Tag Archives: orbit

Think – Today: What Is The Meaning Of The Name “George”?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner
curiousgeorgeMost traditional/popular English names have a meaning (or origin). So, have you ever wondered what “George” as in George Washington, Curious George or George Harrison means?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’: “Dark side of the moon” — we from Earth only ever see about 68% of the Moon’s surface, and that is basically just ONE side of the moon. Wherever we are on Earth we never get to see the backside of the moon — the so called ‘Dark Side’ or ‘Far Side’. That has to do with how the Earth’s and Moon’s orbits are so precisely synchronized. This synchronization, however, is not a coincidence. It was dictated by the Earth’s superior gravitational pull over the Moon. Basically the Earth’s gravity TAMED the rotation and orbit of the Moon (achieving this quite quickly in what is thought was only about 1,000 years). This forced synchronization is called TIDAL LOCKING. The moon makes a complete orbit of the Earth in ~28 days — the Lunar Month (which is also the basis of our 29/30/31 day months). It also happens to do a complete rotation around its own axis in that exact time. In other word, a ‘Moon Day’ is ~28 days long. Yes, it is not an easy thing to visualize. Maybe this animation MAY help.


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by Anura Guruge

Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 TC4 Could Give Us Quite A Headache In 2017 — Near Miss?

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by Anura Guruge


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**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ for many other posts >>>>


Danny Fleming, a mathematician and astronomer gave me a heads up, via e-mail, on this. Thank YOU, Danny.

2012 TC4, as the ‘2012’ in its designation denotes, was discovered in October 2012 though it is POSSIBLE that it has been around for quite some time — though maybe not in its current, very near-Earth orbit.

FG14_01

Click to ENLARGE.

It is an ‘Apollo’ class asteroid (named after the prototype asteroid in this group). Apollos, in their relentless orbit around the Sun, crosses the Earth’s orbit — twice.

Well 2012 TC4 crossed the Earth’s orbit in October 12, 2012 coming quite close to Earth. At their closest they were 58,900 miles apart. That is 1/5 the average distance between the Earth and the Moon (what we call the ‘Lunar Distance‘ (LD)). The LD as such as 0.247 LD.

5 years later, again, coincidentally on the exact date, i.e., October 12, it will get within 0.034 LD of the Earth. That is nearly 7 times closer. Yes, it could get within 8,400 miles from us. That is close.

At that distance there is a very good chance that Earth’s (fairly strong) gravitational pull will capture it and pull it in. In which case WE will get SMACKED. Thought to be about 30 yards across it is NOT a huge asteroid, not large enough to annihilate all of us. But that is still plenty big enough to wreak quite a bit of destruction, especially if it lands near a city.

Not much we can do. It is not like the Earth can duck out of the way.


This orbital chart, using the JPL Small Body Database Browser,
shows that 2012 TC4 ends up right on top of us.

2012TC4

Click to ENLARGE.


This “Global Warming” In New Hampshire, With 43F In June, Is Really Getting Very Old, Very Fast.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge

 


Related posts:
>> If YOU believe in Global Warming …
>> Climate scientist stuck in Antarctic …

1. Blizzard I of 2015.
2. Devanee’s post-blizzard sunsets.
3. Heated driveways in New Hampshire.

++++ Search ‘blizzard‘ and ‘snow‘ for posts from prior winters >>>>

++++ Search ‘Gore’ for the Al Gore posts >>>>


How anybody who lives in New Hampshire, and is not a total couch potato who never ventures out, can still believe in Global ‘bloody’ Warming defeats me.

It has been BLOODY cold in New Hampshire for the last 2 days — and those that know me, and know that I will still go running in 5°F weather, will know that IF I complain of it being cold, it is pretty serious.

This, my friend, is NOT right and there is no damn, frigging Global Warming in sight — at least not in frigid New Hampshire. I would LOVE some Global bloody Warming. I need to renew and top up my tan. Relying just on tanning creams becomes and expensive and messy hobby.

Yes, of course, we have seen Climate Change BUT that is because the DISTANCE of the Earth’s orbit, from the Sun, has changed! You did NOT know that did you? Most people don’t. Why, the Earth is getting lighter despite the increase in obese folks, worldwide. Yes, I need to write about this in detail — but I don’t have the time. It is the Earth’s weight, of MASS if you want to be pedantic and scientific, that is changing. Greenhouse Effect is NOTHING. It is the distance from the Sun that counts. Remember I do know my astronomy

Check these out. It is June 2nd and I am forced to wear sweats — though sweating is the last thing that is happening around here.

From ‘Weather Underground‘ — a very good source for local weather data. Click to ENLARGE, check out and be amazed.

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Comet ISON – Now That It Lives On – In December 2013. Best Chance To Still See It, December 15 to Boxing Day.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
**** Scroll down or do search, MULTIPLE ISON posts a day ****

**** Check my ISON blog.


Click here for orbital path.

Click here for assurance, from ME
(and boy have I been on TOP of this),

that orbital path did not change and
that comet is not a threat to Earth.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Watch a few minutes of THIS Comet ISON presentation on YouTube.

This image from my ‘Comet ISON for Kids’ book.


Comet ISON: Orbital Path Did NOT Change. No THREAT To Earth, Whatsoever. Repeat NOT Nibiru. Will NOT Be Nibiru.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
**** Scroll down or do search, MULTIPLE ISON posts a day ****

**** Check my ISON blog.


Click here for orbital path.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

For NASA video of Comet ISON rounding the Sun.

A few minutes of my presentation, on YouTube, talking about
Comet ISON not being a threat to Earth.

There is a 2nd ISON presentation on YouTube too.


Comet ISON: Where Is It Now — November 30, 2013, 2 Days After It Survived Perihelion. Here Is The Latest Orbital Path.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
**** Scroll down or do search, MULTIPLE ISON posts a day ****

**** Check my ISON blog.


Click to access very educational, loads of fun, interactive NASA JPL ISON orbit animation.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click here to access
very educational, loads of fun, interactive NASA JPL ISON orbit animation.


American Astronomer Maria Mitchell’s 195th Birthday Google Doodle.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


MariacometGDthLast Google Doodle post:
>> Rosalind Franklin’s 93rd Birthday … — July 15, 2013.
≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ Check CATEGORY ‘Google Doodle’ for other posts —>>> (side bar)


MariacometGD

Click on images to access.

Link will be updated after August 1, 2013
for access from the Google Doodle Archive.


Click for Wikipedia entry.

Click for Wikipedia entry.

Here is the Wikipedia entry.


The official Minor Planet Center (MPC) data for the comet she discovered: C/1847 T1.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

So it perihelioned, i.e., went around the Sun (at its closest) on November 14, 1847, three weeks after it was discovered on October 26, 1847. Not like today when we can spot comets 18 months away.

Note the eccentricity. Just over 1! That is significant. That means that it was on an escape orbital path — meaning that it could leave the solar system. But, we now know that eccentricity can fall, i.e., drop below ‘1’, once a comet like this gets further out into space, i.e., beyond Jupiter. Check out my comet books.


She is NOT the first woman to discover a comet. This is from my ‘Comets: 101 Facts & Trivia‘ book.

Click for more ...

Click for more …


This Weekends Much Hyped ‘Super Moon’ Is ‘Special’, But Not Earth Shattering. We Actually Have ‘3’, Yes ‘3’, In A Row!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> March 2013 ‘Worm’ Full Moon over
>> Alton — Mar. 30, 2013.

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The deal with a ‘Super Moon’ is that it is close to full (if not at full) and very close to Earth (if not at its closest).

Obviously we get a full moon each month, or to be precise each Lunar Month which is 27.322 days — rounded up to the ’28’ days that determine women’s cycles etc. So full moons, especially to Buddhists, are always ‘special’, but are really common or garden.

Being closest to Earth also happens each and every month — without fail. If it didn’t we would all be in a heap of trouble! Nearly all, if not all, solar system objects have non-circular orbits. Rather than circular the orbits that nearly everything falls into is an elliptical orbit — i.e., an elongated orbit. The degree of this elongation is referred to as Orbital Eccentricity, ‘0’ denoting a perfect circle and ‘1’ a parabolic (i.e., football shaped) orbit. Closer to ‘0’, the more circular, closer to ‘1’ the more elongated. Most of the planets have near-circular orbits, though they are not circular. Earth’s eccentricity is 0.0167. Mercury has the most elongated orbit at 0.2056, with Pluto, now a dwarf planet, having one of 0.248. Comets, which originate at the furthest edges of the solar system have very high eccentricity, Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON), having an eccentricity close to ‘1’!

The Moon’s eccentricity is 0.054906.

Here are some cute diagrams from ‘Google’ that will explain this whole notion of elliptical orbits, perigee and apogee. [When talking of orbits around the Sun the comparable terms used are ‘perihelion’ (closest) and ‘aphelion’ (furthest).

How the orbits of comets, in this case periodics which are NOT as elongated as long-term comets, compare in terms of the gas giants.

The Moon’s distance at perigee (which varies slightly from month to month due to some complicated precession motions) varies between 221,324.4 miles to 230,018.4 miles, the average 225,670 miles.

The apogee, on average, is at 252,088 miles.

So this weekend we get both a full moon and one that is at apogee — these two events happening very close together tomorrow morning between 7:11 am and 7:33 am in the Southern sky (very close to the horizon) over New Hampshire. I will be asleep. It will be quite spectacular tonight too. 

But, to be fair we had a Super Moon in May and another one in July — those the in both those cases the perigee was within 90% of closest as opposed to 100%. That is why tomorrow’s is more ‘special’ than most.

On AVERAGE we get 2 to 3 Super Moons each year — keyword here being ‘average’.

This weekend the brightness of the moon, measured per the confusing apparent magnitude scale which goes backwards [i.e., less NEGATIVE the brighter], will be ~ ‘-12.xx’. The maximum brightness of the full moon is -12.92; the average -12.74.

A real picture of the Moon orbiting the Earth taken by NASA robotic spacecraft ‘Deep Impact’, in 2005, from 30 million miles away.

 

ISON Is Still A Coming … Latest Image, May 4, 2013, While Still Way Out In The ‘Belt’ Shows Growing Tail

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Anura Guruge


Comet ISON Related Posts:
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Read about the latest imaging, see more images, orbital diagram and other links at my ‘Comet ISON’ blog.


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Asteroid 2012 DA14 That Will Harmlessly Fly By Earth At A Distance Of 21,200 Miles On Friday, February 15, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


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Though many don’t realize this I spent quite a bit of time working on astronomy, these days even at the expense of Popes and cardinals.


Artistic rendition of 2012 DA14 passing by Earth on February 15, 2013.


Orbital diagram of the flyby.


This is Way Cool.

A dynamic orbit tracker from NASA’s JPL.
Try it out if you have Java installed.
Click to access JPL. [Orbit diagram], collapsed, will be at the top. You need Java.

Click to access JPL. [Orbit diagram], collapsed, will be at the top. You need Java.


It was discovered last year, on February 23, 2012, by a Spanish observatory.

It is an Earth-crosser asteroid that orbits the Sun every 366.2 days. Since it furthest point from the Sun, aphelion is beyond Earth’s orbit, crosses Earth’s orbital path twice a year. It has been probably been doing this for millions of years, though we now have precise data going back to August 1913.

It is not very big, about 160 ft across and weighing about 180,000 tons. It would do a fair amount of damage if it were to hit the Earth. It will not do so this year! But this is a record close approach. So much so that Earth’s gravity will perturb its orbital path reducing its orbital period by 51 days. That is a big deal.

There is an increasing chance that it might actually get around to hitting the Earth post 2080 — so 67 years from now. So our kids will have to keep an eye out. Asteroids of this size do hit the Earth every 1200 years or so. We are due. DA14 would not be the end of the World. It is too small. It could destroy a city. There was smaller asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere, above Russia, in 1908 and exploded in the sky before hitting the ground. It destroyed about 80 million trees over a 830 square mile area,