GMU Observatory offers Fairfax a different way to star gaze

The observatory invites all to come gaze at the stars through their electron microscope every clear Monday night.

 On Sept. 16, 2013, Professor Darryl Wilson facilitated a lecture about Saturn that began at 8 p.m. The lecture was for all attendees whether they were astronomy majors or not.


Asteroid 2012 DA14

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Fitzpatrick)

Hold on tight, George Mason University. On Feb. 15, the day after Valentine’s Day, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass extremely close to Earth. With a size of about 150 feet (45 meters), this asteroid is relatively small. Traveling at a speed of 12,500 mph, asteroid 2012 DA14 is flying eight times faster than a rifle bullet.

If it were to crash in to Earth, it would be the equivalent of a 2.4 megaton bomb. The impact wouldn’t be a global catastrophe, but it would destroy a large area. Asteroid 2012 DA14 will come as close as 17,000 miles to Earth, which is really not that far away in space.