Friday, 31 May 2013

Huge Asteroid 1998 QE2 is expected to Sail By Earth



A massive asteroid nearly 2 miles wide will zip by Earth on Friday (May 31), in a cosmic event that has grabbed the attention of stargazers, scientists and even White House officials. The asteroid poses no threat of hitting Earth during the flyby, NASA officials assure. The huge asteroid 1998 QE2 is the size of nine cruise ships, about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) across, NASA scientists say. While the asteroid makes its closest approach to Earth on Friday, traveling within 3.6 million miles (5.8 million km). NASA chief Charles Bolden will host live telescope views of the asteroid today (May 30) at 1:30 pm EDT (1739 GMT) during a one-hour broadcast from the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


NASA will host a webchat about the asteroid with the agency's meteor expert William Cooke at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The discussion will begins at 8 pm EDT (0000 GMT). Just hours before the asteroid flyby, the White House will host its own asteroid-themed "We the Geeks" Google+ Hangout starting at 2 pm EDT. The live video conference will bring together experts including Bill Nye the Science Guy, former astronaut Ed Lu, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, and Peter Diamandis, co-founder of asteroid mining company Planetary Resources. To watch these experts talk about the identification, resource potential and threat of asteroids, you can visit the White House's Google+ page.


In its closest approach for at least the next two centuries, 1988 QE2 will whiz by at a harmless distance millions of miles from Earth. The space rock was first discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by MIT's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) Program near Socorro, NM The moniker 1988 QE2 was assigned by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., which names each newfound asteroid according to an established alphanumeric scheme that lays out when it was discovered.


Tempting as the connection may be, the space rock's name is not a nod to England's Queen Elizabeth II, or to the famous 12-deck ocean liner that was retired from service in 2008. But to give a sense of the asteroid's enormous scale, NASA officials pointed out that the QE2 asteroid is the size of nine QE2 cruise ships. It's unlikely that an observer on the ground will be able to spot 1988 QE2 without the help of a telescope. Even from a location free of light pollution, the asteroid will be 100 times fainter than the dimmest star visible in the sky. But there are several outlets where you can watch the flyby online.


NASA keeps a close watch on asteroids that could pose a potential threat to the planet, and President Barack Obama's 2014 federal budget request sought to ramp up those efforts by including funds to kick-start a new mission to capture a small asteroid and park it near the moon. Earthlings were reminded of the danger of space rocks earlier also. 













10 year old Boy finds $10,000 in Kansas City hotel room



A 10-year-old boy who found $10,000 in a drawer at a Kansas City hotel where he was staying with his dad turned the money over to police. Tyler Schaefer found the neatly stacked bills in the room where he and his father, Cody Schaefer, were staying at a hotel near the airport. Cody Schaefer, a truck driver and mechanic from Rapid City, SD, meets his former wife in Kansas City every year to get his three children for summer vacation. Cody Schaefer said Tyler, a Cub Scout, is always on the lookout for clues and treasure.


"He looks for stuff at random," Schaefer said of his son. "He's very observant." Schaefer said after they checked into their room, Tyler began opening all the drawers, and it wasn't too long before Tyler announced: "I found money!" Schaefer thought maybe his son had found a forgotten $10 bill, but when he looked closer he saw the stack of bills totaling $10,000. He wondered if the bills were fake, but saw they had the appropriate watermarks and seemed legitimate. "We didn't know what to do at first," Schaefer said.


Schaefer told his son they couldn't keep the cash because they didn't know who it belonged to. They handed the money over to two off-duty police officers working security at the hotel. The officers contacted Sgt. Randy Francis, a property and evidence supervisor, who stored the cash at a police facility. Police said it's unclear how long the money had been there, and they can't track down every guest who stayed in that room recently. Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said no one had claimed the money yet.


According to a Missouri statute, lost money could revert to a finder after about seven months if no one can prove ownership. But the owner then has another year to prove the money is his or hers and claim it from the finder. "I didn't come there with $10,000 and I didn't leave with $10,000," Cody Schaefer said. "So it was a wash."


New feathered Dino probable World's first bird



Scientists have reported that the skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur from China could also be the oldest known bird. The fossil of Aurornis xui was found last year in a museum at the Fossil and Geology Park in Yizhou, China, long after a farmer first dug it up in the Liaoning Province. The feathery specimen represents the most ancient of the avialans, the group which includes birds and their relatives since their split from nonavian dinosaurs.


The research also reconfirms the birdlike fossil Archaeopteryx as an avialan, a classification that was challenged by some recent research. Not everyone agrees that the new specimen is strictly a bird. "In my opinion, it's a bird," study author Pascal Godefroit, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, said. Even so, he added, "The differences between birds and [nonavian] dinosaurs are very thin."


"Traditionally, we have defined birds as things like Archaeopteryx and closer to things like modern birds," vertebrate paleontologist Luis Chiappe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County said. "If you stick to the definition, this thing is not earliest known bird," Chiappe said, but that's missing the point, he said. What matters, is that it's a very interesting animal that "still helps us understand better the origin of birds," he said. Aurornis xui was a feathered dinosaur which lived during the Middle Jurassic period about 150 million years ago. It was about 1.6 feet (0.5 meter) from beak tip to tail tip, and possessed small, sharp teeth and long forelimbs.


The creature probably couldn't fly, Godefroit said, but may have used its wings to glide between trees. The fossil's feathers aren't well-preserved, but the hip bones and other features strongly suggest it was a relative of modern birds, he said. Aurornis displaces Archaeopteryx as the oldest avialan, placing Archaeopteryx further along in the avialan lineage. Since Archaeopteryx was a flying creature, its placement among avialans means dinosaurs would have only had to develop powered flight once during evolutionary history.


The new findings also classify another family of birdlike dinosaurs, known as Troodontidae, as a sister group to the avialans. This reshuffling of the bird-dinosaur family tree suggests birds and nonavian dinosaurs diverged in Asia during the Middle to Late Jurassic.











Ancient Egyptians Crafted Jewelry From Meteorites



New research shows that an ancient Egyptian iron bead found inside a 5,000-year-old tomb was crafted from a meteorite. The tube-shaped piece of jewelry was first discovered in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, roughly 40 miles (70 kilometers) south of Cairo. Dating between 3350 BC and 3600 BC, beads found at the burial site represent the first known examples of iron use in ancient Egypt, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age. Their cosmic origins were suspected from the start.


Soon after the beads were discovered, researchers showed that the metal jewelry was rich in nickel, a signature of iron meteorites. But in the 1980s, academics cast doubt on the beads' celestial source, arguing that the high nickel content could have been the result of smelting. Scientists from the Open University and the University of Manchester recently analyzed one of the beads with an electron microscope and an X-ray CT scanner. They say the nickel-rich chemical composition of the bead's original metal confirms its meteorite origins.


The researchers say that the bead had a Widmanstätten pattern, a distinctive crystal structure found only in meteorites which cooled at an extremely slow rate inside asteroids when the solar system was forming. Further investigation also showed that the bead was not molded under heat, but rather hammered into shape by cold-working. The first record of iron smelting in ancient Egypt comes from the sixth century BC. Iron artifacts before that time are quite rare.


"Today, we see iron first and foremost as a practical, rather dull metal," study researcher Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, said. "To the ancient Egyptians, however, it was a rare and beautiful material which, as it fell from the sky, surely had some magical/religious properties." The iron beads' inclusion in burials also suggests this material was deeply important to ancient Egyptians, Tyldesley added. It's not the first time scientists have uncovered the cosmic origins of an ancient artifact.


Back in September, German researchers found that a heavy Buddha statue brought to Europe by the Nazis was carved from a meteorite between the eighth and 10th centuries. They even linked it to a specific space rock, the Chinga meteorite, which scientists believe fell to Earth 10,000 to 20,000 years ago and left a scattering of space rocks around the Siberian and Mongolian border.






Lenovo IdeaTab A1000



GENERAL 
2G Network N/A

BODY 
Dimensions 199 x 121 x 10.7 mm (7.83 x 4.76 x 0.42 in)
Weight 340 g (11.99 oz)

DISPLAY
Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 600 x 1024 pixels, 7.0 inches (~170 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes

SOUND
Alert types N/A
Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes
  - Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement

MEMORY
Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 4/16 GB, 1 GB RAM

DATA
GPRS No
EDGE No
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0, USB On-the-go

CAMERA
Primary 5 MP, 2592х1936 pixels, autofocus
Video Yes
Secondary Yes, VGA

FEATURES
OS Android OS, v4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset MTK 8317
CPU Dual-core 1.2 GHz
Sensors Accelerometer
Messaging Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio No
GPS Yes
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black, White
  - SNS integration
- MP3/WAV/WMA/AAC player
- MP4/H.264/H.263 player
- Document viewer
- Photo viewer/editor
- Organizer
- Predictive text input

BATTERY
Non-removable Li-Po 3500 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time Up to 7 h