What’s That In The Sky?

Grind for July 3rd
FIRST SIP:
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” – Abraham Lincoln



Science News

The Headline

Total solar eclipse takes place in South America.

The Grind

Thousands of spectators gathered outside on Tuesday to watch one of the world’s most-anticipated scientific phenomena: a total solar eclipse.

Regions of Chile and Argentina in the path of totality (where the Sun is completely obscured by the moon) saw a huge influx of visitors.

The Details

For two minutes, observers were able to see the Sun’s corona – a wispy layer of hot gases that extends thousands of miles from the Sun’s surface.

Teams of astronomers gathered at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile to take measurements of the corona. One team staged a repeat of astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington’s 1919 experiment, which proved Einstein’s theory about the Sun’s gravity was correct.

The eclipse passed directly over the observatory, which is located in La Serena roughly 7,200 feet above sea level.

Total solar eclipses are rare, with the most recent occurring in August of 2017. Eclipses will be less rare in the future and are predicted to disappear completely in 600 million years as the Moon moves too far away from Earth to block the Sun.



A Bad Idea

The Headline

Stowaway falls from plane and lands in London garden

The Grind

Residents in south London were shocked Sunday when a human body fell from the sky and landed in a residential garden.

The body hit the ground less than three feet from a sunbathing man.

A neighbor said he heard a “whomp” as the victim hit the ground. “He had all of his clothes on and everything. I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden.”

The “horrific” impact shattered paving slabs and left a noticeable dent in the ground. The body was “so intact” because it was “an ice block,” continued the witness. “His head was not in a good way, I realized immediately that he had fallen…so I went outside and it was just then the neighbor came out and he was very shaken. He had been sunbathing and he landed one meter away from him.”

The plane was flying at about 1,067 miles when the body hit the ground.

The Details

Investigators say the body belonged to a stowaway on Kenya Airways flight KQ100, a 9-hour flight from Nairobi to London.

The victim is believed to have been hiding in the landing gear compartment, which opened up as the plane approached the Heathrow Airport. When the plane touched down, investigators found food and water inside the landing gear compartment.

Police said they are not treating the incident as “suspicious,” but will conduct a postmortem examination to determine the victim’s identity.

The Takeaway

This incident is rare but not unprecedented. In 2012, a 30-year-old man fell from the undercarriage of a plane flying from Africa to London. He is believed to have survived temperatures as low as -76°F for most of the 12-hour flight.

In 2015, a body landed in southwest London after hiding in the undercarriage of a plane bound from Johannesburg.




GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… In 1974, prankster Porky Bickar was so into April Fools, he flew hundreds of tires into a dormant volcano in Alaska and set them on fire – fooling the local populace and coast guard into thinking the volcano was active.