Well, no tsunami yesterday, completing the trifecta of non-disasters. The potential here was anulled rather quickly, but it took a while longer to clear things in Chile. We did, however, have another earthquake last night. This one was centered, as nearly as I can tell, just a few miles northwest of our house. Also, again last night the clouds were at just the right elevation to be spectactularly illuminated by the 21 July fissure.

And another thing. . .

15 August 2007

Oddly enough, while I was writing the last post about earthquakes, a m7.5 occurred off the coast of Peru, prompting a potential tsunami message. Then two more near-m6 earthquakes in Peru.

Here we go again.

Anybody on this island looking for inspiration for literature from the natural world will not lack material for the latter half of August.

Beginning with the Perseid meteor showers starting sometime around 8 August and peaking on 12 August, there have been several routine (in the geologic or astronomical sense) yet remarkable (in the participant or observer’s sense).
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In distinct contrast with the school cancellations for snow when I was a kid, I have now had a free day from work due to a hurricane. Of course, that merely frees me to go to another job where I will probably spend most of my time either waking up early to inspect the road to the summit or standing in the rain telling people that said road is closed.

We’re a pretty self-sufficient county, in general, and Harry Kim’s background in civil defense may be what makes him so good at the competent-yet-understated messages whose absence so plagues most of the U.S. during natural disasters. Granted part of our self-sufficiency results from our utter lack of infrastructure in many places (those of you who have been to my house can now start laughing). But still.

I have a suspicion that we’ll lose electricity and possibly phones for a while, but I’ve got enough propane to keep my ice cream and beer cold, and what else do you really need?

Wonders of nature

12 August 2007

Last night at work we had customarily clear skies and a pretty good crowd for the Perseid meteor shower, which peaked in the early morning hours today (HST). The shower was good but not spectacular: without trying particularly hard I saw about a dozen meteors, including a couple of near-bolides. I saw a few meteors as Perseus rose on Friday night, too, and we’ll probably see more tonight as the shower tapers off.

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A few nights at work

25 July 2007

Stargazing was pretty good the last couple of nights. Even with the remnants of Cosme on Saturday, we managed to have clear skies all four nights. But the highlight on Sunday and Tuesday nights were definitely the clear skies all the way down to Kilauea. Based on the update from HVO, we had one of the best views anyone has gotten of the fissure eruptions that started on 21 July.

We even dragged a couple of Dobsonian telescopes over to the picnic tables at the back of the parking lot and trained them on the eruption. Based on our back-of-the-envelope calculations, the eruption subtended an angle of about one degree (half as wide as my thumb, held at arm’s length) and was about forty miles away. That made the visible part of the flow about a mile long, but please note that the error bars on that number are large–nearly the size of the envelope itself.

Hōkūle‛a and Maisu are getting ready to depart Pohnpei for Chuuk today (or tomorrow, since I still have trouble with the dateline where today is 5 March on our side of the dateline, and 6 March on their side).

Gary Kubota of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin is crewing for this leg of the voyage, and has an excellent brief article on the effects of current and projected sea level rise on Pacific Island nations, specifically the FSM.

If any kindly contributors can suggest a better way to correctly get the Hawaiian characters in to the Camino browser, I’d be grateful.

Continue below the fold for another update by Rod Floro, crew member on Maisu.

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