Look up! The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks Friday night
A major meteor shower will grace the night sky this Friday night. The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning. Under clear skies, viewers can spot over 100 meteors per hour shooting through the sky. The meteors will originate from near the constellation Ursa Major, aka the Big Dipper, but shooting stars will be visible throughout the sky.
Unfortunately for those of us in the eastern U.S., a storm system could prevent a clear view of the sky. Rain is expected from New England down into the Appalachians, but if the clouds begin to part, it will be well worth braving the cold to take in Mother Nature’s lightshow.
Hiker lost in Florida wilderness uses cell phone light to flag down helicopter
An experienced hiker exploring the Flatwoods Wilderness Park in Thonotosassa, Florida became lost after dark on Sunday. Libia Marsack says that she’d been hiking for a few hours when she set out on a new trail she discovered just before dusk, thinking she could finish it quickly. “I figured it was just a small loop they had there, so I decided to explore that last little trail before I leave and that’s when things started getting bad for me because the trail ended up being much longer than I expected,” Marsack told WTSP News.
As the sun set, Marsack began hiking towards what she thought was the trailhead, but ended up on a dirt access road deep within the park. As the battery drained from her cell phone, Marsack called 911. A rescue chopper was dispatched and the hiker flagged it down with the flashlight on her cell phone. Once Marsack’s exact location had been determined, a park ranger on at ATV arrived to collect her.
Bushfires continue to burn across Australia, fueled by severe drought and extreme temperatures
Massive bushfires are burning across Australia. In the most impacted state, New South Wales, fires have burned more than 9.9 million acres and destroyed over 900 homes. Twelve people have died in the fires, including three volunteer firefighters. In New South Wales alone, 100 fires are burning, half of them uncontained. Flames of 230 feet, higher than the height of the Sydney Opera House, have been recorded.
The fires are fueled by high winds and record-breaking high temperatures. In December, Australia twice broke its record for all-time highest temperature. For years, scientists have warned that hotter and drier temperatures will contribute to more intense and frequent wildfires.