Beta

Up-Front Seats For Tonight's Near-Earth Asteroid

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the best-seats-in-the-house dept.

Space 99

spineas writes "In case you're not in a prime viewing position for tonight's fly-by of Asteroid 2000 EM26, never fear, for the event will be webcast live for all around the world to see. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Slooh Space Camera will be broadcasting the 3-football-field-long asteroid as it zips by us at nearly 27,000 miles per hour. Astronomer Bob Berman will be answering questions during the broadcast, submitted via Twitter with the hashtag #Asteroid."

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Happy Monday from The Golden Girls! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270239)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

metric, motherfuckers (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46270247)

3 football fields? For those of us in the rest of the world who've abandoned the beta measurement system, what's that in elephants?

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270289)

It's about 20 yards thinner for American Football Field vs European football field. but the same length.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46270301)

It *is* metric. The diameter of the object in question is 270m, or exactly 3x the minimum length of an association football pitch [fifa.com] (a.k.a., a "soccer field").

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 9 months ago | (#46270367)

Cute answer, I like it.

Pedantry: One "football field" was not a metric unit last time I checked, regardless of whether football fields are measured in meters.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270541)

I thought we were converting all units into Library of Congress's to avoid confusion.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (1)

Badblackdog (1211452) | about 9 months ago | (#46273439)

I use "Rhode Islands".

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 9 months ago | (#46271029)

"not a metric unit"

How can you possibly reach that conclusion? It seems to be used to measure things all the time.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 9 months ago | (#46271203)

I understand the statement to be that you will not find the term "football field" on any conversion chart. It can be measured in metric units, but isn't its self a metric unit.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46272537)

Time to make that conversion chart.

surely you mean 'Metre' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274901)

surely you mean 'Metre'. My electricity is measured by a 'meter'.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#46271749)

They're using Metric? Then they really don't know how long it is.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46272909)

If they meant the length of a soccer pitch, they would have said "3-soccer-pitch-long".

Clearly, they meant a US football field [100 yards], and not the super-human Canada football field [110 yards].

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275511)

There is no such thing as a "soccer pitch".
The people who use the word "pitch" this way don't use the word "soccer".

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

wolja (449971) | about 9 months ago | (#46279925)

There is no such thing as a "soccer pitch".
The people who use the word "pitch" this way don't use the word "soccer".

3 times the length of a round ball field mayhap.

Not sure if the BAFTA level acting associated with roundball adds to the length of the pitch.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270305)

You are assuming that they are referring American football. How long is a soccer field? There you go.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46270377)

How long is a soccer field?

Variable. Oxford United used to have the penalty Ds almost touching the centre circle. Used to confuse the fuck out of visiting teams who liked to kick & chase.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 9 months ago | (#46270447)

Yes, but 105 x 68 meters is an informal standard nowadays for newly constructed arenas.

Re: metric, motherfuckers (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 9 months ago | (#46275227)

English, Motherfucker! lol

Re: metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270437)

You are assuming that they are referring American football. How long is a soccer field? There you go.

You may have to forgive the poster for thinking it was an American football field due to it being used with 27,000 miles per hour in the same sentence.

ahh britain (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270499)

Welcome to the strange land of Britain, were we use metric for distances less than a kilometer and mile for those above, therefore we measure speed in miles.

We weigh our food in grams and kilograms but weigh ourselves in stones and ounces.

When it's hot a lot of us (older generations) will use fahrenheit, but when it's cold out comes the celsius.

But we will happily have a go at Americans when they decide to use imperial units.

Re:ahh britain (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270543)

What's more, US pints are totally gay. Then again, given the quality of their beer, a maybe that's a good thing.

Re:ahh britain (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#46271015)

I'm not a beer drinker at all, but from I hear, US craft beers are some of the best in the world. The mass-market stuff of course is widely reviled as shit.

U.S. Microbrews vastly better (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46271617)

U.S. Microbrews vastly outweigh beers from other parts of the world, just by sheer variety - in the evolution of beers, the American beers now breed at the frequency of a mayfly so we now have beers that fill any possible evolutionary Beer Niche you can imagine.

Re:U.S. Microbrews vastly better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46273513)

"American beers now breed at the frequency of a mayfly "

What a bizarre comparison. The mayfly is the adult form of a naiad, it only lives a day or so. The naiad lives for months and years, so really, the frequency of breeding is quite slow, and the lifespan of the mayfly is quite short, are you sure that's what you wanted to convey? Not even going to mention the image of beers "breeding"...

Re: ahh britain (2)

Optali (809880) | about 9 months ago | (#46277989)

In the US the army measures distance in KM , heigt in feet and speed in miles.

And I myself use to measure distance in miles (in Holland, mind you) for my trainings.
For us runners it's easy, as w meassure in "olympic tracks", that's 400m or a quarter of a mile, 800m is the half mile and 4 loops the mile. Pretty neat. But please don't ask me to translate that into yards, inches, elbows, cowtails or whatever exotic subdivision you use over there. I myself count divide the mile into "decimiles" = 160m.

Re:ahh britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46278183)

But we will happily have a go at Americans when they decide to use imperial units.

Americans will stop using imperial units when the Brits learn to drive on the right side of the road.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270337)

3 football fields? For those of us in the rest of the world who've abandoned the beta measurement system, what's that in elephants?

270 Meters. About 67.5 Elephants.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46270391)

African or European?

Re:metric, motherfuckers (4, Funny)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 9 months ago | (#46270535)

In other news, 68% of Americans don't know that there are no native elephants in Europe.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270607)

In related news, three out of five statistics are made up.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270751)

WHOOSH...

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271635)

You can't whoosh a guy who is already whooshing, lamer.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46278551)

This is America! I'll whoosh whenever I like. First amendment dammit!

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46280065)

You can, but in this case it probably should have been "I don't know! Aaaaaaaaaaaaarg!"

Re: metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46272575)

Bs I swear I heard a story about an elephant being born at a zoo in England. Of course, that could have been part of " fierce creatures". It is hard to tell these days

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

kybur (1002682) | about 9 months ago | (#46276729)

In other news, 68% of Americans don't know that there are no native elephants in Europe.

In other news, 78% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271225)

African or European?

It could grip it by the husk!

nobody will get this, but what the hell (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46280023)

That would roc!

Re:metric, motherfuckers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270369)

Shut the fuck up you cry baby.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1, Funny)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 9 months ago | (#46270603)

In other news, an American troll told an American poster to shut the fuck up today, adding "cry baby" as final insult.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

gmagill (105538) | about 9 months ago | (#46270923)

"Hey, Paulie! How's it hangin'?"

Re:metric, motherfuckers (1)

Nivag064 (904744) | about 9 months ago | (#46271103)

Anyhow which football?

Association Football (Soccer), Rugby Union, or Rugby League?

The size & speed in metric units would actually be more useful for most people!

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274409)

You're missing Gaelic, American and Mob.

An asteroid 3 mob football fields in length - thats scary as the goalposts in the Ashbourne football game being 3 miles apart. Anwick is more civilised with the goals only 400 yards apart.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275319)

And Aussie Rules, i.e. Football - who play with 18 players on field per team, on a field larger than the one polo is played. And polo players ride HORSES!!
Full contact.
No armour beyond mouth guards.
Worth a watch, Youtube some.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271121)

I'm sorry, your out of beta and still using animals as a unit of measure?

Re:metric, motherfuckers (3, Funny)

JustinKSU (517405) | about 9 months ago | (#46271273)

...as it zips by us at nearly 385 cheetahs.

Re:metric, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46272835)

I converted it to 38,571 fireants because elephants come in different sizes.

time, motherfuckers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270299)

How about listing a goddamn date and time—including a time zone (e.g., -0500)? Even a Unix timestamp would be acceptable.

Seriously, I have no idea how you people manage to get by in life.

Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270395)

http://events.slooh.com/stadium/potentially-hazardous-asteroid-zips-earth-canary-islands-february-17-2014

There's a countdown. About 4 hours from now. It's in the link. On the first page.

Re:time, motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270785)

Also, how far away from earth will it be at closest approach, and can it be seen by eye, or what's the minimum size/magnification for a telescope to see it if not visible to the naked eye.

Re:time, motherfuckers-and distance,motherfuckers (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 9 months ago | (#46270803)

also, distance not given, over 1.5 million miles, not that close. Wake us up for something inside lunar orbit

Re:time, motherfuckers (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 9 months ago | (#46271319)

Or maybe what parts of the world it can be seen from. If the summary said "visible from Africa and southern Europe", then I know to just skip the whole article. If it says "visible from the North-West, then I'll read into". The article even STARTS with the assumption that we not only know about it, but know if we're in a prime viewing location.

Dear Slashdot, I would like the propose that all astronomical phenomenon with possible earth-viewing capabilities list at minimum the following information in the summary:
1) Date & Time with timezone (either specific to the viewable location or in GMT).
2) Location(s) where it can be seen by telescope or noticed with the naked eye.
3) Location(s) where a decent view can be had with the naked eye.
4) If any of the above locations different in date/time, they should list them with the same criteria as point 1.

Visible in Australia (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46271647)

Trying to find if it was visible in Denver, I found instead the information we all really wanted to know - it's visible in Australia.

I guess that explains why the article link is to a webcam site.

On a side note, I think it's sad that the solar system economy is so bad even the asteroids are setting up Cam sites.

Re:Visible in Australia (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 9 months ago | (#46272445)

Yet the telescope being used for the cam is in the Virgin Islands, so who the hell knows where else we can see it from!

in metric.. (1)

Rob Bos (3399) | about 9 months ago | (#46270321)

37,000 of your "miles" per hour is, in normal person units, 12km/sec.

Re:in metric.. (1)

Rob Bos (3399) | about 9 months ago | (#46270335)

Typo. 27,000.

Re:in metric.. (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 9 months ago | (#46270879)

Maybe try again?

Re: in metric.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271451)

Fuck you British cunt fucker. Go to dentist before worrying about us Americans you fucking chudd.

Re: in metric.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46272979)

if by "british cunt fucker" you mean, 'citizen in any other country in the world', then your statement would be more accurate.

Going to be a great view (2)

Khyber (864651) | about 9 months ago | (#46270345)

Anyone with a 4-6" telescope should be able to see this if they're in a good viewing location. Tracking it might be a bit more difficult without computer assistance, but it shouldn't be prohibitive. Even at the speeds it's traveling, the distance alone makes the movement seem a bit slow.

Re:Going to be a great view (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#46270525)

I didn't see it in the article, but how long is the event supposed to last? Are we going to be able to resolve anything other than a spot of light moving across the sky?

Re:Going to be a great view (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 9 months ago | (#46270729)

I've looked through several other articles, and I'm not seeing any actual mention of that. However, I would wager that the EU/Asia is getting their first glimpses of it right about now. Look for a pinpoint of light in the sky that doesn't flash or twinkle, and you'll have either Jupiter or that asteroid, most likely.

Re:Going to be a great view (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#46270931)

I figure that if it's 8 times farther than the moon then hopefully it will be in view for a while and we can get some decent shots of it, but I haven't seen any estimates.

Live Feed (3, Funny)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about 9 months ago | (#46270421)

Here is a live feed of the Asteroid event [youtube.com] ...

Or skating short tracks? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#46270427)

Oh my god.

3 US football fields, or 3 soccer fields?

Re:Or skating short tracks? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46270491)

Three fields full of dismembered feet and... well, you know what else. It's nobody's happy place.

Re:Or skating short tracks? (0, Offtopic)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 9 months ago | (#46270569)

In other news, 97% of Americans believe it's ok to call a game "football" that is played mainly by the use of hands.

Re:Or skating short tracks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270769)

I assure you, the game of football is most definitely played on foot.

Re:Or skating short tracks? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 9 months ago | (#46271027)

Baseball is played on foot too, and no one thinks about calling that "football".

Re:Or skating short tracks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271509)

Right, that's because it's played on bases... and Basketball is played with baskets.

Out of curiosity, is rugby played on rugs?

Re:Or skating short tracks? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46271785)

In other news, England named Soccer and (american) Football. And 200 years later, claims the US named them, and named them wrong.

They say New England (American) English is closer to 1700s English than that spoken in England today (based on rhymes and alliteration in literature of the time). Yes, that could be re-stated as "Americans speak more proper English than the English do."

Re:Or skating short tracks? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46271769)

They are within rounding errors of each other. So why fight to make a distinction that doesn't exist?

Looking forward to this. (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 9 months ago | (#46270441)

The clouds around here were kind enough to break earlier. Hopefully that holds. It's been a pleasure to watch the ISS fly over from my back yard several times, and it's wet my appetite for more.

Re:Looking forward to this. (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46270845)

If you request it NASA will put you on a mailing list for times when the ISS is supposed to fly over. You can sign up here. [nasa.gov]

Re:Looking forward to this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270979)

and it's wet my appetite for more.

or WHET your APE-TITS

So where were you when the world ended. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#46270453)

Well I was on a website, hitting the refresh button watching an asteroid, while a bigger one hit without us seeing it.

Wholesale oportunities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46270477)

I want to buy a milion seats so I can sell them to Bible thumpers who think that God is going to destroy us because of Obama or abortion or gay marriage or whatever - stupid people deserve to be ripped off. All the mega churches prove it.

This is the kind of shit... (0)

Zantac69 (1331461) | about 9 months ago | (#46270555)

...that that fucked up the Mars Climate Orbiter.

Pick a set of units, lazy asses.

Re:This is the kind of shit... (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 9 months ago | (#46270895)

...that that fucked up the Mars Climate Orbiter. Pick a set of units, lazy asses.

I agree--the speed should really be in football fields per hour for consistency.

And the journalistic quality should be reported in hyperboles per column-inch (because this is the Orlando Sentinal, so metric would be too confusing).

Re:This is the kind of shit... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 9 months ago | (#46270987)

since the length of a metrically measured soccer ('football' outside the USA) field can vary, why not use the non-metrically specified American football field which doesn't?

Re:This is the kind of shit... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 9 months ago | (#46274535)

Most Aussies call it soccer too, like the US we now have our own style of football "Aussie rules", Aussie rules has it's roots in Gaelic football which I believe is still played in Ireland.

Other than the date, why is this a big deal? (2)

psychogre (1475893) | about 9 months ago | (#46270617)

There are large asteroids passing near the Earth fairly often - this particular asterioid, 2000 EM26, will get only 8.8 Lunar Distances (LD) away. One that is more than three times its size, 2006 DP14, passed closer at 6.2 LD last week. Check out www.spaceweather.com [spaceweather.com] for a list of recent and future NEAs, plus lots of other stuff.
If it were a large asteroid passing within the orbit of the moon (< 1.0 LD), now that would be worthy of a broadcast event like this.

Re:Other than the date, why is this a big deal? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 9 months ago | (#46270859)

Because we're all gonna fuckin die!!!!!!!
Well, we are, someday..

Re:Other than the date, why is this a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271073)

8.8 LD? how much is that in football fields?

Re:Other than the date, why is this a big deal? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#46275977)

Large? This rock is rather smaller than 1/5,000,000,000th the size of Ceres.

And the news articles are calling it "gigantic".

Would it be possible to save "gigantic" for describing things big enough for extinction-level events, rather than "slightly smaller than the Superdome"?

What's special about the time? (4, Informative)

jgoemat (565882) | about 9 months ago | (#46271051)

Yes it's the closest approach, but it's still going to be 3.2 million km away. If the Earth were the size of a basketball, the asteroid would be 560 feet away and only 1/5 the size of a pixel in an iPhone retina display. The 0.017 arcsecond angular resolution requires a 6.6 meter telescope to see more than just a point of light.. And as for "hurtling past Earth" as some reports say, if it were heading straight for earth at 27,000 miles per hour it would take 73.5 hours or more than 3 days to get here. In our scaled example it would be travelling at a whopping 0.00255 km/h, under 1/10th the speed of a garden snail. The asteroid should have close to the same visibility for many hours around the time of closest approach. Right now (5 hours before) it could at most be 2% smaller through a telescope. [infoplease.com] .

I think it's cool, I just wish the articles wouldn't hype so much and would include more context.

Re:What's special about the time? (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about 9 months ago | (#46271605)

I like your writing style. Why aren't you in charge of the asteroid reports around here?

Re:What's special about the time? (1)

cavebison (1107959) | about 9 months ago | (#46284645)

If the Earth were the size of a basketball, the asteroid would be 560 feet away

That doesn't mean much to me, as there's no comparison to how far away other things are. Perhaps better to say it will go past at a little over 8 times the distance to the Moon. People are used to seeing pictures of the Earth and Moon.

You FaIl It? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46271547)

lesson and Who sell another and, after initial and building 1s incompatibilit1es Shout the loudest

Service Unavailable (1)

Harry_Bawls (3541417) | about 9 months ago | (#46272795)

Great view of the Service Unavailable page.

remind me to DUCK!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46272815)

quack-quack!

Need peer-to-peer video streaming (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 9 months ago | (#46272863)

The Slooh Observatory video feed got thoroughly Slashdotted. It's totally inaccessible.

Why isn't there a peer to peer video streaming software package optimized for live video? Asymmetric broadband sucks, but almost every broadband connection can accommodate at least one outbound video stream. Sure, if you were far enough down the chain, "live" turns into "live with delay", but who's going to notice? So why hasn't this been done?

Re:Need peer-to-peer video streaming (1)

onepoint (301486) | about 9 months ago | (#46272935)

here is the youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Need peer-to-peer video streaming (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 9 months ago | (#46273557)

Quick summary of the linked video: Asteroid 2000 EM26 hasn't been seen since its initial discovery in 2000 and was not seen during this show. The Slooh telescope in the Canary islands that they had hoped to use to cover the close approach is iced over, unable to open its weather dome.

The Dubai Astronomy group took a bunch of pictures of the area in the sky where the rock should have been, but apparently Slooh lacks automated image analysis software, as they were talking about manually examining each of the images to try to find the moving dot. They were unable to complete that examination during the show, and ended it having never spotted the rock they were looking for.

Don't mix units (2)

macson_g (1551397) | about 9 months ago | (#46273999)

Either you say

3-football-field-long asteroid as it zips by us at nearly 50x the speed of commercial airliner

and you are doing sunday-newspaper pop-sci, or use actual units:

1000 feet long asteroid as it zips by us at nearly 27000 miles/h

and qualify for pop-sci column in illustrated weekly. Don't mix the conventions!

same chance as fart starting a hurricane in 2 year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46274015)

2 million miles away - more than 8x as far as the moons distance

earth diameter 8000 volume at edge that asteroid passed -- 4 million 500x500x500 roughly 125000000th of the volume or 250000th chance if taken as a flat gun target

the size of a period dot on the full screen you are likely looking at now

more interesting would be how long ago was it detected and what might have been done (if anything) to stop it if it was coming anywhere near the earth ?

what goes around ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46275787)

shouldn't we "kill" any rock zipping near earth if it is half way technologically feasable? either "kill" or capture ...
stands to reason that "it will be back" non?

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