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'Space guests': Russian cosmonaut captures possible UFO footage from International Space Station – National Post

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Visible are the glowing curve of the Earth and the green of the aurora moving across it. The “space guests” Vagner refers to appear from nine seconds into the video and last until the 12-second mark, a string of four to five lights arranged in a diagonal line.

Since the video was shot in a time-lapse, the flash of “objects” which quickly appear and disappear in the video actually lasted some 52 seconds. The objects “appear flying alongside with the same distance,” Vagner wrote in further tweets. “What do you think those are? Meteors, satellites or … ?”

It’s unclear precisely when the footage was captured or whether Vagner observed the phenomenon at the time, as he filmed.

This mission is Vagner’s first aboard the ISS. According to a recent blog post by NASA, his work on the station has involved maintenance on its orbital plumbing system as well as “exploring ways to improve Earth photography techniques.” He is working alongside Anatoli Ivanishin, also of Russia, and American commander Chris Cassidy.

Crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) Chris Cassidy (left) of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin (centre) and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos pose for a photo as they attend final qualification training in Star City near Moscow, Russia March 12, 2020. Evgenia Novozhenina/REUTERS

While NASA has yet to comment on the sighting, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos boosted Vagner’s tweet with the note: “An interesting and at the same time mysterious video made by cosmonaut of Roscosmos Ivan Wagner … from the International Space Station.”

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Newly-discovered asteroid buzzes past Earth Thursday morning – The Weather Network

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Astronomers are tracking a newfound asteroid that is expected to make a brief but very close pass by Earth, early Thursday morning.

Asteroid 2020 SW was discovered on September 18, by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. Estimated at between 5 to 10 metres wide, this space rock will make its closest pass by Earth at 7:12 a.m. EDT, on Thursday, September 24.

At that time, it is expected to be roughly 22,000 kilometres above the planet’s surface.

“There are a large number of tiny asteroids like this one, and several of them approach our planet as close as this several times every year,” Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release on Wednesday. “In fact, asteroids of this size impact our atmosphere at an average rate of about once every year or two.”

This frame from the NASA asteroid trajectory animation shows 2020 SW at its closest approach to Earth. Credit: NASA JPL

At that distance, the asteroid is actually closer than the ring of geostationary weather and communications satellites surrounding Earth at a distance of around 36,000 kilometres. However, as the image above shows, by then, the asteroid will be below the satellite ring and beneath Earth.

Although 2020 SW is logged as a “potentially hazardous asteroid” in NASA’s records, it doesn’t pose any threat to Earth. According to CNEOS, who has traced the asteroid’s orbit back to 1975 and forward to 2095, this September 24 pass is the closest this object has ever come to us in that timespan.

Asteroid-2020SW-Orbit-NASA-CNEOSThe shape of asteroid 2020 SW’s 373-day orbit around the Sun marks it as an Apollo asteroid – an Earth-crossing asteroid that spends all of its time between the orbits of Venus and Mars. Credit: NASA CNEOS

The next time the asteroid will be anywhere close to Earth again is in September of 2041. At that time, it will be pass far beyond the Moon, at a distance of over 3.5 million kilometres.

While 2020 SW poses no threat to Earth, it is still of interest to scientists. NASA’s Goldstone Observatory is planning to bounce radio waves off the asteroid’s surface during this close pass. The data collected can then be turned into radar images, revealing the asteroid’s shape and giving us an idea of its composition.

Goldstone-Observatory-NASAThe 34-meter DSS-13 radio antenna at the Goldstone Observatory is used for radio astronomy, including collecting radar images of passing near-Earth objects. Credit: NASA

According to NASA, if 2020 SW or an asteroid of similar size did actually strike Earth, it would almost certainly break apart high up in the atmosphere as a fireball. Only the toughest space rocks of this size – those primarily composed of metal – can reach the surface mostly intact.

“The detection capabilities of NASA’s asteroid surveys are continually improving,” added Chodas, “and we should now expect to find asteroids of this size a couple days before they come near our planet.”

Indeed, the fact that this tiny rock was spotted roughly six days before its flyby is a testament to the Catalina Sky Survey’s asteroid detection skills.

Sources: NASA JPL | NASA CNEOS

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Reptile dubbed 'Jaws of Death' terrorized Cretaceous seas – CANOE

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“If you were an animal in the oceans less than 20 feet (6 metres) in length, you are most likely on the menu for Gnathomortis,” added Lively, whose study was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

That menu, Lively said, may have included sea turtles, fish, sharks and other marine reptiles including smaller mosasaurs.

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Like other mosasaurs and many lizards and snakes, it boasted an extra set of teeth on the roof of its mouth.

A large depression on the outer surface of its lower jaws is indicative of large muscles that gave it tremendous bite-force. While it lived alongside even-larger mosasaurs like 46-foot-long (14-metre-long) Tylosaurus in the Western Interior Seaway that ran from present-day Canada to Mexico, Gnathomortis had stronger jaws.

“‘Jaws of Death’ seemed appropriate for this kind of critter,” Lively said, “and it turns out to be an awesome name.”

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Bus-size asteroid to zoom by Earth, ducking below satellites – CTV News

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.

The newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometres) of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said this week. The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

Once it’s gone, the asteroid won’t be back to Earth’s neighbourhood until 2041.

Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 15 feet and 30 feet (4.5 metres to 9 metres). By asteroid standards, that’s considered puny. Asteroids of this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There could be as many as 100 million of these little asteroids out there.

The real threat are considerably bigger asteroids. The good news is that these are easier to spot much sooner than just a few days out.

Asteroid 2020 SW, as it is known, was discovered last Friday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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