I’m going to get the drop on Glenn Reynolds with this item. . .
Back in February, I’m sure most people took no notice about this news from the famous and massive Arecibo radio-telescope observatory in Puerto Rico:
Scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have discovered a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid 2020 BX12. . .
Arecibo radar images released Feb. 10 indicate that the moon is about 230 feet wide, compared to the asteroid it orbits, which is about 540 feet wide. The asteroid was discovered earlier this month by the NASA-funded ATLAS near-Earth asteroid survey being conducted from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
The object is defined as a potentially hazardous asteroid because of its size and the proximity of its orbit to Earth’s orbit, although it poses no danger at this time and is currently moving away from Earth.
Cue Obi-Wan Kenobi: “That’s no moon!” I’m not saying it’s aliens, but . . . you know how this sentence ends.
Then came the pandemic, the George Floyd revolution, and now this news breaking today:
One of the auxiliary cables that helps support a metal platform in place above the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, broke on Monday (Aug. 10) causing a 100-foot-long gash on the telescope’s reflector dish. Operations at the UCF-managed observatory are stopped until repairs can be made. . .
The facility, which is home to one of the most powerful telescopes on the planet, is used by scientists around the world to conduct research in the areas of atmospheric sciences, planetary sciences, radio astronomy and radar astronomy. Arecibo is also home to a team that runs the Planetary Radar Project supported by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program in NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office through a grant awarded to UCF.
“Broken cable.” Yeah, sure. This is just what you’d expect would happen to blind us to the approaching alien invasion.
Seriously, would you be surprised in 2020? (Okay, not seriously, but still. . .)
Chaser: We heard yesterday that Russia supposedly has a vaccine for COVID-19, but it seems everybody is getting in on the act, including. . . (checks notes) alpacas? From Australia:
Okay, I’m going to stop smirking at those late night TV ads touting alpaca ranching investment opportunities.
Also: If Trump really wants to drive the media doubly-mad, he’ll bring an alpaca to his next COVID press briefing, and tout alpaca products. You thought the hysteria about hydroxochloroquine and UV light and bleach was bad. . .