Tag Archives: geology

A Big Anniversary! The Jay Dee Show 23

Today marks a major anniversary in Japan and for me personally. I had a couple big videos this week, but I only uploaded a total of 3. There’s another I may be able to get up tonight, though.

On my main channel, I only uploaded one video (another coming soon). This video is a continuation of my world building series. This time, it’s about making calendars for sci-fi and fantasy worlds.

And then, moving on to the science channel, I have two new videos, including a science news video and my first video dedicated to a single science topic. The first video is a weekly science news video featuring stories about Hyperloop, Mars, and the white rhino that was killed by poachers.

The second video is a science video about the big earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

The next week will feature only one science video, though I’ll probably start preparing the April A to Z videos. I’ll also be doing some regular booktube videos.

Which video did you enjoy the most?

Remembering the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

It’s been 6 years since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It’s a very strong memory in my life, and something I’ll never forget. I recently started a new science channel and my first feature topic is about megathrust earthquakes and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Check it out.

Any comments are definitely welcome.

Another YouTube Channel?? – Science!

After a lot of thought over the last few days, I’ve come to a decision. I will be starting another YouTube channel. Here’s how this came about.

A while back, I was thinking I might start doing some science-related vlogs on my vlog channel (you should subscribe to it!). I then decided I’d do a science video every week. However, I felt like it wouldn’t fit with that channel, as it’s meant to be a daily (sometimes 2-3 days) vlog. Why not start a new channel?

And so I made my decision. Soon, there will be a new channel on YouTube dedicated to science! But it won’t be right away. I need some time to plan it, choose a name, and have room to shoot my videos in. They’ll be extremely low budget, but I plan on using a new video editor (it’s a free one, but highly recommended).  I need to learn that new editor before I start the new channel, and I need a whole list of video ideas. I need to develop a format for it, as well. There’s a lot to consider. And one of the things I need to check out is if I am able to monetize a third channel this year. When I tried monetizing the channel for my daughter and I, YouTube told me I can’t monetize three channels in one year. Not sure about that, but I’ll investigate.

The new channel will have one video per week to start. They’ll feature me in front of the camera, and I’d like to do these videos with diagrams on paper. I’ll need to script the videos, unlike the videos I currently do for books and vlogs. I will focus a lot on astronomy and biology, though I’ll also include geology, physics, and chemistry.

I have some questions for you, though. I’d love to have some input.

  1. Would you be interested in subscribing and watching this channel?
  2. Do you think I should aim the videos toward children or adults? Or maybe good for both?
  3. What topics would you like to see me make videos on?

One of the things I may start doing for that channel is a weekly Q&A where I take a question or two and provide the answers. However, this will come down the road. As for the main videos, I’ll be using a lot of public domain images and planning on doing picture in picture video from time to time. So, I need to practice editing videos. And if possible, a collaboration or two with other science channels. Lots to do!

So, who’s with me? Interested? Let me know what you think in the comments with your answers to the questions above.

Six Days, Three Earthquakes

It’d been a while since I’d felt an earthquake. On Wednesday, I felt the first one in a long time.

Wednesday’s was felt at the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. It would’ve been nearly impossible to feel if we hadn’t been sitting down. Sunday’s earthquake happened while I was working. And today’s earthquake also happened while I was working. They were all small earthquakes.

Is it possible to become desensitised to an earthquake? After all these years, it seems that small earthquakes like this are nothing more than a feature of the land. When they happened, my thoughts were, “Oh, it’s an earthquake.” Ten years ago, I would’ve been thinking, “Wow! It’s an earthquake!” They don’t seem to impress me anymore.

The Mountains of Pluto

The expectations of Pluto were that it was going to be geologically inactive, probably very icy with plenty of craters. As you’ve seen before, Pluto has a very unusual surface with a lot of variation. A closeup on the equatorial area along the edge of the bright heart-shaped region revealed something unexpected: mountains.

nh-plutosurfaceDue to the lack of craters in the area, it’s estimated that these mountains of ice are around 100 million years old. That is very young geologically. This implies that Pluto is geologically active, or was recently. And there’s no chance of this being from tidal forces, as Pluto and Charon are tidally locked.

On the topic of mountains, take a look at this closeup of Charon.

charon-closeup2What is going on with that mountain in the top left of the inset? It’s in a depression. This has scientists scratching their heads, as this is highly unusual.

We’ve got so many mysteries already popping up, this is very exciting. I’m looking forward to more images.

Anyone have a logical explanation for the mountains on Pluto and Charon?

The Far Side of Pluto

If you’ve been following New Horizons and its journey past Pluto, then you’ve already seen this image. On July 11th, New Horizons took a picture of Pluto’s “far side,” or the side that will be opposite New Horizons as it passes Pluto. It’s the side we won’t get clear images of. That side is always facing Charon. This is the best image we will ever get (until another probe is sent to Pluto) of Pluto’s Charon-facing side.

nh-pluto-7-11-15The dark spots at the lower part of Pluto are what’s puzzling scientists. We won’t get a clear picture of what they are, unfortunately. They’re evenly spaced, and much darker than the rest of the dwarf planet. The other side of Pluto, the side we’ll get to see clearly, also has a dark patch, called “the whale,” but it’s much larger. It’s quite likely it’s the same geological feature as these smaller spots. If they’re totally smooth, the angle at which they’re oriented toward the sun would explain why they’re so dark. However, it could also be a material that is dark or less reflective. We should be able to see with “the whale” in a couple days.

Other features we see are some impact craters, which was expected. The side we’ll see should have more impact craters, which is very useful in determining the composition of the interior of Pluto. Also, there are some features that look like channels. What could those be? Fractures on the surface? Linear geysers like on Enceladus? Could Pluto be geologically active? With its close relationship with Charon, there should be some tidal flexing, but not so much, because they always keep the same faces towards each other.

New Horizons is currently in the flyby phase of its mission, and will be closest to Pluto in about 36 hours. We should see some amazing pictures of Pluto, Charon, and one of its smaller moons, Nix, in the coming days. The other moons will be low resolution, because New Horizons doesn’t come near them.

Over the following weeks and months, high resolution images will slowly arrive back on Earth, as New Horizons doesn’t exactly have a broadband connection. We should see surprising new images often, which makes this short flyby very rewarding. It won’t be everything all at once, followed by a feeling of “is that it?” We’ll keep getting new images, so that’s great.

My biggest question is how similar will Pluto look to Neptune’s moon Triton? They’re both Kuiper Belt objects, and are similar in size. This should be interesting.

What do you think the features on Pluto are?

Mount Hakone Volcanic Activity

The popular hot spring resort town Hakone, here in Kanagawa Prefecture, is having quite the spectacle at the moment. The Owakudani area, which is known for its steam vents and black eggs (a local delicacy), is the centre of the activity.  A phreatic explosion is possible, meaning a small eruption. There have been many small earthquakes every day, more than one hundred per day.

Owakudani from the tram. Notice the steam. This photo is showing normal activity.
Owakudani from the tram. Notice the steam. This photo is showing normal activity.

If there is an eruption, it’ll likely only affect a small localised area. My guess is that the town of Hakone will be okay, but Owakudani will be inaccessible for quite some time.

From where I live, I can see Mount Hakone. It’s much smaller than the nearby Mount Fuji, which everyone is expecting a large eruption from sometime in the future (that would be devastating for the Tokyo area most likely).  I’ve been asked many times if I’m in any danger.  I would say that no, it’s extremely unlikely I’d be in danger here.  A major eruption is not expected. However, I’m hoping the volcano settles down, because we have a possible plan to visit Hakone in October. We’ll see.

Deadly Eruption at Mount Ontake

Mt. Ontake.  Looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Mt. Ontake. Looks beautiful, doesn’t it?

Such a tranquil-looking mountain isn’t it?  Well, Mt. Ontake is Japan’s second tallest volcano, and it erupted on Saturday.  There were around 300 people on the mountain at the time, and 31 are suspected to be dead, as there were many at the summit around the caldera during the eruption.

I live around 190 km from the mountain (Tokyo is 200 km from it), which is on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.  At 3,067 metres tall, it’s a fairly tall stratovolcano with a somewhat frequent history of eruptions.  It’s interesting that it’s often climbed considering how often it does erupt.

Another volcano, at 3,776 metres, is Mt. Fuji.  It’s visible from my area, and is the tallest mountain in Japan.  It occasionally has earthquakes around it, and in recent years, the lakes around it have been getting a bit warmer.  There are worries about an eruption from Mt. Fuji, which is quite possible in the coming years.  It’s probably inevitable.  The last time it erupted was in 1708, and it dumped a lot of ash on Edo (modern name is Tokyo), causing many fires.  If it erupts today, the entire region will be shut down.  Planes can’t get in, trains are stopped, all transportation will stop.  No supplies, no food, no fuel, and the water system may be contaminated.  Sounds pretty bleak.  It would devastate Japan’s economy, as it would almost completely shut down Tokyo.

So, what were the effects of Mt. Ontake on the Tokyo area?  Nothing, really.  So, everyone, I’m fine.  Don’t worry.

Daily Prompt: Back to School

WordPress’s Daily Prompt today is this: If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?

My simple answer: Geology

As many of my readers may know, I studied physics and astronomy in university, mostly because of my fascination and obsession with space and planets.  No wonder I’m writing a science fiction novel.  In my first year, I took two classes of introductory geology and enjoyed it thoroughly.  You see, my second choice of subjects to study was palaeontology.  My dinosaur interest was my reason for this choice. But the planets won.

Now, I often think, what if I’d studied only one planet, Earth?  It would’ve been very useful for studying other planets, such as Mars.  I realised that my interest in space was mostly the planets.  After I studied geology and went through most of my university career, I started developing the world I created for my science fiction novels, which is now known as Ariadne.  While astronomy certainly helped me with some of the planning, geology was what helped me create the world and give it a more realistic look.  It seems like a perfect match.

My home province of Alberta in Canada is very well-known for dinosaurs, the Rocky Mountains, and oil.  All three are related to geology.  My adopted country of Japan is a great place to examine seismology and vulcanology (or volcanology, however you want to spell it.  I prefer vulcanology because of a certain group of logical aliens.  But that’s the geek in me speaking). In fact, I have climbed Mt. Fuji almost 8 years ago.  What a wonderful place to look down at the rocks, or even inside the volcano.

One of my most memorable moments was looking inside the gaping maw of Mt. Fuji's crater.
One of my most memorable moments was looking inside the gaping maw of Mt. Fuji’s crater.

As an added bonus, my astronomy and geology interests met in a rather peculiar way.  As I was descending the mountain, I realised that the colour of Mt. Fuji was reminiscent of Mars.  Even the photos I took looked somewhat like Mars.

This is not Mars!
This is not Mars!

It would be absolutely fascinating to study this mountain, especially with the rumblings going on in geological circles saying that an eruption is imminent. But I don’t want it to erupt.  I live a bit too near it.

Space is very interesting, but I love planets.  Geology would bring me closer to understanding Earth, as well as other rocky planets, and help me make my created world even more amazing.