Tuesday, October 25, 2011

COMET CORPSE: "Doomsday Comet" Elenin was briefly famous for inaccurate predictions that it might hit Earth. Instead it disintegrated as it approached the sun last month. Over the weekend, an Italian astronomer spotted the comet's remains. It appeared as an elongated cloud in photos on Oct. 22 of the star field where Elenin would have appeared if it were still intact. Another team of astronomers spotted the cloud on the same night. At first they were skeptical. "The cloud was extremely faint and diffuse. We wondered if it might be scattered moonlight or some other transient artifact." But when the team looked again on Oct. 23, the cloud was still there. A two-night blink animation shows that the cloud is moving just as the original comet would have.

**Do not feel lonely.
The disappearing world longs for you to touch it.**
Jim Moore

This morning -
5.1 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION [1017 km (632 miles) NE of REYKJAVIK, Iceland]

Yesterday -
10/24/11 -
15 Turkey aftershocks above 4.0; hundreds smaller.

Turkey quake toll rises to 279 as rubble buries hundreds. The death toll in a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey climbed to 279 as rescue workers searched for hundreds of people trapped under rubble in the country’s worst natural disaster since 1999. At least 2,262 buildings collapsed in the quake that struck a region near the Iranian border, about 1,300 kilometers (700 miles) east of Istanbul. As many as 1,000 people may have died. Aftershocks as high as magnitude 6 rattled the area as staff at damaged hospitals treated the injured and the homeless sought shelter in tents as the temperature approached freezing. “Tens of people are being constantly removed from the rubble, we don’t know what condition they are in." The central part of Ercis was destroyed and there was a shortage of tents. “We slept in our cars last night because we are scared of another earthquake."
In Van, an impoverished city of 1 million people on a lake and surrounded by mountains, television stations showed a collapsed apartment building where rescue workers were using a crane and drills to reach survivors. The prime minister’s office said 1,300 people have been hurt. At least 169 of the dead were in Ercis, on the other side of Lake Van, where 90 buildings collapsed, including a school dormitory. As many as 4,000 homes in the area may be damaged. Sections of hospital buildings weakened by the shaking were closed as a precaution. The quake struck at 1:41 p.m. local time, followed by more than 250 aftershocks. The temblor, 5 kilometers below the surface, was the province’s BIGGEST SINCE 1976 and the country’s MOST SEVERE SINCE A 1999 quake east of Istanbul killed more than 17,000. A quake measuring 6.1 killed more than 40 people in Elazig, west of Van in March last year. About 7,000 tents have been distributed throughout the province. “Many more tents, heaters and blankets, especially since the weather will get colder, are on their way here." Temperatures in the region are forecast to drop as low as minus 2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit) and it is likely to snow in two days.
“Normally quakes happen 30 to 40 kilometers deep. This is less than 10 kilometers. Therefore, there will be more damage.” The temblor struck towns and villages across the province, which lies just south of Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in Turkey at 5,137 meters (16,854 feet), where the Old Testament says Noah’s Ark came to rest.

In the Atlantic -
Category 1 Hurricane Rina was located about 340 mi (550 km) ESE of Chetumal, Mexico. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. Rina could become a major hurricane by Wednesday. Rina is the 17th named storm of the Atlantic season.

Hurricane Rina has formed in the western Caribbean, threatening to bring heavy rain and powerful winds to southern Mexico and Central America. A Nicaraguan navy vessel that was evacuating coastal residents has gone missing with 27 people on board. Rinais heading towards Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Much of Central America is already waterlogged after intense downpours that killed around 100 people. At 1800GMT Rina was a category one storm with sustained winds of 120km/h (75 mph). It was centred 310km (195 miles) southwest of Gran Cayman island and was expected to develop into a major hurricane as it moved slowly towards the mainland.
The Cayman Islands have been told to expect 5-10cm (2-4 inches) of rain. Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula - a major tourist destination - have been warned to monitor its progress.
Rina quickly gained hurricane strength after moving up the coast of Honduras and Nicaragua as a tropical depression. The Nicaraguan naval launch that went missing on Sunday had been evacuating indigenous Miskito fishermen from offshore islands threatened by the storm. Other ships and aircraft have been searching for survivors. Along with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Nicaragua was already struggling to recover from two weeks of torrential rains that have caused deadly floods and landslides.


IRELAND - Dublin on emergency footing as floods cause chaos. Dublin City Council has activated its major emergency plan as a result of widespread flooding in the city. Sustained rainfall led to major roads, houses and one of the city's main shopping centres going under water. An off-duty Irish police officer is missing in County Wicklow, close to where a river broke its banks. Public transport was severely disrupted and in one part of the city an inflatable boat has been used to rescue stranded motorists. There were three-hour delays on some major routes out of the city, and the Dublin Dart train service has been suspended. The heavy rain also hit travellers along the east coast of Ireland with the Belfast-to Dublin Enterprise service being cancelled. Two rivers which run into Dublin, the Dodder and the Camac, have overflowed. Authorities said further problems could be caused by an UNUSUALLY high tide which was expected on Monday night. The Irish weather service, Met Eireann, has issued a severe weather warning for large areas of Ulster and east Leinster.

THAILAND - Floodwaters are creeping further into the Thai capital, Bangkok, with residents of six more districts told to move to higher ground. Roads near the Don Muang domestic airport were flooded and the huge Chatuchak market in the north of the city was at risk. Two more industrial estates were also threatened and a prison of 2,000 inmates was reportedly being evacuated.
Thailand is grappling with its WORST FLOODS IN FIVE DECADES. Heavy monsoon rains since the end of July have flooded swathes of the country and left more than 350 people dead. About a third of all Thai provinces are affected by the flooding. The authorities are trying to drain water from inundated central areas to the east and west of Bangkok and out to sea. But they have been forced to open sluice gates into the city because of the sheer volume of water building up outside Bangkok's flood barriers. Water is now creeping into northern parts of the city, but central areas remain unaffected.
In some districts there are reports that residents have tried to remove barriers to allow water to flow onwards from their flooded homes. But Bangkok's Governor said the city needed to be protected because it was Thailand's economic heart. "It doesn't mean that I don't care about people outside Bangkok. I need to protect Bangkok, as the safety of Bangkok means the safety of the whole country." Analysts have warned that growth could be affected by up to 2% if the flooding hits Bangkok. Inconsistent messages and apparent tension between the central government and the local Bangkok administration are eroding public confidence. Many schools have postponed the start of the new term, and supplies of canned food and bottled water are running low as panic buying takes hold. North of Bangkok, flooding remains severe in the provinces of Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya. At least six crocodiles were killed or captured there over the weekend, amid reports up to 100 may have escaped from farms and wildlife centres. (map)


AURORAS IN THE USA - Northern Lights have spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous USA. Observers report auroras as far south as Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio and central California. The display was caused by the CME impact described below.

CME IMPACT: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (02:00 pm EDT). The impact caused a strong compression of Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to penetrate all the way down to geosynchronous orbit for a brief period between 19:06 UT and 19:11 UT. Earth-orbiting spacecraft could have been directly exposed to solar wind plasma during that time. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as Earth's magnetic field continues to reverberate from the CME impact. The best time to look is usually during the hours around local midnight.


FDA advises providers to stop offering needle-free flu vaccines - The US Food and Drug Administration recently advised health providers not to use needle-free injector devices to administer influenza vaccines, because so far no flu vaccines have been approved for administration using such devices. The FDA said it has recently received questions about the use of the jet injector devices to administer flu vaccines. So far only one vaccine - measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) - has been approved for administration by jet injector.
It's unclear how many pharmacies and health departments are offering needle-free flu vaccines.
Aside from the MMR vaccine, the FDA said it has no data to support the safety and effectiveness of other vaccines delivered by jet injector. It said FDA approval of vaccines is based on a host of factors, including method and route of administration. "Changes in the dose, route, and/or method of administration have the potential to impact immunogenicity, and the safety and/or efficacy of a vaccine."Jet injectors, as a different delivery method, have the potential to change the characteristics of an approved vaccine, and vaccine preparations administered with them must be individually evaluated for safety and effectiveness and submitted to the FDA for review and approval.
The CDC isn't aware of any safety issues related to use of the jet injectors for flu vaccines and its experts are looking into whether people who have received needle-free flu vaccines need to be revaccinated. "We hope to answer that question imminently." PharmaJet, based in Golden, Colo., said in an Oct 21 statement that it received no notice from the FDA about any jet injector concerns. "To our knowledge, no other needle-free injection manufacturer received notice or an opportunity to discuss this matter with the FDA." Earlier the same day PharmaJet announced that it had received FDA marketing clearance for two of its devices. According to the company, indications for both devices say healthcare providers who routinely administer injections can use the systems for both adults and children. It said it had contacted the FDA and planned to continue discussions.
Bioject's president and chief executive officer said that the FDA's statement was surprising, given that two of its jet-injection devices have been cleared for indications that include delivery of subcutaneous or intramuscular injections of vaccines and other injectable drugs. "We are looking into the matter to better understand the situation and the FDA's concerns. A number of Bioject's needle-free injection devices have been on the market for many years, and we are committed to resolving this matter with the FDA in a timely manner."
Earlier this month, researchers published the first human trial of seasonal flu vaccine administered by a newly approved needle-free jet injector system developed by D'Antonio Consultants International, with support from the CDC. The study found that immunization was safe, with an immune response that resembled the conventional needle-and-syringe method.