Earlier this month an asteroid whizzed by, narrowly missing us by about 200,000 miles. Of course, that seems like a long way away - and it is. But it's actually inside the orbit of the moon. Giant rocks are out there hurling around in space, and that's a pretty terrifying thought when you actually think about it.
Here's a little "Did You Know" for your Monday afternoon:
Did you know that there is an asteroid, about the size of two and a half football fields, that is going to pass quite near to Earth in April of 2029? How close? Well, it's going to pass close enough to fly under our weather satellites. And Earth's gravity is going to affect the giant space rock ever so slightly.
If that asteroid passes through a small area (give it a one in a million chance), the Earth's gravity will bend its trajectory in such a way, that seven years later on a Friday the 13th, that asteroid will hit Earth.
The main point of the talk, other than the scare the absolute crap out of everybody, is to discuss how we protect our lovely planet from mayhem. Basically: deflect them. No landing on them and blowing them up with an A-bomb. And no, we probably don't need Bruce Willis for this. Deflect, and then coax it away. The coaxing it away is the really interesting part. Enjoy:
So in theory, we could avoid total annihilation if that asteroid comes hurling toward Earth in 2036. That's good news. Because like he says, the dinosaurs had a really bad day millions of years ago. That would sure suck if humans had to experience the same fate.