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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Randall Carlson - Winter Solstice 2020

Winter Solstice 2020
© Randall Carlson.com

Winter Solstice
, the longest and darkest night of the year (in the northern hemisphere) will present to astronomical enthusiasts a once in a lifetime celestial event. It has been 794 years (1226 A.D.) since Jupiter and Saturn have aligned so closely that to the naked eye observer they appear as one object ‒ only the Moon will be brighter.

The overtaking of the slower planet Saturn by the more rapidly orbiting Jupiter takes place every twenty years. Due to its much greater distance from the Sun than Jupiter, Saturn's orbital period is right at 29.457 Earth years while Jupiter's is 11.86 Earth years. This overtaking is called a planetary conjunction. The apparent close association between two planets in conjunction, in this case Jupiter and Saturn, is due to the fact that the Earth, Jupiter and Saturn all lie in a straight line, more or less, and in this particular conjunction the alignment is very close, lying only 6 arc minutes, or one tenth of one degree apart at their closest passage.

Here is a way to think about the phenomenon: Assume Jupiter is conjunct Saturn. After 11.86 Earth years Jupiter has revolved around the Sun and returns more or less to the same position in the sky. However, Saturn, even though considerably slower in its orbit, has moved on ahead, enough, in fact, that it takes Jupiter about another 8 years to catch up. This means that there is a regular progression of Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions around the Zodiac. The last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred over May 28-29 in the year 2000 against the backdrop of the star constellation Taurus. Prior to that event there was a triple conjunction in 1980 in the constellation of Libra that lasted from late December to early August in the constellation Virgo.

This year the conjunction is taking place between the constellations of Capricorn and Sagittarius, as seen in the following graphic captured from Stellarium. The fact that this conjunction is taking place on the Winter Solstice is a remarkable coincidence.


Explosion at Sakurajima volcano, Japan

Sakurajima Volcano,

Sakurajima Volcano

At approximately 16:40 JST an explosion was registered. This was cloud obscured. Thanks 4 watching!!

Comment: Another is also currently erupting in the Pacific region: Hawaii volcano: Kilauea erupts on state's Big Island followed by magnitude 4.4 earthquake

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Landslides severely damage houses in Iceland after record rainfall for 5-day period

© mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson
Reporters, accompanied by police, were given permission to enter the town of Seyðisfjörður, the East Fjords, yesterday afternoon to take pictures of the damage in town, following a series of landslides in recent days.

The town was evacuated Friday, after a landslide severely damaged at least ten homes. Aside from reporters, no one but first responders, meteorologists and an electrical repair team has been allowed to enter the town since Friday night.


Floods in Veracruz, Mexico

Natural disasters 19 December 2020.

The river burst its banks and the city went under water.

Flood in Veracruz, Mexico.

Cloud Precipitation

1 dead after further floods and landslides in south Thailand - up to 6 inches of rain in 24 hours

Royal Thai Army distributes relief supplies in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province floods, 03 December 2020.
© Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Army distributes relief supplies in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province floods, 03 December 2020.
Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reports that the strong northeast monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand caused further heavy rain and strong winds in southern provinces from 16 December, resulting in floods and landslides.

DDPM said that, as of 21 December, over 125,000 people from around 32,000 households were affected in total, with most of them in Narathiwat Province (28,836 household affected), and others in Pattani (2,304) and Yala (863 households). Over 400 people in Narathiwat have evacuated their homes and moved to evacuation centres.

Better Earth

Iceberg size of Delaware heading for collision with South Georgia Island splits into two pieces

iceberg penguins
An iceberg the size of Delaware that was heading straight for a penguin colony island has broken into two pieces Strong underwater currents caused the massive iceberg to turn nearly 180 degrees and break into two pieces.

An iceberg the size of Delaware, which was on course to crash into an island populated by a penguin colony, has broken into two pieces, scientists tracking its journey said on Friday.

In the last few weeks, the iceberg, dubbed A68a, came dangerously close to South Georgia Island in the south Atlantic, threatening to cut off vital ocean access for the island's penguin and seal population.

Comment: As noted in the following article, calving, whereby an ice berg splits off from a glacier, is caused by glacial expansion, and thus a process associated with cooling, not warming: Iceberg the size of London calves off Antarctica - Caused by a glacier EXPANDING, not melting

See also:


Hawaii volcano: Kilauea erupts on state's Big Island followed by magnitude 4.4 earthquake

Kilauea volcano erupting on Sunday night (NPS/B Hayes
© NPS/B Hayes
Kilauea volcano erupting on Sunday night (NPS/B Hayes
Kilauea volcano has erupted on Hawaii's Big Island, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The eruption began late on Sunday within the Halema'uma'u crater, shortly after 9.30pm local time.

Observers at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) noticed the eruption started within the crater at Kīlauea's summit, according to the USGS, who was in contact with the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake was reported in the area shortly after the eruption began, according to news outlets.


Winter strikes early in North Africa with snow blanketing the Sahara

Europe's "beyond exceptional" week of snow also sunk south impacting North Africa — large areas of both Morocco and Algeria have registered heavy and disruptive out of season accumulations.

Here was the scene in the northern Algerian city of Tlemcen Sunday, Dec. 6:

"A lot of snow" has also been hitting Algeria's Djurdjura Mountains this month:

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Antarctica cycle, Sahara winter storm and the procession shift

Scientists say the seismic activity in Antarctica since the end of August is unusual.

Scientists say the seismic activity in Antarctica since the end of August is unusual.
As we shift signs from Pisces to Aquarius in the procession of the equinox, a quickening of energies is expected which would explain the 30,000 earthquakes in Antarctica a 20X increase. Record snows are blanketing the N. Hemisphere leaving forecasters shocked at the depths and speed of accumulations.

Comment: See also:


Shallow magnitude 6.3 earthquake jolts Aomori Prefecture area in Japan

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which measured a weak 5 on the shindo (intensity) scale, was detected at a depth of 10 kilometers off eastern Aomori Prefecture, on Monday at 2:23 a.m.

There is currently no tsunami warning in effect.

As a precaution, those near coastal areas are advised to move to higher ground.