Space Events

1st Interstellar Asteroid Is a Spinning Space Cigar

Astronomers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii spotted a mysterious object dashing through our solar system on Oct. 19. Traveling at high speed and originating from interstellar space, this object was originally thought to be an ancient comet, but observations revealed it was, in fact, an asteroid from another star system.

Astronomers have determined that the mysterious object — which has been named ‘Oumuamua and given the official scientific designation 1I/2017 U1 — looped around the sun on Sept. 9 and made its closest pass by Earth on Oct. 14. ‘Oumuamua (whose name means “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian) is now about 124 million miles (200 million kilometers) from Earth and is zooming away from us at about 85,700 mph (137,900 km/h) relative to the sun, NASA officials said.

They also found that it has a dark red color, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it. Oumuamua is thought to be at least 1,300 feet (400 m) long, rocky (with some metal perhaps mixed in), relatively dense and shaped like a cigar, researchers said. It likely acquired its ruddy hue after being bombarded by high-energy cosmic rays for the millions of years it’s been drifting through interstellar space.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Catamarca, Argentina.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius) in Dampier, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 53.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 47.2 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

What in the World Is This?

The image, from a scanning electron microscope, shows the end of a mosquito’s leg, including a claw, scales and the pulvillus, a pad with adhesive hairs. These scales dot the entire bodies of mosquitos but are particularly dense near the foot, and may help protect the limb and enable the mosquito to land on water, where these insects lay their eggs.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Derby, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 71.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 57.2 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Bubble-Blowing Wasp

Several of the industrious insects were recently observed with droplets dangling from their mouths. Turns out, they were removing excess moisture from their nest by hoovering up water and then expelling it as minuscule water globes, which makes the wasps look like they’re blowing perfectly round bubbles.

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Environment

Pollution Kills

Pollution is responsible for illnesses that kill one in every six people around the world each year, according to a new landmark report.

The Lancet, the world’s leading peer-reviewed journal on health, commissioned a study that found toxic air, water, soil and workplace environments kill at least 9 million people annually.

Study authors warn that the crisis “threatens the continuing survival of human societies.” Philip Landrigan, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said the scale of deaths from pollution surprised the researchers, as did the rate at which the fatalities were rising.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Hermosillo, Mexico.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 72.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 57.8 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Saint-Louis, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 87.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.1 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 77.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60.6 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Space Events

Rings Discovered around Dwarf Planet

Scientists have discovered a ring system around the dwarf planet Haumea.

Earlier this year, Haumea passed between Earth and a distant star, allowing planetary scientists to get a better idea of the dwarf planet’s shape and size.

Haumea is one of the largest objects inhabiting an area beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt. Pluto is the region’s largest resident, and Haumea shares some characteristics with its larger neighbor. Both take a highly elongated path around the sun that crosses the orbits of other planetary bodies; Pluto crosses Neptune’s orbit, and Haumea crosses Pluto’s. Also, both dwarf planets orbit at an angle to the paths of the eight planets, which circle the sun along a common plane. Also like Pluto, Haumea has moons — at least two, Hi’iaka and Namaka.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 84.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 64.4 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

UK Smog Alert

A combination of polluted air blowing in from continental Europe and toxic air around London has created unhealthful levels of air pollution around the British capital. London’s mayor ordered an emergency air quality alert due to the hazardous smog.

“The shocking and illegal state of London’s filthy air means once again I am triggering a high air pollution alert today under my new comprehensive alert system,” said Sadiq Khan.

The government has come under increased pressure to improve the United Kingdom’s air quality.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 101.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 73.9 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.