Uneven Gravity


Our planet isn’t a perfect sphere, as such Earth’s mass is distributed unevenly. Ponder how uneven mass manifests itself as uneven gravity.

There's uneven gravity

Pictured above Hudson Bay, Canada, one of Earth’s gravitational anomalies.

Science has pondered lower gravity in Hudson Bay since the 1960s. Basic laws of gravity dictate its force is proportional to mass in a given region. One theory steps 20,000 years back to the last ice age, a time when behemoth ice sheets crinkled Earth’s crust, displacing mass. Another theory credits tectonic plates, movement of magma and subduction.

We think of gravity as constant, one planet, one equal gravitational force. I wonder how many know they weigh 1% less at the equator than the poles. Rotation creates centrifugal force which varies by latitude because our planet is a oblate sphere. Centrifugal is an outward force, gravity a inward phenomenon. Earth spins fastest at the equator, outward centrifugal forces cancel gravity resulting in diminished measurable weight. The link below is a great resource –

http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2014/01/07/do-i-weigh-less-on-the-equator-than-at-the-north-pole/

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation states that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

Uneven gravity isn’t fickle or complicated, uneven distribution of mass and centrifugal force account for gravitational anomalies. Everything happens for a reason.

https://www.rankred.com/why-we-observe-uneven-gravity-on-earth/

 

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Violet Road


Last week astro-photographer Adrien Mauduit filmed the first ever live concert under the Northern Lights. From the aurora borealis observatory in Senja, Norway – ponder Norwegian band Violet Road performing “Keep on Running” under aurora’s light….

Follow Adrien Mauduit at – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC0CLzCpM6nuLSAi1JNBjkA

Geomagnetic Storm


It began with a routine check of space weather before bed. I say routine because it used to be daily ritual until a few months ago when work took siege of every waking moment. Not so long ago I would have been all over a geomagnetic storm, auroras are my thing and I miss them. SpaceWeather http://spaceweather.com/ told of “the next geomagnetic storm”, Earth’s exit from one solar stream and anticipated arrival of another on November 18. Oh man, what solar stream? Then I remembered Adrien Mauduit, newly discovered astro-photographer and visionary whose efforts warm my heart.

Sure enough, Mauduit not only knew of last weekend’s solar storm, he captured its ethereal beauty in HD.

Adrien Mauduit wrote “If you missed the show last night, here’s a recap of what happened from the Aurora observatory on Senja island, Norway. “

Spider Beach


On the morning of September 19, 300 meters of shoreline in Aitoliko, Greece woke to a gossamer siege of Tetragnatha spider web. Commonly called stretch spiders for their elongated bodies, over 300 species of harmless Tetragnatha inhabit our world. Partial to low vegetation at waters edge, stretch spiders thrive on mosquitoes and water born insects. Every few years a perfect storm of warm moist weather and mosquito bloom spark a stretch spider orgy. But for carefree visual grandstanding, arachnid party-goers mating with wild abandon while gorging on mosquitoes would remain nature’s secret.

https://greece.greekreporter.com/2018/09/18/massive-spider-web-covers-an-entire-beach-in-greece-photos/

Plants and palm trees covered in a veil of spider webs

Plants and palm trees covered in a veil of spider webs

Plants covered in a veil of spider webs

 

Image result for tetragnatha spiders

Tetragnatha Spider

Pondering Cetacean Menopause


Of all living things in all the world only 5 species experience menopause – Humans, beluga whales, narwhal, killer whales and short finned pilot whales. Who knew the hot flash clubhouse restricted entry to all but women and a smattering of cetaceans?

http://earthsky.org/earth/beluga-whales-narwhals-go-through-menopause?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=973760ff5a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-973760ff5a-393970565

Sam Ellis of the University of Exeter, lead author of a study published August 27, 2018 in the journal Scientific Reports wrote –

For menopause to make sense in evolutionary terms, a species needs both a reason to stop reproducing and a reason to live on afterwards.

In killer whales, the reason to stop comes because both male and female offspring stay with their mothers for life – so as a female ages, her group contains more and more of her children and grandchildren.

This increasing relatedness means that, if she keeps having young, they compete with her own direct descendants for resources such as food.

The reason to continue living is that older females are of great benefit to their offspring and grand-offspring. For example, their knowledge of where to find food helps groups survive.

Prior to publication 3 menopausal species were known to science, Ellis made it 5 by adding belugas and narwhal. Humans and 4 whale species, period.

 

Uncle Fester


In 2016 the Vancouver Parks Board acquired a botanical oddity native to Sumatra, Indonesia. On June 21, 2018 horticulturalists at Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory spotted a 28 centimetre bud on titan arum, the world’s largest and rarest flowering plant. commonly known as corpse or carrion flower. Over a 40 year lifespan this prehistoric behemoth might bloom 3 times for 24-48 hours. Bloom characterized by the stench of rotting meat, mother nature’s ruse to trick carrion eating beetle and insect pollinators. Gardeners at Bloedel dubbed their prize Uncle Fester.

Barely 6 years old, Uncle Fester wasn’t supposed to bloom for several years. Fester’s petals started to open Sunday, for 2 days public frenzy to catch a whiff of Fester meant waiting in line for several hours. A five minute walk from home, I considered joining the queue last night. A co-worker’s text – “waited an hour and fifteen, petals closed, no smell” – kept me home. All the same, putrid or not, Fester is a natural wonder.

The lineup to see (and smell) the flower, which is expected to emit its stench for up to 48 hours, stretched out front of the Bloedel Conservatory on Monday morning. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/corpse-flower-begins-emitting-putrid-smell-1.4748375

Lux Caeli


Lux Caeli, Latin for “sky light” (loose translation) is a timelapse photography project by Adrien Mauduit. In his words –

“Summer is often synonymous with light, warmth, sun, vacation and ultimately night outings. As the latter generally has a social connotation, it can also mean something else for more and more people. Summer is also the host of a wide variety of celestial events that more than one can enjoy. Amateur photographers, professionals, backyard astronomers, star gazers, you, me, we all tend to linger outside longer to gaze at the sky’s impressive displays while it is not too cold. But what is so special about them at this particular time of the year? Probably the possibility of watching several phenomena occur at the same time! In my latest project called ‘LUX CÆLI’ (from Latin, ‘sky light’), I wanted to focus on these events and show their mesmerizing nature in a time-lapse series. It is merely a celebration of the summer time night sky phenomena in high resolution, and my goal was to show them in a bit different way. Whether you are talking about a sunset, northern light, meteor showers or eclipse, these displays are all breath-taking by essence. However the pinnacle of celestial awesomeness is to witness several of these natural phenomena happen at once.”

Ponder Lux Caeli –