Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘JUPITER’

Cyclones TOMAS and ULUI – UPDATE Mar 15

Posted by feww on March 15, 2010

TOMAS a Cat 3B hurricane, still intensifying; ULUI weakened to a Cat 3C

In the last 24 hours, Cyclone TOMAS has grown into a Cat 3B Hurricane force on the FEWW New Hurricane Scale and is still intensifying.  ULUI has weakened from a super cyclone force to a Cat 3C hurricane in the same period.

A very low probability of increased interaction exists between the two  systems. If the odds were to improve, whereby pinwheeling occurred between the two cyclones, TOMAS could change track, moving westward, then wobbling close to, around, or over the Fiji islands for a much longer period than anticipated.

Cyclone TOMAS. Latest GOES Image as of posting. (GOES Sat. NOAA). Click image to enlarge.

(L to R) Cyclones ULUI and TOMAS. MTSAT Colorized IR Image (NOAA).  Click image to enlarge.

Tropical Cyclone Tomas (TC 19P) – Summary of Details on March 15 at 00:01UTC

  • Position:  15.6S 179.4W
  • Max Sustained Winds :  ~ 195km/hr (105 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: ~ 240km/hr ( 130 kts)
  • Movement: Southwestward
  • Forward Speed:  5km/hr (~ 03 kts)
  • Location: 500km  (270 NM) NORTHEAST of NADI, FIJI
  • Comment: TOMAS is a Category 3B hurricane on the  FEWW New Hurricane Scale. The cyclone has good radial outflow and is experiencing low vertical wind shear. It is  expected to continue intensifying over the next 36 – 48 hours until it experiences lower ocean heat content and higher vertical wind shear.
  • Maximum significant wave height: 9m (27 feet)
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon, CIMSS and others.
  • Comment: TOMAS is expected to transition to an extratropical system in 96 to 120 hours.

Cyclone TOMAS: Latest forecast track. Source: JTWC. [Nature’s acute geometry, or wishful thinking?]

Cyclone ULUI  (TC 20P) Details on March 15 at 00:01UTC

  • Position: 12.9S 159.2E
  • Max Sustained Winds:  205 km/hr (~ 110 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: 270km/hr (~ 145 kts)
  • Movement:  West
  • Forward Speed:  ~ 12 km/hr ( 7 kts)
  • Location: About 695km (375 NM) WNW of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
  • Maximum significant wave height: 10m (30 feet)
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon and others.
  • Comment: ULUI is expected to start dissipating over water after about 96 to 120 hours.

Cyclone ULUI: Latest projected path. 
Source: JTWC.

MTSAT (NOAA) images from NOAA– Click images to enlarge and animate.

MTSAT – IR Image

MTSAT – Colorized IR Image

MTSAT – Visible Image

Related Links:

Posted in Cyclone TOMAS, Cyclone ULUI, hurricane, storm, tropical cyclone | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Cyclones ULUI and TOMAS – UPDATE Mar 14

Posted by feww on March 14, 2010

Super Cyclone ULUI a Cat 5 Storm; Tomas, at Cat 1 force,  Intensifying

With Cyclone Tomas (TC 19P) still 620km away, Fijians on Vanua Levu island probably know by now what to expect because of strong winds and heavy rains that are already arriving , leaving a foretaste of  what is about to come their way.

Tropical Cyclone Tomas (TC 19P) – Summary of Details on March 14 at 00:01UTC

  • Position:  13.3S 179.5W
  • Max Sustained Winds :  ~ 145km/hr (78 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: ~ 175km/hr ( 94 kts)
  • Movement: Southwestward
  • Forward Speed:  10km/hr (~ 06 kts)
  • Location: 620km  (335 NM) NORTHEAST of NADI, FIJI
  • Comment: Tomas is at a Category 1 strength on the  FEWW New Hurricane Scale and is  expected to continue intensifying over the next 48 to 72 hours until ocean heat content decreases and vertical wind shear increases.
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon, CIMSS and others.

Roll down for images.

Super Cyclone ULUI, Cat 5 Hurricane Strength, Flexing Muscles on Open Water

If the super cyclone continues on its actual path (NOT forecast path), it could destroy most structures on the Island of Rennell, aka Mungava (Pop 3,000).

Super Cyclone ULUI  (TC 20P) Details on March 14 at 00:01UTC

  • Position: 12.7S 161.6E
  • Max Sustained Winds:  260 km/hr (~ 140 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: 325km/hr (~ 175 kts)
  • Movement:  Northwest
  • Forward Speed:  ~13 km/hr ( 7 kts)
  • Location: About 425km (230 NM) WNW of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon and others.

Super Cyclone ULUI. IR/WV Difference. Source: CIMSS. Click Images to enlarge.

Roll down for more images.

Related Links:


The following MTSAT (NOAA) images were added at 08:00UTC – Click images to enlarge.

MTSAT – IR Image

MTSAT – Colorized IR Image

MTSAT – Visible Image

On Mar 14 at 08:00UTC

  • Super Cyclone ULUI sustained wind speeds was recorded at 265km/hr
  • -Cyclone Tomas intensified to a category 2A hurricane force (see below) with sustained winds of about 160km/hr

Posted in Cyclone TOMAS, Cyclone ULUI, hurricane force, storm, tropical cyclone | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »


Posted by feww on March 13, 2010

Don’t Name Your Kids after Cyclones!

What if in your life time climate change spawned ‘never-ending’ cyclones … storms that waxed and waned as they crisscrossed the planet, but never dissipated … cyclones that  spawned other cyclones on the warm ocean waters, each time they passed near the point of their inception, a place near you …

It’s not theoretically inconceivable … you may yet drive the planet to the edge …

Where is Tomas Holidaying?

On its projected path, Tomas could cause unimaginable damage to the Main Fiji Islands. IF the cyclone were to dump its full load of precipitation on Fiji, it would submerge the two main isles under 6 feet of water.

(L to R) TC ULUI (TC 20P)
and TC TOMAS  (TC 19P). Source: MTSAT Easter Sector  (NOAA). Click Images to enlarge.

Other Images and Animations

Cyclone TOMAS Current Projected Path Takes it Right through Fiji Islands. Source: JTWC

AIRS image on March 11 at 20:10 UTC  (3:10 p.m. ET) showed a developing storm with a large cluster of high,  cold (purple), strong thunderstorms around Tomas’ center. Source: NASA/JPL

Tropical Cyclone Tomas (TC 19P) – Summary of Details on March 13 at 00:01UTC

  • Position:  11.7S 178.1W
  • Max Sustained Winds:  ~ 120km/hr (65 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: ~ 150km/hr ( 80 kts)
  • Movement: 230 degrees
  • Forward Speed:  ~ 10km/hr (06 kts)
  • Location: 890km  (440 NM) NORTHEAST of NADI, FIJI
  • Comment: High ocean heat content and strong outflow will help Tomas to intensify steadily. Tomas could reach Category 4A, possibly as high as Cat 4c,  strength on the  FEWW New Hurricane Scale.
    Tomas has “tightly-wrapped convective banding around a well-defined low-level circulation center. Upper level analysis indicates TC 19P is just to the south of an anticyclone that is enhancing excellent equatorward outflow,” JTWC said.
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon, CIMSS and others.

Cyclone ULUI: The Loitering Devil on the Deep Blue Sea

TC ULUI. Source MTSAT (NOAA). Click Images to enlarge.

Forecast Details on March 13 at 06:00UTC

  • Position: 13.9S 163.3E
  • Max Sustaind Winds: ~ 110 km/hr (~ 60 kts)
  • Wind Gusts: 140km/hr (~ 75 kts)
  • Movement: 290 degrees
  • Forward Speed:  ~5km/hr (~ 3 kts)
  • Location: About 195km (105 NM) WNW of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
  • Sources: JTWC, Digital Typhoon and others.

Infrared Image of Ului’s Cold T-storms

An AIRS image on March 12 at 9:17 a.m. ET showed a well-developed storm with a large cluster of high, cold (purple), strong thunderstorms around the center of Tropical Storm Ului. Source: NASA

Related Links:

Posted in Cyclone TOMAS, Cyclone ULUI, storm, tropical cyclone | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Jupiter’s ‘Protective Role’ Revisited

Posted by feww on September 15, 2009

How Jupiter may be defending Earth against catastrophic collisions

In Jupiter Bombarded

FEWW said:

Jupiter, the “biggest guy at the door,” as if functioning as a major part of the solar system’s “defense labyrinth,” protecting the inner planets, took a massive pounding from an  asteroid or comet, which left a dark bruise the size of Pacific Ocean [and growing.]

jupiter full profile
Jupiter: Image taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 2006. credit ESA/NASA/Hubble Team

It’s now transpired that Jupiter captured Comet 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu as a “temporary moon” locking the comet in an irregular orbit for about 12 years (between 1949 and 1961).

Jupiter red spot
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — This Voyager 1 picture of the great red spot shows a white oval with its “wake” of counter-rotating vortices. North is at the top and the distance from top to bottom is about 24,000 km. This enhanced color view emphasizes red and blue at the expense of green. Note the puffy features inside the GRS, and the “reverse-S” spirals inside both the GRS and the oval. The large white feature extending over the northern part of the GRS was observed to revolve about the GRS center with a period of 6 days.
[Voyager 1-98 – P-21431C – June 6, 1979] Image and Caption: NASA

The following is a Press Release issued by the EUROPEAN PLANETARY SCIENCE CONGRESS 2009


Comet 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu was captured as a temporary moon of Jupiter in the mid-20th century and remained trapped in an irregular orbit for about twelve years.

There are only a handful of known comets where this phenomenon of temporary satellite capture has occurred and the capture duration in the case of Kushida-Muramatsu, which orbited Jupiter between 1949 and 1961, is the third longest. The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr David Asher on Monday 14 September.

“Family portrait” of the four largest moons of Jupiter

moons of Jupiter -
Ganymede: Natural color view of Ganymede from the Galileo spacecraft during its first encounter with the satellite. The images which combine for this color image were taken beginning at Universal Time 8:46:04 UT on June 26, 1996. [The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.]

: This image shows the approximate natural color appearance of trailing hemisphere of Jupiter’s ice-covered satellite, Europa. Europa is about 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) in diameter, or about the size of Earth’s moon. This image was taken on September 7, 1996, at a range of 677,000 kilometers (417,900 miles) by the solid state imaging television camera onboard the Galileo spacecraft during its second orbit around Jupiter. The image was processed by Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., Berlin, Germany.

IO: A full-disk color view of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io as seen by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft camera is shown in enhanced color to highlight details of the surface, taken by Galileo in late June 1996.

Callisto: This picture of Callisto was taken by Voyager 2 from a distance of 2,318,000 kilometers (1,438,000 miles). Callisto is covered with bright spots which are meteorite impact craters.  Images and caption: NASA.  [Edited by FEWW]

An international team led by Dr Katsuhito Ohtsuka modelled the trajectories of 18 “quasi-Hilda comets”, objects with the potential to go through a temporary satellite capture by Jupiter that results in them either leaving or joining the “Hilda” group of objects in the asteroid belt. Most of the cases of temporary capture were flybys, where the comets did not complete a full orbit. However, Dr Ohtsuka’s team used recent observations tracking Kushida-Muramatsu over nine years to calculate hundreds of possible orbital paths for the comet over the previous century. In all scenarios, Kushida-Muramatsu completed two full revolutions of Jupiter, making it only the fifth captured orbiter to be identified.

Dr Asher said, “Our results demonstrate some of the routes taken by cometary bodies through interplanetary space that can allow them either to enter or to escape situations where they are in orbit around the planet Jupiter.”

Asteroids and comets can sometimes be distorted or fragmented by tidal effects induced by the gravitational field of a capturing planet, or may even impact with the planet. The most famous victim of both these effects was comet D/1993 F2 (Shoemaker-Levy 9), which was torn apart on passing close to Jupiter and whose fragments then collided with that planet in 1994. Previous computational studies have shown that Shoemaker-Levy 9 may well have been a quasi-Hilda comet before its capture by Jupiter.

“Fortunately for us Jupiter, as the most massive planet with the greatest gravity, sucks objects towards it more readily than other planets and we expect to observe large impacts there more often than on Earth. Comet Kushida-Muramatsu has escaped from the giant planet and will avoid the fate of Shoemaker-Levy 9 for the foreseeable future”, said Dr Asher.

The object that impacted with Jupiter this July, causing the new dark spot discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley, may also have been a member of this class, even if it did not suffer tidal disruption like Shoemaker-Levy.

“Our work has become very topical again with the discovery this July of an expanding debris plume, created by the dust from the colliding object, which is the evident signature of an impact. The results of our study suggest that impacts on Jupiter and temporary satellite capture events may happen more frequently than we previously expected,” said Dr Asher.

NOT so fast! Comet Kushida-Muramatsu’s orbital path around Jupiter (credit: Ohtsuka/Asher)

The team has also confirmed a future moon of Jupiter. Comet 111P/Helin-Roman-Crockett, which has already orbited Jupiter three times between 1967 and 1985, is due to complete six laps of the giant planet between 2068 and 2086.  END.

The ‘Interceptory role’ of Mars may be even more amazing!

Related Links:

Posted in Comet 111P, Helin-Roman-Crockett, planetary tidal effects, Shoemaker-Levy 9, temporary satellite capture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »