The third near-earth asteroid of 2011 will pass between the moon and earth later this year, NASA has confirmed.
The 575-foot-wide (175 metres) asteroid, which is more than one and a half times the length of a soccer pitch, will pass within 0.85 lunar distances of the Earth on November 8, 2011.
Discovered on December 28, 2005 by Robert McMillan of the Spacewatch Program near Tucson, Arizona, 2005 YU55 is believed to be a very dark, nearly spherical object.
According to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program: “Although classified as a potentially hazardous object, 2005 YU55 poses no threat of an Earth collision over at least the next 100 years. However, this will be the closest approach to date by an object this large that we know about in advance and an event of this type will not happen again until 2028 when asteroid (153814) 2001 WN5 will pass to within Read more…
August 16, 2011 – MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE – The Irish-led VENTuRE scientific expedition aboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer has discovered a previously uncharted field of hydrothermal vents along the mid-Atlantic ridge – the first to be explored north of the Azores. The mission, led by Dr. Andy Wheeler of University College, Cork (UCC), together with scientists from the National Oceanographic Centre and the University of Southampton in the UK, NUI Galway and the Geological Survey of Ireland, returned to Cork today (August 4th) from an investigation 3,000 metres below the surface of the sea using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland 1. Hydrothermal vents, which spew mineral-rich seawater heated to boiling point by volcanic rock in the Earth’s crust below, are home to
Kyrgyzstan is not going to prolong its agreement with Washington, which entitles the US to use Manas Transit Center to supply its forces in Afghanistan, after it expires in 2014, the republic’s Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev has said.
“… In full compliance with our commitments, we will inform the American side on the termination of the contract six months prior to its expiry,” the Central Asian state’s premier said in an interview with Rosbalt agency. Kyrgyzstan plans to turn the Center, formerly known as Manas Air Base, into a civil transportation hub. Both Russian and Western investors would be welcome to participate in the creation of the facility, Atambayev added.
The military installation has been used as a Read more…
“Outbreaks of measles and cholera are striking down Somali children already weakened by hunger, resulting in dozens of new fatalities,” the Guardian reports (Rice, 8/13). According to the WHO, “181 people have died from suspected cholera cases in a single hospital in Mogadishu, and there have been several other confirmed cholera outbreaks across the country,” the New York Times writes (Gettleman, 8/12). UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado “said Friday that tens of thousands of children have died and countless more are particularly at risk of cholera and other diseases because of drought and violence in East Africa,” the Associated Press/NPR notes (8/12).
The World Food Programme (WFP) “said Saturday that it is Read more…
A big new sunspot is emerging over the sun’s northeastern limb. AR1271 has at least four dark cores and it is crackling with small flares. The sunspot’s entrance was captured in this 24-hour movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:
NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Because of its location near the sun’s limb, AR1271 does not yet pose a threat for Earth-directed eruptions. This could change in the days ahead, however, as the sunspot turns to face our planet. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea and the United States launched a massive joint military exercise on Aug. 16, prompting the North to condemn the maneuvers as provocative and warn that war could erupt.
The two allies have described the 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise as defensive and routine, but the North habitually terms such joint drills a rehearsal for invasion and launches its own counter-exercises.
“The exercise started this morning,” a spokesman of the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command (CFC) told AFP, referring to the annual computer-assisted simulation command-post exercise.
All of CFC’s major units are taking part, involving more than Read more…
Here’s a story straight out of science fiction: the Netherlands’ Jalila Essaidi is exploring ways to develop bulletproof skin for humans, and is turning to the milk from genetically modified “spider goats” to do it. Yep!
The project is called “2.6g 329m/s,” as 2.6 grams and 326 meters a second are “the maximum weight and velocity of a .22 calibre Long Rifle bullet from which a Type 1 bulletproof vest should protect you,” according to Essaidi. Essaidi isn’t looking to create a better bulletproof vest, however. Her prototype, pictured above, is a wafer formed by sandwiching a spider silk matrix between two layers of human tissue.
So, where do those genetically modified goats come in? Well, spider silk isn’t the Read more…