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…

Green And Blue Flash On Red Planet Mars 

Mars is approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter on July 27th. The Red Planet now outshines every object in the sky except the sun, Moon, and Venus. Mars is doing things only very luminous objects can do--like produce a green flash. Watch this video taken by Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden, on July 12th:

"Mars was shining brightly in the early morning sky," he says. "At an altitude of only 6.5° above the horizon, the turbulence was extreme, sometimes splitting the planet's disc in 2 or 3 slices and displaying a green and blue flash resembling those usually seen on the sun."

That's not all. Mars is also making its own glitter paths. Last night, Alan Dyer photographed this specimen from Driftwood Beach at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta:

A glitter path is a band of light in the water. It is caused by reflections from the troughs and crest of tiny waves. Normally, only the sun and Moon (and sometimes Venus and Jupiter) produce glitter paths. Now Mars is doing it too.
Dyer notes that Mars was "bright yellow"--a hue caused in part by the massive global dust storm in progress there. Think about it: A dust storm on another planet that you can see with your naked eye. Mars is close.
Still two weeks before closest approach, Mars is almost 3 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and 30% brighter than the giant planet Jupiter. In other words, you can't miss it. Look south at midnight and remember, the best is yet to come. [sky map]

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