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Science world ignores politics, preps for lunar space station

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 2:52 PM

NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.
Zak GHM
NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.(Zak GHM)

Working in the news business, it is easy to get distracted by the unsettling chaos of the day and the uneasy political climate.

»MORE: What to know about sky events

Most days, I tune out a lot of the bad news and try to focus on the weather and what good is happening. Yes, there are some good things. Despite our political discourse and the unnecessary politicization of science, the science community continues to work together for a better and brighter world with new, exciting adventures for exploration and study. This gives me great optimism for the future.

International Space Station flyover Kettering

One great example is the announcement of a new multi-national quest to build a lunar space station. Late last month, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos announced they would join a NASA-led effort to build an international human outpost near the moon. The Russians will now join the European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese (JAXA) and Canadian space agencies (CSA) who are already working with NASA, on a plan to construct a modular habitat to be known as Deep-Space Gateway. The habitat will be built in orbit around the moon, and will become a primary destination for astronauts, extending the presence of humans beyond earth’s orbit for the first time since 1972 when Apollo missions ended.

»WEATHER: Get the latest Storm Center 7 forecast

The Deep-Space Gateway, if funded, is expected to be launched on NASA’s giant SLS rocket and serviced by the crews of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft. Once operational, the outpost is expected to pave the way for mission to Mars in the 2030s with the construction of a Deep Space Transport. It is also possible that Deep-Space Gateway will allow for future missions to the moon’s surface and perhaps even a lunar habitat. While some may think that such an undertaking could be a waste of money, it is important to realize the amazing discoveries that occur in space that significantly advance technology and research right here on earth. You can thank the space program for inventions like hand-held vacuum cleaners, breathing apparatus for firefighters, lasers that assist with heart surgery, satellite television, lightning detection systems and so much more.

The International Space Station (ISS) is the primary destination for astronauts and cosmonauts. The ISS is supported by NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Interestingly, the station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Currently, the American portion of ISS is being funded until 2024.

The lunar station, Deep-Space Gateway is expected to go under construction in the mid-2020s according to Roscosmos with both US and Russian rockets being used to launch the modules into space.

Now - if we could just get political leaders across the world to learn from the scientific community - and look beyond petty differences, greed and infighting. Working together with other nations can only help the advancement of science and technology, and perhaps someday, develop cures to diseases and famine. Despite our differences and beliefs, we are and will always be a tiny speck of something much, much bigger. The only question is - what will our contribution be?

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Warming trend to last through the weekend

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:12 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:54 PM

Flooding concerns increase with snowmelt and rain this weekend.

A gradual warm-up will continue through the weekend and into the start of next week, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. 

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Some refreeze possible tonight
  • Temperatures climb into the 40s this weekend
  • Wet, but mild start to next week

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Tonight: Mainly clear skies are expected through the evening. Breezy conditions and chilly as temperatures fall through the 30s towards an overnight low in the upper 20s.

5 Day Forecast with Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

Saturday: Sunshine to start the day, but clouds will increase late, Elwell said. It will be breezy at times with highs in the lower to middle 40s.

Sunday: Lots of clouds are expected during the day with a chance for drizzle or light rain and fog. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

Monday: Rain will be likely, especially in the afternoon. Gusty winds will also be likely with highs in the lower 50s. 

Tuesday: Colder air returns with blustery, cloudy conditions. A few passing flurries or snow showers are possible with highs in the middle 30s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: Some sunshine returns but it will stay chilly. Highs will be in the upper 30s

WPAFB Friday Forecast: Chilly start, warm-up underway

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:06 AM

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TODD JACKSON | STAFF
Staff Writer
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TODD JACKSON | STAFF(Staff Writer)

After another chilly start, temperatures will make it back above freezing this afternoon for the first time in a week with highs in the middle 30s, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

Skies will remain mostly sunny. Dry weather will stick around through the day Saturday with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. Temperatures are expected to rebound into the middle 40s.

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

The warming trend will continue into Sunday, although you'll have to dust of the umbrellas with the chance for showers arriving by mid-morning.

>> WHIO Weather App

Showers will be even more likely Monday as high temperatures reach 50 degrees before falling late in the day.

Warming trend gets underway

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:34 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:29 AM

Temperatures rise, but rain comes along for the ride.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Blustery, still chilly tonight
  • Temps to head above normal this weekend
  • Showers return to the Valley by Sunday

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

DETAILED FORECAST

>> WHIO Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

Tonight: Skies will be mostly clear. A few clouds will be possible from time to time. Temperatures will fall back into the upper teens by morning.

Friday: Expect mostly sunny skies and more seasonably temperatures climbing into the middle 30s. It will be a bit breezy at times.

>> Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Indiana night sky 

Saturday: Some sunshine will start the day but clouds will be on the increase. It will be milder with temperatures rising into the middle 40s. There will be the chance for a few showers or drizzle late at night with temperatures holding nearly steady.

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

Sunday: Skies will be mostly cloudy with a chance for drizzle or light rain. Temperatures will top out in the upper 40s.

Monday: Cloudy skies are expected with showers likely, especially by late afternoon. It will be windy and mild with highs reaching into the lower 50s. Colder air will usher back in Monday night.

Tuesday: Skies will remain mostly cloudy with a chance for a few snow showers or flurries. It will be colder with blustery conditions and highs in the middle 30s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM

Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest.  Contributed photo
Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest. Contributed photo

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast.

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RELATED: Download our free WHIO weather APP to stay informed 

  • Lyrids: Active April 16-25. Rates are usually 10-15 meteors per hour. A dark sky is expected. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very bright. The shower peaks pre-dawn April 22.
  • Eta Aquariids- This shower peaks May 5 before dawn. There are typically 10-20 meteors per hour.
  • Delta Aquariids- View before July 27-30. The best viewing is before dawn. There are usually 15-20 meteors per hour. This year there will be a full moon.
  • RELATED: Meteors explained: What happens before the flash of light?

    • Perseids- This is a very active shower. August 11,12,13 head outside from the late evening through dawn. The moon this year won’t get in the way.
    • Draconids- This shower peaks October 8. It is better in the evening hours with only a handful of meteors per hour. 
    • Orionids- This shower peaks October 21 before dawn. There are 10-20 meteors per hour. The moon might get in the way.

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    • South Taurids- This shower peaks November 4-5. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight and there will be no moonlight. 
    • North Taurids- This shower peaks November 11-12. There are about five meteors per hour. This shower is active overnight. 
    • Leonids- This shower peaks November 17 or 18. Look before dawn on those mornings to see 10-15 meteors per hour.
    • Geminids- This shower peaks December 13-14 with about 50 meteors per hour! It is best in the early morning before dawn. 

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