Let’s Fight for New Earth – A Better Earth #HappyEnvironmentsDay


World Environment Day – was first established by the UN Assembly on 1972 and it was started celebrating from 1973.
But are we really celebrating the nature and our environment ?
Every March we celebrate Earth hour and we have many reasons to forget that 60mins .Think here !!

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Do you know Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries. when will we starting changing for better environment ? this is high time for that ..!!

Are we doing enough to come out of water scarcity we are facing ?
Do you agree Water scarcity occurs even in areas where there is plenty of rainfall or freshwater. ?

LISTEN : Water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent of the globe. The situation is getting worse as needs for water rise along with population growth, urbanization and increases in household and industrial uses.

Almost one fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where the water is physically scarce.

One quarter of the global population also live in developing countries that face water shortages due to a lack of infrastructure to fetch water from rivers and aquifers. Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.
Poor water quality can increase the risk of such diarrhoeal diseases as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery, and other water-borne infections. Water scarcity can lead to diseases such as trachoma (an eye infection that can lead to blindness), plague and typhus.
Water scarcity encourages people to store water in their homes. This can increase the risk of household water contamination and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes – which are carriers of dengue fever, malaria and other diseases. Water scarcity underscores the need for better water management. Good water management also reduces breeding sites for such insects as mosquitoes that can transmit diseases and prevents the spread of water-borne infections such as schistosomiasis, a severe illness.

A lack of water has driven up the use of waste water for agricultural production in poor urban and rural communities. More than 10% of people worldwide consume foods irrigated by waste water that can contain chemicals or disease-causing organisms.

Water is an essential resource to sustain life. As governments and community organizations make it a priority to deliver adequate supplies of quality water to people, individuals can help by learning how to conserve and protect the resource in their daily lives.

So Save Water , Save each Drop – it’s Precious than Diamond…!!

Avoid Plastics :

Every year some 45,000 tons of plastic waste are dumped into the world’s oceans. One of the results of this is that up to one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals are killed each year by plastic trash such as fishing gear, six-pack yokes, sandwich bags, and styrofoam cups.
* North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

Paper cups consume trees, water, and chemicals, and dump them into streams and landfills- they are not re-cyclable. Paper cups are often wax-coated which reduces their bio-degradeability futher. Paper products make up over 40 percent by weight , slightly higher by volume – of this country’s municipal solid waste, by far the largest contributor. Paper Recycling and its role in Solid Waste Management.

Now let’s ask ourselves, are you doing enough to preserve our environment ?

This is not the time to THINK , it’s the time to ACT.

Let’s treat every hour as our earth hour.

Take a pledge to yourself that you will ,


* Save Water
* Reduce paper usage
* Plant more trees.

Will you join this campaign ?

Go Green to make our Earth Smile.

Happy Environments Day

With Inputs – Murali Iyengar

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NASA Unveils Potentially Hazardous Asteroids Map


In case you were wondering if Hollywood scenarios like the Armageddon could ever come to pass, NASA has just found an answer for you. In a recently unveiled map of potentially hazardous asteroids, the US Space Agency suggests those dangerous asteroids that are close to Earth’s orbit are several thousands.

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The disconcerting map of the inner Solar System points to the orbits of 1,400 PHAs that are currently close to our planet. This is part of NASA’s Near Earth Objects program and it only includes asteroid bodies that are considered dangerous.

Why are these considered dangerous asteroids, you may ask? For one thing, there is the size issue as these bodies are all over 140 meters in diameter. Included in this category are also asteroids that currently pass close to the Earth’s orbit, which is within 7.5 million kilometers from our planet.

The PHA map displays a rather dizzying swarm of orbits surrounding the sun. Most of the orbits are concentrated around the orbit of Jupiter.

If the thought of so many large asteroids hovering over the Earth is scary, try not to panic. According to NASA experts, these are only classified as potentially hazardous, and not an imminent threat to our life on Earth.

This does not mean that any of these PHAs will impact the planet over the coming 100 years. However, constant observation is necessary to map out their trajectory and to observe potential threats in the decades to come.

This NASA map shows the orbits of thousands of potentially hazardous asteroids.

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In fact, NASA researchers and astronomers are on a constant lookout for asteroid bodies that may pose a threat to the Earth. According to a NASA spokesperson, almost 90% of the largest asteroids that have been identified as potential threats so far, were unveiled by such surveys and mapping systems.

NASA’s Near Earth Objects (NEO) Program is focused on mapping all comet and asteroid activity that occurs near our planet’s orbit, in an attempt to have a clear decade long warning in place, in case a large object like a PHA approaches the Earth.

NASA warns Arctic thaw could have huge impact on global warming


 

Arctic sea ice by NOAA

The Arctic‘s permafrost soils have NASA worried. Scientists monitoring carbon levels in the top layers of Arctic soils have identified huge deposits that, if thawed sufficiently, could upset its carbon balance and magnify the impacts of global warming. The agency estimates that the Arctic’s permafrost soils store as much as 1,850 petagrams (one petagram equals 1 billion metric tons), comprising around half of all the carbon stored in Earth’s soils — most of it lying within 3 meters of the surface.

One percent of permafrost methane has the same environmental impact as 99 percent of carbon dioxide

Worried that the permafrosts might not be as permanent as the name suggests, NASA believes the warming of Earth’s surface could lead to the release of the Arctic’s carbon stores into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane. If the Earth gets warmer and drier, scientists expect most of the carbon to be released as carbon dioxide, but if it gets warmer and wetter, most will be released as methane. Methane is considered the more potent greenhouse gas and NASA is making it one of its top priorities to predict potential emissions.

Studies have found that global warming is making the Arctic greener, adding more layers of organic carbon beneath the soil. NASA is leading the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) project which will study how climate change is affecting the Arctic’s carbon cycle. By observing the permafrosts, scientists hope to identify how global warming is impacting the frozen land mass, providing a better insight into Earth’s future climate.

Saturn’s Satan – A monster hurricane with an eye of over 2,000km ..#NASA #Saturn


Nasa spacecraft captures stunning image of a cyclone at Saturn’s North Pole

1752463444In an undated in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and provided by NASA/JPL shows stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole. The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles across. That’s 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. The hurricane is believed to have been there for years.This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn’s north pole captured by Cassini’s imaging cameras. (AP)

Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole.

The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles (2,010 kilometers) across. That’s 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it’s spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 330 mph (531 kph).

The hurricane is parked at Saturn’s North Pole and relies on water vapor to keep it churning. It’s believed to have been there for years. Cassini only recently had a chance to observe the vortex in visible light.

Scientists hope to learn more about Earth’s hurricanes by studying this whopper at Saturn.

Cassini was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004.

GOOGLE DOODLE – Nicolaus Copernicus 540th Birthday


Commemorating the 540th birth anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus, Google has posted a doodle which features an animated heliocentric model formulated by the Polish astronomer. Born on February 19, 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer.

The doodle shows the sun placed at the centre of the universe and has the Moon revolving around earth. It also depicts the then known five other planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – revolving around the sun.

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The second ‘O’ of the Google logo has been replaced with the sun, while the other letters of the word Google, written in Google’s characteristic Catull font, appear in the backdrop.

Best known for his treatise “On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres,” Copernicus asserted that the earth revolved around the sun — contrary to the medieval belief that the earth was the center of the universe.

The theory was viewed with suspicion by the Church, and his treatise was not published until 1543, the year of his death.

Eventually the theory became the cornerstone for a future generation of scientists including Kepler and Galileo, but one of its ardent advocates, Italian cleric Giordano Bruno, was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600.

The astronomer’s processional transfer began at Olsztyn Castle in February, with extended stops at several northern Poland sites with which he had been connected along the way, and did not arrive at Frombork until the middle of last week.

The Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus has been reburied in Poland in a lavish ceremony 467 years after his death.

During a Roman Catholic ritual, the remains were interred beneath the altar of Frombork Cathedral in northern Poland, where the astronomer had been the canon (head priest) and where he originally was buried in 1543. Copernicus died on 24 May 1543.

 

#Asteroid2012DA14 brushes past Earth


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Asteroid 2012 DA14 brushed past Earth early Saturday morning (IST) causing no damage to any satellite. It passed inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. “The asteroid safely passed our planet 17,500 miles above Indonesia,” NASA said.

The newly discovered asteroid, about half the size of a football field, was tracked by NASA and various space centres, giving scientists a rare opportunity for close-up observations without launching a probe.

At its closest approach, which occurred at 1924 GMT or 0055 IST, the asteroid passed about 17,200 miles (27,520 km) above the planet traveling at 13 km per second, bringing it nearer than the networks of television and weather satellites that ring the planet.

Although Asteroid 2012 DA14 is the largest known object of its size to pass this close, scientists had predicted that there would be no chance of an impact.

Currently, DA14 matches Earth’s year-long orbit around the sun, but after today’s encounter its flight path will change, said astronomer Donald Yeomans, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“The close approach will perturb its orbit so that actually instead of having an orbital period of one year, it’ll lose a couple of months,” Yeomans said. “The Earth is going to put this one in an orbit that is considerably safer,” he said.

For scientists, DA14 presented a rare, albeit short, opportunity to study an asteroid close-up. In addition to trying to determine what minerals it contains, which is of potential commercial interest as well as scientific, astronomers want to learn more about the asteroid’s spin rate. The information not only will be useful to plotting DA14’s future visits but could help engineers develop techniques to thwart more threatening asteroids.

New Earth-like planet spotted just 44 light years away


Gliese 581 звезда двойник земли космос планета Земля

A team of British and German space scientists using ground-based telescopes in Chile have spotted an Earth-like planet revolving around a Sun-type star just about 44 light years away from our solar system. The newly-discovered planet is believed to have atmospheric and other conditions that make it very similar to Earth. Of all the Earth-like planets found to date, it’s the closest to us.

More than 800 planets have been discovered outside the solar system over the past two decades, the majority of them being gas giants like Jupiter or solid planets too close to their stars and therefore too hot to support water.

The new planet is in the so-called “habitable zone”, which means that it may have water in a liquid state, and it also has an axis of rotation. The latter increases chances that it may support Earth-type life, says astrophysicist Sergei Smirnov of Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory.

“It’s important that its rotation should not be synchronous like that of our Moon, which is a reason why only one side of the Moon permanently faces Earth. And also, its revolution period or the length of year should differ from its rotation period or the length of day. This is an additional factor that helps sustain a biosphere. The light-and-shadow cycle and the temperature cycle are also very important. Humans are accustomed to a change of light. We can equally endure full darkness and blistering sun on a sand beach or snowfield. The same is true of cold and heat. Some living organisms can survive in a far wider range of temperatures.”

The new planet is 7 times the size of Earth. Higher gravity, though unlikely to affect the climate, could result in smaller forms of life, says Sergei Smirnov.

“Suppose, advanced forms of life emerge there, like elephants here on Earth. Then, in all probability, they would be smaller and flatter due to higher gravity. There would be no large species.”

Oleg Malkov, a laboratory head at the Russian Institute of Astronomy, believes that the presence of a biosphere does not necessarily require Earth-like conditions.

“There is only one type of life in the Universe that we know of – our own. Therefore, we are looking for planets that resemble Earth in mass, size, distance from the central star and all other parameters. Thus, chances that Earth-type life does exist are increasing. But life may have other forms.”

Sergei Smirnov agrees:

“The “habitability” theories are based on scientific discoveries made in the mid-20th century. Today, we should take a broader look at potential forms of life in various temperature ranges, and in planetary atmospheres, oceans and solid surfaces of various chemical composition. In the solar system, moons of giant planets are likelier to have some forms of life than Mars. For example, Europa the size of our Moon has a thick ice shell that can possibly hold the largest amounts of liquid water in the solar system, where life is possible.”

Theoretically, there may be sulphuric-phosphate and silicon forms of life that do not require an atmosphere with a high concentration of oxygen. Incidentally, spectroscopic studies of exoplanets show that their atmospheres are oxygen-free.

Boris Pavlishev

Phew! Asteroid to miss Earth in 2040, NASA says


On a day when global doomsday predictions failed to pan out, NASA had more good news for the Earth: An asteroid feared to be on a collision course with our planet no longer poses a threat.

The position data obtained for near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5 in October was used to reduce its future orbital uncertainties.

Uncertainties about the orbit of the asteroid, known as 2011 AG5, previously allowed for a less than a 1% chance it would hit the Earth in February 2040, NASA said.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The asteroid previously had a 0.2% chance of hitting the Earth

  • More observation by astronomers in Hawaii shows no risk of collision

  • A collision would have released about 100 megatons of energy

  • Observing the asteroid wasn’t easy

To narrow down the asteroid’s future course, NASA put out a call for more observation. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa took up the task and managed to observe the asteroid over several days in October.

“An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated,” NASA declared Friday.

The new observations, made with the Gemini 8-meter telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, reduce the orbit uncertainties by more than a factor of 60. That means the Earth’s position in February 2040 is not in range of the asteroid’s possible future paths.

The asteroid, which is 140 meters (460 feet) in diameter, will get no closer to Earth than 890,000 kilometers (553,000 miles), or more than twice the distance to the moon, NASA said.

A collision with Earth would have released about 100 megatons of energy, several thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs that ended World War II, according to the Gemini Observatory.

Observing the asteroid wasn’t easy, said David Tholen, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

The asteroid’s position was very close to the sun, so astronomers had to observe it when the sky was dark. Tholen told CNN there was about a half-hour between when the asteroid got high enough in the sky for the telescope to point at it and before the sky became too light to observe it.

Because the astronomers were looking at the asteroid low in the sky, they were viewing it through a lot of atmosphere, which scattered some of the light and made the object fainter, he said.

“The second effect is the turbulence of the atmosphere makes things fainter,” Tholen said. “We had to keep trying over and over until we got one of those nights when the atmosphere was calm.”

Tholen and the team also discovered the asteroid is elongated, so that as it rotates, its brightness changes. That was another challenge for the astronomers: Because they didn’t know the asteroid’s rotation period, they didn’t know when it would wax and wane, and when it would grow too faint to see.

“This object was changing its brightness by a factor of three or four — it was just enormously variable,” Tholen said. “It was hit and miss depending on which night you observed it.”

Many predicted the end of the world would come Friday, the day on which a long phase in the ancient Mayan calendar came to an end. Some believe the day actually comes Sunday.

Modern-day Mayans say the end of the calendar phase doesn’t mean the end of the world — just the end of an era, and the start of a new one.

Milky Way to inevitably merge with Andromeda Nebula – NASA


© Flickr.com/zen/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0

According to NASA, the merger of two neighbouring Galaxies, namely the Milky Way, of which the Solar System is a part and the Andromeda Nebula, is inevitable, since the Galaxies are approaching each other at some 400,000 kilometres per hour.

But the Earth will not get destroyed, nor will humanity suffer in the process, if humans still inhabit the Earth by then. NASA officials said this during a news conference on Thursday.

The merger will begin in approximately four billion years from now and is due over in six billion years.

The new galaxy that will emerge as a result will have a different, most likely elliptical form, and will be populated by fewer cosmic bodies than today.

NASA’s “Black Marble” Photos of Earth At Night


NASA just published some lovely photos of planet Earth at night, showing the many ways night images can be used for science, including seeing where people live, monitoring black-outs, viewing natural events, and even watching the Aurora lights. The images are made possible by a new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which can detect even the dim glow of a single ship in the middle of the ocean.

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Scroll through to see these beautiful, interesting images and learn about the technology used to capture them.

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“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with. I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center, on NASA’s Flickr set titled “Black Marble”.

NASA states that Elvidge’s research group “has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province.”

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This image of the area near Delhi, India shows how NASA’s satellite technology has progressed and just how excellent the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) really is. “For comparison,” writes NASA, “the lower image shows the same area one night earlier, as observed by the Operational Line Scan (OLS) system on a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft.”

While the OLS has been a successful sensor, it uses older technology and, as is made clear by the image, has a much lower resolution than VIIRS. VIIRS is 10 to 15 times better than OLS.

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It is incredible to see exactly where we live when the maps are illuminated by our homes and street lights. Here, the Nile River Valley and Delta is aglow. Approximately 97% of Egypt’s population lives along this section of the Nile, made obvious by the sparkling lights.

“The city lights resemble a giant calla lily, just one with a kink in its stem near the city of Luxor. Some of the brightest lights occur around Cairo, but lights are abundant along the length of the river. Bright city lights also occur along the Suez Canal and around Tel Aviv. Away from the lights, however, land and water appear uniformly black. This image was acquired near the time of the new Moon, and little moonlight was available to brighten land and water surfaces,” writes NASA.

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NASA notes that while city lights at night help to track where people live, it’s not the be-all-end-all method, as evidenced by this image showing the contrast between a glowing South Korea and a dark North Korea. Even though North Korea has about half the number of people that South Korea has, it has just a tiny fraction of lights.

“Worldwide, South Korea ranks 12th in electricity production, and 10th in electricity consumption, per 2011 estimates. North Korea ranks 71st in electricity production, and 73rd in electricity consumption, per 2009 estimates,” states NASA.

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Not only are the satellites useful for tracking the lighted activity of humans, but it can also track the lights of natural phenomena like the aurora australis, or southern lights. Here is a night view of the aurora over Antartica’s Queen Maud Land and the Princess Ragnhild Coast.

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The satellites help scientists researching the Arctic as well, taking images during the polar darkness of the autumn of 2012 so scientists could see the behavior of sea ice after summer melts.

To do this, NASA states, “Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite can see in the dark. The VIIRS “day-night band” detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, auroras, wildfires, city lights, and reflected moonlight. The day-night band takes advantage of moonlight, airglow (the atmosphere’s self-illumination through chemical reactions), zodiacal light (sunlight scattered by interplanetary dust), and starlight from the Milky Way. By using these dim light sources, the day-night band can detect changes in clouds, snow cover, and sea ice. The VIIRS day-night band offers a unique perspective because once polar night has descended, satellite sensors relying on visible light can no longer produce photo-like images. And although passive microwave sensors can monitor sea ice through the winter, they offer much lower resolution.”

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The satellites can also track occurrences like wild fires, such as these burning in Siberia, helping to track the progress of the blazes even through the night.

 

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