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Night lights shine significantly brighter during the holidays – The Weather Network

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Across the U.S., nighttime lights start getting brighter on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, and remain through New Year’s Day.

In the Middle East, night lights shine 50 per cent brighter during the holy month of Ramadan.

These observations were made by NASA scientists in 2014, who used data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite to analyze nighttime light activity over 70 U.S. cities.

The purpose of the study, led by Miguel Román of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was to determine patterns in urban energy use, which is a key component of greenhouse gas emissions.

They discovered light intensity increased by 30 to 50 per cent in the suburbs and outskirts of major cities during the holiday season. Lights in the central urban areas also increase during the holidays, but not as much.

“More than 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from urban areas,” Román said in a 2014 statement.

nasa lights

Holiday season lighting increases seen over parts of the U.S. between 2012 and 2014. Courtesy: NASA.

“If we’re going to reduce these emissions, then we’ll have to do more than just use energy-efficient cars and appliances. We also need to understand how dominant social phenomena, the changing demographics of urban centers, and socio-cultural settings affect energy-use decisions.”

CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS THE ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY WAY

Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the holidays.

There are several ways holiday lights can be an ecological drain. In addition to contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, the devices contribute to light pollution which can be disruptive to nocturnal wildlife.

While most holiday lights are recyclable, countless strands end up in the landfill alongside the estimated 540,000 tonnes of gift packaging, 2.6 billion gift cards, and 6 million rolls of tape Canadians toss out each holiday season.

ECO-FRIENDLY GIFT GIVING

Check out the video below for some tips on how to be a little greener with your gifts this year.

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Launch date for Tom Cruise's space mission confirmed – Belleville Intelligencer

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Tom Cruise attends the ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Press Conference at The Ancestral Temple on August 29, 2018 in Beijing, .

Emmanuel Wong / (Credit too long, see caption)

Tom Cruise has been given a launch date for his mission to space.

The action man will become the first star to actually film in space while he’s onboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon trip to the International Space Station – and now he has a countdown to prepare for.

He’ll take off with astronauts and fellow wannabe spacemen and women in October 2021, according to the 2020-2023 ISS official manifest, obtained by TMZ.

The Mission: Impossible star will be joined in space by his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.

Tom will also be working with SpaceX boss Elon Musk and NASA experts on the ambitious movie, the title of which has not yet been announced.

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ISS forced to move to avoid collision with space junk – Sky News

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station had to carry out an “avoidance manoeuvre” to prevent it from being hit by space junk, NASA has said.

Its trajectory was changed to move it further away from the “unknown piece of space debris”, the US space agency wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The three crew members – two Russians and an American – relocated to their Soyuz spacecraft attached to the ISS during the operation, so they could evacuate if necessary.






How scientists found signs of life on Venus

Experts expected the space junk to pass within “several kilometres” of the ISS, but decided to move it “out of an abundance of caution”.

Russian and US flight controllers worked together to adjust the station’s orbit in an operation which took minutes.

The crew were able to continue with their regular activities after the manoeuvre was complete.

NASA said the crew were not in danger at any time.

More from International Space Station

“Maneuver Burn complete. The astronauts are coming out of safe haven,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Twitter.



Southern lights from the ISS




Southern lights (and UFOs at the end?)

It is the third time this year the International Space Station (ISS) has had to manoeuvre to avoid space debris, he said.

He tweeted: “In the last 2 weeks, there have been 3 high concern potential conjunctions. Debris is getting worse!”

Astronomer Jonathon McDowell, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted the unknown object was a part of a 2018 Japanese rocket which broke into 77 pieces last year.

The ISS is orbiting around 260 miles (420km) above the Earth, travelling at a speed of about 17,130mph (27,568km/h).

At this velocity, even a small object has the ability to cause serious damage to the space station.

NASA has said these kinds of manoeuvres occur on a regular basis, with 25 having occurred between 1999 and 2018.

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An Asteroid Will Get Closer to Earth Than The Moon This Thursday, But Don't Panic – ScienceAlert

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An asteroid will get awfully close to Earth this Thursday (September 24), when it whizzes by our planet closer than the Moon orbits.

The asteroid – known as 2020 SW – isn’t expected to collide with Earth, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. But it will get close, passing about 16,700 miles (27,000 kilometers) away from Earth, according to the Virtual Telescope Project.

To put this in perspective, the moon hangs out at an average of 238,900 miles (384,000 km) from us, or about 30 Earths away. This asteroid will pass at a distance of about 2.1 Earths.

This means that asteroid 2020 SW will pass even closer than TV and weather satellites, which orbit at about 22,300 miles (35,888 km) away from Earth, according to EarthSky.

Scientists have yet to pin down the asteroid’s exact size, but it’s not that large, likely between 14 feet and 32 feet (4.4 and 9.9 meters) long, according to CNEOS.

This potentially RV-size asteroid was discovered only last week, on September 18, by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona, and announced the next day by the Minor Planet Center, a NASA-funded group that monitors minor planets, comets and natural satellites. (It’s not unusual to find unknown asteroids; in September alone, the Minor Planet Center has announced the discovery of 244 near-Earth objects.)

The orbit of asteroid 2020 SW is seen here in gray. (JPL/NASA)

Passing by Earth will actually be a life-changing event for asteroid 2020 SW. It’s such a small asteroid that Earth’s gravity is expected to change the space rock’s course when it zooms by our planet at 7:18 am EDT (11:18 UTC), according to EarthSky. 

After asteroid 2020 SW’s close shave with Earth, it won’t pay our planet another visit until 3 June 2029, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

That said, the asteroid is certainly rushing to see us this Thursday (we hope it has a face mask), traveling at a velocity of about 17,200 mph (27,720 km/h, or 7.7 km/second) relative to Earth, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported.

The asteroid will appear brighter as it nears Earth, but it won’t be visible to the naked eye.

If you want a clear view of the space rock, visit The Virtual Telescope website, which is showing a live feed starting at 6 pm EDT (22:00 UTC) on Wednesday, September 23.

This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.

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