Archive for September 11, 2014

US Military’s New Laser Gun Zaps Drones

Posted in World Military Corner with tags on September 11, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

Post 3719

US Military’s New Laser Gun Zaps Drones

Advertisements

Into the Deep: James Cameron’s Mariana Trench Dive (Infographic)

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on September 11, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

Post 3718

Into the Deep: James Cameron’s Mariana Trench Dive (Infographic)

 

An X-Class Flare Unleashed Right At Earth

Posted in THE UNIVERSE & SPACE SCIENCE with tags on September 11, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

Post 3717

Robbie Gonzalez

http://io9.com/an-x-class-flare-unleashed-right-at-earth-1633238435

An X-Class Flare Unleashed Right At Earth

An X-Class Flare Unleashed Right At Earth

The sun fired off an X-class solar flare, the most powerful classification, this afternoon, from an Earth-facing sunspot called Active Region 2158. The flare was powerful enough to cause a sustained blackout of high-frequency radio communication here on Earth.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spied the flare this afternoon, beginning at 1721 and peaking at 1745 UTC (13:21 and 13:45 EDT, respectively).

The flare was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME). NOAA forecasters have issued a geomagnetic storm warning for this Friday, September 12th, when SpaceWeather.com reportsthe CME is “expected to deliver a glancing but potent blow to Earth’s magnetic field”:

The storm could reach moderate intensity (G2-class) with auroras visible across northern-tier US states such as Maine, Michigan, and Minnnesota. Another CME could be following close on its heels if today’s X-flare also launched a cloud in our direction. It all adds up to a high probability of geomagnetic storms in the days ahead.

We’ll see how this storm compares to some of the bigger flareups in recent memory.

 

The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on September 11, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

Post 3716

George Dvorsky

http://io9.com/the-real-story-behind-canadas-sudden-interest-in-arctic-1632972159

The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology

The Real Story Behind Canada's Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology

Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper was absolutely gushing yesterday when he announced the discovery of one of the lost ships from the doomed Franklin expedition. But this anti-science government doesn’t actually care for archaeology. Rather, it plans to use the find as a way to make a territorial claim on the Arctic — and its untapped resources.

Yesterday’s announcement was truly a historic moment for Canada. The discovery of “Canada’s Titanic” has finally solved one the country’s greatest mysteries, the ultimate fate of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to the Arctic. Back in 1865, two British ships were sent to map uncharted areas of the Arctic and to find the fabled Northwest Passage to the Pacific. But the ships, with a crew of 24 officers and 110 men, became trapped in ice. They were never heard from again.

The Real Story Behind Canada's Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology

Finally, after 150 years of speculation and searches, sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait revealed the wreckage of one of the ships on the ocean floor.

The Real Story Behind Canada's Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology

“For more than a century this has been a great Canadian story… It’s been the subject of scientists and historians and writers and singers. And so I think we have a really important day in mapping together the history of our country,” the prime minister said yesterday.

His use of the word “mapping” was very telling — because that’s precisely what this is really about.

For you see, this prime minister has been an ardent backer of this project for years. He’s thrown millions of dollars at it and even participated in some of the archaeological expeditions. But let’s not kid ourselves — it’s not because this anti-science PM has suddenly seen the light. This is the same guy who’s actively obstructing the right of the press and public to speak to government scientists, an unabashed effort to suppress information that would undermine work in the tar sands.

It’s also the same government that, in the words of a recent Globe and Mail editorial

…cancelled the $2 million annual funding for the Experimental Lakes Area in 2012, a decision that led to the Ontario facility’s temporary closure. The ELA had been a critical scientific research centre that, among other things, had helped show the world the dangers of phosphorus in effluent and the damage caused by acid rain. Its defunding was criticized by scientists around the world; the ELA and its decades of research were only saved when a non-profit group stepped in.

This is also the same Harper government that stopped funding to a foundation that supported a High Arctic atmospheric research laboratory doing critical long-term research on climate change. The defunding would have forced the station to close in 2012; only sustained public outcry resulted in new federal money.

In reality, this pet project of the prime minister is an effort to show that Canada has a historic claim to this Arctic region. It’s part of a territorial battle that’s brewing between Canada and Russia; below the melting Arctic ice lies vast stockpiles of largely untapped natural resource reserves. It looks like Russia is going to use the military to enforce its claim, while Canada — with no real navy to speak of — will have to rely on its history. And also some cartography and geology — showing once again how selective this government can be when it comes to “supporting” science.

Images: Government of Canada.

Follow me on Twitter: @dvorsky

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth’s Interior

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on September 11, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

Post 3715

Mark Strauss

http://io9.com/remarkable-17th-century-maps-of-the-earths-interior-1632988827

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth’s Interior

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth's Interior

Born in 1601, Athanasius Kircher has been hailed as the “last Renaissance Man” owing to his scholarly works in fields as diverse as biology, geology, medicine and technology. Among his most remarkable books was Mundus Subterraneus, a study of the Earth’s interior that might have inspired Jules Verne.

Kircher wrote his 1664 opus some three decades after he undertook an expedition inside Mt. Vesuvius — around the time it had experienced its first major eruption in centuries. The interior of the volcano, he wrote, was, “all up and down everywhere, cragged and broken, while its chamber was “made hollow directly and straight.” The bottom of the crater was”boiling with an everlasting gushing forth, and streamings of smoke and flames, and employed in decocting Sulphur, Bitumen and the melting and burning of other kinds of Minerals.”

As The Public Domain Review notes:

It was within this hollow mountain that Kircher really began to develop the theories he set down so many years later in Mundus Subterraneus, to envision what it might be like even deeper within the earth, and how the mountains and fires and rivers and oceans might somehow all be connected.

He sketched two diagrams, depicting how fire (image above) and water (below) were flowed within the Earth and on its surface.

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth's Interior

“The whole Earth is not solid but everywhere gaping, and hollowed with empty rooms and spaces, and hidden burrows.” he wrote, explaining that, deep below, it holds many great oceans and fires, interacting with one another through passageways that reached all the way to the planet’s core. In Kircher’s view, volcanoes, though awe-inspiring, were “nothing but the vent-holes, or breath-pipes of Nature,” while earthquakes were the “proper effects of sub-terrestrial cumbustions.”

Kircher added that “the fire and water sweetly conspire together in mutual service.” The lunar tides push “an immense bulk of water” through “hidden and occult passages at the bottom of the Ocean… into the intimate bowels of the Earth.” The oceans, which would freeze without the fires, also kept the fires in check to prevent “unlimited eruptions.” The “secret make-up of the mountains” is that they are hollow and serve as reservoirs. Hot springs and fountains, he believed, are produced where underground water passageways intersect with the fire channels.

The Public Domain Review says that Mundus Subterraneus had at least two direct influences on popular culture:

The creation of Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome was certainly informed by Kircher’s ideas about the interior structure of the earth as well as his ideas about the mystical nature of the universe (that’s another story). And the spirited, bumbling polymath-dreamer of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth, who leads a subterranean descent through an old volcanic crater, certainly seems to be based on Kircher himself.