Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Asteroids Cuttin' It Close

photo: www.space-graphics.com

Looks like yet another lil' chunk of rock (oh, only about a half-mile in diameter) will be making an appearance late Sunday night/early Monday morning of July 2nd/3rd...and it will be coming "uncomfortably close" to our little planet.

According to Joe Rao at Space.com, there are 1,989 asteroids classified as Apollos, which have have earth-crossing orbits. Of those, there are 783 that are considered to be "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids" due to their size and close-proximity to Earth.

I find it funny, in a very Hollywood kind of way, that this large asteroid, which scientists had apparently at one point feared might actually collide with our planet later on in the century, is passing through our planetary zip code around the 4th of July. Because you know, if this was a movie (doesn't life often imitate art?) the whole world would have to bad together to try to come up with a solution to avoid the mass destruction that would probably send us the way of the dinosaurs - and the fact that it would be around Independence Day would mean that Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and (substitute another action actor here) would have to save us in time for the fireworks at night.

I also find it interesting that they really don't let us know about any of this shit until right before it happens. I appreciate that, considering that I'm anxious enough about old-fashioned terestrial things right now without having to sweat out how big the crater in my back yard might be for several months beforehand.

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