Tag Archives: comets

Just In: This Morning An Asteroid About The Size Of A City Bus Buzzes By Earth Closer Than The Moon

An asteroid about the size of a city bus buzzed by Earth earlier today (May 3, 2014). The asteroid came closer to the Earth than the moon, but fortunately did no damage.

Asteroids flying by Earth is not totally uncommon, in fact it actually happens quite a bit. The combination of the distance from Earth and the size of the asteroid are what made this asteroid such a potential threat.

According to NASA’s Asteroid Watch project based at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif…

“The asteroid is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide… It made its closest approach to Earth at 4:13 a.m. EDT”

It is hard to tell exactly what the damage would have been from a collision with an asteroid about this size. Here at The Higher Learning we have covered many posts that are asteroid related, from posts about asteroid mining to posts about the threat of asteroid collisions to earth.

Fortunately in this case no collision took place, so no damage was done. According to Space.com

“The newly discovered asteroid 2014 HL129 came within 186,000 miles (299,338 kilometers) of Earth when it made its closest approach on Saturday morning, which is close enough to pass between the planet and the orbit of the moon. The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km).”

The asteroid has been named Asteroid 2014 HL129 and was discovered by scientists only days before its close encounter to Earth. According to Space.com

“Saturday’s close shave by asteroid 2014 HL129 came just days after its discovery on Wednesday, April 28, by astronomers with the Mt. Lemmon Survey team, according to an alert by the Minor Planet Center, an arm of the International Astronomical Union that chronicles asteroid discoveries. The Mt. Lemmon Survey team scans the night sky with a telescope at the Steward Observatory atop Mt. Lemmon in Arizona’s Catalina Mountains.”

You can view a video animation of the asteroids orbit around the sun to see just how close asteroid 2014 HL129 came to colliding with Earth here. 

NASA scientists and researchers around the world are constantly monitoring the skies for potentially dangerous or threatening asteroids. Space agencies around the world are united with the common goal of locating these threatening asteroids and providing solutions to protect Earth and mankind from dangerous collisions.

Check Out the full story from Space.com here. 

 

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Now You Have No Excuse To Miss the Lyrid Meteor Shower Tonight

Once a year, Earth experiences the Lyrid meteor shower as it passes through a region of cosmic debris left behind by a comet known as Comet Thatcher, which orbits the sun once every 415 years leaving behind fresh debris each time.

This year, that’ll be happening tonight. The shower is expected to be at its peak in the early morning hours of Tuesday (4/22/14). If you’re in an area where the weather inhibits sky visibility, Space.com will be providing two webcasts of the event via NASA and slooh.com.

No word yet on whether or not you can wish on a shooting star you see via live stream…

How to find the lyrid meteors in the night sky
How to find the lyrid meteors in the night sky

Here’s some pictures of last year’s Lyrid meteor shower (click an image to enlarge):

 

View the full gallery from Space.com here.