Earth and the moon have had a pretty steady relationship over the last 4.53 billion years, but our planet is about to have a close encounter with another body in space, according to astronomers’ projections.
A small object is expected to fall into Earth’s orbit in October, when it will potentially become a so-called “mini-moon” for the next several months. The new object, dubbed 2020 SO, will loop around the Earth in a figure-eight before spinning back into space in May 2021, according to NASA tracking data. The space agency has dubbed it an Apollo object, meaning it’s expected to cross Earth’s orbit.
Most space objects are asteroids, but astronomers say there’s something unusual about this one. They say it’s no mini-moon — it’s a piece of space trash. More specifically, it might be a discarded Centaur rocket booster from the Surveyor 2 robot that crash-landed on the moon in September 1966.
Whatever it is, it could become the second mini-moon in Earth’s orbit this year after 2020 CD3, a car-sized bit of space rock, left us in February. That mini-moon quietly circled Earth for about two years, though astronomers didn’t spot it until shortly before it left.
This one is on course to become a mini-moon but it has a “highly chaotic path,” according to Tony Dunn, who runs the website Orbit Simulator.
Mini-moons are extremely rare despite our luck with them this year. Earth’s gravity will typically pull a space rock down as a meteor or bend its trajectory before releasing it into space. However, space objects can do a few loops around our planet if they approach it just right.
That’s what happened with 2020 CD3 earlier this year. Earth also hooked up with another asteroid, dubbed 2006 RH120, for a brief mini-moon fling through space 14 years ago.
There’s still no guarantee that the object will become a mini-moon, as Lisa Harvey-Smith, an astrophysicist with the Australian government, pointed out on Twitter.
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The object is expected to come within 50,000 kilometres of Earth on its first pass, and within 220,000 kilometres for its second close encounter. Both passes will bring it closer to Earth than the moon.
This object would become our third mini-moon in recent memory — and perhaps the first one made by humans.
The strongest indicator that it’s not an asteroid is the low velocity, according to Alice Gorman, a space archaeologist at Flinders University in Australia.
“What I’m seeing is that it’s just moving too slowly, which reflects its initial velocity,” she told ScienceAlert. “That’s essentially a big giveaway.”
The object is between 6.4 and 14 metres long, according to NASA.
The Centaur rocket booster was 12.68 metres long, and it helped propel the Surveyor 2 lander to the moon exactly 54 years ago. The lander jettisoned the booster into space during the mission.
Gorman says that if it is an old piece of human technology, she’d like to scan it to see how much damage it’s sustained after half a century in space.
“It’s human material that’s been out in a different part of space,” she said.
“It would be interesting to compare that to the results you get from stuff in low Earth orbit, which is much, much denser material.”
The object is expected to approach Earth on Oct. 1.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
NASA plans to send a mission to an asteroid that is… – AlKhaleej Today
Dr. Tracy Baker, planetary researcher at the Southwest Research Institute, said, “We have seen meteorites, most of them metal, but 16 Psyche It might be unique in that it is an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel in that planet Earth is a metal core, cap, and crust and it is possible that during the formation of a first planet with one another object collided in our solar system and lost its mantle and shell.
Experts predict that iron alone accounts for 16% Psyche It could be worth $ 10,000 quadrillion – if it could be brought to earth for comparison, the global economy was valued at $ 80,934,771,028,340 (£ 62,388,972,921,051.02) in 2017.
This means the asteroid could be worth 123,556.29 times the economy Global news In 2017 she said Lindy Elkins-Tanton NASA mission senior scientist and director of the College of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University: “Even if we could take a big coin and move back here, what would you do?” Could you sit down and hide it and the Control global resources as diamonds are institutionally controlled – and protect your market? What if you decide to return it one more time and solve mankind’s mineral resource problems at any time? It is clear that this is wild speculation.
NASA plans to visit the asteroid in 2022 in hopes of understanding how terrestrial planets like Earth first formed.
The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022 before it reaches orbit Psyche In 2026, to orbit the asteroid for 21 months, map and study properties PsycheBefore they send their results back to Earth.
And NASA stated, “In the depths of the rocky and terrestrial planets – including the Earth – scientists infer the presence of metal cores, but these are far fetched under the rocky crusts of the planets and since we cannot see the heart of the planets Earth or measure it directly, Psyche It provides a unique window into the violent history of collisions and agglomerations that created the planets of the earth. ”
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Arctic sea ice at record low October levels: Danish institute – Hurriyet Daily News
Diminishing sea ice comes as a reminder about how the Arctic is hit particularly hard by global warming.
Since the 1990s, warming has been twice as fast in the Arctic, compared to the rest of the world, as a phenomena dubbed “Arctic amplification,” causes air, ice and water to interact in a reinforcing manner.
“The October Arctic sea ice extent is going to be the lowest on record and the sea ice growth rate is slower than normal,” Rasmus Tonboe, a scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), told AFP, noting that the record was unequaled for at least 40 years.
According to preliminary satellite data used by the institute, sea ice surface area was at 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles) on 27 October.
Every year, some of the ice formed in the Arctic waters melts in the summer.
It usually reaches a low point of about five million square kilometers, but then re-forms to cover about 15 million square kilometers in winter. Warmer temperatures are now reducing both the summer and winter extent of the ice.
Satellite data has been collected to monitor the ice precisely since 1979, and the trend towards a reduction is clear.
For the month of October, measurements show an 8.2 percent downward trend in ice over the last 10 years.
Already in September, researchers noted the second-lowest extent of sea ice recorded in the Arctic, though not quite hitting the low levels recorded in 2012.
But warmer-than-normal seawater slowed the formation of new ice in October.
Water temperatures in the eastern part of the Arctic, north of Siberia, were two to four degrees warmer than normal, and in Baffin Bay, it was one to two degrees warmer, DMI said in a statement.
The institute said this was following a trend observed in recent years, which was described as a “vicious spiral.”
“It’s a trend we’ve been seeing the past years, with a longer open water season making the sun warm the sea for a longer time, resulting in shorter winters so the ice doesn’t grow as thick as it used to,” Tonboe said.
Since the melting ice is already in the ocean it does not directly contribute to the rise in sea levels.
But as the ice disappears sunlight “gets absorbed in the ocean, helping to further warm the Earth,” Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist at NASA, told AFP in September.
Thus, with less ice reflecting sunlight, oceans are heated directly.
Over the last 40 years, the Arctic has also become more of a strategic interest to world powers.
Less ice in certain areas opened up new maritime routes, which are destined to play a larger role in international trade, meaning a larger financial stake for Arctic state actors.
The region is also estimated to house 13 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas deposits.
Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) said on Oct. 27 that under current levels of atmospheric CO2 – roughly 400 parts per million – the melting of Arctic sea ice would raise global temperatures by 0.2C.
That’s on top of the 1.5C of warming our current emissions levels have rendered all but inevitable, and the safer cap on global warming aimed for in the Paris climate accord.
City of Vernon extends temporary patio permits for a full year – Vernon News – Castanet.net
The City of Vernon is extending temporary measures so businesses can use outdoor spaces in response to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city created a temporary outdoor commercial use program this past summer, allowing businesses to expand patios into parking lots, sidewalks and parking stalls, so customers and staff could continue practising physical distancing.
With the extension, businesses can continue using the spaces in the downtown business improvement area until next fall. They will also be able to use single, on-street parking stalls to create pop-up patios or for retail uses during the warmer months, from March 1 to Oct. 31, 2021.
Businesses with liquor licences will be pre-approved to have licences extended into the temporary spaces.
“Through the temporary outdoor commercial use program, the city is helping our community maintain physical distancing,” Mayor Victor Cumming said in a press release. “This program extension will also help businesses continue to adapt as we head into the colder months and plan ahead for spring and summer.”
For information on the guidelines, visit vernon.ca/covid-19/.
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