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Showing posts with label Astronomy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Astronomy. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Turned out the Moon was 4.51 billion years old

According to scientists, it turns out the moon was older than previously thought, which is 4.51 billion years old. Thus the latest estimates, thanks to the rocks and soil samples collected by the astronauts of Apollo 14 on the moon.
The study has put the age of the Moon at at least 4.51 billion years — up to 140 million years older than previously thought, according to a new study of minerals called zircons brought back from the lunar body to the Earth by the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1iDSow)
A team of researchers reported on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 that the moon formed within 60 million years of the birth of the solar system. The estimates range from 100 million the previous year, then to 200 million years after the creation of the solar system, instead of the 4.6 billion years ago.

Scientists are calculating the age of the moon by using the uranium-lead zircon metal fragments were extracted from samples of moon taken from the Apollo 14 missions. The pieces of zircon was very small, no bigger than a grain of sand.

"Size does not matter, because the fragments record an incredible information!" said the study's lead author Melanie Barboni from the University of California, Los Angeles. She added that the moon has "so many wonders key to understanding how our beautiful Earth formed and evolved."

Some of the eight samples of zircon has been used in a previous study, also conducted at UCLA. Barboni said that she was learning more zircon samples from the Apollo 14, but she expects it will not change the estimated age of the moon is around 4.51 billion year, at most only be 4.52 billion years old.
This is astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. on the moon in 1971 with the Apollo 14 mission. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1iDSJF)
As we lall knew, the Apollo 14 astronauts, Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell collected approximately 41.73 kilograms and uses tubes to dig the ground while exploring the Fra Mauro highlands in February 1971. They walk twice on the moon, as a whole for nine hours on the lunar surface.

And this is the second major study of the moon on this week. Earlier, on Monday, Israeli scientists concluded that the moon may have formed from many mini moons. The moon, according to them, are not formed from the massive giant power hit and release the body parts of the Earth, but from a series of smaller collision may have created many moons eventually merge into one.

This giant force theory says that the result of the blow energy forming the moon lava ocean later becomes solid. This solidification age which is now confirmed by the Barboni and her team.

Barboni said like any process of formation of the moon, the result is the compaction of the moon as it is known today. "We finally determine the minimum age of the formation of the moon, however the process," she said. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCEDAILY]
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Not a comet or asteroid, this strange celestial object is being approaching the Earth

An infrared telescope belonging to the NASA detects two objects that are approaching the Earth. But one of them, identified as 2016 WF9 made the scientists confusion.

NEOWISE telescope first spotted the WF9 on November 27, 2016. The object was apparently shot from the direction of the Jupiter and entered the path of Earth's orbit in 4.9 years.
An illustration of a comet pass through the moon and Earth. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1hVrqV)
And the WF9 estimated to be close to the Earth orbit on February 25, 2017. At that time the WF9 will be racing at a distance of about 51 million kilometers from the Earth. NASA said at that distance, the WF9 not endanger the inhabitants of Earth.

However, the astronomers are very curious about WF9 due to the object characteristic was unique, that is between the asteroids and comets.

According to NASA, the comet is a cosmic snowball, which is composed of gas, rocks, and frozen dust. The size is usually equivalent to a small town. When approaching the sun and exposured to heat, the comet is usually releasing dust and gas into space.
NASA NEOWISE Telescope was made to find potentially hazardous celestial objects. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1hVrqV)
And in 2015 Rosetta spacecraft of the European Space Agency (ESA) was recording the activity of comet 67P that produces a burst of gas and dust when the streaking toward the sun.

But the WF9 could not be classified as a comet. Its diameter is only about 0.5 to 1 kilometer. The color is darker and reflect less light that hits its surface. The amount of reflected light and orbits similar to other comets, but the WF9 not have the cloud of gas and dust that commonly owned by comets in general.

While the asteroid is a rock that surrounds the sun, size ranges from 1,000 km to the most minor form of dust particles. Usually they are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter's, though some are approaching even entered the Earth (then called as a meteor).

The astronomers said that the space objects came from the same pathways of the WF9 possibility of having multiple places of origin. That means the possibility of WF9 previously was a comet. In addition, the object also alleged was thrown from a group of dark objects in an asteroid belt.

"Perhaps, in the course of time this object lost the majority of content," said James Bauer, a NASA astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California.

If the WF9 confirmed to be a comet, it will be the 10th comet that discovered by NEOWISE since the telescope was activated in December 2013. But if it is defined as an asteroid, the WF9 will become the 100th asteroid discovered by NEOWISE.

NEOWISE itself is a NASA telescope has a task to detect the space objects approaching the Earth and potentially endanger civilization on this planet. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE SUN]
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The dwarf planet Ceres turned out to be covered by ice

The dwarf planet Ceres is a rocky place that is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and is based on research done by NASA, it also contains a lot of ice on its dark surface.

The study, published in several reports in the journals Science and Nature Astronomy can lead to commercial mining on asteroids for both robotic and human expeditions to the moon.
A snapshot of Ceres' surface, with overlaid animation showing the locations of "bright spots" that reflect sunlight. Scientists have discovered that one of these bright spots contain water ice. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1grVRl)
Is a NASA spacecraft named Dawn was surrounding the Ceres since March 2015, in the 14-months mission to study Vesta, the second largest object in the belt.

Based on the study, Ceres contains 10 percent water, now frozen into ice, according to a physicist named Thomas Prettyman of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, which is also one of the researchers.
Dawn, a NASA's spaceprobe in an artist illustration. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1AcjFfG)
By studying the solar system on the objects like Ceres will provide an overview of how the system is formed. When compared with Vesta is dry, then the condition of Ceres is more like Enceladus and Europa, the frozen moon of Saturn and Jupiter. So also when compared with Earth, Mercury, Venus and Mars, Prettyman said further.
The concentration of hydrogen on Ceres (right) and Vespa (left). Blue areas are where hydrogen content is higher, while red areas have lower levels of hydrogen. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1grVFj)
Scientists were still debating whether Ceres has a salty sea, which creates a perception will grow dwarf planet outside the solar system that might be able to accommodate life, said the deputy leader of Dawn mission, Carol Raymond of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"By finding a place rich in water in the past, we can find clues to the likely life of the early solar system," Raymond said through a written statement.

The informations collected by Dawn shown, that Ceres using the water to form minerals. Then the scientists combining the mineral data with computer models to study the interior.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | POPULAR MECHANICS | SPACE]
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Scientists find a clue when the apocalypse occurs on the Earth

Five billion years from now, the sun apocalypse. Doomsday. After our sun exhausted their fuel, and will start to burn the heavier elements in its fusion core. When this process occurs, the Sun will swell, and also will spew most of its constituent materials into space through a strongly blow of the stellar winds.

Imagine, then the sun will expand about 100 times larger than today, and becoming what is known as the 'red giant'. Those dramatic expansion event will took two nearby planets, Mercury and Venus became the victims.
L2 Puppis dying star offers glimpse of Earth's doomsday in 5 billion years from now. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gfUrz)
So, what will happen to our Earth? Is the human planet (which is the third planet from the sun) will suffer the same fate as Venus and Mercury are engulfed by a ​​super-hot plasma sea? Or, whether the Earth could escape of the most terrible phase of upheaval deaths and continues to orbit on the red dwarf star which is the remainder of the sun?

"We already know that the sun will expand and increasingly light (when entering the red giant phase). These conditions may be destroying all forms of life that exist in our planet," said Leen Decin, from KU Leuven Institute of Astronomy in a statement, as quoted from Space.com on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Or in other words, human beings, animals, and plants will disappear. Earth is no longer blue, and that the remaining was its core only. Parched.

However, whether a rocky core of the Earth will survive on the red giant phase and continued orbiting on the white dwarfs star? With the help of the most powerful radio observatory on the planet, the astronomers could soon have a clue about the fate of the Earth by looking at the nearest star system which resembles the approximate shape of our solar system when the sun was going towards its final moments.
A composite view of the L2 Puppis star system, including the location of the red giant star and probable exoplanet. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1gfUrz)
Yes, there's L2 Puppis is an evolved star, which located in a distance of more than 200 light years from the Earth (one light year would have amounted to 9,460 billion kilometers). Although the existence of L2 Puppis feels far away, actually it was at our cosmic doorstep.

By using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. And through precise measurements of the star, the astronomers have concluded the mass and age of L2 Puppis. It turns out, L2 Puppis is a 10 billion years old Sun-like star. It is also a prime example of a planetary nebula formation process.

The fate of the sun in 5 billion years from now, the L2 Puppis in conditions of ripped and torn, spraying large amounts of gas into space. The process creates a large luminous clouds and privileged planetary nebula at glimpse looks like a beautiful cosmic butterfly.

"We discovered that the L2 Puppis, about 10 billion years olds," said Ward Homan who also a scientist from KU Leuven. "Five billion a year earlier, these star looks like a twin of the sun at this time, with almost similar mass. However, a third of its mass is lost during the star evolution. The same thing will happen with the sun."

Not only that. Based on a recent study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the L2 Puppis, also seems to have the planet that lies behind (with a distance of about 300 million kilometers). Although the distance is twice the distance of Earth's orbit to the Sun, but scientists can see incredible things where a world orbiting to a death star.

It is became an indication of what remains of the Earth in a few billion years future. Scientists hope to learn of the unfortunate planet (which has been a silent witness and the victims at once of the 'anger' that occurs in L2 Puppis).

"Five billion years from now, the sun will swell into a red giant star, hundreds of times larger than its current size. It also will experiencing intense mass loss through strong brunt of the stellar winds," says Decin.

Final product of the star evolution which occured at 7 billion years from now is a white dwarf star. With the size is similar to the Earth, but more severe: a teaspoon of white dwarf material has a weighs about 5 tons.

Astronomers often look at the stars (of course by using the tools) to better understand our position in the galaxy. In this case, they glimpse into the future and a key part of the life cycle of a star like our sun.  And the astronomers have also witnessed in the real sense of doom that could happen to the sun (a colossal event that leaves the carcass of a star can swallow the planets around it).

And although the Earth may not be immersed in the bubbling hell in the shape of swollen star, but all forms of life would not be left in the Earth. What's left on the Earth is a rocky core that has been peeled and great roasted. Perhaps, that's the picture of doom for our planet. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE.COM]
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

The most rounded star in the universe discovered

There are no space objects really spherical. The shape is influenced by the force created by the rotational motion and magnetic fields. No wonder so many the space objects that looks more bloated, especially around the equator.

One example is our sun. At the equator area of sun was 10 kilometers longer than the radius at around its two poles. The average radius of the sun itself around 695,700 km. Note also the Earth, our beloved planet. Radius around the equator was 21 km longer than at its poles. And the Earth itself has an average radius throughout 6,371 km.
The comparison between the Kepler 11145123 and Sun. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1g0jiJ)
But in the journal Science Advances published in November 16, 2016, the German scientists have discovered the most spherical objects ever found in the universe. Yes, the star named Kepler 11145123 lies within 5,000 light years from the Earth which is claimed as the most spherical space object ever discovered.

This star is an average radius of about 1.5 million km, but the size of the radius at the center line just 3 km longer than the radius at both poles. Not perfectly round indeed. But the spherical level of Kepler 11145123 is the most nearly perfect!

The calculations to the shape of Kepler 11145123 was conducted by Laurent Gizon, a researcher of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the University of Gottingen, Germany. Together with his colleagues he observed the star's size changing that took place periodically for four years. The changes called oscillation that can be measured by observing the difference of the light of stars.

According to the calculation of Gizon and his colleagues, the rotation of Kepler 11145123 is three times more slowly than the Sun. They suspect this is one reason why the star has nearly perfect rounded shape. And the magnetic field is also supposed to influence its almost perfect shape.

Gizon said that he and his team plan to use this method to measure the other stars in the universe. "It would be very interesting to know how the speed of rotation and magnetic fields affect the shape of star," said Gizon. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE DAILY]
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Monday, October 31, 2016

Could the Pluto have clouds like Our Earth?

Data from New Horizons spacecraft were examined the Pluto last year showed that in addition to fog, the dwarf planet may also have a cloud. Earlier, New Horizons has found a thin haze in the atmosphere of Pluto, with an altitude of 120 miles and is separated into at least 24 different layers.
Pluto's face turns colorful, composed of pale blue, yellow, and dark red. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fG6yp)
"But the fog is not a cloud," said S. Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator. He explained that the fog will spread and do not block the sunlight. If we stand on the surface of Pluto and look up, the mist will only filter about two percent of sunlight. Instead, the clouds will block sunlight so not visible from the surface.

The crystal-clear images taken by the New Horizons during the mission in July 2015 showed that Pluto is almost entirely free of cloud. However, on the careful observation of high-resolution images reveal the existence of seven bright object that resembles a cloud hovering over the surface of Pluto. 
Scientists from NASA’s New Horizons mission have identified some cloud candidates in the atmosphere of Pluto, using images taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera, during the spacecraft’s July 2015 flight through the Pluto system. None of the features can be confirmed as clouds with stereo imaging, but the scientists say they are suggestive of possible, rare condensation clouds. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fG7FQ)
Those seven objects that has a size that is almost similar and occur at dawn or dusk. It is estimated, that the best times of cloud formation on Pluto. Yet Stern says it is difficult to tell. "We do not see a pile or hordes of clouds. We only see the individual cloud, "he said.

He continued, "If there is a cloud, it means the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined." 
This artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, is seen in a NASA image from July 2015. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1RvzXhj)
Not only that, the data New Horizons also showed that the bright areas (such as large areas of the heart-shaped) in Pluto among the most reflective in the solar system.

"Brightness showed surface activity," said Bonnie Buratti, a member of scientists team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

New Horizons has completed delivery of all data collected when researching Pluto to Earth scientists on October 23, 2016. Now the spacecraft is about 5.5 billion kilometers from Earth and 540 million kilometers on the outside Pluto.

New Horizons is moving away from the Sun at a speed of about 14 kilometers/second, to the object of further research: 2014 MU69, a small objects in the Kuiper Belt which is 1.6 billion kilometers from Pluto. It is estimated, New Horizons will reach the 2014 MU69 by 2019 come. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE.COM]
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Could this icy world is a sign of the ninth planet in the Solar system?

Our solar system has a new extreme object named L91. Not just the name that might make the forehead frowning, its orbit too. Yes, something very cool until its natural deserve to be called as the icy world is orbiting so far from the Sun so that one year in there is equivalent to 20 millennium on the Earth. So imagine. If you live there, the time span since the Pyramids of Giza were built until the Facebook was born, not even half a year.
An artist illustration. The icy world of L91 was orbiting so far from the Sun, with the orbits over 20,000 years. Could it these celestial body be a clue of the existence of the ninth planet. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1f3P8E)
L91 was located at a distance closer than 50 Astronomical Units (AU) or 50 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun. And its greatest distance reaches 1430 AU. "These places are right at a distance that can be detected," said astrophysicist Michelle Banniester of Queen's University Belfast who found it.

In her presentation at the meeting of the Division of Planetary Science, the American Astronomical Society on Monday, September 17, 2016, Bannister explained, L91 can be located so because Neptune and has an elliptical orbit.
The illustration of the Oort Cloud, a theorised shell of icy objects that lie beyond the Kuiper Belt, as such the facts detailed on this page are hypothetical. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1f3PoB)
At the birth, the objects that found by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea was located closer to the Sun. The difference between the closest and furthest distance to the Sun is not great.

According to Banniester, billions of years later the  L91 is kicked out by gravity of Neptune. Coupled with another star passing close to the solar system, then L91 farther away.. Well, the solar system which was originally calculated as a quiet world turned out to be dynamic and full of commotion. And L91 is one of the victims.

Not all believes with the hypothesis of Banniester. Off course, the solar system is dynamic but the oddities orbit of and distance does not have to be explained by Neptune or passing star.

"It's not a story that is not possible, but also are not needed," said Konstantin Batygin, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology who was not involved invention, as quoted by Science on Monday.

According to him, the orbit change of L91 could be explained by the existence of a ninth planet in the solar system, which until now is still a hypothesis. Batygin and his partner, Mike Brown, is two people who at the beginning of 2016 have also write descriptions of a possible ninth planet in our big house.

According to Batygin, the ninth planet could give a good enough kick to make L91 away and its elongated orbit. Could it happen? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE]
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Rosetta mission ends with a heroic action

Rosetta mission 'FINISHED'. Unmanned spacecraft ended its mission with heroic action, by crashing to the ice surface of comet 67P.

Rosetta mission control in Darmstadt has not been able to confirm when the final seconds Rosetta occur. Contact with the aging spacecraft was abruptly broken off (which indicates the occurrence of damage).
The Rosetta spacecraft have hit the comet 67P at about 11:18 GMT (12:18 BST/1318 CEST) on Friday. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1eVgSq)
A few hours before the collision occurred, Rosetta was sending a number of high-resolution images, are also a series of measurements of celestial bodies that resemble a giant chunk of the dirty snow.

The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.  
(Picture from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/)
"Goodbye Rosetta. You've done a good job, gave best contribution to space science," said the European Space Agency (ESA) mission manager, Patrick Martin, as quoted from BBC on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Martin stated the mission of Roseta at Comet 67P has ended successfully. The researchers hope the data collected by Rosetta within its journey to the comet 67P in the last two years will be used for decades.

Its loss of signal, which occurred on Friday morning, September 30, 2016 at 11:18 GMT greeted muffled cheers and handshakes of the ESA staff. The completion of the Rosetta mission will also mean the end of the scientist task. "People are feeling sad, and proud to have completed this mission," said ESA's senior adviser, Mark McCaughrean.
The face of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko photographed by Rosetta spacecraft on August 3, 2014. The comet-shaped looks like a duck. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1GD38up)
During Friday morning, the instrument team follow each round and changes in motion of Rosetta, when it tried to land on the 4-kilometer-width of duck head-shaped comet.

The researchers want to lower the spacecraft, in order to observe the inside of one of the holes that give rise to the impression of patches on the surface. The sinkhole that is the point at which 67P ejects gas and dust into space. Scientists consider it as an opportunity to peek inside the comet.

Some pictures successfully sent by Rosetta, only a few seconds before the collision occurred. The photos will have a resolution that can be measured in millimeters.

"Super-duper," said Holger Sierks, head of the Osiris camera team. "My neck feathers shiver when thinking about all that," as he told to BBC News.

The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was the complete nama of these celestial body and currently heading away from the Sun. Its position limit the solar energy available for Rosetta, which is used to operate the system. Make the spacecraft becomes limp.
Still image from animation of Philae separating from Rosetta and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Nov. 2014. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1NpsM4h)
Scientists initially have the option to make the Rosetta hibernation or let it die slowly. However, according to ESA scientists, Matt Taylor, if Rosetta 'put to sleep' and then woken up again when 67P re-entering the bright territory of solar System, there is no guarantee the technology will still work fine. 

So, they decided to end it with a reckless action that ended up crashing. Because Rosetta is not designed to land, some of the structure of the plane most likely broke on the initial contact with the comet.
Over the last few days, Rosetta has manoeuvred from its flyover orbits to line up for collision with the comet. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1eVgSq)
Rosetta arrives at 67P in August 2014, after a 10-year journey from Earth. Over the years, it reveals the secrets of the behavior, structure and chemistry of comets. Rosetta even dropped a small robot named Philae to the surface of the comet in November 2014 to gather additional information (the historic first in space exploration).

Rosetta is expected to help unravel the mystery of why the Earth into very watery world, because 70 percent of our planet is ocean. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BBC]
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Monday, October 3, 2016

World's largest radio telescope begins operations

China started to operate a radio telescope Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) on Sunday, September 25, 2016. The telescope is now the largest in the world, ahead of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico that operates with the funding of the US-National Science Foundation (NSF).

Being in between two cliffs in the mountains of Guizhou, the FAST telescope built with funding of about Rp.2,5 trillion. The telescope was two times more sensitive than the Arecibo Observatory and has a reflector size of 30 times the football field.
Photo taken on Sept. 24, 2016 shows the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. The FAST, world's largest radio telescope, measuring 500 meters in diameter, was completed and put into use on Sunday. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ePbcu)
Qian Lei, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observation, China, said that the telescope was built to observe the pulsar, very fast spinning mini neutron star, the remnants of a supernova event. The telescope was able to detect the pulsar at a distance of 12 trillion kilometers from the Earth.

Meanwhile, Wu Zianping, director general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, said that the telescope that could search for the aliens, if any. "High sensitivity telescope will help us search for intelligent life outside the galaxy," he said.

Joseph Taylor, an astronomer from Princeton University, as quoted by Xinhua on Sunday said, "The telescope will certainly arouse enthusiasm, motivating people to pursue science, make China an important part of the world."

Sun Caihong which help the telescope operation said that FAST will be the best in the world up to 10 to 20 years into the future. While leader of the NAO, Yan Jun also revealed that China will build another world-class telescopes in the last 10 years.

Following the operation of this telescope, Deputy Prime Minister of China, Liu Yandong, told Xinhua on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, asking the scientists in his country is open to cooperation with the scientists of another countries. He hoped that the telescope will help scientists from wherever to discover new things in the field of astronomy and space. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | XINHUA]
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