(Image source: NASA)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


It’s getting a little crowded up in space. By the end of this week, our planet will have had two overlapping meteor showers and two close brushes with asteroids. First the asteroids — one we saw coming, one we didn’t.

“The asteroid Toutatis — a big one three miles wide. It visits us every four years. It’s passing within about four million miles of earth. That’s close enough to watch it go by.” (Video via NBC News)

Toutatis is too far away to pose any threat, but another asteroid discovered just this week came a little too close for comfort. The Washington Post writes: (Video via NASA)

“...how about an asteroid passing within just 140,000 miles … of our planet? … XE54 came about as close to crashing into Earth as an asteroid can without actually doing so.”

Astronomers say the new asteroid is small enough most of it would have burned up if it had hit the Earth. But Space.com notes the fact that it was so close before anyone spotted it is a troubling sign.

“Observations ... suggest that about 4,700 asteroids at least 330 feet wide come uncomfortably close to our planet... So far, researchers have spotted less than 30 percent of these large space rocks, which could obliterate an area the size of a state...”

But not everything in the sky this week is a threat to life on earth. This week also marks the peak of what’s widely considered the best meteor shower of the year.

National Geographic explains the Geminid meteor shower has slowly become the most reliable show of the year, adding: “Since Geminids hit the atmosphere … slower than other meteor showers—they create beautiful long arcs across the sky...”

And as a bonus, EarthSky reports a new second meteor shower might line up with the Geminids, boosting the number of shooting stars per hour by about 30%.

The large Toutatis asteroid will be visible with a telescope or over NASA’s live feed Wednesday night. The meteor shower is expected to peak Thursday and Friday nights.

Two Asteroids, Meteor Showers Pass Close to Earth

by Steven Sparkman
3
Transcript
Dec 11, 2012

Two Asteroids, Meteor Showers Pass Close to Earth

 

(Image source: NASA)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


It’s getting a little crowded up in space. By the end of this week, our planet will have had two overlapping meteor showers and two close brushes with asteroids. First the asteroids — one we saw coming, one we didn’t.

“The asteroid Toutatis — a big one three miles wide. It visits us every four years. It’s passing within about four million miles of earth. That’s close enough to watch it go by.” (Video via NBC News)

Toutatis is too far away to pose any threat, but another asteroid discovered just this week came a little too close for comfort. The Washington Post writes: (Video via NASA)

“...how about an asteroid passing within just 140,000 miles … of our planet? … XE54 came about as close to crashing into Earth as an asteroid can without actually doing so.”

Astronomers say the new asteroid is small enough most of it would have burned up if it had hit the Earth. But Space.com notes the fact that it was so close before anyone spotted it is a troubling sign.

“Observations ... suggest that about 4,700 asteroids at least 330 feet wide come uncomfortably close to our planet... So far, researchers have spotted less than 30 percent of these large space rocks, which could obliterate an area the size of a state...”

But not everything in the sky this week is a threat to life on earth. This week also marks the peak of what’s widely considered the best meteor shower of the year.

National Geographic explains the Geminid meteor shower has slowly become the most reliable show of the year, adding: “Since Geminids hit the atmosphere … slower than other meteor showers—they create beautiful long arcs across the sky...”

And as a bonus, EarthSky reports a new second meteor shower might line up with the Geminids, boosting the number of shooting stars per hour by about 30%.

The large Toutatis asteroid will be visible with a telescope or over NASA’s live feed Wednesday night. The meteor shower is expected to peak Thursday and Friday nights.

View More
Comments
Newsy
www3