All posts tagged: Asteroid

It was nearly five times bigger than the Eiffel Tower, fortunately it missed

It is nearly five times bigger than the Eiffel Tower, and it spun harmlessly by earth on Saturday morning, Aug 21, 2021.

Asteroid game simulation ends badly

It was similar to a war game where generals use computer simulations to determine the eventual winner in a make believe war, but it involved an asteroid. A group of scientists from space agencies across Europe and in the US were given the scenario that a massive asteroid (named 2021PDC) was 35 million miles away and hurtling through space and destined to hit earth in six months.

Another very close call

It was a very close call, and was all the more onimous considering that the asteroid flew by on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, if you are into that sort of thing. The Daily Mail reports that an asteroid, the size of a large bus (16 feet to 33 feet), missed earth by just 240 miles (386 km) last Friday. This is the closest an asteroid has come to hitting earth since astronomers started tracking what they describe as near earth objects. What is perhaps equally concerning is that astronomers who track asteroids had no idea this happened until Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System located on Mauna Loa, Hawaii saw it flying away the next day. However, even if it had hit earth, it is suspected the asteroid named 2020 VT4 would have burned up in the earth’s atmosphere. In order for an asteroid to reach earth and potentially cause damage, it’s needs to be at least 25 meters (82 feet) in size and for it to have a global impact the asteroid would need to …

Artist's rendering of an asteroid. Credit: Nasa/JPL-caltech/Wikipedia

Another near asteroid miss, missed again

It is becoming almost a regular occurrence — announcements by those looking into space for dangerous asteroids — that they had missed another near miss. Now to be fair, the asteroid called 2017 AG13 was only half the size of the asteroids the Catalina Sky Survey is looking for. It is an organization partially funded by NASA to scour the skies with NEOCam, an infra-red telescope, looking for potentially dangerous asteroids. They only had 24 hours notice on this one that passed by earth on Saturday, January 7, 2017. But half the size meant this asteroid was 25 meters to 35 meters tall — ten stories — and according to reports it was traveling at 16 kms a second (9.9 miles per second). A near miss in astronomical terms meant that it was 126,461 miles out, passing halfway between earth and the moon. Of course, any asteroids intersecting our planet’s trajectory are always a concern because of the potential for the earth’s gravity to pull them in. The asteroid that exploded high in the atmosphere …

If a hand-sized rock can create a 2-meteor crater, how big of a crater will a housed-sized one create? Photo Arizona crater. Photo Glendon Rolston/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was a man in India killed by a meteor?

In what may become the first confirmed case of a meteorite killing a person, officials are investigating the death of a man in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu state, South India. Over the weekend a bus driver was standing on the grounds of an engineering college when a nearby water cooler exploded. The man dropped to the ground and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The explosion also shattered windows in buildings surrounding the area. Though people reported seeing a bright object flashing down from the sky, authorities initially believed the blast was caused by explosives used at a nearby building site. However, when there was no evidence for that, the investigation shifted to a meteorite after they discovered a small bluish, diamond-like stone in the two-meter (five foot) sized crater left by the explosion. It was found by a metal detector. Scientists with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics now believe the forty-year-old man was killed by exploding shards off a small meteorite when it smashed into the ground. Officials are sending …

Does a mountain-sized asteroid classify as a ‘terror’ from the sky?

According to The Telegraph, Russian scientist Vladimir Lipunov from Moscow University says he discovered an asteroid the size of a mountain that passes through earth’s orbit every three years. The asteroid — which Lipunov named ‘2014 UR116’ — is a much more serious threat to earth than the asteroid that exploded in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia on February 15, 2013. One thousand people were hurt by exploding shards of glass as a result of that explosion. Lipunov says there does not seem to be any threat ‘2013 UR116′ will hit earth, but he added that asteroids’ trajectories are often changed by the gravitational pull of other planets they pass by.