Sound Off

Sound Off: Asteroid approach

What are the instructions for viewing the asteroid? Will it be visible with binoculars?

On Friday, Asteroid 2012 DA14 will make its closest approach to Earth, according to NASA. And Steven Hawley, a Kansas University astronomer and former astronaut, says that it will likely be quite difficult to spot. The asteroid is predicted to pass by Earth more closely (about 17,200 miles above the surface) than any other asteroid of its size ever has, but it will still be too small to see with the naked eye. But it also will be moving too fast to track easily with a telescope, said Hawley, a professor of physics and astronomy. That means binoculars would be your best bet, he said, but even that might be a stretch. The asteroid is set to be closest to Earth about 1:25 p.m. Central Time on Friday, and according to NASA it will be most visible in parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. NASA, though, promises to show a feed of the asteroid’s flyby online, making use of a telescope in Huntsville, Ala., from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, at


mikekt 5 years, 2 months ago

Read that it is 45 to 50 meters across.

Doesn't sound like much but it is a fast moving rock that stores a tremendous punch should it air burst over a city, on contact with our atmosphere,... or live to hit the ground.

I have read estimates that would put either case of the above mentioned impact explosions somewhere around the range of 3 megatons = to 3,000,000 metric tons of TNT, which definitely could ruin your day......and this is just a baby sized rock !

By comparison, the bombs dropped on Japan in ww2 were 16 to 21 kiloton = 16,000 to 21,000 metric tons of TNT, both of which were air burst to maximize their destructive effects.

This above story is NASA...... Nice and Clean ! .....but it does a disservice to this earths' current occupants, as we spend $ tons here on earth on weapons, while silent but real angels of the total death thru extermination, of the human race, move silently past us overhead.

I can't fault the dinosaurs in their "removal" as the earths landlords . Obviously, they had no clue, as we do, that things can change suddenly.

Humans are just plain stupid acting.... because we know more than T Rex, but can't seem to do much better !

Ps: if we ever encounter intelligent aliens who want this place, freed of "us", for whatever purposes, they won't come down here to fight with Will Smith in some movie ! They will simply go out to the asteroid belt and send a few choice rocks our way ! On rock in the 7 or 8 mile wide size coming at us out of the suns' direction so we don't see it coming and we'd all be "barbied".......but not the type that comes from Mattel.

Consider that time might not mean the same to someone from beyond our earth and that how long it might take for the dust to settle from a major impact that would exterminate humans might not be a big issue to them . They could be long lived......or simply be able to travel in time as we travel on highways, that our covered wagon ancestors could never have imagined .

mikekt 5 years, 2 months ago

Consider what we did to the Indians in South & North America......or to the slaves that were brought here from Africa.

One of these future days, your very own descendants might discover another "earth like planet" somewhere out their, about the time that our sun is starting to show the early signes of burning out .

Do you think for a moment that we as a species would fail to clear that place out with one big impactor rock, of all potentially hostile life forms, in order to prepare it for our arrival in a few generations of time ?

mikekt 5 years, 2 months ago

The 1908 Tunguska Event in Russia, in which an incoming space rock of some sort exploded in mid air, took out 800 or so square miles of forest, leveling all of the trees below its' path to the ground .

As a comparison, Kansa City, Mo, which covers the better part of three counties, is only 316 square miles & its' downtown is only 2.9 square miles in size .

We spend billions on weapons systems, ....maybe trillions world wide, each year.....and in comparison, just pennies on protecting the only planet that humans have to call home, for now ! ........NUTS !

bring_JOHN_BROWN_back 5 years, 2 months ago

Tesla (Nicola) was responsible for the explosion in 1908....get your fax straight!

Lathrup 5 years, 2 months ago

Pretty darn scary. I think we got lucky because it is 17000 miles up. No air to rip it apart In a. superheated air explosion.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh thank goodness, knowing some of the previous gems from "Sound Off", I was thinking this was heading in a completely opposite direction!


Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 2 months ago

I read that it is going to be closer to the earth than some communication satellites so I am wondering if there is a possibility that electromagnetic forces from the wee beastie could disrupt the Internet.

I like to keep my priorities straight.

SpeedRacer 5 years, 2 months ago

As long as the Earth isn't texting at the time and pulls out in front of it, we'll be fine.

riverdrifter 5 years, 2 months ago

A steroid approach works for baseball players but I don't see what good it's gonna do for 2012 DA14. Next.

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