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Chinese Satellites May Aid Strikes on U.S. Warships: Report

July 13, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

New advanced satellites could enable China to direct its ballistic missiles in striking U.S. naval vessels sailing in the region in the event of an outbreak of hostilities, Reuters reported on Monday (see GSN, Jan. 10).

(Jul. 13) - A U.S. guided missile destroyer fires an artillery round during an exercise last month in the South China Sea. China could train its ballistic missiles on nearby U.S. warships using a new generation of reconnaissance satellites, a report warns (U.S. Navy photo).

A soon-to-be-released analysis in the British Journal of Strategic Studies concludes that the fast pace of work on cutting-edge spy orbiters would give China the ability to monitor up-to-the-minute U.S. military movements and to steer its ballistic missiles in strikes on U.S. warships.

“The most immediate and strategically disquieting application (of reconnaissance satellites) is a targeting and tracking capability in support of the antiship ballistic missile, which could hit U.S. carrier groups,” according to the report.

“But China’s growing capability in space is not designed to support any single weapon; instead it is being developed as a dynamic system, applicable to other long-range platforms,” the analysis continues. “With space as the backbone, China will be Read more…

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Comet’s Death by Sun Photographed for First Time

July 13, 2011 Comments off

space

A comet's demise in the sun
The Solar Dynamics Observatory AIA imager (observing in extreme ultraviolet light) actually spotted a sun-grazing comet as it disintegrated over about a 15 minute period (July 6, 2011), something never observed before. The angle of the comet’s orbit brought it across the front half of the Sun. Given the intense heat and radiation, the comet simply evaporated away completely. The comet was probably a member of the Kreutz sun-grazer family.
CREDIT: NASA/SDO/AIA

The death of a comet that plunged into the sun was captured on camera this month for the first time in history, scientists say.

The comet met its fiery demise on July 6 when it zoomed in from behind the sun and melted into oblivion as it crashed into the star. It was NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a satellite orbiting Earth that studies the sun, which witnessed the comet’s death-blow.

One of the SDO spacecraft’s high-definition imagers “actually spotted a sun-grazing comet as it disintegrated over about a 15 minute period (July 6, 2011), something never observed Read more…

Categories: astronomy, Sun Tags: , , , , ,

NASA Eyes Dominican Republic Lake’s Mysterious Growth

July 13, 2011 Comments off

sott

© NASA
Enriquillo, Cabrito island within. Photo nasa.gov.

Santo Domingo.- Enriquillo Lake has grown around 9,000 hectares from February 26, 2009, to April 15, 2011, a NASA sensor measurement reveals from space, while the Santo Domingo State University’s (UASD) Marine Research Center suggests that two underground currents at the Haiti-Dominican border as the possible cause.

The UASD hypothesis that the subsurface currents from Tierra Nueva and Las Lajas, towns adjacent to Haitian territory, spill their waters into Enriquillo and Azuey lakes, could turn out to be the cause behind the as yet unexplained flooding in both bodies of water.

“That amount of water is still draining towards Enriquillo lake from high territories” in the Dominican Republic, NASA said on its Website, and affirms that the lake’s surroundings “have been flooded even more than the floods brought about by the rain sequel caused by Hurricane Noel and Tropical Storm Olga in 2007.”

NASA’s measurements of Enriquillo’s underflow level were done with Landsat and Modis type sensors, which also provided satellite imagery in the study.

Enriquillo received 400 millimeters of water during those rains, and surpass 700 millimeters in the last two years, without any rain in the zone, which reveals the magnitude of the flooding that affects the Caribbean region’s biggest lake since 2009.

China’s military modernization in numbers

July 13, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

A look at the key figures that tell the tale of China’s increasing military power:
China increasing military use of space with new satellites

China is taking rapid strides towards creating a network of reconnaissance satellites Photo: REUTERS

 , Shanghai

* +12.6 per cent – the rise in China’s official military budget to around £56.2 billion, still a fraction of the £351 billion that the US has allocated for its core defence budget. (The UK spends £37 billion)

* £96 billion – What the US believes that China is actually spending on defence, rather than the stated figures.

* -22pc – the fall in the number of standing troops in the People’s Liberation Army as China pushes through its modernization programme. The army will shrink from 2.3 million soldiers to 1.8 million, still the largest standing Read more…

Supersize Dust Storms Could Become Southwest Norm

July 13, 2011 1 comment

wired

The massive dust storm that engulfed Phoenix last week was unusual for the 20th century, but could become more common in the 21st.

The storm resulted from thunderstorm-cooled air plummeting into the ground like mist pouring from an open freezer, only exponentially more powerful. Combine those winds with extremely dry conditions, and the result was a wall of dust 100 miles wide and 5,000 feet high.

Dust storms are common in the U.S. southwest, but not storms this big. No formal records are kept, but meteorologists said it was the largest such storm in at least 30 years. It was on par with storms seen in China’s Gobi desert and Australia. Some commentators invoked the apocalyptic storms of the 1930’s Dust Bowl.

 

As dry as it’s been in the southwest this year, with precipitation 50 percent below mid-20th century levels, there’s reason to think that extra-dry conditions will Read more…

Vladimir Putin Calls Bernanke A Hooligan, Angry At American Money Printing

July 13, 2011 1 comment

zerohedge

Who would have thought that Ron Paul’s ideological ally in his quest to take down the Chairsatan would be none other than the Russian dictator-in-waiting (or rather, in actuality), Vladimir Putin. In a speech before the of economic experts at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian prime minister had the following to say: “Thank God, or unfortunately, we do not print a reserve currency but what are they doing? They are behaving like hooligans, switching on the printing press and tossing them around the whole world, forgetting their main obligations.” What appears to have angered the former KGB spy is the end of QE2. According to RIAN: “Putin’s comments came in the wake of the completion of the US’ quantitative easing (QE) 2 program on June 30, in which the Federal Reserve bought $600 billion worth of Read more…

Gold hits record high near $1,580 an ounce

July 13, 2011 Comments off

afp

The price of gold reached $1,578.73 an ounce at 1130 GMT on the London Bullion Market (AFP/File, Sebastian Derungs)

LONDON — The price of gold surged to a record close to $1,580 an ounce here on Wednesday, as investors switched into the metal for safety from the eurozone debt crisis, traders said.

The price of gold reached $1,578.72 an ounce by mid-day on the London Bullion Market, beating the previous record of $1,577.57 set on May 1. It later stood at $1,573 an ounce in afternoon London trade.

“Gold hit a new all-time high today as investors continue to fret over the European sovereign debt situation,” said analyst Ian O’Sullivan at trading firm Spread Co, noting that the metal has risen for eight days in a row..

“With Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal worries intensifying and now the Fed minutes suggesting some members were thinking about the need for additional easing, investors have just hit the panic buy buttons this week.

“We think that gold ma Read more…