November 19, 2000 Cairo, Egypt – This week a Cambridge University Egyptologist from England, Dr. Kate Spence, announced a possible recalculation on the age of the Great Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops on the Giza Plateau near Cairo. She wanted to know how the ancient Egyptians lined up the Cheops pyramid so precisely north to south. She hypothesized that stars were the guide, so she used a computer to wind back time in the sky from today to about 4500 years ago. Dr. Spence found that the star Mizar, in the Big Dipper’s handle, and Kochab, in the bowl of the Little Dipper, would have appeared one over the other at a point directly above the North Pole. Dr. Spence thinks that the Egyptians then hung a plumb line against the two stars to find true north for the construction of the great Cheops Pyramid. Her revised date for that construction is now 2478 B. C., give or take five years. If correct, the Great Pyramid could be 75 years older than traditional estimates.Click for report.
November 12, 2000 Corvallis, Oregon – This year the largest ozone hole on record at the Antarctic extended over the city of Punta Arenas in Chile, exposing humans, animals and plants to increased ultraviolet radiation which can cause skin cancer, kill amphibian embryos and stunt and deform those that survive. Over the next four months, atmospheric scientists will be monitoring what happens at the North Pole. Will the Arctic ozone hole also get bigger as winter takes hold and expose more humans, animals and plants to increased ultraviolet radiation?
November 5, 2000 Pasadena, California – Asteroids headed towards, or near, earth are in the news again. On Friday, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office in Pasadena, California announced that a small object discovered on September 29th had a small chance of colliding with this planet in September 2030. In fact, this was the first asteroid-like object to be given a Number One on the Torino scale which measures space collision threats. The scale was developed in 1998 by Richard Binzel, Professor of Planetary Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to help categorize near-earth objects. It’s a sliding scale from zero to ten. Zero is no threat. A ten means definite impact that would cause a global catastrophe. A category one means scientists think this new object deserves careful monitoring. Paul Chodas, Principal Engineer for the NEAR Program Office at JPL, said “This is the highest probability of impact that we have ever calculated for an object.”
Click for report.
October 30, 2000 –
International Space Station Historic Mission
NASA is counting down the hours until American astronaut Bill Shepherd will lead the first expedition to the International Space Station. The historic mission is scheduled to lift off on Tuesday, October 31st at 2:53 AM east coast time. Shepherd will be joined by two Russian cosmonauts, Yuri Gizenko and Sergei Krikalev. This expedition crew plans to spend nearly four months on the space station.Click for report.
October 22, 2000 Frankfort, Kentucky – Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton visited the Martin County site near Inez where an estimated 210 million gallons of coal mine sludge collapsed into the Big Sandy and Cold Water Branches of Wolf Creek. Public water supplies in the town of Louisa and Martin County District Number One were immediately polluted. On October 16, Governor Patton declared a State of Emergency for ten counties “in the wake of last Wednesday’s failure of a Martin County coal slurry impoundment. …The declaration covers the counties of Boyd, Bracken, Carter, Fleming, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin, Mason and Robertson, all lying within the Big Sandy and Ohio River watersheds.” By October 22, at least seventy miles of waterways were filled with the cement-like sludge.
October 22, 2000 Panama City, Florida – More than a hundred blacktip and Atlantic sharpnose sharks were found October 16, 2000 dead and decaying along a half mile of beach on the eastern side of Shell Island near Panama City, Florida. Marine biologists so far cannot explain the mass deaths of a rugged species sometimes called “living fossils” because modern sharks arose during the Jurassic Period between 135 and 190 million years ago. No one can remember so many shark deaths at one time before.