Posts Tagged ‘asteroids’
|The bulls-eye shows epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude Oklahoma earthquake, which took place at 10:53 p.m. CST, November 5, 2011. Click on image to enlarge.|
Shake, Rattle and Roll!
by Sunny Williams, Lights in the Texas Sky
Near Earth misses by asteroids and Earthquakes, where and when you don’t expect them to be. It’s almost too much excitement!
It was a couple of minutes before 11:00 p.m. Saturday night, November 5, 2011, when I was rudely shaken from bed.
I had gone to bed early but my spouse (Joe) was up watching TV, when suddenly the bed started bouncing and shaking like one of those vibrating motel beds. I could even hear the thumping of the bed legs on the floor. So could Joe and as soon as he heard my exclamations of surprise, he came running to see if I was alright.
Come to find out, his recliner had also been doing the Watusi, along with the ceiling fans and anything else not nailed down.
Well after that rude arousal I certainly couldn’t sleep, so I got up and checked Google News. Sure enough, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake had hit Oklahoma, the epicenter located near Sparks, 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, at a depth of 3.1 miles.
By now you all know I live near the town of Breckenridge, Texas. That is just a bit over 200 miles SW from OKC but I’ve read that the Oklahoma tremblor was felt up to 300 miles away. That’s some major shaking.
There was only one other time that I felt the earth shake this bad; that was when we were stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, back in 1974-75. I believe an earthquake shook the Oregon coast, which reverberated up into Washington state.
The Oregon tremble was my first experience with quakes but we actually had dishes and window panes rattle during a shake in South Texas, back in the late 80s. It was centered somewhere east of Waco but didn’t amount to much.
Now I don’t know about you but for a born and raised Texan, experiencing an earthquake is unnerving, to say the least. I’ve lived through tornadoes and even a hurricane but to have the ground beneath me let me down, now that’s a bum deal right there.
What’s next, an asteroid?
More news on the Oklahoma earthquake:
Prepare to duck! Another asteroid headed our way.
by Sunny Williams, Lights in the Texas Sky
Due on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.EST, an asteroid dubbed 2005 YU55 will come within 202,000 miles of Earth, before racing back out into space. That is about 38,000 miles closer to us than our own moon.
Carbon-colored and dark, the asteroid measures some 1,300 feet wide. It will be the closest visit by a space rock this size in more than three decades.
“This is not a potentially hazardous asteroid, just a good opportunity to study one,” National Science Foundation astronomer Thomas Statler says. NASA and the NSF plan a series of radar telescope and other observations starting Friday, aimed at mapping the asteroid’s surface and chemistry.
“The radar measurements should be pretty spectacular,” Statler says.
At a quarter of a mile across, an asteroid this size landing in Earth’s ocean would trigger a magnitude-7.0 earthquake and 70-foot-high tsunami waves some 60 miles away, according to Jay Melosh of Purdue University in Indiana. Such impacts are thought to come about once every 100,000 years.
“We’re extremely confident, 100 percent confident, that this is not a threat,” said the manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, Don Yeomans. “But it is an opportunity.”
Lucky us, asteroid 2005 YU55 will be back in 2028.
Huge asteroid headed for close encounter with Earth
(Reuters) – A huge asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the moon Tuesday, giving scientists a rare chance for study without having to go through the time and expense of launching a probe, officials said.
Earth’s close encounter with Asteroid 2005 YU 55 will occur at 6:28 p.m. EST (2328 GMT) Tuesday, as the space rock sails about 201,000 miles from the planet.
“It is the first time since 1976 that an object of this size has passed this closely to the Earth. It gives us a great — and rare — chance to study a near-Earth object like this,” astronomer Scott Fisher, a program director with the National Science Foundation, said Thursday during a Web chat with reporters.
The orbit and position of the asteroid, which is about 1,312 feet in diameter, is well known, added senior research scientist Don Yeomans, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
“There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon,” Yeomans said.
Thousands of amateur and professional astronomers are expected to track YU 55′s approach, which will be visible from the planet’s northern hemisphere. It will be too dim to be seen with the naked eye, however, and it will be moving too fast for viewing by the Hubble Space Telescope.
“The best time to observe it would be in the early evening on November 8 from the East Coast of the United States,” Yeomans said. “It is going to be very faint, even at its closest approach. You will need a decent-sized telescope to be able to actually see the object as it flies by.”
Scientists suspect YU 55 has been visiting Earth for thousands of years, but because gravitational tugs from the planets occasionally tweak its path, they cannot tell for sure how long the asteroid has been in its present orbit.
“These sorts of events have been happening for most of the lifetime of the Earth, about 4.5 billion years,” Fisher said.
Computer models showing the asteroid’s path for the next 100 years show there is no chance it will hit Earth during that time, added Yeomans.
“We do not think that it will ever impact the Earth or moon (but) we only have its orbit calculated for the next 100 years,” he said.
Previous studies show the asteroid, which is blacker than charcoal, is what is called a C-type asteroid that is likely made of carbon-based materials and some silicate rock.
More information about its composition and structure are expected from radar images and chemical studies of its light as the asteroid passes by the planet.
“I’ve read that we will be able to see details down to a size of about 15 feet across on the surface of the asteroid,” Fisher said.
NASA is working on a mission to return soil samples from an asteroid known as 1999 RQ36 in 2020, followed by a human mission to another asteroid in the mid-2020s.
Japan also plans to launch an asteroid sample return mission in 2018.
Greetings, in the following clips we have a closer look at the moon, it is in the north/east rising at about 1:00am and could still be seen at 9:00am in the west while the Sun is out bright and early in the East. This clip is in its original state in order to keep its quality of sight and sound. More comments later once we had time to watch the reply.
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Astronomers Search For Asteroids That Possess Moons
An international team of planetary astronomers led by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California has commenced a study of the triple asteroid Minerva, the fourth asteroid located in …
The Secrets of Asteroid Minerva and its Two Moons
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Rock around the rock: Up to 20 per cent of asteroids might be so big they have …
20% of asteroids have moons too!
Emery is part of an international team of planetary astronomers, led by Franck Marchis of the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., searching for moons around asteroids. The discovery of moons around asteroids is important …
The Secrets Minerva And Its Two Moons
UT Scientist Searches for Moons Around Asteroids
Emery is part of an international team of planetary astronomers, lead by Franck Marchis of the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, searching for moons around asteroids. The discovery of moons around asteroids is …
The Secrets Minerva And Its Two Moons
|This NASA diagram shows the orbit of newfound asteroid 2011 SM173,
which flew within 180,000 miles of Earth on Sept. 30, 2011. The asteroid
was discovered a day earlier on Sept. 29.
2 Small Asteroids Zoom Between Earth and Moon’s Orbit
by Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor
Space.com- A small asteroid zipped by Earth well inside the orbit of the moon today (Sept. 30), the second space rock encounter for our planet this week. Both asteroids posed no threat to Earth, scientists say.
“Small asteroid 2011 SM173 just passed Earth at a safe distance of 180,000 miles (290,000 km or .8 lunar distance),” scientists with NASA’s Asteroid Watch program announced in a Twitter post today.
Asteroid 2011 SM173 was discovered yesterday by astronomers and is about 56 feet (17 meters) wide, making it about the size of a house. Its flyby came just four days after the pass of another space rock — the asteroid 2011 SE58 —which actually came even closer to Earth. [Photo of asteroid 2011 SM173's orbit]
The 33-foot (10-m) wide asteroid 2011 SE58 slipped within 147,000 miles (236,573 km) of Earth during an evening flyby on Monday (Sept. 26), according to Asteroid Watch scientists.
The average distance between Earth and the moon is about 238,900 miles (384,402 km).
No threat to Earth
Both asteroids were too small to threaten Earth with a serious impact. If they had barreled into Earth, they likely would have burned up completely in Earth’s atmosphere, the researchers said.
“Rocky asteroids the size of 2011 SE58 are not considered hazardous as they break up in the atmosphere & cause no ground damage,” Asteroid Watch scientists wrote.
Asteroid 2011 SE58 was discovered by skywatchers on Sept. 21, according to database maintained by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
By coincidence, the asteroid flybys this week occurred just as NASA announced the latest results from its efforts to find the largest near-Earth asteroids, objects that could potentially endanger Earth.
NASA’s asteroid census has discovered about 90 percent of the largest near-Earth asteroids and revealed that the population of mid-size space rocks (asteroids about 3,300 feet, or 1,006 m, wide) is far lower than previously thought.
Astronomers using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WISE), which mapped the night sky twice between January 2010 and February 2011, found that there are about 19,500 medium-size asteroids that can fly near Earth. That number is a steep drop from astronomers’ initial estimate of about 35,000 such asteroids, NASA scientists said Thursday (Sept. 29). [Video: Killer Asteroids, We're WISE to You Now]
Scientists with NASA’s Near-Earth Object program at the JPL have said that small asteroids like 2011 SM173 and 2011 SE58 can be expected to pass by Earth on a daily basis. But the asteroids pose no threat to the planet because of their small size.
Bigger asteroids — those about 460 feet (140 m) wide — can cause widespread damage around their impact sites if they slam into Earth. But it would take a strike from a much larger space rock to cause global devastation, scientists have said.
On Thursday, NASA announced that there are fewer of those giant asteroids in the solar system as well.
Astronomers initially estimated that there were about 1,000 mountain-size asteroids in orbits that brought the space rocks near Earth. Using the WISE observations, scientists were able to lower that number to 981, with 911 of those asteroids already known and well-tracked.
NASA scientists and astronomers around the world keep a constant watch on the skies for potentially dangerous asteroids.
The next object expected to fly close by Earth will be asteroid 2009 TM8, which will pass just inside the moon’s orbit when it flies by. The asteroid last whipped by Earth in 2009, when it came within 216,000 miles (348,000 km) of the planet.
Asteroid 2009 TM8 was discovered by skywatchers shortly before its 2009 flyby. It is also tiny, measuring just 30 feet (7 m) across, and poses no threat to Earth, astronomers have said.
Searching for an ET? Scientists Say Look for Signs of Aliens Mining Asteroids
After 50 years of searching the heavens with radio telescopes to try to contact alien life, so far the attempts of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) scientists seem to have fallen on deaf ears. So is there another way to try to find …
Related External Links
SETI Archive: seti.org Radar observations are one of the only groundbased techniques to spatially resolve near-Earth asteroids. Images with up to 7.5-m resolution reveal a wide variety of shapes, surface features and helped to discover many binary objects. Our understanding of the nature and evolution of NEAs has changed radically in recent years, in a large part due to the information from radar images, and shape models derived from them. Dr. Howell will discuss current results and upcoming improved capabilities of the Arecibo planetary radar system.