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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category: Page 7

May 6, 2020

Nuclear Proliferation North Korea

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, existential risks, military

North Korea has an active nuclear weapons program & has repeatedly tested nuclear explosive devices. It is also believed to possess biological & chemical weapons.

May 6, 2020

US: N.Korea may be building missile facilities

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

A US think tank says North Korea appears to be building facilities that can be used to assemble ballistic missiles near the capital, Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies published the results of an analysis on a construction site near Pyongyang International Airport. The site was captured in satellite images.

Pictures show three new buildings. The largest one is about 120 meters wide and 40 meters in depth. They all have bay doors, wide enough for large vehicles. The center says one of the buildings may be able to accommodate an intercontinental ballistic missile.

May 6, 2020

Surprise asteroid EVADES Earth protection satellites in one of the closest flybys ever recorded

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, satellites

A truck-sized asteroid has careened past Earth in one of the closest flybys ever recorded – but none of satellites scanning the skies to protect our planet saw the space rock coming.

The previously unseen asteroid, 2020 JJ, whizzed past at a distance of around 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) this week. In astronomical terms, that’s an incredibly close shave, and it makes it one of the closest passes of our planet ever recorded.

In a development that might worry those tasked with protecting Earth from being smashed by space objects, the asteroid was only discovered by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona at almost exactly the time it reached its closest point to Earth.

May 3, 2020

Kim Jong Un surfaces — North Korea leader spotted at factory visit on May Day

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

Seoul/New York: Kim Jong Un ended his almost three-week absence from public events with a factory visit, an appearance that will ease, but not end, concern about the stability of the North Korean regime and control of its nuclear arsenal.

Kim presided over a May Day ceremony to mark the completion of the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory northeast of the capital Pyongyang, the official Korean Central News Agency reported early Saturday. State media released photos showing the North Korean leader in a black Mao suit cutting a ribbon outside the facility, which non-proliferation experts say could be used to help produce fissile material for nuclear bombs.

U.S. President Donald Trump declined to comment on Kim’s reemergence besides telling reporters before heading to Camp David for the weekend that he “may” speak with the North Korean leader. “We’ll have something to say about it at the appropriate time,” Trump said.

Continue reading “Kim Jong Un surfaces — North Korea leader spotted at factory visit on May Day” »

May 2, 2020

A piece of moon once fell on Earth, and now you can buy the 13.5 kg rock at £2 mn

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

International auction house Christie’s is set to offer one of the largest lunar meteorites in existence for private sale. It is the fifth largest piece of the moon, larger than any moon rock returned by the Apollo programme.

Christie’s presents NWA 12691, a significant lunar rock, among the largest known in existence. Moon rock is among the rarest substances on Earth, with less than 650 kgs of lunar meteorites known to exist. This example is the fifth largest piece of the Moon on Earth, larger than any returned by the Apollo programme. Valued in the region of £2 million, the specimen is available for immediate purchase via Christie’s Private Sales.

Lunar meteorites arrived on Earth after having been blasted off the lunar surface by the collision with an asteroid or comet. All of the Moon’s large craters were created by such impacts. This particular meteorite was part of a large meteorite shower straddling the Western Saharan, Algerian and Mauritanian borders, responsible for nearly half of all known lunar meteorites. Approximately 30 different meteorites were collected, analysed, classified and assigned different NWA numbers in the belief they might be from different events and represent different lunar samples; but it has been determined that they all originate from the same lunar impact event as the current offering. NWA 12691 was found in the Sahara Desert two years ago.

Continue reading “A piece of moon once fell on Earth, and now you can buy the 13.5 kg rock at £2 mn” »

Apr 29, 2020

NASA Science Live: Asteroid Close Approach

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, science

Have you heard about an asteroid close-approach happening on April 29? Asteroid 1998 OR2 poses no threat to our planet, but we can still learn a lot by studying it. Don’t miss a special Planetary Defense episode of NASA Science Live on Monday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. EDT to learn how we find, track and monitor asteroids and near-Earth Objects.

Apr 26, 2020

Air Force plans May start on $218 million conversion of new ‘nuke sniffer’ planes for Offutt fleet

Posted by in categories: energy, existential risks, transportation

Replacements are on the way for two decrepit 55th Wing jets that give the Air Force critical information about nuclear detonations in North Korea and elsewhere in the world.

The giant defense contractor L3Harris and the Air Force’s “Big Safari” acquisitions group are scheduled to start in May converting the first of three former Air National Guard fuel tankers into WC-135R radiation-detection aircraft. Work will start on the other two next year.

When they’re finished, all three aircraft will be assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base. The first is scheduled for delivery in 2022, said Maj. Malinda Singleton, an Air Force spokeswoman, with the other two following in 2023.

Continue reading “Air Force plans May start on $218 million conversion of new ‘nuke sniffer’ planes for Offutt fleet” »

Apr 25, 2020

Size Estimations of Missiles Displayed in Recent North Korean Military Parade

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

Appropriate references can help observers determine the size of North Korean rockets with modest confidence. Using this method, the author has previously identified the unique North Korean SCUD-ER ballistic missile by establishing its body diameter at almost exact 1 meter instead of the common SCUD’s 0.88m width[1].

Images from recent parades and test firing of North Korean rockets have offered more opportunities for relatively accurate estimation of the rockets’ dimensions. In this analysis, the author will present findings on the dimension of the missiles/ mock-ups exhibited in the April 15, 2017 parade in North Korea. The findings would in turn shed light on the technological sophistication of these weapon systems.

The “new HS-10” .

Continue reading “Size Estimations of Missiles Displayed in Recent North Korean Military Parade” »

Apr 24, 2020

Astronomers Just Identified 19 More Asteroids They Think Are Interstellar

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, space travel

The Solar System has been here for a long time. So, when ’Oumuamua was spotted in 2017, it was almost a dead cert it wasn’t the only object from interstellar space to visit us over that 4.57 billion-year history. Then comet 2I/Borisov showed up last year. That basically clinched it.

But where are the rest of our interstellar visitors? We’ll probably find a few more flying in from the wilds in the coming years. And, according to new research, a whole bunch of interstellar asteroids have been hanging out right here in the Solar System for a very long time.

Based on how they move around the Sun, a team of researchers has identified 19 asteroids they think were captured from another star, way back when the Solar System was just a few million years old.

Continue reading “Astronomers Just Identified 19 More Asteroids They Think Are Interstellar” »

Apr 24, 2020

Arizona meteorite fall points researchers to source of LL chondrites

Posted by in categories: alien life, asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

The Dishchii’bikoh meteorite fall in the White Mountain Apache reservation in central Arizona has given scientists a big clue to finding out where so-called LL chondrites call home. They report their results in the April 14 issue of Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

“LL chondrites are fairly common meteorites with low-oxidized and low metallic (LL) iron content,” said Peter Jenniskens, the lead author and meteor astronomer with the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. “We want to know where they originated because the damaging Chelyabinsk airburst of February 15, 2013 in Russia, was caused by a particularly large 20-meter sized LL chondrite.”

LL chondrites originate from somewhere in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where a parent body broke up and created a family of asteroids long ago. Occasional collisions with those eject rocks into orbit around the Sun. When these small asteroids collide with Earth’s atmosphere, they cause a bright meteor from which pieces survive sometimes and fall on the ground as meteorites.

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