Saturday, July 18, 2015

‘Platinum’ asteroid potentially worth $5.4 trillion to pass Earth on Sunday



An asteroid believed to be carrying up to 90 million tons of platinum in its core, as well as other rare and precious materials, is about to swoosh past our planet. The news has left developers of asteroid-mining technologies intrigued.
The platinum-rich asteroid officially named 2011 UW158, is 452 meters by 1,011 meters in size and will pass Earth at a distance of an estimated 2.4 million kilometers, according to the Goldstone Radar Observatory. It will be 30 times closer to Earth than the closest planet of the Solar system.




However, when the asteroid does pass, it will still be six times further away than the moon’s orbit, so it will be impossible to see 2011 UW158 with the naked eye.

If you don’t happen to own a telescope – fear not. The Slooh Community Observatory is undertaking a project, which links powerful telescopes to the internet for public use, will broadcast images of the mineral-rich asteroid, from an observatory in the Canary Islands.

It will be possible to watch 2011 UW158 LIVE at Slooh’s Live Stadium at 22:00 GMT on Sunday.





The proximity of asteroid’s orbit to Earth has already put it on the ‘wish list’ for future robotic mining missions. According to different estimates, it might contain ore of precious metals and other minerals worth from $300 billion, to an incredible $5.4 trillion.



The composition of asteroid 2011 UW158 has been established with the help of spectrometers measuring the intensity of light reflected from an object.

The broadcast from Slooh will include commentary from network’s host Eric Edelman and Slooh astronomer Bob Berman about the asteroid itself and the “lucrative material it harbors.”



“It's always fun when an asteroid whooshes past our world,” Berman said in a Slooh announcement. “What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor. Can it be mined someday, perhaps not too far in the future?”




The so-called Planetary Resources group, an asteroid mining venture with financial backing from Google bosses Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, as well as British billionaire Richard Branson, defines asteroids like UW-158 as suitable for mining 'X-type,' having catalogued dozens of similar prospective targets across the solar system.

On Thursday, the company launched their first demonstration of the Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) vehicle from the International Space Station’s Kibo airlock - to test technologies for mining asteroids.

The vehicle was delivered to the ISS aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 in April. During its 90-day orbiting mission, the vehicle will be sending data to a group of scientists based at the firm’s headquarters in Redmond, WA.








Uncovered film shows Queen Elizabeth II rehearsing Nazi salute as a child (VIDEO)



A secret home movie that lay hidden for as long as eight decades, has just been released. It shows Queen Elizabeth II performing a Nazi salute as a child with her mother, sister and uncle at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The video was most likely filmed between 1933 and 1934, after Hitler's rise to power in Germany. The black-and-white footage, obtained by the British tabloid The Sun, features the then seven year-old Princess Elizabeth thrusting her right arm into the air in Adolf Hitler's signature gesture. She is seen dancing and waving excitedly at the camera with her younger sister Margaret, who was around three at the time. Their mother, Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) and their uncle, Prince Edward (whose links to the Nazis still remain a controversy) are also seen performing the notorious salute.





The film which only lasts about 18 seconds has caused a furore in Buckingham Palace.

"It is disappointing that film shot eight decades ago and apparently from HM's (her majesty's) personal family archive has been obtained and exploited in this manner," a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary newsreels,” a palace source added, according to the Daily Mail.

"No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest."



When King George V died, Prince Edward was crowned King Edward VIII in 1936. He voluntarily renounced the throne in December 1936, with his reign lasting less than a year, to marry his American lover Wallis Simpson. In 1937 Edward and his wife, who were given the titles of duke and duchess of Windsor, met Adolf Hitler in Germany.

According to the new research, carried out by Dr Urbach, which was revealed last month, Edward VIII wanted Britain to be bombed into an alliance with the Third Reich and blamed “Jews and Reds” for World War II.



The historian spent nearly a decade delving into the archives of 30 nations, including Germany, Spain and Russia, which revealed the fascist sympathies of many European aristocrats. Writing for The Conversation website ahead of the release of her new book, Urbach said that while Prince Edward has always been known for his "pro-Nazi sympathies", “the extent of his betrayal could never be fully verified due to the secrecy of the Royal Archives.”

She wrote: “The Royal Archives have always ensured that letters from German relatives of the royal family in the run up to World War II remain closed.
“Naturally, such censorship has led to endless conspiracy theories.”



“Intelligence reports and German, Spanish and Russian documents show members of the British royal family were indeed far closer to Nazi Germany than has previously been recognized,” Urbach said.

The records even hint at a possible correlation between the Duke’s fascist leanings and the start of the German bombing campaign against Britain.



Urbach wrote that in another conversation on June 25, 1940, Don Javier Bermejillo, a Spanish diplomat and old friend of the Duke of Windsor reported that Edward stressed if one bombed England effectively, this could bring peace.

“Bermejillo concluded that the Duke of Windsor seemed very much to hope that this would occur: ‘He wants peace at any price.’”









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