Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two Asteroids Whizzing By Today

Hey SPace Placers!

"Duck and cover" drills will not be necessary BUT there are two asteroids who are whizzing by the home world today.

One was just discovered this past weekend and highlights how these space rocks can pop up very quickly on our detection methods and pass very close by. Named 2012 XE54 it is 28 meters wide and already passed within 141,000 miles of Earth earlier today - that is well within the orbit of the Moon. There is NO danger of impact but the orbit of this asteroid will be calculated and monitored to make sure it poses no threat.

The other asteroid, Toutatis, is well known and closely monitored as it comes close to Earth about every four years and is about 3 miles across. This space rock will pass 18 lunar distances away. A live view of the close approach will be visible for free to the public starting at 12:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. EST. Details on how to tune in are here: http://images.slooh.com/files/press_release/asteroid_toutatis2012.pdf

Astronomers keep watching the skies for these space rocks and comets so we can spot them, track them, and earn about them.

As a reminder the Geminid Meteor Shower is on the night of the 13th-14th. I'll have more into on that later this week.

Sky Guy in VA

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