WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Thursday, December 13, 2018:A 2-vehicle crash took place on Ballardvale Street. Air bags deployed. Both vehicles towed. (8:12am)A Baldwin Road caller reported a horizontal splint in a tree in a neighbor’s yard. He was unsure if tree was on town property or neighbor’s property. Caller is concerned wind will knock tree down. DPW notified. Tree Department will check tree. (11:17am)Fire Department reported train is blocking Route 62 at North Wilmington Station. (11:19am)A resident found a syringe outside of Maple Road house on the sidewalk. Police brought the syringe back to station for disposal. (2:26pm)Fire Department responded to a brush fire on Main Street. (7:07pm)Police came across a party picking through items left outside of Main Street Consignment & Thrift and sent them on their way. (7:37pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information. An arrest does not constitute a conviction. Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 4: Lowell Man Arrested On Warrant; Bad Crash In Front Of Rocco’s; Syringe FoundIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 6: Trailer Fire On Highway; Car vs. Rock Wall; Needle Found In YardIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 5: Driver Throws Beer Bottles; Syringe Found; Woburn Man Issued Summons; Texting While DrivingIn “Police Log”
Jun 14 • The secret screen life of Being Frank star Jim Gaffigan Did you play with a lot of tech when you were a kid? What was your first computer? Scott: You know, my dad and my brother had the very first Apple II and then the Apple IIe, and then the very first Macintosh, which we still have. I don’t even know if it turns on anymore. I think it does. My brother is still in computers. He’s a designer — a programmer — but I was never adept with computers on the level that my father and my brother were. But they were always around, and we would go to … what is the Apple convention up in the Bay Area? I think AirPods are a real game-changer. I just love that they’ve kind of subtly changed my life in a weird way. Aug 12 • Sterling K. Brown on voicing a not-always-perfect pig Talking with Chewbacca Post a comment With the entire series in front of you to discover and being a kid, it really expanded my imagination and was influential on my taste for stories and movies and what I found interesting. So I jumped at the chance to be in The Twilight Zone. You play Ed Mackenzie on Big Little Lies. Season 1 is over, and I know you’re doing season 2. What’s the best thing about working on Big Little Lies? Scott: The cast, the writing and directing. And season 2 is going to be really fun for people. It’s really juicy. Anything else you can say? Scott: I can’t. Scott: “Meeting Mark Hamill was all I wanted as a kid.” Mark Mann You sure? Scott: A hook will come down and pick me up and you’ll never see me again. You also play a demon, named Trevor, on The Good Place. Did you pick that name? Scott: No, no. Mike Schur, who created the show, I believe picked Trevor. If Michael, the Ted Danson character who designed the Good Place, were to design a personal hell just for you, what would it be? Scott: Personal hell built just for me? There would be really loud afternoon TV advertisements playing at all times. Like for insurance, for injury law. It seems like it’s all life insurance, injury law and medications that play during the day, blaring at all times. It would be really hot. There would be no AC. And all the clothing would be really tight and uncomfortable. Now playing: Watch this: Adam Scott is a quiet standout Amazon Tags reading • Big Little Lies’ Adam Scott: Making a scene Apple $144 2:45 See it Aug 28 • In pursuit of perfect ice Mentioned Above Apple AirPods 2019 (Charging Case) TV and Movies See It See It Share your voice Apple Aug 12 • Sterling K. Brown: ‘Acting is about reconnecting with a sense of play’ See It 0 Kristen Bell was hosting Jimmy Kimmel’s show and surprised you with a visit from Mark Hamill, whom you once invited to your birthday party when you were a kid. Your face is like the kid who got every birthday wish in their entire life. What was that like? Scott: It was really weird because it was obviously being televised — and to be thrown off guard and surprised like that on camera, with an audience, is very strange and felt Truman Show-y. But really cool. I mean, meeting Mark Hamill was all I wanted as a kid, so it was obviously a big deal. Really cool. He gave you a lightsaber. Scott: He did, yeah. You still have it? Scott: Yeah, it’s cool. You’re in a classic episode of the new remake of The Twilight Zone. Why did you want to do it? Scott: I’m in Nightmare at 30,000 Feet, which is a remake of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. William Shatner did it in the original series and then John Lithgow did it in Twilight Zone: The Movie in the early ’80s, both of which I’ve seen dozens of times. When we got the script for the new series of The Twilight Zone, I think I said yes before I even read it, which is not what you’re supposed to do. But The Twilight Zone is my favorite show ever. I used to stay up every night because they would play reruns at 11 p.m. every night. I had a 5-inch black-and-white TV in my bedroom. It was the only TV in the house, and I would keep the volume low so my mom wouldn’t know and just watch Twilight Zone every single night. See All Macworld Expo. Scott: We must have gone to that. I kind of grew up watching that evolve, watching Apple grow as a company. I still love their gear, and their gadgets are beautiful and intuitive. So you’re an iPhone user? Scott: Yeah. And I think AirPods are a real game-changer. I just love that they’ve kind of subtly changed my life in a weird way. It keeps you connected, which is both good or bad. It makes being connected effortless. You can stay connected to an audiobook or a podcast or music or whatever it is. It just makes it all easier. I mean, we’ve had headphones and earbuds for years. But these — it’s a brilliant design. I have other Bluetooth headphones from other companies, and none of them are as intuitive as the AirPods, which just blend in with your body. This is all sounding very sci-fi, but it really is a brilliant design. It feels like it’s part of you, in a weird way. I’ve found them to be my favorite Apple product in a long time. Scott had fun playing with this interactive Chewbacca doll. Hasbro Because of that seamlessness? Scott: Yeah, ease of control too. It’s really simple just to double tap. I really love it. I’ve had the Apple Watch now for a few months, and I’m starting to feel the benefits of it. And now I feel weird without it (gesturing to his bare wrist). But the AirPods are … a really simple step up in tech. Some people think they look kind of geeky. They certainly make a statement about who you are when you wear them walking down the street. Scott: So people think they’re too geeky? Because they’re bright white? But that’s good branding. If they’re invisible, then I don’t know. I think they look cool. I think they look beautiful. But I would be anxious to get black ones if they came out with those. That’s a cool idea. You’re not only an actor, you also produce. Are you at all looking at the world of virtual reality or augmented reality? Scott: Not yet. But I think it’s inevitable that everyone will. It seems like things are heading in that direction. But we’ve so far fallen short of integrating it into everyday life and into home entertainment on a grand scale. I’m not sure exactly what it is that’s holding it back from becoming something that everyone kind of just grabs when they’re ready to consume entertainment at home. You guys probably have a better handle on why it hasn’t. Maybe the ultimate set hasn’t landed yet. Yes, some headsets are heavy, uncomfortable. Some people get nauseous, so throwing up kind of gets in the way. Scott: Not the funnest part of being entertained. But I’ve experienced it a few times, and it’s extraordinary. I think it’s just a matter of finding the wearable tech that’s seamless and comfortable, right? That’s the biggest hurdle, I would imagine. Do you have a smart home? Are you into any smart home gear? Scott: I mean, here and there. We haven’t fully jumped into that, mostly because I always feel a little reticent. You always feel like if you commit to something, it’s going to change. And I don’t mind turning on a light switch. We have a [smart] thermostat, and it’s really handy. But I don’t need the entire home to be a smart home — at least not yet. In an episode of the Twilight Zone reboot, Scott plays a nervous passenger who’s convinced his flight is about to crash. Robert Falconer/CBS © 2018 CBS Interactive Self-driving cars: Good idea or bad? Scott: I think they’re a good idea. It’s an exciting idea. And I think in a few years it won’t be dangerous anymore. It’s probably safer than a human driving a car right now. It’s where we’re headed. Whether it’s safe or not, that’s where it’s all going. What tech do you wish had never been invented? Scott: That’s a really good question, but I don’t know. How about tech you’d like to see invented just for you that you haven’t seen? Scott: I still feel like they haven’t perfected the pillow. Because even some of the memory foam ones, they’re — it’s great, but then it’s not. It’s too hot. I feel like the pillow has a way to go, and I’m willing and able to wait, but excited to find the perfect pillow. Best Buy Now playing: Watch this: CNET Magazine It’s easy to see why Adam Scott is often cast as the approachable everyman. He’s pretty low-key in person, with a deadpan delivery that prompts double takes. It’s a persona he’s been able to transform into notable characters he once described as “befuddled beta males.” On NBC’s Parks and Recreation, he embodied Ben Wyatt, a calzone-loving state auditor who dresses up as Batman and owns his encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Game of Thrones. In HBO’s drama series Big Little Lies, he plays Ed Mackenzie, the beleaguered second husband of main character Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), and shows he can stand up to his alpha wife: “Look, I may not be the good-looking adventure ride, OK? But there is something to be said for being there, for being truthful, for being somebody you can steadfastly count on. I will not be anybody’s runner-up.” He’ll return for season 2 of Big Little Lies on June 9 (read our review here). In Jordan Peele’s reboot of the classic sci-fi series The Twilight Zone, which debuted in April on CBS All Access, Scott takes a lead role. (Editors’ note: CBS operates CBS All Access and owns CNET.) He plays a reporter with PTSD who boards a plane and finds an old MP3 player in the seat pocket in front of him. It plays a podcast, which seems to be from the future, about the mystery of the tragic flight he’s on, transforming him into the weirdo who no one will believe is trying to save them from disaster. But right now, Scott has us all smiling. We’ve surprised him with Star Wars collectibles — he’s a huge fan of the sci-fi epic — and he riffs about the interactive Chewbacca doll and talking Yoda mask. Adam Scott: “I’ve just always been a Star Wars fan.” Mark Mann “I feel like everyone in this room was transported to Yoda’s home planet just for a second,” he tells us after trying on the mask. “Don’t worry guys, it’s just me. It’s just a mask. I put a mask on. Everyone relax.” By the time he describes his own personal hell — a nod to his role as Trevor, a rude (but funny) demon, on the NBC comedy series The Good Place — we’re laughing out loud. “Personal hell built just for me? There would be really loud afternoon TV advertisements playing at all times. Like for insurance, for injury law,” he says during our CNET Magazine cover shoot in Los Angeles. “It would be really hot. There would be no AC. And all the clothing would be really tight and uncomfortable.” See more great stories from CNET Magazine. Mark Mann Scott also talked about staying up late watching reruns of The Twilight Zone on his family’s black-and-white TV when he was a kid, how his Apple AirPod wireless headphones have changed his life, and why he thinks there’s an opportunity for someone to reinvent the pillow. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation. Q: You’re a big Star Wars fan. What’s the appeal? Scott: I guess anyone under the age of 75 is probably a Star Wars fan. It’s been around for so long now. I clearly remember The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when I was in elementary school, so I really grew up with them. My friends and I were all about Star Wars. It was kind of a rite of passage to collect the figures and make your own lightsabers. I’ve just always been a Star Wars fan. I think I said yes before I even read it, which is not what you’re supposed to do. But The Twilight Zone is my favorite show ever. • $144 3:04 $159 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Apple AirPods 2019 Review • AirPods 2019 review: King of truly wireless earphones crowned with small enhancements $144 CNET Magazine
Tags Tech Industry Car Tech Mobile Apps Roadshow Elon Musk Tesla Share your voice 0 Post a comment Tesla leaks are reportedly leading to employees being barred from using Blind. Nick Miotke/Roadshow Tesla has blocked employees from using anonymous workplace social network app Blind following leaks about the company, Blind has confirmed.Blind has said Tesla is blocking verification emails from its employees’ addresses so they can’t validate their accounts. “We first found out about this issue through emails from Tesla employees who were trying to sign up on Blind but were not receiving verification emails from us,” Curie Kim from Blind told CNET in an email Tuesday afternoon. “We looked into the verification rates for Tesla and there was a surge in verification failure on our end starting on May 4th, 2019.” “From these facts, we can confirm that Tesla is preventing employees from accessing Blind,” Kim said. She explained it was similar to when Uber blocked Blind usage by employees back in 2017 after whistleblower Susan Fowler spoke up about the Uber working climate. Kim said more employees from more than 40,000 companies are using Blind, including 55,000 Microsoft staffers, 38,000 from Amazon, 16,000 from Google, 13,000 from Facebook, 11,000 from Uber and 10,000 from Apple. “Tesla is the only company that is blocking its own employees from accessing or signing up on Blind,” she said. As spotted earlier by Verdict, a Tesla employee had posted publicly on Blind in May about being unable to use the app. “Why is Tesla opposed to their employees using Blind? We can’t access the app on the company network,” the post says. “Have to use phone data instead. And it seems they’re blocking emails from Blind too. I told a couple of co-workers about the app but they haven’t been able to receive a verification code to complete the sign-up process!” Variety said Tesla staff are also unable to use Blind via Tesla’s Wi-Fi network. Blind requires users to verify their account with a company email address but then keeps their identity anonymous in order to give “an equitable voice to everyone.” “Through anonymity and community, we aim to flatten corporate hierarchy and remove professional barriers in order to initiate open conversations and create transparency,” Blind says. The app features multiple channels for users: topics channels, private company channels, Tech Lounge and Startup Lounge. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has meanwhile been trying to psyche his employees up to hit delivery targets, reportedly sending out an email last week top push hard while demand is high. Reports say Tesla’s current quarter could eclipse its 90,700 deliveries record. Originally published June 4, 2:18 p.m. PT. Update, 3:49 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Blind.
The economic value generated by Eco coins will be distributed to the community through accounts created at Eco.com. The Eco Foundation will verify the identity of the initial nodes to help bootstrap the network across a broad geographic distribution. Eco cryptocurrency by Garrett CampCreative CommonsTaxi-hailing app Uber’s co-founder Garrett Camp is all set to introduce a new cryptocurrency named Eco into the global trading market. Eco is expected to be launched later this year and it will be the latest entrant in the list of nearly 1,400 varieties of crypto coins including bitcoin, ethereum to enter the fray.Introducing https://t.co/hojcQhgW5E 🙂 https://t.co/7hSRgEHgSf // @eco— Garrett Camp (@gc) 1 March 2018Eco is in the early stages of system design, and Camp has shared the details of the upcoming cryptocurrency.Here is everything you need to know about the new crypto asset:Eco will serve as a virtual currency that will be usable across the world for daily transaction purposes. The mission of the Eco Foundation is to develop a global currency protocol that is evenly distributed and extremely robust.The design proposal says that Eco aims to achieve the capacity of more than 100,000 transactions per second within a few years by using Transaction Sharding, where transactions are directed to specific shards for acceptance and validation, instead of the whole network validating the same transaction.(With inputs from Eco’s design proposal) Eco will be managed by an independent, non-profit organization — Eco-foundation, which will guide the development of the Eco protocol, with transparent governance and continual improvement. Mining of Eco is different from other cryptocurrencies. When a block is successfully mined in Eco, tokens are evenly distributed to all other nodes immediately. Eco seeks to address three issues within digital currencies: verification of network nodes, the usability of applications, and efficiency of transactions. One trillion Eco tokens will be issued and 50 percent of this will be provided to the first one billion verified human users who sign up and 20 percent will be allocated to verified nodes (partner universities) and their network of researchers and developers. Eco makes significant improvements by 1) forming verified network, where universities run nodes, 2) increasing overall token supply, and creating simple web and mobile apps, and 3) designing a system with more energy-efficient and coordinated token generation to reduce overall power consumption. Eco won’t follow the bitcoin’s worker-lottery approach. It operates based on collective incentive, rather than individual reward. Eco seeks to create a verified network of universities to help build an evenly distributed and cooperative financial infrastructure that is easy to use and energy efficient.
Taliban fighters in the southern Afghan province of Helmand attacked a checkpoint with silenced weapons and hand grenades early on Tuesday killing 12 policemen and stealing weapons and ammunition, officials said.But a provincial official said that it could be an insider attack as one of the guards was still missing.”An investigation is ongoing to find out if someone from inside has defected to the Taliban and paved the way for this crime,” he said.The attack, in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, underlined the threat facing Afghan security forces in the opium-producing province, where they struggle to match well-equipped Taliban fighters who now control several districts.The police killed in the attack had been pulled back from the southern district of Khanshin district which security forces abandoned last year.”The Taliban attacked a guard with silenced guns and then entered the check post,” Helmand deputy police chief Haji Gulai told reporters.”They attacked other policemen with hand grenades and killed all of them. They later took their weapons and ammunition and escaped.” he said.In a separate incident, another 12 policemen were killed in the Marjah district of Helmand after an hour-long gunbattle, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.Taliban fighters now control most of Helmand, including areas in Lashkar Gah. British and US forces suffered their heaviest casualties of the war in the province in years of fighting following the removal of the Taliban in 2001.Afghan security forces now control less than 60 per cent of the country, according to US estimates, with the Taliban in control of about 10 per cent and the remainder contested between government and insurgent forces.
One of the six people who suffered burn injuries in a fire originated from a gas leakage in the city’s Mohammadpur, Dhaka on Thursday night died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Sunday, reports UNB.The deceased is Billal Hossain, 35, a sanitary technician.Billal and five others — Naima Haque, 46, Naim, 7, Munayem, 28, Hosne Ara, 53, and Laily, 35 — sustained burn injuries after a fire broke out following leakage in the gas line at a house in Mohammadpur Housing Area around 9:30pm on Thursday.The injured were taken to the DMCH where Billal succumbed to his injuries around 11:30am in the morning, said assistant sub-inspector Abdullah Khan of the DMCH police Camp.
A fire broke out at two godowns of a jute mill in Chengunia area of Abhaynagar upazila on Thursday afternoon, reports UNB.The fire began from an electric short circuit around 2:30pm at a warehouse of Roman Jute Mill in the area, said Wadud Hossain, assistant director of Jashore fire services and civil defence.The fire soon spread to a nearby yarn godown, he said.Around 3-4 maunds of raw jute and 40 tonnes of yarn were gutted in the fire, claimed Mohammad Ali Kasari, the owner of the mill.On information, two firefighting units from Abhaynagar and Jashore rushed to the spot and brought the flame under control after 45 minutes’ effort, said Wadud.The loss incurred due to the fire could not be known immediately.
Rashmi Khanna took the Capital stage to celebrate the 154th birth anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore on May 10 at Kalyani Kala Mandir. The evening witnessed the rendition of Shyam Path, songs from Bhanusingh’s
TOM Armstrong bagged a hat-trick as Saints completed their Engage Super League regular season campaign with a 34-16 win at Quins RL.It was a tale of two halves as they recovered from a 12-4 deficit to finish the year off with a victory.Saints were 12-4 down at half time as Quins punished indiscretions and got a fair slice of luck.Two forward passes and an ankle tap as the hooter went stopped Royce Simmons’ men imposing themselves on a game they’d pretty much created the main chances in.Tom Armstrong put Saints ahead but ill-discipline handed Quins the territory for Karl Pryce to send in Karl Temata and then bag one himself.In the second half, another try went begging as Saints passed up a four on two overlap before Lee Gaskell produced a piece of brilliance to chip through and get the ball down.Armstrong’ second and third sandwiched Scott Hale’s first in Saints’ colours and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook scored against his former employers to complete a satisfying day’s work.Saints fielded a full British 17 with 14 of their players coming through the club’s Academy system.Lee Gaskell and Jonny Lomax paired up once again in the half backs whilst Gary Wheeler made his first start since he was injured at Wigan on Good Friday. Scott Moore deputised for James Roby who was rested after playing in all of Saints matches this season.Carl Forster made his debut off the bench.For Quins, the day was all about Rob Purdham and his final appearance for the club before he heads up to Cumbria.After a pretty tepid opening 10 minutes a massive high ball was knocked on by Luke Dorn giving Saints prime position.And they didn’t disappoint, pinging the ball left for Tom Armstrong to get over in the corner.Quins responded on their next attack – a chip to the corner was knocked sideways by Karl Pryce and Karl Temata charged to the line. Gale converting to make it 6-4.Saints should have taken the lead moments later when Gary Wheeler sidestepped the defence to send in Tom Armstrong, but the winger’s pass was too strong for Paul Wellens to take in.And on 28 minutes Quins forged further ahead after weathering more Saints pressure. This time the ball was kept alive and Karl Pryce increased the lead – following a wonder tackle on Andy Ellis to quell the original attack.Tom Armstrong had a second chalked off for a forward pass as the half entered its final stages and Wellens took a massive bomb.Saints could have scored as the hooter went as Wheeler broke from within his half, but Lee Gaskell was just caught a couple of feet from the line.Saints forced a drop out in the opening ten minutes of the second half and then finally made the pressure pay.After banging on the door, Lee Gaskell chipped ahead and with the Quins defence standing still he touched down – Makinson with the conversion.Within minutes Saints were ahead – a sweeping move again involving Wellens and Wheeler which Armstrong converted.Makinson adding the extras off the touchline.Scott Hale burrowed over for his first in Saints colours before Tom Armstrong finished off a mazy Wellens run.Quins’ pulled one back through Jamie O’Callaghan but Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook restored the advantage and gave Saints the two points.Match Summary:Quins:Tries: Temata, Pryce, O’CallaghanGoals: Gale (2 from 3)Saints:Tries: Armstrong (3), Makinson, Hale, McCarthy-ScarsbrookGoals: Makinson (5 from 6)Penalties:Quins: 8Saints: 10HT: 4-12FT: 34-16REF: Tim RobyATT: 3546Teams:Quins:1. Luke Dorn; 5. Chris Melling, 2. Jamie O’Callaghan, 31. Karl Pryce, 23. Mark Calderwood; 24. Dan Sarginson, 6. Luke Gale; 17. Danny Ward, 7. Chad Randall, 8. Karl Temata, 12. Chris Bailey, 13. Rob Purdham, 3. Tony Clubb.Subs: 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Oliver Wilkes, 14. Jason Golden, 18. David Williams.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 28. Tom Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 17. Gary Wheeler, 24. Tom Armstrong; 25. Lee Gaskell, 20. Jonny Lomax; 10. James Graham, 14. Scott Moore, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 12. Jon Wilkin, 18. Matty Ashurst, 16. Paul Clough.Subs: 19. Andrew Dixon, 26. Carl Forster, 27. Nathan Ashe, 29. Scott Hale.
http://news.rice.edu/files/2012/08/RESP-2-web.jpgEngineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, prepare to place Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft “B” in a thermal-vacuum chamber, where they can make sure the propulsion system will stand up to the range of hot, cold and airless conditions RBSP will face in outer space. The probe is one of two set for launch this month to help predict space weather. (Credit: JHU/APL) ShareDavid Ruth713email@example.comMike Williams713firstname.lastname@example.orgRadiation belt probes may help predict space weatherRice physicist Anthony Chan prepares for launch of satellites to Earth’s Van Allen BeltsHOUSTON – (Aug. 16, 2012) – Living with a star can be a challenge, especially as Earthlings extend their reach into space. A Rice University scientist is contributing to an effort to make life more comfortable for both the people and satellites sent out there, and provide valuable research for those who remain planet-bound.Two Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Aug. 23 will monitor space weather, from the normal eddies of particles that flow through what was once thought of as a void, to the sun’s raging plasma blasts that endanger astronauts, orbiting electronics and even the power distribution grid on Earth’s surface.The probes will do so from elongated orbits that take them into the heart of the Van Allen Belts, doughnut-shaped regions of high-energy particles encircling Earth. The two NASA spacecraft will travel through constantly changing magnetic fields that trap the high-energy particles but also keep the majority of the harsh radiation of the sun at bay. They’ll back each other up by gathering data on events from different perspectives to give researchers a clearer picture than ever of how solar storms affect the belts.“These two spacecraft have an unprecedented number of instruments, spanning fields and particles over exceptionally wide ranges,” said Anthony Chan, a Rice professor of physics and astronomy and part of the Energetic Particle, Composition and Thermal Plasma Suite (ECT), which operates one of the instrument sets. “We think we’re finally going to be able to answer some basic questions about the physics of the Van Allen Belts, questions that have been around for over 50 years.”Chan said it is particularly satisfying that Rice is part of a project that promises to solve long-standing mysteries of the Van Allen Belts – and not only because Rice emeritus professor John Freeman was a student of James Van Allen himself. “There’s a very strong theory and simulation group at Rice in space plasma physics,” he said. “The most famous space physics model developed here, the Rice Convection Model, operates in a similar region of space to the Van Allan Belts, but with generally lower-energy particles.”Chan said the outer radiation belts contain energy in the million-electron-volt range. “We’re especially interested in the electrons, which in those energies are relativistic. They travel close to the speed of light and are much more energetic than anything else out there,” he said.His task will be to use data gathered from the probes to verify and refine his group’s theories and simulations. “We want to understand the dynamic variability of the outer belt and eventually be able to predict it to the point where it could be useful for spacecraft operators and designers,” he said. “That is one of the practical consequences of this research.”High-energy particles come primarily from the sun, which bombards Earth through coronal mass ejections (CME) that are expected to become more frequent as the sun approaches its “solar max” in 2013, and from coronal holes that appear during less-active periods.“Most of what we call magnetic storms are driven by solar-wind events,” Chan said. “Some are CMEs, which tend to produce the most violent storms. But another type is caused by high-speed streams in the solar wind that originate in coronal holes. In certain wavelengths, we see dark patches on the sun, usually near the poles. But they sometimes creep down, especially approaching solar minimum.“These holes have low density but very fast streaming solar wind,” he said, “and can cause some of the largest increases in relativistic electrons.” The particles can overwhelm sensitive electronic instruments like those aboard the location-finding GPS satellites that dot the skies and frequently spend time in the harsh environment of the Van Allen Belts.“Usually spacecraft avoid these regions, or they switch off equipment when they pass through because it disrupts their operation,” Chan said. “Radiation degrades the instruments’ lifetimes, but the RBSP satellites are designed to fly through these regions and last a number of years.”The twin satellites will allow researchers to gather the most accurate data yet from energetic events in the Van Allen Belts. They will sweep within 400 miles of Earth and out through the belts, which range from about 8,000 to 40,000 miles. Because researchers can see events triggered by solar activity coming (particularly with the STEREO and Hinode satellites standing guard), they’ll know where and when to look.Chan said he hopes the probes’ sophisticated instruments will lead to some surprises. “Because electrons are all identical, it’s hard to know where they’re coming from. Nevertheless, we think the majority of them are coming from the sun,” he said.“There was an interesting theory a while back that some of these relativistic electrons were coming from Jupiter,” Chan said. “There are times – and it’s not as crazy as it sounds – when Jupiter is magnetically connected to Earth. We’re sometimes on the same interplanetary magnetic field lines, and Jupiter is a strong source; it makes lots of radio waves and energetic electrons.“We see some small peaks about when we expect to see Earth and Jupiter magnetically connected. It’s a great idea and interesting to think about, but it’s probably very weak,” he said. “If it turns out to be much stronger than expected, it would be really interesting.“The most interesting results scientists get are the ones we don’t expect,” Chan said. “We design the missions looking for certain things and try to allow enough data collection in regions that haven’t been explored to look for something new. And you always hope you’ll find something new.”-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated links:Anthony Chan: http://aachan.web.rice.edu/RBSP home page: http://rbsp.jhuapl.edu/index.phpLiving With a Star program: http://lws.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2012/08/0817_RESP-3-CHAN.jpgAnthony Chan (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf. http://news.rice.edu/files/2012/08/RESP-1-web.jpgTwin Radiation Belt Storm Probes will explore high-energy particles that become trapped in Earth’s protective Van Allen Belts. The data they return will help Earth-bound scientists, including Rice University physicist Anthony Chan, predict solar storms. (Credit: JHU/APL) FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis