Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Makkah meet calls for panel to unify lunar calendar




By ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: A conference of experts in Makkah has called for the formation of a committee of astronomers and Islamic scholars that would try to unify the beginning of lunar months in Muslim countries.
“The committee would consider Makkah as the center for astronomical observation and issue a unified Hijri calendar,” said the final communiqué issued by the three-day conference on Tuesday.
The committee, to be based at the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah, will study all the research work so far conducted on the issue.
Organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of the MWL, the conference emphasized the importance of sighting the moon to determine the beginning of lunar months of Ramadan and Dul Hijjah.
However, the conference said that Islam has no objection to making use of modern technological means to sight the moon. It pointed out that air pollution as well as an increasing number of aircraft and satellites have made it difficult to sight the moon with the naked eye.
Prominent figures, including Islamic scholars, jurisprudents and astronomers from within and outside the Kingdom, took part in the event at the MWL headquarters. Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Saleh Al-Asheikh opened the conference on Saturday.
“The beginning and end of a lunar month will be based on sighting the new crescent, either by the naked eye or using astronomical observatories. If the crescent is not sighted the month will have 30 days,” the communiqué said, quoting the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The conferees said the statements of witnesses could not be accepted if it was impossible to sight the moon on the basis of categorical scientific facts. They also agreed that Muslim minorities living in a country should start or stop fasting during Ramadan if the moon was sighted anywhere in the country.
“If a Muslim minority in a non-Muslim country cannot sight the new moon for any reason they should follow the nearest Muslim country or Muslim minority group,” the communiqué said.
The conference urged Muslim astronomers to provide correct information related to moon sightings to relevant authorities in a country. It also urged the public not to cast doubt on moon sightings after approved by the authorities.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has emphasized the significance of determining the start of the lunar month on the basis of the sighting of the moon. “Islam has defined that the beginning and ending of the fast depends on the sighting of the crescent and there is no difference of opinion on this,” he said.
The grand mufti reiterated Shariah principles should be upheld when calculating lunar months. “We are not waging a war on astronomy. But we don’t want to cross the boundaries of Shariah when making lunar calculations,” he said, while urging the Ummah to stick to relevant Islamic principles.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Penyelidik dakwa temui UFO di dasar laut Teluk Bothnia



IMEJ kabur di Teluk Bothnia yang didakwa sebuah UFO yang ditemui penyelidik dari Sweden.

Sepasukan peneroka lautan diketuai penyelidik Sweden dilaporkan menemui apa yang mereka percayai sebagai ‘objek terbang tidak diketahui (UFO)’ yang terdampar di dasar laut baru-baru ini.
Beberapa gambar daripada penemuan itu menunjukkan apa yang kelihatan tanda geseran di belakang objek terbabit, memberikan isyarat bahawa ia mungkin bergerak di dasar laut atau terhempas di atasnya.
Pakar membuat spekulasi bahawa objek itu mungkin ada kaitan dengan kegagalan fungsi sonar pasukan ekspedisi. Laporan baru pada awal minggu ini menyatakan pasukan itu menemui objek kedua berhampiran dengan yang pertama. Ketua ekspedisi, Peter Lindberg berkata, beliau menemui satu objek menarik dengan panjang kira-kira 91 meter dengan jauh 285 kaki di bawah dasar laut. Objek itu ditemui di Teluk Bothnia, antara Sweden dan Finland.
Lindberg berkata, beliau melihat calar atau tanda yang menjejaskan kawasan sekitar hampir dengan objek terbabit yang mungkin menyatakan objek itu bergerak di dasar laut. Sehingga ke hari ini, objek itu masih belum dikenal pasti dan pakar masih menyoal sama ada imej sonar terbabit adalah sesuatu yang tepat.
Hanumant Singh, seorang penyelidik dari Institut Lautan Woods Hole, berkata alat sonar imbasan tepi yang digunakan oleh Lindberg untuk menemui objek itu tidak boleh dipercayai. Singh berkata sonar sebenarnya digunakan untuk mencari kapal karam, yang memiliki profil lebih besar di atas lantai lautan, namun kurang tepat untuk mendedahkan objek berbentuk leper dan rendah.
Brooke Bowman, dari CNN pula berpendapat objek pertama itu tidak berada di dasar laut dengan sendirinya, sebaliknya pasti ada sesuatu yang berlaku. Pasukan peneroka lautan juga menjumpai satu lagi objek kecil berbentuk cakera berhampiran. Kedua-duanya menunjukkan satu tanda seretan lebih 400 meter panjang.
Saiz kedua-duanya dan bentuknya yang ganjil mewujudkan beberapa teori pelik. Sebahagian teori mengenai objek itu termasuklah ia adalah Millennium Falcon Han Solo dari kapal Atlantis “Star Wars, sebuah piring terbang yang terhempas, kapal perang Russia, sebuah Stonehenge laut atau satu pembukaan ke dunia lain di dalam Bumi.
Sonar imbasan tepi terkenal mengeluarkan imej palsu namun pengumuman penemuan imej kedua, menghapuskan perasaan ragu-ragu teori bahawa dua imej palsu sama tidak mustahil. Kisah itu semakin menarik apabila mendapati imej objek kedua adalah salinan imej pertama.
“Saya mengesahkan bahawa kami menjumpai dua objek ganjil. Kami menjumpai satu lagi objek kira-kira 200 meter daripada penemuan pertama menggunakan alat sonar  yang sama,”kata Lindberg. Lindberg kemudian memberitahu media mengapa pasukannya masih belum mendedahkan imej objek kedua. “Kami memutuskan untuk tidak mendedahkan objek terlalu banyak kerana ada banyak gangguan pada imej sonar apabila kami melihatnya, justeru ia agak kabur,”katanya. - Agensi 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Ice Age Europe


Ice age Europe: How the big freeze, with temperatures as low as MINUS 40, has turned Britain and the continent BLUE.


  • Hundreds of Eastern European villages cut off as temperatures plummet to -40C

  • Melting snow causes dam wall to break and flood entire village in southern Bulgaria, killing four
  • European crisis commissioner says 'the worst is yet to come'

Last updated at 11:24 AM on 9th February 2012


Europe continues to be blanketed in snow as the cold snap which has so far killed hundreds across the continent shows no signs of stopping.

Hundreds of villages across Eastern Europe were today completely cut off as temperatures plummeted in some places to -40C.

Rescue teams struggled to evacuate southern Bulgarians where villages flooded after rain and melting snow broke damn walls.

All white: Europe continues to be blanketed in snow as the cold snap which has so far killed hundreds across the continent shows no signs of stopping

All white: Europe continues to be blanketed in snow as the cold snap which has so far killed hundreds across the continent shows no signs of stopping

Frozen: Lampposts are covered in the ice of waves in the Croatian Adriatic coastal town of Senj

Frozen: Lampposts are covered in the ice of waves in the Croatian Adriatic coastal town of Senj

Clear up: Volunteers clear the snow from the ice on the route of the intended Dutch Elfstedentocht (Eleven City Races) skating marathon in Sneek, Netherlands, today

Clear up: Volunteers clear the snow from the ice on the route of the intended Dutch Elfstedentocht (Eleven City Races) skating marathon in Sneek, Netherlands, today

A man enjoys the ice the typically Dutch way, on a bicycle, while others skate and walk on Prinsengracht canal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A man enjoys the ice the typically Dutch way, on a bicycle, while others skate and walk on Prinsengracht canal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Residents were also warned that there was more snow to come - which would be followed by severe floods when the temperature finally starts to rise and the snow melts.

Meanwhile temperatures in Britain are due to plummet to as low as -13C, with the big freeze due to last well into the weekend.
Around 146 towns and villages in Romania were isolated with no road or train connections because of blizzards.
Up to 174 villages had no electricity, said Alin Maghiar, spokeman for Romania's emergency department.    

Electricity was also cut off to 300 towns and villages in Bulgaria, roads were closed and several border checkpoints with Romania and Turkey were shut, the Interior Ministry said.

An 18-month-old Siberian tiger plays in the winter snow at Skopje zoo

An 18-month-old Siberian tiger plays in the winter snow at Skopje zoo

Smothered: Italy has also been blanketed in snow, which has disrupted schools, transport and general day to day life

Smothered: Italy has also been blanketed in snow, which has disrupted schools, transport and general day to day life

A squirrel eats a nut on a very cold winter day in Lazienki park in Warsaw, Poland
A swan sits on partly frozen water in the harbour of Strasbourg, February 7,

Ice babies: A squirrel devours a nut Lazienki park in Warsaw, Poland (left), as a swan sits on partly frozen water in Strasbourg harbour (right)

Play time: Children and adults stroll on a frozen lake in Hamburg, Germany, despite warnings not to do so from national officials
Play time: Children and adults stroll on a frozen lake in Hamburg, Germany, despite warnings not to do so from national officials

Melting snow caused a dam wall to break and flood an entire village in southern Bulgaria yesterday. Four people drowned and more than 50 were evacuated.

Four more people died when their cars were swept away by high waters.     

Iliyan Todorov, from the village of Biser, told Trud newspaper: 'It was terrifying. We were warned that the tsunami was coming only five minutes before the wave came. We survived by a miracle.'

European Commissioner for Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva added that 'the worst is yet to come' after visiting the village.

A snow covered train tracks are seen in the town of Alexandria, northern Greece

A snow covered train tracks are seen in the town of Alexandria, northern Greece

Ice covers the seafront of the Adriatic coastal town of Senj, Croatia

Ice covers the seafront of the Adriatic coastal town of Senj, Croatia

A boy uses a plastic sheet used to slide along a trail in the outskirts of Bucharest
Cars remain covered by snow in the village of Mercogliano in southern Italy

A boy slides down a hill on a plastic sheet in Bucharest, Romania, while cars remain covered by snow in the village of Mercogliano in southern Italy

Snow patrol: A police car battles blizzards and limited visibility on the A2 motorway which connects Bucharest to Constanta

Snow patrol: A police car battles blizzards and limited visibility on the A2 motorway which connects Bucharest to Constanta

A hiker walks in front of a frozen waterfall on February 07, 2012 in Oberhaslach, eastern France
A pedestrian walks along the ice covered landscape of the Tamina gorge in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Stroll: A hiker walks in front of a frozen waterfall in Oberhaslach, eastern France (left), while another walker goes along the ice covered landscape of the Tamina gorge in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Hard hit: Ukraine has been the worst affected by the cold snap, with 135 confirmed dead so far
Hard hit: Ukraine has been the worst affected by the cold snap, with 135 confirmed dead so far

The really hard. The warmer weather will cause melting of the snow and the situation will most probably worsen.'
She told bTV: 'The next two weeks may be

Ukraine has been hardest hit, with 135 people confirmed dead so far and forecasters saying bitter temperatures, as low as -30C, would continue for at least another eight days.

The Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas have been forced to close due to strong winds, and Romania's main port of Constanta was also shut.

Authorities in Serbia said they were preparing to use explosives to break ice on the rivers Ibar and Danube.  

Warming up: A Georgian man exercises near the frozen Tbilisi reservoir today as the snow shows no signs of letting up
Warming up: A Georgian man exercises near the frozen Tbilisi reservoir today as the snow shows no signs of letting up

A woman waits for the bus in Kosovo's capital Pristina
A snow truck removes snow from the road near the village of Dardhishte, Kosovo
Tough times: A woman waits for a bus in Kosovo's capital Pristina (left) as a snow truck battles against the elements near the village of Dardhishte (right)

Predrag Maric, head of the Interior Ministry's emergencies department, said: 'An ice cap half a metre deep has formed on the Ibar near Kraljevo and there is a real danger that it could cause the river to overflow into the city.'

He said 62miles of the Danube were freezing over and that it would also be mined.    

Eleven people have died so far from the cold and snow in Serbia, with the latest victims a 62-year-old man found dead close to his home near Arilje, and a woman killed by falling ice in the capital Belgrade.    

Serbian power provider TENT, which provides more than 60 per cent of the country's electricity, said it was managing to maintain supplies but was working at full capacity in 'extreme' conditions.

A sunken houseboat is seen on the frozen Zwanenburgwal canal in Amsterdam after its water pipes burst

A sunken houseboat is seen on the frozen Zwanenburgwal canal in Amsterdam after its water pipes burst

Making use: People skate across frozen canals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which have been closed to commercial shipping

Making use: People skate across frozen canals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which have been closed to commercial shipping

People skate on the frozen Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands
People skate on the frozen Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands

To the south in Albania, the Kukes lake on the border with Kosovo - supplying a hydropower plant at Fierze - was frozen over for the first time in more than a decade, putting more pressure on already strained power supplies.     

The cold weather has increased demand for gas in many European countries.    

Italy took emergency measures yesterday to deal with what it called critical shortages of Russian gas.

Supplies to other members of the European Union mostly improved at the weekend but remained below normal.    

Russia, which supplies about a quarter of Europe's natural gas, reduced westward flows through pipelines across Ukraine last week citing greater domestic demand because of the extreme weather.

Race horses are exercised on the snowy gallops in Malton, North Yorkshire, England

Race horses are exercised on the snowy gallops in Malton, North Yorkshire, England

Snow covers boats on a frozen section of the Sava river in Belgrade, Serbia

Snow covers boats on a frozen section of the Sava river in Belgrade, Serbia

Mush! A competitor speeds through the snow with his Siberian huskies during a dog race in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Mush! A competitor speeds through the snow with his Siberian huskies during a dog race in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

freeze



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097779/Europe-weather-Snow-covers-continent-temperatures-plunge-MINUS-40C.html#ixzz1m8nB6quW


Eropah kembali ke Zaman Ais



ANGKA kematian akibat cuaca sejuk melampau di seluruh Eropah meningkat kepada 540 orang pada musim sejuk mutakhir ini.
Banyak kematian dicatatkan dalam tempoh dua minggu kebelakangan ini dan ia dikaitkan dengan suhu sejuk yang jatuh menjunam sehingga -39.4 darjah Celsius di beberapa negara seperti Ukraine dan Republik Czech.
Ekoran kesejukan melampau, sekurang-kurangnya 135 orang telah mati di Ukraine, Poland (82), Rusia (46), Bulgaria (32), Republik Czech (25), Lithuania (24) dan Serbia (16).
Jurucakap Kementerian Situasi Kecemasan Ukraine, Olena Didyuk berkata, masyarakat gelandangan menjadi golongan yang mencatatkan kematian paling tinggi.
"Cuaca terlampau sejuk, mereka pula tidak mempunyai pakaian dan tempat perlindungan yang baik.
"Kebanyakannya ditemui mati dalam timbunan salji tebal, di sungai yang sudah membeku dan dan di pekarangan rumah," kata Dudyuk.
Bagi pengemis dan gelandangan yang tidak mempunyai tempat tinggal, stesen-stesen keretapi bawah tanah seperti yang terletak di bandar Kiev menjadi tumpuan sepanjang hari kerana mereka ingin memanaskan badan.
Tisu membeku
Selain itu, lebih daripada 3,000 khemah yang dilengkapi sistem pemanas dipasang di seluruh negara itu untuk menampung keperluan golongan tersebut.
Menurut Didyuk lagi, sehingga kini sudah lebih 2,000 orang ditempatkan di beberapa hospital di negara itu untuk diberi rawatan akibat hipotermia (kesejukan) dan frostbite atau reputan fros.
Penyakit berkaitan kesejukan melampau ini mudah terjadi apabila berlakunya pembekuan tisu dalam badan.
Memetik kenyataan penyelidik Patologi di Universiti Perubatan Georgetown, Amerika Syarikat, (AS), Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler, tangan dan kaki merupakan anggota badan yang mudah terkena reputan fros.
"Selain itu, bahagian tubuh yang terdedah seperti tetapi hidung, pipi, tulang kering, telinga, dan kornea mata juga berisiko," katanya dalam laman portal kesihatan, www.emedicinehealth.com.
Tambahnya, bahagian badan yang terjejas kerana radang dingin akan memberi rasa terbakar, menyucuk dan kebas.

BANYAK aktiviti kehidupan yang terbantut kerana cuaca sejuk yang melampau.


Lebih buruk, kecuaian dalam menguruskan kecederaan itu boleh menyebabkan kecacatan.
"Reputan fros boleh dikenali melalui sifatnya yang membengkak, kemerahan, rasa nyeri dan kuping putih pada kulit.
"Dalam keadaan ekstrem, tisu yang cedera akan mati dan kulit akan melepuh.
"Dapatkan rawatan segera di hospital atau cari kawasan yang boleh memberi kehangatan untuk mengelakkan reputan fros menjadi lebih teruk.
"Sebaik sahaja anda berada dalam bangunan, cara terbaik untuk memanaskan bahagian reput fros ialah dengan merendam anggota tubuh di dalam tab air sederhana panas 42 darjah Celcius," kata Stoppler.
Selain reputan fros, penurunan suhu badan secara mendadak yang disebabkan kehilangan haba terlalu banyak juga boleh menyebabkan kematian.
Keadaan yang dikenali sebagai hipotermia ini terjadi apabila tubuh sukar mengatasi tekanan yang dihasilkan oleh suhu dingin.
Gejala hipotermia boleh dilihat daripada tubuh yang menggeletar, kulit bertukar kelabu, degupan jantung lemah, tekanan darah menurun dan kekejangan otot.
Menurut portal kesihatan Pusat Perubatan Universiti Maryland, AS, apabila suhu badan menurun mendadak di bawah normal, ia akan melambatkan peredaran darah, pernafasan dan pergerakan sistem saraf.
Hipotermia sering berlaku secara berperingkat-peringkat, ada juga kes yang dilaporkan berlaku dalam masa beberapa minit sahaja.
Contohnya, sekiranya seseorang itu jatuh ke dalam air sejuk, badan akan kehilangan haba lebih cepat.
Hipotermia teruk juga boleh menyebabkan denyutan jantung tidak teratur sehingga membawa kepada kegagalan jantung dan kematian.
Teori Zaman Ais
SUHU bawah paras beku menukarkan salji kepada ais.


Sementara itu, saintis mikropalentologis di Balai Cerap Bumi Lamont-Doherty di Columbia University AS, George Kukla berpendapat, keadaan dialami Eropah kini menyamai zaman ais yang direkodkan kira-kira 115,000 tahun lalu.
Dalam temu bual panjang lebar dengan majalah Gelf, Kukla yang juga bekas profesor paleoklimatologi menjelaskan, apa yang berlaku adalah sangat serupa dengan masa tahun 115,000 lalu.
Paleoklimatologi ialah kajian tentang iklim pada masa geologi lampau yang melibatkan pentafsiran tentang mendapan glasier, fosil, data paleogografi, data isotop dan data sedimentologi.
"Apabila glasier bermula ratusan tahun dahulu, percaya atau tidak, glasier terakhir bermula dengan pemanasan global.
"Pemanasan global sentiasa mendahului Zaman Ais. Sejarah yang direkodkan menunjukkan teras ais berulang setiap 100,000 tahun atau lebih.
"Ahli sains terdahulu percaya Zaman Ais akan terbentuk secara perlahan-lahan dan mengambil masa berpuluh ribu tahun.
"Kini sesetengah penyelidik telah mendedahkan bukti mengejutkan bahawa Zaman Ais boleh tercetus dalam tempoh 10 tahun akan datang," katanya yang merupakan pelopor penyelidikan perubahan iklim yang dicetuskan oleh matahari.
Dalam temu bual yang berlangsung pada Mac 2011 itu, Kukla berpendapat, manusia perlu bersedia menghadapi Zaman Ais yang dijangka berlaku dalam masa kurang dari 10 tahun.
"Orbit mengelilingi matahari menjadi daya penggerak utama di sebalik pembentukan glasier pada Zaman Ais.
"Hubungan ini cukup jelas dan konsisten untuk dianggap sebagai sebab paling munasabah jika kita bakal berdepan dengan Zaman Ais," katanya.
Teori penyelidikan itu mungkin ada benarnya. Eropah kini bukan sahaja dicengkam kesejukan melampau tetapi dilitupi ais yang merencatkan pelbagai aktiviti kehidupan manusia.
Cuaca buruk melampau yang berlaku itu turut melumpuhkan sistem penerbangan dan pengangkutan air di timur Eropah.

KEBANYAKAN sungai di negara Eropah timur mula membeku dan berbahaya kepada kapal.


Terbaru, sungai paling sibuk di Eropah iaitu Sungai Danube kini terpaksa ditutup kepada semua pelayaran setelah ia membeku.
Sungai sepanjang 2,860 kilomter (km) yang merentasi 10 negara itu merupakan medium utama kepada pengangkutan air, perikanan dan industri pengairan.
Sebanyak 244 kapal tersadai di pelabuhan sungai yang mengalir ke Laut Hitam itu manakala pasukan penyelamat Ukraine di Croatia menyelamatkan anak kapal yang terperangkap dalam salji sejak Jumaat lalu.