Friday, October 7, 2011

More earthquakes hit this year - The frequency of earthquakes in South Korea rose sharply this year, following the global trend in the number of tremors. The Korean Peninsula experienced 45 quakes - 17 times on land and 28 times in nearby seas ― from January to September. The figure is up from last year’s 30 and the second highest to 47 quakes in 2009, the record high since the KMA started measurement. The annual average so far is 32.6 times. Eight of them were greater than 3.0 in magnitude and six were detectable by humans. The strongest was a 4.1 magnitude-quake in the sea 16 kilometers off Baegnyeong islands in June. In the case of land quakes, the majority took place in North Korean territories followed by Daegu, then Daejeon. For quakes in the sea, the West Sea was the most affected, followed by East and South Seas. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the number of quakes greater than 5.0 in magnitude around the world from January to September was 2,082, about 1.74 times more than the annual average between 1978 and 2010. Of them, 17 were measured at greater than 7.0 in magnitude. Experts believe that the latest earthquake which devastated Japan and its aftershocks also had a strong impact on Korea. The Japanese disaster and more frequent earthquakes have pushed the Korean Peninsula a little less than an inch (2.3 centimeters) east. Also, the easternmost Korean islets of Dokdo in the East Sea moved 5.4 centimeters east.
Earthquakes have also made the Korean government revise geographical control points nationwide. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said it will spend 65.8 billion won over the next five years on revising the points. Control points are essential in imaging georeferencing, which establishes location in terms of map projections or coordinate systems. Examples include establishing the correct positions of an aerial photograph within a map or finding the geographical coordinates of a place name or street address. A minor change could cause enormous differences in the outcome of measurements, construction and many other geographical operations.

**We convince by our presence.**
Walt Whitman

This morning -
CANARY ISLANDS - 7 so far, largest 3.6

Yesterday -
10/6/11 -
CANARY ISLANDS - 18 total, largest 3.3

In the Atlantic -
-Hurricane Philippe was located about 535 mi (865 km) ESE of Bermuda.

In the Pacific -
-Tropical storm Jova was located about 520 mi. (835 km) SW of Manzanillo, Mexico. Jova could become a hurricane by Saturday.

-Hurricane Irwin was located about 910 mi. (1460 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja California.

PHILIPPINES - Potential cyclone nears Samar, may cause floods, landslides. A low-pressure area earlier expected to intensify into a cyclone moved closer to Samar in Eastern Visayas before noon Friday, with state weather forecasters warning it may cause possible flash floods and landslides.


CANADA - October sizzles in Manitoba. Southern Manitobans were possibly in for another RECORD-BREAKING day on the weather front. The record temperature for Oct. 6 is 29.4 C, set in 1961. The forecast called for a high of 28 C. On Wednesday, Winnipeg’s mercury soared to 31.1 C, SMASHING THE OLD RECORD of 28.3 C that was set in 1943. "That's also THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN WINNIPEG FOR ANY DAY IN OCTOBER." Even so, the city wasn’t the hot spot in the province. That went to Portage la Prairie, which hit 32.8 C. The normal daytime high for this time of year is 13 C with a low of 2 C. On Thursday, while most of the city's residents slept, the temperature was still 20 C at 4 a.m. The lowest it dipped to was 17 C.


Crab Pulsar's high-energy beam surprises astronomers - The Crab Nebula has continued to surprise astronomers with a range of unexpected properties. Astronomers have spotted gamma ray emissions coming from the Crab Pulsar at far higher energies than expected. This challenges notions of how these powerful electromagnetic rays - like light, but far more energetic - are formed. They found emissions at more than 100 gigaelectronvolts - 100 billion times more energetic than visible light.
The Crab Nebula that hosts the pulsar continues to amaze astronomers, despite being one of the most studied objects. The remnant of a supernova that lit up the skies on Earth in 1054, it has been taken in modern times to be a constant source of light - so constant that telescopes were trained on it for calibrations. But earlier this year, the Crab was spotted emitting gamma-ray flares that have confounded astronomers. Within the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar - a tiny, rapidly spinning neutron star that sprays highly energetic electromagnetic rays out at its poles like a lighthouse beam, sweeping past the Earth 30 times a second. The pulsar's enormous magnetic field is known to gather up particles and accelerate them - in a process much like particle accelerators here on Earth. As those particles move in curved paths, they emit the gamma rays that we can measure.
The new find complicates the story further, because that more steady beat of pulsar emissions seems to contain higher energies than was ever expected. Current models of this process put an upper limit on just how energetic the photons will be. But results from the Fermi space telescope suggested the Crab Pulsar might hold a surprise. Fermi only measures gamma rays up to an energy of 20 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), but there were hints in the data that the pulsar might have more energetic particles that were not being caught. "If you were more optimistic, and asked yourself 'is it also possible that with these data there should be more emission above 100 GeV', the answer was a clear yes... even though the models didn't expect that."
The US-based Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (Veritas) can measure far higher energies, and they spotted gamma rays with energies of far more than 100 GeV, and there were further hints that there may be teraelectronvolt rays; that puts them nearly on a par with particle energies at the Large Hadron Collider. "These are much, much higher energies than had been previously thought can come from a pulsar." There is something missing in our models of the "cosmic particle accelerators" that give rise to the gamma rays; they must arise from much further out in the magnetic fields of the pulsars. "It's a very radical change to the picture of how we believe gamma-ray emission comes from pulsars."