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  Insult to injury: an asteroid and its moonMay 31, 2013 11:14 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:The 1.7-mile-wide (2.7 kilometers) asteroid 1998 QE2 made its 3.6 million mile closest approach to Earth today, which isn't that exciting because it's like ten or eleven times as far away as the Moon and anyway seven or so times smaller than the asteroid theorized to have wiped out the dinosaurs, BUT the nifty thing about it is that it has its own moon, as seen here in these recent NASA radar images:
 
Image
image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR (source)
 
Neat! I wonder if the dinosaur-killing one had a moon or two--after all, it was a lot bigger. "In the near-Earth population, about 16 percent of asteroids that are about 655 feet (200 meters) or larger are binary or triple systems," says NASA.
 
Excited as anyone about the prospect of global catastrophe by asteroid impact, and perhaps hoping to get some significant funding bucks out of the fear generated by such a prospect, NASA, at the request of Congress in 2005, came up with a study of the possibility of deflecting an incoming asteroid--complete with complicated graphs trying to show to what degree objects of various sizes/speeds would be deflected by a variety of man-made devices--which concluded, as any fool / Hollywood producer could have told you, that the best way to do it would be with a nuke, aside from the political caveat that nuclear explosions in outer space were banned under the U.N.'s 1967 space treaty (okay the Hollywood producer might have had to look that one up). But you bet your ass we'd do it anyway if we had to! And its little moon, too! U S A! U S A!
 
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Saturday addendum : p
 
Trying something a little different with how I process A* pages: I'm going straight bitmap, so they're sharper, faster, and maybe have more of a pulp feel. And I think any digital grays I need to include with the pencil blend more seamlessly this way. I've replaced some of the recent pages with reprocessed versions: 27, 38, 42, 46, and 49. (Only the latter 3 have had the large versions replaced, oh and you might need to tell your browser to refresh the page (F5) to see the new versions.)
 
Let me know what you think!
 
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Monday:
 
I've switched 'em back--too many dots after a while. : P I think what I got out of all this though is that I just need to add a tiny bit of sharpening after shrinking down the original to web size, then we should be good.
 
 
 
 
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