Last Saturday was the anniversary of In Russia, space explores you! To mark the occasion, Space.com published the retrospective Russian Meteor Blast Thrust Asteroid Danger into Spotlight 1 Year Ago Today by Mike Wall, Senior Writer on February 15, 2014 12:41am ET.
One year later, the impact of the surprise Russian meteor explosion is still being felt all over the world.It turns out that goverments have been taking the threat seriously, as United Nations Takes Aim at Asteroid Threat to Earth.
On Feb. 15, 2013, a 65-foot-wide (20 meters) asteroid detonated in the skies over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, causing millions of dollars of damage and injuring 1,500 people. The dramatic event served as a wake-up call, many scientists say, alerting the world to the dangers posed by the millions of space rocks that reside in Earth's neck of the cosmic woods.
"These types of events are no longer hypothetical," David Kring, of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, said in December at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. "We've been up here talking about these types of things for years, but now the entire world understands that they can be real."
As the anniversary of last year's surprise Russian meteor explosion nears, a United Nations action team is taking steps to thwart dangerous space rocks, including setting up a warning network and a planning advisory group that would coordinate a counterpunch to cosmic threats.The planning started well before last year’s meteor strike.
A global group of experts on near-Earth objects (NEOs) met in Vienna Feb. 10 to11 for the 51st session of the United Nations' Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Space.
The meeting came just a few days before the one-year anniversary of the Russian meteor impact.
The plans the experts discussed have taken shape over a decade of work by the UN Action Team on Near Earth Objects, known as Action Team 14. AT-14 was established in 2001 and has crafted a roster of recommendations for an international response to the asteroid impact threat.That’s not to say that last year’s disaster didn’t spur action, as revealed in NASA Report: How to Defend Planet From Asteroids.
The results of a workshop to find the best ways to find, track and deflect asteroids headed for Earth were released by NASA on Friday (Feb. 7).By the way, today is another flyby: Huge Asteroid to Fly Safely By Earth Monday: Watch It Live.
NASA's Asteroid Initiative, started in 2013, includes a mission to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and drag it into a stable orbit around the moon, and a challenge to devise the best ideas for detecting and defending against potentially dangerous asteroids.
The agency put out a request for information to refine the objectives of the Asteroid Initiative, to generate other mission concepts and increase participation in the mission and planetary defense.
An asteroid the size of three football fields is set to make a close brush of Earth on Monday (Feb. 17), and you can watch the flyby in a live webcast.That’s close enough to be exciting, but not close enough to be any danger. Still, it’s a reminder of the sentiment in the image below.
Near-Earth asteroid 2000 EM26 poses no threat of actually hitting the planet, but the online Slooh Space Camera will track the asteroid as it passes by Earth on Monday. The live Slooh webcast will start at 9 p.m. EST (0200 Feb. 18 GMT), and you can also watch the webcast directly through the Slooh website.
You can also watch the asteroid broadcast live on Space.com. Scientists estimate that 2000 EM26 is about 885 feet (270 meters) in diameter, and it is whizzing through the solar system at a break-neck 27,000 mph (12.37km/s), according to Slooh. During its closest approach, the asteroid will fly about 8.8 lunar distances from Earth.