Feeling superstitious? Well, you may want to stop reading now as a huge asteroid over 100 miles across will be making a close pass by Earth on, of all days, Friday the 13th. Scared yet?
Well, don't be as, according to Universe Today, the asteroid, called 324 Bamberga, will be passing about 70 million miles from Earth at its closest, which means that it is in no danger of hitting Earth. Still, though, the asteroid will be closer to Earth than it will be for another 22 years.
Now a meaningful question: will I be able to see it?
Shining at magnitude +8.1, 324 Bamberga is visible with binoculars, making it an easy target for telescopes. The bad news: observing asteroids requires patience and the ability to pick out a slowly moving object amidst the starry background. The good news: 324 Bamberga spends September west of the circlet of Pisces (making it easy to find), drifting two degrees a week, or just over 17 arc minutes a day.
Unfortunately, 324 Bamberga will be moving way too slow to pick up any motion in real time, but you can spy it by either sketching the field on successive nights or photographing the region and noting if the asteroid can be seen changing position against the background of fixed stars.
Want to do some sky watching in the Cleveland area? As the last part of the puzzle, be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock. Live somewhere else? Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you. Oh, yes, good luck with your asteroid hunting!
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Bodzash Photography & Astronomy