Friday, February 29, 2008

Landslides: Storegga

Storegga sub marine land slide

Caused a major tsunami along the Norwegian coast a few years back - 6100 BC (in an astronomical perspective this is ONLY A FEW YEARS BACK, I insist!)

The International Centre for Geohazards (ICG) carries out research on the assessment, prevention and mitigation of geohazards, including risk of landslide in soil and rock due to rainfall, flooding, earthquakes and human intervention, and the geological risks in deep waters, especially underwater slides. The Centre also contributes to the education of researchers and specialists in these fields.

The ICG network knows a whole lot about Storegga!

The Sun

The Sun


Not an Orange

Supergranules are large cells, measuring around 30 000 kilometres across (about two Earths across) but their origin and depth are currently unknown.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Earthquakes in Norway

Recent Earthquakes Northern Europe

This week the UK experienced a significant earthquake. So did Norway up at Svalbard, in fact the strongest in history...

Details from Svalbard, Norway


Earthquake measuring 6,2 in Storfjorden, Svalbard, Norway

Time.: 2008/02/21 03:46:17
Place: Ca. 159 km East - souteast of Longyearbyen (76,95°N 18,76°E)
Strength: 6,2
Depth: 25 km

This Earthquake is the biggest on Norwegian territory in history. Many after quakes have been registered and they will continue.

The last earthquake in the same area took place 18. January 1976 with a measuring 5.5 on Richters.

Galileo Satellites


Credit: ESA (artist's impression)

I simply like satellites - this is GIOVE-B in orbit, the second Galileo satellite

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Sun

The Sun

Sun, soho, astronomy

Photo: SOHO

Blasting Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) - Expect storms!

This picture of the Sun makes me so HAPPY!

As you can see the sun gets rid of substantial amounts of gas from time to time. This gas can cause major solar wind storms here on Earth - knocking out instruments and even electric infrastructure. This is why we have established space weather prediction services.

For your convenience I'll keep the Sun vocabulary as a sticky part for a while. On the picture above you see the coronal mass clearly. Check the graphics below for your education...

Basic Sun Vocabulary

Sun, soho, astronomy

Graphics: SOHO

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Sun

The Sun

Sun, soho, astronomy

Photo: SOHO


Basic Sun Vocabulary

Sun, soho, astronomy

Graphics: SOHO

I have decided to introduce posts about the sun on a regular basis, hopefully daily. Almost like XineAnn's Cat of the Day. The days are getting longer here in Norway and I am reminded about all the time I've spent studying the details of our life giving closest star - the Sun.

Inspired by David I came to think of prominences yesterday, so that is the first word of the solar vocabulary I will introduce you too. Mostly in terms of pictures. The prominences are vast and violent ejaculations of solar gas. Some of the gas is trapped in the sun's magnetic field and stays put close to the sun, while often the gas escape the Sun and is then called solar wind. Andy has told me that he really would like to see the Aurora Borealis - spectacular evidence of the solar wind hitting the Earth!

Aurora Borealis

Galileo Satellites

Galileo Satellite

Credits: ESA

GIOVE-B in ESA's test facilty at ESTEC, in The Netherlands, in preparation for its launch in April 2008.

David Florida Laboratory


Nobody, I mean nobody, looks good when visiting a space resort... (I'm number three from the right)

David Florida Laboratory is quite impressive. I was reminded of my visit there by the cool wall on the Galileo picture. It is amazing in real life, rest assured. :-) But you have to sacrifice your good looks if you want to get close to the walls...

Seed Vault

Arctic Seed Vault


Photo: Mari Tefre

In "Day" Light

Photo: John McConnico/Associated Press

Photo: Mari Tefre

In Less "Day" Light.

I love this building - for several reasons.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

This is ART

Large Hadron Collider


Credit & Copyright: Maximilien Brice, CERN

In particle physics it is well known that the faster the particles move the smaller is the probability that the particles will collide. As a person with theoretical physics background I am obliged to...

...practice this when I drive my car!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

History of Grand Canyon

Origin of Grand Canyon

Photo: Frederic Labaune

The Colorado River plays a pivotal role in the cutting of Grand Canyon and the region's landscape evolution. How this started is still a bit of a mystery.

A group of geoscientists now believe they have solved part of the puzzle.

Regional geography and topography of Grand Canyon and Lake Mead region along the Colorado River. Large arrows indicate hypothetical paths of Colorado River before major incision of Grand Canyon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

GPS Applications

New Thermometer!

GPS beyond your wildest dreams.

The atmosphere alters the path of GPS signals that is being sent through it, hence we get information about the medium. We already have GPS applications within atmospheric research, the next generation of applications will be even more sophisticated - like a new thermometer. :-)

Hydro Power

Hydro - Power

Cartographer: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

Hydropower potential (theoretical possitibility for electricity generation).

Hydropower represents a clean and renewable energy source, but not without problems. Dams and reservoirs disrupt nature and culture in several ways.

The potential hydropower depends on the topography and precipitation in the countries. Being a mature technology, hydropower still leaves some possibilities to increase the effectiveness. Introducing new hydropower plants will reduce the dependency on mineral fuels, such as oil, coal and gas.

Coded message for XineAnn: Being a mountain monkey pays off. :-)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Seas on Titan

Credit: NASA/JPL

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, the second largest in the Solar System (after Ganymede of Jupiter). It was discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655.

Data from Cassini-Huygens. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The seas consist most likely of liquid methane and ethane.

Nice :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Photo: NASA

Aurora Australis (southern lights) on September 11, 2005, four days after a heavy Solar wind coming from a record-setting solar flare that sent plasma--an ionized gas of protons and electrons--flying towards the Earth.

My friend Don reminded me of its existence.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Automatic Identification System

Ocean monitoring

Credit: Norwegian Coastal Administration.
AIS provides an overview of ocean traffic.

Safety. Environment.

Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders, which give vessel name, position, speed, course and cargo to neighboring vessels and to the shore-based AIS network operated by the Norwegian Coastal Administration, is the state-of-the-art technology to be used to protect the environment and ensure safety for those traveling on Norwegian seas.

70% of Norwegian territory is ocean.

Norways first satellite

Proton from Russia to Space

Credit: International Launch Services (ILS).

An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket launches the Thor 5 satellite into orbit on Feb. 11, 2008.

With Norway's first satellite

Thor 5

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year

New Year 2008 - Beijing

The National Stage, also known under the name of "Bird's nest", was illuminated to celebrate the New Chinese Lunar year in Beijing. The construction of the stage started in 2003 and should be completed by the end of March. The Bird's nest will host the fence opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games 2008, athletics and football.

I controlled the progress of this construction in August 2007. Everything seemed to go according to plans...:-)

New Year 2008 - Lhasa, Tibet

Lunar New Year's day and the Tibetan New Year fall on the same day this year, i.e. on February 7, 2008.

Learn more about the history of the Tibetan New Year.

Thanks to pauljc for finding the Tibet link.