Too Close for Comfort: Asteroid Flyby Inside the Satellite Ring

This is a busy week ahead. School Valentine Day cards must be addressed, one for each kid, in each class, and then there is the homestead to consider.  Whether you’re married, dating or playing the single scene, I challenge you to make this Thursday a special one. For Friday the 15th – things may come crashing from the sky!

Are tiny visions of Chicken Little running circles in your head? Good. Now we’re in the same place. Snort!

But in all seriousness, on February 15th we’ll experience ONE heck of a celestial event. Discovered last year by a group of Spanish astronomers, as it traveled by our planet, the asteroid known as 2012 DA14  is due to return for another pass in the closest recorded near miss in history.

Rather small for a space rock, the asteroid measures roughly 150 feet in diameter. That’s almost the width of a professional football field! But that’s alright because it’s going to sail straight on by without a snag. I mean, we shouldn’t be concerned. We made it safely through the Mayan Doom’s Day now, didn’t we?

*Wipes brow* But is this nature’s way of getting our attention?

Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute. Let’s say 2012 DA14 were to collide with the earth. What would that mean? Is it Armageddon?

No.  But it would pack the punch of a Thermonuclear bomb. An asteroid this size is dubbed “city killer.”

On June 30, 1908 a rock roughly the size of 2012 DA14 impacted with our planet. It took out 2000 square kilometers of forest in Tunguska, Siberia – Russia. 

The odds of a repeat performance? Considering it’s only been a hundred years, we should be in good standing. The chance of experiencing a pass of this magnitude is likely every 40 years. But a collision – not for 1,200 years.

News through the grapevine is there are over a million asteroids in orbit out there. For every one NASA is aware of, assume there are 100 more they don’t know about. How does that make you feel?

NASA has its eyes on this one now. You can check out what they have to say.

If it were a threat, what could we do? Check out what Yahoo has to say with their top six options. My personal favorite: Swarm it with robots. It just sounds cool! Hit it with spray paint is a curious theory, but I can’t stop thinking LA gang tag. What’s wrong with me?


What should you be looking for? Around 2:24 pm Eastern Time it should move inside of our satellite rings. That’s right, our weather and communication satellites orbiting the Earth. Something half the size of a football field will be zipping through space, past us, closer than some of our satellites – 1/3 the distance to the moon! Approximately 17,200 miles.

Visibility will be best from Indonesia, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia. It’s expected to be at its closest to the Earth’s surface over the Indian Ocean off Sumatra. Too faint to be seen with the naked eye, binoculars or a small telescope are suggested. A big telescope – even better!

A few of you know that I spent a week curled up on the sofa with my youngest about a week ago, while she dealt with some real nasty asthma issues. During that time I had the joy of being introduced to her new favorite show H2O: Just Add Water. In less than a week we watched all three seasons worth of episodes. 72 in total. [Spoiler] Well… I couldn’t help but notice the striking resemblance between the series finale and current events.

Where the script writers psychic?

I doubt it, but check this out…

For those of you not familiar with this Australia show (I’m guessing that’s most of you), it’s a show about three mermaids and their magical island made of moon rock. In the series finale they learn that a comet is due to pass the Earth at record close range. Only when it gets close to the planet its course will be altered by the magnetic pull of the moon rock of the island, sending the comet crashing into the Earth. Armageddon.  End Game. But no worries. They’re mermaids with mermaid powers. They can save us all, right?

So what about the next near miss? What if it isn’t a near miss at all? Will we have real mermaids to save our planet? Or will we send up a team with Bruce Willis to lead them, blowing the rock to bits? OR, will it be one of the six ideas suggested in the Yahoo article? What do you think?

If you’re in an area that will have a clear view of the event next Friday, we would love to hear all about it. Come back and share.


Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support. Until next time, au revoir.

37 thoughts on “Too Close for Comfort: Asteroid Flyby Inside the Satellite Ring”

  1. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Thanks for the Chicken Little warning! 😉 I had no idea about this news, but now when my hub goes to tell me about it (which he will, he owns a telescope!) I will be informed. Thanks Debra!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You’re welcome. It will make for a fun topic of conversation as next week draws to a close. I’m glad I could bring you to the informed side of the road. Hope you’re able to see something through the telescope. You’ll let us know, won’t you?

  2. EdenEden

    Heard about the asteroids, but wasn’t too worried. I figure they have Tommy Lee Jones on the case there at NASA (I loved Space Cowboys, even if it did make me cry)….

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Tommy Lee Jones is one bad boy. I sure wouldn’t want to tangle with him. I hear ya, either him or someone like him will keep us safe. Or that’s the hope anyway. If not, then there’s nothing we can do about it so why stress.

      • EdenEden

        You said it perfectly. 😀

  3. gingercalemgingercalem

    I love stuff like this that makes our big world somehow feel smaller. Can’t wait to see images posted online, which is likely the only way I’ll see this! Great post.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Thanks, Ginger. We tend to get caught up in our own issues and problems on a daily basis, making it easy to forget just how big the universe is around us. We’re but a small element in a colossal cosmic entity that spreads forever out beyond us. It’s food to have our eyes opened every now and again.

  4. prudencemacleodprudencemacleod

    Wasn’t there a movie called Night of the Comet or something like that? Ohhh, the ideas are churning. Thanks for the post, great inspiration. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      There was and I may have seen it too. It’s an older movie. I’m glad I could inspire. 😀

  5. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    Okay – I’ll book my flight to Indonesia right now. I should arrive in time – I think. What’s the time difference between California and Indonesia? Maybe I should go the other way? It’s all so confusing.

    Interesting stuff. I love watching the heavens at night. I remember the first time I saw the Mikly Way. It was amazing!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I remember getting a book about the stars and staring upward for the longest time trying to pick out the different constellations. I thought for sure I had found certain ones that apparently are only visible from the other side of the world. Who knew! LOL. Hey, I was just a kid and I was trying. I think having an upfront seat for the asteroid show would be amazing. Let me when you arrive..

  6. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    As soon as I read the news article that said the asteroid wasn’t a threat, I wasn’t too worried. And I figure even if it was, is there anything I can do about it? I wouldn’t place too much trust in predictions of where it would strike, either. But still cool to read about!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      So true. Last year at this time they were predicting that it would hit the earth. Now they’re saying there isn’t a chance of it. But it sure is going to get close. And I tend to agree with you, I can’t do much of anything about so why bother freaking out. It is what it is.

  7. Diana BeebeDiana Beebe

    I have not paid any attention to news lately. I can’t believe I missed that. Now, we need a trio of mermaids to deflect it! My daughters really enjoyed that series, and, yes, I watched it with them.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I knew you would know all about the mermaids and Mako Island. I’ve had to watch some episodes more than once. My girl loves those mermaids. And remember how I told you I thought Ash was cute? He went on to play the lead in his own show, The Seeker. Emma and Cleo both secured roles of VD. As for authentic mermaids to save us in the case of a real asteroid situation – I’m not so sure about that.

      • Diana BeebeDiana Beebe

        I dunno. Those mermaids were pretty powerful. 😉 Oh, Ash is The Seeker–I didn’t even realize that until now. I knew he looked familiar. LOL.

  8. Christine AshworthChristine Ashworth

    Since it’s coming inside our satellite ring, I wonder if it’ll take out any satellites? That would be – um, interesting.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I wondered the same thing. Interesting for many cellphone users, and costly should it happen. Guess we’ll know next week.

  9. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    I’m going to have to check out the mermaid show. Maybe they have more predictions we should know about. 😉

    I’m with Jennette…and not going to sweat it. I was actually a little more concerned about the ‘falling space junk’ in September 2011. As for it becoming a threat and sending Bruce Willis up to deal with the problem? I’m going to steal one of Cuba Gooding’s signature lines…”Oh HELL no!” Bruce Willis happens to be one of my very favorite actors…and the end of Armageddon really sucked. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      That was one heck of a popcorn movie. I remember watching Armageddon with my dad at City of Hope while he got the blood transfusion. He liked it. As long as he was happy I was happy. But space junk – yeah. Like that video I sent you. *snicker.*

      February 17, 2013
  10. Kim GriffinKim Griffin

    I was just reading about this on the NASA site yesterday! I believe they are going to have a stream online where you can see it fly by, so if we can’t see it outside ~ that’s where we will look. If it starts hurtling toward Earth, I’m going with the Bruce Willis angle because if he did it once, he can do it again ~ right??

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I’d read about the streaming. Have you been watching it? Did you read about or see the footage on the meteor that hit Russia? Pretty crazy, right? There isn’t a whole like we can do now is there? We didn’t see that meteor coming till it his us this week. Space is just too big.

      February 17, 2013
  11. EmmaEmma

    If an asteroid’s coming for us, there’s not much we can do. I say crack open the wine and get together with friends and family.
    I loved the film, Deep Impact!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I’d be there for that party. I’d even buy a plane ticket to Ireland because it’s one of the places I’ve wanted to go- since forever!

      February 17, 2013
  12. kindredspirit23kindredspirit23

    My love of science taught me long ago that the meteor that struck Arizona (From memory, about 200 foot deep hole and over a mile across) was the size of a Volkswagon Beetle. So, one the size you are talking about worries me, and that distance (measured in galactic terms) is about the thickness of a piece of paper). So, how far off would they have to be?!!!
    Can’t do much about it. I vote for deflect it.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I know, scary stuff. Scientists never know that they are 100% correct when they are telling us this stuff. There are too many variables. But it doesn’t do us any good to fret about it. Seriously, we should be living every day to make it count anyway. Because you just never know. That’s the lesson my sister wanted us all to know. Always strive to live in the moment because you don’t know if the next one will be there for you or not. Don’t miss out on the now.

      February 17, 2013
  13. Serena Dracis, AuthorSerena Dracis, Author

    Asteroid flybys! This is supposed to be the year for them. Very cool post, Debra. Never heard of H20, will have to quiz my granddaughters on that one. I’m too far north to see this one, but I’m hoping to spot the comet flyby later this year.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I don’t expect to see anything either. They say you shouldn’t be able to see it with the naked eye and we gave our telescope to grandpa since we have too many city lights where we live. I think H2O is in syndication now, but they are planning another show based on the premise of the first. I think they’re going to call it The Magic of Mako Island or something like that.

      February 17, 2013
  14. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    I vote for Bruce Willis AND mermaids! Sounds like a cool show that I’ll probably get addicted to now that you’ve pointed it out to me. Sigh. I might have to borrow someone’s young daughter to give me street cred while watching it.

    Friday at 11am – ish? Hmm, I won’t be home so I’ll miss the asteroid flyby! Darn the luck.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I like your vote. Mermaid power activate! 😀 Lucky for you they don’t film that show anymore. If you really wanted to watch it you could Netflix it and jam through the series quickly. Mermaid fest weekend.

      You and me both are missing the flyby. Because we live in the wrong place for it!

      February 17, 2013
  15. renée a. schuls-jacobsonrenée a. schuls-jacobson

    I think the peeps in Australia and New Zealand get the best views. I heard about this thing and thought : Seriously? Maybe G-d is trying to tell us something! Why don’t we take pause to think how lucky we are to be alive?!

    February 10, 2013
    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      We should all take pause every now and again. I think we get too complacent. Seriously, there are a lot of people that need a massive wake-up call. But you didn’t hear it from me. 😐 Anywhoooo… You’re right, Australia and New Zealand do have the better sky view. What’s up with that. I pay my taxes just like everyone else. Too bad the flight is such a killer. I’d love to pop over there. And not just for the asteroid.

      February 17, 2013
  16. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    I hadn’t heard about this Debra. See, this is when I wish I was living in the desert. You could really appreciate something like this. So Friday’s the big day, eh? Oh I hope it doesn’t hit our planet. Where is Thor Debra? Can’t he do something to protect us? 🙂

    February 12, 2013
    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Isn’t Sunday and the only damage has been the meteor in Russia. I think we’re good. As for Thor, Chris Hemsworth would probably do a better job at protecting us than our tiny plastic Thor. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. Thor is currently in Louisiana with Laird. I’d imagine he is getting ready to head off to his next stop.

      February 17, 2013
  1. Too Close for Comfort: Asteroid Flyby Inside the Satellite Ring | KimTerry

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