Indonesia Volcano Erupts Again, Forces Evacuations Published: Nov 3, 2013, 7:41 AM EST Associated PressPlay VideoVolcano Sends Villagers FleeingJAKARTA, Indonesia — A volcano in western Indonesia has erupted again, unleashing volcanic ash high into the sky and forcing the evacuation of villagers around its slope.The National Disaster Mitigation Agency says 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high Mount Sinabung erupted early Sunday.(MORE: Tropical Storm Sonia Threatens Mexico)It says authorities are working to evacuate residents from four villages located within the danger zone of 3 kilometers (2 miles). So far, nearly 1,300 villagers have been relocated to safer areas.The volcano, located in North Sumatra province, last erupted Oct. 24. In September, more than 15,000 people were forced to flee when it rumbled to life after being dormant for three years.Mount Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific „Ring of Fire.”MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Thousands Flee After Mount Sinabung Erupts Sept. 17, 20131 / 14Pigeons fly by as Mount Sinabung spews volcanic materials following its eruption in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes after the volcano erupted early Sunday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
View galleryThe moon and sun will team up to create a rare event Sunday (Nov. 3): a hybrid solar eclipse that could amaze eclipse chasers across eastern North America, the Atlantic Ocean and Africa. But you don’t have to hop on a plane to see the celestial spectacle — you can watch it live online.The online Slooh community observatory will provide a free webcast of Sunday’s hybrid solar eclipse beginning at 6:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT). Slooh host Paul Cox will provide live views of the eclipse from the Kenya countryside in Africa, with other feeds expected from Gabon, Africa, and the Canary Islands off Africa’s western coast. Meanwhile, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from the U.S. East Coast and parts of Canada, as well as southern Europe and most of Africa, weather permitting.You can watch the solar eclipse webcast live on SPACE.com, courtesy of Slooh. The last hybrid solar eclipse occurred in April 2005 and it won’t occur again until 2023. [How to See Sunday’s Solar Eclipse]”This will be the most difficult eclipse we’ve covered at Slooh over the years,” Cox said in a statement. „Our expedition will be made in a series of 4×4 vehicles carrying our delicate observation equipment across some of the harshest terrain in Africa.” You can also watch the webcast live on Slooh.com and via Slooh’s iPad and iPhone app.View gallery.”Cartographer Michael Zeiler of Eclipse-Maps.com created this map depicting the partial solar eclipse …Solar eclipses occur when the moon is between the sun and Earth and appears to block the sun as seen from Earth’s surface. When the moon and sun align perfectly, it creates a total solar eclipse. Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon covers only part of the sun’s disk, while annular eclipses — also known as „ring of fire” solar eclipses — occur when the moon’s shadow falls short of the Earth’s surface, leaving a bright ring of sunlight around its edges.Sunday’s hybrid solar eclipse will be at its best along a narrow strip of the Earth that begins in the mid-Atlantic Ocean and stretches across into Central Africa. This path of annularity and totality marks where the maximum eclipse can be seen from, with several eclipse-chasing expeditions by ship and aircraft planned for the ocean-bound portion. One such expedition, led by astronomer Jay Pasachoff of Williams College, will be in Gabon, Africa, where the total solar eclipse will make landfall. The moon’s shadow will then continue across Africa, passing through the Congos, northern Uganda, and northern Kenya. It will end in southern Ethiopia and Somalia.Cartographer Michael Zeiler of Eclipse-Maps.com has created a series of maps showing the path and schedule of Sunday’s solar eclipse.During the Slooh webcast, which is expected to last four hours, Cox will interview astronomy and eclipse experts to discuss the solar spectacle. Webcast viewers can submit questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via the hashtag #solareclipse.”I’m looking forward to interviewing our line-up of expert guests throughout the live broadcast; we’ll discuss just about every aspect of these awe-inspiring celestial events, and also explain why this particular eclipse is of the rare ‘hybrid’ variety,” Cox said.View gallery.”This map of the Nov. 3, 2013 solar eclipse shows the path of totality and percentage of sun coverage …For observers on the eastern coast of North America, Sunday’s eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse that begins at sunrise. If weather permits, early-bird amateur astronomers will see the sun rise with a piece missing.Warning: Never look directly at the sun, either with the naked eye or through telescopes or binoculars without the proper filters. Serious and permanent eye damage can occur, including blindness. Astronomers and amateur eclipse chasers use special eclipse glasses and filters to safely observe the sun.Editors of the astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope advises skywatchers to look to the east at 6:30 a.m. local time from an observing location with a clear eastern horizon. The partial solar eclipse will be visible for about 45 minutes, with observers from Boston to New York City seeing the sun 50-percent obscured while observers from Washington, D.C., to Miami will see the sun 47-percent obscured.An extremely small partial solar eclipse, in which the sun looks like it has a nick missing, may even be visible from southern Ontario, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.Editor’s note: If you snap an amazing photo of Sunday’s solar eclipse or any other celestial sight that you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.Email Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on SPACE.com.
Experts say nuclear power needed to slow warmingBy KEVIN BEGOS 1 hour agoView galleryFILE -In this Dec. 11, 2012, file photo, part of the containment vessel for a new nuclear reactor at the Plant Vogtle nuclear powPITTSBURGH (AP) — Some of the world’s top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won’t be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they’re asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change.Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.That isn’t realistic, the letter said.”Those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough” to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and „with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology” that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.Hansen began publishing research on the threat of global warming more than 30 years ago, and his testimony before Congress in 1988 helped launch a mainstream discussion. Last February he was arrested in front of the White House at a climate protest that included the head of the Sierra Club and other activists. Caldeira was a contributor to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Emanuel is known for his research on possible links between climate change and hurricanes, and Wigley has also been doing climate research for more than 30 years.Emanuel said the signers aren’t opposed to renewable energy sources but want environmentalists to understand that „realistically, they cannot on their own solve the world’s energy problems.”The vast majority of climate scientists say they’re now virtually certain that pollution from fossil fuels has increased global temperatures over the last 60 years. They say emissions need to be sharply reduced to prevent more extreme damage in the future.In 2011 worldwide carbon dioxide emissions jumped 3 percent, because of a large increase by China, the No. 1 carbon polluting country. The U.S. is No. 2 in carbon emissions.Hansen, who’s now at Columbia University, said it’s not enough for environmentalists to simply oppose fossil fuels and promote renewable energy.”They’re cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need” is renewable energy such as wind and solar, Hansen told the AP.The joint letter says, „The time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems” as part of efforts to build a new global energy supply.Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard professor who studies energy issues, said nuclear power is „very divisive” within the environmental movement. But he added that the letter could help educate the public about the difficult choices that climate change presents.One major environmental advocacy organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, warned that „nuclear power is no panacea for our climate woes.”Risk of catastrophe is only one drawback of nuclear power, NRDC President Frances Beinecke said in a statement. Waste storage and security of nuclear material are also important issues, he said.”The better path is to clean up our power plants and invest in efficiency and renewable energy.”The scientists acknowledge that there are risks to using nuclear power, but say those are far smaller than the risk posed by extreme climate change.”We understand that today’s nuclear plants are far from perfect.”___Follow Kevin Begos at https://twitter.com/kbegos
Manual oil drilling in Myanmar REUTERS/Damir Sagolj November 1, 2013 11:00 AMView gallery12 photos In Minhla, an impoverished township in, Myanmar, locals find ways to supplement their income by manually extracting crude oil, often using primitive and dangerous methods. (Reuters)
A year on from superstorm Sandy, NY marathon returns7 hours agoView gallery New York City (AFP) – The New York City Marathon returns to the streets of the Big Apple on Sunday, a year after Hurricane Sandy forced organizers reluctantly to cancel.The New York Road Runners Club came in for criticism last year as they pressed ahead with plans for the race in the face of widespread devastation.Nearly 100 people died amid the flooding and property damage wreaked by Sandy, much of the damage located on Staten Island, where runners would have made the traditional start to the 26.2-mile (42.2km) event that winds through all five boroughs of New York.When race and city officials finally realized on the Friday before the race that they just couldn’t go, New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg called it a „crushing” decision.Organizers hope the 2013 edition can help the marathon again be seen as a unifying force in the city.The quality of the elite fields promises every chance of a sparkling race.The men’s field is headlined by 2011 defending champion Geoffrey Mutai, five-time marathon winner Martin Lel, both of Kenya, and Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, who is currently third in the World Marathon Majors standings, which offers $1 million to be divided between the top male and female runners in the global series.View gallery.”Workers build a media stand at the finish line of the New York City Marathon, on October 31, 2013 (A …In August, Ugandan prison warden Kiprotich added the world marathon gold to his 2012 Olympic title.But the man to beat could be Ethiopian star Tsegaye Kebede.Kebede leads the World Major Marathon standings with 65 points, 15 more than Kiprotich.The men’s and women’s winners of the series split a $1 million bonus.Kiprotich said a victory in New York would be special — although it wasn’t on his radar until after his World Championship triumph.”This is something that has not been in my mind,” he said. „After Moscow, I was told you stand a chance to win, I said, ‘Wow, this is going to be really something special in my mind and in my career.”And if I win this race, it will be a special race for me,” he said.View gallery.”This file photo shows Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai running to victory in the New York City Marathon on Nov …Kebede, 26, hunted down Emmanuel Mutai to win the London Marathon in April, the first major marathon to be held after the bombings that killed three near the finish line of the Boston Marathon earlier in the same month.The Boston bombings changed the landscape for big-city marathon organizers, and enhanced security measures will be in place in New York as they were in London and in Chicago on October 13.Increased bag checks and an increased police presence are among the new measures, although organizers said they didn’t want to create „a police state”.”In general, there’s more security,” US runner Shalane Flanagan said. „There’s a heightened awareness.”But so be it,” she added. „I don’t think it affects things in a negative way. I think it just makes people on their toes and appreciate when things run smoothly.”The women’s race looks to be shaping up as a battle among reigning world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya — winner in New York in 2010 — 2011 winner Firehiwot Dado and 2013 London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo — the 2012 Olympic silver medallist from Kenya.Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo leads the women’s standings in the World Major Marathon series after victories in Boston and Chicago.She isn’t running in New York, and both Priscah Jeptoo and Kiplagat have a chance to claim at least a share of the $500,000 series bonus.
Ex-astronaut’s final journey
Colo. funeral set for astronaut CarpenterBy DAN ELLIOTT 20 hours ago BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Astronaut Scott Carpenter is being remembered by friends, family members and dignitaries at a funeral service in Colorado on Saturday.Carpenter, who grew up in Boulder and lived in Vail, Colo., died Oct. 10 of complications from a stroke in September. He was 88.He was the second American to orbit the Earth, following John Glenn. Glenn is scheduled to speak at Carpenter’s funeral.Carpenter’s family held a private service Saturday followed immediately by the public service. Six Navy officers carried Carpenter’s flag-draped casket from a hearse into the church.His ashes will be interred at his ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo.Glenn and Carpenter were the last survivors of NASA’s famed Mercury program, which sent astronauts into space in one-person capsules. When Glenn blasted off, Carpenter was heard on the television broadcast saying, „Godspeed, John Glenn.”Carpenter orbited Earth three times in May 1962. After an instrument malfunctioned and he ran low on fuel, Carpenter had to take manual control and missed his landing target by 288 miles, but was found safe.”I had made mistakes and some things had gone wrong,” Carpenter recalled in the 1962 book „We Seven,” written by the first seven astronauts. „But I hoped that other men could learn from my experiences. I felt that the flight was a success, and I was proud of that.”The troubled flight created a rift between Carpenter and NASA bosses, so he turned to sea exploration. In 1965, he spent 30 days under the ocean off the California coast in the Navy’s SeaLab II program.He returned to NASA in the 1960s to help develop the Apollo lunar lander. He then went back to the SeaLab program as director of aquanaut operations for SeaLab III.He retired from the Navy in 1969 and founded his company Sea Sciences Inc.He is survived by his wife, Patty Carpenter, and six children. Two other children died before him.
Tropical Storm Sonia Threatens Mexicoweather.comWatching Tropical Storm Sonia Tropical Storm Sonia has formed off the Pacific coast of Mexico, less than 300 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California.Sonia first formed Friday, Nov. 1 as Tropical Depression Eighteen-E a few hundred miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.After spinning over the open waters south of Baja California, increasing southwest winds aloft should slingshot the storm into the mainland of western Mexico, narrowly bypassing the southern Baja peninsula (including Cabo San Lucas). Landfall is expected sometime late Sunday night or Monday morning.Tropical storm-force winds, locally heavy rain, and a threat of high surf and rip currents are the primary threats with this system for parts of western Mexico.The Government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm warning for the west coast of Mexico from Mazatlan to Altata. A tropical storm watch remains in effect north of Altata to Topolobampo.People with interests in Baja California and the mainland of west-central Mexico should continue to monitor the progress of this system.In the U.S., some moisture from this system could get pulled up into Texas early next week.Projected Path