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INCOMING!, Detection and observation of Earth-approaching asteroids.
Holder of the Tw...
post Oct 6 2008, 10:39 PM
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Man, I've never seen anything quite like this. Twenty observatories have turned in collectively nearly 200 observations of this object, and the Minor Planet Center is issuing updates about every fifteen minutes. This little rock is definitely getting it's share of attention.

A fair number of professional observatories seem to be poised to follow this thing almost into the ground.
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Shaka
post Oct 6 2008, 10:53 PM
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LINKS, man! Give us links, HTL!


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Holder of the Tw...
post Oct 6 2008, 10:59 PM
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Link

Anything with 2008 TC3. Most recent on top.

BTW: "HTL"? Whazzat?
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Juramike
post Oct 6 2008, 11:31 PM
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I guess they won't be seeing it from here (bad luck!): Haboob sandstorm in Sudan


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dmuller
post Oct 6 2008, 11:38 PM
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If this thing is coming in shallow from NE to SW then it should be visible in Alexandria, Cairo, Egyptian tourist destinations, maybe as far down as Khartoum ... so there is some chance to get it on film. If I get my timzones right, it will be night then. Anybody's got a groundtrack?


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volcanopele
post Oct 6 2008, 11:46 PM
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hmm, I think my Celestia copy needs fixing. Using the most up-to-date orbital parameters, I get a miss distance of 5,850 km over North Africa.


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Fran Ontanaya
post Oct 6 2008, 11:55 PM
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The NEO Program lists it as a close approach at 0.02 LD. That's under 8000 km.

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/

It was briefly in the Recently Observed list of Impact Risk, with dates beyond 2080, but it isn't anymore.


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Holder of the Tw...
post Oct 6 2008, 11:59 PM
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Used a reliable horizon calculator to come up with some figures. Provided you have a clear horizon.

When it is at 20 miles altitude (32 km), under perfect seeing, it should be visible for over 400 miles (640 km) in every direction. It will probably survive down to this far.

It should also be glowing brightly at 50 miles altitude (80 km), and at that point be seen for at least 650 miles (1000 km).
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dmuller
post Oct 7 2008, 12:47 AM
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Emily pointed to a beautiful simulation of the event at http://orbit.psi.edu/?q=node/22


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elakdawalla
post Oct 7 2008, 12:56 AM
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By the way, discussion on Minor Planets Mailing List (which is where I got the link to that simulation) indicates that the press release wasn't correct when it described the flight direction -- it's not coming in from northeast, it's coming in more from the west, basically over the Sahara.

--Emily


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volcanopele
post Oct 7 2008, 01:00 AM
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I agree, that's the direction I got from my simulation in Celestia.


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Holder of the Tw...
post Oct 7 2008, 01:00 AM
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QUOTE (Shaka @ Oct 6 2008, 06:48 PM) *
Er.. thanks, HTL. (If I wrote Holder of the Two Leashes every time, my posts would get trashed for wasting bandwidth.)
When you referred to loads of observatories, I sort of anticipated a CometCam live picture.
Ephemera are nice, but not very sexy. blink.gif


My bad. I'm one of the very few people who could even get a little excited over watching raw positional information pouring in.

Here is one real picture: Sky and Telescope

I'm pretty sure just about every other pic of 2008 TC3 looks like that at this point.

In a couple of hours, we may be getting some much more spectacular shots.

A lot of people will shorten my title to "Holder", and I'll answer to that. The dogs don't mind, either. Actually, they don't have a clue.
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nprev
post Oct 7 2008, 01:19 AM
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"Major Bolide Forecast Tonight; No Damage Expected" (S&T from Holder's link.)


What a headline!!! What a time to be alive!!! Nigel is absolutely right; this is marvelous, this is an expansion of our general situational awareness. We've always grown thereby through such things.


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Hungry4info
post Oct 7 2008, 01:39 AM
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If I did the math right, just a few more minutes until impact.

Two ways to look at it.

-> Small asteroid hits planet. No damage done.
-> Comparatively HUGE freaking Planet hits an asteroid, obliterating it. Owned.

Either way, the asteroid will be one with the planet. I look forward to pictures (I hope we get some).


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claurel
post Oct 7 2008, 01:44 AM
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Here's a Celestia simulation of 2008 TC3's entry into Earth's atmopshere:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FW3oaZgCz0

The green circle indicates the region where the asteroid is visible over the horizon. The trajectory of 2008 TC3 was taken from HORIZONS (about an hour ago.)

--Chris
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