Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Just the Facts?: Angel Appears Above Shooting Site? -- Aussie UFOs Increasing -- Greenland Ice Melt



An Angel in the Sky?

A 7NEWS viewer snapped a photo that shows what she said is an angel in the clouds above the vigil site for the theater rampage victims.

Crystal Fuller took the photo after the vigil was finished Sunday night, but said she didn’t notice the image of the angel right away.

"I noticed it afterwards. I had it posted and said crazy cloud … one of my friends, Barbara Masias, said it's an angel and I saw it!" said Fuller on the 7NEWS Facebook wall.

The shape of the angel in the clouds appears directly above the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, she said.

The vigil was held to remember the 12 killed in the shooting that happened at the theater Friday morning. - thedenverchannel

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Aussie UFO sightings on the rise

UFO sightings in Australia are on the rise, according to people who track such phenomena, and international studies indicate a growing number of "closet believers" of extraterrestrial life.

But people who come forward to report sightings are still pilloried by much of society.The issue emerged again last week after a video of an alleged UFO sighting over the NSW south coast was posted on YouTube and raised a few sceptics' eyebrows.

It was no surprise to UFO investigator Doug Moffett, who has been delving into the authenticity of sightings across Australia for more than 20 years."That's the way it is usually treated in the media - like this fun topic to laugh at, rather than being treated as a scientific possibility," he said.

Mr Moffett, part of the UFO Research NSW group, pointed to the fact that there were an estimated 100 billion stars in our galaxy and planets that were billions of years older than ours as reason enough to validate the search for extraterrestrial life."What I'm trying to achieve is for people to not knee-jerk dismiss things," he said.

Central Coast grandmother Jane Pooley hardly fits the stereotype of a UFO believer. But the 51-year-old says she saw one last week.

She described watching a craft with rotating lights moving silently above Brisbane Water, near where she lives - an area recognised as one of Australia's UFO hotspots.

"I'm a conservative, Catholic, middle-aged, registered nurse and I've worked in an emergency department, so I've seen some pretty weird things. Nothing seems to surprise me much any more," she said.

"I believe in the Christian faith but I don't think it negates it (the possibility of ET life)."It is the quest for indisputable evidence which drives Dr Ragbir Bhathal, director of the Australian Optical SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) project. Night after night for the past 10 years, the University of Western Sydney engineering lecturer has peered through a powerful telescope on the university's campus, looking for flashes of light from alien civilisations.

Other SETI projects search for radio transmissions but Dr Bhathal believes such technology could be obsolete for extraterrestrial intelligence.

"We think if the ET are so much more advanced than us, they wouldn't be sending signals by radio waves but by using laser beams," he said, explaining that lasers carry more than a million times more information than a radio wave.A decade of searching has proved fruitless but Dr Bhathal said astronomical discoveries over the past 20 years suggest a breakthrough could be close.

"If you go back 50 years we didn't know there were planets going around other suns," he said.

"In 1995, Swiss astronomers found the first and to date astronomers have found more than 700 using earth-based telescopes. So it's a very exciting time." - news.com.au

UFOs Over Topanga Canyon

The Big Book of UFOs (Ufos Extraterrestrial Beings)

The Field Guide To UFOs: A Classification Of Various Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Based On Eyewitness Accounts (Field Guides to the Unknown)


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NASA CAPTION: Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident. Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory  

Greenland Ice Melt, Measured By NASA Satellites, Reaches Unprecedented Level

Unprecedented melting of Greenland's ice sheet this month has stunned NASA scientists and has highlighted broader concerns that the region is losing a remarkable amount of ice overall.

According to a NASA press release, about half of Greenland's surface ice sheet naturally melts during an average summer. But the data from three independent satellites this July, analyzed by NASA and university scientists, showed that in less than a week, the amount of thawed ice sheet surface skyrocketed from 40 percent to 97 percent.

In over 30 years of observations, satellites have never measured this amount of melting, which reaches nearly all of Greenland's surface ice cover.

When Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory observed the recent melting phenomenon, he said in the NASA press release, "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: Was this real or was it due to a data error?"

Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Georgia-Athens and City University of New York all confirmed the remarkable ice melt.

NASA's cryosphere program manager, Tom Wagner, credited the power of satellites for observing the melt and explained to The Huffington Post that, although this specific event may be part of a natural variation, "We have abundant evidence that Greenland is losing ice, probably because of global warming, and it's significantly contributing to sea level rise."

Wagner said that ice is clearly thinning around the periphery, changing Greenland's overall ice mass, and he believes this is primarily due to warming ocean waters "eating away at the ice." He cautiously added, "It seems likely that's correlated with anthropogenic warming."

This specific extreme melt occurred in large part due to an unusual weather pattern over Greenland this year, what the NASA press release describes as a series of "heat domes," or an "unusually strong ridge of warm air."

Notable melting occurred in specific regions of Greenland, such as the area around Summit Station, located two miles above sea level. Not since 1889 has this kind of melting occurred, according to ice core analysis described in NASA's press release.

Goddard glaciologist Lora Koenig said that similar melting events occur about every 150 years, and this event is consistent with that schedule, citing the previous 1889 melt. But, she added, "if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome."

"One of the big questions is 'What's happening in the Arctic in general?'" Wagner said to HuffPost.

Just last week, another unusual event occurred in the region: the calving of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan from Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

Over the past few months, separate studies have emerged that suggest humans are playing a "dominant role" in ocean warming, and that specific regions of the world, such as the U.S. East Coast, are increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise.

Wagner explained that in recent years, studies have observed thinning sea ice and "dramatic" overall changes. He was clear, "We don’t want to lose sight of the fact that Greenland is losing a tremendous amount of ice overall." - THP

The Fate of Greenland: Lessons from Abrupt Climate Change

The Future of Ice: A Journey Into Cold

Tipping Point - The Coming Global Weather Crisis


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Lobsters of a different color...rarity now more common

Lobsters sporting rare, unexpected colors and patterns are becoming more common in catches, and no one knows why.

Blue, pink, orange and even calico lobsters are winding up in traps. The orange ones are perhaps causing the most problems, since some chefs think they've already been cooked. But then the live, snapping crustacean reminds them otherwise.

Maybe social media is partly to blame?

"Are we seeing more because the Twitter sphere is active and people get excited about colorful lobsters?" Michael Tlusty, research director at the New England Aquarium in Boston, told Associated Press. "Is it because we're actually seeing an upswing in them? Is it just that we're catching more lobsters so we have the opportunity to see more?"

He added, "Right now you can make a lot of explanations, but the actual data to find them out just isn't there."

Information from NOAA points out that lobsters sometimes turn an odd, different color when they eat a single type of food. (That reminds me of Willy Wonka's Violet, the Blueberry Girl.) That phenomenon, for lobsters, usually only happens in the lab, however.

In the ocean, blue lobsters appear as a genetic anomaly. I'm guessing the calico and other colored/patterned lobsters do as well. Supposedly, once cooked, they look and taste the same as a regular hued lobster.

But why are there so many unusual colored ones now? - discovery

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