A asteroid (ग्रहिका in Hindi / గృహశకలం ) called "2013 ET" will flyby earth at distance of 9,75,488 km (equivalent to 2.5 times the Distance of Earth& Moon) on 9th March at 5:39 p.m. IST. Size of this asteroid is estimated to be 102 meters (334 Feet). And it’s moving at speed of 11.8 km/sec. This asteroid was discovered on March 3, 2013 and before that scientists were not aware about this object. There is no chance of this space rock hitting Earth or Moon now or in near future.
LAST MONTH EVENT: it may be noted to remember two events which suggest serious need for action.
i. Space rock Discovered by Amateurs - missed Earth as Predicted : “Asteroid 2012 DA14" flew by earth at distance of 27,600 km (above the surface of Earth) on 16th Feb at 12.55 a.m. Size of this asteroid is about 45 meters (147 Feet).
ii. Meteor – Unpredicted/Unknown – Injury to over 1000 People in Russia: surprisingly a strange event occurred on the Morning of 15 Feb 2013 in Russia at Chelyabinsk. A huge Meteor which exploded high in the Earth atmosphere but still hit earth resulting into injuries to more than 1000 people and damage to property.
Whats interesting is there was no advance notice of this objects encounter with earth. Such a event occurred in 1908 in Tunguska Forest, Russia.
In the words of NASA RELEASE “The large fireball (technically, a "superbolide") observed on the morning of February 15, 2013 in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia, was caused by a relatively small asteroid approximately 17 to 20 meters in size, entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed and a shallow angle. In doing so it released a tremendous amount of energy, fragmented at high altitude, and produced a shower of pieces of various sizes that fell to the ground as meteorites”.
Large Number of undetected asteroids : Astronomers estimate that the number of near-Earth asteroids tops 1 million, but just 9,700 have been discovered to date.
Planetary Society India Request/Petition – Proactive Search: PSI has been advocating serious action on this issue since last 5 years. It’s a fact that only if we have prior notice we can do something with incoming danger. However research or facilities or encouraging amateur organizations for early discovery of such objects is very sad. So we request Govt to take this as serious issue& Encourage.
Other information : Though not uncommon 9th March 2013 space rock (2013 ET) is second Asteroid this week to flyby and was discovered few days before its closest approach .i.e. On 4th March 2013 “Asteroid 2013 EC” with size of 12 meters missed Earth.
Interestingly another space rock “Asteroid 2013 EB” with size of 16 Meters flyby earth on 28th February 2013. Both (“Asteroid 2013 EB” and “Asteroid 2013 EC”) missed us by Approx. One LD .i.e. Distance between Earth and Moon.
N.SRI RAGHUNANDAN KUMAR
To attention of PTI/IANS/AP/REUTERS/