Tag Archive: Earth


How Small Is Planet Earth !

 

 

 

Here is a video that very deftly illustrates the insignificance of man .

NASA Releases This Year’s Best Photos Of Earth Taken From Space

” Thanks to the nearly 3,000 satellites monitoring Earth, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is able to capture some of the most breathtaking images of our planet from outer space. NASA recently released the best photos that these satellites have taken from space this year. “

California dreaming: This image of clouds off the California coast was captured Apr. 14 by NASA's Terra satellite.

” Clouds hovering off the coast of California “

See more at Rare

Giant Alien Planet Discovered In Most Distant Orbit Ever Seen

 

 

” An enormous alien planet — one that is 11 times more massive than Jupiter — was discovered in the most distant orbit yet found around a single parent star.

  The newfound exoplanet, dubbed HD 106906 b, dwarfs any planetary body in the solar system, and circles its star at a distance that is 650 times the average distance between the Earth and the sun. The existence of such a massive and distantly orbiting planet raises new questions about how these bizarre worlds are formed, the researchers said.

” This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see,” study lead researcher Vanessa Bailey, a fifth-year graduate student in the University of Arizona’s department of astronomy, said in a statement.”

Scientists Increasingly Moving To Global Cooling Consensus

 

 

 

” Critics of those who claim that man-made global warming is a serious threat to the planet and settled science frequently point to the fickleness of scientists on the issue, noting that in the 60s and 70s scientists were warning of just the opposite. It now appears the critic’s claims may have merit as a new consensus is beginning to once again return to the global cooling model.

  Adherents of man-made global warming have supported the issue in a way akin to that of religious zealots, even to the point of attempting to cover up evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs or portrays it in a negative light.”

 

   Face it , the data that is available regarding climate change on Earth is just not comprehensive enough for the scientific community to be handing down pronouncements of catastrophic climate change . 

 

” Global warming has been blamed for every recent catastrophe including wildfires in America even when they have been started by human activity, Hurricane Sandy, and even for the recent rash of cold spells that have descended upon much of the world.”

 

 The fact is that the thousands of years of man and his “destructive” policies are but a pimple on the butt of Earth history and it is the height of arrogance to assume that in such a short period of history we could so drastically effect the Earth .

 

However, even in the midst of their support for the theory, they appear to have acknowledged there are serious issues with claiming that record cold winters are the result of global warming. In the 1990s, they frequently made calls for governments to take steps to issue regulations to curtail “global warming.” However, they now generally do not use the phrase any longer, instead calling on combating “climate change.” “

    That arrogance , along with political pressure ,has generated a climate in the scientific community that refuses to allow anyone to be honest enough to admit that “we just don’t know” . Of course an admission of that frankness and honesty would not impress the grant givers and that is AGW science is really all about … job security , that and Statism . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunspots, Which Can Harm Electronics On Earth, Are Half The Number Expected

 

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” Scientists say that solar activity is stranger than in a century or more, with the sun producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected and its magnetic poles oddly out of sync.

The sun generates immense magnetic fields as it spins. Sunspots—often broader in diameter than Earth—mark areas of intense magnetic force that brew disruptive solar storms. These storms may abruptly lash their charged particles across millions of miles of space toward Earth, where they can short-circuit satellites, smother cellular signals or damage electrical systems.

Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is “a total punk,” said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.”

 

Are the lights about to go out ? End times anyone ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out Of Fuel GOCE Satellite To Crash-Land On Earth Sunday Afternoon

 

GOCE satellite.jpg

 

” A 2,000-pound European satellite has run out of fuel and is expected to plunge back to Earth sometime between 1:30 PM EST and 7:00 PM, scientists with Europe’s Space Debris Office said Sunday.

As of 9:30 A.M. EST it was over Greenland and racing toward Canada; it will pass over the Dakotas, Colorado and New Mexico shortly. Where precisely it will crash remains up in the air.”

 

 

 

” As the whizzing GOCE — or Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer — descends, scientists are carefully monitoring it to determine the landing site and ensure public safety. With each orbit, it descends from a current altitude of under 90 miles by about 0.6 miles per hour.

The satellite is 17.4 feet long, according to the European Space Agency. A 2014 Chevrolet Suburban is 18.5 feet long, including the bumpers. The slim satellite is only 1/3 the weight of the truck, however.

As far as anyone knows, falling space debris has never injured anyone — although one woman came dangerously close. Nor has significant property damage been reported.”

 

WHERE IS IT NOW? Track the GOCE satellite here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse Coming Sunday

 

 

” A rare hybrid solar eclipse is coming on Sunday and could be visible from eastern North America to the Middle East. Sunday’s event will start as an annular eclipse, also called the ring of fire, and end with a total eclipse as the moon’s shadow covers our planet.

Skywatchers in the eastern United States, northeastern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East, and most of Africa, will be able to see a partial solar eclipse, reports NBC News.”

 

 

* Here’s more detail on the eclipse from the video description

 

 

* Published on Oct 20, 2013

” Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013

A total solar eclipse will occur on November 3, 2013. It is one of the rare hybrid or Annular/Total eclipses in which some sections of the path are Annular while other parts are Total, with a magnitude of 1.0159. Totality will be visible from the northern Atlantic Ocean (East of Florida) to Africa (Gabon (landfall), R. Congo, DR Congo, Uganda), with maximum of 1 minute and 39 seconds visible from the Atlantic Ocean south of Ivory Coast and Ghana.

The hybrid eclipse of 2013 is visible from within a thin corridor, which traverses the North Atlantic and equatorial Africa. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon’s penumbral shadow, which includes eastern North America, northern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The path of the Moon’s shadow begins in the North Atlantic approximately 1000 km due east of Jacksonville, FL. From the central line, a 4 second annular eclipse is visible at sunrise (11:05UT). As the shadow races forward, the narrow 4 km wide path rapidly shrinks to zero and the eclipse changes from annular to total. This all transpires within the first 15 seconds of the shadow’s trajectory. For the remainder of the track, the eclipse remains total.

Continuing on a southeast course, the vertex of the umbral shadow passes progressively deeper into Earth as the planet’s curvature brings the path along the surface closer to the Moon. By 11:10 UT, the track is 13 km wide and totality lasts 16 seconds. Growing quickly, the duration reaches 30 seconds by 11:18 UT.
With no landfall yet in sight, the shadow passes 500 km south of Cape Verde at 12:00 UT. On the central line, totality now lasts 1 minute 18 seconds, the Sun’s altitude is 57°, and the path width is 56 km.

Greatest eclipse occurs in the Atlantic at 12:47:36 UT, approximately 330 kilometres southwest of Liberia. At this instant, the axis of the Moon’s shadow passes closest to Earth’s centre. The maximum duration of totality is 1 minute 39 seconds, the Sun’s altitude is 71°, and the path width is 57 kilometres. 
Slowly curving to the east, the track just misses Sao Tome and Principe and intercepts the coast of Gabon north of Port-Gentil in the Wonga Wongue Reserve (13:51 UT) where the central line duration is 1 minute 7 seconds and the Sun’s altitude is 46°. The Moon’s shadow crosses Gabon in 9 minutes and sweeps over the Congo in 7 more. Entering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the path width is 36 kilometres and the duration is 48 seconds. 
The track begins curving to the northeast as it narrows and the duration of totality decreases. By the time the umbra reaches the western border of Uganda, totality drops to 23 seconds with the Sun at 18° (14:22 UT). Sweeping over northern Kenya, the path crosses Lake Turkana where the central line duration is 14 seconds at 14:25 UT.
In its final 2 1/2 minutes, the lunar shadow races across southern Ethiopia before leaving Earth’s surface in Somalia where a 1 second total eclipse occurs at sunset.
Over the course of 3.3 hours, the Moon’s umbra travels along a path approximately 13,600 kilometres long and covers 0.09% of Earth’s surface area. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unforgettable Photographs Capture a New Perspective On The world’s Most Magnificent Scenes From Bryce Canyon To Big Ben

 

 

 

Dancing lights: The unique majesty of Aurora Borealis as photographed in the early morning hours in the arctic circle. Also known as the Northern Lights, these fascinating light shows are at their peak when sunspots occur with the most frequency

" Dancing lights: The unique majesty of Aurora Borealis as photographed in the early morning hours in the arctic circle. Also known as the Northern Lights, these fascinating light shows are at their peak when sunspots occur with the most frequency "





Inspiring: Like the striking view of London, this shot taken from the Empire State Building of the mega city of New York sums up humanity's ability to take on almost supernatural feats 
" Inspiring: Like the striking view of London, this shot taken from the Empire State Building of the mega city of New York sums up humanity's ability to take on almost supernatural feats"





” A new pictorial volume from the world travel experts at Lonely Planet puts a new and unique perspective on some of Earth’s most inspiring scenes.

Looking up from the bottom of Utah’s majestic, rust colored Bryce Canyon National Park shows the park, for those who’ve been there, as its never been seen before.

Among striking shots of an ocean feeding frenzy and Aurora Borealis is a panoramic view of London and Big Ben at dusk that proves human landscapes can be just as breathtaking as those from mother nature.

The title of the book, Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World, does not disappoint.

This sampling of the book’s 200 or so scenes that depict precisely what makes Earth a living masterpiece is sure to leave you wanting more . “

See more at the Daily Mail

First Ever Evidence Of A Comet Striking The Earth

 

 

 

 

” The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators, and will be presented at a public lecture on Thursday.

The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.

“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor Jan Kramers of Wits University.

The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago. As it entered the atmosphere, it exploded, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2 000 degrees Celsius, and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of yellow silica glass which lies scattered over a 6 000 square kilometer area in the Sahara. A magnificent specimen of the glass, polished by ancient jewellers, is found in Tutankhamun’s brooch with its striking yellow-brown scarab.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Dangerous Volcano In America Is Roaring To Life

 

” Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate.  In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year.  The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America.  Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable.  A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanicash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable.  When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up.”

” The Yellowstone supervolcano is so vast that it is hard to put it into words.  According to the Daily Mail, the magma “hotspot” underneath Yellowstone is approximately 300 miles wide…

The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.

Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.

In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.

Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.”

Well, according to the Daily Mail, a full-blown eruption of Yellowstone could leave two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable…

It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980. “

Asteroid Near-Miss Reported By Russian Scientists

Asteroid detected by Sternberg Astronomical Institute © Photo Moscow State University/MASTER/Vladimir Lipunov

” A 15-meter (approximately 50 feet) asteroid, similar to the one that exploded above Russia in February, was detected hours before it narrowly missed the Earth over the weekend, Russian scientists said. Vladimir Lipunov of the Moscow State University and the Sternberg Astronomical Institute said on Sunday a network of telescopes operated by his team recorded a celestial body approaching the planet.
 
“[The asteroid] was discovered on Friday night by our station near Lake Baikal and nine hours later it flew within 11,300 kilometers of the Earth surface, below the orbit of geostationary satellites. It was about 15 meters in size,” he said.”

Scientists Colorized This Image To Show The Intensity Of Coronal Mass Ejections

 

Colorized Coronal Mass Ejections from the Sun

 

 

” In this image, the sun reaches out into space with long, super-intense flares of magnetized plasma called coronal mass ejections. When they’re directed toward Earth, such ejections may trigger auroras. Especially powerful ejections interrupt power supply and communications on Earth.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint project between the European Space Agency and NASA, originally took this photo in 2002. Scientists recently colorized it to show the intensities of the ejections. The white regions in the image are the most intense, while the red regions are of medium intensity and the blue regions are the least intense.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most “Super” Supermoon Of 2013 On June 22-23

 

Photo credit: Alice Popkorn

 

 

” Full moon falls on June 23, 2013 at 11:32 UTC (6:32 a.m. CDT in the U.S.). Thus, for many, the moon appears about as full in the June 22 evening sky as it does on the evening of June 23. This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014. In other words, it’s not just a supermoon. It’s the closest supermoon of 2013.

We astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used the term supermoon, which we’d never heard before. Last year, we heard this term again to describe the year’s closest full moon on May 6, 2012. Now the term supermoon is being used a lot.

How super is this supermoon? June 2013 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth until August 10, 2014, at which time the moon will be a scant 5 kilometers closer to Earth. The full moon will come even closer to Earth on September 28, 2015 (356,877 kilometers) and closer yet on November 14, 2016 (356,509 kilometers). November 2016 will feature the closest full moon until November 25, 2034! Maybe this helps you see that supermoons – while interesting – are fairly routine astronomical events.”

 

 

 

 

 

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3-Billion-Yr-Old Ancient Water Tastes Salty Scientist Says

 

 

” A team of scientists recently reported finding an ancient pocket of water flowing nearly two miles beneath the surface of the Earth. A member of the team Barbara Sherwood Lollar has admitted tasting the water and describes it as “terribly salty.”

 
The water dating back billions of years may predate the emergence of complex life forms on Earth and may give clues about the origin of life. It was found flowing through fractures in 2.7-billion-year-old sulphide deposits in a copper and zinc mine near Timmins, Ontario, about 7,875 feet beneath the Earth’s surface.
 
According to the team of scientists in a paper titled “Deep fracture fluids isolated in the crust since the Precambrian era,” published in the journal Nature on May 15, 2013, the “fluids… can be billions of years old and preserve a record of the fluid chemistry and environment at the time of mineralization.”

 

The team of scientists from the universities of Manchester, Lancaster, Toronto and McMaster, analyzing the water isolated beneath the surface of the Earth for billions of years have described it as being like “trapped time capsules.”

 

The scientists say the water is at least 1.5 billion years old and may be even much older, dating back to the time of the formation of the rocks holding it. Nature reports that the scientists were able to determine that the water was at least 1.5 billion years old based on an analysis of the isotopes of natural gases in the water.”

 

The Earth As You Haven’t Seen It … Unless You’re An Astronaut

44 Pictures

 

 

” True colour satellite image of Europe at night with country borders. This image in Lambert Conformal Conic projection was compiled from data acquired by LANDSAT 5 & 7 satellites., Europe At Night With Country Borders, True Colour Satellite Image (Photo by Planet Observer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)”

 

 

 

” True colour satellite image of North America at night with country borders. This image in Lambert Conformal Conic projection was compiled from data acquired by LANDSAT 5 & 7 satellites., North America At Night With Country Borders, True Colour Satellite Image (Photo by Planet Observer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Asteroid Flyby

 

 

 

 

” May 30, 2013:

Asteroids have been a hot topic since February 15th  when one small asteroid exploded over Russia and another larger one, 2012 DA14, made a record setting close approach to Earth on the same day. This time the interloper is 1998 QE2, a potentially hazardous asteroid 2.7 km in diameter.  Astronomers are preparing to study the space rock as it harmlessly passes by on May 31st.

“This is a big asteroid that’s going to be one of the best radar imaging targets of the year,” says Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2013 Guide To The Five Visible Planets

 

 

Planetary trio bedecks western sky after sunset May 25.

 

” Venus and Jupiter are both now visible after sunset. Venus is buried in deep twilight in mid-May but will become more visible as the month passes. Later in May, the planet Mercury will climb up out of the glare of sunset, to appear low in the west at dusk. In the last week of May, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will form a spectacular planetary trio. Meanwhile, Saturn – shines noticeably bright in the May 2013 evening sky all month long. And Mars is officially in the morning sky in May 2013, but not visible, having passed behind the sun from Earth last month.”

 

 

 

Planetary Alignment Peaks With Celestial Show This Weekend

 

 

 

” Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in the sky this month, will be joined by tiny Mercury for a rare celestial show this weekend.

Typically, Venus, the second-closest planet to the sun, and Jupiter, which orbits beyond Mars, are tens of millions of miles apart. But they have been cycling together while moving ever closer to each other this month, joined by the innermost planet Mercury.

The celestial show peaks on Sunday when the trio will appear as a bright triangle of light in the western sky beginning about 30 minutes after sunset.

Triple conjunctions are relatively rare, according to NASA. The last one was in May 2011 and the next one will not occur until October 2015.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Arctic Was Warm, Wet, And Green. What That Says About The Future.

 

 

 

” Working with a continuous record of Arctic climate reaching back 3.6 million years, researchers have documented a period when the region was significantly warmer and wetter than it is today and when the atmosphere’s inventory of carbon dioxide was comparable to today’s levels.

The period the team has analyzed covers the first 1.4 million years of the record, when the region’s climate shifted from warm and wet to conditions that signaled the start of ice ages.

This period is of interest in part because the warmth persisted despite periodic shifts in Earth’s orbit that reduced the intensity of sunlight reaching the region.

The evidence is captured in a 1,034-foot core sample the team drew from the bottom of Lake El’gygytgyn, known informally as Lake E. It formed 3.6 billion years ago after a meteor punched a crater in Russia’s northeastern Arctic. The crater filled to form a lake 7 miles across and some 560 feet deep. The area around the lake managed to remain ice free during the ebb and flow of continental ice sheets during the Pleistocene ice ages, allowing sediment layers – and the pollen and other climate indicators they contain – to build up uninterrupted for the last 3.56 million years.”

 

 

 

 

 

Three Years Of Solar Activity In Three Minutes – Nasa Timelapse

 

 

” Nasa has created a time-lapse video of images of sun taken over past three years as it heads towards the peak of solar activity in its 11-year cycle.

 

During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time.

 

These images have regularly caught solar flares and coronal mass ejections in the act, types of space weather that can send radiation and solar material toward Earth and interfere with satellites in space.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Has the Right To Mine An Asteroid?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” As PopMech has relentlessly covered, the race is on to tap the mineral wealth tucked away in the asteroids. But are these big space rocks free for the taking, or will asteroid miners find themselves bogged down in outer space red tape? Instapundit blogger and resident contrarian Glenn Harlan Reynolds investigates.

Suddenly, the idea of asteroid mining is everywhere. As a recent feature here in Popular Mechanics noted, asteroid mining has gone from a “someday” idea to a business plan for more than one company. As a professor who’s been writing, teaching, and practicing space law since the 1980s, I say, why not? Asteroids are valuable, they’re out there, and they are free for the taking.

Or are they?

Asteroids are certainly available, and they’re valuable. More than 750,000 asteroids measure at least 1 kilometer across, and millions of smaller objects are scattered throughout the solar system, mostly in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Even a comparatively small asteroid is potentially quite valuable, both on Earth and in space.

A 79-foot-wide M-type (metallic) asteroid could hold 33,000 tons of extractable metals, including $50 million in platinum alone. A 23-foot-diameter C-type (carbonaceous) asteroid can hold 24,000 gallons of water, useful for generating fuel and oxygen. Even 1 gallon of water, at 8.33 pounds per, can cost tens of thousands of dollars to launch into Earth orbit. Prices will probably come down now that SpaceX and other private launch companies are in the game. But the numbers would need to improve a lot for water launched from Earth to compete with water that’s already floating in space. “

 

 

 

Yet Another Sinkhole Eats Up Real Estate In Seffner, Fla.

 

 

” Even the hardiest residents of Seffner, Fla., must be getting that sinking feeling, with a third sinkhole having opened up in the small town. Some kids playing in Lakeshore Ranch Dr. on Saturday night discovered the new sinkhole just 1.6 miles from where the Earth opened up and swallowed Jeff Bush in February… ”

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Black Holes Easier To Make Than Thought

 

 

 

 

” Creating microscopic black holes using particle accelerators requires less energy than previously thought, researchers say.

If physicists do succeed in creating black holes with such energies on Earth, the achievement could prove the existence of extra dimensions in the universe, physicists noted.

Any such black holes would pose no risk to Earth, however, scientists added.

Black holes possess gravitational fields so powerful that nothing can escape, not even light. The holes normally form when the remains of a dead star collapse under their own gravity, squeezing their mass together.”

 

 

 

Earth Gets A Rush Of Weekend Asteroid Visitors

 

Asteroids

 

 

 

 ” An asteroid as big as a city block shot relatively close by the Earth on Saturday, the latest in a series of visiting celestial objects including an asteroid the size of a bus that exploded over Russia last month, injuring 1,500.

Discovered just six days ago, the 460-foot long (140-meter) Asteroid 2013 ET passed about 600,000 miles from Earth at 3:30 p.m. EST. That’s about 2-1/2 times as far as the moon, fairly close on a cosmic yardstick.

The scary part of this one is that it’s something we didn’t even know about,” Patrick Paolucci, president of Slooh Space Camera, said during a webcast featuring live images of the asteroid from a telescope in the Canary Islands.

Moving at a speed of about 26,000 miles per hour, the asteroid could have wiped out a large city if it had impacted the Earth, added Slooh telescope engineer Paul Cox.”