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NASA: A truck-sized asteroid is headed toward Earth one day before the November election - Business Insider - Business Insider
An asteroid has a slim chance of putting us out of our misery on November 2 as it heads toward Earth one day before the US election, according to NASA.
An asteroid has a slim chance of putting us out of our misery on November 2 as it heads toward Earth one day before the US election, according to NASA. Named "2018 VP1," the asteroid is pretty tiny, with an estimated diameter of 1.8 to 3.9 meters, NASA data show. It's only 0.41% likely to actually impact the Earth, CNN reported, but celestial objects that size tend to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere anyway, according to NASA. Between the coronavirus pandemic, a reckoning with racial justice, sky-high depression and anxiety, election season, and murder hornets (which aren't really invading the US, by the way) perhaps some are wishing the chances were a bit higher. 2018 VP1 has had a few close encounters with Earth before, dating back to 1970. It last visited in November of 2018, roughly when it was discovered at California's Palomar Observatory. It's due back, after a two-year orbit around the sun, to come within 4,800 and 260,000 miles of our atmosphere, NASA data show. For reference, the International Space Station sits about 254 miles above the planet. The size of asteroids like this one makes them hard to spot until they get close to Earth, but the majority pass by much farther away than the Moon, NASA said in a recent release. In fact, one dubbed 2020 QG passed the earth just 1,830 miles above the Indian Ocean last week — the closest such encounter on record — and NASA didn't even see it coming, they said. "It's quite an accomplishment to find these tiny close-in asteroids in the first place, because they pass by so fast," said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "There's typically only a short window of a couple of days before or after close approach when this small of an asteroid is close enough to Earth to be bright enough but not so close that it moves too fast in the sky to be detected by a telescope," he said. NASA did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for more information. Loading Something is loading.
Mesmerising Animation Reveals Our Entire Solar System Doesn't Exactly Orbit The Sun - ScienceAlert
Jupiter, Saturn, and the sun play a constant game of tug-of-war around the invisible center of our solar system called the barycenter.
It's common knowledge that the sun is the center of the solar system. Around it, the planets orbit — along with a thick belt of asteroids, some meteor fields, and a handful of far-traveling comets. But that's not the whole story. "Instead, everything orbits the solar system center of mass," James O'Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese space agency, JAXA, recently explained on Twitter. "Even the sun." That center of mass, called the barycenter, is the point of an object at which it can be balanced perfectly, with all its mass distributed evenly on all sides. In our solar system, that point rarely lines up with the center of the sun. To demonstrate this, O'Donoghue created the animation below, which shows how the sun, Saturn, and Jupiter play tug-of-war around the barycenter, pulling our star in looping mini-orbits. In his free time, O'Donoghue makes animations to show how the physics of planets, stars, and the speed of light work. "The natural thinking is that we orbit the sun's center, but that very rarely happens," he said. "It's very rare for the solar system's center of mass to align with the sun's center." The sun's movement is exaggerated in the video above to make it more visible, but our star does circle millions of kilometers around the barycenter — sometimes passing over it, sometimes straying away from it. Much of that movement comes from Jupiter's gravity. The sun makes up 99.8% of the solar system's mass, but Jupiter contains most of the remaining 1.2%. That mass pulls on the sun ever so gently. "The sun actually orbits Jupiter slightly," O'Donoghue said. Within the solar system, planets and their moons have their own barycenter. Earth and the moon do a simpler dance, with the barycenter remaining inside Earth. O'Donoghue made a video of that, too: The animation also shows how the Earth and moon will move over the next three years, in 3D. (The distance between Earth and the moon is not to scale.) Pluto and its moon, Charon, do something similar, but with a unique twist: The barycenter is always outside of Pluto. So, every planetary system orbits an invisible point, including the star or planet that appears to be at the center. Barycenters sometimes help astronomers find hidden planets circling other stars, since they can calculate that the system contains mass they can't see. "The planets do orbit the sun of course," O'Donoghue said. "We are just being pedantic about the situation."
Ireland to quarantine British travellers to prevent coronavirus spread - Business Insider - Business Insider
Ireland has so far suffered only a tiny fraction of the coronavirus death toll seen in the United Kingdom.
Ireland will place a new quarantine on British travellers next month, despite removing restrictions from other international arrivals, because of the UK's "significantly poorer" response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ireland has suffered a much lower coronavirus death toll than the UK, with just 1,726 fatalities to date, compared to more than 43,000 in the UK. As a result, British travellers will be excluded from plans to accept more international travellers to Ireland from next month. Under current rules, visitors to Ireland have to remain quarantined for 14 days in order to prevent the further importation of the virus into the country. However, Dublin is set to exempt a series of countries from the restrictions next month as part of its plan for so-called "air bridges" to countries with low coronavirus infection rates. However, it is "highly likely" that the UK will be excluded from the safe travel list due to its "significantly poorer" response to the pandemic, according to a leaked government memo seen by the Irish Independent newspaper. The Cabinet memo says "mandatory restricted movement" will be placed on countries, such as the UK, where levels of the coronavirus remain high. The decision is particularly striking given the long-standing Common Travel Area between the two countries allowing free movement across the Irish Sea. Boris Johnson's government is currently reviewing the UK's quarantine arrangements under plans to revive the country's tourism industry. Under the plans, multiple European countries, including former coronavirus hotspots such as Italy and Spain, are set to be removed from the current 14-day quarantine. Loading Something is loading.
Zynn, TikTok clone, has disappeared from iOS and Android app stores - Business Insider - Business Insider
In less than a month, Zynn has gone from leading the charts as one of the most popular apps in the US to disappearing from app stores altogether.
In less than a month, a TikTok clone called Zynn has gone from leading the charts as one of the most popular apps in the US to disappearing from app stores altogether. Zynn was removed Monday from Apple's App Store, six days after the app was removed from Google's Play Store. Its removal follows reports of creators accusing the platform of stealing their content, critics calling out its reward system as a pyramid scheme, and users alleging issues with cashing out funds. After a quiet launch in early May, Zynn became the most downloaded iOS app in the US before the end of the month. Zynn's interface is nearly identical to that of TikTok, as is its purpose: to be used for uploading, editing, and sharing short-form videos. Before it was removed from app stores, Zynn accrued an estimated 5 million iOS downloads and 700,000 downloads on Google Play, according to TechCrunch. Apple nor Google responded to Business Insider's request for comment, but a Zynn spokesperson told the Financial Times the app was removed from the Play Store over reports of "plagiarism." Zynn disappeared from the Play Store after influencers told Wired they found content of theirs posted without their consent by accounts they didn't create. Other short clips on Zynn appear to be ripped from videos on outside social platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. In a statement to the Verge, a Zynn spokesperson defended its issues with stolen content as an "isolated incident" that led Google to investigate the platform. However, the app has still not returned to the Play store, and Zynn did not respond to Business Insider's questions about why it was pulled from the App Store. Further, others have raised issues with Zynn's reward system, which promises users incremental amounts of money for watching videos and inviting their friends to get on the app. Although the app is free, some have slammed Zynn as a "pyramid scheme" targeting young members of Generation Z, the core of TikTok's userbase. Users have also reported issues with the app that prevented them from cashing out the funds they earn. Zynn's early issues have already caught the attention of Sen. Josh Hawley, a longtime critic of TikTok. In a letter penned June 10, Hawley demanded the Federal Trade Commission investigate Zynn's "predatory-pricing scheme" and look into potential violations of children's online privacy regulations. Like TikTok, Zynn is the product of a Chinese-based company, The Information reported in May. The developer listed for Zynn in app stores is Owlii, which is reportedly owned by a $30-billion startup called Kuaishou (nicknamed Kwai). It appears Kuaishou had launched Zynn in the US as a direct competitor to TikTok, the app from ByteDance. In China, Kwai is reportedly the second-largest short-video app — behind Douyin, ByteDance's version of TikTok in China. "Zynn is a product we tailor made for the North American market," a Kuaishow spokesperson told The Information. "We believe short video is far from over."
SpaceX is launching 3 batches of Starlink internet satellites in June - Business Insider - Business Insider
SpaceX has promised that future Starlink satellites will have sunshades so they don't blocks astronomers' views of the stars.
SpaceX is launching another batch of broadband internet satellites into orbit this week, while the company's new spaceship sits docked to the International Space Station. The upcoming launch is part of the Starlink project, Elon Musk's plan to blanket the Earth in high-speed satellite internet. Despite a few bumps so far — including astronomers' fears that the satellites could interfere with telescopes on Earth — Starlink is plowing ahead. SpaceX is planning three internet-satellite launches within 18 days in June; the first happened on June 4, and this will be the second. With the historic astronaut launch the company accomplished on May 30, that's four rocket launches in less than four weeks — a feat that would have been almost impossible to imagine a few years ago. The next batch of Starlink satellites will careen into space atop the same type of Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX used to launch NASA astronauts in its Crew Dragon spaceship. The rocket's booster is designed to be reusable — it returns to Earth after detaching during the launch process and self-lands either on a drone ship at sea or on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX's Demo-2 mission, launched with a Falcon 9 rocket, lifts off with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley inside a Crew Dragon spaceship. Tony Gray and Tim Powers/NASA The next batch of 60 Starlink satellites, which is scheduled to launch at 5:21 a.m. ET on Saturday, will join about 480 others that the company has sent into orbit since February 2018. SpaceX has sought government permission to put a total of 42,000 satellites into orbit, forming a "megaconstellation" around the Earth. Musk has said he hopes Starlink will get rural and remote regions of Earth online with affordable, high-speed web access. But already, the reflective satellites have appeared as bright, moving trails in the night sky that can photobomb astronomers' telescope observations and blot out the stars. "If there are lots and lots of bright moving objects in the sky, it tremendously complicates our job," astronomer James Lowenthal told the New York Times in November. "It potentially threatens the science of astronomy itself." 'It will look as if the whole sky is crawling with stars' Elon Musk speaking at the Satellite Conference and Exhibition in Washington, March 9, 2020. AP Photo/Susan Walsh Musk has suggested that SpaceX would send up batches of Starlink satellites every two weeks throughout 2020, for a total of 1,400 by the end of the year. But Friday's launch will only be the ninth since Starlink began two years ago. The company appears to be picking up the pace this month, however, with a total of 180 satellites between its three launches. After SpaceX launched its first set of Starlink satellites, many astronomers were alarmed by how bright the new objects were. In the days following the launch, people across the world spotted the train of satellites, like a line of twinkling stars. "I felt as if life as an astronomer and a lover of the night sky would never be the same," Lowenthal said. An astronomer in the Netherlands captured the Starlink train zooming across the sky shortly after its launch. Vimeo/SatTrackCam Leiden If SpaceX launches thousands more satellites, "it will look as if the whole sky is crawling with stars," he added. That's a challenge for telescopes on Earth that look for distant, dim objects. Picking up these false stars could mess with astronomers' data, since a single satellite could create a long streak of light across a telescope's long-exposure images of the sky. That might block the view of the objects astronomers want to study. Future Starlink satellites might get sun-blocking visors An illustration of SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation in orbit around Earth. SpaceX SpaceX has been in conversation with astronomical associations about reducing its satellites' effect on Earth's telescopes. The Starlink batch that launched on June 4 included a satellite with built-in visors to block the sun's reflection. SpaceX has said that starting with one of its next June launches, all satellites will have those visors going forward. SpaceX has also launched an experimental satellite painted black to reduce the amount of light it reflects — that change reduced the satellite's brightness by 55%. However, neither black paint nor a visor will stop the satellites' radio waves from interfering with telescopes. SpaceX stuffed a fleet of 60 Starlink internet-providing satellites into the nosecone of a Falcon 9 rocket for launch in May 2019. Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter SpaceX aims to finish the entire Starlink project in 2027. If the network does wind up with 42,000 satellites, it would have launched more than eight times the total number of satellites in orbit today. Adding that much more material to Earth's orbit could increase the risk of space collisions. In the worst-case scenario, too many such crashes in a series could turn the region into a minefield of debris, creating a spiraling space-junk disaster that could cut off our ability to leave Earth. Already, a near-collision with a Starlink satellite forced the European Space Agency to maneuver its own spacecraft out of the way last year. To avoid leaving dead spacecraft in orbit (thereby contributing to the accumulation of space junk and increasing risk of collisions), SpaceX has said its satellites will automatically deorbit at the end of their lifespans. The company appeared to be testing the deorbiting mechanism when one of its satellites fell into Earth's atmosphere and burned up in February, according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell. After SpaceX launches at least 500 more satellites, the company plans to boot up Starlink, then build toward a floating internet backbone that would bathe most of the planet in ultra-high-speed web access. "For the system to be economically viable, it's really on the order of 1,000 satellites," Musk said in May 2019, "which is obviously a lot of satellites, but it's way less than 10,000 or 12,000." After this batch, the next Starlink launch is scheduled for June 22.
Save up to 50% off Nintendo Switch digital games on Amazon, right now - Business Insider - Business Insider
Amazon is matching discounts from Nintendo's massive Summer Games Sale. You can save big on titles like "New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe."
BI When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more. Corey Protin Nintendo's massive Summer Games Sale is live and will run through June 16. Shoppers can find popular titles, like "New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe" and "Astral Chain," down to their lowest prices ever. Suffice to say, this is a perfect opportunity to fill up your Switch's digital library—if you managed to get a hold of one before this year's shortage. However, shoppers should consider shopping on other retailers first. Here's why: If you buy a digital game through the retail giant instead of Nintendo's proprietary eShop, you'll get the maximum amount of Gold Points even if you purchased it on sale. eShop, however, will only credit you for the price you paid. For those unfamiliar, Gold Points are a digital currency which can be earned by purchasing eligible games or downloadable content. Nintendo says points are awarded based on "5% of the amount you pay," and can be used as credit for future, eligible purchases. With that said, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart don't match all of the discounts seen on the Summer Games Sale. For instance, a digital copy of "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" is still $60 on Amazon, but is marked down to $42 on eShop.
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, $42 [You save $18]
- Super Mario Party, $42 [You save $18]
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropic Freeze, $42 [You save $18]
- Astral Chain, $48 [You save $12]
- Dragon Quest XI S – Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition, $42 [You save $18]
- Dragon Quest Builders 2, $42 [You save $42]
- Kirby Star Allies, $42 [You save $18]
- Moving Out, $20 [You save $5]
- Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection, $20 [You save $20]
- Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition, $15 [You save $5]
- Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, $22 [You save $8]
- Shovel Knight: King of Cards, $7 [You save $3]
Microsoft launches Cloud for Healthcare - Business Insider - Business Insider
Microsoft announced the rollout of a spate of industry-specific cloud offerings, with Cloud for Healthcare as the first to launch.
At its recent virtual Build conference, the tech titan announced the rollout of a spate of industry-specific cloud offerings — Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is the first to launch and is now available as a free six-month trial for providers, according to Engadget. Business Insider Intelligence Microsoft shared details of its new cloud offering via a public preview, and indicated plans to roll out the solution in Q4 of this year, per ZDNet. For context, the tech giant's Industry Clouds are sets of tools that bring together existing Microsoft services such as Teams, Azure IoT, and chatbots. Microsoft's Cloud for Healthcare is comprised of features designed to address the specific needs of the healthcare industry — here's a look at two that should help the tech titan woo provider partners:
- Microsoft's Bookings app enables clinicians to engage with patients without leaving their existing workflows — which should come as a relief to overburdened physicians making the switch to telemedicine.The Bookings app is integrated into Cloud for Healthcare via the Teams collaboration platform, and allows healthcare professionals to schedule and conduct virtual visits within Teams. Cloud for Healthcare's ability to extend clinicians' reach to patients via a portal that's already part of their normal workflow should help providers more seamlessly meet the hikes in demand for telehealth services right now, and enable them to continue to meet demand post-pandemic as virtual care becomes a more central element in patients' care journeys.
- Dynamics 365 Marketing and Customer Service tools will boost providers' efficiency and could help reduce readmissions. The Dynamics 365 tools enable clinicians to craft individualized care plans, proactively contact patients, and conduct remote patient monitoring via Microsoft's Azure IoT. For context, Azure IoT enables real-time data exchange between medical devices, which can help reduce hospital readmissions and their associated costs by enabling clinicians to rapidly respond to emergency situations and quickly escalate care. For context, the average readmission cost for any diagnosis in the US was $14,400 pre-pandemic.
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