Yellowstone supervolcano would cover North America in ash
From American Geophysical Union, via EarthSky  ||  27 August 2014


  1. An example of the possible distribution of ash from a month-long Yellowstone supereruption. A hypothetical, large eruption would create a distinctive kind of ash cloud known as an “umbrella,” which expands evenly in all directions.  Image via USGS 
  2. An aerial flight over Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin in 2004 shows Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater, which drain into the nearby Firehole River. Image via USGS

Bottom line: If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt – an unlikely scenario, scientists say – cities close to volcano could be covered by more than a meter (a few feet) of ash. There would be centimeters (a few inches) of ash in the Midwest, while cities on both coasts would see millimeters (a fraction of an inch) of accumulation, according to the new study that was published online on August 27, 2014 in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The paper has been made available at no charge via onlinelibrary.wiley.com

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Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition Trophy Guide
With Dr. Jones and Dr. Free feat. Nurse Narvaez and Geoff Ramsey


Type 1a supernovae occur in binary star systems where a dense white dwarf star accretes matter from its companion star. As the dwarf star gains mass, it approaches the limit where electron degeneracy pressure can no longer oppose the gravitational force of its mass. Carbon fusion in the white dwarf ignites a flame front, creating isolated bubbles of burning fluid inside the star. As these bubbles burn, they rise due to buoyancy and are sheared and deformed by the neighboring matter. The animation above is a visualization of temperature from a simulation of one of these burning buoyant bubbles. After the initial ignition, instabilities form rapidly on the expanding flame front and it quickly becomes turbulent. (Image credit: A. Aspden and J. Bell; GIF credit: fruitsoftheweb, source video; via freshphotons)

Third Order of Simulacra: [The present age] Dominated by simulations, things that have no original or prototype (though they may parallel something). Era of the model or code: computers, virtual reality, opinion polls, DNA, genetic engineering, cloning, the news media make the news, Nike sneakers as status symbols, Disneyland. The death of the real: no more counterfeits or prototypes, just simulations of reality - hyperreality. Information replaces the machine as the basic mode of production.
—  Jean Baudrillard
[The Evil Demon of Images and the Precession of Simulacra] (1986)

On Saturn Moon Titan, Weather Report Brings Chance of Methane Rain

Scientists have used models to help predict Earth’s weather for years, but now astronomers are using similar simulations to forecast rain at a more distant locale: Saturn’s biggest moon Titan.

The study may help explain features such as rivers, lakes and clouds of methane on Titan, and could predict future changes, researchers said.

On Earth, water flows in a cycle, raining down from the sky, running in rivers and streams to oceans and lakes, and evaporating under sunlight into mist, forming clouds that eventually rain down. Probes sent to Titan have revealed that methane flows in a cycle there in much the same way.

To better understand the weather and climate of Titan, scientists created 3D atmospheric simulations of its methane cycle based on circulation models originally designed for Earth.

Failed Supernovae

The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute has been searching for intelligent life in our universe for the last 29 years. People have been searching for signals for longer than that – I presume since the dawn of radio astronomy. Of course, they haven’t turned up any signs. But let’s dive into a hypothetical real quick. Suppose tomorrow, we detected the first radio broadcasts of an alien civilization that lives on a star 1,000 light-years from Earth – on the other side of the Milky Way.

We listen to their initial broadcasts, and eventually start seeing their earliest television broadcasts. The greatest minds on Earth eventually decipher the alien’s language. and we are able to understand what we see and hear. We watch their politics, culture, science, and religions evolve over time. We potentially learn some lessons along the way as the aliens crack problems we struggle with. We listen to our new friends for a thousand years. Maybe, something happens that destroys the civilization – through their own cataclysmic wars, a naturally occurring apocalyptic event they just didn’t see coming, or their mishandling of the environment. Maybe they switch to a different way of broadcasting that we simply can’t hear. Maybe, they vanish—radio silence—and we don’t know why. Maybe, an alien race 1,000 light-years away eavesdrops on our own radio and television broadcasts and experiences the same thing as our own civilizations rise and fall over time. Could such a scenario occur?

Find out and read more about why here: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/failed-supernova/