Tag: Halloween

What a show of fireworks this would be!

Asteroid 2015 TB145 will pass by Planet Earth – just!

Back in my old country, Halloween is not celebrated in the same style that it is here in America. The Brits tend to favour the evening of November 5th and Guy Fawkes Night. That evening, Bonfire Night, sees fireworks parties in many places.


However, if one starts to think of the dimensions and distances of outer space then our planet is just being spared the firework show to beat all other shows.

I’m referring to Asteroid TB145, a huge asteroid, that will pass Earth at 310,000 miles (498,896 km) or 1.3 times the Earth-moon distance.


UPDATE OCTOBER 30, 2015. A newly found asteroid of notable size – known as asteroid 2015 TB145 – will safely pass Earth on October 31, 2015, according to clocks in North America. It should be visible moving in front of the stars, with the help of a telescope, tonight (October 30). It is the biggest known asteroid that will come this close to Earth until 2027. The asteroid – found as recently as October 10 – will fly past Earth at a safe distance, or about 1.3 times the moon’s distance. Closest approach to Earth will be October 31 at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 UTC). Translate to your time zone here.

Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, said:

The trajectory of 2015 TB145 is well understood. At the point of closest approach, it will be no closer than about 300,000 miles – 480,000 kilometers or 1.3 lunar distances. Even though that is relatively close by celestial standards, it is expected to be fairly faint, so night-sky Earth observers would need at least a small telescope to view it.

So how big is this asteroid?

Scientists are continuing to estimate the size at 1,300 feet (400 meters) wide.

If the size is correct, the new found asteroid is 28 times bigger in diameter than the Chelyabinsk meteor that penetrated the atmosphere over Russia in February, 2013. An incoming asteroid’s potential to do damage on Earth depends on various factors, including its size, its angle of entry, and the point on Earth over which it enters the atmosphere. The shock wave from the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor broke windows and did other damage to some 7,200 buildings in six Russian cities. Some 1,500 people were injured seriously enough to seek medical treatment, mainly from broken glass from windows.

For those of you that want to catch a glimpse of TB145, then:


Asteroid position at 3:50 a.m. ET (0750 UTC) Point a Go To computerized telescope to HIP 24197 or SAO 94377) a naked-eye star with a magnitude of 5 in Orion. At 3:50 a.m. ET on October 31 (Saturday morning), the space rock passes close to this star. The asteroid will appear as a slowly moving ‘star’ passing very close to this star. By this time the asteroid should appear to move faster because it will be closer to Earth than earlier on the night of October 30. This illustration shows a half degree field of view (about the size of a full moon). A pair of double stars visible in this area should confirm you are pointing at the correct direction. Alternatively, you can point your telescope to these coordinates: RA 05h 11m 41.6s / DEC +16º 02′ 44.5″. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium.

Full details and answers to most of your questions may be found here.

All I can say is I hope the number crunchers have got their sums right!

If not, then it’s goodnight from her and goodnight from me.


It was nice knowing you all!

P.S. If you think this is all a bit far-fetched, then this video sent to me by Dan Gomez will bring you down to earth.

All change for November

“At that moment I must have lost my presence of mind.”

November's cause!
November’s cause!

A couple of years ago, in a fit of ‘all mouth and no trousers‘ I signed up to NaNoWriMo.  For the uninitiated that stands for National November Writing Month.

Why do I write ‘all mouth and no trousers‘?  Because in both the previous two Novembers I didn’t even think about writing a single word, let alone actually write a word.  OK, a year ago we were in the middle of settling down into our home here in Merlin.  But still ….

So this November, I have committed to have a go.  Or as the NaNoWriMo blog post explains:

NaNoWriMo 2013: Want to Write a Novel?

It’s just a few days until November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, better known ’round these parts as NaNoWriMo, is near.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

We know some of you have been waiting all year for this month! For those of you who are new to this project, here’s the gist:

Who: You — whether you’re a seasoned novelist, novice writer, wannabe author, or a blogger up for a challenge.

What: A project in which you work toward a goal of writing a 50,000-word novel.

Where: On your laptop. At your desk. In your favorite café. Wherever inspiration strikes.

When: Kicking off this Friday, November 1, and ending at 11:59 pm on November 30.

Why: You’re creative and passionate about words. You’ve got a story to tell. You want to participate in a fun, rewarding project and push others to stretch their imaginations, too.

How: Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org, where you can plan your novel, track your progress, and join a community that offers support, encouragement, and advice — online and off.

So that means that for the month of November I shall have my head down for quite a fews hours each day in the self-imposed challenge of seeing if I can actually write a 50,000 word novel in one month! To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of 1,670 words every single day, seven days a week, for the thirty days of the month!

Ergo, the time for writing posts for Learning from Dogs is going to be very severely restricted!

In fact, it’s worse than that!  I’m going to be sharing my scribblings with you.

As the NaNoWriMo site goes on to suggest:

While the NaNoWriMo website is where you’ll capture the magic, we hope you’ll use your blog to post updates, test your material, and share tips:

Connect with other participants on WordPress.com. Be sure to follow NaNoWriMo in your Reader to read what others all over the world are writing and saying throughout the month.

Test material on your readers. While diving into a novel is a solitary journey, know that you’ve got a support network in your readership — they know your voice, so consider trying out material on your blog. Not sure if a scene is working? Post an excerpt.

Reflect on your writing process. If you don’t want to share your novel-in-progress or get too specific with your readers, that’s fine. But consider taking time in between your sessions to reflect on your process: roadblocks you’ve hit, questions about your craft, and advice for other participants.

“Share the lessons you learn about your writing — and yourself — through your NaNo journey,” says Kristi. Then, tag these posts with NaNoWriMo so others can find them. There’s already chatter in the Reader, so dive in: you’ll find resourceful and inspirational posts by bloggers like Kristen LambRachel PetersonCristian Mihai, and E.E. Blake.

My idea is to post completed chapters here on Learning from Dogs every couple of days or so.  Aiming for the foreword In the beginning to be posted here next Monday, the 4th. Then Chapter One, Chapter Two, and, just possibly, Chapter Three by the end of next week.  Tomorrow, November 1st, I will share my synopsis for my novel!

NaMoWriMo stress the importance of writing; writing; writing and not losing the impetus of getting those words out by dilly-dallying in constant editing; something that I am rather prone to do over what is now more than 1,850 posts since July, 2009!

Thus the writings posted on Learning from Dogs will have many obvious errors.  So what would be truly fantastic is to have your feedback, both good and bad, also highlighting crap writing and obvious mistakes, plus any ideas as to how the story might evolve. Because at this moment in time, I don’t have much of an idea.  Mind you, I bet I’m not alone.  The NaNoWriMo website shows there are 186,437 Novelists up for it this November!

During the intervening days, in other words non-sharing days, I’ll try and find something quick or humorous to post or, perhaps, repost something that has previously been published in this place.

So if all this doesn’t ‘rock your boat’, I’ll see you on December 1st!  Assuming there is some level of creative sanity left in me!

Have a good month, people!