Origin of Russian meteor identified
MEDELLIN, Colombia, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Scientists say they have reconstructed the path of the meteor that exploded over Russia Feb. 15 and identified its likely origin within our solar system.
Researchers at the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia said videos of the meteor's fireball path over the city of Chelyabinsk taken with camera phones, CCTV and car-dashboard cameras allowed them to compute its trajectory and from that its probable orbit around the sun.
The Chelyabinsk meteor appears to have been on an elliptical orbit around the Sun before it collided with Earth, they said, and its path suggests it belonged to a well-known family of space rocks known as the Apollo asteroids that periodically cross Earth's orbit.
Asteroids are grouped based on their orbits, and of about 9,700 near-Earth asteroids discovered so far about 5,200 are thought to be Apollos.
Stephen Lowry of the University of Kent in Britain said he agreed with the Colombian researchers' findings.
"It certainly looks like it was a member of the Apollo class of asteroids," he told BBC News.
"Its elliptical, low inclination orbit, indicates a solar system origin, most likely from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter."
Poll finds video games blamed for violence
NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A poll has found 58 percent of U.S. adults blame video games for violent behavior in teenagers but 33 percent allow their children to play whatever they want.
A Harris Poll survey of 2,278 adults in the United States also found 38 percent were unaware of the ratings provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board for computer and video games indicating the appropriate age group and content, Gamesport.com reported Tuesday.
"The findings underscore the lack of awareness Americans have about the video game rating system, as well as the confusion in the market," Harris Poll president Mike de Vere said in a statement.
"They also factor into a larger discussion playing out across our country and on a political stage around how violent games impact our youth, with President Obama recently announcing his desire to look into ways to fund research examining the impact of violent video games on children."
The president recently announced a $500 million, 23-point plan that directs the Centers for Disease Control to conduct further research into the relationship between virtual violence and real-world violence.
Forty-seven percent of poll respondents said they do not have faith in the ability of ESRB ratings to keep mature-rated games away from children.
The Pirate Bay moves after legal threats
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- File-sharing site Pirate Bay has left Sweden and has broken its operation in two, shifting to servers in Norway and Spain, a website is reporting.
TorrentFreak said Pirate Bay made the move after legal action was threatened against the Swedish Pirate Party, which had been paying for the bandwidth needed to operate Pirate Bay.
The Rights Alliance, an organization backed by music and movie companies that has accused The Pirate Bay of copyright violations, threatened to sue the party, which said the suit could have cut off its ability to pay for bandwidth and put it out of commission.
"You always have to chose your battles wisely," Swedish Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg told TorrentFreak. "It would be crazy to enter a game where the rules are decided by the other team."
Pirate bay has moved its operations to Norway and Spain, two countries with legal climates seen as friendlier to the site.
Norwegian courts have previously ruled in Pirate Bay's favor in recent attempts by ISPs to block the site while Spain has remained largely apathetic to the controversy surrounding Pirate Bay, TorrentFreak said.
The Pirate Bay home page reflects the latest move, changing its logo to depict a multiheaded creature bearing the name The Hydra Bay.
Optic system helps firefighters in rescues
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Italian researchers say a new technique that uses infrared digital holography can allow firefighters to see through flames and capture images of moving people.
The technology can overcome a common challenge for firefighters trying to see through thick veils of smoke and walls of flame to find people in need of rescue, the researchers report in Optics Express, the journal of the Optical Society of America.
Firefighters can see through smoke using current IR camera technology, the researchers said, but such instruments are blinded by the intense infrared radiation emitted by flames; now a specialized lens-free technique has created a system able to cope with the flood of radiation in an environment filled with flames as well as smoke.
"It became clear to us that we had in our hands a technology that could be exploited by emergency responders and firefighters at a fire scene to see through smoke without being blinded by flames, a limitation of existing technology," researcher Pietro Ferraro of Italy's National Research Council said. "Perhaps most importantly, we demonstrated for the first time that a holographic recording of a live person can be achieved even while the body is moving."
The technology could have other uses, he said.
"Besides life-saving applications in fire and rescue, the potential to record dynamic scenes of a human body could have a variety of other biomedical uses including studying or monitoring breathing, cardiac beat detection and analysis, or measurement of body deformation due to various stresses during exercise," Ferraro said.
"We are excited to further develop this technology and realize its application for saving and improving human life."