Twitter thinks moon launch is “revenge porn”

Revenge porn is a horrible thing, and Twitter should definitely continue to ban anyone who attempts to post it on the app. That being said, a video of a rocket taking off — an actual rocket, you pervs — does not revenge porn make, and shouldn’t be flagged as such.

It seems like a silly thing to have to say, but such is the exact situation that spaceflight photographer John Kraus found himself in earlier this week. Kraus, who was on site to photograph the historic Artemis I launch, took to Twitter to post a mesmerizing video of the liftoff — only to find himself kicked off of the app shortly thereafter, due to the fact that his post, for whatever inexplicable reason, had been marked as revenge porn.

“I’d like to acknowledge that our good friend and rocket photography extraordinaire, [John Kraus], has been completely locked out of twitter since yesterday, for an arbitrary and silly reason, the day of the biggest launch of his career,” read an angry tweet from the Tim “Everyday Astronaut” Dodd. “Worst possible timing.”

The inmates of the insane asylum – otherwise known as the US Government – are trying to run machines beyond their comprehension.

“Did you feel that? What was it?”

Scientists think they might have explained the origin of a bizarre ripple in spacetime that swept through Earth on May 21, 2019, and has defied easy explanation ever since.

This disturbance in the very fabric of the universe, known as a gravitational wave, may have been produced by a type of cataclysmic merger between black holes that has never been seen before, potentially shedding light on the mysterious dynamics between these exotic objects, reports a new study.

Gravitational waves are generated by extreme cosmic phenomena, such as collisions between black holes or the explosive deaths of massive stars. Since 2015, scientists have been able to capture these incredibly subtle waves using sophisticated detectors, a breakthrough that has opened an entirely new window into the universe.

…The two black holes that merged to make this wave were both several dozen times the mass of the Sun, making this the biggest black hole union ever detected.

However, the short duration and unusual signature of the wave have sparked debate about the masses, spins, and orbits of the two black holes that sent these ripples into space. In other words, it’s not exactly clear just what kind of a merger it would take to make these weird waves.

I’ve been a science and sci-fi geek all my reading life. This is the stuff of dreams…and it’s reality we’re looking at. Even if it’s still early days when it comes to understanding the processes concerned.

Now! An earthquake early-warning system — on your phone

Your phone can now warn you before an earthquake arrives.

Yes, before…

This feat of science and personal technology is the best example I’ve seen of how smartphones can help protect tens of millions of us from significant danger. I’ll show you how to get it.

Known as ShakeAlert, America’s earthquake early-warning system was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners to give you typically up to 20 seconds of advance warning before significant shaking arrives, or even a minute in extreme circumstances. If you’re close to the epicenter, you might not get much notice — but it could still be enough to protect yourself.

In the house or at work? 20 seconds can be time enough to get out.

Last Blood Moon total eclipse until 2025 is tomorrow morning – Tuesday, the 8th

Odds are you don’t have any plans for 4:09 a.m. E.T. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Assuming your calendar is indeed clear, it might be worth setting your alarm for that time, because it’s then that the last total lunar eclipse until 2025 will begin—and the show should be a dazzler.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, casting a deep shadow across the lunar surface. In theory, a lunar eclipse should happen monthly, since the moon and the sun are on opposite sides of the Earth once every 27 days during the lunar passage around the planet. But the moon’s orbit is inclined 5 degrees relative to the Earth’s equator, meaning that most of the time, the Earth’s shadow passes above or below the moon.

It is only about once every year and a half that the three bodies line up perfectly to make an eclipse happen. That year and a half frequency is just an average, however. Tomorrow’s total eclipse will actually be the second one of 2022—the last one having occurred on May 15. After this coming eclipse, a three-year wait for the next one will begin.

The eclipse begins when the Moon enters Earth’s penumbra, our planet’s lighter, outer shadow. That happens at 3:02:17 A.M. (all times are EST). The partial eclipse, which is when the Moon first touches Earth’s umbra (its darker, inner shadow), begins at 4:09:12 A.M. Totality starts at 5:16:39 A.M., with greatest eclipse at 5:59:09 A.M. Totality ends at 6:41:37 A.M.

Here’s what the whole critter looked like

Reportedly the first stage of Long March 2D expendable launch system rockets are 27.91 meters (91.57 ft) long and their second stages are 10.9 meters in length.

The piece of a first stage of this rocket that was photographed after it crashed into a Chinese field earlier this week is described as sticking ‘some 20 to 30 feet’ out of some freshly tilled soil.

Tracking wildfires…and anything else…with micro balloons

Inflating one of their “little” balloons to check for leaks

Urban Sky, a Colorado-based company focused on collecting images and data of the Earth using small stratospheric balloons, says it is officially entering commercial operations after three years of operating partly in stealth and raising funding. The company says it is ready to start serving customers with its balloons, which can be deployed from the back of a pickup truck and ascend into the sky in just minutes.

Specifically, the company offers what it calls “microballoons,” high-altitude balloons that can float to the stratosphere carrying a small payload and maintain a constant position over an area. About the size of a Volkswagen bus at launch, these balloons ultimately inflate to be the size of a small car garage in the air. That’s much smaller than a typical stratospheric balloon, which could engulf an entire football stadium when fully inflated…

Urban Sky envisions its technology being used for things like real-time wildfire monitoring, environmental changes, storm-related property damage, and more at a lower cost than comparable satellite imagery. After conducting roughly 50 flight tests, Urban Sky’s founders say they are ready to start deploying their product regularly, offering imagery with resolution of 10 centimeters per pixel. “We’re at a technology maturity level, where if a customer calls us and says, ‘I want imagery over this area in the Rocky Mountain region,’ we can deploy and go get it…”

They launch these critters from a pickup truck.

Scientists fight to save bats from deadly disease

Brown bats displaying white-nose syndrome

Federal agencies and their allies are reinforcing the fight against the scary and, yes, tricky disease that’s been wiping out bat populations…All told, FWS will provide $1.5 million in this newest round of grant funding, which comes at a seemingly propitious time…

Caused by a soil-based fungus named Pseudogymnoascus destructans, white-nose syndrome was discovered in New York in the winter of 2006-2007. Since then, it’s been responsible for the deaths of millions of bats (Greenwire, July 17, 2017).

The fungus invades the skin of bats. Infection leads to bats waking up more — and for longer periods of time — during hibernation and eventual depletion of the fat reserves they need to survive winter.

One of my favorite species. Bats provide a helluva lot more good than bad…to our whole environment. The sort of beneficial research nature can always use.

NASA announces UFO study team

NASA has selected 16 individuals to participate in its independent study team on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). Observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena are categorized as UAPs.

The independent study will begin on Monday, Oct. 24. Over the course of nine months, the independent study team will lay the groundwork for future study on the nature of UAPs for NASA and other organizations. To do this, the team will identify how data gathered by civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources can potentially be analyzed to shed light on UAPs. It will then recommend a roadmap for potential UAP data analysis by the agency going forward.

Yup. I still like the topic. I’d be hard-pressed to believe any advanced civilization would find our planet or species more than casually interesting. But, a civilization capable of checking us out might find us worth examining in terms of historic development.

Western Wildfires

In late July of 2018, massive wildfires blazed across Northern California. At the same time in Colorado, weather alerts went out warning of heavy thunderstorms and baseball-sized hail.

The two disasters were separated by a thousand miles, but scientists are now finding they’re connected.

The massive clouds of smoke and heat that rise out of Western wildfires are having far-reaching effects across the country, even beyond hazy skies. That summer, the smoke blew to the Central U.S., where it ran headlong into summertime thunderstorms that were already forming.

The collision made those storms even more extreme, boosting the rainfall and hail by more than 30 percent, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Scientists are showing that things are really connected to each other,” says Danielle Touma, a postdoctoral researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was not involved in the study. “And we can’t just think about where we live, but we have to think about what’s happening in other parts of the world.”

Mother Nature often is more of dialectician than your local Weatherman. Fortunately, the folks doing the analysis are still closer to science – than the popular publication side of the process.