typodupeerror

## Astronomers Catch Asteroid In Near-Miss Video120

Posted by samzenpus
from the skin-of-your-teeth dept.
ananyo writes in with a story about an asteroid near miss and a neat video taken by researchers. "It may look like a blurry blob, but researchers using the InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii have posted a video of 2012 KT42 — a small asteroid that zipped past Earth at a distance of just three Earth radii on 29 May — the sixth closest encounter of any known asteroid. The bright asteroid appears fixed, while background stars zip past but in fact the asteroid is zipping along at 17 kilometres per second. 'You get the view of riding along with it,' says planetary scientist Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who led the observations. At its closest, the asteroid was at a distance between the orbit of the space station (about 1 Earth radii) and geosynchronous satellites (about 6 Earth radii)."
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## Astronomers Catch Asteroid In Near-Miss Video

• #### Space station altitude.... (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:31AM (#40395941)

Space station altitude is no where near 1 earth radius!!

• #### Re:Space station altitude.... (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:35AM (#40395959)

Ahem... if you're at ground level, your own altitude is 1 earth radius.

• #### Re:Space station altitude.... (Score:4, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:39AM (#40395977)

No, then my altitude is zero as is my distance to the earth.

Do not confuse altitude with the distance to the center of the earth.

• #### 1 Earth radii (Score:5, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:46AM (#40395997)
Radius is the single, radii is the plural. When it's only one, we use the singular.
1 kilometer, 1 liter, 1 metric fuckton. Or as people use across the pond, 1 miles, 1 gallon, 1 imperial fuckton.

You don't say 1 kilometers, 1 liters and you don't say 1 radii either.
• #### Re:Space station altitude.... (Score:3, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:00AM (#40396053)

360km pretty much is when compared to 36,000km.

360km (actually more like 400) is pretty little compared with earth's radius of over 6'000 kilometres

• #### Near miss? Near hit, rather.... (Score:3, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:14AM (#40396115)

Near miss? Near hit, rather....

• #### Re:Units and news (Score:4, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:19AM (#40396133)

They use "non-standard units" to give the reader a mental picture of the near miss. It has nothing to do with perceived stupidity.

• #### Re:Units and news (Score:5, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:21AM (#40396139)

Speaking of which, how much would 17km/s be in Sheppeis per Tatum grid? Good old "units" doesn't know either of those units.

Sheppey: A measure of distance equal to about 78 of a mile (1.4 km), defined as the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque.

Tatum Grid [mit.edu]: the lowest regular pulse train that a listener intuitively infers from the timing of perceived musical events.

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:23AM (#40396149)
I can't view anything in my Flash-free browser. After some searching I found what looks like a downloadable video of the asteroid flyby (56 MB) [vimeo.com]. From the caption:

The sixth closest asteroid encounter on record, the May 29 near-miss by the object catalogued as "2012 KT42", was tracked by the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii as it whizzed inside the orbital distance of Earth geosynchronous satellites (6.6 Earth radii or an altitude of 22,000 miles).

• #### Re:Units and news (Score:5, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @06:42AM (#40396469) Homepage

Many sites [spaceweather.com] that report on PHAs (Potentially Hazardous Asteroids) use LD, meaning Lunar Distance. That's pretty descriptive to the general public - "Wow that thing flew right between Earth and the Moon!". According to their archive, KT42 missed Earth by 0.05 LD and was #6 on the all-time closest flyby list [blogspot.com].

• #### At ground level your altitude is zero. (Score:5, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @06:53AM (#40396523)

And the space station is some *20 times* closer to Earth than an earth radius. I must say I stopped reading here too.

• #### Re:Space station altitude.... (Score:3, Informative)

on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:05AM (#40397723)