Friday, February 15, 2013

Hey batter batter sa-WING batter

The universe is putting an asteroid right in the ol' stroke zone.  We don't have a prayer of doing anything about it if it was a bean-ball asteroid, but at least this time we're in the wrong place at the right time - but if we were fifteen minutes slower, this sucker'd be going right through the metaphorical batter's box.

NASA is putting up a UStream of the asteroid as it passes, which you can watch here.

Streaming by Ustream

Pretty neat, eh? 

There's a lot of speculation about whether the meteor in the Urals this morning is related. That particular bit of rock was around ten tons and broke up somewhere around 20-30 miles above the ground. In true Hollywood tradition, it blew out windows and littered the landscape with sonic booms. Nobody's sure if one of those booms was the it actually exploding, but probably not.


It's a curious thing; in Russia, most cars have dash cams due to the need to prove innocence against corrupt cops and the like. As a result, we have a huge offering of dash cam views of the thing entering the atmosphere and blowing up. They even have time, location, and speed information embedded. Talk about synchronicity!

 Phil Plaitt, the famed "Bad Astronomer", has a few words to say about the event.
This is almost certainly unrelated to the asteroid 2012 DA14 that will pass on Friday.
He adds:
For one thing, this occurred about 16 hours before DA14 passes. At 8 kilometers per second that’s nearly half a million kilometers away from DA14. That puts it on a totally different orbit.
He has a few other compelling reasons as well.  But, as he says, what a coincidence! Keep checking back on his blog, he's updating it as more information comes in.

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