Asteroid to pass earth closer than some satellites in orbit

Asteroid to pass earth closer than some satellites in orbit
Jan 26 2023 Share

Earth is about to have a very close encounter with an asteroid the size of a bus as it passes by our home planet. 

The large space rock is known as 2023 BU, which will zoom right over the southern tip of South America tonight. The closest expected approach is that of 3,600km, which would make it a pretty close shave.

However, plenty of experts have said that there is absolutely no need to panic. Despite the asteroid entering thee arc occupied by Earth’s telecommunications satellites, the asteroid would likely disintegrate long before making contact with the ground. 

The asteroid was picked up last week by an amateur astronomer named Gennadiy Borisov who operates from Nauchnyi, Crimea. 

Follow up observations have let experts refine their knowledge about it and, most importantly, the orbit. This is how astronomers can be confident that it will miss Earth, with the chances of hitting a satellite being very small. 

But even if the asteroid was on a direct collision course, it would not do as much damage. With an estimated size of 3.5m to 8.5m across, the rock would disintegrate high in the atmosphere while fizzling out in a spectacular fireball. 


€55 million in Social Climate Funds for Malta as Casa secures ten-fold increase

Jan 26 2023 Share

Malta is set to benefit from a ten-fold increase in funding under a provisional agreement reached on the Social Climate Fund, a vital part of the climate package.

MEP David Casa had been leading negotiations on the Social Climate Fund during the past year.

Under the original proposal, Malta was set to receive €5 million in EU funds. Citizens of Malta and Gozo can now expect to benefit from an amount in excess of €55 million through the Social Climate Fund, including the national co-financing share.

“I believe that there was a strong case to be made and I am very happy to have achieved this result,” Casa said.

As it stands, the Social Climate Fund will be financed by revenues from the EU’s flagship climate policy, agreed as a package deal that included the Social Climate Fund. Measures in the Social Climate Fund will be funded in large part by EU funds, with a minority co-financing rate by member states.

The provisional agreement will now need to be confirmed by a vote in the European Parliament.

Casa thanked the Maltese Government for the coordinated effort that helped secure the deal, and in particular praised the staff of the Permanent Representation to the EU for their professionalism.

“The point of the Fund is to bring down energy bills and to move away from fossil fuels. We can achieve both by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. With the Social Climate Fund, I want to see investments reach citizens with more solar panels, more efficient appliances, better insulation, and greener alternatives to transport.”


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Joseph Portelli resigns from president to be able to play for Hamrun Spartans

Joseph Portelli resigns from president to be able to play for Hamrun Spartans
Jan 26 2023 Share

Malta Daily can confirm that Gozitan entrepreneur Joseph Portelli has handed in his resignation as president of the Hamrun Spartans Football Club, expressing interest in getting registered as a player.

Net Television’s Replay reported that the resignation has already been sent to the Hamrun Spartans Football Club Committee and Malta Football Association, with Portelli stating his desire to get registered as a player and play under the guidance of Spartans Coach Branko Nisevic until the end of the season.

Local football rules state that Portelli cannot play for Hamrun if he is still registered as Prsident of the same club.

Last April, the Gozitan business magnate lived his lifelong dream of playing for Nadur Youngsters F.C., debuting with a goal to secure a 1-1 draw against Kercem Ajax FC in the Gozitan League.

It remains to be seen what will be the way forward for Portelli, with a response pending from the Hamrun Spartans committee and MFA.


€10 million for greening and open spaces within the community

Jan 26 2023 Share

Project Green launches Community Greening Grant: €10 million for greening and open spaces within the community

Project Green launched Community Greening Grant, a €10 million grant scheme, giving communities in Malta and Gozo the opportunity to create and enrich green open spaces in their localities.

Community Greening Grant was announced by the Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett and Project Green CEO Steve Ellul.

Through this scheme, local councils, NGOs, schools, and other organisations will receive financial assistance to create greener spaces in their community. Project Green will be receiving applications for this grant and will guide eligible projects to benefit from European Funds. Additionally, Project Green will provide technical assistance, to further encourage organisations to apply.

This scheme will incentivise the creation of new green spaces, giving the community and nearby residents a new lease of life in their neighbourhoods. The scheme encourages the identification of sites which have fallen in disrepair, or which can be opened to the public. The scheme will also address issues related to water management faced by the community within their public spaces, to harvest rainwater for irrigation and cleaning, and to mitigate flooding risks

“This is one of the biggest environmental schemes for environmental projects in the community ever launched in our country. We are injecting a €10 million direct investment in our communities to implement the green projects that they have always aspired for. This scheme aims to encourage quality and innovation. We want the people to reap the greatest rate of return possible on this investment,” explained Minister Miriam Dalli.

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett said that the government is committed to channel EU funds to support Project Green, as it implements projects that continue to improve our country.

“The environment is our priority, and we are determined to utilise the new EU funds programme to invest in projects that improve our environment and create more green spaces for our families,” said Chris Bonett.

Project Green CEO Steve Ellul explained how the agency will provide technical support before and during project implementation, while funding 90% of the project costs through the Community Greening Grant.

“We are aware that when it comes to such grant applications, applicants face complications and bureaucracy. Therefore, we prepared clear and simple guidelines and conditions. We will truly be investing people’s money for the people,” said Mr Ellul.

As part of the application process, applicants need to submit a 10-year maintenance plan, so that beneficiaries will implement the project and then oversee the maintenance of the area. More information can be found on: https://project.green.