As they always say, “an inch is as good as a mile.” But news that an asteroid came within 40,000 miles of earth yesterday makes me nervous – especially since no one told us until it had safely passed.
I can hear a huge “whew” coming from Nasa and the other sky gazers around the planet.
While most of the world nonchalantly went about its business on Monday, a few twitchy stargazers were intently following the path of a near-Earth asteroid carrying the potential to create significant damage to the planet’s surface – equal to a nuclear bomb.
Wonder which part of the globe it skirted? – Is that Memphis?
Although the big “rock” narrowly avoided a collision with Earth, space experts believe the 200-foot asteroid was a significant event and something of a fanfare-free near miss.
Speaking with Canadian publication the Ontario Citizen, astronomer Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario said the encroaching asteroid was equivalent in size to the Tunguska asteroid that exploded above Siberia in 1908 and obliterated thousands of square miles of remote forestry.
According to Brown, “the last rock as large or larger than this to come this close was in 1973 and the next time will be in 2029 when Apophis makes its close approach.” Is he telling us the truth, or is there another rogue rock heading our way as we merrily take out the trash.
“The Tech Herald” reported today there are only a select amount of experts with their eyes trained to the heavens, and many other potentially dangerous space objects could yet take the planet by surprise. In other words, no ones watching the store!
Case in point, the impending “near miss” yesterday was only discovered last Friday. I would have appreciated a little alert. Would have gone out for dinner Sunday night instead of eating left over pizza!
In order to provide increased coverage when searchin space for asteroids and comets in the future, Canada is planning to launch its NEOSSat satellite (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) into orbit in 2010 reported the Herald. Seems to me NASA or somebody could come up with something like a burglar alarm that would alert us when an asteroid is banging at our back door!