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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pueblo Dam

From Bureau of Reclamation:

The #damoftheweek is Pueblo Dam, the terminal storage facility for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. Pueblo Dam and reservoir are located on the Arkansas River in Pueblo County, about 6 miles upstream and west of the city of Pueblo, CO. 

The reservoir has a total storage capacity of 357,678 acre-feet. Reclamation file


From U.S. Department of the Interior:

Firewhirls are formed by intense flames and turbulent winds and can burn for hours at temperatures approaching 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Creating a pillar of fire and ash, firewhirls are commonly seen at wildfires, but rarely photographed. This one was recently snapped at the Beaver Creek Fire in Colorado. Photo by Trey Bolt, Inciweb. — with National Interagency Fire Center

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

From the U.S. Department of the Interior:

There’s something to see in every season at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Summer brings over 113 bird species to the refuge, where they breed and raise their young. After wildlife viewing during the day, stick around for stellar nighttime scenes like this pic of a stormy summer sky. A 30-second exposure captured the light of the stars and moon, along with lightning coloring the clouds from a passing storm. Photo by Tom Koerner, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. — at Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuges.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Most Distant Galaxy Cluster

From NASA:

A new record for the most distant galaxy cluster has been set using our Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This galaxy cluster is located about 1.1 billion light years from Earth and may have been caught right after birth, an important stage of evolution never seen before. Details:

Mount Rainier National Park

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

A place of breathtaking beauty, Mount Rainier National Park will inspire your sense of wonder while stimulating your need for adventure. From icy peaks to wildflower filled valleys, you’ll get worn out trying to experience everything this park has to offer. An easy drive from nearby Seattle, Washington, our nation’s fifth national park never disappoints. Photo by Jerry Sanchez ( — at Mount Rainier National Park

Hurricane Madeline

From NOAA Satellite and Information Service:

NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory's Image of the Day: Hurricane Madeline Approaches Hawaii from the East

This color-enhanced infrared image, captured by the VIIRS instrument aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite on the evening of August 29, 2016, shows major Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii from the east.

Currently a powerful Category 3 hurricane, Madeline has maximum sustained winds at near 120 miles per hour with higher gusts. According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the storm's center is forecast to pass "dangerously close" to the Big Island of Hawaii sometime tomorrow (8/31).

Credit: NOAA/NASA (

1 Samuel 2:10

The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

Die mit dem Herrn hadern, müssen zugrunde gehen; über ihnen wird er donnern im Himmel. Der Herr wird richten der Welt Enden und wird Macht geben seinem König und erhöhen das Horn seines Gesalbten.

Delante de Jehová serán quebrantados sus adversarios, Y sobre ellos tronará desde los cielos; Jehová juzgará los confines de la tierra, Dará poder a su Rey, Y exaltará el poderío de su Ungido.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

At Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska, wild rivers meander through glacier-carved valleys, caribou migrate along age-old trails and endless summer light fades into aurora-lit night skies of winter. It remains virtually unchanged except by the forces of nature. With no roads or trails, getting here is a challenge, but the reward is a lifetime of amazing memories. Photo by Carl Johnson, National Park Service. — at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

Hurricane Lester

From NOAA Satellite and Information Service:

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (aka VIIRS) instrument aboard NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP captured these infrared and visible (inset) images of Hurricane Lester in the eastern Pacific Ocean yesterday, August 29, 2016.

With 22 channels that measure different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, VIIRS provides a variety of different combinations allowing for vastly different images of the same thing. By using different channels and light wavelengths, scientists and forecasters can get drastically different views, each revealing unique features of the same storm.

According to the most recent reports from the NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Lester is located approximately 1,355 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, and moving toward the west at nearly 14 miles per hour. This general motion is expected to continue for the next several days. Lester's maximum sustained winds are near 120 miles per hour with higher gusts, making it a category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Lester has already weakened slightly and further gradual weakening is forecast for the next 48 hours.

This imagery, which comes to us courtesy of our partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). To see more imagery from CIRA, visit their website at

To see GOES imagery of Hurricane Lester, go to

Monday, August 29, 2016

Period of Peak Tropical Cyclone Activity

From NOAA Satellite and Information Service:

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1 and we're just now entering its period of peak of tropical cyclone activity. This "season within a season," if you will, spans roughly eight weeks, lasting from from mid-August through mid-October. 

In this image, captured by the GOES East satellite on the morning of August 29, 2016, three systems are visible: (from left to right) Tropical Depression Nine to the southeast of Florida, Tropical Depression Eight just off the coast of the Carolinas, and Hurricane Gaston in the central Atlantic Ocean.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Gaston is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for several days. Tropical Depression Nine is currently bringing torrential rains to western Cuba and is forecast to become a tropical storm later today or tonight (8/29). Tropical Depression Eight currently remains fairly unorganized but it is expected to become a tropical storm by early Tuesday (8/30).

Infrared Atlantic Snapshot

From NASA's Hurricane Web Page:

Infrared Atlantic Snapshot - this infrared image from NASA's Aqua satellite shows the positions of Tropical Depressions 8 and 9 near the southeastern U.S. yesterday. Purple indicates the coldest, highest cloud tops and strongest storms.


From NASA:

It's eclipse season for our sun observing spacecraft! The Earth completely blocked the sun for about an hour due to the spacecraft's orbital path. The edge of the Earth is not crisp, but rather kind of fuzzy due to Earth's atmosphere. More:

Opposition Surge

From NASA:

A light, glowing spot appears on Saturn’s ring in this image from our Cassini spacecraft. This is an example of an “opposition surge," which occurs when the sun is directly behind the observer looking toward the rings. Check it out:

A Lone Rhododendron

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

A lone rhododendron blooms in this stunning pic from Redwood National and State Parks (NPS) in Northern California. Photographer Michael Bandy headed to Del Norte Coast Redwoods earlier this spring, hoping for two things: Rhododendrons and fog. While there weren’t many rhododendron trees in bloom, he was able to find one in the foggy forest. Photo courtesy of Michael Bandy. — withMichael Bandy Photography at Redwood National and State Parks (NPS).

Virgin Islands National Park

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

 Virgin Islands National Park’s hills, valleys and beaches are breathtaking. Beyond its tropical beauty, 7,000 acres on the island of St. John help tell the complex history of civilizations -- both free and enslaved -- who used the land and the sea for more than a thousand years. Photo of Trunk Bay by Kaitlin Kovacs, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). — at Virgin Islands National Park.

Job 28:10

He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.

Man reißt Bäche aus den Felsen; und alles, was köstlich ist, sieht das Auge.

De los peñascos cortó ríos, Y sus ojos vieron todo lo preciado.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Seize the day!

From Rocky Mountain National Park:

Seize the day! The emerald green valleys of summer will soon turn gold. At Rocky, both seasons are a gem. (jm) 

Morning photo of Senator Wash Reservoir

From Bureau of Reclamation:

Morning photo of Senator Wash Reservoir, Yuma, AZ. Watching the unusual desert fog at sunrise, uploaded by Tiffany Pacileo, Jul #sunriseandsunsets #sunrise @ShareTheExper 

Awe-inspiring Crater Lake National Park

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

Crater Lake National Park inspires awe. This Oregon landmark is the deepest lake in the U.S. and perhaps the most pristine on earth. Its pure blue waters, sheer cliffs and picturesque islands attract sightseers, artists and photographers like Vincent James. Looking to capture a unique perspective of Crater Lake, Vincent ended up at a picnic area on the southwest rim. He definitely NAILED IT. Photo courtesy of Vincent James. — at Crater Lake National Park

Jeremiah 33:8

And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

und will sie reinigen von aller Missetat, damit sie wider mich gesündigt haben und will ihnen vergeben alle Missetaten, damit sie wider mich gesündigt und übertreten haben.

Y los limpiaré de toda su maldad con que pecaron contra mí; y perdonaré todos sus pecados con que contra mí pecaron, y con que contra mí se rebelaron.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Little Truckee River, California

From Bureau of Reclamation:

Little Truckee River, California. Boca Dam and Reservoir on the Little Truckee River store water for Truckee River regulation and irrigation of lands on the Truckee Storage and Newlands Projects. 

The reservoir has an active capacity of 40,900 acre-feet. The dam, completed in 1939, is a zoned earthfill structure 116 feet high, with a crest length of 1,629 feet. Reclamation file photo. #DidYouKnow#scenic


Arch & Rainbow

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

A natural wonderland created by stone and erosion,Arches National Park offers unforgettable experiences. When visiting the park this summer, photographer Derek Cronk looked up and saw a shimmering rainbow framed in the massive window of Delicate Arch. “I felt lucky to be in such an incredible location as it was, but it took my breath away to be presented with such an amazing opportunity.” Lucky and good is a great combination. Photo courtesy of Derek Cronk. — with Derek Cronk Photography at Arches National Park.

3-Day Rainfall Totals

From US National Weather Service Kansas City Missouri:

Have you been wondering just how much rain we have gotten the last few days? Some areas saw as much as 8.3 inches! 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

From U.S. Department of the Interior:

With miles of sandy beaches, clear inland lakes, lush forests and bluffs that tower 450 feet above Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan offers recreation and refreshment amid fantastic scenery. Hiking, canoeing and wildlife watching are some of the many ways to explore the park’s 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Sunset photo by Julian Bunker ( — at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Friday, August 26, 2016

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Katie Ledecky Throws Out Nationals First Pitch

Boating enthusiasts exchange greetings near Hoover Dam

From Bureau of Reclamation:

Boating enthusiasts exchange greetings near Hoover Dam as their boats churn the crystal clear snow-fed waters of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, established under an agreement between Reclamation and the National Park Service. 

Happy 100th Anniversary to #NPS! Reclamation file photo, exact date unknown. #NPS100#FindYourPark #TBT #throwbackthursday

Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service!

From the U.S. Department of the Interior:

Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service! For the last century, the National Park Service has protected America’s Best Idea, ensuring current and future generations can experience the country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures. The birth of the National Park Service can be traced to back to June 30, 1864, when the federal government set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias -- land that would later become Yosemite National Park in California. Photo by Lesli Cohan (

NASA’s MISR instrument views America's National Parks in 3-D


NASA’s MISR instrument views America's National Parks in 3-D. #NPS100 See

Mesa Verde National Park

From NASA Earth:

Mesa Verde National Park

When Spanish explorers first reached southwestern Colorado and observed a broad sloping mountain with a nearly flat top, they called the feature mesa verde—“green table” in Spanish. The name stuck, though it now creates linguistic headaches for geologists and park rangers.

Cuesta—not mesa—is the correct geological term for the dissected tableland that makes up the park.Mesas are flat-topped highlands with steep sides. Cuestas are flat highlands that have a gentle slope in at least one direction.

In the case of Mesa Verde, the tableland dips at a seven-degree angle to the south. Over a distance of about 18 kilometers (11 miles), the elevation changes from 2,600 meters (8,570 feet) above sea level near the northern border of the park to roughly 2,070 meters (6,800 feet) near the southern border.

The fact that there is a gentle dip in the rock is more than geologic trivia. The slant contributed to the formation of cliff alcoves, which are large, arched recessions in the cliff walls. Alcoves form when water seeps into cracks, freezes, thaws, and slowly pushes the rock apart. Ancestral Puebloans used blocks of fallen rock pushed loose by the thawing and freezing of water to build their homes.

Today, several of the dwellings and settlements in these cliff alcoves—such as Balcony House, Cliff Palace, Long House, Spruce Tree House, and Step House—are popular sites for visitors to Mesa Verde National Park. With about 150 rooms, Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in the park.

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image of the park on September 8, 2016. (Note: an optical illusion known as relief inversion may cause the canyons to appear as highlands to some viewers.)

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service!

From National Mall and Memorial Parks:

World's largest NPS arrowhead on the National Mall! Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service! #NPS100


Jimmy Kimmel & Kendall Jenner on Being Neighbors

Summer Sunset

From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region:

With students heading back to school, it may feel as though summer is coming to an end. Not to worry, you still have 28 days until fall!

Photo: Summer sunset by Rebecca Kelly/USFWS.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Proxima b could be the planet Earthlings escape to

German submarine U-576

From National Ocean Service:

On July 15, 1942, German submarine U-576 sank the freighter SS Bluefields, just before the merchant ship convoy and its U.S. military escorts returned fire and sank the U-boat minutes later off of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Both the Bluefields and U-576 remained undisturbed until their discovery by NOAA in 2014. This week through September 5, NOAA and its partners will visit the remains of the two ships.

Get the story:

ObservedEarth: A Talk with its Creator

From Landsat:

ObservedEarth: A Talk with its Creator

Thanks to a software developer in Australia you can now easily browse through Landsat 8 images on your smartphone. Lachlan Hurst kicked off development of his ObservedEarth app as a personal side-project in early 2016. After six months worth of weekend programming, Version 1.0 was launched in mid-August. ObservedEarth streamlines the process of downloading and visualizing Landsat data, giving the user a focused way to explore the Landsat 8 archive—and it easily hooks into social media. We recently had the opportunity to talk with him about his project:

Hoover Dam

From Bureau of Reclamation:

Hoover Dam reached its 25th anniversary on May 29 of what year? #tuesdaytrivia #trivia

Monday, August 22, 2016

Voluntourism: When A Helping Hand Becomes a Burden - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Volunteering in exotic places during vacation is a growing segment of the international travel market. But experts warn that meaning well can sometimes do more harm than good, particularly when children are involved.

Voluntourism: When A Helping Hand Becomes a Burden - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Scientists Find Earthlike Planet Orbiting Proxima Centauri - SPIEGEL ONLINE

European astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet that is orbiting Proxima Centauri, our nearest fixed star. It's possible it has water -- and, with it, life.

Scientists Find Earthlike Planet Orbiting Proxima Centauri - SPIEGEL ONLINE

49 Historic Sites in the 49th State

From the #USDA:

A contemporary photo of the M/V Chugach ranger boat
A contemporary photo of the M/V Chugach ranger boat. The M/V Chugach served as an important transportation and communication link among the communities of Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska and was involved in many dramatic search and rescue operations. Photo credit: Forest Service
This year America celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Alaska was still celebrating its first decade of statehood when the Preservation Act was passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. Since then, the act has empowered the U.S. Forest Service to identify and preserve the state’s rich cultural history, including heritage sites that date back to time immemorial.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary, the 49 Sites in the 49th State website was developed by the Alaska Region and partners such as the State of Alaska, Native corporations and tribes, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, and others to help state residents and out-of-state visitors explore. The site features many historical sites and treasures such as the Iditarod National Historic Trail, Lost Whaling Ships in the Bering Strait, and M/V Chugach ranger boat, the last of 10 Forest Service ranger boats that once plied the waters of the Tongass and Chugach national forests.
A historic photo of the M/V Chugach ranger boat
A historic photo of the M/V Chugach ranger boat considered the best handling as well as the most seaworthy oceangoing vessel in the entire ranger boat fleet. Photo credit: Forest Service
In addition, the Forest Service will also host a series of celebratory events over the next year. A new historic property sign was unveiled at the Three Lakes Shelter on Mitkof Island. The Petersburg Ranger District led interpretive hikes in the surrounding forest for kids and adults following the ceremony. The shelter was originally built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program created in 1933 as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. It is one of 39 Adirondack-style shelters built on the Tongass National Forest between the mid-1930s and the early 1940s.
The historic Three Lakes Shelter
The historic Three Lakes Shelter is one of 39 Adirondack style shelters built on the Tongass National Forest between the mid-1930s and the early 1940s. Photo credit: Forest Service/Gina Esposito
This month, there will be an open house and plaque unveiling for the Cordova Post Office and Court House, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. At that time, it was reported to be the oldest post office buildings in Alaska still in use as a post office. Currently, the building functions as the office for the Chugach National Forest’s Cordova Ranger District.
The historic Cordova, Alaska courthouse and post office
The historic Cordova, Alaska courthouse and post office is reported to be the oldest post office building in Alaska still in use. Currently, the building houses the Chugach National Forest's Cordova Ranger District office. Photo credit: Forest Service

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George Washington Carver National Monument Founders Day

From George Washington Carver National Monument:

August 25 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It's our birthday, and we'll party if we want to! Established by the Organic Act of 1916, the park staff invites visitors to attend a special ranger led program and share their favorite National Park Service memories. At the very least, come celebrate and have a slice of birthday cake. 
#NPS100 #FindYourPark

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Satellite Imagery of Kansas City

From US National Weather Service Kansas City Missouri:

Pretty neat imagery from this morning's pass of the VIIRS polar satellite. Can you pick out your neighborhood or major thoroughfare? Share with us what you see!

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

From Bureau of Reclamation:

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, California. Where is your favorite place to see a beautiful sunrise or sunset? Reclamation file photo.#sunriseandsunsets #sunrise

Flash Flood Watches Continue

From U.S. National Weather Service (NWS):

Flash Flood Watches continue over south central Texas the remainder of today. Heavy rainfall last evening into this morning has caused flooding of rivers, streams, and low lying areas. This includes areas within the Austin and San Antonio metro. 

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) continues a Moderate risk for flash flooding into Monday morning. Additional rainfall could further aggravate already saturated ground.

Welders are seen here inside a large liquid hydrogen tank to be used on our Space Launch System rockets

From #NASA:

Welders are seen here inside a large liquid hydrogen tank to be used on our Space Launch System rockets. They are plugging holes left after the tank was assembled using frictional heating and forging pressure. Friction stir welding produces high-strength bonds virtually free of defects. Take a look: #JourneyToMars

A Look at 3 Tropical Systems


ATLANTIC OCEAN - A Look at 3 Tropical Systems

There are three areas in the Atlantic Ocean that NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured in one image today. Tropical Storm Fiona in the Central Atlantic, and 2 developing low pressure areas named System 99L and 90L in the eastern Atlantic. One of those has a high chance to become the Atlantic's next depression. 

At 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC), today, Aug. 21 the center of Tropical Storm Fiona was located near latitude 23.4 North, longitude 54.9 West. Fiona is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 kph) and this general heading with some decrease in forward speed is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. Some weakening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Fiona could weaken to a tropical depression tonight or Tuesday.

1. A tropical wave, designated System 99L, located about 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles is producing disorganized showers and a few thunderstorms. The proximity of this system to dry air is expected to inhibit significant development during the next few days while the disturbance moves westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph. Environmental conditions could become more conducive for development late this week when the system is expected to be near Hispaniola and the southeastern Bahamas. * Formation chance through 48 hours is low, but increases to medium in 5 days. 

2. Cloudiness and thunderstorms designated as System 90L located over the far eastern Atlantic a few hundred miles southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands are associated with a low pressure area and tropical wave. Environmental conditions are conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next day or two while the system moves westward and then northwestward over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. System 90L has a high chance for development into a depression through the next 2 to 5 days.

Awesome Hubble Image

From #NASA:

This Hubble image shows the remnant of a small, very dense star that reached the end of its life and ripped itself apart thousands of years ago, ejecting a superheated cloud of debris in the process. Slamming into the surrounding interstellar gas, this stellar shrapnel gradually diffused into the separate fiery filaments of material seen scattered across this skyscape:

Tropical weather in the Atlantic Basin is heating up

From U.S. National Weather Service (NWS):

Tropical weather in the Atlantic Basin is heating up. Tropical Storm Fiona will weaken and remain over the open waters of the Atlantic. Behind Fiona are two strong disturbances. The first (highlighted in orange) has a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression as it heads toward the islands this week. The second and more robust disturbance (highlighted in red) has a high chance (90%) of developing into a tropical depression. Both of these systems will need to be watched closely by the National Hurricane Center for future development and any potential impacts to the U.S Mainland.