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 ‘solar system’

World’s Largest Volcano?

Posted by feww on September 8, 2013

Massive Volcano Discovered in NW Pacific Ocean

Researchers have discovered an immense shield volcano on the seabed, northwest Pacific Ocean.

Tamu Massif is said to be the oldest and largest edifice of the Shatsky Rise oceanic plateau in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

A single, immense volcano, Tamu Massif is constructed from massive lava flows that erupted from the center of volcano to form a broad, shield-like dome some 145 million years ago.

Researchers writing in the journal Nature Geoscience suggest the 310,000 km² (119,000 mi²) Tamu Massif could be the largest single volcano on Earth, comparable in size only to the Olympus Mons on Mars, believed to be the largest volcano in the Solar System.

Tamu Massif
The Tamu Massif Volcano ~ 32.5ºN, 158.4ºE

Rising 3.5km above the seabed, Massif lies about 2km below the sea, and is rooted more than 30 km into the earth’s crust on the Shatsky Rise, some 1,600 km east of Japan.

“We don’t have the data to see inside them and know their structure, but it would not surprise me to find out that there are more like Tamu out there,” said Dr Sager, one of the researchers at the University of Houston.

“Indeed, the biggest oceanic plateau is Ontong Java plateau, near the equator in the Pacific, east of the Solomons Islands. It is much bigger than Tamu—it’s the size of France.” [Tamu is nearly the size of Norway. Editor]

Key point

“One interesting angle is that there were lots of oceanic plateaus (that) erupted during the Cretaceous Period (145-65 million years ago) but we don’t see them since. Scientists would like to know why.” Sager said.

Posted in Significant Event Imagery, significant events, significant geophysical disturbances, volcanism, volcano, volcano images, Volcano News, Volcano Watch, volcanoes, Volcanology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Third Asteroid in One Week

Posted by feww on March 9, 2013

Asteroid 2013 ET a Million Km from Earth

NEO (Near-Earth object) “2013 ET,” an asteroid said to be the size of a city block, was discovered  by Catalina Sky Survey less than a week ago [March 3, 2013.] It will make its closest approach to Earth at about 2.5 Lunar Distances, later today [Saturday, March 9, UTC.] 

The asteroid is about 164m long and 64m wide with an estimated mass of  250,000 tons.

2013ET -sloohspace-cam
Freeze frame from a video clip of NEO 2013 ET taken by Slooh Space Camera (Canary Islands) on March 7, 2013.  Credit: Paul Cox

NEO 2013 ET is the second asteroid in one day, and the third this week, to come “close” to earth. The first, a smaller asteroid measuring 4-10m long, dubbed “2013 EC20,” came within 170,000 km of Earth at 09:57UTC  today.

On Monday, “2013 EC,” a 10m-long asteroid, passed Earth at a distance of about 370,000km.

The Moon at its perigee (closest distance) is 356,400 km from Earth, and 406,700 km at its apogee (farthest distance).

Most asteroids come from the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The Trojan asteroids lie in Jupiter’s orbit.

The online Slooh Space Telescope will provide a live webcast of 2013 ET from their Canary Island based observatory at 20:15UTC.

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Posted in Significant Event Imagery, significant events, significant geophysical disturbances | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Earth’s Water Delivered by Asteroids?

Posted by feww on April 29, 2010

Asteroid the Water Bearer

This is the sort of stuff that myths are made from. But it’s perfectly feasible. In fact it’s more probable than not.

IF true, it renders the water on Earth even more precious, so our thanks to everyone who is looking after our oceans, keeping then in such pristine condition! Fire-Earth

The following is a public information bulletin released by University of Central Florida

Asteroid ice may be ‘living fossil’ with clues to oceans’ origins

An asteroid may have hit Earth and brought our planet its water

Artist’s conception of asteroid 24 Themis and two small fragments of this dynamic family, which resulted from a large impact more than one billion years ago. One of the small fragments is inert (as most asteroids are), and the other has a comet-like tail, produced by the sublimation of water ice from its surface. Credit: Gabriel Pérez/Servicio MultiMedia, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain. Click image to enlarge.

The first-ever discovery of ice and organic molecules on an asteroid may hold clues to the origins of Earth’s oceans and life 4 billion years ago.

University of Central Florida researchers detected a thin layer of water ice and organic molecules on the surface of 24 Themis, the largest in a family of asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.

Their unexpected findings will be published Thursday, April 29 in Nature, which will feature two complementary articles by the UCF-led team and by another team of planetary scientists.

“What we’ve found suggests that an asteroid like this one may have hit Earth and brought our planet its water,” said UCF Physics Professor Humberto Campins, the study’s lead author.

Some theories suggest asteroids brought water to Earth after the planet formed dry. Scientists say the salts and water that have been found in some meteorites support this view.

Using NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, Campins and his team of researchers measured the intensity of the reflected sunlight as 24 Themis rotated. Differences in intensity at different wavelengths helped researchers determine the makeup of the asteroid’s surface.

Researchers were surprised to find ice and carbon-based compounds evenly distributed on 24 Themis. More specifically, the discovery of ice is unexpected because surface ice should be short lived on asteroids, which are expected to be too warm for ice to survive for long.

The distance between this asteroid and the sun is about three times greater than between Earth and the sun.

Researchers will continue testing various hypotheses to explain the presence of ice. Perhaps most promising is the possibility that 24 Themis might have preserved the ice in its subsoil, just below the surface, as a kind of “living fossil” or remnant of an early solar system that was generally considered to have disappeared long ago.

Contact: Chad Binette
University of Central Florida

‘Scientists Say Ice Lurks In Asteroid’s Cold Heart’

In this artist’s concept, a narrow asteroid belt filled with rocks and dusty debris orbits a star similar to our own sun. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists say they have detected water-ice and carbon-based organic compounds on the surface of an asteroid.

“For a long time the thinking was that you couldn’t find a cup’s worth of water in the entire asteroid belt,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Today we know you not only could quench your thirst, but you just might be able to fill up every pool on Earth – and then some.”

“The study’s findings are particularly surprising because it was believed that Themis, orbiting the sun at “only” 479 million kilometers (297 million miles), was too close to the solar system’s fiery heat source to carry water ice left over from the solar system’s origin 4.6 billion years ago.” JPL said. More …

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Serial No 1,638. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in ocean, ocean pollution, planetary water, University of Central Florida, water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jupiter Bombarded

Posted by feww on July 22, 2009

Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, was bombarded by a Small Solar System Body (SSSB)

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.]

The event is the first of its kind in 15 years, planetary scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

Jupiter scar
Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, took a massive pounding from an asteroid or comet which left a scar the size of Pacific Ocean [and growing.]

Original caption: This image shows a large impact shown on the bottom left on Jupiter’s south polar region captured on July 20, 2009, by NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Infrared Telescope Facility

About 15 years ago, a fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy comet, made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, plunged into the large gaseous  planet.The astronomical object that struck the planet went unobserved. However, the impact “was most likely the result of a single asteroid, not a chain of fragments” striking Jupiter, as was the case with Shoemaker-Levy, Franck Marchis, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer, was reported as saying.

Jupiter Portrait – This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on December 29, 2000, during its closest approach to the giant planet at a distance of approximately 10 million kilometers (6.2 million miles).  It is the most detailed global color portrait of Jupiter ever produced; the smallest visible features are approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) across. The mosaic is composed of 27 images: nine images were required to cover the entire planet in a tic-tac-toe pattern, and each of those locations was imaged in red, green, and blue to provide true color. Although Cassini’s camera can see more colors than humans can, Jupiter’s colors in this new view look very close to the way the human eye would see them. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Planets and dwarf planets of the Solar System. Sizes are to scale, but relative distances from the Sun are not. Source NASA via Wikipedia.

Visible Planet Orbits. This diagram shows the relative size of the orbits of the seven planets visible to the naked eye. All the orbits are nearly circular (but slightly elliptical) and nearly in the same plane as Earth’s orbit (called the ecliptic).  The diagram is from a view out of the ecliptic plane and away from the perpendicular axis that goes through the Sun.  Image Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute via NASA Solar System Exploration.

The inner planets [aka, terrestrial planets, telluric planets, rocky planets,] Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, their sizes to scale.

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Posted in astronomy, color mosaic of Jupiter, Solar System Exploration, telluric planets, terrestrial planets | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Few Extreme Events Away

Posted by feww on June 22, 2008

Our world is a few extreme events away from total catastrophe


Widespread flooding caused by extreme monsoon rains has claimed about 100 lives in east and northeast India and left up to a million people homeless. As many as five million people are affected.


As Typhoon Fengshen with gusts of of about 200kph lashed across the Philippines, flash floods and landslides killed about 155 people in south of the country. Dozens of people drowned, some of them buried alive after a landslide at a municipal garbage dump.

Meanwhile a 24,000-ton passenger and cargo ferry capsized off central Sibuyan island, with 626 passengers and 121 crew. Only 4 bodies have so far been found.


Large landslides caused by torrential rains have killed up to 10 people and injured others scavenging at a garbage dump near the Guatemalan capital.


An “unprecedented” lightening storm sparked about 840 fires in Northern Calif destroying dozens of homes and forcing thousands of residents to flee the area. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the Calif National Guard to assist the firefighters.


Meanwhile, as climate change melts the arctic ice mush faster than most scientist had anticipated, NASA reported that the Phoenix Lander has discovered ice on the surface of Mars, near its arctic circle [where else !] The discovery of ice/water on Mars is a key step in establishing whether life has ever existed on the red planet.

It really makes a whole lot of sense worrying about life on Mars as life becomes extinct on Earth! Right?

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »