For those who do not know, auroras are caused by solar activity. This is shortly visualized in the video. Our suns activity varies in 11 year cycles, and we are closing solar maximum (solar max) for our current solar cycle somewhere between 2012 – 2013, and solar activity has clearly been picking up. The beginning of 2011 was lots of clouds but weather improved late 2011 and out 2012. This video contains recordings from some of the most spectacular auroral displays I have ever witnessed, and I have seen a few.
A 1792-dated copper cent, pictured here, has sold for $1.15 million dollars, a US auction house said Friday. The experimental coin with a silver center was one of the first ever struck at the United States mint and is one of just 14 known to have survived. (AFP Photo)
“Some 1792-dated cents have a silver plug as a proposed way to overcome a flaw in the Mint Act of 1792,” said Todd Imhof, vice president of Texas-based Heritage Auctions.
“That congressional law would have made pennies of the era too large and heavy for practical use,” he added. “So the mint’s chief coiner suggested making a smaller sized coin using a tiny silver plug with three-fourths of a cent worth of silver and a quarter-cent’s worth copper surrounding it.”
Congress then reduced the official weight of the cent, making an all-copper coin more practical. The first early American cents were struck for actual circulation in 1793 were a little larger than a modern quarter coin.
The experimental coin is graced with a portrait of “Miss Liberty” and the inscription “Liberty Parent of Society and Industry” on the front and a wreath and the words “United States of America One Cent” on the back.
Following on the New START treaty recently brought into force, Global Zero calls for the United States and Russia to begin comprehensive nuclear arms negotiations in early 2013 to reduce their arsenals to as low as 1,000 total weapons each, and, as part of these negotiations, to pursue the expedited removal of all of their tactical nuclear weapons from combat bases on the European continent to national storage facilities in the United States and Russia.
These comprehensive negotiations would, for the first time in history, include all nonstrategic nuclear weapons (commonly referred to as tactical or sub-strategic nuclear weapons) and all non-deployed strategic weapons (‘reserve’ strategic vehicles and warheads in storage) in addition to the deployed strategic warheads and delivery vehicles that are constrained by New START.
Witnesses reported a host of ailments, including eye, nose and throat irritation; respiratory problems; blood in urine, vomit and rectal bleeding; seizures; nausea and violent vomiting episodes that last for hours; skin irritation, burning and lesions; short-term memory loss and confusion; liver and kidney damage; central nervous system effects and nervous system damage; hypertension; and miscarriages.
Last September, the CIA quietly (and illegally) slipped regulations into the federal register that allowed it to change its Mandatory Declassification Review fee structure. The Agency now charges up to $72 per hour of search and review –even if no documents are found or released. It also now requires that requesters pay a whopping 50¢ per page released, at a minimum of $15 dollars per request. Requesters must agree to pay all the before the CIA will even begin working on their MDR request.
Flares And More Flares (March 23, 2012) [hd video]
Over the course of three days (Mar. 5 – 7, 2012), a single, large active region blasted out over a dozen solar flares. STEREO (Behind) spacecraft caught the action in extreme UV light. Saving the best for last, it erupted with an X5 flare (X is the largest category) and a storm of charged particles as part of a coronal mass ejection. We’ll be tracking this region around the far side of the Sun with STEREO and be ready if the Sun’s rotation carries the existing activity back into view around March 28th. The particles near the end of the clip look like a mass of squiggling amoeba, a distortion caused by STEREO’s image processing. And note, a large prominence dancing above the edge of the Sun adds a nice touch to the video.