The Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting Earth and our way of life in many different ways. One of the strangest outcomes, however, is that the Earth is vibrating less.
With pollution decreasing and wildlife returning to cities and urban places around the world, scientists have discovered that the upper layer of Earths crust has visibly started shaking less.
Scientists have recorded a decrease in seismic noise of the Earth’s crust since the implementation of stronger social distancing measures.
This is due to a decrease in seismic noise. This noise is mainly caused by human movement. A lot of which is due to cars, trains, and most automatic vehicles travelling from point A to point B.
A lot of this movement continually affects the movement of Earths upper crust. However, scientists have noticed a slight decline in the average movement since the beginning of the pandemic.
Thomas Lecocq from the Royal Observatory in Brussels began seeing a reduction in this noise of between 30% and 50% since the middle of March. This was also around the same time most of Belgium began implementing stronger social distancing measures.
With this decrease in movement, Lecocq said that the station in Brussels has been able to detect smaller earthquakes, along with other seismic events that normally wouldn’t be detectable.
Paula Koelemeijer in West London has also stated they are seeing similar results. This at least shows that people are following the rules implemented by the government.
Have a look at the results below.
Our staff is teleworking. The earth continues shaking. Ground movements at frequencies 1-20 Hz, mainly due to human activity (cars, trains, industries,…) are much lower since the implementation of the containment measures by the government. #StayHome @ibzbe @CrisiscenterBE pic.twitter.com/pGgQAyLuUP
— Seismologie.be (@Seismologie_be) March 20, 2020
How the seismic noise on our little @raspishake seismometer running in West London (Twickenham) has been affected by the #covid19UK lockdown. This is a month of data for station R091F. The average noise levels are down reflecting fewer trains, buses and cars. pic.twitter.com/WmJLmAO18k
— Paula Koelemeijer (@seismo_koel) March 31, 2020
P.E.I. fishermen surrounded by 'thousands' of jellyfish – CBC.ca
Just outside the Tryon River on Prince Edward Island, Brian Campbell’s boat motor began to stall as it became surrounded by lion’s mane jellyfish.
“I’ve never seen that many before,” said Campbell. “They would get caught up in that propeller. There’s quite a few of them — I want to say thousands and thousands.”
Lion’s mane jellyfish can grow to two metres in diameter with tentacles as long as 30 metres, roughly the same length as a blue whale.
What’s more? They sting.
High concentration of lion’s mane
“Wouldn’t want to be swimming there that day, that’s for sure,” said Campbell, who has been a fisherman for 42 years.
“It’s all right if you got one or two that sting you. But at that point right there, I think you could probably do some harm … if you get 30 or 40 on you.”
Last Tuesday, Campbell posted on Facebook warning people not to swim in the area. He later added a video of the encounter.
Oceanographer Nick Record says the species is common throughout Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of Maine, but this is the first he’s heard of such a large group.
“I’m pretty sure that’s the highest concentration of lion’s mane jellyfish that anyone has reported to me,” said Record, a senior research scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, a non-profit research institution in Maine.
Record said he has noticed a new phenomenon of gigantic lion’s mane jellyfish washing up onshore.
“They’re usually about the size of a dinner plate or smaller,” he said. “The last 18 months or so there’s been a handful, maybe five to 10 instances, where they were like [one and a half to two metres] across — so just giants.”
Record has been using citizen reports to track the creatures for about a decade. He said it’s hard to know whether or not jellyfish are increasing based on the reports, because while more reported sightings could mean more jellyfish, it could also just mean more people are out on the water.
That being said, there are several factors that could impact the population including weather, currents and the food chain.
“Partly it’s the biology. Jellyfish can reproduce really quickly when conditions are good,” said Record. “Partly it’s the ocean physics.”
‘I couldn’t believe how many there was’
“When I first saw it, I thought maybe somebody hit a seal up there just a little ways away,” said Chad Gallant, a lobster fisherman in North Rustico, P.E.I.
“There was a bunch of pink in the water. I thought it might’ve been blood.”
It wasn’t blood, it was jellyfish.
These were moon jellyfish, a different species from those Campbell saw.
“We just stopped there,” said Gallant. “I couldn’t believe how many there was.”
Gallant also posted a video on Facebook.
“It’s not too surprising to me to see a really high abundance of them,” said Record. ” But I’ve never seen a photo where they were that dense before.”
Moon jellyfish are seasonal and feed on zooplankton, according to Record. He said they “don’t generally sting,” but some people have sensitivities or allergic reactions to them.
“I thought it was kinda cool,” laughed Gallant. “It don’t bother me from going swimming again.”
Competing with fish for food
Record said there are both pros and cons to seeing groups this large.
“Some people see jellyfish as a total nuisance and large jellyfish aggregations as an unequivocally bad thing,” he said. “Other people see jellyfish as these amazing, beautiful animals and just want to take photos of them all day.”
They can impact the ecosystem in many ways, too. On one hand, they’re prey for sea turtles. On the other, they compete with fish for food.
There’s a scientific debate about whether jellyfish are increasing globally or not.— Nick Record, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
“People have tried to get fish stocks to rebound, but because the [jellyfish] are eating the same food that the fish would be eating, it makes it more difficult for fish stocks to come back,” said Record.
But unlike other living organisms, the jellyfish can survive and thrive in stressed environments with little oxygen and depleted ecosystems.
More data needed
“There’s a scientific debate about whether jellyfish are increasing globally or not,” said Record. “In order to answer the question about whether there’s a long-term trend, you need decades of data.
“We don’t really have that in Atlantic Canada.”
According to Record, this citizen reporting program is “really the only long-term survey for jellyfish in our part of the world.”
In order to track the sea animal, Record has to know where they are. And to know where they are, he needs people to report them. Record said people can send information regarding sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s little doubt the videos taken around P.E.I. show a significant number of jellyfish. However, whether this means their population is climbing, the response isn’t so clear.
“We don’t know yet,” said Record. “It’ll take many years before we can answer that question.”
More from CBC P.E.I.
First ever glimpse of the core of a gas giant after one found orbiting distant star – Sky News
Scientists have discovered the surviving core of a gas giant orbiting a distant star, offering the first ever glimpse of the interior of these mysterious planets.
The core is about the same size as Neptune, or around four times larger than Earth, although it isn’t clear what happened to the planet’s gaseous atmosphere.
According to researchers from the University of Warwick’s department of physics, the atmosphere could have been stripped away or it may have failed to form early on in the planet’s life.
The planet core was found in a survey of stars by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and offers a unique opportunity to learn about the composition of gas giants.
Planets such as Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are believed to have a rocky core deep beneath the bulk of their mass which is made up of gases.
Although the new core, named TOI 849 b, is around the same size as Neptune, it is believed to have three times the mass, with the material making it being squashed much more densely.
Dr David Armstrong, lead author on the paper, said: “While this is an unusually massive planet, it’s a long way from the most massive we know.
“But it is the most massive we know for its size, and extremely dense for something the size of Neptune, which tells us this planet has a very unusual history,” he added.
“TOI 849 b is the most massive terrestrial planet – [a planet] that has an earth-like density – discovered.
“We would expect a planet this massive to have accreted large quantities of hydrogen and helium when it formed, growing into something similar to Jupiter. The fact that we don’t see those gases lets us know this is an exposed planetary core.”
Dr Armstrong said this was the first time scientists have discovered an intact exposed core of a gas giant orbiting around a star.
There are two theories as to why the planet’s core has been exposed.
The first is that it was once similar to Jupiter but lost its outer gas, potentially through tidal disruption – when it was ripped apart from orbiting too close to its star – or in a collision with another planet.
Alternatively, it might be a failed gas giant, which never formed an atmosphere – for instance if there was a gap in the disc of dust the planet formed from, or if the disc ran out of material.
Dr Armstrong added: “It’s a first, telling us that planets like this exist and can be found. We have the opportunity to look at the core of a planet in a way that we can’t do in our own solar system.
“There are still big open questions about the nature of Jupiter’s core, for example, so strange and unusual exoplanets like this give us a window into planet formation that we have no other way to explore.
“Although we don’t have any information on its chemical composition yet, we can follow it up with other telescopes.
“Because TOI 849 b is so close to the star, any remaining atmosphere around the planet has to be constantly replenished from the core. So if we can measure that atmosphere then we can get an insight into the composition of the core itself.”
A buck moon lunar eclipse will be visible on the Fourth of July – Lonely Planet Travel News
The Fourth of July is always a big celebratory occasion in the US, and while it may be a bit more subdued this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it coincides with a special lunar event.
A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible on July 4 and 5 in many parts of the world, providing skies are clear. This is where the full moon in July will sweep to the north of the Earth’s dark shadow – or penumbra – causing a partial eclipse of the moon. It’s a more subtle phenomenon than a total eclipse, and it will turn the moon a shade darker as it is eclipsed by the Earth’s penumbral shadow.
People in the northwestern areas of the US and Canada will only be able to see the eclipse at moonrise, and those in much of Africa and parts of western Europe will see it at moonset. Alas, it will not be visible in Asia, eastern Europe, the northernmost areas of North America and northeastern Africa.
A full moon happens every 29.5 days, and the one in July is called the ‘buck moon.’ This is because Native American tribes originally tracked the changing seasons by the lunar months rather than the solar calendar and gave them names appropriate to the time of year. July’s full moon is called the buck moon as it coincides with when male deer, or bucks, shed their antlers every year, and new ones emerge. It is also sometimes called the thunder moon, hay moon and wort moon.
The eclipse will begin on July 4 at 23.07 EDT and last until 1.52 EDT on July 5.
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