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Published: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 3:52 AM
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 3:52 AM
AUSTIN, Texas — Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is going to guest star on "Game of Thrones" Season 7.
Yeah, you read that right. And you can think Maisie Williams for it.
“Game of Thrones” showrunners reportedly made the announcement at a South by Southwest panel Sunday. According to showrunner David Benioff, the series' executives made the call as a special surprise to Williams, who is a big fan of the singer.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:25 AM
— This year's Lyrid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, and photographers flocked to social media to share some stunning snapshots of the celestial display.
Published: Monday, April 09, 2018 @ 2:29 PM
It’s the second meteor shower of 2018.
Here’s what you need to know about the Lyrid meteor shower and how to watch the celestial spectacle:
What are Lyrids?
The Lyrid meteors are named after their radiant, defined as the point in the sky from which they appear to come from, the constellation Lyra.
According to NASA, Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers and have been observed for 2,700 years. The first recorded sighting of a Lyrid meteor shower dates back to 687 BC by the Chinese.
What causes the meteor shower?
The meteors’ particles come from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, named after A. E. Thatcher, who first discovered it on April 5, 1861.
The Lyrids occur as the comet passes Earth and leaves behind “a trail of comet crumbs” or space debris.
What’s the difference between a meteoroid, a meteor and a meteorite?
Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, told Space.com that a meteoroid is essentially space debris. For example, the “crumbs” left behind from Halley’s Comet trail are meteoroids.
These “crumbs” can also be left behind by asteroids, such as the 3200 Phaethon.
Once the meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, they become meteors, or shooting stars.
Though most meteors disintegrate before hitting the ground, meteors that do strike the surface of the planet are called meteorites, Cooke said.
When will the Lyrid meteor shower peak?
The Lyrids are expected to illuminate the night sky between April 16 and April 25, but the shower will peak on the morning of Sunday, April 22. According to NASA, the shower will be active April 21-22.
How many meteors will I see?
With no moon in the sky, stargazers typically notice about 10 to 20 Lyrid meteors per hour.
Cooke told Space.com that this year, you’re likely to see about 18 meteors per hour.
But in the past, people have reported that they experienced as many as 100 meteors per hour during the Lyrids.
How bright will the meteors be?
The Lyrid meteor shower is known for its bright fireballs, but isn’t as luminous as August’s famous Perseid meteor shower.
What is the best time to see the meteors?
According to NASA, the Lyrids are viewed best in the Northern Hemisphere after the moon sets and before dawn.
Where can I watch the meteor shower?
Clear skies are essential for prime meteor shower viewing. Skyglow, the light pollution caused by localized street lights, will block out the stars and negatively affect your viewing experience, so head somewhere far from city lights.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:12 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:23 AM
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — At least four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.
Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 3:15 PM
Antarctica — The ice deep below eight of Antarctica's largest glaciers is melting at an alarming rate, a new scientific analysis has revealed.
According to the study, which was published this month in the academic journal Nature Geoscience, Antarctica's frozen underbelly is melting and receding at a rate around five times faster than normal. In the centuries following an ice age, glacier grounding lines should retreat about 82 feet per year. But the ice under Antarctica is retreating at speeds peaking around 600 feet annually.
Between 2010 and 2016, researchers discovered that warming ocean temperatures had melted away approximately 565 square miles of the southernmost continent's underwater ice. That's roughly the size of London, England.
Scientists focus a lot of attention on melting ice in Antarctica because it can have a major impact on rising sea levels, Justin C. Burton, assistant professor at Emory University's department of physics, said. If all of Antarctica's ice were to melt, this would raise sea levels by 200 feet.
"If greenhouse gas emissions aren't controlled, then many models show that a significant portion of the Antarctic ice sheets will eventually melt, especially Western Antarctica," Burton said, adding that even if it took centuries for all of the ice to melt, the shorter-term implications of rising sea levels would still be a significant problem for humanity.
"A few meters of sea level rise in the near future would be devastating," he said. "This study shows that the retreat is very rapid in many areas of Antarctica, although some have stabilized."
For the new study, scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds turned to satellite imagery and buoyancy equations to map out the "invisible retreat" of Antarctica's underwater ice. Their analysis focused on about 10,000 miles (or roughly one-third) of the continent's total perimeter.
"What's happening is that Antarctica is being melted away at its base. We can't see it, because it's happening below the sea surface," Professor Andrew Shepherd, one of the authors of the paper, told The Guardian. "The changes mean that very soon the sea-level contribution from Antarctica could outstrip that from Greenland."
Lead study author Hannes Konrad said in a statement that the data provides "clear evidence that retreat is happening across the ice sheet due to ocean melting at its base. This retreat has had a huge impact on inland glaciers, because releasing them from the seabed removes friction, causing them to speed up and contribute to global sea level rise.”
"Now that we have mapped the whole edge of the ice sheet, it rules out any chance that parts of Antarctica are advancing. We see retreat in more places and stasis elsewhere. The net effect is that the ice sheet overall is retreating. People can't say 'you've left a stone unturned'. We've looked everywhere now," Shepherd said.
Burton sees this new study as an even stronger challenge to climate change skeptics.
"It only solidifies our previous estimates of glacial retreat. For scientists, the current questions we face are not: 'is the climate changing,'" he said, pointing out that even major oil companies recognize that environmental changes are due to human influence.
"The questions we face now are 'how much' and 'how fast'. These are more difficult to answer, but previous estimates from decades ago seem to be accurate, and very worrisome," he said. "I think much of the skepticism today stems from a distrust of science itself. The skeptics aren't offering any type of scientific rebuttal. This is unfortunate, as climate change is perhaps the biggest problem humanity faces."
Beyond Antarctica's melting ice, a major scientific study published in December suggested that the worst-case predictions regarding the effects of global warming are the most likely to be true.
"Our study indicates that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93 percent chance that global warming will exceed 4°C by the end of this century," Dr. Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, who co-authored the study, said at the time.
Last year, more than 15,000 scientists from around the world signed an open letter warning that quick and drastic actions should be undertaken by society to address the threat of climate change.
"Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out," scientists wrote in the letter. "We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home."