Light it Up Cardiovascular diseases, conditions affecting the…

Light it Up

Cardiovascular diseases, conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, are the leading cause of death worldwide. Most commonly, these problems are linked to atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty compounds, collectively known as plaque, in the walls of arteries. Fat molecules, or lipids, in these deposits are linked to a protein named apolipoprotein-B (ApoB), which may be key to understanding how and why harmful plaque forms. Researchers recently developed a technique to monitor the levels and distribution of ApoB-containing lipid complexes, or lipoproteins, in transparent zebrafish larvae, by fusing ApoB to a luciferase enzyme, closely related to that responsible for light production in fireflies. In the developing larvae, pictured from one (top) to five days after fertilisation (bottom), the bright blue glow reveals where and when lipoproteins are most abundant. Operating in a versatile model organism, this technique could unlock new ways of investigating plaque formation and facilitate drug testing.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

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Meteor Activity Outlook for September 14-20, 2019

This is the same fireball presented in last week’s edition, only seen from a different angle. This photograph was obtained by Kyle Chuback from near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. This is one of the brightest fireballs reported to the AMS recently. For more information on this object visit: ©Kyle Chuback

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Saturday September 14th. This will be the worst time of the month to try and view meteor activity as the bright moon will obscure all but the brightest meteors. Toward the end of this period the evening hours will be free of moonlight but rates during this time of night are low, seldom exceeding 5 meteors per hour. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for those viewing from the northern hemisphere and 2 for those located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near  8 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 5 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brightest meteors will be visible from such locations.

The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning September 14/15. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies at the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.


Radiant Positions at 22:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 22:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 1:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 04:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 4:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.

Detailed descriptions of each source will continue next week when lunar conditions improve considerably.

RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
Anthelion (ANT) 00:20 (005) +02 30 02:00 1 – 1 II
September Epsilon Perseids (SPE) Sep 11 03:34 (054) +40 65 05:00 1 – <1 II
nu Eridanids (NUE) Sep 24 04:34 (069) +05 67 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
eta Eridanids (ERI) Aug 11 04:57 (074) -02 65 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
Daytime Sextantids (DSX) Sep 29 09:26 (141) +04 33 11:00 <1 – <1 IV

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