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  1. Abstract Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which have the potential to drive societally-important climate impacts, have traditionally been linked to the strength of deep water formation in the subpolar North Atlantic. Yet there is neither clear observational evidence nor agreement among models about how changes in deep water formation influence overturning. Here, we use data from a trans-basin mooring array (OSNAP—Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) to show that winter convection during 2014–2018 in the interior basin had minimal impact on density changes in the deep western boundary currents in the subpolar basins. Contrary to previous modeling studies, we find no discernable relationship between western boundary changes and subpolar overturning variability over the observational time scales. Our results require a reconsideration of the notion of deep western boundary changes representing overturning characteristics, with implications for constraining the source of overturning variability within and downstream of the subpolar region.
  2. The absence of crustal magnetic fields above the martian basins Hellas, Argyre, and Isidis is often interpreted as proof of an early, before 4.1 billion years (Ga) ago, or late, after 3.9 Ga ago, dynamo. We revisit these interpretations using new MAVEN magnetic field data. Weak fields are present over the 4.5-Ga old Borealis basin, with the transition to strong fields correlated with the basin edge. Magnetic fields, confined to a near-surface layer, are also detected above the 3.7-Ga old Lucus Planum. We conclude that a dynamo was present both before and after the formation of the basins Hellas, Utopia, Argyre, and Isidis. A long-lived, Earth-like dynamo is consistent with the absence of magnetization within large basins if the impacts excavated large portions of strongly magnetic crust and exposed deeper material with lower concentrations of magnetic minerals.
  3. A better understanding of the inner structural features (watermarks and chain line/wire intervals) of the manuscript papers of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) can provide valuable information regarding chronology, geographic origins, and studio practice. For valid conclusions, however, clear representations of watermarks and chain line/wires are required. While the easient way to capture these unique physical characteristics of paper is via transmitted light, they can be difficult to decipher when writing and other surface marks found on the recto (front/obverse) and the verso (back/reverse) of the sheet obscure them. Using Leonardo's Codex Leicester (Bill Gates Collection), complied circa 1508-1510, as a case study, a computational approach was designed to minimize surface writing to enhance the watermarks and chain lines/wires detectable in the paper, by subtracting out diffuse specular (normal) light images of the recto and verso sides from the transmitted light image. This is accomplished by posing the problem as a mathematical optimization problem, and solving for the optimal weights is fast and robust.
  4. The recent detection of a neutron star merger by the LIGO collaboration has renewed interest in laboratory studies of r-process elements. Accurate modeling and interpretation of the electromagnetic transients following the mergers requires computationally expensive calculations of both the structure and opacity of all trans-iron elements. To date, the necessary atomic data to benchmark structure codes are incomplete or, in some cases, absent entirely. Within the available laboratory studies, the literature on Au I and Au II provides incomplete reports of the emission lines and level structures. We present a new study of Au I and Au II lines and levels by exposing a solid gold target to plasma in the Compact Toroidal Hybrid (CTH) experiment at Auburn University. A wavelength range from 187 to 800 nm was studied. In Au I, 86 lines are observed, 43 of which are unreported in the literature, and the energies of 18 5d9 6s 6p levels and 16 of the 18 known 5d9 6s 6d levels are corroborated by a least-squares level energy optimization. In Au II, 76 emission lines are observed, and 51 of the lines are unreported in the literature. For both Au I and Au II, the new lines predominantlymore »originate from the most energetic of the known levels, and over half of the new Au II lines have wavelengths longer than 300 nm. For the estimated electron parameters of CTH plasmas at the gold target (ne~10^12 cm−3, Te~10 eV), two-electron transitions are similar in intensity to LS-allowed one-electron transitions.« less
  5. Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) and SARS-CoV-2 are not phylogenetically closely related; however, both use the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in humans for cell entry. This is not a universal sarbecovirus trait; for example, many known sarbecoviruses related to SARS-CoV-1 have two deletions in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein that render them incapable of using human ACE2. Here, we report three sequences of a novel sarbecovirus from Rwanda and Uganda that are phylogenetically intermediate to SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrate via in vitro studies that they are also unable to utilize human ACE2. Furthermore, we show that the observed pattern of ACE2 usage among sarbecoviruses is best explained by recombination not of SARS-CoV-2, but of SARS-CoV-1 and its relatives. We show that the lineage that includes SARS-CoV-2 is most likely the ancestral ACE2-using lineage, and that recombination with at least one virus from this group conferred ACE2 usage to the lineage including SARS-CoV-1 at some time in the past. We argue that alternative scenarios such as convergent evolution are much less parsimonious; we show that biogeography and patterns of host tropism support the plausibility of a recombination scenario, and we propose a competitivemore »release hypothesis to explain how this recombination event could have occurred and why it is evolutionarily advantageous. The findings provide important insights into the natural history of ACE2 usage for both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 and a greater understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms that shape zoonotic potential of coronaviruses. This study also underscores the need for increased surveillance for sarbecoviruses in southwestern China, where most ACE2-using viruses have been found to date, as well as other regions such as Africa, where these viruses have only recently been discovered.« less
  6. Abstract We present the results from the first two years of the Planet Hunters TESS citizen science project, which identifies planet candidates in the TESS data by engaging members of the general public. Over 22,000 citizen scientists from around the world visually inspected the first 26 Sectors of TESS data in order to help identify transit-like signals. We use a clustering algorithm to combine these classifications into a ranked list of events for each sector, the top 500 of which are then visually vetted by the science team. We assess the detection efficiency of this methodology by comparing our results to the list of TESS Objects of Interest (TOIs) and show that we recover 85 % of the TOIs with radii greater than 4 ⊕ and 51 % of those with radii between 3 and 4 R⊕. Additionally, we present our 90 most promising planet candidates that had not previously been identified by other teams, 73 of which exhibit only a single transit event in the TESS light curve, and outline our efforts to follow these candidates up using ground-based observatories. Finally, we present noteworthy stellar systems that were identified through the Planet Hunters TESS project.
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023