'Black Wobbling

“Wobbling” –A Black Hole the Size of Our Solar System Unveils Movie of the Observable Universe – The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries Channel

On April 10, 2019 the astronomers at Harvard’s  Black Hole Initiative were asking what does the glowing bright orange ring around the now iconic black hole the size of our solar system at the center of the monster elliptical galaxy M87 –the largest, most massive galaxy in the nearby universe–mean? according to Harvard Event Horizon telescope radio astronomer, Michael Johnson.

A Lens the Size of Earth

The image marked the endpoint of years of work undertaken by a team of 200 scientists across 18 countries that drew on data collected by eight telescopes whose locations range from Hawaii to the South Pole, creating the equivalent of a lens the size of planet Earth that’s 4,000 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope that captured light from the entire universe wrapping around the object in a nested series of rings. “As we peer into these rings,” said Peter Galison of Harvard, an EHT collaborator, “we are looking at light from all over the visible universe, we are seeing farther and farther into the past, a movie, so to speak, of the history of the visible universe” as witnessed by a black hole, playing on a dramatically curved screen tens of billions of kilometers across.

“Hall of Mirrors” –Orange Glow Around M87’s Colossal Black Hole Unveils History of Observable Universe

M87 Black Hole Rings

The EHT team, reports the National Science Foundation, has used the lessons learned last year to analyze the archival data revealing the behavior of the black hole image across from 2009-2013, indicating persistence of the crescent-like shadow feature that appears to be wobbling.

“With the incredible angular resolution of the EHT we could observe a billiard game being played on the Moon and not lose track of the score!” said Maciek Wielgus, an astronomer at Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, Black Hole Initiative Fellow, and lead author of the paper, referring to the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to provide a uniquely high image resolution.. In 2009-2013 M87* was observed by early-EHT prototype arrays, with telescopes located at three geographical sites in 2009-2012, and four sites in 2013. In 2017 the EHT reached maturity with telescopes located at five distinct geographical sites across the globe.

What’s Cloaked in the Data?

“Last year we saw an image of the shadow of a black hole, consisting of a bright crescent formed by hot plasma swirling around M87*, and a dark central part, where we expect the event horizon of the black hole to be,” said Wielgus. “But those results were based only on observations performed throughout a one-week window in April 2017, which is far too short to see a lot of changes. Based on last year’s results we asked the following questions: is this crescent-like morphology consistent with the archival data? Would the archival data indicate a similar size and orientation of the crescent?”

“The Black Hole Larger Than Our Solar System” –The EHT Sequel

The 2009-2013 observations consist of far less data than the ones performed in 2017, making it impossible to create an image. Instead, the EHT team used statistical modeling to look at changes in the appearance of M87* over time. While no assumptions about the source morphology are made in the imaging approach, in the modeling approach the data are compared to a family of geometric templates, in this case rings of non-uniform brightness. A statistical framework is then employed to determine if the data are consistent with such models and to find the best-fitting model parameters.

Expanding the analysis to the 2009-2017 observations, scientists have shown that M87* adheres to theoretical expectations. The black hole’s shadow diameter has remained consistent with the prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity for a black hole of 6.5 billion solar masses. “In this study, we show that the general morphology, or presence of an asymmetric ring, most likely persists on timescales of several years,” said Kazu Akiyama, a Jansky Fellow of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) at MIT Haystack Observatory, and a contributor to the project. “The consistency throughout multiple observational epochs gives us more confidence than ever about the nature of M87* and the origin of the shadow.”

“A Hidden Surprise”

But while the crescent diameter remained consistent, the EHT team found that the data were hiding a surprise: the ring wobbles, and that means big news for scientists. For the first time, they can get a glimpse of the dynamical structure of the accretion flow so close to the black hole’s event horizon, in extreme gravity conditions. Studying this region holds the key to understanding phenomena such as relativistic jet launching, and will allow scientists to formulate new tests of the theory of General Relativity.

The gas falling onto a black hole heats up to billions of degrees, ionizes and becomes turbulent in the presence of magnetic fields. “Because the flow of matter is turbulent, the crescent appears to wobble with time,” said Wielgus. “Actually, we see quite a lot of variation there, and not all theoretical models of accretion allow for so much wobbling. What it means is that we can start ruling out some of the models based on the observed source dynamics.”

“The Future” –Real-Time Movies of Black Holes

“These early-EHT experiments provide us with a treasure trove of long-term observations that the current EHT, even with its remarkable imaging capability, cannot match,” said Shep Doeleman, Founding Director, EHT. “When we first measured the size of M87* in 2009, we couldn’t have foreseen that it would give us the first glimpse of black hole dynamics. If you want to see a black hole evolve over a decade, there is no substitute for having a decade of data.”

“What I predict is that by the end of the next decade we will be making high quality real-time movies of black holes that reveal not just how they look, but how they act on the cosmic stage,” Doeleman, told AFP in an interview.

“Monitoring M87* with an expanded EHT array,” says EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower, Research Scientist of the Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), “will provide new images and much richer data sets to study the turbulent dynamics. We are already working on analyzing the data from 2018 observations, obtained with an additional telescope located in Greenland. In 2021 we are planning observations with two more sites, providing extraordinary imaging quality. This is a really exciting time to study black holes!”

The Daily Galaxy, Max Goldberg, via Event Horizon Telescope

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'Black Democrat

Top black Democrat attacks ‘God-awful’ AG Bill Barr for comparing coroanvirus lockdowns to SLAVERY – Daily Mail

Democrats’ most senior black lawmaker, Jim Clyburn, called attorney general Bill Barr ‘God awful’ and ‘tone deaf’ Thursday after the top law enforcement officer compared lockdown orders to slavery.

 The House Democratic leader told CNN’s New Day that Barr’s comparison was ‘tone deaf’.

Barr spoke out at the Constitution Day celebration at Hillsdale College in Michigan, Wednesday, suggesting the measures put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 were on par with an alternative to being put in prison and just one step down from the restrictions slaves endured.

‘You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. 

‘Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,’ Barr told a crowd which applauded in response, CNN reported.

Barr likened the pandemic to life for Black people before slavery was abolished after he was asked to explain ‘constitutional hurdles for forbidding a church from meeting during Covid-19.’

On Thursday morning Clyburn, a key Joe Biden ally, said: ‘That statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful things I’ve ever heard.

‘It is incredible that the top law enforcement officer in this country would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives.

‘Slavery was not about saving lives. It was about devaluing lives. This pandemic is a threat to human life.’

He called Barr and Donald Trump ‘a God-awful duo’ and said they had failed the American people on the virus.   

Attack: Jim Clyburn, the House Democratic leader, said he was appalled at ‘human bondage’ being compared to lockdown orders which were designed to ‘save lives’ and called AG Barr ‘God-awful’

Democratic figures including Bill Clinton’s former press secretary Joe Lockhart and former California senator Barbara Boxer attacked Bill Barr, while liberal law professor Laurence Tribe called him ‘an evil fool’ 

Barr was attacked by other Democratic figures and by Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a leading liberal thinker, for the comparison. 

Other critics said he was ignoring attacks on civil liberties including the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II and the Trail of Tears.

In his speech, Barr blasted state governors, claiming they were using their executive powers to prevent businesses from reopening and people from returning to work. 

‘Most of the governors do what bureaucrats always do, which is they … defy common sense,’ Barr said. ‘They treat free citizens as babies that can’t take responsibility for themselves and others.

‘We have to give business people an opportunity, tell them what the rules are you know the masks, which rule of masks, you had this month… and then let them try to adapt their business to that and you’ll have ingenuity and people will at least have the freedom to try to earn a living.’

Barr, 70, also called it ‘nonsense’ for officials to say they were ‘following science’ and said doctors are not some kind of ‘grand seer.’

 More than 6 million American have been infected with the virus and 196,000 have died from COVID-19. 

 Barr’s speech came on the same day it was revealed he told federal prosecutors that protesters demonstrating for reforms of a justice system that has been compared to modern-day slavery, could be charged with sedition. 

The Wall Street Journal said Barr told federal district attorneys in a conference call last week that a law against plotting to overthrow the US government was among charges they could use against participants when protests turn violent.

The WSJ reported that he divulged details of two statutes that could help bring about the charges. 

In order to prove sedition, they would have to prove imminent danger to government officials or agents as part of a conspiracy. However without the plot it can fall under expressing violent anti-government sentiment under the First Amendment. 

Another statute could bring federal charges on someone who obstructs law enforcement responding to unrest.

CNN and the New York Times confirmed the recommendation by Barr. 

Two people on the call said Barr has asked whether charges could be brought on Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan for allowing people to create a police-free zone.

Barr said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court has determined the executive branch has ‘virtually unchecked discretion’ on whether to go ahead with a prosecution.

‘The power to execute and enforce the law is an executive function altogether,’ Barr said at an event in Washington celebrating the Constitution. ‘That means discretion is invested in the executive to determine when to exercise the prosecutorial power.’ 

University of Alabama law professor, Jenny Carroll, told the WSJ: ‘If you start charging those people, even if you don’t get a conviction, it may make people think twice before going out to exercise their right to free speech.’   

‘Slavery’: Bill Barr called lockdowns like the one in April which left New York’s Times Square empty one step down from the conditions enslaved African-Americans endured

As he compared national lockdown to house arrest, it was reported that Barr wants sedition charges for violent protesters. Pictured, the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct is set on fire during a third night of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, on May 28

President Donald Trump has called for the Justice Department to heavily punish the protesters, whom he and Barr have labeled extreme left anarchists. 

While protest-related crimes usually bring only local charges, under Barr’s guidance district attorneys, federal prosecutors have charged more than 200 demonstrators with crimes that bring heftier penalties.

Barr used the Hillsdale speech and questions after it to defend his position. 

Asked about the report on Barr, Trump said his government will treat demonstrators toughly.

‘If you have a violent demonstration, yes, we will put it down very very quickly,’ he said, adding: ‘And I think the American public wants to see that.’

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, about 93 percent of protests this summer were peaceful.

Such a sedition charge has been used with extreme rarity and the most recent example, a case brought against a Michigan armed militia group, failed in 2012 due to weak and ‘circumstantial evidence’. 

Barr also used the speech to blast his own staff, claiming they ‘headhunt’ high-profile targets and assert that he is the the sole authority on federal prosecutions.

Barr’s comments on Wednesday amounted to a striking, and unusual, rebuke of the thousands of prosecutors who do the daily work of assembling criminal cases across the country.

Rejecting the idea that prosecutors should have final say in cases that they bring, Barr described them instead part of the ‘permanent bureaucracy’ and said they were in need of supervision from ‘detached,’ politically appointed leaders who are accountable to the president and Congress.

‘Individual prosecutors can sometimes become headhunters, consumed with taking down their target,’ Barr said. ‘Subjecting their decisions to review by detached supervisors ensures the involvement of dispassionate decision-makers in the process.’ 

Barr’s comments appeared to be a thinly veiled reference to the fracas that arose ahead of the February sentencing of Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump. 

In that case, Barr overruled the sentencing recommendation of the trial team in favor of a lighter punishment. The move prompted the entire trial team to quit before Stone’s sentencing hearing. 

Barr was accused of undue intervention on behalf of an associate of the president, but in his speech Wednesday night, he bristled at the idea that it was even possible for an attorney general to be accused of meddling in the affairs of a department that he leads.

‘Name one successful organization where the lowest level employees´ decisions are deemed sacrosanct. There aren’t any,’ Barr said.

He added: ‘Letting the most junior members set the agenda might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it´s no way to run a federal agency. Good leaders at the Justice Department – as at any organization – need to trust and support their subordinates. But that does not mean blindly deferring to whatever those subordinates want to do.’

He also took a veiled swipe at one of the senior members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team, suggesting that one of the reasons why the Trump administration was more successful than the Obama administration before the Supreme Court was because the latter had a member of the Mueller team writing briefs. 

That appeared to be a reference to Michael Dreeben, a highly respected lawyer who argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court for Democratic and Republican administrations before his retirement from the solicitor general’s office.

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'Black official

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – Official Multiplayer Reveal Trailer – IGN

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – Official Multiplayer Reveal Trailer – YouTube

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'Black Panther

‘Black Panther’ producer shares emotional final text from Chadwick Boseman – NME

Black Panther producer Nate Moore has shared the final text sent to him by Chadwick Boseman.

Speaking to People, who devoted their last issue to Boseman after the beloved actor died from colon cancer at the age of 43 last week, Moore said he and Boseman had been working together to send a young fan gifts through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that supports critically ill children.

“We worked together to get a young boy a voice note from [Boseman’s Black Panther character] T’Challa, as well as a package of toys – no easy feat when we weren’t allowed to leave our homes or go to the office,” Moore said.

“But Chad figured out how to make it work because he cared so intently, and in hindsight, so personally.”

Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Credit: Disney

According to Moore, Boseman’s final text read: “It broke me, man. But we need to do that for them. People deserve abundant life, special moments. They’ve been through hell battling disease.

“If we were able to ease their suffering and bring joy for a moment …then we made a difference in his life.”

Boseman kept his diagnosis private from studio executives and even his fellow actors and collaborators as he intended on shooting a sequel to Marvel‘s Black Panther.

On Friday (September 4) it was confirmed that the late actor is to be honoured with a statue in his hometown.

In the days following his death, a petition was started calling for a Confederate monument to be replaced with a statue of Boseman.

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'Black Nearly

Nearly all Black Lives Matter protests are peaceful despite Trump narrative, report finds – The Guardian

The vast majority of the thousands of Black Lives Matter protests this summer have been peaceful, with more than 93% involving no serious harm to people or damage to property, according to a new repo…
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'Black GoPro

New GoPro Hero 9 Black pic leak seemingly confirms front color screen – TechRadar

GoPro Hero 8 Black

(Image credit: Future)

We’re coming into September – the time of year that GoPro usually reveals its next action camera. And the leaks and rumors have already begun to fly about the GoPro Hero 9 Black.

In July, a leaked image of a GoPro camera’s front panel was revealed on Reddit, showing off a large square cutout that could indicate the ninth generation GoPro may come with a front display similar to that of the DJI Osmo Action. That has now seemingly been confirmed by what appear to be leaked official product shots of the upcoming GoPro Hero 9.

German publication Winfuture – with a rather impressive track record of reliable leaks – has shown off what they claim to be “official” product images of the upcoming action camera, with several of them showing off color displays on the front and back.

(Image credit: Roland Quandt/WinFuture)

There’s no indication of whether that upgraded front display will be used for video previews or for displaying shooting parameters (like the current monochrome front display on the GoPro Hero 8 Black), but this change is one way for GoPro to attract more customers.

Moving ahead

Other than the larger color front screen, the rest of the GoPro Hero 9 seems to be identical to the Hero 8 Black. So what more could GoPro do to attract and keep its customers? 

(Image credit: Roland Quandt/WinFuture)

Winfuture claims there’s 5K video support coming to the Hero 9 “in the future”, as per some “documents” the publication has laid its hands on. There’s no other concrete evidence to support this, so we’d suggest taking this news with a pinch of salt. No other technical details about the camera have been revealed as yet.

We also still have no idea how much the camera will cost or when it will start shipping, but if GoPro sticks to its usual timetable of a September reveal, we’ll know everything soon enough.

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'Black Panther

ABC to Air ‘Black Panther’ and Chadwick Boseman Tribute Special Tonight – Variety

The Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Studios will pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman tonight with a special commercial-free airing of “Black Panther” on ABC, followed by a special examining the actor’s life and work.

The unusual move is a sign of respect from the studio behind the Marvel movie that brought Boseman his greatest fame and pop culture impact. The respected actor died Friday at the age of 43 after privately battling colon cancer for four years.

Boseman starred in the groundbreaking 2018 superhero movie that was the first of its kind to center largely on Black characters. Boseman emerged as a hero and role model from his commanding performance as T’Challa, a man who returns home to the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda to fight to claim his rightful place on the throne after the death of his father. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the formidable “Black Panther” cast includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Andy Serkis.

“Black Panther” was a breakthrough project for Marvel that signaled a new era of inclusion for big-budget fantasy movies. It was also a rare example of a title that was a hit with moviegoers and with critics. “Black Panther” earned seven Oscar noms including a mention for best picture. It became the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series to take home Oscar gold, with three wins at the 91st annual ceremony, for costume design, production design and original score.

The movie is set to air without interruption on ABC from 8 p.m.-10:20 p.m. The rest of the 10 p.m. hour of primetime will be filled by “Chadwick Boseman — A Tribute for a King,” produced by ABC News. ABC News said the special will “celebrate Boseman’s storied life, legacy and career, and the cultural imprint he made on- and off-screen. It will feature tributes that have poured in from celebrities, political figures and fans across the world, special words from those who starred alongside him and knew Boseman best, and shine a light on the medical condition he privately battled.”

Steven Baker is executive producer of “Tribute for a King.”

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'Black 'hair'

Black hole ‘hair’ could be detected using ripples in spacetime – Live Science

An illustration of a black hole.

(Image: © Shutterstock)

The information locked inside black holes could be detected by feeling their ‘hair,’ new research suggests.

Black holes are celestial objects with such massive gravity that not even light can escape their clutches once it crosses the event horizon, or point-of-no-return. The event horizons of black holes lock secrets deep within them — secrets that could completely revolutionize our understanding of physics. 

Unfortunately, for decades many scientists thought whatever information falls into a black hole might be lost forever. But new research suggests that ripples in spacetime, or gravitational waves may carry a faint whisper of this hidden information by revealing the presence of wispy “hairs” on a black hole’s surface. 

Related: Warped physics: 10 effects of faster-than-light travel 

A hairy question?

As far as we understand them (which, admittedly, is not very much), black holes are suspiciously simple objects. Regardless of what falls in, whether stars, clouds of gas and dust, or your worst enemies, black holes can be described by three and only three simple numbers: charge, mass and spin. 

That means that if you had two black holes of the exact same size, exact same electric charge, and spinning at exactly the same rate, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. The reason this is suspicious is that something had to happen to all that juicy information that fell into those two black holes. Did it get destroyed? Lost below the event horizon? Stuck in some inaccessible portion of the universe?

The simplest solution is the theorem, first coined by the American physicist John Wheeler, that “black holes have no hair” — they have no extra information encoded in them or on them. Just their mass, electric charge and spin. Everything else is simply destroyed (somehow) beyond the event horizon, locked away from the universe forever and ever.

A paradox of information

But in 1974, Stephen Hawking proposed a revolutionary idea: black holes aren’t inescapable cosmic vacuum cleaners; rather, subatomic particles might flee black holes through an exotic quantum process, which would result in the release of radiation from their surfaces. Over time, this Hawking radiation, as it is called, would cause black holes to slowly lose energy (and therefore mass). Eventually, after eons of gradually losing energy, the black holes would evaporate entirely.

This is all fine and dandy, except for the pesky no-hair idea. If black holes can evaporate, what happens to all the information that fell into them?

As far as we know, Hawking radiation doesn’t carry any information away with it. And we really, really don’t think that information can be created or destroyed in this universe (it’s certainly possible, but would make a bunch of known physics pretty wonky, which would violate observations and experiments).

Related: Stephen Hawking’s most far-out ideas about black holes

And hence, the black hole information paradox. Information goes into a black hole, the black hole disappears, and we don’t know what happens to the information.

To fix this paradox, either we need to fix what we know about black holes or fix what we know about Hawking radiation. Or both.

Maybe the information gets locked deep inside the black hole, near the singularity, and evaporation stops just before that point, leaving behind a tiny little ball chock full of information.

Or maybe black holes aren’t entirely hairless. Maybe, just maybe, they maintain the information of anything that’s fallen into them on their surfaces, contained in something called the “stretched horizon”, a surface just above the event horizon containing quantum mechanical information. As black holes dissolve, the Hawking radiation carries away the information contained in the stretched horizon, solving the paradox and preserving our reality as we know it.

Great idea, but how do we test it?

Related: The 18 biggest unsolved mysteries in physics

Ripples in spacetime

A new study, published June 22 to the arXiv database (but not yet peer reviewed), suggests one way to find these silky strands: a gravitational wave detection.

When black holes merge, they release a fury of gravitational waves that ripple throughout the cosmos. Despite the incredible energies of these collisions, the gravitational waves from these cosmic smashups are exceptionally weak. By the time these waves wash over Earth, they’re barely capable of nudging individual atoms.

But we have LIGO — the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, a globe-spanning observatory — which can detect those subtle motions through the tiny changes in how long it takes light to travel from far-flung detectors. LIGO has observed the aftermath of dozens of potential black hole collisions throughout the universe, which even led to a Nobel Prize award in 2017. So far, those observations are consistent with the “no-hair theorem,” suggesting there is no extra information encoded on the surfaces of black holes.

But there’s still a chance. There could be “soft hair” on the black holes — just a little bit of information, structured in a way that is challenging to detect.

Of course physicists want to test this idea, because if we could demonstrate that black holes have hair, we would not only solve a major riddle in modern physics, but likely pave the way toward a better understanding of quantum gravity, or the theory that would reconcile general relativity, which governs the universe on a large scale, with quantum mechanics, which describes reality on the tiniest scales.Now comes the real hard work of science: connecting neat ideas to actual observation. The new arXiv paper suggests a way to find these soft hairs. The new study authors, Lawrence Crowell of the Alpha Institute for Advanced Studies in Budapest, Hungary and Christian Corda, a physicist at Istanbul University in Turkey, discovered that during the merging process, normally-quiet hairs can get excited, so to speak. In this energized state,, these hairs would intertwine with the outgoing gravitational radiation, altering those waves in subtle ways.

Those changes to the gravitational waves can’t be detected yet, but future versions of LIGO might have the sensitivity to do it. And then we might be able to finally tell whether black holes are hairy or not.

Paul M. Sutter is an astrophysicist at SUNY Stony Brook and the Flatiron Institute, host of Ask a Spaceman and Space Radio, and author of Your Place in the Universe.

Originally published in Live Science.

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'Black meteor

A ‘Black Moon’ and a meteor shower: There’s a lot happening in our sky tonight – PennLive

Black Moon

A ‘Black Moon’ is slated to take place at 1041 p.m. Tuesday night. Neil Blake |

There’s a “Black Moon,” rising tonight according to

Sounds sort of like a song title, doesn’t it?

It’s not, but it’s a pretty cool happening, even if you, likely, won’t be able to see it. At least, according to, you won’t be able to get a glance because it will be invisible to our eyes.

Don’t get too bummed, though, because there will still be reason to keep your eyes on the skies. According to, there will also be a meteor shower — called Kappa Cygnids — taking place, and there might be a chance to get an occasional look at one of those. And, if you do see one, the website says they are coming out of the constellation Draco.

Two-to-three meteors per hour are expected. Be patient.

So, what’s a “Black Moon?”

According to, the “Black Moon” is the name given to the third new moon in a season with four moons. So, this will be a new moon, and it’ll take place at 10:41 p.m. ET, according to the site.

A new moon occurs whenever the moon is directly between the sun and Earth. But, according to, the illuminated side of the moon faces away from Earth, making it “invisible to ground-based observers.”

So, although you might not be able to see all of the happenings up there, there’s plenty of reason to look up tonight.

You might see more than meteors, too. Don’t believe it? Well, check out this calculator which indicates that, not only are there alien civilizations out there, there’s plenty of them and running into one within 10 light years is a better bet than hitting the lottery.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

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'Black Hispanic

Hispanic, Black children at higher risk of coronavirus-related hospitalization, CDC finds – The Washington Post

Hispanic children are approximately eight times more likely and Black children five times more likely to be hospitalized with covid-19 than their White peers, according to a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report — which used hospitalization data collected in 14 states including California, Georgia, New York and Ohio from March 1 through July 25 — acknowledged that most pediatric cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are asymptomatic or mild and that hospitalization rates among children remain relatively low. But like covid-19 in adults, Black and Hispanic children are far more likely to experience symptoms warranting hospitalization.

The report calls for improved understanding of the broader social forces that affect health so that racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric hospitalization rates can be mitigated.

It arrives as schools are beginning to reopen amid fraught political and scientific debates about the wisdom of doing so. President Trump has pushed for fully reopening classrooms, arguing that children’s immune systems are strong and that they will recover quickly from the virus if infected. Some epidemiologists urge caution, warning that not enough is known about how children transmit the virus to understand the risk in-person learning might pose to children, staff and families.

Children should wash their hands often and engage in social distancing, and those age 2 and older should wear a mask when with people outside of their families, the CDC report said.

The CDC report underscored the relative rarity of children being hospitalized: While 164.5 adults per 100,000 were hospitalized with covid-19 from March to July, eight children per 100,000 required hospitalization. Those under age 2 had the highest pediatric hospitalization rate. The median patient age was 8, and underlying conditions were common, with 42 percent of those requiring hospitalization diagnosed with such conditions.

About 1 in 3 hospitalized children wound up in intensive care units — roughly the same rate as hospitalized adults. But only 5.8 percent of 526 children studied required a ventilator. One patient in the study died while hospitalized.

Of 526 children for whom race information was reported, 46 percent were Hispanic and nearly 30 percent were Black. The census reports that 18 percent of people in the United States identify as Hispanic and about 13 percent as Black.

The CDC report said it is crucial to continue monitoring covid-19 hospitalizations among children.

“These data will help to better define the clinical spectrum of disease in children and the contributions of race and ethnicity and underlying medical conditions to hospitalizations and outcomes,” the report said. “Reasons for disparities in COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates by race and ethnicity are not fully understood.”

Similar disparities were identified in a second CDC report Friday that examined a rare multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children — known as MIS-C — that affected 570 American children from April to late July.

In April, the United Kingdom issued an alert that children were arriving at hospitals there with symptoms that mirrored those of Kawasaki disease, a treatable condition that causes fever, rashes and vascular inflammation and normally affects children under age 5. By mid-May, with cases emerging in New York City and elsewhere on the East Coast, the CDC issued a warning about the syndrome and asked doctors to report cases meeting the definition of the condition in patients under 18.

The most common symptoms were abdominal pain, vomiting, rash and diarrhea. Many of those diagnosed with the syndrome experienced severe complications including cardiac dysfunction (40.6 percent), shock (35.4 percent), coronary artery dilatation or aneurysm (18.6 percent) and acute kidney injury (18.4 percent). Most patients diagnosed with the condition were admitted to intensive care units with a median stay of five days. Ten patients died.

Data about MIS-C cases were previously available only on a hospital-by-hospital or region-by-region basis. The CDC’s report revealed that MIS-C occurred in a disproportionate number of Hispanic children. About 40 percent of the 570 cases occurred in children identified as Hispanic, while 33 percent of the children affected were Black.

“Long-standing inequities in the social determinants of health, such as housing, economic instability, insurance status, and work circumstances of patients and their family members have systematically placed social, racial, and ethnic minority populations at higher risk for COVID-19 and more severe illness, possibly including MIS-C,” the study concluded.

The study showed that while MIS-C can result in dire outcomes, it remains rare: Among pediatric covid-19 patients, MISC-C was found in roughly 0.2 percent of cases.

According to the study, all 570 children in the report tested positive for acute covid-19 or for its antibodies, or had an epidemiological reason to believe they were exposed to the virus before symptoms appeared. They were all presumed to have been exposed two to four weeks before experiencing MIS-C, a pattern epidemiologists, pediatricians and virologists say may suggest MIS-C is triggered by a child’s immune response to the virus.

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