It probably comes to no surprise that the top two most consumed beverages in the world are tea and coffee, respectively. Growth prospects for both beverages show positive trends with dominant growth occurring in the Asia-Pacific regions. Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) are projected to be around 6–7% for tea and coffee from 2018 to 2024. Currently, China is the number one tea producing country, while Brazil is the number one coffee producing country in the world. …

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https://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2018/01/space_weather_effects/17231521-7-eng-GB/Space_weather_effects_pillars.jpg

Clear skies with a 50% chance of extremely high velocity, micro-bits of rock. Temperature lows in the -40s and highs in the 100s celsius. For satellite engineers, the detrimental impacts of temperature fluctuations and collisions with orbital debris (natural and man-made) as small as a few centimeters are clear. Thankfully, monitoring stations such as the U.S.’s Space Surveillance Network (SSN) and the Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance operate 24/7 for the purpose of tracking objects in Earth’s vicinity. On the other hand, the presence of electromagnetic (EM) radiation and charged particles are aspects of space weather vastly more complicated, which cause equally detrimental consequences. Typical weather prediction on the ground has grown significantly in the past few decades, however the level of space weather prediction is nowhere near our capabilities with the former; in fact, space weather prediction is roughly 50 years behind regular weather forecasts. When it comes to solar storms, there are two main types: solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In essence, a solar flare is a massive explosion acting like a particle accelerator and a CME is a burst of solar wind that sometimes follows a solar flare. Solar wind is perhaps the most important part in the Sun-Earth system of radiation and magnetic fields. The accurate specification (speed, density, direction, etc.) …

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Space debris, or space junk, clouds the Earth’s orbit. ESA/ID&SENSE/ONIRIXEL

The crowding of small satellites in orbit was seen as a potential issue as early as 2001 when three individuals, Yakovlev, Kulik, and Agapov, wrote a paper for a European conference on space debris. Graphs using NASA data showed the increasing favorability for lighter weight satellites. They concluded that if the number of small satellites continued to increase, space debris in those regions could become a problem. Any object in Earth orbit can pose as a threat, but space debris can be looked at as objects that simply clutter space and serve no purpose. Here, we define space debris as rocket bodies, defunct satellites, and any other human-made piece of satellite in space. Of the aforementioned categories, 18,747 objects (greater than 10 cm) exist: 4,614 are payloads (active and defunct) and 14,133 objects being rocket bodies and debris. For objects between 1 cm and 10 cm in diameter, NASA estimates approximately 750,000 in orbit. …

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Credit: Sean (https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/104216432)

For Westerners, Taiwan remains low on the list for the most frequented destinations within Asia. Growth in tourism has steadily increased for the island since 2008 when Chinese mainland citizens were granted access, but the numbers for U.S. citizens remain small. Fortunately though, Taiwan allows 90 days of visa-free entry for U.S. citizens and the number of visitors from the U.S. has grown to over half a million as of 2018. Being one of the most mountainous islands in the world, Taiwan offers a number of adventurous opportunities given its richness in cuisine, culture, and natural beauty. …

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In the San Augustine Plains of central New Mexico, 27 radio telescopes stand tall, operating nearly 24 hours, 7 days a week capturing extremely weak signals emitted from all over the Universe. This flat and vast land, once a seabed, sits at an altitude of 7,000 feet and is surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains. Despite the ideal conditions of this location, “listening” to these faint radio emissions is becoming increasingly difficult as the Earth becomes “noisier” in the same direction in which these dish antennas are pointed, the sky. At ground level, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) Very Large Array keeps a continuous live monitoring station dedicated for receiving Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio transmissions for visitors’ cellphones and other electronic devices. Besides their inherent interference, these signals can also emit multiples of their intended frequency, causing interference in many places at once (due to poor engineering[1]). When “radio noisy” visitors drive into the VLA area, they are spotted on the monitor. The visitor center receives an email alert to remind the visitors to turn off their cell phones. …

About

Adam (N4ADK)

Amateur radio operator, photographer, bass player from Richmond, VA.

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