Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tonight if you just can't sleep. And IF it is still clear, you might want to put on your robe and step out on your back porch and look up. In case you haven't already heard, we're getting an unusual visitor... no, it's not Aunt Mabel. It is Asteroid 2007 TU24. Which is making its closest Earth approach in more than 2,000 years. It not big by planetary standards but a rock of that size would create a major blast if it hit us. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office says there is no possibility of that within the foreseeable future. low-resolution radar images of asteroid 2007 TU24

2007 TU24 is somewhat asymmetrical in shape with a diameter of roughly 800 feet. Objects of this size don't come near Earth very often. The next one should be asteroid Apophis in 2029 and again in 2036. ( can't wait )

Asteroid 2007 TU24 ( the proper name ) will pass within 334,000 miles of Earth tonight around 3:33 am Eastern Time. That's close about one and half times the distance from the Earth to the
Moon. And IF the skies are still clear it should be visible through amateur telescopes or good binoculars.

Tonight's forecast, however is not good. At 3:30 it is expected to be scattered clouds at 2500 feet and overcast at 3500 feet with light rain showers and mist. But you never know the rain could hold off long enough.

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