Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - Giant Planetary-Sized UFO Parked Next to Planet Mercury Baffles Astronomers!

A gigantic object the size of a planet has appeared on astronomers screens lurking near Mercury, with UFO hunters around the world wondering whether it’s an alien ship.

The object appears from nowhere in a sequence of images of a coronal ejection from the Sun, taken by a Nasa telescope. As the flare races past Mercury, a huge round object appears next to it – but Nasa scientists insist that the object is merely a result of the way the images are processed. Over 100,000 YouTube users have watched the sequence taken by the Heliospheric Imager-1 telescope. It was uploaded by user siniXster and he says in his commentary: ‘It's cylindrical on either side and has a shape in the middle. It definitely looks like a ship to me, and very obviously, it's cloaked.’ However, experts say that there is no alien race hiding away in our solar system. The image from the telescope was analysed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory, with engineer Nathan Rich explaining that the ‘object’ is actually the image of Mercury from the previous day.

To make sure that the solar flare stood out, researchers compare the image with one taken the day before and subtract anything that appears twice - because that means it's interfering background light. Stars are easily eliminated, but moving objects, like planets, are more difficult to remove. Rich told Space.com: ‘When [this averaging process] is done between the previous day and the current day and there is a feature like a planet, this introduces dark artifacts in the background where the planet was on the previous day, which then show up as bright areas in the enhanced image.’ Astronomer Dr Heather Couper also agrees that it’s not a huge death star. She told MailOnline: ‘The scientists have not managed to subtract the image of Mercury. The technical guys are saying the problem is that when you try to subtract something that’s moving the pixels blend into each. ‘It’s imaging processing that they haven’t got their heads around. No way could it be an alien spaceship the size of Mercury because Mercury is the size of our moon and we would know about it."
- Daily Mail.
Click HERE for the link to the SECCHI image.

WATCH: Mysterious UFO/light next to Mercury.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: French Alpine Glaciers in Retreat - A Quarter of the Area Lost in the Past 40 Years!

Glaciers in the French Alps have lost a quarter of their area in the past 40 years, according to new research.

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, the ice fields slipping down Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains of the European range covered some 375 sq km. By the late 2000s, this area had fallen to about 275 sq km. The research has been presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the world's largest annual gathering of Earth scientists. It mirrors some findings of retreat occurring in other sectors of the Alps which sit across the borders of several nations, but predominantly Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, France, and Italy.

The new French Alps glaciers inventory was produced by Marie Gardent, from the University of Savoie, and colleagues. It assessed the roughly 600 glaciers in broad areas incorporating the Ecrins, Belledonne, Vanoise, Ubaye and Grande Rousse Arves massifs, as well as the famous Mont Blanc Massif in the north. The team drew upon map archives, past satellite imagery and aerial photographs. Manual inspection was used to check the automatic delineation methods employed in the pictures was correct. "We use manual delineation to verify the satellite data because there can be a problem with debris cover on a glacier," explained Ms Gardent. "Automatic delineation from satellite data will sometimes say there is no glacier when in fact we know there is one there. Also, deep shadows can hide the glacier margins."

The only existing glacial inventory from the French Alps was published four decades ago within the context of the World Glacier Inventory. It found the overall area of ice to be about 375 sq km. By 1985-86, in spite of a short advancing period in the late 70s/early 80s, glacial coverage had decreased to a value close to 340 sq km, the new survey shows. Since then, the withdrawal has accelerated, with the area being reduced to about 275 sq km in the late 2000s. This represents an average loss of some 26% over the last 40 years. The retreat is not uniform across the French Alps, however. The greatest losses have been seen in the southern sectors. In the Belledonne Massif, for example, glaciers have almost completely disappeared; and in the Ecrins Massif, glacial retreat is more than three times stronger than in the Mont Blanc Massif.

"The glacier retreat is less important in the northern Alps than in the southern Alps," Ms Gardent emphasised. "We think this is because of the lower elevation of the mountains in the south, but also because of climatic conditions which are different. There is more precipitation in the north and there is also more cloud." The northern region includes the biggest French glacier of all - La Mer de Glace, which falls over a 1,000m in altitude down Mont Blanc itself. Its area today is just over 30 sq km, a shade smaller than the 31.5 sq km in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Efforts to assess and monitor glacier health are going on across the Alpine region. At this very meeting three years ago, Swiss researchers reported that glaciers on their part of the European range were also losing mass at an accelerating rate. - BBC.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Planetary Tremors - Sikkim in India, Drastically De-stabilized by Recent Quake!

A recent report by the State department of Mines and Geology has warned the Sikkim Government that the overall soil and rock stability of the entire State has been drastically destabilised by the 6.9 Richter scale earthquake that hit the State on September 18.

This would trigger off multiple landslides in the coming monsoon season as already post-quake Sikkim has had more than 150 slides induced by the earthquake, out of which the report said 12 needed urgent remedial action while another 32 needed long term intervention. The report has also warned of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in the higher reaches and called for close monitoring of these lakes. The impact of the quake was more on the crystalline rocks, mainly on its quartzites and variants with adverse slopes and on landmasses adjoining steep slopes and waterways, the report said. It suggested that in the short term, soil compaction on fissures on landmasses to minimise seepage and use of local technologies to retain unstable boulders, apart from identification of high risk zones and preparedness for disaster mitigation and planning in advance.

It also suggested use of remote sensing and GPS tracking aerial photographs to tackle disasters in remote areas. PTI adds: Meanwhile, Sikkim has been officially declared as a ‘Disaster Affected State’ by the government to avail soft loans and other facilities from banks, officials said. It will also facilitate funds from international funding agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, they said. Banks and international agencies have been approached by the State Government for rebuilding efforts following the large-scale damages to infrastructure during the earthquake of September 18, they said. This is a requirement stipulated as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines. The notification was issued on November 21, they said. - The Assam Tribune.

DELUGE: HEAVY IMPACT - Uralla, Guyra and Glen Innes Severn Declared Natural Disaster Zones After Heavy Flooding in New South Wales, Australia!

Three more natural disaster zones have been declared in northern New South Wales after heavy rain and flooding.

The communities of Uralla, Guyra and Glen Innes Severn were heavily impacted by the recent storms and flooding, NSW Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher said. "I am declaring these areas as natural disaster zones," Mr Gallacher said. "Councils, residents, primary producers and small business owners will now be able to apply for support under the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements." The announcement follows natural disaster declarations for Moree Plains, Inverell and Armidale/Gunnedah, Narrabri, Gwydir, Muswellbrook, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth and the Upper Hunter Shire Council. The state government would continue to carry out assessments to determine if further disaster zones needed to be declared, Mr Gallacher said. - Daily Telegraph.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: LEVEL II ALERT - National Disaster Mitigation Agency Raises Alert Status of Mount Sundoro, Indonesia!

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has raised the alert status of Mount Sundoro in Central Java from level I to level II after the mountain showed increased volcanic activity on Monday night.

“We fear this heightened volcanic activity in the form of deep and shallow volcanic events may trigger further, more extreme volcanic activity, such as ash eruptions,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Tuesday. He said several disaster-prone areas near the mountain would be directly affected by the volcanic activity, but he told residents to remain calm as there had not been any instructions to evacuate the areas. “Disaster-Prone Area [KRB] III [2 kilometers from the crater] will potentially be hit with hot clouds, lava flows, poisonous gas, hurls of incandescent rocks and heavy ash rains,” he said. KRB II and I, which are situated at a distance of 5 and 8 kilometers from the crater, respectively, would also be affected by similar conditions. The BNPB stated that the volcanic activity of Mount Sundoro began to increase in November and was expected to continue into December. - The Jakarta Post.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Fears of Mount Paekdu Eruption Spreading in North Korea!

North Korea's adoption of a new rule on natural disasters last month indicates that experts' warnings of volcanic eruptions of Mount Paekdu have spread widely throughout the country, the South Korean government said Wednesday.

Pyongyang's new law stipulates principles for observing and forecasting natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, in addition to how to minimize damage and undertake rescue activities, the Korean Central News Agency reported last month, without giving further details. Experts outside the secretive communist country have warned since last year that North Korea's Mount Paekdu, which borders China, may still have an active core, citing topographical signs and satellite images. The 2,744-meter Mount Paekdu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, last erupted in 1903.

"Pyongyang likely intended to calm jitters among the public over widespread speculations over an eruption by devising systematic measures, and to draw international support for its disaster-prevention efforts," Seoul's Unification Ministry said in its weekly report. "North Korea is presumed to have merged different regulations on disaster prevention while adding rules on volcanoes and earthquakes that have been missing so far," the report continued. Experts from the two Koreas held talks on potential volcanic activity at Mount Paekdu in March and April. North Korea proposed the rare meeting soon after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan earlier this year. The two sides have held no further talks or actions since then. - Yonhap News Agency.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: 20 Dead Pelicans Found Mysteriously Floating - Just South of Gaillard Island, Alabama!

The Press-Register encountered 20 dead pelicans just south of Gaillard Island in the middle of Mobile Bay around noon today. The pelicans had no apparent injuries and were all floating within a quarter mile of each other. The newspaper alerted U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Chris Blankenship, head of the state's Marine Resources Division, said a tugboat captain had reported a similarly sized group of dead pelicans around the island Tuesday morning. Blakenship said state officials were investigating. - AL.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Landslide Crushes, Kills 7 in Colombia! UPDATE: Landslide Cuts Water Supply to Manizales, Central Colombia!

Heavy rains set off a landslide that swept over a home in central Colombia, flattening it and killing seven members of the same family, authorities said Monday. "Sadly, early this morning a landslide was triggered near El Salado, ... in Tolima department. It buried a home, and seven people," local fire chief Jaime Diaz told RCN radio. The victims were five women and two little girls, and an eight person was injured, Diaz added. An unusually heavy rainy season has been blamed for at least 121 deaths in Colombia since September. The season has been exacerbated by a La Nina weather phenomenon, in which cooler-than-normal water circulates in the Pacific Ocean around the equator. - Asia One.
UPDATE: Landslide Cuts Water Supply to Manizales, Central Colombia!

A landslide in the central Colombian city of Manizales destroyed water pipes between water treatment plants on Tuesday, leading to water rationing in the city. Assistant manager of Manizales Water Sebastian Henao announced that the Niza plant will still be able to supply water to roughly half the city. "We will have the Niza plant running with a very good flow, so that it gives us enough for half the population, and we are assessing the ground damage to see how we will proceed," Hanao said. Manizales Water will announce how much water is available and how long it will take to fix the pipes once the damage is assessed. Manizales' mayor Juan Manuel Llano will then chair a Municipal Emergency Committee to determine the levels of rationing. - Colombia Reports.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Gamalama Eruption Forces Precautions and Thousands of Evacuations in Eastern Indonesia! UPDATE: Ternate Islanders Struggle to Cope After Eruption of Mount Gamalama!

Mud flows from the Mount Gamalama volcano in eastern Indonesia forced thousands of residents to flee.

A major eruption at Mount Gamalama in North Maluku on Sunday night spewed volcanic ash 2,000 meters into the air and forced the closure of the airport in Ternate, the provincial capital. Aviation officials said that because of the threat to aircraft from the ash cloud, the Babullah Airport at the foot of the volcano, which makes up the entire island, would be closed on Monday and perhaps today. Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, said the closure was a precautionary measure. “The volcanic ash may pose a risk to planes,” he said. “If there are no more eruptions, the airport may be opened [today].” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said that despite the magnitude of the eruption, which blanketed Ternate in a thick layer of ash, the threat of danger to residents was still low. He added that the alert level for the volcano, currently at 3 out of the maximum 4, would not be raised and there would be no evacuation ordered. Sutopo said that some people living higher up on the volcano’s slopes had sought refuge at the former governor’s office on Sunday night, but most had returned to their homes by Monday. Authorities are maintaining a 3.5-kilometer exclusion radius around the crater of the 1,715-meter volcano.

Officials have also set up temporary shelters and soup kitchens at the governor’s office, the mayor’s office, the local football stadium and several schools. Jemi de Brivieng, the head of the local disaster mitigation agency (BPBD), said about 800 people, mostly women and children, were staying at the shelters, although not because of the direct threat from an eruption. He said the evacuees were those whose homes were located on the banks of the various rivers running down Mount Gamalama, adding that it was feared that ongoing heavy rains would wash the volcanic ash down the waterways and flood the homes. Darmo Lamane, the head of the volcano’s monitoring post, said there were at least six major eruptions between Sunday night and Monday morning. “The situation has calmed and many residents have gone back home,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the volcanic activity.” The volcano last erupted in 2003, Darmo added, with no fatalities recorded.
- Jakarta Globe.

Indonesia closed a domestic airport in eastern Indonesia on Monday after a volcano spewed ash 2,000 metres into the air, an official said. Mount Gamalama, which forms the entire island of Ternate in North Maluku province, erupted late Sunday and forced an airport in Ternate town at its foot to close Monday, transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said. "It's a safety measure. The volcanic ash may pose a risk to planes. If there is no more eruption, the airport may be opened tomorrow," he added. The 1,715-metre (5,630 feet) volcano caused some panic when it erupted, Darno Lamane, a scientist monitoring the peak told AFP. "It shot ash and dust particles 2,000 metres into the sky. There were no reports of casualties or injuries but people did panic for a while, screaming as they ran out of their homes," he said. "The situation has calmed and many residents have gone back home. We will continue to monitor the volcanic activity," he added. Lamane said that the volcano last erupted in 2003, when no fatalities were recorded. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The archipelago nation is home to 129 active volcanoes, including 21 on Java. - AFP.
WATCH: Mount Gamalama erupts, thousands flee.


UPDATE: Ternate Islanders Struggle to Cope After Eruption of Mount Gamalama!

As Mount Gamalama continued to erupt on Tuesday in Ternate, North Maluku, authorities grew concerned about a possible outbreak of respiratory ailments and a clean water shortage. Fandi Febriyadi, a spokesman for the local office of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), said the risk of respiratory problems was increasing because residents lacked enough face masks to cope with volcanic ash spewing from the mountain after eruptions started on Sunday night.

The PMI distributed 3,000 masks from its temporary shelter at the Ternate mayor’s office, he said, but supplies ran out quickly. “The most pressing health threat now is upper respiratory tract infections because the volcanic ash contains a lot of silica, which is very harmful when inhaled,” Fandi said. He said much of the island of Ternate, which is essentially the volcanic cone of Gamalama, had been coated in a layer of ash. “All the residents need face masks, especially those riding motorcycles,” he said. - The Jakarta Globe.