Traveling at speeds of 27,000 miles per hour an asteroid with the diameter of three football fields came alarmingly close to the Earth Monday.
While nearly 2 million miles away, in astronomical terms, it was way too close for comfort.
Even more alarming is the similarities between the asteroid that passed and the 1984 film Night of the Comet. A film which foretold the end of society due to the radiation from the passing comet. Radiation which turned the majority of inhabitants of Los Angeles to dust, while changing many survivors into mutated zombies.
CNN interviewed Bob Berman, astronomer and host of Slooh which is a community observatory that tracks objects with the potential to cause untold amounts of damage, like comets and asteroids.
From the article, Mr. Berman is quoted as saying: “Every few centuries, an even more massive asteroid strikes us — fortunately usually impacting in an ocean or wasteland such as Antarctica.
“But the ongoing threat, and the fact that biosphere-altering events remain a real if small annual possibility, suggests that discovering and tracking all NEOs (near-Earth objects), as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice should the need arise, would be a wise use of resources.”
It was at this point that we didn’t ask because we weren’t there, if perhaps a team of NASA astronauts with nuclear devices was the answer. Of course you would also have to send oil drillers from the ocean rigs out to ensure the devices were properly placed and finally, have Aerosmith serenade you because you don’t want to miss a thing when dealing with something so important.
While it seems far-fetched to base the survival of mankind on a Michael Bay movie, at least it, as ridiculous as it was, was a more tangible plan than the one put forward by Nasa chief Charles Bolden. When addressing the US House of Representatives Science Committee in 2013, he stated the following. “From the information we have, we don’t know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States,” Bolden added, “But if it’s coming in three weeks, pray.”
Former Nasa astronaut Edward Lu stated to a US Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space later that same year that if given a decades notice of an incoming object, they have the technology to deflect it.
Fortunately, with this asteroid, no impact occurred and as a result, no emergency government responses have been initiated. It should be stated though, that no government officials have indicated that we should be on the look out for anyone mutating or turning into dust. It’s a well documented fact that both scenarios may be harmful to your health.
Twitter user dayranis (@adeaa_) posted a picture of the comet in passing and the image has caused nervous glances around the news room … news desk … ok bus stop, as we try to determine if the slight orange glow is from the mutated zombie inducing radiation, a really pretty sunset or the after effects of the bottle of Fireball I just finished off.