Very shallow M6.6 earthquake hits Ogasawara region, Japan
A very shallow earthquake registered by the JMA as M6.6 hit Japanese Ogasawara Archipelago at 18:22 UTC (03:22 JST) on August 16, 2018. The USGS is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 11.5 km (7.1 miles) at 18:21 and M6.0 at 18:22 UTC. EMSC is reporting M6.4 and M5.9 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 251 km (156 miles) SE of Iwo Jima, 420.9 km (261.5 miles) SSW of Ogasawara, Japan and 945.4 km (587.5 miles) NNW of Saipan, Northen Mariana Islands. There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles). Although there may be slight sea-level changes in coastal regions, this earthquake has caused no damage to Japan, JMA said. The closest volcanoes are Minami-Hiyoshi and Nikko, both submarine. They have located roughly 100 km (62 miles) W of the epicenter. Periodic water discoloration and water-spouting have been reported over Minami-Hiyoshi since 1975 when detonations and an explosion were als…

Giant Asteroid 3200 Phaethon will Brush Past Earth near Christmas 2017

A 5km wide asteroid named 3200 Phaethon will brush past Earth just before Christmas.
The huge object is named after the Greek demi-god Phaethon, who according to legend almost destroyed Earth.
It will brush "quite close" to Earth on December 17, Russian astronomers have shown.
Experts at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Konigsberg, Russia, have published a video that tracks Phaethon's path.
The object, which Nasa has previously described as a "potentially hazardous asteroid", will pass 10.3m km from Earth - relatively close in space terms.
At 5km wide, the asteroid is roughly half the size of Chicxulub, the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Its unusual orbit will put it closer to the sun than any other named asteroid.
3200 Phaethon has puzzled scientists because it has features of both an asteroid and a comet.
In one of its previous close encounters with Earth, scientists spotted dust streaming from the space rock that resembles the melting ice tails tailing most comets.
But Phaethon's orbit puts its origins in a region between Mars and Jupiter where asteroids commonly originate.
Typically, icy comets come from colder regions beyond Neptune.
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University said: "Apparently, this asteroid was once a much bigger object.
"But its many approaches to the sun have caused it to crumble into smaller pieces, which eventually formed this meteor shower.
"If so, the asteroid itself could be the residue of a comet nucleus.
"The asteroid's extremely elongated orbit, thanks to which it sometimes gets to the sun closer than Mercury and it sometimes moves away farther than Mars, is another argument in favor of this theory."
The asteroid is named after the son of the Greek sun god Helios because it passes so close to the sun.
Legend claims the young demi-god was challenged to prove he was related to Helios, who was said to pull the sun across the sky.
To prove his divine provenance, Phaethon rode his father's chariot but was unable to control the horses, which then ran wild across the sky, dragging the sun with them.
Earth was almost destroyed in the ensuing chaos, which scorched the planet, burned vast amounts of vegetation and created the great deserts of Africa.

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