Thursday, February 21, 2008
After weeks of fair weather, winter has finally set in, with freezing fog lifting to reveal an icy landscape across much of northern England.
The Vale of York in North Yorkshire experienced a particularly strong chill which encased trees and hedges in a perfect white frost.
In Tadcaster, the River Wharfe was still navigable by swans, though all around it was brittle under a blanket of ice.
And in parts of Leeds and Sheffield, temperatures fell to as low as -3c.
The U.S. Navy has blasted a disabled spy satellite carrying a tank of toxic fuel out of the sky over the Pacific with a heat-seeking missile.
A senior defence official said that the specially-designed missile launched at the satellite, which experts feared would crash to the Earth, had destroyed the satellite's main fuel tank, full of toxic hydrazine fuel - making the mission a complete success.
The 5,000lb USA 193 satellite, which is about the size of a small bus, was equipped with rocket thrusters loaded with toxic hydrazine fuel.
Orbiting 130 miles above the Earth, scientists feared the satellite would crash with the fuel tank intact, causing contamination.
The missile alone cost nearly US$10 million (£5 million), and officials estimated that the total cost of the project was at least US$30 million (£15 million).