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A Brief Guide to Asteroids

There is a lot of exciting stuff going on in the stars above us that make astronomy so much fun.  The truth is the universe is constantly changing and moving.

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Asteroids

There is a lot of exciting stuff going on in the stars above us that make astronomy so much fun.  The truth is the universe is constantly changing and moving.

Of the many celestial phenomenons, there is probably none as exciting as that time you see your first asteroid on the move in the heavens.  o call asteroids the “rock stars” of astronomy is simultaneously a bad joke but an accurate depiction of how astronomy fans view them. Unlike suns, planets and moons, asteroids are on the move, ever changing and, if they appear in the night sky, exciting and dynamic.

An Urban Tale

Like rock stars, asteroids have been given their fair share of urban myth and lore. Many have attributed the extinction of the dinosaurs to the impact of a huge asteroid on the earth. This theory has some credibility and, if it is true, it evokes some pretty startling images and foreboding fears in the current reining species on earth, the human race.

The fact that asteroids are fast moving space debris only makes their movement and activity more interesting and exciting. Unlike a moon, planet or star, the odds that an asteroid could hit the earth are entirely reasonable and in fact, there are many documented cases of small asteroids making it through our atmosphere and leaving some pretty impressive craters in the earth’s surface.

Exploding Asteroid

Asteroids in Pop Culture

Popular culture has happily embraced the idea of an asteroid impact.  The idea has spawned many a science fiction story adding the idea that alien life forms may ride asteroids to our world and start a war of the world’s situation. By far, the most talked about concept that has captured the imagination and the fears of science fiction fans and the general public is of another asteroid hitting the earth that could wipe out life as allegedly happened to the dinosaurs. In fact, the movie Armageddon was based on this idea and the concept that somehow mankind could avert that catastrophe with technology.

Likely the best way to calm our fears and replace science fiction with science is with understanding and knowledge. The truth is, there has been a lot of study of asteroid activity and the serious scientific community has gained significant knowledge of these amazing celestial bodies. A number of probes to asteroids have been conducted which have given us a wealth of information about their composition and how we might predict their behavior.

The Asteroid Belt

We now know that the majority of asteroids we get to witness come from an asteroid belt that exists between Mars and Jupiter. It is from this community of asteroids that many of the notable asteroids emerged. Scientists have gained significant knowledge about the composition of asteroids and separated them into classes including class S which comes of the part of the belt that is closest to Mars, classes C, D and V which are classified by composition and a class called Centaurs whose flight patterns take them closer to Jupiter and Uranus.

NASA Studies

Some of the probes NASA has conducted on near flying asteroids have performed some pretty amazing studies of these eccentric celestial bodies. In 1994, the Galileo probe got within 1000 miles of the asteroid Ida and discovered that Ida actually had its own moon.

Big Asteroid

The Exciting Cosmos

Other probes have fired impactors into asteroids and even landed on an asteroid to produce some amazing scientific data for us. There is much to learn about asteroids in our love of astronomy and that knowledge only makes our enjoyment of seeing them in the cosmos even more exciting.

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Throw a Reality TV Binge Watching Party

Ever since the advent of reality TV, people can’t get enough of it. In fact, there’s even a Netflix-like app called Hayu that is solely devoted to streaming reality TV. The fact is, these TV shows are pure entertainment – they are sometimes even better than some scripted shows you see.

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Friends Watching TV

Ever since the advent of reality TV, people can’t get enough of it. In fact, there’s even a Netflix-like app called Hayu that is solely devoted to streaming reality TV. The fact is, these TV shows are pure entertainment – they are sometimes even better than some scripted shows you see. Watching reality TV can be even more enjoyable with a group. I must admit, I am hopelessly addicted to reality TV. If you want to have a TV watching party with your friends, here are some of my picks that you can binge.

Made in Chelsea

With 15 seasons and a number of spinoffs in different cities, MIC follows the lives of young, wealthy people in London’s most exclusive borough, Kensington and Chelsea. Available on Channel 4 in the UK and on Hayu. The first two seasons, in particular, are the best ones if you are starting from scratch (The Spencer and Caggie will they/won’t they storyline is particularly engaging).

90 Day Fiancé

90 Day Fiancé is a reality show on TLC that follows various couples who are applying or just received their K-1 visa, a visa for foreign fiancés of American citizens. Because of this time constraint, they have to decide if they want to marry within the 90 days or if the non-US-resident will have to leave and go back home. However, the show is at the point now where couples are all at different stages: some are married but on the rocks, some are deciding if they should get engaged at all – in any case, this is by far my favorite reality TV show. The drama factor is high, and the frustrations alone will strike up a conversation. 90 Day Fiancé is currently on hiatus, but you can watch its equally entertaining other franchise: the third season of Before the 90 Days on TLC right now.

Vanderpump Rules

A spinoff about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills member, Lisa Vanderpump, and the serving staff at her West Hollywood restaurant SUR. These servers pack a lot of drama – six seasons worth of it. No word on when season 7 premiere, but you can watch catch episodes on Bravo, Slice, and Hayu.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

A fierce competition show that is perfect for gatherings. With the best in lip-synching, fashion, and drag, I have friends who specifically have hosted nights devoted to RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show is on hiatus now, but you can catch the last season on VH1, and a couple of seasons on Netflix.

Friends Watching TV

With reality television being so widely watched, it is a great idea to include your favorite show in your next social gathering. There are plenty more shows to choose from – the trick is in finding the one that sparks everyone’s interests.

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