Tag Archives: 2012

Asteroid passing “darn close” to Earth

This past Thursday was a normal day for most; you probably didn’t even notice the mobile RV passing us in space. I mean, an asteroid that came close enough to hit us.

The asteroid 2012 TC4 flew by the Earth,  about 26,000 miles away from our only home. Very close when considering the Moon is about 239,000 miles away from Earth. Rolf Densing, head of the European Space Operations Centre in Germany, called the asteroid “a close miss.”

An artist's conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com
An artist’s conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com

The asteroid had no chance of hitting the Earth but Antarctica got the closest sighting of the asteroid at 1:42 am. ET this past Thursday, October 12th.

After the discovery of the asteroid in 2012, the asteroid was too distant and faint to be detected.  The rock is roughly 45 to 100 feet, traveling at 16,000 MPH.

NASA used the asteroid’s close travel to Earth to test their planetary defense system. The drill was to see if the system were to work if an actual asteroid were heading straight to the Earth. In previous tests, NASA would use pretend asteroids. Vishnu Reddy, a NASA consultant asked, “How prepared are we for the next cosmic threat?”

He would answer his question: “So we wanted to test how ready we are for a potential impact by a hazardous asteroid.”

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office led the drill and they are in charge of coordinating efforts to protect Earth from hazardous asteroids. They are also responsible for finding, tracking, and characterizing potentially hazardous objects coming near Earth.

In order to deflect an asteroid, the asteroid would need to be detected years in advance. The most promising techniques that NASA are investigating are the “kinetic impactor” which uses an object to hit the asteroid to get it off course and the “gravity tractor” which would gravitationally tug on an asteroid by placing a large mass over it.

The good news for you and me is that there is no known asteroid that poses a significant risk of impact in the next 100 years.

And the winner is: 2012 Nobel prize in physics

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It’s crazy how an atom so small makes up everything in existence including you. Photo from Creative Commons.

Alfred Nobel was a man who felt so guilty that his invention of dynamite was used as a weapon of war that he spent the rest of his life trying to atone for what he had done. In his will, he created the Nobel Prize to honor the greatest minds humanity has to offer, and winning one of these in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics or peace is considered one of the greatest achievements a person can make in their entire lifetime, and not just for the nice trip to Stockholm. Continue reading And the winner is: 2012 Nobel prize in physics

Pick me, pick me!

There have been three official presidential debates this election year, including one vice presidential debate.

Obama and Romney in their first live debate at the University of Denver on October 3.

A majority consensus of registered voters, liberal and conservative alike, believed that Governor Mitt Romney proved victorious on Wed, Oct. 3 debate. Romney has quite often been portrayed as a wealthy businessman who simply does not understand the struggles of an average man or woman. Moderator Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS, opened the debate with a question about the two candidates’ jobs agenda. Continue reading Pick me, pick me!

2012: will it be the end?

Whether or not the world is going to end in 2012 has been in question for a long time, but now it’s time to get serious about it. It wasn’t a big deal back in ancient times when everyone believed strange things anyway, and to those historians, it was never going to be an issue. Well, today, it is an issue for us. It’s 2009, the supposed doomsday is only three years away and many people have futures they’d like to be able to look forward to. So what’s going to happen in 2012, specifically on the Mayan calender, on the day of December 21?

There are many different ways people think the apocalypse could occur. The Earth could be struck by a huge meteor which would destroy most of our ecosystem. Like in “Knowing”, the sun could shoot off a solar flare that could incinerate all life on the planet. Global warming could interfere with the North Atlantic Current like in “The Day After Tomorrow”, creating a second Ice Age, the supervolcano at Yellowstone Park could errupt. Or maybe, as described in the Bible, Jesus will come, sweep away all Christians, and then demolish the Earth. The end of the world, regardless of how you picture it, is in fact, a very terrifying thing to think about.

The Mayan calender, believe it or not, never actually says anything about the world ending. In fact, many Mayans have been asked about it today, and they assure us that their calender has nothing to do with the world ending. The Mayan calender is extremely accurate, and follows the patterns of the stars. One of which, is a star alignment that occurs once every 25,800 years, which is the alignment of our sun with the center of the galaxy. This phenomena is more commonly known as the Galactic Alignment. One of the things that leads us to believe it could be related to the apolcalypse, however, is the fact that there was a mass extinction that occured during the last galactic alignment, 25,800 years ago (technically speaking, it’d be more like, 25, 797 years ago).

Our veiw of the sun changes slightly every 72 years. As this occurs, the sun passes around in a circle, going through various constelations. It’s like a type of clock, and at the top where 12 would be is where the sun will be when it aligns with the center of the galaxy, on December 21, 2012. The constelation right before this, where 11 would be on a clock, is an archer pointing an arrow to the right. This creates the illusion of an arrow firing into the sun, which is another thing that leaves astronomers and historians questioning things.

The Mayans aren’t the only ones who’s calender ends in the 2012. Other civilizations have had similar predictions, but all predictions about the apocalypse so far have been wrong. The Chinese, the Romans and others have all said similar things about time ending in that year. However, so many apocalypse predictions have been made in the past, and all of them have so far been wrong. Many Mayans today are also convinced that their calender doesn’t predict the end of time, and that it’s simply beginning a new cycle. Many people today are concerned about it most likely because of the new movie that’s coming out “2012”, which depicts the apocalypse as Earth being hit by meteors, Earthquakes and tsunamis. Don’t count on the apocalypse happening, however. Plan your future, and if it happens, it happens. But you don’t want to have no life if it doesn’t.