BREAKING NEWS: Volcano Erupts, Hurricane Building to Cat.3, Typhoon Leaves 16 Dead

Each of these events does apply to my predicted 28 day window related to Aug. 21st solar eclipse. Once again, I would like to be able to say we’re done, but we simply are not there yet. There are 12 days left to this window and I am quite sure there are more to come.

Regarding earthquakes: I am monitoring my maps closely and all indications suggest there is a high potential for 6.0 or larger to the US west coast, Mexico, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and I cannot rule out the Yellowstone area.

BREAKING NEWS: Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano Erupts

Popocatépetl volcano began its rumbling on Monday with intermittent burst of ash. Today it erupted with a volcanic plume reaching altitudes upwards of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). Authorities warned the public not to approach the volcano or crater due to risk of falling “ballistic fragments.”

Located in central Mexico, the volcano erupted suddenly and was visible from Mexico City, only 70 km away. Ashes have fallen on several localities near the volcano, but no major injuries or damage have been reported.

Typhoon Hato Leaves 16 Dead As 27,000 Evacuated In China

Powerful Typhoon Hato had brought widespread destruction to the city of Macau and nearby Hong Kong on Wednesday, and continues to lash China’s southern Guangdong province on Thursday. This is the strongest storm to hit parts of southern China in half a century leaving 16 people dead, dozens injured and forcing tens of thousands to be evacuated from their homes.

Authorities in China “called for efforts to guard against geographical disasters such as mountain floods and landslides”, Xinhua state news agency said. Up to 30cm of rain was expected in some parts of Guangdong and the neighboring Guangxi province as the storm passed through. Eight people were killed in mainland China due to the storm, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said, while another eight also died in Macau.

FULL ARTICLE – CLICK HERE

BREAKING NEWS: “Harvey” Now Hurricane – Projected To Be ‘Major Hurricane’ – Mandatory Evacuation Ordered

Tropical Storm Harvey has been upgraded to hurricane status and is rapidly strengthening to become a “major hurricane” when it hits the middle Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday morning.

“Major hurricane” means Category 3 (winds of at least 111 mph or higher), according to the center. Previously, the storm was projected to reach Category 1 status. Texans are filling sandbags, stocking up on water and boarding up windows ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey, a system that could develop into a hurricane by Friday.

FULL ARTICLE – CLICK HERE

I wish to thank you for your continued support….. Cheers, Mitch

 

Coming Next: It doesn’t look like civil disturbance will be ceasing any time soon.

Best Ever Image Of A Star’s Surface, Atmosphere

To the unaided eye the famous, bright star Antares shines with a strong red tint in the heart of the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). It is a huge and comparatively cool red supergiant star in the late stages of its life, on the way to becoming a supernova.

A team of astronomers, led by Keiichi Ohnaka, of the Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile, has now used ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to map Antares’s surface and to measure the motions of the surface material. This is the best image of the surface and atmosphere of any star other than the Sun.

The VLTI is a unique facility that can combine the light from up to four telescopes, either the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes, or the smaller Auxiliary Telescopes, to create a virtual telescope equivalent to a single mirror up to 200 metres across. This allows it to resolve fine details far beyond what can be seen with a single telescope alone.

“How stars like Antares lose mass so quickly in the final phase of their evolution has been a problem for over half a century,” said Keiichi Ohnaka, who is also the lead author of the paper. “The VLTI is the only facility that can directly measure the gas motions in the extended atmosphere of Antares — a crucial step towards clarifying this problem.The next challenge is to identify what’s driving the turbulent motions.”

Using the new results the team has created the first two-dimensional velocity map of the atmosphere of a star other than the Sun. They did this using the VLTI with three of the Auxiliary Telescopes and an instrument called AMBER to make separate images of the surface of Antares over a small range of infrared wavelengths. The team then used these data to calculate the difference between the speed of the atmospheric gas at different positions on the star and the average speed over the entire star. This resulted in a map of the relative speed of the atmospheric gas across the entire disc of Antares — the first ever created for a star other than the Sun..

The astronomers found turbulent, low-density gas much further from the star than predicted, and concluded that the movement could not result from convection, that is, from large-scale movement of matter which transfers energy from the core to the outer atmosphere of many stars. They reason that a new, currently unknown, process may be needed to explain these movements in the extended atmospheres of red supergiants like Antares.

“In the future, this observing technique can be applied to different types of stars to study their surfaces and atmospheres in unprecedented detail. This has been limited to just the Sun up to now,” concludes Ohnaka. “Our work brings stellar astrophysics to a new dimension and opens an entirely new window to observe stars.”

More Than Expected Hidden Beneath Andean Plateau

Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously believed.

“When crust from an oceanic tectonic plate plunges beneath a continental tectonic plate, as it does beneath the Andean Plateau, it brings water with it and partially melts the mantle, the layer below Earth’s crust,” said Rice University’s Jonathan Delph, co-author of the new study published online this week in Scientific Reports. “The less dense melt rises, and one of two things happens: It either stalls in the crust to crystallize in formations called plutons or reaches the surface through volcanic eruptions.”

Delph, a Wiess Postdoctoral Research Associate in Rice’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science, said the findings suggest that mountain-forming regions like the Andean Plateau, which geologists refer to as “orogenic plateaus,” could produce much larger volumes of continental rock in less time than previously believed.

Study lead author Kevin Ward, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah, said, “When we compared the amount of trapped plutonic rock beneath the plateau with the amount of erupted volcanic rock at the surface, we found the ratio was almost 30:1. That means 30 times more melt gets stuck in the crust than is erupted, which is about six times higher than what’s generally believed to be the average. That’s a tremendous amount of new material that has been added to the crust over a relatively short time period.”

The Andean Plateau covers much of Bolivia and parts of Peru, Chile and Argentina. Its average height is more than 12,000 feet, and though it is smaller than Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, different geologic processes created the Andean Plateau. The mountain-building forces at work in the Andean plateau are believed to be similar to those that worked along the western coast of the U.S. some 50 million years ago, and Delph said it’s possible that similar forces were at work along the coastlines of continents throughout Earth’s history.

Most of the rocks that form Earth’s crust initially came from partial melts of the mantle. If the melt erupts quickly, it forms basalt, which makes up the crust beneath the oceans on Earth; but there are still questions about how continental crust, which is more buoyant than oceanic crust, is formed. Delph said he and Ward began their research in 2016 as they were completing their Ph.D.s at the University of Arizona. The pair spent several months combining public datasets from seismic experiments by several U.S. and German institutions. Seismic energy travels through different types of rock at different speeds, and by combining datasets that covered a 500-mile-wide swath of the Andean Plateau, Ward and Delph were able to resolve large plutonic volumes that had previously been seen only in pieces.

Over the past 11 million years, volcanoes have erupted thousands of cubic miles’ worth of material over much of the Andean Plateau. Ward and Delph calculated their plutonic-to-volcanic ratio by comparing the volume of regions where seismic waves travel extremely slowly beneath volcanically active regions, indicating some melt is present, with the volume of rock deposited on the surface by volcanoes.

“Orogenic oceanic-continental subduction zones have been common as long as modern plate tectonics have been active,” Delph said. “Our findings suggest that processes similar to those we observe in the Andes, along with the formation of supercontinents, could have been a significant contributor to the episodic formation of buoyant continental crust.”

Black Holes: Scientists ‘Excited’ By Observations Suggesting Formation Scenarios

Physicists have described how observations of gravitational waves limit the possible explanations for the formation of black holes outside of our galaxy; either they are spinning more slowly than black holes in our own galaxy or they spin rapidly but are ‘tumbled around’ with spins randomly oriented to their orbit.

The paper, published in Nature, is based on data that came about following landmark observations of gravitational waves by the LIGO gravitational wave detector in 2015 and again in 2017.

In our own galaxy we have been able to electromagnetically observe black holes orbited by stars and map their behaviour — notably their rapid spinning.

Gravitational waves carry information about the dramatic origins of black that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists concluded that the first detected gravitational waves, in September 2015, were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. Collisions of two black holes had been predicted, but never observed.

As such, gravitational waves present the best and only way to get a deep look at the population of stellar-mass binary black holes beyond our galaxy. This paper states that the black holes seen via gravitational waves are different to those previously seen in our galaxy in one of two possible ways.

The first possibility is that the black holes are spinning slowly. If that is the case it suggests that something different is happening to the stars that form these black holes than those observed in our galaxy.

The second possibility is that the black holes are spinning rapidly, much like those in our galaxy, but have been ‘tumbled’ during formation and are therefore no longer aligned with orbit. If this is the case, it would mean that the black holes are living in a dense environment — most likely within star clusters. That would make for a considerably more dynamic formation.

There is, however, also the chance that both possibilities are true — that there are instances of black holes spinning slowly in the field and instances of black holes spinning rapidly in a dense environment.

Dr Will Farr, from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, explained, “By presenting these two explanations for the observed behaviour, and ruling out other scenarios, we are providing those who study and try to explain the formation of black holes a target to hit. In our field, knowing the question to ask is almost as important as getting the answer itself.”

Professor Ilya Mandel, also from the University of Birmingham, added “We will know which explanation is right within the next few years. This is something that has only been made possible by the LIGO detections of gravitational waves in the last couple of years. This field is in its infancy; I’m confident that in the near future we will look back on these first few detections and rudimentary models with nostalgia and a much better understanding of how these exotic binary systems form.”

The team was led by researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK alongside the University of Maryland, University of Chicago and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in the US.

BREAKING NEWS: Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano Erupts – VIDEO

Popocatépetl volcano began its rumbling on Monday with intermittent burst of ash. Today it erupted with a volcanic plume reaching altitudes upwards of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). Authorities warned the public not to approach the volcano or crater due to risk of falling “ballistic fragments.”

Located in central Mexico, the volcano erupted suddenly and was visible from Mexico City, only 70 km away. Ashes have fallen on several localities near the volcano, but no major injuries or damage have been reported. FULL ARTICLE: CLICK HERE

 

Typhoon Hato Leaves 16 Dead As 27,000 Evacuated In China

The strongest storm to hit parts of southern China in half a century continued to wreak havoc on Thursday, leaving 16 people dead, dozens injured and forcing tens of thousands to be evacuated from their homes.

Powerful Typhoon Hato had brought widespread destruction to the city of Macau and nearby city of Hong Kong on Wednesday, but had continued to lash China’s southern Guangdong province on Thursday.

Authoritieis in China “called for efforts to guard against geographical disasters such as mountain floods and landslides”, Xinhua state news agency said.

Up to 30cm of rain was expected in some parts of Guangdong and the neighbouring Guangxi province as the storm passed through.

Eight people were killed in mainland China due to the storm, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said, while another eight also died in Macau.

The former Portuguese colony was swamped in water when the storm was at its peak, packing winds of up to 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour.

Mega-casinos located across the usually bustling city were struggling to start up generators on Thursday after they experienced power cuts a day earlier.

Images on social media showed residents wading through murky water in the city’s streets.

The local government said many people still had no water and electricity on Thursday.

Officials said 153 people were injured in Macau, while in Hong Kong more than 120 were hurt.

Chinese media said 27,000 people had been moved into safe areas in China, while two million people are without power.

Wu Zhifang, chief weather forecaster at Guangdong meteorological bureau, told Xinhua: “Compared to other typhoons, Hato moved fast, grew powerful fast, and caused massive rainfall.”

Macau’s government broadcaster TDM said Typhoon Hato, a maximum signal 10 storm, was the strongest since 1968 to hit the city.

Hong Kong saw its strongest storm in 1962 when gusts of 284 kilometres per hour were recorded during Typhoon Wanda, which caused 130 deaths.

“Harvey” Upgraded to Hurricane – Could Become Cat. 3

Tropical Storm Harvey has now been upgraded to ‘hurricane’ and is rapidly strengthening and is now forecast to become a “major hurricane” when it his the middle Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday morning.

“Major hurricane” means Category 3 (winds of at least 111 mph or higher), according to the center. Previously, the storm was projected to reach Category 1 status.

Texans are filling sandbags, stocking up on water and boarding up windows ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey, a system that could develop into a hurricane by Friday.

And while hurricane-force winds are doubtless a concern as Harvey continues rebuilding strength in the Gulf of Mexico, the storm’s potential deluge and subsequent flooding may be the biggest danger, according to meteorologists.

The system weakened before reaching tropical storm status early Thursday and is expected to make landfall Friday evening as a Category 1 storm in Corpus Christi, Texas, then stall over the state, the National Hurricane Center said.

“Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy rainfall, storm surge, and possible hurricane conditions to portions of the Texas coast beginning on Friday,” the weather service said.

Slow storm means more rain

It’s expected to bring 10 to 15 inches of rain — with isolated instances where rainfall totals could reach 25 inches — to the Texas coast, the service said during its 8 a.m. ET Thursday update.

Rainfall amounts increase exponentially when the storm moves at a slower speed, as Harvey’s been doing. Earlier this week, the National Hurricane Center warned, “The system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rain and flooding across portions of Texas, southwest Louisiana, and northeastern Mexico into early next week.”

Compounding potential problems is the tidal cycle. If peak storm surge arrives during high tide, parts of the coast could see 2 to 4 feet of flooding, with the potential of 5 to 7 feet between Port Mansfield and San Luis Pass.

While it has been nine years since Texas last saw a hurricane, the state is no stranger to devastating flooding from tropical systems. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison was a multibillion-dollar disaster for the state, specifically Houston. Allison became nearly stationary for days, dropping more than 30 inches of rain across portions of the city.

A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with a storm surge watch stretching north to High Island, on Galveston Bay.

Harvey could be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 when Hurricane Ike smashed the coast near Galveston. The storm killed 21 people in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and caused widespread destruction.

‘It scares the hell out of people’

As Harvey churned toward Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster Wednesday in 30 counties along the Gulf of Mexico. The governor’s action allows agencies to “quickly deploy resources for the emergency response.”

“Texans believe in taking action and always being prepared in the event of an emergency,” Abbott said. “That is why I am taking every precaution prior to … Harvey making landfall.”

Students and staff at the Texas A&M campus at Corpus Christi are under a mandatory evacuation order. The campus will be closed starting Thursday, according to the university’s website.

People around Corpus Christi started stocking up Wednesday on food, bottled water and other essentials.

“We know that if anything as far as flooding happens, that’s the one thing everyone runs to, we have to have water,” Mariah Barter told CNN affiliate KZTV. “It’s a big deal. It scares the hell out of people. It’s better to be prepared.”

Others in South Texas readied sandbags, fueled up power generators and bought plywood to board up their windows, CNN affiliate KRIS reported.