Category Archives: Galaxies

Near Miss By Asteroid On 19 April 2017

Reposting a Dr Roy Spencer’s  posting about  a large Asteriod that will pass close to the Earth on April 19  2017.

Half-mile Wide Asteroid Close Approach on Wednesday

April 18th, 2017

An asteroid capable of destroying Washington D.C. and New York City at the same time will be making its closest approach to Earth on April 19.

At a half-mile wide, it will have over 30,000 times as much mass as the 2013 meteor which exploded over Russia in 2013.

The current asteroid, called “2014 JO25“, is traveling at the unimaginably fast speed of 75,000 mph. It has been estimated that an asteroid of this size is capable of wiping out an area the size of New England, and causing global cooling from the dust that would be lofted into the stratosphere. “2014 JO25” will be the closest appoach asteroid of this size in the last 13 years.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that even at closest approach, the asteroid — about the size of the Rock of Gibraltar — will safely pass by about 4.6 times as far away from Earth as the moon.

The bad news is that this asteroid was only discovered in 2014, and even if it was on a collision course with Earth, there probably would not have been enough time to mount a mission to hit it with a nuclear-weapon tipped rocket. This is why NASA has been surveying the skies, discovering new asteroids on a routine basis. While most of these are small, the relatively recent discovery of Wednesday’s asteroid suggests we will not have much time to respond if we discover one on a collision course with Earth. I suspect we will eventually have a rocket designed and ready for an intercept, just in case.




Little Ice Age By 2030?

Professor Valentian Zharkova of Northumbria University presented her results Cold-Weather-Cartoonfor a new model of the Sun’s interior dynamo to the Royal Astronomical Society. Zharkova and her team believe they have made a discovery that allows them to predict solar activity. From the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting 2015 – report 4” posting:

“We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs; originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different [for both] and they are offset in time,” says Zharkova. The two magnetic waves either reinforce one another to produce high activity or cancel out to create lull periods.

The model predicts that the magnetic wave pairs will become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. Then during Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch, cancelling one another out. This will cause a significant reduction in solar activity. “In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other, peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a ‘Maunder minimum’,” says Zharkova”

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What Did The Hubble Telescope Find In 2003?

hubble telescopeimagesThe Hubble telescope photographed the most distant objects ever, some 13 billion light years away during a 4 month period in 2003.  This is old news and some of you know about this event.  But even so it is worth seeing it again.   Click here to see the show.