When we arrived in Sicily, we discovered that we were in luck: Mount Etna had just started to erupt again. I was part of a BBC team who had come to film a report on volcano monitoring. Getting to witness an awakened Etna was about as exciting as it gets for a science correspondent. We had come to see a lava flow that had appeared overnight. A giant stream of rock, glowing red, was oozing down the slopes - and we had been taken there by a scientist from Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, who was monitoring its progress.
A piece of suspected airline debris found on a Mauritian island will be examined by investigators to see if it came from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Australian officials have said. A hotel owner on the island who saw the debris said it looked like it was from the inside of a plane, which if confirmed to be from MH370, would be the first piece of interior debris from the plane. "The Malaysian Government is working with officials from Mauritius to seek to take custody of the debris and arrange for its examination," Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement. "This debris is an item of interest. However, until the debris has been examined by experts it is not possible to ascertain its origin."
Two pieces of debris were observed after the x-ray astronomy satellite Hitomi failed to maintain proper position, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said. Data analysis showed the X-ray telescope lost positioning control at around 4:10 a.m. on March 26 Japan time and the debris appeared some six hours later, JAXA told a news conference Friday in reference to its loss of communications with Hitomi. According to JAXA, ground radars and telescopes spotted two objects in the vicinity of the satellite. These objects are believed to have detached from Hitomi at around 10:37 a.m., almost matching the time the U.S. Joint Space Operations Center detected five objects that the space debris tracking body described as pieces of a breakup. The possibility of space debris colliding with Hitomi is slim, JAXA said, citing information provided by the U.S. military arm.
A relative of one of the passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 found Wednesday a possible piece of debris from the plane during a search of the beaches in Madagascar. Some relatives of those on board the missing plane traveled to the Indian Ocean island to search for debris from the plane and also raise awareness of the debris that has been washing up on its beaches. Jiang Hui, a Chinese man whose mother was on board the missing Boeing 777-200, found a small white and sand-colored piece of board in a rocky cove at the end of Riake beach on northeastern Île Sainte-Marie. Several pieces of debris have washed up on the east African coast over the last few months. "I felt excited but at the same time it was saddening," he said, according to the Guardian.