Although thousands of asteroids have been discovered and their orbits determined there are thought to be many undetected ones. This asteroid will cross Earth’s orbit of the Sun every three years and is called Asteroid 2014 UR116. It was recently discovered by a Russian professor at Moscow State University, Vladimir Lipunov. It is the size of a mountain (400m across) – much larger than the 164 feet (50m) across mentioned in my post about Asteroid Day.
Having read about Asteroid 2014 UR116 in The Telegraph I can’t determine how much of a threat it is. On the one hand NASA says this Near Earth Object (NEO) doesn’t pass near enough to earth to be a threat, but on the other NASA says it will be an impact threat for the next 150 years.
Updated 19th Feb 2021 (Originally Published 5th Dec 2014)
It’s Been Proposed To Get Asteroid Day Established Annually On The 30th June
There is a movement by astronomers, scientists, astronauts, artists, business leaders, and others, concerned for the long term safety of our species, other species, and our planet, to get Asteroid Day established on the 30th June each year commencing in 2015.
The 10,000th Near Earth Object (NEO) was discovered in 2013 and by 30th November 2014 11,937 NEOs had been discovered. More are being detected all the time and by 17th February 2021 the number had risen to 25,157. Still there are hundreds of thousands more undiscovered. When they are discovered their orbits can be determined. From their orbits astronomers can determine if and when they may collide with Earth.
I have been brought up to understand that I live in an expanding universe, but now that theory has been popped. According to an article in Sci-News.com the universe is not expanding. Measurements have been made of the brightness of stars throughout the universe and they are not consistent with that which theory would predict if the universe were expanding in the way presumed for many years. If there is no significant expansion then the red shift seen in the light from distant objects must have another cause.
A meteor narrowly missed a skydiver, Anders Helstrup in 2012, when it passed him, on its way to earth, after he opened his parachute whilst skydiving above Hedmark, Norway. It was all captured on his helmet cam.
The “dark flight” meteor (called that because it was not glowing hot) is thought to have broken off a larger meteor higher in the atmosphere. It was considered to be the first time such a meteor has been captured on video.
Astronomers have found another dwarf planet in the Solar System. This is a dwarf planet and it doesn’t have a real name yet. It just has a number ‘2012 VP113’ as do so many dwarf planets in the region of space occupied by Pluto. It doesn’t seem long ago that there was just Pluto beyond Neptune but new dwarf planets are being discovered regularly. There is a long list of them (46) here by Mike Brown (not updated since 2008), but here is Mike Brown’s up to date list of Probable Plutoids (as of 27/03/2014) and other people’s submissions at Wikipedia.
This poster/wall chart was produced by SPACE.COM as a quick guide to Kuiper and Oort Objects.
Knowledge of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud is sparse but it is known that some objects have very eccentric orbits. I think we can expect many more objects to be discovered in this area in coming years.
This Poster Describes Cosmic Inflation and Expansion of The Universe
I’m sure we’re a long way from hearing the last on Cosmic Inflation and Expansion of The Universe, but here is a SPACE.COM chart briefly explaining inflation of the universe from a pinpoint to its present day size.
In the feature image you can see Venus transiting the sun on 8th June 2004 – the first transit since 1882.
Venus Transiting the Sun on 5th-6th June 2012 won’t happen again until 2117. Remember not to look directly at the sun and focus the sun onto a white card with a telescope/lens. Unfortunately for us in the UK this transit will be nearly over when we can see it which will be at dawn. People in America, Asia, the Middle East and the Arctic Circle will be able to see it during their evening or day time. Now on 6th June we are getting close to midsummer’s day so the sun will rise in the north east at 04:45 BST in London and at dawn there are usually a lot of buildings in the way of the sun. So you will need to be in flat country, on a hill, in a sky scraper or in a plane to see the sun at dawn. Also you won’t want any clouds in the way.
Since the event, Venus Transiting the Sun on 5th-6th June 2012, Many articles have been written and many photos were taken through telescopes all over the world as you can see from this Google search request.