Earth Science: August 2011 Archives

Photo: Algal Bloom In The Barents Sea As Seen From Space

"The phytoplankton bloom pictured in this Envisat image stretches across the Barents Sea off the coast of mainland Europe's most northern point, Cape Nordkinn. The southern area of this deep shelf sea - with an average depth of 230 m - remains mostly ice-free due to the warm North Atlantic Drift. This contributes to its high biological production compared to other oceans of similar latitude."

NASA's Hansen Arrested Outside White House at Pipeline Protest, Bloomberg

"James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested outside the White House as he joined protesters in urging President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s $7 billion pipeline. Before he was taken into custody today, Hansen took a megaphone and implored Obama to act "for the sake of your children and grandchildren." "If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the president was just green-washing all along," Hansen, 70, who took a vacation day from his job at the New York based institute to participate in the protest, said in an e-mailed statement."

Keith's note: James Hansen certainly must have a lot of vacation time to burn on these public stunts. I am certain OSTP loves having a NASA employee shouting back at them across the White House lawn over policy. Oh well, at least Hansen speaks his mind - but the way he does these things using his NASA affiliation tends to leave the impression that he says is what everyone at NASA thinks - and that is not accurate. Obviously he does not care.

Oh yes, as I have stated before, while I think Hansen is inappropriately allowing his NASA affiliation to be factored into the public perception of his personal views, I usually agree with Hansen's personal views (but not in this one particular instance).

Photo: Hurricane Irene Seen in a Planetary Context From Orbit

"NASA / NOAA GOES-13 satellite image showing earth on August 26, 2011 at 14:45 UTC (10:45 a.m. EDT). Hurricane Irene can been seen on the U.S. East Coast. Irene Almost 1/3 the Size of East Coast. Irene has become a major hurricane, and NASA satellite data shows its diameter is now about 510 miles -- roughly 1/3 the length of the U.S. Atlantic coastline. Hurricane watches are in effect for much of the East Coast."

Photos from Today's Space Station Flyover Of Hurricane Irene

This afternoon, starting at approximately 3:45 pm EDT, the International Space Station flew over Hurricane Irene. The flyover lasted approximately 6 minutes. At one point a member of the crew reacted to the sheer size of this storm by saying "We are used to travelling long distances - but this storm stretches from Cuba to Carolinas -- this is a huge scary storm". The flyover was shown live on NASA TV. Below are screen grabs made during the flyover taken from different cameras aboard the ISS.

Irene As Seen From Orbit

Photo: Hurricane Irene As Seen From The International Space Station

"This panoramic view of recently-formed Hurricane Irene was acquired by the crew of the International Space Station early Monday afternoon from a point over the coastal waters of Venezuela. At the time Irene was packing winds of 80mph and was just north of the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Although no eye was visible at this time, the storm was strengthening and exhibited the size and structure of a classic "Cape Verde" hurricane as it tracked west-northwestward towards the southern Bahamas."

Today's Cool Space Pix

Photo: One Last Visit To The Cupola

"Backlit by Earth's "day time" light, NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus, STS-135 mission specialist, gets one last visit to the Cupola onboard the International Space Station. on July 18, 2011."

NOAA SEC Space Weather Bulletin #11- 1: Geomagnetic Storm Expected

"NOAA Region 1261, very active over the past few days, produced the third of a sequence of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and Solar Radio Blackout Events early today. The net effect of that activity is convergent CMEs expected to disturb the geomagnetic field in the early hours, Universal Time (UTC) of August 5. G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm conditions are likely as well as a distinct chance of S2 (Moderate) Solar Radiation Storm levels being surpassed. NOAA 1261 is still in a prime position, relative to Earth, for more geoeffective activity in the next few days."

Space Weather Message Code: WARK07 WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 7 or greater (G3 or greater)

"WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 7 or greater expected
Valid From: 2011 Aug 05 2200 UTC
Valid To: 2011 Aug 06 0300 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G3 or greater - Strong to Extreme"

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity 5 August 2011

"IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to reach minor to major storm levels with a chance for severe storm periods on 06 August. Heightened activity is expected due to continued effects from the CMEs of 02, 03, and 04 August. Activity is expected to decrease to unsettled to active levels on 07 August. Quiet to unsettled conditions are expected on 08 August."

Marc's Note: Follow SpaceRef's SpaceWeather Twitter account for updates (http://twitter.com/SpaceWeather).


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