From the Guardian, bad news in the region producing 40 percent of the nation’s vegetables, fruit, and nut crops:
As people dig ever deeper to find water, nearly 1,200 square miles of California is sinking 2 inches a month – destroying roads, bridges and farmland in the process
From the Environmental Protection Agency:
This figure shows the cumulative change in mass balance of a set of “reference” glaciers worldwide beginning in 1945. The line on the graph represents the average of all the glaciers that were measured. Negative values indicate a net loss of ice and snow compared with the base year of 1945. For consistency, measurements are in meters of water equivalent, which represent changes in the average thickness of a glacier. The small chart below shows how many glaciers were measured in each year. Some glacier measurements have not yet been finalized for the last few years, hence the smaller number of sites.
NASA’s Hubble space telescope has given us puny mortals the most incredible images of the universe we inhabit, and we love to post them from time to time.
Here’s one of the most spectacular yet:
This new Hubble image shows NGC 1566, a beautiful galaxy located approximately 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish). NGC 1566 is an intermediate spiral galaxy, meaning that while it does not have a well-defined bar-shaped region of stars at its center — like barred spirals — it is not quite an unbarred spiral either.
The small but extremely bright nucleus of NGC 1566 is clearly visible in this image, a telltale sign of its membership of the Seyfert class of galaxies. The centers of such galaxies are very active and luminous, emitting strong bursts of radiation and potentially harboring supermassive black holes that are many millions of times the mass of the sun.
NGC 1566 is not just any Seyfert galaxy; it is the second brightest Seyfert galaxy known. It is also the brightest and most dominant member of the Dorado Group, a loose concentration of galaxies that together comprise one of the richest galaxy groups of the southern hemisphere. This image highlights the beauty and awe-inspiring nature of this unique galaxy group, with NGC 1566 glittering and glowing, its bright nucleus framed by swirling and symmetrical lavender arms.
This image was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. A version of the image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by Flickr user Det58.
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Flickr user Det58
From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day:
M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)
Explanation: This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The featured image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula’s very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.
From NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, the latest update on climate change::
October 2015 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles
From the United States Drought Monitor, California remains 99.86 parched, with only a minuscule reduction in one category from the week before and no change in the total:
As for that El Niño, that Pacific Ocean hot current continues to flow toward the coast of the Americas. The latest map, showing conditions today, from NOAA’s El Niño Portal. Click on the map to enlarge: