Did you see the fiery streaks in the sky over the Gulf on Monday? Here is what you saw

The Russian supply rocket breaking up in the sky over the Burj Khalifa (Twitter)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Did you see the fiery streaks in the sky over the Gulf on Monday? Here is what you saw

DUBAI: If you were in the Gulf and looking into the sky on Monday evening, then you might have spotted fiery streaks.
There were sightings reported in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, parts of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Inevitably Twitter was buzzing with speculation as to what people were seeing, with some calling a meteor shower, while others suggested that it might be the International Space Station.
But according to the founder of Dubai Astronomy Group the fire in the sky was actually a Russian space rocket breaking up as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

“When I analyzed the video it was clear this was falling space debris disintegrating in the atmosphere,” Hasan Al-Hariri told UAE daily The National.
According to the group what people saw on Monday night at about 7 p.m. was debris from a Progress rocket that had been used to supply the International Space Station.
“Such modules are guided in such a way that it burns in the air and does not fall into a populated area. This was of the Progress module that supplies the International Space Station with water, food and equipment. It is an unmanned vehicle that is totally autonomous, it docks at the station, the equipment is removed and it’s sent back where it burns in the atmosphere.”
The debris passed the Arabian Peninsula crossing over the UAE and Oman, the group explained.
But if you were confused and thought it was a meteor, there is no need to be too embarrassed because you were in good company.
Apparently the Dubai Media office initially tweeted “a meteor has passed through the skies of Dubai.”
But Al-Hariri explained to The National that there were differences between a meteor shower and falling debris.
“The clear evidence of a man-made object and event from a natural occurrence of a meteor fall is that meteor fire balls rush in at very high speed and burn in the atmosphere or explode in the sky leaving a trace of gas behind… A meteor glow would have been much bigger than what people saw last night.”
But Twitter users seemed convinced they were watching a meteor shower, which seems reasonable and the images they posted were very impressive.



Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

In this June 22, 2012 file photo, a smoker extinguishes a cigarette in an ash tray in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 18 August 2018
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Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

  • Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit
  • The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily

NEW YORK: If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new US study finds you’re still better off in the long run.
Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found.
The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.
“The paper makes pretty clear that your health improves, even if you gain weight,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the research. “I don’t think we knew that with the assurance that this paper provides.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday. The journal also published a Swedish study that found quitting smoking seems to be the best thing diabetics can do to cut their risk of dying prematurely.
The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), but in some cases three times that much.
A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to problems including blindness, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease and poor blood flow to the legs and feet.
In the US study, researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years, looking at what they said in health questionnaires given every two years.
The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily.
The researchers checked which study participants quit smoking and followed whether they gained weight and developed diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.
Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. An editorial in the journal characterized it as “a mild elevation” in the diabetes risk.
Studies previously showed that people who quit have an elevated risk of developing diabetes, said Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors. He is a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
But that risk doesn’t endure, and it never leads to a higher premature death rate than what smokers face, he said.
“Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying” prematurely, Sun said.