Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heavy rain in Guyana - animation

I have downloaded a series of infra-red satellite images from the GOES web site and created an animation for the period Monday 17.15hrs on Feb 21 to 02.15 the next morning. It will play once - refresh to play again. If it does not play then click it.
The red and white show where heavy rain is likely to be occurring. Heavy rain was falling much of Monday in Georgetown.
Notice that the clouds do not come in off the Atlantic but form over Guyana. This make forecasting difficult.
Our Hydromet office here uses the same source for their forecast page.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Exoplanet news

Exoplanets are planets around other stars. NASA has just announced the probable discovery of another 1000 or so exoplanets. Five or so may even be like the Earth but we will not know much about them for a few years yet. Why is this important? Finding other Earth-like planets is likely to change our view of the universe. Until recently many felt that our planet was unique - now it seems that it may be far from that. From Scientific American:

"A newfound planetary system has six worlds, five of which rank among the smallest known, and the list of unconfirmed candidates has swelled to four figures"

"...it will be a few years yet before Kepler is able to identify a true Earth analogue—a small planet on a one-Earth-year orbit around a sunlike star."

"Astronomers have identified some 54 new planets where conditions may be suitable for life." - BBC