HolyCoast: The 2040 Asteroid of Death

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The 2040 Asteroid of Death

Well, probably not, but given the state of politics in this country there are many wishing it could get here sooner:
There is an asteroid called 2011 AG5, and if it follows the orbit scientists have plotted for it so far, there is a small, small chance that it could hit Earth in February 2040.

Don't quit your job and sell your house just yet. Astronomers, who have been tracking the asteroid since January 2011, say it is in an elliptical orbit that could bring it somewhere near Earth in 2040. Earth is about 8,000 miles in diameter; the asteroid appears to be about 450 feet across.

The problem is that having watched it for only about half an orbit around the Sun, the scientists cannot say for certain where it will be 28 years from now. So, for the moment, NASA's Near Earth Object Program says the odds are about one in 625 that it could hit us in that still-distant future.
Here's the scariest part:
In the meantime, it was a subject of discussion at a meeting in Vienna of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
If the UN is working on it we're all dead.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Not that I'm planning or anything, but I expect to be dead by then.

Having a bad case of asteroids is a terrible way to go.