Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy checks into Ocean Grove, NJ.

@divadoll twits this picture on Tweeter https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/269472_10151152463356262_2018201505_n.jpg  with this message:
Sandy checks into Ocean Grove, NJ. You have to see this photo! <


I hope she does not mind that I blog it here. It is a timely picture. Pray for the people who have to face this.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surf wave at Cornwall's Newquay headland

Now here's a nice but rather uncommon surf wave picture from this This is Cornwall article:


It is certainly not the kind of surf picture we usually see from Hawaii.  And here's what they have to say:
THIS IS the moment when ten-foot-high monster waves rolled into a Newquay headland – and the resort's surfers couldn't resist them.
The Cribbar – a reef off Towan Head – lived up to its reputation as one of the best big waves spots in Europe on Sunday.
Crowds flocked to the clifftops and watched while adrenalin junkies took to the water to show off their skills.
Freelance photographer Michael Teagle snapped these images after noticing the waves starting to break earlier that morning.
The 19-year-old said the bright weather helped make the images clearer.
"I went to the beach with Josh Piper.
"We saw it starting to break in the morning and decided we would go down and try to get some images and were very surprised when we got there to find a crowd had already gathered.
"It was the first time I had shot this wave and all the photos I have seen of it before were on dull, stormy days so I was surprised at how clear the day was and how nicely lit many of the images turned out to be."
I think that is just about sums it up all about this picture.  Somehow I kept having a feeling that something is missing from the picture. It finally down on me that what's missing here is the beach area.  Without seeing the beach makes this picture looks like a deep ocean wave.  A great soliton type nevertheless.  The article calls it a 10-foot monster wave.  I would not be surprised that this wave is more than 10 ft high, just look at the surfers at the crest!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hawaii Kauai Spouting Horn

I find this picture from ESPD(Earth Science Picture of the Day) today intriguing.  I never heard of "Spouting Horn" before, pardon my ignorance.  I have heard of blowhole from a geology colleague, but never did figured what it is really.  Any way the photographer put a very nice, concise, and informative introduction:


The photo above features a natural blowhole known as the Spouting Horn. It's found on the south end of Kauai, Hawaii, west of the town of Po’ipu. The crashing of large ocean swells upon a flat ledge of black coral positioned slightly above the level of the sea causes water to rush in through a lava tube. The water is then jettisoned out by a small opening at the top of the tube. The result is a fountain on occasion reaching 50 ft (15 m) in height. If there's a quick succession of waves the blowhole generates a loud “breathing and hissing” sound. Hawaiian folklore attributes this sound to a giant mo’o or lizard. Photo taken on January 30, 2006.
O.K. it is resulting from the "crashing of large ocean swells upon a flat ledge of blackcoral positioned slightly above the level of the sea causes water to rush in through a lava tube . . ." Well it does looked to me may be some kind of freaque wave again.  But this is not freaque by any means because the causes of the phenomenon can be well explained!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A new view of Polar-ring Galaxy NGC 660


I am intrigued by this picture published in the Big Island Video News with this introductory text:

Media release from Gemini Observatory
 When the lamp is shattered,
 The light in the dust lies dead.
 When the cloud is scattered,
 The rainbow’s glory is shed.

  These words, which open Shelley’s poem “When the Lamp is Shattered,” employ visions of nature to symbolize life in decay and rebirth. It’s as if he had somehow foreseen the creation of this new Gemini Legacy image, and penned a caption for it. What Gemini has captured is nothing short of poetry in motion: the colorful and dramatic tale of a life-and-death struggle between two galaxies interacting. All the action appears in a single frame, with the stunning polar-ring galaxy NGC 660 as the focus of attention.
 Polar-ring galaxies are peculiar objects. Astronomers have found only a handful of them, so not much is known about their origins. Most have an early-type spiral system, called a lenticular galaxy, as the central showpiece. But NGC 660, which lies about 40 million light-years distant toward the direction of Pisces the Fishes, is the only polar-ring galaxy known with what is called a late-type lenticular galaxy as its host. All, however, display a ring of stars, dust, and gas that extends tens of thousands of light-years across space along an orbit nearly perpendicular to the main disk.
 Models of how polar-ring galaxies form offer two general formation scenarios: 1) a piercing merger between two galaxies aligned roughly at right angles, or 2) when the host galaxy tidally strips material from a passing gas-rich spiral and strews it into a ring.
 What you see in this new Gemini Legacy image, then, is not a single dynamic body but either the “bloody” aftermath of one galaxy piercing the heart of another or the remains of a furious tidal struggle between two galaxies that shattered one galaxy’s “lamp,” scattered its dust and gas, and formed a colorful, 40,000-light-year-long ring of visual glory.
For me my immediately reaction is to note a giant cross in the sky.  I guess that's the last thing the astronomers would like to show.  But the news release did bring it down to earth with an admirable poetic connection.  For me, again, a down-to-earth lay person, I am also intrigued by thinking of the distance in terms of light years.  That's almost a household word. But just what exactly is a light-year?  Well, this is how much we know in general:
1 light-year = 9.4605284 × 10^15 meters.
Yes, indeed, light year is a way of measuring distance, a light year is approximately 9.5 trillion kilometers or about 6 trillion miles.  So the NGC 660 is about 400,000 trillion miles away from us!  I hope I got these numbers right, I am just not capable to verify them now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another swept-out tragedy near Deil's Head, Scotland


The above picture is a part of Scotish coast in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland .  I copied the picture from here. The Deil's Head is a stack made of the red sandstone which is ubiquitous on this stretch of coast. (see this site).  It was in this seemingly peaceful and tranquil place that a tragic freaque wave case occurred two days ago as this Daily Record report by Charlie Gall:
Fishing trip tragedy as pals see massive wave kill sea angler in seconds

THE 49-year-old victim was engulfed by a giant wave in the tragedy which took place during a morning fishing trip on the Angus coast.

And here are the details:

A SEA angler was swept to his death yesterday after being engulfed by a massive wave.
Two horrified friends looked on as the sudden wall of water swallowed him up.
The angler disappeared in seconds as giant waves ­thundered against the rocks.
Last night, the identity of the 49-year-old victim had not been released by police.
His morning fishing trip turned to tragedy shortly after midday as giant waves lashed rocks on the Angus coast.
The fishing party were at craggy cliffs known as the Deil’s Heid, a mile north-east of Arbroath. The man is thought to have lived in the area.
Last night, one local said: “It’s a really popular fishing site. The anglers fish for cod there.
“There have been deaths there before so it can be pretty dangerous.
“There were big swells today of 10 to 15ft waves. If you were hit by one of those you wouldn’t stand much chance.
“I’m not sure if the dead man was a local. Anglers come from all over Scotland to fish here.
“There were people from Elgin in Moray and part of Fife fishing from the rocks.

 The article also attached two nice pictures: 

And

Another report by Frank Urquhart of the Scotsman.com has more details and identified the victim:

Brian Harvey, 49, a father of three from Arbroath, died on Sunday as he was fishing at an area known as the Deil’s Heid, about two miles north of the Angus town.
A giant wave swept him from the rocks into the sea. His two friends Ronnie Coates and Davie Hannah desperately threw bags and other tackle in a bid to try to keep him afloat until rescue arrived.
Mr Harvey was recovered by the crew of the RNLI Arbroath inshore lifeboat, but pronounced dead at the scene after efforts to resuscitate him failed.
Mr Harvey, who married for a second time four years ago, had worked for 16 years at Arbroath Infirmary.
His heartbroken widow, Valerie, 49, said she was still in total shock after police officers told her of the tragedy.
“I’m still expecting him to walk through the door with a fish and me to be shouting and bawling at him for the mess,” she said.
“He used to go fishing every second weekend, right up the coast – he was very experienced.
“He was a fantastic man. Everybody who knew him loved him. All of his work colleagues and his friends are in total shock. He was just one of those happy-go-lucky guys.”

A tragic event indeed.  We heartfelt for his heartbroken widow and extend our deep sympathy and pry for Mr. Harvey rest in peace.



Monday, October 08, 2012

Lola Akinmade's fantastic photogrphy works

It's been over a week of quieting in the freaque waves news world.  I just came across of photographer Lola Akinmade Akerstrom's fantastic photography works on this particular webpage entitled "Field Notes - Meeting Durban's surfers at Moyo"    As one who heard a lot about Durban surfing and waves but have never been to Durban beach of South Africa, these pictures are quite inspiring.  I am not allowed to copy any of the great pictures and show them here, please go visit her "Travel" site to enjoy the marvelous photos around the world for yourself.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Full moom for 2012 Mid-Autumn Festival

Showing below is another full moon picture I took from my backyard in SE Michigan last night.  Yesterday was Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese lunar calendar, the eighth month of the year.  So accordingly the full moon last night is supposedly the fullest full moon of 2012:


Since I don't really know how to distinguish fullest full from less fullest full or whatever, so here just let this full moon picture to be in place for a thousand words!