Monthly Archives: February 2013

Meteor Explodes over the Ural Mountains in Russia

At about 9:20am local time (5:20am GMT), a meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded above the Ural Mountains in Russia, injuring more than 900 people. The injuries were mostly due to ear drum damage, broken glass, and other debris caused by a shock-wave.

“Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, the Russian Emergency Ministry said in a statement. Authorities in Chelyabinsk said the blast had been heard at an altitude of 10,000 metres (32,800ft), suggesting it occurred when the meteor or meteors entered the earth’s atmosphere” (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/feb/15/meteorite-explodes-over-russian-urals-live-updates).

When the asteroid hit the earth’s atmosphere, it was going so fast that it was as if it hit a brick wall. The subsequent explosion caused at least one shockwave (there may have been more than one explosion from fragments) and that’s what caused the damage. The damage included more than smashed windows. It buckled shop fronts, set off car alarms, disrupted mobile phone signals, and a wall was damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant as seen in the video.

Connected to  Asteroid 2012 DA14?

(What is Asteroid 2012 DA14? See previous posts Asteroid 2012DA14 to Shoot through Near Earth Orbit and Asteroid 2012DA14 – Update.)

This meteor does not seem to be connected to Asteroid 2012 DA14. The Earth travels 66,611 miles in its orbit every hour, so the Earth was 932,554 miles away from tonight’s encounter with asteroid 2012 DA14 – almost four times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. It is unlikely that this meteor wA Taste of Earth - Coveras a fragment of 2012 DA14.

REPOST: What would happen if 2012DA14 were not an asteroid, but a probe from another solar system? Of course,it isn’t, but this possibility is explored in my science fiction short story, A Taste of Earth (available free on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others).

Another great site for spotting asteroid 2012 DA14.

Geert's research

On Friday 15 February, a 50-meter asteroid named 2012 DA14 will approach Earth to within a distance of just ~28 000 km. The internet is buzzing about this near-miss because the object is expected to become brighter than 9th magnitude for approximately 3 hours (18h00-21h30 UTC), peaking at a brightness of 7th magnitude near 19h45 UTC. Although this is just below the brightness limit of the unaided eye, it is within reach of good binoculars.

While there are plenty of maps online showing where in the sky you may find 2012 DA14, I could not find any maps showing where on Earth you have to be to get a good view. So I made a few maps myself. Green areas in the animated gif below indicate parts of the world where the asteroid will be above (and the Sun below) the horizon as it sweeps past. The maps were…

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Asteroid 2012DA14 – Live Broadcast

space-com

Short post to inform those interested that Space.com will cover Asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly live. The link is here.

Previous posts on Asteroid 2012DA14:

Asteroid 2012DA14 to Shoot through Near Earth Orbit

Asteroid 2012DA14 – UpdateA Taste of Earth - Cover

REPOST: What would happen if 2012DA14 were not an asteroid, but a probe from another solar system? Of course,it isn’t, but this possibility is explored in my science fiction short story, A Taste of Earth (available free on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others).

Did You Miss It?

Since this post is my most popular to date (next to The Standard Model in Layman’s Terms), as a public service it should be updated.

Depending on when you read this, Space.com may not be showing it any more.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 has already made its closest pass of Earth, but live video will be streamed from other telescopes as the Earth turns and as the asteroid flies off on its orbit around the sun.

5 p.m. ET (10 p.m. GMT): The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 will present live video of the asteroid flyby from a telescope in Italy, weather permitting. Video site: Watch Virtual Telescope Project’s webcast.

6 p.m. ET (11 p.m. GMT): Weather permitting, the Clay Center Observatory in Massachusetts will stream real-time, high-definition video from 6 p.m. ET until 4 a.m. ET Saturday. Watch Clay Center video on Ustream.

9 p.m. ET (2 a.m. GMT): Slooh Space Camera plans to present several live shows about the asteroid flyby, accompanied by expert commentary. Weather permitting, imagery will be beamed to Slooh HQ from telescopes on the Canary Islands and in Arizona. Watch the show on Slooh.com.

9 p.m. ET (2 a.m. GMT): A video feed of the flyby from a telescope at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will be streamed for three hours. During the live-streaming event, viewers can ask researchers questions about the flyby via Twitter or the Ustream chat window. Watch Marshall’s Ustream channel.

(source: NBC News)

Asteroid 2012DA14 – Update

UPDATE on Asteroid 2012DA14: New images and video from NASA

No commentary needed. The images are self-explanatory.

WO-AM190B_ASTER_G_20121228195408

Source: http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/WO-AM190B_ASTER_G_20121228195408.jpg

asteroid-2012da14-flyby-130206b-02

Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

A Taste of Earth - Cover

REPOST: What would happen if 2012DA14 were not an asteroid, but a probe from another solar system? Of course,it isn’t, but this possibility is explored in my science fiction short story, A Taste of Earth (available free on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others).