Crystalline Silica In Meteorite Brings Scientists Closer To Understanding Solar Evolution

A multi-institutional team of researchers has discovered silica mineral quartz in a primitive meteorite, comprising direct evidence of silica condensation within the solar protoplanetary disk, and offering new clues to understanding solar formation and evolution. Though previous infrared spectroscopic observations have suggested the existence of silica in young and newly formed T Tauri stars as well as in asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in their last phase of life, no evidence of gas-solid condensation of silica had been found in other primitive meteorites from the early stages of the solar system.

The scientists studied the primitive meteorite Yamato-793261 (Y-793261), a carbonaceous chondrite collected from an ice field near the Yamato Mountains during the 20th Japan Antarctic Research Expedition in 1979.

“The degree of crystallinity of organic matter in Y-793261 shows that it did not undergo thermal metamorphism,” explains Timothy Jay Fagan, professor of geochemistry at Waseda University. “This confirms that Y-793261 preserves minerals and textures of its nebular origin, providing us with records of the early solar system.”

A major component of chondrites includes refractory inclusions, which form at high temperatures and are the oldest solar system solids dated. Refractory inclusions can be subdivided into calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs). The research team found an AOA in Y-793261 containing typical AOA minerals and ultra-refractory (very high temperature) scandium- and zirconium-bearing minerals, along with the quartz (which forms at comparatively lower temperature). “Such variety in minerals implies that the AOA condensed from nebular gas to solid over a wide temperature range from approximately 1500–900°C,” Professor Fagan says.S “This aggregate is the first of its kind to be found in our solar system.”

They also found that the quartz in the AOA has an oxygen isotopic composition close to the sun’s. This isotopic composition is typical of refractory inclusions in general, which indicates that refractory inclusions formed close to the protosun (approximately 0.1 AU, or 1/10 of the distance from the Earth to the sun). The fact that the quartz in the Y-793261 shares this isotopic composition indicates that the quartz formed in the same setting in the solar nebula. However, silica condensation from solar nebula gas is hypothetically impossible if minerals and gas remain in equilibrium during condensation. This finding serves as evidence that the AOA formed from a rapidly cooling gas. As silica-poor minerals condensed from the gas, the gas changed composition, becoming more silica-rich, until the quartz became stable and crystallized.

Professor Fagan says that the origin of Y-793261 is most likely an astronomical object near 162173 Ryugu (commonly known as Ryugu), an asteroid named after a dragon’s palace from an old Japanese folktale. Currently being investigated by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2, Ryugu may share the same properties as Y-793261 and potentially provide more records on the early solar system. “By combining ongoing research on meteorites with new results from Ryugu, we hope to better understand the thermal events and transfers of mass that occurred during the beginning stages of our solar system.”

Hurricane Lane: Category 3 Storm Threatens Prolonged Heavy Rainfall On Hawaii

HONOLULU — Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a Category 3 Thursday, but the storm’s slow motion threatened Hawaii with days of rain. Parts of the Big Island were soaked with more than a foot of rain Thursday.

Forecasters say Lane’s current track has the storm coming “perilously close” the main Hawaiian Islands Thursday into Friday as a hurricane. In addition to downpours, the hurricane is pushing up wave heights and could mean strong winds, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB reports.

Forecasters said Lane’s eye passed over a buoy about 250 miles southwest of the Big Island on Thursday morning, and a peak wind speed of 107 mph was recorded.

“Regardless of the exact track, life-threatening impacts are likely over many areas as this strong hurricane makes its closest approach,” the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

As of 2 p.m. local time, Lane was located about 190 miles south-southwest of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, and about 200 miles south of Honolulu. Maximum sustained winds were recorded at 125 mph, making it a powerful Category 3 storm.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that some areas could see up to 30 inches before the system passes. Bands of rain extended 350 miles from the hurricane’s center. Hurricane-force winds extend 35 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

“Hurricane Lane is still a dangerous and powerful storm,” said Gov. David Ige, in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“Lane, while it’s been downgraded, is wide and very moist and it’s going to hang around for a while,” said Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Hawaii’s last direct hit happened in 1992 with Hurricane Iniki, causing $3 billion in damage. The Big Island is already reeling from months of devastating lava flows from the Kilauea volcano. For an island that just can’t seem to catch a break, those eruptions have died down just as waters start to rise.

“Even though the eye is south of the Big Island, we are seeing excessive rainfall already affecting the islands,” weather service meteorologist Gavin Shigesato said from Honolulu.

Tropical storm conditions, with winds of 73 mph, were expected to reach the Big Island, Hawaii’s easternmost major island, later Thursday morning, with hurricane conditions possible later in the day.

Authorities said Thursday two campers are trapped in a Hawaii valley that has been hit by heavy rain from an approaching hurricane.

Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said the campers called to report they were trapped Wednesday in Waipio Valley on the Big Island’s northern coast.

He said emergency workers haven’t been able to contact them since then because of poor cellphone reception.

He said it’s not safe for emergency crews to search for them because of landslides and rivers of rain blocking roads.

Okabe said the south shore of the Big Island is seeing 31-foot swells as Hurricane Lane approaches.

Dangerous, heavy rains and flooding are occurring in east Hawaii as Lane slows down.

Okabe says there are also reports of boulders falling in a Hilo park.

NASA and NOAA shared an view of the hurricane from space showing the huge swirling storm clouds closing in on Hawaii. The image, taken by the GOES-15 satellite Wednesday, reveals the well-developed eye of the storm positioned about 300 miles south of the Big Island.

The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year. Hawaii rarely gets hit. The last major storm to hit was Iniki in 1992. Others have come close in recent years.

“We’re planning on boarding up all our windows and sliding doors,” Napua Puaoi of Wailuku, Maui, said after buying plywood from Home Depot. “As soon as my husband comes home — he has all the power tools.”

Puaoi was 12 at the time of Hurricane Iniki.

“When it did happen, I just remember pandemonium. It was all-out craziness,” she said.

Unlike Florida or Texas, where residents can get in their cars and drive hundreds of miles to safety, people in Hawaii are confined to the islands and must stay put. They have to make sure they have enough supplies to outlast prolonged power outages and other potential emergencies.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has several barges with food, water and supplies that it moved into the region ahead of Hurricane Hector, which skirted past the islands more than a week ago, according to FEMA Administrator Brock Long.

The U.S. Navy was moving ships and submarines out of Hawaii. All vessels not currently undergoing maintenance were being positioned to help respond after the storm, if needed.

President Trump issued a disaster declaration Wednesday, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, to coordinate disaster-relief efforts with the state.

Second Strong Earthquake Strikes Near Aleutian Islands Volcano In Alaska

For the second time within the past week, a strong earthquake near a volcano has shaken the Aleutian Islands located between Alaska and Russia.

A 6.3-magnitude quake hit at 8:35 p.m. on August 22 (PT) about 45 kilometres (28 miles) southeast of Tanaga Volcano, Alaska, and 95 kilometres (59 miles) southwest of Adak, Alaska, at a depth of 44 kilometres (27 miles).

As a tsunami was not expected, a warning was not issued by the U.S. Tsunami Warning System.

This seismic event follows a 6.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the same area, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Tanaga Volcano and 108 kilometres (67 miles) west of Adak, on August 15.

The last time Tanaga Volcano erupted was in 1914.

Hawaii’s Biggest Hurricane Threat in More Than Two Decades

Residents of Hawaii awoke to a flurry of emergency alerts Wednesday morning as a major hurricane spun toward the state, threatening the entire island chain with heavy rains, damaging winds, and severe flooding.

STORM-LANE/

Hurricane Lane had grown to a Category 5 storm Tuesday night, packing maximum sustained winds of 160 miles an hour, according to the National Weather Service. Lane then weakened to a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, but the hurricane still has winds of up to 155 miles an hour and remains the most powerful hurricane to threaten Hawaii in more than two decades.

“Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane,” David Ige, the Hawaii governor, said in a statement on Tuesday, as he signed an emergency proclamation that would mobilize state resources for disaster-relief efforts. “I’ve not seen such dramatic changes in the forecast track as I’ve seen with this storm. I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact.”

Lane began a northward churn toward Hawaii earlier this week. As of Wednesday, Hawaii’s Big Island is under a hurricane warning, which means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours, and Maui and Honolulu counties are under a hurricane watch, which means these conditions are possible. Lane is expected to weaken even further in the next 48 hours, but the storm will still bring dangerous weather conditions—including damaging winds, intense surf, and “life threatening” floods—to Hawaii from Wednesday to Saturday, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

During its brief time as a Category 5 storm, Lane became the first hurricane of this magnitude to pass within 350 miles of the southernmost point of the Big Island since Hurricane John in 1994, according to the National Weather Service office in Hawaii. John had swept past Hawaii, depositing some rain but sparing the islands from significant damage. This was a big relief for Hawaii residents; two years before Hurricane John skirted their shores, Hurricane Iniki had made a direct hit and devastated the islands.

Iniki, the strongest recorded hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii, led to the deaths of six people, the injuries of more than 100, and an estimated $1.8 billion in damage. Nearly 1,500 homes were destroyed in the Category 4 storm and thousands of residents were left without water, electricity, and shelter for days, according to news reports at the time. Iniki destroyed sugar-cane crops and shut down dozens of hotels, wiping out two of Hawaii’s top industries in one stroke and, according to a Washington Post story, spiked the unemployment rate on Kauai, the fourth-largest island in Hawaii, from 5 percent to more than 50 percent overnight.

Hurricane Lane watchers say it’s difficult to predict which islands will be most affected by the storm, but their forecasts “continue to show that all islands are at risk.”

The threat comes days after another natural disaster in Hawaii finally began to show signs of slowing: the eruption of Kilauea, a volcano located in the southern part of the Big Island. Kilauea started spewing lava in early May, displacing thousands of people and destroying dozens of homes. At the eruption’s peak, rivers of molten lava flowed from 12 fissures at the base of the volcano. By early August, only one fissure remained active, according to Reuters. Still, geologists aren’t ready to declare the end of the eruption. “It could be weeks or months before we feel comfortable calling the eruption and the summit collapse over,” Tina Neal, the lead scientist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, warned in a statement earlier this month.

If Kilauea were still as active, a clash between the volcano and Hurricane Lane would likely not have produced the doomsday effects such a matchup calls to mind. “As massive as the impact of a volcanic eruption can be, it’s hard to grasp the scale of a hurricane,” David Nolan, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Miami, told Jim Nash in The Atlantic last year. The power of the volcano would pale in comparison. As Tracy Gregg, a geologist at the University at Buffalo, put it: “A volcano punching up through [a hurricane] would be a smudge on the windshield.”

But Lane has already affected Kilauea-related efforts: The Kilauea Disaster Recovery Center, which has provided assistance to victims all summer, will close Thursday because of the storm, according to center officials.

Hawaii residents and tourists are buckling down before the hurricane arrives, stocking up on food and other supplies. Officials have advised people to stay home, which they say is the best place for shelter. If the hurricane leads to significant displacement of people from their homes, there’s a chance the state may not be equipped to handle the numbers.

According to a state-issued review of emergency preparedness, Hawaii lacks shelter resources in proportion to its population. “There are insufficient hurricane evacuation shelters to meet the estimated demand of the population and these shelters have no supplies,” reads the review, which was conducted earlier this year in response to a false emergency alert that led Hawaii residents to believe, for a wrenching 38 minutes, that a ballistic missile was headed their way. “The designated hurricane evacuation shelters and the post-impact sheltering systems are in need of retro-fitting and improvement.”

State officials echoed the review’s findings this week. “We do not have enough shelters for everyone,” Tom Travis, the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said Tuesday, according to Hawaii News Now. “If you’re not in a flood zone, most citizens should remain in their homes. If you are in a flood zone, you should actively seek shelters elsewhere.”

Hurricane Lane arrives two months into a particularly active Pacific hurricane season, with an above-normal number of tropical storms and hurricanes, according to forecasters. The likelihood of a near- or above-normal season for both the eastern and central Pacific regions is at 80 percent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. On the other hand, the center predicts the Atlantic hurricane season will be less active than usual. The likelihood of a typical season is 30 percent, and the likelihood of an above-normal season is 10 percent.

But predictions have a habit of shifting in the hurricane business, and the season—for both the Pacific and Atlantic—stretches until the end of November.

“There are still more storms to come,” warned Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “The hurricane season is far from being over.”

Devil’s Woodyard Volcano Erupts Again

The Devil’s Woodyard mud volcano erupted this afternoon almost at the same time a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook TT, Venezuela, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and Guyana.

Councillor from the Princes Town Regional Corporation for Hindustan/St Mary’s, Michelle Benjamin, told Newsday that residents reported hearing a loud sound coming from the volcano at the same time the first tremors from the earthquake began.

Benjamin said residents fled their homes, seeking open ground, and saw the volcano spewing mud several feet in the air.

She said no one had reported any structural damage to their homes and there were no reports of further cracking of the earth around the volcano.

In a 47-second clip posted to social media, residents are heard exclaiming over the sound the volcano made while erupting. In the video, gas can be seen shooting up.

It last erupted on February 13 after being mostly inactive for years.

BREAKING NEWS: 6.2 Mag. Earthquake Hits Part of Cascadia Subduction Zone of Oregon Coast

An earthquake measuring 6.4 magnitude struck off the coast of south-central Oregon. The United States Geological Survey reports the initial quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, occurred just after 1:30 a.m. local time. It was centered more than 170 miles (264 kilometers) west of Coos Bay, about 220 miles southwest of Portland.

A fault line known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone lies about 70 miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, putting the region at risk of earthquakes and potentially damaging tsunami.

Robert Sanders of the USGS says there is no tsunami threat associated with the quake. He says people as far away as Portland reported feeling the tremblor. Dispatch with the Coos Bay police says there have been no reports of damage or injury. The quake was located at a depth of about 6 miles (10 kilometers).

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is capable of producing very large earthquakes if rupture occurs along its entire length. On January 26th 1700, an occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7 – 9.2. The megathrust earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate that underlies the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake caused a tsunami that struck the coast of Japan with some reports telling of hundreds killed.

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BREAKING NEWS: Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Shakes Northern Coast of Venezuela, Tsunami Warning Canceled

The quake was centered near the town of Guiria, which is approximately 80km from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city. Shaking was felt across the region, including some islands in the Caribbean, according to the USGS. Tremors were felt 286 miles (622 km) away in the capital of Caracas.

There are no current tsunami advisories at the present time. This is the strongest earthquake to occur in this part of the Caribbean since a magnitude 7.4 earthquake shook the Martinique region of the Windward Islands on Nov. 29, 2007.

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Just Two Day Ago 8.2 Quake Hits Off Coast of Fiji

A deep, undersea earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 has struck Fiji and small tsunami waves have been observed but no damage reported. No casualties are expected based on initial readings.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit at a depth of 348 miles and was located 174 miles northeast of Fiji’s Ndoi Island. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says small tsunami waves have been observed.

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Coming Next in Part III….The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is the biggest player forcing this to the front. Real and hard hitting data covering the better part of a decade, provides a daunting picture of commercial airline operatives such as pilots, attendants and frequent flyers traveling at altitudes of 35,000 feet or above.​

WHY? Cosmic Rays….

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