Asteroid Heading for Earth

Posted by By at 9 February, at 11 : 24 AM Print

Asteroid Heading for Earth

[Note: I’m acknowledging at the outset of this blogpost that some of what’s written here is directly lifted from Scott Paulson’s article in the Examiner and some factoids from wikipedia. Rock on wiki! I love you!]

Quote of the Day: [from Dr. Albert Einstein] “Only two things are infinite–the Universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the former.”]

So, for starters, I’m a huge fan of Lars Von Trier’s films. And I saw his film Melancholia in the theatre last year. Melancholia is a 2011 apocalyptic drama starring Kirsten DunstCharlotte GainsbourgAlexander Skarsgård and Kiefer Sutherland (who, by the way, plays Martin Bohm, a widower and single father, who is haunted by an inability to connect to his emotionally challenged 11-year-old son Jake. But when Martin discovers that Jake can predict events before they happen, everything changes. The show is called TOUCH.) <– I like that title.

Back to writer/director  Lars von Trier…the narrative revolves around two sisters during and shortly after one’s wedding, while Earth is about to collide with an approaching rogue planet. The film prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s opera Tristan und Isolde (1857–59). And, I think you all know how much I LOVE opera. In fact, here is a link of me (in my non-acting life form), singing an operatic concert at Mills College in Oakland last Spring (June 2012). And, by the way, if you want to see Kirsten Dunst rock a roll, this was it. She was AWESOME  in Melancholia. But, ha! I’m going off in a tangent.

Anyway, I’m bringing all this to your attention because THIS WEEK an asteroid is coming very close to Earth. The asteroid is named DA14. It is 130,000 tons (How do they measure the weight in weightless space? I’m open to a blog response to that one.) and the asteroid is 150 feet in diameter. I think that’s about half the size of a football field, which isn’t really that big. The asteroid is headed toward Earth and is on track to narrowly miss Earth. In fact, its closeness to Earth is record-setting. NASA says. And NASA is confident it will not hit our planet.

The asteroid will be only 17,200 miles from Earth at its closest point on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2:24 p.m. (not sure which time zone, wasn’t specified in the article). Scientifically, that is closer to us than the moon and many man-made orbital satellites.

According to the NASA report, if an object of that size hit, it would create 2.5 megatons of blast energy which could be compared to the impact of the most powerful nuclear bomb. So, if it hits, it depends on where it hits.

A similar object – in size – hit Earth over Siberia in Tunguska, Russia just over one-hundred years ago on June 30, 1908 in a desolate area. Due to the desolation of the Earth’s area at that location, no one was hurt. If it had hit a populated area, the report says it could have “easily flattened a city.”

Again, NASA says “Earthly” citizens have nothing to worry about, but the act of nature is record-setting in its closeness to our planet. But, hey, check out this Asteroid Damage Calulator. As Crizwell says in Plan Nine from Outer Space:  “Future events such as these will affect you in the future.”

Live long and prosper… /;~) Rocket

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