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Fraser
2004-Aug-27, 11:23 PM
SUMMARY: Here's a 1024x768 desktop wallpaper of Hurricane Frances, which was taken by astronaut Mike Fincke aboard the International Space Station. He took this photo on the morning of August 27, 2004 from an altitude of 370 km (230 miles). Frances is currently east of the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean, and slowly moving west-northwest. Fincke and Commander Gennady Padalka are in the fifth month of their six-month stay aboard the station.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Algenon the mouse
2004-Aug-28, 05:39 AM
hmmm no link.....
Where is the wall paper again? Is it in one of those dimensions that according to string theory we are not aware of?

damienpaul
2004-Aug-28, 06:07 AM
It's probably in the wormhole in the dryer, again!

Guest
2004-Aug-28, 05:54 PM
great pic :)

Yellow river
2004-Aug-29, 05:01 PM
Here are Phil Plaits (Bad Astronomy publisher-boss) conclusions, but after his article I give proofs why are his calculations, conclusions wrong.


But according to one Chinese scientist, it was even more amazing than that. Geng Guoqing, who works with the Special Committee on Natural Calamities Forecasting, a part of the China Geophysics Society, says that the Venus transit has an affect on the Earth. He wrote an article for the "Science and Technology Review" in which he claims that there is a "clear correlation" between transits of Venus and the flooding of the Yellow River!

I cannot find direct links to the article, unfortunately, so I have to rely on news reports of it (like here, here, and here). I will be careful and say that without reading his article, I cannot be sure of his methodology. However, as a scientist and someone who investigates claims like this, I must say I am extremely skeptical.

The news reports say he looked in historical records dating back 2187 years (the Chinese are known for keeping records a long time!), and found that the Yellow River flooded at the same time as the Venus transits. I suspect this is true. But just because two things happen at the same time does not mean they are related! So is Geng's finding meaningful?

I strongly suspect not. For one thing, the Yellow River floods all the time, and I mean all the time. It's nicknamed "China's Sorrow" for a reason! A quick google search revealed lots of history of the river. The Yellow River Flooding page, for example, says that since 602 BC, the river has flooded its levees more than 1500 times. That's a lot, more than once every other year! It also says major floods happened in 1194, 1642, 1855 AD; in none of these years was there a Venus transit.

Furthermore, according to this page from the China Daily, more than 70% of the floods occur between July and August. Due to the way the Earth's and Venus's orbits work out, transits can only occur in late May to early June, and late November to early December.

So clearly, the Yellow River can flood all on its lonesome, without Venus's help.

The other problem is causation. What could Venus do to cause such a flood?

In a phrase, not a lot. In the news articles, Geng speculates that perhaps Venus blocking the Sun's radiation might affect the river somehow. However, I'd say no way. During a transit, Venus blocks about 1/1000th (0.001, or 0.1%) of the Sun's light. That's a teeny weeny amount. You get a lot more coverage from clouds! Hey, maybe it's because Venus blocks the light before it gets to the Earth! Huh-uh. We'd see correlation between solar eclipses and flooding then, and no one has reported that. But maybe solar eclipses don't last long enough to see it! I still say no way. Think of it this way: every night, the bulk of the Earth itself blocks 100% of the Sun's light, and the Yellow River doesn't flood every night.

Maybe it's not radiation, but gravity! After all, during a transit, Venus has to be as close to the Earth as possible, since it's between us and the Sun. In fact, this is when Venus is closest, getting about 40 million kilometers (25 million miles) from the Earth. However, that's still a long way off, and its gravity is very weak. Its gravity is only 0.006 times that of the Moon's, and its tides are only 0.00005 of the Moon at that distance (I calculated this as part of my Planetary Alignment page). This is incredibly small. Remember too, the gravity from the Moon changes because the Moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse. Sometimes it is closer, and sometimes farther. The Moon's gravity changes by about 25% every two weeks! So adding Venus to that is a tiny effect, and cannot cause any real, measurable changes here on Earth.

My conclusion: Venus has nothing to do with the Yellow River flooding. The flooding happens far too often, while transits are relatively rare. Also, there is no clear (or even vague!) way that Venus could cause such an event.

My other conclusion: just because you read something in a newspaper quoting a scientist doesn't mean that it has anything to do with reality! Even scientists can be wrong.
This was Phil Plait article in his Bad Astronomy.

My opinions, proofs:
(Pavel Smutny)
He wants again to discredid another scientiests who search in history and who have proofs for significent influence of another planets on weather, climate, floods, dry times on Earth.
Why? Because such are intentions of official astronomy (NASA, JPL, Europ. astr. agencies...). They simply don't want to accept that some part of astrology of old proverbs...,of other researches are true.

Plait's calculations are wrong!

He calculated only how big is tidal force of Venus when we compare it with tidal force of Moon (on Earth).
We but know, that Moon orbits Earth per less than 30 days and so his gravity works from one direction (+-30 degrees), from particular place of sky only some days-less than 5.
Venus gravity works from angle (+-30 degrees) toward some place on Earth more than 40 days!
Venus (because Earth revolves per 24 hours, Moon's tides have 2 maxima and 2 minima per day) causes peaks on Moon tides (when Moon and Venus works from circa the same direction)


Clouds, underearth water moves quite quickly but during some hours long tides thay can move only some tens, hundreds km.
If there is working force for longer times-many days, months, so clouds, underearth water have enough time to concentrate in some bigger areas (bands similar to bands of totality for Moons eclipsies) floods, heavy rains, or in other extreme-dry periods (when forces work from perpendicular direction) are very probable.

Earth is geoid-rotational elipsoid and its shape compensate forces of Sun and of Moon but not gravitational forces of planets, which works unperiodicaly!

Last nail into Plaits coffin:
Moon orbits Earth and so gravity of Moon on Earth surface is compensated by centrifugal forces, there rests only tidal force which is proportional k.d/(l.l.l),
where l is distance Moon-Earth, d is diameter of Earth and k is constant, which depend on latitude (circa 0,1-1).
In system Venus Earth but Earth does'n orbits Venus or vice-versa!
So there is gravitational force of Venus on Earth surface proportional k/(L.L), not only tidal force!
L is distance between Earth and Venus.

Gravity of Venus (Venus is 66 times heavier than Moon) on Earth surface is in some conditions (Venus transit-L is circa 130 times l and d/l is aprox. 1/33-) on Earths surface only aprox. 8 times smaller than Moon's tidal force on Earths surface!!!
Because Venus works from particular area of sky (+-30degrees-two Zodiacal constellations) 40 days and Moon only 5 days so gravitational forces of Venus-their effects on cloud formations, floods are in particular conditions comparable with tidal forces of Moon!!!, but works little other way...