According to Lundquist, two strategies are being employed. In the first, teams with small telescopes target galaxies that are at the right approximate distance, according to the gravitational wave signal. Catalina Sky Survey, on the other hand, utilizes a 60-inch telescope with a wide field of view to scan large swaths of sky in 30 minutes. “There are some people who think you can get an optical counterpart to those, but it’s definitely inconclusive,” he said. The University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory has partnered with the Catalina Sky Survey, which searches for near-Earth asteroids from atop Mount Lemmon, in an effort dubbed Searches after Gravitational Waves Using ARizona Observatories, or SAGUARO, to find optical counterparts to massive mergers. “We also found a near-Earth object in the search field on April 25,” Christensen said. “That proves right there we can do both things at the same time.” “Essentially, instead of searching the next section of sky that we would normally, we go off and observe some other area that has a higher probability of containing an optical counterpart of a gravitational wave event,” said Eric Christensen, Catalina Sky Survey director and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory senior staff scientist. “The main idea is we can run this system while still maintaining the asteroid search.” The first gravitational wave event was a merger of two black holes, Lundquist said. UA News: Three alerts, April 9, 25 and 26, triggered the team’s software to search nearly 20,000 objects. Machine learning software then trimmed down the total number of potential optical counterparts to five. While no teams confirmed optical counterparts, the UA team did find several supernovae. They also used the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory to spectroscopically classify one promising target from another group. It was determined to be a supernova and not associated with the gravitational wave event. They were able to do this because Catalina Sky Survey has observations of the same swaths of sky going back many years. Many other groups don’t have easy access to past photos for comparison, offering the UA team a leg up. “We have really nice references,” Lundquist said. “We subtract the new image from the old image and use that difference to look for anything new in the sky.” TUCSON, Ariz. — The race is on. Since the construction of technology able to detect the ripples in space and time triggered by collisions from massive objects in the universe, astronomers around the world have been searching for the bursts of light that could accompany such collisions, which are thought to be the sources of rare heavy elements. The team is planning on deploying a second telescope in the hunt for optical counterparts: Catalina Sky Survey’s 0.7-meter Schmidt telescope. While the telescope is smaller than the 60-inch telescope, it has an even wider field of view, which allows astronomers to quickly search an even larger chunk of sky. They’ve also improved their machine learning software to filter out stars that regularly change in brightness. “Catalina Sky Survey has all of this infrastructure for their asteroid survey. So we have deployed additional software to take gravitational wave alerts from LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and the Virgo interferometer then notify the survey to search an area of sky most likely to contain the optical counterpart,” said Michael Lundquist, postdoctoral research associate and lead author on the study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The ongoing campaign began in April, and in that month alone, the team was notified of three massive collisions. Because it is difficult to tell the precise location from which the gravitational wave originated, locating optical counterparts can be difficult. “Catalina Sky Survey takes hundreds of thousands of images of the sky every year, from multiple telescopes. Our survey telescopes image the entire visible nighttime sky several times per month, then we are looking for one kind of narrow slice of the pie,” Christensen said. “So, we’ve been willing to share the data with whoever wants to use it.” The second event was a merger of two neutron stars, the incredibly dense core of a collapsed giant star. The third is thought to be a merger between a neutron star and a black hole, Lundquist said. “The process Michael described,” Christensen said, “starting with a large number of candidate detections and filtering down to whatever the true detections are, is very familiar. We do that with near-Earth objects, as well.”
COUNTY News:The Public Works/Traffic Division provides the latest updates on the following projects:Public Works Dept.: Barranca Mesa 3 Subdivision Improvements Project Crews continue paving Camino Encantado this week. Pedestrian, Sidewalks and ADA Accessibility Along Trinity Drive from Oppenheimer to 39th Street GM Emulsion continues construction along Trinity Drive removing curb and gutter and dilapidated asphalt in the buffer zone between curb and sidewalk. Construction crews continue placing new curb and gutter and colored concrete in the vicinity of 36th and 37th St. Crews also continue to replace sidewalks on the south side of Trinity, moving toward Diamond Dr. Traffic & Streets Division: Barranca Road at intersection of Loma de Escolar – Asphalt Work Crews will perform asphalt work on Barranca Road at Loma del Escolar. A flagging operation will be in place. Work will begin daily at 9 a.m. and finish by 3:30 p.m. Weather permitting, work will begin Thursday and be completed by Friday. Diamond Drive near Golf Course – Asphalt Patching Traffic and Streets crews will be patching a section of road on Diamond Dr near the Golf Course Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Crews will close off the eastbound lanes one at a time to allow traffic to flow. North Road at Yucca Crews will be repairing North Road at Yucca, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Sidewalks will be closed with a flagging operation in place. Other projects: NM502 Roundabout Construction & Road work (State DOT, Star Paving) No change to traffic control from last week. There is one lane open in each direction from Tewa Lp to DP Rd. Access to local streets from Tewa Lp to Arroyo Ln will still be provided. Access to Central Ave and 4th St from NM 502 remains closed until further notice for construction of the roundabout. Central Ave and 4th St can still be accessed via Knecht Street. For updates from the State, visit www.nmroads.com. DP Rd (Work related to Canyon Walk Apts and The Bluffs) Qualcon Builders, LLC – 120 DP Road Utility Infrastructure Replacement On Monday only, trenching work and placement of a storm drain pipe will occur at the eastern end of the project next to the fire station. For the rest of the week there will be no construction activities within DP Road. During trenching activities, portions of DP Rd will be restricted to one lane traffic, controlled by a flagged/signaled system. Access to businesses will be maintained. Vehicles and pedestrian traffic are urged to follow all traffic control devices and maintain a safe distance from the work zones listed above. Sign up for Cone Zone to be delivered to your email on Fridays – link to the Subscribe to Newsletter option at the bottom of the County’s website at www.losalamosnm.us
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Jiangsu Eastern Shipbuilding (JES) has signed a deal with SwissMarine to sell two 79,800 dwt panamax bulk carriers for a total sum of $44 million.The two bulkers were ordered by Croatian owner Atlantska Plovidba in 2008 at a price of $45m per vessel, reports SinoShip.The order, originally placed with JEHI, was for a total of four Panamax vessels. Atlantska Plovidba in July cancelled the order for the last two units as the shipyard failed to deliver the vessels on time.Technical DataVessel type: Bulk CarrierGross tonnage: 43,717 tonsSummer DWT: 79,964 tonsLength: 229 mBeam: 32 mDraught: 12.2 m[mappress]Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 13, 2013
Sterling Energy, the AIM listed oil and gas exploration company, has given up on its Ntem Concession, offshore Cameroon.Sterling said on Friday that its wholly owned subsidiary Sterling Cameroon has issued a notice of surrender in relation to the Ntem Concession. The company is the operator of the permit with 100% interest.The Ntem concession area is a deep water block situated in the southern Douala / Rio Muni Basin and lies adjacent to the northern maritime border of the Rio Muni province of Equatorial Guinea. Water depths range from 400m to 2,000m, east to west across the block.The company said that the surrender will be effective by the end of December 2016 and added that it does not expect to incur any material costs associated with the surrender.Eskil Jersing, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are disappointed that we have been unable to reach an acceptable solution for all parties to advance operational activity on the Ntem Concession. “Given the declaration of force majeure in May 2014, the remaining potential on the block and the challenging macro landscape, we have made the decision to formally surrender the Ntem Block. Our focus remains on securing transformative, exploitation led M&A opportunities.”
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The vessels are to be delivered between January and August 2013, and the contract also contains provisions for up to an additional eight vessels. “These vessels will be deployed to enhance or replace existing vessels deployed in our own liner trades”, saidRichard Kendall, managing director of CNCo. The vessels will be able to carry 2082 teu, but are also designed to carry general cargo, steel, project cargo, agricultural products and dry bulk cargoes. The vessels will have five holds, three of which will be cellular fitted for 40 ft containers with stoppers, which enables breakbulk and steel coils to be loaded on the tanktops with containers above.CNCo says that the vessel’s hatchcovers will be lift-away non-sequential pontoons. The other two holds are designed as 30 m multipurpose holds with a centreline girder with folding hatchcovers and tweendecks. The tanktops are specifically strengthened for heavy cargoes and containers. Four electric deck cranes will be mounted on the centreline, each rated at 60 tonnes but combinable for a maximum lift of 120 tonnes between any two adjacent cranes. A bowthruster is being fitted to enhance manoeuvring in port. CNCo currently operates 29 vessels, of which 17 are owned, in its owned and managed liner trades in the Asia Pacific region under the Swire Shipping, Tasman Orient, New Guinea Pacific Line and Greater Bali Hai brands.
The Law Society has published a list of brokers and insurers accepting its composite proposal form for professional indemnity insurance as brokers warned solicitors to start sorting out cover early. So far brokers Aon, Bar Professions, Brunel, Giles Insurance, Hera Indemnity, Howden, Marsh, Prime Professions, QPI Legal, Wesleyan, and Windsor have indicated that they accept the form, but some require supplementary information. Insurers accepting the form include APRO Management, Chartis, First Title, Hannover, Indemnity Risk Solutions, Liberty, Monitor Insurance, RSA Insurance (not accepting new business), W.R. Berkley. Some may require more information and others will still require their own forms to be completed before they give a final quotation. The Society unveiled the form last week in an effort to simplify the process of obtaining multiple quotes. Three months before the 1 October renewal deadline, broker Brunel has advised firms to ‘get cracking’ if they want to secure the best PII deals. ‘In the past we’ve seen some practices leave their PII renewal to the last minute in the hope of snapping up a cheap late deal from insurers,’ said Trevor Moss, director. However he said such a ‘high-risk strategy’ could end up with firms falling into the assigned risks pool (ARP) if they cannot secure cover. Moss said that many insurers have found it tough to make a profit from the solicitors market, so are going to be very selective about the practices they want to take on, seeking those with good claims records and effective risk management procedures. When seeking cover, Moss said firms should demonstrate that they have effective risk management procedures and ensure that their practice management accreditations, such as LEXCEL, are clearly shown. Meanwhile, Prime Professions, which has been reappointed as the preferred broker for the Sole Practitioners Group, said it has signed an exclusive deal with insurers Liberty to provide cover to sole practitioners. Richard Brown, a director at Prime said it is a very positive sign that an A-rated insurer is prepared to insure sole practitioners, subject to underwriting conditions. He said: ‘Liberty has looked at sole practitioners and taken the view that they are not the bad risk that some people though they were.’ Prime also hopes to be able to announce a deal with another insurer to provide cover for one-to-three partner firms. Brown warned that getting cover from the right insurer this year will be more important than it has been in the past, due to the ending of the ARP next year. ‘Firms that cannot get re-insured or find other cover will be forced to close down and go into run-off. So it’s important they get an insurer who has been in the market and has the strength to offer cover into the future,’ he said. The Law Society has launched its 2012 guide to insurers, which includes a new section on insurers’ financial security ratings. It will be updated throughout the renewal season when new insurers enter the market. More details can be found on the Law Society site.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has urged the legal profession to simplify its complaints procedures, following the publication of research showing that only one in eight dissatisfied customers goes on to make a formal complaint. Responding, the Legal Services Board (LSB) said it was making progress in this regard. The OFT’s report, Economic Research into Regulatory Restrictions in the Legal Profession, found that around one in seven of the three million people using the UK’s legal profession each year are dissatisfied with the service they receive. The report attributed the low level of complaints to uncertainty about how or where to complain – and scepticism about whether complaining is worth the effort. ‘Too many consumers are unhappy with the service they receive, yet are put off pursuing complaints by the complexity of the system,’ Mary Starks, the OFT’s senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets said. The LSB’s chief executive, Chris Kenny, described the OFT report as ‘a timely reminder that much more needs to be done’ but said the regulator was already moving in the direction recommended. ‘We have signalled in our draft business plan for 2013/14 that we will be commencing work on the cost and complexity of regulation generally. ‘We will also be looking to hold regulators to account as they move towards regulating by clear outcomes rather than elaborately detailed rules.’ The Law Society said the figures show that over 70% of legal services users are satisfied. ‘In a field where proceedings are often contentious or emotional and where a satisfactory outcome is not guaranteed, that suggests a good standard,’ a spokesperson said. ‘We believe that it is right that consumers should complain if they are dissatisfied and support proportionate measures to ensure that they are aware of the correct procedures.’ The OFT’s study is also critical of the process for authorising alternative business structures, describing it as ‘slow, with only around 70 out of more than 150 applications for non-traditional legal service firms approved to date’. It called on regulators to speed up the process for approvals and make sure no unnecessary barriers prevent businesses from entering the legal services market. However the Law Society said that a lengthy process was inevitable given the new risks involved.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has given the green light to members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) to practise independently in probate and conveyancing.The approval would allow regulator ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) to authorise entities practising in these areas.Currently, CILEx members can only conduct many reserved legal activities under the supervision of an authorised person, most commonly a solicitor.For example, certain Land Registry forms have to be signed by an authorised person, such as a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, even if the CILEx member is head of the conveyancing department.The recommendation will go to lord chancellor Chris Grayling for final parliamentary approval next year. If granted, it will give the IPS further regulatory powers by early 2015.Responding to the decision, chief executive of the Law Society Desmond Hudson, said: ‘Solicitors are, rightly, the trusted brand for legal advice.’Consumers will need to be satisfied that the regulatory arrangements and particularly those for compensation as apply to other little-known competitors are appropriate for their needs, and as robust as they would expect from a solicitor.’A decision on rule changes for litigation and immigration services is also expected from the LSB.The IPS additionally intends to apply to the LSB to license alternative business structures managed by non-lawyers.IPS Chair Alan Kershaw said: ‘We have cleared a significant hurdle and now we hope the lord chancellor and parliament will move swiftly to approve these changes, opening the way for CILEx members to run their own businesses.’