Posted Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at 8:00 AM
I’m very pleased to announce a new project I’m doing: TWIST, This Week In Science and Technology. It’s a weekly video wrap-up of science news stories hosted by my friend Dr. Carin Bondar, a biologist and up-and-coming web video star. TWIST will have a handful of cool science stories, and will go up on YouTube every Friday. It’s sponsored by Science Alert, a science news company that focuses on stories from Australia and New Zealand, but is branching out.
My segment for TWIST will be a short clip of me talking about whatever astronomy or space story I like that week, and will have the usual amount of me making faces, flailing my hands around, and using whatever cheesy models I can find to make my point.
It’s hard to give any real details in a segment less than two minutes long, but I’ll have a lot more info on the asteroid 2012 DA 14 very soon. The important things to remember are a) it will miss us for absolute sure, 2) 17,000 miles (27,000 km) is a pretty close shave but not so close it can do anything to us, and γ) this is a fantastic opportunity to track an extremely close pass of an asteroid, which is a good thing.
Also, since I know I’ll get this question: The odds of it hitting any satellites in orbit are extremely small, essentially zero. Put it this way: millions of small objects hit the Earth every day up to about the size of a grain of sand, yet they only hit satellites very, very rarely. Space is huge (that’s why we call it space) and satellites are small. I would be comfortable betting a lot of money DA 14 will pass through our region of space quite safely.
Again, I’ll have lots more on DA 14 soon enough. In the meantime, please subscribe to TWIST, give the video a “like”, and keep track of us on the Science Alert Facebook page if you so desire.