Meanwhile, in Puebla . . .


This is a 2011 view of nearby Popocatepetl volcano from downtown Puebla.

Today, people in this Mexican city are watching Popocatepetl with concern (you can follow updates on its activity through the link in the top menu–it has been a bit more restless lately).

Reportedly (Spanish), Puebla State’s Civil Protection director has made a public statement. Per Google Translate of this linked news story:

Although in the last hours and days the Popocatépetl volcano has presented constant explosive activity, with incandescent fragments expelled by the crater, the Civil Protection director of the state of Puebla, Rubén Darío Herrera Cabrera, assures that it is a normal cyclic activity and that there is nothing to worry about.

The incandescent fragments, explained the head of Civil Protection, are pieces of the dome . . .

Even though spectacular fumaroles have been seen in recent days, the largest of which is 2,400 meters above the crater, there is nothing to worry about; “Another point that is constantly monitored is the seismicity and that is totally low, we have very few reports of seismicity, which gives us peace of mind,” said Herrera Cabrera, adding that the volcanic warning light continues in Yellow Phase 2.

This is an image from last night’s explosion as seen from one of CENAPRED’s webcams:


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This is a night-time image, but the camera is a very good one and the Moon is quite bright. That’s chunks of incandescent material blown out of the crater, not flowing lava. Popo’s lava is very sticky and forms a dome in its crater that eventually pressurizes and blows up–apparently this is the demise of Dome #78. (CENAPRED)

Again, just click on the link at the top of the page for links to more information about Popocatepetl and updates from me.


Featured image: Luisalvaz, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0


Guest Video: The Columbia River Flood Basalts


Back in 2014, I took the train to Oregon from the East Coast (and highly recommend long train journeys–it’s a great way to see a lot of country). From Spokane, Washington, down to Portland, Oregon, the rail went through the Columbia River Basalts.

Flood basalts are incredible features anyway, but this landscape looked like an alien world. Long after the lava had hardened, ice-age megafloods pounded the land, carving new channels, deep holes, and strange-looking contours in the dark rocky cliffs.

Those hours of travel were fascinating, but it would have remained just a nice travel memory had a paper on the Columbia River Flood Basalts not made the news this past week.

It turns out that the Columbia River Flood Basalts very probably changed Earth’s climate, back in the day (the Miocene), causing it to warm up for several million years.

So I looked around and found the video below. Even though it is only a draft from Columbia Gorge Community College, it has great views of the basalts. And there is a geologist there to tell you what you’re looking at! The quality is rough in spots, but hang in there during the part where it goes black; video will return.

And even in draft form, this really does show the scale of these things:



New Link in the Top Menu: Updates


I have been updating several posts recently (as well as the Kilauea and Popocatepetl pages) and thought it would be better to link to all updates rather than bump each post. I have put the most recent ones in there (plus an older update on an adorable little wild cat); news on those two volcanoes is available on their pages as soon as I came across it.

Thank you very much for your interest!


Book Preview: Fact #35: Cats Are Placental Mammals


A few mammals lay eggs, believe it or not (duck-billed platypus); others carry their young around in pouches (marsupials like the kangaroo)

But most of us, including cats, keep our unborn young inside, connected to Mom’s bloodstream through temporary tissue, called a placenta, until they’re ready to meet the world.

Placental mammals are dominant everywhere today except Australia–and it’s all because of the K/T (K/Pg) extinction.

Somehow.

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Hayabusa-2 and Asteroid Ryugu


September 22, 2018: YES!!!!!!!


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Hopping rovers . . . now why didn’t Star Trek ever dream of that?


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Wheee!

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Meanwhile, at Yellowstone . . .


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Here is the whole article (click this link to get images):

Recent Changes to Thermal Features Closes Part of Upper Geyser Basin
September 19, 2018

In the past week, there have been changes afoot to the thermal features on Geyser Hill in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Ear Spring, a normally docile hot pool, had a water eruption that reached 20 to 30 feet high on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The eruption ejected not only rocks, but also Continue reading

Guest Video: Planet Hunting with TESS


September 22, 2018: TESS has already found two new planets, per preliminary reports.


Original post:

NASA released the first images from TESS today.

What is TESS?




Here is today’s image:


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There are more planets than stars in the Milky Way–and these are mostly stars. (Source)


TESS mission page.


Featured image: Yaquina Head Lighthouse, BLM Oregon and Washington/Daniel Gomez