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Space Rock bigger than Empire State Building to pass by Earth today

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NASA: Today an asteroid, which is roughly 569 metres in diameter, will fly by the Earth. The asteroid, 2006 QQ23 is as big as the Empire State Building and is considered a NEO (Near-Earth Object). The 2006 QQ23 will fly within 0.049 astronomical units (1 AU = Distance between Earth and the Sun) at about 16,740 kmph.

The object being within 0.5 AU of Earth and greater than 140 meters in diameter has been labelled as a potentially hazardous object. The asteroid though, is not considered as a threat and has been called more or less benign by Lindley Johnson and Kelly Fast of NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office, responsible for tracking near-Earth objects in our Solar System.

Asteroids and meteors are said to fly by the Earth and Moon all the time and are not considered a threat. The few fragments that do enter the Earth explode on atmospheric entry and lead to bright meteor showers. Meteorites are remnants of these fragments are found on Earth’s Surface. Most of these objects do not pose a threat but are constantly monitored to ensure they don’t turn into a threat.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, there are about 900 NEO with a diameter greater than one kilometre making them larger than 2006 QQ23. NASA says there is no significant risk from these NEO’s for the next 100 years. The highest risk that an asteroid will hit Earth is a chance of impact by 2009 FD in 2185 which is 1 in 714, about 2 percent.

NASA and other space agencies are working on methods to deflect asteroids that have a higher chance of impact through techniques like Gravity Tractor. Unlike the tractor beams from sci-fi movies, Gravity Tractor utilizes a spacecraft that will use its relative gravity with the asteroid to deflect it into a different trajectory without landing on it. There other methods like kinetic impactor or using nuclear explosion.

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Shyam Ramsay passes away at 67 in Mumbai

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Mumbai:  Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers known for cult horror films such as ‘Puraani Haveli’ and ‘Tahkhana’, died in a hospital on Wednesday, his family said. He was 67. Shyam died of pneumonia at a city-based hospital.

Shyam Ramsay was considered the brain behind the group, he directed films such as ‘Darwaza’, ‘Purana Mandir’ and ‘Veerana’. He was also responsible for ‘The Zee horror show’, ‘Saturday Suspense’, ‘X Zone’ and ‘Nagin’.

The origins of the horror empire set up by the band of brothers can be traced back to a modest radio shop in Karachi in undivided India.

The shop’s proprietor, Fatehchand U Ramsinghani, had relocated to Mumbai after Partition and decided to get into the business of film production.

The Ramsay Brothers, for the longest time ruled the horror genre in Indian cinema with low-budget movies in the 1970s and 1980s. The films were widely popular for their unique mix of horror and erotica.

The last rites will be held at Vile Parle crematorium on Wednesday. Shyam Ramsay is survived by two daughters Sasha and Namrata.

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