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Tag: Earth

COBRA: Could a solar flare wipe out power on Earth?

COBRA: Could a solar flare wipe out power on Earth?

Technology
New disaster series COBRA opened with a mayday call and a pilot in distress as a plane lost control over the UK.The resulting crash is just one of the devastating effects of a space weather phenomenon - a severe geomagnetic storm caused by a huge solar flare, which wipes out power and shuts communications down across the country.The Sky One TV show follows prime minister Robert Sutherland, played by Robert Carlyle, as he tries to deal with the fallout.But could this kind of emergency happen for real? Sky News has spoken to scientists to find out. Image: A geomagnetic storm caused by a solar flare wipes out power in new series COBRA. Pic: Sky UK What is a solar flare?A solar flare is an intense burst of r...
Boeing capsule returns to Earth after aborted space mission

Boeing capsule returns to Earth after aborted space mission

Technology
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Boeing safely landed its crew capsule in the New Mexico desert Sunday after an aborted flight to the International Space Station that could hold up the company's effort to launch astronauts for NASA next year. The Starliner descended into the Army's White Sands Missile Range in the frigid predawn darkness, ending a two-day demo that should have lasted more than a week. A trio of red, white and blue parachutes popped open and airbags also inflated around the spacecraft to ease the impact. “We pinpoint landed it," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a post-landing briefing. The successful return capped a rocky start to a mission that was supposed to include a docking with the space station. Managers will review all the data before deciding whether to do anot
Earthworms’ place on Earth mapped

Earthworms’ place on Earth mapped

Science
The first global atlas of earthworms has been compiled, based on surveys at 7,000 sites in 56 countries.The findings will help protect the hundreds of different earthworm species found on all continents except Antarctica.Climate change might have "substantial effects" on earthworms, said an international team of scientists.The burrowing creatures play a vital role in improving the soil but little is known about them on a global scale.We rely on earthworms for increasing crop yields and aerating the soil, but they have been overlooked in the past, said Dr Helen Phillips of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig."As children probably the vast majority of us held earthworms in our hands and probably weren...
Space collisions a growing concern as Earth orbit gets more crowded

Space collisions a growing concern as Earth orbit gets more crowded

Science
Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Elon Musk sent a tweet Monday via the burgeoning Starlink satellite constellation. The constellation, Musk says, will eventually include up to 12,000 satellites to provide more reliable, widespread internet service around the world. The constellation might prove to be useful, but it also could be aggravating a bigger potential issue -- space junk, and how to keep the tens of thousands of satellites and debris in orbit around the Earth from colliding and potentially causing a larger problem. The issue was brought into clear focus last month when Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis II experimental habitat and Russia's defunct Cosmos 1300 satellite nearly collided. Cosmos 1300 is one of roughly 3,000 inoperative satellites that orbit Earth. They're joined in low Earth orbit by more...
Salts, heat, humid summers may have aided development of life on Earth

Salts, heat, humid summers may have aided development of life on Earth

Science
Oct. 4 (UPI) -- How life first emerged on planet Earth remains a mystery, but new research suggests salts, heat and humidity may have aided the construction of proteins from simpler building blocks. "In terms of the history of the planet, how life originated is probably the greatest scientific question we can ask," lead study author Paul Bracher, an assistant professor of chemistry at Saint Louis University, said in a news release. "A key piece of this grand challenge is figuring out how big polymer molecules we know to be important for life could have formed before all of our biological machinery evolved to make them." Proteins are the building blocks of life. They're composed of chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. When amino acids are baked until they're bone dry, p...