Asteroid

Asteroid Comes Close Jan. 26th – Mysterious Sand Dunes On Comet 67P?

Asteroid Comes Close Jan. 26th – Mysterious Sand Dunes On Comet 67P?

Asteroid Comes Close Jan. 26th – Mysterious Sand Dunes On Comet 67P?

By Linda Moulton Howe | Earthfiles

Asteroid Comes Close Jan. 26th - Mysterious Sand Dunes On Comet 67P?

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At present, we know almost nothing about asteroid 2004 BL86, so there are bound to be surprises.” – Lance Benner, Ph.D., NASA Radar Astronomer

The circular ‘goosebumps’ (on Comet 67P) look very, very bizarre. To be frank, we don’t know how those things were created. We have no clue.” – Nicholas Thomas, Ph.D., Prof. of Experimental Physics, Switzerland’s Univ. of Bern

January 26, 2015 Albuquerque, New Mexico – On Monday, January 26, 2015, at 11:19 AM EST, a large asteroid about one-third of a mile wide will zip past Earth some 750,000 miles (1.2 million km) away. The Goldstone Deep Space Network near Barstow, California, will track the asteroid. At that time, the asteroid should be close to the Beehive Cluster and with a powerful pair of binoculars, you might be able to see it. See sky map.

Close passage of 2004 BL86 on January 26, 2015

Close passage of 2004 BL86 on January 26, 2015. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This diagram shows the close passage of 2004 BL86 on January 26, 2015, with closest approach occurring at about 16:19 UTC, or about 11:19 AM EST. The view is nearly edge-on to the Earth’s orbit. The Moon’s nearly circular orbit is highly foreshortened from this viewpoint. The asteroid moves from the south to the north, from below the Earth’s orbit to above. The roughly 500-meter (1500-foot) asteroid approaches to within 1.2 million kilometers (750,000 miles) of Earth, or about 3.1 times the distance of the Moon.

This is the largest known asteroid to come near Earth until 2027, when another large rocky body called 1999 AN10 could come as close as 22,000 miles from Earth on August 7, 2027.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – “A World of Surprises”

The January 23, 2015, issue of the journal Science has ten new articles by European Space Agency scientists about the Rosetta Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko mission that landed in November 2014, on the rubber-duck-shaped icy structure. All of the new science data adds up to what one researcher calls “a world of surprises” in the comet.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is showing a large crack about 300 feet long

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is showing a large crack about 300 feet long

The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Rosetta mission reports in the journal Science that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is showing a large crack about 300 feet long “across the neck of Comet 67P that raises the question: if, or when, will the comet break up?” See January 23, 2015, journal Science in Websites below.

Comet 67P is 2.5 miles long (4 km) and oddly shaped like a child's rubber duck toy

Comet 67P is 2.5 miles long (4 km) and oddly shaped like a child’s rubber duck toy. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta.

Comet 67P is 2.5 miles long (4 km) and oddly shaped like a child’s rubber duck toy. ESA’s Philae lander bounced down on the comet and cameras took photos while Philae’s batteries lasted for 57 hours – unprecedented close-ups of a comet’s surface. It’s possible that Philae will “wake up” again when the sun shines on Philae again.

— The Rosetta orbiter in December took high-resolution photographs as fine as 2.5 feet per pixel and looked for the washing-machine-size Philae lander, but could not see it. Where is the Philae lander?

— What look like sand dunes and wind-tails on Earth or Mars ripple across some Comet 67P surfaces. But how is that possible? There is not supposed to be an atmosphere on a comet and so no wind to blow around surface materials into dunes. One hypothesis is that jets of gas seen in the above photograph could cause “intermolecular attraction known as the van der Waals force instead of gravity.”

Asteroid Comes Close Jan. 26th - Mysterious Sand Dunes On Comet 67P?

Hapi region shows evidence of possibly local gas-driven transport producing dune-like ripples. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team.

Features in the Hapi region show evidence of possibly local gas-driven transport producing dune-like ripples (left) and boulders with ‘wind-tails’ (right) – where the boulder has acted as a natural obstacle to the direction of the gas flow, creating a streak of material ‘downwind’ of it. The images were taken with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on September 18, 2014.

— In the smooth areas of Comet 67P, there are circular “goosebump” structures. Nicholas Thomas, Ph.D., Professor of Experimental Physics at Switzerland’s University of Bern told reporters, “The circular ‘goosebumps’ look very, very bizarre. To be frank, we don’t know how those things were created. We have no clue.”

Close-ups of a curious surface texture on Comet 67P. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS.

Close-ups of a curious surface texture on Comet 67P. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS.

Close-ups of a curious surface texture on Comet 67P nicknamed “goosebumps,” all of them at a scale of around 3 meters diameter and going across areas for as far as 100 meters.

— There are various cracks in the icy comet, the longest being about 300 feet long at the neck where the two comet sections meet. Scientists wonder if that crack will get bigger and that 67P could break in two.

A narrow-angle camera image shows part of a large fracture running across Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's neck.

A narrow-angle camera image shows part of a large fracture running across Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s neck. Image: credit ESA/Rosetta/MPS.

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Science & Technology
Mountain-sized Asteroid Heading Our Way: Russian Scientist

Mountain-sized Asteroid Heading Our Way: Russian Scientist

Mountain-sized Asteroid Heading Our Way: Russian Scientist

By Fred Weir | Christian Science Monitor

Mountain-sized Asteroid Heading Our Way

A composite image, to scale, of the asteroids which have been imaged at high resolution.

In a video posted online Sunday, astrophysicist Vladimir Lipunov says the newly discovered asteroid could collide with Earth during its three-year orbital cycle. A giant meteor exploded over a Russian city in 2013.

A Russian astrophysicist says his team has located a huge, mountain-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the Earth’s every three years.

Even though experts say the giant object, known as 2014 UR116, poses no immediate threat of collision, its unexpected discovery underscores how little is still known about asteroids and their unpredictable orbits.

Vladimir Lipunov, a professor at Moscow State University, announced the find in a short documentary, “Asteroid Attack,” posted on the website of the Russian Space Agency on Sunday. Mr. Lipunov says the asteroid, which he calculates is 370 meters in diameter, could hit the Earth with an explosion 1,000 times greater than the surprise 2013 impact of a bus-sized meteor in Russia. That object entered Earth’s atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk, resulting in a series of ferocious blasts that blew out windows and damaged buildings for miles around.

In the film, Lipunov says it’s difficult to calculate the orbit of big objects like 2014 UR116 because, as they hurtle through the solar system, their trajectories are constantly being altered by the gravitational pull of nearby planets. “We need to permanently track this asteroid, because even a small mistake in calculations could have serious consequences,” he said.

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Video: Recently, with the help of the Russian robotic telescope network astrophysicist , a professor at Moscow State University Vladimir Lipunov detected a potentially dangerous asteroid 2014 UR116. Today, scientists around the world are working to develop surveillance systems for space objects that threaten Earth.

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Science & Technology