Google is no stranger to reproducing historical sites online, but it's now pushing technical boundaries to recreate those sites at risk of vanishing due to the ravages of climate change. It's launching a "Heritage on the Edge" collection in Arts & Culture that will include over 50 exhibitions illustrating the effect of an evolving climate on historical landmarks, including five locations recreated in detailed 3D (with 25 models total) using a mix of scans, photogrammetry and drone footage. You can see vivid depictions of the statues at Easter Island's Rapa Nui, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, the trading port of Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania, Bangladesh's Mosque City of Bagerhat and Peru's ancient city of Chan Chan.
A spell of unsettled weather will persist across the United Kingdom into next week. Frequent storms from the Atlantic will bring rounds of rainfall and gusty winds throughout the country. The first in this series of storms brought rain, gusty winds and hill snow to the region from Monday into Wednesday.A more potent storm set to arrive on Thursday has a small chance to become a named windstorm with wind gusts over 60 mph. The next name for a windstorm this season is Ciara.This storm will also pull much milder air across the country limiting snowfall to the highest elevations and sending temperatures well above normal for most locations.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPOnce again, Scotland will be in line for the worst of the storm with downpours and powerful winds.Spells of rain and wind will extend southward across Northern Ireland and northern England as the storm tracks just north and west of Scotland Thursday into Thursday night.Travel delays and local flooding will again be a concern, especially in areas that have already received multiple days of heavy rainfall this week. There will be little rest for the weary as another storm is forecast to bring additional rain and strong winds to the United Kingdom on Friday.The steadiest rainfall will once again fall from Scotland into Northern Ireland and northern England with a few brief showers elsewhere.The unsettled weather will likely continue into the weekend as another storm racing in from the Atlantic threatens more rain and wind.The weekend storm will bring the chance of downpours to the entire country. Gusty winds of 20-30 mph (32-48 km/h) will be common both Saturday and Sunday.One final storm may take aim at the U.K. early next week bringing a blast of cold winds and local downpours.AccuWeather.com meteorologists say a break in the stormy weather will be possible during the second half of next week.Following this storm, cooler, more seasonable air will arrive causing temperatures to tumble compared to the upcoming mild spell.
One storm with rain and snow will sideswipe the coastal Northeast on Saturday, and even though a blockbuster event is not anticipated, slippery conditions will still develop in some areas as a second storm sweeps in from the west.AccuWeather meteorologists say there is still some uncertainty about the exact route of a storm moving up from the Gulf of Mexico early this weekend -- and it may either hug the coast or skip out to sea.Despite that uncertainty, forecasters believe there are some key definitive factors that are likely to eliminate the chance of a big snowfall in the Northeast. The snow drought is expected to continue in the mid-Atlantic region, and the pair of storms this weekend is not likely to bring much in the way of snow to southern New England and the central Appalachians. Even if the coastal storm were to take a traditional path that usually leads to heavy snow in early February, temperatures will be near or above freezing in most areas that would have the best chance of snow.Rather than put up a fight, an area of high pressure sliding eastward from Quebec will "give it up" this weekend thanks to too much west to east movement with the jet stream. In order for a big snowstorm in the Northeast, cold air must hold its ground to allow the storm crank out snow instead of rain or a rain and snow mix.In the case of the weekend storm, the air is not that cold to begin with and it appears as though it will sound the retreat.As the Gulf of Mexico storm begins to shift northeastward late this week, rain will first gather in the Southern states on Friday. During Friday night to Saturday morning, rain will then roll northeastward and extend to the lower part of the mid-Atlantic region. For a time on Saturday, it is possible that precipitation will reach far enough to the northwest to allow a rain and wet snow mix or wet snow that would generally melt on roads and sidewalks in the swath from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. The northern and western suburbs of these areas, which would be slightly colder, might get enough snow to create slippery travel. Likewise, some areas along the upper mid-Atlantic coast and southeastern New England could receive a period of accumulating wet snow since it may snow at a moderate pace for a time.There is a chance that the coastal storm will bring a period of snow to the Appalachians on Saturday, but a pocket of dry air that develops west of the storm may prevent a widespread accumulation in this area and perhaps much of the coastal Northeast. At the same time, a second storm is forecast to rotate southeastward from the Great Lakes region spanning Saturday to early Sunday. It is this storm that will help to kick the coastal storm out to sea and prevent a heavy amount of snow along the Atlantic Seaboard.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn lieu of a big East Coast snowstorm, snow associated with this second storm from the Upper Midwest will still bring some issues. Once again, marginal temperatures will be a factor in limiting the amount of snow that accumulates, especially on paved surfaces during the midday and afternoon hours.This second storm, although weak, has the potential to bring up to a few inches of snow on grassy and elevated surfaces from the central Great Lakes to the central Appalachians. Where the snow falls at night to the start of the day Sunday, mainly over the central Appalachians, roads can become snow-covered.There is a good chance that snow is falling or will have just finished on Sunday morning when Punxsutawney Phil is pulled from his den to make his famed prognostication for the rest of the winter.A period of snow, perhaps mixed with rain, can extend all the way to the mid-Atlantic coast late Saturday night to Sunday morning. People venturing out in the Interstate-95 mid-Atlantic corridor may have to sweep some snow off their vehicles and watch for slippery spots on their travels first thing Sunday morning before sunshine returns.The second storm may miss much of New England.The takeaway for the weekend outlook is that rather than one big blockbuster storm, pieces of storms will be scattered about the region with some wintry impacts on travel here and there. Rather than one storm hitting a home run in terms of snowfall, two storms will take swings and hit foul balls.By the way, MLB pitchers and catchers report for spring workouts spanning Feb. 10-14, and a warmup is forecast to follow the weekend storms during early next week. However, it is too early to write off winter and big snowstorms just yet -- AccuWeather has the scoop on Punxsutawney Phil in this early spring preview.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
NASA is pulling the plug on one of its great observatories -- the Spitzer Space Telescope -- after 16 years of scanning the universe with infrared eyes. For years, Spitzer peered through dusty clouds at untold stars and galaxies, uncovered a huge, nearly invisible ring around Saturn, and helped discover seven Earth-size planets around a nearby star. Altogether, Spitzer observed 800,000 celestial targets and churned out more than 36 million raw images as part of the $1.4 billion mission.
SpaceX launched its fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites today, boosting its constellation to a world-record 240 satellites and bringing the company closer to starting up its global broadband internet service. After delaying liftoff for several days due to weather concerns, SpaceX went ahead with the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida at 9:06 a.m. ET (6:06 a.m. PT). Minutes later, the first-stage booster flew itself back to a landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic, while the second stage and its payload continued the push to orbit. This was the… Read More
Researchers recently resurrected the "voice" of an ancient priest for the first time since his death over 3,000 years ago. Called Nesyamun, he lived during the time of the pharaoh Rameses XI, who ruled from 1107 to 1078 BC. The team used a combination of scanners, 3D printing and synthesized sound to create the vocal simulation.
SpaceX is set to launch another batch of its Starlink broadband internet satellites this morning, after weather conditions shut down its last two attempts earlier this week. SpaceX is being especially picky about not just launch conditions, but also weather in the recovery area, where it hopes to catch the fairing protecting the satellite cargo aboard this Falcon 9 launch. SpaceX has successfully caught one fairing half before, but it hasn't been able to catch any others yet, and has also never caught both halves at the same time.
A plane crash killed three people and a dog amid foggy conditions in Springfield, Illinois, on Tuesday, according to the Sangamon County Sheriff.The Sangamon County Sheriff reports the airport tower and pilot recorded the plane was having trouble due to the weather and the plane's instruments prior to impact, according to WRSP. "At the time of the crash, the Springfield airport was reporting clouds down to around 500 feet, with visibility reduced to 4 miles at ground level due to fog," AccuWeather Meteorologist Derek Witt said.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"Also, temperatures were a couple of degrees below freezing, so ice formation would have been possible due to the low clouds and fog," Witt said.According to KSDK, Springfield Airport Authority executive director Mark Hanna said the plane went down around 3 p.m. as it was attempting to land at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield and missed two houses before impact.The plane was headed to Springfield from Huntsville, Alabama from Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport in Florida, authorities reported.The FAA currently has control of the scene. This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is confirmed.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios
The uptick in influenza-like illnesses (ILI) that experts working with AccuWeather predicted did indeed occur. Most of the states in the United States - in a reversal of the last couple of weeks - experienced an increase in activity, according to the most recent data. However, its impact does not figure to be long-lasting for most of those states, those same experts predict.Visits to health care providers for ILI increased from 4.7 percent last week to 5.0% this week, a slight increase after two straight weeks of declining totals, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Flu activity remains high nationally, the CDC notes; researchers at the Biocomplexity Institute, who work in a research partnership with AccuWeather, see the increase as the sum of its parts. (Courtesy CDC) "It's a tough balance to strike since the picture at the national level is really a combination of a lot of smaller stories playing out in the different states," Dr. Bryan Lewis, a professor at the Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia, told AccuWeather.Some 38 states experienced an increase in activity; however, many of these increases were modest and many states continued to decline, the Biocomplexity researchers note. A total of 15 states had ILI activity that was considered either "moderate," "low," or "minimal," according to the CDC.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"In general, the current forecasts aren't calling for this ‘blip' to continue significantly and cause a larger national second peak," Lewis told AccuWeather. "But my gut says there are several states - and they are scattered all over the place - that could have a reasonable resurgence in the coming weeks, meaning a second peak with a couple of weeks of increasing infection, namely Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Idaho and New England-area states."The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 15 million flu illnesses, 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths from the flu. It's the tenth straight week flu activity is above baseline normal (2.4 percent). Last year, levels of ILI in the U.S. were at or above baseline for 21 straight weeks.Influenza A continues to increase its share of activity nationally and is increasing its overall prevalence in nearly all regions, according to the Biocomplexity Institute researchers. Influenza B causes significant illness in those stricken; however, hospitalization and death are less frequent than with Influenza A.Flu season typically begins in October, peaks between December and February and lasts well into March although activity can last as late as May. Flu viruses are more stable in cold air and the low humidity allows the virus particles to remain in the air, according to Peter Palese, who was the lead author on a key flu study in 2007. For example, there is no real flu season in the tropics.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
A powerful earthquake struck the Caribbean on Tuesday afternoon, shaking parts of Jamaica and Cuba shortly after 2 p.m. local time and rising fears of a dangerous tsunami.The earthquake was originally rated a 7.3 by the USGS but was later upgraded to a 7.7. The epicenter of the earthquake was 78 miles (125 km) northwest of Lucea, Jamaica, and was shallow with a depth of just 6.2 miles (10 km).Shortly after the powerful earthquake jolted the Caribbean, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) warned of the potential for hazardous tsunami waves as high as 1 meter (3 feet) along some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands.Roughly 30 minutes after the shaking had stopped, a tsunami wave of 0.11 of a meter (0.4 of a foot) was officially observed at George Town, Cayman Islands. No tsunami waves were observed at Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, with the tsunami danger passing by 4 p.m. local time Tuesday. Shaking was felt as far away as Miami, Florida, and reports began surfacing on social media that high-rise buildings were felt swaying. Twitter users posted video footage on the platform showing people streaming out of office buildings in Miami, as helicopters buzzed overhead.> pic.twitter.com/RtTFjTAMil> > -- Fall seven times stand up eight. (@MarioG2681) January 28, 2020> Came to pick up my boyfriend at work - EMERGENCY evacuations because the buildings are shaking Miami @OfficialJoelF datran pic.twitter.com/50G0TowuVO> > -- Gabrielle Alexander (@TheMutedAlpha) January 28, 2020Some reports had suggested that Miami International Airport had been evacuated following the shaking. However, the airport refuted this claim, stating that there were no evacuations and that operations have remained normal.Tuesday's magnitude 7.7 earthquake was the strongest to hit the region since a magnitude 8.1 quake struck near the Dominican Republic on Aug. 4, 1946.This was also the strongest earthquake anywhere on the globe since a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit near Peru on May 26, 2019, according to USGS records.> This M 7.7 earthquake is one of the strongest on record for the Caribbean. Here's the top 12 prior to today. pic.twitter.com/55apG4ZAK6> > -- Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) January 28, 2020> The M7.7 earthquake between Jamaica and Cuba was so powerful it was detected by seismographs in Connecticut. You can see the tremor was felt just after 2:15 p.m. as the p-waves reached Westport, Connecticut. nbcct pic.twitter.com/RsYRQSdU05> > -- Ryan Hanrahan (@ryanhanrahan) January 28, 2020The U.S. Geological Survey also reported a magnitude 6.5 aftershock near the Cayman Islands shortly after the earthquake.
As the sorrow surrounding Sunday's fatal helicopter crash in Southern California turns from shock to the investigation, new details have shed light on what preceded the final moments before the accident that ended the lives of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven others.However, despite addressing the public with new findings on both Monday and Tuesday evening, authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a press conference that the full report, which will include the probable cause of crash, may not be released for another 12 to 18 months.While the NTSB, along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will continue working together to gather information in advance of an official report for many months, the short-term findings have already helped paint a clearer picture of what doomed the helicopter.On Tuesday, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy shared new details surrounding the ground impact. Homendy and investigators have spent the majority of the early week on the site of the crash, analyzing wreckage and collecting debris."We also mentioned yesterday that the pilot had an iPad with ForeFlight on it, so we were looking for electronic devices as we always do. We were able to recover an iPad and a cell phone, we do not know if that's the pilot's iPad," Homendy said. "So we're going to take those personal electronic devices, we're going to send them back to our lab at headquarters for further analysis."Homendy added that investigators uncovered numerous helpful mechanical bits of information, such as maintenance records, operating manuals, weight and balance sheets and airworthiness certificates.On Monday, Homendy had shared that the privately owned Sikorsky S-76B helicopter had no black box on board, meaning there was no cockpit voice recording or flight data recorder for the teams to analyze.In addressing the likelihood for survival in such a crash, Homendy declined to directly answer the inquiry on Monday, but called the crash site a "pretty devastating accident scene."On Tuesday, she expanded on that, saying that data revealed that the helicopter was in a descending left bank as it began to crash."We know that the helicopter was at 2,300 feet when it lost communications with air traffic control," she said. "We know that the descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 feet per minute, so we know that this was a high-energy impact crash."While Homendy added that a preliminary report would be released in the coming week, she emphasized that the report would only share informational findings and not any analysis.However, the most widely agreed-upon factor that led to the accident, according to experts and eyewitnesses, has been the thick fog that enveloped Southern California area that morning. Webcams from the Calabasas area show how thick the fog was on the Sunday morning of the fatal helicopter crash that claimed Kobe Bryant's life. (Via AlertWildfire.org) Webcam screenshots taken on Sunday morning from areas near the crash site in Calabasas depict the thick fog that shrouded Bryant's helicopter as it flew on the fateful morning of the flight. In fact, the NTSB issued an appeal to the public for help with better determining the weather conditions at the time of the crash."Speaking of weather, we have a request for the public. We are looking for photos of the weather in the area of the crash. If you have photos that can help us, again in the area of the crash, if you could send those photos to firstname.lastname@example.org," Homendy said on Monday.On video circulated on Tuesday night showing footage of Bryant's helicopter flying in the fog over Glendale, California. According to David Lyudmirsky, who posted the footage to Twitter, he went outside to film when he heard a thunderous noise over his house, which he described to the New York Post as comparable to a group of bikers.Lyudmirsky's footage shows the aircraft circling sometime between 9:21 and 9:33 a.m. when the pilot awaited confirmation of clear airspace from controllers. The footage also uniquely depicted how low the helicopter was flying, adding to the thundering noise that drew Lyudmirsky's attention."I try and video /photograph all the weird stuff happening above my house in Glendale," Lyudmirsky wrote on Instagram. "Unfortunately this morning I didn't realize I was filming the helicopter Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others were in 31 minutes before they crashed."New details have also emerged about veteran pilot Ara Zobayan, who also worked as a flight instructor Group 3 Aviation. Along with his 8,200 flight miles, as of last July, Homendy added on Tuesday night that Zobayan had recorded 1,250 hours of flight time in the S-76 helicopter.She also shared that records showed Zobayan having successfully flown from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo just a day earlier, on Saturday, with a more direct flight path in clearer weather.Earlier audio releases indicate that air traffic controllers (ATC) were communicating with Zobayan that he needed to fly above the cloud ceiling for flight following."Approximately four minutes later, the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer," Homendy said. "When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply."Flight following, as Homendy described, is radar assistance for pilots in order to avoid airspace traffic."When air traffic control said they were too low, it wasn't that they were too low [to fly], it was that they were too low to provide flight following assistance," Homendy said.Worldwide vigils have spread throughout major cities from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, across continents, languages and have been impacting athletes across all different sports.Similar memorials have poured out for the other eight victims of the accident, including Bryant's daughter Gianna. Legendary baseball coach John Altobelli was on the flight along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, one of Gianna's basketball teammates. Another teammate, Payton Chester, was on the flight with her mother. The girls' coach, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Zobayan, perished as well.Zobayan is remembered by his colleagues and students as a top-notch, savvy pilot. Zobayan held the chief pilot position at Island Express Helicopters."The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was our chief pilot. Ara has been with the company for over 10 years and has over 8,000 flight hours," the company said in a statement. "We are working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the cause of the accident and we are grateful to the first responders and local authorities for their response to this unimaginable accident."According to The New York Times, a group of pilots gathered on Sunday at Group 3 Aviation, the flight school were Zobayan, 50, learned to fly in 1998. They said they were flummoxed by news of the tragic accident.Zobayan had been a personal pilot for Bryant for years and also provided flights for celebrities such as Kylie Jenner. Jenner had most recently flown with him in November for her niece's third birthday party, she revealed in a post on Instagram."I still can't believe this. That was the helicopter I would fly on from time to time with that pilot, Ara," Jenner posted on Instagram. "He was such a nice man. Hold your loved ones close."Zobayan reportedly wanted to learn how to fly after taking a sightseeing flight over the Grand Canyon. He possessed the necessary certifications to fly under instrument meteorological conditions and taught other pilots who were working toward their own ratings.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPAccording to the FAA, he had no accidents or enforcement actions on his record. Fellow pilots lauded him for his precise caution and intelligence. The accident, particularly amid the conditions, has baffled many of his friends, such as Kurt Deetz, a former pilot of Bryant's, who told the New York Times that Zobayan "knew the weather patterns" of the region well.Deetz told The Los Angeles Times that Zaboyan was Bryant's go-to pilot after Deetz left the company. One of those famous flights Zaboyan piloted for Bryant was to the legend's final NBA game, against the Utah Jazz on April 16, 2016.Deetz also disputed the notion that the Los Angeles Police Department's decision to ground flights earlier that Sunday doesn't mean private pilots would always have canceled their flights as well, as the LAPD is overly cautious, according to Deetz.On Tuesday night, Homendy echoed those sentiments, adding that the LAPD flies far different helicopters than the private aircrafts that Bryant used."It's an apples to oranges comparison. It's a different helicopter, different operations," she said. "We have to look at this specific crash, this specific helicopter.""We've all been there ... I don't care if you've got 100 hours or 10,000 hours. It can happen to anyone," Deetz said, according to The Wall Street Journal. Speaking to the LA Times, Deetz said Zaboyan's decision to continue flying through the conditions with such a high-profile passenger must have been a critical and difficult decision."Psychologically, that's the hardest part," Deetz said. "Biting the bullet and saying, ‘The weather's crap, I have to turn back.' It's hard to accept the fact you can't get the job done."Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios