for October, 2011

On the Northeast Weekend Storm’s Effect

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Why Weekend Snow Was So Destructive

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 31 October 2011 Time: 04:00 PM ET
 

 

October Snowstorm from Space. This weekend's snowstorm set records.

Snowtober’s wrath, seen from space.
CREDIT: Snowtober’s wrath, seen from space.

The surprisingly early snowstorm that smacked the East Coast this weekend picked up energy after crossing the country, producing an “extreme precipitation event” with damaging effects magnified by the fact that leaves remained on the trees.

“In many cases, this storm is unprecedented,” said Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

The record-breaking storm set itself apart by dumping snow, measuring as deep as 32 inches (81 centimeters) in Peru, Mass., along a wide swath of the East Coast, from Virginia to Maine, at a time when conditions are usually too warm for snow.

“Usually a lot of these cities will see their first inch of snowfall in late November into December,” Vaccaro said. “This type of storm is several months ahead of schedule.”

Dozens of locations from Virginia to Maine set daily snowfall records on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30. New York’s Central Park recorded 2.9 inches (7.6 cm), the first time since record-keeping began in 1869 that an inch or more of snowfall has been recorded there during the month of October, according to the NWS.

Is global warming to blame? While it is difficult to connect a specific weather event to human-caused climate change, researchers have predicted that precipitation events, including snowstorms, will become more extreme, according to Vaccaro. [FAQ: Global Warming and Snowstorms]

“When you look at precipitation events becoming more extreme, this is an example of an extreme precipitation event,” he said.

Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the independent National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., got a little more specific.

Climate change likely increased the amount of snow by five to 10 percent, since the storm picked up moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, Trenberth said. The oceans have warmed, on average, about 1 degree F (0.6 degrees C) since the 70s, and warmer oceans means more moisture in the atmosphere to feed storms.

The storm that hit the East Coast was a re-energized version of one that hit the western part of the country almost a week earlier. Between Monday and Wednesday (Oct. 24 and Oct. 26), the high temperatures there dropped from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) to 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) with heavy snow in Denver, Colo., for example, Vaccaro said.

The storm traveled east across the country, tapping into moisture off the coast of North Carolina at Cape Hatteras to revive itself. Meanwhile, cold air traveling from a high-pressure area over southeastern Canada probably formed the foundation for a snowstorm, rather than a rainstorm, which would have been more typical this time of year. As the developing storm moved northeast off the mid-Atlantic coast and off the northeast coast, it continued to draw cold air southward, and drop record-breaking amounts of snow, he said.

Large storms like this, called Nor’easters, aren’t common this time of year, but even more unusual was the supply of cold air that helped produce the very heavy wet snow across the region, Vaccaro said.

The timing of the arrival of the storm compounded its effects, because heavy snow collected on tree branches with leaves still on them, causing them to break and knock down power lines. News reports this morning suggest about 2.5 million people were without power from the storm.

“A bad winter storm is a bad winter storm on its own, but when you combine the leaves on top of that it makes it much more severe,” said Elizabeth Matthews, spokeswoman for ConEdison, which provides electricity to most of New York City and Westchester County in New York.

from:   http://www.livescience.com/16808-weekend-snowstorm-records.html 

More Activity at El Hierro

Monday, October 31st, 2011
Signs of second eruption off coast of El Hierro
English.news.cn   2011-10-31 20:54:10

MADRID, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — A second volcanic eruption off the coast of the island of El Hierro could be on the point of happening, scientists warned.

The warning came just over a week after the end of the first eruption, which forced a village on the island to be evacuated.

The offshore eruption began at a depth of over 100 meters below sea level on Oct. 10 off the southern coast of El Hierro, the smallest and most westerly of the Canary Islands, a group of islands off the western coast of Africa, which are governed by Spain.

It led to the creation of a stain caused by emissions of sulphur, pumice stone and magma which extended beyond El Hierro.

Although the first eruption died down and seismic activity began to fade, it has gained momentum again in recent days with El Hierro suffering over 120 earth tremors with the strongest reaching 3.9 on the Richter scale on Sunday.

In contrast to the first eruption, there are signs that a second eruption could happen off the northern coast of El Hierro.

Experts have met with government members of the Canary Islands to discuss the new developments. Although no new measures will be taken for the moment to evacuate the population from areas closest to a possible eruption site, the authorities will maintain their close observation of the area.

“What is happening in el Hierro has a lot of questions that still need answers. The movements have been changing their location and we need to continue studying the process to find conclusions,” explained volcanologist Nemesio Perez to Spain’s national broadcaster RTVE.

“What we do know is that there is activity with magma and this chapter has still not been closed,” he said.

 

from:    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/31/c_131222445.htm

Sichuan China Earthquake

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Dangerous earthquake in Sichuan, China

Last update: November 1, 2011 at 12:11 am by By 

available

Seismic Hazard map in Sichuan earthquake November 1 2011 – map courtesy USGS

Update 01/11 – 00:08 UTC : No report yet from the very well organized Sichuan seismological agency. We expect the first reports on the situation in the early UTC hours.

Update : The seismic hazard map at right shows that the epicenter of the earthquake is located in an area with limited ground acceleration.

Update : We fear eventual damage and/or injuries in a radius of 20 km around the epicenter

Update : In 1976 a 6.4 magnitude earthquake at a distance of 104 km from the current epicenter killed 41 people

Update : Earthquake-Report.com calls this earthquake moderately dangerousbecause of the time of occurrence and the very vulnerable houses in the area.

Update : A V MMI is expected by USGS for 213,000 people

Update : A weak shaking has been felt in Jiangyou, but this is at least 150 km away from the epicenter

for more and updates, go to:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/10/31/dangerous-earthquake-in-sichuan-china/

October 30-November 5

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Sunday, October 30:    Light Red-Orange

Well, here you are again.  This is a day for looking at patterns and repeated actions, habitual people, and usual old things.  It is a time for knowing why you are doing what you are doing and what it all means in the grand scheme of things — for you, your grand scheme, your life.  Take time to go within, even when you are in the midst of things, and just see, just feel how it all is for you at that time.  If you are not ready to look at it right away, then put it aside, but do not let it lie for too long, because it can and will come back to haunt you.  And Halloween is tomorrow.  Change your focus, change your perspective, change you life.  You know all this.  And take time to laugh.  You will find that in the greater picture, there is something funny in all of this. (more…)

Quito. Ecuador — Earthquake

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Earthquake shakes Quito, Ecuador – Magnitude 4.0 at a shallow depth of 10 km

Last update: October 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm by By 

Update 16:39 UTC : USGS has now listed the Quito earthquake  as a M 4.0 at a depth of 3 km and 18 km of Quito. We  Earthquake-Report.com do trust on the local agencies as they have instruments closest to the epicenter.

Important Update 14:47 UTC :  One of our readers has send us the full printout of this earthquake. Thank you so much on behalf of the earthquake-report.com community :
Magnitud 4.0 MLv (IG-EPN)
Fecha – Hora 29/10/2011 08:50:49 TL
29/10/2011 13:50:49 UTC
Localización 0.11°S; 78.41°W
Profundidad 10.00 Km
Zona Prov: PICHINCHA
Distancia epicentral e (hipocentral) a ciudades referenciales 14.6 ( 17.7) km al N 48° E de la ciudad de QUITO
24.7 ( 26.6) km al N 9° E de la ciudad de SANGOLQUÍ
27.4 ( 29.2) km al S 50° O de la ciudad de TABACUNDO
34.0 ( 35.4) km al S 60° O de la ciudad de CAYAMBE
41.1 ( 42.3) km al S 23° O de la ciudad de OTAVALO
47.8 ( 48.9) km al N 21° E de la ciudad de MACHACHI
Reportes recibidos y/o datos adicionales : Se sintio en toda la ciudad de Quito de manera un poco fuerte. (It was felt all over Quito as a little strong  )
Información técnica adicional
Incertidumbre en la Localización Latitud +/- 3.0 Km; Longitud +/-2.0 Km; Profundidad +/-0 Km.
Parámetros Fases P=NaN; Fases S=NaN; RMS=1; Gap=NaN°
Fuente IG-EPN

Instituto Geofísico – Escuela Politécnica Nacional
Elaborado: 29-Oct-2011 09:02:49

Update : Based on my own knowledge of Quito, even a small earthquake like this one is enough to trigger landslides. The Quito unofficial housing areas are seen as one of the most dangerous on the planet.

Update : The earthquake seems to be too weak for the international agencies to report on it.

Update : we can call the data official now as they have been printed on the IGEPN seismological site of Ecuador. This is what is shown : Mag= 4.0; Prof (Depth)= 10.00, Lat= -0.11; Long= -78.41, 2011/10/29 13:50:49 UTC

Update : Unofficially we could gather the following information : epicenter 14 km of Quito, depth 10 km, magnitude 4 (we have to warn our readers that the information is unofficial – coming from a newspaper in Quito)

to read more, and for updates, go to:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/10/29/earthquake-shakes-quito-ecuador/

 

 

Strong Earthquake in Peru

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Extremely dangerous earthquake on the coast of Central Peru – 17 people injured and 35 houses collapsed so far

Last update: October 29, 2011 at 12:40 am by By 

Update : After the damage created by today’s earthquake the demolition of four churches in Ica is under discussion. The local mayor thinks they are not safe anymore because the 2007 earthquake has already weakened their structure.

Update : The people living at the coastal town of Pisco have been seriously alarmed by a fast retiring Ocean.  Retiring oceans can be a signal for an upcoming tsunami.

Update : The Peruvian Civil Defense just announced that so far 17 people have been reported injuredand 35 houses collapsed.

Update : 29/10/2011 – 00:02 UTC : 17 minutes ago a powerful 5.5 magnitude aftershock struck the same area. Depth : 19.7 km This will go on and on for the coming hours and days, gradually decreasing in strength.

Update :  The Peruvian President, Mr. Ollanta Humala, has called the population to remain calm. Mr. Humala is currently in Paraguay.

Update
 : Panic in Chincha, a coastal town about 120 km to the North of the epicenter. Parents run to the schools to rescue their children. People crowded the streets.
Update : Good News : ICA is ONLINE again, We saw the first people with an IP address in Ica showing up in the site. Also our first I Have Felt It report from Ica. (see below)

Update : In the province of Huancavelica (to the NE of Ica province) a school was closed because of the damage. In Ascension, in the same province, a few abandoned shacks have collapsed.

Important Update : The Theoretical models of GDACS using an epicenter close to the coast are returning very damaging tsunami waves up to  4.8 meter high (this is VERY high for tsunami waves). So far we have NO news from these coastal localities. We remind our readers that theoretical models are based on historical information and on information from seismological agencies. GDACS has used the USGS data for their computing.
Based on the data below we are especially curious on the Huacho situation.
Update 23:21 UTC : Apparently, the earthquake was felt (with small or moderate intensity) in Huacho too. No damage was caused. 

List of tsunami waves following the GDACS theoretical models

Tsunami wave model simulation – image courtesy GDACS

Update : The newspaper Peru21 says there are at least 20 persons injured. The newspaper Correo says 16 wounded are in ICA Regional Hospital and 4 other are in the San Juan de Dios Hospital in PiscoSome of them are seriously wounded, many from falls caused by panic.

Update : So far we have almost NO news from the sparsely populated coastal area, the area at risk for a local tsunami.

Update : Two persons were seriously wounded in Acamayo (near Ica) and three houses have collapsed. Another ten persons suffered light injures and seven houses were damagedTelephone lines and electricity are being re-established. (These data are preliminary and will certainly increase further)
The two persons seriously injured are two girls aged 9 and 19, with fractures in the femur and pelvis, caused by the falling walls of their houses, in Acomayo, near Ica. There are 12 injured persons, until now.

Update : The greater area of Ica province is out in the streets and will probably stay out in the streets all night.

Update 22:23 UTC : Palpa has NO injured people as of now.

Update : Peruvian press is almost BLIND on the situation. Even regional ICA newspapers have at this moment only a couple of lines and nothing detailed.

Update : As could be expected, the area is hit by multiple powerful aftershocks. Most people will not read our article and not only because they do not understand English but because telecommunications are  down and sitting behind a computer does not serve to anything as there is NO power.
The most powerful aftershocks since the mainshock measured 4.7, 4.9 and 5.0.

to read more and for updates:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/10/28/very-strong-dangerous-earthquake-in-peru/

Unlocking the “Copiale Cypher”

Friday, October 28th, 2011

USC Scientist Cracks Mysterious “Copiale Cipher”

Released: 10/25/2011 11:45 AM EDT
Source: University of Southern California

 

Newswise — The manuscript seems straight out of fiction: a strange handwritten message in abstract symbols and Roman letters meticulously covering 105 yellowing pages, hidden in the depths of an academic archive.

Now, more than three centuries after it was devised, the 75,000-character “Copiale Cipher” has finally been broken.

The mysterious cryptogram, bound in gold and green brocade paper, reveals the rituals and political leanings of a 18th-century secret society in Germany. The rituals detailed in the document indicate the secret society had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology, though it seems members of the secret society were not themselves eye doctors.

“This opens up a window for people who study the history of ideas and the history of secret societies,” said computer scientist Kevin Knight of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, part of the international team that finally cracked the Copiale Cipher. “Historians believe that secret societies have had a role in revolutions, but all that is yet to be worked out, and a big part of the reason is because so many documents are enciphered.”

To break the Copiale Cipher, Knight and colleagues Beáta Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University in Sweden tracked down the original manuscript, which was found in the East Berlin Academy after the Cold War and is now in a private collection. They then transcribed a machine-readable version of the text, using a computer program created by Knight to help quantify the co-occurrences of certain symbols and other patterns.

“When you get a new code and look at it, the possibilities are nearly infinite,” Knight said. “Once you come up with a hypothesis based on your intuition as a human, you can turn over a lot of grunt work to the computer.”

With the Copiale Cipher, the codebreaking team began not even knowing the language of the encrypted document. But they had a hunch about the Roman and Greek characters distributed throughout the manuscript, so they isolated these from the abstract symbols and attacked it as the true code.

“It took quite a long time and resulted in complete failure,” Knight says.

After trying 80 languages, the cryptography team realized the Roman characters were “nulls,” intended to mislead to reader. It was the abstract symbols that held the message.

The team then tested the hypothesis that abstract symbols with similar shapes represented the same letter, or groups of letters. Eventually, the first meaningful words of German emerged: “Ceremonies of Initiation,” followed by “Secret Section.”

For more information about the method of decipherment, visithttp://stp.lingfil.uu.se/%7Ebea/copiale/

Knight is now targeting other coded messages, including ciphers sent by the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer who sent taunting messages to the press and has never been caught. Knight is also applying his computer-assisted codebreaking software to other famous unsolved codes such as the last section of “Kryptos,” an encrypted message carved into a granite sculpture on the grounds of CIA headquarters, and the Voynich Manuscript, a medieval document that has baffled professional cryptographers for decades.

But for Knight, the trickiest language puzzle of all is still everyday speech. A senior research scientist in the Intelligent Systems Division of the USC Information Sciences Institute, Knight is one of the world’s leading experts on machine translation — teaching computers to turn Chinese into English or Arabic into Korean. “Translation remains a tough challenge for artificial intelligence,” said Knight, whose translation software has been adopted by companies such as Apple and Intel.

With researcher Sujith Ravi, who received a PhD in computer science from USC in 2011, Knight has been approaching translation as a cryptographic problem, which could not only improve human language translation but could also be useful in translating languages that are not currently spoken by humans, including ancient languages and animal communication.

The National Science Foundation funds Knight’s cryptography and translation research. The Copiale Cipher work was presented as part of an invited presentation at the 2011 Association for Computational Linguistics meeting.

For more information about the video or to arrange an interview with Professor Kevin Knight, contact Suzanne Wu atsuzanne.wu@usc.edu.

from:   http://www.newswise.com/articles/usc-scientist-cracks-mysterious-copiale-cipher?ret=/articles/list&category=life-arts&page=1&search[status]=3&search[sort]=date+desc&search[sub_section]=31&search[has_multimedia]=

 

Intuition and Belief in God

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Intuitive Thinking May Influence Belief in God

Released: 9/20/2011 12:15 PM EDT
Source: American Psychological Association (APA)

 

Harvard University Researchers Explore Link between Thinking Styles and Faith

Newswise — WASHINGTON — Intuition may lead people toward a belief in the divine and help explain why some people have more faith in God than others, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

In a series of studies, researchers at Harvard University found that people with a more intuitive thinking style tend to have stronger beliefs in God than those with a more reflective style. Intuitive thinking means going with one’s first instinct and reaching decisions quickly based on automatic cognitive processes. Reflective thinking involves the questioning of first instinct and consideration of other possibilities, thus allowing for counterintuitive decisions.

“We wanted to explain variations in belief in God in terms of more basic cognitive processes,” researcher Amitai Shenhav said. “Some say we believe in God because our intuitions about how and why things happen lead us to see a divine purpose behind ordinary events that don’t have obvious human causes. This led us to ask whether the strength of an individual’s beliefs is influenced by how much they trust their natural intuitions versus stopping to reflect on those first instincts.”

The research was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. The study from the Harvard University Psychology Department was conducted by Shenhav, a doctoral student; post-doctoral fellow David Rand, PhD; and associate professor Joshua Greene, PhD.

In the first part of the study, 882 U.S. adults, with a mean age of 33 and consisting of 64 percent women, completed online surveys about their belief in God before taking a cognitive reflection test. The test had three math problems with incorrect answers that seemed intuitive. For example, one question stated: “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” The automatic or intuitive answer is 10 cents, but the correct answer is 5 cents. Participants who had more incorrect answers showed a greater reliance on intuition than reflection in their thinking style.

Participants who gave intuitive answers to all three problems were 1 ½ times as likely to report they were convinced of God’s existence as those who answered all of the questions correctly. That pattern was found regardless of other demographic factors, such as the participants’ political beliefs, education or income. “How people think — or fail to think — about the prices of bats and balls is reflected in their thinking, and ultimately their convictions, about the metaphysical order of the universe,” the journal article stated.

Participants with an intuitive thinking style also were more likely to have become more confident believers in God over their lifetimes, regardless of whether they had a religious upbringing. Individuals with a reflective style tended to become less confident in their belief in God. The study also found that this pronounced link between differing thinking styles and levels of faith could not be explained by differences in the participants’ thinking ability or IQ. “Basic ways of thinking about problem solving in your everyday life are predictive of how much you believe in God,” Rand said. “It’s not that one way is better than the other. Intuitions are important and reflection is important, and you want some balance of the two. Where you are on that spectrum affects how you come out in terms of belief in God.”

In another study, with 373 participants, the researchers found they could temporarily influence levels of faith by instructing participants to write a paragraph describing a personal experience where either intuitive or reflective thinking led to a good result. One group was told to describe a time in their lives when intuition or first instinct led to a good outcome, while a second group was instructed to write about an experience where a good outcome resulted from reflecting and carefully reasoning through a problem. When they were surveyed about their beliefs after the writing exercise, participants who wrote about a successful intuitive experience were more likely to report they were convinced of God’s existence than those who wrote about a successful reflective experience.

These studies suggest a causal link between intuitive thinking and a belief in God, but the researchers acknowledged the opposite may also be true, that a belief in God may lead to intuitive thinking. Future research will help explore how cognitive styles are influenced by genes and environmental factors, such as upbringing and education, Rand said.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 154,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

 

Article: “Divine Intuition: Cognitive Style Influences Belief in God,” Amitai Shenhav; David G. Rand, PhD; and Joshua D. Greene, PhD; Harvard University; Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; online.

Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/xge-ofp-shenhav.pdf

from:    http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/580818/?sc=dwhr&xy=10002094

 

 

Just When You Thought it was Safe to Travel in Outer Space

Friday, October 28th, 2011
Article:

Vampire Stars, Frankensatellites & More: A Spooky Space Halloween

by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer
Date: 28 October 2011 Time: 07:30 AM ET
An artist's conception showing a so-called "blue straggler" star being created by stealing mass from its partner in a binary star system. Soon the giant star (seen towards the upper left of the image) will donate the remainder of its envelope, leaving onl

 

An artist’s concept showing a so-called “blue straggler” star stealing mass from its partner in a binary star system. Soon the giant star (upper left) will donate the remainder of its envelope, leaving only a half-solar-mass white dwarf core (shown peeking through the tenuous envelope of the giant) as the companion to the blue straggler.
CREDIT: Aaron M. Geller

This story was updated at 10:56 a.m. EDT.

Halloween is nearly upon us, which means Earth will soon be crawling with costumed witches, ghouls and zombies. But October has shown us that our planet doesn’t have a monopoly on spookiness.

Over the last month, a series of cosmic phenomena have provided thrills and chills, just in time for Halloween. Here’s a rundown of the recent spooky space news, from revelations about vampire stars to a plan to build Frankensatellites in orbit

The secrets of stellar vampires

“Blue stragglers” are mysterious stars that act much younger than the ancient neighbors with which they formed. They burn much hotter, for example, and appear much bluer.

Astronomers have been trying to explain the origins and behavior of blue stragglers since their discovery in the 1950s, and a new study may finally have done the job. It appears that most blue stragglers are vampires, sucking hydrogen fuel away from companion stars.

This keeps the stars young, just as slurping up victims’ blood keeps the vampires of fiction from dying or growing old. [Haunting Photos: The Spookiest Nebulas in Space]

The sky is falling

The threat of death from above can inspire fear beyond reason, perhaps because we’re often helpless to predict or combat it — just ask Chicken Little. And this October brought an event that evoked some “sky is falling” sentiment.

On Oct. 22, a dead German satellite called ROSAT slammed into Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean, apparently harming nobody. It was the second uncontrolled satellite crash in a month; NASA’s defunct UARS spacecraft fell to Earth on Sept. 24, also causing no known injuries.

Experts had said that there was just a 1-in-2,000 chance that any piece of ROSAT would strike anybody anywhere on Earth. But those odds, while small, were non-zero — enough to get a lot of people talking, and some of them worrying.

Artist's impression of the ROSAT satellite in space
Artist’s impression of the ROSAT satellite in space.
CREDIT: German Aerospace Center

Frankensats

Since Mary Shelley published her novel “Frankenstein” in 1818, the idea of creating new life from disparate dead parts has been a staple of the horror genre. And now the concept is getting some traction in space.

The United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Oct. 20 that it wants to harvest still-working parts of dead satellites, then incorporate them into new space systems on the cheap.

In DARPA’s plan, a servicing satellite would pluck functioning antennas from defunct spacecraft, then attach them to newly launched mini-satellites in orbit. The “Frankensats” would save the military on launch costs, because antennas are so big, bulky and expensive to get off the ground.

 

Frankenstein moon mystery

Mary Shelley and her iconic novel also figure prominently in another recent celestial story.

Shelley was reportedly inspired to write “Frankenstein” in the summer of 1816, after staying up all night swapping ghost stories with her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and several other friends.

At the end of the evening, Byron is said to have challenged each member of the group to come up with his or her own scary tale. Shelley later wrote that she couldn’t come up with an idea for several days, but then had a terrifying nightmare about a scientist who created a monster from an assortment of body parts.

Some authorities have questioned her version of events, suggesting Shelley may have taken some liberties with the truth for the sake of a good story. A new study, however, suggests that Shelley’s account rings true.

She mentioned that moonlight streamed into her room when she awoke from her dream in the middle of the night. After poring over astronomical records and visiting the Switzerland estate where Shelley and the group met, researchers determined that light from a bright gibbous moon probably did flood Shelley’s room in the wee hours of June 16, 1816.

Byron’s ghost story challenge, the researchers conclude, likely took place between June 10 and June 13, and Shelley probably awoke from her nightmare around 3 a.m. on June 16.

Freakishly small full moon

Full moons are another Halloween trope, bringing out the werewolves as they do (according to lore). And October’s full moon was particulary noteworthy, for it was the smallest one of the year….

to read more and see more, go to:    http://www.space.com/13430-astronomy-space-spooky-universe-halloween.html

Hudson Volcano in Chile—Alert

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Last update: October 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm by By 

Cerro Hudson volcano, a Southern  Andean volcano  located in the border area in between Chile and Argentina has started a minor eruption.
SERNAGEOMIN, the Chilean authority who is guarding the activity of the volcanoes hasincreased the alert level from 3 to 5 (Red Alert).

Onemi, the Chile government organization who is coordinating all actions to protect people and infrastructure from being damages /injured has called the RED alert for the following localities : Aysén, Río Ibáñez and Chile Chico in the Aysén area.

Both organizations will of course follow up the situation of Cerro Hudson 24 hours on 24 and 7 days on 7. Due to the remote location of this volcano, the reporting from the eruptions will be far less than it was the case with the Puyehue – Cordón Caulle

ONEMI update October 27 – 18:51 UTC :
There are now three steam vents on the volcano. One of the vents is also emitting ash. The 3 vents are approx. 500 meter from each other (triangular form). This was observed this morning (Chile time) and was analyzed by SERNAGEOMIN technical staff.
119 people are currently evacuated from the Lake Caro area and have moved to houses from relatives in the area. Chile police is trying to evacuate an additional 13 people. Onemi Chile has reported that until this morning nearly 900 volcanic earthquakes were noticed. Only a limited number were felt by the people living in the area. New FlyBy’s are planned later today to follow up what is happening. Onemi also told the press that they are ready to take whatever measures are necessary to control the situation. Emergency staff in the volcano area have been equipped with satellite phones.

Activity report October 26, 2011
Translation of the Sernageomin press statement by Earthquake-Report.com
The Red alert (Level 5) has been called by SernaGeomin out of fear that a major eruption could happen in the coming hours or days.
The Hudson volcano eruptions are characterized by eruptive columns of several km high.
The dispersion of this material in the atmosphere could affect localities to N, E and S of the volcano. Unlike most volcanoes in other regions of Chile, Aysen population centers are situated downwind of volcanic centers and therefore are highly likely to receive fall of pyroclastic material.
The huge quantities of ice in the caldera could eventually generate destructive lahars(volcanic mudflow), mainly affecting the river valleys of  Cupquelan and Huemules, located to the NW of the volcano.
Pyroclastic flows could, depending on the magnitude, affect the immediate vicinity of the caldera (within a radius of 15 to 20 km),
SERNAGEOMIN staff and local authorities today conducted a flyby in Hudson Volcano, which could see a column of gas, white and with little ash, about 1.5 km in height, with the subsequent formation of the Rio Huemules lahars. Erupting lava has not been seen. We have to state however that during the 1973 eruption a subglacial eruption occurred. This suggests a process of fissure opening at shallow levels and the onset of an eruptive process that is still minor but can evolve into a major eruption in hours and / or days.

for more, photos, updates and info, go to:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/10/27/chilean-authorities-are-raising-hudson-volcano-cerro-hudson-to-red-alert-after-minor-eruption/