College students observe huge asteroid

NORWALK - Cerritos College astronomy students set up large telescopes and observed historic passage of an aircraft carrier-size asteroid on Nov. 8.The 26 students of Dr. Thad Szabo's Astronomy 105 class got a hands-on lesson they will never forget. "This is the first time we've ever had information of one of these asteroids ahead of time and be able to set up and be ready to photograph it as it came passed," said Szabo. And he took advantage of the information for his students to get the once-in-a-lifetime experience. "You can't see it with naked eyes but when it shows up this big on a computer screen, you get the feel for it and how massive it is," said student Chris Rodriguez. KNBC Channel 4 was on campus to feature the students and the footage aired on the evening news. According to NASA, the last time a similarly-sized asteroid passed this close to Earth was 1976, and the next comes in 2028.

********** Published: November 24, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 32