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February 15, 2013

7

Yeah, That’s WAY Too Close

by Michael Langlois

I’m sure you’re aware by now that an asteroid is going to pass about a cat’s whisker away from the Earth today.  It weighs in at about 130,000 metric tons, and has a diameter of about 50 meters, or 150 feet.  If it were to hit the Earth, and it’s not, the force of the explosion would be around 2.4 megatons.  Not quite equal to the Tunguska Event, but pretty impressive nonetheless.

The spooky thing is how very, very close this pass is going to be.  The Moon is pretty close, yes?  It’s going to come closer than that.  A lot closer.  In fact, it’s going to pass through the Geosynchronous Ring, which is where we park satellites.  Meaning that it’s going to pass UNDER them.

Not cool, universe.  Not cool.

Here’s a quick peek at what it will look like.

/shudder

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Erin
    Feb 15 2013

    It’s spooky how close it came to us, but there’s just something beautiful about seeing an asteroid sweeping over the sky.

    Reply
    • Michael Langlois
      Feb 15 2013

      As long as it sweeps on by…

      Reply
      • Erin
        Feb 16 2013

        Too true. It’s crazy how much damage it can cause even after being broken down by our atmosphere.

      • Michael Langlois
        Feb 16 2013

        The Tiger Conundrum:

        500 feet: So beautiful and noble!
        100 feet: Spectacular! Intense!
        10 feet: AAAAAGHGG! TIGER!

  2. Feb 20 2013

    And while we were all focused on the 50m monster, a 10,000-ton creature came from the other direction and slapped Russia with a sonic boom.

    Well played, Universe. Well played.

    Reply
    • Michael Langlois
      Feb 21 2013

      That’s the problem with the universe, it has all the best KEWs!

      Reply

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