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#967278 - Wed Feb 13 2013 09:40 PM 2012 DA14
mehaul Offline
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This is going to be as "around the world" as news can get. On the night of February 15, 2013 the asteroid discovered last year in a solar orbit almost identical to Earth's (it was discovered last year as it passed by on the 16th, so it's gone around the sun a day quicker than the Earth) named 2012 DA14 will pass over Europe and Asia from west to east from 7PM to 8PM. The asteroid is the half the size of a city block, weighs near 200 Ktonnes and will traverse the outer shell of our satellite orbit shell. If it hits something, comminications from Europe may be impacted.

This close encounter's gravity influence will impart such a change in the asteroid's solar orbit that it won't come close to Earth again for 33 years. That is a nice example of a gravity sling shot.


Edited by mehaul (Wed Feb 13 2013 09:41 PM)
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#967317 - Thu Feb 14 2013 02:38 AM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
sue943 Offline

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In which time zone is that 7-8pm?
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#967335 - Thu Feb 14 2013 06:35 AM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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GMT

This entry at wiki is quite evidently constructed by Astronomy gurus but there are some nice easy parts to follow in it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_DA14

If possible I will visit the JPL site today to see if they have an animation of the event.
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#967390 - Thu Feb 14 2013 03:15 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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I got the JPL animation from the NASA Home Page:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=77341&media_id=159378831

This shows the trajectory to be different from what I interpreted it to be in the map from wikipedia. The JPL moviette shows the object approaching from the South Pole then west of Australia, northward over the Indian Ocean for its closest point and then retreatinjg over the Southwestern Asia and Northern Africa area and then Europe. So, it may be visible with aided vision over western Europe around 8-9PM GMT.
That track over the Indian Ocean is probably the least populated section of the geo-synchronous orbit parking lot. Lucky for us, maybe. Though the video shows Australia and India in the light, wouldn't they be at about 3AM and the middle of the night, meaning the best viewing possibilities?


Edited by mehaul (Thu Feb 14 2013 03:17 PM)
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#967486 - Fri Feb 15 2013 04:22 AM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
sue943 Offline

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I wonder if there is any connection to the meteor hit on Russian injuring about 400 people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21468116
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#967495 - Fri Feb 15 2013 05:18 AM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
sisterseagull Offline
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I think that the meteor strike connection is a very distinct possibility, Sue!

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#967518 - Fri Feb 15 2013 07:49 AM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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I don't believe (based on what I've heard on the news) that the two are connected, yet. The reports are that the Russian meteor is not associated with the asteroid. Asteroids usually travel as single objects. Meteoroids however do seem to travel in swarms. Whether this meteoroid has siblings is not known. If they weren't watching the sky in the meteor direction, how would the sky watchers know? I haven't heard whether a meteoroid fragment might impact the asteroid though. You know bump it or come close enough to alter its course by gravitational interaction. While I doubt there is enough sibling material, if any, to much effect the larger object, all bets are now off as to whether it passes through our satellite shell without interactions. Am I "Chicken Little"? I sure hope so and there is no cause for alarm

I propose they rename the 2012 DA14 object as "That Mayan Thing".
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#967605 - Fri Feb 15 2013 06:07 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
Christinap Offline
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They do seem to be ruling out any connection between the meteor shower and the asteroid. Just one of those coincidences it seems.

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#967619 - Fri Feb 15 2013 08:08 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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No media in the USA have mentioned that the broken windows - tens of thousands of them - in the Urals in the dead of winter is going to cause a lot more damage in the weeks to come.

So they knew about the large object for a year and they never knew about the one as big as VW Beetle? The damage caused by the meteor must make us aware that more attention needs to be paid to even small objects in NEO. Had that meteor gone over NY, Rome, Paris, London or any other major metropolitan area built up with skyscrapers and their windows, the toll would have been more like dozens of thousand injuries and many fatalities.

Here is where I armchair quarterback what happened with That Mayan Thing. Before when talk of asteroid response was to blow them up or divert them, I prayed that wiser heads would realize that capturing such objects was the way to handle them. Now there are start up businesses planning just such ventures. That is in the private sector. Our Governments have failed us in this arena miserably. NASA, ESA, China and India, the space capable nations, never banded together to treat the occasion of 2012 DA14. This was a case where we could have tried our 'bomb it to oblivion tactic. No, not when it was headed at us. But after it passed. There should have been a posse of instruments and devices to head it off after the pass. Once we knew it was gone by we should have blown the hell out of it to: 1) make sure it never came back as anything more than a meteor; 2)analyzed the dust remains to determine its composition; and 3) tried to capture and return some of the material for study. A year was plenty of advance notice time to have organized such a mission.
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#967720 - Sat Feb 16 2013 12:18 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
Christinap Offline
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Apparently much of the damage in towns and cities close to the impact zone was caused by shockwaves in the air as it broke the sound barrier and broke up.

I have read about private enterprise wanting to harvest and mine asteroids. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction initially, but when you read more it is, technically, feasible, if expensive.

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#967722 - Sat Feb 16 2013 12:50 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Half the work to be done in capturing an asteroid is getting there. If we concentrate on those that seem to come to us at about one per year, we'll have had half the work done for us. The next question becomes where do you put the thing once you own it. Any of the Lagrange points would work though the L4 and L5 are very remote being 60 gegrees fore and aft in the Earth's Solar orbit. Another parking spot would be to place it in a stable orbit around our E/Moon system. There are many of those scenarios to pick from. My favorite is to put it where it would do some service to us. I call the orbit the <oxOxo> with double loop-de-loops (figure eights or Lissajous) around the moon with a cycle time of 28 days. That way we'd have a mass to carry things like us and equipment to and from the Moon, get on & seven days to the Moon, get off & on & seven days back to the Earth & get off, seven days out to the Moon again only this time at 180 degrees from the last place and seven days back to the Earth again with the on and offs, repeat. Another benefit of this is that if we tunnel into the object and establish living quarters, we get a good shield from cosmic radiation and solar storms rather than having to boost those aspects of spacecraft into space with each launch.


Edited by mehaul (Sat Feb 16 2013 01:01 PM)
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#968069 - Mon Feb 18 2013 06:32 PM Re: 2012 DA14 [Re: mehaul]
Christinap Offline
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Sounds plausible. Be interesting to see if it ever comes about.

In the meantime I see we have two comets to look forward to this year, the second one (around November) is supposed to be quite spectacular, brighter than a full moon, if it survives passage round the Sun.

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