Bill Gates calls for more innovation at Microsoft, the Apple Smartwatch, Intel working on an online tv service, asteroids and the ISON the comet of the century is coming and more.
As is well known now, there has been a meteor shower in Russia which has injured up to 1000 at this point from the blast. The event occurred in Russia's Urals region Friday morning. The flash and boom shattered glass from windows and injured people in the process. The explosion was around 9:20 a.m. local time.
|Planetary Resources' craft captures small water-rich asteroids for extraction of resources. Credit: Planetary Resources|
"There be gold in them hills" or so the saying goes. In this case it's platinum and other precious metals on asteroids and the moon. Two start-up companies are attempting to enter the science realm and make a business and entertainment out of the idea that these sources in space can be mined and brought back to Earth. Such metals can be used in cell phones and other electronics. Water that can be extracted also can be used for space missions.
Planetary Resources, backed by such names as James Cameron and Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, will hold a press conference today at 1:30 p.m. ET to announce what it calls a "new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity's prosperity."
"The company will overlay two critical sectors - space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of natural resources," the press conference details states.
An asteroid the size of a passenger jet zipped past Earth on Sunday April 1st. The space rock did not pose a threat of hitting Earth, though it passed astronomically speaking at a hairs distance from Earth.
The 150 foot wide (46 meter) Asteroid 2012 EG5 was closer to the moon when it flew by Earth at 5:32 a.m. EDT (0932 GMT) according to NASA.
This flyby was no joke even though it was April 1st. Yet another example of how close we have come to near miss passes by asteroids. 2012 EG5 was 143,00 miles (230,000 kilometers) away from Earth at closest approach, about half the distance between the Earth and moon's orbit. The moon is on average about 238,000 miles (382,900 km) from Earth.
Asteroid 2012 EG5 was the third small asteroid to zoom past the Earth in last seven days. There were two smaller asteroids that passed the Earth on Monday March 26th. This asteroid was discovered on March 13th by astronomers. They also discovered asteroid 2012 FA57 which will pass by on April 4th at a range just beyond the orbit of the moon.
Asteroid 2012 EG5 posed no immediate threat to Earth. But, as we have mentioned before in our topics and podcasts, asteroid detection and ultimately asteroid deflection techniques should be a top priority. With a two year turnaround to even do anything about an impending asteroid impact, these rocks that are discovered only days before they fly past Earth, make such work to detect and avoid asteroids even more important.
Highlands Ranch, Co- Colorado locals were a-buzz over a UFO seen hovering the the skies Wednesday night. Suha and Mike Owens took video Wednesday from their home in Highlands Ranch. In the video a light can be seen changing colors and moving from left to right and up and down.
Local news stations received several calls and emails around 8:45 p.m. from viewers who reported seeing a bright light in the western sky.
Chris Peterson, a researcher at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Cloudbait Observatory said what they captured was most likely just a reflective balloon blowing around or a helicopter or other aircraft.
In what is yet another example of an asteroid close encounter, 2 small asteroids zipped between the moon and Earth and were only discovered last weekend. They came by one after the other. One early in the day March 26th, the second at 1:09 p.m. EDT (1709 GMT), according to astronomers with the NASA's Asteroid Watch program. Both were small, under 10 meters and posed no risk.
Asteroid 2012 FP35 came within 96,000 miles (154,000 km) of Earth. It is just under 30 feet (9 meters) wide, the size of a tour bus.
The second one called 2012 FS35 came within 36,000 miles (58,000 km) as it zoomed by. This asteroid is nearly 10 feet (3 meters) wide, or the size of a small car.
They both came within the orbit of the moon, which circles the earth at around 238,000 miles (382,900 km).
Due to their small size and the fact they wouldn't survive going through the Earth's atmosphere they were quickly dismissed as threats.
So once again another set of asteroids zip between the Earth and moon, only detected at a time when it would be too late to do anything about it, if they were a real threat. In a recent topic about a possible comet threat in 2013 (2012 DA14), it was determined if the comet were to become a threat, it would take 2 years to ready a spacecraft to do anything about the issue. This certainly shows the importance of an early warning system, particularly one deployed in space and also the space program in general. It's only a matter of time, if we don't put these systems into place and get necessary funding, before a close call becomes a direct and unavoidable hit.