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James Webb: Space telescope reveals ‘incredible’ Jupiter views

James Webb: Space telescope reveals ‘incredible’ Jupiter views

Science
NASA/ESA/CSA/Jupiter ERS Team/Judy SchmidtThe world's largest and most powerful space telescope has revealed unprecedented views of Jupiter. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took the pictures of the Solar System's biggest planet in July. The images show auroras, giant storms, moons and rings surrounding Jupiter in detail that astronomers have described as "incredible".The infrared images were artificially coloured to make the features stand out.This is because infrared light is invisible to the human eye."We've never seen Jupiter like this. It's all quite incredible," said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, of the University of California, who played a key role in the project."We hadn't really expected it to be this good, to be honest," she added.The $ 10bn (£8.5bn) JWST is an intern...
UK drought: Why do the trees think it’s autumn already?

UK drought: Why do the trees think it’s autumn already?

Science
Getty ImagesFrom the crunch of leaves underfoot and the fiery foliage adorning the trees, you might be thinking autumn has come early.But experts say this hint of a change in the seasons isn't genuine. Instead it's the tell-tale sign of a "false autumn".They warn the heatwave and drought has pushed trees into survival mode, with leaves dropping off or changing colour as a result of stress.And some may end up dying as a result.Why we need to get used to wonky vegetablesWildlife under stress as dry spell shrinks riversSewage hits dozens of UK beaches after heavy rainGetty ImagesAuburn leaves and early leaf fall are both signs that trees are stressed and "shutting up shop", says Leigh Hunt, senior horticultural advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society."It's giving the appearance that we're...
Climate change: Drought highlights dangers for electricity supplies

Climate change: Drought highlights dangers for electricity supplies

Science
Getty ImagesThe ongoing drought in the UK and Europe is putting electricity generation under pressure, say experts.Electricity from hydropower - which uses water to generate power - has dropped by 20% overall.And nuclear facilities, which are cooled using river water, have been restricted.There are fears that the shortfalls are a taste of what will happen in the coming winter.In the UK, high temperatures are hitting energy output from fossil, nuclear and solar sources.That is because the technology in power plants and solar panels work much less well in high temperatures.The prolonged dry spell is putting further pressure on energy supplies as Europe scrambles for alternative sources after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Millions hit by hosepipe bans as drought declaredUS Senate passes sw...
‘Every day it doesn’t rain, the pressure mounts’

‘Every day it doesn’t rain, the pressure mounts’

Science
David Barton's fields on his farm in Gloucestershire should be green and full of grazing cattle.Instead the grass has turned yellow, the land is bone-dry, and many of the crops that feed his cows have died."Every day that it doesn't rain, every day that it's hot and dry, the pressure mounts," he says.As England and Wales enter a heatwave forecast to last until Sunday, these are challenging times for farmers.Experts warn that the extreme weather like the hot and dry conditions in July will inevitably lead to smaller harvests in the UK. This in turn will make the food we buy in the supermarkets even more expensive.David, aged 54, is the third generation of his family to work on his farm in Cirencester. He's now resorted to feeding his cattle the food reserved for winter."This is fast approac...
Astrophysicists observe one of the most powerful short gamma-ray bursts ever

Astrophysicists observe one of the most powerful short gamma-ray bursts ever

Science
Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The collision of two distant neutron stars released one of the most powerful short gamma-ray bursts ever recorded, scientists say. The collision marked the first time scientists have recorded millimeter-wavelength light from a fiery explosion to be caused by the merger of a neutron star with another star. It was observed on Nov. 6, 2021. The observation was made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, in Chile. ALMA is an international observatory operated by the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "Afterglows for short bursts are very difficult to come by, so it was spectacular to catch this event shining so brightly," ALMA principal investigator Wen-fai Fong said in a statement. "After many years observing these bu...