Interesting science news sink
Disconnection, not teens' screen time, is the problem
While many parents and caregivers believe teens spend too much time on smartphones, video games and social media, a Michigan State University researcher says not to worry about screen time.
"Teens who are disconnected from today's technologies are more isolated from their peers, which can lead to problems," Hampton said.
"Isolation doesn't come from being online, it comes from being disconnected from those sources of entertainment and socialization that permeate teens' lives," Hampton said. "For most teens, that's social media, video games and sharing the videos they watch online.
Radioactive traces in tree rings reveal Earth's history of unexplained 'radiation storms'
We analyzed radioactive signatures left in tree rings around the world to study mysterious "radiation storms" that have swept over Earth half a dozen times in the past 10,000 years or so.
But tree rings also record events we cannot presently explain. In 2012, Japanese physicist Fusa Miyake discovered a spike in the radiocarbon content of tree rings from 774 AD. It was so big that several ordinary years' worth of cosmic rays must have arrived all at once.
Could huge radiation pulses happen again?
In physics and astronomy, these Miyake events remain a mystery.
How do you get such a huge pulse of radiation? A flurry of papers have blamed supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, explosions from magnetized neutron stars, and even comets.
However, the most widely accepted explanation is that Miyake events are "solar superflares." These hypothetical eruptions from the sun would be perhaps 50–100 times more energetic than the biggest recorded in the modern era, the Carrington Event of 1859.
If an event like this occurred today, it would devastate power grids, telecommunications and satellites. If these occur randomly, around once every thousand years, that is a 1% chance per decade—a serious risk.