Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, March 22, 2015

High-resolution images gathered using equipment on a kite by University of Arizona researchers on Kilauea help them study Mars' landscape. Footprints are visible left of center. Photos from University of Arizona

RESIDENTS OF AN OCEAN VIEW HOME near the intersection of Pineapple Parkway and Hukilau Drive are receiving help from friends and the Red Cross after a fire at the two-story house burnt it to the ground Friday evening, destroying everything in the home. 
      Martin Mario Molina, one of the residents, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of first-degree arson, according to Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today.
Firefighters work on hot spots following a blaze that destroyed a home and its
contents, including a recreational vehicle, in Ocean View. Photo by Daryl Lee
      Evan Prestriedge told Yager that that he and two others left the house after an argument with Molina. They turned over two guns that had been in the house to police and were at a restaurant about a half hour away when officers called to inform them about the fire.
      Neighbor Michael McCormick told videographer Daryl Lee he was alerted to the blaze when he saw a red glow on an interior wall of his home. When he looked out the window, he saw fire and police personnel already on the scene.
      McCormick said a family member had told him the couple was having marital trouble and the arson suspect was afraid of losing the house. According to McCormick, the suspect’s attitude was, “If he couldn’t have it, nobody could.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KILAUEA’S LAVA FLOWS ARE HELPING RESEARCHERS unravel past mysteries that shaped Mars. Scientists of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory have taken to flying kites equipped with equipment to gather images above what they refer to as a “chemical desert” with several geologically very young lava flows, in particular the December 1974 flow, which poured out of the volcano on New Year’s Eve 1974 in a short-lived eruption that is currently accessible by foot. When the researchers compared images of the Martian surface taken by HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, striking similarities appeared.
A researcher flies a kite equipped to record images
of the December 1974 lava flow from above.
      Insights gained from terrain models are used to inform interpretations of images of the surface of Mars.
      HiRISE has been examining Mars with six instruments since 2006. Led by the UA, HiRISE stands for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and has revealed never-before-seen details of the Martian surface.
      “The idea is to understand places we can’t go by analyzing places we can go,” said Christopher Hamilton, principal investigator of the research team. Hamilton studies volcanic surfaces on Mars to understand the thermal history of the red planet – how the planet’s internal processes manifest on the surface.
      “We can use geologically young and vegetation-free surface features here on Earth — such as Hawaiian lava flows — as terrestrial analogs that can provide us with insights into processes that shape other planets,” he said. “Instead of just saying, ‘This feature looks like X,’ we try to develop diagnostics that help us recognize the actual processes that led to the formation of a certain feature.”
      For example, many features that have been interpreted as channels carved by running water in the red planet’s past are more likely to be the result of a volcanic process that Hamilton describes as a “fill-and-spill” lava emplacement, which developed when lava accumulated in enormous perched ponds that breached like an overtopped dam, giving way to catastrophic floods of lava.
      “It is easy to draw conclusions based on our intuition of how water flows,” Hamilton said, “so it is tempting to interpret similar features on Mars in the same way. But in fact these features formed by flowing lava, not water.”
      Pointing to the terrain model of the December 1974 flow, Hamilton said, “We see that in certain areas, the surface is broken up into plates and what superficially looks like channels carved by running water. However, these turn out to be not carved at all, but rather are the result of a complex pattern of lava movements within the flow.”
      Hamilton explained that liquid lava first filled the area between the cliffs from older lava flows like a big bathtub. When the perched lava pond breached, the lava surged forward, causing plates of cooled lava on the surface to break apart and fresh lava to well up from underneath. As the plates were floating toward the drain, they became crumpled.
      The digital terrain models even revealed a bathtub ring formed when lava filled the pool.
      “The question that drives us is: How can we assemble this kind of data for Mars landscapes and decide whether a feature is volcanic or fluvial — shaped by water — and allow us to develop a story?" Hamilton said. “A single surface texture doesn’t tell you anything if you can’t see the way in which the building blocks combine, such as the tiles that make up the pattern of a mosaic. The relationships between textures allow you where to look and what to look for.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Naliko Kahoali`i Markel is Minister of Interior of The Lawful
Hawaiian Government. Photo from LHG
THE LAWFUL HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT organization sent six people from Puna to Ocean View’s county Kahuku Park yesterday to discuss The Lawful Hawaiian Government movement and to have lunch with Native Hawaiians. Naliko Kahoali`i Markel made the presentation as Minister of Interior of The Lawful Hawaiian Government. About 30 people attended throughout the afternoon. Seventeen registered to vote in elections for legislators and Minister of Interior of The Lawful Hawaiian Government. Elections take place every four years and will be held at the Game Shack at Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza in September, said voting registrar Hope Alohalani Cermelj. 
     Another presentation by The Lawful Hawaiian Government will be held on Saturday, April 4 at Miloli`i, also led by Markel. For more information, call Markel at 238-0428.
      For more on the movement, see its Hawaiian Kingdom Government website, www.thelawfulhawaiiangovernment.org/home.htm.

SN 1994D, at lower left, is a type 1A supernova in
NGC 4526 galaxy. Photo from Wikipedia
ASTRONOMER LEW COOK DISCUSSES supernovae, stellar explosions, in the current issue of Stars Over Ka`u. “Supernovae are different types, but one type, coming from the spilling of matter onto a white dwarf star from its companion in a binary system (two stars revolving around each other), sets off a tremendous runaway explosion once it reaches the mass limit called the Chandrasekhar limit,” Cook writes. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, an astrophysicist who developed the limit in 1930 was 19 at the time.
      “This limit is 1.4 times the mass of the sun,” according to Cook. “The resultant explosion gives astronomers a ‘standard candle.’ Why is this important? Think about it for a moment: a bright new star appears in a distant galaxy. You can measure (even with your eyes) how bright it is relative to stars nearby (many of which are of known brightness). Judging by its brightness, and knowing that distant stars appear fainter than nearby stars can you determine its distance? Yes! Since all supernovae (of type 1A) are known to be of the same brightness, simply by measuring its apparent brightness, you can calculate the distance to the galaxy it is in. By knowing that distance, you can measure other stars in that galaxy.
      “So, what conclusions have been derived? Stars studied so far all behave the same. They all have similar properties as those in our Milky Way galaxy, they all age the same, and they all die similar deaths. The further away a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be moving away from us, like the raisins in a loaf of raisin bread as it rises and bakes. This effect is a fundamental property of the universe, called expansion of the universe.”
      See kaucalendar.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tyson Ryder does an upper block (jodan uke) from a horse
stance (naihanchi) during his successful test for purple
belt rank. Photo from Cliff Field
TYSON RYDER SUCCESSFULLY PASSED his test for purple belt rank in International Karate League’s Pahala Dojo on Friday, March 20. IKL is a traditional Shorin Ryu style founded by Walter Nishioka. Pahala Dojo meets every Tuesday and Friday at Pahala Community Center at 5:30 p.m. New students are welcomed. 

THE TOPIC AT THIS WEEK’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK is Bees In Hawai`i: Trouble in Paradise?  Beekeepers James Severtson and Carol Conner cover a brief history of the introduction of bees to the Hawaiian Islands, honeybee biology, bee parasites and Langstroth vs. top bar beehives. Participants can taste tropical blend honeys in three forms: liquid, creamed and in the comb. The program takes place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support After Dark programs. Park entrance fees apply. 

THE FINAL SANCTUARY OCEAN COUNT of 2015 takes place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Volunteers count and monitor whales at various coastal sites including South Point, Punalu`u and Ka`ena Point. Preregistration is required at sanctuaryoceancount.org.


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