Asteroid to Almost Hit the Earth Today!

Well, “almost” is a relative term…

Via  Close Shave: Asteroid to Just Miss Earth Today

At closest approach, the asteroid will be above the coast of Antarctica. It will be well below geosynchronous satellites, which orbit 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above Earth. Experts say there is little chance the rock will hit a satellite, simply because of the vast expanse and relatively small number of satellites.

The asteroid will remain well above the orbit of the International Space Station, which flies about 220 miles (354 km) above Earth.

The deadly space rock in question is about the size of a “tour bus.”

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. steveegg says:

    Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear weapons not aimed at hardened targets.

  2. Boyd says:

    Experts say there is little chance the rock will hit a satellite, simply because of the vast expanse and relatively small number of satellites.

    Not to mention that all geosynchronous satellites are over the equator, and therefore nowhere near “the coast of Antarctica.”

    Experts? Really? Or is the reporter just a Science idiot? (Rhetorical question, of course)

  3. PJ says:


    Asteroid to Almost Hit the Earth Today!

    Actually, it Almost Hit Earth Yesterday. šŸ™‚

  4. @PJ:

    Details, details.

    Actually, it occurred to me just as I was posting that I might have the timing wrong. However, I figured any post that used the phrase “deadly space rock” probably could live with only semi-accuracy šŸ˜‰

  5. PJ says:

    I’m just happy that we are all still here. šŸ™‚

  6. @PJ:

    It is quite the relief.

  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wait, that was yesterday?

    *Puts away shovel for digging bunkers.*

  8. JKB says:

    See what happens, we are told to wipe out our economy and lead billions in to poverty and suffering over a little bit of CO2 to save the world and what happens? The Earth almost gets hit by a bus (size rock).

  9. PJ says:

    The ISS almost got hit by space junk today, and the crew had to be evacuated to their rescue craft.

  10. ptfe says:

    @Boyd: Actually, geosynchronous satellites just have the same orbital period as the Earth’s rotation — 24 hours. All geostationary satellites sit over the equator. A geosynch satellite that isn’t at the equator looks like it’s making a north-south oscillation as it orbits.

    Strangely, it’s a common mistake to assume they’re the same because most people even in industry (whether because they actually think they’re the same or are just not thinking about it) use the terms interchangeably to mean geostationary. But while the orbital altitude is the same, the direction makes a big difference.

  11. Boyd says:

    Thanks for the correction, ptfe. I’ve never considered geosynchronous satellites outside of the case of being geostationary. I hate being wrong, but I hate not finding out I’m wrong even more. Well, except when it comes to ex-wives, but that’s a special case.

    At least I’ve had the fun of derailing a light-hearted post with pedantic minutiae! OT FTW!

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    Iā€™m just happy that we are all still here. šŸ™‚

    I am mighty sure God is going to destroy us with an supernatural hellfire not a big rock so don’t worry.