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As the asteroid is approaching, we invited one of Earth’s defenders to dinner.




Citizens must protect the earth.


A few weeks ago a man appeared at my door.

More technically incorrect

He wore a large rectangular backpack and was looking around the world like Millennial Ghostbusters.

And I remembered what was happening. I saw this headline: “Help protect the planet by detecting the infamous asteroid Apophis!” And was naturally intrigued.

In fact, it was my wife who was even more excited. She is a scientist whose idea of ​​relaxation is to scroll through Space Instagram.

A disastrous planet defense warning-and encouraging citizen scientists to gather for humanity-has come through a company called Unistellar.

This is the creator of eVscope, a digital telescope with “unprecedented power and simplicity”. If only America can claim the same thing.

Many telescopes don’t recognize that much. My wife’s basic Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is struggling terribly with clouds.

The creators of eVscope claim that they can see much more.

This is a place that could be useful this Sunday at 11:50 CST. It is then that the near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis appears to pass in front of the stars. Therefore, the Paris Observatory says along a path traced from almost northwest to southeast of the United States.

Unisteller asks a disturbing question about this asteroid: “Will it destroy spacecraft and satellites, or will it make catastrophic, direct contact with Earth?”

Indeed, PR fluff and buncam. And anyway, this potentially dangerous asteroid is supposed to come our way (vaguely) only in 2029.

But just in case, I wanted to see for myself if this telescope could make a difference to people by finding it on Sunday.

Moving is not easy at the moment, so I told Dr. Frank Marquis, Chief Scientific Officer of Unistellar, that he sat down on our deck and was a socially distant wine (naturally Cabernet Franc). Fran) drank, ate something and asked if he would demonstrate the company’s portable digital telescope.

Dr. Marquis slipped off his backpack as easily as sipping Cabernet. He installed the telescope within seconds.

Then he showed you how to control it on your iPhone.

He toggled and the telescope followed.

The makers of eVscope make quirky claims. According to Unisteller, this portable one is 100 times more powerful than a regular telescope.

But the result was extraordinary. My wife says.

You see, the clouds have arrived, but she still announced with unusual excitement: “I just saw Orion’s penis!” That’s clearly the way some astronomers praise the Orion Nebula.

eVscope allows you to pinpoint an empty object, stare at it, and understand how important the spots in the sky really are.

Looking through the viewfinder, I think it was the sharpest and most impressive image I’ve seen with a telescope.

Of course, this machine has a few drawbacks. It costs about $ 2,999. This is not the kind of amount that all citizen advocates on Earth can afford.

Still, I asked Dr. Marquis what could Apophis bring to one or two satellites, and even a little apocalypse on our planet.

“I can’t answer this until Apophis has a sophisticated trajectory,” he told me.

Oh, but come on. Please scare Dr. Marquis a little.

“Currently, that orbit will be in geosynchronous orbit less than 36,000 km from Earth in 2029,” he said. “Therefore, it passes through this virtual sphere, which consists of about 400 satellites, twice. However, its orbit is tilted away from the equator, so the possibility of impact is low. If you get closer to Earth, it could have an impact. It will increase because there are more satellites in lower orbits. “

We have been warned and Dr. Marquis should know. He actually had an asteroid named after him.

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