Protecting Your Home From Lightening

Safeguarding your home from the million-plus volts of a lightning strike calls for a professional contractor. Not only does he or she have the expertise and special equipment necessary to install and test an energy shield system, but an improperly installed lightning protection system is likely to pose a greater hazard to your home than no protection at all.

But there are some things you can do yourself:

You see, lightning can damage your appliances, electrical devices, and electronics as the result of a powerful electrical surge traveling through the electrical system of your home on its way to reach a grounded location as quickly as possible. You can be injured or killed if lightning is attempting to travel through something while you are using it on its way to that ground. Since it can affect your phone lines and your metal plumbing, it is a good idea to stay off the phone or avoid taking a bath or a shower during a thunderstorm unless your home is fully protected.As a precautionary measure, unplugging your computer during a thunderstorm will protect it and your valuable data. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is useful only if the power goes out suddenly, and the short battery life of the UPS gives you time to save your work and shut down your computer properly, but only the most expensive ones are actual lightning surge arrestors.

As you know, analog TV is being phased out for high definition digital television. This means that many homes will still have the old TV antenna on the roof long after the analog signal has died, sort of like the Christmas lights around the eaves that haven’t been removed yet, either. Well, these antennas make great lightning rods to attract lightning to your home. And for those who never had an analog TV, or who have a newly constructed house, there are true lightning rods that can be purchased and placed on top of the roof to attract lightning to your home for protection. Yes, you read that correctly. They can attract lightning to your house to protect you, and that is exactly what you want, but only if you have everything set up properly.

Even if you have a tree that is taller than the house and is located within ten feet of the foundation, it should also be protected with special tree terminal lightning rods. Not only to protect the tree but to guard the house against side-flashes that might leap from the tree to the house if the tree is struck.
You see, if lightning does happen to strike, it will use the rods or the antenna as the fastest route to ground, and, if set up correctly, the current will completely bypass all of your electrical and plumbing systems. Such currents are diverted to ground by lightning arrestors or special lightning surge protectors that are installed at the main fuse box or circuit breaker panel and on the television antenna lead-in wire.

However, installing these lightning arresters on the live power lines is a job for an expert because it does require working on hot, live, wires from the utility lines in the street. But attaching a lightning arrester or high voltage surge protector to the TV antenna lead-in wire is a simple screwdriver job that you can do yourself.
It is important to buy the right products for the needs of your home. You may need to conduct some research to find out what your options are and how they specifically relate to your particular building. There are lightning arresters available that are designed for use with a 300-ohm flat antenna lead-in, and also for a 75-ohm coaxial cable lead-in. In either case, the lightning arrestor should carry the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal.

Remember, too, that the antenna mast or lightning rod itself should also be grounded. If it is not, then connect it to a grounded water pipe using the proper gauge wire. The clamps and wire for mast grounding as well as the antenna lead-in lightning arresters are often available at hardware stores, or electrical and electronic supply stores. If you opt to purchase a proper lightning rod, all grounding equipment should be included. It, too, should carry the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal.
Remember that these rods do not provide the total protection that a professionally installed lightning arrestor or energy shield system can because lightning surge damage can run into the house through overhead power lines, telephone cables, or cable TV wires when lightning strikes elsewhere in the area. But these simple do-it-yourself measures may prevent a burn out of expensive electrical equipment from a direct hit to your antenna or trees.
Although arrestors/surge protectors and antenna grounds are advisable everywhere, not every home needs a full-scale lightning protection system, especially in areas where thunderstorms are few or mild.

But if you do decide to have a complete protection system installed, insist that the installation conforms to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Make sure to inspect it yearly before the storm season by checking for bent, loose or missing air terminals and roads, as well as breaks or fraying in the conductors; and make sure that clamps and splices are tight and that no new construction near the house has damaged the buried rods and cable.

So, don’t wait for damage to occur from an electrical storm before you do anything about it. Take every precaution now because even this small investment in time and money will be less expensive than replacing all your damaged items from a strike, since most manufacturers warranties do not cover lightning damage, and few homeowners policies do either.

 

 

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Black Holes

A black hole is not a hole. In fact, they have immense matter packed into the least space it can hold. It’s like squeezing the entire city of New York into a single nucleus of a hydrogen atom. They are immensely dense objects, or preferably the core remnant of former stars, which wander across space without any definite destination. Their considered infinite density, with such intense gravitational attraction, makes it impossible for the matter, and even light, to escape its powerful gravitational pull.

How are they formed?

Every star needs a source of energy for its life, and like every star, this is achieved through the process of hydrogen fusion. Nuclear fusion is the ‘combining’ of existing elements to form new elements while releasing a considerable amount of energy, which is then converted into heat. When an average star comes to a near end of its life, it runs out of hydrogen in its core and starts fusing heavier and heavier elements including helium, carbon, and oxygen, eventually running out of fuel and collapsing, forming white dwarfs.

Stellar Black Holes

If a star is massive enough, this is if its mass is expected to be 5 to 10 solar masses, it begins fusing elements into iron. The force of gravity is strong enough to produce iron in the center of a massive star. However, iron is a substance that requires more energy to fuse than to release it, therefore, resulting in a catastrophic collapse, known as the supernova. It is said that we are made of the remnants of these explosions. With no opposing forces from the ‘dead’ remnant of the supernova to the force of gravity towards the center, the massive star begins to compress and shrink in itself to the point of zero volume and infinite density. Here, the gravity of the star can trap light inside of what is known as the event horizon. This is the point of which escape requires moving at the speed of light, which is surely impossible.

Supermassive Black Holes

These black holes have the exact process of formation as the ones above, only that they have an equivalent mass of millions of solar masses with only a corresponding radius of our closest star. For many years, the concept these black holes remained as a theorized construction. However, recently it is thought that Supermassive black holes are a keen source for the formation of a galaxy itself and that they are even found in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way!

– In most images, some arrows demonstrate the compression towards the core of the star, while there is a pressure release because fusion is continuously occurring.

– There are also ‘releasing’ shapes that show the energy that is continuously being released from the star.

– Or also, a newly formed black hole with its supernova remnants. Its force of gravity towards the center has no opposing forces, therefore, shrinking the black hole into infinite density.

How do we know they exist?

As the black holes suck in a large amount of material, it forces the material to accelerate in a circular motion around it, known as the accretion disk. With the cluttering movement of the material in the accretion disk, there is a cause of friction which concludes in the release of light. The spectrum of this light is measured and studied how gravity affects light and matter around it. Also, astronomers can calculate the distance and the speed of these black holes, thus, directly proving their existence.

Structure

The black hole consists of mainly four arrangements.

The Schwarzschild radius is the event horizon of the black hole or the radius where the velocity that is required to escape the gravitational pull is the speed of light. This means that any object can have an infinite gravitational pull if it is compressed enough to infinite density.

The event horizon is the spot where the gravitational pull is so strong that it is impossible for matter and light to escape.

The singularity is a region in a black hole where space makes completely no sense. This is because all its mass has been compressed into a complete zero volume with infinite density, resulting in an intense gravitational pull. If an object approached the singularity, which is known as its center, it would stretch vertically into a long thin shape, before being swallowed directly into the ‘void.’ This process is known as spaghettification.

The accretion disk is a disk composed of a material that is accelerating in a circular motion around the black hole. Astronomers are currently studying the friction caused by the collision between the material accounts to the release of light, which’s spectrum.

 

 

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Constellations

Since the dawns of time, when person first looked up in a heavens, he painted a sky with pictures. The point of light from the stars made patterns which looked like individual objects. Today these constellations are still in use, though some have been left out, and are necessary to navigate the heavens with a telescope.

Astronomy is an interesting topic. Even though today we have telescopes to look at objects in the sky with greater magnitude than with the naked eye, we still need a way of navigating the heavens. Even though astronomy has been a topic that people have delved into for thousands of years, the astronomy with optical telescopes is pretty much a recent invention, compared with our history.

When we look up at the heavens, we see these points of light, and can easily create pictures out of them. For example, French astronomer de Lalande saw a picture of his cat called Felis, and as such made a constellation called Felis. However, most of these constellations have not made the official status.

Currently, the whole sky has been mapped into pictures. These picture representations have helped map the whole sky into 88 different constellations. In fact, the zodiac used in astronomy is part of the constellations and paints a story of amazement. For example the constellation of Orion with a picture of the hunter with a club, about to club a lion.

There is some great mythology with the constellations, and all go to make up that story. However, in the mythology of the constellations, there are variations to how the stories go. For example, some say that the hunter said that he would kill every wild animal on Earth, and Artemis created the Scorpion (which is Scorpio) which the hunter could not defeat, and killed him. The pictures can slightly be different depending on the mythology. Like in Australia the belt and sword of Orion are called the saucepan, as it resembles a saucepan.

However, the stories go, the points of light from stars have captivated man’s imagination, and have allowed astronomers today to find objects much more easily. As long as you know the constellations, then finding objects is so much more easily.

Constellations are made up of a group of objects in space. This makes looking at constellations, one of the greatest things to do. Imagine, knowing where these 88 constellations are. You could take any rough coordinate for a star or object in the sky, and manage to navigate to it, much more quickly. And all this because you learned about the constellations.

Most people new to astronomy will tend to go out and buy telescopes, and soon find that they are stuck on what to look for. Even finding information about stars and other space objects is no use. Finding out where the planets can be simple, but often we will learn that they are in so, and so constellation. Without knowing where these constellations are, it can make finding objects difficult. Learning about the constellations can make great headway in navigating the heavens and getting more out of a telescope.

 

 

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Planets

Western philosophers and scientists have one thing in common. Both are unanimous in their belief that nature and universe advanced through catastrophes, cataclysms, chaos, upheavals, accidents, random events etc. only because they have no scientific explanation to offer. Even in human society ‘Revolution’ is an attractive slogan as a means to advancement of human society.

Theory of Catastrophism was advanced by Cuvier in 1812 to reconcile geology with Moses account of creation in Genesis in Bible. Cuvier was a great comparative anatomist of 19th century. He appreciated complexities of the process of creation in general and origin of species in particular. To explain origins and creations, he preferred to attribute it to direct intervention of creative powers i.e. Supernatural God.

Darwin likewise attributed biological evolution to accumulation of random variations without ever bothering to explain as to how random variations can account for large number of coordinated variations which accompany origin of species. He out-rightly ignored the collateral issues of identity and integrity of species and varieties that permit only a limited change in any species and variety as a result of variations.

In twentieth century, Physicists attributed origin of universe to Big Bang without ever explaining nature and source of dense matter, only because straight line extrapolation of one particular line of thinking leads to Big Bang. All the irreconcilable differences with collateral evidence and issues were out rightly ignored. No proponent of Big Bang theory has ever bothered to explain as to how the assumed chaos that presumably preceded Big Bang could ever spontaneously (without external intervention) lead to order which is than determined and guided by laws of Physics.

Theories abound where nature’s creativity is sought to be explained on the basis of Entropy that accompanies each and every irreversible physical and chemical change. In all these theories Entropy was assumed to be directing and driving creations and origins. The question of ‘How’ was out-rightly ignored. These theories never explained as to how Entropy which is nothing but dissipation or decay of thermal energy into universal heat sink, could ever account for creation even if in general. These theorists built elaborate theories but never bothered themselves to explain specificity of creations and origins.

Pre-biotic soup, which must have preceded origin of life and should have led to origin of life in a kaleidoscopic manner through a series of random events, has till date found no evidence in support of its existence. Even theories which postulate extra-terrestrial origin of life and its subsequent plantation on earth, besides being irrational are struggling for evidence in their support.

Evolution has to be involution rather than revolution i.e. a change from within rather than a change from without.

Generally speaking all planets and stars and other celestial bodies revolve in stable elliptical orbits. Circular orbits could have been easily explained on the basis of balancing of gravitational force and centrifugal force. But this is not true for elliptical orbits. Stable elliptical orbits involve precise inter-conversion of kinetic energy of the planet into potential energy. Control and regulation of this phenomenon is beyond comprehension on the basis of known laws of Physics.

Therefore, to explain formation of any planet, star and any other celestial body on the basis of some catastrophic, cataclysmic event is clearly farfetched. Concomitant to the said catastrophic, cataclysmic event shall be the issue of their placement in stable elliptical orbits and sustaining them in those elliptical orbits as is the case with artificial satellites. How shall that be managed?

Planets, stars and other celestial bodies can form only in strict compliance with applicable natural laws and at the same time satisfying all the conditions mandatory to their existence. Therefore their formation as a result of some cataclysm or catastrophe is highly improbable.

Hence in my view planets, stars and other celestial bodies form as a result of condensation of solid dust and gas clouds at specific loci in space. At its specific locus, a celestial body is naturally self-sustaining but how is a matter of further investigation. What natural laws and other factors determine such spatial loci capable of serving as home to celestial bodies is again a matter of further investigation. But one such law already known is Titus – Bode Law.

Under these conditions every celestial body is a discrete entity and may have unique laws of behavior, natural history and chemical composition. Chemical composition of one celestial body may not necessarily be relatable to chemical composition of another. The process of their formation has to be essentially non-catastrophic and non-cataclysmic. However some time in future it may be possible to classify celestial bodies into various types based on similarities of their chemical composition.

Professor Ian Campbell & Hugh O Neil of Australian National University on 29.03.2012 reported to Eagle.com that earth does not have the same chemical composition as Sun implying that earth did not originate from sun.

 

 

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What are the phases of the moon?

There are a lot of moon books out there in the market which provides information on the moon and its phases and cycles. The moon has been, since time immemorial an object of intrigue and mystery. There is something about the moon that is otherworldly and draws man towards it, as a result of which the moon has been the subject of a vast number of stories, poems, and books!

Any planet book you find will give you the basic information about the moon; this will be about the moon’s orbit, the elliptical pathway that the moon follows around the earth each month. This pathway is not a perfect circle; it is an ellipse, the distance from the earth and moon is always different depending on the position in orbit.

Each year the largest and the smallest distance of the moon from the land changes. Books about the Moon will have information regarding moon explorations to academic theories about the moon. A common subject in books about the moon is the history of exploration of the moon that narrates the process in which Apollo was designed. Also, history about the launches to the moon. And how astronauts get out of the satellite and all about moon walking.

Many of these books are very detailed. There are books that tell you all about Neil Armstrong and David Scott and about them landing on the moon and walking on it. The more detailed books have all the information about Apollo 11. The team members and the training they had to go to. There are many other topics on moon books you can find.

The Moon – could it be a colony? It has been toyed with for years now the thought of colonizing the moon and even Mars. The exploration of the fascinating satellite, which is the moon is far from over, so make sure you get a few moon books to satisfy your curiosity. Daily pointers make it easy for you to access and experience the influence the moon has on your everyday life. The moon calendar combines the solar calendar with the moon phases and positions.

Since the moon has no atmosphere, it is not livable. The surface of the planet is covered with a mixture of debris and fine dust called the regolith. Moon contains craters, basins, and Maria. The dark spots on the globe that are seen from the earth are made of basalt, which is a very dense material.

The first person to land on the moon is Mr. Neil Armstrong during the year 1969. Along with him, Edwin Buzz also landed the moon. The U.S flag was deployed during their visit. As there is no wind and water in the moon, the footsteps laid by the astronauts will stay there for at least 10 million years.

You can see different phases of the moon from the earth. The moon does not change its brightness. The various stages are considered because of the differences in the angles from which the bright part of the moon is visible for people on earth. Moon does not have its light. It reflects the sun’s light, and hence the moon’s phase is determined by the illumination of the sun. New moon can be seen when the moon is in the same direction as the sun, and full moon can be seen when the entire visible part of the moon is illuminated by the sun. The new moon and the full moon alternate in two weeks.

 

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How many stars are there?

I vividly remember being a little kid and sitting outside at my parents house in the country trying to count all the stars that I could see. I probably didn’t count more than a couple hundred but it did lead to the question: how many stars are there? Take a look at this awesome video from PBS that answers just that!