Coronavirus is most likely to spread between 41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, study finds

Coronavirus is most likely to spread between 41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, study finds

  • 60% of COVID-19 cases occurred in the temperature range, researchers said
  • They also warned of a second wave in autumn in big cities in middle latitudes
  • A Chinese university released the findings with a COVID-19 prediction platform
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The novel coronavirus is most likely to spread in places with air temperatures between five and 15 degrees Celsius or 41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, a study has discovered.

More than half of the COVID-19 cases have occurred in such condition, according to Chinese researchers.

The team also warned of a second outbreak in autumn in big cities in middle latitudes. The region covers most of North America, Europe, Russia, China and part of Australia and South America.

More than half of the COVID-19 cases have occurred in places with air temperatures between five and 15 degrees Celsius, researchers from China’s Lanzhou University have discovered. Pictured, Chinese commuters wear protective masks at an intersection in Beijing on May 18

Lanzhou University in north-western China announced the findings yesterday as it released its COVID-19 pandemic global prediction platform

The researchers said they were hoping to better understand the virus’s transmission pattern by learning about the environment in which the killer pathogen could survive more easily.

Their research shows that the ideal temperatures for the virus’s transmission are between five and 15 degrees Celsius or 41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

More than 60 per cent of the confirmed global COVID-19 infections were registered in the temperature range, according to a social media post from the university. 

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua reported. Pictured, people eat lunch behind protective plastic barriers in a cafeteria in Seoul on May 20

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua reported. Pictured, people eat lunch behind protective plastic barriers in a cafeteria in Seoul on May 20

The experts also found that the virus’s transmission rates were linked to an area’s humidity.

Around 73.8 per cent of the diagnosed cases were concentrated in regions with an absolute humidity of three to 10 grams in each cubic meter, said a report of the study from state news agency Xinhua.

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua added.

The coronavirus pandemic emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December before sweeping across the world.

So far, more than 346,000 people have died of the disease, and around 5.5 million have caught the bug worldwide.

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise since January. Pictured, people wear face masks to avoid catching coronavirus as they ride bicycles in the central business district in Beijing on May 26

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise since January. Pictured, people wear face masks to avoid catching coronavirus as they ride bicycles in the central business district in Beijing on May 26

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise in the number of native or imported infections since authorities began reporting data in January. 

Seven people were diagnosed with the deadly disease on Monday. All of them were classified as ‘imported cases’, people who bring the virus into China from overseas, said the country’s national health commission today. 

According to official figures, 4,643 people in China have lost their lives in the pandemic and 82,992 have contracted the illness.

More than 80 per cent of the country’s COVID-19 deaths took place in Wuhan, the former epicentre of the pandemic, authorities said.



Coronavirus is most likely to spread between five and 15 degrees Celsius, study finds

Coronavirus is most likely to spread between five and 15 degrees Celsius, study finds

  • 60% of COVID-19 cases occurred in the temperature range, researchers said
  • They also warned of a second wave in autumn in big cities in middle latitudes
  • A Chinese university released the findings with a COVID-19 prediction platform
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The novel coronavirus is most likely to spread in places with air temperatures between five and 15 degrees Celsius, a study has discovered.

More than half of the COVID-19 cases have occurred in such condition, according to Chinese researchers.

The team also warned of a second outbreak in autumn in big cities in middle latitudes. The region covers most of North America, Europe, Russia, China and part of Australia and South America.

More than half of the COVID-19 cases have occurred in places with air temperatures between five and 15 degrees Celsius, researchers from China’s Lanzhou University have discovered. Pictured, Chinese commuters wear protective masks at an intersection in Beijing on May 18

Lanzhou University in north-western China announced the findings yesterday as it released its COVID-19 pandemic global prediction platform

The researchers said they were hoping to better understand the virus’s transmission pattern by learning about the environment in which the killer pathogen could survive more easily.

Their research shows that the ideal temperatures for the virus’s transmission are between five and 15 degrees Celsius or 41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

More than 60 per cent of the confirmed global COVID-19 infections were registered in the temperature range, according to a social media post from the university. 

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua reported. Pictured, people eat lunch behind protective plastic barriers in a cafeteria in Seoul on May 20

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua reported. Pictured, people eat lunch behind protective plastic barriers in a cafeteria in Seoul on May 20

The experts also found that the virus’s transmission rates were linked to an area’s humidity.

Around 73.8 per cent of the diagnosed cases were concentrated in regions with an absolute humidity of three to 10 grams in each cubic meter, said a report of the study from state news agency Xinhua.

The study was carried out based on the data of approximately 3.75million global confirmed COVID-19 cases in 185 countries and regions from January 21 to May 6, Xinhua added.

The coronavirus pandemic emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December before sweeping across the world.

So far, more than 346,000 people have died of the disease, and around 5.5 million have caught the bug worldwide.

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise since January. Pictured, people wear face masks to avoid catching coronavirus as they ride bicycles in the central business district in Beijing on May 26

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise since January. Pictured, people wear face masks to avoid catching coronavirus as they ride bicycles in the central business district in Beijing on May 26

Chinese health authorities registered no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time it saw no daily rise in the number of native or imported infections since authorities began reporting data in January. 

Seven people were diagnosed with the deadly disease on Monday. All of them were classified as ‘imported cases’, people who bring the virus into China from overseas, said the country’s national health commission today. 

According to official figures, 4,643 people in China have lost their lives in the pandemic and 82,992 have contracted the illness.

More than 80 per cent of the country’s COVID-19 deaths took place in Wuhan, the former epicentre of the pandemic, authorities said.



Video footage shows space junk fireball over Australia

Stunning fireball seen over Australia ‘was the remnants of a Russian rocket taking a missile warning system into space’, expert claims

  • Video footage shows orange fireball lighting up the southern Australian skies 
  • Experts say it was an object from the launch of a Russian intelligence satellite
  • The Kremlin’s new constellation of satellites will trace ballistic missile launches

A huge fireball seen over southern parts of Australia is believed to be the remnants of a Russian rocket taking a missile warning system into space.

The fireball, which lit up the Australian skies at the weekend, was debris from a Russian military satellite that burnt up as it entered Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into the ocean.

The flying object descended leaving a plume of orange smoke and could be seen from parts of central Victoria and northern Tasmania down under. 

Experts say it came from the launch of a satellite for Russia‘s EKS satellite network on Friday, which provides the Kremlin with early warnings of ballistic missile launches. 

Scroll down for video 

Incredible moment a comet shoots across the Australian sky in a spectacular display as space debris breaks up

The relatively slow speed of the object, which has been captured in stunning video footage, indicates it was likely to be debris, according to one expert.

‘The slow speed, about six kilometres per second, is a very tell-tale sign that it is space junk,’ Jonti Horner, professor of astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, told the ABC

Extra-terrestrial material such as fragments of a comet or asteroid would move much more quickly, he said.

A chunk of space debris this size also coincides with the successful launch of Russia’s Soyuz-2 carrier rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia.

One expert said that the fireball, seen by Australians at the weekend, descended too slowly for it to be an asteroid or space rocks

One expert said that the fireball, seen by Australians at the weekend, descended too slowly for it to be an asteroid or space rocks

Russian Satellite system provides advanced warning of nuclear attack

The new EKS satellite constellation is Russia’s ‘Unified Space System’ for outer space intelligence. 

The programme of Russian early warning satellites 

They are a replacement for the US-KMO and US-K satellites of the Oko programme, which began in the 1970s. 

These new satellites identify ballistic missile launches from outer space and complement early warning radars.

This gives advance notice of a nuclear attack and would provide information to the A-135 missile defence system deployed around Moscow. 

Six satellites are planned to be initially orbited, with the first launched in November 2015. 

Russian Aerospace Forces operational crew launched the carrier rocket with the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Kosmos-2546 military satellite onboard, the Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed.

Soyuz-2 is carrying a top secret payload that’s believed to be the fourth satellite for the country’s EKS OiBU missile-warning network, according to RussianSpaceWeb.com.

The primary purpose of the system of satellites is ‘to detect and track missile launches around the world, it said.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off and separated over the course of four stages, leaving discarded debris behind it to float back to Earth – not just near Australia.

For example, Soyuz-2’s four booster rockets were jettisoned around two minutes into the flight and likely fell around 220 miles (350 km) away near the Vychegda River, Russia.

During the second stage, meanwhile, the payload fairing split into two halves. Fragments probably fell in the Western-Siberian Plain, along the Om River, north of Kazakhstan. 

The Soyuz-2 rocket booster carrying the Kosmos-2546 military satellite of the Russian Defence Ministry

The Soyuz-2 rocket booster carrying the Kosmos-2546 military satellite of the Russian Defence Ministry

Russia's updated satellite constellation will provide the Kremlin with early warning about launches of ballistic missiles that could spell a nuclear attack

Russia’s updated satellite constellation will provide the Kremlin with early warning about launches of ballistic missiles that could spell a nuclear attack

Nine minutes into the flight, during the third and final stage of the separation, the Aussie-bound fragment entered a trajectory before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

RussianSpaceWeb said that any surviving debris from the third stage should have fallen into the Pacific Ocean, southeast of Tasmania, where it was captured on film.

Soon afterwards, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the successful delivery of the satellite. 

There are now reportedly four satellites that make up the EKS system in orbit, with at least another two to be launched.

The entire anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system of Russian early warning satellites will replace a series of outdated spacecraft that has been launched since the 1970s.

Together, they will give advance notice to Russian intelligence of ballistic missile launches – those missile with a high, arching trajectory – from outer space in the case of a nuclear attack.  

WHAT IS SPACE JUNK? MORE THAN 170 MILLION PIECES OF DEAD SATELLITES, SPENT ROCKETS AND FLAKES OF PAINT POSE ‘THREAT’ TO SPACE INDUSTRY

There are an estimated 170 million pieces of so-called ‘space junk’ – left behind after missions that can be as big as spent rocket stages or as small as paint flakes – in orbit alongside some US$700 billion (£555bn) of space infrastructure.

But only 22,000 are tracked, and with the fragments able to travel at speeds above 16,777 mph (27,000kmh), even tiny pieces could seriously damage or destroy satellites.

However, traditional gripping methods don’t work in space, as suction cups do not function in a vacuum and temperatures are too cold for substances like tape and glue.

Grippers based around magnets are useless because most of the debris in orbit around Earth is not magnetic.

Around 500,000 pieces of human-made debris (artist’s impression) currently orbit our planet, made up of disused satellites, bits of spacecraft and spent rockets

Most proposed solutions, including debris harpoons, either require or cause forceful interaction with the debris, which could push those objects in unintended, unpredictable directions.

Scientists point to two events that have badly worsened the problem of space junk.

The first was in February 2009, when an Iridium telecoms satellite and Kosmos-2251, a Russian military satellite, accidentally collided.

The second was in January 2007, when China tested an anti-satellite weapon on an old Fengyun weather satellite.

Experts also pointed to two sites that have become worryingly cluttered.

One is low Earth orbit which is used by satnav satellites, the ISS, China’s manned missions and the Hubble telescope, among others.

The other is in geostationary orbit, and is used by communications, weather and surveillance satellites that must maintain a fixed position relative to Earth. 

 





Jair Bolsonaro is filmed in foul-mouthed rant in cabinet meeting

An expletive-filled video of Brazil‘s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro raging at his enemies has sparked outrage in the country as it battles the world’s second-largest coronavirus outbreak. 

Brazilian media counted 31 presidential swear words during the two-hour cabinet meeting, in which Bolsonaro called two governors who imposed lockdowns a ‘piece of s**t’ and a ‘pile of manure’ respectively. 

One pundit raged at Bolsonaro for ‘never mentioning the pandemic as a problem that concerns him’ in a two-hour meeting littered with obscenities. 

Brazil now has 363,211 confirmed virus cases – more than Russia, and second only to the United States – while the death toll is now above 22,000. 

Footage of the meeting was released by the country’s supreme court as part of a probe into Bolsonaro, who is accused of interfering in the federal police.

Bolsonaro is heard saying that he would not ‘wait for my family or my friends to get screwed’ by his inability to fire officials – but he denies wrongdoing and claims he was referring to personal security staff. 

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro rallies with supporters at a protests in Brasilia yesterday, breaking social distancing guidelines 

Yesterday Bolsonaro hit the streets for a rally with his supporters, breaking social distancing measures even as case surge.  

The meeting on April 22 came when Brazil already had nearly 50,000 cases, but Bolsonaro and his cabinet barely mentioned the pandemic. 

Footage of the meeting has triggered an outcry in Brazil amid growing anger at the government’s handling of the health crisis.  

One of the few mentions of the pandemic was when a minister said the government should use the opportunity to relax environmental protection rules.  

‘It’s two hours full of swear words and delirium, derision and disrespect for the country,’ columnist Miriam Leitao wrote in newspaper Globo. 

‘Brazil is going through its worst crisis in decades, and the president never mentions the pandemic as a problem that concerns him. The absence is shocking.’  

The video’s existence emerged when popular justice minister Sergio Moro resigned two days after the meeting, accusing Bolsonaro of inappropriate ‘political interference’ in the federal police.

In the video, Bolsonaro rails against the federal police for failing to give him information and says, ‘I’m not going to wait for them to screw my family and friends.’ 

Police are reportedly investigating multiple cases involving Bolsonaro and his inner circle, his son Carlos, a Rio de Janeiro city councillor.

Bolsonaro denies trying to stifle investigations, and said the video proved the accusations against him were a ‘farce.’ 

In a radio interview with Jovem Pan, he said he had been talking about his own personal security and not senior members of the federal police. 

Analysts generally agreed the video, which was released by Supreme Court justice Celso de Mello, did not contain a ‘smoking gun’ to incriminate the president.

However, the material could be politically damaging as Bolsonaro faces growing disapproval ratings 18 months into his four-year term.   

Bodies of coronavirus victims are transported in coffins at a municipal cemetery in Rio de Janeiro last Friday

Bodies of coronavirus victims are transported in coffins at a municipal cemetery in Rio de Janeiro last Friday

Bolsonaro called two state governors a ‘piece of s**t’ and ‘pile of manure’ for defying him by imposing coronavirus stay-at-home measures.

His education minister called for Supreme Court justices to be thrown in jail for giving states the final say in the matter. Another minister said governors and mayors should be arrested.  

Turning to diplomacy, his economy minister called China ‘that guy you just have to put up with’ because it is Brazil’s biggest export destination.

Brazilian media counted 39 swear words in all, including 31 by the president, and there was widespread condemnation of the meeting’s tone. 

‘It showed the vulgarity of the current government. They are like barbarians throwing the country into chaos, disrespecting the law and ignoring the constitution,’ opposition parties said in a joint statement.

The meeting showed a government made for the ‘post-truth era,’ said political analyst Geraldo Monteiro of Rio de Janeiro State University.

‘The Bolsonaro government wasn’t made to govern. It’s a militant government that’s here to implement a conservative agenda, not run the country,’ he said.  

The administration showed ‘total disregard for Covid-19 deaths and the agony of their respective families,’ said veteran political analyst David Fleischer.

‘The only minister to mention Covid-19 was the environment minister.’

That mention generated further controversy, because the minister said: ‘Now that the media’s only talking about Covid, we need to use this moment of calm… to change all the regulations.’

That was widely taken as a call to open protected land in the Amazon rainforest to mining and agriculture – something Bolsonaro has aggressively pushed. 

Salles said on Saturday that he only meant that the government should try to cut red tape, but environmental groups were doubtful.  

‘It became clear that the role of the environment ministry is to dismantle any environmental protection we have in the country,’ said Erika Berenguer, an Amazon ecologist at Oxford and Lancaster Universities.



NASA seeks participants for eight-month isolation study

NASA is on the hunt for volunteers for a ‘social isolation’ mission that simulates the psychological effects of confinement.

In a nod to the current virus pandemic, the space agency is after healthy participants to live together in isolation for eight months in Moscow, Russia.

The ground based ‘SIRIUS-20’ mission will help NASA learn more about ‘the physiological and psychological effects of isolation and confinement on humans’.

The chosen participants – who have to be ‘US citizens, between the ages of 30 to 55 and ‘highly motivated’ – will experience ‘environmental aspects’ similar to those astronauts will experience on future missions to the Moon and Mars.

SIRIUS is an international mission conducted in the NEK, a ground-based analog facility in Moscow. The upcoming study builds on a previous four-month study conducted in 2019, involving six participants over four months. From left to right: Reinhold Povilaitis (USA), Daria Zhidova (Russia); Yevgeny Tarelkin (Russia); Anastasia Stepanova (Russia); Allen Mirkadyrov (USA); Stefania Fedyai (Russia)

Lessons from the mission could influence how astronauts are treated in the future missions – namely the upcoming Artemis programme, which plans to land the first woman and the next man on the lunar south pole region by 2024.

The upcoming study builds on a previous four-month study conducted in 2019. 

‘As many around the world are staying at home in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, NASA is preparing for its next spaceflight simulation study,’ NASA said. 

‘Results from ground-based missions like this help NASA prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration and provide important scientific data to solve some of these problems and to develop countermeasures.’

SIRIUS-20 will be conducted to study the effects of isolation and confinement, as astronauts experience social isolation and confinement during their missions.

Social isolation and confinement can result in higher levels of stress and damage physiological and psychological well-being, according to NASA. 

A crew member conducting robotic operations. The small international crew will live together in isolation for eight months conducting scientific research using virtual reality and other technologies

A crew member conducting robotic operations. The small international crew will live together in isolation for eight months conducting scientific research using virtual reality and other technologies

But the space agency is after a strong team of astronauts can help counter problems like stress, sleep loss, work overload and disrupted circadian rhythms.

As well as being observed for their psychological well-being, the crew will be kept busy conducting scientific research using virtual reality and robotics, which will be related to social confinement. 

Just as crews heading to the International Space Station must stay in a period of quarantine for two weeks to make sure they don’t take a live virus into space, chosen participants will also will begin their mission with an isolation period. 

NASA said it will be monitoring the effects of the coronavirus on the mission, which is due to commence sometime this year at the NEK ground-based facility in Moscow. 

The mission facility in Moscow, Russia. Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station (SIRIUS)-18/19 is an international mission conducted in the NEK (Nazemnyy eksperimental'nyy kompleks) ground-based analog facility in Moscow

The mission facility in Moscow, Russia. Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station (SIRIUS)-18/19 is an international mission conducted in the NEK (Nazemnyy eksperimental’nyy kompleks) ground-based analog facility in Moscow

As well as being a healthy American, applicants will need to be proficient in both Russian and English languages and have a masters in science or a doctorate.

Participants with a Bachelor’s degree and other qualifications, such as military experience, will also be considered.  

In terms of pay, salaries will vary ‘whether or not you are associated with NASA or if you are a NASA employee or contractor’.

The SIRIUS-20 mission follows on from the four-month long SIRIUS-19 mission, where a crew of six participated in simulated mission operations tasks, including docking to a space station orbiting the Moon and conducting moonwalks on the lunar surface.

The crew also participated in research experiments including self-tests, questionnaires writing journals and ‘specimen collection’ – depositing tissue and fluids in test tubes for later analysis.  

A collage of the last study of isolation and confinement and the effect on group dynamics. During the course of the mission, the crew bonded and formed strong relationships

A collage of the last study of isolation and confinement and the effect on group dynamics. During the course of the mission, the crew bonded and formed strong relationships

One SIRIUS-20 crew member, Anastasia Stepanova, wrote in her blog: ‘NEK is where six people in a barrel have become colleagues, friends and almost family!’

‘I began to observe the mood of the crew and noticed only one thing – stability.

‘Jokes and laughter, activity, efficiency, support for each other, optimism and inner peace – all this has remained unchanged since the start of isolation.’

NASA is gradually building up the length of the SIRIUS missions in an effort to test human endurance – a 12-month mission is scheduled for 2022.

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars (pictured)

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars (pictured) 

NASA already opened applications in March for the next generation of astronauts that will travel to the Moon and Mars.

New astronauts are having to undergo a two-year training and evaluation period and pass a series of physical requirements to be part of the Artemis programme.

For the first time in its 61-year history, NASA is also requiring prospective astronauts to have a master’s degree in a STEM-related field like maths or computer science.

The space agency is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon though its Artemis programme by 2024.

Exploring the Moon during the 2020s will help prepare humanity to ultimately send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, NASA said.

NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.