Reply To: Use of Non-Technical Units in astronomy

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Mark Phillips

The Jerusalem Post (not my normal reading!) published this…

“2 asteroids the size of 22 penguins to pass Earth this weekend
Both asteroids 2023 AT and 2023 AE1 are as much as 22 meters wide, meaning 22 emperor penguins. They won’t hit us though – penguins are more likely to.

“Emperor penguins have an average swimming speed between six to nine kilometres per hour. This means that, at best, asteroid 2023 AT is barrelling through space at a speed that’s around 2,892 times faster than the swim speed of an emperor penguin.”

I responded to it in my weekly newsletter to the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh:

“On 17 Feb 2023 asteroid 2020 DG4, the size of 4.5 ± 0.2 ASE Presidents laid end-to-end, will come within 1.4 ± 0.05 Lunar Diameters of the Earth at a speed of 6.9 km/s, 222 ± 5 times the speed of his car on a motorway.”
Suspect it won’t catch on.