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Watch a space harpoon impale a piece of space debris

Watch a space harpoon impale a piece of space debrisThe U.S. government tracks 500,000 chunks and bits of space junk as they hurtle around Earth. Some 20,000 of these objects are larger than a softball.To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they've successfully tested out a harpoon.The video below, released Friday by the university's space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom.The harpoon clearly impales its target. "This is RemoveDEBRIS' most demanding experiment and the fact that it was a success is testament to all involved," Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said in a statement. Next, the RemoveDEBRIS team — made up of a group of international collaborators — is planning its final experiment: responsibly destroying the satellite.In March, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite will "inflate a sail that will drag the satellite into Earth's atmosphere where it will be destroyed," the university said a statement. This is how the group intends to vaporize the future dangerous debris it catches. SEE ALSO: Trump fails to block NASA's carbon sleuth from going to spaceHuman space debris hurtles around Earth faster than a speeding bullet, with debris often traveling at 17,500 mph, or faster. The threat of collisions is always present, though in some orbits the odds of an impact are significantly lower than others. The International Space Station, for instance, is in a relatively debris-free orbit, but even here there is the threat of "natural debris" — micrometeors — pummeling the space station.Other orbits have considerably more debris spinning around Earth. In 2009, a derelict Russian satellite slammed into a functional Iridium telecommunication satellite at 26,000 mph, resulting in an estimated 200,000 bits of debris. In 2007, the Chinese launched a missile at an old weather satellite, spraying shrapnel into Earth's orbit.This risk amplifies as more satellites are rocketed into space. SpaceX now has government-approved plans to launch thousands of its Starlink satellites into orbit — perhaps by the mid-2020's, should they amass money for the pricey program. This would double or triple the number of satellites in orbit."It is unprecedented," said Kessler, NASA's former senior scientist for orbital debris research told Mashable. "The sheer number, that's the problem."Kessler has long warned about the potential of catastrophic chain reactions in Earth's orbit, wherein one collision creates enough weaponized debris to create a cycle of destruction. Designs to harpoon dangerous chunks of debris are just being tested in space today, but the technology could prove critical as Earth's orbit grows increasingly trafficked with large, metallic satellites.   WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

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Florida police run over couple lying in the road to watch lunar eclipse

Florida police run over couple lying in the road to watch lunar eclipseA police officer in Florida ran over two people lying on a dark road to watch the lunar eclipse, leading them requring hospital treatment. A statement given to the Palm Beach Post by police said that the two were run over after choosing to lay in the park because its as “extremely dark”.

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Watch live: Police give update on Jayme Closs case

Watch live:  Police give update on Jayme Closs caseLaw enforcement authorities in Barron, Wisconsin, are scheduled to hold a news

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Watch NASA’s New Horizons flyby live stream right here

Watch NASA’s New Horizons flyby live stream right hereNASA is celebrating the new year in the best way it knows how, and that just so happens to be with a live stream. Scientists and engineers will have to hold off on popping their champagne cork just a little longer than usual as they wait for the New Horizons space probe to make history, and you can watch it live. The New Horizons spacecraft is scheduled to fly by the most distant Solar System object ever visited, a large rock in the Kuiper belt known as Ultima Thule, at right around midnight, eastern time. NASA will be streaming a feed of mission control, complete with commentary and real time animations of where the probe is in relation to the massive space rock. www.youtube.com/watch?v=21X5lGlDOfg NASA's stream will be broadcast via its YouTube channel, which you can watch above. Here's the full lineup of events, via NASA: Monday, December 31

* 2 p.m.: New Horizons media briefing and spacecraft final approach before flyby of Ultima Thule
* 3 p.m.: Q&A with the New Horizons Team
* 8 p.m.: Panel Discussion: New Horizons Flyby of Ultima Thule

Tuesday, Jan. 1

* 12:15 a.m.: New Horizons flyby of Ultima Thule, a Kuiper belt object.
* 9:45 a.m.:  New Horizons Signal Acquisition from Ultima Thule Flyby (All Channels)
* 11:30 a.m.: New Horizons Post-Flyby Press Conference

NASA will also be holding a number of press conferences on Wednesday and Thursday to reveal information they've gathered in the time since the flyby. We're sure to learn some interesting things about Ultima Thule this week, but the bulk of the data the spacecraft collects won't be available for researchers to study until later. New Horizons will begin transferring that data a little later, sending the information back over the course of several months throughout 2019. As scientists dive deep into those numbers we'll likely know more about what Ultima Thule is like, how it formed, and perhaps what factors contributed to its current status tumbling through our Solar System's belt of debris.

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New for New Year's Eve Times Square: NYPD drone will watch over crowd

New for New Year's Eve Times Square: NYPD drone will watch over crowdAs revelers in New York City's Times Square sway to old acquaintances they don't want to forget, there will be a new one on hand: a tethered drone.

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Watch Ukrainian MPs punch one another in the face as a fight breaks out in Parliament

Watch Ukrainian MPs punch one another in the face as a fight breaks out in ParliamentPunches were thrown in the Ukrainian parliament yesterday after a bill was passed that would require the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name to indicate its ties to Russia. Fighting broke out after Nestor Shufrych, a member of the Opposition Bloc, removed a poster from the podium which accused pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk of being an “agent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Shufrych was then punched in the face by People’s Front politician Yuriy Bereza before the fighting escalated and other members piled in. Mr Medvedchuk is the leader of Ukrainian Choice, an organization that is considered to be pro-Kremlin and has been linked to the unofficial exchange of captives between Kiev and Russian-backed separatists. The speaker of the house announced a break on December 20th after the brawl ended. The proposed law, if signed by President Petro Poroshenko, could require the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to call itself  the ‘Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine’. The bill comes amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The situation escalated last month when three Ukrainian naval vessels were seized off the coast of Crimea by Russian forces. Martial law was temporarily declared in Ukraine following the incident, under which all Russian men aged between 16 and 60 were banned from entering the country. Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists and volunteers in eastern Ukraine since 2014. The Ukrainian parliament has a long history of brawls, particularly in relation to disagreements over the country’s relationship with Russia. In 2012 a huge fight broke out over proposals to give the Russian language equal status to Ukrainian, whilst in 2013 clashes broke out after a speech was made to the parliament in Russian. More recently, blows were exchanged in the house in 2017 over a law regarding state sovereignty in the separatist-held territories in eastern Ukraine.

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The Latest: Inmate moved to death watch as execution looms

The Latest: Inmate moved to death watch as execution loomsNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on Thursday's scheduled execution of a Tennessee inmate (all times local):

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Top 5 Holiday Scams To Watch Out For This Year

Top 5 Holiday Scams To Watch Out For This YearThe holiday season can be both exciting and stressful. Between parties, gift

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India police watch tribal island after killing of American

India police watch tribal island after killing of AmericanIndian police reinforcements on Friday took up position near the island where isolated tribal hunters killed an American missionary, though no effort was to be made to recover his body, officials said. Hampered by restrictions on going to North Sentinel and the hostility of the Sentinelese people, Indian authorities are counting on the expertise of anthropologists and tribal welfare specialists to access the remains of 27-year-old John Allen Chau. Chau was killed by arrows fired by the Sentinelese hunter-gatherers last week after he illegally went ashore in an apparent attempt to convert the tribe to Christianity.

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Watch California's powerful, relentless winds stoke the state's fires

Watch California's powerful, relentless winds stoke the state's firesIt's the time of year when winds really kick up in California, and firefighters on Tuesday night captured footage of relentless gusts driving a new blaze over the parched terrain.  Firefighters in San Bernardino County — an arid region east of Los Angeles — spent the night combatting the newly-born Sierra Fire amid potent seasonal winds, known as Santa Anas. Though this particular fire (147 acres and well-contained), is quite small compared to the expansive Camp and Woolsey fires, it shows how persistent 50 mph gusts can whip fire over the land — land that has been parched by a confluence of dry winds and a long, scorching summer.  #SierraFire: Footage from earlier this evening. In #SantaAnaWinds, Dozers can often engage where it’s too dangerous for handcrews. A decisive force multiplier in tonight’s firefight. ^eas pic.twitter.com/gtqmJB5pk6 — SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) November 14, 2018 In the video, a bulldozer, which had been clearing vegetation to limit the spread of fire into an adjacent community, can be seen working while the winds blow smoke through the air and stoke brush fires in the background. Santa Ana winds are notorious for stoking fall fires in California. These dry winds, traveling east from the great U.S. deserts, pick up in the fall and eventually peak in December, Sasha Gershunov, a research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in an interview.  But typically by mid-November — and certainly December — some rains will wet the dry California vegetation.  The winds will always blow, but these days they're increasingly gusting over dried-out terrain. This makes for perfect fire conditions.  SEE ALSO: When will this terrible wildfire season in California end? "Now we’re in our traditional fire season, but the fuels are untraditionally dry this late into the season," said Gershunov. "This seems to be getting more common as the climate changes," he added. Some of the most destructive, deadliest wildfires occur in Southern California, a place not defined by pine forests, but shrubs and grasslands.  Here, a confluence of Santa Ana winds, development in fire-prone areas, and climate change have boosted the state's growing wildfire woes. Overall, the amount of land burned in the United States has more than doubled over the last 30 years, and predictably, these fires have been enhanced by a warming globe. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

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