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NASA used modern image-processing to improve iconic “Pale Blue Dot” Image – SlashGear

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NASA has announced that it has taken one of the most iconic images the Voyager mission ever produced and improved it using modern image-processing software. The image is called “Pale Blue Dot” and was taken on February 14, 1990, only a few minutes before the Voyager 1 cameras were powered down to conserve power. The cameras were powered down because the probes would no longer make close flybys of any other objects in their lifetimes.

The updated image was made while respecting the intent of those who planned the photograph. The new color view shows the Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space. Rays of sunlight scattered within the camera optics stretch across the screen, with one intersecting the Earth.

Part of the reason the cameras were shutdown was to save power for the mission and enable their longevity. Many years later, the probes left our solar system and traveled into interstellar space. “Pale Blue Dot” was part of a series of 60 images that Voyager 1 snapped to produce what was called “Family Portrait of the Solar System.”

The sequence of camera pointing commands returned six images of the solar system’s planets along with the sun. “Pale Blue Dot” was created using the color images Voyager took of Earth. The name of the image was traced to the title of the 1994 book written by Carl Sagan, who was a Voyager imaging scientist.

Sagan originated the idea of using the Voyager cameras to image the distant Earth and played a critical role in enabling the family portrait images to be taken. Voyager spacecraft were built by JPL, which continues to operate both spacecraft.

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Week-long wait for COVID-19 test results frustrating Outaouais residents – CBC.ca

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Some residents in the Outaouais are having to wait as long as a week before getting their COVID-19 test results, according to the MNA for the Pontiac.

Typical wait times across Quebec are between one and four days, but André Fortin told Ottawa Morning on Monday that residents of western Quebec are waiting much longer.

“If it can be done everywhere else in the province, there’s no reason they cannot be done in a timely basis here in our region,” Fortin said.

Fortin said he’s been hearing complaints from constituents for weeks, with one still awaiting results from a test done on July 15.

While waiting for test results, people are advised to remain in isolation, continue physical distancing and monitor for symptoms. That can be especially difficult for people stuck home with small children, and those unable to return to their jobs.

Emailing negative results

For the past two weeks, the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), the region’s public health authority, has been emailing people with negative results instead of phoning them, a protocol aimed at lightening the workload for employees.

CISSSO now says it can forward negative results within an average of 72 hours. The time frame is shorter for positive results.

According to Ann Rondeau, CISSSO’s director of multidisciplinary and community services, a new laboratory device expected in September will increase testing capacity in the region to 1,100 tests per day.

“We will be completely autonomous in the Outaouais,” Rondeau said. 

Expecting a spike

Fortin said he believes that with students returning to school and the flu season approaching, the need for testing will soon spike. 

“If the health board is acting now to find the proper resources, to test people and to get the results to people fast, that’s good news,” he said. “But the challenge remains to get these test results to people quicker.”

Denis Marcheterre, president of public health advocacy group Action Santé Outaouais, is concerned about the risk of the respiratory illness being spread by people awaiting their test results.

“Despite the fact that the Outaouais was relatively spared during the first wave, we do not know what will happen in the second wave,” Marcheterre said. “You have to prepare accordingly.”

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N.L. records 1 new case of COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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There is one new case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, moving the province’s total caseload to 268.

According to a government press release, the new case is a male in the Eastern Health region between 20 and 39 years old.

The man is a close contact of the existing case reported Friday. That case involved a woman who had flown from Toronto to St. John’s as part of filming for the Hudson & Rex television series. 

The Department of Health said contact tracing by is underway. Everyone considered a close contact is being advised to quarantine.

“As the individual was a close contact of the existing case, he has been self-isolating,” the department’s press release said.

The province now has two active cases.

So far, 27,050 people have been tested for coronavirus since March, including 144 since Sunday. 

In total, 263 people have recovered. Three people have died from the virus. 

Friday’s active case was travel-related, and not from the province, but was granted an exemption to come to Newfoundland, according to the government. 

The producer of Hudson & Rex confirmed CBC’s initial reporting that a crew member of the show tested positive for the virus. 

The show is continuing to film in St. John’s.  A portion of the Mundy Pond walking trail is closed until 9 p.m. Monday to accommodate filming. 

Paul Pope said the case was found through regular private testing, and all COVID-19 precautions on set were followed.

“They have to pass a pre-screening [test] in Ontario, which they did,” Pope said. “They followed all the precautions on the airplane. Then, when they arrived in St. John’s, they were picked up by our transport, which has a divider, and [the crew member and driver] both wore masks.”

Hudson & Rex producer Paul Pope says all COVID-19 precautions have been followed since the woman who was diagnosed with the disease arrived from Ontario. (CBC)

Since arriving from Ontario, Pope said, the woman has interacted with only three people: the driver of the vehicle, the medical professional who administered the test, and one other member of the crew.

The provincial government has also asked anyone who travelled on Air Canada Flight AC690, which departed from Toronto for St. John’s on Aug. 6, to monitor themselves and call 811 if COVID-19 symptoms develop.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Perseid meteor shower to light up Britain’s skies with shooting stars this week – Yahoo Canada Sports

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T

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The Perseids are one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year (Getty)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="One of the best meteor showers of the year will unleash up to 100 shooting stars an hour as it reaches its peak this week, astronomers have said.” data-reactid=”32″>One of the best meteor showers of the year will unleash up to 100 shooting stars an hour as it reaches its peak this week, astronomers have said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="All through this week, the Perseid meteor shower will blaze across the sky as our planet flies through a cloud of dust from a comet.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”33″>All through this week, the Perseid meteor shower will blaze across the sky as our planet flies through a cloud of dust from a comet

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The shower will peak between the 11th and 13th August, according to Royal Museums Greenwich.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”34″>The shower will peak between the 11th and 13th August, according to Royal Museums Greenwich

You won’t need binoculars or a telescope to watch, astronomy experts say (weather permitting). 

Occurring yearly between July 17 and August 24, the meteors reach their peak on this week.

The event is one of the highpoints in the celestial calendar, occurring each year as the Earth ploughs through dusty debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Lyrid meteor shower captured in time-lapse” data-reactid=”38″>Read more: Lyrid meteor shower captured in time-lapse

The meteors, mostly no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up as they hit the atmosphere at 36 miles per second to produce a shooting stream of light in the sky.

Peak temperatures can reach anywhere from 1,648 to 5,537 C as they speed across the sky.

The meteors are called Perseids because they seem to dart out of the constellation Perseus.

This very colorful Perseid fireball was photographed during the peak of the 2017 Perseid meteor shower in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.This very colorful Perseid fireball was photographed during the peak of the 2017 Perseid meteor shower in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

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This colourful Perseid fireball was photographed during the Perseid meteor shower in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico (Getty)

To make the best of the Perseids, observers should avoid built-up areas and try to find an unobstructed view to the east, experts suggest.

Royal Museums Greenwich suggests that wannabe viewers should try to minimise the amount of light affecting their view.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Scientists warn dangerous space rocks could be hiding in meteor shower” data-reactid=”64″>Read more: Scientists warn dangerous space rocks could be hiding in meteor shower

An astronomer at the Greenwhich Royal Observatory writes, “Reduce the amount of light pollution in your field of view. This could mean heading out to the countryside, a nearby park or even do something as simple as turning your back to street lamps if you are not able to go anywhere. 

“Give your eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the dark so that you can catch more of the fainter meteors – this does mean that you should not look at your phone!

“Meteors can appear in any part of the sky so the more sky you can see the better. Find an area with a clear view of the horizon and away from trees and buildings.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Huge meteor explodes in the sky above Derby” data-reactid=”68″>Read more: Huge meteor explodes in the sky above Derby

The shooting stars are formed of debris from a comet, formed when pieces break off comets in the heat of the sun.

If the debris ends up in Earth’s atmosphere, it can slam into our atmosphere, creating shooting stars visible for the ground. 

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