Big Picture does a coverage of the California wildfires. Fascinating!
This accident has recently came up in a conversation I had with a few friends. Surprisingly, it’s not as widely known as I thought it was. Read through the Wikipedia page for more details.
The Überlingen mid-air collision occurred at 21:35 UTC on 1 July 2002 between Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 (a Tupolev Tu-154M passenger jet carrying 60 passengers – mostly children – and 9 crew) and DHL Flight 611 (a Boeing 757-23APF cargo jet manned by two pilots) over the towns of Überlingen and Owingen in southern Germany. All 71 people on board the two aircraft were killed.
Nearly two years later, on 24 February 2004, Peter Nielsen, the air traffic controller on duty at the time of the accident, was stabbed to death by an architect, Vitaly Kaloyev, who had lost his wife and two children in the accident.
On 19 May 2004, the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU) published its determination that the accident had been caused by shortcomings in the Swiss air traffic control system supervising the flights at the time of the accident and by ambiguities in the use of TCAS, the on-board aircraft collision avoidance system.
This is obviously very tragic, but what a story! I’ve heard a rumor that there will be a drama movie made about it. That’s in addition to a few documentaries that already exist. Like this one, for example:
Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1-600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts.
There is also a list of all impacts and a video with locations.
By now, everyone has probably already heard about the meteorite that exploded over the Chelyabinsk city in Russia. There are tonnes of videos on YouTube and photos all over the web. I think this one, that meshes a few of them together, is pretty good.
And as far as comments go, I think this Slashdot comment is the best:
Meteors are the universe’s way to ask hows your space program going.
And the last thing I want to add on the subject is that I’m really glad nobody is dead. A lot of people were injured, and there is plenty of damage to buildings, but that all is repairable. If that trajectory of that thing was slightly different, and it hit the ground before exploding, I imagine the damage would be way greater.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to stop by the Agios Nicholas church. The church was destroyed a few years ago when it went completely under water of the nearby lake. This year Cyprus saw plenty of rain, but so far the water levels haven’t reached that far yet. There is still snow in the Troodos mountains, but I don’t think that melting those will be enough to drown the church again.
Have a look at my Flickr set for previous pictures of this church.