Fireball hurtling past Earth caught on camera (VIDEO)

Fireball hurtling past Earth caught on camera (VIDEO)
Astronauts at the International Space Station captured a rare moment when a fireball whizzed to Earth.

The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it footage was shared by astronaut Paolo Nespoli. It was captured on November 5 as part of a series of night-time photographs taken as the Space Station was flying over the southern Atlantic Ocean towards Kazakhstan. The images were put together in a time-lapse video with a 1-second interval.

A fireball is “basically a very bright meteoroid – a small bit of natural ‘space rock’ – entering Earth’s atmosphere and burning brighter than the background stars,” Rudiger Jehn of the European Space Station’s Space Situational Awareness Programme said.

We see many meteors from the @Space_Station but I was never able to get one on camera… this time I got lucky and filmed a , a very bright and fast meteoroid falling to  at about 40km/s! Can you spot it? http://blogs.esa.int/VITAmission/2017/11/16/the-backstory-paolo-spots-a-meteoroid-from-the-iss/ 

The meteoroid can be seen between the 0:07 and 0:08 second mark, in the upper right section of the frame.

And here a closer look! Make a wish… I already did 😉 // E qui visto da più vicino! Esprimete un desiderio… Io l’ho già fatto 😉

“Indeed it looks like a bright meteor, or fireball,” Detlef Koschny, of the ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme explained.“When I stretch the scale then I can see that the object was below the airglow – assuming it was close to the Earth limb – see the brightness-adjusted screenshot below.”

Koschny said that the fireball can be seen “illuminating the clouds from above,” which means it was close to Earth.

“This particular meteoroid was moving much faster than typical, with an estimated speed of around 40 km/s.” Jehn said.

The video also captures a number of lightning storms, which are a lot easier to spot than the fireball.

Courtesy: RT

Trump: Putin told me face-to-face ‘I didn’t meddle’ in elections

Russian President Vladimir Putin is steadfastly denying that his country meddled in the 2016 White House race, President Trump told reporters Saturday.

Trump and Putin briefly spoke several times while in Vietnam for a regional economic summit, as part of the U.S. president’s 12-day trip to Asia.

“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump afterward told reporters, aboard Air Force One. “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

Putin’s words contradict U.S. intelligence community claims that Russia indeed tried to influence the election’s outcome — amid evidence that suggests Russian operatives hacked emails from Democratic Party leaders and tried to sway U.S. voters by purchasing ads of social media.

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country,” also said Trump, who deflected answering a direct question about whether he believed Putin’s denial.

Congress and Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller are each conducting investigations into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian in the 2016 campaign.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, slammed Trump for his comments.

“President Trump today stated that he believed Vladimir Putin is being sincere when he denies Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reiterated that he hopes to cooperate with Russia in Syria,” McCain said Saturday. “There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community.”

McCain also said, “There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”

Trump and Putin were in together in Danang, Vietnam, for the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. They have no plans to hold a formal meeting during Trump’s five-nation trip the concludes this weekend.

Trump told reporters on the flight from Danang to Hanoi that he and Putin largely discussed Syria in their “two or three very short conversations.”

At about the same time, the Kremlin issued a joint statement for both presidents about the countries’ “successful” and continuing efforts to defeat the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS, in Syria, the caliphate’s last stronghold.

In Syria’s years-long civil war, Putin has backed the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad, while Western allies have supported his ousters.

“I would rather have him get out of Syria,” Trump told reporters. “If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing. In fact, it would be a great thing, not a bad thing.”

Trump declined to comment on the recent allegations about decades-old sexual misconduct by Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for a U.S Senate seat in Alabama. The president said that he hasn’t been following the news closely enough to offer an opinion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtesy: Fox News

Russia will promptly ‘develop & adopt’ mid-range missiles if US violates INF treaty

Russia will promptly ‘develop & adopt’ mid-range missiles if US violates INF treaty
Russia has the military and technical capabilities to develop and adopt new intermediate-range missile systems, should the US begin the development of a new missile. Mentioned in a recent US budget bill, the weapon would potentially violate a 1987 missile treaty.

“If the missile announced by Congress indeed makes it into the American arsenal, we will have to develop and adopt the same thing. Russia has the military and technical capacities for that,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Defense and Security Committee of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federal Council, has said.

On Wednesday, US legislators allocated $58 million to counter Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. The sum was part of the $700 billion proposed in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2018.

The measures to counter alleged Russian activities include a “research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile,” which, somehow, should not violate the treaty itself. The 1987 deal bans missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500km.

However, Russian lawmakers have no doubt the violation would be unavoidable, and warned that Moscow will have to respond immediately. “It will entirely contradict the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty,” Vladimir Shamanov, the head of the Russian lower house Defense Committee and the former head of Russia’s airborne troops, said on Thursday. “Our president said: ‘the response will be instant,’” referring to earlier comments by Vladimir Putin.

“We are going to comply with its [INF] terms, provided our partners do so,” Putin said in October at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. “If they decide to abandon it, however, our response will be instant and symmetrical.” The US had previously threatened to scrap the treaty altogether.

While Washington did not provide any proof that Russia had violated the INF, top US and NATO officials have repeatedly presented it as a given fact. US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday that “many” NATO nations allegedly have “their own evidence of what Russia has been up to.” Mattis added: “We have a firm belief now over several years that the Russians have violated the INF and our effort is to bring Russia back into compliance.”

Russia and the US have been trading accusations of INF treaty violations for several years already. Moscow listed the target missiles for testing anti-ballistic missile technology, the US drone program and ground placement of a naval vertical launch system as part of the Aegis Ashore program as violations of the treaty.

Courtesy: RT

Albert Einstein’s note on happiness sells for $1.3 million at Jerusalem auction

The famous physicist wrote the sentence on a bit of stationary after finding out he had won the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics. His words were as lucrative as they were profound.

Albert Einstein's note on happiness

A note on happiness written by Albert Einstein in a Tokyo hotel in 1922 fetched a relatively high price of $1.3 million (€1.1 million) at a Jerusalem auction house on Tuesday.

Einstein wrote the message on Imperial Hotel Tokyo stationary shortly after finding out he had won the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics, Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions said.

Written in Einstein’s native German, it says: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than successful pursuit combined with constant restlessness.”

Read more: 10 or so things you should know about Albert Einstein and his theories of relativity

Note to self: That’s rich

After writing down his formula for lifelong happiness, Einstein received a delivery from a hotel attendant.

The physicist, finding himself without any cash, handed his note to the bellboy in place of a tip. Einstein then reportedly told the bellboy to keep the note, which he claimed would eventually be more valuable than a regular tip.

Almost a century later, the attendant’s nephew put the theory to the test and put the note up for sale at a Jerusalem auction house.

After bidding started at $2,000, the price rapidly increased until an unidentified European buyer had won the bid, paying a final figure far higher than the pre-auction estimate of between $5,000 and $8,000.

Read more: Norway’s tips for achieving happiness

Watch video05:39

100 years of the Theory of Relativity

The bellboy’s will, Einstein’s way

A second note Einstein handed to the Tokyo attendant – “where there’s a will, there’s a way” – also sold at auction on Tuesday for $240,000, while two other letters that Einstein wrote later in his life fetched $33,600 and $9,600.

Einstein was born in the city of Ulm in the modern German state of Baden-Württemberg in 1879. He went on to transform modern physics with his general and special theories of relativity. By the time of his death in 1955, his name had become synonymous with genius.

amp/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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Iraqi forces clash with Kurds moving closer to regional capital Erbil (VIDEO)

Iraqi forces clash with Kurds moving closer to regional capital Erbil (VIDEO)
Iraqi and Kurdish forces have clashed in the town of Altun Kupri on the border of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, security official said, as Baghdad continues its offensive in the wake of a controversial referendum on Kurdish independence.

Iraqi security and pro-government militias descended on Altun Kupri, which lies some 50 km (30 miles) to the south of the Kurdish capital, Erbil, early on Friday.

Iraqi security and pro-government militias descended on Altun Kupri, which lies some 50 km (30 miles) to the south of the Kurdish capital, Erbil, early on Friday.

Video footage from the Kurdish front lines showed columns of smoke rising and what sounds like gunshots being heard in the distance.

In a statement, the Peshmerga General Command said it had repelled the Iraqi advance and destroyed a number of vehicles, including an American-made Abrams tank.

“In the morning of Friday October 20, 2017 at 8am, the Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] militias using American weapons which were given to the Iraqi army launched a widespread attack on the Peshmerga forces in [Altun Kupri] Pirde with the Iranian artillery units also involving,” read the statement published by the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

READ MORE: Iraqi forces taking over Kirkuk ‘a declaration of war’ – Kurdish Peshmerga

“Until now, all of the attacks have been repelled and forces defeated and more than 10 Humvees and an Abrams tank were destroyed. In the confrontation, the Kurdistan Peshmerga forces have bravely put up a defense, achieving a great dignity for them.”

However, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said that the military have secured the town and the area around it.

“Altun Kupri is now under the total control of federal forces,” the ministry said in a statement quoted by Al-Jazeera.

Pictures on social media appear to show Iraqi soldiers in the town, displaying captured Kurdish flags.

A security source told AFP that Iraqi forces managed to “hoist the flag on the municipality building” in Altun Kupri as the sides exchanged mortar and automatic gunfire.

The sources also said that Kurdish general Ghazi Dolemri was killed in the fighting on Friday.

It’s unclear how many have been killed or wounded in Altun Kupri, but hospitals have confirmed they are dealing with a number of casualties.

An Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that two bridges had been destroyed and local people were fleeing the scene, while the Kurds were sending in reinforcements.

According to Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, the governmet forces have extended its territory to within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of Kurdish capital, Erbil.

AFP reported further shelling as Iraqi troops and militias advanced on Sirawa, located five kilometers north of Altun Kupri.

The district of Alton Kupri lies on the border between Iraqi Kurdistan and disputed territories formerly under its control, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, which had been seized by the Kurdish peshmerga forces during the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) advance of 2014.

The fighting in Alton Kupri comes days after the Iraqi military captured the regional capital of Kirkuk on Monday, where fighting also broke out with Kurdish militias.

Though Kurdish peshmerga fought alongside Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias in the campaign against Islamic State, relations with the central government in Baghdad have taken a downward turn since then.

In September, the Kurdish government went ahead with a controversial referendum on independence, with 93 percent of voters opting for sovereignty. This drew the ire of not only Baghdad but also Turkey and Iran, which have their own large Kurdish minorities.

READ MORE: Barrels, ballots & ISIS: Why Iraq is taking back Kirkuk, and what the US will do about it

As a result, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered his military to take control of the contested areas including Kirkuk Governorate, and government forces began advancing on the region on Monday

Courtesy: RT

Storm Ophelia kills 3 as hurricane-force winds spark national emergency in Ireland (VIDEOS)

Storm Ophelia kills 3 as hurricane-force winds spark national emergency in Ireland (VIDEOS)
Three people have been killed in Ireland as hurricane-force winds batter the country. Ex-hurricane Ophelia is wreaking havoc across the island, leaving 385,000 homes and businesses without power.

The first victim, a woman in her 50s, died when the car she was travelling in was struck by a falling tree in County Waterford, in the country’s south-east. In County Tipperary, meanwhile, a man in his 30s died while trying to clear a felled tree with a chainsaw.

The third death occurred when a tree fell on a car in County Louth.

“The underlying message is people should not be driving at all now,” Irish Transport Minister Shane Ross told national radio on Monday. “The whole emphasis for today is on safety, keeping people alive.”

READ MORE: Hurricane Ophelia threatens Ireland & UK with 90mph winds & flooding (VIDEOS)

Irish authorities issued a status red weather warning on Sunday night, designated Ophelia a ‘national emergency’. With gusts of up to 170kph (106mph) ripping through the country, citizens have been urged to stay indoors and not to attempt any unnecessary journeys.

“Storm Ophelia which gave violent and destructive winds over Munster and south Leinster this morning will extend rapidly to the rest of the country this afternoon,” Irish national weather service, Met Eireann said on Monday afternoon, adding that “there is a danger to life and property.”

All schools, colleges and childcare facilities closed on Monday, while the majority of hospital appointments were also cancelled. The Department of Education also confirmed that all schools will be closed on Tuesday.

Many businesses also shut on Monday, while the majority of transport services in the country ceased to operate from early morning. Some 130 flights were also cancelled at a number of the country’s airports.

Reports from around the country tell of roofs being ripped from various structures, including one football stadium in Cork City. Falling trees have also made some of the country’s major roads impassable.

Damage being accessed to the stand in Turner’s Cross but too dangerous for further. We’ll keep you posted

The storm made land on the country’s south coast early on Monday, before moving northwest throughout the morning, spreading east in the afternoon. Though Ireland is no stranger to windy and rainy conditions, extreme weather events such as Ophelia are very rare.

The last time the country experienced such an event was more than 50 years ago. That storm resulted in the deaths of 11 people.

Courtesy: RT

Spectacular neutron star crash stretched space time by fraction of an inch (VIDEOS)

Spectacular neutron star crash stretched space time by fraction of an inch (VIDEOS)
The team of scientists from the LIGO and Virgo observatories have confirmed they witnessed both gravitational waves and light coming from the collision of two neutron stars, definitively proving Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Hundreds of scientists from 70 observatories on all seven continents – as well as an additional seven space-based laboratories – combined their resources and expertise to analyze the signal detected on August 17 this year.

“As these neutron stars spiraled together, they emitted gravitational waves that were detectable for about 100 seconds; when they collided, a flash of light in the form of gamma rays was emitted and seen on Earth about two seconds after the gravitational waves,” the researchers wrote in a press release.

The scientific community, using some of the most sensitive machines ever built by humankind, managed to determine that the two dense, dead stars were 200 miles apart before they merged just 100 seconds later, producing ripples in the fabric of space time.

For the first time, our telescopes & @LIGO detected light & gravitational wave signals from the same cosmic event: https://go.nasa.gov/2hJV3Ky 

“It is tremendously exciting to experience a rare event that transforms our understanding of the workings of the universe,” says France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funds LIGO.

“This discovery realizes a long-standing goal many of us have had, that is, to simultaneously observe rare cosmic events using both traditional as well as gravitational-wave observatories,” she added.

Fermi’s Gamma-ray Burst Monitor saw a flash from merging neutron stars. They also made  detected by @LIGO & @ego_virgo.

Neutron stars are produced following a supernova, one of the most spectacular cosmic events of which we’re aware. This collision event between two neutron stars is classified as a kilonova, which is even bigger.

The density of neutron stars is roughly three times greater than a normal star (for context, a neutron star measures approximately 20-25kms in diameter).

The gamma rays and gravitational waves emitted by the collision both travelled at the speed of light, 130 million years travel time, and were detected at almost the exact same time, proving Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was correct.

During the press conference, the team confirmed that this is the first time the cosmos has provided a “talking movie,”complete with an audible pop, as opposed to the silent movies we have witnessed thus far in our exploration of space.

The researchers confirmed predictions that some of the heaviest elements we know of, such as gold and platinum, are formed in these types of collisions.

Reitze: Definitive evidence that heavy elements like platinum and gold were formed in  collisions! 

It was the first time the new field of gravitational wave astronomy was combined with more traditional methods of astronomy to produce what the researchers described as “high risk, high reward” science.

While it may not seem like much, the massive celestial explosion stretched space time by a “billionth of a trillionth of an inch.”

Courtesy: RT

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