It’s Memorial Day today, and after five days of laying on my couch, my ankle is finally starting to feel better. At least my toes don’t feel like they’re going to pop off my foot anymore. While I continue to lay about, here’s a few more interesting links.
- Astronaut Wants Asteroid Mission – Russell Schweickart, former NASA Apollo astronaut, is pushing for a space mission to plant a homing beacon on an errant asteroid. The 1,050 foot asteroid, 2004 MN4, was discovered in late December 2004, and the news that it will pass closer than any other asteroid to earth was quickly swamped by the Asian tsunami disaster. But it is still out there, slowly drawing a bead on our blue green world. The asteroid will skirt the earth by just 23,000 miles in 2029, less than a fourth of the distance to the moon. But Schweickart’s concern is that this close encounter will perturb the orbit of this behemoth, and possibly send the odds of a future impact in 2035 or 2036 soaring. And by then it would be too late. The impact of an asteroid that size would send enormous tsunami rushing around the earth, and release more energy than a dozen Krakatoas. Hence his proposal to plant a transponder on the rock so that further refinements can be made to it’s mass and orbit.
- Bubble Power – I’ve mentioned it before, but here’s the real deal, straight from the horse’s mouth. The use of sound waves to induce nuclear fusion just might be a viable method of producing energy. The scientists responsible for this ‘sono-fusion’ research explain their work in a fascinating article.