Daily Orbit – The Black Holes of the Ocean

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,519
    9-24-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, ocean eddies and black holes are mathematically similar, the ISS docking of Cygnus is postponed, and a universal flu vaccine is in development.


    A common symmetry between two unlikely phenomena… 


    It’s a no-go for Cygnus and the ISS…


    Touching on the new iPhone 5S security…


    And Jobs is still making headlines on the Daily Orbit!


    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit.  I’m Emerald Robinson.


    Two things in the universe you’re unlikely to escape from—1. A black hole 2. An ocean eddy.  And that’s because they’re similar.  


    Scientists from ETH Zurich and the University of Miami say that some of the largest ocean eddies on Earth are mathematically equivalent to black holes in space. An ocean eddy forms from a current that has been pinched off to form a circular current.   Ocean eddies are on the rise in the Southern Ocean, bringing warm water northward…which could have an impact on our climate. Like a black hole, nothing escapes an eddy, not even water, but their boundaries have been difficult to determine.  Using satellite data, scientists were able to isolate where fluid particles move around in closed loops—like how light moves around a black hole in a photon sphere.   Nothing escapes the inner loop—like a black hole.  Determining the exact boundaries of water eddies on our oceans will help scientists determine the impact they have on climate.


    It’s a ”no-go” at the moment for Cygnus.  


    Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft was scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station this past weekend in a resupply mission. However, the date has been postponed until Saturday at the earliest since the spacecraft didn’t past the tests it needed to before docking.  A data format mismatch hindered the initial green light, which is now said to be fixed.  But the delay left Cygnus standing in line behind Expedition 37/38’s three new residents to the ISS, who will arrive Wednesday night.  If this resupply is successful, Orbital has eight more planned.  


    The ISS knows what she wants from her suitors….


    However, Apple’s new phones might not be so hard to get into.  


    On the day the iPhone 5S was released boasting the new TouchID fingerprint scanning technology, hackers in Germany’s Chaos Computer Club already cracked the code.   They successfully unlocked a 5S after creating a “fake finger” latex mold from a photograph of a fingerprint.  Senator Al Franken, who is an opponent of fingerprint biometrics, says this proves “it is plain stupid to use something that you can’t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token.”  


    Well, I guess when you put it like that Senator…  But somebody would really have to want to get into your phone.  That sounds like a lot of effort!

    Wonder what Steve Jobs would have to say about that?  


    The late fearless leader of the Apple brand may be receiving yet another honor in his memory.  The Los Altos Historical Commission is proposing to turn Steve Job’s childhood home into an historical landmark.  It was in the garage of this home that Jobs and partner Steve Wozniak built the first Apple 1 computers that eventually led to a revolution.  The Commission said that Jobs created a product that dramatically changed six industries--personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.   The Commission said “his influence is expected to be felt by multiple generations forthcoming.”  Jobs is still making headlines two years later!


    It’s almost October and you know what that means—flu season.  


    Scientists at the Imperial College London have some promising news in the wake of the impending flu season. They are getting close to developing a universal flu vaccine.  By studying blood samples taken during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, they found that those who avoided serious illness had more CD8 T cells in their blood at the start of the pandemic.  Since T cells target the core of the virus, which doesn’t change even with new mutations, they are more effective at staving off the flu than antibodies.  The team says this “provides a blueprint for developing a universal flu vaccine” that would protect us from new strains we haven’t yet encountered.  Keep working team! The flu season countdown starts now…


    And that’s your Daily Orbit!!!  See you tomorrow!