Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 15 Approach Of Asteroid


It was discovered that a near-Earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 45 meters (148 ft) and an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons will bring the Earth to a distance from Earth to asteroid of 34,100 km; 21,200 miles.

The asteroid will pass closer to Earth than our orbiting satellites in geosynchronous orbit. This can be seen in the following illustration.

This February 15, 2013 passage by Earth is a record close approach for a known object of this size.

The good news:
NASA says "Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14 Will Miss Earth On February 15, 2013.



On this day, February 6, in 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king's two daughters and next in line to succeed him, became Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth, born on April 21, 1926, and known to her family as Lilibet, was groomed as a girl to succeed her father. She married a distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, on November 20, 1947, at London's Westminster Abbey. The first of Elizabeth's four children, Prince Charles, was born in 1948.

Elizabeth, the 40th British monarch since William the Conqueror, has worked hard at her royal duties and become a popular figure around the world. In 2003, she celebrated 50 years on the throne, only the fifth British monarch to do so.

Today, the queen is one of the world's wealthiest women, with extensive real-estate holdings and art and jewelry collections.


A small rocky body orbiting the sun, ranging in size from nearly 600 miles across to dust particles.

Asteroids are small Solar System bodies that are not comets, and historically referred to objects inside the orbit of Jupiter. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids.

Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small bodies of the inner Solar System out to the orbit of Jupiter, which are usually rocky or metallic. They are grouped with the outer bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, which is the term preferred in astronomical circles.

There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets. A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.


Born February 6, 1895
Died: August 16, 1948

George Herman Ruth, Jr, best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American baseball player who spent 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing for three teams (1914–1935).

Known for his hitting brilliance, Ruth set career records in his time for home runs (714 since broken), slugging percentage (.690), runs batted in (RBI) (2,213 since broken), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164).

Ruth originally entered the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher, but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to a full-time right fielder. He subsequently became one of the league's most prolific hitters and with his home run hitting prowess, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series titles. Ruth retired in 1935 after a short stint with the Boston Braves, and the following year, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Born Feb. 6, 1911
Died June 5, 2004

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981–89). Prior to that, he was the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75), and a radio, film and television actor.

As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending.

Born   Feb. 6, 1939
Age:   73 years old

Michael Joseph "Mike" Farrell is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H (1975–83). He is an activist for political causes.

Farrell was a producer of Patch Adams (1998) starring Robin Williams, and has starred on the television series Providence (1999–2002). He appeared as Milton Lang, the father of Victor Lang (John Slattery), husband of Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) on Desperate Housewives (2007–2008). He was seen in the tenth season episode "Persona" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Most recently he appeared as the character Fred Jones in the season 8 episode "Hunteri Heroici" of Supernatural.

Born Feb. 6, 1922
Age: 90 years old

Patrick Macnee is an English actor, known for his role as the secret agent John Steed in the series The Avengers.

Comment: I once, a long time ago, mentioned the name of the  actor Patrick Macnee, and a family member chuckled and said, "It's pronounced 'McGee,' Gene." I reiterated, "It's 'Macnee.'" To which he sneered and said, "Oh, I forgot that Gene's never wrong." I hate when that happens -- It happens more than you'd think. I'm not always right, but probably at least 90 percent of the time.

Note: The Writer's Almanac each day features the birthdays and short bios for selected poets and authors.


Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.
--Mark Twain

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