India likely to receive lower rains in June, monsoon to pick up in Aug-Sept: official
A pair of fearless firefighters saved a woman’s life by rescuing her from her car — which had sunk several feet into flood water.
The rescue occurred on Thursday on Acadian Thruway, just south of Interstate I-10 at a railroad underpass in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Curt Monte, public information officer for Baton Rouge Fire Department tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The video indicates that the woman’s sedan had turned and was bobbing, nose-down, in the flood. The firefighters pulled out tools and smashed what appeared to be a backseat window to pull out the woman and release her from the car.
WBRZ reported that since the truck was too far, a firefighter had to use the blunt end of his multi-tool to smash the window and cut his arm in the process.
Firefighter Aaron Samson indicated that the woman was lucky to have made it out of the car. “The chances of her getting out — if she hadn’t crawled to the back, it probably wouldn’t have went the way it went,” he said to WBRZ.
Footage taken by WBRZ shows that in a team effort, firefighters pulled the woman from the flooded underpass and helped her back to solid land.
Monte tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the Capt. Troy Pate, Fire Equipment Officer Jerome Courville, firefighters Aaron Samson and Thang Nguyen, and Engine 9 of Baton Rouge Fire Department were involved in the rescue.
Monte added that there were several rescues throughout the city on Thursday. One rescue turned to a fatality due to drowning after a man attempted to drive through the water. While firefighters managed to rescue him from the water, he died later in a local hospital.
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NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020 •NASA to open International Space Station to tourists starting in 2020 New York (AFP) – NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism — with stays priced at $35,000 a night — as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.”NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.There will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS.The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days. As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, NASA said.These travelers would be ferried to the orbiter exclusively by the two companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.These companies would choose the clients and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58 million for a round trip ticket.That is the average rate the companies will bill NASA for taking the space adventurers up to the ISS.But the tourists will also pay NASA for their stay in space, for food, water and use of the life support system on the orbiter.That will run about $35,000 per night per astronaut, said DeWit.The space station does not belong to NASA. It was built along with Russia starting in 1998, and other countries participate in the mission and send up astronauts.But the US has paid for and controls most of the modules that make up the orbiter.The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first: US businessman Dennis Tito had that honor in 2001. He paid Russia around $20 million for the trip.
A pride of 14 lions is on the loose near a mining community bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park
Johannesburg (AFP) – A pride of 14 lions is on the loose near a mining community bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park, officials said Friday, and warned members of the public to be alert.
The lions have been spotted roaming around the Foskor phosphate mine outside the town of Phalaborwa on the western boundary of the famed wildlife park, which is fenced in.
But a disagreement broke out what to do with the big cats, which are being monitored by a team of rangers until a new home is found where they cannot run into humans.
Officials from the Limpopo provincial government said the lions had escaped from the Kruger park and should be taken back.
But a Kruger spokesman said the big cats were not from the park and could not be moved there as well-established prides would drive them out.
„The widely reported pride of lions seen recently in the mining area outside Phalaborwa is not a known pride from the Kruger National Park,” spokesman Ike Phaahla said in a statement, adding this meant they were the responsibility of provincial authorities.
„It has been reported that this pride has been residing for more than a year within the Foskor Phalaborwa Mining Company and direct adjacent areas,” said Phaahla, adding there were elephants and buffalo aplenty for the lions to eat.
„The lion population within the Greater Kruger is very healthy, growing, and the suitable habitats occupied. It would therefore be unwise to relocate a lion pride in the territory of an existing pride,” he said.
– ‘There is a danger’ –
A meeting this week between local government and park officials agreed to capture the lions and find a suitable location to place them.
But Phaahla said any pride moved to the Kruger „will continually break out as other dominant lions will chase them out.”
Until the matter is settled, he warned, „there is a danger to members of the public who are working in the area.
„There is the possibility of wildlife-human conflict, so people have to be careful,” he told SABC public television. „We need to identify a park where they can be taken and establish their own area.”
In an online statement, the provincial department of environment and tourism advised Foskor Mine employees and residents in the area „to be alert at all times.”
Earlier this week, a leopard killed a two-year-old boy inside a fenced-off staff compound in the Kruger.
A team of rangers hunted down two suspected leopards and shot them dead to avoid the risk of a repeat.
The Kruger National Park covers nearly two million hectares (4.9 million acres) and is home to over 500 bird species and 147 mammal species.
Jupiter, the mighty “king” of the planets in our solar system, is regularly visible for those who know where and when to look for it, but next week will be a particularly special time for anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the gas giant. The planet and even its moons will be visible without a telescope, and Jupiter will be close to Earth than at any other time for the rest of the year.
In a “skywatching tips” post for the month of June, NASA says Jupiter is “at its biggest and brightest this month, rising at dust and remaining visible all night.”
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Jupiter should come closest to Earth near the middle of the month and, while it will still be very, very far way, we should be able to spot Jupiter and some of its larger moons with nothing more than a pair of binoculars as it enters its period of opposition on June 10th.
“The solar system’s largest planet is a brilliant jewel to the naked eye, but looks fantastic through binoculars or a small telescope, which will allow you to spot the four largest moons, and maybe even glimpse a hint of the banded clouds that encircle the planet,” NASA explains.
NASA says that while Jupiter will only be at its closest point for one night, the entire month of June should be prime for Jupiter-gazing: “Jupiter reaches opposition on June 10. This is the yearly occurrence when Jupiter, Earth and the Sun are arranged in a straight line, with Earth in the middle. It’s the best time of the year to see Jupiter, as the planet is visible in the sky all night, and it’s around the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth.”
A pair of decent binoculars should give you a great look at the gas giant, but if you happen to have a hobby telescope handy you’ll get an even better look at the massive world. For tips on where to look for Jupiter based on your specific location, consult EarthSky’s handy chart.
Don’t be alarmed, but the sun has just ‘gone blank’ – with recent NASA images showing that the sunspots and flares which speckle the surface have vanished.
The website SpaceWeather.com says, ‘The sun has been without spots for 16 consecutive days, a sign that Solar Minimum is underway.
‘This phase of the solar cycle brings extra cosmic rays and long-lasting holes in the sun’s atmosphere.’
But it’s perfectly normal – part of an 11-year cycle where sunspots regularly fade away, bringing a period of calm.
Dr Tony Philips, space weather expert at Nasa, wrote last month: ‘Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce.
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‘So far in 2018, the sun has been blank almost 60 per cent of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots. Today’s sun is typical of the featureless solar disk.
Sunspots are strongly magnetised and crackle with solar flares – magnetic explosions which bathe Earth in X-rays and UV radiation.
But over the past couple of years, they’ve been fading – and are sliding towards a low point expected in 2019/20.
‘This is called solar minimum,’ Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD said last year. ‘And it’s a regular part of the sunspot cycle.’
While intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares subside during solar minimum, that doesn’t mean the sun becomes dull. Solar activity simply changes form.
For instance, says Pesnell, ‘during solar minimum we can see the development of long-lived coronal holes.’
Coronal holes are vast regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles to escape the sun as the fast solar wind.
Pesnell says ‘We see these holes throughout the solar cycle, but during solar minimum, they can last for a long time – six months or more.’
Streams of solar wind flowing from coronal holes can cause space weather effects near Earth when they hit Earth’s magnetic field.