The Beaten Path
With Jack Armistead
youre reading this column after Dec. 16, we
will be just fine.
With a diameter of about 3 miles, the asteroid 3200
Phaethon will be the third largest potentially
hazardous and will pass 6.4 million miles
away from earth on Dec. 16, according to the Minor
Planet Center. NASA said it will be a strong radar
imaging target and the best opportunity to
date for radar observations of this asteroid.
NASA also said the images obtained should be excellent
for obtaining a detailed 3D model.
The asteroid, discovered in October of 1983 by NASAs
Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), will be
visible with even a small telescope for experienced
observers at sites with dark skies. Phaethon is
named for the Greek mythological son of Helios (the
Dont worry. Its not supposed to pass
this close to earth again until 2093 when it will
pass from 1.8 million miles away. Many of us here
on earth now will probably be dancing with the stars
Some weird Christmas traditions
Germans hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas
Eve. The first child to discover it in the morning
receives a small gift.
In Ukraine, Ukrainians forego tinsel and baubles
and decorate their trees with an artificial spider
In Estonia on Christmas Eve, Estonian families traditionally
head to the sauna together.
In Japan, thanks to an ad campaign in 1974, many
Japanese families eat at KFC on Christmas Eve.
Regardless of what you and your family do on Christmas
Eve, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy
Hanukkah , and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Be
good. Spread the love.