Earth May Soon Get Another Mini-Moon, but It’s Probably Just a Piece of Space Trash | Smart News

For the most part, Earth and its single moon are locked in a two-body dance as our planet circles the sun. But every so often, a bit of space stuff—otherwise known as a mini-moon—will get caught up in Earth’s gravitational orbit and stick around for a while.

The last mini-moon to visit Earth was 2020 CD3, which circled Earth for a few months before it flew off to orbit the sun in March. Now, Deborah Byrd and Eddie Irizarry write for EarthySky.org that scientists have identified another piece of space stuff that is expected to join Earth’s orbit, known as 2020 SO.

Astronomers first spotted 2020 SO on September 17 with the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, reports EarthSky.org. It’s predicted to enter Earth’s orbit in October or November and might stick around until May next year.

However, as Allen Kim reports for CNN, 2020 SO might not be your typical

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Geologists glean insights about how Earth went from a hothouse to an ice age, and what that may mean for the future — ScienceDaily

Usually, talk of carbon sequestration focuses on plants: forests storing carbon in the trunks of massive trees, algae blooming and sinking to the seabed, or perhaps peatlands locking carbon away for tens of thousands of years.

While it’s true that plants take up large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, the rocks themselves mediate a great deal of the carbon cycle over geological timescales. Processes like volcano eruptions, mountain building and erosion are responsible for moving carbon through Earth’s atmosphere, surface and mantle.

In March 2019, a team led by UC Santa Barbara’s Francis Macdonald published a study proposing that tectonic activity in the tropics, and subsequent chemical weathering by the abundant rainfall, could account for the majority of carbon capture over million-year timeframes.

Now, Macdonald, doctoral student Eliel Anttila and their collaborators have applied their new model to the emergence of the Southeast Asian archipelago — comprising New Guinea,

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Moonwalking Humans Get Blasted With 200 Times the Radiation Experienced on Earth | Smart News

The 12 human beings who have walked on the moon were all bombarded by radiation roughly 200 times what we experience here on Earth, reports Adam Mann for Science. That’s two to three times what astronauts experience aboard the International Space Station, explains Marcia Dunn for the Associated Press (AP), suggesting that any long term human presence on the moon will require shelters with thick walls capable of blocking the radiation.

Despite the fact that the measurements, which come courtesy of China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander, are quite high compared to what we experience on Earth, the data is quite useful for protecting future moonwalkers. According to Science, the levels of radiation at the lunar surface wouldn’t be expected to increase the risk of NASA astronauts developing cancer by more than 3 percent—a risk threshold the agency is legally required to keep its astronauts’ activities safely below.

“This is

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We may finally know what life on Earth breathed before there was oxygen

Billions of years ago, long before oxygen was readily available, the notorious poison arsenic could have been the compound that breathed new life into our planet.



a close up of a beach: La Brava microbial mats.


© Provided by Live Science
La Brava microbial mats.

In Chile’s Atacama Desert, in a place called Laguna La Brava, scientists have been studying a purple ribbon of photosynthetic microbes living in a hypersaline lake that’s permanently free of oxygen.

“I have been working with microbial mats for about 35 years or so,” says geoscientist Pieter Visscher from the University of Connecticut.

“This is the only system on Earth where I could find a microbial mat that worked absolutely in the absence of oxygen.”

Microbial mats, which fossilize into stromatolites, have been abundant on Earth for at least 3.5 billion years, and yet for the first billion years of their existence, there was no oxygen for photosynthesis.

How these life forms survived in such

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Over 15 million years, weathering rocks reduced carbon dioxide levels and cooled Earth — ScienceDaily

The Greenland ice sheet owes its existence to the growth of an arc of islands in Southeast Asia — stretching from Sumatra to New Guinea — over the last 15 million years, a new study claims.

According to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and a research institute in Toulouse, France, as the Australian continent pushed these volcanic islands out of the ocean, the rocks were exposed to rain mixed with carbon dioxide, which is acidic. Minerals within the rocks dissolved and washed with the carbon into the ocean, consuming enough carbon dioxide to cool the planet and allow for large ice sheets to form over North America and Northern Europe.

“You have the continental crust of Australia bulldozing into these volcanic islands, giving you really high mountains just south of the equator,” said Nicholas Swanson-Hysell, associate professor of earth and planetary science

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Astronomers Discover ‘Pi Earth’ With 3.14-Day Orbit

Astronomers have discovered a charming coincidence of mathematics in the heavens: An exoplanet that orbits its star every 3.14 days. The Earth-sized planet has been dubbed the “pi Earth” due to its orbiting period being close to the mathematical constant of pi (π).

Technically known as K2-315b, the planet has a radius 95% that of Earth’s and orbits a cool star that is much smaller than our sun, at about one-fifth of the size. A year there lasts only a few days as it orbits very close to its star, moving at a wild speed of 181,000 miles per hour.

“The planet moves like clockwork,” said lead author Prajwal Niraula, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a statement.

 Caption: Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days.
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days. NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, Christine Daniloff, MIT

The planet was first

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New Value Together: Making data centres more friendly to Earth

Data explosion has inevitably been triggered by digital transformation as more services go online, especially in the post COVID-19 era. Apparently, we are fully connected  from different devices on our side while we are reading news, playing games, or streaming videos. However, the importance of data centres is often overlooked.

Data centres serve as more than just data transfer hubs or service support platforms. It is indeed a critical infrastructure for the global digital economy, raising concerning of the increasing energy consumption.

According to the 2020 figures from Data Centre Knowledge, energy consumption of data centres is expected to triple over the next decade, compared to the current level of around 1% of global energy consumption.

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Energy consumption is a common concern

Greenpeace provided a similar prediction in 2019, saying that data centres in China will consume as much as 266.79 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy by 2023, compared to

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New ‘mini-moon’ set to be captured by Earth might just be space junk



This article, New ‘mini-moon’ set to be captured by Earth might just be space junk, originally appeared on CNET.com.

We’ve got one huge moon looming overhead and you might think “that’s enough moons.” But sometimes, Earth gets greedy and starts pulling in small asteroids for extended stays in orbit. The brief visitations by these “mini-moons” are fairly rare, with only two confirmed so far. The most recent came on Feb. 15, when tiny rock 2020 CD3 was discovered by astronomers at the

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A newly discovered asteroid will pass close to Earth on Thursday

Discovered only on September 18, in Tucson, Arizona, the school bus-sized asteroid which is estimated to be somewhere between 15-30 feet in diameter is expected to graze past our planets surface with about 13,000 miles of breathing room. This falls well below the orbit of our geostationary weather satellites which are located about 22,000 miles above earth’s surface.

Its closest approach to earth will occur around 7:12 a.m. ET on Thursday, as it skirts over the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, near Australia and New Zealand.

Its approach will be so close to earth, that our gravity will alter its speed and trajectory according to earthsky.org.

“There are a large number of tiny asteroids like this one, and several of them approach our planet as close as this several times every year,” said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.… Read More

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Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth

The Chinese government has announced the safe return of a reusable spacecraft, called Chongfu Shiyong Shiyan Hangtian Qi (CSSHQ), to Earth, after spending two days in orbit. 

The unmanned spacecraft was launched on Friday, September 4th, 2020, from the Jiuquan Satelite Launch Center in northwest China’s section of the Gobi Desert, before safely returning to its scheduled landing site. The spacecraft’s purpose was reportedly to test reusable technologies that will provide ‘technological support for the peaceful use of space’, although no information about what technologies were tested has been made public. 

Adding to this, no pictures nor information of the spacecraft itself have been released into the press either, although the Chinese government did say that it was launched via a Long March-2F carrier rocket. This makes CSSHQ the 14th mission for the rocket, also used by the Chinese to send astronauts into orbit, as well as its own space

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