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Don’t Miss Your Chance to See an Asteroid Zoom Past Texas

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A massive asteroid will whiz by the earth next week, they’re calling it “potentially hazardous.”  So where is the best East Texas spot to watch this madness?  Here are some ideas.

If an asteroid is 1 kilometer wide and it hits something, that would be bad.  But in the same breath with “potentially hazardous,” astronomers also say it’s going to stay on a path that is a million miles away from earth.  So we’re feeling pretty safe and there’s no need to get all Y2K on our friends and family or anything.

It will be just close enough for good viewing, and just far away enough to not bother us too much.

Space.com says small asteroids pass close by Earth several times each week, but the event next will be “the closest by any known asteroid of this size.”  The asteroid is trucking toward earth now, and scientists expect it to breeze by us on Wednesday, April 19th.  The next close one won’t happen until 2027.

Is there a Lufkin spot that you always move toward anytime one of these space things happens?  The back yard might work, but sometimes it’s fun to pack some snacks and venture out with the astronomy enthusiasts and really get after it.

Astronomy programs at Stephen F. Austin have set up telescopes and viewing points in the past.  The official Observatory is on Highway 259.

Texas State Parks have some viewing stations set up, and some of those are great because they’re far away from cities and streetlights and it makes space a lot sharper.   Tyler State Park may be calling.

Astronomical Society of East Texas has held some viewing events recently at Mineola Nature Preserve.  They have members from Tyler, Palestine, and Longview who help promote amateur astronomy

What other spots are great for viewing space?  NASA says telescopes will be set up all over the world trying to catch the best glimpse of Asteroid 2014 JO25 next week.  Not the sexiest name, but then science isn’t usually worried about being sexy.

We’ll watch for your pics on social media on the 19th.  What a unique little gift from space ahead of Earth Day on April 22!  Surely the earth will be just fine.

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