Possible tectonic activity detected on the moon | Science & Tech News

The moon

Possible tectonic activity detected on the moon | Science & Tech News

Tectonic activity has been detected on the moon by researchers who have discovered a system of moving ridges topped with boulders on its near side.

“There’s this assumption that the moon is long dead, but we keep finding that that’s not the case,” said Professor Peter Schultz at Rhode Island’s Brown University.

“It appears that the moon may still be creaking and cracking – potentially in the present day – and we can see the evidence on these ridges,” explained Professor Schultz who co-authored a study published in the journal Geology.

Infrared (upper left) and other images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed strange bare spots where the Moon's ubiquitous dust is missing. The spots suggest an active tectonic process. Pic: NASA
The strange bare spots suggest an active tectonic process. Pic: NASA

The majority of the moon’s surface is covered by something called regolith, the powdery dust of rocks created by constant meteorite impacts.

Because the moon has no atmosphere to speak of, rocks and orbiting debris crash right into its surface and blow apart.

There are very few spaces on the lunar surface which aren’t covered by regolith – but some seemingly new spots have recently been discovered.

The first footprint on the Moon', Apollo 11 mission, July 1969. Boot-print of US astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon, clearly visible in the lunar soil. The Apollo 11 Lunar Module, code named Eagle, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board, landed in the Sea of Tranquillity on 20 July 1969. Apollo 11 was the fifth manned Apollo mission, and was the first to land on the Moon. Artist NASA. (Photo by Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Regolith is powdery dust covering the moon’s surface

Adomas Valantinas, a graduate student at the University of Bern who was a visiting scholar at Brown, used data gathered by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to spot these strange bare spots.

“Exposed blocks on the surface have a relatively short lifetime because the regolith buildup is happening constantly,” Mr Schultz said.

“So when we see them, there needs to be some explanation for how and why they were exposed in certain locations.”

“Just as concrete-covered cities on Earth retain more heat than the countryside, exposed bedrock and blocky surfaces on the moon stays warmer through the lunar night than regolith-covered surfaces,” the researchers said.

So using a tool on the LRO to measure the surface’s temperature, Mr Valantinas was able to discover more than 500 patches of exposed bedrock on narrow ridges following a pattern across the nearside of the moon.

Such ridges had been discovered before, but they were on the edges of very ancient lava-filled impact basins and could be explained by continued sagging in response to weight caused by the lava fill.

The new study found that these ridges are actually related to a mysterious system of tectonic features – ridges and faults – unrelated to the lava-filled basins.

“The distribution that we found here begs for a different explanation,” Professor Schultz said.

Mapping out all of these exposed ridges, Mr Valantinas and Prof Schultz discovered an interesting correlation between them and a previous NASA mission.

Back in 2014, NASA’s GRAIL mission discovered a network of ancient cracks in the moon’s crust, which became channels for magma from the moon’s core to flow to the surface.

This network lined up almost perfectly with the blocky ridges.

“It’s almost a one-to-one correlation,” Prof Schultz said. “That makes us think that what we’re seeing is an ongoing process driven by things happening in the moon’s interior.”

So the ridges, according to these scientists, are ancient magma flows which are still heaving upwards – breaking the surface and draining the regolith into cracks and voids, leaving the blocks exposed.

“Because bare spots on the moon get covered over fairly quickly, this cracking must be quite recent, possibly even ongoing today,” they say.

But what is causing this? According to the scientists, the tectonic movements may actually have begun billions of years ago with a giant impact on the far side of the moon.

Professor Schultz had previously proposed such an impact had formed the 1500-mile South Pole Aitken Basin, and shattered the interior on the opposite side of the moon – the side facing the Earth.

Magma from the core then filled these cracks and controlled the pattern detected in the GRAIL mission. The blocky ridges comprising this network now trace the continuing adjustments along these ancient weaknesses.

“This looks like the ridges responded to something that happened 4.3 billion years ago,” Prof Schultz said. “Giant impacts have long lasting effects.

“The moon has a long memory. What we’re seeing on the surface today is testimony to its long memory and secrets it still holds.”

Cricket boards cannot survive if there is no activity for a long time, says Ramiz Raja- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Cricket boards cannot survive if there is no activity for a long time, says Ramiz Raja- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja believes boards cannot survive for long without resuming cricket and urged the PCB to hold talks with other associations to find a way to play the sport behind closed doors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit sports hard with Cricket Australia forced to stand down almost 80 percent of its staff.

The fast-spreading disease has halted all cricket activities across the globe, putting under threat this year’s T20 World Cup and also indefinitely suspending the 13th IPL.

Cricket boards cannot survive if there is no activity for a long time, says Ramiz Raja

File image of Ramiz Raja. Reuters

“Cricket fans are starved now and the coronavirus pandemic has brought life to a standstill but I don’t think cricket boards can survive for long like this. They can’t continue to pay out salaries and expenses without having cricket activities it would be disastrous for them,” Ramiz said in his Youtube channel.

“I would also urge the Pakistan Cricket Board to think on these lines and hold talks with other boards to see how cricket activities can be resumed even behind closed doors.”

The coronavirus outbreak has forced countries to go under lockdown to contain the disease, which has so far infected over 2.5 million people globally.

The former Test opener said it would be a disaster if this lockdown continues for long.

“Unless a vaccine can be created, we can only defeat it through social distancing and precautionary measures,” he said.

“Pakistan is trying to start industries in a bid to start the economy again. No country can survive in a perpetual lockdown. This would be a disaster. I believe the cricket industry needs to re-open as well.”
Ramiz urged the PCB to take the first step in initiating talks with other boards in this regard.
“The PCB can take the first step in initiating this conversation. Any cricket board, no matter how rich, cannot keep paying salaries in a perpetual lockdown situation. We need dialogue and planning to start cricket again,” he said.

“If fans cannot attend then holding it behind closed doors is an option.

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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2020 11:03:24 IST

coronavirus: National cybersecurity agency asks parents to monitor child's Internet activity - Latest News

coronavirus: National cybersecurity agency asks parents to monitor child’s Internet activity – Latest News

With school-going children increasingly using the internet for studies during lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus, the national cyber security agency on Wednesday asked parents to monitor their online activity and guard against cyber bullying and inappropriate content streaming. “The Internet is good resource for kids to prepare school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids and play interactive games. But online access also comes with risks like inappropriate content, cyber bullying and online predators,” the CERT-In said in an advisory.

Using applications and websites, it said, attackers may pose as a child or teen looking to make a new friend.

“They may entice the child to exchange personal information, such as address and phone number, or encourage kids to call them.”

“Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves,” it said.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) is the federal agency to combat cyber attacks to guard the Indian cyber space.

With the country-wide lockdown in place to contain the spread of coronavirus, schools and teachers have begun offering online lecturers and class work to students even as many are using it for entertainment and extra-curricular activities as going out is not an option.

The agency also advised some healthy cyber practices that should be followed by children and parents in the cyber world.

For children it suggestions include thinking carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you have put a picture of yourself online, most people can see it and may be able to download it, it is not just yours anymore, it said.

It also suggested that one should never reveal personal information, such as address, phone number, or school name or location and use only a screen name and not share passwords other than with their parents.

Also, never respond to a threatening email, message, post, or text and always tell a parent or other trusted adult about any communication or conversation that was scary or hurtful, it said.

The best practices suggested by the agency for parents include setting a rule that the child should browse in the living room or in the presence of an adult and keeping devices in a common area, by locating all computers, TV and devices in a common area so that parents can ensure that the child does not view unsuitable content online.

Consider two-factor authentication for devices and lock the device home screens with a pin. As online communities are here to stay, so consider starting social network safety talks early, it said.

Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behaviour. Going online with your child gives you the opportunity to see the apps or games your child plays, or the videos he watches, it said.

It also advised parents to filter content and avoid the chance of the child encountering inappropriate content by mistake and also adding parental control software to family devices.

Teach the kids that the internet provides anonymity and their online friends may not really be who they say they are and never agree to get together in person with anyone met online without parent approval and/or supervision, it suggested.

Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange, the advisory said.

“Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges,” it said.

Google Fit update redesigns new activity overview with new WearOS tiles - Latest News

Google Fit update redesigns new activity overview with new WearOS tiles – Latest News

Internet search giant Google has rolled out new design for certain parts of its fitness tracking app Google Fit starting today and will appear on Android phone or on a Wear OS by Google watch beginning this week, said Google in its support page.

Firstly, Google will make the text bold along with making the visuals bright at the home screen to “information you want to see viewable at a glance.”

Next, Google is adding Tiles that will allow users to start a workout with a tap and see their progress through the day or week at a glance.

Also, the Heart Points Tile has also been updated to show a new progress card in the Google Fit app home screen when a person is close to hitting the goal. “This way you’ll know exactly how many Heart Points you earned in the week and when to get moving to hit 150,” said Google. The company is also clubbing Heart Points and step count together as goals at the center of the app. This change allows users to keep track of their general movement with steps, while also knowing when to increase their intensity to earn more Heart Points.

Last year, Google added a new sleep tracking feature to the Google Fit app. The app tracks sleep pattern of users by using the shared data from the linked apps. Apart from this, Google added a new Dark Mode to the app just like it has done with multiple other apps.

The app also showcases a sleep chart showing the starting time and wake up time along with heart rate, weight, and step count under the ‘Home’ tab. Tapping on it shows the complete details based on weeks, months and years, while users can check bedtime routine and duration of sleep at the bottom of the page.

Here are the freebies companies are offering during coronavirus, from meditation to activity apps for the kids

Here are the freebies companies are offering during coronavirus, from meditation to activity apps for the kids

Coronavirus has many of us staying home, which means we need some unique ways to spend our time! Companies are offering everything from extended free trials to straight up free access to their services. Here’s a look at some of the offers.


Ever want to start your own podcast? Zencastr is lifting the limits on its basic “Hobbyist” podcasting plan through July 1. Their web based software lets you interview guests remotely, add sounds and post your show all from your computer.


Need to send a large file for work? Check out Meerodrop. They are unlocking advanced features you usually have to pay for, like the ability to send a file up to 10 gigabytes! Your link will good for 90 days.

Tripit Pro 

Chances are, if you had travel plans before the outbreak, they are now up in the air. Right now you can nab a free subscription to Tripit Pro. It will keep track of any changes and suggest alternative flights. It’s a comprehensive travel companion app you’ll fall in love with.

Sign up before March 31 and get 6 months free.


Stay fit even if you don’t have one of Peloton’s fancy bikes at home. They’re offering an extended 90 day trial to their app, which offers workout classes in a variety of categories, not just cycling.

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Connect the kids on a virtual playdate with Caribu. Think FaceTime but with on screen activities like drawing pictures, playing games or reading a book together.

The service is usually $7 a month but access is free right now. No credit card needed. Just download and you’re good to go!


If your little one is under 4, an app called Kinedu can help you fill your day with activities. Just answer a few questions about your little one and Kinedu will generate a daily schedule complete with activities aimed at developing crucial early skills. The service is free through April 15.

Sling TV 

Sling TV is encouraging folks to “Stay in and Sling” with totally free programming, including thousands of movies and shows for kids and families. The best part: there’s zero sign up or login! Just go to the website to start streaming.


Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps! Right now, they’re offering free access to all K-12 teachers, school administrators, and supporting staff in the U.S. as well as health care professionals. A collection of content called Weathering the Storm is also available free to everyone.

Wander Internet

Wander is an affordable wireless home internet provider with service in the Santa Monica area. The company is offering free internet access for families in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District for the rest of the school year, June 10, 2020.

If that’s you, check to see that you’re in the coverage area by visiting Wander.net/service and use code SCHOOL2020 to subscribe.

Apple News+

This is not necessarily a new or extraordinary offer, but it’s still a good way to pass the time. You might know the Apple News app on your phone but did you know if you subscribe you get access to hundreds of magazines? And not just the current issues, but back issues as well.

You can spend your day reading magazines in a variety of topics including news, style & beauty, food and cooking, sports, entertainment, travel, science & tech and more. You can get a free month of the service by signing up for a free trial, but only if you never took advantage of the free trial offer in the past.

GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home

GoNoodle is the kid friendly entertainment company your kids know from school. They put together a free online resource for parents during this time called GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home.

The content includes learning materials used at elementary school like movement and mindfulness videos. There are also downloadable and printable activity sheets that supplement what they see on screen. The best part: your little ones can do many of the suggested activities on their own, which means more time for parents to concentrate on working from home.

Samsung Kids+

Samsung Kids has a library of educational games, books and videos packaged inside an app thats simple for kids to use and easy for parents to control. There are popular brands including LEGO, Toca Boca and Peppa Pig represented with no adds or in-app purchases. Parents can also set time limits.

New users can get a 30 day free trial and their second month for just $0.49. You can download Samsung Kids+ on Samsung devices through Google Play or Galaxy Apps Store.

Spectrum Internet

Spectrum is giving households with Pre-K to 12 or college students two free months of internet service. To be eligible, you must be a new customer. They’re also waiving installation and pre-payment fees.

Have something to add? Send me an email: rich at ktla dot com

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