Imagine a piece of rock the size of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper speeding through space 15 times faster the world’s fastest manned aircraft. Now imagine that piece of rock buzzing toward Earth on its way to making a nearby pass (and by "nearby," we mean more than 11 times the distance between our planet and the moon). If you were a scientist at NASA, you’d probably deem that object as “potentially hazardous,” too. But thankfully, we shouldn't need any stunts like the one pulled off in Armageddon to save us. That said, NASA likes to label any asteroid that comes within 4.6 million miles of Earth as “potentially hazardous,” so Asteroid 2002 AJ129 isn’t getting any kind of special treatment. The space object is 0.7 miles wide, some 0.2 miles bigger than the massive Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai. It’s speeding through space at 67,000 mph, The Daily Mail explains, while the speedy hypersonic North American X-15 aircraft can fly at speeds of only 4,520 mph. 2002 AJ129 will pass Earth on February 4th at a distance of more than 2.6 million miles. The distance between the Earth and the Moon, meanwhile, is 238,855 miles. In other words, the Asteroid will most likely not crash into our planet. We already have a Burj Khalifa, so we’re all set thanks. But say it did... what might happen? You can expect Earth to go through a mini ice age following the impact with an object of that size, according to researchers. Average temperatures around the world would fall by 8° C, and Earth would become a much darker, colder, and drier place. Surviving the impact would not be pleasant. In a “worst-case scenario,” soot would remain in the atmosphere for around 10 years, with dust needing some six years to settle back down on Earth. NASA, meanwhile, is going forward with plans to prevent any Asteroid impacts, and they don’t involve plans like the aforementioned ones in the movie Armageddon. NASA is working on a refrigerator-sized spacecraft that would prevent asteroids from colliding with Earth. Deflecting an asteroid that’s on an impact course with Earth requires changing its speed by less than an inch per second, but you have to do it years in advance. Apparently having a team of expert oil drillers nuke it out of a sky at the last moment isn't the way to go. Of note, NASA doesn't expect to have the ability to intercept an asteroid on a collision course with Earth until sometime after 2024.
White House chief of staff John Kelly suggested during an interview Wednesday that then-candidate Donald Trump was not “fully informed” when he promised to build a wall along the entire border with Mexico.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were warned about an insidious new form of online extremism on Capitol Hill as they sought to push back on the notion that they aren’t doing enough to rid their platforms of terrorists and hate-filled content.
In the 16th century, an epidemic wiped out approximately 80% of the Aztec population in when Central and South America. The horrific epidemic known as "cocoliztli" was responsible for killing millions of people in Mexico, Guatemala, and even as far as Peru. Those infected would experience severe vomiting and even bleeding, and the death rate was believed to be among the highest in history. Despite the massive scale of this demographic catastrophe, the cause of the epidemic has remained a mystery for all these years. Now, nearly 500 years later, scientists may have made a breakthrough discovery that finally reveals the pathogen responsible for the devastating epidemic. A team of scientists believe they have solved the cocoliztli mystery that has puzzled mankind for centuries. The team analyzed skeletal remains in a mass grave filled with victims of the cocoliztli epidemic, and their findings have apparently confirmed what some experts have suspected for years: The cocoliztli epidemic that killed millions of Aztecs was seemingly caused by Salmonella. The team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Harvard University, and the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History say they found traces of Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C in ancient DNA extracted from the mass grave. Remains of the Salmonella strain were said to be present in a number of skeletons from the site, samples of which were recovered during a dig and returned to labs for analysis. The researchers' paper was published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. "Indigenous populations of the Americas experienced high mortality rates during the early contact period as a result of infectious diseases, many of which were introduced by Europeans," the researchers wrote. "Most of the pathogenic agents that caused these outbreaks remain unknown. Through the introduction of a new metagenomic analysis tool called MALT, applied here to search for traces of ancient pathogen DNA, we were able to identify Salmonella enterica in individuals buried in an early contact era epidemic cemetery at Teposcolula-Yucundaa, Oaxaca in southern Mexico." They continued, "This cemetery is linked, based on historical and archaeological evidence, to the 1545–1550 CE epidemic that affected large parts of Mexico. Locally, this epidemic was known as ‘cocoliztli’, the pathogenic cause of which has been debated for more than a century. Here, we present genome-wide data from ten individuals for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Paratyphi C, a bacterial cause of enteric fever. We propose that S. Paratyphi C be considered a strong candidate for the epidemic population decline during the 1545 cocoliztli outbreak at Teposcolula-Yucundaa." According to the scientists, this is the first direct evidence of a potential cause of the epidemic.
In her first TV interview since leaving NBC News in 2015, Ann Curry said a “climate of verbal harassment” existed at the “Today” show. Curry spoke about the #MeToo movement on “CBS This Morning,” during in interview with co-anchors Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King, and John Dickerson. The former “Today” co-anchor, who worked alongside Matt Lauer […]
Apple has somewhat good news for users of older, slower iPhones who don't want to go out and buy a new battery. Tim Cook tells ABC News that a new iOS update—expected in early February, per the Verge —will allow iPhone users to disable Apple's deliberate slowdown of older...
President Donald Trump's White House is relying on a sweeping interpretation of executive privilege as current and former advisers face questioning about possible connections with Russia
North American cities and regions have been going to "unusual extremes" to vie to become Amazon's second headquarters, reports the New York Times , and the online giant announced a short list Thursday, with just one city—Los Angeles—out of the 20 hailing from the West Coast. The rest of...
The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan was found dead on the bathroom floor of her hotel room by a a maid hours after her death, according to multiple reports.
A 16-year-old male was shot and killed by a deputy Wednesday when a fight broke out involving the teenager, his family and the police officer after a hearing at an Ohio courtroom, police said.
In what the deputy premier of New South Wales is calling a "historic" rescue, two teens were saved from choppy surf thanks to a drone that dropped an inflatable safety device to them—all as it recorded the rescue. The BBC reports that Aussie lifeguards were still testing how to...