On February 15th, a small asteroid plunged into Earth’s atmosphere over Russia, causing damage and injuries. Nobody saw it coming. The same day, astronomers expected asteroid 2012DA14 to make a very close, but harmless, approach to Earth. Both events captured media attention worldwide. It was an educational opportunity not to be missed!
The asteroid 2012 DA14 will make a record-setting approach to earth mid-afternoon on February 15th, 2013. Recently discovered by Spanish astronomers at the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca, this 45 metre asteroid is the size of half a football field, and its 130,000+ tonnes will be speeding past Earth at 28,100 km/h.
Today marks the centenary the Great Meteor Procession (GMP), the most spectacular meteor procession on record. The meteors crossed a quarter of the Earth's circumference, and many of the observers whose impressions contributed to the fundamental scientific report on the event were Canadian. The iconic image of the GMP was painted by RASC member and professional artist Gustav Hahn (1866-1962). To mark the centenary of the event NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) features the century-old reproduction of Hahn's painting from the RASC Archives.