Month: October 2020

301 And 262-Foot NEOs Will Closely Approach Earth On Wednesday

KEY POINTS

  • Two giant asteroids will pass Earth on Oct. 14
  • Both 2020TD and 2020TU2 have not been included in the ESA’s Risk List
  • 2020TO2 will make its next close approach two years from now

Two giant near-Earth asteroids will make their closest approach this Wednesday with Earth, with each about four times the size of The Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Asteroids 2020TD and 2020TU2 are on currently on their way to zip by the Earth on Oct. 14, Wednesday. The first of the two to pass by is 2020TD  at 10:14 a.m. EDT. Considered an Apollo asteroid, this near-Earth asteroid has an earth-crossing orbit.  At a certain point, its orbit makes contact with that of the Earth’s, making the chances of a possible impact between the two significantly higher. According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, 2020TD will have a diameter of about 262 feet (80

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Agency Reveals Details About Bennu, Including Finding Possible Lifeforms

KEY POINTS

  • OSIRIS-REx will collect samples from Bennu on Oct. 20
  • Bennu came from a parent body which had enough heat to keep water in its soils
  • Nightingale will be the mission’s primary sample site
  • The samples are set to be delivered back on Earth on Sept. 24, 2023

NASA has shared more information about asteroid Bennu and the agency’s mission to bring back samples of the asteroid’s surface through their OSIRIS-REx mission on Oct. 20. The 861-foot asteroid may contain ingredients for life.

In a recent article shared by NASA, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is set to travel to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to collect a 2.1-ounce sample and bring it back to Earth for further study. The mission plans to shed more light for scientists on how life began in the solar system, as well as improve their knowledge on asteroids that

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Belkin Shares Details on First MagSafe Accessories for iPhone 12

Belkin today shared details on its first two accessories that are compatible with Apple’s new MagSafe charging system. Both of the devices, a 3-in-1 charger for iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, and a car vent mount, were briefly shown during the MagSafe portion of Apple’s event yesterday.


Belkin’s BOOST↑CHARGE PRO MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger includes a flat base with a 5-watt wireless charging spot for ‌AirPods‌ or AirPods Pro, and a chrome stand portion with two arms for charging an ‌iPhone‌ and an Apple Watch.


As with other MagSafe chargers, up to 15 watts of power can be delivered to an ‌iPhone‌, twice what is supported through regular Qi charging. Belkin says the 3-in-1 charger will be available “winter 2020” for $149.99, and it will come in black and white versions.

For traveling in your car, Belkin is introducing MagSafe Car Vent PRO, which offers a slim profile and multiple

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Trump says he wants to plant a trillion trees, while opening up millio

In late September, the Trump administration finalized a plan to allow logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. A little more than two weeks later, on October 13, he issued an executive order calling for a new council to “implement a strategy” for the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global effort to grow and conserve a trillion trees within the next decade.

But while the plans to open up the Tongass are moving forward quickly, with timber sales possible later in the year, the new executive order lacks any concrete detail. “It looks an awful lot like they’re making a plan to make a plan,” says Ryan Richards, senior policy analyst for public lands at the Center for American Progress. “Whereas, at the same time, you’re seeing oil and gas leases going out the door at bargain-basement prices, and a firm plan to remove roadless protections from

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How U.S. Army’s Billion-Dollar Gamble On Drone Defense Could Go Wrong

The U.S. Army has just put more than a billion dollars into a new air defense system called IM-SHORAD to protect soldiers from drone attacks. It is a vital mission – but the last time the Army tried to develop something like this the project failed horribly. And even if the new system works as intended, serious questions remain.

The U.S. has enjoyed air superiority, if not air supremacy, in every conflict for decades. American planes have swept the enemy aircraft from the sky or destroyed them on the ground. The last time an American soldier was killed by enemy air attack was during the Korean War. As a result, while the Russians and others have continued to develop generations of armored vehicles carrying surface-to-air missiles

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Russian-US crew welcomed aboard the space station

MOSCOW (AP) — A trio of space travelers blasted off to the International Space Station on Wednesday, using for the first time a fast-track maneuver that allowed them to reach the orbiting outpost in just a little over three hours.

NASA’s Kate Rubins along with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled Wednesday morning from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the station.

For the first time, they tried a two-orbit approach and docked with the space station in just a little over three hours after lift-off. Previously it took twice as long for crews to reach the station.


Aboard the station, they were welcomed by the station’s NASA commander, Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April and are scheduled to return to Earth

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Shocking Twitter hack this summer started with tech support scam, New York regulators allege

The hackers who took over a number of high profile Twitter accounts, including those belonging to Barack Obama and Elon Musk, for several hours this summer gained entry into Twitter’s internal systems simply by posing as company IT officials making a support call, according to an investigative report Wednesday by New York regulators.



Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian are posing for a picture: From left clockwise, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian and Joe Biden


© Getty Images/AP
From left clockwise, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian and Joe Biden

At the time of the July 15 attack, Twitter had no chief information security officer and suffered from poor internal security controls, the report concluded.

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Officials behind the report called for additional cybersecurity regulation of major tech platforms.

“In other industries that are deemed critical infrastructure, such as telecommunications, utilities, and finance, we have established regulators and regulations to ensure that the public interest is protected,” said the report from New York’s Department of Financial Services. “With respect to cybersecurity,

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Why Apple Quietly Discontinued urBeats3 Headphones

KEY POINTS

  • Apple has released the new Beats Flex wireless headphones
  • It has quietly discontinued the older urBeats3 headphones
  • The new device is cheaper than the older one

Apple has announced its newest and cheapest wireless earbuds yet and quietly discontinued a pair of wired earphones that it has been selling for quite some time now.

Cupertino tech giant Apple launched the new Beats Flex, a pair of wireless earbuds that aren’t truly wireless like the AirPods. At $50, the new device takes its place as the company’s cheapest offering for those who want a pair of wireless earphones for less than $100.

The new Beats Flex replaces the urBeats3, which was previously sold for $60. The older audio accessory, which was available in Lightning and 3.5mm versions, has been quietly discontinued and is no longer offered in Apple’s stores.

Those who try to go to the website previously used

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Do ripples on the surface of the sun tell us that a flare is coming?

Do ripples on the surface of the sun tell us that a flare is coming?
Solar flares produce waves with paths that bend up to the surface, revealing themselves as ripples on the surface. Credit: UC Berkeley/Juan Camilo Buitrago-Casas

Flares from the sun are some of the nastiest things in the solar system. When the sun flares, it belches out intense X-ray radiation (and sometimes even worse). Predicting solar flares is a tricky job, and a new research paper sheds light on a possible new technique: looking for telltale ripples in the surface of the sun minutes before the blast comes.


The sun’s magnetic fields are usually nice and calm, but they can become tangled up with each other. When they do, they store a massive amount of energy. And when they finally snap, it’s like a giant Earth-sized rubber band reaching the breaking point. These events are known as solar flares, and they are one of the most energetic events in the solar system.

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Azure Data Explorer gets new engine, numerous enhancements and Synapse integration

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An Azure Data Explorer dashboard


Credit: Microsoft

Today, at a dedicated online event for Azure Data Explorer (ADX), Microsoft is announcing numerous enhancements to the service, including a next-gen release of the underlying engine and an array of integration points that should make it more accessible, more enticing and more useful. ADX, which is most often used for telemetry data lake workloads and analytical solutions as a service, will now run even faster overall than it had, will have numerous optimizations and will connect with a variety of other data services, streaming data sources and data visualization solutions. This will help a service that’s been very successful but not especially well-known, even among Azure analytics experts, achieve more mainstream appeal.

Performance gains galore

What new features are coming to ADX? To start with, Microsoft’s introducing a new version of the core engine (in preview, with GA expected in February), which

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