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‘Brighter than a full moon’: The biggest star of 2013… could be Ison – the comet of the century

December 27, 2012 Comments off

independent

A comet discovered by two Russian astronomers will be visible from Earth next year. Get ready for a  once-in-a lifetime light show, says David Whitehouse

Getty Images

At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn’t seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.

Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.

It was found as a blur on an electronic image of the night sky taken through a telescope at the Kislovodsk Observatory in Russia as part of a project to survey the sky looking for comets and asteroids – chunks of rock and ice that litter space. Astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok were expecting to use the Read more…

Categories: astronomy Tags: , ,

Huge, mysterious pillars of light have ‘emerged’ near the town of Palotino, Brazil on the 17th of December, 2012

December 27, 2012 3 comments
Categories: Brazil, Strange Events Tags: ,

Privacy Concerns Surface with Government Plan to Install “Black Box” Monitors in All New Cars

December 27, 2012 Comments off

allgov.com

Investigator inspecting a black box taken from a 2008 Toyota Avalon involved in a fatal 2009 car accident in Euless, Texas (AP Photo)

Federal safety regulators want all new cars installed with so-called “black boxes,” similar to those on airplanes, to help the government and auto manufacturers learn valuable lessons from accidents on the road. But the idea has stirred concerns among consumer groups and civil libertarians who fear the data in the black boxes might be used inappropriately unless legal safeguards are established.

 

Under a new rule (pdf) proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), carmakers would be required to equip all new vehicles with “event data recorders” (EDRs) starting in September 2014. Some new automobiles already have a black box, although their owners may not be aware of it. Automakers began installing them in the early 1990s, but they weren’t required to disclose their existence in the car owner’s manual.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants that to change, with Read more…

Persecution of Christians worldwide

December 27, 2012 Comments off

onlineopinion.com

christian persecutionWhile we in Australia are looking forward to celebrating Christmas and the holidays, we should spare a thought for the Christians who are suffering persecution in so many countries. Even in democracies such as the US and Canada, Christians can be fined or lose their jobs for imaginary “hate” crimes, i.e. speaking about the health risks of some homosexual practices or declining to provide services for homosexual “marriages”.

It is persecution in developing countries that is most distressing to me because Christians there rarely have the financial resources to seek legal redress. Below some news items from the weekly email I receive from Christians in Crisis:

Iran: Two of the seven members of the Church of Iran arrested in Shiraz have been temporarily released on bail.

Indonesia: Church building set ablaze – Unidentified attackers torched a church building in Poso in a series of renewed violence against the local Christian community.

Egypt: A call to pray for an end to the abduction, forced conversion and forced marriage of Coptic girls by Islamist Salafis.

Kasakhstan continues its attempt to make exercising the freedom of Read more…

Mexico Earthquake Today 2012, Terremoto Erupts in Baja California

December 27, 2012 Comments off

lalate.com

Mexico Earthquake Today 2012, Terremoto Erupts in Baja California

LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – A strong Mexico earthquake has erupted today. A terremoto en Mexico hoy, Thursday, December 27, 2012, began in the predawn morning hours centered in Baja California. The quake marks one of the strongest Mexico temblors to strike this December. No reports of damage have yet to be indicated by local news.

Officials tell news that a 4.7 magnitude Mexico earthquake erupted Thursday at 6:05 am local time. The quake, while strong, also posted a shallow epicenter. USGS indicates to news the Mexico earthquake erupted six miles below sea level in the Gulf of California, off the east coast of Baja California. The quake, however, could be felt to the west on the Baja peninsula.

USGS indicates to news that the Mexico earthquake began Read more…

Israelis find 2,750-year-old temple

December 27, 2012 Comments off

nbcnews.com

Baz Ratner / ReutersAn employee of the Israeli Antiquities Authority displays figurines at Tel Motza archaeological site on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Baz Ratner / Reuters
An employee of the Israeli Antiquities Authority displays figurines at Tel Motza archaeological site on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Archaeologists have uncovered a 2,750-year-old temple near Jerusalem, along with pottery and clay figurines that suggest the site was the home base for a ritual cult, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.

The discovery was made during excavations at the Tel Motza archaeological site, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Jerusalem, during preparations for work on a new section of Israeli’s Highway 1, the agency said in a statement.

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz were quoted as saying in the statement.

The Bible says the Firs Read more…

Physics professor: Past decade ‘hottest ten years ever recorded’

December 27, 2012 1 comment

rawstory.com

screen grab
 This past year’s seemingly endless stream of catastrophic storms wasn’t just a media narrative, according to Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York.

On CBS This Morning on Thursday, Kaku discussed 2012′s “wacky weather” and how global warming, which creates more energy circulating on the planet, exacerbates destructive tornadoes, storms, hurricanes and even forest fires.

“You look at the weather patterns over the last year, and they all seem wild, extreme. What was driving that?” asked anchor Rebecca Jarvis.

“Well, when you look outside you say, ‘The weather’s on steroids,’” Kaku said. “But there’s no single aha moment where you can say, ‘Aha, this is what’s driving the whole thing.’ But what you can say is that the Earth is heating up. Which means more moisture going into Read more…