UFO Buster Radio News – 349: Planet 9, COVID-19 TP Scare & Flu Comparison, and SpaceX Starlink Launch
Got TP? The psychology behind why toilet paper is the latest coronavirus panic buy
People resort to extremes when they hear conflicting messages
“On the one hand, [the response is] understandable, but on the other hand it’s excessive,” Taylor, a professor and clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia, told CNN. “We can prepare without panicking.”
The novel coronavirus scares people because it’s new, and there’s a lot about it that’s still unknown. When people hear conflicting messages about the risk it poses and how seriously they should prepare for it, they tend to resort to the extreme, Taylor said.
“When people are told something dangerous is coming, but all you need to do is wash your hands, the action doesn’t seem proportionate to the threat,” he said. “Special danger needs special precautions.”
It allows some to feel a sense of control
The people who are stocking up on supplies are thinking about themselves and their family and what they need to do to prepare, Taylor said — not healthcare workers, sick people or even regular folks who might run out of toilet paper sometime soon.
“It’s all due to this wave of anticipatory anxiety,” Taylor said. “People become anxious ahead of the actual infection. They haven’t thought about the bigger picture, like what are the consequences of stockpiling toilet paper.”
Elon Musk told Tesla employees they are more likely to die in a car accident than from the Coronavirus. Link: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/13/21179291/elon-musk-coronavirus-tesla-memo-car-accident-deaths-comparison
This Is How Many People Die From the Flu Each Year, According to the CDC
While everyone is in a panic about the coronavirus (officially renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization), there’s an even deadlier virus many people are forgetting about: the flu.
Flu season is hitting its stride right now in the US. So far, the CDC has estimated (based on weekly influenza surveillance data) that at least 12,000 people have died from influenza between Oct. 1, 2019 through Feb. 1, 2020, and the number of deaths may be as high as 30,000.
The CDC also estimates that up to 31 million Americans have caught the flu this season, with 210,000 to 370,000 flu sufferers hospitalized because of the virus.
Planet 9 discovery gets closer as astronomers discover 139 ‘minor planets’ past Neptune
Astronomers are getting closer to discovering the elusive and mysterious Planet Nine after 139 “minor planets” were discovered past Neptune’s orbit.
These objects, ones “that were not previously published,” are not officially planets or comets, but rather space objects that orbit the Sun. In total, the discovery is five percent of the trans-Neptunian object (TNO) population, bringing the number to approximately 3,000, according to a statement accompanying the study.
“Pluto, the best-known TNO, is 40 times farther away from the sun than Earth is, and the TNOs found using the [Dark Energy Survey] data range from 30 to 90 times Earth’s distance from the sun,” the statement reads. “Some of these objects are on extremely long-distance orbits that will carry them far beyond Pluto.”
The researchers used data from the DES between 2013 and 2017, which uses a 520-megapixel Dark Energy Camera. It is on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
There were 7 billion DES-detected dots that the researchers started with, a list that was condensed to 22 million “transient” objects and then eventually, approximately 400 objects that were observed over six separate nights.
SpaceX readying for Sunday’s sixth Starlink launch, first fifth booster flight
SpaceX is preparing its Falcon 9 to launch the Starlink V1.0 L5 mission, although the launch date has been moved to Sunday. This mission will be the first Starlink launch from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center, and the first from the pad since the Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test in January 2020. The first stage is B1048.5 – marking the first time a Falcon 9 core flies for the fifth time. The launch is now scheduled for 9:22 AM Eastern on March 15.
SpaceX is continuing to ramp the rate of Starlink launches as they work toward completing Phase 1 – a constellation of nearly 1600 satellites in a 550km-high orbit.
SpaceX will assign the satellites to one of three orbital planes. Orbital planes are to satellites as tracks are to trains – they are orbits parallel to each other designed to maximize area coverage while minimizing the number of satellites required.
SpaceX plans to begin offering Starlink service to Canada and the northern United States later this year. Near global coverage is expected to start next year. Pricing has not been made public, but it has been hinted that speeds up to one gigabit may be possible.
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