Posts filed under “Science”

NASA Images: BP Oil Invades Louisiana Coast

Multiple cameras on JPL’s MISR instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft were used to create two unique views of oil moving into Louisiana’s coastal wetlands:

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Here is NASA:

These images, acquired on May 24, 2010 by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft, show the encroachment of oil from the former Deepwater Horizon rig into Louisiana’s wildlife habitats. The source of the spill is located off the southeastern (bottom right) edge of the images.

Dark filaments of oil are seen approaching the shores of Blind Bay and Redfish Bay at the eastern edge of the Mississippi River delta, and also nearing Garden Island Bay and East Bay farther to the south. These areas are home to many varieties of fish. To the north, the arc-shaped pattern of land and runoff is associated with the Chandeleur Islands, which are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is the second oldest in the United States and is a habitat for dozens of seabird, shorebird and waterfowl species. Oil is reported to have reached the islands on May 6. Eighteen days later, this image shows filaments of oil crossing the island barrier — which had been heavily eroded by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — and entering the Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.

The left-hand image contains data from MISR’s vertical-viewing camera. It is shown in near-true color, except that data from the instrument’s near-infrared band, where vegetation appears bright, have been blended with the instrument’s green band to enhance the appearance of vegetation.

The Mississippi River delta is located below the image center. The slick is seen approaching the delta from the lower right, and filaments of oil are also apparent farther to the north (towards the top). The oil is made visible by sun reflecting off the sea surface at the same angle from which the instrument is viewing it, a phenomenon known as sunglint. Oil makes the surface look brighter under these viewing conditions than it would if no oil were present. However, other factors can also cause enhanced glint, such as reduced surface wind speed. To separate glint patterns due to oil from these other factors, additional information from MISR’s cameras is used in the right-hand image.

Category: Energy, Science

EM Waves Decommissioned Due to Budget Cuts

XKCD: > Hat tip Dave F

Category: Humor, Science, Weekend

Oil Spill Trajectory Hindcast/Forecast

Fascinating animation via the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida based on West Florida Shelf ROMS: > click for interactive graphic Hat tip Steve W

Category: Energy, Science

How to Forecast Weather

Very cool info for sailors, hikers, campers, etc. > click for ginormous graphic via Marisys

Category: Science, Weekend

How Bad is BP Deepwater Horizon?

Here is a decidedly contrarian viewpoint, from University of Alabama Professor Dr. Roy Spencer. Prof Spencer notes that the general commentary regarding the BP spill as “the worst environmental disaster in history” is wildly overblown. His graph below is designed to put this spill into perspective. Now, before you wail that he is a global…Read More

Category: Contrary Indicators, Energy, Science, UnScience

Human Capital “Density”

All those forecasts of the end of cities have yet to come to fruition. Perhaps the following chart, via Richard Florida (The Atlantic) helps to explain why: >

Category: Psychology, Science

The Hottest Known Planet is Doomed

That hottest known planet may be its shortest-lived … This NASA artist’s concept image shows that the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Oil Slick Moving North?

Here is some scary news: The Gulf Oil leak has developed a tail. This suggests it is catching onto the loop current, which could take this around the Florida peninsula and up the East coast. Check out these NASA photos: Oil Tail Below Spill Loop Current The hell with this . . . I am…Read More

Category: Energy, Science

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Vaccine-autism claims, “Frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. hat tip boingboing

Category: Really, really bad calls, Science, Weekend

Ripening Stars Near Rosette Nebula

How cool are these photos? Photo courtesy of NASA Photo courtesy of ESA

Category: Science, Weekend