An asteroid at the upper boundary of that estimate is comparable in height to Chicago’s Sears Tower.
But even at the lower end of the estimate, the imposing space rock is large enough to threaten millions of innocent lives.
NASA said: “Potentially hazardous asteroids are about 150 meters – almost 500ft – or larger, roughly twice as big as the Statue of Liberty is tall.
“They approach Earth’s orbit to within 7.5 million kilometres – about 4.6 million miles.
“By comparison, when Mars and Earth are at their closest, they are about 53 million kilometres – about 33 million miles – apart.”
“Potentially hazardous comets also get unusually close to Earth.”
SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites and achieves a reusability record for a Falcon 9 booster – TechCrunch
SpaceX launched its second Falcon 9 rocket in the span of just four days on Wednesday at 9:25 PM EDT (6:25 PM PDT). This one was carrying 60 more satellites for its Starlink constellation, which will bring the total currently in operation on orbit to 480. The launch took off from Florida, where SpaceX launched astronauts for the first time ever on Saturday for the final demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon to fulfill the requirements of NASA’s Commercial Crew human-rating process.
Today’s launch didn’t include any human passengers, but it did fly that next big batch of Starlink broadband internet satellites, as mentioned. Those will join the other Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, forming part of a network that will eventually serve to provide high-bandwidth, reliable internet connectivity, particularly in underserved areas where terrestrial networks either aren’t present or don’t offer high-speed connections.
This launch included a test of a new system that SpaceX designed in order to hopefully improve an issue its satellites have had with nighttime visibility from Earth. The test Starlink satellite, one of the 60, has a visor system installed that it can deploy post-launch in order to block the sun from reflecting off of its communication antenna surfaces. If it works as designed, it should greatly reduce sunlight reflected off of the satellite back to Earth, and SpaceX will then look to make it a standard part of its Starlink satellite design going forward.
Part of this launch included landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used for the launch, which has already flown previously four times and been recovered – that makes this a rocket that has now flown five missions, and today it touched down safely once again on SpaceX’s drone landing barge in the ocean so it can potentially be used again.
SpaceX will also be attempting to recover the two fairing halves that form the protective nose cone used during launch at the top of the rocket to protect the payload being carried by the Falcon 9. We’ll provide an update about how that attempt goes once SpaceX provides details.
Tomorrow, June 4, actually marks the 10-year anniversary of the first flight of a Falcon 9 rocket – between this reusability record, and the much more historic first human spaceflight mission earlier this week, that’s quite the decade.
SpaceX Set To Launch Eighth Starlink Mission, Read The Instructions With East Coast Droneship Debut – NASASpaceflight.com
Brandon University researchers examine dinosaur’s last meal in historic study – Globalnews.ca
A team from Brandon University have become the first researchers in the world to study the actual stomach contents of a dinosaur, more than 100 million years after it ate its last meal.
And apparently the nodosaur dug up in northern Alberta was a bit of a picky eater.
The researchers, including Brandon University biology professor Dr. David Greenwood, research associate Cathy Greenwood, and BU science student Jessica Kalyniuk, say that pretty well all they found in the dinosaur’s belly were leaves from one particular fern plant.
“The vast majority of what we found in its stomach was fern leaves, along with a few stems and twigs,” said Greenwood in a release from the university.
“We also found charcoal in the stomach indicating that it was grazing in a freshly burned area, where ferns are some of the first plants that emerge, giving us insight into the way the nodosaur lived.”
The 1,300-kilogram dinosaur was found at an open pit mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta. in 2011 and has been on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta. since 2017.
The nodosaur, a type of ankylosaur, lived more than 110 million years ago, and is thought to be the most well-preserved specimen of the creature ever found.
“The discovery of a specimen like this is absolutely remarkable, and the preservation of the plant fragments is evidence that it died shortly after its last meal,” said Greenwood.
The team, which included researchers from the museum as well as a geologist from the University of Saskatchewan, determined the dinosaur had a preference for particular ferns — and really, who doesn’t? — after researching other plants found in the area at the time.
Their findings were published by the Royal Society Open Science this week.
Kayyniuk, who graduated with a bachelor of science from BU in 2019 and is now working on her master’s degree, says she didn’t know just how rare an opportunity it was be able to see the fossilized stomach contents of a dinosaur before starting the work.
She spent 10 days doing research at the museum on the project, and plans on doing further research this year, if COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.
“The more I learned, the more interesting it became to me and the more aware and in awe I was that this is truly unique research,” she said in the university’s release.
“This has given me an opportunity to get experience at the museum, including hands-on and remote access to their collections, which will play a large role in my thesis work.
“It has also provided me with new colleagues, resources and support that are of great benefit to me, and I’m sure will continue to be in the future.”
Argentine scientists discover one of the last dinosaurs
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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