Rainbows along the Mendocino Coast – Ver 2

I love rainbows. Not sure why, They seem to be a harbinger of peace to me.

Here’s a few pics of rainbows that have hovedto on my computer in the last little while.

Rainbowout sea from Van Damme Park

Rainbow over the C V Starr Centre in Fort Bragg

Rainbow over Noyo Harbour

Rainbow over Mendocino

Rainbow out to sea at Navarro

Rainbow at Westport

And to finish yjings off some rainbow music!!!!


The Sun like you have never seen it

Start by looking at this vid …..

The first pictures from SoLO – the name of the spacecraft are stunning:

The sun’s surface with earth in the corner for scale

This picture of the Sun was taken just 48 million miles from its surface is the closest ever acquired by cameras. The picture comes from the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe, which was launched earlier this year. Among the craft’s novel insights are views of mini-flares dubbed “camp fires” such as the one with arrow pointing at it in the above photo.

These are millionths of the size of the Sun’s giant flares that are routinely observed by Earth telescopes. Whether these miniature versions are driven by the same mechanisms, though, is unclear. But these small flares could be involved in the mysterious heating process that makes the star’s outer atmosphere, or corona, far hotter than its surface. “The Sun has a relatively cool surface of about 5,500 degrees and is surrounded by a super-hot atmosphere of more than a million degrees,” explained Esa project scientist Daniel Müller.

The Sun’s emissions have profound impacts at Earth that go far beyond just providing light and warmth. Often, they are disruptive; outbursts of charged particles with their entrained magnetic fields will trip electronics on satellites and degrade radio communications. SolO could help scientists better predict this interference.

“The recent situation with coronavirus has proved how important it is to stay connected, and satellites are part of that connectivity,” said Caroline Harper, the head of space science at the UK Space Agency. “So, it really is important that we learn more about the Sun so that we can predict its weather, its space weather, in the same ways we’ve learned how to do (with weather) here on Earth.”

SoLo’s 10 instruments will enable scientists to untangle what drives the sun

Solar Orbiter has been set on a series of loops around the Sun that will gradually take it closer still – ultimately to a separation of less than 43 million km. That will put SolO inside the orbit of the planet Mercury.





A new comet, Neowise, appears in Earth’s skies

I am an addict for all stuff about the stars. I’m all in for stuff on the mathematics of the motions of the stars. I have a “permanent” link to the NASA site of pics taken by space telescopes. In April I learned that we might, just might, see a new, not previously known comet. So, if you don’t know about Neowise – that’s it’s name – here’s a heads up.

This is the best article I have found on “my” new comet and I found it on the MSNBC website:

“A comet spotted by a space telescope has suddenly brightened enough to be visible to the naked eye – giving new hope to skywatchers disappointed by recent comets that failed to be easily seen.

The new comet can be seen after sunset, just above the horizon in the northwest as it moves farther from the Sun.

BEIJING, CHINA – JULY 7, 2020 – Comet Neowise

The Comet NEOWISE as seen above Salgotarjan, Hungary, early on July 10, 2020.

It’s named after the Neowise space telescope that first detected it on March 27. Most comets are not bright enough to be seen from Earth, but Comet Neowise showed early promise.

“As soon as we saw how close it would come to the Sun, we had hopes that it would put on a good show,” said University of Arizona astrophysicist Amy Mainzer, the principal investigator for NASA’s Neowise mission.

Comet Neowise survived its closest approach to the Sun, when it was most in danger of breaking apart from gravitational forces, last Friday, July 3.

It will pass within 65 million miles of the Earth on July 22, before heading once more for the far reaches of the solar system on a roughly 6,800-year orbit.

The comet’s nucleus is a 3-mile wide “dirty snowball” left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, said astrophysicist Karl Battams of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, who studies comets that near the Sun. “They’re collections of rock and dust, all bound together with frozen ices and gases,” he said.

As a comet gets closer to the Sun, on an orbit that can take tens of thousands of years, the frozen gases start to boil off, and the vaporized gas and dust spread out behind the nucleus to create its visible tail. Comet Neowise actually has two distinct tails, one of gas and one of rocky dust, that point in slightly different directions because they react differently to the movement of the comet and the solar wind of charged particles that stream from the Sun, Battams said.

The comet’s recent surge in brightness could mean that the Sun’s heat has reached volatile pockets near the surface of the nucleus, explained astronomer John Bortle of Stormyville, New York, who has studied comets for more than 50 years. Comet Neowise was at its brightest when it was closest to the Sun, but it is now entering a better position in the sky for observing it.

“Soon it will recede from the morning twilight in which it has been mired this week and become much better seen, perhaps making it look brighter temporarily to most observers,” Bortle said in an email. Two other promising comets in the last year fizzled out at this stage and never became bright enough to be easily seen.

But the new comet has already been seen by observers around the world and by astronauts on the International Space Station.

A video from the ISS of Comet Neowise rising above the Earth has also been released on YouTube.

Comet Neowsie is not expected to grow as bright as a “great comet,” such as Hale-Bopp in 1997, but it’s one of the brightest this century, outshone only by Comet McNaught in 2007. From July 11, the comet’s fuzzy nucleus should be visible to the naked eye soon after sunset, just above the horizon at north-northwest, while binoculars could reveal its much larger but faint tail pointing away from the Sun.

Over the following days the comet will climb higher in the northwestern night sky before it disappears to the eye in August, although it will still be visible by telescope.”

Rainbows along the Mendocino Coast

Rainbows are as rare as hen’s teeth along the Mendocino Coast. My grandma used to tell me that a rainbow meant it was a monkey’s birthday – don’t ask I don’t know. These pics are the result of several years of collecting. I’d like to thank those who took the pics – regretfully I can’t thank each personally.

Click on any photo to see full size and initiate the gallery.

5.9 Earthquake North of us in Fort Bragg CA near Eureka

A small but strong earthquake shook through the Northern California coastline Sunday evening, March 8, at approximately 7:59 p.m.

The National Weather Service has reported the event was a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that began about 70 miles off the coast of Eureka, to the southwest, at a depth of approximately 1.2 miles, in the Mendocino Triple Junction.

The Mendocino Triple Junction is a point where three faults — the Gorda plate, the North American plate and the Pacific plate — meet in the Pacific Ocean near Cape Mendocino in Humboldt County. Seismic activity there is often responsible for the earthquakes felt in our area. There is strong suspicion that this triple junction might be the site of a future Tsunami.

I was sitting in my chair reading a book when the quake struck. No damage at our house.

5.9 Earthquake map

1906 Earthquake hits Point Arena

The first European to record Point Arena was Spaniard Bartolomé Ferrer in 1543, who named it Cabo de Fortunas (Spanish for “cape of fortunes”). The cape was renamed to Punta Delgado (narrow point) in 1775 by lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (commander of the schooner Sonora), part of a royal expedition chartered by the government of Mexico to map the north coast of Alta California. Later the point, and the small harbor town south of it, were called Barra de Arena (i.e. sandbar) and finally Punta Arena (literally “sand point”). The Punta Arena post office opened in 1858, and was renamed Point Arena in 1889. The first store at Point Arena opened in 1859. Point Arena incorporated in 1908. It isn’t very big now and was even smaller when the 1906 earthquake hit.

Virtually all visitors to our layout in Fort Bragg are amazed to find out that the 1906 earthquake was not just about San Francisco but the entire Californian Coast north up to Eureka. I think I have finally found a way to show visually just how close the fault line is to the Mendocino Coast. Look at this topo map which shows Point Arena in the centre. The land features to the right (east) of Point Arena are the same as the features under the sea. The dark blue streak in the water running from the top left corner of the map to about a third of the way across the middle of the bottom is the San Andreas Fault – a mere four miles offshore. Click on the map to see it enlarged.

Topo Map of Point Arena

This picture which I recently received shows the damage to Point Arena Main Street caused by the Quake.

Point Arena after the 1906 earthquake