It looks like humanity just dodged a pretty big space-junk bullet.
Two large pieces of orbital debris — a defunct Soviet navigation satellite and a spent Chinese rocket body — apparently whizzed safely past each other high over the South Atlantic Ocean on Thursday evening (Oct. 15).
The California-based space tracking company LeoLabs alerted the world ahead of time to the close approach, which occurred at 8:56 p.m. EDT (1256 GMT on Oct. 16) as the two craft flew 616 miles (991 kilometers) above Earth just off the coast of Antarctica.
LeoLabs’ pre-encounter analyses suggested that the two objects would miss each other by just 82 feet (25 meters), plus or minus 59 feet (18 m) — numbers that left a collision very much in play. Indeed, LeoLabs calculated the odds of a smashup at higher than 10%.
No indication of collision. 👍CZ-4C R/B passed over LeoLabs Kiwi Space Radar 10 minutes after TCA. Our data shows only a single object as we’d hoped, with no signs of debris.We will follow up in the coming days on Medium with a full in-depth risk assessment of this event!October 16, 2020
But the company’s post-encounter scans suggest that the nightmare scenario didn’t come to pass.
“No indication of collision. CZ-4C R/B passed over LeoLabs Kiwi Space Radar 10 minutes after TCA. Our data shows only a single object as we’d hoped, with no signs of debris. We will follow up in the coming days on Medium with a full in-depth risk assessment of this event!” LeoLabs tweeted on Thursday evening. (CZ-4C R/B is the Chinese rocket body, Kiwi Space Radar is the company’s New Zealand tracking array and TCA stands for “time of closest approach.”)
“Nightmare scenario” is not really an exaggeration. The dead Russian satellite and Chinese rocket body have a combined mass of about 6,170 lbs. (2,800 kilograms), LeoLabs said in a tweet on Tuesday (Oct. 13). The two bodies were hurtling toward each other with a relative velocity of 32,900 mph (52,950 kph), so a collision would have been incredibly destructive, spawning a huge cloud of debris.
A smashup would likely have led to a “significant (10 to 20 percent) increase in the LEO [low Earth orbit] debris environment,” astronomer and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell, who’s based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said via Twitter on Wednesday.
That debris environment is already substantial. Scientists estimate that about 34,000 objects more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide are whizzing around Earth at the moment, according to the European Space Agency. And the numbers get scarier the smaller you go. There are probably 900,000 or so orbital objects between 0.4 inches and 4 inches wide (1 to 10 cm) in orbit and 128 million in the 0.04-inch to 0.4-inch (1 mm to 1 cm) range.
Even those tiny flecks can do considerable damage to a satellite, thanks to the great velocities involved. For example, at 250 miles (400 km) up — the altitude of the International Space Station, which has had to maneuver away from three potential space-junk collisions in 2020 alone — objects barrel along at a blistering 17,500 mph (28,160 kph).
Per @Leolabs_space, bullet dodged. But space debris is still a big problem.October 16, 2020
Orbital collisions are not just the stuff of science-fiction films like 2013’s “Gravity.” In 2009, for instance, a defunct Russian military satellite called Kosmos 2251 slammed into the operational communications satellite Iridium 33, generating 1,800 pieces of trackable debris by the following October (and many others too small to monitor).
And, crazily enough, humanity has spawned debris clouds intentionally on two separate occasions — during destructive tests of anti-satellite technology conducted in 2007 and 2019 by China and India, respectively.
The debris problem will continue to grow as more and more satellites launch to space — a trend that’s accelerating, thanks to continuing decreases in the costs of both launch and satellite development. And the problem could get out of hand, seriously threatening spaceflight and exploration activities, if we don’t start tackling it now, many experts say
“Per @Leolabs_space, bullet dodged. But space debris is still a big problem,” McDowell said in another tweet on Thursday night.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
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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It’s also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at eg24.news. AlKhaleej Today’s editorial team has confirmed this and it has been changed and it may have been fully retransmitted or quoted and you can read it and follow this news from its main source.
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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