A fireball was spotted in the night sky above north-eastern Mexico on Tuesday, as Hurricane Delta made landfall in the Yucatán Peninsula and several minor earthquakes struck the country.
The fireball was most visible above the states of Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, which border the U.S., around 10:14 p.m. local time, according to the Global Atmospheric Monitoring Agency—part of Mexico’s Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Research.
Some amazed eyewitnesses—as well as some security cameras, webcams and doorbell camss—managed to capture footage of the fireball as it blazed through the atmosphere.
Cameras in Monterrey—the state capital of Nuevo León—captured images of the fireball briefly illuminating the night sky above the city.
Fireballs are unusually bright meteors—the streaks of light that appear in the sky when small pieces of asteroids or comets enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. If these objects avoid completely disintegrating and manage to reach the ground
Sitting atop power transformers are wavy shaped bushing systems that play a critical role in supplying communities with electricity. However, these objects are also susceptible to breaking during earthquakes. Once damaged, bushings can cause widespread outages and burden the state with expensive repairs.
In a recent study, Texas A&M University researchers have shown that during high seismic activity, the structural integrity of bushing systems can be better maintained by reinforcing their bases with steel stiffeners. Also, by using probability-based loss assessment studies, they found that the economic burden due to damage to bushing systems from earthquakes is up to 10 times lower for steel-reinforced transformer bushing systems compared to other bushing configurations.
“Transformer bushing systems are vital to electrical substation networks, and these components are especially vulnerable in high-seismic regions, like in California or parts of the northeast,” said Dr. Maria Koliou, assistant professor in the Zachry Department of Civil
A swarm of more than 400 earthquakes has hit California in the area between the San Andreas fault and the Imperial fault, with further seismic activity and potentially larger earthquakes set to follow over the next week.
The biggest earthquake that has been recorded in the swarm so far was a magnitude 4.9, which hit at 5.31 p.m. local time on September 30, but bigger quakes are a possibility.
“In a typical week, there is approximately a three in 10,000 chance of a magnitude 7+ earthquake in the vicinity of this swarm,’ the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said in a statement. “During this earthquake swarm, the probability of larger earthquakes in this region is significantly greater than usual. Currently, the swarm is rapidly evolving, and we expect to update this forecast with more specific probability information as we collect more data.”
Scientists say they can take the ocean’s temperature using waves of sound emanating from undersea earthquakes, and it could become an important new tool to track warming seas in the era of climate change, reports Paul Voosen for Science.
Keeping track of how quickly the oceans are heating up is vital to understanding the pace and severity of climate change. That’s because the oceans have absorbed roughly 90 percent of the warming caused by humanity’s rampant injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, reports Stephanie Pappas for Scientific American.
According to Science, the technique of using sound to infer water temperature was initially proposed in 1979. In 1991, researchers tested it out by dunking massive, bass-heavy speakers into the Indian Ocean. The scientists were able to calculate how hot or cold the water was because temperature impacts the density of seawater. Sound travels more quickly though warm