Skip to comments.Asteroid to fly past Earth this weekend
Posted on 03/08/2013 5:24:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv
An asteroid the size of a city block will pass by Earth this weekend, but have no fear: There's no danger of it hitting our planet.
The 80-meter (262 feet) wide asteroid makes its closest approach to Earth on Saturday afternoon in the United States. It will be about 975,000 kilometers (604,500 miles) away, said Don Yeomans, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. That's about 2 1/2 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
"It's a pretty good size, but it's not getting that close, at least by recent standards," Yeomans said.
The asteroid was only discovered Sunday because search telescopes can't find objects of that size until they get close.
Now that it's in view, Yeomans said, astronomers can accurately chart its orbit. And they assure us this space rock will only make a fly-by.
The asteroid is already observable in the night sky, even with sophisticated amateur telescopes, he said. But get a good look at it now, because after the close approach, the asteroid will appear in the daytime sky and be harder to see, Yeomans said.
Dubbed 2013ET (which is simply code for when it was discovered), the asteroid is the latest object from space to come near our planet.
A meteor exploded over southwestern Russia last month, injuring more than 1,500 people, Russian authorities said. In what astronomers have said was an unrelated coincidence, a larger asteroid passed by Earth the same day, about 17,100 miles away at its closest.
This Friday, a comet called Pan-STARRS will come into view over the Northern Hemisphere. A second comet, called ISON, may be visible in November. Scientists say neither comet poses a threat to Earth.
(Excerpt) Read more at lightyears.blogs.cnn.com ...
Any chance it might hit DC?
I'm stealing that...
Is it my imagination or have the last 12 months seen an increase in both asteroids AND comets?
Bright comet ‘lighting sky’ as it flies by Earth
Could be. Could also be just that we're "never letting a crisis go to waste" these days.
Noting to worry about. I have instructed Janet Napolitano to declare the earth an "asteroid free zone." Problem solved.
Usage example: Sequesteroids cause pain in your obama.
Improved observational satellites and telescopes specifically looking for these things coming on line.
Will NASA actually warn us when one is discovered a day or two out, and will hit us? It seems like they keep discovering these, just before they pass by.
Or will they evacuate the government underground, and let the rest of us fend for ourselves?
Hence the term, “tight-assed”.
The details in this news story really don’t back that up.
“They blew up Congress....Ha Ha Ha Ha!”
Technically, the number has either remained the same, or has decreased slightly as stuff burns up in our atmosphere.
The early warnings we get now make the numbers seem larger — IOW, objects were hummin’ by all the time, and we were down here, blissfully unaware, except when large boloids made it all or most of the way through, as happened at Tunguska in 1908, in the Amazon back in the 1930s, in Greenland in the 1990s (or was it 1980s?), out west over a national park in the early 1970s, in the Indian Ocean in the 1970s (that one is often still attributed to a South African atomic bomb test, but if that’s the case, where’s the South African bomb?), and of course, there are the Small Comets which strike the upper atmosphere continously.
Louis Frank was hired to confirm what our early warning system for incoming nukes appeared to be seeing — upper atmosphere explosions which were natural and had to be differentiated from incoming Soviet missiles. Getting a second set of eyes working on this (without telling him why) helped all of us, but probably didn’t help his career.
Good to know more than what is in the article. We started turning on a series of new asteroid telescopes in 2008.
Pan-STAARS have been increasing the number of telescopes and data every year.
Canada just put up the first dedicated asteroid tracking satellite a few weeks ago.
We’ll start to see a lot more reports of smaller objects like this which we may have missed before or not gotten news.
I wasn’t really thinking about congress...
An impactor a mile in diameter would destroy our civilization. Naturally the evacuation of our governing bodies to defended underground bunkers would be a necessity for the continuity of that civilization (such as it is).
Even if everyone knew where they were, the facilities are, er, would be expected to be essentially impregnable. And heavily defended.
What’s the matter, you haven’t been wondering why the gubmint has been buying trainloads of ammo?
Within a couple of hours, the entire surface of the Earth would be in complete darkness, and the clouds would persist for months to years.
The hydrologic cycle would slow to near-zero, thus all the water (which didn’t freeze at altitude) would over a matter of a week or two (for the longest rivers) run down to the oceans and there would be no rain or snow (give or take an impact on water) for months or years.
Anything unable to find water would be dead in a few days.
CO2 levels would rise (this is not even considering CO2 which might be the immediate result of the impact) due to lack of photosynthesis and fires ignited by both the flash from the impact and hot ejecta. Fires might rage for weeks, months, or in some places could at least smoulder for years.
Plant eaters would devour everything, then start to starve.
Nocturnal animals and predators would be out 24/7.
Dead plant eaters (and anything else that died) would be scavenged, repeatedly.
Every wild thing would be hungry, and so would every human when the stored food, game, and carrion ran out.
By the time the cloud cover finally went away for good, the animal and human populations would probably have dropped by over 90%. Some species would have ceased to exist.
So you’re saying we’ve got a chance?
I’m old enough to remember owning and playing Parsec. Which means I’m old.
But did you ever play "Tunnels of Doom" on the TI-99? It only took about 30 minutes to load from the cassette tape.
The one over the Indian Ocean had the double flash that was detected by the “bhangmeter” on one of the Vela satellites. Only an atmospheric nuclear explosion can cause such a double flash - two light intensity spikes, separated by a period of time when the shock wave radius has some opacity blocking out the light of the fireball. The rate of increase in light intensity I (dI/dt) would be much higher than a meteor. The bhangmeter (a special photometer designed to detect such “double flashes”) can tell the difference.
South Africa did acknowledge having a nuclear program (remember, Cubans and Angolans acting as Soviet surrogates where making incursions into South Africa during the Cold War), and has dismantled their program.
Are you, perhaps, suggesting that the sky is falling?
We should be so lucky.
My first computer dungeon crawl! Add I had the 32K (that's K, not M) memory expansion, so it rocked.
If it’s big enough, and there are lots of them that are very big, there won’t be anywhere to hide. The survivors will envy the dead.
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