You can't argue with the Universe
you have quite a lot of asteroids strolling about in the outer regions of our Solar System. One of them, the big one with almost 600 km of diameter and an orbital period of about 400 years, the one we call by the odd name 2002 TC302, that's the reason we are writing you today.
Well, this asteroid recently caught the attention of us earthlings, since on 11 November 2021 it is going to occult the 11.7 mag dim star UCAC4 616-007599 - odd name, too, we know and we swear we had nothing to do with that. However, the roaming rock will cast its 600 km wide shadow on our home planet Earth and everyone who happens to stand in the right spot, will see the star suddenly vanish for up to 21 seconds.
Sorry, we forgot to duly introduce ourselves: We are four members of the students astronomy group 'astrocusanus' and some of your biggest fans. You probably hear that often, but believe us, this is not the usual 'kiss the Universe's ass' stuff. No, we are the ones, who since the foundation of our group in 2008, regularly venture out into the cold night, look up to you in awe, listen intently to the intriguing stories you are constantly whispering and try to learn everything there is to know about you.
Now, since the relationship between you and us has now flourished for more than 13 years, we all agreed to dare to politely put forward a minor request. Earth, as you certainly are aware of, is way bigger than the shadow zone of 600 km. Moreover, the occultation will occur at 03:54 CET, quite an inhumane time to be awake. Nevertheless, we are willing to play our part in the game and delve out into the dark once more, we would however be eternally obliged if you could kindly shift the distant rock just by the right amount to let the four of us be within the shadow path. We don't want to sound presumptuous but it's really not much, we are asking for. On the contrary, all the predictions - except one - place us and our observatory right in the middle of the predicted path, already. So, very likely, there is nothing to do for you at all. We just wanted to let you know we were here, hoping for a great show.
Just make sure, we don't miss it, will you?
Alex, Mara, Samuel and Christof
|The crew - Alex, Mara, Samuel and Christof.|
|The target with the cryptic name: UCAC4 606-007599.|
The reply to our letter came shortly after in the form of merciless facts, but listen for yourself:
So, what do we learn from this sad events? Is the Universe really such a remorseless badass as it seems? Did a unknown astronomy group on the other side of the globe write an even more imploring letter? Was 'To our Universe' an insufficiently precise recipient address or can the Italian postal service be blamed or even sued for everything we had to go through?
Or ... OMG ... did the teacher make the whole story up?? 😨😨😨
To boost his career as a youtuber?! 😱😱😱
God, this is so confusing ... 😵💫😵💫😵💫