moon, Oak Moon, Moon Before Yule, Child Moon, Kartik Purnima, Karthika Deepam and Tazaungdaing Festival Moon, and Ill Poya, according to various world customs, calendars and legends.

Among those many names some are better known such as the ‘beaver moon,’ which comes from a Native American tradition associated with the time when beavers finish building their lodges made of branches and mud to prepare for winter.

It’s also well known as the full ‘cold moon’, ‘winter moon’ and ‘frost moon’ due to the long, cold nights of November.

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“As the full moon before the winter solstice, an old European name for this moon is the Oak Moon,” Nasa explains, “a name that some believe ties back to ancient druid traditions of harvesting mistletoe from oak trees first recorded by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder in the 1st century CE.” 

Penumbral lunar eclipse

As explained by Nasa, the lunar eclipse accompanying the cold moon was at its fullest early on Monday morning, November 30, when it was “close enough to opposite the Sun that it passed through the partial shadow of the

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Component failure in NASA’s deep-space crew capsule could take months to fix

Engineers are racing to fix a failed piece of equipment on NASA’s future deep-space crew capsule Orion ahead of its first flight to space. It may require months of work to replace and fix. Right now, engineers at NASA and Orion’s primary contractor, Lockheed Martin, are trying to figure out the best way to fix the component and how much time the repairs are going to take.



the inside of a building


In early November, engineers at Lockheed Martin working on Orion noticed that a power component inside the vehicle had failed, according to an internal email and an internal PowerPoint presentation seen by The Verge. Known as a power and data unit, or PDU, the component is a “main power/data boxes,” according to the email, responsible for activating key systems that Orion needs during flight.

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Orion is a critical part of NASA’s Artemis program

Orion is a critical part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024. The cone-shaped capsule is designed to launch on top of a future rocket called the Space Launch System, or SLS, a vehicle that NASA has been building for the last decade. To test out both of these systems’ capabilities, NASA plans to launch an uncrewed Orion capsule on top of the SLS on the rocket’s first flight in late 2021 — a mission called Artemis I.

While the SLS still has many key tests to undergo before that flight, the Orion capsule slated to fly on that first mission is mostly assembled, waiting in Florida at NASA’s Operation and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center. NASA had planned to transfer the Orion capsule to the Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) at KSC on December 7th, though that rollout may be postponed due to this issue. When asked for a response, NASA directed The Verge to a quick blog post outlining the failure.



a dirty kitchen in a house: NASA’s Orion crew capsule, attached to the adapter and service module, with spacecraft adapter jettison fairings installed.


© Photo by Ben Smegelsky / NASA
NASA’s Orion crew capsule, attached to the adapter and service module, with spacecraft adapter jettison fairings installed.

Replacing the PDU isn’t easy. The component is difficult to reach: it’s located inside an adapter that connects Orion to its service module — a cylindrical trunk that provides support, propulsion, and power for the capsule during its trip through space. To get to the PDU, Lockheed Martin could remove the Orion crew capsule from its service module, but it’s a lengthy process that could take up to a year. As many as nine months would be needed to take the vehicle apart and put it back together again, in addition to three months for subsequent testing, according to the presentation.

Lockheed has another option, but it’s never been done before and may carry extra risks, Lockheed Martin engineers acknowledge in their presentation. To do it, engineers would have to tunnel through the adapter’s exterior by removing some of the outer panels of the adapter to get to the PDU. The panels weren’t designed to be removed

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Minnesota-Northwestern game canceled and Michigan taking pause

The Big Ten is facing more challenges with COVID-19 after a weekend when two football games were canceled due to health concerns.

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Minnesota announced Monday its game scheduled for Saturday against No. 17 Northwestern has been canceled and will be considered a no contest. The Gophers had last week’s game against Wisconsin shut down. It will be the first time since 1906 the border rivals will not play.

Minnesota said team activities remained paused after being halted Tuesday. The team’s next scheduled game is Dec. 12 at Nebraska.

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“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our main priority,” Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “The last couple of days have shown a decrease in positive cases, but not to the point where we are able to return to competition. We are disappointed not to be able to compete against Northwestern on Saturday, but we need to continue to focus on following all CDC and MDH guidelines and slow the spread of the virus.”



a football player holding a football ball on a field: Minnesota wide receiver Daniel Jackson catches a pass while being defended by Purdue cornerback Dedrick Mackey during their game at TCF Bank Stadium.


© Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota wide receiver Daniel Jackson catches a pass while being defended by Purdue cornerback Dedrick Mackey during their game at TCF Bank Stadium.

Michigan game against Maryland in doubt

Michigan announced Monday its football program is pausing activities because of health concerns related to presumptive positive tests.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said the program has seen a rise in presumptive positive tests.

“That’s an increased number from zero,” Harbaugh said. “It was more than one. It was a few. So it was increased.”

Harbaugh declined to predict whether the Wolverines would play this Saturday against Maryland.

“This is day to day,” Harbaugh said. “When the results come back, we’ll monitor those results and as always continue to be very proactive.”

Ohio State’s chances at Big Ten title in jeopardy

Michigan’s health status is a concern for No. 4 Ohio State. The schools are set to play Dec. 12, but the Buckeyes have already missed two games and would likely be out of contention for the Big Ten championship if the game is canceled. The Buckeyes must play eight games to be eligible.

California schools looking for a home

Stanford and San Jose State are exploring options for their final games of the season after Santa Clara County imposed a temporary ban on all high school, collegiate and professional contact sports, as well as a mandatory quarantine for anyone traveling to the county from more than 150 miles away.

Neither team is able to practice in the county as part of the restrictions that went into effect Monday. Stanford is scheduled to play at Washington. San Jose State is still planning to face Hawaii in what was to be a home game. The contest must take place outside the county. The school

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These Salt Mines Will Store Hydrogen

  • A huge system of caves in Utah is the future home of a massive hydrogen energy project.
  • The caves offer a natural alternative to thorny questions about storage of hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen still needs to move further away from reliance on the fossil fuel industry.

    Scientists are going back to the salt mines, literally, to find a revolutionary new way to store large quantities of hydrogen for energy. Proponents say this could be a step toward unlocking hydrogen for renewables—something that could change the energy landscape if it were resolved.

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    “The project would initially have enough energy to power 150,000 households for one year and is scheduled to be operational by 2025,” Fuel Cell Works reports. “It is being managed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), a maker of gas turbines, and Magnum Development, which owns salt caverns for liquid fuel storage.”

    This works by basically repurposing existing, enormous caves to store reserves of hydrogen as well as other fuels. The same way fresh water coalesces in aquifers beneath Earth’s surface, these huge caves give scientists a nature-made storage facility.

    Not only is it convenient, but it solves a huge structural problem with where and how to contain the amounts of hydrogen we’ll need for a future where even a small fraction of energy is from hydrogen.

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    Salt in particular makes a great medium for storing and then continuing to generate green hydrogen. CNBC explains how the caves are used to store and generate hydrogen:

    “Caverns can be created in salt domes by drilling into the salt dome and injecting the rock with water, which dissolves the salt. The resulting brine is extracted, leaving a large cavity. The next step is storing hydrogen in the cavern. Hydrogen electrolyzers can convert water into hydrogen by using renewable energy from solar and other sources. The hydrogen can then be stored, and reconverted to electricity when needed.”

    Fuel Cell Works reports that while these caves are in the U.S., the major push for salt cave storage is in Europe. Increasing hydrogen energy is a big part of the European Union’s near-future energy strategy, but right now, hydrogen is hamstrung by some logistical problems. First, tapping hydrogen resources today mostly involves using hydrocarbons from fossil fuels, making the “cleanliness” of hydrogen more of a question than an answer.


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    And second, hydrogen is a high-volume and flammable gas, so many supply chains involve sinking it into other materials or supercooling it into a

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    Researchers explore population size, density in rise of centralized power in antiquity

    Researchers explore population size, density in rise of centralized power in antiquity
    Ruins of the Temple of the Amphitheatre in the Late Preceramic Period archaeological site of Caral in Peru. Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Sandweiss

    Early populations shifted from quasi-egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies to communities governed by a centralized authority in the middle to late Holocene, but how the transition occurred still puzzles anthropologists. A University of Maine-led group of researchers contend that population size and density served as crucial drivers.


    Anthropology professor Paul “Jim” Roscoe led the development of Power Theory, a model emphasizing the role of demography in political centralization, and applied it to the shift in power dynamics in prehistoric northern coastal societies in Peru.

    To test the theory, he, Daniel Sandweiss, professor of anthropology and Quaternary and climate studies, and Erick Robinson, a postdoctoral anthropology researcher at Utah State University, created a summed probability distribution (SPD) from 755 radiocarbon dates from 10,000-1,000 B.P., or before present.

    The team found a correlation between the tenets of their Power Theory, or that population density and size influence political centralization, and the change in power dynamics in early Peruvian societies.

    The team shared their findings in a report published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

    “I’ve always been interested in how, in the space of just five to 10,000 years, humans went from biddy little hunter-gatherer groups in which nobody could really push anyone else around to vast industrial states governed by a few people with enormous power. From my fieldwork and other research in New Guinea, it became clear that leaders mainly emerged in large, high-density populations, and Power Theory explained why,” Roscoe says. “Unfortunately, it was difficult until recently for archaeologists to get a handle on the size and densities of populations in the past. SPD techniques are a major help in bringing these important variables into understanding how human social life underwent this dramatic transformation.”

    Scientists have previously posited that population in northern coastal Peru rose during the Late Preceramic, Initial, Early Horizon and Early Intermediate periods, or between about 6,000-1,200 B.P. The SPD from Roscoe and his colleagues validates the notion.

    The people who settled in the coastal plain first lived as mobile hunter-gatherers or incipient horticulturalists in low density groups, according to researchers. Millennia afterward in the Late Preceramic period, however, several developments brought increased interaction and shareable resources. People began farming, developed irrigation systems and became more settled as time passed. Eventually, some of the world’s first ‘pristine’ states formed in the plain.

    The onset and growth of agriculture, irrigation and sedentism, propelled by upticks in population size and density, fostered the capacity of political agents to interact with and manipulate others. Political centralization and hierarchy formed as a result, according to researchers.

    Roscoe and his colleagues demonstrated through their radio-carbon SPD that the rise in centralized authorities in early Peruvian communities that resulted from farming, irrigation and settlement coincided with an uptick in population size. The results of their work demonstrate “a broad, low-resolution congruence between the expectations of Power Theory and

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    Microfluidic system with cell-separating powers may unravel how novel pathogens attack

    Microfluidic system with cell-separating powers may unravel how novel pathogens attack
    An image of the in-droplet cell separation microfluidic chip, showing the microfluidic channels and electrodes. Enlarged view shows a host cell and pathogenic bacteria cells being separated to top and bottom within a single water-in-oil microdroplet. Credit: Dr. Arum Han/Texas A&M University College of Engineering

    To develop effective therapeutics against pathogens, scientists need to first uncover how they attack host cells. An efficient way to conduct these investigations on an extensive scale is through high-speed screening tests called assays.


    Researchers at Texas A&M University have invented a high-throughput cell separation method that can be used in conjunction with droplet microfluidics, a technique whereby tiny drops of fluid containing biological or other cargo can be moved precisely and at high speeds. Specifically, the researchers successfully isolated pathogens attached to host cells from those that were unattached within a single fluid droplet using an electric field.

    “Other than cell separation, most biochemical assays have been successfully converted into droplet microfluidic systems that allow high-throughput testing,” said Arum Han, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and principal investigator of the project. “We have addressed that gap, and now cell separation can be done in a high-throughput manner within the droplet microfluidic platform. This new system certainly simplifies studying host-pathogen interactions, but it is also very useful for environmental microbiology or drug screening applications.”

    The researchers reported their findings in the August issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.

    Microfluidic devices consist of networks of micron-sized channels or tubes that allow for controlled movements of fluids. Recently, microfluidics using water-in-oil droplets have gained popularity for a wide range of biotechnological applications. These droplets, which are picoliters (or a million times less than a microliter) in volume, can be used as platforms for carrying out biological reactions or transporting biological materials. Millions of droplets within a single chip facilitate high-throughput experiments, saving not just laboratory space but the cost of chemical reagents and manual labor.

    Biological assays can involve different cell types within a single droplet, which eventually need to be separated for subsequent analyses. This task is extremely challenging in a droplet microfluidic system, Han said.

    “Getting cell separation within a tiny droplet is extremely difficult because, if you think about it, first, it’s a tiny 100-micron diameter droplet, and second, within this extremely tiny droplet, multiple cell types are all mixed together,” he said.

    To develop the technology needed for cell separation, Han and his team chose a host-pathogen model system consisting of the salmonella bacteria and the human macrophage, a type of immune cell. When both these cell types are introduced within a droplet, some of the bacteria adhere to the macrophage cells. The goal of their experiments was to separate the salmonella that attached to the macrophage from the ones that did not.

    For cell separation, Han and his team constructed two pairs of electrodes that generated an oscillating electric field in close proximity to the droplet containing the two cell types. Since the bacteria and

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    Jupiter and Saturn to form ultra-rare ‘double planet’ this December

    Winter solstice is around the corner and with it comes a rare and spectacular phenomenon in the night sky.

    On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will align to form a “double planet,” an occurrence that hasn’t happened in nearly 800 years, according to Deborah Byrd and Bruce McClure with Earth Sky.

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    You may have already noticed the sky seems a little brighter these last few weeks. That’s because from Nov. 16 to 21, the two planets started their journey bringing them some three degrees apart, according to Byrd and McClure.

    From now until the day of the conjunction, “Jupiter will travel about 6 degrees and Saturn 3 degrees on the sky’s dome. That movement will mean that Jupiter bridges the 3-degree gap between itself and Saturn,” according to the Earth Sky authors, causing a “great conjunction” that won’t be matched again until March 15, 2080.

    It’s the first meeting of the two planets since 2000, but the closest Jupiter-Saturn conjunction since 1623.


    Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions are considered the rarest of “bright-planet conjunctions” due to their slow movements. “Saturn takes nearly 3o years to go around the sun full circle whereas Jupiter takes nearly 12 years,” according to the Earth Sky authors.

    This movement, in turn, is what causes Jupiter to “catch up” to Saturn, making for a picturesque view from Earth.

    While this year has been full of unprecedented events, the night skies have given us some pretty amazing views of unusual sightings. We’ve witnessed a rare blue moon on Halloween, Leonid meteor showers, and now the showstopper of them all: the “great conjunction.”

    So grab your telescope or just step out into the night air from now until December 21 to witness the eye-catching event each night as Jupiter and Saturn shine brightly among the stars.

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    Barack Obama’s old rent controlled UWS apartment on sale for $1.45m



    Barack Obama standing in front of a building: MailOnline logo


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    Barack Obama’s old apartment in the Upper West Side of New York City is for sale, though it won’t be cheap for the next owner.

    The apartment, now part of a co-op at 622 West 114th Street, is for sale at $1.45million. It is located just blocks away from Columbia University, and Obama lived there after graduating from the Ivy League school. 

    The listing is held by Brown Harris Stevens.

    Obama would likely find the apartment unrecognizable, as it has been newly renovated and is listed as being in ‘mint-condition.’

    There are five rooms, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a full-sized washer and dryer in the unit.

    There is also an eat-in kitchen with custom countertops, an over-stove vent, and LED lighting throughout the apartment.

    The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with a double sink and tub, while the other two bedrooms come equipped with closet space.

    The building, also known as Revere Hall, has 39 co-op units and a live-in superintendent, though there is an ongoing assessment of $226.25 per month through December 2022 as capital improvements are made.

    It also has an elevator and a laundry room and was built in the pre-war style in 1907. 

    Filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille is another famous former resident of Revere Hall and has a plaque honoring him outside the building.

    As described in an adapted excerpt of David Maraniss’ biography posted on Vanity Fair, Obama’s bedroom ‘was closest to the front door, offering a sense of privacy and coziness.’

    According to 6sqft, Obama’s home on West 114th Street was one of three apartments he lived in during his time in New York City.

    First, he lived nearby at 142 West 109th Street, where he lived in a two-bedroom with Phil Boerner and paid $180 a month.

    During his senior year at Columbia, Obama lived at 339 East 94th Street in a sixth-floor walkup, which he described in his memoir as ‘small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work.’

    The 114th Street apartment was Obama’s last in New York City before moving to Chicago in 1985. 

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    Listed in Stanford University World’s Top 2% Scientists

    The US-based Stanford University has recently released a list that represents the top 2 percent of the most-cited scientists in various disciplines. A publicly available database of 100,000 top-scientists across multiple fields that provides standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator was used. The exhaustive list has 1,59,683 persons included in my name with a ranking of 66823 worldwide. Separate data are shown for career-long and single year impact. Metrics with and without self-citations and ratio of citations to citing papers are given. Scientists are classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 sub-fields, my name was associated with three main subfields: Building & Construction, Energy, Built Environment and Design. Field- and subfield-specific percentiles are also provided for all scientists who have published at least 5 papers. Career-long data are updated to end-of-2019.

    The dataset and code provides an update to previously released (version 1) data under https://doi.org/10.17632/btchxktzyw.1; The version 2 dataset is based on the May 06, 2020 snapshot from Scopus and is updated to citation year 2019. In addition to the time period and datacut update, it provides a long list of authors: it also includes the top 2% for every subfield.

    Citation: Baas, Jeroen; Boyack, Kevin; Ioannidis, John (2020), “Data for “Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators””, Mendeley Data, V2, doi: 10.17632/btchxktzyw.2, http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/btchxktzyw.2

    Complete Study: https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/btchxktzyw/2?fbclid=IwAR24fqDFUuPjar12DA4JPShk2qySYZELk0rJmLJgdUtpphfjnNcShwMReY0

     https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/yr8a252tywqhfq72zgndx/Table-S7-singleyr-2019.xlsx?dl=0&rlkey=lj909sskon98ifiaen3vkshkp

    I was surprised and overwhelmed with joy when Mohamed Hamdy, my friend, informed me about being rated number 66823 on the list of 100,000 top scientists across all fields that was just published by colleagues from Stanford University. The new standardized citation method they applied to screen over seven million scientists worldwide appears to be fair and well-balanced. I am grateful to all of you who were part of this success. Thank you Hamdy. Field: Building & Construction, Energy, Built Environment and Design.

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    Shady Attia

    Shady Attia

    Professor in Sustainable Architecture and Building Technology at Université de Liège

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    New tech can get oxygen, fuel from Mars’s salty water

    Mars
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain

    When it comes to water and Mars, there’s good news and not-so-good news. The good news: there’s water on Mars! The not-so-good news?


    There’s water on Mars.

    The Red Planet is very cold; water that isn’t frozen is almost certainly full of salt from the Martian soil, which lowers its freezing temperature.

    You can’t drink salty water, and the usual method using electricity (electrolysis) to break it down into oxygen (to breathe) and hydrogen (for fuel) requires removing the salt; a cumbersome, costly endeavor in a harsh, dangerous environment.

    If oxygen and hydrogen could be directly coerced out of briny water, however, that brine electrolysis process would be much less complicated—and less expensive.

    Engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a system that does just that. Their research was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    The research team, led by Vijay Ramani, the Roma B. and Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, didn’t simply validate its brine electrolysis system under typical terrestrial conditions; the system was examined in a simulated Martian atmosphere at -33 F (-36 C).

    “Our Martian brine electrolyzer radically changes the logistical calculus of missions to Mars and beyond” said Ramani. “This technology is equally useful on Earth where it opens up the oceans as a viable oxygen and fuel source”

    In the summer of 2008, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander “touched and tasted” Martian water, vapors from melted ice dug up by the lander. Since then, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express has discovered several underground ponds of water which remain in a liquid state thanks to the presence of magnesium perchlorate—salt.

    In order to live—even temporarily—on Mars, not to mention to return to Earth, astronauts will need to manufacture some of the necessities, including water and fuel, on the Red Planet. NASA’s Perseverance rover is en-route to Mars now, carrying instruments that will use high-temperature electrolysis. However, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) will be producing oxygen only, from the carbon dioxide in the air.

    The system developed in Ramani’s lab can produce 25 times more oxygen than MOXIE using the same amount of power. It also produces hydrogen, which could be used to fuel astronauts’ trip home.

    “Our novel brine electrolyzer incorporates a lead ruthenate pyrochlore anode developed by our team in conjunction with a platinum on carbon cathode” Ramani said. “These carefully designed components coupled with the optimal use of traditional electrochemical engineering principles has yielded this high performance.”

    The careful design and unique anode allow the system to function without the need for heating or purifying the water source.

    “Paradoxically, the dissolved perchlorate in the water, so-called impurities, actually help in an environment like that of Mars,” said Shrihari Sankarasubramanian, a research scientist in Ramani’s group and joint first author of the paper.

    “They prevent the water from freezing,” he said, “and

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