Friday, February 15, 2013

Typos Reach Astronomical Heights

Today asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass by our fair planet at a relatively close 17,100 miles.

Just yesterday I read a news report (sorry, didn’t note the source) that said the asteroid was half the size of a football. I didn’t give it much thought until I saw this statement in a CNN story:

“Known as 2012 DA14, the asteroid is thought to be 45 meters long, about half the length of a football field.”

There’s quite a bit of difference between half the size of a football and half the size of a football field.

I did a little digging on the NASA web site. In less than 30 seconds, I found the following:

“Although its size is not well determined, this near-Earth asteroid is thought to be about 45 meters in diameter.”

Proofreading and fact-checking prior to publication. What a concept.

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