Another Asteroid Near-Miss

March 7, 2016

asteroid-earth-artist-shutterstockBright sunshine this noon Monday on California’s north coast as we’re enjoying a colorful intermission to the ‘conveyor-belt’ rainstorms that’s been drenching the area the last few days.
Another big storm forecast for tomorrow night with the heaviest portion slated for Wednesday — until then we be savoring the moment.

And out of this world, an asteroid near-miss is scheduled tomorrow — a 100-foot-wide piece of rock will come as close as 15,000 miles to earth’s surface.

(Illustration found here).

No worries: ‘“There is no concern whatsoever regarding this asteroid – unless you were interested in seeing it with a telescope,” CNEOS manager Paul Chodas said in a press release.’
NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) originally projected the space rock to pass-by last Saturday, but more astute observations later put the event for tomorrow.

A few details from The Weather Channel last Friday:

A 100-foot long asteroi named 2013 TX68 will whiz by our planet March 8, researchers say.
According to NASA, 2013 TX68 will fly by roughly 3 million miles from the Earth.
Though there is a chance it could come closer, it won’t come any nearer than 15,000 miles above our planet’s surface.
The asteroid was originally predicted to pass Earth on March 5.
New projections were made after scientists at the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) compared archived images to their recent observations of Asteroid 2013 TX68’s path.
This allowed them to refine their earlier predictions and make more accurate calculations of the object’s distance to the Earth.
“We already knew this asteroid, 2013 TX68, would safely fly past Earth in early March, but this additional data allows us to get a better handle on its orbital path,” said CNEOS manager Paul Chodas.
“The data indicate that this small asteroid will probably pass much farther away from Earth than previously thought.”
The astronomers’ findings also allowed them to determine 2013 TX68 is unable to impact Earth over the next century.
“There is no concern whatsoever regarding this asteroid – unless you were interested in seeing it was a telescope,” said Chodas. “Prospects for observing this asteroid, which were not very good to begin with, are now even worse because the asteroid is likely to be farther away, and therefore dimmer than previously believed.”

Add to the outer-world phenomena, and also tomorrow, a solar eclipse will dominate the sky over the Pacific Ocean, though, it will be hard to see from here.
Via Mashable on Sunday:

A total eclipse will be experienced over parts of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and “a large empty part of the Pacific ocean,” Geoff Wyatt, education program producer at the Sydney Observatory, told Mashable Australia in an email. At its greatest, the eclipse will last 4 minutes and 9 seconds.
North and western Australia and parts of eastern Asia, on the other hand, will see a partial solar eclipse, he added.
According to Sky and Telescope, the total eclipse will start in the Indian Ocean and end in the Pacific. Hawaii, Alaska, sections of China, Japan and the Philippines will also be able to spot the partial eclipse.

If we could only wait until next year, however:

On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur over north America.
It will be one of the most significant solar eclipses of all time, Wyatt said, due to the sheer number of people who are likely to see it.
“Sadly there will be numerous chemical eye burns for sure, but there will be possibly millions of people watching it safely and learning about science and particularly astronomy,” he added.

Meanwhile, here on Monday still banging away…

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