Mississippi River sets all-time flood records; 2nd major spillway opens

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:06 PM GMT on May 09, 2011

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The Mighty Mississippi continues to wreak havoc as the river's highest flood crest in history pushes southwards near Memphis, Tennessee today. The river crested at its highest height on record over the past four days along a 70-mile stretch from New Madrid, Missouri to Tiptonville, Tennessee, to Caruthersville, Missouri, smashing records that had stood since the great flood of 1937. The flood height of 47.6' at Caruthersville, Missouri, on Saturday was a full 1.6 feet above the previous record flood height, set in 1937. However, thanks in part to decision by the Army Corps of Engineers last Monday to intentionally destroy a levee at Birds Point on the west bank of the Mississippi, pressure on the levees along this stretch of river was substantially reduced, potentially preventing multi-billion-dollar levee breaches. Currently, the Mississippi is expected to reach its 2nd highest level on record at Memphis on May 10, cresting at 48.0'. The all-time record at Memphis occurred during the great flood of 1937, when the river hit 48.7'. Downstream from Memphis, flood waters pouring in from the Arkansas River, Yazoo River, and other tributaries are expected to swell the Mississippi high enough to beat the all-time record at Vicksburg, Mississippi by 1.3' on May 19, and smash the all-time record at Natchez, Mississippi by six feet on May 21, and by 3.2 feet at Red River Landing on May 22. Red River Landing is the site of the Old River Control Structure, the Army Corps' massive engineering structure that keeps the Mississippi River from carving a new path to the Gulf of Mexico. I'll have a detailed post talking about the Old River Control Structure later this week. Its failure would be a serious blow to the U.S. economy, and the great Mississippi flood of 2011 will give the Old River Control Structure its most severe test ever. Also of concern is the forecast for the Mississippi to crest at 19.5 feet in New Orleans on May 23. The levees in New Orleans protect the city for a flood of 20.0 feet--that is not much breathing room. Fortunately, rainfall of at most 0.5 inches is expected over the Lower Mississippi River watershed over the next five days, which should prevent flood heights from rising above the current forecast.


Figure 1. Opening of the Bonnet Carre' Spillway on March 17, 1997. The spillway was operational from March 17 to April 18, 1997, operating at a maximum flow of 243,000 cu ft/s (6,900 m3/s). Image credit: Army Corps of Engineers.

Bonnet Carre' Spillway opens
Today, the Army Corps of Engineers is setting in motion another key part of their plan to control the great flood of 2011. The Corps is opening the Bonnet Carre' Spillway to divert 250,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain, some 28 miles upstream from New Orleans. A large crane will traverse a 1.5 mile-long stretch of the Mississippi River and remove large wooden slats that will allow the river to spill northwards into a 6-mile long channel lined by guide levees, to Lake Pontchartrain. The land that will be inundated is uninhabited and is not farmed, unlike the land of the Birds Point-New Madrid Spillway that was inundated by last week's intentional levee breach. The main concern with opening the Bonnet Carre' Spillway is the impact of the Mississippi River's fresh water on the salt water ecosystems of Lake Pontchartrain. This is the 10th time since 1937 that the Bonnet Carre' Spillway has been opened. The Army Corps is considering opening the final spillway they have in reserve, the great Morganza Spillway in Louisiana, late this week. The Army Corps has never opened all three Lower Mississippi River spillways at the same time. The Morganza Spillway has been opened only once, back in 1973.


Figure 2. The last time the Bonnet Carre Spillway was opened was in 2008. The International Space Station captured this image of the muddy brown waters of the Mississippi flooding into Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, just upstream from New Orleans. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Good links to follow the flood:
Summary forecast of all crests on Lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
Wundermap for Cairo, IL with USGS River overlay turned on.
National Weather Service "May 2011 Mississippi River Flood" web page

Jeff Masters

Flooding In Tennessee (sunrisejake)
The flood waters of the Obion River and the Mighty Mississippi River has taken over many communities in Northwest Tennessee. This small Community of Bogota in Dyer County is only one of many that is now a disaster area.
Flooding In Tennessee
Mississippi River at Memphis Greenbelt Park Flood at 47.6 ft 6 (Barb)
This is the parking lot to the park that I posted pictures of a few days ago. Now the entire lot is under water.
Mississippi River at Memphis Greenbelt Park Flood at 47.6 ft 6

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358. anderson6210
11:26 PM GMT on May 13, 2011
This is seriously going to crush many of the areas with a thriving economy along the Mississippi River coast. I hope Immediate Response Group and other similar organizations can send aid quickly. They have the necessary resources to help protect the businesses' assets, which will keep the economy going in the long run.
Member Since: May 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
357. cartmin
1:49 AM GMT on May 11, 2011
Good luck !!! I hope we have all fish storms this year !
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
356. cartmin
1:48 AM GMT on May 11, 2011
Quoting KennyNebraska:
Of interest perhaps here is a Facebook update I have just received:

Hurricane Season 2011 is approaching! I will be operating two webcams this year, and the "chat room" is now linked with Facebook. I desire to have my live broadcasts be more stream-lined. Step one was working on the web site to mirror my intentions. As always, my chases will be FREE experiences, with no gobble-de-gook to get in the way. I may go on a tornado chase or two in May to fine-tune my broadcasts. Stay tuned!
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
355. KennyNebraska
2:54 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Of interest perhaps here is a Facebook update I have just received:

Hurricane Season 2011 is approaching! I will be operating two webcams this year, and the "chat room" is now linked with Facebook. I desire to have my live broadcasts be more stream-lined. Step one was working on the web site to mirror my intentions. As always, my chases will be FREE experiences, with no gobble-de-gook to get in the way. I may go on a tornado chase or two in May to fine-tune my broadcasts. Stay tuned!
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
354. IKE
2:12 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
353. RitaEvac
1:54 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Here I am!... (TX coast)


Rock me like a hurricane!
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9685
352. RitaEvac
1:46 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Instead, you get a .25 of an inch for the next five days.



:(
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9685
350. RitaEvac
1:43 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Crop failure and cattle loss looks to happen in TX as we continue into oblivian
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9685
349. jimhnet
1:42 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
I was born in Henderson KY in 1942, five years after the '37 flood, but I can vividly remember the discussions at the General Store my mother and dad operated out in the county.

My wife is from the West Side of Evansville and I can remember driving along Riverside Drive in EVV when we were dating while in High School and the two distinctive items related to the '37 flood. 1) The Marking's showing the balcony on the second floor of the McCurdy Hotel used for a boat dock and 2) A red stripe painted on the outside wall of the Boeticher and Kellog Building at somewhere about 5.5 feet above ground level and the caption relating to the high water mark of the flood.

The one thing which was always present in all of the conversations was the cause of the flood namely "Ice Jams in the river causing a damming effect", I have not seen any reference to these "ice jams" or to the fact that they tried clearing them out by dynamiting them.

BTW, I am a retired pilot from DAL and flew the "Valley" from MSY to ORD for months on end.

I love the website and the job that you do bringing together the technology.

JIm Freeman
Member Since: November 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
348. RitaEvac
1:40 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Now, your local on the 8s

Today, wind and rain, locally heavy rainfall possible, rainfall amounts over 3 inches.

Tommorrow, wind and rain, locally heavy rainfall possible, rainfall amounts over 3 inches
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9685
347. RitaEvac
1:35 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Wish I had a forecast like this on TX coast

Tomm: Wind and rain, a 100% chance of heavy rain, winds over 50+mph.


Ahhhh, water
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9685
346. jrweatherman
1:27 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting RastaSteve:
What the Euro is showing would be just what the doctor ordered here in FL and that's lots of rain starting this weekend. The GFS has been showing this as well but as been inconsistant in the placemnent of the cutoff low.



From the NWS in Tampa. Beginning to get on board with the solution.

FOR LATE SATURDAY AND THROUGH MONDAY...MODELS ARE BECOMING MORE
PERSISTENT IN DEVELOPING A LARGE TROUGH/STRONG MID LVL CLOSED LOW
WHICH SPINS AND DROPS INTO THE DEEP SOUTH BY SUNDAY WITH SW FLOW
AND INCREASING MOISTURE ACROSS THE EASTERN GULF AND THE FL
PENINSULA. SINCE IT IS A LITTLE EARLY TO FULLY EMBRACE THIS
SOLUTION...WILL GO AHEAD AND BEGIN RAISING POPS FOR SUNDAY AND
MONDAY TO A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS/30 PERCENT ATTM AND WAIT FOR
MORE MODEL PERSISTENCE BEFORE GOING ANY HIGHER.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1063
345. muddertracker
1:26 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Cedar Park, TX, Rain forecast:
Tues: 20%
Wed: 40%
Thurs: 20%
What we really need: 100%
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2351
344. jeffs713
1:25 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
343. It is welcome to skip the lower MS valley as long as it lingers here a bit... we definitely need it.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5891
343. biff4ugo
1:18 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Is that RAIN over TEXAS?
Can it just skip the lower Mississippi and come directly to Florida Fire central?

No ashfall here yet, but my eyes are stinging from the smoke.

To look at the silver lining from this destructive event, Lots of construction jobs for months, and rebuilding homes does not depress the housing market like new ones do.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 116 Comments: 1603
342. Skyepony (Mod)
1:02 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Rasta~ I'm almost hopeful that we are in for a weather pattern change this weekend.

Sunset was beautiful last night, at a smokey cost to plenty but deep red.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 223 Comments: 39356
341. Skyepony (Mod)
12:59 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting aquak9:
don't spill yer coffee...

7.1 offa northeastern Australia, ~25 miles deep. can't access the tsunami page.


Buoys don't show anything..

Looking at warnings..No threat for HI

Locally maybe..
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 0855Z 10 MAY 2011
COORDINATES - 20.2 SOUTH 168.2 EAST
DEPTH - 10 KM
LOCATION - LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAGNITUDE - 7.1

EVALUATION

NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON
HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.

HOWEVER - EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL
TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN
A HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES
IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS
POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 223 Comments: 39356
337. HurricaneDean07
12:28 PM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting JRRP:
from the looks of it we are ahead of 2008.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
331. IKE
10:27 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
300 AM EDT TUE MAY 10 2011

.SHORT TERM (TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY)...THE VERY WARM WEATHER WILL
CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY AS AN AMPLIFIED RIDGE REMAINS PARKED
OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. A SHORTWAVE WILL MOVE SOUTHEAST
ACROSS SOUTH CAROLINA THIS AFTERNOON. LATEST GUIDANCE KEEPS ANY
FORCING FROM THIS FEATURE TOO FAR EAST TO GENERATE CONVECTION FOR
THE FORECAST AREA AND WILL LEAVE OUT ANY MENTION OF POPS FOR THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SMOKE PLUME ORIGINATING FROM LARGE
WILDFIRE IN THE OKEFENOKEE SWAMP. LATEST HYSPLIT GUIDANCE BRINGS
SMOKE TO THE I75 CORRIDOR FOR A FEW HOURS THIS MORNING.
THEREAFTER...LOW LEVEL FLOW BECOMES MORE SOUTHERLY...PUSHING THE
SMOKE NORTH PRIMARILY INTO SOUTHEAST GEORGIA.

RIDGE WILL REACH ITS MAXIMIUM AMPLITUDE OVER THE REGION WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON. AS A RESULT...HIGHEST TEMPERATURES OF THE WEEK ARE
EXPECTED WITH INLAND AREAS POTENTIALLY REACHING THE UPPER 90S.
RECORD HIGHS COULD BE SET FOR WEDNESDAY ACROSS THE REGION. BELOW
IS A LIST OF SOME RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR MAY 11TH. NOTE THAT
ALBANY AND HEADLAND ARE COOPERATIVE OBSERVER SITES.

TALLAHASSEE.........95 SET IN 1973...DATA BACK TO 1885
APALACHICOLA........92 SET IN 2009...DATA BACK TO 1931
ALBANY 3SE (CO-OP)..99 SET IN 1955...DATA BACK TO 1901
HEADLAND AL (CO-OP).94 SET IN 1955...DATA BACK TO 1950

SLIGHTLY COOLER TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED FOR THURSDAY AFTERNOON
AS THE RIDGE BEGINS TO WEAKEN.

.LONG TERM (THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH NEXT TUESDAY)...UPPER RIDGING
WILL HANG ON THROUGH FRIDAY BEFORE BEING OVERTAKEN BY A STRONG
UPPER LOW. THIS FEATURE WILL SLOWLY TRANSLATE THROUGH THE MISSOURI
AND OHIO VALLEY REGIONS OVER THE WEEKEND AND THEN GRADUALLY DROP
INTO THE CAROLINAS ON TUESDAY. AT THE SURFACE...HIGH PRESSURE WILL
WEAKEN AND MOVE EAST ALLOWING A COLD FRONT TO APPROACH FROM THE
WEST OVER THE WEEKEND. THIS FRONT IS FORECAST TO PUSH THROUGH THE
TRI-STATE REGION EARLY NEXT WEEK. MOISTURE WILL BE INCREASING AT
ALL LEVELS THROUGH THE EXTENDED PERIOD. THIS ALONG WILL INCREASING
INSTABILITY AND DAYTIME HEATING WILL BRING CHANCES FOR SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS TO THE REGION EACH DAY. MAX TEMPERATURES WILL BE
ABOVE SEASONAL LEVELS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AND THEN NEAR OR
SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY. MIN TEMPS WILL BE
NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND THEN DROP INTO THE
MID TO UPPER 50S EARLY NEXT WEEK.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
330. aquak9
10:00 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
don't spill yer coffee...

7.1 offa northeastern Australia, ~25 miles deep. can't access the tsunami page.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 177 Comments: 26629
329. SWFLgazer
7:24 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting WaterWitch11:
maybe i'm always talking to myself cause it tends to be safer that way? lol


Could be that is where you find the most intelligent people.
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 448
328. Levi32
7:08 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Can anyone tell me why this formula's value should increase with height in a standard atmosphere?

"T" is temperature at the point in question. "r" is the mixing ratio of water vapor per mass of air (g/kg). "p" is the atmospheric pressure at the point in question. Everything else are constants. T and r decrease a lot with height. So does p, which raises the value of the function, but usually only by about 5 between 1000mb and 200mb, while r alone decreases it by a factor of 10 at the same time, keeping the net change as a decrease.

Yet, equivalent potential temperature (which is what this is, btw) is supposed to increase with height in a standard atmosphere....



Actually here's what all the variables represent (screenshot from Wiki):

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
327. KoritheMan
6:53 AM GMT on May 10, 2011

Quoting smuldy:

sorry just wiki'd it so tropical waves only count if they originate over open water?
Tropical waves do not originate over water; they are created by the temperature gradient between the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region of west Africa. They are subsequently propelled westward by the low-level easterlies characteristic of the deep tropics.

It is also important to note that not all tropical waves produce appreciable deep convection. In fact, more often than not, they fail to do so (due to the Saharan Air Layer) until they find a more favorable environment.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21301
326. syndrella
6:43 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
hi

Thanks For the wonderful blog Dr jeff masters

its pretty helpful to learn new things and all thanks again jeff



regards
Syndrella
Member Since: May 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
325. WaterWitch11
5:54 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
maybe i'm always talking to myself cause it tends to be safer that way? lol
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1745
324. WaterWitch11
5:44 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting sunlinepr:
Astronomers Find Newly Discovered Asteroid Is Earth's Companion

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011) — Astronomers from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland have found that a recently discovered asteroid has been following Earth in its motion around the Sun for at least the past 250,000 years, and may be intimately related to the origin of our planet.

Their work appears in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The asteroid first caught the eye of the scientists, Apostolos "Tolis" Christou and David Asher, two months after it was found by the WISE infrared survey satellite, launched in 2009 by the United States. "Its average distance from the Sun is identical to that of the Earth," says Dr Christou, "but what really impressed me at the time was how Earth-like its orbit was." Most near-Earth Asteroids -- NEAs for short -- have very eccentric, or egg-shaped, orbits that take the asteroid right through the inner solar system. But the new object, designated 2010 SO16, is different. Its orbit is almost circular so that it cannot come close to any other planet in the solar system except Earth.

Link


what's interesting is that its at the closest to earth in 2012. hmmm. i wonder what date exactly?
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1745
323. Brunski
5:29 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
@322 -nice!
Member Since: December 21, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 41
322. Caffinehog
5:11 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting MississippiWx:


All I'm saying is that something more strict than a ban needs to be done. Trolls are the main reason I refuse to pay a subscription on this site. I realize that most discussion areas on the internet are going to have trolls, but it gets ridiculous here and it hardly seems like anything is done about it other than a ban. Maybe that's all that can be done and maybe I expect too much. All I know is that another website I use is a lot better than this one as far as being civil goes.


Never seen so many trolls on here.
Gonna have to start blocking people.
Give weatherunderground a break though.
You can’t expect them to catch all the trolls. It’s
Up to you, but
Never paying for weatherunderground is
Gonna end up bankrupting them.
Let the trolls be trolls.
You can be better than them.
Down where I come from, you
Never punish the good guys.
Gonna keep paying for weatherunderground.
Run up the credit cards!
Around here, we love this website.
And no matter what, we won’t
Desert them.
You shouldn’t either.

Then again, you may have just been Rickrolled. Read the first word of each line.


Hey, I had to do it once, OK?
Member Since: June 5, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 40
321. cchsweatherman
4:46 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting smuldy:
thank you for clearing that up and sorry for the mis info earlier


No problem and no need to apologize. It happens. All about learning here.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
320. JRRP
4:46 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
319. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:44 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
318. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:42 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
317. JRRP
4:40 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
316. smuldy
4:39 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Those are called investssing its frontal boundary and properties.

Invest 91L originated ...... stalled out frontal systems.
thank you for clearing that up and sorry for the mis info earlier
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 527
315. JRRP
4:39 AM GMT on May 10, 2011


Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
314. sunlinepr
4:38 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
313. sunlinepr
4:36 AM GMT on May 10, 2011

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
312. cchsweatherman
4:36 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Quoting smuldy:
they were discussed and analyzed by the nhc and given %s of formation into a tropical or subtropical system but i still think you may be right as i may be misunderstanding the necessary requirements to meet the definition


Those are called invests, or disturbances that are being watched for possible, but not guaranteed, subtropical or tropical development.

A tropical wave is a pocket of heat and deep moisture that emerges off Africa and into the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical waves typically exhibit an inverted V shape (<) and sometimes can have lower to mid level lows associated with them.

Invest 90L was a low level low that got occluded from the main flow across Europe and drifted southward into the Canary Island region. It originated from a storm system that came off the United States, stalled out over the North Atlantic, and meandered losing its frontal boundary and properties.

Invest 91L originated from moisture surging from South America into the Lesser Antilles. It migrated northward and interacted with a stalled storm over the Central Atlantic and moved west due to building high pressure. It then had a slight chance for development when it interacted with a cut off upper low near the Bahamas.

Both invests came from stalled out frontal systems.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
311. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
310. sunlinepr
4:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Astronomers Find Newly Discovered Asteroid Is Earth's Companion

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011) — Astronomers from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland have found that a recently discovered asteroid has been following Earth in its motion around the Sun for at least the past 250,000 years, and may be intimately related to the origin of our planet.

Their work appears in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The asteroid first caught the eye of the scientists, Apostolos "Tolis" Christou and David Asher, two months after it was found by the WISE infrared survey satellite, launched in 2009 by the United States. "Its average distance from the Sun is identical to that of the Earth," says Dr Christou, "but what really impressed me at the time was how Earth-like its orbit was." Most near-Earth Asteroids -- NEAs for short -- have very eccentric, or egg-shaped, orbits that take the asteroid right through the inner solar system. But the new object, designated 2010 SO16, is different. Its orbit is almost circular so that it cannot come close to any other planet in the solar system except Earth.

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
309. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:29 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
308. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:26 AM GMT on May 10, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972

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