Hike up a mountain tomorrow and watch an asteroid fly right past Earth

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 12, 2010 4:27 pm


Hey ski towners, or any mountain towners…tomorrow morning, hike up your favorite mountain and get a clear view of an asteroid that’ll zip by the planet! OK, so if you’re on the east coast, it’ll be an early hike, about 7:45AM eastern…which means us West Coasters basically have to either make tonight really long, or get up super early to see it. But, there are some of us here at The Ski Channel who are massive astronomy dorks, so we’re down.

This asteroid will be hard to spot, so keep your eyes peeled, and hopefully the weather will be clear where you are. The rock is relatively small, only 36 feet wide, and it’ll pass by our planet with 80,000 miles to spare. Spaceweather.com says it will look as bright as a 14th magnitude star and will pass through the constellations of Orion, Taurus and Pisces.

At first, scientists thought this asteroid may be space junk, but they’ve since rescinded that thought. “I looked at this object closely yesterday morning and concluded that this object is probably not artificial,” said Paul Chodas, a scientist at NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

If you’re able to get a good look at it, let us know…we love this stuff! We also envy anyone who lives in a mountain town…we’re based in smoggy, heavily populated Los Angeles…at least Mammoth Mountain isn’t too far…