Monthly Archives: January 2015

Marshall Scientist to Observe Asteroid 2004 BL86

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On Monday evening, January 26 from 10 p.m. to midnight CST Marshall scientists will observe the large Asteroid 2004 BL86 as it passes by Earth. The public is welcome to follow their observations via the Marshall Ustream feed

The asteroid will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon, or approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth. Scientists have been tracking the path of the asteroid for 11 years and know its orbit well. Asteroid 2004 BL86 will not approach Earth this close again for at least 200 years.

This is a rare opportunity for observation. Hope you will join us as we observe the flyby.

Go here for more information about Asteroid 2004 BL86.

 

 

Marshall Scientist to Observe Asteroid 2004 BL86

Posted on by .

On Monday evening, January 26 from 10 p.m. to midnight CST Marshall scientists will observe the large Asteroid 2004 BL86 as it passes by Earth. The public is welcome to follow their observations via the Marshall Ustream feed

The asteroid will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon, or approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth. Scientists have been tracking the path of the asteroid for 11 years and know its orbit well. Asteroid 2004 BL86 will not approach Earth this close again for at least 200 years.

This is a rare opportunity for observation. Hope you will join us as we observe the flyby.

Go here for more information about Asteroid 2004 BL86.

comet

Comet Lovejoy – January 2015

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Image of Comet Lovejoy taken Saturday, January 10, by Dr. Bill Cooke. Image is a 3 minute exposure using the iTelescope T3 refractor. At the time of this image, the comet was some 45 million miles from Earth.

Discovered in August of 2014, Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Taurus, bright enough to offer good binocular views. Glowing softly with a greenish hue, Comet Lovejoy passed closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on January 30. Classed as a long period comet, it should return again … in about 8,000 years.

LoveJoyView more images of Comets at our Flickr Gallery

Fireballs West of Nashville, Tennessee also seen in Alabama

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Two fireballs were seen in the night sky on January 5th, both in the Nashville area. Here are details on the first one:

There was a fireball just to the west of Nashville at 5:46:55 CST tonight. Creating a streak of light brighter than the planet Venus, the object weighed about one pound and moved relatively slow for a meteor – only 32,400 miles per hour.

The trajectory is attached along with still images from two NASA cameras. The meteor traveled from west to east just north of the town of Dickson, TN.

Nashvillefireball_2

Nashvillefireball_1

The second fireball occurred just to the west of Nashville about 7:31 PM CST.  This one was brighter and faster – 75,000 mph – and moved east to west; totally unrelated to the other one. It burned up 30 miles above the town of New Johnsonville, TN.

Fireball_2

Fireball_2a