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New 'pings' from the deep: Here's what it all means

  • Two new signals heard Tuesday in search for Flight 370
  • Four total pings have now been detected within 17 miles of each other
  • Possible breakthrough, but no confirmation: So what now?
New 'pings' from the deep: Here's what it all means

A search marked by numerous dead ends and false hope now has what one official has called "the best information" so far. Two new pings were detected Tuesday, joining two others heard this weekend in two separate locations deep within the Indian Ocean, generating cautious optimism that the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may yet be found.

Of course, as with everything in this five-week search, all leads -- however promising -- arrive with asterisks firmly attached. So to sort it all out, here are answers to some of the key questions these tantalizing updates have raised, beginning with the most important.

1. What are the chances these pings are in fact coming from the black boxes onboard Flight 370?

2. Where were these latest pings detected?

3. Do you happen to have a stunning infographic making clear the challenges of locating and even retrieving the black box?

4. Search crews say the signals are getting weaker, reminding us this black box -- wherever it is -- won't ping forever. So how long until its batteries run out?

5. And... after that? Then what?

6. Can you give me all the reasons why this may and why this may not be Flight 370?

7. We keep hearing about "pings," but what exactly does that mean?

8. The first pair of sounds were detected last weekend aboard a Chinese ship and an Australian ship. What did they hear and where did they hear it?

9. Is there more on that state-of-the-art Australian ship, the Ocean Shield?

10. But the pinger locater it's carrying is U.S. Navy equipment. How does it work?

More questions? Answers? Ideas on what may happen next? Let us know in the comments.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN


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