The hardest working rover on Mars is fighting for its robotic life on the red planet. NASA announced on Friday that the Opportunity rover is currently being hit by the worst dust storm it's ever experienced in the 15 years since it landed on Mars. "A dark, perpetual night has settled over the rover's location in Mars' Perseverance Valley," NASA said in a statement. SEE ALSO: 10-Year-Old Opportunity Rover Is Still Finding Crazy Stuff on Mars Scientists are worried the rover won't survive this storm, but there's still hope. On Sunday, Opportunity phoned home, sending a transmission to engineers back on Earth. This means the rover had enough power to send a message despite the fact that the sun was blotted out by dust, preventing a full charge to its solar panels. A brutal dust storm on Mars is trying to kill Opportunity … and that little rover is sending back images LIKE A CHAMPION. pic.twitter.com/p7WBIfCLiw — Kristen Walbolt (@kWalbolt) June 10, 2018 The storm is actually 7 million square miles across, meaning that it's larger than North America, according to NASA. Since the storm began bearing down on Opportunity, the rover has started conserving energy by ending science operations and only using minimal power to keep it warm during the tempest. This storm is bad, but Opportunity is made of hardy stuff. The rover was only designed to last 90 days, yet here we are more than a decade later, a still-functioning Opportunity on Mars. Keeping watch over the rover Scientists working with the rover and many others have become attached to the intrepid space robot. They're hoping for the best. Oppy’s ops team has really bonded this week. We’ve cried together, we’ve cheered at beeps together, we’ve made silly memes together, and so much more. I honestly am so proud of this team for coming together. We’re all hands on deck and it’s amazing to watch. ?????? — Keri Bean (@PlanetaryKeri) June 11, 2018 If everyone could just send a little love to @MarsRovers Opportunity right now, I’m pretty sure love penetrates dust storms and is a good alternative to solar power — Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) June 11, 2018 Day is night is an accurate way of describing the rovers predicament. It’s not an exaggeration. https://t.co/GU9MJOtWtf — Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) June 11, 2018 That said, it's a terrible storm. "The storm's atmospheric opacity — the veil of dust blowing around, which can blot out sunlight — is now much worse than a 2007 storm that Opportunity weathered," NASA said. "The previous storm had an opacity level, or tau, somewhere above 5.5; this new storm had an estimated tau of 10.8 as of Sunday morning." On MER, we call optical depth tau, since tau is what you solve for in the equation. It’s a measurement essentially of how much solar radiation is hitting our solar panels. The value we measured this morning was 10.8. To give context, average non dust storm values are 0.5-1. — Keri Bean (@PlanetaryKeri) June 11, 2018 This might be bad math, but a tau of 10.8 is 0.002% of sunlight reaching the surface. That's equivalent to a 11.5 magnitude difference, so the brightness of the Sun at midday is about -14. That's about one lux, which is the brightness of rural night sky on a moonless night. https://t.co/eDwR3mGNoP — Justin Cowart (@jccwrt) June 11, 2018 The main concern NASA has with this kind of tempest is that the rover's batteries will get too cold and it won't be able to function once the dust storm ends. Opportunity is in low power mode in order to make sure it can keep warm until the storm ends. For now, the engineers will just need to wait it out and see how the little robot comes through the storm. WATCH: NASA is attempting to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time
Edgar Valdez-Villarreal was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, where he earned the nickname “La Barbie” because of his light complexion and eyes. Prosecutors say he started dealing marijuana in Laredo as early as 2000, then moved on to selling cocaine to customers in New Orleans and Memphis.
By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s blistering attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has driven bilateral relations to their lowest point in decades and left Ottawa with few options for averting a trade war with its much bigger neighbor. Trump blew apart a G7 summit in Canada over the weekend, blasting Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak” and raising the prospect of tariffs against auto imports, a move that would imperil the Canadian economy.
Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, points out that while Kim Jong Un will be able to use his meeting with Donald Trump for propaganda purposes, the attention encourages him toward normalcy and moves both sides farther from all-out war.
Ongoing tensions between America and its closest allies over tariffs and other issues have not soured military-to-military relationships, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday. President Donald Trump has recently blasted several nations, including Canada, over what he has called unfair tariffs on US goods. Trump refused to sign a joint statement over the weekend endorsing global trade rules, and accused Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of dishonesty.
Electoral reform experts believe ranked-choice voting has the potential to shake up the two-party system without destabilizing American politics. It is seen as a way to give voters more choices, reduce polarization, and make room for candidates to run as independents.