Planet Earth Report –“The Year Earth Became an Alien Colony to Pandemics from Space”

 

Earth from the ISS

 

“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.

 

2020: The Year When the Earth Became an Alien Colony and We Were the Astronauts, reports Nathalie A. Cabrol, astrobiologist, explorer, for the SETI Institute.

One year after epic black hole photo, Event Horizon Telescope team is dreaming very big –A powerful ‘next-gen EHT’ could be up and running before the decade is done, reports Mike Wall for Space.com.

The Pandemic Can’t Lock Down Nature –The wilderness offers not just escape but reassurance.

A Sobering Astronomical Reminder from COVID-19 –We should be grateful for the conditions that allow us to exist at all, for they won’t last forever observers writes Harvard’s Avi Loeb for Scientific American.

Sickness from Space –Every day, about 100 tons of cosmic dust rain onto Earth, swept up as our world hurries around the Sun, reports Seth Shostak for SETI.org.. The dust mostly consists of very small, unseen particles, although anything as big as a sand grain can stand out as a shooting star when it self-immolates in the upper atmosphere. A small group of scientists at the University of Cardiff has long maintained that at least some part of this relentless dust storm is not simply inorganic material from broken-up comets, or bits of rock kicked off planets in other star systems. It also contains microbes that can, and do, cause disease here on Earth.

 

Microbes

 

Remembering Freeman Dyson –In our conversations, he ventured far and wide across science, literature and politics, offering unorthodox ideas with a bracing self-confidence. For Dyson, science was about understanding the order in the natural world—the abstract patterns that underlie the workings of the universe.

SpaceX Gets May Date to Launch 2 NASA Astronauts to Space Station–The crew will be the first to travel to orbit from American soil since the space shuttle stopped flying in 2011,reports The New York Times.

COVID-19 Patients Need to Be Tested for Bacteria and Fungi, Not Just the Coronavirus –Many hospitalized victims are developing potentially lethal secondary coinfections such as bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, reports Scientific American. Bacterial co-infections such as pneumonia pose a serious threat to high-risk COVID-19 patients, with many factors coming together to create severe, life-threatening and, in some cases, deadly complications that cannot be ignored by the health care community.

Antarctica’s ozone hole has company: A rare hole over the Arctic, reports NBC MACH. The hole is the biggest such atmospheric opening ever recorded over the planet’s northernmost regions, scientists say.An ozone hole has developed over the Arctic, a rare occurrence that scientists say is the biggest such atmospheric opening ever recorded over the planet’s northernmost regions. Persistent cold temperatures in the polar region and unusually quiet ozone dynamics have caused record depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer over the Arctic, according to Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The People Who Risked Death for Immunity –When yellow fever swept through 19th-century New Orleans, immunity became so valuable, people were willing to go to extreme lengths for protection, reports The Atlantic.