Today was a rather interesting day for astronomers… with a bit of Russian deja vu and dinosaur demise added in for good measure. Here is my round up of multiple links for you all. Click on the numbers for the links.


The Near Miss "Asteroid 2012 DA14 is about 150 feet (45 meters) in diameter. It is expected to fly about 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometers) above Earth's surface at the time of closest approach, which is about 11:25 a.m. PST (2:25 p.m. EST) on Feb. 15. This distance is well away from Earth and the swarm of low Earth-orbiting satellites, including the International Space Station, but it is inside the belt of satellites in geostationary orbit (about 22,200 miles, or 35,800 kilometers, above Earth's surface.) The flyby of 2012 DA14 is the closest-ever predicted approach to Earth for an object this large."


"A meteorite shot across the sky in central Russia early on Friday and sent fireballs crashing to Earth, smashing windows, setting off car alarms and injuring 150 people.

Residents heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave as they went to work in Chelyabinsk, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow."


"Some of the numerous videos that quickly emerged of the incident highlighted a distinctly Russian phenomenon: the dashboard cam. As Business Insider recently pointed out, they are commonplace in Russia partly because of the dangerous driving conditions that lead to so many accidents, and with an unreliable police force such cameras can provide valuable evidence following a crash."


Tunguska 1908

"The year is 1908, and it's just after seven in the morning. A man is sitting on the front porch of a trading post at Vanavara in Siberia. Little does he know, in a few moments, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire.

That's how the Tunguska event felt 40 miles from ground zero."

More on Tunguska


Past extinction event

A) "UC Berkeley researchers have discovered new evidence linking an asteroid impact to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

UC Berkeley Professor Paul Renne and a team of researchers, using isotope analysis, have found that both an asteroid impact and the extinction of the dinosaurs took place nearly synchronously 66 million years ago."

B) Abstract for Renne's work

"Mass extinctions manifest in Earth's geologic record were turning points in biotic evolution. We present 40Ar/39Ar data that establish synchrony between the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and associated mass extinctions with the Chicxulub bolid





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