first_imgWhat do you get when you cross five stepladders, five dog leads, some wire wool and five kitchen whisks?The answer is an amazing tribute to Ireland’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.The amazing sight was captured by a group of amateur photographers from Buncrana. Members of Buncrana Camera Club decided they wanted to produce a picture that would capture the spirit of the games.And so armed with the necessary equipment and very good balance they have captured an amazing photograph.The picture was taken after a number of initially unsuccessful attempts on the Castle Bridge in Buncrana.The underside of the bridge was already lit up green from St Patrick’s day but there was no other trick photography. Gerard O’Kane of Buncrana Club, said they are delighted with the end result.Gerard, one of 54 members of the thriving club, revealed it took 10 photographers to get the perfect picture but they are not revealing who took the actual shot.“It was very much a team effort on behalf of the club.“It took us more than three hours to get it right and we even had to wait on a local fisherman to finish on the river.“But I have to say, it was certainly worth waiting for,” he said. Gerard revealed the technique used to capture the image which is already making its way around the world via the internet.“We put the steel wool into the whisks which are then tied to dogs leads of the same length.“The wool is then set on fire and the sparks create the rings when they are swung around.“It took us a number of attempts and we finally got finished up at 1am but it was worth it,” he said. SPECTACULAR! DONEGAL’S TRIBUTE TO OUR OLYMPIC ATHLETES was last modified: July 25th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Buncrana Camera ClubCastle Bridgedog leadsOlympic Gameswhiskswire woollast_img read more

Two Solar System Surprises

first_imgSometimes we learn more from surprises than predictions.Asteroid ringsRings belong around giant planets, not asteroids.  Tell that to Chariklo, an asteroid between Saturn and Uranus that boasts not just one ring, but two!  This first-of-its-kind discovery came as a “complete surprise,” the Brazilian discoverer said in Science Magazine’s news column; they were not even looking for rings.  New Scientist posted a video clip about how the rings were found.  Since an asteroid has far less gravity than a planet to hold onto ring particles, questions immediately arise: (1) how did the rings form, and (2) how are they sustained?  Partial answers, with disclaimers, were offered in the article:At present, it’s not clear how Chariklo’s ring system formed. One possibility is that a slow-motion collision with a smaller asteroid or comet once blasted debris into orbit, and the gravitational pull of the largest bits of debris have shepherded the smaller bits into a sharply defined ring. (The presence of such “shepherd moons” could help explain the distinct, 9-kilometer-wide gap between Chariklo’s two rings as well, Braga-Ribas notes.)Even if this “possibility” could be upgraded to a probability, it would seem that the rings would be very delicate and easily perturbed.  The asteroid, Science Daily notes, has such little gravity you could accelerate a sports car to escape velocity on its surface and drive off into space.  Wouldn’t the slightest tug from a planet or another asteroid make the ring particles fly away?  How long have they been in this configuration?Planetary scientists generally dislike assuming we live in a “special time” to observe a phenomenon.  Saturn’s rings are being eroded by multiple destructive processes (sunlight pressure, collisional spreading, impacts among them), leading scientists to conclude the rings are young, despite Saturn’s much greater holding power.  Unless little Chariklo’s rings formed very recently, 4.5 billion years (the assumed age of the solar system) is a long time to wipe them out.It seems a stretch to believe the scientists’ suggestion that the rings might be accreting into a moonlet.  Even if that could happen, a moonlet would just as easily be tugged out of orbit.  And it’s hardly a solution to multiply one’s surprises: Space.com quotes the discoverer saying, “Rings may be a much more common property than we thought.”New minor planetFar out!  Another sizable minor planet to join Sedna has been detected at the edge of the solar system – or, at least, where the hard bodies end and the assumed Inner Oort Cloud of comets (never observed) theoretically begins.  We should note at the outset that, contrary to USA Today‘s titillations, a super-Earth has NOT been discovered out there (more on that later).  The new body, with its temporary name 2012 VP113, is 83 A.U. (astronomical units, 1 AU = earth-sun distance) away from the sun.  Size-wise, as Science Magazine describes in a pithy analogy, “If Pluto were as big as a basketball, Sedna would be a softball and the new world a mere golf ball.”  Science Daily says this is probably one of thousands of bodies out there that await discovery.What’s weird about VP113 is that, like Sedna, it has a highly elliptical orbit, so 83 AU is its nearest point, or perihelion, far beyond Neptune’s orbit.  That means, “Whereas Pluto orbits the sun every 248 years, the new world requires 4340 years and Sedna 12,600 years to do the same.”  Since planets are assumed to form from a circular dust disk, theoreticians have a problem.  They postulate that Sedna, VP113 and similar bodies were jolted out of their original orbits by gravitational encounters with other bodies.  The smaller the body, the easier this could happen; that’s why Chariklo’s rings are a problem.Analysis of the orbits of these two minor planets suggests there is something tugging on them.  (Note: orbital anomalies led Adams and LeVerrier to predict and discover Neptune in the 19th century.)  That’s why USA Today, New Scientist and Live Science are teasing readers about a possible super-Earth-size “Planet X” farther out there.  (New Scientist has the clearest diagram of the orbits.)  The discoverers toyed with this idea in their models and found a possible fit if the super-Earth were at 250 AU, but admitted it was not a unique solution: “This configuration is not unique and there are many possibilities for such an unseen perturber.”  Veteran planet hunterr Mike Brown of Caltech commented, “It is possible that some undiscovered large object out there is doing this, but there are likely many other explanations, too, most of them sadly more mundane.”  An Earth-sized planet at that distance would be undetectable by modern methods, the paper said.Commenting on the paper in Nature, Megan Schwamb says “The discovery of a second resident in a region of the Solar System called the inner Oort cloud prompts fresh thinking about this no-man’s-land between the giant planets and the reservoir of comets of long orbital period.”  If “A decade after its discovery, Sedna still remains one of the strangest objects in the Solar System,” now it has a contender. She is dumbstruck by these objects:To all intents and purposes, in the current architecture of the Solar System, Sedna and 2012 VP113 should not be there. These objects are in a no-man’s-land between the giant planets and the Oort cloud where nothing in the known configuration of the modern-day Solar System could have emplaced them. Effectively frozen in place and untouched as the Solar System evolved to its present state, their orbits preserve the dynamical signature of whatever event scattered these bodies to such distances and detached them from the giant-planet region.Maybe passing stars did it, she considers.  “There is no direct way to identify whether the Sun was ever in a stellar nursery or to find its siblings,” though, she admits. “But indirectly, the mark from those early stellar encounters, like fingerprints at a crime scene, could provide evidence for the sculpted distribution of orbits in the inner Oort cloud.”  As for that inner Oort Cloud, its existence is cloudy: both minor planets would be far to the interior of its assumed position.  Does it even exist?  “Our knowledge of the inner Oort cloud is, in many ways, in the same state as the study of the Kuiper belt was in the 1990s, when the first Kuiper-belt objects were discovered — 62 years after Pluto’s detection.”  She assumes these objects will shed light on it.  But they are not even part of it, so how can they?These stories contribute to a pile of indictments of solar system astronomers that show: (1) every body they observed with spacecraft or improved instruments did not match predictions, and (2) everything else was a surprise.  They are experts at math and observation, but when it comes to prediction, psychics might be a better bet.  Megan’s confession is the take-home lesson: “Sedna and 2012 VP113 should not be there.”  That line sounds familiar.  If you watch the DVDs by Spike Psarris (CreationAstronomy.com), he quotes similar statements – by leading astronomers – in reputable journals – about various planets and stars.  They shouldn’t be there.  But they are.  Maybe the scientists are the ones who shouldn’t be there. (Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Dominica gets 300 temporary homes 34 million to rebuild communities

first_img Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation Announces Donation To Rotary Club Of The Bahamas For Relief Efforts In The Bahamas Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Oct 2015 – As an update on Dominica, the first 50 of 300 temporary houses donated by Venezuela arrived Monday. Tropical Storm Erika did major damage in that Caribbean country where 31 people died. It is said it will take $200 million to restore Dominica, of that $34 million is earmarked for a re-settlement program. In The Bahamas Hurricane Joaquin’s damage is estimated at $60 million and tonight in the TCI the One Bahamas Association and Police welfare will hold a fundraiser, $50 a ticket, at Tiki Hut. North to Middle Caicos Causeway behind schedule; residents concerned over Joaquin flooding Related Items:hurricane joaquin, sominica, tropical storm erika Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Atlantic Hurricane Season over; takes 88 lives, costs $590 millionlast_img read more

San Diego Swift Water Rescue teams will not be deployed to Houston

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 123 Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 8:30 p.m. — San Diego’s swift water rescues teams will not be deployed to Houston to assist in the aftermath of the storm.San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy released a statement Wednesday night saying representatives from the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) held a conference call with fire agency chief officers representing all of the CalOES designated and available swift water rescue teams.”CalOES informed those on the conference call that they had not received, nor do they anticipate receiving an EMAC request from the State of Texas for more than two of the CalOES sponsored swift water rescue teams. The CalOES sponsored San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Swiftwater Rescue Team is not one of the two teams that have been identified to deploy if, in fact, CalOES receives a formal request from another state for assistance,” Chief Fennessy said.”For decades, SDFD has actively participated in local, statewide and federal mutual aid. It’s important to note that the fire chief of any department retains the authority to approve or disapprove mutual aid requests. I am prepared to honor and approve federal or state emergency mutual aid resource requests for assistance to any of the areas impacted by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.  However, it is my sworn duty to NOT honor or approve any outside agency mutual aid request for resources if doing so would cause the department to unreasonably deplete its resources, facilities, and/or services which would then represent an unacceptable risk to the residents and visitors of the City of San Diego,” Chief Fennessy added.11:00 a.m. — A San Diego Lifeguard Swift Water Rescue team — at the center of a dispute over San Diego’s emergency response to Hurricane Harvey — will likely be sent Wednesday to aid the search and rescue efforts in the wake of the storm’s devastation, officials said.Lifeguard Sgt. Ed Harris, the head of the lifeguards union in San Diego and a former interim city councilman, had accused the fire chief of blocking the team’s deployment, but the chief said Tuesday that assistance from the lifeguards had not been requested.That changed later Tuesday.President Trump visited Texas (Tuesday) afternoon, and shortly thereafter there was a call for the deployment of 100 swift water rescue teams from around the country to help with recovery efforts,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said Tuesday night. “(The California Office of Emergency Services) is still waiting for the formal request but expects to order its 13 swift water rescue teams, including one based in San Diego, to head to Texas.”That team will be led by a SDFRD battalion chief and consist of two addition Fire-Rescue personnel and 11 lifeguards.In an open letter to Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and in a news conference early Tuesday, Harris accused SDFRD chief Brian Fennessy of blocking the lifeguard team’s deployment after the lifeguards packed and readied several boats as Harvey approached the Gulf Coast.”We are sickened that Chief Brian Fennessy has blocked our response,” Harris wrote in the letter also addressed to Houston’s mayor and residents. Fennessy responded with a news conference of his own at which he explained that San Diego already sent rescuers — Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 8, which specializes in large-scale urban disasters — and deployment decisions were being made by FEMA and state emergency services offices.”There is a system that provides the resources during these types of disasters,” he said. “I can’t just send them down there because they want to go.”Harvey, now a tropical storm, first made landfall Friday over Texas. Flooding from the rain has displaced thousands, caused at least 30 confirmed or suspected deaths and dropped more rain than any previous storm in U.S. history, with more than 50 inches in some areas. It moved back over the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall again this morning in Louisiana. Show Caption Hide Caption Posted: August 29, 2017 August 29, 2017center_img Show Caption Hide Caption San Diego Swift Water Rescue teams will not be deployed to Houston to assist in storm aftermath Show Caption Hide Caption KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, San Diego Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 8 in transit just outside of San Antonio. Eager to join the rescue effort. So proud of you all! pic.twitter.com/xfZHXo4eT4— Chief Brian Fennessy (@SDFDChief) August 29, 2017Harris said in his letter that even when asked to stand down Saturday, his team remained prepared.”Our team stayed packed and readied more boats and asked to go,” Harris wrote in the letter he released Monday night. “We have plenty of staff to send, but we are blocked.”Fennessy said he was “profoundly, profoundly disappointed in lifeguard Sgt. Harris,” who he accused of lying about the response and “politicizing his own agenda.”The dispute was not the first time Harris has squared off publicly with the fire chief and the fire department. Earlier this year the lifeguard union, which is part of Teamsters Local 911, filed a grievance in opposition to the change in dispatching procedure for inland water rescues. And last month Harris filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego accusing Fennessy of “purposefully and recklessly manipulating public-safety data and procedures in order to rationalize an expansion of the fire department’s personnel.”City officials countered that reassigning calls to the SDFRD dispatch instead of lifeguard dispatch was a necessary move because the lifeguards’ system, which only allows for two calls to be answered at a time, tended to be quickly overwhelmed, forcing some 911 calls to go unanswered during high-volume periods, such as in severe storm conditions. last_img read more