For the fourth year in a row, I have been selected to present my work at SIGGRAPH – an international computer graphics conference. I will be presenting an animation I created to depict the difference in trajectories of the 2012 DA14 Asteroid and a surprise Russian Meteor which, by pure coincidence arrived on the exact same day.
On February 15th, a meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded over Russia. Coincidentally, on the same day a much larger asteroid called 2012 DA14 was scheduled to make a close approach to the Earth (closer than our GEO satellites), but it was NOT expected to impact the Earth. There was a rush to conclude that experts were wrong, and this object entering the atmosphere over Russia was a piece of the larger asteroid. We knew that the Russian meteor couldn’t be related to the asteroid because it impacted the northern hemisphere (the asteroid was coming from the south) and at the time of impact, the asteroid was still over 240,000 km away. In just under 6 hours after the event, I was able to create a technical animation to depict why the two events were unrelated. Sure, the initial trajectory of the Russian Meteor was rudely calculated, but it was good enough data to prove that they couldn’t have been related. The video got some decent airtime in the media, and it made for one heck of a story!
This year, the conference will be held in Anaheim, CA, (right on Disney’s doorestep!), so that should be a good time. I’m excited to be a part of the SIGGRAPH Dailies lineup once again!