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Watching the world evolve and transform
Updated: 6 min 12 sec ago

Superconducting properties of graphene discovered

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 12:15
SLAC, Stanford study identifies long-sought path toward engineering materials for super-efficient nanoelectronics Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency. Researchers used a beam of intense ultraviolet light to look deep into the electronic structure of a material made of alternating layers of graphene and calcium. While it's been known for nearly a decade that this combined material is superconducting, the new study offers the first compelling evidence that the graphene layers are... Read more »

Spitzer brings 360-degree zoomable view of our galaxy

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 10:30
Touring the Milky Way now is as easy as clicking a button with new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic. The star-studded panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared snapshots taken over the past 10 years by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The 20-gigapixel mosaic uses Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope visualization platform. It captures about three percent of our sky, but because it focuses on a band around Earth where the plane of the Milky Way lies, it shows more than half of all the galaxy's stars. The image, derived primarily from the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire project, or GLIMPSE360, is online at: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/glimpse360 Spitzer, launched into space in 2003, has spent more than 10 years studying... Read more »

Copahue volcano alert level raised to orange, Chile

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 09:21
SERNAGEOMIN raised the alert level of Chilean Copahue volcano to orange on March 20 [still active] after an increase in seismic activity. A pulse of volcanic tremor was detected that could indicate magma moving into the volcano's plumbing system. On the surface, no unusual activity has been seen at the volcano so far, except that an increase in SO2 emissions (approx 2 300 tons / day) was measured. This supports the idea that magma has risen under the edifice, Volcano Discovery reports. Whether this activity is followed by new eruptive activity remains to be seen. In most cases, intrusions of magma under volcanoes do never reach the surface, i.e. produce eruptions.  ONEMI (Civil Defense) published a bulletin stating that civil alert remains at yellow for the... Read more »

Very strong and shallow M 6.5 earthquake struck Nicobar Islands, India

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 14:19
A very strong and shallow earthquake registered as M 6.5 (USGS) struck Nicobar Islands, India on March 21, 2014 at 13:41 UTC. USGS reports depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting Mw 6.3 at depth of 10 km. Epicenter was located 113 km (70 miles) E of Mohean, India and 234 km (145 miles) NNW of Sabang, Indonesia. GDACS estimated there are 17 721 people living within 100 km radius. Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. A strong aftershock measuring M 5.4 (USGS) was registered at 14:11 UTC at depth of 10.1 km. Another strong aftershock measuring M 5.2 was recorded at 14:25 UTC at the same depth (EMSC). Updates on this earthquake will be... Read more »

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gillian forecast to re-intensify as it approaches Christmas Island

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 12:59
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gillian is showing signs of intensification and is forecast to re-intensify into a tropical cyclone overnight as it approaches Christmas Island. This has increased the risk of damaging winds (gale force winds) at Christmas Island. It is now also possible that destructive wind gusts (wind gusts in excess of 125 km/h) could occur on Christmas Island if the system continues to intensify and passes close to Christmas Island. Gales are not expected to affect the island Friday night but are more likely to first develop early Saturday morning. The period of greatest risk is now expected to commence during Saturday and continue into Sunday, the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology reports. At 9:00 UTC today (16:00 CXT / local time on Christmas... Read more »

Flash flood wipes out Puarante village, Vanuatu

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 10:07
On March 10/11, Tropical Cyclone Lusi struck the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu causing flooding, destroying houses and crops and causing one reported death. The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office issued cyclone warnings for Torba (population 9,359), Sanma (45,855), Penama (30,819) and Malampa (36,727) Provinces on Sunday, March 9, 2014. Approximately 72 mm (3”) of rainfall was observed at Pekoa Airport in the 24 hour period up to 18:00 UTC on Sunday. Several days later an entire hill crumbled into the river bed, three kilometers behind the Puarante village in South Santo and a huge body of water started collecting behind the walls. (Source) Custom chief from Puarante said he sent his son many times to warn the villagers to move to... Read more »

Moderately strong M1.7 solar flare, filament eruption - Earth directed Hyder flares possible

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 13:17
At 03:56 UTC today the Sun sent us its best equinox wishes with moderately strong M1.7 solar flare originating from Region 2010 (S15E27, Dac/beta). This was the largest event on the Sun in last 24 hours (by 12:30 UTC) and it was associated with a Type II radio sweep observed at 03:52 UTC (~372 km/s) and a Type IV sweep at 04:07 UTC - suggesting an associated CME from the event. NASA SOHO LASCO C2/C3 and NASA STEREO A/B coronagraphs depicted a slow moving CME of the East limb from Earth's perspective. Initial analysis of the event suggests that it is unlikely to have a component on the Sun-Earth line.  You can see the eruption in the video below. What seems like a glitch around 07:00 UTC is actually our planet passing between the SDO (Solar... Read more »

Active volcanoes in the world: March 12 - March 18, 2014

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:04
New activity was reported for 1 volcano from March 12 - 18, ongoing activity was reported for 12 volcanoes. This weekly report covers active volcanoes in the world based on Smithsonian/USGS criteria. New activity/unrest: | Ubinas, Perú Ongoing activity: | Aira, Kyushu | Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands | Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Colima, México border | Dukono, Halmahera | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  |  Sinabung, Sumatra (Indonesia) | Tungurahua, Ecuador The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological... Read more »

GOES satellite caught the birth of Tropical Storm Mike in the Southern Pacific Ocean

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:24
NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught the birth of Tropical Storm Mike in the Southern Pacific Ocean on March 19. Mike's formation has generated warnings for the Southern Cook Islands.  On March 19 at 09:00 UTC, Tropical Cyclone Mike was located near 20.5 south latitude and 159.3 west longitude. That's about 751 nautical miles/864.2 miles/1 391 km east-southeast of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Mike was moving to the south-southeast at a speedy 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.4 km/h. Mike's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 km/h.   ​Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that Mike is a threat to the Cook Islands. As a result, there are warnings in effect for the Southern Cook Islands. A gale warning is in effect for Rarotonga, Aitutaki,... Read more »

Another radiation release detected at New Mexico nuclear waste dump

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:04
Back in February 2014, alarms sounded off at the Nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The radiation detection alarms signaled that higher-than-normal airborne radiation was present and could be making its way outside into the environment through the facility's ventilation system. The only US nuclear waste disposal site has been compromised The federal facility, built in 1999, contains nuclear waste disposal rooms which are mined out of salt formations 2,150 feet below the surface of the desert. That's equivalent to two-fifths of a mile below the desert floor. Can nuclear waste really be harnessed and disposed of deep within the earth? The detection of elevated airborne radiation in February prompted the plant to shutoff filtered air coming... Read more »

First direct evidence of cosmic inflation

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 16:03
Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory. Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity. "Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of... Read more »

Los Angeles neighborhood tests positive for hazardous lead contamination

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:33
A quiet neighborhood nestled near the Los Angeles River known as Boyle Heights is slowly being invaded, ever so slightly, by hazardous lead levels. The residents, standing on the curb of their beautiful tree-lined streets, didn't see the invasion oncoming, but it's settling among them, into their soil, silently warping their health. When resident Zoila Meeks was approached in February, state officials asked if they could dig up her yard and test the soil. The test results of the soil were alarming. There, sprawled inside the dirt, tainted and intermixed, were heavy amounts of lead. When word broke out, dozen of the neighborhood residents were rife with fear. Was this the reason why they were sick? Where was the lead coming from? Exide battery smelting plant at the heart... Read more »

Sri Lanka bans glyphosate herbicide to avoid kidney disease risk

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 21:05
Sri Lanka, the large island south of India, is home to more than 20 million people who are now saying "no" to Monsanto's Roundup. Sri Lanka's president has suddenly issued a ban on glyphosate herbicide, as new studies suggest that the chemical is a main culprit behind a growing kidney disease epidemic arising in agricultural workers in Central America. Backlash immediately ensued from USA's Monsanto, who retaliated, saying that the new studies are based on untested theories rather than hard data. But medical specialists and scientists involved in the study were quick to reveal just how Roundup wreaks its havoc on the kidneys. Glyphosate is a catalyst for heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic, channeling toxins readily to the kidneys According to the study,... Read more »

How to block nearly all the mercury in your diet using common, everyday foods

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 18:47
As part of my ongoing scientific research into heavy metals, elemental retention and metals capturing (see explanatory videos here), I have identified and documented anti-heavy-metals substances which have a remarkable natural affinity for binding with and "capturing" heavy metals. Why is this important? Because much of the "scientific" community today is actually corporate-driven junk science that's trying to poison you with mercury in vaccines, mercury in dental fillings, heavy metals in fluoride, GMOs, pesticides and more. It is extremely rare for anyone to actually spend time, money and effort to research how to REMOVE mercury from your body... and then publicly share that information in the interests of public... Read more »

First interactive mosaic of lunar north pole released

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 17:12
Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States. The images making up the mosaic were taken by the two LRO Narrow Angle Cameras, which are part of the instrument suite known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The cameras can record a tremendous dynamic range of lit and shadowed areas. Web viewers can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. Constructed from 10 581 pictures, the mosaic provides enough detail to see textures and subtle shading of the lunar terrain. Consistent lighting throughout the images makes it easy to... Read more »

Asteroid 2003 QQ47 to safely fly by Earth on March 26, 2014

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 08:19
Asteroid 2003 QQ47 received quite a bit of media attention back in 2003 when it was discovered because it was said that it had a small chance of colliding with our planet in the year 2014. It was rated a "1" on the Torino impact hazard scale of 1 - 10. The odds of collision in 2014, as estimated by JPL's Sentry impact monitoring system, peaked at 1 chance in 250 000, a result which was posted on JPL's Impact Risk Page on Saturday, August 30, 2003. On September 2, new measurements of QQ47's position allowed scientists to narrow their prediction of its path in 2014, and thus the Earth impact was ruled out. (JPL) There are still people who think this asteroid will hit our planet on March 21, 2014 but we are... Read more »

High-tech materials purify water with sunlight

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:17
Sunlight plus a common titanium pigment might be the secret recipe for ridding pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other potentially harmful pollutants from drinking water. Scientists combined several high-tech components to make an easy-to-use water purifier that could work with the world's most basic form of energy, sunlight, in a boon for water purification in rural areas or developing countries. Anne Morrissey, Ph.D., explained that the new technology could someday be incorporated into an easy-to-use consumer product that would remove these stubborn pollutants from drinking water as a final step after it has already been treated with conventional methods. Her group at Dublin City University in Ireland started with a compound called titanium dioxide (TiO2), a powder used to... Read more »

Magma chamber under Hekla volcano almost full, could erupt with very short notice - Iceland

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:00
According to Páll Einarsson, professor in geophysics at University of Iceland, the magma chamber under Hekla volcano is now almost full. Professor Einarsson said the volcano could erupt with very short notice and warned people not to climb the mountain. "During the last eruption, in 2000, it took just 79 minutes from the first quake until eruption, and Páll says that is longer than in previous eruptions." (Source) On March 3, 2014 Jón Frímann Jónsson reported three earthquakes in Hekla volcano system. All three earthquakes where small with none having magnitude above 1.0. The last time this volcano appeared in GVP's weekly volcanic report was in March 2013: On March 29 the Icelandic Meteorological... Read more »

Wi-Fi-allergic Americans flock to West Virginia town where Wi-Fi is banned

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 09:54
Scores of people who believe that continual exposure to wireless signals have made them ill have begun streaming to a small town in West Virginia where Wi-Fi has been banned. According to Britain's Daily Mail, these "Wi-Fi refugees" are making the move to Green Bank, a tiny place located inside the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, established by the FCC in November 1958 to "minimize possible harmful interference to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory" located there, according to the observatory's website. Many of those trekking to Green Bank complain of painful symptoms when they are near cell phones or any device with Wi-Fi, two creations that define modern technology. Burning skin, chest pains and acute headaches are among the most... Read more »

Very strong earthquake M 6.7 struck off shore Tarapaca, Chile

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 21:56
A very strong earthquake with recorded magnitude of 7.0 (revised to M 6.7) struck off the coast of Tarapaca, Chile on March 16, 2014 at 21:16 UTC. USGS is reporting depth of 20 km (12.4 miles). EMSC is reporting Mw 7.0 at depth of only 10 km (still preliminary). Epicenter was located 61 km (38 miles) NW of Iquique and 153 km (95 miles) S of Arica, Chile. GDACS estimated there are 233 613 people living within 100 km radius. SHOA Chile reported there is no tsunami risk, but a small tsunami watch is in place. ONEMI Chile has ordered the preventive evacuation of the city of Tocopilla.  Landslides are reported in Tarapaca. In general people are afraid and are standing in the middle of the road. (ER) Overall,... Read more »

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