Students At Asteroid Viewing Party Spot Meteor Instead
DAVIS (CBS13) – It was quite a sight in the sky Friday night, but not necessarily a sight space enthusiasts expected. Students in the UC Davis Astronomy Club gathered for a chance to spot an asteroid, but instead saw a meteor — just hours after another cosmic coincidence.
There were two chances to see Asteroid 2012 DA14 Friday, once during the day and again at night.
“I looked up for a moment and saw what appeared to be just an extremely bright shooting star,” said Jack Lyding, a UC Davis student.
The odds to see something unusual in the sky seemed to be working in our favor lately.
“It’s more fun just to look for it. It would be great if we saw it,” said Kaelynn Rose, club co-president.
The asteroid is half the size of a football field and just 17,000 miles away. That’s still pretty far, but closer than satellites orbiting the earth.
“We this asteroid DA14 15 minutes closer, there would be an impact and it would be big enough to destroy a major city,” said Bill Nye the Science Guy.
As if this asteroid isn’t a rare enough sight, it seems science is really lighting up the sky after a meteor hit Russia earlier this week. At its peak, the meteor was possibly 20 times faster than sound. Experts say what people saw in Russia had nothing to do with what the Davis star gazers were looking for.
“I think it would have been really cool to see it, but I’m sad I don’t live in Russia,” Rose said.
She may not have to for a chance to see the next cosmic coincidence.
“All these things that have been happening are so rare and I just think we are really fortunate that we even have a chance to come out here and see them,” said student Jay Campbell.
Although they didn’t get to see the asteroid, they did get to see something they didn’t expect.