Professional and amateur photographers alike submit their best work for National Geographic’s annual photo contest

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , on October 24, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

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From a bustling Lunar New Year parade in New York City to a lone seal relaxing on a ice shelf in Antarctica, photographers have recorded the world’s many wonders and are now submitting their best pictures for consideration in National Geographic’s annual photo contest. 

Below are just a few of the thousands of images already submitted for the 2014 contest, focusing on people, places and nature around the world. 

Last year, the magazine received more than 7,000 entries from 150 countries with the winning image coming from photographer Paul Souders, who captured a polar bear emerging from under an ice shelf. 

The contest remains open, and anyone wishing to submit a photo has until October 31. 

The grand prize winner receives a $10,000 prize and paid trip to National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, DC for the magazine’s January 2015 photography seminar. 

The first place winners in each category will receive a $2,500 prize and have his or her photographed published in the magazine. 

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory: October 22nd 2014, Lots of Solar Flares

Posted in 2014, astronomy with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

Solar activity is high. During the past 48 hours, monster sunspot AR2192 has produced a series of seven M-class solar flares of increasing intensity. The eruptions crossed the threshold into X-territory with an X1-class flare on Oct. 22nd. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a powerful flash of extreme UV radiation in the sunspot’s magnetic canopy at 14:30 UT

Remarkably, not one of the explosions so far has hurled a significant CME toward Earth. The primary effect of the flares has been to ionize Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing a series of short-lived HF radio communications blackouts. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Earth-effects could increase in the days ahead. AR2192 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful explosions, and the active region is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate at 65% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

The Big Freeze from the BBC

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

This program has the ability to get anyone excited about geology and Earth Sciences. It takes us from the Swiss Alps to Barbados and all over the world, to show the effects of the last Ice Age on the Earth’s surface on which we live.

We know Ice Ages are cyclical. There’s bound to be another one again. Climate change is nothing new; it a constant. Many people are outraged about the mere mention human-caused “Global Warming” – and they’re correct, in the sense that this phenomenon is at least Solar-System-wide; the increased luminosity of the gas giants and the increasing temperatures of all of our neighboring planets are also currently being observed.

There is also the under-reported news that the Solar System has been traveling through an area of the Milky Way galaxy that is higher in plasma and charged particles than ever previously recorded – which is the likely cause of the above-mentioned and other phenomena, including the slow geomagnetic reversal of the Earth’s poles, as the Solar System completes the process of crossing the Galactic Equator, which began several years ago and which will be complete by 2016.

This process appears to have been understood by the Maya of Central America, thousands of years ago, but the means by which they appeared to do so, we don’t currently understand. That’s what the 2012 hullabaloo was all about: To the Classic Maya, this time period represented the dawn of a new age.

The outrage that exists among some groups today regarding “anthropogenic” Global Warming is that it’s being used as the “scientific” underpinning for bogus, financial carbon-trading schemes and due to its implicit justifications for massive global depopulation, to put this apocalyptic “warming” phenomenon in check, raising the obvious question of who gets to stay and who gets to go, in our Brave New World.

There are also many in this camp argue that increasing temperatures are actually a prelude to an approaching Ice Age. Which beings us to this program. Imagine our world in the not-too-distant future? In parts of the northern hemisphere, the temperature plummets to -90 F. At 130 below, public transportation fails.

Those caught outside, freeze to death. Buildings collapse under the weight of snow and ice. The power goes out, society collapses, and anarchy takes its place. Could this be a vision of our future? In this documentary, Naked Science examines what may cause temperatures to plummet and what the outcomes would be. 

In a selection of happy snaps, animals, both furry and scaly, are shown beaming as they pose for pictures

Posted in 2014, animals with tags , , , , on October 21, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Photographer Johan Lolos captures outstanding images during year-long, 25,000-mile trek around Australia

Posted in 2014 with tags , on October 20, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

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It was not a trip to undertake lightly. Photographer Johan Lolos has just completed an epic 25,000-mile, year-long journey around Australia taking stunning pictures of breath-taking scenery from every corner of the country.

Despite the vast distances and the long time away from home the intrepid Belgian explorer confesses: ‘I didn’t prepare or plan anything. I arrived in Melbourne with no accommodation booked.’

From Melbourne, he couch surfed, trekked, flew, sailed and hitchhiked his way around Australia and over 12 months managed to visit every state, traversing across deserts, mountains and beaches and passing through cities.

From the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock to Sydney Opera House and Kalbarri National Park, no Australian stone was left unturned (or not photographed).

Johan encountered kangaroos, sea turtles, swam with whale sharks and wild dolphins, sailed about the Whitsundays, flew over the Great Barrier Reef and got a PADI diving licence.

But in all his time in the country, one experience may have surpassed them all.

He said: ‘One of the best moments came in Bare Sand Island, Northern Territory when I witnessed sea turtles coming out of the sea to lay their eggs on the beach. 

‘Then I watched as turtles from another nest began hatching and helped them find their way to the sea. Truly unforgettable.’ 

Comet Siding Spring’s near-miss of Mars is today! October 19th 2014

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , on October 19, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame




UPDATE OCTOBER 19, 2014. Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will sweep very close to the planet Mars today. It will be less than one-tenth the distance of any known previous earthly comet flyby on October 19 at 18:28 UTC, or 1:28 p.m. Central Daylight Time in North America.

The comet won’t collide with Mars, but its nucleus is expected to come within 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers) of the Red Planet, or about one-third the moon’s distance from Earth. The comet’s coma of gas and dust may engulf Mars! In way of contrast, the closest comet to swing by Earth in recorded history was Lexell’s Comet, at six times the moon’s distance from Earth (6 x 384,400 kilometers or 238,855 miles) in the year 1770. Follow the links below to learn more about the comet that’s buzzing Mars today





Behemoth sunspot AR2192 has unleashed an X1-class solar flare

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , on October 19, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

This comes as no surprise. Behemoth sunspot AR2192 has unleashed an X1-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast in this extreme UV image of the sun on Oct. 19th (0500 UT):

A pulse of ultraviolet and X-radiation from the flare caused a brief but strong HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth, mainly over Asia and Australia.

Update (8:30 AM PDT): Remarkably, this explosion did not yield a significant CME. Just-arriving coronagraph images from SOHO show no cloud emerging from the blast site.

Big sunspots tend to produce big flares, and clearly AR2192 is no exception. More X-flares are likely as AR2192 turns toward Earth in the days ahead. Also, if you have a solar telescope, point it at the sun. This active region is a real beauty. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

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