Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Missed it By That Much..."

So the story of interest today isn't what you missed at the start of the week but what missed you.

As reported by
CNN.com and other sites, an asteroid 40 yards wide just missed hitting the planet on Monday night. By just missed, I mean that it was roughly 40,000 miles away from us. Which seems like a long way away, but in astronomical terms is pretty freaking close.

And while many people seem to play it off, I feel the need to point out a handful of factoids that continue to make me nervous. First of all, this particular asteroid, while not large enough to take us out like the dinosaurs went, was still large enough to cause a serious boom had it hit land anywhere. Second, since it came as close to the Earth as it did, some astronomers believe that Earth's gravity may well affect it to the point that we will continue to have near misses with it. Good stuff. But on the bright side, we should have plenty of warning next time. After all, we had... wait, what? Three days? We had three days warning this thing nearly half the size of a football field was on its way past us? Sheesh. I feel comforted.

And lastly, while I can't prove this is related at all to it, cell phone calls have been randomly riddled with static the past few days. And paranoid me is always more afraid of a near missing celestial body accidentally irradiating us than it hitting us. But hey, it's not like we can really worry about it. And if worse comes to worse, well, you know how the drill goes...

(And yes, I've had this song stuck in my head since I read this story earlier this afternoon...)

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