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02-07-2013, 04:46 PM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
- Getting a BlowJob From SIRI
Asteroid to Give Earth a Close Shave Next Week
Amateur astronomers in Spain have spotted a 150-foot-wide rock that will pass within a mere 17,000 miles of Earth's surface—closer than a communications satellite—on Feb. 15.
It's nowhere near as big as the dinosaur-killing rock that crashed into Earth 65 million years ago, but the 50-meter (164-foot) diameter asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is big enough to take out a good-size city. Fortunately, astronomers say, it harmlessly will fly by Earth when it draws near our planet next Friday.
"Something of this sort would fit pretty nicely, if you put one into Central Park," John Lewis, professor emeritus of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona, tells PM. But having it fall from space would be another story. "It would probably wipe out the width of Manhattan in the east–west direction, but residents of the extreme northern and southern tips of Manhattan might survive."
The Planetary Society's Bruce Betts discussed the close pass during a conference call with reporters this week. At magnitude 7, 2012 DA14 will be just dim enough to be invisible to the naked eye when it passes closest to Earth at 19:25 Universal Time on Feb. 15, Betts says. A good pair of binoculars should suffice to spot the asteroid from the Eastern Hemisphere as it passes from south to north, moving about 1 degree, or 2 lunar diameters per minute. (It will not be visible from the Americas.) By comparison, that's eight times slower than the apparent speed of the International Space Station.
At its closest approach, the asteroid will come within 17,000 miles of Earth. That's close enough, in astronomical terms, Lewis says, "to give you a haircut without breaking your skin. This is really close." The asteroid will pass within the 22,000-mile orbit of geosynchronous communications satellites, but above the International Space Station, which orbits between 230 and 286 miles from Earth.
"If it did hit—which it's not going to, nor will it in the coming decades—it would be about equivalent to a 2- to 3-megaton nuclear weapon," Betts says. "So about 200 times the Hiroshima blast in terms of energy released."
If you've been hearing more lately about asteroids passing closer to Earth, don't be alarmed. Our planet's little swatch of space isn't getting more dangerous; rather, humanity's ability to spot space rocks large and small that pass near to us is slowly getting better. For instance, the Planetary Society provided a grant to the La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain, which allowed the observatory, run by amateur astronomers, to upgrade the camera on one of its three 45-centimeter telescopes. The new camera, which processes images more quickly than the old one, was crucial to spotting the small, fast-moving 2012 DA14 in Feb. 2012.
Read more: Asteroid to Give Earth a Close Shave Next Week - Popular Mechanics
02-07-2013, 05:08 PM #2
Dude I can't wait to watch it fly past, hopefully it will be dark out. I'm sure that if it had a chance to collide with earth, they'd be ready to shoot shit up there to stop it
02-07-2013, 05:11 PM #3
I'd kick it.
02-07-2013, 05:12 PM #4
Or you know they could just hope that an asteroid coming in at hundreds of thousands mph doesnt hit Earth and kill everyone like in 2010. Because the US government would NEVER hide secrets from us and then release it months later when no one gives a fuck.
02-07-2013, 05:19 PM #5
02-07-2013, 05:27 PM #6
02-07-2013, 06:07 PM #7
Id get a magnet to attract it here. Id nee a big ol magnet though.
02-08-2013, 12:50 AM #8
02-08-2013, 01:10 AM #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Where's my shotty. I got this one fellers.
02-08-2013, 01:14 AM #10
time to get supermanh@x on the job :P