The Daily Dose: New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down

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COVID-19 inspired flight from New York City has been a thing since late March. It started with whispers and rumors but has grown since then. Real estate brokers in suburbs surrounding the city have been reporting sustained, increased interest in their areas. “Demand for homes, say brokers, is fuelled not only by fears that coronavirus infections in densely populated urban areas could rise again next winter, but also by fundamental shifts in demand from in-office to remote workers, and by the protests following the police killing of George Floyd that have dominated New York’s streets.” The phenomenon shows that things that occur in the “scientific” world have far-reaching real impacts.

The New Horizons satellite continues to collect exciting data as it continues its journey outside of our solar system. As per Nature, “On 22 and 23 April, the New Horizons team pointed the probe’s main camera at Proxima Centauri — the star closest to the Sun — which is about 1.3 parsecs (4.2 light years) away, as well as another star, called Wolf 359. NASA asked professional and amateur astronomers to take pictures of these two stars, at exactly the same time, from Earth. Because New Horizons is now 46 times farther from the Sun than Earth is, the two points of view are distant enough that the stars’ positions look slightly different with respect to other, more distant objects. By measuring that difference, astronomers can calculate the two stars’ distances from Earth.” On a very basic observational level, the image offers the POV of a distant object outside of our planet’s reference point.

NASA continues to inch its way toward, what it hopes, will be a return of American astronauts to the moon’s surface. One crucial step in the return is to determine possible sources of water, considered key to establishing long term settlements there. The space agency has selected the company that will be responsible for kickstarting its water exploration project. According to NASA’s website, “NASA has awarded Astrobotic of Pittsburgh $199.5 million to deliver NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s South Pole in late 2023… The water-seeking mobile VIPER robot will help pave the way for astronaut missions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024 and will bring NASA a step closer to developing a sustainable, long-term presence on the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program.” Of course, colonizing the moon is also a crucial step in a larger goal: sending humans to Mars.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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