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Movin' on with Nellie: We missed the little one by 17,000 miles!

Posted: Friday, Feb 15th, 2013

Yep, we missed the asteroid yesterday by 17,000 miles. The Science Guy had a web presentation on Friday too. But Russia was slammed with a meteor that exploded over a municipal area and the blast belted out glass. Some 900 plus people were injured by the spewing glass.

I’m always interested in the goings on of space and our earthly planet’s journeys and encounters.

This asteroid was about the same size as the meteor crater outside Flagstaff, Arizona. The newest asteroid was lighter than the Flagstaff tourist attraction; but would have still evaporated a city the size of Washington, D.C. – as reported on CNN.

I’m glad that it didn’t slam to the ground but continued on its journey around the sun.

Dr. Melissa Hayes-Gehrke, scientist at the University of Maryland, shared that the U.S. indeed has the capabilities to track an incoming asteroid or meteor, and has the technology to land on an asteroid, and so most probably has the ability to technically nudge any asteroid or meteor.

She shared how the 2005 NASA project called Deep Impact did send a small probe to a nearby asteroid. But actually putting the technique in practice to detour a near-earth object from plummeting into earth has not yet been done.

Bill Nye shared this Friday about the Russian fireball event: “My O my, wow… the 7,000-ton meteor over the Chelyabinsk region slammed into our atmosphere at 15,000 km per hour (33,000 miles an hour). Witnesses could see the flash of light 500 kilometers away. It was probably 15-meters (50 feet) across. When these things hit the atmosphere they just blow up. It’s not combustion, at least at first; it’s a rock slamming into something so hard, that it disintegrates. Its energy becomes a pressure wave, a shock. This is to say, the molecules in the air get slammed into moving faster than their natural speed (at a given temperature). They form a shock wave turning the rock’s energy of motion into a wave of pressure and the energy of heat…in an instant. The pressure wave blasted windows and doors. The flying glass and falling building material injured over a thousand people— in an instant. The heat combined with atmospheric oxygen incinerated most of the rock— in a few moments. Rock hounds and scientists will no doubt scour the area for meteorites and for clues. The more we learn about these things the better, because it sure could happen again.”

In his live broadcast at 12:15 Denver time, he (as CEO of the Planetary Society) and Dr. Bruce Betts (director of projects) discussed the original discovery made by sky viewers in Spain, and watching the closest approach of the asteroid named 2012 DA14. The link if you would like to watch the replay is: HYPERLINK “http://www.planetary.org/explore/projects/neo-grants/2012da14.html” http://www.planetary.org/explore/projects/neo-grants/2012da14.html

Bill Nye has been interviewed on several morning shows and CNN about this near-earth object flying by and closer to us than the satellites in orbit.

Nye said, “This asteroid is a wakeup call for the importance of defending the Earth from future asteroid impacts. Big impacts don’t happen often, but they will happen.”

I think I might watch Bruce Willis in “Armageddon” or Tea Leoni in “Deep Impact.”

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