A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

By February 19, 2014NPR News


An asteroid that’s about the size of three football fields flew past Earth on Monday, coming within 2.1 million miles. That was near enough to generate headlines such as this, from Reuters: “Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid.”

The fly-by from the rock known as 2000 EM26 wasn’t a surprise. The asteroid was first observed, as the name implies, in 2000. Its arrival was also promoted by the science website Slooh.com, which was webcasting as 2000 EM26 came by and has posted the video of its coverage.

Perhaps because 2000 EM26 arrived close to the one-year anniversary of what happened in Russia last February — when hundreds of people were injured as a meteorite exploded in the sky — it may have gotten more attention that it might have otherwise.But a blogger known as Astro Bob points out that “a week ago on Feb. 10, the larger asteroid 2006 DP14 (2,395 feet / 730 m) made an even closer shave at 6.2 lunar distances. 2014 BR57 will pass closer yet at 4.4 times the moon’s distance on Thursday.”

Translation: The asteroid that flew past on Feb. 10 came within about 1.5 million miles; and the asteroid headed this way on Thursday will come within about 1 million miles.

If you want to mark your calendar for asteroid arrivals, by the way, NASA’s “Near Earth Object Program” has a schedule here.

But here’s a not-so-reassuring reminder: The meteorite that did so much damage in Russia one year ago wasn’t on anyone’s list of objects being tracked through space. It came as a surprise.

Related: What’s the difference between an asteroid, a comet, a meteoroid, a meteor and a meteorite? NASA explains here.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.image
Read original article – Published February 18, 201411:45 AM
A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

Recent headlines

  • Computer problems for some - extended coffee break for others: Some employees of the Dept. of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Financial Services Division in the State Office Building in Juneau drink coffee near their disabled computers March 22, 2017. The workers, who chose to not be identified, said that some computers were working while others were not as a result of a statewide technical problem within the state's system. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

    Software update locks thousands of state workers out of computers

    Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.
  • The top of the Raven Shark totem pole lies in Totem Hall at Sitka National Historical Park. (Photo by Emily Russell/KCAW)

    After 30 years, Raven Shark pole back in Sitka

    The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.
  • Longtime leader Rosita Worl to leave Sealaska board

    One of the Sealaska regional Native corporation’s longest-serving leaders is stepping down. Rosita Worl says she will not run for another term after 30 years on the board.
  • U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks to reporters in one of the Senate’s more ornate rooms. (Photo by Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

    Murkowski at odds with Trump’s call to end NEA funding

    President Donald Trump’s budget outline calls for eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA has been a frequent target of Republicans, but U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports the endowment, and Tuesday she won the 2017 Congressional Arts Leadership Award.