Asteroid or glitch? Strange glowing rock believed to be in our solar system?

SPACE – A user has found a ‘huge asteroid’ while scanning the virtual heavens using Googly Sky. Youtube user planetkrejci, who has investigated other anomalies on NASA pictures, claims the object – found using the Google website which transports the heavens to desktop computers and smartphones – is an asteroid which is heading towards Earth. He says the asteroid – which, if real, has not been spotted by other scientists or astronomers – has only appeared recently on Google Sky, which receives updated images every few months. Announcing his find on YouTube, he says the black object, mottled with green spots, is so clear that it must be within the solar system. The user had been exploring the region a few months earlier, and had ‘bookmarked’ a spot just to the left of the asteroid – so he is certain the object was not there previously. One thing that planekrejci does not substantiate is his claim that the object is moving towards the Earth, as it is not apparent how this calculation could be obtained without more information than the image provides. However, if planetkrejci has found a new object, it will be quite an achievement for an earth-bound Internet user to discover a new object in our solar system before NASA or other observatories. The object is easy to find on Google Sky, by typing in the co-ordinates 5h 11m 33.74s -12 50′ 30.09″ – although conspiracy theorists might read something into the fact that the search function on Google Sky is currently down. –Daily Mail

No official word from NASA yet on this Youtuber’s findings. We’ll keep you posted…

Close-up: The object certainly looks like an asteroid – which seems to be spotted with green flecks.

Announcing his find on YouTube, he says the black object, mottled with green spots, is so clear that it must be within the solar system.
The user had been exploring the region a few months earlier, and had ‘bookmarked’ a spot just to the left of the asteroid – so he is certain the object was not there previously.
There are other explanations – this could be a simple technical glitch, either on Google Sky’s end or within the original photograph.
The earthbound Google Maps regularly has glitches where pictures have been incorrectly sewn together.

In context: The apparent clarity of the ‘asteroid’ implies it is close, certainly within our solar system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth threatened by glowing green asteroid?

By Jon Voisey, Universe Today

The Daily Mail is reporting that a youtube user has found a strange object while poking around in Google Sky. It looks suspiciously like a glowing green asteroid and he claims it’s heading right for us. But before we call in the experts, let’s do a little bit of critical analysis on our own.

First off, the image raises alarm bells because of the apparent size of the object. Without knowing how far away it may be, it’s hard to say how large it would actually be, but we can put some limits on it. I looked up the region on Aladin and the angular distance between the two stars just to the upper right of the object is 1 arc minute. The object seems to be about that size, so we can use that as a baseline.

Assuming that the object was somewhere in the vicinity of Pluto (roughly 6 billion km), doing a bit of quick geometry means the object would be somewhere around 580,000 km. To put that in context, that’s about 40% the diameter of the Sun. If that were the case, this wouldn’t be an asteroid, it would be a small star. The funny thing about stars is that they tend to be somewhat bright and a lot more round. So that rules out that extreme.

2011 MD on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 09:30 UTC with RGB filter. Credit: Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes and Giovanni Sostero at the Faulkes Telescope South.

But what if it were very close? At the distance of the moon, that would mean the object would be about 300 km in diameter which would make this thing slightly smaller than the largest asteroid, Ceres. However, this raises another issue: With that much mass, the object should still be pretty round. Additionally, with such a size and distance, it would be very bright. And it’s not.

Even closer we run into additional issues. Astronomical images aren’t taken as a single color image. Images like this are taken in 3 filters (RGB) and then combined to make a color image. If the object is nearby, it moves from image to image, showing up in the final image in 3 places, each as a different color. For example, here’s an image of 2011 MD illustrating the effect. Given the object in question doesn’t have this tri-color separation going on, it can’t be nearby.

So this has pretty much ruled out anything anywhere in our solar system. If it’s close, it should have color issues and be bright. If it’s far, it’s too massive to have been missed. Outside of our solar system and it wouldn’t have any apparent motion and should be visible in other images. And it’s not.

In fact, searching the various databases from which Google draws its data (SDSS, DSS, HST, IRAS, and WMAP), the killer doesn’t appear at all. Thus, it would seem that this object is nothing more than a technical glitch introduced by ’s stitching together of images. Sorry conspiracy theorists. No Planet X or Nibiru out there this time!

Source: Universe Today

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Comments

  1. NnitehawkK says:

    or there also the posibility that it was the size of a potato and got within 5 foot of the camera

  2. I hereby name this wormwood

    • b.Why is a mission to a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) imonptart and what would/should the goals of a human mission to a NEA be? Why send humans? Asteroids are a unique source of information about the history of the solar system. The study of asteroids would greatly enhance our knowledge of the initial conditions of the planetary nebula, the formation process of terrestrial planets, the link between meteorite type and asteroid classification and the organics in primitive and evolved materials. Due to an easier accessibility in terms of orbital mechanics, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are the target of choice for such a mission concept. NEAs represent a population similar to the main belt asteroids reflecting the remnant bodies which accreted to form planets. NEA’S are a fascinating population of bodies that are interesting from a variety of perspectives:solar system science, space resources and collisional hazards to Earth.These also act as precursors to Moon or Mars landing missions.Majority of the NEA’s are derived from the main asteroid region as fragments of collisionally broken rock and/or metal parent asteroids.Bodies from this source are more likely to have low-e and low-i orbits and hence be more accessible to the spacecraft. Water is likely to be present in abundance on a significant fraction of these bodies especially the C-class and extinct comet nuclei.These objects are likely to be the only significant sources of between the oceans of Earth and the frozen deposits on Mars and will be a water source that is not in a deep gravity well.With water aboard,these may also act as potential carriers of life across the Universe.A concept that is extensively studied in astrobiology. The mission to the asteroid just needs to collect material, put it in a big bag, and tug it back to Earth. Indeed, it should not be too sophisticated. Apollo 11 basically landed, set foot, dug up some local materials, put it into bags, and came back.If we want to minimize the cost of the mission, we can take a risk and send only enough fuel propellant to return the astronauts and a small sample of material in the case of a mission abort, along with equipment to produce fuel propellants at the asteroid using asteroidal material (equipment which would be discarded in case of mission abort) in case things go as planned. Any fuel propellant we cook out of the asteroid can be used to return additional bulk sample material. Place your bets in stock and legal lotteries now. A solar (or nuclear) oven and simple vapor collection equipment should be sufficient to collect enough fuel propellant from the asteroid for the return trip of a very large collection of asteroidal material. Propellant extraction by heating is very simple technology. (And even if it were not to produce much propellant, the mission would still be profitable.)We could simply break off a chunk of the asteroid by sending a few lightweight handheld explosives, and return this big chunk. Or the astronauts could go with simple shovels and bags to collect big samples from around the asteroid. A variety of simple and lightweight collection means can be sent, and the astronauts can use whatever appears best suited for the task upon their arrival without wasting much weight in unused equipment. The collected sample can be wrapped in a big bag to prevent orbital debris from floating away once it reaches Earth orbit.Once in high Earth orbit, a lightweight inflatable bag can be put around the asteroid to create working space while containing all loose material created by experimenting with various processes.The large increase in expense for a manned mission would be more than offset by the increase in value. First of all, a manned mission would be able to accomplish far more we just don’t have the robotics technology that can replace humans, in terms of adaptability and versatility. Secondly, a manned mission would bring in far more money by product endorsements and media footage. Using Russian manned space program hardware and labor like the Soyuz, Salyut and their derivatives, it would seem significantly more economical and feasible in the relative near-term than using American manned mission capability which has priced itself far out of the market in this two-entity market. Another option is to boost a Mir module to the asteroid. People spend a lot of time going around in circles in Earth orbit. Why not spend that time in transit to an asteroid rather than just going nowhere around Earth?There is also no substitute for man over tele-robot when it comes to communications for prospecting an asteroid up to several light-minutes away, and dealing with the material in hand.While manned missions are risky, computers and unmanned missions are even riskier. Look at the failures of Phobos 1 and Phobos 2, as well as Clementine 1. Put a man in the loop on-site and things would have been engineered and happened differently. Look at all the limitations of the Pathfinder rover on Mars, plus the software bugs that dogged it.Nothing comes close to the human mind for adaptability, flexibility and creativity, at this point in time and in fact for the next 20 years. A manned mission now is justified. If we’re going to be successful, we need to do it right. Forget the penny pinching robotics bean-counters who think small is beautiful , we need to look at making more money and bigger is better . The human value of a media event can give us the necessary money to support a manned mission plus give us extra money to reinvest.With a couple of men, we could bring back one hell of a payload to high Earth orbit and probably do some in-situ processing for oxygen, water and propellants which could extend their stay and help bring back huge samples for industry to play with in orbit.

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