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Asteroids and comets May 12, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Asteroids, Space.
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Some Near Earth Asteroid updates:

Note: I thought I'd be clever and compare some of the chances to instant lottery ticket odds, however the various state lotteries aren't to keen on publishing much more than the overall odds of winning (usually about 1 in 4) anywhere except the back of the tickets, and I don't play the lottery, but I did find this PDF of the odds on the $2, "7-11-21" instant game in the Pennsylvania State Lottery, so I added a similar lotto stat under the asteroid this time.

Larger Objects

2004 VD171 in 1,790 chance of impacting Earth (99.94400000% chance the asteroid will miss the Earth)

Torino Scale: 2

Est. Diameter: 580 m

Odds of winning $12: 1 in 1,500

Based on results computed May 1, 2006.

99942 Apophis (2004 MN4)1 in 6,250 chance of impacting Earth (99.98400000% chance the asteroid will miss the Earth)

Torino Scale: 1

Est. Diameter: 320 m

Nothing really comparable-Odds of winning $70: 1 in 4,800

Based on results computed April 14, 2006.

Smaller Objects

The smaller objects, less than 50 m, don't qualify for a Torino Scale rating, instead they are measured only on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. These objects are ones that enter Earth's atmosphere with a far greater frequency than the larger, catastrophic asteroids do.

2006 JY61 in 185 chance of impacting Earth (99.46000000% chance the asteroid will miss the Earth)

Est. Diameter: 7 m

Odds of winning $6: 1 in 150; Odds of winning $11: 1 in 300

Based on results computed May 11, 2006.

2003 SG3441 in 556 chance of impacting Earth (99.82000000% chance the asteroid will miss the Earth)

Est. Diameter: 40 m

Odds of winning $12: 1 in 500; Odds of winning $21: 1 in 750

Based on results computed May 15, 2002.

Celestial Show

Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 has been breaking up and the 65 fragments are making "close approaches" to Earth. While this represents no hazard, contrary to the opinion of some folks, it does promise to be an absolutely spectacular celestial show visible though most backyard telescopes and perhaps some binoculars.

Here is a skymap for May 12 and May 13, courtesy of Spaceweather.com. Heaven's Above has some resources available as well. They always have a skychart for each day available too.

The best NASA resource for information on locating the comet fragments can be found here.

Check out this amazing set of photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope:

 (hmm)

-Check out other FTG posts on asteroids.

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Comments»

1. Owais Baig - September 22, 2006

Asteroids are very big in size compared to comets and also asteroids are very rare near our planet earth compared to comets which are normally floating around our planet. Asteroids also can be very dangerous and most of the time it is burning hot. Astronomers say that we could see an asteroid every 100 years reaching planet Earth or comming very close to it. Therefore Asteroids and comets can be very similiar but also they can be very different as described in this blog.
Thanks for reading my blog. and have a good day.


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