Doubts about the black hole closest to Earth

A few months ago, scientists announced the indirect detection of the black hole closest to Earth. But another team now suggests a different explanation for this stellar puzzle.

From the earliest spectra of the HR 6819 star system, scientists identified this source as a star Be sparkly early type: a hot star with emission lines, probably due to the accumulation of a disk of circumstellar material. However, as the ability to resolve details in stellar spectra advanced, a more complicated picture emerged.

Studies conducted in the decade of 1980 revealed unexpected narrow absorption lines in the spectra of HR 6819, and a study of 2003 showed that these lines moved over time. This indicated that although we could not resolve them optically, there were two components of HR 6819: a Be star showing no obvious motion, and a B3 III star in a 40-day orbit.

But what was the star B3 III orbiting? In May 2020, scientists announced an answer to the riddle: HR 6819 must actually be a triple system. The star B3 III, they argued, is orbiting a stellar-mass black hole (which is why we see no evidence for it in the spectra), and the star Be is a distant tertiary companion, orbiting too slowly to have detectable motion.

According to the orbit of the star B3 III, the black hole would need to weigh more than 4 solar masses, and only 1,120 light years away from Earth, this object would be the closest known black hole. But could there be another explanation for the spectra of HR 6819?

In a new study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Georgia State University scientists Douglas Gies and Luqian Wang argue that HR 6819 is not a triple system after all. Instead, it is a simple binary, consisting of only the two known components: the star Be and the star B3 III.

If HR 6819 is simply a binary, then the star B3 III should show reflex orbital motion with the same 40-day period, but this motion could be small and difficult to detect in the complex spectra of the system, reports the American Astronomical Society in a statement.

To find it, Gies and Wang analyzed the emission of H-alpha – one of the emission lines in the hydrogen spectrum – from the accretion disk surrounding the star Be. Using a careful spectral model, they show that the entire disk can be seen to move back and forth over a 40-day period, exactly as expected for reflex orbital motion. This movement is approximately an order of magnitude smaller than that of the star B3 III, which is why it was not previously detected.

So why is the orbital motion of the star Be so much smaller than that of its companion B3 III? If the star Be has a typical mass of about 6 solar masses, the companion must be only a fraction of a solar mass in size. You may be in a stage of evolution where you have already donated a significant amount of mass to your partner, and now only the stripped remnant remains.


Deaf from Corona: more and more long-term consequences known – Coronavirus

Loss of smell and taste, chronic exhaustion, heart and brain damage: A new episode of the coronavirus is now known.

It remains to be seen whether he will ever be able to hear again: In the specialist journal “British Medical Journal”, doctors report on a man who lost his hearing in the course of his illness with the novel Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.

After the 45-year-old suffered from Covid-19 symptoms for ten days, he was admitted to the hospital, where he was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit and was intubated for 30 days. At the same time he received remdesivir, steroids and numerous other drugs.

In addition, his blood plasma had to be replaced. Treatment was made more difficult by the sudden occurrence of pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary hypertension), anemia and pneumonia caused by ventilation.

Not an isolated case

The treatment worked and the patient could soon be transferred to a normal ward. But then he noticed left-sided tinnitus, then sudden hearing loss. The doctors checked his ear – but they could not find any blockages or inflammation.

He was treated with steroid pills and injections, after which his hearing partially recovered, but not completely, the medics said.

The differences between flu and corona

“This is the first reported case of sensorineural hearing loss after Covid-19 infection in the UK,” the researchers note. However, it is not the first in the world, as Kevin J. Munro from the Manchester Center for Audiology and Deafness reported in July 2020 in the “International Journal of Audiology”. Accordingly, hearing impairment occurs in 13.2 percent of former Covid 19 patients.

According to the study, which included the data from 138 ex-corona patients between 44 and 82 years of age, men in particular have to struggle with tinnitus or hearing loss after their supposed recovery.

Does not depend on the severity of the course

The case of the American Meredith Harrell shows, among other things, that women are not immune to these long-term consequences and that even symptom-free Covid-19 courses can lead to it. The Sars-CoV-2 infection was only detected in her because the doctors were looking for the cause of the sudden ringing in the ear.

“It was like flicking a switch,” quoted Harrell, whose hearing has not yet been restored. “I hope people finally understand that Corona is not a joke.”

Worse than other viruses

Even in their case, doctors cannot say with certainty that the virus is affecting the inner ear because there is a risk of tissue damage when performing a biopsy of the inner ear. But studies of people who have died as a result of a Covid 19 infection speak for themselves.

The virus could be detected in two of the three corpses in the middle ear and the mastoid bones in the skull, which is located directly behind the ear. The study was published in the journal “Jama Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery”.

Matthew Stewart of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who performed the autopsy, told CNN that viruses like measles, mumps, and meningitis are known to cause sudden hearing loss. “But I think Sars-CoV-2 has the potential to be worse.” We all know that it triggers blood clots in other areas of the body and is obviously no exception to the “extremely small blood vessels” in the inner ear.

Kevin Munro agrees: “The capillaries in the inner ear are the smallest in the human body, so it doesn’t take much to block them.”

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The pandemic causes a mountain of global debt that will hit in the future

Beyond the terrible death toll, the covid-19 pandemic it has also caused a huge mountain of global public debt, which countries will have to face in the medium term, due to the continuing liquidity pressure and high public spending to contain the effects of the health crisis.

The situation has caused that, for the first time in history, global sovereign debt has equaled the size of the world economy, creating an “unknown” level of uncertainty, according to experts.

“The Covid-19 crisis has devastated people’s lives, their jobs and businesses. Governments have taken energetic measures to cushion the blow, for a total of 12 billion euros worldwide,” said the International Monetary Fund, which said that these fiscal measures “have saved lives” and companies, but have also been very “costly.”


Despite the contraction of the world economy, which will fall by 4.4% in 2020, the pandemic has not generated a change in the cycle in terms of debt, but has exacerbated the indebtedness phase and made it denser.

But this scenario has been reached after a decade in which “global tax collection has stagnated, some taxes have been reduced and regions with lower tax collection rates have remained stable or flat,” according to Jaime Atienza, Head of Debt Policy at Oxfam International.

This has been added to the high level of indebtedness, which is mainly due to the supply factor, with a “very large” liquidity pocket in the global financial system, and to the continuous issuance of debt in emerging countries and low-income economies.

“Some countries that were already in tension have had immediate problems, such as the poorest; and others, such as Europeans or the United States, have margins to continue borrowing, they can issue currency and maintain a low interest rate scenario,” Atienza explained. .

“There are many unknowns: the current level of uncertainty we did not know,” he reflected.


On the other hand, the poorest countries in the world face a common situation: the devaluation of their currency causes the cost of their bonds to rise, creating a “very complicated” scenario in the medium term.

A report published this Monday by the World Bank (WB) reveals that debt among the poorest countries increased 9.5% to $ 744 billion in 2019 compared to the previous year, which in the opinion of the president of the multilateral, David Malpass, shows the “urgent” need to act, especially with the crisis caused by the pandemic.

To try to cushion this situation, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved this Monday an immediate debt relief for 25 member countries with the aim of facing the economic impact of the pandemic in those nations.

Most of the beneficiary countries belong to Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Santo Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The list is completed by Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan and Yemen.

The managing director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, explained in a statement that this fund provides aid to the “poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their debt obligations with the IMF during an initial phase during the next six months.”

Added to this measure was the decision of the G-20 finance ministers, who opted this week to extend the suspension of the debt to the poorest nations.

For Atienza, “the cancellation of debt payments” is necessary since, without it, “the debt tsunami that will take over many of the world’s poorest countries will only be delayed, leaving them unable to afford investment in health and social security “.


“EA Sports NHL 21” in the test: Top despite little new – game tests

There are no major innovations this year, but “EA Sports NHL 21” is the best NHL game in the series so far. The big “Today” test.

Those who expect game-changing innovations in the new ice hockey title “EA Sports NHL 21” may be disappointed. In the now 30-year-old NHL series on almost every game console, the game is one of those who use innovations rather sparingly. Nevertheless, “EA Sports NHL 21” is the best entry in the “NHL” series from Electronic Arts – and comes with improvements that are not immediately apparent.

The innovations can be roughly divided into two areas: On the one hand, numerous technical screws have been turned to increase the realism of the game, on the other hand, the career mode has been significantly expanded. But first things first: If you join the first matches in “NHL 21”, you will be greeted by new and surprisingly accurate analyzes from the commentators. They are now much more varied than before and, together with the background cheers of the crowd, immediately pull players into the game atmosphere.

Smarter AI and new moves

If the puck is in play, improvement number 2 is immediately apparent: the opponent’s AI has increased significantly. Players of the competing team now not only act stubbornly fixed on the puck, but depending on the game situation either pull up clever lines of defense or dare to go it alone on our goal in promising moments. If the puck lands on the net, there are now also new video repetitions from different angles and the change between slow motion and normal speed.

Instead of a few moves and gestures, the players now have far more jubilation or frustration poses, which makes the action a bit more realistic and ensures less repetitive scenes. A total of seven new combos were added to the controls – but executing them requires perfect timing and is not for beginners. But once you have mastered them, you don’t want to stop at all. Particularly spectacular: With the stick and the L1 button (on PlayStation 4), you lift the puck with the stick – and then sink it into the net behind the goalkeeper’s back.

Play like the real superstars

When it comes to moves, the well-known superstars benefit in particular, because a number of players have given the game their respective “signature moves”. For example, it is now possible to re-enact the “No-Move-Move” of “Tampa Bay Lightning” striker Nikita Kucherov. In this case, the puck is played in the direction of the keeper, covered with the club and, at the last moment, a shot is indicated that will not be taken. If you have the timing out, the puck floats spectacularly through the keeper’s legs into the net – awesome!

As much as the game values ​​these new moves, the gameplay has not become slower, on the contrary. The new AI enables faster passes and more bitter duels. The new promotions such as slip-dekes, passes over the boards and chips into the free space also increase the error rate more realistically, which leads to a more dynamic competition. However, one should not overestimate these innovations: Anyone who has played “NHL 20” will immediately feel at home again and only gradually discover the many small changes.

More new things apart from the ice

“NHL 21” is also packed full of modes this year, there are twelve in number, from the well-known fast game to completing an entire season. Newcomers can also go to a training camp if they wish, until the very extensive control options are halfway up. The “Be A Pro” career mode has been expanded, in which the player puts together their own character from a handful of models, then selects one of three small leagues and tries to make them a superstar. Special feature: the player only controls his figure and sometimes sits on the bench when the trainer tells it to.

In your career you can now do a lot more off the ice. Players have to respond to questions from their agent, have unpleasant dialogues with reporters or answer for failures in front of the coach. Depending on the answer chosen, the player either develops into a beloved team captain or an admired superstar. For the time being, this only affects negotiations on team changes and market value, but it is quite possible that further mechanisms will be implemented here in the future.

Top despite not being very innovative

Game modes in the Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) are also new: HUT RUSH does not make it necessary to build up an entire team, but offers 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 matches as well as games with time limits. It’s not just about the number of goals scored, but also about creativity. The more impressive and individual the network, the more bonus points can be earned. In addition, your own rules can be implemented, for example that the game is already decided after the first goal or that you send the team mascot onto the ice instead of professionals.

In the end, the least bit has changed graphically: The players look a bit sharper and move a little more realistically, but some of the faces in close-up look a bit artificial. But nice: Pre-orderers will get the update “NHL 94 Rewind” from October 30th. The retro mode shows itself with the current teams, but with the graphics and controls of the legendary title from 1994. A few small innovations and no shortcomings: “EA Sports NHL 21” does not reinvent the game series, but it is best NHL game in the entire series to date.

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At least one killed in opposition protests against the president of Haiti

A person shot to death and burning tires in several streets of the Haitian capital was the result of a massive demonstration called by sectors of the opposition to demand the departure from power of the country’s president, Jovenel Moise.

There were also other signs of rejection of the ruler in other cities of the Caribbean nation, which has been going through a serious political, economic and social crisis for more than a year.

In the capital, an unidentified man died after being shot by unknown persons, according to Efe, who also verified the wounds received in an arm by a member of the Union of the National Police of Haiti, who participated in the demonstration, as well as the pellets that suffered a man in the back.

The protesters came from various neighborhoods and areas of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan region, despite threats from the leader of the most powerful armed gang in Haiti, Jimmy Cherizier, alias Barbecue, considered close to power.

Several of those who protested set up barricades of fire in various parts of the city, while marching bands encouraged the participants, who kept chanting slogans and carrying posters in rejection of Moise and his government.

Agents of the National Police fired tear gas and fired into the air to prevent the opponents from reaching the Pétion-Ville area, where other groups were waiting for them.

In Cap Haitien (north, second city in the country), protesters responded to the call of the political organization Pitit Dessalines led by one of the most influential leaders of the opposition, Moise Jean Charles, who laid a wreath of flowers in Cormiers, place of birth of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the founding father of the nation, assassinated on October 17, 1806.

The opposition parties and organizations promised that they will continue to demonstrate to find and force Moise to leave power before February 7, 2021, for a transitional government to hold presidential elections.

Hours before the demonstration in the capital, the head of state affirmed that the country needs “tolerance, peace and stability.”

“Let us forget our disputes, give priority to the collective welfare to guarantee a better country for future generations,” said the president at an event honoring Dessalines.

The demonstrations were called by formations such as the Organization of the Peoples in Struggle (OPL); Fusion of the Social Democrats (Fusion); Christian Movement for a New Haiti (Mochrenah) and Pitit Dessalines.

The opponents resolutely rejected the actions of Moise from power, who governs by decree after ordering the closure of the (bicameral) Parliament last January, after the elections for its renewal were not held in the last four months of last year.

The most depressed country on the continent is going through a serious crisis in all aspects, with an economy in recession, high levels of inflation, the stagnation of political dialogue and the strengthening of armed gangs that operate freely in the capital, mainly.

A recent report by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) established that the spirit of national cohesion that manifested itself “briefly” at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic quickly dissolved.

“Political tensions were further aggravated at the end of June when the opposition renewed calls for President Jovenel Moise to leave office in February 2021 and for the installation of a transitional government,” said the BINUH, whose mandate was extended. one more year for the UN Security Council.

Moise refuses to leave power on the date demanded by the opposition, reiterating that his five-year term expires in February 2022.


why could it hit $ 300 next year

The parallel dollar reached a historical record, as it has been happening since the application of the super stocks to foreign exchange operations in the official market

“In 2021, the price of the market dollar will start with 3,” said Diego Giacomini, from the consultancy firm Economía y Regiones, on the behavior of the market dollar, in reference to the blue, for next year.

This Friday, the blue dollar reached a historical record, as has been happening day after day since the application of the super stocks to foreign exchange operations in the official market. Thus, the greenback was sold in the financial caves at a maximum that was around 178 pesos.

However, it will not be its maximum value far from it, since you will consult economics locate the price of the blue dollar at $ 200 in a short-term period. “It will quickly reach a level with a floor of $ 200,” Giacomini noted in the “Economy & Regions” report.

And not only that: “It will continue to rise because an increasingly bankrupt Central Bank is a sure promise of more devaluation and more inflation“Giacomini added.

“The BCRA balance sheet shows that the upward trend of the dollar will not only continue, but will also increase significantly,” said the report by the Giacomini consultancy, and projected: “The market dollar (the free stock) will start with ‘2 ‘faster than people think. ”

Taking the close of the parallel market on Friday ($ 178), so that the price reaches $ 200 would have to increase by 12%, less than the 27.69% that rose since the announcement of the exchange restrictions on September 15.

Specifically, Giacomini maintains that the price of the dollar “has no ceiling” as long as the Central Bank does not have the necessary reserves to sustain it. Consequently, he predicted that “in 2021, the market price of the dollar will start with ‘3’, then with ‘4’, then with ‘5’ and who knows how far it goes. It has no ceiling.

For the economist Diego Giacomini, the blue dollar

For economist Diego Giacomini, the blue dollar “has no ceiling”

The official devaluation appears

In the midst of exchange rate stress, the idea of ​​a devaluation and consequent acceleration of the inflationary rhythm begins to emerge more frequently among experts.

“We are going to a severe crisis: not only will the dollar continue to rise, because it has no ceiling, but also due to the devaluation -the devaluation of the official dollar is missing, which will come at some point- the acceleration of inflation and with that an increase in poverty “, warned economist José Luis Espert.

“When you see that the market does not react positively to any of the measures that the Government took, it is because it lost confidence. And that is very complicated, because there is no horizon, what could the Government do to stop the expectation that there is of future devaluation“, evaluated Christian Buteler, analyst of the financial market.

He was referring to the idea that seems to have been installed in the market that the dollar, inexorably, will be more expensive tomorrow than today. That “inflationary expectation” seems to be already ingrained not only in the market, but throughout society.

According to the E&R report, by the economist Giacomini, the current evolution in the exchange gap will constitute “pressure” for “the official exchange policy to be modified”, mainly because “the Central Bank does not have dollars” to maintain it.

According to this analysis, today the options available to the monetary authority “are not many”, and are limited to a REPO (securities operations), the China swap or, ultimately, the use of reserve requirements of the entities. financial institutions or the immobilization of dollar deposits in savings banks, which for E&R would imply “advancing on private property”.

“If none of this happens, there is no alternative but to modify the current exchange rate policy, since there is no way to sustain the exchange rate“E&R concluded, although regretting that if this criterion is adopted” it will be a measure taken to punches and in a hurry. ”

The weight is blurred: savers and companies look for dollars at any price.

The weight is blurred: savers and companies look for dollars at any price.

Disbanded forecast

The economist Salvador Di Stefano warns that the currency crisis does not come alone. On the contrary, it maintains that there is a serious stall in the real economy that could cause a sudden rise in prices.

“The shortage in the following months could be more damaging to the economy than the rise of the blue dollar. With a shortage of merchandise and with no aim of unlocking the supply chain, prices can spiral up, as Buzz Lightyear says, to infinity and beyond“, it indicates.

“Distrust in the government grows, there is a shortage, the impact of the income tax for those who sell and do not get merchandise to replace. We are going to collapse in December,” Di Stefano warns.

For the consultant, the ingredients are combined for a explosive crisis that would break out dramatically in the coming months.

“Argentina’s GDP will fall between 12% and 13% depending on the consultancy you consult, in Brazil it would fall less than 5%. Clearly Argentina did not work with a comprehensive look at the pandemic, only infectologists who destroyed the economy. Yes to this We add the fans of the intervention and the lack of dollars, the result is an explosive cocktail for the end of the year. Recession, more lack of merchandise and rising blue dollars lead us to a scenario of high uncertainty “, he warns.

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Maierhofer own goal! Admira flies in penalty shootout – football

Absolute cup drama in the Südstadt! A Maierhofer own goal, a 2-2 over 120 minutes and a Kapfenberg ascent against Admira in a penalty shootout.

Actually everything started according to plan for Admira, Roman Kerschbaum brought the Südstädter into the lead in the 26th minute and had everything under control. A good first half was followed by absolute harmlessness.

And a quick goal. Stefan Maierhofer joked a Kapfenberg corner into his own goal and suddenly it was 1: 1 (47th). The retro rapid storm “Maierhoffer” hung completely in the air, the Styrians waited wisely, but little or nothing came from the Admira.

So it went after the 1-1 overtime, not much happened there either – until the 118th minute! Dino Musija sank a free kick to make it 2-1. As with the equalizer, the ball slipped into the net.

But it did not stop there, in direct return, the Südstädter saved themselves with the last action in the game in the penalty shootout: Kerschbaum falsified with the heel to 2: 2. So the drama went into the shootout!

The big hero of the Kapfenbergers was the 19-year-old goalie Franz Stolz, who fished out three penalties – Admira is out, the Styrians in the third round!

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That’s how long the coronavirus lasts on the skin – health

Researchers have found that the coronavirus survives on the skin much longer than previously thought – even longer than flu viruses.

So far, droplet infection has been considered the main route of transmission of the coronavirus. But you can also get infected through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Recently, Australian researchers found that viruses can survive on smooth surfaces such as cell phone displays and ATMs for up to 28 days.

A study from Japan has now shown that the virus can also survive on the skin for significantly longer than assumed. The coronavirus differs from some flu viruses.

Coronaviruses can survive on human skin for up to nine hours. To do this, the research team from Kyoto applied both influenza viruses and coronaviruses to the skin. As the comparison showed, the flu viruses of the type Influenza-A survived just two hours.

The importance of hand hygiene reaffirmed

In a second experiment, the scientists simulated the transmission by sneezing or coughing by mixing the CoV-2 viruses with mucus. Then they stayed on the skin for up to eleven hours. However, with an ethanol-based disinfectant, it only took 15 seconds to kill them.

“The nine-hour survival time of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin could mean an increased risk of contact transmission compared to the influenza A virus,” the authors conclude in the study published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases”.

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Press comment: ‘Aachener Zeitung’ on the EU’s negotiations with Great Britain | 10/17/20

AACHEN (dpa-AFX) – ‘Aachener Zeitung’ on the negotiations between the EU and Great Britain

(…) But as the saying goes: With a good compromise, everyone is dissatisfied in the end. One thing is clear: the EU must represent its own interests – even if Great Britain shows no understanding for this. A Brexit, as the election campaigners promised, with all advantages and without disadvantages, will not be achievable. Johnson’s remarks, even if they have hardly impressed the European players, show more than clearly how he wants to sell a failed contract in his own country. So if next year he is confronted with conflicts on the Irish border, goods bottlenecks and countless other economic consequences for his country, which is already ravaged by the corona pandemic, he will be able to declare for the last time: The EU is to blame. After that, at the latest, he will have to look for a new scapegoat./be/DP/zb