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  Asteroid 2014 RC close approach (Sept. 7, 2014)

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Author Topic:   Asteroid 2014 RC close approach (Sept. 7, 2014)
Lou Chinal
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From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 09-06-2014 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone have any thoughts on our close encounter tomorrow?
A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / 18:18 UTC), the asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 meters) in size.

At the time of closest approach, 2014 RC will be approximately one-tenth the distance from the center of Earth to the moon, or about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers). The asteroid's apparent magnitude at that time will be about 11.5, rendering it unobservable to the unaided eye. However, amateur astronomers with small telescopes might glimpse the fast-moving appearance of this near-Earth asteroid.

Joel Katzowitz
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From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 09-06-2014 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, I'll be strapping on my old football helmet, just in case...

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1628
From: Guyton, GA
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posted 09-06-2014 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking for my 1979 Skylab tinfoil hat right now, glad I don't throw anything away!

All kidding aside, if this was an asteroid on a collision course with Earth how much early warning would we have?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-06-2014 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASA, 2014 RC was initially discovered on Aug. 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, located on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii.

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 09-06-2014 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok, not much warning then.

mach3valkyrie
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From: Albany, Oregon USA
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posted 09-06-2014 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any idea of the damage that would result if an object this size hit earth?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-06-2014 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASA, 2014 RC is about 60 feet (20 meters) in diameter. For comparison, the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia was about the same size.

The Chelyabinsk meteor generated a mid-air explosion roughly equal to 500,000 tons of TNT detonating.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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From: Toms River, NJ
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posted 09-07-2014 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By happenstance, I needed and found a hard copy of an article I did in March 2013 on whether or not a major meteoroid would hit Earth. For more comparison's sake, 500,000 tons = 500 kiltons. The Hiroshima bomb was about 15 kilotons (widely accepted estimate), so figure the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor detonated with the equivalent impact of 33 Hiroshima bombs.

And in case anyone's wondering, the Tunguska meteoroid in 1908 which exploded in the atmosphere was about double the size - about 130 feet - and leveled 1,000 square miles of forest - the size of Washington, DC - and detonated with the energy of more than 500 Hiroshima bombs.

Lunar rock nut
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From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
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posted 09-07-2014 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep the tin foil handy after today, as there is a much larger threat looming out there with it's crosshairs locked on us.
If [Wolf-Rayet 104] collapses into a Supernova (as expected) and releases a Gamma Ray Burst (GRB), our Solar System could be in the direct path of a highly collimated jet of destruction and such an event could end life as we know it.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 09-07-2014 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Didn't I read somewhere that a super-sized asteroid is due to hit us on 16th March 2888?

The consolation is that by then NASA might have sorted out its budget priorities and there will be outworld colonies we can evacuate to.

lspooz
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Posts: 169
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 09-07-2014 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lunar rock nut:
Keep the tin foil handy after today, as there is a much larger threat looming out there with it's crosshairs locked on us.
Not that our current civilization could do anything about a GRB yet, but since this is 8000 LY away [outside the 6000 LY range], no worries...

Now watching whether Bennu hits the keyhole in a few years with a return impact in 2036, that'll be interesting!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-07-2014 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Didn't I read somewhere that a super-sized asteroid is due to hit us on 16th March 2888?
It's actually a rubble pile, rather than a single rock.
Astronomers investigated near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA, which is about four-fifths of a mile wide (1.3 kilometers). This asteroid currently has one of the greatest chances of colliding with Earth of any known asteroid, with about a 1 in 4,000 chance of impacting the Earth in the year 2880.

...unexpectedly, the scientists found 1950 DA is a porous rubble pile, about half of which is empty space.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-07-2014 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A "mysterious explosion" in Nicaragua's capital Managua, which left a large crater, is being attributed to Asteroid 2014 RC by local officials, AFP reports.
Nicaraguan authorities believe it was a piece of the small asteroid dubbed "2014 RC," which passed very close to Earth on Sunday and was estimated by astronomers to be about 20 meters big, or the size of a house.

"We are convinced that this was a meteorite. We have seen the crater from the impact," said Wilfredo Strauss of the Seismic Institute.

The meteorite appeared to have hurtled into a wooded area near the airport around midnight and the hit was so large that it registered on the instruments Strauss's organization uses to size up earthquakes.

"You can see two waves: first, a small seismic wave when the meteorite hit earth, and then another stronger one, which is the impact of the sound," he said.

Lou Chinal
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From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 09-08-2014 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am amazed at the short notice of the August 31st discovery.

Hart, I also have heard of the 33 Hiroshima size blast. And I also have wondered about Tunguska.

quote:
Originally posted by lspooz:
Now watching whether Bennu hits the keyhole in a few years with a return impact in 2036, that'll be interesting!
I am worried about 2036 also.

Joel, I keep my plastic Sears astronaut helmet close by just in case.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 09-08-2014 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Tunguska ... leveled 1,000 square miles of forest - the size of Washington, DC
I thought that the district was a bit smaller, 68.3 square miles, unless you were inferring some arbitrary Washington metropolitan region?

Jurg Bolli
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 09-08-2014 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife sent me this.
A small meteorite landed near the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, on Saturday night, government officials say.

...astronomer Humberto Saballos said the meteorite could have broken off from the 2014RC asteroid which passed Earth at the same time.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2540
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-08-2014 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
I thought that the district was a bit smaller, 68.3 square miles, unless you were inferring some arbitrary Washington metropolitan region?
It's possible I combined these two quotes from Ed Lu:
As the asteroid impact near Cheylabinsk Russia on February 15, 2013 vividly reminded us, our planet is occasionally struck by asteroids capable of causing significant damage. This was the largest asteroid impact since June 30, 1908, when an asteroid flattened 1000 square miles of forest in Tunguska, Siberia.

More than a million of these Near Earth Asteroids are larger than the asteroid that struck Tunguska in 1908 with an energy more than 500 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. That asteroid was only about 40 meters across (about the size of a 3 story office building), yet destroyed an area roughly the size of metropolitan Washington DC.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30348
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-08-2014 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...astronomer Humberto Saballos said the meteorite could have broken off from the 2014RC asteroid which passed Earth at the same time.
NASA scientists have now cast doubt on whether the blast outside Managua was even a meteorite at all, National Geographic reports.
In some news reports, geophysicist Wilfried Strauch of Nicaragua's Institute of Earth Studies attributed the crater to a meteorite impact.

However, NASA asteroid expert Don Yeomans, author of Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us, says that outside experts suspect the crater wasn't caused by an impact.

"This event was separated by 13 hours from the close Earth approach of 2014 RC, so the explosion and the asteroid are unrelated," says Yeomans, because the Earth moves about 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) in 13 hours. "There was no obvious optical fireball or debris trail seen prior to the explosion, so it seems unlikely that the explosion in Nicaragua was related to a meteorite impact."

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-08-2014 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photos of the crater left by the impact seemed pretty large. There's also some interesting ejecta patterns to one side. If it were a meteorite, that "splash" pattern could indicate a somewhat low angle of approach.

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