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SpaceX says 60 Starlink satellites will grow harder to see

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SpaceX Elon Musk

WASHINGTON: SpaceX said Friday that the first 60 satellites in its “Starlink” constellation, which is intended to provide internet from space, will be less and less visible from Earth as they reach their final orbit.

Elon Musk’s company created a must-see event for space enthusiasts when it launched all 60 satellites simultaneously on May 23 — a series of bright lights ascending through the night sky.

Over the past week, several observers have photographed and filmed the line of satellites, which pass over in just a few minutes.

But astronomers fear the constellation of broadband-beaming satellites, which could one day grow to as many as 12,000, could ruin scientific observation of the skies from telescopes.

Until now, Musk had downplayed the concerns — earning criticism along the way.

But on Friday, the company seemed to address the issue.

SpaceX announced that “all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.”

But the statement then said that “the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves.”

The satellites were released all at once by a Falcon 9 rocket at an altitude of 280 miles (450 kilometers). They progressively separated from one another and deployed the solar arrays.

In the coming three to four weeks, each will take position in a relatively low orbit of 340 miles (550 kilometers).

Scientists had already noted that they were less visible in recent days.

Starlink will become operational once 800 satellites have been activated, which will require a dozen more launches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World’s highest operating weather stations installed on Mt. Everest

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Himalya

ISLAMABAD: The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.
“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement.
The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, The Himalayan Times reported.
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.
The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.
“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 meters, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”
From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers, and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.
With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and mapping.

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Instagram, PlayStation hit with outages

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Instagram PlayStation hit with outages

SAN FRANCISCO: An Instagram outage on Thursday left users of the Facebook-owned social network flocking to Twitter to vent frustration.

The website DownDetector.com showed a spike in reports of Instagram being unavailable in the afternoon, nearly hitting 54,000 before diving back down.

“Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing their Instagram accounts. We are now fully recovered and apologize for the inconvenience,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement.

The company did not elaborate on the cause or extent of the outage.

People using the #instagram hashtag on Twitter posted that attempts to access the service on mobile apps or computers had been met with messages such as “couldn’t refresh feed” or “something went wrong.”

Along with complaints and animated gifs playing on the inconvenience, some offered words of wisdom.

“Imagine if Instagram and social media closed every day at 6 pm like a shop,” read a tweet from the account of @stevebartlettsc.

“We would all be forced to meet up and speak to each other in real life, to be present with our families, to work out, to go outside, to read, to make art, music… eurghhh, nevermind.”

Meanwhile, some gamers trying to access the PlayStation network on Thursday were also met with error messages.

“We’re aware that some users are experiencing issues logging into PSN. Thank you for your patience as we investigate,” the official Ask PlayStation Twitter account said.

According to DownDetector.com, the outages were concentrated in northern Europe and Britain, as well as in several parts of the United States and Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook says CEO did not ignore personal data issues

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Facebook says CEO did not ignore personal data issues

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not knowingly violate an agreement with the regulator supervising the company’s management of users’ personal data, the social media giant said Wednesday as it addressed an issue that has been under federal investigation for the past year.

Facebook was required to provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with emails, some from 2012, suggesting that Zuckerberg was personally aware of but neglected to address the fact that external applications had access to massive amounts of personal data without Facebook users’ knowledge, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper added that it did not have access to the documents but that anonymous sources had described their contents.

“We have fully cooperated with the FTC’s investigation to date and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

“At no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company’s obligations under the FTC consent order nor do any emails exist that indicate they did.”

The FTC reopened investigations into whether Facebook violated a 2011 settlement with the regulator on protecting user data following revelations last year that personal data from tens of millions of users was hijacked by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica as it worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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