Over 1000 Citizens of Chelyabinsk were not so lucky yesterday. A meteor weighing about 7000 tonnes screamed over the city at 30 km/sec and
Mike Bara, the world-famous astronomer, sought to impress the strippers and porn starlets who inhabit his FarceBook page by taking a totally gratuitous swipe at NASA.
"According to NASA (Never A Straight Answer) this has NOTHING to do with today's 17,000 mile near miss by a planet killing asteroid. Riiiiiighttttt..... Nothing to see here. Move along..."
Well, seriously now, what qualifications does Mike have that justify his scorn? Actually, none. Is it just the NASA NEO Tracking Office that says this? No—it's also being said by qualified astronomers at ESA, MIT, The Russian Academy of Sciences...
I've got another challenge for Mike Bara the world-famous unqualified astronomer: Please explain how a meteor in an equatorial orbit can
image credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechUpdate:
Mike has provided an answer, although not to me. A contributor to FB, Christian Ijin Link, wrote "Well...the meteor did come from the wrong direction to be associated with today's cosmic batter-brush-back pitch." The world-famous astronomer replied:
"When you're in the middle of a meteor shower, it dosen't [sic] matter which direction they come from. They come at you from all directions."
So, so wrong.... it's really pitiful.
The good old Daily Torygraph has a graphic representation of the respective orbits of the two bodies.
On Coast to Coast AM last night, that world famous owner of inaccurate 30-year-old wristwatches Richard C. Hoagland took off into typical flights of fancy. The asteroid was a weapon, he told us, sent by a malevolent extraterrestrial force as a warning. And how did he know this? Easy—the closest approach was at 19.5 GMT.
Except it wasn't. It was at 19:24. That's 19.4, not 19.5. Elenin déjà vu (in that case he said the closest approach at 19:50 GMT was the same as 19.5.)
=====================1. Phil Plait wrote "exploded," then changed his mind, then changed it back again. I think I'll stick with the shock wave but I'm no expert.