Close-UPDATED

Asteroid Trajectory

Asteroid Trajectory projected for the object known as 2011 MD. It will miss the Earth by 7600 miles. Click for Larger version.

The LA Times reports that a ball of rock between 5 metres and 20 metres in diameter will flash past the Earth today, missing us by just 7600 miles. This is just under one Earth diameter away, and in cosmic terms it counts as ‘close’.

Wikipedia tells me that similar objects hit the Earth roughly once a year and make a really big bang, like a ‘small’ atomic explosion. Larger objects can create explosions equivalent to large nuclear devices and the Tunguska Event in June 1908 provides direct evidence for this. Wikipedia tells me that  a Tunguska-sized event is likely roughly once every 300 years.

I just find it amazing that we all get by in this cosmos of terrible chance. It makes me want to be nicer to people tomorrow. I hope you feel the same.

UPDATE: The Daily Mail reports that the UK is near the top of league of dangerous places for an asteroid to crash. Just thought you would like to know.

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One Response to “Close-UPDATED”

  1. Nick Day Says:

    I shall be nice to my colleagues by telling them when to duck.

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