Overwhelmed by the Surprise of COVID-19 in July to Excitement Signs of the Apocalypse

 2021 may not be a happy year for most people. The COVID-19 pandemic is still engulfing the world, making a dark history with a spike in cases in July that claimed many lives. But among the grim stories, there is a resurgence in the world of science.

The 2021 Gazette also notes the progress that has occurred in the field of science. Not to forget, various amazing astronomical and natural phenomena seem to entertain us in the midst of the worrying COVID-19 pandemic situation. Before closing the year, let's take another look at 2021 in the world of science.

1. The pandemic situation in the world

This year there have been two spikes in cases. The first started at the end of 2020, and continued to increase until it peaked on January 25, 2021. This spike was successfully lowered for 15 consecutive weeks.

At that time, the spike was overcome along with the policy of the Imposition of Restrictions on MicroCommunity Activities and Command Posts in each village/kelurahan. As a result of this policy, cases decreased to 70.5% from the peak of the first cases, and reached the lowest point in mid-May.

Next, the second spike peaked in July. The reason is the Delta variant which is given the opportunity to be contagious due to high mobility during the Idul Fitri 2021 period. Cases have jumped significantly to reach a peak of 1200% from the lowest point in May, in just 9 weeks. The spike in cases in July was really frightening and overwhelmed people, especially medical personnel and volunteers.

The public sees a flashback of handling the pandemic in the world in 2021. So that it can be a lesson and the victims do not continue to increase, so that the world is free from the pandemic and reaches the COVID-19 Endemic in 2022.

It is appropriate for us to take lessons in handling this one-year pandemic, especially as a foundation in strengthening joint steps towards a productive, COVID-safe 2022.

2. Chinese rockets fall out of control

The problem of space debris is already very worrying. One example is the incident of the fall of China's Long March 5B rocket uncontrollably. All countries are on alert, prepared in case the rocket falls on their territory and is dangerous.

In fact, this issue has even made China and the United States at odds. The US military called the remnants of the Long March 5B rocket, which is about the size of a 10-story building, a threat. NASA also strongly criticized China and accused it of being irresponsible for its space junk.

The Long March 5B rocket finally crashed out of control in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives on Sunday (9/5) local time. China and the US are expected to clash more frequently over the space debris issue as Earth's orbit becomes denser.

Of the more than 20,000 pieces of debris currently tracked by China, more than half appeared in the last decade or so. Space debris is indeed an important issue that is being highlighted regarding the advancement of space technology.

3. Total lunar eclipse and annular solar eclipse

Astronomical phenomena are always interesting and entertaining to observe. Among the many astronomical phenomena in 2021, the total lunar eclipse of May 26 and the annular solar eclipse of June 10 may be the most attention-grabbing.

The total lunar eclipse of May 26 is also known as the Super Blood Moon because of its reddish color. In addition, the position of the Moon during an eclipse is in the closest position to Earth. The moon will appear larger than the usual full phases.

Super Blood Moon is also very special because it coincides with Vesak Day. This phenomenon is considered very rare because it only occurs once every 195 years.

As for the annular solar eclipse of June 10, unfortunately, it could not be witnessed. Our region doesn't even experience a partial solar eclipse. However, astronomy lovers who could not witness it live flocked to visit live streaming sites that broadcast this phenomenon.

4. Terrific sign of the apocalypse The sun rises in the north

A video of a school teacher recording the Sun rising from the north in Jeneponto, South Sulawesi, went viral on social media, on June 17, 2021. The teacher said it was not yet eight o'clock in the morning local time and what he witnessed was unprecedented.

"The sign that the apocalypse will happen is when the sun has risen from the west. This seems to be a sign that one day the sun will rise from the west, because now it is in the north," said the video recorder.

Responding to public concerns, especially the circulation of hoaxes that this event is associated with signs of the apocalypse, Head of the National Aeronautics and Space Institute (now ORPA-BRIN) Thomas Djamaluddin explained that this event was normal because the movement of the Sun's position was due to the tilt of the Earth's rotational axis.

"This happens because every June, the position of the Sun is in the northern hemisphere. Every year in June the position of the Sun is in the northern hemisphere. It does not rise at the east point, but shifts closer to the northeast. At midday the Sun will be in the north. Later when it sets, it will not be at the west point, but approaching the northwest," he explained.

5. The first time it rained on top of Greenland

For the first time in history, there was heavy rain on the top of the ice sheet on the Danish island of Greenland. This worries scientists.

Temperatures atop Greenland are recorded to have risen above freezing for the third time in less than a decade. This warm air then triggers extreme rain, up to 7 billion tons of water hit the ice sheet.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, this event was the heaviest rain on the Greenland ice sheet since records began in 1950. The amount of ice mass lost was seven times more than the average day for this year. This event indicates the real impact of climate change which is increasingly worrying and endangering the Earth and its inhabitants.

6. Armageddon Mission

Dramatic missions in the style of the science fiction film Armageddon will actually be carried out by NASA. They will deflect an asteroid that could potentially hit Earth by launching a spacecraft in a program called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the DART spacecraft launched in November from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. This is the first attempt to deflect an asteroid with the aim of learning how to protect Earth, although this particular asteroid poses no threat.

7. The James Webb telescope is ready to reveal the secrets of the universe

Space exploration missions have grown rapidly in recent years. One of them, this year the United States space agency NASA successfully launched the James Webb space telescope to coincide with Christmas, Saturday (25/12). The spacecraft is ready to reveal the secrets of the universe.

The space telescope is the most expensive at a cost of USD 10 billion with almost three decades of manufacture. James Webb is also the most sophisticated so the most sophisticated to replace Hubble which is considered obsolete.

"If successful, this is the most advanced technology that will unlock the amazing secrets of the universe, making a quantum leap in understanding who we are, how we are here, who we are, and how everything evolved," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

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