Luxtoday

Highlights of the week of August 14-20

Last time updated
20.08.23
Highlights of the week of August 14-20

Fires continue to rage in Canada and a hurricane rages on the Pacific coast. The number of people affected is growing.

Hurricane off the coast of Mexico

Hurricane Hilary, which formed in the middle of the week in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, was only recently rated as a level 4 threat. Hurricanes of this strength wreak havoc on the regions they pass through, sweeping away homes and causing dozens of deaths. The wind speed in such an airstream reaches up to 60 m/s.

Now the hurricane has weakened considerably. The wind speed has decreased to 37 m/s, and the category of danger has been downgraded from 4 to 1. However, it is still dangerous for infrastructure and population. The expected path of the vortex is through the Baja California state in Mexico and the states of California and Nevada.

Experts expect Hilary to weaken further to tropical storm strength. It will be the first such event to hit the U.S. coast in 80 years.

The storm's danger cannot be ignored. Numerous floods are possible due to the enormous amount of rainfall. The U.S. and Mexico are already mobilizing emergency services to form humanitarian corps with supplies and temporary shelters in case people are forced to evacuate from harm's way.

Canada is still in flames

The situation is no better in the United States' northern neighbor. Wildfires that have been raging for months have destroyed millions of acres of forest and now threaten tens of thousands of homes in British Columbia. In the region, about 400 fires have been reported.

Now, Canadian authorities have restricted travel between urban centers. Some towns in the province have already been hit by fires, and residents are being evacuated to safer areas. The number of homes in the high-risk zone is growing: in just one day, the number has doubled — from 15,000 to 30,000. Some people have already left their homes, but others prefer to stay and seek shelter in the city.

This year's fires have turned out to be the most destructive in the last ten years. Ecologists blame climate change. The fires and their rapid spread are fueled by prolonged drought.

India is getting closer to the moon

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is completing its orbit around our satellite and will soon begin its landing operation. This is the first mission ever to land a research lunar rover on the dark side of the celestial body. India's main rival in this race was Russia, but the Luna-25 project crashed while landing on the surface.

India launched its rocket on July 14. The vehicle was in space for over a month, first orbiting the Earth to gain the necessary speed, then circling the Moon, taking pictures of the satellite's surface, and preparing for landing. Contact with the lunar surface was expected in a few days.

The main problems of the whole operation are the irregularity of the lunar surface near the South Pole and the extremely poor lighting. The sun is not high above the horizon here, so the shadows are very long and it is difficult to see the relief. In addition, the surface here is full of craters, so landing the device will be a real feat.

If the operation is successful, scientists will be able to obtain previously inaccessible images of the surface, data on soil analysis, and, most importantly, information on the presence of water, which can be used for drinking or producing fuel.

Last time updated
20.08.23

We took photos from these sources: The moon, the sky, the mountains, the clouds, the haze

Authors: Aleksandr, Kadriia