High technology news: many grim forecasts

High tech news doesn't always concerndiscoveries. This week there was a lot of news with gloomy forecasts. Someone predicts the extinction of all living things, someone models the fall of a meteorite to New York. We just tell you about it.

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one. Gaia European Space TelescopeSpace Agency is designed entirely for other purposes. Its main task is to observe the stars in order to clarify the history of the emergence and development of our galaxy. Nevertheless, the apparatus as a side function also monitors the asteroids of the solar system. And most recently, this work has borne fruit. The telescope discovered three asteroids, previously unknown to astronomers. The latter are cosmic stones left over from the time of the formation of our solar system.

Scientists believe that the study of these spaceBoulders can tell them how the Solar System looked like billions of years ago, before planets formed from material around the Sun. According to the portal, the Gaia telescope discovered three unknown asteroids back in December 2018. Further observation of the objects with the help of the ground telescope of the Haute Provence Observatory (France) allowed to confirm their nature.

This image shows orbits over 14,000.famous asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are marked in bright red and orange, dark red in color denote Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter. Yellow asteroids are designated as so-called those bodies whose orbits in some areas are at a distance of 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun, that is, they are approaching the Earth's orbit. The orbits of three new Gaia-discovered asteroids are grayed out.

It is noted that the "trinity" has unusualtrajectories of movement inside the solar system. Their peculiarity is that the inclination of their orbit exceeds 15 degrees relative to the orbital plane of most planets.

"Highly inclined asteroids are not so goodstudied, as with less inclined orbits, since most of the studies tend to focus on the plane where most of the asteroids are located, ”the official statement said.

"At the same time, Gaia can easily watchbecause the telescope scans the entire sky from its observation point in space, therefore, it is possible that the device will be able to find more similar objects in the future and introduce new information to study their properties. ”

Gaia helps to refine orbit parametersasteroids, and also warns of their location, detailing the speed and direction that helps services, watching the small celestial bodies. Several observatories on Earth who respond to Gaia alerts are involved in supporting this work. As indicated in the ESA statement, for such observations a telescope is usually required, whose mirror diameter is at least 1 meter.

When the object is confirmed with a Gaia telescope andby ground stations, it is entered into the catalog of the Minor Planet Center, which is responsible for collecting information about asteroids, comets and other small celestial bodies. Even if Gaia does not find other new asteroids, the telescope’s observations can tell astronomers more about the orbits of those asteroids that are already known.

"To date, several dozenasteroids observed by the Gaia telescope were confirmed by ground tracking stations. However, they all belong to the main asteroid belt. But no one excludes the possibility that the telescope will be able to detect new near-earth asteroids in the future, ”the ESA report summarizes.

Earlier it was reported that Gaia helped more accurately calculate the mass of the Milky Way.

2 In prepared by the scientists of the IntergovernmentalThe Scientifically-Political Platform on Biodiversity and Environmental Systems (IPBES) 1.8-page report, a brief squeeze of which (40 pages) was presented on Monday at a platform meeting at UNESCO headquarters in France saying that under the threat of extinction There are 1 million species of animals and plants on Earth. In the new report, scientists use the term “Sixth Mass Extinction” for the first time. But this time it is not called the very cause of nature, but human activity.

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

“Human activities are threatened with extinction by more species than ever,” the authors state.

"At least tens or hundreds of times morescale than the average over the past 10 million years. On average, about 1 million species are already threatened with extinction, for many this will happen in the coming decades, ”the document says.

Key factors affectingBiodiversity, the report authors refer to land use change, direct use of living organisms (eg, hunting), climate change, environmental pollution and the spread of invasive species.

According to researchers, 75 percent of the land, 40percent of the oceans and 50 percent of river waters already “show degradation due to human activity”. More than 40 percent of amphibians, 33 percent of reef corals and more than a third of marine mammals are under threat. There is less insect data, but according to preliminary estimates, 10 percent of species are threatened with extinction. And if the trend continues, by 2190, insects may not remain on Earth at all, which will fundamentally change the entire biosphere. The report also notes that no less than 680 species of vertebrates have become extinct since the 16th century. According to average estimates for all groups of plants and animals, extinction threatens 25 percent of species.

It is noted that every year a person extracts about 60 billion tons of renewable and non-renewable resources, which is almost two times more than in 1980.

Researchers believe that a disappointing pictureYou can try to change through transformative change. The “transformative changes” themselves mean a complete reorganization of the system of human life in the sphere of economics, technology and social development, for which it will be necessary to change existing values ​​and goals.

Recall that last year biologists from the University of Texas at Austin calculated how much nature would need for the restoration of biodiversity at the current rate of extinction.

3 After the destruction of the French Riviera in 2013,the destruction of Dacca in 2015 and the rescue of Tokyo in 2017, in the framework of an international simulation of the asteroid's fall, New York was turned into ruins. Despite the fact that the simulation required eight years of preparation, scientists and engineers tried, but were not able to repel a devastating blow. In general, this exercise has become commonplace in the international community of “planetary defense” experts.

Last edited nearWashington with the following installation: an asteroid is found approximately from 100 to 300 meters in diameter, and according to preliminary calculations, its chance to get into the Earth on April 29, 2027 is approximately 1%.

Every day during the conference about 200Astronomers, engineers, and emergency response specialists received new information, made decisions, and waited for further updates from the game organizers, developed by NASA's aerospace engineer.

As the simulations took placefictitious months, the likelihood of a giant space stone crashing into Earth increased to 10 percent, and then to 100. In 2021, NASA launches a probe to carefully examine the threat. In December of the same year, astronomers confirmed that it was an asteroid being sent directly to the Denver area and that this city in the western United States would be destroyed.

The largest space powers of the world are the USA,Europe, Russia, China and Japan - decide to build six "kinetic drummers", probes designed to strike an asteroid in order to change its trajectory.

To collect the drummers and waitA suitable startup window, it took time. The launch of shells is scheduled for August 2024. Three of them managed to hit the target. The main body was reflected, but a small fragment broke off and continued moving along a deadly path; this time to the east of the USA.

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

It remains only to prepare for the strike.

Six months before the impact, the experts could only assume that the asteroid was heading for the New York area. Two months before the strike, it was confirmed that the city would be destroyed.

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

The energy of the explosion will be 1000 times more powerful than a 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, windows will be smashed, and the destruction will extend 68 kilometers from the epicenter.

Questions that raises such a scenario, a great many.

How do authorities evacuate ten million people? Moving people to a safe place even during hurricanes has proven difficult.

"Two months may not be enough toto evacuate for real, because you are evacuating people who have settled down, who will have to rebuild life where they are going. There will be many dissatisfied citizens. ”

Who will pay? Who will take refugees? How will the authorities protect everything from nuclear and chemical installations to works of art? How will people behave in the face of the end of the world script?

"If you knew that your house would be destroyedin six months and that you will not return again, would you continue to repay the loan? ”, asks Victoria Andrews, deputy NASA planetary defense officer.

Participants discussed insurance and legal issues for a long time. The United States saved Denver. But accidentally destroyed New York.

“In this situation, according to international law,The United States, regardless of its degree of blame, as the launching state, will absolutely be obliged to pay compensation, ”says Alissa Haddaji, coordinator of a group of 15 international space lawyers set up specifically to study these issues.

The fictional killer asteroid is, of course, “extremely unlikely,” said Paul Chodas, a NASA engineer who developed the game. "But we wanted the problems to open up and spark a discussion."

The next simulation exercise will be held in 2021 in Vienna.

What do you think, what city will be attacked next time? Offer an option in our chat room in Telegram.