Monday, 18 February 2013

BYE BYE ASTEROID 2012 DA14

Guess what? We're all still here. Hooray!! Asteroid 2012 DA14 flew by Earth on February 15th as expected, passing above Earth at an altitude of 17,000 miles and whizzing by around 28,100 kilometers per hour (17,450 miles per hour), or 7.82 kilometers per second (4.8 miles per second) relative to Earth. And I was sound asleep that morning (I'm in Malaysia for your information) after a night out with Bruce Willis. Perhaps Saturday was "A Good Day To Die Hard" but then again maybe not.

It seems the Russians did think it was  "A Good Day To Die Hard" albeit the day before 2012 DA14 was to arrive. A small asteroid entered our atmosphere and exploded over a small town, briefly shining brighter than the Sun. I thought it was a hoax in anticipation of 2012 DA14 but it was real. The explosion was something else.

According to NASA:
A small asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere early Friday, February 15, 2013 over Chelyabinsk, Russia at about 9:20 am local Russian time. Initial estimates, according to Bill Cooke, lead for the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, is that the asteroid was about 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter, with a weight of 7,000 metric tons. It hit the atmosphere at a shallow angle of about 20 degrees, at a speed of about 65,000 km/h (40,000 mph).
You can read more about it here.

Here I want to share 2 videos of the2012 DA14 fly-by with you. There are many videos of 2012 DA14 but some are very boring either showing the asteroid as a streak of light or a short line jumping across the screen (like a time lapse shot..yawn). But this one shows the rock moving smoothly, it's so small. Reminds of the scene in Start Trek : First Contact where Zephram Cochrane was looking at the Enterprise through a telescope from Earth. The video was made by Fran├žois Colas from the Pic du Midi observatory in southern France.

video

Here is another interesting video of the fly-by. It is an animation of the fly-by as seen from an imaginary point following the asteroid. Mikko Suominen, a freelance science journalist from Finland created this 3-D animation based on the JPL’s information graphics using rendering software called Blender.

video

Of course you die hard fans of explosions and mayhem can always search Youtube for videos of the Russian asteroid. I know that one is more exciting. Kinda looks like the Decepticons landing on Earth from space.

Again, as usual if you feel that this post is funny, entertaining or informative, please do share with your network. Hopefully more people will be well informed and entertained.

Also do check out my new book. Lots of nice things about the universe in there but the point of it is to understand how big our Universe is and our place in it. Click the image below to the sales page.


To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.

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