What an eventful month October 2014 is…
NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19.
Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet — less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.
Siding Spring’s nucleus will come closest to Mars around 2:27 p.m. EDT, hurtling at about 126,000 mph (56 kilometers per second). This proximity will provide an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to gather data on both the comet and its effect on the Martian atmosphere.
“This is a cosmic science gift that could potentially keep on giving, and the agency’s diverse science missions will be in full receive mode,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This particular comet has never before entered the inner solar system, so it will provide a fresh source of clues to our solar system’s earliest days.”
Siding Spring came from the Oort Cloud, a spherical region of space surrounding our sun and occupying space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units. It is a giant swarm of icy objects believed to be material left over from the formation of the solar system.
Siding Spring will be the first comet from the Oort Cloud to be studied up close by spacecraft, giving scientists an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the materials, including water and carbon compounds, that existed during the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Some of the best and most revealing images and science data will come from assets orbiting and roving the surface of Mars. In preparation for the comet flyby, NASA maneuvered its Mars Odyssey orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and the newest member of the Mars fleet, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), in order to reduce the risk of impact with high-velocity dust particles coming off the comet.
The period of greatest risk to orbiting spacecraft will start about 90 minutes after the closest approach of the comet’s nucleus and will last about 20 minutes, when Mars will come closest to the center of the widening trail of dust flying from the comet’s nucleus.
“The hazard is not an impact of the comet nucleus itself, but the trail of debris coming from it. Using constraints provided by Earth-based observations, the modeling results indicate that the hazard is not as great as first anticipated. Mars will be right at the edge of the debris cloud, so it might encounter some of the particles — or it might not,” said Rich Zurek, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
The atmosphere of Mars, though much thinner that Earth’s, will shield NASA Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity from comet dust, if any reaches the planet. Both rovers are scheduled to make observations of the comet.
NASA’s Mars orbiters will gather information before, during and after the flyby about the size, rotation and activity of the comet’s nucleus, the variability and gas composition of the coma around the nucleus, and the size and distribution of dust particles in the comet’s tail.
…woe. Very interesting earth quake pattern uptick continues (all over the planet ) in the pacific and Sumatra regions. The Middle East uptick from the Gulf to Iran up to Turkey puts an eye on Israel.
CUSHING, Oklahoma – It’s not the place you’d expect to find a piece of high-tech earthquake monitoring equipment, in the storage room of the Cushing Municipal Airport, but it’s exactly where the U.S. Geological Survey put one of its NetQuake Seismographs.
Cushing is the ‘Pipeline Crossroads of the World.’
“It’s kind of the Grand Central station of the big oil,” petroleum geologist Bob Jackman said.
But more recently, Cushing has been making headlines for its earthquakes.
“This is a potential catastrophe,” he said.
Jackman says the small town can store up to 46 million barrels of crude oil.
There were ten earthquakes in Cushing last week, the two largest at 4.0 and 4.3 magnitude.
And the U.S. Geological Survey says the 4.3 was centered directly under a Cushing tank farm and across the street from the Cushing Municipal Airport.
“It was pretty intense and I sought cover because I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening,” airport manager Jim Clements said.
Clements said the quake knocked down ceiling tiles and cracked the walls, but it mostly rattled his nerves.
“I have some concern,” he said. “I guess, mostly for me, is I don’t know when the next one’s coming.”
A major, long duration solar flare measuring X1.1 at its peak time erupted on October 19, 2014. The source was large Active Region 2192 (beta-gamma) located in the southeast quadrant. The event started at 04:17, peaked at 05:03 and ended at 05:48 UTC.
The region is still not in favorable position for Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections but this will change in the coming days as the region rotates toward the center of the disk.
Region 2192 already produced several significant eruptions and sent a massive CME into the space as it was transiting onto the Earth side.
NOAA SWPC forecasters estimate 55% chance for M-class, and 15% chance for X-class solar flare in the next two days.
Iranian officials are expressing new worry over the global oil price slump, which is threatening the country’s budget and could undermine its strategy in international nuclear negotiations.
As recently as Tuesday, Iran’s oil ministry was speaking confidently despite the 20% global price decline, insisting that it wouldn’t affect the budget. Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi said the decrease would be “short lived,” an oil ministry information service said.
But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, clearly concerned, has directed the oil ministry to seek a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel next month to discuss propping up the price, Iranian news agencies are reporting.
Crude oil has fallen from over $100 a barrel in spring to under $85 a barrel. About 75% Iran’s government revenues come from oil sales, and analysts say the country needs an oil price of around $140 a barrel to sustain its budget.
Obozo’s warning about hysteria came a day after the World Bank said the battle against the disease was being lost and as the US president named an “Ebola czar” to coordinate Washington’s response.
Chief executive Mark Goldring warned that the world was “in the eye of a storm”.
“We cannot allow Ebola to immobilise us in fear, but… countries that have failed to commit troops, doctors and enough funding are in danger of costing lives,” he said.
The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly virus has so far killed more than 4,500 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but isolated cases have now begun to appear in Europe and the United States.
“The Ebola crisis could become the definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation,” a spokesperson for the British-based charity said as it appealed for EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday to do more.
For the first time in Ohio history, a prison inmate has been diagnosed with leprosy, state corrections officials said Thursday. The inmate, whose name was not released, was diagnosed with the chronic bacterial infection on Tuesday at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, according to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The infected prisoner is a native of Micronesia, a region of islands in the Pacific Ocean, and has served time at three other Ohio prisons since 2011, according to Stuart Hudson, the DRC’s managing director of health care and fiscal operations.
He’s now being treated at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Hudson said in an interview.
State officials believe that the inmate contracted leprosy while living in Micronesia, though he didn’t show symptoms until recently, Hudson said. After infection, it can take up to 20 years for signs of the disease to appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The disease affects 15 million people worldwide, though cases are rarely found in Ohio, according to the state Department of Health. Those found with leprosy in the state are usually immigrants or migrants, the department stated.
PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The Latest Reports On The MERS Outbreak – First Case In Turkey, As Man Dies Of The Virus; “Sporadic” Cases In Saudi Arabia, As The Epidemic Reach The Taif Region; WHO Says Several Recent MERS Patients Drank Camel Milk!
The following constitutes several of the latest reports on the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). As of June 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Austria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Almost all cases are somehow linked to Saudi Arabia, where errors by the authorities’ in response to MERS-CoV were a contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus.
When robots learn to lie
In 2009, Swiss researchers carried out a robotic experiment that produced some unexpected results. Hundreds of robots were placed in arenas and programmed to look for a “food source,” in this case a light-colored ring. The robots were able to communicate with one another and were instructed to direct their fellow machines to the food by emitting a blue light. But as the experiment went on, researchers noticed that the machines were evolving to become more secretive and deceitful: When they found food, the robots stopped shining their lights and instead began hoarding the resources — even though nothing in their original programming commanded them to do so. The implication is that the machines learned “self-preservation,” said Louis Del Monte, author of The Artificial Intelligence Revolution. “Whether or not they’re conscious is a moot point.”
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
An horrific image has emerged of a baby girl moments from being beheaded by IS.
The picture is among several recovered by Kurdish soldiers from the mobile phones of dead fanatics in the Syrian town of Kobane.
It shows the child being pinned to the floor, in clear distress as a knife is held to her throat.
It is feared she may have been beheaded along with her family for being an Alevi Muslim, a branch of Islam whose followers have been targeted by IS.
Islamic State militants have publicly crucified and murdered a teenager they accused of taking photographs of the terror group’s headquarters in Syria. Sickening images purportedly taken in the central square of the extremists’ de facto capital Raqqa show the battered and bloodstained body of an unnamed 17-year-old boy strapped to a cross. A handwritten placard hangs around the teenager’s neck, accusing him of ‘apostasy’ – the abandonment of his religion – and says he had been crucified for three days after being caught receiving 500 Turkish lira for every photograph he took of an Islamic State military base.
Nothing has been fixed at Fukushima.
Radiation levels in the water are at all-time highs.
The reactors didn’t just suffer a melt down, or even a China syndrome type melt-through, but a series of melt outs. Scientists have no idea where the cores of the nuclear reactors are. Well actually, maybe they have found them … scattered all over kingdom come.