Asteroids and Meteors and comets, oh my..!

Grieves

Senior Member
So a few hours before a rather massive asteroid went whizzing by the earth at satellite-height, a large meteor descended into and brilliantly exploded in Russian skies, shattering windows, injuring twelve-hundred people, and showering Russia in little bits of space rock. About a day or so after that, another meteor, smaller, lights up the night-sky of San Francisco.

NASA insists these events are each 100% unrelated to each other, their proximity just a big old cosmic coincidence.

Anyone else having a bit of difficulty buying that?

Someone get Bruce Willis on the phone.
 

solrey

Senior Member.
Well, bolides like the one in San Francisco, there was one in FL too, occur somewhere on the planet every day but they don't always get recorded because the Earth is 2/3 ocean and there are still vast uninhabited regions, so way less than 1/3 of them are even seen by people. There's a network of satellites that detects them though.

Multiple independent trajectory calculations determined the Russian meteor and near-miss DA14 came in from roughly opposite directions.

Space is not an empty vacuum by any means.
 

Chew

Senior Member.
To be related they must share the same orbit. Compare the orbital parameters of the two objects. They are not even close. Pay particular attention to the longitude of the ascending node. This is where an object passes from below the ecliptic to above the ecliptic; they are almost 180° apart.

Orbital parameter2012 DA14Russian Meteor
Semi-major axis.911.66
Eccentricity.089.52
Perihelion.83.80
Aphelion.992.53
Longitude of the ascending node147326
Argument of perihelion196116
Inclination11.64.0
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Am I wrong to find a sudden influx of unrelated celestial bodies impacting the atmosphere/near-missing us more disconcerting than if they had been all connected to the asteroid? I realize we're under relatively constant threat/bombardment where these things are concerned, but it seems a somewhat unusual abundance of these phenoms in such short order.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Am I wrong to find a sudden influx of unrelated celestial bodies impacting the atmosphere/near-missing us more disconcerting than if they had been all connected to the asteroid? I realize we're under relatively constant threat/bombardment where these things are concerned, but it seems a somewhat unusual abundance of these phenoms in such short order.

Other than the main two, the others are very common occurrences that are simply getting attention because of the Russian event. Small nighttime fireballs happen all the time somewhere in the globe, and tiny shooting stars (micrometeorites) happen practically on an hourly basis visible from any given point in the globe.

Plus there then the usual objects that get misidentified, Weather Balloons (which are a cliche, but there's lots of them), fireworks, Chinese lanterns, and my favorite, contrails, like this one:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...laming-object-streaking-West-Country-sky.html
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
My guess is that we are seeing an aspect of folks paying more attention to the sky.

If I ask you how many red trucks did you see on your drive to work, you might remember one or two. However, if I ask you that again after you have driven home (and you didn't know you would be asked), you will have noted a lot more red trucks.
 

Grieves

Senior Member


Neat stuff. Probably fake, as I've yet to see another angle on this 'intercepting object' from all the other footage of the Russian meteor, but worth checking out I wager, if only to debunk it.
 

Jason

Senior Member
This isnt EXACTLy related, but I couldnt find a good place to put it and didnt think it deserved its own thread.. this is for all you astro nerds out there (including me).. apparently NASA found a satellite they werent using was still transmitting after 20+ years and turned it over to a group of Civ Scientists.. name of the probe is ISEE-3:

http://gizmodo.com/google-lets-you-watch-live-data-from-nasas-long-lost-sa-1618685288
Awesome, really cool. The satellite has a really weird orbit, and I wish it allowed you to go back through the history of its orbital track...
 
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