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Many telescopes around the world are dedicated to scanning the sky, looking for asteroids that might potentially hit Earth. Many candidates have been found, and some have received widespread coverage in the mainstream press. But when the trajectories have been computed, all of them have turned out to be false alarms — until now!
Last night (Sunday, October 5th), a telescope on Mount Lemmon, Arizona, detected a tiny moving blip, the signature of a small chunk of rock moving rapidly through space. Twenty-five observations have been done since then by professional and amateur astronomers around the world, and the object's orbit has been pinned down with fairly high precision. It is almost certain to hit Earth's atmosphere around 10:46 p.m. EDT tonight, October 6th. (That's 2:46 a.m. October 7th, Greenwich Mean Time.
Bolide For the missile of the name BOLIDE, see RBS 70. The word bolide comes from the Greek βολις, (bolis) which can mean a missile or to flash. The IAU has no official definition of bolide and generally considers the term synonymous with fireball. The term is more often used among geologists than astronomers where it means a very large impactor. For example, the USGS uses the term to mean a generic large crater forming projectile "to imply that we do not know the precise nature of the impacting body ... whether it is a rocky or metallic asteroid, or an icy comet, for example". Astronomers tend to use the term to mean an exceptionally bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes called a detonating fireball).
About 70 percent of the estimated 1,090 asteroids bigger than 1 kilometer across have been detected and their orbits identified. Now NASA is under congressional orders to find 90 percent of the much more numerous small asteroids—those at least 140 meters (459 feet) across—by 2020. "They run the gamut from wimpy ex-comets to slabs of solid iron," Yeomans said. "Our goal is to eliminate 90 percent of the risk from these smaller objects." "We can't prevent hurricanes or tornadoes," said Russell "Rusty" Schweikert, another former astronaut, "but we can prevent this asteroid impact." To accomplish the goal, the Air Force is financing a system of ground-based telescopes in Hawaii called Pan-Starrs that will start searching in 2010 for asteroids or comets that are on a collision course with Earth. The National Science Foundation is building a Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile that will scan the sky every three days for faint objects—including asteroids—starting in 2014. Although almost all possibly dangerous asteroids can be detected, the risk can't be reduced to zero. "There's always a tiny chance that something is hiding behind the sun," said Alan Harris, a member of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Originally posted by Ketzer22
So what time is this meteor/asteroid going to hit Eastern Standard Time? Thanks in advance..
Originally posted by ZeroGhost
Be awake, and ready to take steps to help yourself and your neighbors. We can survive such an event with everyone working FOR everyone.