Tag Archives: Asteroid

Friday, February 15, 2013 Asteroid Near Miss

Remember in November I posted about an asteroid near miss? I used a 24 foot Aquasport as an analogy. Basketball sized earth at the bow, tennis ball moon sitting on the Mercury engine at the stern. The asteroid missed the moon by just four feet but well clear of the bow.

But on Friday February 15, 2013 the Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be much closer to the basketball in the bow. If you lined up three basketballs on the bow the asteroid would hit the outermost one!  That is pretty close. And we just found this asteroid this year (hence the name.) This asteroid will be within the orbits of some of our satellites circling the earth.

There will be a lot of hype that day but it won’t get us, at least this time. And this asteroid is only 150 feet across. The impact on earth would only be equivalent to a thermonuclear bomb but shoot, lots of water to hit. They will get better tracking info in 2013 so when it again plays dodgeball with earth in 2020 we will have Bruce Willis ready to go push it out of the way.

Come to think of it, that weekend might be a good time to schedule the next Dodgeball Tournament with an Armageddon theme.

Close Encounter of an Asteroid with Cape Ann Tonight!

No panic in the streets. I’ve read the articles in thousands of kilometers and they don’t have a good way of explaining how close the asteroid 2005 YU55 will get to earth tonight.

But I will translate: Take your standard 24 foot Aquasport outboard sitting in the harbor. Put an NBA basketball on the top of the bow cleat of the boat and balance a tennis ball on the engine cover of the Mercury outboard. The basketball is the earth and the tennis ball 24 feet away is the moon. The asteroid is going to come screaming in at 34,900 miles per hour in between the moon and earth. But where in relation to the boat?  A little less than 4 feet from the tennis ball balancing on the motor. The basketball (earth) will be safe and sound way up on the bow.

You could actually see it and if you have a six inch mirror or larger on your telescope it might be worth googling Asteroid 2005 YU55 to find where to look. But the aircraft carrier sized rock will be somewhat underwhelming as it spins past us tonight.

With it’s size and speed, this asteroid would make a crater on earth 4 miles across, 1,700 feet deep and create a magnitude 7 earthquake. Unpleasant if it was going to land in Dogtown, but not tonight.

Well, shoot, all that yammering and 2005 YU55 wiki page has a picture that really shows how close: