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Breaking News


Photo Shows Huge 3,280-Ft Asteroid Approaching Earth

An astronomer has captured footage of the asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) ahead of its close pass by Earth on Tuesday afternoon. 1994 PC1 is a huge asteroid thought to be around a kilometer or 3,280 feet in diameter. It's classed as "potentially hazardous" according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) due to its size and potential to get relatively close to our planet—though it is not expected to hit Earth.
Newsweek article
NASA Eyes on Asteriods  Takes a while to load, but its 3D interactive content is worth the wait!

Russia sends troops to Belarus for war games

ussian officials on Tuesday said Moscow is sending troops to Belarus for joint military drills, a move that will place more Kremlin troops and equipment near Ukraine as Western nations fear an invasion. Russia and Belarus will participate in drills involving exercises to "thwart and repel a foreign aggression," according to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin, as reported by The Associated Press.
The Hill on MSN articleMap


Wolf Moon

The year's first Full Moon, Wolf Moon, is named after howling wolves, but it's also often called the Moon After Yule in the Anglo-Saxon tradition.
Wolf MoonReuters slide showGeneral full moon infoFull Moon simple facts


Tonga volcano violent eruption mapped

An underwater volcano near Tonga violently erupted today, prompting tsunami warnings for the entirety of the Polynesian kingdom. Residents have been urged to evacuate to higher ground, with surges likely to hit the north and east coasts of North Island and the Chatham Islands.
Express articleYahoo!News articleVolcano Discovery pageActive volcanoes mapMap


Powerful volcanic blast not the cause for 2018 Indonesian island collapse

The dramatic collapse of Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano in December 2018 resulted from long-term destabilising processes, and was not triggered by any distinct changes in the magmatic system that could have been detected by current monitoring techniques, new research has found.
ScienceDaily articleCan the Anak Krakatoa mount erupt again like the Krakatoa mount?


World's largest fish breeding area discovered in Antarctica

Near the Filchner Ice Shelf in the south of the Antarctic Weddell Sea, a research team has found the world's largest fish breeding area known to date. A towed camera system photographed and filmed thousands of nests of icefish of the species Neopagetopsis ionah on the seabed.
Science News articleMap


Sandia Peak Tramway reopens after maintenance repairs

Operations are back up and running at the Sandia Peak Tramway, after two tram cars were stuck on cable lines, near Tower Two on Dec. 31. Twenty-one employees were rescued. The group was stuck overnight for more than 15 hours.
KOAT articleMap


North Korea claims successful test of hypersonic missile

North Korea said Wednesday its leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a successful flight test of a hypersonic missile he claimed would remarkably increase the country's nuclear "war deterrent."
CTV News/Associated Press articleMap

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it takes place between December 20 and 23, depending on the year. (The reverse is true in the Southern Hemisphere, where the shortest day of the year occurs in June.) articleEnlarge -->


Could Mineral Shortages Prove To Be Electric Flight's Kryptonite?

The aviation industry is betting on commercial electric flight as part of a portfolio approach to reach its net-zero by 2050 target. However, among the different challenges facing a transition to electric air travel, the torrential increase in demand for lithium and other crucial minerals could prove to be one of the most difficult to overcome.
Simple Flying articleInvestopedia articleThe Guardian articleMap


Atmospheric river snarls travel in Northern Calif. with whiteout conditions

Several parts of the West Coast experienced road closures and damage from rain, snow and wind as an impactful storm system came ashore. Many of the passes along eastern California, such as Carson Pass and Sonora Pass, were expected to see several feet of snow. The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Sacramento warned chain controls and road closures would remain possible.
AccuWeather article
Another Accuweather article on Southern California storm
Current northern Sierra road conditions
Difference between high and low pressure weather systems
Another explanation of a Low-Pressure System?
Coriolis EffectHigh and low rotation graphic

Arrive Before You Leave: The Flights That 'Time Travel'

There's something exciting about flights that arrive before they leave, obviously because of time zone differences. It's especially intriguing if they involve short (or comparatively short) routes and/or unusually unsociable times.
Simple Flying articleExamples


China Builds Military Base Dubbed 'New Great Wall' on Disputed Subi Reef in the South China Sea

Tension escalates in the South China Sea (SCS) as China builds military base on disputed Subi Reef. China displays dominance as another installation takes on reefs which are claimed by other nations.
HNGN articleHNGN articleSubu Reef mapMischief Reef mapSee below
South China Seas and Taiwan Subject Section


A massive tornado ripped through Kentucky for more than 200 miles

The largest and most devastating of the four tornadoes that ripped into Kentucky overnight Saturday tore through hundreds of miles and multiple states. The storm originated in Arkansas, according to Kentucky Division of Emergency Management director Michael Dossett, and touched down in Missouri and Tennessee before making its way into the Bluegrass State, where it ripped through the western half of the state before finally weakening in central Kentucky.
Updated Forbes article
Before-and-after satellite images show destruction of candle factory

The 10 Worst Tornadoes in the U.S.

From April 09, 2020: What would you consider the worst tornadoes in U.S. history? Former severe weather expert at The Weather Channel, Dr. Greg Forbes, combed through damage costs (adjusted for inflation through 2011) and fatality statistics in order to rank the nation's worst single tornadoes, using a 100-point scale.
Weather Channel article from April 09, 2020Current NDTV articleMap

Blue Origin launch: Michael Strahan, 5 others blast off to suborbital space

Crew launched from the Jeff Bezos-owned rocket company's West Texas Launch Site One facility
Fox Business articleEarlier Bezos' Rocket LaunchMap


Intel’s $20B Arizona investment: A plan to reclaim America’s semiconductor dominance

America's reliance on semiconductors from overseas hurts national security, Intel exec says
Fox Business articleWrangler News articleMap


China's navy seeks Atlantic base in West African nation, report says

China has its eyes on Equatorial Guinea for a new military base, which would give Beijing a new naval foothold in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a media report that comes following long-standing concerns among U.S. military leaders about China’s ambitions in West Africa.
Stars & Stripes article
What is China's Belt and Road Initiative?Map

Elon Musk says SpaceX is building a launch pad for Starship orbital flights on Florida's eastern coastline

Elon Musk said on Friday that SpaceX is constructing a launch pad for its Starship spaceship in Florida ahead of the rocket's first orbital flight. "Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun," Musk tweeted.
Yahoo!news articleEarlier Insider article


74 Million Annual Passengers: Gatwick Airport’s Expansion Plans

London Gatwick Airport has historically been the UK’s second-busiest airport by passenger traffic. It retained this ranking in 2020, albeit with a far lower number of passengers due to the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the crisis has prompted some carriers to reduce their operations at Gatwick, the airport has big plans for the future.
Simple Flying ArticleLondon Area Airports

Kiribati is being swallowed

The frontline of the climate crisis doesn’t always resemble a disaster zone. The nation of Kiribati - deep in the Pacific Ocean - can look on the surface like a tropical paradise. And yet this idyllic country, made up of 33 low lying islands, is destined to become the first victim of climate change, on track to be swallowed by rising sea levels.
The seas are coming for us in Kiribati. Will Australia rehome us?
Our existence might be in jeopardy: How Kiribati is being swallowed by rising seas
The Country & Geographic Location


Ryanair 737 flies into a flock of Herons

Frightening video captured flames spewing out of a Ryanair plane’s engine after a collision with a flock of herons while on approach to an airport in Italy.The long-legged, long-necked birds were sucked into an engine of the Boeing 737 moments before the flight from London Stansted Airport landed in Bologna about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Independent.
New York Post ArticleMap

30 Years Ago Today Pan Am Ceased Operations

On this day, 30 years ago, Pan Am flew its last commercial flight and ceased operations. The six-decade-old airline has come to symbolize modern international travel, embedding itself in pop culture and the public spotlight. Here’s a look back at the airline’s history and why it has so many fans.
Simple Flying article on the Lockerbie bombingCrash site map


Sharks and tarpons and manatees

Temperatures in the 50s led to quite the scene outside a power plant discharge station in Central Florida with hundreds of marine animals spotted basking in the warm, sunlit waters. This time of year, manatee spottings near the Tampa Electric power plant are common, but what made Tuesday’s event more unique was the addition of hundreds of other fish, including dozens of sharks.
Fox weather articleMap


U.S. to restrict travel from South Africa, 7 other countries as new Covid variant emerges

The United States will restrict travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday as a new Covid variant emerges.
CNBC ArticleMap

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Is Moscow Prepared To Invade Kyiv As Tensions Soar On Border?

There is 'no certainty' about intentions of Russia, both NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and the US secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have warned.

Russia’s well-planned armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014 resulted in Moscow’s annexation of a part of the Ukrainian territory. The Crimean Peninsula and certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which the Russian Ministry of Defence affirms was an attempt at an “unconstitutional coup in Ukraine”. The political takeover of the autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol was the Kremlin’s first military operation aimed at undermining independence and sovereignty of Ukraine articleArea MapAdditional info


Extremely strong magnitude-7.5 earthquake hits northern Peru

The U.S. Geological Survey says a strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 has struck in northern Peru at 5:52 a.m. Sunday local time. While the quake was extremely strong, it was relatively deep — measured at 112 kilometers — which usually reduces damage and casualties.


South China Sea: China issues warning against US as warship sails through Taiwan Strait

Nations are still at odds against China over the South China Sea, including the Taiwan Strait. Following the passage of a US warship in the narrow region of water, China has issued a warning on the US against making any provocation.
EconoTimes Article
Reuters article - Philippines rejects China's demand to remove grounded navy shipMapSee article below
South China Seas and Taiwan Subject Section


'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Release Date Delayed a Week

Spoiler Alert: Sit all the way through the closing credits
September 1st article by Variety
Ghostbusters Shooting Locations


Polar night: Sun sets for last time this year in America's northernmost city

You read that right! Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, Alaska, will watch the sun set for the last time this year Thursday.
Article by WKMG ClickOrlando


US reportedly plans diplomatic boycott of China’s Winter Olympics

The US is going to stage a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China and will not send an official delegation in protest against human rights abuses, according to a report on Tuesday.

Under such a diplomatic boycott, US athletes would take part as normal, but there would be no accompanying political delegation of officials and politicians.
The Guardian article

The venues:
The National Stadium, also known as "The Bird's Nest." The stadium also hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics, as well as the athletics competition and men's football final of the Summer Games. Will host ice skating events.

The nearby National Indoor Stadium, nicknamed "The Fan" due to its design that resembles a traditional Chinese folding fan, will share hosting duties for the ice hockey competition with Wukesong Sports Centre.

Also nearby, The National Speed Skating Oval, nicknamed "The Ice Ribbon," is the only new venue built on Beijing's Olympic Green (the Olympic Park constructed for the 2008 Games) for the Winter Olympics. It will host the speed skating competition. The stadium replaced the site of the Olympic Green Hockey Field, and the Olympic Green Archery Field.

Wukesong Sports Centre was also built for the 2008 Olympics. It is about 8 miles southwest of the Bird's Nest, and it will serve as the main indoor venue for ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games alongside the National Indoor Stadium.

Capital Indoor Stadium is 5 miles southwest of the Bird's Nest was built in 1968, has staged several important sporting events, including the table tennis matches between China and the United States as part of the ping pong diplomacy exchange program in 1971, and one of the first NBA games in China in 2004. After hosting the volleyball tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Capital Indoor Stadium will stage the figure skating and short track speed skating competitions during the Winter Olympics.

The Big Air Shougang
was built on a former steel mill site, set against the backdrop of four industrial cooling towers, is 14 miles
southwest of the Bird's Nest. It will stage the freestyle skiing and snowboard Big Air competitions at the Games. Following the Winter Olympics, the venue will be used for various sports competitions and athlete training, as well as cultural and civic events.

While the mountain skiing venues are referred to as Yanqing , they are actually 40 miles northwest of there. Two have existed, and one is being built. The two are:
•   Wanlong Ski Resort , almost 84 miles northwest of the Bird's Nest as the crow fly's. the Wanlong Ski Resort, oldest of the three, will host slalom snowboarding.
•  Genting Resort Secret Garden which is adjancent to Wanlong, just to the north, 80 miles the Bird's Nest as the crow fly's. The snowboarding slopestyle, halfpipe, and some of the freestyle skiing will take place at Genting Secret Garden. The resort opened in 2011.

The new one is Thaiwoo Ski Resort and it is still under construction, which will host the snowboard cross and freestyle skiing.

They are a 140 mile drive from Beijing. None of them get much natural snow so snowmaking will be essential.

The one venue near Yanqing is National Sliding Center (map shows construction site), which will host the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions. (Conceptual plan)

Zhangjiakou City in north China's Hebei Province, will stage the biathlon competition. Following the Games, the centre will be used by the Chinese national team for training, and as a tourist resort. Also in the area the ski jumping competition.


Vietnam construction continues at 3 South China Sea features

Vietnam is carrying out construction on three islands in the South China Sea at the same time, satellite imagery shows.
Radio Free Asia article

Maps Pearson ReefNamyit IslandSand Cay

South China Sea Map of military outpostsSee below
South China Seas and Taiwan Subject Section


Russia sends paratroopers to Belarus amid fears of Ukraine invasion

Russia dispatched paratroopers to Belarus Friday amid growing tension between the Minsk government and Poland over increasing numbers of migrants along their border — and fears in the West that Vladimir Putin could soon launch an invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin’s Defense Ministry said that forces will parachute from heavylift Il-76 transport planes in Belarus’ Grodno region — which borders Poland — as part of joint war games involving Belarusian air defense assets, helicopter gunships and other forces.
NY Post articleMap


Engineer says doomed MH370 plane ‘flew in circles for 20 mins before vanishing’

An engineer claims he’s used a computer program to discover flight MH370 was put into a 20-minute holding pattern before vanishing. Richard Godfrey has been tracking the Boeing 777’s flight path using WSPRnet – which uses radio signals – and claims to have made a major breakthrough. Godfrey says using WSPRnet he is able to track all aircrafts going back as far as 2009. New York Post Article

Technical article on how multiple receiving stations could triangulate the flight path
Area where the plane might of went into a holding pattern

Weather ballon

Weather balloon goes on 117-mile ride over Lake Michigan

A weather balloon launched in Wisconsin Tuesday took a 117-mile journey across Lake Michigan. Launched in Green Bay, WI, it landed in Traverse City, Michigan. Fox News Article     Map


Saturday was the big protest day at the COP26 climate summit.

Friday's student protests brought about 25,000 people into the streets of Glasgow, Scotland.
Scottish Event Campus

For the first time in decades, members of the public will be allowed to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza

This is an honor typically reserved for presidents.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The United States ordered non-emergency officials to leave Ethiopia on Friday

This is due to the ongoing armed conflict and possible supply shortages. In a security alert, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa said that incidents of unrest and ethnic violence were "occurring without warning.


Astroworld Festival Tragedy

Houston authorities are investigating what officials described as a crowd surge that killed at least eight people and injured scores of others, at the Astroworld Festival. The dead ranged in age from 14 to 27, and 13 people were still hospitalized Saturday, Mayor Sylvester Turner said. Dozens were injured.
NRG Park

Fuel tanker exploded on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown late Friday

The explosion killed and wounded dozens at a busy intersection, according to local media reports. It happened outside the Choithram Supermarket in the densely populated Wellington suburb in the east of the city.
Choithram Supermarket

Two missing Oregon women were found in an Idaho forest Friday

Two missing Oregon women were found in an Idaho forest Friday, the mother dead from the elements and the disabled daughter alive with their broken down vehicle.
Idaho Panhandle National Forests


Supply Chain Bottlenecks

Choke Points

West Coast Ports

Oakland/San Francisco
Los Angeles/Long Beach

California Rail Choke Points

Article - Ship navigation choke points
Suez CanalSee article below
Strait of Hormuz
Malacca Strait
Panama Canal

As tensions simmer over Taiwan, global semiconductor chip supply hangs in the balance

Tensions between China and Taiwan are escalating, and confusion sparked by President Joe Biden's recent pledge to defend Taiwan has sent his administration scrambling to assure the international community that's not necessarily the case.

It's the latest twist in a longstanding drama that could upend political and economic stability in the region and reframe China's power in the world. But experts warn there could be another casualty in the case of war in the Taiwan Strait: The remaining global supply of semiconductor chips.

After a year of shortages, the prospect of yet another interruption to the chip supply likely is enough to make Detroit's automakers and their foreign rivals shudder. Taiwan produces 65% of all chips globally and is home to the largest semiconductor company in the world, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

The Detroit News article
Taiwan Strait
South China Seas and Taiwan Subject Section

74 Years Ago The Spruce Goose Flew For The First And Last Time

Designed by the Hughes Aircraft Company, the Hughes H-4 Hercules, commonly known as the Spruce Goose, intended to be a strategic airlift flying boat, made its first and last flight 74 years ago yesterday. The Spruce Goose could carry two Sherman tanks. Simple Flying Article
The original hanger and what it is being used for today
It spent a number of years under a dome at the mouth of the Los Angeles River in Long Beach. Map
Where it is today Map


Rust Movie Shooting

"Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died in an on-set shooting involving actor Alec Baldwin that also left director Joel Souza hospitalized.

It remains unclear how and why a suspected real bullet made it into the prop gun – believed to be a F.LLI Pietta Long Colt .45 Revolver – which Baldwin had allegedly been handed by a crew member moments earlier, according to the sheriff of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

New York Post article
Bonanza Creek Ranch


Challenger 605 Crash in Truckee, CA

Explore what might have caused this tragic crash during approach into an historically demanding airport
Article on Crash in Truckee
Update: Challenger 605 Crash in Truckee
Possible cause
Flight Path
Additional backgroundMore
Aircraft info
Crash Site
Ring camera captures apparent sounds of jet crashing in Truckee


How a container ship blocked the Suez canal

A container ship nearly 100 metres longer than the height of London’s Shard ran aground on Tuesday morning in the Suez canal, blocking one of the most vital arteries of the global economy
Visual Guide article from The Guardian
Updated article
Additional visuals