June 23rd Super Moon

The June 23rd Super Moon full moon is also known as the Full Honey Moon, the Full Strawberry Moon & the Rose Moon

The June 23rd Super Moon full moon is also known as the Full Honey Moon, the Full Strawberry Moon & the Rose Moon

Ok, what exactly is a Supermoon? It is actually the same thing as a full moon with one added twist.

Astrologer Richard Nolle of the website astropro.com takes credit for coining the term supermoon. In 1979, he defined it as:

…a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with moon in its nearest approach to Earth.

By this definition, according to Nolle:

There are 4-6 supermoons a year on average.

That doesn’t sound very special, does it? In fact, the June 2013 full moon lines up much more closely with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth – than Nolle’s original definition. According to Guy Ottewell’s Astronomical Calendar 2013, the 2013 June full moon falls only 22 minutes after the moon reaches perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth for this month and year. At perigee, the moon lies only 356,991 kilometers (221,824 miles) away. Two weeks later, on July 7, the moon will swing out toapogee – its farthest point for the month and year – at 406,490 kilometers (252,581 miles) distant.

So yes, we are going to see a great supermoon this Sunday night so I am expecting lots of pics from all of you!

Full moon falls on June 23, 2013 at 11:32 UTC (6:32 a.m. CDT in the U.S.). Thus, for many, the moon appears about as full in the June 22 evening sky as it does on the evening of June 23. This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014. In other words, it’s not just a supermoon. It’s the closest supermoon of 2013.

At United States’ time zones, the moon will turn full on June 23 at 7:32 a.m. EDT, 6:32 a.m. CDT, 5:32 a.m. MDT and 4:32 a.m. PDT.

We astronomy enthusiasts call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used the term supermoon, which we’d never heard before. Last year, we heard this term again to describe the year’s closest full moon on May 6, 2012. Now the term supermoon is being used a lot. Last month’s full moon – May 24-25, 2013 – was also a supermoon. But the June full moon is even more super! In other words, the time of full moon falls even closer to the time of perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth. The crest of the moon’s full phase in June 2013, and perigee, fall within an hour of each other.

Get your cameras & telescopes ready. It’ll be the biggest one for a while.


Sacred Sunday


A simple cross erected in 1794 by Pope Benedict XIV in the Rome Colosseum reminds visitors that it is sacred ground where many martyrs shed their blood as Christian witnesses.


400 Pages of Top Hitler Aide Diary Surfaces In New York


War crimes trial defendants listen to partial verdicts in the Nuremberg trials Sept. 30, 1946. Starting with Hermann Goering in the dark glasses on the far left, sits Rudolf Hess, Joachim Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernest Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Eric Raeder, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher and Walter Funk.
(Photo: Associated Press)

The secrets of top Hitler aide Alfred Rosenberg may soon be revealed, 67 years after he ended up at the end of a rope for his leading role in the Holocaust. Some 400 pages from Rosenberg’s diary vanished after the Nuremberg war crimes trials where he was sentenced to death, and they have now been rediscovered at the upstate New York home of an academic linked to a Nuremberg prosecutor.

Rosenberg, one of the key architects of Nazi ideology, also directed the looting of art across Europe.

The diary “sheds new light on a number of important issues relating to the Third Reich’s policy,” including tensions between top-level Nazis, according to a preliminary analysis by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“The diary will be an important source of information to historians that complements, and in part contradicts, already known documentation,” the assessment states.


The Japanese Threat That Could Have Won World War II

The Germans had the deadly guided missiles in the form of the V1 & V2 rockets – forerunners of today’s smart bombs, the Allies, namely Americans had a massive industrial infrastructure,  man & womanpower and eventually the atomic bomb. But what the Japanese had was so incredible that had it seen battle, it could have turned the tide of the war for the Axis powers. It was also a concept so dangerous at the time, the US Navy had it destroyed at the end of the war and much it has been considered Top Secret, until now.


Spring, 1946. Ten months after the end of World War II, an explosion rocks the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii. America has just destroyed one of Japan’s most advanced weapons systems – the I-401 aircraft carrier submarine. But this was no belated attack against the defeated Japanese. Bound by an agreement to share any discoveries with the Soviets but feeling the pressure of the looming cold war, it was a calculated decision to keep the technology out of Soviet hands.

The Japanese had built their sub to take the war to U.S. shores. Merging the stealth and tactical advantages of sea and sky, the revolutionary submarine carried three specially-designed Seiran attack bombers, which could be launched from the deck of the sub within seven minutes of it reaching the surface.

With missions to attack U.S. cities and blow up the Panama Canal, the aircraft carrier submarine had the potential to change the course of the war in the Pacific.  But fortunately for America, it’s secret weapon – the atom bomb, was put into action first. For the next 60 years, the US military investigated Japan’s efforts to take submarine technology where it had never gone before, and kept secret how close the Japanese came to using the sub for an attack on the U.S.

There wouldn’t seem to be many good reasons for designing a submarine to launch airplanes, but during the past one hundred years at least six countries have experimented with the concept some with surprising success.
Germany was first to try in 1915 when a floatplane pilot teamed up with a U-boat captain he’d met socially and flew his aircraft off the sub’s deck. Since it was an unsanctioned trial no follow up flights were made.

The English were next to try when the HMS E-22 launched two Sopwith Schneider seaplanes from her deck in April 1916 (see photo below). The experiment was not repeated, however, after the E-22 was sunk two days later by a German U-boat.
The United States didn’t begin its own sub-plane experiments until 1923 when the S-1 carried a Martin MS-1 biplane in a small on-deck storage container. Unfortunately, it took sixteen man hours to assemble the aircraft, which made the idea impractical since the longer a sub remains on the surface the more vulnerable she is to attack.

The first submarine fully capable of carrying, launching, and retrieving an airplane was Britain’s M-2 (see photo below). Unfortunately, her Parnall Peto floatplane had difficulty landing in more than a light breeze–a non-starter for a sub operating in the North Sea. But the M-2 also suffered from a fatal design flaw which wasn’t discovered until the sub vanished one morning in January 1932.
The M-2 was eventually found three miles off the coast of England in one hundred feet of water. Her hangar door, which was located too close to the sub’s waterline, was open as was a hatch leading from the hangar into the sub. Presumably, the M-2was accidentally flooded causing her sixty man crew to perish along with England’s desire for further experimentation with plane-carrying subs.

Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Italy, and France all investigated some kind of sub-plane combination with poor results. It wasn’t until Japan picked up the gauntlet that the concept bore fruit. Subs played an important scouting role in the Imperial Japanese Navy, which saw them as a means of locating and destroying an enemy fleet before it reached their island nation. Since a sub-launched floatplane could significantly increase a sub’s scouting range, Japan spent the next twenty years perfecting the combination.

Starting with a Heinkel seaplane purchased from Germany in 1923, Japan rapidly progressed to the I-7 and I-8, the first Japanese subs built from scratch with a catapult and water tight deck hanger. By December 7, 1941, Japan had 11 plane-carrying submarines deployed at Pearl Harbor with three times that number under construction.

But it wasn’t until Admiral Yamamoto developed Japan’s I-400 class submarine as a follow up to his attack on Pearl Harbor that the ultimate achievement in underwater aircraft carriers was realized.

Over 400 feet in length, the I-400s were the largest submarines ever commissioned until the Ethan Allen class in 1961. Purpose-built to launch a surprise aerial attack against New York City and Washington, D.C, each sub could travel one and a half times around the world without refueling, and carried three Aichi M6A1 attack planes in a water tight deck hangar.

People who hear about these subs for the first time often find the story too incredible to be true. Sub-launched airplanes? Underwater aircraft carriers? It sounds more like an episode from the old sci-fi series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (which boasted its own flying sub) than anything Japan might undertake.

But Japan’s I-400 subs were actually built, launched, and commissioned. In fact, they were on their way to complete their mission when the war ended. Even then, the I-401, the squadron’s flagship, refused to surrender, went rogue, and almost triggered a resumption of hostilities.

After World War II ended, the United States sailed two of the I-400 subs from Tokyo to Pearl Harbor for further study. As a result, the Regulus missile program, which launched nuclear-tipped missiles from a surfaced sub’s water-tight deck hangar (see photos below), owes a debt to the I-400s. The Douglas Aircraft Company, which designed an attack plane that could be housed and launched from a Regulus sub’s missile hangar, owes a similar tip of the hat.
In fact, Japan’s realization that a submarine could be used to launch an offensive attack against an enemy’s city is the same strategy our sub-based nuclear deterrent relies upon today. In other words, airplane-carrying subs may be a relic from the past, but their legacy continues sixty years later making them not such a crazy idea after all.


NASA Infrared Light Reveals Moore Tornado’s Path


The tornado track appears as a beige stripe running west to east across this image; the color reveals the lack of vegetation in the wake of the storm.

On May 20, 2013, central Oklahoma was devastated by a EF-5 tornado, the most severe on the enhanced Fujita scale. The Newcastle-Moore tornado killed at least 24 people, injured 377, and affected nearly 33,000 in some way. Early estimates suggest that more then $2 billion in damage was done to public and private property; at least 13,000 structures were destroyed or damaged. It was the deadliest tornado in the United States since an EF-5 event killed 158 people in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011.

On June 2, 2013, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed the scar of that tornado on the Oklahoma landscape. In this false-color image, infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light have been combined to better distinguish between water, vegetation, bare ground, and human developments. Water is blue. Buildings and paved surfaces are blue-gray. Vegetation is red. The tornado track appears as a beige stripe running west to east across this image; the color reveals the lack of vegetation in the wake of the storm.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was on the ground for 39 minutes, ripping across 17 miles (27 kilometers) from 4.4 miles west of Newcastle to 4.8 miles east of Moore, Oklahoma. At its peak, the funnel cloud was 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) wide and wind speeds reached 210 miles (340 km) per hour.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


Death toll up to 20 after Friday’s storms in Oklahoma

A still image of the El Reno tornado from storm chaser Nick Nolte. The tornado, an EF5, now holds the record as the widest tornado in American history at 2.6 miles

A still image of the El Reno tornado from storm chaser Nick Nolte. The tornado, an EF5, now holds the record as the widest tornado in American history at 2.6 miles

Authorities say the death toll from Friday night’s storms in the Oklahoma City metro area has risen to 20.

That includes 6 children and 14 adults, according to the Oklahoma medical examiner. Medical examiner’s office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the 20th death was a woman pulled from the Oklahoma River on Wednesday.

Those who died include:

William Rose O’Neal, 67

Timothy Samaras, 55

Carl Richard Young, 45

Richard Henderson, 35

Maria Pol Martin, 26

Cory Don Johnson Jr., 3

Dustin Heath Bridges, 32

Paul Samaras, 24

James Talbert, 65

Brandie Kay Perry, 40

Dorenia Hamilton, 79

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 115 injuries were treated by Oklahoma City area hospitals as a result of Friday’s storms.

The tornado charged down a clogged Interstate 40 in the western suburbs of Oklahoma City Friday.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Sunday that emergency workers are searching flooded areas for missing residents. She didn’t say how many are missing.

Authorities reminded motorists to treat intersections without traffic signals as four-way stops.

Numerous roads also remained closed.

Portland between NW 10th and Reno

Agnew over the Oklahoma River – lane closure

NW 92nd and Western Ave.

Midwest Blvd. from NE 36th to NE 63rd

NE 36th from Sooner Road to Midwest Blvd.

SW 104th and Western Ave. – OGE work

Britton, 1/2 mile east of Midwest Blvd. – washout

NE 122nd, 1/2 mile east of Post Road – washout

E. Hefner, east of Post Road – washout

SW 29th from Czech Hall Road to Mustang – bridge closed

9501 N. MacArthur Blvd. – barricade around a manhole

SW 44th and Oakwood – street collapse

N. Lincoln Blvd and NE 27th St. – washout

SW 59th and Czech Hall Road – Bridge closed

SW 29th west of Sara Road – road collapsed

NW 63rd between Bryant and Aluma Valley Dr. – washout

SE 22nd and High – debris

N. Francis Ave. and Eubanks – Road breaking up

SW 59th from Sara Road to County Line Road – OG&E work

Sara Road from SW44th to 59th St. – OG&E work

SW 89th between May and Interstate 44