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Asteroids are much harder to destroy than scientists originally thought

first_imgThe options are limited. SCIEPRO Nuking an asteroid out of the sky to protect the Earth is great fodder for the silver screen. However, new research suggests that simply blowing up a threatening space rock may not save us quite as simply as we might hope. Scientists find rogue asteroids roaming our solar system often — just last month they discovered yet another one that could (maybe) strike the Earth. One of the ways to deal with these potential threats is to impact them, knocking them off course. NASA is currently planning an asteroid redirect mission where it’ll send a kamikaze spacecraft into the moonlet of an asteroid known as Didymos, barreling into the rock to shoo it away.Yet we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to study asteroids up close, so we can’t appreciate exactly how they are structured or how they might be destroyed. It has been believed that bigger asteroids may be easier to destroy because they would be more likely to have cracks and weaknesses that make them easy to blow apart. Thus, if an asteroid were to threaten our peaceful existence, what should we do?”Are we better off breaking it into small pieces, or nudging it to go a different direction? And if the latter, how much force should we hit it with to move it away without causing it to break?” asks Charles El Mir, lead author on the study, in a press release. Those questions are exactly what he and a team at Johns Hopkins University set out to answer.In the simulation, an asteroid splits apart but is pulled back together by the effect of gravity. This animation is sped up — this phase occurs over many hours. Johns Hopkins University/YouTube Their findings, published in an upcoming issue of the journal Icarus, are based on computer simulations of asteroid impacts. They plugged in parameters that digitally recapitulated a small asteroid, about 1 kilometer wide, impacting a large asteroid, about 25 times bigger, while travelling at 5 kilometers per second.A previous model had shown that the large asteroid was obliterated by this type of collision — but the Johns Hopkins team found an entirely different endgame. According to their modelling, the asteroid would greatly fracture in the fractions of a second after an impact.Over the hours after an impact though, the team showed the large asteroid broke apart into smaller pieces but wasn’t entirely obliterated as previous research had shown. The fragments that flew off the asteroid were then pulled back together by the damaged asteroid core, due to the overwhelming effect of gravity.Thanks, gravity.”We used to believe that the larger the object, the more easily it would break, because bigger objects are more likely to have flaws,” said El Mir. “Our findings, however, show that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely shattered.”The strength of the asteroid to resist such an impact allows it to preserve its gravitational pull, which could wreak havoc if we were to blindly fire rockets at an incoming rock. Understanding these interactions better prepare us for the decisions that will have to be made, should an asteroid be set on colliding with the Earth.Originally published March 6 at 7:13 p.m. PTUpdate, March 7 at 1:15 a.m.: Clarifies earlier experiment. Share your voice 1 Commentcenter_img Tags Sci-Techlast_img read more

Gritters out in force in anticipation of White Christmas as snow predicted

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe ‘white Christmas’ we’ve been dreaming of could be coming early as weather forecasters predict snow for the region tomorrow morning. Earlier today the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning for ice between 5pm tonight at 10am tomorrow. We haven’t seen any snowfall here in Stoke-on-Trent yet, but that hasn’t stopped people getting excited – and council gritters coming out in force – ready for the anticipated snowfall tomorrow. Read MoreStoke-on-Trent kebab shops given a food hygiene rating in the last six months The latest forecast for North Staffordshire tonight, courtesy of the Met Office, said: “Some wintry showers will move in from the northwest. Under the clear skies a widespread frost will develop, with icy patches forming where any showers have fallen.” Forecasters predict temperatures will reach a minimum of -3 °C, so you’ll want to cuddle that hot water bottle extra tight tonight. Speaking about the weather on Saturday, a Met Office statement said: “It will be cold, bright and breezy with some showers, mainly in the north and east. These will fall as sleet or snow on high ground, but mainly as rain at lower levels. The maximum temperature will be 7 °C.” The first snowfall in our region is likely to hit Flash, which is the highest village in the Peak District. Earlier this week there was also a Yellow weather warning for wind. So whatever happens, it’s going to clearly be pretty chilly. Drivers have also been warned to take extra care. Read MoreTraffic chaos across city as A500 Northbound reopens after almost 12 hours Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “We’re now experiencing a cold snap with the potential of some sleet or snow over the weekend so would urge people to take extra care on the roads. “While conditions shouldn’t be too treacherous, people need to be aware that they may be more difficult at times and particularly in the north of the county. “Our gritting teams will be heading out later this evening across the Staffordshire road network. We’d just like to remind people that even on gritted roads they should drive more slowly.” Read More29-year-old arrested after armed police called to city street Stoke-on-Trent City Council also confirmed its gritters would be out from 6pm this evening. A spokesman added: “Temperatures are dipping below zero in the early hours of tomorrow morning with ice potentially forming.”last_img read more

ACVs new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner says

first_img Share Friday, September 2, 2016 Cindy Sosroutomo << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — “Ask questions. A lot of them.” This is the single most important lesson that Craig Landry has learned in his first eight months as President of Air Canada Leisure Group (ACLG). Although having already been part of the Air Canada family for the past 22 years, Landry admits that stepping into his new role from his previous post as Vice President of Marketing was a “big change,” especially since as President, he now oversees two major arms of the company: Air Canada Vacations (ACV) and Air Canada Rouge.“The tour operator business is an inherently commercial business so you’re dealing with product and pricing, distribution and marketing, but the context and challenge of business is very different from what I’ve done previously,” he says. “Rouge is also a big departure because it’s very operational. It’s about integrating new aircraft into the fleet, getting those aircraft retrofit and entry into service, recruiting large numbers of flight attendants and pilots, and getting them properly trained and qualified. And with the rapid expansion that we’ve been in, the operational requirements are very heavy and significant. There’s been a lot to learn and a lot to do.”So you ask questions, a lot of them, because according to Landry, “this business is moving very quickly and we aspire to change with the times, and the only way you get to do that is by being curious.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesIt is this sense of curiosity and desire to learn that has perhaps inspired ACV to launch a brand new Travel Advisory Board. Beginning this month and managed by Vice President of Sales and Partnerships George Platanitis, the Board is expected to include anywhere from 20 to 30 members across the country who will provide insight into relevant industry issues.“We understand that the perspective on our product, the market and on consumers is different in different parts of the country, so it’s important that we have representatives from the west coast, central Canada, eastern Canada and so on,” adds Landry. “The idea is to bring together a group of folks and ask them to help us be a better partner to them. It’s very clear in our mind that when the travel agency community is successful, then we as a business is successful.”Landry, who says that approximately two-thirds of Air Canada Vacations’ bookings are made by travel agents, anticipates a number of issues to be brought up by the Board, primarily regarding ways to improve agent interaction. “One of the things we hear from the travel agency community,” he says, “is that agents are looking for us to make their lives as easy as possible, and we are of the same mindset.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”ACV’s Sales Team has sent out invitations to chains, consortia and independents in the hope of acquiring 20-30 members in total. Launching this month, the company plans to share the names of board members on Sept. 7, the first day of its cross-country Product Launch.The Board will meet monthly for the first six months, after which it will meet quarterly at ACV’s Toronto and Montreal offices and via conference calls.To read the full article, check out the Sept. 1 issue of Travelweek, click here to see the digital edition.To subscribe to Travelweek, click here. ACV’s new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner, says Landry Tags: Air Canada Vacations Posted by About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more