Monthly Archives: September 2014

Volcano Erupts in Japan, 31 Dead

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Rescue and recovery efforts continued Monday on Japan’s Mount Ontake where 31 people died after the volcano erupted this weekend.
The 31 people were in “heart and respiratory failure,” which The Associated Press reported is the customary Japanese manner of describing bodies…

Rescue and recovery efforts continued Monday on Japan’s Mount Ontake where 31 people died after the volcano erupted this weekend.

The 31 people were in “heart and respiratory failure,” which The Associated Press reported is the customary Japanese manner of describing bodies until doctors can examine them.

Six of the people were brought down the mountain and were pronounced dead by a doctor. Twenty-five others remain on the mountain.

The eruption also injured at least 60 people and left 250 climbers trapped initi Continue reading

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Lightning, Hail Strike Napa, Heavy Rain In North Bay

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One month after an earthquake struck the Napa area, the region was pounded by an incredibly rare hailstorm Friday afternoon. Heavy rainfall and lightning were also reported throughout the North Bay.
KPIX 5 meteorologist Paul Deanno reported six inches of hail in the Napa area. Children were seen…

One month after an earthquake struck the Napa area, the region was pounded by an incredibly rare hailstorm Friday afternoon. Heavy rainfall and lightning were also reported throughout the North Bay.

KPIX 5 meteorologist Paul Deanno reported six inches of hail in the Napa area. Children were seen making snow angels and had snow fights with the hail.

“It was nothing but rain, then all of a sudden it comes down. It was complete hail for a good to 20 to 25 minutes,” said Paul Frommelt of Napa. “In the 49 years I’ve lived Continue reading

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Something In The Offing

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During the early hours of Sept. 26th, something exploded behind the southeastern edge of the solar disk. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed a massive plume of debris rising over the Sun’s limb.
As the inset shows, the plasma-plume was big enough to swallow dozens of…

During the early hours of Sept. 26th, something exploded behind the southeastern edge of the solar disk. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed a massive plume of debris rising over the Sun’s limb.

As the inset shows, the plasma-plume was big enough to swallow dozens of planets Earth. In this case, however, Earth was not in the line of fire. The ejecta will completely miss our planet.

X-rays from the eruption registered C8 on the Richter Scale of Solar Flares. The actual intensity must have been much higher, though, because th Continue reading

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GOCE Reveals Gravity Dip From Ice Loss

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Although not designed to map changes in Earth’s gravity over time, ESA’s extraordinary satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature.
More than doubling its planned life in orbit, GOCE spent four years measuring…

Although not designed to map changes in Earth’s gravity over time, ESA’s extraordinary satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature.

More than doubling its planned life in orbit, GOCE spent four years measuring Earth’s gravity in unprecedented detail.

Scientists are now armed with the most accurate gravity model ever produced. This is leading to a much better understanding of many facets of our planet – from the boundary between Earth’s crust and upper man Continue reading

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Mars Rover Curiosity Drills 1st Hole into Huge Martian Mountain

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has taken its first bite out of the giant mountain that it crossed interplanetary space to explore.
On Wednesday (Sept. 24), the 1-ton Curiosity rover drilled 2.6 inches (6.7 centimeters) into an outcrop at the base of the towering Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4…

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has taken its first bite out of the giant mountain that it crossed interplanetary space to explore.

On Wednesday (Sept. 24), the 1-ton Curiosity rover drilled 2.6 inches (6.7 centimeters) into an outcrop at the base of the towering Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) into the Martian sky. Curiosity collected samples of powdered rock, with the aim of delivering them to the rover’s onboard instruments for analysis.

“This drilling ta Continue reading

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Strategic Or Random? How The Brain Chooses

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Many of the choices we make are informed by experiences we’ve had in the past. But occasionally we’re better off abandoning those lessons and exploring a new situation unfettered by past experiences. Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus…

Many of the choices we make are informed by experiences we’ve had in the past. But occasionally we’re better off abandoning those lessons and exploring a new situation unfettered by past experiences. Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus have shown that the brain can temporarily disconnect information about past experience from decision-making circuits, thereby triggering random behavior.

In the study, rats playing a game for a food reward usually acted strategically, but switched to ran Continue reading

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Turning The Moon Into A Cosmic Ray Detector

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Scientists from the University of Southampton are to turn the Moon into a giant particle detector to help understand the origin of Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays — the most energetic particles in the Universe.
The origin of UHE cosmic rays is one of the great mysteries in…

Scientists from the University of Southampton are to turn the Moon into a giant particle detector to help understand the origin of Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays — the most energetic particles in the Universe.

The origin of UHE cosmic rays is one of the great mysteries in astrophysics. Nobody knows where these extremely rare cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. Physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometre per century.

Dr Justin Bray, a Research Fellow in Cosmic Magn Continue reading

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