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Hybrid Insulated Jacket
Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody

$400, 12 oz. (men’s medium)

Sizes: men’s XS-XXXL, women’s XXS-XXL

Who expected the overnight temp would drop nearly to freezing and the wind would blow 30 mph through our campsite on our first morning in southern Arizona’s Aravaipa Canyon… in mid-April? Well, I didn’t when I reserved that permit months earlier—but we all did when we saw the forecast immediately before the trip. So I packed my new Cerium Hoody and it proved the perfect antidote to unseasonably cold mornings.

It kept me warm over just a lightweight, short-sleeve T-shirt and a midweight long-sleeve top on chilly mornings in Aravaipa—where we didn’t get direct sunlight until mid-morning. The new Cerium Hoody performs just as well as its identical predecessor, called the Cerium LT Hoody, did for me at many past backcountry camps, including on a mid-September morning in the low 40s Fahrenheit at a windblown and unprotected site at 10,500 feet in Titcomb Basin, in Wyoming’s Wind River Range; and on mornings in the mid-20s in The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park in the first week of March. In both of those cases, I wore it over a short-sleeve T-shirt and a midweight long-sleeve top.

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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody.
” data-image-caption=”The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody in Aravaipa Canyon.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ decoding=”async” src=”″ alt=”The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody.” class=”wp-image-58152″ width=”426″ height=”639″ srcset=” 683w, 200w, 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 426px) 100vw, 426px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody.

Every time I’ve pulled this jacket on, it has felt like an instant injection of warmth through my torso and arms. I have to keep reminding myself it weighs just 12 ounces.

This 2022 update to an Arc’teryx classic remains identical to its previous version, called the Cerium LT Hoody (see my review of that model). For starters, the trim fit provides enough space for a couple of base layers underneath, allows full freedom of movement—important when wearing it as a middle layer on deep-cold adventures like ice climbing and mountaineering—and easily fits under a shell jacket. Outstanding shoulder articulation paired with enough sleeve length prevents the cuffs from sliding up your forearms when reaching. And Arc’teryx added one men’s size and two women’s sizes.

The Cerium’s high warmth-to-weight ratio—it’s one of the absolute warmest down jackets at this weight that I’ve worn—owes to the
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Transporter-8 Mission



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SpaceX is targeting Monday, June 12 for Falcon 9’s launch of the Transporter-8 mission to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The 57-minute launch window opens at 2:19 p.m. PT (21:19 UTC). If needed, there is a backup opportunity Tuesday, June 13 with the same window.

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched NROL-87, NROL-85, SARah-1, SWOT, and four Starlink missions. Following stage separation, Falcon 9 will land on Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Transporter-8 is SpaceX’s eighth dedicated smallsat rideshare mission. There will be 72 payloads on this flight, including CubeSats, MicroSats, a re-entry capsule, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time.

A live webcast of this mission will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.

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Triggered Star Birth in the Nessie Nebula



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Star formation is one of the oldest processes in the Universe. In the Milky Way and most other galaxies, it unfolds in cold, dark creches of gas and dust. Astronomers study sites of star formation to understand the process. Even though they know much about it, some aspects remain mysterious. That’s particularly true for the “Nessie Nebula” in the constellation Vulpecula. An international team led by astronomer James Jackson studies the nebula and its embedded star-birth regions. They found that it experienced a domino effect called “triggered star formation.”

“So, one of the interesting and open questions remaining in the field of star formation is, what happens when a star forms and ejects energy into the surrounding medium?” he said. “Does it make new stars, or does it prevent the formation of new stars?”

To answer those questions, Jackson and an international team of observers peered deep into the Nessie Nebula. It’s a so-called “Infrared Dark Cloud” (IRDC) with the official catalog name Lynds 772. Jackson named it the Loch Ness Monster Nebula a few years back. That’s because it resembles a spindly version of the famous and elusive Scottish lake monster. What the team found reveals that triggered star formation actually does take place under special circumstances in this nebula.

Putting the Nessie Nebula in Perspective

In 2013, Dr. Alyssa Goodman of Harvard Center for Astrophysics called the Nessie Nebula one of the “bones” of the Milky Way. That’s because it’s one of many webs of dusty filaments threaded through the galaxy. “It’s possible that the Nessie bone lies within a spiral arm, or that it is part of a web connecting bolder spiral features,” she said, noting that it probably spans at least 80 parsecs long and about a half-parsec wide.

As a galactic “bone”, it’s a prime place to look for triggered star formation. Nessie has a density of about 600 solar masses per parsec across its entire length. It’s also cold, with an average temperature of about 10K. There are many such cold clouds in the Milky Way, notably places like the famous Pillars of Creation or regions in the Carina Nebula.

The Pillars of Creation is another region of cold, dark gas similar to the Nessie Nebula where young stars are forming. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA
The Pillars of Creation is similar to the Nessie Nebula where young stars are forming. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA

A star gets started when gravity pushes the material in the cloud together to form a hot core. Temperatures and pressures rise, and eventually, a star is born. The Nessie Nebula is actually dense enough to form many very high-mass stars, according to Jackson. “By high mass, I mean a star that’s about 8 times the mass of the Sun, or more,” he said. “They have so much more energy than the Sun, and they inject this energy into the surrounding material, and they form these H II bubbles that ionize the gas around them.”

Essentially, those H II bubbles form as stellar winds from the hot young protostars push into surrounding space and photoionize (or heat) the gas there. As they expand, they stir up material around them. That creates a lot of energy. “The question I’m trying to answer is, does this energetic feedback trigger or hinder the formation of other new stars?” said Jackson.

The Domino Effect in the Nessie Nebula

The scenario for triggered star formation requires an almost perfect set of circumstances, starting with the cold dense nebula. Jackson explained that once a star (or group of stars) forms, its H II bubble triggers the birth process of the next star. That process repeats, almost like a domino effect.

So, does this triggered star formation really happen? Jackson pointed out two different scenarios. “If bubbles are just dispersing the gas, then that gas is gone and no stars can form,” he said. “On the other hand, if you have a clump of gas that’s almost ready to make a star, but not quite, can you hit it with an expanding shell and compress it? It could push it over the edge and gravity can take over. Some people say you make new stars and some say you don’t.”

To find out, the team looked at Nessie with the infrared-sensitive SOFIA flying observatory. It allowed them to peer through the clouds of gas and dust at the central region of the nebula. They coupled their observations with radio data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and the Mopra radio dish. They zeroed in on its most luminous young stellar object, called AGAL337.916-00.477. This high-mass stellar object is part of a cloud in the nebula that has several other high-mass young stellar objects and so-called “dust cores” where the process of star

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New Detailed Images of the Sun from the World’s Most Powerful Ground-Based Solar Telescope



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Our Sun continues to demonstrate its awesome power in a breathtaking collection of recent images taken by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Daniel Inouye Solar Telescope, aka Inouye Solar Telescope, which is the world’s largest and most powerful ground-based solar telescope. These images, taken by one of Inouye’s first-generation instruments, the Visible-Broadband Imager (VBI), show our Sun in incredible, up-close detail.

“These images preview the exciting science underway at the Inouye Solar Telescope,” Dr. Alexandra Tritschler, who is a National Solar Observatory Senior Scientist, tells Universe Today. “These images are a small fraction of the data obtained from the first Cycle. They exemplify the many and much broader science objectives and the much more powerful spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry data that now goes along with the images, none of which was available in 2020 when the Inouye Solar Telescope released its first-light images.”

The solar features in Inouye’s images include sunspots which reside in the Sun’s photosphere. These are the dark spots on the Sun’s “surface” and one of the Sun’s most well-known features, often reaching sizes that equal, or even dwarf, the size of the Earth. It is their dark appearance that can be deceiving, however, as sunspots are responsible for solar flares and coronal mass ejections that produce solar storms, which is a type of space weather.

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Image of a sunspot taken by the Inouye Solar Telescope. While they have a dark appearance, sunspots are responsible for solar flares and coronal mass ejections that produce solar storms. Sunspots often reach sizes that equal, or even dwarf, the size of the Earth. (Credit: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA)/National Solar Observatory (NSO))
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Image of a sunspot with a light bridge, which is hypothesized to be the beginning stages of a degrading sunspot. (Credit: NSF/AURA/NSO)

Other features from the Inouye images include convection cells, which also reside in the Sun’s photosphere, and consist of upward- and downward-flowing plasma, known as granules or “bubbles”. The last feature in the Inouye images are fibrils, which exist in the Sun’s chromosphere and are produced from the magnetic field interactions within the Sun.

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Image of solar granules or “bubbles”, intergranular lanes, and magnetic elements in the quiet regions of the Sun. In these features, solar plasma rises in the
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