November 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Beach Turns Blood Red, Swimmers Flee
By Alyssa Newcomb | ABC News Blogs – 7 hours ago
Sydney’s famous beaches, popular with surfers, looked more like a scene out of a horror movie today when the waters were stained blood red from an algae bloom.
Bondi Beach, as well as nearby Clovelly Beach and Gordon’s Bay, were closed while authorities tested the water.
The beaches reopened in the late afternoon after the red algae, which was identified as Noctiluca scintillans or sea sparkle, begin to fade, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Algae blooms are most prevalent in hot, humid weather, the newspaper reported. Australia is currently enjoying the transition from spring to its summer, which begins in December.
While red algae isn’t toxic, people were advised to avoid swimming in the algae-colored water because its high ammonia levels can cause skin irritation.
“It has got quite a fishy smell to it,” lifeguard Bruce Hopkins told the Australian Associated Press. “It can irritate some people’s skin but generally not much more than that.”
Hopkins said the red algae was rare but definitely not unheard of.
Despite the warnings, it didn’t stop some swimmers, including the one pictured above, from jumping in to the surf.
Earlier this month, Prince Charles visited Bondi Beach as part of a tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
Also known as sea sparkle, Noctiluca scintillans is a large dinoflagellate that lives near the surface of the ocean, where it feeds on other planktonic organisms. It has a flattened spherical body but no protective test. It is colorless, although the presence of photosynthetic organisms within the Noctiluca scintillans may give it a pink or greenish tinge. Usually only one of the two flagella is visible. The flagellum is not used in locomotion but instead sweeps food into the oral cavity and removes waste matter. To control its buoyancy, Noctiluca scintillans can adjust the concentration of its cell contents. This species, which is bioluminescent in some areas (noctiluca means “shining lantern”), may also form red tides and has been linked to fish and invertebrate deaths. Little is known of its complex life cycle. Reproduction can be either sexual or asexual by simple division.
Bioluminescence in Noctiluca scintillans
Floating just below the surface of the water at night, dinoflagellates, and in particular Noctiluca scintillans, are the most common cause of bioluminescence in the open ocean. Millions of Noctiluca scintillans cells twinkle in the waves, hence the common name sea sparkle. The blue-green light is emitted from small organelles within the cells and is generated by a chemical reaction. Unlike many bioluminescent fish, Noctiluca scintillans does not depend on light-emitting bacteria.
The crimson tide: Tourists in Australia flee as Bondi Beach turns into the ‘Red Sea’ because of rare algae bloom
- Beaches closed over health fears but some swimmers are braving the water
- Phenomenon caused when tiny plants flourish due to unusual conditions
- They can appear in various colours often with spectacular results
- Algae is high in ammonia which can cause skin rashes and eye irritation
- Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished
PUBLISHED: 04:47 EST, 27 November 2012 | UPDATED: 08:02 EST, 27 November 2012
Tourists heading for world-famous Bondi Beach were left high and dry today after a rare natural phenomenon turned the water blood red.
Bondi was among several popular beaches in and around Sydney, Australia, which had to be closed after a huge algae bloom transformed the sea into something resembling a scene from a Jaws movie.
But despite the warnings a number of intrepid beachgoers were seen venturing into the water and swimming through the red surface, Ten News Sydney reported.
Bloodbath: An intrepid swimmer heads towards a patch of red algae bloom off the coast of Sydney, Australia, where the rare natural phenomenon has turned the water the colour of blood
Closed: A red wave breaks off Sydney’s Bondi Beach, one of several around Sydney which had to be closed due to the rare algae bloom
The natural phenomenon is caused when algae, a plant-like organism flourishes and large groups of the miniscule plants, which can appear in various colours, gather together often with spectacular results.
Known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle it has no toxic effects but people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with discoloured water because the algae, which can be high in ammonia, can cause skin irritation.
British tourists were among large groups of visitors who were told by lifeguards not to enter the water until the all-clear was given because the algae can irritate the skin and cause other health problems.
Ken Roberts, 23, from Birmingham, England said: ‘Perhaps I’m just in the wrong country – I thought the Red Sea was somewhere in Asia.’
A mother and her child look out over the ‘Red Sea’ of Sydney’s Clovelly beach. Despite health warnings a number of defiant swimmers were seen venturing into the water
High and dry: Several popular beaches around Sydney including Bondi and Clovelly (pictured) had to be shut after the algae, known as Nocturnal Scintillans or sea sparkle, flourished
Tomato soup: While the red algae has no toxic effects people are still advised to avoid swimming in areas with because it can be high in ammonia which can cause skin irritation
Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c
Local lifeguard Bruce Hopkins said: ‘It has quite a fishy smell to it.
‘It makes the water look like it has a coating of tomato-sauce coloured oil.’
The algae has already disappointing thousands who had headed to the coast to cool off as the summer Down Under finally gets under way of a prolonged cold period.
The New South Wales (NSW) Office of Water has been carrying out a series of tests to discover what caused the bloom.
One theory is that it was caused by an upwelling of colder nutrient-rich water.
A gull stands in the discoloured water of Clovelly Beach. Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished from the effects of the algae
A swimmer sticks to the safety of a pool after the algae transformed the surrounding sea. Tests are underway to find out what caused the phenomenon
A spokesman said that the blooms, sometime referred to as ‘red tides’, are more common around spring and autumn when the water temperature is higher and there are greater movements in ocean currents.
Large numbers of fish are believed to have perished from the effects of the algae.
A spokesman for the local council said red algae could be dangerous to some humans exposed to it.
‘There are some possible risks to human health including skin rashes and eye irritation and for this reason the beach will remain closed until the algae dissipates,’ he said.
Tourists and locals are hoping that the algae will have dissipated by the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach 40c.
Bondi Beach or Bondi Bay is a popular beach and the name of the surrounding suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Bondi Beach is located 7 km (4 mi) east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council, in the Eastern Suburbs. Bondi, North Bondi and Bondi Junction are neighbouring suburbs.
“Bondi” or “Boondi” is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks. The Australian Museum records that Bondi means place where a flight of nullas took place.
A Waddy, nulla nulla or hunting stick is an Australian Aboriginal war club. The former name comes from the Dharuk Aborigines of Port Jackson, Sydney.
A waddy is a heavy club constructed of carved timber. Waddies have been used in hand to hand combat, and were capable of splitting a shield, and killing or stunning prey. In addition to this they could be employed as a projectile as well as used to make fire and make ochre. They found further use in punishing those who broke Aboriginal law.
They were made by both men and women and could be painted or left unpainted. Their construction varied from tribe to tribe, but they were generally about one metre in length and sometimes had a stone head attached with bees wax and string. They were made from where a branch met the tree, or from a young tree pulled up with its roots from the ground.
Originally, the word waddy referred to a tree, or any piece of wood, as well as a verb meaning to ‘beat up or kill with a club’.
It has also been spelled as wadi, wady, and waddie. The spelling stabilised around the mid-nineteenth century, partly to help distinguish it from the Arabic word wadi, a dry water course.
In 1809, the road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the area. In 1851, Edward Smith Hall and Francis O’Brien purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the Bondi area that included most of the beach frontage, which was named the “The Bondi Estate.” Hall was O’Brien’s father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O’Brien purchased his father-in-law’s share of the land, renamed the land the “O’Brien Estate,” and made the beach and the surrounding land available to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O’Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, the Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. On 9 June 1882, the Bondi Beach became a public beach.
On 6 February 1938, 5 people drowned and over 250 people were rescued or resuscitated after a series of large waves struck the beach and pulled people back into the sea, a day that became known as “Black Sunday”.
Bondi Beach was a working class suburb throughout most of the twentieth century. Following World War II, Bondi Beach and the Eastern Suburbs became home for Jewish migrants from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany, while a steady stream of Jewish immigration continues into the 21st century mainly from South Africa, Russia and Israel, and the area has a number of synagogues, a kosher butcher and the Hakoah Club. The migration funded and drove gentrification of the suburb throughout the 90’s into the turn of the century, moving it steadily from its working class roots towards upper/middle class enclave similar to its neighbors of Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill which was listed as the most expensive zip code in the country in 2003, 2004, 2005.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.” 6 So Moses and Aaron did it; as the Lord commanded them, thus they did. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.
8 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Work a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the Lord had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12 For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is going out to the water, and station yourself to meet him on the bank of the Nile; and you shall take in your hand the staff that was turned into a serpent. 16 You shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.” 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. 18 The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile.”’” 19 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”
20 So Moses and Aaron did even as the Lord had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house with no concern even for this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink of the water of the Nile. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.
A Maskil of Asaph.
78 Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4 We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
35 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”
Psalm 78:40 − 72
40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His power,
The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,
43 When He performed His signs in Egypt
And His marvels in the field of Zoan,
44 And turned their rivers to blood,
And their streams, they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them,
And frogs which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper
And the product of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones
And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49 He sent upon them His burning anger,
Fury and indignation and trouble,
A band of destroying angels.
50 He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave over their life to the plague,
51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.
52 But He led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53 He led them safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 So He brought them to His holy land,
To this hill country which His right hand had gained.
55 He also drove out the nations before them
And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers;
They turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58 For they provoked Him with their high places
And aroused His jealousy with their graven images.
59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath
And greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh,
The tent which He had pitched among men,
61 And gave up His strength to captivity
And His glory into the hand of the adversary.
62 He also delivered His people to the sword,
And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.
63 Fire devoured His young men,
And His virgins had no wedding songs.
64 His priests fell by the sword,
And His widows could not weep.
65 Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
Like a warrior overcome by wine.
66 He drove His adversaries backward;
He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70 He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.
Sun in constellation Ophiuchus November 29 to December 18
Tonight for November 29, 2012
If you could see the stars during the daytime, you’d see the sun shining in front of the constellation Ophiuchus today. At about this time each year, the sun passes out of Scorpius to enter Ophiuchus. Like Scorpius, Ophiuchus is a constellation of the Zodiac, and every year the sun passes in front of Ophiuchus from about November 29 until December 18.
The ecliptic — which translates on our sky’s dome as the sun’s annual path in front of the background stars — actually passes through 13 constellations, although this is not commonly known. After all, when you read the horoscope in the daily newspaper or a monthly magazine, you see only 12 constellations, or signs, mentioned. No one ever claims to be an “Ophiuchus.” There are the 12 traditional zodiacal constellations. But the sun passes through Ophiuchus as surely as it does the others.
Today’s constellation boundaries were drawn out by the International Astronomical Union in the 1930s.
Look at the chart carefully, and you’ll see that the border between Ophiuchus and the constellation Scorpius for the most part lies just south of, or below, the ecliptic. In ancient times, the Ophuichus-Scorpius border was likely placed to the north of, or above, the ecliptic. Had the International Astronomical Union done likewise, the sun’s annual passing in front of Scorpius would be from about November 23 till December 17, not November 23 to November 29.
As seen from Earth, the sun annually passes in front of the constellation Ophiuchus from about November 30 to December 17.
Jupiter is bright object near moon on nights around November 28
Tonight for November 28, 2012
The moon and Jupiter are putting on a wonderful show here at the end of November 2012. They are near each other for some nights, with a penumbral eclipse of the moon on the morning of November 28 for North American observers (evening of November 28 in Asia), and with the moon and Jupiter closest on the night of November 28. You won’t want to miss seeing the moon and Jupiter – the brightest and second-brightest orbs of evening – lighting up the nighttime from dusk until dawn. Read more about the November 28 lunar eclipse here.
Technically speaking for us in North America, the crest of the full moon occurs on Wednesday morning, November 28, at 8:46 a.m. Central Standard Time (14:46 Universal Time).
Moon and Jupiter – plus a lunar halo – seen on November 27, 2012 by EarthSky Facebook friend Borge Solverg in northern Norway. Thank you, Borge! View larger.
For Asia, Australia and New Zealand on November 28, the moon turns full after sunset. Although the full moon happens at the same instant worldwide, our clocks read differently by time zone. But no matter where you live worldwide, you’ll see a full-looking moon pairing up with Jupiter on the nights around November 28.
Why is Jupiter so bright and so near the November full moon? Next week, on December 2-3, 2012, Earth will pass between the sun and Jupiter. Our own movement in orbit is what’s placing Jupiter opposite the sun in our sky – or, as astronomers say, at opposition. A full moon is opposite the sun, too. It must be, in order to have its fully lighted face – or day side – turned in our direction. Moon opposite the sun. Jupiter opposite the sun. So Jupiter has to be near this November full moon. Read more about Jupiter’s 2012 opposition here.
By the way, the upcoming opposition of Jupiter on December 2-3 will be the closest opposition of Jupiter until the year 2021. Read more about Jupiter’s closeness at the 2012 opposition here.
The moon and Jupiter soar upward during the evening hours, climb highest in the sky around midnight, and sink low in the west by morning dawn. So if you wish to see Jupiter, the giant planet of our solar system, simply look for the full or nearly full moon and note the very bright starlike object nearby. You can’t miss it.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere (South America, southern Africa), it’s possible that you might not see Jupiter next to the moon on the night of November 28. From this part of the world, the moon will actually occult –cover over – Jupiter on this night. Click here for more information.
Relative sizes of the sun and the solar system planets, going from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the dwarf planet Pluto. Image credit:
Jupiter, the fifth planet outward from the sun, has a diameter that’s 11 times greater than Earth’s. But that’s only the beginning of the story of how humongous this planet really is. To know Jupiter’s volume relative to Earth’s, you have to cube the diameter (multiply the diameter by itself three times): 11 x 11 x 11 = 1,331. That means Jupiter has 1,331 times the volume of Earth. In other words, over 1,000 Earths would fit inside Jupiter. And, just to think, the sun’s diameter is 10 times greater than Jupiter’s.
Bottom line: Let the moon guide you to the giant planet Jupiter on the nights around November 28, 2012. Although the moon will leave the evening sky after a few more days, you’ll still be able to see dazzling Jupiter in the evening sky, starting at nightfall, for many months to come. Next week, Earth will pass between Jupiter and the sun, thus bringing the planet to its 2012 opposition. This opposition of Jupiter will be the closest until the year 2021.
Smallest full moon of 2012 and penumbral eclipse November 28
The full moon will come during the night tonight (November 27-28, 2012) for us in North America, and it comes with some interesting features. That is, in 2012, the November full moon gives the world its smallest full moon of the year – and in North America, a subtle, penumbral eclipse of the moon before sunrise November 28. Meanwhile, those in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand – will see this penumbral lunar eclipse after sunset November 28. There’s more about who will see what at the bottom of this post.
The eclipse computer provided by the U.S. Naval observatory lets you find out the local times of the eclipse for your time zone. You do not have to translate Universal Time (UT) into your time. Nonetheless, we list the eclipse times in Universal Time (for Wednesday, November 28):
Penumbral eclipse begins: 12:15 Universal Time
Greatest Eclipse: 14:33 UT
Penumbral eclipse ends: 16:51 UT
Although the penumbral eclipse lasts – technically speaking – for over four and one-half hours, you’re only likely to notice a slight shading on the north side of the moon for up to an hour or so, centered at greatest eclipse (14:33 Universal Time). Generally, at least 70% of the moon’s diameter must be immersed within the Earth’s penumbral shadow before the eclipse becomes noticeable. At greatest eclipse on November 28, the penumbral shadow will cover nearly 92% of the moon’s diameter.
Left, an ordinary full moon with no eclipse. Right, full moon in penumbral eclipse on November 20, 2002. When master eclipse photographer Fred Espenak took this photo, the moon was 88.9% immersed in Earth’s penumbral shadow. In that way, it’s a very similar eclipse to the eclipse you’ll see on November 28, 2012. Learn more about this photo and see more of Espenak’s work here. Image copyright Fred Espenak. Used with permission.
On November 28, 2012, the moon will pass through the lighter penumbral shadow of Earth. Click here to expand image
What can you expect to see during the November 28, 2012 penumbral lunar eclipse? First, here’s what you will not see. You won’t see a dark bite taken out of the moon by Earth’s shadow. And you won’t see the moon turn blood red as during a total eclipse of the moon. A penumbral eclipse is more subtle than either of these. At the central part of the eclipse, you’ll see a dusky shading covering about 90% of the moon’s face. By the way, that brilliant planet near tonight’s moon is the king planet Jupiter. The moon and Jupiter will be even closer together tomorrow night.
So, before you set your alarm clocks, consider yourself forewarned. A penumbral lunar eclipse is not nearly as stark and obvious as an umbral eclipse of the moon. During an umbral lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the umbra – the Earth’s dark, cone-shaped shadow. During a penumbral eclipse, the moon passes through the light penumbral shadow surrounding the umbra. (See feature diagram at top.) Your best chance of noticing any penumbral shadow on the moon’s surface is at mid-eclipse (greatest eclipse) in a dark sky not obscured by dusk or dawn.
Note the world map below. The farther west and north you live in North America, the better your chances of catching the subtle shadow on the moon before dawn on November 28. The farther east or north you are in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere, the better are your chances of seeing the penumbral eclipse after nightfall on November 28.
Visibility of penumbral lunar eclipse of November 28, 2012. Image Credit: Fred Espenak
People in Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and most of Asia will be on the correct side of Earth to see the eclipse. The western U.S. and Canada will also catch part of it.
So Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and east Asia will see the entire eclipse on November 28. For western Canada and the western U.S. moonset will happen sometime after mid-eclipse. For eastern Canada and the eastern U.S., the eclipse will begin after moonset. No eclipse on November 28 for you in the east … sorry.
View of Earth and Sun at greatest eclipse as seen from moon’s equator. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Actually, the eclipse would be much more exciting to watch if you could view it from the moon. At or near the moon’s north pole, you’d see our planet Earth covering about 90% of the sun’s diameter. As you go farther south on the moon, the Earth would cover less of the sun. At the southernmost regions of the moon, you’d see no eclipse at all.
Bottom line: The full moon of November 28, 2012 is the smallest full moon of the year and will be darkened by the very subtle penumbral shadow of Earth during the night tonight (night of November 27-28), or before dawn for North America. Cloudy where you are? Just can’t get up that early? Don’t worry. You can still see the moon boldly lighting up the night sky from dusk until dawn for the next couple of nights! By the way, in North America, we often call the November full moon the Frosty Moon or Beaver Moon.
No, you won’t see this! This is the partial UMBRAL eclipse of the mooon on June 4, 2012. Astronomer Alan Dyer took this photo from his home in southern Alberta, Canada. It was pre-dawn, near moonset. See more of Dyer’s photos here. Image copyright Alan Dyer. Used with permission