Something slightly scary occurred to me the other day. Analysis of the Mw 7.8 quake that ripped through central New Zealand last November suggests it was awesomely complex. We usually imagine quakes being caused when one fault line moves. Or maybe two or three faults, because faults tend to exist in connected systems. And often, … More The earthquake apocalypse – it’s coming. Probably.
This weekend’s tragedy on Japan’s Mount Ontake reminds us that life around the Pacific ‘rim of fire’ is often risky. That string of tectonic plate collisions stretches around the whole circumference of the Pacific and has shaped life in many ways. It was cause of the 2011 tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. It gave the US Yellowstone. … More Forecasting New Zealand’s seismic apocalypse
Back in 2013, I wrote a piece that mashed Pope Benedict’s resignation with the science of the meteorite that exploded over Russia. I was Freshly Pressed by WordPress on the back of it. Good stuff. This weekend, a similarly sized chunk of space debris – about 20 metres in diameter – is rolling past Earth with … More Close encounters of the meteor kind – this weekend
After last week’s post on a Carrington storm – a solar event able to do large-scale damage to anything electrical, especially power grids. I fielded a few questions which deserved a post. And I had some new ones of my own… Does the whole Earth get hit? The issue isn’t the Coronal Mass Ejection that goes with the … More Beware the next Carrington storm – a Q&A wrap-up
On 28 August 1859, British astronomer Richard Carrington noticed something unusual on the Sun. A flare, larger than anything he’d seen before. Three days later, Earth lit up. Aurorae erupted as far south as the Carribean. All hell broke loose in telegraph systems across the world. Lines began spraying sparks. Operators were electrocuted. Other telegraphs worked … More Apocalypse now: why we must fear a Carrington storm
Well, the first ‘blood moon’ of 2014’s come and gone. I missed it – the night sky where I live was socked in with 10/10 overcast at an altitude of about 200 metres. Still, I’ll have another chance on 8 October. And another on 4 April 2015. And a fourth on 28 September that year. Although … More The science behind this year’s blood moons
We’re all doomed, apparently. A NASA-backed science study says so. That’s more credible than stupid ideas about Mayan calendar dates (the world ended on 21 December 2012…didn’t it?) or the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (world’s end in 2010), or the deranged spoutings of former French pharmacist, Michel de Nostradame (1984 or … More Science says we’re all doomed. Neatypoos.