Archive | December 2019


Subject to change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 253 km NE of Islamabad, Pakistan / pop: 602,000 / local time: 22:18:56.8 2019-12-30

163 km N of Srīnagar, India / pop: 976,000 / local time: 22:48:56.8 2019-12-30
52 km SE of Gilgit, Pakistan / pop: 9,900 / local time: 22:18:56.8 2019-12-30

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Subject to change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 276 km NE of Dubai, United Arab Emirates / pop: 1,138,000 / local time: 17:49:45.5 2019-12-30

49 km NE of Bandar ‘Abbās, Iran, Islamic Republic of / pop: 353,000 / local time: 17:19:45.5 2019-12-30

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#Asteroid warning: Space rock 3 times size of VW Beetle hurtling towards #Earth for #NewYear


Asteroid warning: Space rock 3 times size of VW Beetle hurtling towards Earth for New Year (Image: GETTY)

AN ASTEROID is hurtling towards Earth for the New Year as NASA kicks off 2020 with an astronomical threat.

A space rock bigger than four African Bush Elephants – the largest of the elephants – is shooting towards Earth, with it set to arrive while 2020 is still fresh. The asteroid, which has a diameter of 13 metres, has been dubbed 2019 AE3 and it is making its way through the solar system at a staggering 8.2 kilometres per second (5MPS), or 29,520 kilometres per hour. At that speed, the asteroid would be able to make it from London to New York in around six minutes.

For reference, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet ever built, could not even reach New York from London in an hour.

Asteroid AE3 will be at its closest to Earth on January 2 when it is just 0.013 AU (astronomical unit) away from our planet.

One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun (149,598,000 km), so AE3 will be just 19,44,772 kilometres from Earth.

While this may seem like a sizeable distance, it is close enough for NASA to sit up and take notice.

The US-based space agency have classed 2019 AE3 as a Near Earth Object (NEO) and allow the space agency to study the history of our solar system.

NASA set on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: “NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.

“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.

“The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today.

“Likewise, today’s asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.”

While this specific asteroid poses no threat to Earth, NASA experts have warned there is a “100 percent” chance an asteroid will hit our world.

Greg Leonard, a senior research specialist at Catalina Sky Survey – a NASA funded project supported by the Near Earth Object Observation Program (NEOO) – told Bryan Walsh for the latter’s new book End Times: “I know the chances of me dying in an asteroid impact is less than dying from a lightning strike.

“But I also know that if we do nothing, sooner or later, there’s a one hundred percent chance that one will get us. So I feel privileged to be doing something.”

Courtesy of


Subject to change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 91 km SW of Bern, Switzerland / pop: 122,000 / local time: 23:36:25.7 2019-12-29

31 km SE of Lausanne, Switzerland / pop: 117,000 / local time: 23:36:25.7 2019-12-29
3 km W of Châtel, France / pop: 1,400 / local time: 23:36:25.7 2019-12-29

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Thousands of dead #fish found in a creek in #Mackay, #Australia

Fish Kill Alert

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on the banks of a tidal creek.

Courtesy of

Nearly 30,000 #pigs killed by #AfricanSwineFever in #Indonesia

African Swine Fever Alert

Tens of thousands of pigs have died from African swine fever in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, officials said Thursday, the first time the virus has been detected in the country.

The disease has devastated swine herds in China and elsewhere in Asia, and initially Indonesia authorities put the death of 27,000 pigs down to hog cholera — a different virus with similar symptoms.

But Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, an official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture, told AFP that laboratory tests had recorded evidence of African swine fever in 16 regencies and cities in North Sumatra.

“It had never (before) occurred in Indonesia,” he added.

While the virus cannot be transmitted to humans, it is almost 100 percent fatal in pigs.

Although Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation — and eating pork is forbidden by the Koran — the country also boasts a small Christian majority in North Sumatra, and Bali is a Hindu island whose signature dish is roast pig.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Agency said it was working with the government on containment, but the outbreak in Indonesia poses unique challenges.

Unlike China, where huge herds are reared and processed in factory-like conditions and outbreaks can be contained, in Indonesia most pigs are raised in backyard sties or on small farms, and sold at markets where the virus can easily spread.

Outbreaks of African swine fever have also been recorded in Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and East Timor.

Courtesy of

Thousands of dead #fish, a ‘biblical style plague’, wash up on beach in #Andalucia, #Spain

Fish Kill Alert

THOUSANDS of dead fish have washed up on an Andalucian beach in an environmental catastrophe of biblical proportions.

Green group, Ecologists in Action, reported that a shoal of dead fish mixed with plastic and other rubbish had washed up on the beach in Granada.

Members of the environmental organisation believe the disaster, which has seen dead fish cover the entire length of El Penon de Salobrena beach, may have been caused by a toxic spill.

“It appears too extensive to be the discarded catch of a fishing boat,” said a spokesperson from the group.

“The fish have open mouths and spots along their bodies,” they added.

Courtesy of

10 dead #dolphins found washed up on a beach in #Devon, #UK – Warning – graphic image

Warning – graphic images of dolphins washed up in South Devon

(Image: Dave Bailey)

The remains of ten dolphins have been washed up on one South Devon beach in recent weeks.

Eco campaigners believe it may be linked to a recent rise in numbers of the huge European factory ships fishing in the English Channel and they have welcomed intervention today by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) which now appears to be closely tracking the giant trawlers.

The dead dolphins have been washed up at Lannacombe Beach. The only visible wounds were from predators after death, suggesting the animals had starved of oxygen after being trapped in trawler nets.

The 260ft-long boats – 10 times the size of a standard British fishing vessel – are said to leave a wake of devastation in their path, with dead short-beaked common dolphins and porpoises washing up down wind, according to the campaigning Blue Planet Society.

Retired police detective Dave Bailey, who volunteers with Dartmouth Coastguard Search and Rescue, has photographed 10 dead common dolphins and porpoises in the last six weeks.

Dave said: “I’m still finding dead dolphins on the beaches, such a shame. One of these was a 6ft plus adult of breeding size. If it is down to the Huge Pelagic Trawlers working off the coast I hope a way can be found to stop the unnecessary slaughter.”

John Hourston, 53, a volunteer at the Blue Planet Society for the last 10 years, said: “This is a new problem and we need to get to grips with it soon otherwise it will be devastating. Over the last four months we have reported dozens of dead common dolphins. They are washing up daily.

“These are large mammals – if this kind of slaughter was happening on land to any other large mammal the public would not allow it.

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Hundreds of dead #ShellFish found washed up on a beach in #Yallingup, #Australia

Dead shellfish litter a white sandy beach.

Hundreds of abalone were found dead in the South West beach of Yallingup on December 2.

Courtesy of