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Planet Earth

Hidden Crater Under Greenland May Explain Sudden Climate Change

Those looking to bolster their argument that not all climate change is manmade may have received an early Christmas gift – researchers have found a massive hidden asteroid impact crate under Greenland whose age coincides with the beginning of a previously unexplained cooling period about 12.000 years ago. Does this change everything?

“The crater is exceptionally well-preserved, and that is surprising, because glacier ice is an incredibly efficient erosive agent that would have quickly removed traces of the impact. But that means the crater must be rather young from a geological perspective.”

In a press release announcing the study “A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland” published in the current edition of Science Advances, co-author Professor Kurt H. Kjær from the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark describes how researchers first found signs pointing to the existence of the crater under Greenland’s ice sheet in July 2015. It was not far from where a 20-ton iron meteorite had been discovered, but that wasn’t enough to connect the dots.

Is any part of Greenland not covered by glaciers?

A German research plane from the Alfred Wegener Institute flew over the Hiawatha Glacier and, using a new ice radar system, was able to better image the depression and added to the evidence, exciting NASA glaciologist Joseph MacGregor. (Pictures here.)

“A distinctly circular rim, central uplift, disturbed and undisturbed ice layering, and basal debris. It’s all there.”

Surface expeditions in 2016 and 2017 collected samples of sediment washed out from under the depression and found the missing link.

“Some of the quartz sand washed from the crater had planar deformation features indicative of a violent impact, and this is conclusive evidence that the depression beneath the Hiawatha Glacier is a meteorite crater.”

The crater measures more than 31 km (19.25 miles) in diameter, which puts the size of the iron meteorite at 1 km (.6 miles) wide and puts the impact in the top 25 of Earth impact craters, making it a good candidate for causing ecological disasters. Ice layers show it’s at least 12000 years old and rock erosion samples say it’s no more than 3 million years old.

It’s the more recent date that has scientists linking the event to the Younger Dryas period – a sudden unexplained cooling during a time of global warming after the last ice age. Occurring about 12,900 to 11,700 years ago, geological records in the Northern Hemisphere indicate a swift drop in temperatures of 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit), increases in glacier ice and cold waters in the Atlantic and general drier conditions. While the cooling was widespread, a few areas, southeastern North America for one, had a slight warming. The Younger Dryas coincided with a number of human cultures shifting from hunting and nomadic life to agriculture and settlements. In North America, the Clovis culture declined and a number of animal species went extinct.

All of these things could certainly have been caused by a meteor impact of catastrophic size. Is that the answer to the cause of the Younger Dryas that scientists have been searching for?

“The next step in the investigation will be to confidently date the impact. This will be a challenge, because it will probably require recovering material that melted during the impact from the bottom of the structure, but this is crucial if we are to understand how the Hiawatha impact affected life on Earth.”

Sounds like Kjær is making his plans for next summer. Pack a parka, professor!

SOURCE: Mysterious Universe

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Planet Earth

A bright fireball exploded over Armenia

Fireball over the sky of Armenia / Zohrap Yeganyan

Yesterday, a very bright fireball exploded over Armenia. This was announced by the head of the meteorological forecast department of the Hydrometeorological Center Gagik Surenyan on Facebook. The magnitude (brilliance) of a celestial body, which entered the Earth’s atmosphere with great speed, is at least 12.

Photo Source: Getty Image

On the evening of May 27, local residents saw a luminous ball flying from the sky, when it collided with the ground, an outbreak occurred.

Users of social networks began to share their guesses, but they officially gave a comment at the  Hydrometeorological Center  only the next day:

“Yesterday’s fall of a large meteorite in the Hrazdan  -Hankavan section  ,” Gagik Surenyan wrote, head of the meteorological forecast department of the Hydrometeorological Center and posted a video showing the meteorite.

Those who also saw the meteorite offered to go to the site of the fall of the celestial body and “collect the pieces”, others reproached the authorities and scientists for silence, when everyone discussed the event, no one began to confirm to people that the luminous ball was a meteorite.

“A meteorite is the final act of this nightmare year,” users of social networks wrote a comment on the video, with sad irony.

The camera was installed in the vicinity of Hrazdan and was directed towards the village of Hankavan.

“The meteorite, judging by the records studied, was very large and entered at great speed the atmosphere of the planet, where it burned at an altitude of several kilometers. The risk that parts of this fireball could reach Earth is small, and the likelihood that they can be somehow found tends to zero, including the woodland and the fact that, when burned, meteors and fireballs crumble, as a rule, for particles up to several millimeters in size,” astrophysicist R. Martirosyan said.

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Planet Earth

Powerful sprites over Kansas were visible to the naked eye

Have you ever seen sprites? They say that this is impossible. Strange and fleeting forms of Red Lightning materialize over thunderclouds, usually disappearing in less time than it takes to blink. However, storm hunter Michael Havan had no problems seeing them on May 23rd.

“The extremely bright jellyfish sprites were easily visible to the naked eye at dusk!” Says Gavin. “This is one of the brightest shots I’ve captured with my modified Canon T3i.”

Gavin saw this sight from Northwest Kansas. “Clear skies provided fantastic views of the MCS (mesoscale convective system) moving through Nebraska almost 100 miles from us,” he says. “I was not the only one who saw them.” There have been reports that people also saw sprites from Interstate 70. “

The storm lasted so long that Gavin managed to attach an 85mm lens to his camera for several close-up shots. “Because I had an image of the same area without a sprite from a few seconds earlier, I was able to subtract the sky (stars, air glow, etc.) to take a photo of the structure of the sprite without any distractions.

A solar minimum can stimulate sprites. During the low phase of the solar cycle — now occurring — cosmic rays from deep space penetrate the inner solar system relatively unhindered due to the weakening of the Sun’s magnetic field. 

Some models claim that cosmic rays help sprites get started by creating conductive paths in the atmosphere.

By the way:

Today, May 25, 2020, the level of cosmic rays crashing onto the Earth, reached its maximum levels, increasing today by 10.4% of average values.

Cosmic rays 

The magnetic field of the sun is weak, which allows additional cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system. Neutron counts from the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory of the University of Oulu show that cosmic rays reaching Earth in 2020 are close to the peak of the space age.

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Planet Earth

A surge in volcanic activity threatens the Earth with a new Ice Age

Over the past few days, we have witnessed a turbulent global volcanic surge in activity. He sends us all signs that the Great Solar Minimum is approaching.

The Japanese meteorological satellite HIMAWARI-8 recorded two powerful eruptions on May 16, both of which occurred in Indonesia.

The first took place in IBU – a relatively new volcano with only 3 noticeable eruptions; in 1911, 1998 and 2008 – and was confirmed by Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), which warned that the ash plume rises to about 13.7 km.

The second high-level eruption occurred just a few hours later on Semera – a very active volcano with an eruptive history; the first happened in 1818, the most recent in 2014.

As with IBU, the Semeru eruption was confirmed by both HIMAWARI-8 and VAAC Darwin, the latter confirming the generation of a “dark ash plume that reached a height of 14 km.

In addition, active lava flows remain active on the southeastern flank of Semeru, currently about 1.5 km long (as of the morning of May 18).

Direct cooling effect

These high-level eruptions are notable for the fact that solid particles are thrown to a height of over 10 km – and into the stratosphere – are often delayed, where they have a direct cooling effect on the planet.

Volcanic eruptions are one of the key factors pushing the Earth toward its next round of global cooling, with their worldwide surge associated with low solar activity, coronal holes, a diminishing magnetosphere and the influx of cosmic rays penetrating silica-rich magma.

In addition to Indonesia, Icelandic volcanoes have intensified, and it is this high-mountain volcanic region of the world that is believed to be home to the next “big eruption” – one that will plunge the whole world into the new Ice Age almost instantly.

Katla is such a volcano here and it shows signs of activity, since a significant gas output has been recorded over the past few days. 

In addition, seismic activity under a large ice volcano has also increased, and this activity is probably caused by injections of new magma entering the chamber.

Icelandic authorities are aware of the danger posed by the next Katla eruption, and a delegation of volcanologists regularly meets with the Icelandic parliament to discuss how to respond in the event of an eruption, the likelihood of which is simply a matter of when, not if.

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