*************************Earth..Space..Science*************************

By: pcola57 , 12:46 PM GMT on March 23, 2013



I have decided to start a new blog in order to post information about the Earth..Space..and Science..
Feel free to add or comment..
There are several pages here so..Enjoy!!



“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin


“There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.”

Samuel Johnson


“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.”

Benjamin Franklin

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1357. VR46L
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1355. pcola57


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Geminid Meteors over Chile - 2013 December 23



Explanation: From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rained down on planet Earth over the past few weeks. Recorded near the shower's peak over the night of December 13 and 14, the above skyscape captures Gemini's shooting stars in a four-hour composite from the dark skies of the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. In the foreground the 2.5-meter du Pont Telescope is visible as well as the 1-meter SWOPE telescope. The skies beyond the meteors are highlighted by Jupiter, seen as the bright spot near the image center, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, seen vertically on the image left, and the pinkish Orion Nebula on the far left. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Gemini's meteors enter the atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1354. pcola57


Apollo's Analemma



This remarkable record of the Sun's yearly journey through planet Earth's sky, made with planned multiple exposures captured on a single frame of a film. Exposures were made at the same time of day (9:00am local time), capturing the Sun's position on dates from January 7 through December 20, 2003. The multiple suns trace an intersecting curve known as an analemma. A foreground base exposure of the Temple of Apollo in ancient Corinth, Greece, appropriate for an analemma, was digitally merged with the film image. Equinox dates correspond to the middle points (not the intersection point) of the analemma. Summer and winter solstices are at analemma top and bottom. Although analemmas do not represent the night sky or the world at night they are published on TWAN because of their strong and unique educational aspect in astronomy and their challenging route in astrophotography. See the diverse collection of TWAN Analemma Images. Anthony Ayiomamitis, Perseus.gr
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1353. pcola57


ESA Image of the day

ESTEC Open Day 2013




Description

More than 8 500 visitors attended the ESTEC Open Day on Sunday 6 October 2013. Under a sunny sky, visitors were free to explore ESA's largest establishment, meet astronauts and talk to space scientists and engineers. Exhibitions and attractions were located across the sprawling site.
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1352. pcola57


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image of the day


Ice Doctor - December 23, 2013



In a refrigerated room, MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Alison Criscitiello saws ice cored from the Pine Island Shelf, where the Pine Island Glacier extends from West Antarctica into the Southern Ocean. The shelf is vulnerable to melting from the summer sun and from warming ocean waters. With her advisor, WHOI glaciologist Sarah Das, Criscitiello studied whether climate change is affecting sea ice formation around the continent and speeding the flow of glacial ice to the ocean (see video). She defended her thesis two weeks ago, handed in her Ph.D. thesis December 20, and is now Dr. Criscitiello. (Photo by Luke Trusel, Clark University)
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1351. pcola57


National Geographic Image of the day


There's Always One - December 23, 2013



Photograph by Yashani Shantha

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

Elephants at the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned elephants found in the jungle. As of 2003, there were 65 elephants. Since the captive breeding program was launched in 1982, over 20 elephants have been born. The aim of the orphanage is to simulate the natural world. However, there are some exceptions: The elephants are taken to the river twice daily for a bath, and all the babies under three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers.
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1349. pcola57


Earth Image of the day


Sollipulli Caldera, Chile and Argentina - December 23, 2013



While active volcanoes are obvious targets of interest from the standpoint of natural hazards, there are some dormant volcanoes that nevertheless warrant concern due to their geologic history of activity. One such volcano is Sollipulli, located in central Chile near the border with Argentina. The volcano sits in the southern Andes Mountains within Chile’s Parque Nacional Villarica. This photograph by an astronaut on the International Space Station highlights the summit of the volcano (2,282 meters, or 7,487 feet, above sea level) and the bare slopes above the tree line. Lower elevations are covered with green forests indicative of Southern Hemisphere summer.

The summit of the volcano is occupied by a four-kilometer wide caldera, currently filled with a snow-covered glacier (image center). While most calderas form after violent, explosive eruptions, the types of rock and deposits associated with such an event have not been found at Sollipulli. The geologic evidence does indicate explosive activity 2,900 years before present, and the production of lava flows approximately 700 years before present. Together with the craters and scoria cones along the outer flanks of the caldera, this history suggests that Sollipulli could experience violent eruptions again, presenting a potential hazard to such towns as Melipeuco and the greater region.
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1348. pcola57


Earth Science Image of the day

Snow in Zion Canyon - December 23, 2013



Photographer: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

Snow is an infrequent winter visitor to the bottoms of Zion Canyon, the centerpiece of beautiful Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. But when snow does fall and stick, the sandstone wonderland carved by the Virgin River and its tributary streams seems to have donned a whole new wardrobe. Because of its high contrast with adjacent snow free area the snow cover acts to enhance certain geologic features such as the rock layer at center.

Arctic air from Canada plunged south and enveloped all of Utah and much of the West during the weekend of December 7-8, 2013, sending even usually mild Zion Canyon into an early, shivery deep-freeze. Nearby St. George recorded overnight temperatures near 0 degrees F (-18 C) for several days, and 6 in (10 cm) or more of snow blanketed the area. Snow isn't uncommon during winter storms on the park’s higher plateaus and monolith rim-tops some of which rise to almost 8,000 ft (2,438 m) above sea level. But it rarely sticks and stays around in the warmer lower canyon itself or in the nearby city of St. George (elevation 2,860 ft or 871 m) with an average December high temperature of 41 F (5 C). This is an area known because of its relatively mild winters as Utah’s Dixie and a record-breaking snowfall of this magnitude can cause quite a shock as well as wishes for snowplows and snow shovels.

This photo showing the Virgin River and afternoon light on the sentinel called The Watchman near the west entrance to Zion National Park was taken on December 11, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D3200; Lens: AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G; Focal Length: 18mm (35mm equivalent: 27mm); Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 100
Software: iPhoto 9.5.
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1347. pcola57
Quoting 1346. trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Hi Pcola

I s envy those who took the gray pictures you posted
like this picture of the swamp%u2026loos fantastic


I love taking pictures.
From every angle, perspective, point of view, lights, shadows etc.
I like your images a lot

Thanks for your work for us
Posting this now

take care and stay dry.
Los of rain for Pensacola today


Hey Max..
How are you today?
I believe that your travels have begun if I understand correctly..
Your destination is your family..
Who could ask for anything better for Christmas?.. :)
Yes, thats one cool picture..
Gives a feeling of quiet and stillness..
I hope your picture taking is satisfying..
With your patience I bet you have some great pics..
Thank you for the compliment on my entries here..
I love sharing as you know..
2 days till Christmas..
Let us celebrate the Lords birthday with reflection on the miracle birth and the arrival of mankinds saviour..
I really do hope you made it home..
GB and Peace my friend.. :)

PS..
Got a grand total of .18' of rain..
Am happy to get that much..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
Hi Pcola

I s envy those who took the gray pictures you posted
like this picture of the swamp…loos fantastic


I love taking pictures.
From every angle, perspective, point of view, lights, shadows etc.
I like your images a lot

Thanks for your work for us
Posting this now

take care and stay dry.
Los of rain for Pensacola today
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
1345. pcola57


Big Dipper and Persepolis





Stars of the Big Dipper (the seven bright stars of constellation Ursa Major) and bright star Arcturus in Bootes (left) are photographed above the ruins of Persepolis, a 2500-year old World Heritage Site of ancient Persian palaces and temples near Shiraz in southern Iran. Seen in this view is the Gate of all Nations, with a pair of Lamassus, bulls with the heads of bearded men, stand by to reflect the Empires power. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty. To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Prsa, which means "The City of Persians". Persepolis is the Greek interpretation of the name which means Persian city. At the height of its power, the Achaemenid Empire encompassed about 7.7 million square kilometers and spanned three continents, as far west as Libya to nearly all Middle East, and to Central Asia. The glory of Persepolis ended with invasion of Alexander's army in 330 BC through the Royal Road of Persian Empire. After several months of stay in the Persian City, Alexander allowed his troops to loot and burn Persepolis. Amir Abolfath - Torgheh.ir/en
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1344. pcola57


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image of the day

Raking Them In - December 22, 2013



Dr. Geir Huse, of the Norway-based Institute of Marine Research, collected fish brought aboard the Norwegian research ship G.O. Sars while a crew member looked on. Huse used the MULTPELT (Multipurpose Pelagic Ecosystem Trawl) net during an early summer cruise from Norway to Iceland, Greenland and back. WHOI scientists Peter Wiebe, Cabell Davis, and graduate student Melissa Patrician participated on the cruise, which was part of the EURO-BASIN (Basin-scale Analysis, Synthesis & Integration) study, an international effort to understand how climate changes impact ecosystems in the North Atlantic. (Photo by Peter Wiebe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1343. pcola57


National Geographic Image of the day


Frosted Tamarack Swamp - December 22, 2013



Photograph by Adam Dorn

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

I had scouted out a few places for an early morning shoot in the tamarack swamps of Wisconsin. I searched and searched until I found this scene. With the sun barely breaking through the fog rising from the melting frost, the light lit up the tamarack in front of this ditch. The ditch faded into the mist, while the frost captured the early morning rays as everything glinted like it was covered in diamonds. I absolutely fell in love with the mood that this scene created. Just a few moments later, the sun rose high in the sky and melted all the frost, causing the scene to completely change.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1342. pcola57


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tutulemma: Solar Eclipse Analemma - 2013 December 22



Explanation: If you went outside at exactly the same time every day and took a picture that included the Sun, how would the Sun's position change? With great planning and effort, such a series of images can be taken. The figure-8 path the Sun follows over the course of a year is called an analemma. Yesterday, the Winter Solstice day in Earth's northern hemisphere, the Sun appeared at the bottom of the analemma. Analemmas created from different latitudes would appear at least slightly different, as well as analemmas created at a different time each day. With even greater planning and effort, the series can include a total eclipse of the Sun as one of the images. Pictured is such a total solar eclipse analemma or Tutulemma - a term coined by the photographers based on the Turkish word for eclipse. The above composite image sequence was recorded from Turkey starting in 2005. The base image for the sequence is from the total phase of a solar eclipse as viewed from Side, Turkey on 2006 March 29. Venus was also visible during totality, toward the lower right.
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1341. pcola57


NASA Image of the Day


A Lava Lamp Look at the Atlantic - December 22, 2013





Stretching from tropical Florida to the doorstep of Europe, this river of water carries a lot of heat, salt, and history. The Gulf Stream is an important part of the global ocean conveyor belt that moves water and heat across the North Atlantic from the equator toward the poles. It is one of the strongest currents on Earth, and one of the most studied. Its discovery is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, though sailors likely knew about the current long before they had a name for it.

This image shows a small portion of the Gulf Stream as it appears in infrared imagery. Data for this image was acquired on April 9, 2013, by the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on the Landsat 8 satellite. TIRS observes in wavelengths of 10.9 micrometers and 12.0 micrometers. The image above is centered at 33.06 North latitude, 73.86 West longitude, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of Charleston, South Carolina. (The downloadable KML and GeoTIFF files will allow you to see it on a map.)

Infrared bands measure how much energy is emitted by the surface of the Earth at particular wavelengths, said Matthew Montanaro, a researcher on NASAs Landsat team. We can calculate the surface temperature from these measurements through math and some modeling. Essentially, the higher the IR signal measured, the higher temperature on the surface. This allows researchers to get a measurement of sea surface temperature without having to directly measure the water temperature on site.

For several locations around the world, however, there are floating buoys that can directly measure the sea temperature, he added. We can compare these buoy measurements with the TIRS image-derived temperatures and adjust our calibration to provide a more accurate temperature calculation for TIRS and other satellites.

For a phenomenon such as the Gulf Stream, the sensitivity and relatively high resolution of the TIRS instrument allows scientists to tease out the micro structures within the much wider patterns. In the image above, water temperatures range from 18Degrees to 21.25Degrees Celsius (64Degrees to 70.25Degrees Fahrenheit), with cooler temperatures in purple and the warmest nearly white. Note how the Gulf Stream is not a uniform band, but instead has finer streams and pockets of warmer and colder water. The bright area in the lower right is likely caused by sunglint, the reflection of sunlight directly back at the sensor from the oceans surface.
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1340. pcola57


Earth Science Image of the day

Edible Decorations - December 22, 2013



Photographer: Chris Kotsiopoulos
Summary Author: Chris Kotsiopoulos

This photo shows a handsome mix of acorns and the red fruits from a strawberry tree, the common name for Arbutus unedo. Both are native to western Europe and the Mediterranean basin and are traditional, as well as edible, Christmas decorations in Greece. The acorns, likely from the kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), aren’t the tastiest nuts, but they’re high in protein, potassium and calcium. Photo taken at Mount Athos, Greece, near the Dionysiou Monastery, on January 1, 2013.

Photo details: Canon EOS 550D camera; 1/13 sec. exposure, 11.0 aperture; ISO 100, Canon EF100 mm, Macro USM lens at f/2.8; 100.0 mm focal length.
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1339. pcola57


TWAN Image of the day




After a major volcanic eruption in Alaska, sunsets turned to campfire-red across the US and then in other continents. As noted by the photographer "On August 7 and 8, 2008, the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands experienced three explosive eruptions, blasting ash and 1.5 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. This cloud of volcanic aerosols made its way southeastward, and arrived over eastern Kansas on the evening of August 22nd. At that time, I had no idea a volcanic eruption had occurred, but thought the clouds looked very odd. The 23rd was cloudy, but on the evening of the 24th, I saw the clouds again, and the delicate rippling structure they presented made me think they were volcanic in origin. I emailed Stephen James O'Meara of Volcano International, asking him if there had been any recent eruptions, and he confirmed that Kasatochi had done so on August 7th. This image illustrates the incredible range of color that results when reddened sunlight illuminates the the volcanic aerosols and mixes with ordinary twilight sky coloration." Doug Zubenel

Image Credit: Doug Zubenel

Gallery

From: USA Age: 56
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1338. pcola57


Beacon Hill Comes to WHOI



December 21, 2013

Massachusetts House speaker Robert DeLeo (center) gets a primer on the REMUS 6000 from principal engineer Mike Purcell (right), while Jim Rakowski, director of state government and external relations at WHOI's Center for Marine Robotics, looks on. DeLeo visited WHOI on October 11, 2013, during a tour of the state's "innovation economy." In addition to learning how the autonomous underwater vehicle works, the speaker heard how the REMUS was used to discover the wreckage of Air France flight 447. (Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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1337. pcola57


Doha, Qatar



Photograph by Vikas Kaushik, Your Shot

A lighted dhow is stationed at the bay at Corniche Doha. I was amazed by its colored bulbs and the lighted towers behind. This image is the riot of colors.
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1336. pcola57


London Eye



Photograph by Neloy Bandyopadhyay, Your Shot

The lights of the London Eye blur in motion.
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1335. pcola57


Marrakech, Morocco



Photograph by Elena B., Your Shot

Celebration of light at the market in Marrakech
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1334. pcola57


Ranohira, Madagascar



Photograph by Michele Martinelli, Your Shot

The colors of neon lights that illuminate this motel recall the colors of the Malagasy flag.
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1333. pcola57


Jerusalem Church



Photograph by Afif Amireh, Your Shot

A boy lights candles in one of Jerusalem's churches.
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1332. pcola57


Shanghai Highways



Photograph by Paul Reiffer, Your Shot

Shanghai's famous elevated roads come to life at night as the city illuminates them with bright blue lights. Light trails from the cars lead toward the futuristic skyline of Pudong in the background.
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1331. pcola57


Yi Peng Festival, Thailand



Photograph by Justin Ng, Your Shot

Monks looked up at the magnificent night sky filled with thousands of lanterns in awe. This was the moment I've been waiting for and it lasted very quickly due to strong wind. A very heavy downpour occurred right after we left the place.
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1330. pcola57


Earth Image of the day

Flying Over Vostok Station - December 21, 2013





If you were flying inland over Antarctica’s Princess Elizabeth Land and peering out of the window of your plane, you wouldn’t find much variety to the scenery. There are no forests, no meandering rivers, no soaring mountains. What you would see instead is a seemingly endless, flat expanse of wind-blown snow and ice—the surface of one of the thick ice sheets that shrouds most of Antarctica.

But if you happened to be passing over the south geomagnetic pole, you would see a cluster of buildings and equipment scattered on the ice surface. This is Vostok Station, one of the most remote research stations in the world. Established by the former Soviet Union in 1957 and now operated by Russia, the station is located about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from the geographic South Pole on top of approximately 3,700 meters (2.3 miles) of ice. During the summer research season, Vostok Station supports about 30 people.

An airborne camera, the Digital Mapping System (DMS), captured this image (top) of the station as NASA’s P-3 was flying over on November 27, 2013. The DMS camera, which was mounted on the bottom of the airplane, was at nadir when the image was taken, meaning it was pointing directly down at the surface. A number of features were visible from the plane’s 1,500-feet (460-meter) cruising altitude, including drilling equipment, communication towers, and the station’s meteorology building. The plane was surveying as part of Operation IceBridge, a multi-year mission to monitor conditions in Antarctica and the Arctic until a new ice-monitoring satellite, ICESat-2, launches in 2016.

While the primary objective of Operation IceBridge is to collect information about the thickness of ice sheets with laser altimeters and radar sensors, the DMS acquires high-resolution natural color photographs that scientists can use to monitor conditions at the ice surface. On most flights, IceBridge project scientist Michael Studinger brings his own digital camera as well. Studinger took the bottom photograph as the plane approached Vostok Station.

Before taking over the leadership of Operation IceBridge, Studinger was involved in a project to study Lake Vostok, a massive subglacial lake deep beneath the station. The lake, discovered in 1996 with a radar on the European ERS-1 satellite, is about the size of Lake Ontario and has been covered by ice for up to 25 million years. A Russian team succeeded in drilling all the way down to the lake in 2012 as part of an effort to study microbes living in the lake.
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1329. pcola57


Earth Science Image of the day

Solstice to Solstice Changes in Sunlight at Falmouth, Maine - December 21, 2013



Photographer: John Stetson
Summary Author: John Stetson

On the photos above, the Sun is represented at each hour of the day on both the summer and winter solstice at Falmouth, Maine (43 degrees north latitude). At the time of the summer solstice there are approximately 15 hours of daylight here. In the composite image on the left, utilizing a garden globe as a fish-eye lens, 14 suns can be seen; the sun at the fifteenth hour wasn't visible as it was behind the red barn. The Sun's maximum altitude on June 21 in Falmouth is about 68 degrees above the horizon.

At the time of the winter solstice, however, the Sun appears for but 9 hours. The Sun's maximum altitude on December 21 is only 22 degrees above the horizon. Photos taken on June 21, 2004 and December 21, 2004, respectively
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1328. pcola57


Solar Dynamics Observatory Shows Sun's Rainbow of Wavelengths




This still image was taken from a new NASA movie of the sun based on data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, showing the wide range of wavelengths – invisible to the naked eye – that the telescope can view. SDO converts the wavelengths into an image humans can see, and the light is colorized into a rainbow of colors.

Yellow light of 5800 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, which is typically colorized in green in SDO images, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures. By examining pictures of the sun in a variety of wavelengths – as is done not only by SDO, but also by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory and the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- scientists can track how particles and heat move through the sun's atmosphere.
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1327. pcola57


Goldstone's Antenna Tracks Spacecraft



Late night in the desert: Goldstone's 230-foot (70-meter) antenna tracks spacecraft day and night. This photograph was taken on Jan. 11, 2012.

The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, located in the Mojave Desert in California, is one of three complexes that comprise NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN). The DSN provides radio communications for all of NASA's interplanetary spacecraft and is also utilized for radio astronomy and radar observations of the solar system and the universe. DSN, the world's largest and most powerful communications system for "talking to" spacecraft, will reach a milestone on Dec. 24: the 50th anniversary of its official creation.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Deep Space Network for NASA.
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1326. pcola57


NOAA Image of the day


Tropical Cyclones Amara and Bruce in the Indian Ocean



The first and second cyclones of the Indian Ocean Cyclone Season are pictured here in an image consisting of two passes of the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument. The eastern pass was taken around 0730Z and the western pass around 0910Z on December 18, 2013. Both storms are in the southern hemisphere as shown by their clockwise rotations. Amara could bring high winds and heavy surf to Rodriguez in a few days, while Bruce is affecting conditions in the Cocos Islands, west of Jakarta, Indonesia now.
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1325. pcola57


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image of the day

Against the Odds - December 20, 2013



In the western Pacific Republic of Palau, abundant corals live in conditions that are warmer and more acidic than normal—conditions that usually reduce corals' ability to build their skeletons. WHOI scientist Anne Cohen and graduate student Hannah Barkley are partnering with the Palauan government, Palauan scientists and the Nature Conservancy to identify and study these resilient coral communities, which Cohen believes hold the secret to coral survival as the warming and acidification of the oceans reach unprecedented levels in the next several decades. (Photo by Hannah Barkley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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1324. pcola57


National Geographic Image of the day

Fried Egg Jellyfish




From one angle these jellyfish look like your breakfast hopped into the water and is making a swim for it, but from the side Cotylorhiza tuberculata is colorful, elegant, and would make a terrific hoop skirt.

On its underside it has eight folds of flesh called lappets, and attached to these are tentacles of varying lengths. Dashes of vivid blue and purple decorate the tips of tentacles between its oral arms—long, delicate appendages that help jellies catch prey.

If they were fried eggs, they’d have to be ostrich eggs—these jellies measure nearly a foot (0.3 meter) wide and are found mainly in the Mediterranean and sometimes the Adriatic and Aegean seas.
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1323. pcola57


Astronomy Image of the Day



Explanation: Rocks from space hit Earth every day. The larger the rock, though, the less often Earth is struck. Many kilograms of space dust pitter to Earth daily. Larger bits appear initially as a bright meteor. Baseball-sized rocks and ice-balls streak through our atmosphere daily, most evaporating quickly to nothing. Significant threats do exist for rocks near 100 meters in diameter, which strike the Earth roughly every 1000 years. An object this size could cause significant tsunamis were it to strike an ocean, potentially devastating even distant shores. A collision with a Massive asteroid, over 1 km across, is more rare, occurring typically millions of years apart, but could have truly global consequences. Many asteroids remain undiscovered. In fact, one was discovered in 1998 as the long blue streak in the above archival image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2002 June, the small 100-meter asteroid 2002 MN was discovered only after it whizzed by the Earth, passing well within the orbit of the Moon. 2002 MN passed closer than any asteroid since 1994 XM1, but not as close as 2004 MN4 will pass in 2029. A collision with a large asteroid would not affect Earth's orbit so much as raise dust that would affect Earth's climate. One likely result is a global extinction of many species of life, possibly dwarfing the ongoing extinction occurring now.
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1322. pcola57


Earth Image of the day


Sulfur Dioxide Increasing Over India - December 20, 2013






Emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants in India increased by more than 60 percent between 2005 and 2012 according to new analysis of data from NASA’s Aura satellite. Led by Zifeng Lu of Argonne National Laboratory, the study was published online on December 5, 2013, in Environmental Science & Technology.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is an atmospheric pollutant with both health and climate impacts. In 2010, India surpassed the United States as the world’s second highest emitter of SO2 (after China), according to estimates previously published by Lu and other scientists from universities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The same research showed that about half of India’s emissions came from the coal-fired power sector.

The maps above depict sulfur dioxide concentrations in 2011-12 (top) and 2005 (lower) and the relative size of power plants in India. Darker shades of orange-brown depict greater concentrations of SO2 in the atmosphere, while the size of the circles indicates the amount of emissions from the local power plant smoke stacks. Turn on the image comparison tool for a better look at the difference. You can also download maps of measurements for each year between 2005 and 2012.

Side by side comparison..use blue divider in middle of image to move left and right showing the comparisons..Click HERE to go there


While some atmospheric SO2 is produced by volcanoes and other natural processes, a substantial amount is produced by human activities such as the combustion of fuels with sulfur-containing impurities and the smelting of metals such as copper and nickel. The gas contributes to the formation of acid rain and, in high concentrations, can cause respiratory problems. It is also a precursor for sulfate aerosols, a type of suspended particle that can affect the properties of clouds—an effect that is difficult to measure and remains a large point of uncertainty in climate models.

India’s Central Pollution Control Board noted in a 2012 report that the national mean concentration of sulfur dioxide had declined from 2001 to 2010, an estimate based on data from ground-based monitoring stations. However, most of the stations are located in urban areas, where regulations have indeed reduced pollution locally. Only some of the stations in India collect measurements near the source of power plant emissions.

“We should know the air quality not only in populated cities, but also in industrial areas, where coal-fired power plants truly dominate national sulfur dioxide emissions,” said Lu. “On the one hand, local residents are influenced by these emissions. On the other hand, long-lifetime, sulfur-containing air pollutants such as sulfate can be transported long distances to affect public health and the environment at a regional scale.”

The new analysis of sulfur dioxide emissions comes two years after researchers developed a method to observe power plant emissions using measurements captured by an instrument on the Aura satellite. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) measures ozone and other key air quality components (including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide) and collects data over the same locations at the same time daily.

Using OMI’s eight-year record of observations, Lu and colleagues averaged measurements of sulfur from 65 power plants in 23 regions. Over time, a pattern emerged that allowed scientists to distinguish nearly constant power plant emissions from more variable background concentrations of sulfur dioxide. Researchers used OMI data and the same technique in a 2011 study to show that sulfur dioxide emissions from large U.S. coal-fired power plants fell from 2005-2007 to 2008-2010.

“This paper confirms that a technique shown to work in the United States can be applied for other countries where emissions [from ground-based measurements] are not well known,” said co-author Nickolay Krotkov of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Cente
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1321. pcola57


Earth Science Image of the day

Hike to Iceberg Lake - December 20, 2013



Photographer: Susanne Strickland
Summary Authors: Susanne Strickland; Jim Foster

The photo above was taken in Glacier National Park, Montana, this past summer on a hike to Iceberg Lake. It’s about a 10 mi (16 km) roundtrip hike to the lake. Stunning views abound along the way, such as Ptarmigan Wall shown above. Though the glaciers have been receding in Glacier National Park for a number of decades, patches of seasonal snow can be found above the tree line, even in August. The altitude of the tree line here, often subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), may be 10,000 ft (3,050 m) or higher on south or west facing slopes. Note the bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax), in the final stages of blooming, on either side of the trail. Photo taken on July 17, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D; Lens: EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM; Focal Length: 10.0mm; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.025 s (1/40); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1320. pcola57
Quoting 1318. trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Hello Friend

I read your messages. I made a note in my blog
Sorry for the delay


Hey Max..
I was humbled by your mention in your post..
TY my friend..
By the way I personally believe that is your best blog entry so far..
Kudos.. :)

Quoting 1319. RobDaHood:
Saw this afternoon that you had posted some updates.
Just want to say that I appreciate all the cool stuff and that you are on my mind.

Take good care Marvin.


Thanks Rob..
I love sharing with my WU friends..
I will take care..
GB and Peace my friend.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
Saw this afternoon that you had posted some updates.
Just want to say that I appreciate all the cool stuff and that you are on my mind.

Take good care Marvin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hello Friend

I read your messages. I made a note in my blog
Sorry for the delay
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
1317. pcola57


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image of the day

High-Pressure Work - December 18, 2013





Research associate Sean Sylva (left) and marine chemist Jeff Seewald carefully release highly pressurized fluid from an isobaric gas-tight sampler (IGT). The IGT was developed at WHOI to collect fluid flowing from hydrothermal vents and keep it at ocean-floor pressures—in some cases, more than 3,500 pounds per square inch—as it returns to a lab for analysis. This prevents gases in the sample from escaping as the IGT nears the sea surface. On a Dive and Discover expedition in January 2014, Sylva and Seewald will use IGTs to collect microbes living in hydrothermal vent fluids to learn more about the vent ecosystem, which thrives in the complete absence of sunlight. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1316. pcola57


National Geographic Image of the day

Monastery in Mandalay - December 18, 2013





Photograph by Marcelo Salvador

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

A young monk crosses the patio inside a monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar, where he lives.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1315. pcola57


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Light Pillars over Finland - 2013 December 18



Explanation: What's happening behind those houses? Pictured above are not aurora but nearby light pillars, a local phenomenon that can appear as a distant one. In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar. While going out to buy cat food, a quick thinking photographer captured the above light pillars extending up from bright parking lot lights in Oulu, Finland.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1314. pcola57


Earth Image of the day


Ozone’s Long Path to Recovery - December 19, 2013






The holes that formed in the ozone layer over Antarctica in 2011 and 2012 are a study in contrasts. The 2011 hole (top left) ranked among the ten largest recorded since the 1980s, while the 2012 hole (top right) was the second smallest. Why were they so different? Is it a sign that stratospheric ozone is recovering? These are the questions NASA scientists Anne Douglass, Natalya Kramarova, and Susan Strahan asked as they examined the holes using data from instruments on NASA’s Aura and NASA/NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellites.

The images above represent the typical method of gauging the ozone hole. They show the extent (the geographic area covered) and the depth (the concentration of ozone from top to bottom in the atmosphere) as measured by Aura’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument. Blues and purples represent the lowest ozone levels. Each image shows the day of maximum extent—when the ozone hole was largest that year.

But the view of area doesn’t tell the whole story, said Douglass. It says nothing about the chemistry or atmospheric dynamics that give the hole its shape. And if we don't know why the size and depth of the hole varies, it is impossible to know if policies meant to reduce ozone depletion (such as the Montreal Protocol) are having an impact. 2011 and 2012 offer prime examples.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms in the southern spring when chlorine and other ozone depleting chemicals interact with sunlight to destroy ozone. It would be easy to assume that a larger ozone hole means more chemicals were present, but the real picture is more complicated.

“2011 would have had less ozone even without ozone depleting chemicals,” said Strahan. Stratospheric ozone is naturally produced in the tropics and transported to the poles. In 2011, winds blew less ozone to Antarctica so there was less to destroy. Strahan also found less chlorine in the atmosphere over Antarctica in 2011 than in other years, but because there was less ozone, a large hole developed.

In 2012, ozone depletion in the lower atmosphere was severe, said Kramarova. But in early October of 2012, winds blew in more ozone at higher levels, above the depleted area. The high-level ozone masked the destruction at lower altitudes, and so the hole looks small in the OMI image.

All of this means that the size of the ozone hole is not the only indicator of how well policies to control ozone-depleting chemicals are working. “Ozone holes with smaller areas and a larger total amount of ozone are not necessarily evidence of recovery attributable to the expected chlorine decline,” said Strahan. “That assumption is like trying to understand what’s wrong with your car’s engine without lifting the hood.”

In fact, the fluctuating size of the ozone hole has not been tied to chlorine concentrations since the 1990s, as shown in the two graphs above. The first graph depicts chlorine concentrations, and the second shows ozone hole size over time. In the 1980s, ozone hole area increased in step with chlorine concentrations, but that relationship broke down in the 1990s. The atmosphere became saturated with chlorine, and the additional chlorine did not have enough ozone to react with. Adding more chlorine in these conditions no long increases ozone depletion, and so the size of the ozone hole was no longer directly related to chlorine concentrations.

Since the 1990s, the ozone hole area has been controlled entirely by weather. The chemicals that destroy ozone are so long-lived that Douglass, Strahan, and Kramarova don’t expect to see the impact of the Montreal Protocol until about 2025 when chlorine levels drop below saturation. Full recovery should occur sometime between 2058 and 2090, based on projections of levels of ozone-depleting gases and their break-down and transport.
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1313. pcola57


Lichens and Standing Stones

December 18, 2013




Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

How long do lichens live? That question crossed my mind when visiting the Standing Stones of Stenness (above) on the Scottish island of Orkney. I wondered if the lichen that we see there today could be the same lichens that lived on these rocks when the henge was built. When we returned home I did a little research on the stones and lichen.

Erected over 5,000 years ago, these stones comprise one of the oldest stone circles in Britain. The Stones of Stenness, as well as many of the buildings on Orkney, are made of flagstone quarried locally. Originally, there were probably 12 stones standing in an ellipse surrounded by a ditch. By the 18th century, only four were still standing. Today the tallest stone is almost 19 ft (5.7 m) high and they're all approximately 10-15 in (25-40 cm) thick and about 5 ft (1.5 m) wide.



Lichencropped2Lichens grow slowly: Estimates of annual growth rates vary from 0.02 in (0.5 mm) to 20 in (500 mm). Lichen reproductive techniques are so various that it's impossible for a nonspecialist to determine the extent of any individual lichen, much less its age. Nevertheless, let’s throw caution to the wind and do some math. The penny in the photo at left is about 20 mm in diameter. It could take 25 – 40 years for a lichen to grow to the size of the penny. The patch of greenish lichen below the penny is representative in terms of area and thickness of the lichen patches on the stones. It’s about 80 mm long and 20 mm wide and covers an area of about four pennies. At the suggested growth rates that would take between 100 and 200 years. But the stones have been standing there for over 5,000 years! By any stretch of the imagination there does not appear to be enough lichen on the stones for all that time.



The answer may be in an old photo taken in 1930 (bottom left) and found in the British Geological Survey’s Archive of Geological Photographs. It shows the stones much more heavily encrusted with lichen than they are today. The answer to my question then is that the lichens of today are most likely much younger than the date the stones were erected. It would appear that sometime between 1930 and 2011 someone decided to clean up the Stones of Stenness so they'd look nice and tidy for the tourists, like the well-kept green lawn that now surrounds them. In 2011 over 140,000 tourists visited Orkney. The Standing Stones of Stenness site is currently administered by Historic Scotland and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photos taken September 24, 2011 and January 6, 1930.

Photo details: Top - Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 80. Inset - same except: Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125).
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1312. pcola57


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image of the day

Follow the Whales - December 16, 2013



A sperm whale surfaces above the deep Kaikoura Canyon off the East Coast of New Zealand. WHOI biologist Michael Moore, director of the WHOI Marine Mammal Center, and graduate student Julie van der Hoop went on an expedition in March 2013 with colleagues from the University of Otago and elsewhere aboard the research vessel Alucia to study these deep-diving whales. The scientists used suction cup digital acoustic tags to measure whales' vocalizations, respiration and movement. (Photo by Maryann Morin, Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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1311. pcola57


Photo of the Day


Sunbathing Cows, Andalusia



Photograph by Andrew Lever

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

I was driving along the beach highway when I noticed the bulls sunbathing on the empty beach. I initially thought I was seeing things, but no, it really was sunbathing cows! I had to park my car a fair distance away, and that meant a long walk along the beach in 35 [degrees Celsius] heat. It did not matter because I had to get the shot. When I got closer to them I was careful not to spook them so I crawled on my stomach on the hot sand to get a good picture of them. Mission accomplished! It was worth the effort. Tarifa Beach, Andalusia, Spain.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1310. pcola57


Lunar Corona over Cochem Castle




As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day and the National Geographic News from the bank of river Moselle in Germany(Mosel), the town and spectacular castle of Cochem (Reichsburg, from the 12th century) appear in the evening twilight. A colorful lunar corona forms as the night proceeds. For a moment a clear patch in the corona resembles the Batman image in the sky! From an astronomer point of view the shape might reminds jets from an active galactic center with the radio lobes at both sides! In the sky bright star Regulus appears upper right of the moon. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see a stronger lunar corona which has formed above the castle minutes later. The corona forms when the light from the moon interacts with the cloud droplets and high ice crystals in the sky. This atmospheric phenomena have an intensely bright central aureole which is white-blue and fringed with yellows and reds. Sometimes that is all to be seen but sometimes they appear to have one or more successively fainter and gently colored soft rings surrounding the aureole. The corona can be 15 degrees or so in diameter and often it shrinks and swells as different clouds move in front of the moon. Babak Tafreshi, Dreamview.net

EDIT:
I couldn't get the embed to work properly so posted without it.. :(
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1309. pcola57


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Yutu Rover Rolls onto the Moon
Image Credit: Chinese National Space Administration, Xinhuanet

2013 December 16




Explanation: A new desk-sized rover has begun exploring the Moon. Launched two weeks ago by the Chinese National Space Administration, the Chang'e 3 spacecraft landed on the Moon yesterday and deployed the robotic rover. Yutu, named for a folklore lunar Jade Rabbit, has a scheduled three-month mission to explore several kilometers inside the Sinus Iridum (Latin for "Bay of Rainbows") impact crater. Yutu's cameras and spectrometers will investigate surface features and composition while ground penetrating radar will investigate deep soil structure. Chang'e 3 achieved the first soft Moon landing since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and Yutu is the first lunar rover deployed since the USSR's Lunokhod 2 in 1973. Pictured above, Yutu was imaged from its lander yesterday soon after rolling onto the Moon.
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1308. pcola57


Image of the Day


Islands of the Four Mountains





Morning sunlight illuminates the southeast-facing slopes of the Islands of the Four Mountains in this photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS). The islands, part of the Aleutian Island chain, are actually the upper slopes of volcanoes rising from the sea floor: Carlisle, Cleveland, Herbert, and Tana. Carlisle and Herbert volcanoes are distinct cones and form separate islands. Cleveland volcano and the Tana volcanic complex form the eastern and western ends respectively of Chuginadak Island. A cloud bank obscures the connecting land mass in this image.

Cleveland volcano (elevation 1,730 meters above sea level) is one of the most active in the Aleutian chain, with its most recent activity—eruptions and lava flow emplacement—taking place in May of 2013 (A crew aboard the ISS captured an earlier eruption in 2006.) The northernmost of the islands, Carlisle volcano (peak elevation 1,620 meters), had its last confirmed eruption occurred in 1828, with unconfirmed reports of activity in 1987. Herbert volcano (peak elevation 1280 meters) displays a classic cone structure breached by a two-kilometer wide summit caldera (image lower left), but there are no historical records of volcanic activity. The easternmost peak, Tana (1,170 meters) is a volcanic complex comprised of two east-west trending volcanoes and associated younger cinder cones. Like Herbert volcano, there is no historical record of activity at Tana.

A layer of low cloud and/or fog obscures much of the lower elevations of the islands and the sea surface, but the clouds also indicate the general airflow pattern around and through the islands. Directly to the south-southeast of Cleveland volcano, a Von Karman vortex street is visible. Shadows cast by the morning sun extend from the peaks towards the northwest. The peaks of all of the Four Islands have snow cover. This is distinct from the clouds due to both higher brightness (white versus gray) and the specific location on the landscape.

Astronaut photograph ISS038-E-3612 was acquired on November 15, 2013, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 400 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 38 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs at NASA-JSC.

Instrument:
ISS - Digital Camera

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
1307. pcola57


The Rio Grande Rift Zone/Tularosa Basin



Photographer: Thomas McGuire;
Summary Author: Thomas McGuire

The Rio Grande River flows south through a series of broad valleys in southern Colorado and through New Mexico. Here, Earth’s crust is being pulled apart a rate of approximately 1/4 in (5 mm) per year by a rising plume within Earth’s mantle. This is North America's equivalent of the East Africa Rift Zone, which geologists predict may open a new ocean basin. Such spreading of Earth's lithosphere is common under the oceans where rifts encircle Earth like the seams on a baseball, but not common on the continents.

The Tularosa Basin portion of the rift valley, visible in these images, occupies a broad graben. The valley floor has subsided thousands of feet, and partially filled with sediment to become a closed drainage basin. It’s bounded by faults along the Sacramento Mountains on the east (in the foreground) and New Mexico's San Andreas Mountains, visible to the west. White Sands National Monument, the world's largest field of gypsum sand dunes, is visible as a white blotch in the distance.

Will the Rio Grande Rift Zone continue to expand and split North America apart, or will it die out become a failed rift? The answer should become clearer in the next million years or so.

Photo details: Top photo was taken on September 24, 2013, from the top of the Ski Apache Lookout Mountain, showing the broad basin. Bottom photo was taken on September 25, 2013, along US Rt 82 at the eastern (Alamogordo) boundary fault. Top: Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS; Focal Length: 4.3mm; Aperture: f/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.0016 s (1/640); ISO equiv: 80. Bottom: same except - Exposure Time: 0.0013 s (1/800).
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About pcola57

I have survived all hurricaines in this area from hurricaine Fredrick in 1979 to the present.I live with an elderly parent and weather is critical.

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