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Large Asteroid To Pass Close To Earth

An asteroid of not inconsiderable size will soon pass closer to Earth than any similar sized object has since such measurements were made:

It’s definitely not “Armageddon.” But an asteroid measuring 150 feet in diameter with a mass of 130,000 metric tons will make the closest pass of Earth for an object of its size on February 15, 2013, traveling about 17,450 miles-per-hour (4.8 miles-per-second), NASA noted on Thursday.

The asteroid’s pass will be a “record predicted close approach for a known object of this size,” said Donald Yeomans, manager of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Near-Earth Object Programs Office, in a press conferencestreamed live on NASA’s website on Thursday.

Yeomans said the asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, would come anywhere between within 17,100 miles and 17,200 miles of Earth’s surface, well far away enough to avoid any potential collision with our homeworld.

“No Earth impact is possible,” Yeomans clarified during NASA’s press conference.

Just in case, though, perhaps we should keep Bruce Willis and Robert Duvall on alert.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Yeomans said the asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, would come anywhere between within 17,100 miles and 17,200 miles of Earth’s surface, well far away enough to avoid any potential collision with our homeworld.

    Closer than the orbits of many of our satellites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Looks like the Mayans were only off by a couple months and 17,000 miles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Bruce Willis died on that other asteroid.
    I’m just sayin’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yes, but only after he overcame the idiot president and his White House advisors was the earth saved. The politicians and technocrats were going to prematurely detonate due to their profound ignorance of the science and physics of the explosives and pressure waves.

    On the other hand, doesn’t all this wringing of the hands about AGW seem silly now. All that effort and we almost get hit by a bus. Oh, wait, that was the last one, this one is a might larger.

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  5. JKB says:

    to avoid any potential collision with our homeworld.

    to have a homeworld implies we have a not homeworld. Are we secretly occupying other planets?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. wr says:

    @JKB: “to have a homeworld implies we have a not homeworld. Are we secretly occupying other planets? ”

    Judging by the behavior of the contemporary Republican party, I’m going to have to say yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB:
    Shush. JKB isn’t supposed to know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Tyrell says:

    It seems that the government has been keeping this and other close calls secret and little advanced warning. Does the government have an emergency plan to deal with an asteroid strike prevention or evacuation if one hits the earth? Here they are in Washington hollaring about drones and other trivial nonsense while we are all on the edge of total disaster.The government keeps us in the dark about everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Franklin says:

    130,000 metric tons

    … also known as 130,000 Megagrams.

    /sorry, pet peeve

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  10. Franklin says:

    @Tyrell: Can’t tell if you’re joking. I assume you know that it’s remarkably difficult to see these relatively small dark objects from any great distance. And once it’s confirmed, we can often narrow down the orbit pretty quickly to know if it will hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Gustopher says:

    @Franklin:

    130,000 metric tons

    … also known as 130,000 Megagrams.

    Or 1.3 Metric Sh.tloads. (A metric sh.tload is 2.2 english sh.tloads)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. al-Ameda says:

    Doesn’t this call for another Chuck Norris joke?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Tyrell says:

    @Franklin: But does the government and NASA have a plan to change the trajectory of some thing like this ? Now that would be a useful expenditure of government funds, considering the potential risk to life on earth. It would also provide a lot of jobs and government contracts for businesses.

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  14. anjin-san says:

    Another Obama screwup. If Romney was in the White House, the asteroids would mind their Ps & Qs…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  15. Bobbie says:

    i just want to know will it hit us bad on earth on Feb 16,2013

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Bobbie says:

    will it hurt

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0