Scrolling news:

Palestine: Gaza casualty toll on the rise, Israeli strikes continue on day 20

Palestine: Eight Palestinians killed, dozens wounded Sunday

Eid moon sighting possiblities, Muslims in South Africa have declared Eid

Pakistan: More rain with thunder, lightening forecast in next 24 hours in Rawalpindi

Libya: US embassy evacuated after heavy violence

Palestine: List of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces between July 8 to July 27

Palestine: Two Palestinians beaten by Jewish mob in Jerusalem

Palestine: Reports show murder of 3 Israeli teenage settlers was not carried out by Hamas

Palestine: Remains of 85 Palestinians located under rubble of bombarded homes

Palestine: Ten Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestine: At least 15 kidnapped by Israeli forces from West Bank

Palestine: Palestinians pull over 140 bodies from under Gaza rubble, total killed 1000

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

US: NASA telescope IRIS launched to investigate the sun

28th Jun 2013

A small telescope has been launched on a mission to determine how the sun heats up its atmosphere. The findings could help understand how solar storms disrupt telecommunications on Earth.

NASA launched the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, IRIS, on a mission to find out how the sun heats its atmosphere to millions of  degrees.

At its core, the sun melds hydrogen atoms into helium. Temperatures cool as energy travels outward through the layers. But then, in the lower atmosphere, known as the chromosphere, temperatures heat up again and peak in the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona reaching almost 3 million degrees Celsius (5.4 million degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists hope that IRIS will help them understand why that is. They want to learn more about how this mysterious region drives solar wind, which is a stream of charged particles spewing from the sun.

“Every time we look at the sun in more detail, it opens up a new window for us,” said Jeffrey Newmark, IRIS program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.

This could help to better predict space weather that can disrupt communications signals on Earth. Solar activity directly impacts Earth’s climate, and solar storms can knock out power grids, disrupt radio signals, and interfere with communications, navigation and other satellites in orbit.

IRIS is designed to capture detailed images of light moving from the sun’s surface, known as the photosphere, into the chromosphere, as well as related data about conditions.

IRIS is 1.2 meters long (4 feet) and weighs just over 200 kilograms (440 pounds). It will be watching the sun from a distance of about 640 kilometers (400 miles) above Earth. It rode into orbit on a Pegasus rocket which was in turn dropped from an airplane that took off around sunset from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast.

IRIS is designed to last for two years.

rg/mkg   (Reuters, AP)


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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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