‘Lost’ asteroid the size of the Statue of Liberty to buzz by Earth Tuesday | Fox News

An asteroid the size of New York City’s Statue of Liberty is expected to buzz by Earth Tuesday, and this time, scientists are ready and waiting.

At its closest point, the asteroid – called 2010 WC9 – will be roughly 126,000 miles from earth, about half the distance between Earth and the moon at approximately 6:05 ET, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

The estimated diameter of the asteroid ranges from 197 to 427 feet, making this “pass one of the closest approaches ever observed of an asteroid of this size,” EarthSky reports.

That’s nothing compared to asteroids that make up the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which can measure to about 580 miles across, NASA explains on its website. Those asteroids, however, pose no threat to Earth.

The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), a space project backed by NASA’s Near Earth Object Observation Program (NEOO), was first to spot the asteroid back in November 2010.

Source: ‘Lost’ asteroid the size of the Statue of Liberty to buzz by Earth Tuesday | Fox News

Too much junk floating in space

ou can see the night sky full of stars, but what you cannot see with bare eyes is the enormous amount of junk material that is also floating in the air. Yes, it’s true, too much of garbage is floating in the space, and the credit goes to us, i.e., the humans for the same.

We, the humans have been sending lots of satellites, spacecraft up in the space. Concerning numbers, almost 1700 are revolving around our planet. Every machinery does not come back in proper shape when its job gets done. Many times it has happened that after the work is over, the scientists have failed to retain control over the machinery and left them to speed past through space at enormous speed. Some of them get crashed into one another leading to the formation of further debris in the space. The NASA has predicted that there might be more than 23,000 pieces of debris more than 10 centimeters long that might be hovering around in orbit o the Earth.

According to NASA small pieces of steel might not be as harmful as the big chunk. But then also such parts can prove to be quite deadly. The International Space Station says that since these bits of junk move at a tremendous speed in the space, even they can damage the craft’s quadruple thick windows. This is posed to be one of the leading causes of worry. The astronauts might be at risk when they go out of space for a spacewalk outside the International Space Station because even if such small bits of steel or metal hits them at such a high speed, it can cause severe damage to the humans.

Source: Too much junk floating in space

Can Artificial Intelligence Help Find Alien Intelligence? – Scientific American

Scientists are considering whether AI could help us search for alien intelligence in ways we haven’t even thought of yet

In early 2018, astronomers, neuroscientists, anthropologists, AI researchers, historians and others gathered for a “Decoding Alien Intelligence” workshop at the SETI Institute in Silicon Valley. Astrobiologist Nathalie Cabrol organized the workshop around her 2016 paper “Alien mindscapes,” where she calls for a new SETI road map and a long-term vision for “the search for life as we do not know it.”

Source: Can Artificial Intelligence Help Find Alien Intelligence? – Scientific American

Exiled Asteroid Discovered in Outer Reaches of Solar System | ESO

An international team of astronomers has used ESO telescopes to investigate a relic of the primordial Solar System. The team found that the unusual Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 is a carbon-rich asteroid, the first of its kind to be confirmed in the cold outer reaches of the Solar System. This curious object likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has been flung billions of kilometres from its origin to its current home in the Kuiper Belt.

The early days of our Solar System were a tempestuous time. Theoretical models of this period predict that after the gas giants formed they rampaged through the Solar System, ejecting small rocky bodies from the inner Solar System to far-flung orbits at great distances from the Sun [1]. In particular, these models suggest that the Kuiper Belt — a cold region beyond the orbit of Neptune — should contain a small fraction of rocky bodies from the inner Solar System, such as carbon-rich asteroids, referred to as carbonaceous asteroids [2].

Now, a recent paper has presented evidence for the first reliably-observed carbonaceous asteroid in the Kuiper Belt, providing strong support for these theoretical models of our Solar System’s troubled youth. After painstaking measurements from multiple instruments at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), a small team of astronomers led by Tom Seccull of Queen’s University Belfast in the UK was able to measure the composition of the anomalous Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95, and thus determine that it is a carbonaceous asteroid. This suggests that it originally formed in the inner Solar System and must have since migrated outwards [3].

Source: Exiled Asteroid Discovered in Outer Reaches of Solar System | ESO

NASA Kills Lunar-Resources Mission Despite Push to Return to the Moon

NASA has just announced it plans to cancel a mission that would have blazed a path for further human missions to the moon.

The Resource Prospector mission consisted of a lander and a solar-powered rover equipped with a drill. The rover would have scouted the lunar surface, digging up soil for analysis. Scientists know that water ice exists on the moon, but the Resource Prospector would have provided scientists with a more complete understanding of these deposits.

Source: NASA Kills Lunar-Resources Mission Despite Push to Return to the Moon

Food allergies may be linked to baby wipes, study says

Does your child suffer from food allergies? Baby wipes may be the cause, according to a new report.

Researchers from Northwestern University recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, to determine the environmental and genetic factors associated with the allergy.

To do so, they examined clinical evidence on food allergies. They learned that 35 percent of those with them have three gene mutations that diminish the skin’s barrier, which can expose the body to allergens.

However, they learned not everyone with the mutations develop food allergies. After exposing mice with similar mutations to food allergens like peanuts, they discovered the nuts alone had no effect.

“Then I thought about what are babies exposed to,” lead author Joan Cook-Mills said in a statement. “They are exposed to environmental allergens in dust in a home. They may not be eating food allergens as a newborn, but they are getting them on their skin. Say a sibling with peanut butter on her face kisses the baby. Or a parent is preparing food with peanuts and then handles the baby.”

Source: Food allergies may be linked to baby wipes, study says

2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are out with their forecast for the season ahead

The Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average this year, Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predicted Thursday. The researchers cited a “relatively low likelihood of significant El Niño” conditions as a main factor.

In total, the team believes there will be 14 named storms. Hurricane researchers predict seven of the storms will become hurricanes and three will reach “major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.”

They explained why El Niño patterns are likely to make a difference.

“El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form,” the researchers said.

CSU hurricane researchers believe this season’s activity will be about 135 percent of the average season. For reference, last year’s hurricane activity — which included one major storm after another — was nearly two and a half times greater than average.

The team forms their forecasts by using 60 years of data, referencing sea surface temperatures, vertical wind shear levels, sea level pressures, El Niño conditions and other factors. They plan to provide updates on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 2.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Source: 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

Landfall probability

The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:

  • 63 percent for the entire U.S. coastline (average for the last century is 52 percent)
  • 39 percent for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula (average for the last century is 31 percent)
  • 38 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville (average for the last century is 30 percent)
  • 52 percent for the Caribbean (average for the last century is 42 percent)

The forecast team also tracks the likelihood of tropical storm-force, hurricane-force and major hurricane-force winds occurring at specific locations along the coastal United States, the Caribbean and Central America through its Landfall Probability website.