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Chinese rocket could shower New York with debris when it crashes back to Earth on Saturday



(Planet Today) The Department of Defense warned that a Chinese rocket hurtling unpredictably back to Earth could crash on a populated area on Saturday, May 8. The Pentagon added that it could not determine at this point where the space junk would land, but reports suggested the range of its potential impact region included New York.

(Article by Virgilio Marin republished from

U.S. Space Command is aware of and tracking the location of the Chinese Long March 5B in space, but its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its re-entry, which is expected around May 8,” Pentagon spokesperson Mike Howard said, adding that the government would provide additional information as it became available.

China used the Long March 5B rocket to launch the Tianhe core module last week. The latter is a major component of the country’s planned space station. The rocket’s 23-ton backbone, the so-called “core stage,” spiraled out of control after separating from Tianhe and is now tumbling unpredictably back into the planet.

Named “2021-035B” by the U.S. military, the space debris measures 100 feet long and 16 feet wide and is traveling at a rate of more than four miles per second, which is fast enough to loop Earth in under two hours.

Rocket’s re-entry could be destructive

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, opined that the core stage’s re-entry could be destructive. He noted that the last time China launched a Long March 5B rocket, long rods of metal showered the sky and damaged several buildings on Ivory Coast in Africa.

“Most of it burned up, but there were these enormous pieces of metal that hit the ground. We are very lucky no one was hurt,” McDowell told The Guardian.

Earlier this week, McDowell said that the rocket’s body would re-enter the atmosphere in an “uncontrolled” manner. Its path would take it to a latitude approximately level with New York, Madrid and as far south as southern Chile and New Zealand, SpaceNews reported.

After burning up in the atmosphere, the surviving debris of the space junk could land anywhere in this range, though the debris could also fall into the ocean and on other uninhabited areas.

McDowell said that China should have enhanced the rocket to perform a controlled de-orbit. He noted that the rocket is seven times more massive than the 4.5-ton upper body of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that burned up above Washington last March.

Pieces of the space junk streaked across the night sky like a meteor shower after an uncontrolled re-entry. There were no reports of injuries but some chunks might have reached the ground on the Rocky Mountains near the U.S.-Canada border.

“I think by current standards it’s unacceptable to let [the core stage] re-enter uncontrolled,” he told SpaceNews.

A Chinese commander said last month that Tianhe’s rocket went through upgrades, but apparently, the capacity for a de-orbit maneuver was not accounted for.

China to launch more rockets into space

The Tianhe launch is just the first of 11 missions needed to complete China’s Tiangong Space Station, which the country aims to complete by the end of 2022. Over the course of two years, China will send two other core modules, four manned spacecraft and four cargo spacecraft into space.

Once complete, the space station will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 211 to 280 miles and have a mass between 88 to 110 tons, which is roughly one-fifth of the International Space Station’s 460 tons.

China aims to become a leading space explorer by 2030 to keep up with the likes of the U.S. and the European Union. On top of building the space station, it also ramps up its spacefaring efforts with missions to the moon and Mars.

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“Alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, researchers say




An organization of civilian volunteers dedicated to the study of
unidentified flying objects (UFOs) has issued a statement based on
decades of studying eyewitness reports. According to Mutual UFO Network,
“alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, reports

say the deep waters in this region may hold something surprising. After
analyzing reports from the ship’s crew from 1945, they hypothesized
that alien objects could be lurking underwater, off the coast of the

Alleged sightings of alien spacecraft nearly 80 years ago
have become a key point in research. Members of the organization believe
that UFOs move over water and may have “bases.”

allege crew members on a U.S. Army transporter ship sailing past Island
Adak saw a massive UFO sized 150 to 200 feet emerge from the water.
Although these reports are nowhere to be found, UFO enthusiasts believe
the unidentified flying vehicles likely were used to commute to
different supposed alien bases hiding in the deep waters.

the “secret reports” of the sailors aren’t available, investigators
have taken it upon themselves to unravel the mystery surrounding the
unidentified flying objects and they believe the ocean has alien bases
that humans aren’t aware of.

Enthusiasts claim that UFOs may be
using “underwater networks” or wormholes as superhighways to travel
between points in the universe. UFO researcher Johnny Enoch added that
such objects could serve as a vehicle for aliens.

There are also
theories that other places on Earth could serve as bases for alien life.
A mountain in Seoul, South Korea is believed to be hiding a UFO,
according to Dr. Steven Greer.

An episode of the series “The
Alaska Triangle” features satellite imagery that claims to show one of
the “alien bases” in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

another researcher featured in the program showed markings from the sea
bed that she claimed could have been roadways for aliens.

the mysteries of the ocean remain unsolved, researchers continue their
search, trying to unravel the mystery of what may be hiding in the
depths of the waters off the coast of Alaska.

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Enormous City-Size Comet Racing Towards Earth Grows ‘Devil Horns’ After Massive Eruption




A volcanic comet the size of a mid-sized US city has
violently exploded for the second time in four months as it continues
racing toward the earth. And following the massive eruption, the cloud
of ice and gas sprouted what looked like a pair of gigantic devil horns.

The city-sized comet, named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is a cryovolcanic — or
cold volcano — comet. It has a solid nucleus, with an estimated diameter
of 18.6 miles, and is filled with a mix of ice, dust and gas known as
cryomagma. The nucleus is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of gas called a
coma, which leaks out of the comet’s interior.

When solar radiation heats the comet’s insides, the pressure builds up
and the comet violently explodes, ejaculating its ice-cold innards into
space through seeping cracks in the nucleus’s shell.

Live Science report:
On Oct. 5, astronomers detected a large outburst from 12P, after the
comet became dozens of times brighter due to the extra light reflecting
from its expanded coma, according to the British Astronomical Association (BAA), which has been closely monitoring the comet 

Over the next few days, the comet’s coma expanded further and developed its “peculiar horns,”
reported. Some experts joked that the irregular shape of the coma also
makes the comet look like a science fiction spaceship, such as the
Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

The unusual shape of the comet’s coma is likely due to an irregularity in the shape of 12P’s nucleus, Richard Miles, a BAA astronomer, told Live Science after the comet’s previous eruption.
The outflowing gas is likely being partially obstructed by a notch
sticking out on the nucleus, Miles said. As the gas continues to expand
away from the comet, the irregularity in the coma’s shape becomes more
defined and noticeable, he added.

12P is currently hurtling toward the inner solar system, where it
will be slingshotted around the sun on its highly elliptical 71-year
orbit around our home star — similar to the green comet Nishimura, which
pulled off a near-identical maneuver on Sept. 17

12P will reach its closest point to Earth on April 21, 2024, when it
may become visible to the naked eye before being catapulted back toward
the outer solar system. It will not return until 2095.

This is the second time 12P has sprouted its horns this year. On July
20, astronomers witnessed the comet blow its top for the first time in
69 years (mainly due to its outbursts being less frequent and harder to
spot during the rest of its orbit). On that occasion, 12P’s coma grew to
around 143,000 miles (230,000 km), which is around 7,000 times wider
than the comet’s nucleus.

It is unclear how large the coma grew during the most recent
eruption, but there are signs the outburst was “twice as intense” as the
previous one, the BAA noted. By now, the coma has likely shrunk back to
near its normal size.

As 12P continues to race toward the sun, there is a high probability
that we will witness several more major eruptions. It is possible that
those eruptions will be even bigger than the most recent one as the
comet soaks up more solar radiation, according to

But 12P is not the only volcanic comet that astronomers are currently
monitoring: 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P) — the most volatile volcanic
comet in the solar system — has also had several noticeable eruptions
in the last year.

In December 2022, 29P experienced its largest eruption in around 12 years, which sprayed around 1 million tons of cryomagma into space. And in April this year, for the first time ever, scientists accurately predicted one of 29P’s eruptions before it actually happened, thanks to a slight increase in the comet’s brightness in the lead-up to the icy explosion.

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