Whew! A Miss.
2012 DA14 flew close to Earth, but missed us. (17,200 miles out)
The irony is that while the world gazed at this 160 foot asteroid and carefully tracked it, a 55 foot 10,000 lb. meteor crashed into Russia injuring over a thousand people and causing 33 million in damages. It entered the atmosphere traveling over 40,000 miles per hour and residents of Chelyabinski, Russia heard an explosion and felt a shock wave as it blew up and bits plowed into nearby mountains and lake.
Odds of both events happening on the same day? 100 million to one.
And a wake up call.
How did we miss it?
It supposedly came in on Earth’s blind sunlit side and the smaller meteors are hard to see. There are so many, that tracking all the smaller ones is hard. Still a lot of damage happened, and if it had been New York…
We are closely watching a much larger asteroid (would fill the Rose Bowl) by the cuddly name of Apophis–the Egyptian name of the God of death and destruction.
And why that name, you ask?
Because in 2029 it will fly very close to Earth and if that trajectory goes through a “keyhole” then when it comes back around April 13 2036, it will hit in the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and impact the whole west coast of America (See Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s interesting talk on Utube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaW4Ol3_M1o
It involves a comet coming in from deep space and colliding with one of Alysia’s moons, changing its orbit and changing the climate.
Climate change and comets. Yowza! (genesis of a comet at right)
Hot topics right now…but I don’t expect it to be published until the end of the year. (If I’m lucky)
And here’s two other comets headed our way.
Right now if an Apophis size asteroid headed toward us, would we be able to alter its path or blow it up? You know, save the world. We better figure that out if we haven’t already.
But…There’s was a launch on March 2004 called Rosetta that expects to follow and possibly land on a comet now headed to the sun. http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=13 If we can do this, then we will learn a lot more about comets and the origins of the universe.
And while I’m on a science discovery, I found this website that shows what real near faster than light travel would look like if looking out your spaceship window. Like Captain Braden Steele in Past the Event Horizon.
Enjoy the week. If you can get any sleep, that is.
p.s. Don’t forget the free copy of Space Magic will be randomly drawn from all comments left between last week and March 4th. Right now your odds are excellent to win.