Hot African Air And Exploding Asteroids

Grind for July 5th
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”

– Charles M. Schultz

Out Of The Frying Pan

The Headline

As hot air from Africa blows north, Europe experiences record-breaking temperatures

The Grind

French authorities this week closed thousands of schools and restricted traffic amid a heat wave that sent temperatures as high as 113° F (the highest temperature ever recorded in France).

Officials in Paris responded to the high temperatures by setting up “cool rooms” in public buildings, installing more water fountains, and keeping public pools open at night.

In Germany, officials imposed a temporary speed limit on the autobahn as a precaution against heat damage. In Catalonia, firefighters are struggling to contain a 10,000-acre wildfire that erupted from a pile of manure that self-ignited due to the heat.

Poland and the Czech Republic both recorded their highest-ever temperature for the month of June this week.

The Details

Climate researchers blame the heat wave on global warming and warn that Europe can expect higher temperatures in the future.

“Heatwaves will become more intense, they will become more drawn out, they will become more extreme, they will start earlier and they will finish later,” warns Clare Nullis of the World Meteorological Organization.

Look Out Below

The Headline

Car-sized asteroid explodes above the Caribbean

The Grind

A 13-foot asteroid exploded in Earth’s atmosphere Saturday just hours after it was detected by a telescope at the University of Hawaii.

The rock – dubbed “2019 MO” – was first spotted about 310,000 miles out (about 72,000 miles further than the Moon). It entered Earth’s atmosphere south of Puerto Rico and exploded in a fireball comparable to 6,000 tons of TNT. At the time of impact, the space rock was traveling at roughly 33,300 mph.

The incident marks the fourth time in history that scientists have detected an asteroid so close to impact.

The Details

2019 MO was detected by ATLAS, an asteroid alert system set up in 2015. The system, comprised of two telescopes located 100 miles apart, has spotted roughly 100 asteroids larger than 100 feet in diameter each year.

Even though Saturday’s incident did not pose a threat to humans, Hawaii’s success in spotting it before impact suggests ATLAS is capable of providing sufficient warning in cases when evacuation is necessary.

Did you know… Sheep, goats, octopuses, and toads have rectangular pupils