Monday, November 30, 2020
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Ships captained by three men sighted Antarctica or its ice shelf in 1820: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (a captain in the Imperial Russian Navy), Edward Bransfield (a captain in the Royal Navy), and Nathaniel Palmer (a sealer from Stonington, Connecticut).
Earlier today (Nov. 29th at 1311UT), Earth-orbiting satellites detected the biggest solar flare in more than 3 years. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded this extreme-ultraviolet movie of the M4.4 category blast.
Remarkably, this flare was even bigger than it seems. The blast site is located just behind the sun's southeastern limb. As a result, the explosion was partially eclipsed by the body of the sun. It might have been an X-class event.
The flare also hurled a significant coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, shown here in a coronagraph image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):
This CME will not hit Earth. It is outside the strikezone for geoeffective solar storms. If, however, it were coming our way, we would be anticipating a strong geomagnetic storm. Maybe next time!
"Next time" could be just days away. The hidden sunspot that produced this major event will rotate onto the Earthside of the sun during the next day or two. Then its ability to spark geomagnetic storms will be greatly increased.
Kettleman City’s Supercharger station, which sits halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is already an immensely popular charge point, but considering Thanksgiving is one of the year’s busiest travel periods, the facility’s 40 charging stalls were insufficient to meet the overwhelming demand.
Kettleman City is an otherwise nondescript small farm town smack in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley on I-5, the major north/south highway.
For a Model S Tesla at a Supercharger station, it will take about 20 minutes to charge 50 percent and 40 minutes to charge 80 percent.
Tesla's website says that drivers will have enough to finish their trip on 80 percent, but owners can reach 100 percent fueled in 75 minutes.
This is a problem that can likely be solved for now with new charging stations, but what about when electric cars become more popular, and governments try to outlaw gas engines? Where's the electricity coming from then? Huh?
This is just an echo of problems to come if trends continue.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
I'm about to die of turkey overdose. Two full Thanksgiving dinners in two days is a lot, but I'm not complaining.
And Mrs. CW just made the moistest turkey I've ever tasted.
After being nearly completely wiped out by whalers, new research suggests Antarctic blue whales have returned to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.So far, 41 blue whales in South Georgia have been photo-identified between 2011 and 2020. None of the South Georgia whales matched the profiles of the 517 whales in the Antarctic blue whale photographic catalogue.