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 SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Four Asteroids Buzz Earth in Single Week

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PostSubject: SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Four Asteroids Buzz Earth in Single Week   Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:45 pm

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Four Asteroids Buzz Earth in Single Week




Posted on March 11, 2013 by END TIME HEADLINES


In
the last seven days, an asteroid 131 feet (40 meters) across and three
smaller space rocks have zoomed safely by Earth, the latest
demonstration that we live in a solar system that some scientists have
dubbed a “cosmic shooting gallery.” All four asteroid flybys occurred
between March 4 and today (March 10). The asteroids were also all
discovered this month, some just days ago. The biggest space rock
encounter occurred Saturday (March 9), when the asteroid 2013 ET passed
just inside 600,000 miles (965,606 kilometers) of Earth, about 2.5
times the distance between the planet and the moon. Early estimates for
the asteroid suggested its size could be up to 460 feet (140 meters)
across – about the size of a city block – but radar observations
performed in the last several days by astronomers using NASA’s Goldstone
radar antenna in California revealed the smaller, 131-foot size,
scientists said. The scary part about this one, of course, is
that it’s something we didn’t even know about,” said Patrick Paolucci,
president of the online Slooh Space Camera during a live webcast of 2013
ET’s flyby. The asteroid was first discovered on March 3 by the
Catalina Sky Survey at theUniversity of Arizona. [See a video of asteroid 2013 ET] Also
on Saturday, a smaller asteroid called 2013 EC20 (discovered on
Thursday, March 7) came even closer to Earth, passing at a range of
about 93,000 miles (150,000 km), less than half the distance to the
moon. It was about 23 feet (7 m) across. Had asteroid 2013 ET actually
hit the Earth, instead of zipping safely by, it could have destroyed a
large city, Slooh Space Camera engineer Paul Cox said in the webcast.
Cox
controlled the remotely operated Slooh telescope in the Canary Islands,
off the west coast of Africa, as the asteroid zoomed by Earth at a
speed of 26,000 mph (41,842 km/h). The asteroid flybys came a few
weeks after a 55-foot (17 m) meteor exploded over Russia on Feb. 15 with the force of about 500 kilotons,
injuring more than 1,200 people in the city of Chelyabinsk and causing
extensive damage to city buildings. Later on Feb. 15, the larger
asteroid 2012 DA14 passed within 17,200 miles (27,680 km) or Earth
—closer than many communications satellites. The asteroid 2012 DA14
flyby, which was closely tracked by NASA and astronomers, prompted
planetary scientists Bruce Betts of the Planetary Society to remind the
public that Earth is in a “cosmic shooting gallery” where asteroids are
concerned. ”This should be a wakeup call to governments,” Cox said. “We
know that the solar system is a busy place. We’re not sitting here on
our pale blue dot, on our own in nice safety.” The two other space
rocks to buzz Earth in the last week were asteroid 2013 EC and asteroid
2013 EN20, which zipped by the planet on March 4 and March 10,
respectively. The 39-foot long (12 m) asteroid 2013 EC passed Earth at
about the same distance of the moon —about 238,000 miles (383,000 km).
It was discovered on March 2, just two days before its closest approach.
The Virtual Telescope Project, an online stargazing website in Italy
run by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, captured a video of the asteroid 2013 EC flyby.
Asteroid
2013 EN20 passed Earth today a range just beyond the moon’s orbit and
is about 23 feet across. It was first discovered by astronomers on March
7. The two other space rocks to buzz Earth in the last week were
asteroid 2013 EC and asteroid 2013 EN20, which zipped by the planet on
March 4 and March 10, respectively. The 39-foot long (12 m) asteroid
2013 EC passed Earth at about the same distance of the moon —about
238,000 miles (383,000 km). It was discovered on March 2, just two days
before its closest approach. The Virtual Telescope Project, an online
stargazing website in Italy run by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi,
captured a video of the asteroid 2013 EC flyby. Asteroid
2013 EN20 passed Earth today a range just beyond the moon’s orbit and
is about 23 feet across. It was first discovered by astronomers on March
7. Space.com




Thanks to: http://endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com


  

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