News high-tech: a lot of gloomy forecasts

News of high technologies aren’t always about discoveries. This week was a lot of news with dire predictions. Someone predicts the extinction of all living things, someone simulates the fall of a meteorite in new York. We’re just going to tell.

1. Space telescope Gaia European space Agency designed for entirely different purposes. Its main task consists in the observation of the starsto clarify the history and development of our galaxy. However, the office as a side function, and monitors the asteroids of the Solar system. And most recently, this work has borne fruit. The telescope has discovered three of the asteroid, previously unknown to astronomers. The latter are space rocks, remaining from the time of formation of our Solar system.

Scientists believe that the study of these cosmic boulders can tell them about that looked like the Solar system billions of years ago, before the planets were formed of material around the Sun. As pointed out by the portal the Gaia telescope has discovered three unknown asteroid in December 2018. Further monitoring objects with and ground-based telescope at the Observatory of Haute Provence (France) allowed to confirm their nature.

This image shows the orbits of more than 14 000 known asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are marked in bright red and orange, dark red colors represent the Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter. Yellow color indicated the near-earth asteroids – the so-called those bodies whose orbits in some areas are at a distance of 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun, that is closer to the Earth’s orbit. The orbit of Gaia discovered three new asteroids marked in gray

It is noted that “Trinity” has an unusual trajectory within the Solar system. Their peculiarity is that their inclination of the orbit is greater than 15 degrees relative to the plane of the orbits of most planets.

“Asteroids with a large slope is not as well studied as it is less inclined orbits, as most studies tend to focus on the plane, where most of the asteroids”, — says the official statement from ESA.

“At the same time, Gaia can easily watch them, as the telescope scans the sky from its vantage point in space, therefore, it is possible that the device will be able to find more such objects in the future and will bring new information to study their properties.”

Gaia helps to clarify the orbital parameters of the asteroid, and warns about their location detailing the speed and direction that helps services that monitor small celestial bodies. In support of this work involved several observatories on the Earth that react to Gaia alerts. As indicated in the statement of ESA for such observations normally require a telescope whose mirror diameter is at least 1 meter.

Upon confirmation of the object telescope Gaia and ground stations, are entered in the catalogue of minor planet Center, which is responsible for the collection of information about asteroids, comets and other small celestial bodies. Even if Gaia will find new asteroids, observation can tell astronomers more about the orbits of those asteroids that are already known.

“To date, several dozen asteroids observed by Gaia telescope, were confirmed by ground tracking stations. But they all belong to the main asteroid belt. But none excluded the possibility that the telescope will be able in the future to discover new near-earth asteroids”, — summarized in the message of ESA.

Earlier it was reported that Gaia has helped to more accurately calculate the mass of the milky Way.

2. In prepared by the scientists of the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystems (IPBES) report 1.8 pages short squeeze which (40 pages) was presented Monday at a meeting of the platform in the headquarters of UNESCO in France says that under the threat of extinction is 1 million species of animals and plants on Earth. In a new report, scientists first used the term “Sixth mass extinction”. But this time his reason is not nature itself, and human activity.

The authors of the report, of the 8 million species of plants and animals, including 5.5 million insect species, up to a million threatened with extinction, including in the coming decades.

“Human activity threatens the extinction of more species than ever, say the authors.

“At least in the tens or hundreds of times larger than the average for the last 10 million years. An average of about 1 million species are already under threat of extinction, for many it will happen in the coming decades”, — the document says.

Key factors impacting on biodiversity, the authors of the report called changing land use, the direct use of living organisms (e.g., hunting), climate change, environmental pollution and the spread of invasive species.

According to researchers, 75 percent land, 40 percent of the World’s oceans and 50 percent of river water is already “demonstrate degradation due to human activities”. Under threat are more than 40 percent of amphibians, 33 percent of reef corals and more than a third are marine mammals. Data on insects are smaller, but, according to preliminary estimates, extinction threatens 10 percent of the species. But if the trend continues, by the year 2190 on the Land in General may not be insects that will radically change the entire biosphere. The report also notes that from the sixteenth century died not less than 680 species of vertebrates. According to the average estimates across all groups of plants and animals extinction threatens 25 percent of the species.

Each year man produces about 60 billion tonnes of renewable and non-renewable resources, which is almost two times more than in 1980.

Researchers believe that the disappointing picture you can try to change thanks to transformative change. Under by the “transformative change” refers to a complete reorganisation of the system of human life in the sphere of economy, technology and social development, which will require you to change existing values and goals.

Recall that last year, biologists from the University of Texas at Austin calculatedhow current rates of extinction will take nature to restore biological diversity.

3. After the destruction of the French Riviera in 2013, destruction of Dhaka in 2015, and rescue Tokyo in 2017, in the framework of the international simulation of the asteroid ruins were turned, and new York. Despite the fact that the simulation demanded eight years of preparation, scientists and engineers tried and failed to reflect the devastating blow. In General, this exercise has become commonplace in the international community of experts “planetary defense.”

The last edition was seen near Washington with the following setting: discovered asteroid about 100 to 300 meters in diameter, and according to preliminary estimates his chance to hit the Ground on 29 April 2027 is approximately 1%.

Every day during the conference about 200 astronomers, engineers, and specialists in emergency response has received new information, made decisions and expect further updates from the organizers of the games developed by a NASA engineer in the aerospace field.

As soon as the simulation took place fictional months, the probability that a giant space rock will hit the Earth rose to 10 percent and then to 100. In 2021 NASA launches probe to study carefully the menace. In December of the same year, the astronomers confirmed that the asteroid it sent directly to the Denver area and this city in the Western United States will be destroyed.

Major space powers of the world — USA, Europe, Russia, China and Japan decide to build six “kinetic penetrators”, probes designed to hit the asteroid to change its trajectory.

To gather the shock troops and wait for the right launch window, it took a while. Of the missile launch planned for August 2024. The three of them managed to hit the target. The main body was reflected, but a small piece broke off and continued on a deadly path; this time to the Eastern United States.

Washington decides to send a nuclear bomb to reflect the 60-meter stone by repeating a successful strategy that saved Tokyo last year — but the decision is not supported due to political differences.

It remains only to prepare for the shot.

Six months before the strike, the experts could only assume that the asteroid is heading in the area of new York. Two months before the strike was confirmed that the city will be destroyed.

The asteroid enters the atmosphere at a speed of 69 000 kilometers per hour and exploded 15 miles above Central Park.

The energy of the explosion would be 1000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Within a radius of 15 kilometers will not survive anything.

Manhattan will be completely destroyed. Within a radius of 45 kilometers will be broken out, and the destruction will extend to 68 kilometers from the epicenter.

The issues raised by such a scenario, a great many.

As authorities evacuate ten million people? The movement of people to a safe place even during hurricanes proved a difficult task.

“Two months may not be enough to evacuate for real, because you’re evacuating people who have settled, who will have to re-build a life where they are going. Will be a lot of dissatisfied citizens.”

Who will pay? Who is going to accept refugees? How the authorities will protect everything from nuclear and chemical installations, to works of art? How will people behave in the face of doomsday scenario?

“If you knew that your house will be destroyed in six months and you never return, you would continue to repay the loan?”, asks Victoria Andrews, Deputy officer of NASA’s planetary defense.

The participants spent a long time discussing insurance and legal matters. US saved Denver. But accidentally destroyed new York.

“In this situation, according to international law, the United States, regardless of the degree of guilt, as launching state is absolutely required to pay compensation,” says Alissa Haddadi, coordinator of a group of 15 international space lawyers created specifically to study these problems.

The fictional asteroid-killer, of course, “extremely unlikely,” says Paul Chodas, a NASA engineer who developed the game. “But we wanted the problems revealed and caused the discussion.”

The following simulation exercise will take place in 2021 in Vienna.