Saturday, January 16, 2016

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Aleutian Quake Zone Could Shoot Big Tsunamis To Hawaii, California - Geologists!

Part of the main street in Hilo, Hawaii, was flattened by a tsunami in April 1946. That big wave was triggered by a quake near the Aleutian Islands,
where the edges of two tectonic plates continue to collide. 
© Bettmann/Corbis

January 16, 2016 - ALEUTIAN ISLANDS - Two teams of geologists say portions of the seafloor along the Aleutian Islands in southwestern Alaska could produce tsunamis more devastating than anything seen in the past century. They say California and Hawaii are directly in the line of fire.

Tsunamis — the giant waves generated by undersea earthquakes or landslides — have hit U.S. shorelines before. Often they start along the Aleutian island chain that curves in an arc across the North Pacific. Right underneath, there's a trench where two pieces of the Earth's crust are colliding. The edge of the Pacific Plate is shoving itself under the edge of the North American Plate.

Occasionally a segment of the trench along the plate margins gives way with ferocious results — a big earthquake. These subduction quakes are the type that produces a tsunami, as a giant section of the earth collapses. It's like waving your hand underwater — the collapse creates a wave that can travel thousands of miles. In the past century, several such tsunamis have inundated parts of Hawaii, Alaska and California.

Geophysicist John Miller and a team at the U.S. Geological Survey have been studying one particular segment that worries Miller. It's quiet. Too quiet.

"The stress isn't being relieved by small seismic events," Miller says, referring to small earthquakes. "It suggests that it's building up a tremendous amount of tension." If too much tension builds up, the segment will unzip along the plate margin or along faults in that margin, causing a quake. His research team's analysis was recently published online in the journal Geochemisry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

The big 1946 rupture in the fault near the Aleutians also sent a tsunami to Central California, in a glancing blow. The large wave swept boats inland,
where they blocked roadways in tiny Princeton-by-the-Sea, a 35-mile drive south of San Francisco.
© Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Miller says this segment of the trench, called the Semidi, poses a special risk. A tsunami created by its rupture would travel outward at a 90-degree angle from the segment. "[A] perpendicular [line] to that section of the trench," he says, "aims right at California." He says that means a big quake could produce a tsunami that would score a direct hit on California's coastline from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

In the past hundred years, other tsunamis have come from other parts of the Aleutians, he points out; since the trench is shaped in an arc, each segment of it "points" in a slightly different direction in terms of the waves created when it ruptures. Consequently, tsunamis emanating from that region of the seafloor in the recent past have mostly missed population centers, or struck only glancing blows. The Semidi, in contrast, points directly at Central California.

Miller and his team have found evidence that the Semidi segment ruptures about once every 180 to 270 years. The last time it erupted was 1788.

"That last great earthquake was 227 years ago; so there's a possibility that we're going to have another big one at any time," Miller says, because we're near the end of that recurrence interval.

Miller says a tsunami from the Semidi could be as big as the one that struck Japan in 2011. "I think the public just needs to be aware that tsunamis of this magnitude can occur, and they can cause a lot of damage," he says.

Coincidentally, another USGS team says there's another part of the Aleutian chain that poses what the scientists say is a "previously unrecognized" tsunami threat. Geologist Rob Witter, out of Anchorage, Alaska, led that team. An underground rupture and resulting quake along certain parts of that trench, he says, would point a tsunami "straight toward Hawaii."

Witter says this segment of the trench hasn't been considered a threat by most scientists because it's "creeping" — the opposing edges along the trench there are actually moving, relative to each other, but very slowly. Theoretically, that should relieve the stress, making a quake unlikely.

But not so fast, says Witter. There's now good evidence that this creeping segment has in fact caused quakes as well as tsunamis in the past. His team has found evidence of at least six such events over the past 1,700 years that probably started with ruptures in this Fox Island section.

The evidence includes sheets of sand and debris that were pushed up onto hills on another Alaskan island as the big waves moved in. One of those tsunamis was so big it pushed huge logs and other debris about 50 feet above sea level.

Witter notes that Hawaii and California have warning systems that would alert people of a tsunami's arrival at least four hours ahead of time. But residents have to pay attention to those warnings, if they're to work, he says. "I think the take-home message here is, be aware and practice your evacuation plan. A tsunami along the coastlines could happen. It could happen tomorrow."

Witter's research was published online this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. He says he is not surprised that the peculiarities of these segments are just now coming to light. "Hardly anything is known about the long-term history of earthquakes and tsunamis in the Aleutian chain over the last several thousand years," he says. There's an urgent need, he says, to do more surveys of the seafloor in the area to understand what's going on there, and what's likely to happen in the future.

Listen to the story:

- NPR.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - 12 Beached Sperm Whales Die In Week Of Carnage On Northern European Coast?!

January 16, 2016 - NORTHERN EUROPE - It’s been a devastating week for the whale population across Northern Europe as 12 whales died on or off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel and the German islands of Wangerooge and Helgoland this week.

Five sperm whales washed up on the shores of Texel on Tuesday night.

Attempts were made to save them but had to be discontinued during the night due to weather conditions which made it impossible to move the giant mammals.

Marian Bestelink, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Economic Ministry, said: “Experts found that the whales died during the night.”

“We are going to investigate why they beached and then we will remove them,” Bestelink said Wednesday as cited by AFP, adding that the process would probably take several days.

The beaching of whales has always been a problem for Texel due to its geographical location, according to Gizmodo.

The water in the North Sea is extremely shallow which doesn’t allow the whales to fully make use of their sonar and so they can get lost or exhausted and wash up on a beach.

The clean-up operation has already begun on the island of Wangerooge.

"These whales have quite simply made a mistake," Thilo Maack, a marine biologist with Greenpeace, told German TV. "They didn't pass Scotland but turned off into the North Sea. That happens sometimes."

It is the first time that so many whales have been beached in German waters, Maack added.

Before being taken away, the carcasses first need to be dissected to prevent explosion.

A buildup of gases in the whale’s body could cause the whale to explode if it is left lying there too long.

The warmer the temperature, the higher the danger that the corpse might explode, as heat accelerates the decomposition process.

It is unlikely that the sperm whale bodies on the North Sea coasts might rupture, experts told DW News.

"It's not that warm at the moment," says Mathias Heckroth, who works for the conservation and research organisation Mellumrat.Sperm whales are the largest-toothed whales on earth.

Male sperm whales are usually larger than the females. They can measure up to 20 metres long and weigh over 50 tons. - RT.

PARADIGM SHIFT: Tsai Ing-wen - Taiwan Elects Its First Female President!

Taiwan has elected its first female president in a landmark election that could unsettle relations with Beijing.

January 16, 2016 - TAIWAN - With slightly hunched shoulders and an unassuming manner, 59-year-old Tsai Ing-wen doesn't look like a threat to Beijing.

But she has just won Taiwan's presidency and is steely in her belief that Taiwan's future should be determined by its people. This is a direct challenge to China, which still sees the island as a province to be reunified by force if needed.

What Beijing will have to decipher is where exactly Ms Tsai stands on the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty and what her next move will be. She has skilfully avoided clarifying this.

She is not just a mystery to China. Many Taiwanese see her as a quiet enigmatic force, difficult to predict.

The former law professor has made history by winning the election. Getty Images

She has described herself as someone who likes to walk next to walls to avoid the spotlight and characterised her rapid ascendency in politics as an "accidental life".

Ms Tsai is Taiwan's first female leader but unlike other Asian women who rose to the top, she didn't come from a political family.

The youngest of 11 children born to the last of her father's four wives, she grew up in a well-to-do family.

Her father ran a successful car repair business and made money investing in land, but insisted she attend public schools to expose her to wider society.

On the campaign trail. Facebook/Tsai Ing-wen

She spent the first 30 years of her life deep in academic pursuits: getting a bachelor of law at National Taiwan University, a master's in law at Cornell University in the US and a PhD at the London School of Economics, eventually becoming a law professor.

Her area of expertise and English proficiency meant she was called upon in the 1990s to become a legal consultant for Taiwan's World Trade Organization (WTO) entry negotiations.

So began her entry into public life.

'Mini links' to the mainland
As national security advisor to former President Lee Teng-hui, she helped draft his special state-to-state relations doctrine, in which he defined relations between Beijing and Taipei as that of two countries - a move that angered China.

But under the next president Chen Shui-bian and at one of the worst times for cross-strait relations, Ms Tsai, as head of the Mainland Affairs Council, found a way to work with a hostile China and launched the landmark "Small Mini Links" programme in 2001, which allowed direct ferry transport and trade links between Taiwan's outlying islands and mainland China. She later pushed for the first-ever chartered flights between the two sides.

She helped negotiate Taiwan's entry into the WTO. Facebook/Tsai Ing-wen

And in 2003, despite concerns about Taiwan opening up too much too soon to China, Ms Tsai convinced Mr Chen and legislators to revise Taiwan's law governing relations with China, making it legal for Taiwanese businesses to invest in the mainland.

"From her perspective, since this was something people needed and were already doing illegally, she thought the government should develop a law and let people do it legally," said Ho Mei-yueh, a former economics minister who worked closely with Ms Tsai.

Not 'deep-green'
Those who know her say she is practical and flexible with a knack for building consensus.

"She's not someone who will take the initiative to go on stage, but once she sits down at the meeting table, she's the leader, said Mr Ho.

But even those who know her are unclear about her stance on Taiwan's independence.

"She's not anti-China, not deep-green (the colour of the pro-independence DPP), and she's never said she favours Taiwan's independence," said Chang Jing-wen, who has written a book about Ms Tsai's career.

Ms Tsai is good at building consensus, supporters say.  Reuters

But Ms Tsai makes clear that she holds Taiwan's democracy dear; she agreed to take over the DPP in the throes of crisis in 2008, because she believed that a strong opposition was crucial for democracy.

In a clue to what turned her from a reluctant politician to embracing her destiny, she described in her recently published book how she felt when an elderly restaurant worker donated her entire month's salary of NT$20,000 (US$600) to her campaign: "I will always remember. She said she doesn't ask for anything in return, and only hopes that the DPP will help her protect Taiwan's sovereignty; she wants to keep being a Taiwanese person."

China is paramount
Few expect her to push for independence. Yet, despite intense pressure from China and the establishment KMT party, Ms Tsai has not accepted what Beijing insists is the only basis for future relations - a consensus reached with Taiwan in 1992 that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what that means. Beijing takes that to mean Taiwan and the mainland are one China.

Yet she has also moved away from her party's and her previous position that no such consensus exists. She will know better than many that China remains paramount: Taiwan badly needs economic agreements from its biggest trade partner, particularly when export markets remain uncertain.

Ms Tsai has not said whether she favours Taiwanese independence. Getty Images

Kou Chien-wen, a political science professor at National Chengchi University, speaks of her flexibility: "I don't think she's someone who is strongly ideological. She is very clever."

In a sign of this, when Chinese netizens posted tens of thousands of messages on her Facebook page criticising her during her campaign, Ms Tsai simply posted: "I hope this rare opportunity can help our 'new friends' get a complete view of the democracy, freedom, and diversity of Taiwan. Welcome to the world of Facebook!"

Deep roots
Ironically, Ms Tsai could turn out to be a better partner for Beijing than current President Ma Ying-jeou, who is not trusted by some because his parents came from mainland China and his party is pro-unification. Agreements signed with Ms Tsai will not likely face opposition.

Being a mixture of Taiwan's different ethnic groups, and the descendant of a long-time Taiwanese family, has helped her win the trust of voters. Her father is Hakka, her mother Minnan, and her paternal grandmother is from the Paiwan indigenous tribe.

But if she is unable to win China's trust, her term could be marked by stalemate, or Beijing could shrink or sever official ties. Tensions could resurface, worrying regional neighbours and affecting ties between Beijing and Washington, which is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself.

Her book offers a clue to her philosophy. Quoting German sociologist Max Weber, she compared politics to the strong and slow boring of hard boards: "We have to be more patient [and work] steadily, practically, and accurately to achieve the ideal. This is my style." - BBC.

THE WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: Major Alert - President Obama Declares Flint Water Emergency, Presidential Candidate Demands Michigan Governor's Resignation!

January 16, 2016 - MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES - President Barack Obama has declared a federal emergency in Flint, Michigan, after the city’s drinking water became contaminated. Meanwhile, Democrat Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says Michigan’s governor should resign due to his slow response to the crisis.

The US president’s decision to declare a federal emergency will free up $5 million of federal aid so it can be used to combat the health crisis. The city’s drinking water supply has become contaminated with lead.

The money will be able to cover 75 percent of the costs needed to provide filters, filter cartridges and other items residents need in order to ensure they have a safe supply of drinking water

However, Obama stopped short of granting Governor Rick Snyder’s request of a disaster declaration, which under federal law, is only granted following natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. Had the US president announced a disaster declaration, Flint would have been able to receive a much greater aid sum.

"I have pledged to use all state resources possible to help heal Flint, and these additional resources will greatly assist in efforts under way to ensure every resident has access to clean water resources," Snyder said Saturday.

Snyder had asked for as much as $55 million to repair damaged pipes and a further $41 million to help to pay for water distribution services, whilst the restoration work is taking place.

However, Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has hit out at Snyder’s handling of the crisis and has called on the Michigan governor to resign, adding that, “The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”

“There are no excuses,” Sanders said. “The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint's water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead."

Protesters have also been gathering outside Flint’s city hall to express their anger against Snyder. They were joined by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who is from Flint and has called on the US Attorney General’s Office to arrest and prosecute the Michigan governor because he "knew that toxins, pollutants, and eventually lead was leaching into the water and being sent into the taps of people's homes."

Moore also alleges that Snyder did nothing to try and solve the problem after it was evident that the water supply had been poisoned.

“Once they were informed, they decided to keep letting the people of Flint drink poisoned water,” Moore said. “In the back of their heads they knew these people had no power, no political power, no lobbyists, no money, nothing.”The problems arose after the Michigan authorities decided in April, 2014, to switch the source of Flint’s drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The move was projected to save the financially struggling city between $5 million and $7 million a year. Although the river water was sent to a treatment plant in the city, its salt levels were ignored. This caused the lead pipes transporting the water to corrode.

Local residents noticed the changes almost immediately, complaining of the water’s bad taste and smell. However, it took the Department of Environmental Quality until October 2015 to realize a mistake had been made, as previously, they had failed to add the necessary chemicals to prevent corrosion in the pipes. This meant that the water dissolved the lead, which is a poisonous metal.

Flint’s water source was eventually switched back to Lake Huron in October 2015. Governor Snyder declared a state of emergency on January 5, and called in the National Guard a week later, but the damage appeared to have already been done.

There is a “strong correlation” between high lead water levels in Flint and blood lead levels in children, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha told RT. A pediatrician at the Hurley Medical Center, Hanna-Attisha added that the highest readings she and the state recorded for elevated blood levels in Flint were 38 micrograms per deciliter.

This figure is more than seven times higher than the level classified as “elevated” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5 micrograms).

Meanwhile, the contaminated water supply has also led to a spike in the number of cases of Legionnaires Disease in the city. Between June 2014 and November 2015, there were 87 cases, 10 of which proved to be fatal. Michigan health officials are currently investigating whether the growth in cases of Legionnaires is connected to the increased lead levels in the water supply. - RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: "This Is An Extraordinary Event" - Australia's Largest Lake Comes Back To Life Following Heavy Rainfall!

Lake Eyre is lush and green after rainfall.  © W Lawler/Australian Wildlife Conservancy

January 16, 2016 - AUSTRALIA - Australia's largest salt lake, Lake Eyre, has been brought back to life, drawing birds and other small mammals back to the area.

According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, some light rain fell around the lake on New Year's Eve, followed by heavier rains of 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm) on New Year's Day and the day after.

"Additional heavy rainfall added up to between 25 and 100 millimeters (1 to 4 inches) during the first week of January over the Lake Eyre region," said senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

WATCH: Heavy rainfall fills Australian desert lake in rare event.

According to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the rainfall seen on New Year's Day 2016 was the largest rainfall event it had seen since acquiring the Kalamurina park in 2007.

"This is an extraordinary event - the rapid filling of Lake Eyre by local flooding is unusual and a stark contrast to the slow arrival of floodwaters from the rain in the far-off channel country of Queensland,"
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) chief executive Atticus Hemming told Mashable Australia.

"The desert around Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) may not flood like this again for decade." Despite its name, Lake Eyre typically looks nothing like a lake.

According to the basin's website, Lake Eyre typically contains little to no water because its catchment area is within some of Australia's arid and semi-arid deserts.

When rainfall revives the rivers, the water travels through an intertwined system of channels, floodplains, waterholes and wetlands.

The photo above shows Lake Eyre in South Australia's Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary after it was flooded by heavy rainfall.© Australian Wildlife Conservancy

© Australian Wildlife Conservancy

"The local rain and associated flooding is important because of the benefits for our desert wildlife — including waterbirds, small mammals and even frogs - and a diverse network of habitats featuring lignum thickets, coolibah woodlands and wetlands," said Hemming.

Though wildlife has begun to flourish in the area again, the population of native mammals such as the mulgara and hopping-mouse are threatened by feral intruders, reports The Australian.

Herbivore mammals also pose a threat as they return to the area to feast on the new growth in the typically dry area.

The Kati Thanda only fills a few times over a course of 100 years, and when it does it becomes Australia's largest lake, according to BBC. - The Weather Channel.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Rare Elephant Rage Stomps Indian Rickshaw?!

January 16, 2016 - INDIA
- Known to be quite placid creatures, elephants rarely lose their cool. But when the red mist of rage does descend, the results can be car-shatteringly spectacular.

As this recently recorded amateur video suggests, never get on the wrong side of an elephant.

Not only because they are liable to hold a grudge - but the large mammals can also stomp anything in their way into the ground.

WATCH: Elephant Runs Amok At Puthiyapalam In Kozhikode City.

In a short clip filmed in Kozhikode city, Kerala, southwest India, a huge elephant can be seen rampaging through a residential area and taking out all its negative energy on an auto rickshaw.

A mahout riding on the elephant's back tries in vain to control the angry animal before seeing sense and jumping to safety.

According to IndiaTV, the elephant turned violent during a temple festival in the city.

In July last year, a similar incident was caught on tape in the Danish town of Karrebaeksminde after a handler beat a circus elephant with a stick. He won't be doing that again in a hurry.

WATCH: Elephant Lifts Car Off The Ground.

- RT.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: "Looks Like A Scene From The X-Files" - Photographer Claims Microscopic Ice Crystals In the Sky Reflect Lights Of Town In Finland!

Street lights are reflected in the sky in a vertically flipper mirror image, forming an accurate map of the town

January 16, 2016 - FINLAND - This is the extraordinary sight caught by a Finnish woman in the sky over Kauttua/Eura.

The street lights are reflected in the sky in a vertically flipper mirror image, forming an accurate map of the town.

The jaw-dropping scene was captured by Mia Heikkilä, who later posted the picture on the Space Weather website.

'People gave hints to look if the pattern matches the local map. And there it was! Exact reversed light map of Kauttua, Eura, on the sky. Now I call it #LuxEura,' she wrote.

It may look like a scene from the X-Files but the explanation is more terrestrial.

Image caught by Mia Heikkilä is an exact reversed light map of Kauttua, Eura on the sky

The phenomenon, known as light pillar, appear when artificial light or natural light bounces off the facets of flat ice crystals in the air, producing luminous columns in the sky.

Light pillars are relatively common in cold, Arctic regions and most people see them from the side, where they look like towers that reach into the sky. However, directly overhead a thick layer of crystals can produce a map. Heikkilä was right in the centre of the pillars rising from the town when she took the picture.

The phenomenon, known as light pillar, appear when artificial light or natural light bounces off the facets of flat ice crystals in the air,
producing luminous columns in the sky.

That explains why the reflection forms a very accurate map of the town. There are millions of crystals and collectively they act as a single giant mirror.

Light pillars were spotted in the sky over Victor, Idaho in January 2009 when frigid temperatures appeared at lower latitudes that winter. - Daily Mail.

RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - New Jersey Residents Plagued By Mysterious Loud Booming Sounds?!

© ABC7 (screen capture)

January 16, 2016 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - Friday night was far from the first nervous one for residents of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, who have been plagued by loud booming sounds for about a week.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, the source of the nuisance is a mystery.

"We were, like, looking at each other like, 'What was that?'" said Danielle McManus.

It happened twice in the past week to McManus and her family. While inside their home in a usually very quiet Fair Lawn neighborhood, things went bump in the night.

"If we didn't know any better, it almost sounds like a cannon," McManus said, "It was so deep and just like, echoey."

Elsewhere in the neighborhood along the Passaic River, residents say they have heard loud booms as early as 6 p.m. and as late as 2 a.m..

"It was, 'Pssh, pssh, pssh,'" one young boy said.

"I was like, 'Grr! Grr! Brr!' like that," another said.

"I heard the noise, so I came out here," added Susan Kuqi of Fair Lawn. 'Sometimes, you know, people dump garbage. It sounded like a garbage truck."

Fair Lawn police searched for the source of the noises up and down the Passaic, including along the Paterson side.

Initially, they thought the noise was coming from this a PG&E plant across the river from the neighborhoods where the noise complaints came in.

Construction is going on there, but a neighbor closest to the plant said it is not the source of the booms.

"No explosions," said the neighbor, Stan Matthews.

Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove confirmed PG&E had nothing to do with it, and said the noises are a mystery.

"I've had everything from people telling me about fireworks to aliens," Cosgrove said.

So Cosgrove has extra officers deployed — more eyes and ears for when whatever it is disturbs the peace again. - CBS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Latest Fireball Sightings - Mysterious Fireball Seen In North Georgia Sky; Weather Webcam Captures Meteor Passing Over Queensland, Australia; Meteor-Fireball Filmed Over Hungary! [VIDEOS]

People all across the metro Atlanta area reported seeing a large fireball streak through the sky Monday afternoon over Snellville and Winder.© Dale Hulsey/ Facebook

January 16, 2016 - SPACE - The following constitutes several of the latest reports of fireballs, seen in the skies, across the globe.

Mysterious fireball seen in north Georgia sky

People all across the metro Atlanta area reported seeing a large fireball streak through the sky Monday afternoon over Snellville and Winder.

Several WSB-TV viewers submitted images and video to Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Glenn Burns of the object, which was spotted around 3:45 p.m. we have a mystery on our hands. I know some people who know some people...we will find out something soon.
...Posted by Glenn Burns on Monday, January 11, 2016

Glenn spoke to officials at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, who say they believe the mysterious fireball is space debris, but so far, no one has officially determined what it was.

Here is the video of this object seen over Snellville at 3:45 this afternoon.  No sound was observed.  This was submitted by one of our FB friends.
Posted by Glenn Burns on Monday, January 11, 2016

After doing some research today, folks at Tellus believe it might have been space debris. Others say moving too slowly.
...Posted by Glenn Burns on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Weather webcam captures meteor passing over Queensland, Australia

A Brisbane webcam set up to monitor the weather has snapped the moment a meteor blazed over the city.

The Australian Weathercam Network's (AWN) camera at New Farm, which takes a photo every 20 seconds at night, captured the shooting star over a green-lit Story Bridge at exactly 7:50:40pm on Monday.

It was also sighted by dozens of people who took to social media to share their excitement.

Dr Stephen Hughes from Queensland University of Technology's Science and Engineering Faculty said the meteor had to be burning bright for it to be photographed so clearly over a brightly-lit Brisbane CBD.

"If it was in the sky for several seconds, that's in a fireball category, like something the size of an orange coming through the atmosphere," he said.

Dr Hughes said spotting a meteor was common, adding that a stargazer could see one as frequently as every half hour.

"If you see a meteor flash really quick it's probably the size of a grain of sand. If it's like this it could be bigger because it's burning for longer," he said.

Dozens of people took to social media on Monday night after spotting a meteor over the skies of south east Queensland© Australian Weathercam Network

A Kallangur webcam at managed to capture the tail end of the Monday night meteor© Australian Weathercam Network

"The fact it's got that light competition and it can still be seen ... I would veer towards something a bit bigger coming in." On the Sunshine Coast, Wappa Falls Astronomical Observatory astronomer Owen Bennedick said his investigations confirmed it was a meteorite.

"It was going far too fast to be a satellite," he said.

"Satellites only travel at between five and seven kilometres a second, that sounds fast to most people, but that's quite slow astronomically speaking.

"Even the slowest of the meteorites travel at 11 kilometres a second and the average one that most people would see at night time would be travelling between 40 and 70 kilometres a second."

The tail end of the meteor was captured by another AWN webcam at Kallangur, north of Brisbane. - ABC Online.

Meteor-fireball filmed over Hungary

A meteor-fireball was seen over Hungary on January 15, 2016.

WATCH: Meteor over Hungary.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: "You Don't See This Sight Very Often" - Waterfalls Cascade Off Iconic Ayers Rock In Australia After Heavy Rainfall!

Rainfall over Uluru (pictured) at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in central Australia has given travellers a rare and spectacular sight

January 16, 2016 - AUSTRALIA - Rainfall over Uluru at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in central Australia has given travellers a rare and spectacular sight.

Australia's iconic red rock, also known as Ayers Rock took on a different form this week as it became a waterfall for cascading rains which have been falling constantly since Monday, bringing a cool change to the area.

'The photos are just spectacular. When we get rain at Uluru it cools everything down and wakes everything up. It brings the place to life,' said Kerrie Bennison, acting manager at the national park. She said most people come to see the sunrises and sunsets but rain running off the rock generates great interest.

It's a stunning sight that most visitors to Uluru will never get a chance to witness.

'I've been at the park for eight years. You don't see this sight very often, only a couple of times a year if you're lucky,' said Ms Bennison.

'There have been some very juicy, almost tropical storms in central Australia,' said Gareme King, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin.

Rain on the rock!- Australia’s iconic red rock took on a different form this week as it became a waterfall for cascading rains which have
been falling constantly since Monday, bringing a cool change to the area

Acting manager at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kerrie Benson has been working at the park for over 8 years and says rain at Uluru is a rare sight

Central Australia has been experiencing 30-40mm of rain per day this week

The skies have now cleared up in Uluru and temperatures in the mid 30s are expected for the weekend

Tourists may have the chance to get more rainfall snaps next week with rain predicted in the area for Monday

Most tourists come to see sunrises and sunsets but rain running off the rock generates great interest

'Uluru has been experiencing 30-40mm of rain per day.'

The skies have now cleared and temperatures in the mid 30s are expected for the weekend.

WATCH: Water flows through Mutitjulu Waterhole as rain pours on Uluru.

However Mr King says tourists may have another chance to get snaps of the cascading waterfalls as rain is predicted in the area for next week.

'We've got another trough moving through bringing more rainfall,' he said.

- Daily Mail.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Third Rare Sea Snake Washes Up On California Beach In Three Months!

The Pelamis platura snake was found in Dog Beach, Coronado, miles away from its usual tropical habitat

January 16, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - For the third time in about three months, a rare venomous sea snake has washed up on a beach in Southern California.

The Pelamis platura snake, which is usually found in the tropical waters off the western coast of Mexico, was last spotted in California in the 1980s.

The sea snakes require a minimum of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit to survive and are believed to be moving north due to the unusually warm temperatures caused by El Nino.

The snake found at Dog Beach in Coronado on Tuesday measured 20 inches long and died shortly after it was placed in a bucket by a lifeguard.

In October, one yellow-bellied snake was found in Silver Strand State Beach, in Ventura County.

Another sighting was reported in Huntington Beach in December after volunteers who were part of a coastal cleanup campaign found the 27-inch creature.

Greg Pauly, a curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, told the OC Register last month: 'One in a year is incredible. Two in a year is just mind-blowing. I'm just completely shocked.'

Both of the animals died from what scientists assume was dehydration, as the yellow-bellied snakes are not meant to survive on land.

Pauly reassured people that a couple of appearances does not make an 'invasion'.

While the Pelamis platura use highly potent venom to catch fish, no one has ever died from the snake's bite.

Visitors to these popular Southern California beaches are advised to stay away from the snake and document any sightings for officials to locate.

The species is a descendant of Australian tiger snakes, and usually found off the coasts of warm tropical waters such as Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America and Mexico.

The Pelamis platura is the most widely distributed sea snake species. They are usually black on top and yellow or brown underneath, and may have a series of spots and markings on their flat tails. - Daily Mail.