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Goa trance – Wikipedia

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:29 am

Goa trance is an electronic music style that originated during the late 1980s in Goa, India.[1][2] Goa trance has often funky drone-like bass-lines, compared to techno minimalism of 21st century psytrance.[3]

Psychedelic trance music and culture (psyculture) is explored as a culture of exodus rooted in the seasonal dance party culture evolving in Goa, India, over the 1970s/1980s, and revealing a heterogeneous exile sensibility shaping Goa trance and psyculture[clarification needed] from the 1990s/2000s. That is, diverse transgressive and transcendent expatriations[clarification needed] would shape the music and aesthetics of Goa/psytrance. Thus, resisting circumscription[clarification needed] under singular heuristic formulas[clarification needed], Goa trance and its progeny are shown to be internally diverse. This freak mosaic was seasoned by expatriates and bohemians in exile from many countries, experienced in world cosmopolitan conurbations[clarification needed], with the seasonal DJ-led trance dance culture of Goa absorbing innovations in EDM productions, performance and aesthetics throughout the 1980s before the Goa sound and subsequent festival culture emerged in the mid-1990s. Rooted in an experimental freak community host to the conscious realisation and ecstatic abandonment of the self, psyculture is heir to this diverse exile experience.[4]

The music has its roots in the popularity of Goa in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a hippie capital, and although musical developments were incorporating elements of industrial music and EBM (electronic body music) with the spiritual culture in India throughout the 1980s, the actual Goa trance style did not appear until the early 1990s.[1][5]

The music played was a blend of styles loosely defined as techno and various genres of computer music (e.g., high energy disco without vocals, acid house, electro, industrial gothic, various styles of house, electronic rock hybrids). The music arrived on tape cassettes by fanatic traveler collectors and DJs. It was shared (copied) tape to tape among Goa DJs, which was an underground scene, not driven by labels or music industry.[citation needed]

The artists producing this ‘special Goa music’ had no idea that their music was being played on the beaches of Goa by “cyber hippies”.[citation needed] The first techno that was played in Goa was Kraftwerk in the late 1970s on the tape of a visiting DJ.[citation needed] At the time the music played at the parties was live bands. Tapes were played in between sets. In the early 1980s, sampling synth and MIDI music appeared globally and DJs became the preferred format in Goa, with two tape decks driving a party without a break, facilitating continuous music and continuous dancing.[citation needed] There had been resistance from the old-school acid heads who insisted that only acid rock should be played at parties, but they soon relented and converted to the revolutionary wave of technodelia that took hold in the 1980s.[citation needed]

Cassette tapes were used by DJs until the 1990s when DAT tapes were used. DJs playing in Goa during the 1980s included Fred Disko, Dr Bobby, Stephano, Paulino, Mackie, Babu, Laurent, Ray, Fred, Antaro, Lui, Rolf, Tilo, Pauli, Rudi, and Goa Gil.[6] The music was eclectic in style but nuanced around instrument/dub spacey versions of tracks that evoked mystical, cosmic, psychedelic, political, existential themes. Special mixes were made by DJs in Goa which were the editing of various versions of a track to make it longer. This was taking the stretch mix concept to another level, trip music for journeying to outdoors.[7]

Goa Trance as a music industry and collective party fashion tag did not gain global traction until 1994 when Paul Oakenfold began to champion the genre[8] via his own Perfecto label and in the media, most notably with the release of his 1994 Essential Mix, or more commonly known as the Goa Mix.[9]

By 199091 Goa had become a hot destination for partying and was no longer under the radar: the scene grew bigger. Goa-style parties spread like a diaspora all over the world from 1993 and a multitude of labels in various countries (UK, Australia, Japan, Germany) dedicated themselves to promoting psychedelic electronic music that reflected the ethos of Goa parties, Goa music and Goa-specific artists and producers and DJs. Mark Maurice’s ‘Panjaea’s focal point’ parties brought it to London in 1992 and it’s programming at London club megatripolis gave a great boost to the small international scene that was then growing (October 21, 1993 onwards). The golden age and first wave of Goa Trance was generally agreed upon aesthetic between 1994 and 1997.[citation needed]

The original goal of the music was to assist the dancers in experiencing a collective state of bodily transcendence, similar to that of ancient shamanic dancing rituals, through hypnotic, pulsing melodies and rhythms. As such, it has an energetic beat, often in a standard 4/4 dance rhythm. A typical track will generally build up to a much more energetic movement in the second half then taper off fairly quickly toward the end. The tempo typically lies in the 130150 BPM range, although some tracks may have a tempo as low as 110 or as high as 160 BPM. Generally 812 minutes long, Goa Trance tracks tend to focus on steadily building energy throughout, using changes in percussion patterns and more intricate and layered synth parts as the music progresses in order to build a hypnotic and intense feel.

The kick drum often is a low, thick sound with prominent sub-bass frequencies. The music very often incorporates many audio effects that are often created through experimentation with synthesisers. A well-known sound that originated with Goa trance and became much more prevalent through its successor, which evolved Goa Trance into a music genre known as Psytrance, has the organic “squelchy” sound (usually a sawtooth-wave which is run through a resonant band-pass or high-pass filter).[citation needed]

Other music technology used in Goa trance includes popular analogue synthesizers such as the Roland TB-303, Roland Juno-60/106, Novation Bass-Station, Korg MS-10, and notably the Roland SH-101. Hardware samplers manufactured by Akai, Yamaha and Ensoniq were also popular for sample storage and manipulation.[citation needed]

A popular element of Goa trance is the use of samples, often from science fiction movies. Those samples mostly contain references to drugs, parapsychology, extraterrestrial life, existentialism, OBEs, dreams, science, time travel, spirituality and similar mysterious and unconventional topics.[citation needed]

Old School Goa Trance:

New School Goa Trance:

The first parties were those held at Bamboo Forest at South Anjuna beach., Disco Valley at Vagator beach and Arambol beach(c. 1991-1993) [10] and attempt’s initially were made to turn them into commercial events, which met with much resistance and the need to pay the local Goan police baksheesh they were generally staged around a bar, even though this may only be a temporary fixture in the forest or beach.[citation needed]. The parties talking place around the New Year tend to be the most chaotic with bus loads of people coming in from all places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and the world over. Travelers and sadhus from all over India pass by to join in.[citation needed]

megatripolis in London was a great influence in popularising the sound. Running from June 1993 though really programming the music from October 1993 when it moved to Heaven nightclub it made all the national UK press, running until October 1996.

In 1993 a party organization called Return to the Source also brought the sound to London, UK. Starting life at the Rocket in North London with a few hundred followers, the Source went on to a long residency at Brixton’s 2,000 capacity Fridge and to host several larger 6,000 capacity parties in Brixton Academy, their New Year’s Eve parties gaining reputations for being very special. The club toured across the UK, Europe and Israel throughout the 1990s and went as far as two memorable parties on the slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan and New York’s Liberty Science Center. By 2001 the partners Chris Deckker, Mark Allen, Phil Ross and Janice Duncan were worn out and all but gone their separate ways. The last Return to the Source party was at Brixton Academy in 2002.[citation needed]

Goa parties have a definitive visual aspect – the use of “fluoro” (fluorescent paint) is common on clothing and on decorations such as tapestries. The graphics on these decorations are usually associated with topics such as aliens, Hinduism, other religious (especially eastern) images, mushrooms (and other psychedelic art), shamanism and technology. Shrines in front of the DJ stands featuring religious items are also common decorations.[citation needed]

For a short period in the mid-1990s, Goa trance enjoyed significant commercial success with support from DJs, who later went on to assist in developing a much more mainstream style of trance outside Goa. Only a few artists came close to being Goa trance “stars”, enjoying worldwide fame.[citation needed]

Several artists initially started producing Goa trance music and went on to produce psytrance instead.[citation needed]

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Goa trance – Wikipedia

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Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Posted: at 1:27 am

Alternative medicine or fringe medicine are practices claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or only harmful. Alternative therapies or diagnoses are not part of medicine or science-based healthcare systems. Alternative medicine consists of a wide variety of practices, products, and therapiesranging from those that are biologically plausible but not well tested, to those with known harmful and toxic effects. Contrary to popular belief, significant expense is paid in testing alternative medicine, including over $2.5 billion spent by the United States government, with almost none showing any effect beyond that of false treatment. Perceived effects of alternative medicine are caused by placebo, decreased effects of functional treatment (and therefor also decreased side-effects), and regression toward the mean where improvement that would have occurred anyway is credited to alternative therapies. Alternative medicine is not the same as experimental medicine.

Alternative medicine has grown in popularity and is used by a significant percentage of the population in many countries. While it has extensively rebranded itself: from quackery to complementary or integrative medicineit promotes essentially the same practices. Newer proponents often suggest alternative medicine be used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it “complements” (improves the effect of, or mitigates the side effects of) the treatment. However, significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatments, making them less effective, notably cancer therapy. Despite it being illegal to market alternative therapies for any type of cancer treatment in most of the developed world, many cancer patients use them. In the UK complementary therapies are commonly made available to cancer patients.[1][2]

Alternative medical diagnoses and treatments are not included in the science-based curriculum taught in medical schools, and are not used in medical practice where treatments are based on scientific knowledge. Alternative therapies are often based on religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, or fraud. Regulation and licensing of alternative medicine and health care providers varies between and within countries.

Alternative medicine has been criticized for being based on misleading statements, quackery, pseudoscience, antiscience, fraud, or poor scientific methodology. Promoting alternative medicine has been called dangerous and unethical. Testing alternative medicine that have no scientific basis has been called a waste of scarce medical research resources. Critics have said “there is really no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t”, and the problem is not only that it does not work, but that the “underlying logic is magical, childish or downright absurd”. There have also been calls that the concept of any alternative medicine that works is paradoxical, as any treatment proven to work is simply “medicine”.

Practitioners of complementary medicine usually discuss and advise patients as to available alternative therapies. Patients often express interest in mind-body complementary therapies because they offer a non-drug approach to treating some health conditions.[3][clarification needed]

In addition to the social-cultural underpinnings of the popularity of alternative medicine, there are several psychological issues that are critical to its growth. One of the most critical is the placebo effecta well-established observation in medicine.[4] Related to it are similar psychological effects, such as the will to believe,[5]cognitive biases that help maintain self-esteem and promote harmonious social functioning,[5] and the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.[5]

CAM’s popularity may be related to other factors that Edzard Ernst mentioned in an interview in The Independent:

Why is it so popular, then? Ernst blames the providers, customers and the doctors whose neglect, he says, has created the opening into which alternative therapists have stepped. “People are told lies. There are 40 million websites and 39.9 million tell lies, sometimes outrageous lies. They mislead cancer patients, who are encouraged not only to pay their last penny but to be treated with something that shortens their lives. “At the same time, people are gullible. It needs gullibility for the industry to succeed. It doesn’t make me popular with the public, but it’s the truth.[6]

Paul Offit proposed that “alternative medicine becomes quackery” in four ways: by recommending against conventional therapies that are helpful, promoting potentially harmful therapies without adequate warning, draining patients’ bank accounts, or by promoting “magical thinking.”[7]

In a paper published in October 2010 entitled The public’s enthusiasm for complementary and alternative medicine amounts to a critique of mainstream medicine, Ernst described these views in greater detail and concluded:

[CAM] is popular. An analysis of the reasons why this is so points towards the therapeutic relationship as a key factor. Providers of CAM tend to build better therapeutic relationships than mainstream healthcare professionals. In turn, this implies that much of the popularity of CAM is a poignant criticism of the failure of mainstream healthcare. We should consider it seriously with a view of improving our service to patients.[8]

Authors have speculated on the socio-cultural and psychological reasons for the appeal of alternative medicines among the minority using them in lieu of conventional medicine. There are several socio-cultural reasons for the interest in these treatments centered on the low level of scientific literacy among the public at large and a concomitant increase in antiscientific attitudes and new age mysticism.[5] Related to this are vigorous marketing[9] of extravagant claims by the alternative medical community combined with inadequate media scrutiny and attacks on critics.[5][10]

There is also an increase in conspiracy theories toward conventional medicine and pharmaceutical companies, mistrust of traditional authority figures, such as the physician, and a dislike of the current delivery methods of scientific biomedicine, all of which have led patients to seek out alternative medicine to treat a variety of ailments.[10] Many patients lack access to contemporary medicine, due to a lack of private or public health insurance, which leads them to seek out lower-cost alternative medicine.[11] Medical doctors are also aggressively marketing alternative medicine to profit from this market.[9]

Patients can be averse to the painful, unpleasant, and sometimes-dangerous side effects of biomedical treatments. Treatments for severe diseases such as cancer and HIV infection have well-known, significant side-effects. Even low-risk medications such as antibiotics can have potential to cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in a very few individuals. Many medications may cause minor but bothersome symptoms such as cough or upset stomach. In all of these cases, patients may be seeking out alternative treatments to avoid the adverse effects of conventional treatments.[5][10]

It is loosely as a defined set of products, practices, and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine,[n 1][n 2] but whose effectiveness has not been clearly established using scientific methods,[n 1][n 3][15][16][17][18] or whose theory and practice is not part of biomedicine,[n 2][n 4][n 5][n 6] or whose theories or practices are directly contradicted by scientific evidence or scientific principles used in biomedicine.[15][16][22] “Biomedicine” or “medicine” is that part of medical science that applies principles of biology, physiology, molecular biology, biophysics, and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Unlike medicine,[n 4] an alternative product or practice does not originate from using scientific methodology, but may instead be based on testimonials, religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, or other unscientific sources.[n 3][12][15][16]

In General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine, published in 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO), complementary and alternative medicine were defined as a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care system.[23]

The expression also refers to a diverse range of related and unrelated products, practices, and theories ranging from biologically plausible practices and products and practices with some evidence, to practices and theories that are directly contradicted by basic science or clear evidence, and products that have been conclusively proven to be ineffective or even toxic and harmful.[n 2][25][26]

The terms-Alternative medicine, complementary medicine, integrative medicine, holistic medicine, natural medicine, unorthodox medicine, fringe medicine, unconventional medicine, and new age medicine are used interchangeably as having the same meaning and are almost synonymous in some contexts,[27][28][29][30] but may have different meanings in some rare cases.

The meaning of the term “alternative” in the expression “alternative medicine”, is not that it is an effective alternative to medical science, although some alternative medicine promoters may use the loose terminology to give the appearance of effectiveness.[15][31] Loose terminology may also be used to suggest meaning that a dichotomy exists when it does not, e.g., the use of the expressions “western medicine” and “eastern medicine” to suggest that the difference is a cultural difference between the Asiatic east and the European west, rather than that the difference is between evidence-based medicine and treatments that don’t work.[15]

Complementary medicine (CM) or integrative medicine (IM) is when alternative medicine is used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it improves the effect of treatments.[n 7][12][33][34][35] However, significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatment, making treatments less effective, notably cancer therapy.[36][37] Both terms refer to use of alternative medical treatments alongside conventional medicine,[38][39][40] an example of which is use of acupuncture (sticking needles in the body to influence the flow of a supernatural energy), along with using science-based medicine, in the belief that the acupuncture increases the effectiveness or “complements” the science-based medicine.[40]

Allopathic medicine or allopathy is an expression commonly used by homeopaths and proponents of other forms of alternative medicine to refer to mainstream medicine. Specifically it refers to the use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions.[41] The expression was coined in 1810 by the creator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (17551843).[42] In such circles, the expression “allopathic medicine” is still used to refer to “the broad category of medical practice that is sometimes called Western medicine, biomedicine, evidence-based medicine, or modern medicine” (see the article on scientific medicine).[43]

Use of the term remains common among homeopaths and has spread to other alternative medicine practices. The meaning implied by the label has never been accepted by conventional medicine and is considered pejorative.[44] More recently, some sources have used the term “allopathic”, particularly American sources wishing to distinguish between Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) in the United States.[42][45] William Jarvis, an expert on alternative medicine and public health,[46] states that “although many modern therapies can be construed to conform to an allopathic rationale (e.g., using a laxative to relieve constipation), standard medicine has never paid allegiance to an allopathic principle” and that the label “allopath” was from the start “considered highly derisive by regular medicine”.[47]

Many conventional medical treatments clearly do not fit the nominal definition of allopathy, as they seek to prevent illness, or remove the cause of an illness by acting on the etiology of disease.[48][49]

CAM is an abbreviation of complementary and alternative medicine.[50][51] It has also been called sCAM or SCAM with the addition of “so-called” or “supplements”.[52][53] The words balance and holism are often used, claiming to take into account a “whole” person, in contrast to the supposed reductionism of medicine. Due to its many names the field has been criticized for intense rebranding of what are essentially the same practices: as soon as one name is declared synonymous with quackery, a new name is chosen.[27]

It refers to the pre-scientific practices of a culture, contrary to what is traditionally practiced in cultures where medical science dominates.

“Eastern medicine” typically refers to the traditional medicines of Asia where conventional bio-medicine penetrated much later.

Prominent members of the science[7][54] and biomedical science community[14] assert that it is not meaningful to define an alternative medicine that is separate from a conventional medicine, that the expressions “conventional medicine”, “alternative medicine”, “complementary medicine”, “integrative medicine”, and “holistic medicine” do not refer to any medicine at all.[7][14][54][55]

Others in both the biomedical and CAM communities point out that CAM cannot be precisely defined because of the diversity of theories and practices it includes, and because the boundaries between CAM and biomedicine overlap, are porous, and change. The expression “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) resists easy definition because the health systems and practices it refers to are diffuse, and its boundaries poorly defined.[25][n 8] Healthcare practices categorized as alternative may differ in their historical origin, theoretical basis, diagnostic technique, therapeutic practice and in their relationship to the medical mainstream. Some alternative therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, have antique origins in East or South Asia and are entirely alternative medical systems;[60] others, such as homeopathy and chiropractic, have origins in Europe or the United States and emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some, such as osteopathy and chiropractic, employ manipulative physical methods of treatment; others, such as meditation and prayer, are based on mind-body interventions. Treatments considered alternative in one location may be considered conventional in another.[63] Thus, chiropractic is not considered alternative in Denmark and likewise osteopathic medicine is no longer thought of as an alternative therapy in the United States.[63]

Critics say the expression is deceptive because it implies there is an effective alternative to science-based medicine, and that complementary is deceptive because it implies that the treatment increases the effectiveness of (complements) science-based medicine, while alternative medicines that have been tested nearly always have no measurable positive effect compared to a placebo.[15][64][65][66]

One common feature of all definitions of alternative medicine is its designation as “other than” conventional medicine. For example, the widely referenced descriptive definition of complementary and alternative medicine devised by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), states that it is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”[69] For conventional medical practitioners, it does not necessarily follow that either it or its practitioners would no longer be considered alternative.[n 9]

Some definitions seek to specify alternative medicine in terms of its social and political marginality to mainstream healthcare.[72] This can refer to the lack of support that alternative therapies receive from the medical establishment and related bodies regarding access to research funding, sympathetic coverage in the medical press, or inclusion in the standard medical curriculum.[72] In 1993, the British Medical Association (BMA), one among many professional organizations who have attempted to define alternative medicine, stated that it[n 10] referred to “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the conventional healthcare professions, and the skills of which are not taught as part of the undergraduate curriculum of conventional medical and paramedical healthcare courses.”[73] In a US context, an influential definition coined in 1993 by the Harvard-based physician,[74] David M. Eisenberg,[75] characterized alternative medicine “as interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals”.[76] These descriptive definitions are inadequate in the present-day when some conventional doctors offer alternative medical treatments and CAM introductory courses or modules can be offered as part of standard undergraduate medical training;[77] alternative medicine is taught in more than 50 per cent of US medical schools and increasingly US health insurers are willing to provide reimbursement for CAM therapies. In 1999, 7.7% of US hospitals reported using some form of CAM therapy; this proportion had risen to 37.7% by 2008.[79]

An expert panel at a conference hosted in 1995 by the US Office for Alternative Medicine (OAM),[80][n 11] devised a theoretical definition[80] of alternative medicine as “a broad domain of healing resources… other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period.”[82] This definition has been widely adopted by CAM researchers,[80] cited by official government bodies such as the UK Department of Health,[83] attributed as the definition used by the Cochrane Collaboration,[84] and, with some modification,[dubious discuss] was preferred in the 2005 consensus report of the US Institute of Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States.[n 2]

The 1995 OAM conference definition, an expansion of Eisenberg’s 1993 formulation, is silent regarding questions of the medical effectiveness of alternative therapies.[85] Its proponents hold that it thus avoids relativism about differing forms of medical knowledge and, while it is an essentially political definition, this should not imply that the dominance of mainstream biomedicine is solely due to political forces.[85] According to this definition, alternative and mainstream medicine can only be differentiated with reference to what is “intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society of culture”.[86] However, there is neither a reliable method to distinguish between cultures and subcultures, nor to attribute them as dominant or subordinate, nor any accepted criteria to determine the dominance of a cultural entity.[86] If the culture of a politically dominant healthcare system is held to be equivalent to the perspectives of those charged with the medical management of leading healthcare institutions and programs, the definition fails to recognize the potential for division either within such an elite or between a healthcare elite and the wider population.[86]

Normative definitions distinguish alternative medicine from the biomedical mainstream in its provision of therapies that are unproven, unvalidated, or ineffective and support of theories with no recognized scientific basis. These definitions characterize practices as constituting alternative medicine when, used independently or in place of evidence-based medicine, they are put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but are not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method.[12][14][38][39][69][88] Exemplifying this perspective, a 1998 editorial co-authored by Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, argued that:

This line of division has been subject to criticism, however, as not all forms of standard medical practice have adequately demonstrated evidence of benefit, [n 4][89] and it is also unlikely in most instances that conventional therapies, if proven to be ineffective, would ever be classified as CAM.[80]

Similarly, the public information website maintained by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of the Commonwealth of Australia uses the acronym “CAM” for a wide range of health care practices, therapies, procedures and devices not within the domain of conventional medicine. In the Australian context this is stated to include acupuncture; aromatherapy; chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; meditation and relaxation therapies; naturopathy; osteopathy; reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine; and the use of vitamin supplements.[91]

The Danish National Board of Health’s “Council for Alternative Medicine” (Sundhedsstyrelsens Rd for Alternativ Behandling (SRAB)), an independent institution under the National Board of Health (Danish: Sundhedsstyrelsen), uses the term “alternative medicine” for:

Proponents of an evidence-base for medicine[n 12][94][95][96][97] such as the Cochrane Collaboration (founded in 1993 and from 2011 providing input for WHO resolutions) take a position that all systematic reviews of treatments, whether “mainstream” or “alternative”, ought to be held to the current standards of scientific method.[98] In a study titled Development and classification of an operational definition of complementary and alternative medicine for the Cochrane Collaboration (2011) it was proposed that indicators that a therapy is accepted include government licensing of practitioners, coverage by health insurance, statements of approval by government agencies, and recommendation as part of a practice guideline; and that if something is currently a standard, accepted therapy, then it is not likely to be widely considered as CAM.[80]

A United States government agency, the National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), created its own classification system for branches of complementary and alternative medicine that divides them into five major groups. These groups have some overlap, and distinguish two types of energy medicine: veritable which involves scientifically observable energy (including magnet therapy, colorpuncture and light therapy) and putative, which invokes physically undetectable or unverifiable energy.[99]

The NCCIH classification system is –

Alternative medicine consists of a wide range of health care practices, products, and therapies. The shared feature is a claim to heal that is not based on the scientific method. Alternative medicine practices are diverse in their foundations and methodologies.[69] Alternative medicine practices may be classified by their cultural origins or by the types of beliefs upon which they are based.[12][15][22][69] Methods may incorporate or be based on traditional medicinal practices of a particular culture, folk knowledge, supersition, spiritual beliefs, belief in supernatural energies (antiscience), pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, new or different concepts of health and disease, and any bases other than being proven by scientific methods.[12][15][16][22] Different cultures may have their own unique traditional or belief based practices developed recently or over thousands of years, and specific practices or entire systems of practices.

Alternative medicine, such as using naturopathy or homeopathy in place of conventional medicine, is based on belief systems not grounded in science.[69]

Alternative medical systems may be based on traditional medicine practices, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda in India, or practices of other cultures around the world.[69] Some useful applications of traditional medicines have been researched and accepted within ordinary medicine, however the underlying belief systems are seldom scientific and are not accepted.

Bases of belief may include belief in existence of supernatural energies undetected by the science of physics, as in biofields, or in belief in properties of the energies of physics that are inconsistent with the laws of physics, as in energy medicine.[69]

Substance based practices use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, non-vitamin supplements and megavitamins, animal and fungal products, and minerals, including use of these products in traditional medical practices that may also incorporate other methods.[69][121][122] Examples include healing claims for nonvitamin supplements, fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acid, glucosamine, echinacea, flaxseed oil, and ginseng.[123]Herbal medicine, or phytotherapy, includes not just the use of plant products, but may also include the use of animal and mineral products.[121] It is among the most commercially successful branches of alternative medicine, and includes the tablets, powders and elixirs that are sold as “nutritional supplements”.[121] Only a very small percentage of these have been shown to have any efficacy, and there is little regulation as to standards and safety of their contents.[121] This may include use of known toxic substances, such as use of the poison lead in traditional Chinese medicine.[123]

The history of alternative medicine may refer to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as “alternative medicine” beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled “irregular practices” by the western medical establishment.[15][124][125][126][127] It includes the histories of complementary medicine and of integrative medicine. Before the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the increasingly science-based medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific and as practicing quackery.[124][125] Until the 1970’s, irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.[126] In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the entire group collectively marketed and promoted under the single expression “alternative medicine”.[15][124][125][126][128]

Use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, as part of the rising new age movement of the 1970s.[15][129][130] This was due to misleading mass marketing of “alternative medicine” being an effective “alternative” to biomedicine, changing social attitudes about not using chemicals and challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to beliefs and practices of other cultures (cultural relativism), and growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine.[15][125][126][127][128][130][131] At the same time, in 1975, the American Medical Association, which played the central role in fighting quackery in the United States, abolished its quackery committee and closed down its Department of Investigation.[124]:xxi[131] By the early to mid 1970s the expression “alternative medicine” came into widespread use, and the expression became mass marketed as a collection of “natural” and effective treatment “alternatives” to science-based biomedicine.[15][131][132][133] By 1983, mass marketing of “alternative medicine” was so pervasive that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) pointed to “an apparently endless stream of books, articles, and radio and television programmes urge on the public the virtues of (alternative medicine) treatments ranging from meditation to drilling a hole in the skull to let in more oxygen”.[131] In this 1983 article, the BMJ wrote, “one of the few growth industries in contemporary Britain is alternative medicine”, noting that by 1983, “33% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 39% of those with backache admitted to having consulted an alternative practitioner”.[131]

By about 1990, the American alternative medicine industry had grown to a $27 billion per year, with polls showing 30% of Americans were using it.[130][134] Moreover, polls showed that Americans made more visits for alternative therapies than the total number of visits to primary care doctors, and American out-of-pocket spending (non-insurance spending) on alternative medicine was about equal to spending on biomedical doctors.[124]:172 In 1991, Time magazine ran a cover story, “The New Age of Alternative Medicine: Why New Age Medicine Is Catching On”.[130][134] In 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine reported one in three Americans as using alternative medicine.[130] In 1993, the Public Broadcasting System ran a Bill Moyers special, Healing and the Mind, with Moyers commenting that “…people by the tens of millions are using alternative medicine. If established medicine does not understand that, they are going to lose their clients.”[130]

Another explosive growth began in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, investing large sums of government medical research funds into testing alternative medicine, including testing of scientifically implausible treatments, and relaxing government regulation of alternative medicine products as compared to biomedical products.[15][124]:xxi[125][126][127][128][135][136] Beginning with a 1991 appropriation of $2 million for funding research of alternative medicine research, federal spending grew to a cumulative total of about $2.5 billion by 2009, with 50% of Americans using alternative medicine by 2013.[137][138]

In 1993, Britain’s Prince Charles, who claimed that homeopathy and other alternative medicine was an effective alternative to biomedicine, established The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH), as a charity to explore “how safe, proven complementary therapies can work in conjunction with mainstream medicine”.[139] The FIH received government funding through grants from Britain’s Department of Health.[139] In 2008, London’s The Times published a letter from Edzard Ernst that asked the FIH to recall two guides promoting alternative medicine, saying: “the majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective, and many are downright dangerous.” In 2010, Brittan’s FIH closed after allegations of fraud and money laundering led to arrests of its officials.[139]

In 2004, modifications of the European Parliament’s 2001 Directive 2001/83/EC, regulating all medicine products, were made with the expectation of influencing development of the European market for alternative medicine products.[140] Regulation of alternative medicine in Europe was loosened with “a simplified registration procedure” for traditional herbal medicinal products.[140][141] Plausible “efficacy” for traditional medicine was redefined to be based on long term popularity and testimonials (“the pharmacological effects or efficacy of the medicinal product are plausible on the basis of long-standing use and experience.”), without scientific testing.[140][141] The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) was created within the European Medicines Agency in London (EMEA). A special working group was established for homeopathic remedies under the Heads of Medicines Agencies.[140]

Through 2004, alternative medicine that was traditional to Germany continued to be a regular part of the health care system, including homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine.[140] The German Medicines Act mandated that science-based medical authorities consider the “particular characteristics” of complementary and alternative medicines.[140] By 2004, homeopathy had grown to be the most used alternative therapy in France, growing from 16% of the population using homeopathic medicine in 1982, to 29% by 1987, 36% percent by 1992, and 62% of French mothers using homeopathic medicines by 2004, with 94.5% of French pharmacists advising pregnant women to use homeopathic remedies.[142] As of 2004[update], 100 million people in India depended solely on traditional German homeopathic remedies for their medical care.[143] As of 2010[update], homeopathic remedies continued to be the leading alternative treatment used by European physicians.[142] By 2005, sales of homeopathic remedies and anthroposophical medicine had grown to $930 million Euros, a 60% increase from 1995.[142][144]

Since 2009, according to Art. 118a of the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Swiss Confederation and the Cantons of Switzerland shall within the scope of their powers ensure that consideration is given to complementary medicine.[145]

By 2013, 50% of Americans were using CAM.[138] As of 2013[update], CAM medicinal products in Europe continued to be exempted from documented efficacy standards required of other medicinal products.[146]

Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems. These were developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods. Each system was developed in relatively isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other’s systems. Examples are traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine of India.

Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water. But homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood, often resulting in permanent disfigurement or death.[125]

Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet totally dominant. Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic, each considered to be irregular practices by the western medical establishment, also opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, and licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field. Without the original nonscientific practices and theories, osteopathic medicine is now considered the same as biomedicine.

Further information: Rise of modern medicine

Until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific, as practicing quackery.[125] Irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.

Dating from the 1970s, medical professionals, sociologists, anthropologists and other commentators noted the increasing visibility of a wide variety of health practices that had neither derived directly from nor been verified by biomedical science.[147] Since that time, those who have analyzed this trend have deliberated over the most apt language with which to describe this emergent health field.[147] A variety of terms have been used, including heterodox, irregular, fringe and alternative medicine while others, particularly medical commentators, have been satisfied to label them as instances of quackery.[147] The most persistent term has been alternative medicine but its use is problematic as it assumes a value-laden dichotomy between a medical fringe, implicitly of borderline acceptability at best, and a privileged medical orthodoxy, associated with validated medico-scientific norms.[148] The use of the category of alternative medicine has also been criticized as it cannot be studied as an independent entity but must be understood in terms of a regionally and temporally specific medical orthodoxy.[149] Its use can also be misleading as it may erroneously imply that a real medical alternative exists.[150] As with near-synonymous expressions, such as unorthodox, complementary, marginal, or quackery, these linguistic devices have served, in the context of processes of professionalisation and market competition, to establish the authority of official medicine and police the boundary between it and its unconventional rivals.[148]

An early instance of the influence of this modern, or western, scientific medicine outside Europe and North America is Peking Union Medical College.[151][n 14][n 15]

From a historical perspective, the emergence of alternative medicine, if not the term itself, is typically dated to the 19th century.[152] This is despite the fact that there are variants of Western non-conventional medicine that arose in the late-eighteenth century or earlier and some non-Western medical traditions, currently considered alternative in the West and elsewhere, which boast extended historical pedigrees.[148] Alternative medical systems, however, can only be said to exist when there is an identifiable, regularized and authoritative standard medical practice, such as arose in the West during the nineteenth century, to which they can function as an alternative.

During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries regular and irregular medical practitioners became more clearly differentiated throughout much of Europe and,[154] as the nineteenth century progressed, most Western states converged in the creation of legally delimited and semi-protected medical markets.[155] It is at this point that an “official” medicine, created in cooperation with the state and employing a scientific rhetoric of legitimacy, emerges as a recognizable entity and that the concept of alternative medicine as a historical category becomes tenable.[156]

As part of this process, professional adherents of mainstream medicine in countries such as Germany, France, and Britain increasingly invoked the scientific basis of their discipline as a means of engendering internal professional unity and of external differentiation in the face of sustained market competition from homeopaths, naturopaths, mesmerists and other nonconventional medical practitioners, finally achieving a degree of imperfect dominance through alliance with the state and the passage of regulatory legislation.[148][150] In the US the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, opened in 1893, with William H. Welch and William Osler among the founding physicians, and was the first medical school devoted to teaching “German scientific medicine”.[157]

Buttressed by increased authority arising from significant advances in the medical sciences of the late 19th century onwardsincluding development and application of the germ theory of disease by the chemist Louis Pasteur and the surgeon Joseph Lister, of microbiology co-founded by Robert Koch (in 1885 appointed professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin), and of the use of X-rays (Rntgen rays)the 1910 Flexner Report called upon American medical schools to follow the model of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and adhere to mainstream science in their teaching and research. This was in a belief, mentioned in the Report’s introduction, that the preliminary and professional training then prevailing in medical schools should be reformed, in view of the new means for diagnosing and combating disease made available the sciences on which medicine depended.[n 16][159]

Putative medical practices at the time that later became known as “alternative medicine” included homeopathy (founded in Germany in the early 19c.) and chiropractic (founded in North America in the late 19c.). These conflicted in principle with the developments in medical science upon which the Flexner reforms were based, and they have not become compatible with further advances of medical science such as listed in Timeline of medicine and medical technology, 19001999 and 2000present, nor have Ayurveda, acupuncture or other kinds of alternative medicine.[citation needed]

At the same time “Tropical medicine” was being developed as a specialist branch of western medicine in research establishments such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine founded in 1898 by Alfred Lewis Jones, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, founded in 1899 by Patrick Manson and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, instituted in 1912. A distinction was being made between western scientific medicine and indigenous systems. An example is given by an official report about indigenous systems of medicine in India, including Ayurveda, submitted by Mohammad Usman of Madras and others in 1923. This stated that the first question the Committee considered was “to decide whether the indigenous systems of medicine were scientific or not”.[160][161]

By the later twentieth century the term ‘alternative medicine’ entered public discourse,[n 17][164] but it was not always being used with the same meaning by all parties. Arnold S. Relman remarked in 1998 that in the best kind of medical practice, all proposed treatments must be tested objectively, and that in the end there will only be treatments that pass and those that do not, those that are proven worthwhile and those that are not. He asked ‘Can there be any reasonable “alternative”?'[165] But also in 1998 the then Surgeon General of the United States, David Satcher,[166] issued public information about eight common alternative treatments (including acupuncture, holistic and massage), together with information about common diseases and conditions, on nutrition, diet, and lifestyle changes, and about helping consumers to decipher fraud and quackery, and to find healthcare centers and doctors who practiced alternative medicine.[167]

By 1990, approximately 60 million Americans had used one or more complementary or alternative therapies to address health issues, according to a nationwide survey in the US published in 1993 by David Eisenberg.[168] A study published in the November 11, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 42% of Americans had used complementary and alternative therapies, up from 34% in 1990.[169] However, despite the growth in patient demand for complementary medicine, most of the early alternative/complementary medical centers failed.[170]

Mainly as a result of reforms following the Flexner Report of 1910[171]medical education in established medical schools in the US has generally not included alternative medicine as a teaching topic.[n 18] Typically, their teaching is based on current practice and scientific knowledge about: anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology.[173] Medical schools’ teaching includes such topics as doctor-patient communication, ethics, the art of medicine,[174] and engaging in complex clinical reasoning (medical decision-making).[175] Writing in 2002, Snyderman and Weil remarked that by the early twentieth century the Flexner model had helped to create the 20th-century academic health center, in which education, research, and practice were inseparable. While this had much improved medical practice by defining with increasing certainty the pathophysiological basis of disease, a single-minded focus on the pathophysiological had diverted much of mainstream American medicine from clinical conditions that were not well understood in mechanistic terms, and were not effectively treated by conventional therapies.[176]

By 2001 some form of CAM training was being offered by at least 75 out of 125 medical schools in the US.[177] Exceptionally, the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland, Baltimore includes a research institute for integrative medicine (a member entity of the Cochrane Collaboration).[98][178] Medical schools are responsible for conferring medical degrees, but a physician typically may not legally practice medicine until licensed by the local government authority. Licensed physicians in the US who have attended one of the established medical schools there have usually graduated Doctor of Medicine (MD).[179] All states require that applicants for MD licensure be graduates of an approved medical school and complete the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).[179]

The British Medical Association, in its publication Complementary Medicine, New Approach to Good Practice (1993), gave as a working definition of non-conventional therapies (including acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy): “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the orthodox health-care professions, and the skills of which are not part of the undergraduate curriculum of orthodox medical and paramedical health-care courses.” By 2000 some medical schools in the UK were offering CAM familiarisation courses to undergraduate medical students while some were also offering modules specifically on CAM.[181]

In 1991, pointing to a need for testing because of the widespread use of alternative medicine without authoritative information on its efficacy, United States Senator Tom Harkin used $2 million of his discretionary funds to create the Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices (OSUMP), later renamed to be the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM).[124]:170[182][183] The OAM was created to be within the National Institute of Health (NIH), the scientifically prestigious primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research.[124]:170[182][183] The mandate was to investigate, evaluate, and validate effective alternative medicine treatments, and alert the public as the results of testing its efficacy.[134][182][183][184]

Sen. Harkin had become convinced his allergies were cured by taking bee pollen pills, and was urged to make the spending by two of his influential constituents.[134][182][183] Bedell, a longtime friend of Sen. Harkin, was a former member of the United States House of Representatives who believed that alternative medicine had twice cured him of diseases after mainstream medicine had failed, claiming that cow’s milk colostrum cured his Lyme disease, and an herbal derivative from camphor had prevented post surgical recurrence of his prostate cancer.[124][134] Wiewel was a promoter of unproven cancer treatments involving a mixture of blood sera that the Food and Drug Administration had banned from being imported.[134] Both Bedell and Wiewel became members of the advisory panel for the OAM. The company that sold the bee pollen was later fined by the Federal Trade Commission for making false health claims about their bee-pollen products reversing the aging process, curing allergies, and helping with weight loss.[185]

In 1994, Sen. Harkin (D) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R) introduced the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).[186][187] The act reduced authority of the FDA to monitor products sold as “natural” treatments.[186] Labeling standards were reduced to allow health claims for supplements based only on unconfirmed preliminary studies that were not subjected to scientific peer review, and the act made it more difficult for the FDA to promptly seize products or demand proof of safety where there was evidence of a product being dangerous.[187] The Act became known as the “The 1993 Snake Oil Protection Act” following a New York Times editorial under that name.[186]

Senator Harkin complained about the “unbendable rules of randomized clinical trials”, citing his use of bee pollen to treat his allergies, which he claimed to be effective even though it was biologically implausible and efficacy was not established using scientific methods.[182][188] Sen. Harkin asserted that claims for alternative medicine efficacy be allowed not only without conventional scientific testing, even when they are biologically implausible, “It is not necessary for the scientific community to understand the process before the American public can benefit from these therapies.”[186] Following passage of the act, sales rose from about $4 billion in 1994, to $20 billion by the end of 2000, at the same time as evidence of their lack of efficacy or harmful effects grew.[186] Senator Harkin came into open public conflict with the first OAM Director Joseph M. Jacobs and OAM board members from the scientific and biomedical community.[183] Jacobs’ insistence on rigorous scientific methodology caused friction with Senator Harkin.[182][188][189] Increasing political resistance to the use of scientific methodology was publicly criticized by Dr. Jacobs and another OAM board member complained that “nonsense has trickled down to every aspect of this office…It’s the only place where opinions are counted as equal to data.”[182][188] In 1994, Senator Harkin appeared on television with cancer patients who blamed Dr. Jacobs for blocking their access to untested cancer treatment, leading Jacobs to resign in frustration.[182][188]

In 1995, Wayne Jonas, a promoter of homeopathy and political ally of Senator Harkin, became the director of the OAM, and continued in that role until 1999.[190] In 1997, the NCCAM budget was increased from $12 million to $20 million annually.[191] From 1990 to 1997, use of alternative medicine in the US increased by 25%, with a corresponding 50% increase in expenditures.[169] The OAM drew increasing criticism from eminent members of the scientific community with letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee when discussion of renewal of funding OAM came up.[124]:175 Nobel laureate Paul Berg wrote that prestigious NIH should not be degraded to act as a cover for quackery, calling the OAM “an embarrassment to serious scientists.”[124]:175[191] The president of the American Physical Society wrote complaining that the government was spending money on testing products and practices that “violate basic laws of physics and more clearly resemble witchcraft”.[124]:175[191] In 1998, the President of the North Carolina Medical Association publicly called for shutting down the OAM.[192]

In 1998, NIH director and Nobel laureate Harold Varmus came into conflict with Senator Harkin by pushing to have more NIH control of alternative medicine research.[193] The NIH Director placed the OAM under more strict scientific NIH control.[191][193] Senator Harkin responded by elevating OAM into an independent NIH “center”, just short of being its own “institute”, and renamed to be the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). NCCAM had a mandate to promote a more rigorous and scientific approach to the study of alternative medicine, research training and career development, outreach, and “integration”. In 1999, the NCCAM budget was increased from $20 million to $50 million.[192][193] The United States Congress approved the appropriations without dissent. In 2000, the budget was increased to about $68 million, in 2001 to $90 million, in 2002 to $104 million, and in 2003, to $113 million.[192]

In 2009, after a history of 17 years of government testing and spending of nearly $2.5 billion on research had produced almost no clearly proven efficacy of alternative therapies, Senator Harkin complained, “One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short. It think quite frankly that in this center and in the office previously before it, most of its focus has been on disproving things rather than seeking out and approving.”[193][194][195] Members of the scientific community criticized this comment as showing Senator Harkin did not understand the basics of scientific inquiry, which tests hypotheses, but never intentionally attempts to “validate approaches”.[193] Members of the scientific and biomedical communities complained that after a history of 17 years of being tested, at a cost of over $2.5 Billion on testing scientifically and biologically implausible practices, almost no alternative therapy showed clear efficacy.[137] In 2009, the NCCAM’s budget was increased to about $122 million.[193] Overall NIH funding for CAM research increased to $300 Million by 2009.[193] By 2009, Americans were spending $34 Billion annually on CAM.[196]

In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a criticism that study after study had been funded by NCCAM, but “failed to prove that complementary or alternative therapies are anything more than placebos”.[197] The JAMA criticism pointed to large wasting of research money on testing scientifically implausible treatments, citing “NCCAM officials spending $374,000 to find that inhaling lemon and lavender scents does not promote wound healing; $750,000 to find that prayer does not cure AIDS or hasten recovery from breast-reconstruction surgery; $390,000 to find that ancient Indian remedies do not control type 2 diabetes; $700,000 to find that magnets do not treat arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or migraine headaches; and $406,000 to find that coffee enemas do not cure pancreatic cancer.”[197] It was pointed out that negative results from testing were generally ignored by the public, that people continue to “believe what they want to believe, arguing that it does not matter what the data show: They know what works for them”.[197] Continued increasing use of CAM products was also blamed on the lack of FDA ability to regulate alternative products, where negative studies do not result in FDA warnings or FDA-mandated changes on labeling, whereby few consumers are aware that many claims of many supplements were found not to have not to be supported.[197]

In 2014 the NCCAM was renamed to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) with a new charter requiring that 12 of the 18 council members shall be selected with a preference to selecting leading representatives of complementary and alternative medicine, 9 of the members must be licensed practitioners of alternative medicine, 6 members must be general public leaders in the fields of public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management, and 3 members must represent the interests of individual consumers of complementary and alternative medicine.[198]

There is a general scientific consensus that Alternative Therapies lack the requisite scientific validation, and their effectiveness is either unproved or disproved.[12][15][199][200] Many of the claims regarding the efficacy of alternative medicines are controversial, since research on them is frequently of low quality and methodologically flawed.Selective publication bias , marked differences in product quality and standardisation, and some companies making unsubstantiated claims, call into question the claims of efficacy of isolated examples where there is evidence for alternative therapies.[202]

The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine points to confusions in the general population – a person may attribute symptomatic relief to an otherwise-ineffective therapy just because they are taking something (the placebo effect); the natural recovery from or the cyclical nature of an illness (the regression fallacy) gets misattributed to an alternative medicine being taken; a person not diagnosed with science-based medicine may never originally have had a true illness diagnosed as an alternative disease category.[203]

Edzard Ernst characterized the evidence for many alternative techniques as weak, nonexistent, or negative[204] and in 2011 published his estimate that about 7.4% were based on “sound evidence”, although he believes that may be an overestimate.[205] Ernst has concluded that 95% of the alternative treatments he and his team studied, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and reflexology, are “statistically indistinguishable from placebo treatments”, but he also believes there is something that conventional doctors can usefully learn from the chiropractors and homeopath: this is the therapeutic value of the placebo effect, one of the strangest phenomena in medicine.[206][207]

In 2003, a project funded by the CDC identified 208 condition-treatment pairs, of which 58% had been studied by at least one randomized controlled trial (RCT), and 23% had been assessed with a meta-analysis.[208] According to a 2005 book by a US Institute of Medicine panel, the number of RCTs focused on CAM has risen dramatically.

As of 2005[update], the Cochrane Library had 145 CAM-related Cochrane systematic reviews and 340 non-Cochrane systematic reviews. An analysis of the conclusions of only the 145 Cochrane reviews was done by two readers. In 83% of the cases, the readers agreed. In the 17% in which they disagreed, a third reader agreed with one of the initial readers to set a rating. These studies found that, for CAM, 38.4% concluded positive effect or possibly positive (12.4%), 4.8% concluded no effect, 0.69% concluded harmful effect, and 56.6% concluded insufficient evidence. An assessment of conventional treatments found that 41.3% concluded positive or possibly positive effect, 20% concluded no effect, 8.1% concluded net harmful effects, and 21.3% concluded insufficient evidence. However, the CAM review used the more developed 2004 Cochrane database, while the conventional review used the initial 1998 Cochrane database.

In the same way as for conventional therapies, drugs, and interventions, it can be difficult to test the efficacy of alternative medicine in clinical trials. In instances where an established, effective, treatment for a condition is already available, the Helsinki Declaration states that withholding such treatment is unethical in most circumstances. Use of standard-of-care treatment in addition to an alternative technique being tested may produce confounded or difficult-to-interpret results.[210]

Cancer researcher Andrew J. Vickers has stated:

“CAM”, meaning “complementary and alternative medicine”, is not as well researched as conventional medicine, which undergoes intense research before release to the public.[212] Funding for research is also sparse making it difficult to do further research for effectiveness of CAM.[213] Most funding for CAM is funded by government agencies.[212] Proposed research for CAM are rejected by most private funding agencies because the results of research are not reliable.[212] The research for CAM has to meet certain standards from research ethics committees, which most CAM researchers find almost impossible to meet.[212] Even with the little research done on it, CAM has not been proven to be effective.[214]

Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale School of Medicine, wrote that government funded studies of integrating alternative medicine techniques into the mainstream are “used to lend an appearance of legitimacy to treatments that are not legitimate.”[215] Marcia Angell considered that critics felt that healthcare practices should be classified based solely on scientific evidence, and if a treatment had been rigorously tested and found safe and effective, science-based medicine will adopt it regardless of whether it was considered “alternative” to begin with.[14] It is possible for a method to change categories (proven vs. unproven), based on increased knowledge of its effectiveness or lack thereof. A prominent supporter of this position is George D. Lundberg, former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).[55]

Writing in 1999 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians Barrie R. Cassileth mentioned a 1997 letter to the US Senate Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, which had deplored the lack of critical thinking and scientific rigor in OAM-supported research, had been signed by four Nobel Laureates and other prominent scientists. (This was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).)[216]

In March 2009 a staff writer for the Washington Post reported that the impending national discussion about broadening access to health care, improving medical practice and saving money was giving a group of scientists an opening to propose shutting down the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They quoted one of these scientists, Steven Salzberg, a genome researcher and computational biologist at the University of Maryland, as saying “One of our concerns is that NIH is funding pseudoscience.” They noted that the vast majority of studies were based on fundamental misunderstandings of physiology and disease, and had shown little or no effect.[215]

Writers such as Carl Sagan (1934-1996), a noted astrophysicist, advocate of scientific skepticism and the author of The demonhaunted world: science as a candle in the dark (1996), have lambasted the lack of empirical evidence to support the existence of the putative energy fields on which these therapies are predicated.

Sampson has also pointed out that CAM tolerated contradiction without thorough reason and experiment.[217] Barrett has pointed out that there is a policy at the NIH of never saying something doesn’t work only that a different version or dose might give different results.[137] Barrett also expressed concern that, just because some “alternatives” have merit, there is the impression that the rest deserve equal consideration and respect even though most are worthless, since they are all classified under the one heading of alternative medicine.[218]

Some critics of alternative medicine are focused upon health fraud, misinformation, and quackery as public health problems, notably Wallace Sampson and Paul Kurtz founders of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Stephen Barrett, co-founder of The National Council Against Health Fraud and webmaster of Quackwatch.[219] Grounds for opposing alternative medicine include that:

Many alternative medical treatments are not patentable,[citation needed], which may lead to less research funding from the private sector. In addition, in most countries, alternative treatments (in contrast to pharmaceuticals) can be marketed without any proof of efficacyalso a disincentive for manufacturers to fund scientific research.[226]

English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in his 2003 book A Devil’s Chaplain , defined alternative medicine as a “set of practices that cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests.”[227] Dawkins argued that if a technique is demonstrated effective in properly performed trials then it ceases to be alternative and simply becomes medicine.[228]

CAM is also often less regulated than conventional medicine.[212] There are ethical concerns about whether people who perform CAM have the proper knowledge to treat patients.[212] CAM is often done by non-physicians who do not operate with the same medical licensing laws which govern conventional medicine,[212] and it is often described as an issue of non-maleficence.[229]

According to two writers, Wallace Sampson and K. Butler, marketing is part of the training required in alternative medicine, and propaganda methods in alternative medicine have been traced back to those used by Hitler and Goebels in their promotion of pseudoscience in medicine.[15][230]

In November 2011 Edzard Ernst stated that the “level of misinformation about alternative medicine has now reached the point where it has become dangerous and unethical. So far, alternative medicine has remained an ethics-free zone. It is time to change this.”[231]

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Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

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Posted: November 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

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Trump, NATO chief pledge alliance’s ‘enduring importance’ in …

Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:03 am

By Robin Emmott | BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed on Friday on the Western alliance’s “enduring importance”, NATO said, striving to reassure Europe that Washington will remain committed to its security.

Trump questioned during his election campaign whether the United States should protect allies seen as spending too little on their defense, raising fears that he could withdraw funding for NATO at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.

“The president-elect and the secretary general both underlined NATO’s enduring importance and discussed how NATO is adaptingto the new security environment, including to counter the threat of terrorism,” NATO said in a statement after a phone conversation between Trump and Stoltenberg.

There was no immediate comment from Trump’s side.

The NATO statement said the Republican Trump, who will succeed Democratic President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, is expected in Brussels for a NATO summit next year.

The two leaders also addressed defense spending and agreed that “progress has been made on fairer burden-sharing, but that there is more to do” – underlining the fact that the United States spends far more on defense than Europe does.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago, NATO’s European members cut defense spending to historic lows, leaving the United States to make up around three quarters of the alliance’s military expenditure.

A more assertive Russia under President Vladimir Putin has begun to change the picture and European governments are again spending more.

FEW MEET DEFENSE SPENDING TARGET

But Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia are the only European nations to meet a NATO goal of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, spends far less than 2 percent of its GDP on defense.

Speaking before the phone call, Stoltenberg told a conference in Brussels that European defense spending was one of his top priorities and that he had raised it with every NATO member, winning support from defense ministers.

He said the main obstacle was convincing the respective finance ministers who have the keys to treasuries.

“You have to increase defense spending when tensions go up,” Stoltenberg said, citing as evidence failing states in North and West Africa, the threat of Islamist militants and Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s peninsula of Crimea.

“Stop the cuts and gradually increase (defense spending) to reach 2 percent (of economic output) is a very robust message. We have started to move although there is a very long way to go. I am certain Trump will make this his top priority (for NATO).”

Trump’s campaign suggestion of making U.S. defense of its European allies conditional appeared to question the central tenet of NATO – namely that an armed attack against one ally is an attack against all.

Stoltenberg has said he expects an overall 3 percent real increase in European defense spending in 2016. He said on Friday that if all European allies and Canada reached the 2 percent spending target, it would yield an extra $100 billion for NATO.

European Council President Donald Tusk also spoke to Trump by phone on Friday. An EU source said Tusk emphasized the importance of transatlantic cooperation, including on Ukraine, where Russia has supported separatist rebels against government forces in the east of the former Soviet republic.

Trump’s promise to improve Washington’s chilly relations with Russia’s Putin have caused jitters within the EU, particularly eastern member states like Poland and the Baltics.

(Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Mark Heinrich)

MOSCOW Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments, a senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker was quoted as saying on Monday.

TAL AFAR AIR BASE, Iraq Iraqi Shi’ite militias were massing troops on Monday to cut remaining supply routes to Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, closing in on the road that links the Syrian and Iraqi parts of its self-declared caliphate.

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors in most parts of the world.

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UN News Centre – United Nations

Posted: at 10:58 am

21 November

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns killing of civilians in Kabul mosque attack

20 November

UN, international partners underline need to ensure legitimacy and credibility of elections in Somalia

UN chief denounces attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Syria’s Aleppo

On Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF calls for protecting the rights of every child

On Africa Industrialization Day, Ban urges financing ‘engines of development’ to realize continent’s potential

UN chief urges rapid scale-up in action to prevent vehicle-related deaths and injuries

19 November

Zika no longer an international public health emergency, but sustained response needed &#8211 UN health agency

Noting upcoming elections in Mali, Ban urges Government to engage with all actors to diffuse tensions

Security Council ‘deeply alarmed’ over escalation of ethnic violence in South Sudan

Yemen: UN envoy announces resumption of cessation of hostilities

18 November

In Paris, Ban hails support of France during his tenure as UN chief

Reflecting on his five-year term, UN deputy chief pins hopes on multilateralism

MARRAKECH: Countries at UN conference pledge to press ahead with implementation of Paris Agreement

With continuous support, storm-hit Haiti can make real and tangible progress UNICEF

UN expert warns on Turkish governments draconian measures on freedoms of expression

Chad: UN agencies and EU join forces to tackle malnutrition

UN agencies call for immediate support amid deepening food crisis in southern Madagascar

Australias human rights record tainted by regressive migration policies UN expert

Iraq: Sustained funding crucial as Mosul displacement grows, says UN refugee agency

Myanmar: UN urges aid access, warns of rights violations after ‘lockdown’ in northern Rakhine state

MARRAKECH: We strive to lead, climate-vulnerable countries declare, pledging robust action on Paris accord

On World Toilet Day, UN spotlights impact of sanitation on peoples livelihoods

Security Council extends the mandate of joint UN-OPCW body on chemical weapons in Syria

17 November

UN and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation must cooperate on resolving conflicts, Security Council told

South Sudan continues to face persistent challenges to peace and stability, Security Council told

Colombia: UN-led mechanism investigating alleged ceasefire violation

At governing body, UN atomic agency chief highlights agencys priorities for 2017

Worlds first malaria vaccine set for 2018 rollout in Africa after UN health agency secures funding

New UN initiative aims to save lives and cut climate change by protecting peatlands

UN deputy chief urges donors to support peace consolidation in Central African Republic

Great Green Wall initiative offers unique opportunity to combat climate change in Africa UN agency

MARRAKECH: We need everyone, Ban says, urging society-wide engagement in implementation of Paris climate accord

Nigeria: UN expert seeks urgent answers on brutal eviction of 30,000 people in Lagos

UN health agency denounces attacks on health facilities in Syria

One month into Mosul battle, UN and partners profoundly concerned for civilian safety

DR Congo: Ban takes note of appointment of new Prime Minister

‘Philosophy is an art of living together,’ says UNESCO on World Philosophy Day

16 November

Kosovo situation yielding fewer results than hoped in 2016, UN envoy tells Security Council

Ban welcomes Canadas announcement of donation to UN Palestine refugee agency

Global humanitarian response affected by lack of funding senior UN relief official

Welcoming Kenyas decision on Dadaab camp, UN urges flexibility on time frames for Somali refugees

Top UN peacekeeping officials hail success of community violence reduction programmes

MARRAKECH: UN chief urges rapid scale-up in funding to address climate change

Do not betray the victims; stand by the Rome Statute and the ICC UN human rights chief

Central African Republic: Justice and reconciliation key to lasting peace, UN expert says

MARRAKECH: Middle East and North Africa region taking action to combat climate change

Brussels conference to play significant role in supporting Central African Republics recovery Security Council

Tolerance is a commitment ‘to seek in our diversity the bonds that unite humanity’ &#8211 UN

15 November

UN relief agencies deploy emergency humanitarian aid and resources to conflict-torn Mosul

MARRAKECH: UN seeks to build climate resilience through new initiative

INTERVIEW: What extreme weather and global temperature rise mean for humanity – WMO chief

Ban welcomes resolution of border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon

Afghanistan: UN launches nine-month operation to assist returnees with emergency food and cash

Central African Republic: Nearly one in five children is a refugee or internally displaced, warns UNICEF

UN experts back call to halt pipeline construction in North Dakota, citing rights abuses of protestors

UN agriculture agency calls for giant research leap to rein in farm-driven antimicrobial resistance

Poor rains, supply bottlenecks exacerbate food security woes in war-torn Syria, UN warns

With Silicon Valley model, UNICEF invests in tech start-ups working to improve childrens lives

MARRAKECH: Ban hails ‘new dawn of cooperation on climate change,’ urges action on Paris accord

14 November

UN labour agency advocates policy changes to address rise in non-standard forms of employment

UN provides food assistance to 100,000 Iraqis as conflict in Mosul intensifies

Without urgent action, world heading towards post-antibiotic era UN health agency

2016 slated to be hottest year ever, with record-breaking emissions and melting Arctic ice

MARRAKECH: Deepening South-South cooperation driving climate action among developing countries

On World Day, UN chief urges prevention to reduce diabetes and associated blindness

13 November

Ban commends Colombian Government and FARC-EP for concluding modified peace agreement

In DR Congo, UN Security Council delegation calls for consensual, inclusive electoral calendar

UN chief condemns terrorist attack against Sufi shrine in Pakistan

MARRAKECH: Dozens of heads of State and Government to attend UN climate conference

12 November

In phone conversation, Ban welcomes US President-elect Trump’s calls for unity

UN-brokered Cyprus talks to reconvene on 20 November; ‘significant progress’ achieved

MARRAKECH: Efforts to revolutionize transport gaining momentum, UN climate conference told

11 November

INTERVIEW: Policing is about the passion to serve people- UNAMID Police Commissioner Priscilla Makotose

In new report, UN-backed sustainable development fund highlights importance of broad partnerships

Myanmar: UN envoy urges investigation into alleged sexual assaults after violence flares in Rakhine state

Displacement continues amid recurrent clashes in north-central Somalia UN

Risk of outright ethnic war and genocide in South Sudan, UN envoy warns

UN development agency working with Cuban government in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Matthew

Mosul offensive against ISIL pushing Iraqs civilians into war-ravaged Syria UN rights wing

Rehabilitating drylands key to global food security, according to new UN report

MARRAKECH: Private sector commits to actions on sustainable energy for a just climate future for all

Tough action on pneumonia and diarrhoea can save more than one million lives annually UNICEF

UN mission in Afghanistan condemns deadly attack near German consulate in Mazar

Iraq: Citing ‘numbing’ extent of suffering caused by ISIL, UN rights chief urges focus on victims’ rights

10 November

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson praises strength of Syrian refugee children in Jordan

New Lebanese government brings mood of optimism needed to address ongoing challenges UN envoy

Senior UN police officers brief Security Council on their work and challenges they face

Syria: UN envoy urges action to avert mass hunger in eastern Aleppo ahead of killer winter

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UN News Centre – United Nations

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Media worry about First Amendment rights under Trump but …

Posted: November 17, 2016 at 6:34 pm

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media is freaking out over what it thinks are going to be restrictions on its First Amendment rights under President-Elect Donald Trump.

Everything we have everything that makes us unlike any other nation flows from those words and the protections they offer for free expression, Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post wrote on Nov. 13. Donald Trumps presidency is very likely to threaten those First Amendment rights.

Last month, the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights of journalists, said in a statement: Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests.

This is not about picking sides in an election, the statement added. This is recognizing that a Trump presidency represents a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.

The groups board consists of Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll, New Yorker editor David Remnick, CBS New correspondent Lara Logan, Univision boss Isaac Lee and many other mainstream media journalists.

Yet, the left and especially President Obama have shown repeatedly their indifference to the First Amendment, a fact these journalists carelessly ignore in making their case against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Obamas administration set dangerous precedents, and the left, for years has been shutting down the opposition through their use of safe-spaces and trigger warnings.

For nearly eight years, President Obama massively expanded his authority on national security issues: on the prosecution of whistleblowers, secret surveillance courts, wars without congressional authorization, and drone campaigns without public oversight, wrote Tim Mak of the Daily Beast. During this time the left, with the exception of some civil liberties groups, remained largely silent.

The New York Times and the ACLU had to sue Mr. Obamas administration to get basic legal documents on the governments position on targeted killing through drone strikes as if some part of U.S. law should be secret.

And it was Mr. Obamas Department of Justice that subpoenaed the telephone records of AP journalists to track down a leak. It also investigated Fox News journalist James Rosen and named him as a co-conspirator in a leak about North Koreas nuclear program. The Justice Department charged Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department contractor who was Mr. Rosens source, with violating the Espionage Act.

The Justice Department used security badge access records to track the reporters comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit, The Post reported at the time. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporters personal emails.

Mr. Obama used the Espionage Act against government whistle-blowers who shared secret information with reporters more than any other administration in history, the Daily Beasts Mr. Mak reported.

Now thats some scary stuff.

And as the Federalist noted, the lefts infringement on First Amendment rights isnt just through the expansion of executive powers, its also cultural.

When mainstream media outlets collectively applaud the boycott of a rural pizza parlor, or the ruination of Brendan Eich, or the persecution of florists and bakers and elderly nuns who hold disfavored political views, it sends a strong message that freedom of speech doesnt mean anything, the Federalists John Daniel Davidson wrote.

On college campuses across the country, liberal professors encourage their students to boycott and protest conservative speakers, shout down administrators who dare to challenge them, and segregate themselves from anyone who might have a different view. Couched in the language of safe spaces and trigger warnings, the Lefts enforcement of political correctness has created a climate of intolerance that goes beyond the campus, Mr. Davidson added.

Indeed.

So before the collective freakout of the mainstream media, speculating about Mr. Trumps presidency, perhaps they should take an inward look of whats happened in the last eight years.

Mr. Obamas presidency created some uncomfortable precedents when it came to secrecy. Transparent, it was not.

This is a good rule: Dont answer any questions when they start yelling at you, Mr. Obama advised Mr. Trump when reporters started shouting questions at the two after their first Oval Office meeting this month.

Mr. Trump is just inheriting Mr. Obamas legacy.

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High Seas Fleet – Wikipedia

Posted: November 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

The High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte) was the battle fleet of the German Imperial Navy and saw action during the First World War. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet (Heimatflotte) was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to challenge the Royal Navy’s predominance. Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor, championed the fleet as the instrument by which he would seize overseas possessions and make Germany a global power. By concentrating a powerful battle fleet in the North Sea while the Royal Navy was required to disperse its forces around the British Empire, Tirpitz believed Germany could achieve a balance of force that could seriously damage British naval hegemony. This was the heart of Tirpitz’s “Risk Theory,” which held that Britain would not challenge Germany if the latter’s fleet posed such a significant threat to its own.

The primary component of the Fleet was its battleships, typically organized in eight-ship squadrons, though it also contained various other formations, including the I Scouting Group. At its creation in 1907, the High Seas Fleet consisted of two squadrons of battleships, and by 1914, a third squadron had been added. The dreadnought revolution in 1906 greatly affected the composition of the fleet; the twenty-four pre-dreadnoughts in the fleet were rendered obsolete and required replacement. Enough dreadnoughts for two full squadrons were completed by the outbreak of war in mid 1914; the eight most modern pre-dreadnoughts were used to constitute a third squadron. Two additional squadrons of older vessels were mobilized at the onset of hostilities, though by the end of the conflict, these formations were disbanded.

The fleet conducted a series of sorties into the North Sea during the war designed to lure out an isolated portion of the numerically superior British Grand Fleet. These operations frequently used the fast battlecruisers of the I Scouting Group to raid the British coast as the bait for the Royal Navy. These operations culminated in the Battle of Jutland, on 31 May1 June 1916, where the High Seas Fleet confronted the whole of the Grand Fleet. The battle was inconclusive, but the British won strategically, as it convinced Admiral Reinhard Scheer, the German fleet commander, that even a highly favorable outcome to a fleet action would not secure German victory in the war. Scheer and other leading admirals therefore advised the Kaiser to order a resumption of the unrestricted submarine warfare campaign. The primary responsibility of the High Seas Fleet in 1917 and 1918 was to secure the German naval bases in the North Sea for U-boat operations. Nevertheless, the fleet continued to conduct sorties into the North Sea and detached units for special operations in the Baltic Sea against the Russian Baltic Fleet. Following the German defeat in November 1918, the Allies interned the bulk of the High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow, where it was ultimately scuttled by its crews in June 1919, days before the belligerents signed the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1898, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz became the State Secretary for the Imperial Navy Office (ReichsmarineamtRMA);[1] Tirpitz was an ardent supporter of naval expansion. During a speech in support of the First Naval Law on 6 December 1897, Tirpitz stated that the navy was “a question of survival” for Germany.[2] He also viewed Great Britain, with its powerful Royal Navy, as the primary threat to Germany. In a discussion with the Kaiser during his first month in his post as State Secretary, he stated that “for Germany the most dangerous naval enemy at present is England.”[3] Tirpitz theorized that an attacking fleet would require a 33percent advantage in strength to achieve victory, and so decided that a 2:3 ratio would be required for the German navy. For a final total of 60 German battleships, Britain would be required to build 90 to meet the 2:3 ratio envisioned by Tirpitz.[3]

The Royal Navy had heretofore adhered to the so-called “two-power standard,” first formulated in the Naval Defence Act of 1889, which required a larger fleet than those of the next two largest naval powers combined.[4] The crux of Tirpitz’s “risk theory” was that by building a fleet to the 2:3 ratio, Germany would be strong enough that even in the event of a British naval victory, the Royal Navy would incur damage so serious as to allow the third-ranked naval power to rise to preeminence. Implicit in Tirpitz’s theory was the assumption that the British would adopt an offensive strategy that would allow the Germans to use mines and submarines to even the numerical odds before fighting a decisive battle between Heligoland and the Thames. Tirpitz in fact believed Germany would emerge victorious from a naval struggle with Britain, as he believed Germany to possess superior ships manned by better-trained crews, more effective tactics, and led by more capable officers.[3]

In his first program, Tirpitz envisioned a fleet of nineteen battleships, divided into two eight-ship squadrons, one ship as a flagship, and two in reserve. The squadrons were further divided into four-ship divisions. This would be supported by the eight Siegfried- and Odinclasses of coastal defense ships, six large and eighteen small cruisers, and twelve divisions of torpedo boats, all assigned to the Home Fleet (Heimatflotte).[5] This fleet was secured by the First Naval Law, which passed in the Reichstag on 28 March 1898.[6] Construction of the fleet was to be completed by 1 April 1904. Rising international tensions, particularly as a result of the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa and the Boxer Rebellion in China, allowed Tirpitz to push through an expanded fleet plan in 1900. The Second Naval Law was passed on 14 June 1900; it doubled the size of the fleet to 38 battleships and 20 large and 38 small cruisers. Tirpitz planned an even larger fleet. As early as September 1899, he had informed the Kaiser that he sought at least 45 battleships, and potentially might secure a third double-squadron, for a total strength of 48 battleships.[7]

During the initial period of German naval expansion, Britain did not feel particularly threatened.[6] The Lords of the Admiralty felt the implications of the Second Naval Law were not a significantly more dangerous threat than the fleet set by the First Naval Law; they believed it was more important to focus on the practical situation rather than speculation on future programs that might easily be reduced or cut entirely. Segments of the British public, however, quickly seized on the perceived threat posed by the German construction programs.[8] Despite their dismissive reaction, the Admiralty resolved to surpass German battleship construction. Admiral John Fisher, who became the First Sea Lord and head of the Admiralty in 1904, introduced sweeping reforms in large part to counter the growing threat posed by the expanding German fleet. Training programs were modernized, old and obsolete vessels were discarded, and the scattered squadrons of battleships were consolidated into four main fleets, three of which were based in Europe. Britain also made a series of diplomatic arrangements, including an alliance with Japan that allowed a greater concentration of British battleships in the North Sea.[9]

Fisher’s reforms caused serious problems for Tirpitz’s plans; he counted on a dispersal of British naval forces early in a conflict that would allow Germany’s smaller but more concentrated fleet to achieve a local superiority. Tirpitz could also no longer depend on the higher level of training in both the German officer corps and the enlisted ranks, nor the superiority of the more modern and homogenized German squadrons over the heterogeneous British fleet. In 1904, Britain signed the Entente cordiale with France, Britain’s primary naval rival. The destruction of two Russian fleets during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 further strengthened Britain’s position, as it removed the second of her two traditional naval rivals.[10] These developments allowed Britain to discard the “two power standard” and focus solely on out-building Germany. In October 1906, Admiral Fisher stated “our only probable enemy is Germany. Germany keeps her whole Fleet always concentrated within a few hours of England. We must therefore keep a Fleet twice as powerful concentrated within a few hours of Germany.”[11]

The most damaging blow to Tirpitz’s plan came with the launch of HMSDreadnought in February 1906. The new battleship, armed with a main battery of ten 12-inch (30cm) guns, was considerably more powerful than any battleship afloat. Ships capable of battle with Dreadnought would need to be significantly larger than the old pre-dreadnoughts, which increased their cost and necessitated expensive dredging of canals and harbors to accommodate them. The German naval budget was already stretched thin; without new funding, Tirpitz would have to abandon his challenge to Britain.[12] As a result, Tirpitz went before the Reichstag in May 1906 with a request for additional funding. The First Amendment to the Second Naval Law was passed on 19 May and appropriated funding for the new battleships, as well as for the dredging required by their increased size.[6]

The Reichstag passed a second amendment to the Naval Law in March 1908 to provide an additional billion marks to cope with the growing cost of the latest battleships. The law also reduced the service life of all battleships from 25 to 20 years, which allowed Tirpitz to push for the replacement of older vessels earlier. A third and final amendment was passed in May 1912 represented a compromise between Tirpitz and moderates in parliament. The amendment authorized three new battleships and two light cruisers. The amendment called for the High Seas Fleet to be equipped with three squadrons of eight battleships each, one squadron of eight battlecruisers, and eighteen light cruisers. Two 8-ship squadrons would be placed in reserve, along with two armored and twelve light cruisers.[13] By the outbreak of war in August 1914, only one eight-ship squadron of dreadnoughtsthe I Battle Squadronhad been assembled with the Nassau and Helgoland-classbattleships. The second squadron of dreadnoughtsthe III Battle Squadronwhich included four of the Kaiser-classbattleships, was only completed when the four Knig-classbattleships entered service by early 1915.[14] As a result, the third squadronthe II Battle Squadronremained composed of pre-dreadnoughts through 1916.[15]

Before the 1912 naval law was passed, Britain and Germany attempted to reach a compromise with the Haldane Mission, led by the British War Minister Richard Haldane. The arms reduction mission ended in failure, however, and the 1912 law was announced shortly thereafter. The Germans were aware at as early as 1911, the Royal Navy had abandoned the idea of a decisive battle with the German fleet, in favor of a distant blockade at the entrances to the North Sea, which the British could easily control due to their geographical position. There emerged the distinct possibility that the German fleet would be unable to force a battle on its own terms, which would render it militarily useless. When the war came in 1914, the British did in fact adopt this strategy. Coupled with the restrictive orders of the Kaiser, who preferred to keep the fleet intact to be used as a bargaining chip in the peace settlements, the ability of the High Seas Fleet to affect the military situation was markedly reduced.[16]

The German Navy’s pre-war planning held that the British would be compelled to mount either a direct attack on the German coast to defeat the High Seas Fleet, or to put in place a close blockade. Either course of action would permit the Germans to whittle away at the numerical superiority of the Grand Fleet with submarines and torpedo boats. Once a rough equality of forces could be achieved, the High Seas Fleet would be able to attack and destroy the British fleet.[17] Implicit in Tirpitz’s strategy was the assumption that German vessels were better-designed, had better-trained crews, and would be employed with superior tactics. In addition, Tirpitz assumed that Britain would not be able to concentrate its fleet in the North Sea, owing to the demands of its global empire. At the start of a conflict between the two powers, the Germans would therefore be able to attack the Royal Navy with local superiority.[18]

The British, however, did not accommodate Tirpitz’s projections; from his appointment as the First Sea Lord in 1904, Fisher began a major reorganization of the Royal Navy. He concentrated British battleship strength in home waters, launched the Dreadnought revolution, and introduced rigorous training for the fleet personnel.[19] In 1912, the British concluded a joint defense agreement with France that allowed the British to concentrate in the North Sea while the French defended the Mediterranean.[20] Worse still, the British began developing the strategy of the distant blockade of Germany starting in 1904;[21] this removed the ability of German light craft to reduce Britain’s superiority in numbers and essentially invalidated German naval planning before the start of World War I.[22]

The primary base for the High Seas Fleet in the North Sea was Wilhelmshaven on the western side of the Jade Bight; the port of Cuxhaven, located on the mouth of the Elbe, was also a major base in the North Sea. The island of Heligoland provided a fortified forward position in the German Bight.[23]Kiel was the most important base in the Baltic, which supported the forward bases at Pillau and Danzig.[24] The Kaiser Wilhelm Canal through Schleswig-Holstein connected the Baltic and North Seas and allowed the German Navy to quickly shift naval forces between the two seas.[25] In peacetime, all ships on active duty in the High Seas Fleet were stationed in Wilhelmshaven, Kiel, or Danzig.[26] Germany possessed only one major overseas base, at Kiautschou in China,[27] where the East Asia Squadron was stationed.[28]

Steam ships of the period, which burned coal to fire their boilers, were naturally tied to coaling stations in friendly ports. The German Navy lacked sufficient overseas bases for sustained operations, even for single ships operating as commerce raiders.[29] The Navy experimented with a device to transfer coal from colliers to warships while underway in 1907, though the practice was not put into general use.[30] Nevertheless, German capital ships had a cruising range of at least 4,000nmi (7,400km; 4,600mi),[31] more than enough to operate in the Atlantic Ocean.[Note 1]

In 1897, the year Tirpitz came to his position as State Secretary of the Navy Office, the Imperial Navy consisted of a total of around 26,000 officers, petty officers, and enlisted men of various ranks, branches, and positions. By the outbreak of war in 1914, this had increased significantly to about 80,000 officers, petty officers, and men.[35] Capital ships were typically commanded by a Kapitn zur See (Captain at Sea) or Korvettenkapitn (corvette captain).[26] Each of these ships typically had a total crew in excess of 1,000 officers and men;[31] the light cruisers that screened for the fleet had crew sizes between 300 and 550.[36] The fleet torpedo boats had crews of about 80 to 100 officers and men, though some later classes approached 200.[37]

In early 1907, enough battleshipsof the Braunschweig and Deutschlandclasseshad been constructed to allow for the creation of a second full squadron.[38] On 16 February 1907,[39] Kaiser Wilhelm renamed the Home Fleet the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Prince Heinrich of Prussia, Wilhelm II’s brother, became the first commander of the High Seas Fleet; his flagship was SMSDeutschland.[38] While in a peace-time footing, the Fleet conducted a routine pattern of training exercises, with individual ships, with squadrons, and with the combined fleet, throughout the year. The entire fleet conducted several cruises into the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea.[40] Prince Henry was replaced in late 1909 by Vice Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff, who served until April 1913. Vice Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl, who would command the High Seas Fleet in the first months of World War I, took command following the departure of Vice Admiral von Holtzendorff.[41]SMSFriedrich der Grosse replaced Deutschland as the fleet flagship on 2 March 1913.[42]

Despite the rising international tensions following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June, the High Seas Fleet began its summer cruise to Norway on 13 July. During the last peacetime cruise of the Imperial Navy, the fleet conducted drills off Skagen before proceeding to the Norwegian fjords on 25 July. The following day the fleet began to steam back to Germany, as a result of Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia. On the 27th, the entire fleet assembled off Cape Skudenes before returning to port, where the ships remained at a heightened state of readiness.[42] War between Austria-Hungary and Serbia broke out the following day, and in the span of a week all of the major European powers had joined the conflict.[43]

The High Seas Fleet conducted a number of sweeps and advances into the North Sea. The first occurred on 23 November 1914, though no British forces were encountered. Admiral von Ingenohl, the commander of the High Seas Fleet, adopted a strategy in which the battlecruisers of Rear Admiral Franz von Hipper’s I Scouting Group raided British coastal towns to lure out portions of the Grand Fleet where they could be destroyed by the High Seas Fleet.[44] The raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby on 1516 December 1914 was the first such operation.[45] On the evening of 15 December, the German battle fleet of some twelve dreadnoughts and eight pre-dreadnoughts came to within 10nmi (19km; 12mi) of an isolated squadron of six British battleships. However, skirmishes between the rival destroyer screens in the darkness convinced von Ingenohl that he was faced with the entire Grand Fleet. Under orders from the Kaiser to avoid risking the fleet unnecessarily, von Ingenohl broke off the engagement and turned the fleet back toward Germany.[46]

Following the loss of SMSBlcher at the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915, the Kaiser removed Admiral von Ingenohl from his post on 2 February. Admiral Hugo von Pohl replaced him as commander of the fleet.[47] Admiral von Pohl conducted a series of fleet advances in 1915; in the first one on 2930 March, the fleet steamed out to the north of Terschelling and returned without incident. Another followed on 1718 April, where the fleet covered a mining operation by the II Scouting Group. Three days later, on 2122 April, the High Seas Fleet advanced towards the Dogger Bank, though again failed to meet any British forces.[48] Another sortie followed on 2930 May, during which the fleet advanced as far as Schiermonnikoog before being forced to turn back by inclement weather. On 10 August, the fleet steamed to the north of Heligoland to cover the return of the auxiliary cruiser Meteor. A month later, on 1112 September, the fleet covered another mine-laying operation off the Swarte Bank. The last operation of the year, conducted on 2324 October, was an advance without result in the direction of Horns Reef.[48]

Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer became Commander in chief of the High Seas Fleet on 18 January 1916 when Admiral von Pohl became too ill to continue in that post.[49] Scheer favored a much more aggressive policy than that of his predecessor, and advocated greater usage of U-boats and zeppelins in coordinated attacks on the Grand Fleet; Scheer received approval from the Kaiser in February 1916 to carry out his intentions.[50] Scheer ordered the fleet on sweeps of the North Sea on 26 March, 23 April, and 2122 April. The battlecruisers conducted another raid on the English coast on 2425 April, during which the fleet provided distant support.[51] Scheer planned another raid for mid-May, but the battlecruiser Seydlitz had struck a mine during the previous raid and the repair work forced the operation to be pushed back until the end of the month.[52]

Admiral Scheer’s fleet, composed of 16 dreadnoughts, six pre-dreadnoughts, six light cruisers, and 31 torpedo boats departed the Jade early on the morning of 31 May. The fleet sailed in concert with Hipper’s five battlecruisers and supporting cruisers and torpedo boats.[53] The British navy’s Room 40 had intercepted and decrypted German radio traffic containing plans of the operation. The Admiralty ordered the Grand Fleet, totaling some 28 dreadnoughts and 9 battlecruisers, to sortie the night before in order to cut off and destroy the High Seas Fleet.[54]

At 16:00 UTC, the two battlecruiser forces encountered each other and began a running gun fight south, back towards Scheer’s battle fleet.[55] Upon reaching the High Seas Fleet, Vice Admiral David Beatty’s battlecruisers turned back to the north to lure the Germans towards the rapidly approaching Grand Fleet, under the command of Admiral John Jellicoe.[56] During the run to the north, Scheer’s leading ships engaged the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships of the 5th Battle Squadron.[57] By 18:30, the Grand Fleet had arrived on the scene, and was deployed into a position that would cross Scheer’s “T” from the northeast. To extricate his fleet from this precarious position, Scheer ordered a 16-point turn to the south-west.[58] At 18:55, Scheer decided to conduct another 16-point turn to launch an attack on the British fleet.[59]

This maneuver again put Scheer in a dangerous position; Jellicoe had turned his fleet south and again crossed Scheer’s “T.”[60] A third 16-point turn followed; Hipper’s mauled battlecruisers charged the British line to cover the retreat.[61] Scheer then ordered the fleet to adopt the night cruising formation, which was completed by 23:40.[62] A series of ferocious engagements between Scheer’s battleships and Jellicoe’s destroyer screen ensued, though the Germans managed to punch their way through the destroyers and make for Horns Reef.[63] The High Seas Fleet reached the Jade between 13:00 and 14:45 on 1 June; Scheer ordered the undamaged battleships of the I Battle Squadron to take up defensive positions in the Jade roadstead while the Kaiser-class battleships were to maintain a state of readiness just outside Wilhelmshaven.[64] The High Seas Fleet had sunk more British vessels than the Grand Fleet had sunk German, though Scheer’s leading battleships had taken a terrible hammering. Several capital ships, including SMSKnig, which had been the first vessel in the line, and most of the battlecruisers, were in drydock for extensive repairs for at least two months. On 1 June, the British had twenty-four capital ships in fighting condition, compared to only ten German warships.[65]

By August, enough warships had been repaired to allow Scheer to undertake another fleet operation on 1819 August. Due to the serious damage incurred by Seydlitz and SMSDerfflinger and the loss of SMSLtzow at Jutland, the only battlecruisers available for the operation were SMSVon der Tann and SMSMoltke, which were joined by SMSMarkgraf, SMSGrosser Kurfrst, and the new battleship SMSBayern.[66] Scheer turned north after receiving a false report from a zeppelin about a British unit in the area.[48] As a result, the bombardment was not carried out, and by 14:35, Scheer had been warned of the Grand Fleet’s approach and so turned his forces around and retreated to German ports.[67] Another fleet sortie took place on 1819 October 1916 to attack enemy shipping east of Dogger Bank. Despite being forewarned by signal intelligence, the Grand Fleet did not attempt to intercept. The operation was however cancelled due to poor weather after the cruiser Mnchen was torpedoed by the British submarine HMSE38.[68] The fleet was reorganized on 1 December;[48] the four Knig-classbattleships remained in the III Squadron, along with the newly commissioned Bayern, while the five Kaiser-class ships were transferred to the IV Squadron.[69] In March 1917 the new battleship Baden, built to serve as fleet flagship, entered service;[70] on the 17th, Scheer hauled down his flag from Friedrich der Grosse and transferred it to Baden.[48]

The war, now in its fourth year, was by 1917 taking its toll on the crews of the ships of the High Seas Fleet. Acts of passive resistance, such as the posting of anti-war slogans in the battleships SMSOldenburg and SMSPosen in January 1917, began to appear.[71] In June and July, the crews began to conduct more active forms of resistance. These activities included work refusals, hunger strikes, and taking unauthorized leave from their ships.[72] The disruptions came to a head in August, when a series of protests, anti-war speeches, and demonstrations resulted in the arrest of dozens of sailors.[73] Scheer ordered the arrest of over 200 men from the battleship Prinzregent Luitpold, the center of the anti-war activities. A series of courts-martial followed, which resulted in 77 guilty verdicts; nine men were sentenced to death for their roles, though only two men, Albin Kbis and Max Reichpietsch, were executed.[74]

In early September 1917, following the German conquest of the Russian port of Riga, the German navy decided to eliminate the Russian naval forces that still held the Gulf of Riga. The Navy High Command (Admiralstab) planned an operation, codenamed Operation Albion, to seize the Baltic island of sel, and specifically the Russian gun batteries on the Sworbe Peninsula.[75] On 18 September, the order was issued for a joint operation with the army to capture sel and Moon Islands; the primary naval component was to comprise its flagship, Moltke, and the III and IVBattle Squadrons of the High Seas Fleet.[76] The operation began on the morning of 12 October, when Moltke and the IIISquadron ships engaged Russian positions in Tagga Bay while the IVSquadron shelled Russian gun batteries on the Sworbe Peninsula on sel.[77]By 20 October, the fighting on the islands was winding down; Moon, sel, and Dag were in German possession. The previous day, the Admiralstab had ordered the cessation of naval actions and the return of the dreadnoughts to the High Seas Fleet as soon as possible.[78]

Admiral Scheer had used light surface forces to attack British convoys to Norway beginning in late 1917. As a result, the Royal Navy attached a squadron of battleships to protect the convoys, which presented Scheer with the possibility of destroying a detached squadron of the Grand Fleet. The operation called for Hipper’s battlecruisers to attack the convoy and its escorts on 23 April while the battleships of the High Seas Fleet stood by in support. On 22 April, the German fleet assembled in the Schillig Roads outside Wilhelmshaven and departed the following morning.[79] Despite the success in reaching the convoy route undetected, the operation failed due to faulty intelligence. Reports from U-boats indicated to Scheer that the convoys sailed at the start and middle of each week, but a west-bound convoy had left Bergen on Tuesday the 22nd and an east-bound group left Methil, Scotland, on the 24th, a Thursday. As a result, there was no convoy for Hipper to attack.[80] Beatty sortied with a force of 31 battleships and four battlecruisers, but was too late to intercept the retreating Germans. The Germans reached their defensive minefields early on 25 April, though approximately 40nmi (74km; 46mi) off Heligoland Moltke was torpedoed by the submarine E42; she successfully returned to port.[81]

A final fleet action was planned for the end of October 1918, days before the Armistice was to take effect. The bulk of the High Seas Fleet was to have sortied from their base in Wilhelmshaven to engage the British Grand Fleet; Scheerby now the Grand Admiral (Grossadmiral) of the fleetintended to inflict as much damage as possible on the British navy, in order to retain a better bargaining position for Germany, despite the expected casualties. However, many of the war-weary sailors felt the operation would disrupt the peace process and prolong the war.[82] On the morning of 29 October 1918, the order was given to sail from Wilhelmshaven the following day. Starting on the night of 29 October, sailors on Thringen and then on several other battleships mutinied.[83] The unrest ultimately forced Hipper and Scheer to cancel the operation.[84] When informed of the situation, the Kaiser stated “I no longer have a navy.”[85]

Following the capitulation of Germany on November 1918, most of the High Seas Fleet, under the command of Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, were interned in the British naval base of Scapa Flow.[84] Prior to the departure of the German fleet, Admiral Adolf von Trotha made clear to von Reuter that he could not allow the Allies to seize the ships, under any conditions.[86] The fleet rendezvoused with the British light cruiser Cardiff, which led the ships to the Allied fleet that was to escort the Germans to Scapa Flow. The massive flotilla consisted of some 370 British, American, and French warships.[87] Once the ships were interned, their guns were disabled through the removal of their breech blocks, and their crews were reduced to 200 officers and enlisted men on each of the capital ships.[88]

The fleet remained in captivity during the negotiations that ultimately produced the Treaty of Versailles. Von Reuter believed that the British intended to seize the German ships on 21 June 1919, which was the deadline for Germany to have signed the peace treaty. Unaware that the deadline had been extended to the 23rd, Reuter ordered the ships to be sunk at the next opportunity. On the morning of 21 June, the British fleet left Scapa Flow to conduct training maneuvers, and at 11:20 Reuter transmitted the order to his ships.[86] Out of the interned fleet, only one battleship, Baden, three light cruisers, and eighteen destroyers were saved from sinking by the British harbor personnel. The Royal Navy, initially opposed to salvage operations, decided to allow private firms to attempt to raise the vessels for scrapping.[89] Cox and Danks, a company founded by Ernest Cox handled most of the salvage operations, including those of the heaviest vessels raised.[90] After Cox’s withdrawal due to financial losses in the early 1930s, Metal Industries Group, Inc. took over the salvage operation for the remaining ships. Five more capital ships were raised, though threeSMS Knig, SMSKronprinz, and SMS Markgrafwere too deep to permit raising. They remain on the bottom of Scapa Flow, along with four light cruisers.[91]

The High Seas Fleet, particularly its wartime impotence and ultimate fate, strongly influenced the later German navies, the Reichsmarine and Kriegsmarine. Former Imperial Navy officers continued to serve in the subsequent institutions, including Admiral Erich Raeder, Hipper’s former chief of staff, who became the commander in chief of the Reichsmarine. Raeder advocated long-range commerce raiding by surface ships, rather than constructing a large surface fleet to challenge the Royal Navy, which he viewed to be a futile endeavor. His initial version of Plan Z, the construction program for the Kriegsmarine in the late 1930s, called for large number of P-classcruisers, long-range light cruisers, and reconnaissance forces for attacking enemy shipping, though he was overruled by Adolf Hitler, who advocated a large fleet of battleships.[92]

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High Seas Fleet – Wikipedia

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NATO phonetic alphabet – Wikipedia

Posted: November 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the ICAO phonetic alphabet, sometimes called the NATO alphabet or spelling alphabet and the ITU radiotelephonic or phonetic alphabet, is the most widely used radiotelephonic spelling alphabet. Although often called “phonetic alphabets”, spelling alphabets are not associated with phonetic transcription systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet. Instead, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) alphabet assigned codewords acrophonically to the letters of the English alphabet, so that critical combinations of letters and numbers can be pronounced and understood by those who exchange voice messages by radio or telephone regardless of language barriers or the quality of the communication channel.[1]

The 26 code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet are assigned to the 26 letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order as follows: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

After the phonetic alphabet was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)[2] (see history below) it was adopted by many other international and national organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

It is a subset of the much older International Code of Signals (INTERCO), which originally included visual signals by flags or flashing light, sound signals by whistle, siren, foghorn, or bell, as well as one, two, or three letter codes for many phrases.[3] The same alphabetic code words are used by all agencies, but each agency chooses one of two different sets of numeric code words. NATO uses the regular English numeric words (Zero, One, with some alternative pronunciations), whereas the IMO provides for compound numeric words (Nadazero, Unaone, Bissotwo…). In practice these are used very rarely, as they frequently result in confusion between speakers of different languages.

An alternative name for the ICAO spelling alphabet, “NATO phonetic alphabet,” exists because it appears in Allied Tactical Publication ATP-1, Volume II: Allied Maritime Signal and Maneuvering Book used by all allied navies of NATO, which adopted a modified form of the International Code of Signals. Because the latter allows messages to be spelled via flags or Morse code, it naturally named the code words used to spell out messages by voice its “phonetic alphabet”. The name NATO phonetic alphabet became widespread because the signals used to facilitate the naval communications and tactics of NATO have become global.[4] However, ATP-1 is marked NATO Confidential (or the lower NATO Restricted) so it is not available publicly. Nevertheless, a NATO unclassified version of the document is provided to foreign, even hostile, militaries, even though they are not allowed to make it available publicly. The spelling alphabet is now also defined in other unclassified international military documents.[5] The NATO alphabet appeared in some United States Air Force Europe publications during the Cold War. A particular example was the Ramstein Air Base, Telephone Directory published between 1969 and 1973 (currently out of print). The American and NATO versions had differences and the translation was provided as a convenience. Differences included Alfa, Bravo and Able, Baker for the first two letters.

The ICAO developed this system in the 1950s in order to account for discrepancies that might arise in communications as a result of multiple alphabet naming systems coexisting in different places and organizations.[6]

In the official[7] version of the alphabet, the non-English spellings Alfa and Juliett are used. Alfa is spelled with an f as it is in most European languages because the English and French spelling alpha would not be pronounced properly by native speakers of some other languages who may not know that ph should be pronounced as f. Juliett is spelled with a tt for French speakers, because they may otherwise treat a single final t as silent. In some English versions of the alphabet, one or both of these may have their standard English spelling.[8]

The final choice of code words for the letters of the alphabet and for the digits was made after hundreds of thousands of comprehension tests involving 31 nationalities. The qualifying feature was the likelihood of a code word being understood in the context of others. For example, football has a higher chance of being understood than foxtrot in isolation, but foxtrot is superior in extended communication.[9]

The pronunciation of the code words varies according to the language habits of the speaker. To eliminate wide variations in pronunciation, recordings and posters illustrating the pronunciation desired by the ICAO are available.[9][10] However, there are still differences in pronunciation between the ICAO and other agencies, and the ICAO has conflicting Roman-alphabet and IPA transcriptions. Also, although all codes for the letters of the alphabet are English words, they are not in general given English pronunciations. Assuming that the transcriptions are not intended to be precise, only 11 of the 26Bravo, Echo, Hotel, Juliet(t), Kilo, Mike, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Whiskey, and Zuluare given English pronunciations by all these agencies, though not always the same English pronunciations.

Pronunciations are somewhat uncertain because the agencies, while ostensibly using the same pronunciations, give different transcriptions, which are often inconsistent from letter to letter. The ICAO gives different pronunciations in IPA transcription than in respelling, and the FAA also gives different pronunciations depending on the publication consulted, the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (4-2-7), the FAA Flight Services manual (14.1.5), or the ATC manual (2-4-16). ATIS gives English spellings, but does not give pronunciations or numbers. The ICAO, NATO, and FAA use modifications of English numerals, with stress on one syllable, while the ITU and IMO compound pseudo-Latinate numerals with a slightly different set of modified English numerals, and with stress on each syllable. Numbers 1099 are spelled out (that is, 17 is “17” and 60 is “60”), while for hundreds and thousands the English words hundred and thousand are used.[8][10][12][13][14][22]

The pronunciation of the digits 3, 4, 5, and 9 differs from standard English being pronounced tree, fower, fife, and niner. The digit 3 is specified as tree so that it is not pronounced sri; the long pronunciation of 4 (still found in some English dialects) keeps it somewhat distinct from for; 5 is pronounced with a second “f” because the normal pronunciation with a “v” is easily confused with “fire” (a command to shoot); and 9 has an extra syllable to keep it distinct from German nein ‘no’.

Only the ICAO prescribes pronunciation with the IPA, and then only for letters.[10] Several of the pronunciations indicated are slightly modified from their normal English pronunciations: /lf, brvo, li, delt, fkstrt, lf, lim, sk, sier, tno, unifrm, vikt, jnki/, partially due to the substitution of final schwas with the ah vowel; in addition, the intended distinction between the short vowels /o / and the long vowels /o / is obscure, and has been ignored in the consolidated transcription above. Both the IPA and respelled pronunciations were developed by the ICAO before 1956 with advice from the governments of both the United States and United Kingdom,[23] so the pronunciations of both General American English and British Received Pronunciation are evident, especially in the rhotic and non-rhotic accents. The respelled version is usually at least consistent with a rhotic accent (‘r’ pronounced), as in CHAR LEE, SHAR LEE, NO VEM BER, YOU NEE FORM, and OO NEE FORM, whereas the IPA version usually specifies a non-rhotic accent (‘r’ pronounced only before a vowel), as in tli, li, novemb, and junifm. Exceptions are OSS CAH, VIK TAH and unifrm. The IPA form of Golf implies it is pronounced gulf, which is not either General American English or British Received Pronunciation. Different agencies assign different stress patterns to Bravo, Hotel, Juliett, November, Papa, X-ray; the ICAO has different stresses for Bravo, Juliett, X-ray in its respelled and IPA transcriptions. The mid back [] vowel transcribed in Oscar and Foxtrot is actually a low vowel in both Received British and General American, and has been interpreted as such above. Furthermore, the pronunciation prescribed for “whiskey” has no initial [h], although some speakers in both General American and RP pronounce an h here, and an initial [h] is categorical in Scotland and Ireland.

The first internationally recognized spelling alphabet was adopted by the ITU during 1927. The experience gained with that alphabet resulted in several changes being made during 1932 by the ITU. The resulting alphabet was adopted by the International Commission for Air Navigation, the predecessor of the ICAO, and was used for civil aviation until World War II.[23] It continued to be used by the IMO until 1965:

Amsterdam, Baltimore, Casablanca, Denmark, Edison, Florida, Gallipoli, Havana, Italia, Jerusalem, Kilogramme, Liverpool, Madagascar, New York, Oslo, Paris, Quebec, Roma, Santiago, Tripoli, Upsala, Valencia, Washington, Xanthippe, Yokohama, Zurich

British and American armed forces had each developed their spelling alphabets before both forces adopted the ICAO alphabet during 1956. British forces adopted the RAF phonetic alphabet, which is similar to the phonetic alphabet used by the Royal Navy during World War I. At least two of the terms are sometimes still used by UK civilians to spell words over the phone, namely ‘F for Freddie’ and ‘S for Sugar’.

The U.S. adopted the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet during 1941 to standardize systems among all branches of its armed forces. The U.S. alphabet became known as Able Baker after the words for A and B. The United Kingdom adapted its RAF alphabet during 1943 to be almost identical to the American Joint-Army-Navy (JAN) one.

After World War II, with many aircraft and ground personnel from the allied armed forces, “Able Baker” continued to be used for civil aviation. But many sounds were unique to English, so an alternative “Ana Brazil” alphabet was used in Latin America. But the International Air Transport Association (IATA), recognizing the need for a single universal alphabet, presented a draft alphabet to the ICAO during 1947 that had sounds common to English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. After further study and modification by each approving body, the revised alphabet was implemented on 1 November 1951 for civil aviation (but it may not have been adopted by any military):[23]

Alfa, Bravo, Coca, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Metro, Nectar, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Union, Victor, Whisky, Extra, Yankee, Zulu

Problems were soon found with this list. Some users believed that they were so severe that they reverted to the old “Able Baker” alphabet. To identify the deficiencies of the new alphabet, testing was conducted among speakers from 31 nations, principally by the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States. Confusion among words like Delta, Nectar, Victor, and Extra, or the unintelligibility of other words during poor receiving conditions were the main problems. After much study, only the five words representing the letters C, M, N, U, and X were replaced. The ICAO sent a recording of the new Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet to all member states in November 1955.[16][9] The final version given in the table above was implemented by the ICAO on 1 March 1956,[23] and the ITU adopted it no later than 1959 when they mandated its usage via their official publication, Radio Regulations.[24] Because the ITU governs all international radio communications, it was also adopted by all radio operators, whether military, civilian, or amateur. It was finally adopted by the IMO in 1965. During 1947 the ITU adopted the compound number words (Nadazero Unaone, etc.), later adopted by the IMO during 1965.

A spelling alphabet is used to spell parts of a message containing letters and numbers to avoid confusion, because many letters sound similar, for instance “n” and “m” or “f” and “s”; the potential for confusion increases if static or other interference is present. For instance the message “proceed to map grid DH98” could be transmitted as “proceed to map grid Delta-Hotel-Niner-Ait”. Using “Delta” instead of “D” avoids confusion between “DH98” and “BH98” or “TH98”. The unusual pronunciation of certain numbers was designed to reduce confusion.

In addition to the traditional military usage, civilian industry uses the alphabet to avoid similar problems in the transmission of messages by telephone systems. For example, it is often used in the retail industry where customer or site details are spoken by telephone (to authorize a credit agreement or confirm stock codes), although ad hoc coding is often used in that instance. It has been used often by information technology workers to communicate serial/reference codes (which are often very long) or other specialised information by voice. Most major airlines use the alphabet to communicate Passenger Name Records (PNRs) internally, and in some cases, with customers. It is often used in a medical context as well, to avoid confusion when transmitting information.

Several letter codes and abbreviations using the spelling alphabet have become well-known, such as Bravo Zulu (letter code BZ) for “well done”,[25]Checkpoint Charlie (Checkpoint C) in Berlin, and Zulu Time for Greenwich Mean Time or Coordinated Universal Time. During the Vietnam War, the The U.S. government referred to the Viet Cong guerrillas and the group itself as VC, or Victor Charlie; the name “Charlie” became synonymous with this force.

Adam, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Edward, Frank, George, Henry, Ida, John, King, Lincoln, Mary, New York, Ocean, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Thomas, Union, [Victor?], William, X-Ray, Young, Zero

Many unofficial spelling alphabets are in use that are not based on a standard, but are based on words the transmitter can remember easily, including first names, states, or cities. The LAPD phonetic alphabet has many first names. The German spelling alphabet (“Deutsches Funkalphabet” (literally “German Radio Alphabet”)) also uses first names. Also, during the Vietnam war, soldiers used ‘Cain’ instead of ‘Charlie’ because ‘Charlie’ meant Viet Cong (Charlie being short for Victor Charlie, the NATO alphabet spelling of the initials VC).

Certain languages’ standard alphabets have letters, or letters with diacritics (e.g., umlauts), that do not exist in the English alphabet. If these letters have two-letter ASCII substitutes, the ICAO/NATO code words for the two letters are used.

In Spanish the word “oo” is used for .

In German and Swedish, Alfa-Alfa (aa) is used for “”, Alfa-Echo (ae) for “”, Oscar-Echo (oe) for “”, Sierra-Sierra (ss) for “”, and Uniform-Echo (ue) for “”.[28] Alternatively, Swedish may use ke, rlig and sten for the accented letters.

In Danish and Norwegian the letters “”, “” and “” have their own code words. In Danish gir, dis and se represent the three letters,[29] while in Norwegian the three code words are gir, rnulf and got for civilians and rlig, sten and se for military personnel.[30]

Czech “”, historically uo, is Uniform-Oscar (uo).

In Finnish there are special code words for the letters , and . ke is used to represent , iti is used for and ljy for . These code words are used only in national operations, the last remnants of the Finnish radio alphabet.[31]

Estonian has 4 special letters, , , and . nne represents , rni for , bik for and lle for .

Malay replaces letter L with London”, since the word Lima in Malay means number 5 (five).

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NATO phonetic alphabet – Wikipedia

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Moon – Wikipedia

Posted: November 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). It is the second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known (after Jupiter’s satellite Io).

The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400km (238,900mi),[10][11] or 1.28 light-seconds.

The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several hypotheses for its origin; the most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.

The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, mythology, and apparently, the menstrual cycles of the female of the human species.

The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.820.07 centimetres (1.5040.028in) per year, but this rate is not constant.

The Soviet Union’s Luna programme was the first to reach the Moon with uncrewed spacecraft in 1959; the United States’ NASA Apollo program achieved the only crewed missions to date, beginning with the first crewed lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six crewed lunar landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned over 380kg (840lb) of lunar rocks, which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon’s origin, the formation of its internal structure, and its subsequent history. Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by uncrewed spacecraft.

The usual English proper name for Earth’s natural satellite is “the Moon”.[12][13] The noun moon is derived from moone (around 1380), which developed from mone (1135), which is derived from Old English mna (dating from before 725), which ultimately stems from Proto-Germanic *mnn, like all Germanic language cognates.[14] Occasionally, the name “Luna” is used. In literature, especially science fiction, “Luna” is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of our moon.[15]

The principal modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, derived from the Latin Luna. A less common adjective is selenic, derived from the Ancient Greek Selene (), from which is derived the prefix “seleno-” (as in selenography).[16][17] Both the Greek Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia.[18] The names Luna, Cynthia, and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune, pericynthion, and selenocentric. The name Diana is connected to dies meaning ‘day’.

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the Moon’s formation 4.53 billion years ago,[f] and some 3050 million years after the origin of the Solar System.[19] Recent research presented by Rick Carlson indicates a slightly lower age of between 4.40 and 4.45 billion years.[20][21] These mechanisms included the fission of the Moon from Earth’s crust through centrifugal force[22] (which would require too great an initial spin of Earth),[23] the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon[24] (which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere of Earth to dissipate the energy of the passing Moon),[23] and the co-formation of Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk (which does not explain the depletion of metals in the Moon).[23] These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the EarthMoon system.[25]

The prevailing hypothesis is that the EarthMoon system formed as a result of the impact of a Mars-sized body (named Theia) with the proto-Earth Earth (giant impact), that blasted material into orbit about the Earth that then accreted to form the present Earth-Moon system.[26][27]

This hypothesis, although not perfect, perhaps best explains the evidence. Eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, and Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists: “You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to your computer, do whatever you have to, but make up your mind. Don’t come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moon’s birth.” At the 1984 conference at Kona, Hawaii, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most popular.

Before the conference, there were partisans of the three “traditional” theories, plus a few people who were starting to take the giant impact seriously, and there was a huge apathetic middle who didnt think the debate would ever be resolved. Afterward there were essentially only two groups: the giant impact camp and the agnostics.[28]

Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System. Computer simulations of a giant impact have produced results that are consistent with the mass of the lunar core and the present angular momentum of the EarthMoon system. These simulations also show that most of the Moon derived from the impactor, rather than the proto-Earth.[29] More recent simulations suggest a larger fraction of the Moon derived from the original Earth mass.[30][31][32][33] Studies of meteorites originating from inner Solar System bodies such as Mars and Vesta show that they have very different oxygen and tungsten isotopic compositions as compared to Earth, whereas Earth and the Moon have nearly identical isotopic compositions. The isotopic equalization of the Earth-Moon system might be explained by the post-impact mixing of the vaporized material that formed the two,[34] although this is debated.[35]

The great amount of energy released in the impact event and the subsequent re-accretion of that material into the Earth-Moon system would have melted the outer shell of Earth, forming a magma ocean.[36][37] Similarly, the newly formed Moon would also have been affected and had its own lunar magma ocean; estimates for its depth range from about 500km (300 miles) to its entire depth (1,737km (1,079 miles)).[36]

While the giant impact hypothesis might explain many lines of evidence, there are still some unresolved questions, most of which involve the Moon’s composition.[38]

In 2001, a team at the Carnegie Institute of Washington reported the most precise measurement of the isotopic signatures of lunar rocks.[39] To their surprise, the team found that the rocks from the Apollo program carried an isotopic signature that was identical with rocks from Earth, and were different from almost all other bodies in the Solar System. Because most of the material that went into orbit to form the Moon was thought to come from Theia, this observation was unexpected. In 2007, researchers from the California Institute of Technology announced that there was less than a 1% chance that Theia and Earth had identical isotopic signatures.[40] Published in 2012, an analysis of titanium isotopes in Apollo lunar samples showed that the Moon has the same composition as Earth,[41] which conflicts with what is expected if the Moon formed far from Earth’s orbit or from Theia. Variations on the giant impact hypothesis may explain this data.

The Moon is a differentiated body: it has a geochemically distinct crust, mantle, and core. The Moon has a solid iron-rich inner core with a radius of 240km (150mi) and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron with a radius of roughly 300km (190mi). Around the core is a partially molten boundary layer with a radius of about 500km (310mi).[43] This structure is thought to have developed through the fractional crystallization of a global magma ocean shortly after the Moon’s formation 4.5billion years ago.[44] Crystallization of this magma ocean would have created a mafic mantle from the precipitation and sinking of the minerals olivine, clinopyroxene, and orthopyroxene; after about three-quarters of the magma ocean had crystallised, lower-density plagioclase minerals could form and float into a crust atop.[45] The final liquids to crystallise would have been initially sandwiched between the crust and mantle, with a high abundance of incompatible and heat-producing elements.[1] Consistent with this perspective, geochemical mapping made from orbit suggests the crust of mostly anorthosite.[9] The Moon rock samples of the flood lavas that erupted onto the surface from partial melting in the mantle confirm the mafic mantle composition, which is more iron rich than that of Earth.[1] The crust is on average about 50km (31mi) thick.[1]

The Moon is the second-densest satellite in the Solar System, after Io.[46] However, the inner core of the Moon is small, with a radius of about 350km (220mi) or less,[1] around 20% of the radius of the Moon. Its composition is not well defined, but is probably metallic iron alloyed with a small amount of sulfur and nickel; analyses of the Moon’s time-variable rotation suggest that it is at least partly molten.[47]

The topography of the Moon has been measured with laser altimetry and stereo image analysis.[48] Its most visible topographic feature is the giant far-side South PoleAitken basin, some 2,240km (1,390mi) in diameter, the largest crater on the Moon and the second-largest confirmed impact crater in the Solar System.[49][50] At 13km (8.1mi) deep, its floor is the lowest point on the surface of the Moon.[49][51] The highest elevations of the Moon’s surface are located directly to the northeast, and it has been suggested might have been thickened by the oblique formation impact of the South PoleAitken basin.[52] Other large impact basins, such as Imbrium, Serenitatis, Crisium, Smythii, and Orientale, also possess regionally low elevations and elevated rims.[49] The far side of the lunar surface is on average about 1.9km (1.2mi) higher than that of the near side.[1]

The discovery of fault scarp cliffs by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that the Moon has shrunk within the past billion years, by about 90 metres (300ft).[53] Similar shrinkage features exist on Mercury.

The dark and relatively featureless lunar plains, clearly be seen with the naked eye, are called maria (Latin for “seas”; singular mare), as they were once believed to be filled with water;[54] they are now known to be vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava. Although similar to terrestrial basalts, lunar basalts have more iron and no minerals altered by water.[55][56] The majority of these lavas erupted or flowed into the depressions associated with impact basins. Several geologic provinces containing shield volcanoes and volcanic domes are found within the near side “maria”.[57]

Almost all maria are on the near side of the Moon, and cover 31% of the surface of the near side,[58] compared with 2% of the far side.[59] This is thought to be due to a concentration of heat-producing elements under the crust on the near side, seen on geochemical maps obtained by Lunar Prospector’s gamma-ray spectrometer, which would have caused the underlying mantle to heat up, partially melt, rise to the surface and erupt.[45][60][61] Most of the Moon’s mare basalts erupted during the Imbrian period, 3.03.5billion years ago, although some radiometrically dated samples are as old as 4.2billion years.[62] Until recently, the youngest eruptions, dated by crater counting, appeared to have been only 1.2billion years ago.[63] In 2006, a study of Ina, a tiny depression in Lacus Felicitatis, found jagged, relatively dust-free features that, due to the lack of erosion by infalling debris, appeared to be only 2 million years old.[64]Moonquakes and releases of gas also indicate some continued lunar activity.[64] In 2014 NASA announced “widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism” at 70 irregular mare patches identified by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, some less than 50 million years old. This raises the possibility of a much warmer lunar mantle than previously believed, at least on the near side where the deep crust is substantially warmer due to the greater concentration of radioactive elements.[65][66][67][68] Just prior to this, evidence has been presented for 210 million years younger basaltic volcanism inside Lowell crater,[69][70] Orientale basin, located in the transition zone between the near and far sides of the Moon. An initially hotter mantle and/or local enrichment of heat-producing elements in the mantle could be responsible for prolonged activities also on the far side in the Orientale basin.[71][72]

The lighter-coloured regions of the Moon are called terrae, or more commonly highlands, because they are higher than most maria. They have been radiometrically dated to having formed 4.4billion years ago, and may represent plagioclase cumulates of the lunar magma ocean.[62][63] In contrast to Earth, no major lunar mountains are believed to have formed as a result of tectonic events.[73]

The concentration of maria on the Near Side likely reflects the substantially thicker crust of the highlands of the Far Side, which may have formed in a slow-velocity impact of a second moon of Earth a few tens of millions of years after their formation.[74][75]

The other major geologic process that has affected the Moon’s surface is impact cratering,[76] with craters formed when asteroids and comets collide with the lunar surface. There are estimated to be roughly 300,000 craters wider than 1km (0.6mi) on the Moon’s near side alone.[77] The lunar geologic timescale is based on the most prominent impact events, including Nectaris, Imbrium, and Orientale, structures characterized by multiple rings of uplifted material, between hundreds and thousands of kilometres in diameter and associated with a broad apron of ejecta deposits that form a regional stratigraphic horizon.[78] The lack of an atmosphere, weather and recent geological processes mean that many of these craters are well-preserved. Although only a few multi-ring basins have been definitively dated, they are useful for assigning relative ages. Because impact craters accumulate at a nearly constant rate, counting the number of craters per unit area can be used to estimate the age of the surface.[78] The radiometric ages of impact-melted rocks collected during the Apollo missions cluster between 3.8 and 4.1billion years old: this has been used to propose a Late Heavy Bombardment of impacts.[79]

Blanketed on top of the Moon’s crust is a highly comminuted (broken into ever smaller particles) and impact gardened surface layer called regolith, formed by impact processes. The finer regolith, the lunar soil of silicon dioxide glass, has a texture resembling snow and a scent resembling spent gunpowder.[80] The regolith of older surfaces is generally thicker than for younger surfaces: it varies in thickness from 1020km (6.212.4mi) in the highlands and 35km (1.93.1mi) in the maria.[81] Beneath the finely comminuted regolith layer is the megaregolith, a layer of highly fractured bedrock many kilometres thick.[82]

Comparison of high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has shown a contemporary crater-production rate significantly higher than previously estimated. A secondary cratering process caused by distal ejecta is thought to churn the top two centimetres of regolith a hundred times more quickly than previous models suggestedon a timescale of 81,000 years.[83][84]

Lunar swirls are enigmatic features found across the Moon’s surface, which are characterized by a high albedo, appearing optically immature (i.e. the optical characteristics of a relatively young regolith), and often displaying a sinuous shape. Their curvilinear shape is often accentuated by low albedo regions that wind between the bright swirls.

Liquid water cannot persist on the lunar surface. When exposed to solar radiation, water quickly decomposes through a process known as photodissociation and is lost to space. However, since the 1960s, scientists have hypothesized that water ice may be deposited by impacting comets or possibly produced by the reaction of oxygen-rich lunar rocks, and hydrogen from solar wind, leaving traces of water which could possibly survive in cold, permanently shadowed craters at either pole on the Moon.[85][86] Computer simulations suggest that up to 14,000km2 (5,400sqmi) of the surface may be in permanent shadow.[87] The presence of usable quantities of water on the Moon is an important factor in rendering lunar habitation as a cost-effective plan; the alternative of transporting water from Earth would be prohibitively expensive.[88]

In years since, signatures of water have been found to exist on the lunar surface.[89] In 1994, the bistatic radar experiment located on the Clementine spacecraft, indicated the existence of small, frozen pockets of water close to the surface. However, later radar observations by Arecibo, suggest these findings may rather be rocks ejected from young impact craters.[90] In 1998, the neutron spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft, showed that high concentrations of hydrogen are present in the first meter of depth in the regolith near the polar regions.[91] Volcanic lava beads, brought back to Earth aboard Apollo 15, showed small amounts of water in their interior.[92]

The 2008 Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has since confirmed the existence of surface water ice, using the on-board Moon Mineralogy Mapper. The spectrometer observed absorption lines common to hydroxyl, in reflected sunlight, providing evidence of large quantities of water ice, on the lunar surface. The spacecraft showed that concentrations may possibly be as high as 1,000ppm.[93] In 2009, LCROSS sent a 2,300kg (5,100lb) impactor into a permanently shadowed polar crater, and detected at least 100kg (220lb) of water in a plume of ejected material.[94][95] Another examination of the LCROSS data showed the amount of detected water to be closer to 15512kg (34226lb).[96]

In May 2011, 6151410 ppm water in melt inclusions in lunar sample 74220 was reported,[97] the famous high-titanium “orange glass soil” of volcanic origin collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The inclusions were formed during explosive eruptions on the Moon approximately 3.7 billion years ago. This concentration is comparable with that of magma in Earth’s upper mantle. Although of considerable selenological interest, Hauri’s announcement affords little comfort to would-be lunar coloniststhe sample originated many kilometers below the surface, and the inclusions are so difficult to access that it took 39 years to find them with a state-of-the-art ion microprobe instrument.

The gravitational field of the Moon has been measured through tracking the Doppler shift of radio signals emitted by orbiting spacecraft. The main lunar gravity features are mascons, large positive gravitational anomalies associated with some of the giant impact basins, partly caused by the dense mare basaltic lava flows that fill those basins.[98][99] The anomalies greatly influence the orbit of spacecraft about the Moon. There are some puzzles: lava flows by themselves cannot explain all of the gravitational signature, and some mascons exist that are not linked to mare volcanism.[100]

The Moon has an external magnetic field of about 1100 nanoteslas, less than one-hundredth that of Earth. It does not currently have a global dipolar magnetic field and only has crustal magnetization, probably acquired early in lunar history when a dynamo was still operating.[101][102] Alternatively, some of the remnant magnetization may be from transient magnetic fields generated during large impact events through the expansion of an impact-generated plasma cloud in the presence of an ambient magnetic field. This is supported by the apparent location of the largest crustal magnetizations near the antipodes of the giant impact basins.[103]

The Moon has an atmosphere so tenuous as to be nearly vacuum, with a total mass of less than 10 metric tons (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons).[106] The surface pressure of this small mass is around 3 1015atm (0.3nPa); it varies with the lunar day. Its sources include outgassing and sputtering, a product of the bombardment of lunar soil by solar wind ions.[9][107] Elements that have been detected include sodium and potassium, produced by sputtering (also found in the atmospheres of Mercury and Io); helium-4 and neon[108] from the solar wind; and argon-40, radon-222, and polonium-210, outgassed after their creation by radioactive decay within the crust and mantle.[109][110] The absence of such neutral species (atoms or molecules) as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and magnesium, which are present in the regolith, is not understood.[109] Water vapour has been detected by Chandrayaan-1 and found to vary with latitude, with a maximum at ~6070degrees; it is possibly generated from the sublimation of water ice in the regolith.[111] These gases either return into the regolith due to the Moon’s gravity or be lost to space, either through solar radiation pressure or, if they are ionized, by being swept away by the solar wind’s magnetic field.[109]

A permanent asymmetric moon dust cloud exists around the Moon, created by small particles from comets. Estimates are 5 tons of comet particles strike the Moon’s surface each 24 hours. The particles strike the Moon’s surface ejecting moon dust above the Moon. The dust stays above the Moon approximately 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes to rise, and 5 minutes to fall. On average, 120 kilograms of dust are present above the Moon, rising to 100 kilometers above the surface. The dust measurements were made by LADEE’s Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX), between 20 and 100 kilometers above the surface, during a six-month period. LDEX detected an average of one 0.3 micrometer moon dust particle each minute. Dust particle counts peaked during the Geminid, Quadrantid, Northern Taurid, and Omicron Centaurid meteor showers, when the Earth, and Moon, pass through comet debris. The cloud is asymmetric, more dense near the boundary between the Moon’s dayside and nightside.[112][113]

The Moon’s axial tilt with respect to the ecliptic is only 1.5424,[114] much less than the 23.44 of Earth. Because of this, the Moon’s solar illumination varies much less with season, and topographical details play a crucial role in seasonal effects.[115] From images taken by Clementine in 1994, it appears that four mountainous regions on the rim of Peary Crater at the Moon’s north pole may remain illuminated for the entire lunar day, creating peaks of eternal light. No such regions exist at the south pole. Similarly, there are places that remain in permanent shadow at the bottoms of many polar craters,[87] and these dark craters are extremely cold: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter measured the lowest summer temperatures in craters at the southern pole at 35K (238C; 397F)[116] and just 26K (247C; 413F) close to the winter solstice in north polar Hermite Crater. This is the coldest temperature in the Solar System ever measured by a spacecraft, colder even than the surface of Pluto.[115] Average temperatures of the Moon’s surface are reported, but temperatures of different areas will vary greatly depending upon whether it is in sunlight or shadow.[117]

The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3days[g] (its sidereal period). However, because Earth is moving in its orbit around the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5days[h] (its synodic period).[58] Unlike most satellites of other planets, the Moon orbits closer to the ecliptic plane than to the planet’s equatorial plane. The Moon’s orbit is subtly perturbed by the Sun and Earth in many small, complex and interacting ways. For example, the plane of the Moon’s orbital motion gradually rotates, which affects other aspects of lunar motion. These follow-on effects are mathematically described by Cassini’s laws.[118]

The Moon is exceptionally large relative to Earth: a quarter its diameter and 1/81 its mass.[58] It is the largest moon in the Solar System relative to the size of its planet,[i] though Charon is larger relative to the dwarf planet Pluto, at 1/9 Pluto’s mass.[j][119] Earth and the Moon are nevertheless still considered a planetsatellite system, rather than a double planet, because their barycentre, the common centre of mass, is located 1,700km (1,100mi) (about a quarter of Earth’s radius) beneath Earth’s surface.[120]

The Moon is in synchronous rotation: it rotates about its axis in about the same time it takes to orbit Earth. This results in it nearly always keeping the same face turned towards Earth. The Moon used to rotate at a faster rate, but early in its history, its rotation slowed and became tidally locked in this orientation as a result of frictional effects associated with tidal deformations caused by Earth.[121] With time, the energy of rotation of the Moon on its axis was dissipated as heat, until there was no rotation of the Moon relative to the Earth. The side of the Moon that faces Earth is called the near side, and the opposite the far side. The far side is often inaccurately called the “dark side”, but it is in fact illuminated as often as the near side: once per lunar day, during the new moon phase we observe on Earth when the near side is dark.[122] In 2016, planetary scientists, using data collected on the much earlier Nasa Lunar Prospector mission, found two hydrogen-rich areas on opposite sides of the Moon, probably in the form of water ice. It is speculated that these patches were the poles of the Moon billions of years ago, before it was tidally locked to Earth.[123]

The Moon has an exceptionally low albedo, giving it a reflectance that is slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. Despite this, it is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun.[58][k] This is partly due to the brightness enhancement of the opposition effect; at quarter phase, the Moon is only one-tenth as bright, rather than half as bright, as at full moon.[124]

Additionally, colour constancy in the visual system recalibrates the relations between the colours of an object and its surroundings, and because the surrounding sky is comparatively dark, the sunlit Moon is perceived as a bright object. The edges of the full moon seem as bright as the centre, with no limb darkening, due to the reflective properties of lunar soil, which reflects more light back towards the Sun than in other directions. The Moon does appear larger when close to the horizon, but this is a purely psychological effect, known as the Moon illusion, first described in the 7th century BC.[125] The full moon subtends an arc of about 0.52 (on average) in the sky, roughly the same apparent size as the Sun (see Eclipses).

The highest altitude of the Moon in the sky varies with the lunar phase and the season of the year. The full moon is highest during winter. The 18.6-year nodes cycle also has an influence: when the ascending node of the lunar orbit is in the vernal equinox, the lunar declination can go as far as 28 each month. This means the Moon can go overhead at latitudes up to 28 from the equator, instead of only 18. The orientation of the Moon’s crescent also depends on the latitude of the observation site: close to the equator, an observer can see a smile-shaped crescent moon.[126]

The Moon is visible for two weeks every 27.3 days at the North and South Pole. The Moon’s light is used by zooplankton in the Arctic when the sun is below the horizon for months on end.[127]

The distance between the Moon and Earth varies from around 356,400km (221,500mi) to 406,700km (252,700mi) at perigees (closest) and apogees (farthest), respectively. On 19 March 2011, it was closer to Earth when at full phase than it has been since 1993, 14% closer than its farthest position in apogee.[128] Reported as a “super moon”, this closest point coincides within an hour of a full moon, and it was 30% more luminous than when at its greatest distance due to its angular diameter being 14% greater, because 1.14 2 1.30 {displaystyle scriptstyle 1.14^{2}approx 1.30} .[129][130][131] At lower levels, the human perception of reduced brightness as a percentage is provided by the following formula:[132][133]

perceived reduction % = 100 actual reduction % 100 {displaystyle {text{perceived reduction}}%=100times {sqrt {{text{actual reduction}}% over 100}}}

When the actual reduction is 1.00 / 1.30, or about 0.770, the perceived reduction is about 0.877, or 1.00 / 1.14. This gives a maximum perceived increase of 14% between apogee and perigee moons of the same phase.[134]

There has been historical controversy over whether features on the Moon’s surface change over time. Today, many of these claims are thought to be illusory, resulting from observation under different lighting conditions, poor astronomical seeing, or inadequate drawings. However, outgassing does occasionally occur, and could be responsible for a minor percentage of the reported lunar transient phenomena. Recently, it has been suggested that a roughly 3km (1.9mi) diameter region of the lunar surface was modified by a gas release event about a million years ago.[135][136] The Moon’s appearance, like that of the Sun, can be affected by Earth’s atmosphere: common effects are a 22 halo ring formed when the Moon’s light is refracted through the ice crystals of high cirrostratus cloud, and smaller coronal rings when the Moon is seen through thin clouds.[137]

The illuminated area of the visible sphere (degree of illumination) is given by 1 2 ( 1 cos e ) {displaystyle {frac {1}{2}}(1-cos e)} , where e {displaystyle e} is the elongation (i.e. the angle between Moon, the observer (on Earth) and the Sun).

The gravitational attraction that masses have for one another decreases inversely with the square of the distance of those masses from each other. As a result, the slightly greater attraction that the Moon has for the side of Earth closest to the Moon, as compared to the part of the Earth opposite the Moon, results in tidal forces. Tidal forces affect both the Earth’s crust and oceans.

The most obvious effect of tidal forces is to cause two bulges in the Earth’s oceans, one on the side facing the Moon and the other on the side opposite. This results in elevated sea levels called ocean tides.[138] As the Earth spins on its axis, one of the ocean bulges (high tide) is held in place “under” the Moon, while another such tide is opposite. As a result, there are two high tides, and two low tides in about 24 hours.[138] Since the Moon is orbiting the Earth in the same direction of the Earth’s rotation, the high tides occur about every 12 hours and 25 minutes; the 25 minutes is due to the Moon’s time to orbit the Earth. The Sun has the same tidal effect on the Earth, but its forces of attraction are only 40% that of the Moon’s; the Sun’s and Moon’s interplay is responsible for spring and neap tides.[138] If the Earth was a water world (one with no continents) it would produce a tide of only one meter, and that tide would be very predictable, but the ocean tides are greatly modified by other effects: the frictional coupling of water to Earth’s rotation through the ocean floors, the inertia of water’s movement, ocean basins that grow shallower near land, the sloshing of water between different ocean basins.[139] As a result, the timing of the tides at most points on the Earth is a product of observations that are explained, incidentally, by theory.

While gravitation causes acceleration and movement of the Earth’s fluid oceans, gravitational coupling between the Moon and Earth’s solid body is mostly elastic and plastic. The result is a further tidal effect of the Moon on the Earth that causes a bulge of the solid portion of the Earth nearest the Moon that acts as a torque in opposition to the Earth’s rotation. This “drains” angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy from Earth’s spin, slowing the Earth’s rotation.[138][140] That angular momentum, lost from the Earth, is transferred to the Moon in a process (confusingly known as tidal acceleration), which lifts the Moon into a higher orbit and results in its lower orbital speed about the Earth. Thus the distance between Earth and Moon is increasing, and the Earth’s spin is slowing in reaction.[140] Measurements from laser reflectors left during the Apollo missions (lunar ranging experiments) have found that the Moon’s distance increases by 38mm (1.5in) per year[141] (roughly the rate at which human fingernails grow).[142]Atomic clocks also show that Earth’s day lengthens by about 15microseconds every year,[143] slowly increasing the rate at which UTC is adjusted by leap seconds. Left to run its course, this tidal drag would continue until the spin of Earth and the orbital period of the Moon matched, creating mutual tidal locking between the two. As a result, the Moon would be suspended in the sky over one meridian, as is already currently the case with Pluto and its moon Charon. However, the Sun will become a red giant long before that, engulfing Earth and we need not worry about the consequences.[144][145]

In a like manner, the lunar surface experiences tides of around 10cm (4in) amplitude over 27days, with two components: a fixed one due to Earth, because they are in synchronous rotation, and a varying component from the Sun.[140] The Earth-induced component arises from libration, a result of the Moon’s orbital eccentricity (if the Moon’s orbit were perfectly circular, there would only be solar tides).[140] Libration also changes the angle from which the Moon is seen, allowing a total of about 59% of its surface to be seen from Earth over time.[58] The cumulative effects of stress built up by these tidal forces produces moonquakes. Moonquakes are much less common and weaker than are earthquakes, although moon quakes can last for up to an houra significantly longer time than terrestrial quakesbecause of the absence of water to damp out the seismic vibrations. The existence of moonquakes was an unexpected discovery from seismometers placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts from 1969 through 1972.[146]

Eclipses can only occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all in a straight line (termed “syzygy”). Solar eclipses occur at new moon, when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. In contrast, lunar eclipses occur at full moon, when Earth is between the Sun and Moon. The apparent size of the Moon is roughly the same as that of the Sun, with both being viewed at close to one-half a degree wide. The Sun is much larger than the Moon but it is the precise vastly greater distance that gives it the same apparent size as the much closer and much smaller Moon from the perspective of Earth. The variations in apparent size, due to the non-circular orbits, are nearly the same as well, though occurring in different cycles. This makes possible both total (with the Moon appearing larger than the Sun) and annular (with the Moon appearing smaller than the Sun) solar eclipses.[148] In a total eclipse, the Moon completely covers the disc of the Sun and the solar corona becomes visible to the naked eye. Because the distance between the Moon and Earth is very slowly increasing over time,[138] the angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing. Also, as it evolves toward becoming a red giant, the size of the Sun, and its apparent diameter in the sky, are slowly increasing.[l] The combination of these two changes means that hundreds of millions of years ago, the Moon would always completely cover the Sun on solar eclipses, and no annular eclipses were possible. Likewise, hundreds of millions of years in the future, the Moon will no longer cover the Sun completely, and total solar eclipses will not occur.[149]

Because the Moon’s orbit around Earth is inclined by about 5 to the orbit of Earth around the Sun, eclipses do not occur at every full and new moon. For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be near the intersection of the two orbital planes.[150] The periodicity and recurrence of eclipses of the Sun by the Moon, and of the Moon by Earth, is described by the saros, which has a period of approximately 18years.[151]

Because the Moon is continuously blocking our view of a half-degree-wide circular area of the sky,[m][152] the related phenomenon of occultation occurs when a bright star or planet passes behind the Moon and is occulted: hidden from view. In this way, a solar eclipse is an occultation of the Sun. Because the Moon is comparatively close to Earth, occultations of individual stars are not visible everywhere on the planet, nor at the same time. Because of the precession of the lunar orbit, each year different stars are occulted.[153]

Understanding of the Moon’s cycles was an early development of astronomy: by the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers had recorded the 18-year Saros cycle of lunar eclipses,[154] and Indian astronomers had described the Moon’s monthly elongation.[155] The Chinese astronomer Shi Shen (fl. 4th century BC) gave instructions for predicting solar and lunar eclipses. Later, the physical form of the Moon and the cause of moonlight became understood. The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (d. 428 BC) reasoned that the Sun and Moon were both giant spherical rocks, and that the latter reflected the light of the former.[157] Although the Chinese of the Han Dynasty believed the Moon to be energy equated to qi, their ‘radiating influence’ theory also recognized that the light of the Moon was merely a reflection of the Sun, and Jing Fang (7837BC) noted the sphericity of the Moon. In the 2nd century AD Lucian wrote a novel where the heroes travel to the Moon, which is inhabited. In 499AD, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata mentioned in his Aryabhatiya that reflected sunlight is the cause of the shining of the Moon.[160] The astronomer and physicist Alhazen (9651039) found that sunlight was not reflected from the Moon like a mirror, but that light was emitted from every part of the Moon’s sunlit surface in all directions.[161]Shen Kuo (10311095) of the Song dynasty created an allegory equating the waxing and waning of the Moon to a round ball of reflective silver that, when doused with white powder and viewed from the side, would appear to be a crescent.

In Aristotle’s (384322BC) description of the universe, the Moon marked the boundary between the spheres of the mutable elements (earth, water, air and fire), and the imperishable stars of aether, an influential philosophy that would dominate for centuries.[163] However, in the 2nd century BC, Seleucus of Seleucia correctly theorized that tides were due to the attraction of the Moon, and that their height depends on the Moon’s position relative to the Sun.[164] In the same century, Aristarchus computed the size and distance of the Moon from Earth, obtaining a value of about twenty times the radius of Earth for the distance. These figures were greatly improved by Ptolemy (90168AD): his values of a mean distance of 59times Earth’s radius and a diameter of 0.292Earth diameters were close to the correct values of about 60 and 0.273 respectively.[165]Archimedes (287212 BC) designed a planetarium that could calculate the motions of the Moon and other objects in the Solar System.[166]

During the Middle Ages, before the invention of the telescope, the Moon was increasingly recognised as a sphere, though many believed that it was “perfectly smooth”.[167]

In 1609, Galileo Galilei drew one of the first telescopic drawings of the Moon in his book Sidereus Nuncius and noted that it was not smooth but had mountains and craters. Telescopic mapping of the Moon followed: later in the 17th century, the efforts of Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi led to the system of naming of lunar features in use today. The more exact 183436 Mappa Selenographica of Wilhelm Beer and Johann Heinrich Mdler, and their associated 1837 book Der Mond, the first trigonometrically accurate study of lunar features, included the heights of more than a thousand mountains, and introduced the study of the Moon at accuracies possible in earthly geography.[168] Lunar craters, first noted by Galileo, were thought to be volcanic until the 1870s proposal of Richard Proctor that they were formed by collisions.[58] This view gained support in 1892 from the experimentation of geologist Grove Karl Gilbert, and from comparative studies from 1920 to the 1940s,[169] leading to the development of lunar stratigraphy, which by the 1950s was becoming a new and growing branch of astrogeology.[58]

The Cold War-inspired Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. led to an acceleration of interest in exploration of the Moon. Once launchers had the necessary capabilities, these nations sent uncrewed probes on both flyby and impact/lander missions. Spacecraft from the Soviet Union’s Luna program were the first to accomplish a number of goals: following three unnamed, failed missions in 1958,[170] the first human-made object to escape Earth’s gravity and pass near the Moon was Luna 1; the first human-made object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2, and the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3, all in 1959.

The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9 and the first uncrewed vehicle to orbit the Moon was Luna 10, both in 1966.[58]Rock and soil samples were brought back to Earth by three Luna sample return missions (Luna 16 in 1970, Luna 20 in 1972, and Luna 24 in 1976), which returned 0.3kg total.[171] Two pioneering robotic rovers landed on the Moon in 1970 and 1973 as a part of Soviet Lunokhod programme.

The United States launched uncrewed probes to develop an understanding of the lunar surface for an eventual crewed landing: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ranger program produced the first close-up pictures; the Lunar Orbiter program produced maps of the entire Moon; the Surveyor program landed its first spacecraft four months after Luna 9. NASA’s crewed Apollo program was developed in parallel; after a series of uncrewed and crewed tests of the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit, and spurred on by a potential Soviet lunar flight, in 1968 Apollo 8 made the first crewed mission to lunar orbit. The subsequent landing of the first humans on the Moon in 1969 is seen by many as the culmination of the Space Race.[172]

Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon as the commander of the American mission Apollo 11 by first setting foot on the Moon at 02:56UTC on 21 July 1969.[173] An estimated 500million people worldwide watched the transmission by the Apollo TV camera, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at that time.[174][175] The Apollo missions 11 to 17 (except Apollo 13, which aborted its planned lunar landing) returned 380.05 kilograms (837.87lb) of lunar rock and soil in 2,196 separate samples.[176] The American Moon landing and return was enabled by considerable technological advances in the early 1960s, in domains such as ablation chemistry, software engineering and atmospheric re-entry technology, and by highly competent management of the enormous technical undertaking.[177][178]

Scientific instrument packages were installed on the lunar surface during all the Apollo landings. Long-lived instrument stations, including heat flow probes, seismometers, and magnetometers, were installed at the Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 landing sites. Direct transmission of data to Earth concluded in late 1977 due to budgetary considerations,[179][180] but as the stations’ lunar laser ranging corner-cube retroreflector arrays are passive instruments, they are still being used. Ranging to the stations is routinely performed from Earth-based stations with an accuracy of a few centimetres, and data from this experiment are being used to place constraints on the size of the lunar core.[181]

After the first Moon race there were years of near quietude but starting in the 1990s, many more countries have become involved in direct exploration of the Moon. In 1990, Japan became the third country to place a spacecraft into lunar orbit with its Hiten spacecraft. The spacecraft released a smaller probe, Hagoromo, in lunar orbit, but the transmitter failed, preventing further scientific use of the mission.[182] In 1994, the U.S. sent the joint Defense Department/NASA spacecraft Clementine to lunar orbit. This mission obtained the first near-global topographic map of the Moon, and the first global multispectral images of the lunar surface.[183] This was followed in 1998 by the Lunar Prospector mission, whose instruments indicated the presence of excess hydrogen at the lunar poles, which is likely to have been caused by the presence of water ice in the upper few meters of the regolith within permanently shadowed craters.[184]

India, Japan, China, the United States, and the European Space Agency each sent lunar orbiters, especially ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 has contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith. The post-Apollo era has also seen two rover missions: the final Soviet Lunokhod mission in 1973, and China’s ongoing Chang’e 3 mission, which deployed its Yutu rover on 14 December 2013. The Moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes.

The European spacecraft SMART-1, the second ion-propelled spacecraft, was in lunar orbit from 15 November 2004 until its lunar impact on 3 September 2006, and made the first detailed survey of chemical elements on the lunar surface.[185]

China has pursued an ambitious program of lunar exploration, beginning with Chang’e 1, which successfully orbited the Moon from 5 November 2007 until its controlled lunar impact on 1 March 2009.[186] In its sixteen-month mission, it obtained a full image map of the Moon. China followed up this success with Chang’e 2 beginning in October 2010, which reached the Moon over twice as fast as Chang’e 1, mapped the Moon at a higher resolution over an eight-month period, then left lunar orbit in favor of an extended stay at the EarthSun L2 Lagrangian point, before finally performing a flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis on 13 December 2012, and then heading off into deep space. On 14 December 2013, Chang’e 3 improved upon its orbital mission predecessors by landing a lunar lander onto the Moon’s surface, which in turn deployed a lunar rover, named Yutu (Chinese: ; literally “Jade Rabbit”). In so doing, Chang’e 3 made the first lunar soft landing since Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar rover mission since Lunokhod 2 in 1973. China intends to launch another rover mission (Chang’e 4) before 2020, followed by a sample return mission (Chang’e 5) soon after.[187]

Between 4 October 2007 and 10 June 2009, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kaguya (Selene) mission, a lunar orbiter fitted with a high-definition video camera, and two small radio-transmitter satellites, obtained lunar geophysics data and took the first high-definition movies from beyond Earth orbit.[188][189] India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan I, orbited from 8 November 2008 until loss of contact on 27 August 2009, creating a high resolution chemical, mineralogical and photo-geological map of the lunar surface, and confirming the presence of water molecules in lunar soil.[190] The Indian Space Research Organisation planned to launch Chandrayaan II in 2013, which would have included a Russian robotic lunar rover.[191][192] However, the failure of Russia’s Fobos-Grunt mission has delayed this project.

The U.S. co-launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the LCROSS impactor and follow-up observation orbiter on 18 June 2009; LCROSS completed its mission by making a planned and widely observed impact in the crater Cabeus on 9 October 2009,[193] whereas LRO is currently in operation, obtaining precise lunar altimetry and high-resolution imagery. In November 2011, the LRO passed over the Aristarchus crater, which spans 40km (25mi) and sinks more than 3.5km (2.2mi) deep. The crater is one of the most visible ones from Earth. “The Aristarchus plateau is one of the most geologically diverse places on the Moon: a mysterious raised flat plateau, a giant rille carved by enormous outpourings of lava, fields of explosive volcanic ash, and all surrounded by massive flood basalts”, said Mark Robinson, principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera at Arizona State University. NASA released photos of the crater on 25 December 2011.[194]

Two NASA GRAIL spacecraft began orbiting the Moon around 1 January 2012,[195] on a mission to learn more about the Moon’s internal structure. NASA’s LADEE probe, designed to study the lunar exosphere, achieved orbit on 6 October 2013.

Upcoming lunar missions include Russia’s Luna-Glob: an uncrewed lander with a set of seismometers, and an orbiter based on its failed Martian Fobos-Grunt mission.[196][197] Privately funded lunar exploration has been promoted by the Google Lunar X Prize, announced 13 September 2007, which offers US$20million to anyone who can land a robotic rover on the Moon and meet other specified criteria.[198]Shackleton Energy Company is building a program to establish operations on the south pole of the Moon to harvest water and supply their Propellant Depots.[199]

NASA began to plan to resume crewed missions following the call by U.S. President George W. Bush on 14 January 2004 for a crewed mission to the Moon by 2019 and the construction of a lunar base by 2024.[200] The Constellation program was funded and construction and testing begun on a crewed spacecraft and launch vehicle,[201] and design studies for a lunar base.[202] However, that program has been cancelled in favor of a crewed asteroid landing by 2025 and a crewed Mars orbit by 2035.[203]India has also expressed its hope to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2020.[204]

For many years, the Moon has been recognized as an excellent site for telescopes.[205] It is relatively nearby; astronomical seeing is not a concern; certain craters near the poles are permanently dark and cold, and thus especially useful for infrared telescopes; and radio telescopes on the far side would be shielded from the radio chatter of Earth.[206] The lunar soil, although it poses a problem for any moving parts of telescopes, can be mixed with carbon nanotubes and epoxies and employed in the construction of mirrors up to 50 meters in diameter.[207] A lunar zenith telescope can be made cheaply with ionic liquid.[208]

In April 1972, the Apollo 16 mission recorded various astronomical photos and spectra in ultraviolet with the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph.[209]

During the Cold War, the United States Army conducted a classified feasibility study in the late 1950s called Project Horizon, to construct a crewed military outpost on the Moon, which would have been home to a bombing system targeted at rivals on Earth. The study included the possibility of conducting a lunar-based nuclear test.[210] The Air Force, which at the time was in competition with the Army for a leading role in the space program, developed its own, similar plan called Lunex.[211][212] However, both these proposals were ultimately passed over as the space program was largely transferred from the military to the civilian agency NASA.[212]

Although Luna landers scattered pennants of the Soviet Union on the Moon, and U.S. flags were symbolically planted at their landing sites by the Apollo astronauts, no nation claims ownership of any part of the Moon’s surface.[213] Russia and the U.S. are party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,[214] which defines the Moon and all outer space as the “province of all mankind”.[213] This treaty also restricts the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes, explicitly banning military installations and weapons of mass destruction.[215] The 1979 Moon Agreement was created to restrict the exploitation of the Moon’s resources by any single nation, but as of 2014, it has been signed and ratified by only 16 nations, none of which engages in self-launched human space exploration or has plans to do so.[216] Although several individuals have made claims to the Moon in whole or in part, none of these are considered credible.[217][218][219]

The Moon was often personified as a lunar deity in mythology and religion. A 5,000-year-old rock carving at Knowth, Ireland, may represent the Moon, which would be the earliest depiction discovered.[220] The contrast between the brighter highlands and the darker maria creates the patterns seen by different cultures as the Man in the Moon, the rabbit and the buffalo, among others. In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Moon was personified as a deity or other supernatural phenomenon, and astrological views of the Moon continue to be propagated today.

In the Ancient Near East, the moon god (Sin/Nanna) was masculine. In Greco-Roman mythology, Sun and Moon are represented as male and female, respectively (Helios/Sol and Selene/Luna). The crescent shape form an early time was used as a symbol representing the Moon. The Moon goddess Selene was represented as wearing a crescent on her headgear in an arrangement reminiscent of horns. The star and crescent arrangement also goes back to the Bronze Age, representing either the Sun and Moon, or the Moon and planet Venus, in combination. It came to represent the goddess Artemis or Hecate, and via the patronage of Hecate came to be used as a symbol of Byzantium.

An iconographic tradition of representing Sun and Moon with faces developed in the late medieval period.

The splitting of the moon (Arabic: ) is a miracle attributed to Muhammad.[221]

The Moon’s regular phases make it a very convenient timepiece, and the periods of its waxing and waning form the basis of many of the oldest calendars. Tally sticks, notched bones dating as far back as 2030,000 years ago, are believed by some to mark the phases of the Moon.[222][223][224] The ~30-day month is an approximation of the lunar cycle. The English noun month and its cognates in other Germanic languages stem from Proto-Germanic *mnth-, which is connected to the above-mentioned Proto-Germanic *mnn, indicating the usage of a lunar calendar among the Germanic peoples (Germanic calendar) prior to the adoption of a solar calendar.[225] The PIE root of moon, *mh1nt, derives from the PIE verbal root *meh1-, “to measure”, “indicat[ing] a functional conception of the moon, i.e. marker of the month” (cf. the English words measure and menstrual),[226][227][228] and echoing the Moon’s importance to many ancient cultures in measuring time (see Latin mensis and Ancient Greek (meis) or (mn), meaning “month”).[229][230][231][232] Most historical calendars are lunisolar. The 7th-century Islamic calendar is an exceptional example of a purely lunar calendar. Months are traditionally determined by the visual sighting of the hilal, or earliest crescent moon, over the horizon.[233]

The Moon has been the subject of many works of art and literature and the inspiration for countless others. It is a motif in the visual arts, the performing arts, poetry, prose and music.

The Moon has long been associated with insanity and irrationality; the words lunacy and lunatic (popular shortening loony) are derived from the Latin name for the Moon, Luna. Philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the Moon and its power over the tides, but the Moon’s gravity is too slight to affect any single person.[234] Even today, people who believe in a lunar effect claim that admissions to psychiatric hospitals, traffic accidents, homicides or suicides increase during a full moon, but dozens of studies invalidate these claims.[234][235][236][237][238]

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World needs strong US as policeman, Obama was too weak for …

Posted: November 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen believes more global interventionism by the US is needed to achieve peace and prevent conflict. He says US needs to be the worlds policeman and criticizes outgoing President Obama for not having done enough.

The comments were delivered in an exclusive interview to Sky News, five days ahead of the US presidential election. Rasmussen, who headed the military alliance from 2009 to 2014, outlined his frustrations of serving during the Obama presidency.

“I think President Obama has been too reluctant to use military force or threaten to use military force to prevent conflicts in the world, he said.

No matter who wins the White House, Rasmussen says the US has no choice either way but to continue down the path of interventionism. According to him, the above problems require a world policeman to restore international law and order.

“Superpowers don’t get to retire. Look around, you will see a world on fire. Syria torn by war and conflict. Iraq on the brink of collapse. Libya a failed state in North Africa. Russia attacking Ukraine and destabilizing Eastern Europe. China flexing its muscles, the rogue state North Korea threatening nuclear attacks.

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Rasmussen went on to express fears over the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, saying: We dont know what will be the concrete polices of his administration, but if his statements were to be taken at face value, I consider it could be very dangerous for the world.

Trump has said that he would withdraw from military agreements he finds unfavorable to the US. Hillary Clinton has, for her part, argued for an expanded US role in global affairs.

There is intense debate as to whether the US has done too much, or simply not enough, in the past decade.

The Middle East campaigns the US found itself in during the Bush administration did not end under Obama, who received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize amid hopes his presidency would herald a more stable world.

Yet, ironically, Obama has been at war more than his predecessor or any other US president. Obama administrations policies in the Middle East and North Africa led to even greater instability, with Libya plunging into chaos after ouster of Muammar Gaddafi and one of the greatest global security threats in the face of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) emerging in Iraq and Syria.

The number of drone strikes under George W. Bush pales in comparison to those under Obama: 50 and 506, respectively, according to the NY Times. More than 390 civilians have died in the airstrikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia on Obamas watch.

The failure of the Libyan campaign was admitted by Obama himself, who said in an interview with Fox News that the mission didnt work, adding that his worst mistake was probably failing to plan for the day after in intervening in Libya.

READ MORE:2 US soldiers killed, 2 wounded in Kunduz, Afghanistan

Afghanistans government forces still cant rely on their own capacity to fight the Taliban insurgency, which by the latest estimates controls one-third of the country. This is after the US finally pulled out of Afghanistan after 15 years its longest war to date.

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World needs strong US as policeman, Obama was too weak for …

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