December 27, 2012
Asteroid 2011 AG5 Will Not Hit Earth In 2040 – The Daily Orbit
We survived Y2K, we survived the Mayan calendar, will we survive an asteroid in 2040?
Frankenfish for dinner? What do you say?
And is Facebook making you a fattie?
All that and more coming up on today’s Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome back to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Well, we survived the Armageddon and the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21st and here’s another “We’re Not Gonna Be Demolished” bonus for you — apparently an asteroid isn’t going to obliterate us in 2040 either! Asteroid experts had previously believed there was a one in 500 chance of an asteroid impacting the Earth 28 years from they now but say it’s no longer a risk! Whew! That was a close one. Astronomers say that the asteroid 2011 AG5 did have a two tenths of one percent chance of colliding with the planet in February 2040. Using the 8-Meter Gemini North telescope to locate the asteroid again recently, they declared that the risk of impact had been eliminated. An updated trajectory no longer falls within the range of a possible Earth bound path. And trust me, this is really good news. Let’s say it had hit? It would have released 100 megatons worth of energy – only several THOUSAND times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. Looks like we won’t get to see Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck blowing up an asteroid anytime soon.
Maybe we’re not going to get hit by an asteroid but we might drown from rising sea levels. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But we’ve said it before and we’re going to say it again – sea levels are quickly rising and that’s a bad thing. A new study analyzed temperature records from Byrd Station at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and discovered the area had increased 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit in average annual temperature from 1958 to 2010. This is the first time scientists could use records to draw climate-related conclusions from this post as data from this station was previously incomplete. They say West Antarctica is one of the fastest changing, yet least known, regions in the world. The biggest cause for the melt, scientists say, is due to summer warming and that this is the first time they’ve been able to determine that there’s warming going on during the summer season. Scientists say they need a more reliable network of meteorological observation throughout West Antarctica so that they can know exactly what’s happening and why. That would be good to know!
And “Franken-fish” gets an environmental “A-okay” from the FDA. Ha! That rhymes. The Food and Drug Administration ruled that the genetically modified salmon developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies would have “no significant impact” on nature and that it would be “as safe as food from conventional salmon.” The struggle for approval has been years in the making and the recent approval could be the last hurdle before the fish gets the final approval from the FDA. If so, the salmon, which grows twice as quickly as normal, would be the first genetically modified animal approved for consumption anywhere in the world. But AquaBounty execs say they aren’t “wildly enthusiastic” yet as approval is not guaranteed. There are still groups that worry “franken-fish” could cause human allergies and the eventual decimation of the natural salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild. Hmmm…it’s a toss-up. I love salmon and the faster I can get it the better!
What?!!!! The Brontosaurus isn’t a real dinosaur? Turns out the Brontosaurus is a big fake. Worse yet? Scientists have known this for over a 100 years. During the “Bone Wars” 130 years ago, a bitter race to get dinosaur names published between two rival paleontologists lead to the unwarranted naming of the Brontosaurus in 1877. What one of the two called the Brontosaurus was really another dinosaur, the Apatosaurus, which was confirmed in Utah in 1910. However, the Brontosaurus lived on in popular culture as it sparked the imaginations of many. I feel betrayed. The Brontosaurus was my favorite. I’m so depressed I can’t even do my dino-dance.
So did you sit around last night eating Christmas leftovers and Facebook stalking loves of Christmas past? Well, if so, you didn’t do your waistline any good! A new study shows that Facebook can make you fat. Of 470 people surveyed concerning their Internet use, those who used Facebook the most had reputedly higher body mass indexes than those who used it less. Also, 88% of participants chose an unhealthy snack over a healthy snack after scrolling through self-esteem boosting photos in their newsfeed. Why? Researchers say “people use momentary increases in self-esteem as a license to indulge.” But Facebookers don’t really do anything to deserve a treat! So scale back on Facebook and see results on the scale. And then maybe you can put a real picture of yourself for your profile pic!
Well, that does it for the Daily Orbit today! I’m going to get back to my Facebook stalking. Shhh…don’t tell