This is a busy week ahead. School Valentine Day cards must be addressed, one for each kid, in each class, and then there is the homestead to consider. Whether you’re married, dating or playing the single scene, I challenge you to make this Thursday a special one. For Friday the 15th – things may come crashing from the sky!
Are tiny visions of Chicken Little running circles in your head? Good. Now we’re in the same place. Snort!
But in all seriousness, on February 15th we’ll experience ONE heck of a celestial event. Discovered last year by a group of Spanish astronomers, as it traveled by our planet, the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is due to return for another pass in the closest recorded near miss in history.
Rather small for a space rock, the asteroid measures roughly 150 feet in diameter. That’s almost the width of a professional football field! But that’s alright because it’s going to sail straight on by without a snag. I mean, we shouldn’t be concerned. We made it safely through the Mayan Doom’s Day now, didn’t we?
*Wipes brow* But is this nature’s way of getting our attention?
Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute. Let’s say 2012 DA14 were to collide with the earth. What would that mean? Is it Armageddon?
No. But it would pack the punch of a Thermonuclear bomb. An asteroid this size is dubbed “city killer.”
On June 30, 1908 a rock roughly the size of 2012 DA14 impacted with our planet. It took out 2000 square kilometers of forest in Tunguska, Siberia – Russia.
The odds of a repeat performance? Considering it’s only been a hundred years, we should be in good standing. The chance of experiencing a pass of this magnitude is likely every 40 years. But a collision – not for 1,200 years.
News through the grapevine is there are over a million asteroids in orbit out there. For every one NASA is aware of, assume there are 100 more they don’t know about. How does that make you feel?
If it were a threat, what could we do? Check out what Yahoo has to say with their top six options. My personal favorite: Swarm it with robots. It just sounds cool! Hit it with spray paint is a curious theory, but I can’t stop thinking LA gang tag. What’s wrong with me?
What should you be looking for? Around 2:24 pm Eastern Time it should move inside of our satellite rings. That’s right, our weather and communication satellites orbiting the Earth. Something half the size of a football field will be zipping through space, past us, closer than some of our satellites – 1/3 the distance to the moon! Approximately 17,200 miles.
Visibility will be best from Indonesia, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia. It’s expected to be at its closest to the Earth’s surface over the Indian Ocean off Sumatra. Too faint to be seen with the naked eye, binoculars or a small telescope are suggested. A big telescope – even better!
A few of you know that I spent a week curled up on the sofa with my youngest about a week ago, while she dealt with some real nasty asthma issues. During that time I had the joy of being introduced to her new favorite show H2O: Just Add Water. In less than a week we watched all three seasons worth of episodes. 72 in total. [Spoiler] Well… I couldn’t help but notice the striking resemblance between the series finale and current events.
Where the script writers psychic?
I doubt it, but check this out…
For those of you not familiar with this Australia show (I’m guessing that’s most of you), it’s a show about three mermaids and their magical island made of moon rock. In the series finale they learn that a comet is due to pass the Earth at record close range. Only when it gets close to the planet its course will be altered by the magnetic pull of the moon rock of the island, sending the comet crashing into the Earth. Armageddon. End Game. But no worries. They’re mermaids with mermaid powers. They can save us all, right?
So what about the next near miss? What if it isn’t a near miss at all? Will we have real mermaids to save our planet? Or will we send up a team with Bruce Willis to lead them, blowing the rock to bits? OR, will it be one of the six ideas suggested in the Yahoo article? What do you think?
If you’re in an area that will have a clear view of the event next Friday, we would love to hear all about it. Come back and share.