One of the world’s most unusual aircraft arrives at Shannon Airport Shannon Group statement on the Aer Lingus decision to close its Shannon Airport base Advertisement NewsBreaking newsLimerick TD – Save Shannon slotsBy Bernie English – January 19, 2015 694 Aer Lingus announcement for Shannon base – Limerick Chamber statement Previous article100 jobs on way from AMAXNext articleDream of a City; poem for the day Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. WhatsApp Shannon Airport “has been abandoned” Facebook Email Twitter Linkedin Urgent action needed to ensure Regional Air Connectivity RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR As IAG was reported to be preparing a third and final bid for Aer Lingus , Limerick TD, Kieran O’Donnell (FG), has expressed his concern that Shannon’s Heathrow routes be preserved, and has confirmed that he will be raising the issue in the Dail this week.“This is a matter of absolute importance to me”, said Deputy O’Donnell. “This is critical for Shannon, Limerick and the entire region in terms of gateway connectivity and jobs.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “The government must ensure that the State’s 25.1 per cent strategic shareholding in Aer Lingus is used to preserve the most strategic of all air connections, the Heathrow slots.“All the great work that has been done in strengthening Shannon airport would be undermined were the Heathrow slots to come under any threat in an impending deal for Aer Lingus,” he said.“Shannon’s independence has been successful, with passenger numbers through the airport increasing very strongly since the government made it independent. In 2007, the Shannon slots were redeployed by Aer Lingus for the Belfast routes, and heralded a period of decline in Shannon that has only been halted recently. This shows the crucial importance of these slots for Shannon airport.“I hold my views on this issue very strongly, and I am raising this in the Dail chamber this week.“We have worked very hard here in Limerick to bring in investment and create jobs. Air connectivity is one of the key elements in this. Heathrow is the most important hub in the world, and the government’s strategic shareholding must be used to ensure that Aer Lingus’s slots are used for the strategic benefit of Irish regions. This underpins Shannon’s broader role as an economic generator in the Mid-West region, and means that Shannon is the only airport on the Western Seaboard with a direct Heathrow connection.“These slots are absolutely critical for Shannon, Limerick and the Mid-West as they allow us to connect directly with Heathrow and from there, all of the major financial and investment centres in the world.“Aer Lingus’s slots in Heathrow are a unique national asset from which we in the Mid-West derive some really crucial benefits. These assets must be preserved for the people. TAGSAer LingusfeaturedKieran O’DonnellShannon airport Sad day for Limerick and Mid-West following Aer Lingus announcement – Mayor Michael Collins Print
Astronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of the University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe. In new research they show that a recently discovered source of intense radiation is likely powered by a “direct-collapse black hole,” a phenomenon predicted by theorists more than a decade ago.The work was published this month in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.“It’s a cosmic miracle,” Bromm said, referring to the precise set of conditions present half a billion years after the Big Bang that allowed the behemoths to emerge. “It’s the only time in the history of the universe when conditions are just right” for them to form.Direct-collapse black holes also may be the solution to a long-standing puzzle in astronomy: How did supermassive black holes form in the early epochs of the universe? There is strong evidence for their existence, as they are needed to power the highly luminous quasars detected in the young universe. However, there are several problems preventing their formation, and the conventional growth process is much too slow.Astronomers think they know how supermassive black holes weighing in at millions of suns grow in the heart of most galaxies in our epoch. They start from a “seed” black hole, created when an extremely massive star collapses. The seed black hole has the mass of about 100 suns. It pulls in gas from its surroundings, becoming much bigger, and eventually may merge with other seed black holes. The process is called accretion.The accretion theory does not explain supermassive black holes in extremely distant — and therefore young — quasars. The incredible brightness of quasars, visible across billions of lightyears, comes from matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole, creating jets that shine as beacons across the universe.These early galaxies may have contained the first generation of stars created after the Big Bang. And although these stars can collapse to form black holes, they don’t work as early quasar seeds. There is no surrounding gas for the black hole to feed on. That gas has been blown away by winds from the hot, newly formed stars.“Star formation is the enemy of forming massive black holes” in early galaxies, Bromm said. “Stars produce feedback that blows away the surrounding gas cloud.”For decades, astronomers have called this conundrum “the quasar seed problem.”Thirteen years ago, Bromm and Loeb came up with an idea to get an early galaxy to form a supermassive seed black hole, by suppressing the otherwise prohibitive energy input from star formation. Astronomers later dubbed this process “direct collapse.”Begin with a “primordial cloud of hydrogen and helium, suffused in a sea of ultraviolet radiation,” Bromm said. “You crunch this cloud in the gravitational field of a dark matter halo. Normally, the cloud would be able to cool, and fragment to form stars. However, the ultraviolet photons keep the gas hot, thus suppressing any star formation. These are the desired, near-miraculous conditions: collapse without fragmentation! As the gas gets more and more compact, eventually you have the conditions for a massive black hole.”This set of cosmic conditions is exquisitely sensitive to the time period in the universe’s history — the process does not happen in galaxies today. According to Loeb, “The quasars observed in the early universe resemble giant babies in a delivery room full of normal infants. One is left wondering: What is special about the environment that nurtured these giant babies? Typically the cold gas reservoir in nearby galaxies like the Milky Way is consumed mostly by star formation.“The theory we proposed when Bromm was my postdoc [at Harvard] suggested that the conditions in the first generation of galaxies were different,” he said. “Instead of making many normal stars, these galaxies formed a single supermassive star at their center that ended up collapsing to a seed black hole. Hence the gas in these environments was used to feed this seed black hole rather than make many normal stars.”Bromm and Loeb published their theory in 2003. “But it was all theoretical back then,” Bromm said.Bromm is now a professor with postdocs and graduate students of his own, one of whom is Smith.Smith, Bromm, and Loeb became interested in a galaxy called CR7, identified from a Hubble Space Telescope survey called COSMOS, in a paper led by Jorryt Matthee of Leiden University. Hubble had spied CR7 at 1 billion years after the Big Bang.David Sobral, then at the University of Lisbon, made follow-up observations of CR7 with some of the world’s largest ground-based telescopes. These uncovered some extremely unusual features in the light signature coming from CR7. Specifically a certain hydrogen line in the spectrum, known as “Lyman-alpha,” was several times brighter than expected. Remarkably, the spectrum also showed an unusually bright helium line.“Whatever is driving this source is very hot — hot enough to ionize helium,” Smith said.Bromm agreed. “You need it to be 100,000 K — very hot, a very hard UV source” for that to happen, he said.These and other unusual features in the spectrum, such as the absence of any detected lines from elements heavier than helium together with the source’s distance — and therefore its cosmic epoch — meant that it could either be a cluster of primordial stars or a supermassive black hole likely formed by direct collapse.Smith ran simulations for both scenarios using the Stampede supercomputer at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center. “We developed a novel code,” Smith said, explaining that his code modeled the system differently than previous simulations. “The old models were like a snapshot; this one is like a movie.”The type of modeling Smith used is called “radiation hydrodynamics,” Bromm said. “It’s the most expensive approach in terms of computer processing power.”The new code paid off, though. The star cluster scenario “spectacularly failed,” Smith said, while the direct-collapse black hole model performed well.Bromm said their work is about more than understanding the inner workings of one early galaxy.“With CR7, we had one intriguing observation. We are trying to explain it, and to predict what future observations will find. We are trying to provide a comprehensive theoretical framework.”In addition to Smith, Bromm, and Loeb’s work, NASA recently announced the discovery of two additional direct-collapse black hole candidates based on observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.It seems astronomers are “converging on this model,” for solving the quasar seed problem, Smith said. Related Mysterious link between galaxy and black hole Invisible hand of dark matter guides growth of supermassive black holes
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Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error To accommodate Kobe Bryant’s return when the Lakers (10-9) host the Toronto Raptors (4-12) tonight at Staples Center, the Lakers will remove their third-leading scorer from the starting lineup.It might require a double take to process it, but that player is none other than Jodie Meeks, a hard-working player and dependable three-point shooter. But certainly no Kobe Bryant.Hence, Meeks won’t fret one bit about his demotion despite his 13.5 points on 50 percent shooting in 28.4 minutes per game, making him among the NBA’s most improved players.“I figured it was coming,” Meeks said. “But for me personally, my role doesn’t change. I come in and be solid on defense and knock down shots.” Meeks had done that plenty. He has provided a team-leading 47.3 percent mark from three-point range. He’s taken a stronger effort at driving to the basket with dependable accuracy. Meeks also has made 83.7 percent of his free throws. That’s a stark contrast to last season’s output when he posted 7.9 points on a 38.7 percent clip in 21.3 minutes.What’s changed?“Just getting an opportunity to play, more minutes and more opportuntity to score,” Meeks said. “So I’m getting in there and trying to do what I can. Coming off the bench doesn’t matter to me. My role doesn’t really change.” Sacre bleuRobert Sacre has encountered something new, and it’s gone beyond playing more.With Sacre about to make his second consecutive start tonight at center this season, he’s also fielding questions from reporters and teammates.“How does it feel to be starting after being at the bottom?” Lakers forward Nick Young asked.Sacre took the ribbing in stride referring to Young as “Screech,” the nerdy character in the “Saved by the Bell” sitcom. Meanwhile, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni can’t stop raving about Sacre after posting double-digit efforts in the past two games.“It’s a reward for him because he did the work,” D’Antoni said. “I didn’t reward him. I rewarded the team in playing the best guys.”D’Antoni promoted Sacre because of his defense and the hope that Jordan Hill will have more energy as a reserve. Sacre started three times in his rookie year last season, but they all happened because of injuries to Dwight Howard (back) and Pau Gasol (concussion).“I felt like there were things i needed to be ready for,” Sacre said. “I’m just glad ot be a part of it. I feel like I eanend my keep and I’ve worked to be a starter here.”Self-portraitTo coincide with Bryant’s return, Nike began a nine-week campaign Saturday at its L.A. Live store that involves an artist unveiling a portrait depicting Bryant and one of his Nike shoes during a memorable moments in his 17-year NBA career. Artist Allison Hueman Torneros showcased her painting, which was inspired by Bryant’s career-high 81 point performance Jan. 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant’s other art work will include inspirations from his 2009 and 2010 NBA championships, 2011 NBA All-Star MVP performance, 2012 London Olympics and his Achilles injury suffered April 12 against the Golden State Warriors.