July 23, 2013
SOHO Captures Solar Eruption And Coronal Hole – The Daily Orbit
Why are baby harp seals being abandoned?
Dolphins calling each other names.
Hi, I’m Emerald Robinson. Welcome to the Daily Orbit!
SOHO is hot and hopping! ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory not only captured video of a solar eruption but also found a gigantic coronal hole. This video shows two coronal mass ejections, or solar eruptions, taking place side-by-side. CME’s are responsible for what scientists call space weather. And just a few days later, SOHO photographed a gigantic coronal hole hovering over the sun’s north pole. These are dark, low-density regions of the sun’s corona that contain solar material and have lower temperatures, which makes them appear darker. Coronal holes are also important to space weather as they produce solar winds three times faster than the solar wind elsewhere. The more you know thanks to SOHO!
And the Sun isn’t the only star this week with the astronomical paparazzi. Mother Earth got her own portrait taken, but it wasn’t a close-up. The Cassini spacecraft captured images of Earth and the moon from millions of miles away. Just mere dots in the image, the Earth appears a pale blue, and the moon a stark white visible between Saturn’s rings. It’s rare for spacecraft to get an image like that of our planet because it’s too close to the sun, but with perfect timing and positioning of the sun behind Saturn, Cassini got the shot. And NASA called for the world to “strike a pose” telling us Earthlings to find Saturn in their part of the sky and wave at the ringed planet and share their pics on the Internet. More than 20,000 people participated. Oh, I think I see me….right…..there in the city!
…which is the safest place to be according to a new study. Researchers are challenging the long-held belief that cities are inherently more dangerous than the country. Researchers found that risk of death from injuries is lowest on average in urban counties compared to suburban and rural counties across the U.S. What kind of injuries are they talking about exactly? The top three: collisions, firearms, and poisoning. Risk of death from injuries was approximately 20 percent lower in urban areas. Risk of dying in a car crash was found to be two times higher in rural areas. Homicide is still higher in urban areas, but researchers say unintentional deaths far outweigh intentional deaths making city living overall safer. See Mama, it’s better that I left the country.
And even though I left for the bright lights of the city, I know my Mama is always there for me. But that’s not true for young harp seals off the eastern coast of Canada who are at a greater risk of getting stranded than adult seals due to climate change. Declining sea ice is leaving these baby seals stranded in greater numbers. Usually the ice is a birthing and nursing place until the pups can get out on their own, but with less ice cover, mamas are leaving the baby seals to fend for themselves before they are ready. And survival of the fittest doesn’t apply in this case with the stranded population seeming to be genetically diverse. Poor baby harp seals!
Here’s a cute marine story that’s not so sad. Bottlenose dolphins have distinct “names” to identify individuals in their social groups. And it’s all in a whistle. The names are comprised of whistles, which are created by the dolphins as they grow. They use these whistles to identify their locations to other dolphins that they meet while swimming through the sea. All in all, dolphins are quite verbal—well, if you can call it that. They use echolocation clicks to attract others to food locations and other noises to show their mood. And my dolphin name is [ insert whistles ] and I’m feeling [ insert whistle ].
And that’s your Daily Orbit. See you tomorrow!