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Space Watchers News

Space Watchers News by The Watchers

    The Summer without a Summer - dramatic waterspout/tornado caught on tape, Croatia Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:04:00
    Believe what you want... global warming, global cooling, pole shift, natural cycles of climate change... but, when it comes to weather, whatever is happening around the globe is pretty much real. There is basically no country in the world that didn't experience some form of major change in weather patterns during last couple of years.Focusing on the Balkans and the Mediterranean, people there are joking they had a nice Spring this Winter... and now when the so called Summer is supposed to be in full effect the joke will continue with just a slight variation... we had a rough Fall this Summer.All jokes aside, the shift in weather patterns across the region is very much real. After worst-ever flooding that devastated parts of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia in&nb...; Read more »

    "The Greatest Science Challenge in the History of Civilization" - a video by Rolf A. F. Witzsche Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:12:00
    The challenge is, to respond in the most efficient manner to the largest, impending, physical event in the history of civilization, in the form of the start of the next Ice Age with the Sun going inactive sometime in the 2050s timeframe. The challenge is so great that it will determine the future existence of all the northern nations on Earth, like Canada, Russia, most nations of Europe, some parts of Asia, and to a large measure the USA.Video transcripts:#1: Indexed by graphic image#2: Combined onto a single page#3: Text onlyVideo by Rolf A.F. Witzsche... Read more »

    Fog of low-energy X-rays over the entire sky puzzle resolved Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:35:00
    A decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky was recently resolved. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding rocket in the 1970s, astronomers have now confirmed the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble, or LHB.At the same time, the study also establishes upper limits on the amount of low-energy, or soft, X-rays produced within our planetary system by the solar wind, a gusty outflow of charged particles emanating from the sun."Interactions between the solar wind and neutral atoms in comets, the outer atmospheres of planets, and even interstellar gas produce soft X-rays," explained team member Steve Snowden, an astrophysicist at N... Read more »

    Delta Aquarid meteor shower live stream from Alabama on July 29-30, 2014 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:55:00
    A favorable new moon will help darken the skies for 2014 Delta Aquarid meteor shower (the Southern Delta Aquarids) on the night of July 29-30, 2014. If weather permits NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will offer a live Ustream view of the sky over Huntsville, Alabama.Although Delta Aquarids are considered a minor meteor shower with projected peak rates at 15-20 meteors/hour, the darker skies will help even faint meteors shine more brightly.Most of the world can see them, with best viewing in the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere tropics. With clear, dark skies away from city lights, you can see meteors any time after full dark, with peak viewing times in the two hours before dawn (your local time).The live stream from Marshall Space Flight Center will begin on Ju... Read more »

    Strong and dangerous M6.3 earthquake struck Veracruz, Mexico Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:56:00
    A strong earthquake measuring M6.3 on the Richter scale was registered in Veracruz, Mexico, on July 29, 2014, at 10:46 UTC. USGS reported depth of 95.1 km (59.1 miles), EMSC is reporting M6.4 at depth of 100 km (preliminary data).Epicenter was located 19 km (12 miles) SW of Juan Rodriguez Clara (population 12 332), 60 km (37 miles) W of Sayula de Aleman, 65 km (40 miles) W of Acayucan and 418 km (260 miles) ESE of capital Mexico City.There are 1 677 577 people living within 100 km radius.USGS issued yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities. Some casualties are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.Green alert was issued for... Read more »

    Supermoon vs Perseid meteors Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:45:00
    During the second week of August, the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year will face off against everyone's favorite meteor shower - Perseids - and the outcome could be beautiful.On August 10, 2014, just as the Perseids are set to peak, the Moon will become full. Moreover, it will become full just as it reaches the place in its orbit (perigee) that is closest to Earth. The perigee full Moon of August 10th –also known as a supermoon– will be as much as 14% closer and 30% brighter than other full Moons of the year."This is bad news for the Perseids," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "Lunar glare wipes out the black-velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors, and sharply reduces counts."But the... Read more »

    Asteroid vesta shatters planet formation theory Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:55:00
    In the previous Space News, we discussed astronomer's recent admission that they now need a whole new theory to explain about how planets form. Today yet another discovery has shattered conventional ideas about planet formation and the so-called early solar system. Scientists studying data from NASA's DAWN spacecraft have learned some astonishing details about the asteroid Vesta.The Standard Model states that the asteroid came into existence at the same time as the solar system. However, key predictions of this model have been falsified by the DAWN data.Source story: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...Video courtesy of Thunderbolts Project... Read more »

    Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral communities deeper and broader than predicted Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:35:00
    A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts of human activity on corals in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the last week of July 2014 in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."The footprint of the impact of the spill on coral communities is both deeper and wider than previous data indicated," said Fisher. "This study very clearly shows that multiple coral communities, up to 22 kilometers from the spill site and at... Read more »

    Sound blasting of ocean floor connected with mass animal death, devastating impact on all marine life Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:09:00
    As the U.S. government continues with its plan to use powerful airguns to conduct a sound blasting research along the entire U.S. East Coast, environmentalists warn that the technology used is known to cause mass animal death. Furthermore, they warn, the explosive sounds produced by this testing will have devastating impacts on all marine life, including whales, dolphins, sea turtles, fish and shellfish and will also harm tourism and fishing industries.A 2-D seismic vessel survey of the Eastern Seaboard led by USGS is planed between August and September 2014 and April and August 2015 to identify the outer limits of the United States continental shelf and study potential tsunami-related hazards. The research would begin near the U.S.-Canadia... Read more »

    New dams in Mekong basin threaten Cambodia's food security, up to 80% of population affected Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:05:00
    Experts are warning that the planned construction of 88 hydroelectric dams in the lower Mekong basin by 2030 will cause food security challenges in Cambodia. Up to 80 percent of population might be affected.“Cambodia is going to pay the highest price for dam development basin-wide, to the point of affecting the food security of its 80 percent rural population,” Eric Baran, a specialist with the WorldFish Centre, an international research NGO based in Phnom Penh, told IRIN. “Worldwide, there is no bigger consumer of freshwater fish than Cambodia.”By 2030, multi-national developers plan to construct 11 dams on the Mekong river mainstream, and 77 dams on its tributaries, in an effort to meet the growing demand for electricity in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar... Read more »

    Record growth of organic food consumption in the U.S. and India Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:38:00
    There has been record growth in sales of organic, non-GMO food in some of the world's largest produce markets, a good thing for consumers and advocates of clean, wholesome, non-bioengineered commodities.In the United States, the value of the organic foods market in 2013 exceeded $35 billion for the very first time, an increase of nearly 12 percent from the previous year, according to Eileen Bentley, small business and prepared foods manager at Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.The U.S. economy, as a whole, has been growing, on average, at between 1 and 2 percent for months, which is dismal.As reported by AgriLand, an Ireland-based agricultural news site, Bentley outlined in a recent Bord Bia Food Alert that data compiled by the U.S. Organic Trade Association (OTA) found that the 2013... Read more »

    Dwardu Cardona: Earth’s primordial stellar host - EU2014 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:08:00
    Dwardu Cardona showed that a reconstruction of Earth’s cosmic history can be distilled from the universal “mytho-historical record,” complemented by studies in earth history and space science. Most recently, the strongest scientific validation comes from space, as new instruments enable the viewer to see extraordinary electro-magnetic detail across the cosmos, confirming that this is indeed an Electric Universe.A former Senior Editor of the journal Kronos and Editor of the journal Aeon, Dwardu has published well over a hundred papers and has authored four books: God Star, Flare Star, Primordial Star and Metamorphic Star.Video courtesy of Thunderbolts Project... Read more »

    Mars spacecraft preparing for Comet Siding Spring's close flyby Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:10:00
    As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on October 19, 2014, NASA and ESA are both taking steps to protect their Mars orbiters, while still preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data. Six days after passing Mars, the comet will reach its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) at about 209 million km (130 million miles).It will be the second comet to visit Mars in 12 months, following Comet ISON in October 2013. ISON passed some 10 000 000 km from the planet, but Siding Spring will flyby much closer. Current estimates put Siding Spring's miss distance at just about 132 000 km (82 000 miles) from the surface.The comet's nucleus will be shedding material hurtling at about 56 kilometers (35 mile... Read more »

    Hundreds of fires covered central Africa in mid-July 2014 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:53:00
    Hundreds of fires covered central Africa in mid-July 2014, as the annual fire season continues across the region. Multiple red hotspots, which indicate areas of increased temperatures, are heavily sprinkled across the Congo (northwest), Angola (south), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (northeast), and Zambia (southeast).Thick gray smoke rises from some of the hotspots, and in some areas, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, strong winds drive the smoke to the south.The fire season is an annual event in this region, as residents burn scrub, brush and woody savanna to open land for farming, for hunting and to drive away pests. Fire is also used on agricultural land to renew pasture grown and remove crop residue. Although lightning can also ignite fires in this region,... Read more »

    New vent opens up at Etna volcano, Italy Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:40:00
    A new vent opened yesterday morning at 09:14 UTC at Etna volcano, Italy. The new vent is located about 150 - 200 metres north of the two previous vents at the eastern base of the NE crater.Its activity is characterized by small strombolian explosions while a lava flow continues to be weakly alimented from one of the two other vents, VolcanoDiscovery repots.Termal image of the effusive vents at the base of the NE crater with graph volcanic tremors in last 6 days. Images credit: INGV CataniaGeologic summaryMount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whos... Read more »

    Early days of Earth's sixth mass biological extinction event Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:56:00
    An international team of scientists warns that loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet's sixth mass biological extinction event. The planet's current biodiversity, they claim, is the highest in history of life, but it may be reaching a tipping point.Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct and populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life.And while previous extinctions have been driven by natural planetary transformations or catastrophic asteroid strikes, the current die-off can be associated to human activity, a situation that the lead author of a new report published in Science - Rodo... Read more »

    Saharan dust a key to the formation of Bahamas' Great Bank Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:59:00
    According to a new study by researchers from the University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands Their research showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to produce the island chain's carbonate-based foundation.UM Rosenstiel School Lewis G. Weeks Professor Peter Swart and colleagues analyzed the concentrations of two trace elements characteristic of atmospheric dust – iron and manganese – in 270 seafloor samples collected along the Great Bahama Bank over a three-year period. The team found that the highest concentrations of these trace elements occurred to the west of Andros Island, an area which has the largest concentr... Read more »

    Mysterious signal from the center of the Perseus Cluster unexplained by known physics Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:39:00
    Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to explore the Perseus Cluster, a swarm of galaxies approximately 250 million light years from Earth, have observed the spectral line that appears not to come from any known type of matter. The signal they received can not be explained by known physics but they say it shifts suspicion to the dark matter.Perseus Cluster a collection of galaxies and one of the most massive known objects in the Universe, immersed in an enormous 'atmosphere' of superheated plasma. It is approximately 768 000 light years across.Perseus Cluster. Image credit: Credit: NASA / Chandra"I couldn't believe my eyes," says Esra Bulbul of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics.  "What we found, at... Read more »

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