Dec 082012
 
The orbit of the comet of 1680, fit to a parab...

The orbit of the comet of 1680, fit to a parabola, as shown in Isaac Newton’s Principia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A comet discovered on September 21, 2012 by two Russian astronomers hasn’t made the major news outlets yet but it will soon enough. Comet ISON is on its way to bring us a sky show that could be the one of the most memorable since 1680. Gradually increasing in brightness, it will become visible to users with small telescopes or binoculars by August 2013 and visible to the naked eye by late October/early November. It will stay visible in the sky until January 2014 and may actually be brighter then the moon itself. It is not on a trajectory with earth but will pass with 1 degree of the sun. More to come on this later.

 

Dec 082012
 
Planets of the Solar System

Planets of the Solar System (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A mysteriously speeding object whipping through the solar system has caused some initial concern but has now been identified as the elusive Pons-Gambert Comet (aka C/2012 V4). It has been spotted speeding past Mars on a trajectory that will put it near the sun before it speeds out of site and away from us. This is the first time the comet has been seen since 1827. It should be visible to viewers on December 11th in the Southeastern portion of the U.S. with a brightness magnitude between 9.0 to 9.5 but its trajectory is low to the horizon and may be hard to see. It is measuring 5.4KM in size (3.4 miles) and will pass behind the sun and will not come close to Earth.

 

May 172012
 

NASA has just released data from the orbiting WISE telescope that indicates there are a lot more asteroids out there that can hit us then they previously new about.  While letting us know there is no need to panic, NASA has indicated that they are paying much closer attention then they had before.  More asteroids tand larger ones than previously thought are in orbits that potentially could collide with Earth. Impacting with Earth could create a host of environmental hazards not to mention extensive damage and loss of life. A small asteroid of  40 meters in size impacting earth would be equivalent to the detonation of a 3 megaton nuclear bomb.

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Mar 312012
 
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another close encounter with an asteroid is about to happen again and this time it’s happening on April Fools Day but this is no joke. A passenger jet sized space rock discovered March 13th and referred to by astronomers as 2012 EG5 will come closer to Earth than the Moon is.
Don’t worry, NASA says it will not hit us though.
This makes the third asteroid to come close to Earth in less than 30 days. Two other asteroids passed close by us on March 26th (2012 FP35 within 96,000 miles and 2012 FS35 which passed within 36,000 miles of Earth).
We will see another close flyby on April 4th when 2012 FA57, discovered on March 28, will pass at a range just beyond the orbit of the moon.
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Mar 052011
 
Diagram of the names of God in Oedipus Aegyptiacus

Image via Wikipedia

During the time of the Ram and the passage of Mars to Aphrodite (between March 15 and April 15).

The mountains will tremble once again under the place that bears a name of God in the land of the white clouds

What was once peopled will be uninhabitable.

Let those who are wise, understand the meaning of these words

Update 3-20-2011 –

2 quakes +4.5 magnitude strike New Zealand near Christchurch today. This is the detail for one of them:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc00027e8.php