You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘asteroid belt’ tag.

An asteroid called 2018 CC made its closest approach to Earth on Tuesday, February 6, at 3:10 p.m. EST. Coincidentally, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket went up about a half hour later, sending a Tesla car with a Starman mannequin at the wheel off into the asteroid belt.

Another larger visitor named asteroid 2018 CB will pass by Earth today, February 9, at around 5:30 p.m. EST. It is between 50 and 130 feet (15 and 40 meters) and will pass Earth at a distance of 39,000 miles (64,000 km). It will be five times closer to us than the Moon.

It is not the gigantic asteroids of movies, but it is probably larger than the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over Russia, almost exactly five years ago. On February 15, 2013, a near-Earth asteroid of roughly 65-feet (20-meters) exploded as it entered the atmosphere, and the shockwave caused damage to over 7,200 building and injured nearly 1,500 people from shattered glass.

It didn’t even hit the Earth. Imagine what it would have caused if it did hit our planet. It is the stuff of movies. For now.

Advertisements

Not all visitors to this website probably share my fascination with celestial things like stars, planets and our Moon. But I like to pay attention to that vast and still unexplored space beyond.

Here is a current example. Ceres will be closest to Earth for 2018 on February 1. To ask what Ceres is would make a good trivia question for HQ. (* If you sign up to play this currently hot trivia game app – IOS or Android –  put my username in – ronkowitz – so I get a much-needed extra life!) 

Ceres

Dwarf planet Ceres. The color is added to highlight differences in surface materials. Photo: NASA

Ceres is a tiny world, but the largest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system. It was the first member of the asteroid belt to be discovered back in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi.

Ceres became the first dwarf planet to receive a visit from a spacecraft, Dawn, in 2015.

It was classified as asteroid for many years, but it is so much bigger and different from its rocky neighbors that scientists classified it as a dwarf planet in 2006. Remember all the outcry when Pluto got pushed to dwarf planet status and out of the planet list we all learned in school? Ceres is sometimes compared in size to the state of Texas, but Pluto is still 14 times more massive than Ceres.

Ceres hasn’t been this close since 2009 and on February 1, 2018 it will shine its brightest. But it still won’t be visible with the naked eye. A telescope or even good binoculars will bring it into focus. But the Moon will also be bright that night, so it is suggested that if you are going to look for Ceres, you try tonight or at the end of next week.

I don’t plan to look for Ceres tucked inside the constellation Cancer. I am quite happy to know that it is up there in the asteroid belt. That belt consists of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of tiny worlds circling the sun in between Mars and Jupiter.

This is the kind of thing that is truly awesome and wonderful to me. Knowing that all of this is out there, and also not knowing so much of what is out there.

The stars appear fixed relative to one another, but Ceres will move moving noticeably westward in front of the stars that make up the constellation Cancer. That movement was how that Italian monk, Giuseppe Piazzi, discovered it. He saw it in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull, but because it moved relative to the backdrop stars, he knew it was a solar system object and not a star. he thought it might be a comet.

Piazzi originally suggested the name Cerere Ferdinandea for his discovery, after the goddess Ceres (Roman goddess of agriculture and where we get our word cereal). She is Cerere in Italian and was believed to have originated in Sicily where the oldest temple for her was located. Added to that was a nod to King Ferdinand of Sicily, but “Ferdinandea” was not acceptable to other nations and was dropped. Ceres was called Hera for a short time in Germany, and in Greece, it is called Demeter, who is the Greek equivalent of the Roman Cerēs. there is also a asteroid called 1108 Demeter.

More at solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/ceres/ and wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres

Visitors to Paradelle

  • 368,943

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,908 other followers

Follow Weekends in Paradelle on WordPress.com

On Instagram

There are always snakes in the woods. Be careful out there. Jersey brewed.  Too many people, not enough servers.  Good brews abound at Jersey best craft beer location. Yes, if you look at it right. A cake appropriate for a Jersey girl turned California girl.  Happy day and year! #foreveryoung She wants film. She wants to go outside. She loves light.

Archives

I Recently Tweeted…

Tweets from Poets Online

Recent Photos on Flickr

Other Blog Posts That Caught My Eye

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: