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Thread: Asteroid" behind the sun"

  1. #1 Asteroid" behind the sun" 
    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    I hear all the time that there is a possibility that an asteroid can come from behind the sun and that we would not have enough time to react if it does, but it sounds like complete gibberish to me, what does "behind the sun" even mean ?


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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    what does "behind the sun" even mean ?
    Well, if the orbit of the asteroid matched the orbit of the earth (in the sense that as the earth moved around the sun, the asteroid also moved in the same direction - but on the other side of the sun) then I guess it could appear suddenly. But that's just a guess.


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    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
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    I'm not quite sure of the accuracy of results, but I've found this site that supposedly gives the current or dated positions of the planets in the solar system. If an asteroid were to travel in our solar system, wouldn't it be subject to the gravitational pull of the other planets as well as the sun?

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    "What does "behind the sun" even mean ?"

    In Astronomy this refers to approaching from a low solar elongation. If an asteroid were to appear say 20 degrees from the Sun it look like a thin sliver of light (Venus looks like a very thin crescent from such an angle) and be quite faint and whatismore it would not be able to be seen in a dark (night) sky. This is basically what happened with the Chelyabinsk meteor and so the first we knew of it was when it hit the upper atmosphere.
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