Mountain-Sized Asteroid Zipped by Earth This Morning

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Mountain-Sized Asteroid Zipped by Earth This Morning


The asteroid 2004 BL86 was a mere 745,000 miles from Earth this morning.

It's not everyday that a mountain-sized asteroid zips past the Earth. This morning however, that exact thing did happen. According to reports, an asteroid know as 2004 BL86 flew by the Earth today, coming as close as 745,000 miles to our tiny, insignificant dot of a planet. Our moon, for reference, is 238,900 mile away. The asteroid itself was about two-tenths of a mile wide and, observers indicated, had a rounded shape, boulders on its surface and even a small, orbiting moon. It passed closest to Earth at 11AM EST.

While BL86 has since moved on harmlessly, interested observers can still catch a glimpse of it today if they look for it in the right place, at the right time and with the proper equipment. Star-searchers in North/South America, Europe and Africa should be able to see it with strong binoculars or a 3-4 inch telescope tonight between the hours of 8PM and 1AM EST. Slooh astronomer Bob Berman advised observers hoping to spot the asteroid to "find the brightest 'star' in the sky," also know as the planet Jupiter. From there they should locate the star Procyon. The asteroid should be visible between those two celestial bodies for the majority of the evening.

This, of course, isn't the first time an asteroid has come close to the Earth. As scary as it is to think of, space rocks actually shoot by our world on a semi-regular basis. In 2014, for instance, a <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/137274-2014-RC-Asteroid-Pass-By-Earth-September-7-NASA>house-sized asteroid came as close as 22,000 miles to Earth. The year before that another one came even closer: <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121879-Asteroid-Making-Record-Near-Earth-Flyby>17,200 miles. It's also estimated that asteroids actually hit the Earth with force equivalent to nuclear bomb as often <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133953-Asteroids-Strike-Earth-With-Nuclear-Force-Twice-a-Year>as twice a year. Considering the size of today's asteroid, we should consider ourselves lucky it just passed on through.

Source: <a href=http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/how-spot-asteroid-2004-bl86-sky-online-n293766>NBC News



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VincentX3

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Jun 30, 2009
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Well... Holy shit was my first thought.

Not much more to say other than.. Yea too close for comfort.
 

BX3

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"Hey there, everyone! This is space here, with a friendly reminder that I could kill you at literally any time! Hah, haaaaa! Always remember to live life to the fullest!"
"Fuck you, space!"
"No! Fuck yoooouuu~! =D"
 

ddrkreature

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Jun 24, 2013
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Reminds me of a Futurama quote:
"Just a few...more...hundred...thousand...miles."
*places sun in ring*
"Nothin' but nebula."
 

dalek sec

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Jul 20, 2008
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VincentX3 said:
Well... Holy shit was my first thought.

Not much more to say other than.. Yea too close for comfort.
Pretty much this, damn that is scary.

I've always wondered, do we have any kind of "plan" for something like this, like trying to push a killer asteroid out of our path via nukes or is it just pray to your god of choice and wish for the best?
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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Well, fuck me.

Such a comforting thought that at any moment space can throw a 'fuck you' rock and kill us all.

Space can be such a dick sometimes. :/
 

RicoADF

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Jun 2, 2009
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dalek sec said:
Pretty much this, damn that is scary.

I've always wondered, do we have any kind of "plan" for something like this, like trying to push a killer asteroid out of our path via nukes or is it just pray to your god of choice and wish for the best?
At this stage we have little that we can do especially at short notice, with enough time we have a few options (I'm talking months or years of warning) but less than that all we can do is nuke it, which on most types of asteroids will either do nothing or make the situation far worse.

So err, pray to your god of choice and kiss your ass goodbye....

.... Pleasant dreams :p

Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Well, fuck me.

Such a comforting thought that at any moment space can throw a 'fuck you' rock and kill us all.

Space can be such a dick sometimes. :/
I think space has been extremely friendly to us humans, statistical speaking we should have been wiped out by now, a dinosaur extinction level event is overdue yet we only have a few recorded cases of a larger rock hitting us and none were catastrophic, although the one in Siberia in the early 1900's wiped out massive areas of the forest.
 

Tiamat666

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StewShearer said:
Slooh astronomer Bob Berman advised observers hoping to spot the asteroid to "find the brightest 'star' in the sky," also know as the planet Jupiter.
I am pretty sure that the brightest 'star' in the sky is the planet Venus.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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RicoADF said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Well, fuck me.

Such a comforting thought that at any moment space can throw a 'fuck you' rock and kill us all.

Space can be such a dick sometimes. :/
I think space has been extremely friendly to us humans, statistical speaking we should have been wiped out by now, a dinosaur extinction level event is overdue yet we only have a few recorded cases of a larger rock hitting us and none were catastrophic, although the one in Siberia in the early 1900's wiped out massive areas of the forest.
Quiet, you space apologist! :p

But yeah, I know we've been pretty damn lucky thus far, but we've had a few close encounters too. I think there's a huge ass one coming our way that may or may not hit us and kill us all.

What a comforting thought. :D
 

praetor_alpha

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It surprising that everyone gets freaked out every time this happens. There's a much bigger rock much closer to Earth than this "mountain sized" asteroid, but no one gets scared about it. Only if it comes closer than the moon should we be worried. Even then, space is almost completely empty; you're more likely to shoot and hit a fencepost from a mile away.

Tiamat666 said:
StewShearer said:
Slooh astronomer Bob Berman advised observers hoping to spot the asteroid to "find the brightest 'star' in the sky," also know as the planet Jupiter.
I am pretty sure that the brightest 'star' in the sky is the planet Venus.
If we're being pedantic, the brightest star in the sky is the Sun.
 

CaitSeith

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Coincidentally this morning I stared out my window and thought: how would all this look like if the world ended today?
 

Scars Unseen

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praetor_alpha said:
It surprising that everyone gets freaked out every time this happens. There's a much bigger rock much closer to Earth than this "mountain sized" asteroid, but no one gets scared about it. Only if it comes closer than the moon should we be worried. Even then, space is almost completely empty; you're more likely to shoot and hit a fencepost from a mile away.

Tiamat666 said:
StewShearer said:
Slooh astronomer Bob Berman advised observers hoping to spot the asteroid to "find the brightest 'star' in the sky," also know as the planet Jupiter.
I am pretty sure that the brightest 'star' in the sky is the planet Venus.
If we're being pedantic, the brightest star in the sky is the Sun.
If you want to be really pedantic, there are many stars in the sky brighter than the Sun. They're just further away.
 

delroland

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praetor_alpha said:
It surprising that everyone gets freaked out every time this happens. There's a much bigger rock much closer to Earth than this "mountain sized" asteroid, but no one gets scared about it. Only if it comes closer than the moon should we be worried. Even then, space is almost completely empty; you're more likely to shoot and hit a fencepost from a mile away.

Tiamat666 said:
StewShearer said:
Slooh astronomer Bob Berman advised observers hoping to spot the asteroid to "find the brightest 'star' in the sky," also know as the planet Jupiter.
I am pretty sure that the brightest 'star' in the sky is the planet Venus.
If we're being pedantic, the brightest star in the sky is the Sun.
I didn't see that as pedantic as all. As a mariner I can tell you that Venus is the brightest body in the sky visible at night besides the moon, and it looks like a star. So chill out?
 

RicoADF

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Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Quiet, you space apologist! :p

But yeah, I know we've been pretty damn lucky thus far, but we've had a few close encounters too. I think there's a huge ass one coming our way that may or may not hit us and kill us all.

What a comforting thought. :D
Well if you really want something to keep you up at night here's a nice doco on what would happen if a Neutron Star decided to cruise past:
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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RicoADF said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Quiet, you space apologist! :p

But yeah, I know we've been pretty damn lucky thus far, but we've had a few close encounters too. I think there's a huge ass one coming our way that may or may not hit us and kill us all.

What a comforting thought. :D
Well if you really want something to keep you up at night here's a nice doco on what would happen if a Neutron Star decided to cruise past:
I'd watch that, but I've already had my existential crisis of the month, and I don't need another one.

Maybe I'll watch that when I'm feeling a little too optimistic about things. :D
 

Strazdas

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heard it on morning news. amazingly i didnt see a single person panicking about this.

yep, those kind of asteroids fly-by quite often. and many more actually fall to earth and burn in our atomosphere. its not a massive event.

RicoADF said:
Well if you really want something to keep you up at night here's a nice doco on what would happen if a Neutron Star decided to cruise past:
Thumbnail claims its in 3D, can i still watch it without 3D supporting monitor?

If so thanks!
 

RicoADF

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Strazdas said:
Thumbnail claims its in 3D, can i still watch it without 3D supporting monitor?

If so thanks!
I don't have 3D and was able to watch it fine so you should be good.

Your welcome :)
 

BoogieManFL

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Shouldn't that be too small to have formed into a sphere? Unless there are ways to do so without a lot of gravity.
 

Frezzato

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RicoADF said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Quiet, you space apologist! :p

But yeah, I know we've been pretty damn lucky thus far, but we've had a few close encounters too. I think there's a huge ass one coming our way that may or may not hit us and kill us all.

What a comforting thought. :D
Well if you really want something to keep you up at night here's a nice doco on what would happen if a Neutron Star decided to cruise past:
I saw that a while ago. Shit was awesome.

Well, except for the whole earth getting shredded like a ball of dirt at the end. Other than that it was awesome.