Earth Changes Media News
New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/solar-storm-heads-earths-way-after-double-sun-blastsSolar Storm Heads Earth’s Way After Double Sun BlastsWASHINGTON: Two big explosions on the surface of the sun will cause a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm on Earth in the coming days, possibly disrupting radio and satellite communications, scientists said Thursday.
The unusual storm is not likely to wreak havoc with personal electronics but may cause colorful nighttime auroras, or displays of the Northern Lights, late Friday and early Saturday.
“We don’t expect any unmanageable impacts to national infrastructure from these solar events at this time but we are watching these events closely,” said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“More pleasantly, we do expect these storm levels to cause significant auroral displays across much of the northern US on Friday night,” he said.
The storm began with a minor solar flare on Monday, followed by a major X-class flare — the strongest classification — on Wednesday at around 1745 GMT.
Both eruptions came from the same sunspot near the center of the solar disk, and both produced significant coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, of magnetized plasma headed toward Earth.
On a scale of one to five, the resulting geomagnetic storm should be “moderate to strong,” rating a G2 or G3, Berger said.
“It is fairly rare for two CMEs of this magnitude to come in close succession like this,” he told reporters.
“Because of this we cannot rule out higher storm levels perhaps as high as G4 or severe geomagnetic storming, particularly in the polar regions.”
The National Weather Service has alerted power grid operators and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, just in case.
The strength of the storm pales in comparison to major geomagnetic storms of years past, such as the 1859 Carrington event that wiped out power across a swath of Canada.
It is also weaker than a near-miss geomagnetic storm in July 2012 that NASA scientists said could have knocked Earth’s technology back at least 150 years.
That storm didn’t cause mass damage because the fast-moving energized particles were not directed straight at Earth .
“The events that just occurred over the last 24 hours were Earth-directed, they are just not that big,” said William Murtagh, program coordinator at the Space Weather Prediction Center.
“If we had a very big storm — and this is not it — that produced big problems with the power grid, that would be our biggest concern.”
Nor is the radiation caused by these flares presently enough to raise concern for astronauts at the International Space Station, experts said.
But given the nature of CMEs with their internal magnetic fields, scientists are not yet sure exactly what will happen when they bounce off the Earth’s protective shield.
“The sun just shot out a magnet that is going to interact with another magnet, the Earth’s magnetic field,” explained Murtagh.
“And how they couple together is going to be critical in determining how intense the geomagnetic storm is going to be.”Related posts:
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Found! Most Distant Stars in the Milky Way Galaxy

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/solar-storm-heads-earths-way-after-double-sun-blasts

Solar Storm Heads Earth’s Way After Double Sun Blasts

WASHINGTON: Two big explosions on the surface of the sun will cause a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm on Earth in the coming days, possibly disrupting radio and satellite communications, scientists said Thursday.

The unusual storm is not likely to wreak havoc with personal electronics but may cause colorful nighttime auroras, or displays of the Northern Lights, late Friday and early Saturday.

“We don’t expect any unmanageable impacts to national infrastructure from these solar events at this time but we are watching these events closely,” said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“More pleasantly, we do expect these storm levels to cause significant auroral displays across much of the northern US on Friday night,” he said.

The storm began with a minor solar flare on Monday, followed by a major X-class flare — the strongest classification — on Wednesday at around 1745 GMT.

Both eruptions came from the same sunspot near the center of the solar disk, and both produced significant coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, of magnetized plasma headed toward Earth.

On a scale of one to five, the resulting geomagnetic storm should be “moderate to strong,” rating a G2 or G3, Berger said.

“It is fairly rare for two CMEs of this magnitude to come in close succession like this,” he told reporters.

“Because of this we cannot rule out higher storm levels perhaps as high as G4 or severe geomagnetic storming, particularly in the polar regions.”

The National Weather Service has alerted power grid operators and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, just in case.

The strength of the storm pales in comparison to major geomagnetic storms of years past, such as the 1859 Carrington event that wiped out power across a swath of Canada.

It is also weaker than a near-miss geomagnetic storm in July 2012 that NASA scientists said could have knocked Earth’s technology back at least 150 years.

That storm didn’t cause mass damage because the fast-moving energized particles were not directed straight at Earth .

“The events that just occurred over the last 24 hours were Earth-directed, they are just not that big,” said William Murtagh, program coordinator at the Space Weather Prediction Center.

“If we had a very big storm — and this is not it — that produced big problems with the power grid, that would be our biggest concern.”

Nor is the radiation caused by these flares presently enough to raise concern for astronauts at the International Space Station, experts said.

But given the nature of CMEs with their internal magnetic fields, scientists are not yet sure exactly what will happen when they bounce off the Earth’s protective shield.

“The sun just shot out a magnet that is going to interact with another magnet, the Earth’s magnetic field,” explained Murtagh.

“And how they couple together is going to be critical in determining how intense the geomagnetic storm is going to be.”

Related posts:

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/astronomers-pinpoint-venus-zone-around-starsAstronomers Pinpoint ‘Venus Zone’ Around StarsSan Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane and a team of researchers presented today the definition of a “Venus Zone,” the area around a star in which a planet is likely to exhibit the unlivable conditions found on the planet Venus.
The research will help astronomers determine which planets discovered with NASA’s Kepler telescope — which has a primary mission of finding habitable planets similar to Earth — are actually more analogous to Earth’s similarly-sized sister planet. Knowing how common Venus-like planets are elsewhere will also help astronomers understand why Earth’s atmosphere evolved in ways vastly different from its neighbor.
“We believe the Earth and Venus had similar starts in terms of their atmospheric evolution,” said Kane, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at SF State and lead author of the study published online today. “Something changed at one point, and the obvious difference between the two is proximity to the Sun.”
The Kepler telescope is used to find planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets, located within or near the habitable zone in which a planet can hold liquid water on its surface. Earlier this year, Kane was part of an international team of researchers that discovered one such planet orbiting the dwarf star Kepler-186. The main way this search is conducted, however, is by looking for exoplanets that are roughly the same size as Earth. That, according to Kane, poses a problem because our own solar system contains two planets of the same size — Earth and Venus — that have vastly different atmospheric and surface conditions.
“The Earth is Dr. Jekyll and Venus is Mr. Hyde, and you can’t distinguish between the two based only on size,” said Kane, who runs a website tracking known exoplanets. “So the question then is how do you define those differences, and how many ‘Venuses’ is Kepler actually finding?”
Kane and his fellow researchers at Penn State University and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland used “solar flux” — or the amount of a star’s energy that a planet receives — to define the inner and outer edges of the Venus Zone. The point at which a planet’s atmosphere would experience runaway greenhouse-gas effects like those seen on Venus — a point located just inside Earth’s orbit in our solar system — forms the outer boundary. The point at which the planet’s atmosphere would be completely eroded away by the stellar energy marks the inner boundary.
If Kepler astronomers discover a planet that is similar in size to Earth but located within the solar-flux range that makes up the Venus Zone, that could be a clue the planet is more like Venus than Earth, and therefore is uninhabitable. Future space-based telescopes will allow researchers to begin receiving data on these exoplanets’ atmospheres, helping them confirm whether they are “Venuses” or “Earths.”
“If we find all of these planets in the Venus Zone have a runaway greenhouse-gas effect, then we know that the distance a planet is from its star is a major determining factor,” Kane added. “That’s helpful to understanding the history between Venus and Earth.”
Future research will look at whether the amount of carbon in a planet’s atmosphere impacts the boundaries of the Venus Zone, for example by pushing the outer boundary farther away from the star for planets with greater concentrations of carbon.
“This is ultimately about putting our solar system in context,” according to Kane. “We want to know if various aspects of our solar system are rare or common.”Related posts:
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Typhoon Trami Affects 360,000 In Central China

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/astronomers-pinpoint-venus-zone-around-stars

Astronomers Pinpoint ‘Venus Zone’ Around Stars

San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane and a team of researchers presented today the definition of a “Venus Zone,” the area around a star in which a planet is likely to exhibit the unlivable conditions found on the planet Venus.

The research will help astronomers determine which planets discovered with NASA’s Kepler telescope — which has a primary mission of finding habitable planets similar to Earth — are actually more analogous to Earth’s similarly-sized sister planet. Knowing how common Venus-like planets are elsewhere will also help astronomers understand why Earth’s atmosphere evolved in ways vastly different from its neighbor.

“We believe the Earth and Venus had similar starts in terms of their atmospheric evolution,” said Kane, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at SF State and lead author of the study published online today. “Something changed at one point, and the obvious difference between the two is proximity to the Sun.”

The Kepler telescope is used to find planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets, located within or near the habitable zone in which a planet can hold liquid water on its surface. Earlier this year, Kane was part of an international team of researchers that discovered one such planet orbiting the dwarf star Kepler-186. The main way this search is conducted, however, is by looking for exoplanets that are roughly the same size as Earth. That, according to Kane, poses a problem because our own solar system contains two planets of the same size — Earth and Venus — that have vastly different atmospheric and surface conditions.

“The Earth is Dr. Jekyll and Venus is Mr. Hyde, and you can’t distinguish between the two based only on size,” said Kane, who runs a website tracking known exoplanets. “So the question then is how do you define those differences, and how many ‘Venuses’ is Kepler actually finding?”

Kane and his fellow researchers at Penn State University and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland used “solar flux” — or the amount of a star’s energy that a planet receives — to define the inner and outer edges of the Venus Zone. The point at which a planet’s atmosphere would experience runaway greenhouse-gas effects like those seen on Venus — a point located just inside Earth’s orbit in our solar system — forms the outer boundary. The point at which the planet’s atmosphere would be completely eroded away by the stellar energy marks the inner boundary.

If Kepler astronomers discover a planet that is similar in size to Earth but located within the solar-flux range that makes up the Venus Zone, that could be a clue the planet is more like Venus than Earth, and therefore is uninhabitable. Future space-based telescopes will allow researchers to begin receiving data on these exoplanets’ atmospheres, helping them confirm whether they are “Venuses” or “Earths.”

“If we find all of these planets in the Venus Zone have a runaway greenhouse-gas effect, then we know that the distance a planet is from its star is a major determining factor,” Kane added. “That’s helpful to understanding the history between Venus and Earth.”

Future research will look at whether the amount of carbon in a planet’s atmosphere impacts the boundaries of the Venus Zone, for example by pushing the outer boundary farther away from the star for planets with greater concentrations of carbon.

“This is ultimately about putting our solar system in context,” according to Kane. “We want to know if various aspects of our solar system are rare or common.”

Related posts:

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/enigmatic-viking-fortress-discovered-in-denmarkEnigmatic Viking Fortress Discovered In DenmarkIn collaboration with the diocese of Vallø, archaeologists from the Danish Castle Centre and Aarhus University have discovered a previously unknown Viking fortress in a field west of Køge, Denmark. The discovery could be an important piece in Denmark’s historical jigsaw puzzle.
Archaeologists have discovered traces of a circular Viking fortress and embankments in a field in the diocese of Vallø, west of Køge. The circular fortress is similar to the famous “Trelleborg” fortresses built by King Harald Bluetooth around the year 980 AD.
“This is the first time for more than 60 years that a new Viking ringed fortress has been discovered in Denmark,” explains Nanna Holm, an archaeologist and curator at the Danish Castle Centre. Her colleague on the excavation Søren Sindbæk, who is a professor of medieval archaeology at Aarhus University, adds: “The discovery of the new Viking fortress is a unique opportunity to learn more about the battles and conflicts of the Vikings, and gives us a new chance to study the most famous of our Viking monuments.”
Found by laser
It was new, precise laser measurements of the landscape that put Nanna Holm from the Danish Castle Centre in Vordingborg on the track. These measurements showed that an almost imperceptible mound in the field had a clear circular outline, so Holm and Sindbæk decided to call in an expert in archaeological geophysics from the University of York in the UK.
“Measuring small variations in the magnetic field of the soil enables you to identify old pits or embankments without destroying them. The technique gave us a surprisingly detailed image of the fortress in no more than a few days. So we knew exactly where to dig the excavation trenches with a view to learning as much as possible about the fortress,” explains Sindbæk.
Burnt timber and radiocarbon dating
Nanna Holm underlines that the fortress was a genuine military facility, and probably the scene of fighting as well. She’s in no doubt that it dates back to the Viking Age.
“Fortresses built like this one were only built in the Viking Age, and the burnt timber in the gates enables us to fix the date using radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology. We’ve sent off samples for analysis, and the result should be available in a few weeks’ time. The date will be vital. If we can establish exactly when the fortress was built, it will help us to understand the historical events with which it was connected.”
Viking ringed fortresses may be the most famous historical monuments in Denmark. They attract tourists from all over the world, and have led to revisions of Danish history on a number of occasions.
Unresolved questions
The discovery could be an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle in understanding the history of Denmark.
“We can’t wait to find out whether the fortress dates back to the time of Harald Bluetooth, or whether it was built by a previous king. A military fortification from the Viking Age may shed more light on the links between Zealand, ancient Denmark and the Jelling dynasty — as well as teaching us more about the period during which Denmark became Denmark,” says Holm.
Only a few small parts of the fortress have been excavated so far. The list of unresolved questions is still long.743z769:56 AM 9/11/2014v0 -p;/ x v cfbn u
“The excavation has already confirmed far more than we dared to hope, but we don’t know the whole story yet. The next question is whether any big buildings were built inside the fortress, as they were in the Trelleborg fortresses. You also have to ask yourself if there are any more hidden ringed fortresses out there,” concludes Sindbæk.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/enigmatic-viking-fortress-discovered-in-denmark

Enigmatic Viking Fortress Discovered In Denmark

In collaboration with the diocese of Vallø, archaeologists from the Danish Castle Centre and Aarhus University have discovered a previously unknown Viking fortress in a field west of Køge, Denmark. The discovery could be an important piece in Denmark’s historical jigsaw puzzle.

Archaeologists have discovered traces of a circular Viking fortress and embankments in a field in the diocese of Vallø, west of Køge. The circular fortress is similar to the famous “Trelleborg” fortresses built by King Harald Bluetooth around the year 980 AD.

“This is the first time for more than 60 years that a new Viking ringed fortress has been discovered in Denmark,” explains Nanna Holm, an archaeologist and curator at the Danish Castle Centre. Her colleague on the excavation Søren Sindbæk, who is a professor of medieval archaeology at Aarhus University, adds: “The discovery of the new Viking fortress is a unique opportunity to learn more about the battles and conflicts of the Vikings, and gives us a new chance to study the most famous of our Viking monuments.”

Found by laser

It was new, precise laser measurements of the landscape that put Nanna Holm from the Danish Castle Centre in Vordingborg on the track. These measurements showed that an almost imperceptible mound in the field had a clear circular outline, so Holm and Sindbæk decided to call in an expert in archaeological geophysics from the University of York in the UK.

“Measuring small variations in the magnetic field of the soil enables you to identify old pits or embankments without destroying them. The technique gave us a surprisingly detailed image of the fortress in no more than a few days. So we knew exactly where to dig the excavation trenches with a view to learning as much as possible about the fortress,” explains Sindbæk.

Burnt timber and radiocarbon dating

Nanna Holm underlines that the fortress was a genuine military facility, and probably the scene of fighting as well. She’s in no doubt that it dates back to the Viking Age.

“Fortresses built like this one were only built in the Viking Age, and the burnt timber in the gates enables us to fix the date using radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology. We’ve sent off samples for analysis, and the result should be available in a few weeks’ time. The date will be vital. If we can establish exactly when the fortress was built, it will help us to understand the historical events with which it was connected.”

Viking ringed fortresses may be the most famous historical monuments in Denmark. They attract tourists from all over the world, and have led to revisions of Danish history on a number of occasions.

Unresolved questions

The discovery could be an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle in understanding the history of Denmark.

“We can’t wait to find out whether the fortress dates back to the time of Harald Bluetooth, or whether it was built by a previous king. A military fortification from the Viking Age may shed more light on the links between Zealand, ancient Denmark and the Jelling dynasty — as well as teaching us more about the period during which Denmark became Denmark,” says Holm.

Only a few small parts of the fortress have been excavated so far. The list of unresolved questions is still long.743z769:56 AM 9/11/2014v0 -p;/ x v cfbn u
“The excavation has already confirmed far more than we dared to hope, but we don’t know the whole story yet. The next question is whether any big buildings were built inside the fortress, as they were in the Trelleborg fortresses. You also have to ask yourself if there are any more hidden ringed fortresses out there,” concludes Sindbæk.

Related posts:

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/mysterious-quasar-sequence-explainedMysterious Quasar Sequence ExplainedQuasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie’s Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling over for 20 years. Their work, published in the September 11 issue of Nature, shows that most observed quasar phenomena can be unified with two simple quantities: one that describes how efficiently the hole is being fed, and the other that reflects the viewing orientation of the astronomer.
Quasars display a broad range of outward appearances when viewed by astronomers, reflecting the diversity in the conditions of the regions close to their centers. But despite this variety, quasars have a surprising amount of regularity in their quantifiable physical properties, which follow well-defined trends (referred to as the “main sequence” of quasars) discovered more than 20 years ago. Shen and Ho solved a two-decade puzzle in quasar research: What unifies these properties into this main sequence?
Using the largest and most-homogeneous sample to date of over 20,000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, combined with several novel statistical tests, Shen and Ho were able to demonstrate that one particular property related to the accretion of the hole, called the Eddington ratio, is the driving force behind the so-called main sequence. The Eddington ratio describes the efficiency of matter fueling the black hole, the competition between the gravitational force pulling matter inward and the luminosity driving radiation outward. This push and pull between gravity and luminosity has long been suspected to be the primary driver behind the so-called main sequence, and their work at long last confirms this hypothesis.
Of additional importance, they found that the orientation of an astronomer’s line-of-sight when looking down into the black hole’s inner region plays a significant role in the observation of the fast-moving gas innermost to the hole, which produces the broad emission lines in quasar spectra. This changes scientists’ understanding of the geometry of the line-emitting region closest to the black hole, a place called the broad-line region: the gas is distributed in a flattened, pancake-like configuration. Going forward, this will help astronomers improve their measurements of black hole masses for quasars.
“Our findings have profound implications for quasar research. This simple unification scheme presents a pathway to better understand how supermassive black holes accrete matter and interplay with their environments,” Shen said.
“And better black hole mass measurements will benefit a variety of applications in understanding the cosmic growth of supermassive black holes and their place in galaxy formation,” Ho added.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/mysterious-quasar-sequence-explained

Mysterious Quasar Sequence Explained

Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie’s Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling over for 20 years. Their work, published in the September 11 issue of Nature, shows that most observed quasar phenomena can be unified with two simple quantities: one that describes how efficiently the hole is being fed, and the other that reflects the viewing orientation of the astronomer.

Quasars display a broad range of outward appearances when viewed by astronomers, reflecting the diversity in the conditions of the regions close to their centers. But despite this variety, quasars have a surprising amount of regularity in their quantifiable physical properties, which follow well-defined trends (referred to as the “main sequence” of quasars) discovered more than 20 years ago. Shen and Ho solved a two-decade puzzle in quasar research: What unifies these properties into this main sequence?

Using the largest and most-homogeneous sample to date of over 20,000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, combined with several novel statistical tests, Shen and Ho were able to demonstrate that one particular property related to the accretion of the hole, called the Eddington ratio, is the driving force behind the so-called main sequence. The Eddington ratio describes the efficiency of matter fueling the black hole, the competition between the gravitational force pulling matter inward and the luminosity driving radiation outward. This push and pull between gravity and luminosity has long been suspected to be the primary driver behind the so-called main sequence, and their work at long last confirms this hypothesis.

Of additional importance, they found that the orientation of an astronomer’s line-of-sight when looking down into the black hole’s inner region plays a significant role in the observation of the fast-moving gas innermost to the hole, which produces the broad emission lines in quasar spectra. This changes scientists’ understanding of the geometry of the line-emitting region closest to the black hole, a place called the broad-line region: the gas is distributed in a flattened, pancake-like configuration. Going forward, this will help astronomers improve their measurements of black hole masses for quasars.

“Our findings have profound implications for quasar research. This simple unification scheme presents a pathway to better understand how supermassive black holes accrete matter and interplay with their environments,” Shen said.

“And better black hole mass measurements will benefit a variety of applications in understanding the cosmic growth of supermassive black holes and their place in galaxy formation,” Ho added.

Related posts:

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/tropical-storm-odile-threatens-more-mexico-southwest-us-floodingTropical Storm Odile Threatens More Mexico, Southwest US FloodingAnother tropical storm spinning in the Eastern Pacific will threaten catastrophic flooding in areas recently affected by Hurricane Norbert.
Wednesday morning, an area of disturbed weather southwest of Mexico strengthened into a depression then into Tropical Storm Odile.
This system is expected to continue slowly shifting northward through the end of the week, then pick up more speed during the weekend as it strengthens.
Odile will likely become a hurricane by the start of the weekend.
Unlike the recent path of Hurricane Norbert, Odile is more likely to hug the Mexican coastline. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Adam Douty explained that “Odile will brush the coast of southwestern Mexico, bringing very heavy rainfall. The city of Manzanillo could be at the greatest risk of flooding rainfall.”
From Manzanillo to Puerto Vallarta, coastal cities and the mountains just inland should expect the greatest impact. While the heavy rain threatens mudslides, flooding rains will be possible closer to the coast.
With the increased strength of the storm, wind speeds will also increase, threatening widespread power outages along the coastlines.
Douty also added that “the worst conditions will remain to the north of Acapulco. However, some locally heavy showers and storms could still move over the city through Saturday as tropical moisture gets pulled into the area.”
Into the weekend, the storm will race to the northwest, heading for the southern tip of Baja California. Odile will be zoning in on areas that endured flooding rainfall from Hurricane Norbert just a week earlier.
As much as 2-3 inches (50-75 millimeters) of rain could to these areas in only a few hours. After the extensive flooding across the Baja earlier in September, it will not take much more to cause additional flooding issues.
Some of the moisture from this system will likely be swept up into northern Mexico, including the cities of Hermosillo and Chihuahua into the new week.
Furthermore, this moisture will likely continue into the Southwestern United States. Parts of Arizona had catastrophic flooding from the moisture supplied by Norbert.
The city of Phoenix broke their all-time record for daily rainfall, reaching a total 3.29 inches in one day. Much of this rain fell in only three hours.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/tropical-storm-odile-threatens-more-mexico-southwest-us-flooding

Tropical Storm Odile Threatens More Mexico, Southwest US Flooding

Another tropical storm spinning in the Eastern Pacific will threaten catastrophic flooding in areas recently affected by Hurricane Norbert.

Wednesday morning, an area of disturbed weather southwest of Mexico strengthened into a depression then into Tropical Storm Odile.

This system is expected to continue slowly shifting northward through the end of the week, then pick up more speed during the weekend as it strengthens.

Odile will likely become a hurricane by the start of the weekend.

Unlike the recent path of Hurricane Norbert, Odile is more likely to hug the Mexican coastline. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Adam Douty explained that “Odile will brush the coast of southwestern Mexico, bringing very heavy rainfall. The city of Manzanillo could be at the greatest risk of flooding rainfall.”

From Manzanillo to Puerto Vallarta, coastal cities and the mountains just inland should expect the greatest impact. While the heavy rain threatens mudslides, flooding rains will be possible closer to the coast.

With the increased strength of the storm, wind speeds will also increase, threatening widespread power outages along the coastlines.

Douty also added that “the worst conditions will remain to the north of Acapulco. However, some locally heavy showers and storms could still move over the city through Saturday as tropical moisture gets pulled into the area.”

Into the weekend, the storm will race to the northwest, heading for the southern tip of Baja California. Odile will be zoning in on areas that endured flooding rainfall from Hurricane Norbert just a week earlier.

As much as 2-3 inches (50-75 millimeters) of rain could to these areas in only a few hours. After the extensive flooding across the Baja earlier in September, it will not take much more to cause additional flooding issues.

Some of the moisture from this system will likely be swept up into northern Mexico, including the cities of Hermosillo and Chihuahua into the new week.

Furthermore, this moisture will likely continue into the Southwestern United States. Parts of Arizona had catastrophic flooding from the moisture supplied by Norbert.

The city of Phoenix broke their all-time record for daily rainfall, reaching a total 3.29 inches in one day. Much of this rain fell in only three hours.

Related posts:

New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/storm-brewing-off-florida-coastStorm Brewing Off Florida CoastA slow-moving storm crossing the Bahamas has piqued the interest of hurricane forecasters closely watching its progress.
On Wednesday, the storm was moving west about 5 mph to 10 mph just east of the island chain’s north end. Because the storm is close to the surface, forecasters worry it could strengthen as it moves across very warm Atlantic waters, bringing heavy rain to Florida. If it grows, it would likely happen slowly, National Hurricane Center forecasters said. At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the center gave the system a 20 percent chance of becoming a storm over the next five days.
“Often times we get circulation in the middle and upper [atmosphere] and they don’t have a prayer of developing down on the surface,” said Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart. “So when we see circulation at or near the surface, that starts to get our attention.”
Unlike storms that develop early in the season when sea temperatures are cooler, late season storms over warmer water pose a bigger threat, he said.
“We’re at the peak of the hurricane season, so this is what people should expect,” he said.
Hurricane forecasters have predicted a slower than average season, with seven to 12 storms, three to six strengthening into hurricanes and up to two major storms. The season, which runs through November, got off to a quick start in July, with Arthur making landfall in North Carolina. In recent weeks, the season hit a lull. But historically the back half of the season has produced stronger storms.
“Slow doesn’t necessarily mean low, because right now we’re a little ahead of schedule. We’ve already had three hurricanes,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, there’s always October around the corner, too.”Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/storm-brewing-off-florida-coast

Storm Brewing Off Florida Coast

A slow-moving storm crossing the Bahamas has piqued the interest of hurricane forecasters closely watching its progress.

On Wednesday, the storm was moving west about 5 mph to 10 mph just east of the island chain’s north end. Because the storm is close to the surface, forecasters worry it could strengthen as it moves across very warm Atlantic waters, bringing heavy rain to Florida. If it grows, it would likely happen slowly, National Hurricane Center forecasters said. At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the center gave the system a 20 percent chance of becoming a storm over the next five days.

“Often times we get circulation in the middle and upper [atmosphere] and they don’t have a prayer of developing down on the surface,” said Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart. “So when we see circulation at or near the surface, that starts to get our attention.”

Unlike storms that develop early in the season when sea temperatures are cooler, late season storms over warmer water pose a bigger threat, he said.

“We’re at the peak of the hurricane season, so this is what people should expect,” he said.

Hurricane forecasters have predicted a slower than average season, with seven to 12 storms, three to six strengthening into hurricanes and up to two major storms. The season, which runs through November, got off to a quick start in July, with Arthur making landfall in North Carolina. In recent weeks, the season hit a lull. But historically the back half of the season has produced stronger storms.

“Slow doesn’t necessarily mean low, because right now we’re a little ahead of schedule. We’ve already had three hurricanes,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, there’s always October around the corner, too.”

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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/sinking-iceland-volcano-crater-raises-flood-worriesSinking Iceland Volcano Crater Raises Flood WorriesIceland’s Bardarbunga volcano registered one of its most powerful earth tremors yet on Wednesday while the sinking of its caldera raised concerns of an eruption and flooding, authorities said.
The caldera, the cauldron-like crater at the top of a volcano, had sunk by up to around 20 meters since last week as magma channeled through underground passages moves away from the volcano, Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, geophysics professor at the University of Iceland, told public service broadcaster RUV.
The caldera covers about 80 square km and is covered by an ice cap that is 700 to 800 meters thick.
A cloud of abrasive ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe’s air space for six days in 2010, stranding tens of thousands of passengers, after an eruption under the ice cap.
“We take this increased subsidence in the caldera of Bardarbunga volcano very seriously, due to a possible large eruption and glacial flood,” said Vidir Reynisson, Department Manager at Iceland’s Civil Protection Department.
The ash warning level for aviation remained at orange, the second-highest level on a five-color scale, after several brief hikes to the top red in recent weeks.
Lava continued to pour from fissures in the ground, but there was still none of the ash that could prove troublesome for airline traffic. The 5.5 magnitude earthquake happened at 0528 GMT (01:28 a.m. EDT) near the volcano, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.
“This is one of strongest earthquakes since Aug. 16 (when tremors began). There is a lot of activity in the area and approximately 70 earthquakes have been measured in the night,” said IMO geologist Sigurlaug Hjaltadottir.
Lava from cracks around Bardarbunga has so far entered the surface on ice-free land, whereas an eruption under an ice cap may be explosive and produce an ash cloud that could disrupt aviation, as well as flooding due to melting of the ice.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/sinking-iceland-volcano-crater-raises-flood-worries

Sinking Iceland Volcano Crater Raises Flood Worries

Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano registered one of its most powerful earth tremors yet on Wednesday while the sinking of its caldera raised concerns of an eruption and flooding, authorities said.

The caldera, the cauldron-like crater at the top of a volcano, had sunk by up to around 20 meters since last week as magma channeled through underground passages moves away from the volcano, Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, geophysics professor at the University of Iceland, told public service broadcaster RUV.

The caldera covers about 80 square km and is covered by an ice cap that is 700 to 800 meters thick.

A cloud of abrasive ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe’s air space for six days in 2010, stranding tens of thousands of passengers, after an eruption under the ice cap.

“We take this increased subsidence in the caldera of Bardarbunga volcano very seriously, due to a possible large eruption and glacial flood,” said Vidir Reynisson, Department Manager at Iceland’s Civil Protection Department.

The ash warning level for aviation remained at orange, the second-highest level on a five-color scale, after several brief hikes to the top red in recent weeks.

Lava continued to pour from fissures in the ground, but there was still none of the ash that could prove troublesome for airline traffic. The 5.5 magnitude earthquake happened at 0528 GMT (01:28 a.m. EDT) near the volcano, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.

“This is one of strongest earthquakes since Aug. 16 (when tremors began). There is a lot of activity in the area and approximately 70 earthquakes have been measured in the night,” said IMO geologist Sigurlaug Hjaltadottir.

Lava from cracks around Bardarbunga has so far entered the surface on ice-free land, whereas an eruption under an ice cap may be explosive and produce an ash cloud that could disrupt aviation, as well as flooding due to melting of the ice.

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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/bright-clumps-in-saturns-ring-are-now-mysteriously-scarceBright Clumps in Saturn’s Ring Are Now Mysteriously ScarceCompared to the age of the solar system — about four-and-a-half billion years — a couple of decades are next to nothing.
Some planetary locales change little over many millions of years, so for scientists who study the planets, any object that evolves on such a short interval makes for a tempting target for study. And so it is with the ever-changing rings of Saturn.
Case in point: Saturn’s narrow, chaotic and clumpy F ring. A recent NASA-funded study compared the F ring’s appearance in six years of observations by the Cassini mission to its appearance during the Saturn flybys of NASA’s Voyager mission, 30 years earlier. The study team found that, while the overall number of clumps in the F ring remained the same, the number of exceptionally bright clumps of material plummeted during that time. While the Voyagers saw two or three bright clumps in any given observation, Cassini spied only two of the features during a six-year period. What physical processes, they wondered, could cause only the brightest of these features to decline sharply? While a variety of features in Saturn’s many rings display marked changes over multiple years, the F ring seems to change on a scale of days, and even hours. Trying to work out what is responsible for the ring’s tumultuous behavior is a major goal for ring scientists working on Cassini.
“Saturn’s F ring looks fundamentally different from the time of Voyager to the Cassini era,” said Robert French of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, who led the study along with SETI Principal Investigator Mark Showalter. “It makes for an irresistible mystery for us to investigate.” The researchers hypothesize that the brightest clumps in the F ring are caused by repeated impacts into its core by small moonlets up to about 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide, whose paths around Saturn lie close to the ring and cross into it every orbit. They propose that the diminishing number of bright clumps results from a drop in the number of these little moonlets between the Voyager and Cassini eras.
As for what might have caused the moonlets to become scarce, the team has a suspect: Saturn’s moon Prometheus. The F ring encircles the planet at a special location, near a place called the Roche limit — get any closer to Saturn than this, and tidal forces from the planet’s gravity tear apart smaller bodies. “Material at this distance from Saturn can’t decide whether it wants to remain as a ring or coalesce to form a moon,” French said. Prometheus orbits just inside the F ring, and adds to the pandemonium by stirring up the ring particles, sometimes leading to the creation of moonlets, and sometimes leading to their destruction.
Every 17 years, the orbit of Prometheus aligns with the orbit of the F ring in such a way that its influence is particularly strong. The study team thinks this periodic alignment might spur the creation of many new moonlets. The moonlets would then crash repeatedly through the F ring, like cars in a Hollywood high-speed chase, creating bright clumps as they smash across lanes of ring material. Fewer clumps would be created as time goes by, because the moonlets themselves are eventually destroyed by all the crashes.
As with any good scientific hypothesis, the researchers offer a way to test their ideas. It happens that the Voyager encounters with Saturn occurred a few years after the 1975 alignment between Prometheus and the F ring, and Cassini was present for the 2009 alignment. If the moon’s periodic influence is indeed responsible for creating new moonlets, then the researchers expect that Cassini would see the F ring return to a Voyager-like number of bright clumps in the next couple of years.
“Cassini’s continued presence at Saturn gives us an interesting opportunity to test this prediction,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the study. “Whatever the result, we’re certain to learn something valuable about how rings, as well as planets and moons, form and evolve.”Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/bright-clumps-in-saturns-ring-are-now-mysteriously-scarce

Bright Clumps in Saturn’s Ring Are Now Mysteriously Scarce

Compared to the age of the solar system — about four-and-a-half billion years — a couple of decades are next to nothing.

Some planetary locales change little over many millions of years, so for scientists who study the planets, any object that evolves on such a short interval makes for a tempting target for study. And so it is with the ever-changing rings of Saturn.

Case in point: Saturn’s narrow, chaotic and clumpy F ring. A recent NASA-funded study compared the F ring’s appearance in six years of observations by the Cassini mission to its appearance during the Saturn flybys of NASA’s Voyager mission, 30 years earlier. The study team found that, while the overall number of clumps in the F ring remained the same, the number of exceptionally bright clumps of material plummeted during that time. While the Voyagers saw two or three bright clumps in any given observation, Cassini spied only two of the features during a six-year period. What physical processes, they wondered, could cause only the brightest of these features to decline sharply? While a variety of features in Saturn’s many rings display marked changes over multiple years, the F ring seems to change on a scale of days, and even hours. Trying to work out what is responsible for the ring’s tumultuous behavior is a major goal for ring scientists working on Cassini.

“Saturn’s F ring looks fundamentally different from the time of Voyager to the Cassini era,” said Robert French of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, who led the study along with SETI Principal Investigator Mark Showalter. “It makes for an irresistible mystery for us to investigate.” The researchers hypothesize that the brightest clumps in the F ring are caused by repeated impacts into its core by small moonlets up to about 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide, whose paths around Saturn lie close to the ring and cross into it every orbit. They propose that the diminishing number of bright clumps results from a drop in the number of these little moonlets between the Voyager and Cassini eras.

As for what might have caused the moonlets to become scarce, the team has a suspect: Saturn’s moon Prometheus. The F ring encircles the planet at a special location, near a place called the Roche limit — get any closer to Saturn than this, and tidal forces from the planet’s gravity tear apart smaller bodies. “Material at this distance from Saturn can’t decide whether it wants to remain as a ring or coalesce to form a moon,” French said. Prometheus orbits just inside the F ring, and adds to the pandemonium by stirring up the ring particles, sometimes leading to the creation of moonlets, and sometimes leading to their destruction.

Every 17 years, the orbit of Prometheus aligns with the orbit of the F ring in such a way that its influence is particularly strong. The study team thinks this periodic alignment might spur the creation of many new moonlets. The moonlets would then crash repeatedly through the F ring, like cars in a Hollywood high-speed chase, creating bright clumps as they smash across lanes of ring material. Fewer clumps would be created as time goes by, because the moonlets themselves are eventually destroyed by all the crashes.

As with any good scientific hypothesis, the researchers offer a way to test their ideas. It happens that the Voyager encounters with Saturn occurred a few years after the 1975 alignment between Prometheus and the F ring, and Cassini was present for the 2009 alignment. If the moon’s periodic influence is indeed responsible for creating new moonlets, then the researchers expect that Cassini would see the F ring return to a Voyager-like number of bright clumps in the next couple of years.

“Cassini’s continued presence at Saturn gives us an interesting opportunity to test this prediction,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the study. “Whatever the result, we’re certain to learn something valuable about how rings, as well as planets and moons, form and evolve.”

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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/earth-directed-cmeEarth-Directed CMEThe magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 erupted during the early hours of Sept. 9th, producing a long-duration M4-class solar flare (movie) and a bright coronal mass ejection (CME). Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory tracked the CME racing away from the sun at nearly 1000 kms.
Most of the storm cloud is heading north of the Sun-Earth line, but not all. A fraction of the CME will deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field, probably during the late hours of Sept. 11th or early hours of Sept. 12th. In the past few weeks, glancing blows from minor CMEs have sparked beautiful auroras around the Arctic Circle. This CME could do the same.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/earth-directed-cme

Earth-Directed CME

The magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 erupted during the early hours of Sept. 9th, producing a long-duration M4-class solar flare (movie) and a bright coronal mass ejection (CME). Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory tracked the CME racing away from the sun at nearly 1000 kms.

Most of the storm cloud is heading north of the Sun-Earth line, but not all. A fraction of the CME will deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field, probably during the late hours of Sept. 11th or early hours of Sept. 12th. In the past few weeks, glancing blows from minor CMEs have sparked beautiful auroras around the Arctic Circle. This CME could do the same.

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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/lava-flow-from-hawaii-volcano-has-residents-on-the-big-island-nervousLava Flow From Hawaii Volcano Has Residents On The Big Island NervousLava from one of the world’s most active volcanos has been advancing at a slower pace the past few days and is now moving parallel to a sparsely populated subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Lava from Kilauea volcano was still at least a mile from any homes in Kaohe Homesteads, Hawaii County civil defense director Darryl Oliveira said.
Oliveira took a helicopter flight over the area Monday and saw the lava had crept about 150 yards from the previous day. It’s moving north for now but could still stop or change directions.
“It’s been doing that for the last several days,” he said of its northern pull. Prior to Friday, it was going northeast toward the subdivision.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has warned the lava could reach the subdivision in a matter of days.
Oliveira said he didn’t anticipate issuing an evacuation order Monday. But residents should be prepared because it’s difficult to predict the lava’s movement. It was also raining over the flow site, he noted, which meant there wasn’t a wildfire threat.
“That’s good for today,” he said. “But it doesn’t get us out of any potential threat down the road. It just means it’s going to be a very slow process.”
The lava warning has created an “edgy” mood in Puna, the rural region on the southeast side of the Big Island that is at risk from the lava, said Bill Parecki, a real estate agent who has lived in the area for 42 years. The area is still recovering from the damage from a tropical storm about a month ago.
“Everybody’s a little concerned,” he said. “Everybody’s a little worried. We just have to see where the lava goes. There’s no control. It’s Mother Nature.”
A big concern is lava crossing roads and blocking Puna off from the rest of the island, or becoming “lava-locked”, he said.
Business has been quiet since tropical storm Iselle made landfall over the region last month, said Mary Bicknell, owner of Big Island Book Buyers, a bookstore in downtown Pahoa.
“We’re always watching it, but we’re not usually threatened by it,” she said of the lava.Related posts:
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New Post has been published on http://earthchangesmedia.com/lava-flow-from-hawaii-volcano-has-residents-on-the-big-island-nervous

Lava Flow From Hawaii Volcano Has Residents On The Big Island Nervous

Lava from one of the world’s most active volcanos has been advancing at a slower pace the past few days and is now moving parallel to a sparsely populated subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Lava from Kilauea volcano was still at least a mile from any homes in Kaohe Homesteads, Hawaii County civil defense director Darryl Oliveira said.

Oliveira took a helicopter flight over the area Monday and saw the lava had crept about 150 yards from the previous day. It’s moving north for now but could still stop or change directions.

“It’s been doing that for the last several days,” he said of its northern pull. Prior to Friday, it was going northeast toward the subdivision.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has warned the lava could reach the subdivision in a matter of days.

Oliveira said he didn’t anticipate issuing an evacuation order Monday. But residents should be prepared because it’s difficult to predict the lava’s movement. It was also raining over the flow site, he noted, which meant there wasn’t a wildfire threat.

“That’s good for today,” he said. “But it doesn’t get us out of any potential threat down the road. It just means it’s going to be a very slow process.”

The lava warning has created an “edgy” mood in Puna, the rural region on the southeast side of the Big Island that is at risk from the lava, said Bill Parecki, a real estate agent who has lived in the area for 42 years. The area is still recovering from the damage from a tropical storm about a month ago.

“Everybody’s a little concerned,” he said. “Everybody’s a little worried. We just have to see where the lava goes. There’s no control. It’s Mother Nature.”

A big concern is lava crossing roads and blocking Puna off from the rest of the island, or becoming “lava-locked”, he said.

Business has been quiet since tropical storm Iselle made landfall over the region last month, said Mary Bicknell, owner of Big Island Book Buyers, a bookstore in downtown Pahoa.

“We’re always watching it, but we’re not usually threatened by it,” she said of the lava.

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