My Grandpa Barrett phoned me last night to let me know that Asteroid JO25 (pronounced Jo Twenty Five) is going to fly past Earth tonight after my bedtime, and this is the closest visit the asteroid has had in 400 years. Grandpa said it’s going to be a million miles away from earth and when he says a million miles he means a million miles not like when I say a million when I just mean something superbly big.
Also he told me Jo was as big as the Rock of Gibraltar which I guess is pretty big but I don’t know for sure because I never saw that rock but if it has its own name, it must be really big. None of the rocks in my mom’s friend Kimmy’s rock garden have names and some of them are even bigger than me.
NASA says the asteroid looks like a barbell so I’m guessing that when Jo comes back for another visit, Jo will probably be two smaller asteroids. Maybe they’ll get renamed Jo 12 and Jo 13 (because 12 plus 13 equals 25). I think so because NASA says it’s going to be another half a millennium before Jo swings past Earth again, and a half a millennium means 500 more years.
Here’s a NASA video of what Jo looks like now.
My Grandpa Barrett said the next time a humongous asteroid goes past Earth, it’s going to be 2027. That’s a long time to wait for another chance to look at a asteroid so close to earth, so tonight’s the night for having your telescope out and pointed in the right direction.
Also in more space news, a comet called PanSTARRS is going to go zipping past Earth and if you’re looking through binoculars or telescopes, NASA says you probably are going to see it go zipping past.
Here’s the most amazing thing about Jo and Pan. NASA says they got made 4.5 billion years ago. I cannot even imagine how long ago that was but my Grandpa Barrett says that Earth got made about the same amount of time ago give or take 0.05 billion years. I tried to figure out how many years 0.05 billion years is and it’s either 5 million years extra or not quite that many.
I’m not so good with math yet especially when it’s superbly humongous numbers like 0.05 billion years.
So if Jo is going past your house tonight and it’s not past your bedtime, you should get out your telescope and watch the asteroid go by. You’ll be glad you did because it’s not every day a asteroid comes to visit Earth on his way other places in the universe.
All the time I get excited when somebody sends me a letter or a email and I find out we have something really superly great in common. This week I’m sharing a letter I got from State Senator Doug Overbey. He’s the senate member for Blount and Sevier Counties (that’s called District 2), and I live in Sevier County so that means he’s my Senator. Well, my Senator and plus everyone else’s Senator if they live in Blount County or Sevier County.
And you know what else? Senator Overbey has won so many awards for all the important things he does to help people. He even won the Community Leadership Award from Leadership Blount and another award from the National Children’s Alliance.
He’s the Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, and the Second Vice Chair of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee. He’s the First Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and a member of the Health and Welfare Committee. He’s even a member of the Senate Rules Committee, and plus a member of the Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee.
That says to me that he really cares a lot about all the people in Tennessee, not just people in District 2.
I especially love that he’s a board member for A Secret Safe Place For Newborns of Tennessee because that means to me that he cares about even the smallest person that needs help.
So Senator Overbey sent me a letter and the letter made me want to do even more to help people that need help. I would do everything I’m already doing even without letters from people like Senator Overbey and maybe that’s how come these letters mean so much to me.
I think everyone should do what they can to help people, even people they don’t know but that need help. When I get a letter like the letters I get from people saying they appreciate what I’m doing, I feel like it’s a letter to all of us that are doing everything we can to help. And you want to know why? Because everything counts.
If you help a million people, that counts. If you help one person, that counts. Everything counts.
So let’s keep on making Senator Overbey proud of what we’re doing in his District and that means going out there and volunteering and coming up with fundraisers to raise awareness and money for research.
Here’s the letter Senator Overbey sent to me. I think you’re going to love reading it so much as I did. The next time I do fundraisers like the Pinwheels and Pearls tea garden party I had in my Grandma and Grandpa Barrett’s backyard, I’m going send a invitation to Senator Overbey and his wife because maybe they would like to attend.