Very deep M6.7 earthquake under Flores Sea, Indonesia
A very deep earthquake registered by the BMKG as M6.7 hit under the Flores Sea, Indonesia at 15:35 UTC on August 17, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 559 km (347 miles). USGS is reporting M6.5 at a depth of 538.7 km (334 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 546 km (339 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability. According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 109.3 km (67.9 miles) NNW of Kampungbajo, 120 km (74.5 miles) N of Labuan Bajo (population 188 724), 150.3 km (93.4 miles) NNW of Ruteng (population 34 569) and 167 km (103.8 miles) NE of Bima (population 66 970), Indonesia. The quake had no tsunami potential, BMKG said. There are about 3 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles). Some 26 659 000 people are estimated to have felt weak shaking. The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic los…


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On Jan. 18th, the Japanese space agency JAXA launched a small Epsilon rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan. It made a big display. Japanese artist and photographer Kagaya captured dramatic images of the rocket's exhaust glowing in the starry pre-dawn sky over the Pacific.
"I watched the launch from Okinawa Island and photographed it using my Sony α7RIII camera," says Kagaya.

Japan's new Epsilon rocket is designed to launch scientific satellites at a fraction of the cost of its larger predecessors. On this occasion, it propelled an Earth-observing satellite to orbit, the ASNARO-2. Power by solar cells and carrying a large X-band antenna, ASNARO-2 is a synthetic aperture radar capable of imaging the surface of our planet with 1-meter resolution.
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Shortly after the launch, night-shining noctilucent clouds (NLCs) were observed over a wide swath of western Japan as ice crystals forming in the rocket's exhaust caught the rays of the rising sun high above Earth's surface. These clouds occur naturally around Earth's poles, but they are very rare at lower latitudes. In polar regions, NLCs are seeded at the edge of space by specks of meteor dust, which become frosted by naturally occurring water vapor. Exhaust from the Epsilon rocket mixed water vapor with solid-booster aerosols to create similar clouds over Japan.
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