Monday, April 13, 2020

Pandemic effects from and on space, an April asteroid flyby, and NASA at Home for Apophis Day on Monday the 13th

Happy Apophis Day on Monday the 13th!  Normally, I treat this date as "my version of Asteroid Day, when I warn of dangers from space — other than plagues" — and I will do some of that, but, just as yesterday's Yuri's Night entry looked at both the promise and peril of space through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic, so will today's observance of the day I declared in 2012.  As I wrote in Pandemics and collapse in 2013:
This blog is still about how to avoid the collapse of the current civilization and takes a science-fiction slant on the topic.  An asteroid impact is the perfect merger of the two.
So are pandemics.  We need to be prepared for them, too.
My readers don't have to guess which one happened first, as we're living through it and we're finding out that we weren't prepared!  Let that be a lesson to us.

Before I examine hazards from space, From Space shows its viewers Coronavirus impact seen from space in before and after satellite images.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a massive decrease in movement of people around the world, which is evident in these satellite images.
I found all of these striking, but particularly the before and after images of Tokyo Disneyland.  When I'm really in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time mood," I de-stress by watching videos about theme parks, particularly Disney's theme parks.  The closure of all of Disney's theme parks at once has really affected those video bloggers and made their videos less stress-relieving.  Escapism doesn't work when you know there was a place to escape to that isn't available any more.*

Video From Space examined both the effects of the pandemic on space travel and an April asteroid flyby in What's Up in Space by (April 2020).

The team, like everyone else, may be stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, but space exploration is still going on. Here's what to expect in April with Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik and Community Manager Stevie Ward!
Yes, space industries and agencies are having people work from home while keeping essential personnel on site as well as shifting production, too.  Also, the video mentioned an asteroid flyby on April 29th.  Fortunately, it will miss Earth by a safe distance, which reported today.
"On April 29, asteroid 1998 OR2 will safely pass by 3.9 million miles/6.2 million kilometers," scientists with NASA's Asteroid Watch program said in a Twitter update as they debunked a Daily Express report warning of the flyby. "There is no warning about this asteroid," they added in another Twitter post.
"The orbit is well understood and it will pass harmlessly at 16 times the distance to our moon," NASA wrote on Twitter. "No one should have any concern about it."
That's a relief, especially after seeing all the alarmist YouTube videos about the flyby when I searched for asteroids yesterday.  Those alone were enough to make me change the focus of today's post from asteroid impacts to the pandemic.

Speaking of NASA, they opened A Universe of Possibilities to Explore at Home on This Week @NASA – April 3, 2020 with how they are serving the public while people are staying safe at home.

You, plus “NASA at Home” equals a universe of possibilities, the first delivery service selected for our lunar Gateway, and an astronaut added to a future Commercial Crew flight … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
Virtual field trips and science experiments — I should check them out to see if there are any I can recommend to my students.  Since I can't run my geology field trip in person, I'll have to find one the students can do themselves.  Wish me luck as my students and I stay safe at home.

*For my readers who are wondering how a doomer blogger such as myself came across this community, it's because they form a branch of urban exploration, which also includes all the video bloggers about the Retail Apocalypse.  When I started looking at videos about dead malls, YouTube suggested videos about closed Disney park attractions, so I starting watching them and looking at YouTube's recommendations for those videos.  Behold the power of the YouTube algorithm!

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