Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whose Job Is It To Stop An Asteroid From Killing All Of Us?

 
 
Not to be overly alarmist, but Earth has had two near-misses with large asteroids so far this month. On Wednesday, a hunk of space rock three miles in diameter and going by the designation 4179 Toutatis passed by the planet, missing by 4.3 million miles, or about 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.  The day before, an approximately 100 foot-wide asteroid passed much closer -- within 140,000 miles, slipping between the Earth and the moon. Neither of these are the Planet X that some New Age doomsayers claim will bring the end of the world on December 21 (the date the ancient Mayan calendar ends) nor are they quite on the scale of the six-mile wide asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs -- but still, even a "small" asteroid impact could cause tsunamis, skyline-flattening blasts, and at an extreme, nuclear winter. 

For the rest of the story: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/12/12/paging_bruce_willis

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