Watch “More Big Problems for Big Bang | Space News”

Advertisements

NASA – Is Pluto’s Atmosphere Collapsing?

Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this sharper global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometers) away from Pluto, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers). That’s twice the resolution of the single-image view captured on July 13 and revealed at the approximate time of New Horizons’ July 14 closest approach.

Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this sharper global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometers) away from Pluto, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers). That’s twice the resolution of the single-image view captured on July 13 and revealed at the approximate time of New Horizons’ July 14 closest approach. Image – NASA

Five years ago NASA were baffled with Earth’s shrinking atmosphere

Large changes in the sun’s energy output may drive unexpectedly dramatic fluctuations in Earth’s outer atmosphere.

Results of a study published today link a recent, temporary shrinking of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation levels.

The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), indicates that the sun’s magnetic cycle, which produces differing numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may vary more than previously thought.

New Horizons has only taken a snapshot in time so we are unlikely to know if the current low solar activity may be linked to Pluto’s shrunken atmosphere [my emphasis].

From previous observations, scientists assumed the pressure on Pluto’s surface would be about 15 microbars, but it turned out they were wrong, by quite a bit.

This REX occultation data says that the pressure on Pluto’s surface is just 7 microbars. It could be that the atmosphere is kind of collapsing, that the atmosphere, the gases that make up that atmosphere, are freezing and falling to the surface. If this is what’s happening, it’s possible that the collapse of Pluto’s atmosphere is imminent, or at least that most of the gas in the atmosphere will freeze and fall to the surface.

Charon Continue reading

Nepal Earthquake – Similar pattern seen at start of Little Ice Age | the WeatherAction News Blog

Above the Nepal earthquake captured as it happened. It is all the more poignant when you see how every day normal life was happening only to be snatched away in an instant..

The BBC reported on a previous time when the same fault ruptured –

  • Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck to the north-west of Kathmandu
  • The last time the fault ruptured at this location was in back in 1344
  • It was preceded in 1255 by a big event to the east of Kathmandu
  • The last rupture there was in 1934, hinting strain might accumulate westward
  • 2015’s quake follows the pattern with a gap between events of 80 years or so
line

When Bollinger and his colleagues saw this historic pattern of events, they became greatly concerned.

“We could see that both Kathmandu and Pokhara would now be particularly exposed to earthquakes rupturing the main fault, where it likely last did in 1344, between the two cities,” explains Paul Tapponnier, from the Earth Observatory of Singapore, who was working with Bollinger.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32472310

The Telegraph have also covered the story here

1934 Bihar earthquake. Image credit: www.thecosmosphere.com

1934 Bihar earthquake. Image credit: http://www.thecosmosphere.com

C

Read the rest Nepal Earthquake – Similar pattern seen at start of Little Ice Age | the WeatherAction News Blog.

Changes in Animal Activity Prior to a Major (M=7) Earthquake in the Peruvian Andes — ScienceDirect

image
24th August 2011.

A solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field during the early hours of August 24th, sparking geomagnetic activity around the Arctic Circle. “Bright, fast-moving auroras lit up the sky just after midnight,”[…]

Hours after impact, the solar wind is still blowing at high speed (500+ km/s) but the density of the wind is declining rapidly. 

http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=24&month=08&year=2011

A growing coronal hole in the northern solar hemisphere was in an earth facing position as shown above. Sunspot number was relative low at 81, radio flux 104. The magnetic ‘jolt’ from a dense plasma stream was enough to allow a weakening fault to release. At 17:46:10 UTC an
M7.0 earthquake occured in Contamana, Northeast Peru. Animals appear far more aware than concensus scientists [my emphasis]
image

Highlights•

Distinct pre-earthquake changes in the behaviour of wild animals in National Park.

Starting 20-23 days before M=7 earthquake, most pronounced during last 7-8 days.

Documented by motion-triggered camera records, 30 days, 24 hrs/day, 9-camera cluster.

Ionospheric perturbation over earthquake preparation zone 7-8 days before event.

Positive airborne ion injection at ground-to-air interface being most likely cause.

Abstract

During earthquake preparation geophysical processes occur over varying temporal and spatial scales, some leaving their mark on the surface environment, on various biota, and even affecting the ionosphere. Reports on pre-seismic changes in animal behaviour have been greeted with scepticism by the scientific community due to the necessarily anecdotal nature of much of the evidence and a lack of consensus over possible causal mechanisms. Here we present records of changes in the abundance of mammals and birds obtained over a 30 day period by motion-triggered cameras at the Yanachaga National Park, Peru, prior to the 2011 magnitude 7.0 Contamana earthquake. In addition we report on ionospheric perturbations derived from night-time very low frequency (VLF) phase data along a propagation paths passing over the epicentral region. Animal activity declined significantly over a 3-week period prior to the earthquake compared to periods of low seismic activity. Night-time ionospheric phase perturbations of the VLF signals above the epicentral area, fluctuating over the course of a few minutes, were observed, starting 2 weeks before the earthquake. The concurrent observation of two widely different and seemingly unconnected precursory phenomena is of interest because recently, it has been proposed that the multitude of reported pre-earthquake phenomena may arise from a single underlying physical process: the stress-activation of highly mobile electronic charge carriers in the Earth’s crust and their flow to the Earth’s surface. The flow of charge carriers through the rock column constitutes and electric current, which is expected to fluctuate and thereby emit electromagnetic radiation in the ultralow frequency (ULF) regime. The arrival of the charge carriers can lead to air ionization at the ground-to-air interface and the injection of massive amounts of positive airborne ions, known to be aversive to animals.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1474706515000236