By: Jessica Moskowitz
'Knockout Game' Hurts Random Victims
It's a dangerous game, now reported in at least six states, and it could happen to anyone walking down the street.
One minute you're minding your own business, the next a complete stranger deliberately knocks you to the ground.
Across the country, police are struggling to tally the full impact of this deadly game. CNN's Pamela Brown reports.
By: Fox News
A recent string of attacks tied to a dangerous game called “Knockout” -- where unsuspecting residents are targeted and sucker-punched – is being investigated as possible hate crimes.
New York police are looking into the growing trend, WPIX reports, after attacks in predominately Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
The most recent attack was caught on video last week in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where a group of ten men spotted a man walking alone, punched him and kept moving, according to the station.
But New York is not the only place to see the “Knockout Game” being played out.
In Washington, D.C., Tamera Jackson, 27, told WJLA that a group of teens on bicycles came up behind her last week as she walked home and one of them punched her in the back of the head before the group sped away, laughing.
“For the fun of it.”- Teen, speaking of 'Knockout Game'
According to Fox 31 Denver, similar attacks have occurred in St. Louis and Pittsburgh, where a teacher was knocked out by a 15-year-old as he walked home from school last month. The attack was caught on a security camera video, and the teen was charged with assault.
And in New Jersey, CBS 2 reports, video footage shows Ralph Santiago, 46, randomly targeted for knockout by a group of teens. Santiago was later found dead with his neck broken and head lodged between iron fence posts, according to NJ.com.
Video shows Santiago walking during daytime in an alley, and just as he’s about to pass a pack of teenagers, one launches the fatal, knockout blow.
And what’s the point?
“For the fun of it,” one teen said in the video.
In September, a 13-year-old boy was sentenced to 18 months of confinement for the beating death of a 51-year-old man in upstate New York.
The teen had pleaded guilty to assault and attempted assault, admitting that he started the fatal beating by attempting to knock the man out with a single punch.
The teen said he and his friends were playing a street game called "knockout." His punch apparently had little to no effect, but the follow-up from a 16-year-old boy caused bleeding in the victim's brain, and he died in late May.
The 16-year-old co-defendant was found guilty last month in Onondaga County Family Court of second-degree manslaughter and received the same sentence.
By Miriam Kramer
A newly discovered gaseous planet has been directly photographed orbiting a star about 300 light-years from Earth -- equivalent to 3.7 billion round trip flights to the moon.
Imaging alien planets is difficult, and this world may be the least massive planet directly observed outside of the solar system, scientists say.
A sharp new photo released by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Monday, June 3, depicts the suspected gas giant (called HD 95086 b) circling its young star (named HD 95086) in infrared light. The star has been removed from the image to allow the planet — shown as a bright blue dot at the bottom left of the picture — to shine through.
HD 95086 b was sighted by ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Based on the planet's brightness, scientists estimate that it is only about four or five times more massive than Jupiter. [See Amazing Photos of the Very Large Telescope]
Most exoplanets are discovered via indirect means, such as detecting a dip in a star's light when a planet passes in front of it, blocking part of its face, or finding a slight wobble in a star's movement caused by the gravitational tug of planets orbiting it.
"Direct imaging of planets is an extremely challenging technique that requires the most advanced instruments, whether ground-based or in space," Julien Rameau, an astronomer at the Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology in France and lead author of the study announcing the discovery, said in a statement. "Only a few planets have been directly observed so far, making every single discovery an important milestone on the road to understanding giant planets and how they form."
Another photo from ESO shows the star and its planet in context with other stars in the southern constellation of Carina, the keel.
The planet orbits its star at about twice the distance from the sun to Neptune and about 56 times the distance between Earth and the sun. The blue circle in the photo represents the distance between the sun and Neptune.
HD 95086 is relatively young star at only 10 million to 17 million years old, making the formation of the exoplanet and the dusty disc surrounding the star potentially intriguing to researchers.
"[The planet's] current location raises questions about its formation process," Anne-Marie Lagrange, one of Rameau's team members, said in a statement. "It either grew by assembling the rocks that form the solid core and then slowly accumulated gas from the environment to form the heavy atmosphere, or started forming from a gaseous clump that arose from gravitational instabilities in the disc. Interactions between the planet and the disc itself or with other planets may have also moved the planet from where it was born."
The research will be published in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/03/never-before-seen-alien-planet-imaged-directly-in-new-photo/#ixzz2VW4Nxeat
By Andrew Fazekas
Astronomers around the world are gearing up to get their first close-up views of a giant space rock set to hurtle by Earth this Friday, May 31.
Called 1998 QE2, this asteroid is considered a potentially hazardous object because it makes a regular close approach to Earth’s orbit. (Related: “Asteroid Impacts: 10 Biggest Known Hits.”)
QE2 is a true mountain in motion, stretching 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) across—nine times the length of the 12-deck Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship.
Luckily for us Earthlings, there is no chance of a collision. The asteroid will pass by at 4:59 p.m. EDT at a safe distance of 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers)—15 times the distance separating the Earth from the moon. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to our planet for at least the next two centuries. (Related: “Asteroid to Make Closest Flyby in History.”)
Despite its relative distance from Earth, QE2 will still be visible to backyard telescopes (at least four to six inches in mirror size) as a faint 11th magnitude star (100 times fainter than what the human eye can see) silently gliding across the southern skies the next few nights.
Unfortunately, the Hubble Space Telescope‘s powerful eye will see pretty much the same thing. So NASA astronomers plan to train two of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes on the asteroid as it makes its closest approach this Friday.
By bouncing radio signals off the tumbling asteroid, they hope to create a detailed map that will reveal information about its rotation, shape, and surface features as small as 12 feet (3.75 meters) across.
“With radar we can transform an object from a point of light into a small world with its own unique set of characteristics,” said Lance Benner, principal investigator for the Goldstone radar observations from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a press statement.
“We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid’s distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise.”
NASA decided to get a jump on observations and has started looking at the asteroid on May 29th using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., and has already made a surprising discovery that QE2 has its own moon – about 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide.
Remote controlled telescopes on the Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa, will cover the asteroid’s closest approach on Friday, May 31. You can catch the live coverage—free to the public—on Slooh.com starting at 1:30 p.m. PDT / 4:30 p.m. EDT / 20:30 UTC. (Find out when the broadcast will occur in your time zone.)
BY JASON MAJOR
One of the more well-known objects within our galaxy, the Ring Nebula has been observed by astronomers since the late 1700s. It is a definitive planetary nebula, visible from Earth as a bright and multi-colored ring of material violently expelled from a sun-like star reaching the end of its life. Looking like a gigantic cosmic eye, the Ring Nebula has been imaged countless times — but new observations with the Hubble Space Telescope have finally revealed its true shape.
It’s a big donut.
VIDEOS: The Hubble Space Telescope
Cosmic perspectives can be tricky. It’s often difficult to tell exactly how far away objects are in space, and sometimes the closer things are, the less precise the measurements get — mostly due to a lack of convenient distance markers.
The Ring Nebula (cataloged as Messier 57) is thought to be a little over 2,000 light-years away within our galaxy, which is relatively close by… again, give or take a few tens of light-years. And even though it might look like a flat ring of material expanding out into space (not unlike the “enhanced” explosion of the Death Star) it actually has much more depth to it — we just happen to be looking at it almost straight down from the top.
Astronomers investigating the Ring Nebula using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 have obtained the image above, the clearest and most detailed view yet of the structure, which is about a light year across. Further studies with ground-based telescopes show that not only is there material around the edges but also in the center, moving toward and away from us. And it’s all surrounded by an outer halo.
PHOTOS: Hubble’s Latest Mind Blowing Cosmic Pictures
So actually the Ring Nebula is shaped like a football wrapped by a donut around its middle… inside a bubble.
“With Hubble’s detail, we see a completely different shape than what’s been thought about historically for this classic nebula,” said team leader C. Robert O’Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “The new Hubble observations show the nebula in much clearer detail, and we see things are not as simple as we previously thought.”
Watch a video of M57′s structure here.
And even though the Ring Nebula may seem static and serene from our point of view, it’s the result of a very catastrophic event — and it’s still quite dynamic.
As vast shells of rapidly outward-expanding material slam into slower-moving material, they become ionized and glow brightly, creating the nebula as we see it. And all that stuff is still movingvery quickly through space — over 43,000 mph (69,200 km/h)!
Top 10 Treats for Summer Astronomy
According to the team, the material in the Ring Nebula will continue to expand for another 10,000 years, becoming fainter and fainter as it fades into interstellar space.
(I don’t know about you, but donuts certainly don’t last that long in my house.)
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