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Which Christmas markets are open this year in the UK? FULL LIST | Travel News | To travel


Fall is here and, before you know it, it will be November and the time to get you in the Christmas spirit. Christmas markets are the perfect holiday now that most Covid restrictions have been lifted. But which Christmas markets are open this year? Express.co.uk reveals the best Christmas markets to visit in the UK.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London

Winter Wonderland in London, arguably the UK’s most popular Christmas market, is open this year from November 19 to January 3

Winter Wonderland activities include the chance to skate on the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, watch acrobats at a circus show, ride the giant observation wheel, ride a roller coaster, create an ice sculpture and play fairground games.

There is a huge range of food and drink on offer at a number of stalls, bars and restaurants, or you can just stroll under the glorious lights and shop in the festive chalets.

Winter Wonderland must be reserved in advance and entry is free during off-peak hours, but entry during peak hours and access to some activities require a paid ticket.

If you spend an additional £ 20 on paid attractions, rides or games when booking your entrance ticket, your entrance fee will be free.

READ MORE – Save 51% on Bruges Christmas Market Day Trip from UK

Blenheim Palace

Between November 19 and December 19, the Great Courtyard at Blenheim Palace will transform into a spectacular seasonal market, with traditional wooden chalets showcasing a range of festive treats from over 50 artisan food and drink creators and producers. .

Who wouldn’t want to get into the festive spirit in the breathtaking setting of Baroque Oxfordshire Palace?

If you’re in the mood for unique gifts for loved ones, look no further as the markets are full of a variety of irresistible and handpicked gifts, unique artwork from a range of designers and tempting treats. to taste and take home.

No purchase is necessary, as the market is the perfect complement to a Christmas day with hot winter drinks, excellent British cheeses, cold cuts and goodies to put your teeth in.

The Christmas Market is part of a multitude of festive events such as a Christmas route and a Nutcracker show.

Admission to the Christmas market is free for all, but you will need tickets for other events inside and parking must be reserved in advance.

For more information, prices, opening hours and to book, click here.

Picton Castle

Fancy some Christmas cheer in advance? Head to Picton Castle and Gardens.

The medieval castle transformed into a stately home in the 18th century will host a Christmas market on November 20 and 21

Priced at £ 9 for adults, £ 8 for seniors, and £ 6 for children, you can get a free glass of mulled wine for adults and browse the stalls.

There will be a great selection of local Pembrokeshire growers, from food to jewelry, toys and local crafts and art, and visitors will also be able to stroll through the well-tended 40-acre gardens.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth celebrates the magic of Christmas with a look back at the 20 years since the house opened for the holiday season in 2001, to help revive the Derbyshire tourism industry which has been hit hard by foot-and-mouth disease this year -the.

Visitors will see nods to a variety of themes that have featured in the home over the past two decades, as they enjoy the decorations designed to capture the magic of the holiday season.

Enjoy the exhibits, fairy lights, Christmas trees, garlands, snow installations, and references to Narnia, Charles Dickens novels and Alice and Wonderland as you stroll through the garden.

There will be a variety of festive activities in the barnyard and the Christmas Market on Lodge Hill next to the house will consist of over 100 stalls offering a wide range of Christmas gifts and decorations.

Tickets for Christmas at Chatsworth are priced at £ 26 for adults, £ 15 for children and £ 70 for a family (two adults and up to three children), and include access to the house, garden and at the farmyard, as well as parking and access to the Christmas market from November 6 to 24. Advance reservation through the Chatsworth website is required.

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Raby Castle, Durham

Raby Castle at Durham Christmas Market takes place on December 4th and 5th from 10am and it’s completely free including parking!

Visitors can browse a selection of stalls in the Coach Yard and discover many delicious treats, seasonal produce, and beautiful, homemade produce from local vendors.

The attraction’s stable shop will also be open, selling unique Christmas decorations and gifts.

Raby will serve take-out food and drinks including spiced mulled wine and the Stables Café will be open for refreshments and lunch.

Christmas trees that have been grown on the Raby estates will also be for sale.

Pensthorpe Nature Park, Norfolk

On Sunday November 28, the popular Pensthorpe Christmas market returns.

Frequented by the region’s best food and drink vendors, artists and artisans, the Pensthorpe Christmas Market offers shoppers a welcome change of scene from the main street, with pop-up stalls, all in a relaxed and outdoor environment. spacious.

Escape the city crowds and discover bespoke creations, creative gift ideas and delicious treats made by boutique producers, many of whom are from the region.

The event is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission and parking.

The North Pole, Parker’s Piece Park, Cambridge

The North Pole Ice Rink returns to Cambridge this year between November 19 and January 3, alongside a magical Christmas market.

You can skate during the day or in the evening, jump on the Ferris wheel, enjoy delicious food and drinks at the Ice Bar or take a ride on the UK’s longest three-lane slide.

Tickets to The North Pole are available now, with prices starting at £ 13 for adults and £ 11 for children, with discounted family and seasonal tickets also available.

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent

Leeds Castle, which is in Kent and not Leeds, is open from November 27 to January 2 for its famous Christmas market filled with seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, food and drink specials.

You will enter the popular Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, as you browse 12 different works of art depicting the song’s gifts.

Whether it’s a romantic stroll through the dove’s arch in the forest, admiring seven shimmering swans swimming on the Great Water or hitting 12 drummer drums near the playgrounds, the trail was designed with plenty of photo moments, interactive elements for the little one to enjoy and plenty of sensory experiences to explore.

The castle itself will be a Christmas wonderland, full of trees and decorations to admire.

Tickets are included in the price of regular admission, which is £ 28 for adults, £ 27 for over 65s and students, £ 19.50 for children and free for under four.

Discounts for disabled visitors, caregivers and family groups are also available.

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Behind Closed Doors – Ball State Daily


Maya Wilkins is a junior journalism student and writes “Girlboss’d” for The Daily News. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

I don’t watch the game.

You can’t see the countless nights I’ve been awake crying because my thoughts are telling me my life is useless. You haven’t seen the journals I’ve filled wishing things would get better when they seem to be getting worse. You haven’t been part of the internal struggle I’ve been through since I was 11.

I don’t look like someone who has thought about suicide. My positive personality and drive for success takes people’s attention away from years of painful comments about my height, weight, education, and personality.

I don’t watch the game.

I was told that my thoughts were invalid, that there was no way I could actually feel this. I remember being told this for the first time when I was 11 and asked my best friend why I was constantly sad. She said I needed to grow up and think about people who “were really struggling.”

When I open up, I have been told that I am being too dramatic, that I need to “toughen up” or that I don’t understand how good my life is.

I fully understand that my life is easier than most – I have parents who love each other, I received a quality education, I grew up in a house where I was always reminded that I was loved it and have always had at least a few close friends.

But I always tell myself that nothing I do will live up to other people’s standards. I tell myself that I will never be enough. I’m still struggling.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people commit suicide each year, or one life every 40 seconds. And, for every adult who committed suicide, there may be 20 more who attempted suicide and are missing.

Kamryn Tomlinson, DN Illustration

It doesn’t even include statistics for children, where suicide is the second leading cause of death. It was also before the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when people were isolated in their homes and trapped in their own thoughts.

How many of these people did not “look suicidal”?

How many of these people have been told that they cannot be depressed because their life is so good?

How many of these people didn’t seem to be part of the game?

Our lives are like icebergs – people can only see what is on the surface, but not what is hidden deeper. I don’t know what someone else’s thoughts are, and they don’t know what mine are. Without asking, we don’t know anything about what other people are going through.

However, due to our addiction to social media, people feel the need to judge and comment more based on what they see on the surface. Although I love Instagram and Twitter, I know how toxic it can be for me.

If I see someone from high school posting a college quality post to them, I compare it to my experience. When a friend of mine posts about an amazing opportunity he had, I wonder why I am not trying hard enough for the same. If I see my sisters posting about traveling and making memories without me, I feel sad that I have to leave them.

I don’t know why I feel the need to compare myself to everyone else or why I feel the need to make everyone happy, but every time I see these messages, these negative thoughts and feelings come back, telling me that I don’t. will never live up to expectations. Everything is based on a surface level environment that is handcrafted

The moment I felt this the most was during my first semester of freshman, especially from late October to early November 2020. Starting college during a pandemic has not been easy, and every day felt like I was missing out on a “college experience.”

I felt lost in my specialty and wasn’t writing as much as I had hoped. I had friends, but I almost always felt I belonged in the group. My classes didn’t meet in person, so it was difficult for me to stay focused and take on challenges.

Kamryn Tomlinson, DN Illustration

I would see college people across the country making the most of their experiences despite the pandemic, and I would feel like I was doing something wrong. All of those negative thoughts I had about myself came back.

I was constantly tearing myself apart and telling myself that I was not and never would be enough.

You couldn’t have said it by looking at me.

I showed up to my minimal face-to-face classes and participated. I was interactive on Facebook pages trying to make friends. I started writing for The Daily News just to tell myself that I was doing something with my life.

No one saw the nights I walked around campus alone until 2 a.m. because the thoughts in my head were too distracting to be with other people. Or the times I cried after talking to my dad every Sunday because I was lying to him and telling him I was happy. I am the only one who read my newspapers and saw the horrible words my name was.

I didn’t seem to be in the game then, and I’m still not watching the game now.

I’m doing everything I can to remove this part of myself, so everyone thinks I’m perfectly fine. I hate letting people down and I feel like showing this part of myself would only disappoint.

But I’m sick of living that way, and I’m sick of people not thinking I look like I’m struggling.

We can’t assume that everyone is okay based on how they behave or what we know about them at the surface level.

No one has to watch the part – no one has to remove parts of themselves to please others. We are human. We make mistakes, we are jealous, we have our faults. I’ll be the first to say I need to change and stop comparing myself to others, but some days it’s really hard.

I didn’t understand everything, and I don’t think anyone understood everything, especially at university. We’ll all need a little extra help sometimes, and it’s okay to reach out and ask.

You never know what someone is going through, no matter how badly they seem to have it together.

No one has to look at the play.

Contact Maya Wilkins with comments at [email protected] or on Twitter @mayawilkinss.

Sub Snub Already Seen! The United States and France have been here before


When the leaders of the United States, Britain and Australia announced last week that America would help Australia build eight nuclear-powered submarines, the ripple effects rippled through every capital city. China, which the new alliance is clearly aimed at, has denounced the “cold war mentality” that underlies it. And France, which saw its $ 65 billion contract to build 12 diesel-electric submarines for Australia scuttled, called it a “punch in the back.”

But why should sharing 70-year-old nuclear propulsion technology shake up opponents and allies? Well, there’s more at stake than a quieter, long-running ship engine, a technology that has been lurking in the oceans for decades. To understand the deep context of this underwater fury, it is worth looking back at the one time the United States briefly opened its vault of nuclear submarine secrets – in the 1950s, when the Anglo- Americans agreed to a special pact which, like today, kept France in the dark.

Captain Hyman G. Rickover, director of the Nuclear Energy Division of the Office of Naval Ships, explains the operation of an engine on a model of the first atomic-powered submarine. Photograph by Bettmann / Getty Images.

First of all, a little background. Nuclear energy is particularly well suited to submarines because of two specificities: it generates heat without requiring oxygen or producing exhaust gases (except excess heat) and it can be stored in a very concentrated, unlike the large coal, oil or diesel bunkers that have supplied steamboats since the 19th century. And at the dawn of the atomic age, all the navies in the world realized that harnessing nuclear energy inside a reactor small enough to fit in the hull of a submarine would allow these ships. to travel quickly, to operate for weeks or even months underwater without refueling, and therefore radically transform the seas of the world in conflict.

In the early 1950s, under the aegis of a controversial US Navy captain named Hyman G. Rickover, the Navy and the newly formed Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy), started development of the world’s first atomic reactor. Before that, reactors were built of graphite and lead inside huge steel furnaces that were used to produce fuel for the bombs. They were dangerous, misunderstood, and their radioactivity was difficult to contain. Some got out of hand and turned into dirty bombs, spitting radiation across the landscape. The idea of ​​sticking one in a submarine seemed impossible, bordering on madness.

The scene of the launch of the American submarine Nautilus played by Mamie Eisenhower, the president’s wife. USS Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine and was launched at Groton, Connecticut on January 21, 1954.Photograph by Popperfoto / Getty Images.

At this point, the existing submarines were running on hybrid diesel-electric engines. Then as now, they had to run on the surface of the seas using their diesel engines to charge batteries that allowed them to submerge themselves on their electric motors for short periods, measured in hours. They operated slowly underwater, and once above the waterline their noisy diesel engines made them highly vulnerable to surface trackers and attack.

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Azuki Manga Service partners with Glacier Bay and Star Fruit Books


Disclosure: Three former Crunchyroll employees are among the founders of Azuki.

Digital manga subscription service Azuki launched in June and new partnerships have just been announced. The latest update teams up with the service Glacier Bay Books and Star fruit books to distribute a selection of their critically acclaimed independent manga.

Here are some titles that are debuting in English for the first time on a subscription service:

Children of Mu-Town


Tsukiko and the satellite and other stories

Pop life


The blood red boy (a shot)

Sawanabe Zombie (a shot)

The titles available for playback at this time include chapters from Children of Mu-Town, Tsukiko and the satellite and other stories, Pop life, and Ikyoudo, with more to be added in the coming weeks. Many of these titles and more will have selected chapters available for free with ads, and you can unlock Azuki’s catalog by creating a Premium account for $ 4.99 per month.

Source: Press release


Joseph Luster is the Games and Web editor at Otaku Magazine United States. You can read his comics To subhumans. Follow him on twitter @Moldilox.

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New Bell 407GXi customer takes delivery by embarking on transatlantic flight


Bell Press Release | September 23, 2021

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 12 seconds.

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, delivered a Bell 407GXi with an instrument flight rules (IFR) kit to a Ukrainian customer company. The aircraft will be used for corporate transport across Ukraine.

“The Bell 407GXi demonstrates incredible performance and has proven to be a reliable aircraft that meets the needs and missions of our customers,” said Duncan Van De Velde, Managing Director, Commercial Business.

The Bell 407GXi operated a transatlantic flight, making stops in 13 countries. Photo Bell

Upon receipt of the aircraft in Mirabel, Canada, the 407GXi was transported to Ukraine by Maksym Lunov, the pilot and owner of Heliclub, one of Bell’s Ukrainian independent representatives, with the customer on board. The plane made a transatlantic flight, making stops in 13 countries.

“This Bell aircraft is comfortable, safe and reliable. It gave us a unique travel experience that most people don’t get the chance to do, ”customer 40GXi said. “There were many highlights of the trip, but some of the most memorable were seeing the icebergs in Greenland, the volcanoes and waterfalls in Iceland, and the Alps in Switzerland.”

Maksym Lunov listed “icebergs in Greenland, volcanoes and waterfalls in Iceland and the Alps in Switzerland” among the highlights of the trip he made with the Ukrainian client. Photo Bell

“I’ve been a pilot for 13 years and a transatlantic flight is something I’ve always wanted to do. It wouldn’t have been easy without the IFR kit, ”Lunov added. “The Bell 407GXi is a remarkable helicopter that provided a safe and enjoyable trip. With the IFR kit, we had no meteorological limitations and this allowed us to continue the planned route without any delay. “

On Friday, September 24, Bell and Heliclub will be hosting a customer demo event at the Mayachok Yacht Club, where the 407GXi will be on display along with a Bell 505 and a Bell 429.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Bell Textron Inc.

The jet stream is moving north. Here’s why it matters.


In 1374, famines hit what is today Spain, Italy and France. The guilty? The North Atlantic Jet Stream, a rapid river of air flowing from North America to Europe, had moved north. The jet stream carries moisture laden storm clouds, and without them southern Europe has remained dry and crops are dead.

Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reconstructed the history of the jet stream’s trajectory in the North Atlantic from the years 700 to 2000. The results suggest that while climate change has not yet altered the location of the crucial climate system, high emissions could push Europe into a world more like 1374.

Fluctuations in the jet stream have been implicated in extreme weather conditions over the past year, from flooding in Europe this spring to the heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest, although the role of climate in these movements is always an open question.

“The jet stream is that wavy, distorted band of wind, but the average position changes over longer time scales,” says Matthew Osman, a climatologist at the University of Arizona and lead author of the study.

The jet stream is held in place by polar air to the north and tropical wind to the south. And it pushes surface-level storms in its path, in what’s called the storm track, reshaping precipitation in huge areas. “When the jet stream or the path of storms is located further south, the already semi-arid regions of southern Europe receive a lot of humidity and mild temperatures,” says Osman. “But as the jet stream moves further north, it takes the storm track and precipitation and brings them into northern Europe.”

“It’s not a big deal when we think of daily and weekly timescales, but if we think of projections of where deserts might go in the future, the displacement of moisture from arid regions. towards humid regions is a problem. “

By sampling cores from the Greenland ice sheet, which show records of precipitation and temperature dating back hundreds of years, the researchers were able to piece together a record of storm tracks across the North Atlantic.

The researchers found a surprising amount of variability. “Observations suggested that over the past few decades the jet stream has started to migrate north,” Osman said. But the jet stream has moved so north and south over the past 1,200 years that “it seems that the jet has not emerged from what one would expect from the variation alone. natural ”.

Matthew Osman, one of the researchers, stabilizes an ice core drill barrel. Sarah Das (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

Still, climate models suggest the stream will head north and, according to this research, exit the historic zone by 2060 in the highest emission scenarios.

This means that as dramatic as this summer’s smoke, rains and fires are, there are many more unknowns on the horizon as more climate systems move into uncharted territory.

The research has not been able to provide the same kind of historical context on the ripple of the stream, which would help unravel the role of climate change in precipitating extreme weather conditions. But he could still establish a link between certain historical catastrophes and the jet stream. “1728, 1740, those were years when the winds blew at almost half of their normal intensity,” says Osman. “We know from historical records that these were really cold years, where there was a very bad lack of precipitation.” In 1740, this miserable weather sparked a massive famine in Ireland, killing millions of people – more per capita than during the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and 1950s.

“It’s a good test to see if the models can realistically reproduce the conditions we see in this distant period in terms of human civilization,” says Jennifer Francis, acting deputy director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center, who has was not involved in the study. “Anything that brings the jets closer to the pole is going to leave Central Europe high and dry, which will promote drought conditions and is associated with famines.”

But she offered two notes of caution. First, she says climate models can be flawed in several key ways that end up overestimating the jet stream’s tendency to move north. “There is a lot to ask in terms of what the models project for the future latitude of the jet stream.”

Second, she noted that historical data ends in 2000, when the most noticeable effects of warming on the jet stream would have appeared in the past two decades. “That would only leave a few years, say, for the Arctic to start to warm up, and that’s just not enough to see an impact on the jet stream.”

Osman says he still thinks the climate “probably hasn’t yet reached the emergence of a new kind of climate regime.” And, he points out, that means humans can still avoid changes in the jet stream – after all, the system has only escaped the historic norm in a high emissions scenario. “It doesn’t have to be the truth. It’s just a model.

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Powerlifting helps Glacier’s Rendina on and off the pitch


KALISPELL – Kalispell Glacier running back Jake Rendina is picking up where he left off after a first-team selection in all states and conferences last season. He’s averaging 128.5 yards per game in 2021. But if he’s feeling pressure, it’s because everyone is, not just him.

“That’s not necessarily all for me, as a team there is a lot of pressure,” said Rendina. “I feel like as a younger team starting this season we didn’t know where we were going to end up. We know we can.”

Rendina’s stats show his growth as a player, but it’s his growth as a leader he’s most proud of.

“I didn’t realize I was a leader until this year, I played a joke on a freshman and saw the terror in his eyes. After that, I realized that what I said mattered. So I think the maturity came to me When I realized that freshmen see you as a leader whether you have stats or not, ”he said.

Kyle Hansen / MTN Sports

Kalispell Glacier’s Jake Rendina warms up before a game against Missoula Sentinel on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Rendina is preparing to be better on the pitch all year round, but not in a conventional way. He is one of the most powerful weightlifters in the world. As in, the fourth strongest in the world of all time, the strongest in the United States and the 16-17 national champion, and he says one absolutely helps the other.

“In terms of strength, speed, I think I’m better than ever at 235 pounds. I think I’m faster and just a better athlete than I’ve ever been,” said Rendina.

As for when he discovered his love for powerlifting, it seems like it’s always been in his DNA.

“In college, I started going to the gym, it kind of intensified, I got stronger and stronger. I became the strongest in my class, then I became the strongest in the class. class above me. And then I met Donny Tudahl, through a trainer and he said okay let’s meet up. So I had my first encounter in Battle Under The Big Sky, ”a Rendina said. “I think two years ago I ended up winning this. I was approved for nationals and we just said why not. I have the opportunity when I am still 17 years old and not in the adult category. So we went to the nationals and ended up winning and it was just a great time, a great experience. “

This season, Rendina has racked up 514 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last year as a junior, the Wolfpack star finished with 1,326 yards and 28 rushing points.

Even though her high school career is coming to an end, Rendina is hopeful her footballing journey has only just begun.

“I was lucky to have a few opportunities to play college football, you know where I end up, I don’t know which school I want to choose yet, but I fully intend to take one of these offers and to continue my football career, ”says Rendina.

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Will NASA’s lunar rover find enough ice it is looking for?


NASA’s VIPER rover, shown in this render, will explore the lunar south pole in search of ice.Credit: NASA Ames / Daniel Rutter

NASA plans to land its next lunar rover next to a crater, named Nobile, near the moon’s south pole, the agency said. But some scientists are wondering if the mission, which is slated to launch in 2023, will effectively find the moon ice it is looking for.

The mission, known as the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), aims to study ice on the lunar surface that could serve as a resource, for example as a rocket fuel ingredient for future astronauts. The south pole of the Moon has so far not been visited by any spacecraft, but is scientifically very promising: it receives little sunlight, so it has reserves of ice containing information on the origin and the evolution of the solar system, preserved for billions of years. VIPER will chase ice in the lunar soil using a variety of methods, including drilling down to 1 meter deep.

Lunar exploration is intensifying on a global scale, with China, South Korea, India and Russia among the nations working on lunar missions. Amid these efforts, NASA aims to regain the glory of its crewed moon landing in 1969 by sending astronauts to the lunar surface somewhere near the South Pole. The goal is to do so by the end of 2024, but that deadline is likely to slip given budget and other constraints.

Before the astronaut lands, NASA will send a fleet of robotic spacecraft to the Moon. Among them, VIPER, which will be the very first mission to provide ground measurements of lunar polar ice. VIPER will cost NASA around US $ 433 million to build and operate. An additional $ 226 million will go to a private company, Astrobotic Technology in Pittsburgh, Pa., To deliver it to the surface of the moon. If all goes well, once the rover lands at its landing site near Nobile Crater, it will travel 25 kilometers or more over 100 days while mapping the ice and drilling into it in several places.

A data visualization of the mountainous area west of the Nobile crater.

NASA has chosen the area west of the Nobile Crater, shown here in a data visualization, as the landing site for VIPER.Credit: NASA

But some researchers are concerned that the landing site, announced on September 20, may not be guaranteed to have an abundance of ice. So far, scientists have only been able to estimate polar ice concentrations on the basis of data from orbiting spacecraft. According to this information, the Nobile crater has ice in and around it, including inside several permanently shaded regions that never see the sun’s rays.1,2. “We have a lot of data indicating there’s water ice out there – we’re not going blind,” says Amy Fagan, a planetologist at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina .

But some point out that the lunar polar ice appears to be distributed in patches – with frost on the surface in some places and frozen ice deeper in others, inaccessible even to VIPER’s drill. “It’s not like water ice is everywhere,” says Bethany Ehlmann, a planet specialist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Details matter when it comes to where we’re going. “

Ice search

Since 2017, when then-President Donald Trump tasked NASA with returning astronauts to the moon, many lunar scientists have been working to identify areas around the South Pole where robotic spacecraft or astronauts might have the best chance of finding ice or other geologically interesting terrain. to explore3.

NASA chose Nobile Crater for VIPER in part because it offers a variety of locations where ice can be studied in lunar soil. Other factors in the decision included that VIPER could easily cross the terrain, that there was enough sunlight for the solar-powered rover to regularly recharge its batteries, and the crater to have a good line of sight to Earth. , so that engineers can communicate directly with the spacecraft.

The agency acknowledges that VIPER does not yet have a detailed map of the location of the ice around Nobile, named after an Italian explorer who developed airships for Arctic exploration. “That’s exactly why we’re going there,” says Anthony Colaprete, Project VIPER scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “Any new information is going to be illuminating beyond what we have at this time.”

But some scientists say VIPER would be better off if NASA first launched another planned spacecraft, a small $ 55 million satellite called the Lunar Trailblazer. Lunar Trailblazer’s mission is to map water on the Moon. Researchers say the VIPER team could use these maps to plot the parts of Nobile that the rover could effectively travel to as it searches for ice during its rapid 100-day mission.

An engineering model of VIPER is tested at NASA's Glenn Research Center.

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, test a model of VIPER on simulated lunar terrain.Credit: NASA / GRC / Bridget Caswell

NASA, however, plans to store the Lunar Trailblazer until 2025, when it is scheduled to travel to space alongside an unrelated spacecraft. Ehlmann, who is the principal investigator for Lunar Trailblazer, says it will be ready for launch in February 2023, well ahead of VIPER, and could make advanced maps for VIPER if NASA finds a launch opportunity sooner.

U.S. lunar scientists discussed the matter last month at a meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, which provides information to NASA on lunar activities. They backed the launch of Lunar Trailblazer as soon as possible, but recognized that VIPER would still be successful without it, said Fagan, who is the group’s chairman.

NASA defends its choice to launch VIPER first. “We have absolutely enough knowledge to fly the VIPER mission” before Trailblazer, says Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary science division in Washington DC.

Despite the concerns, VIPER will provide scientists with the best glimpse yet of where the ice might be around the lunar south pole. The rover can detect very low levels of ice in the ground, less than a tenth of a percent by weight. Because of this sensitivity, says Kevin Cannon, a planetologist at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, “I think there is a good chance of finding detectable ice.”

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The summer minimum of the Arctic sea ice in 2021 is the “12th lowest” on record


Arctic sea ice has reached its annual minimum for 2021, ranking 12th lowest on record, according to provisional data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Although this is the highest summer minimum since 2014, the NSIDC notes that the amount of multi-year sea ice this year is “one of the lowest levels in the Ice Age record.”

Sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic undergoes an annual cycle, increasing in thickness and coverage during the colder months, and thinning and retreating as temperatures rise. Arctic sea ice generally reaches its “summer minimum” in September, marking the time when it covers the smallest area.

Last year, arctic sea ice minimum hit the second lowest on record, in part due to an intense heat wave over Siberia. In contrast, this year was defined by storms and low pressure systems, which kept temperatures low and kept older multi-year ice moving to fill in sea ice gaps, limiting the reduction in extent. .

Meanwhile, at the South Pole, the extent of the Antarctic sea ice is “well above the long-term average”, according to the NSIDC, as it reaches its annual maximum, which is expected within weeks. future.

Minimum “not remarkable”

The extent of Arctic sea ice reached its lowest for the year at 4.72 m square kilometers (km2) on September 16, according to the NSIDC. This is the 12th lowest in a 43-year satellite record, according to the NSIDC, with the past 15 years seeing the 15 smallest sea ice minima.

It is also 1.50 m km2 smaller than the 1981-2010 average minimum extent, the NSIDC notes – equivalent to twice the size of Texas.

While the minimum extent does not break all records, NSIDC Director Dr Mark Serrezze notes that “the amount of old and thick sea ice is as low as it has ever been in our records. satellites ”. This means that the increase in the total extent of sea ice from last year’s low to this year’s low “is therefore made up of first-year ice,” the NSIDC notes.

The minimum extent of the Arctic summer 2021, September 16, 2021. The yellow line shows the average extent 1981-2010 for that month. Credit: NSIDC.

Colorado State University postdoctoral researcher Dr Zack Labe points out that the non-exceptional minimum does not mark long-term recovery of the Arctic sea ice.

“The extent of sea ice in the Arctic shows significant year-to-year variability, despite a long-term trend of decreasing ice cover. This is due to changes in weather patterns and the natural variability of the climate system. While each year does not set new records, long-term trends show that human-made climate change will continue to warm the atmosphere and the ocean and reduce the amount of ice in the Arctic.

“Even in years like 2021, which haven’t set new records, the Arctic is a radically different place than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.”

A cool and stormy summer

Earlier this year, the Arctic sea ice reached an “uneventful maximum” in late March, ranking seventh among the lowest on record. The months that followed were largely defined by stormy and cloudy weather that kept temperatures low and limited sea ice loss, the NSIDC notes.

Serrezze told Carbon Brief that it had been “a very strange year in the Arctic,” adding that “in terms of extent, arctic sea ice cover has been suspended this year.”

However, records have still been set in parts of the Arctic in recent months. For example, Labe highlights the rapid loss of ice in the Laptev Sea, which began at the start of the melt season:

“The pack ice along the Siberian coast has once again set new records. The arctic pack ice in the Laptev Sea melted several weeks earlier than average. In fact, the average summer sea ice extent in the Laptev Sea has set new records for declines in both 2020 and 2021. “

Overall, the rate of decline of the Arctic sea ice in April was variable – and even increased slightly from April 14 to 19. This was caused by the low atmospheric pressure in the Laptev Sea, which drew northerly winds and pushed the ice south, according to the NSIDC.

Professor Julienne Stroeve, Professor of Polar Observation and Modeling at NSIDC and University College London, explains how the influx of older multi-year ice helped offset the loss of ice in the Laptev Sea:

“We had a very early ice retreat in the Laptev Sea region, but the multi-year ice that was transported into the Beaufort Sea last winter helped reduce ice loss in that region this summer – and we have more ice in the Chukchi Sea than we do. have had for a while.

Ice loss was slower than average during May as stormy weather over the eastern Arctic helped expand the pack ice and keep temperatures low, limiting the melt. The average extent of arctic sea ice during May ranked ninth among the lowest on record.

However, June brought with it a change of pace, as an “unusually strong” low near the North Pole and Western Europe brought northwesterly winds over the Arctic, pushing temperatures up to 2-5. ° C above average. High temperatures accelerated the ice loss and, a week after the start of July, arctic sea ice followed a record high for the time of year, according to the NSIDC.

During the first half of the northern hemisphere’s summer, a pattern of strong depression near the North Pole continued to dominate, pushing sea ice counterclockwise – away typical movement. During this time, the Arctic Ocean lost a total of 1.73 m km2 of sea ice. This is roughly equivalent in size to the state of Florida, according to the NSIDC:

“In early July, the extent of sea ice was above levels recorded in 2012, the year that ended with the lowest extent of September ice in satellite records. However, a fairly rapid loss of ice during the first week of July caused [the] measurement lower than 2012 levels. From July 4 to 9, the 2021 extent was the lowest of satellite records for this time of year. However, the wastage rate then slowed down and by the end of July 2021 the extent was greater than 2020, 2019, 2011 and 2007. “

In mid-July, the extent of Arctic sea ice was just below the record minimum extent observed in 2012 and “very close” to that of 2020 – the two years with the lowest minimum ice extent. and the second lowest in satellite records. On July 13, the Laptev Sea area was almost completely free of sea ice, according to the NSIDC.

The loss of sea ice “stalled” from August 8 to 11 before accelerating again. An “exceptionally strong” high pressure system dominated Siberia during the first half of August, coupled with low pressure over the Greenland ice sheet, favoring strong ice movement south from the central Arctic Ocean to the northern coasts -american and Siberian.

Extent of Arctic sea ice for each decade of the satellite era

Extent of Arctic sea ice for each decade of the satellite era (dotted lines). Specific years are indicated by moving lines – 2007 (pink), 2012 (white), 2020 (blue) and 2021 so far (yellow). Graphic by Dr Zack Labe using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

It was a “strange summer” this year, according to the NSIDC. They note that although the summer melt was slow due to mild and stormy conditions, as of September 16, multi-year ice was at a “record low” – covering about a quarter of the 1980s area.

Antarctic growth

Antarctica recorded its annual minimum on February 21 of this year. After the low, there was a 12-day period in which the extent of sea ice increased at the fastest rate in the four-decade record for sea ice extent for the period. of the year. This was caused by a rapid refreezing of areas west of the Amundsen Sea and east of the Ross Sea.

However, from the second week of March, the expansion of sea ice in Antarctica slowed to a more “typical” rate, and by the end of July the extent of sea ice was the eighth most. high satellite recordings. At the end of August, the extent of the Antarctic sea ice was the fifth highest on record.

As of September 15, the extent of the Antarctic sea ice remains “well above the long-term average” as it reaches its annual maximum, which is expected in the coming weeks, according to the NSIDC.

Antarctic sea-ice-expanse for Sep-15, 2021.

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Glacier commissioners vote to give employees and elected officials $ 1,500 in risk bonus, hire ARPA project manager. | New


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