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Vesta Asteroid close to earth


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#1    Abecrombie

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:50 AM

check out the space news in whats visible to the naked eye in the latter part of the month, May, and in June, 2007 .
An asteroid as starrynight calls it Vesta , I ll provide a link as far as im conerened it seems ligit. I know this would be a much better thread if a link was provided so , I'll be back in a mment to either edit or post.

http://skytonight.com/observing/home/7297386.html

I find this a bit haunting dont you? the whales seem to think so.my advice watch the animal and the birds to see what they are telling us, who is to say what could happen we all must remember we are not in charge of the universe. thats all im saying. so therefore it is a freaky thing going on, new or not. its all pretty close anyway. too close.

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Edited by Abecrombie, 24 May 2007 - 11:57 AM.

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#2    magnetar

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:26 PM

I never figured to be able to see Vesta. This will be interesting.

Thankfully, though-

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#3    chemical-licker

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:31 PM

off to the bank getting a big loan 100000.00  wont have to pay it back till, when does this vesta arrive?


#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 02:05 PM

I am really not sure what the whales or other animals have to do with this.

Vesta regularly becomes a naked eye object (it was brighter in 1989) and has no doubt been doing so since time immemorial. However it is still very dim and unless you have dark skies and know where to look you won't see it (as a city dweller I have never been able to see it). For this reason Vesta was not recorded until the telescopic age. It was discovered in 1807, becoming the 4th asteroid discovered.

Vesta orbits the sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars an Jupiter. It never comes closer to the Earth than around 172 million km (107 million miles) so there is no chance of a collision with it.

The reason that Vesta becomes naked eye is a result of size and surface. It is the second largest of the objects in the asteroid belt* at about 530 km (330 miles) in diameter (only Ceres is larger). It also has an albedo of 0.42 meaning that it reflects 42% of the light that strikes it (for comparison Earth has an albedo of 0.39 and the moon 0.07).

So to recap, Vesta poses no threat, it is along way away and is in an orbit which makes collision with the Earth impossible.

*At the same time that Pluto was down graded from planet to dwarf planet, Ceres was upgraded from asteroid to dwarf planet. Although still only the second largest object in the asteroid belt, Vesta is now, technically, the largest asteroid.

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#5    StarMountainKid

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for all the info, Waspie Dwarf.  When some asteroid is actually on a collision course to earth, that'll be REALLY interesting to see in the night sky.

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#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:18 PM

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Thanks for all the info, Waspie Dwarf.  When some asteroid is actually on a collision course to earth, that'll be REALLY interesting to see in the night sky.


Depending on the size of the asteroid, I'm not sure interesting is the word I would chose.

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#7    Mentalcase

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:12 PM

Ditto Waspy!

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#8    Twin Peaks

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:18 PM

But what will we do if there is an asteroid threat? Does NASA not have an emergency response for such a situation?


Another question i have is : What is the closest a giant asteroid can get to Earth without it being detected? Is there an organization out there that is keeping watch or are people just hoping that someone will see it in time through their telescopes?

Edited by Dark_Ambient, 24 May 2007 - 06:20 PM.


#9    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:44 PM

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But what will we do if there is an asteroid threat? Does NASA not have an emergency response for such a situation?

Not yet. The asteroid threat is slowly being taken seriously.

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Another question i have is : What is the closest a giant asteroid can get to Earth without it being detected?

This depends on what you mean by giant. Objects the size of Vesta can be detected beyond the orbit of Pluto. It is highly unlikely that such an object can exists that prevents an immediate threat to mankind without having been detected already. Smaller asteroids, which are not a global threat but could destroy a city, have been known to slip by the Earth and be detected only as they retreat.

In terms of a catostrophic event we are probably at greater risk from a comet. These can appear from any direction at any time. However it is likely that such a comet would be detected while it was still many months, maybe even years before it intercepted Earth. On rare occasions large comets have remained undiscoved because they have approached from the direction of the sun.

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Is there an organization out there that is keeping watch or are people just hoping that someone will see it in time through their telescopes?


NASA has a programme to detect at least th Asteroids by 2008, it is called the Near Earth Object Programe: Home page.

There is the Spaceguard Foundation (named after a fictional detection system from Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Rendezvous With Rama). This is an international organisation with the aim of

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the protection of the Earth environment against the bombardment of objects of the solar system (comets and asteroids)


Spaceguard Home page

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#10    Lilly

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:36 PM

Well, for my personal 2 cents worth, I like the idea of astronauts Love and Lu's gravitational tractor.

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#11    Twin Peaks

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:41 PM

Thank you for that information Waspie Dwarf.


#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:00 PM

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Well, for my personal 2 cents worth, I like the idea of astronauts Love and Lu's gravitational tractor.

Lilly, I deliberately didn't mention the gravitational tractor because I know how much you love it.

The European Space Agency is currently planing a mission called Don Quijote. The aim of this mission would be to seen two spacecraft to an asteroid. One of the spacecraft, Sancho, would observe the asteroid whist the other, Hidalgo, would impact with the asteroid. Sancho would observe how much the asteroid was deflected by the impact. This information will be useful in deflecting asteroids on a collision course with Earth.  More on the Don Quijote project can be found in this post.

If all goes well, in just over a month NASA will launch a mission called Dawn. Dawn will use ion propulsion to take it to the asteroid belt. Dawn will pass Mars in March 2009, using gravity assist to speed itself up. It will enter orbit around Vesta in September 2011. In April 2015 it will restart its ion engine and move to Ceres. It will arrive there in February 2015, becoming the first mission to orbit two different celestial bodies. More on the Dawn mission can be found in this thread.

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Thank you for that information Waspie Dwarf.

My pleasure.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 24 May 2007 - 11:01 PM.

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#13    Lilly

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:24 PM

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Lilly, I deliberately didn't mention the gravitational tractor because I know how much you love it.


Yes, I do so love this idea!  wub.gif

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The European Space Agency is currently planing a mission called Don Quijote.

If all goes well, in just over a month NASA will launch a mission called Dawn.


Just too cool (I've read a bit on both to these missions as well). I'm getting pretty psyched on what the next few years will bring (I just need to try and live long enough to see some of this come to fruition!)

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#14    drakonwick

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 09:39 PM

Very interesting I think it will be a great site when the Asteroid 1997 XF11 comes into close contact with the earth in 2028.

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#15    spacenut

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:50 AM

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At the same time that Pluto was down graded from planet to dwarf planet, Ceres was upgraded from asteroid to dwarf planet.


Wait a minute, Ceres is a planet now?  huh.gif

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