Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The headlines should all have been about 2009 DD45.

The BBC reports that on Monday a previously untracked asteroid passed within the distance of the moon's orbit that was large enough to cause an explosion of 1000 atomic bombs on impact.

Re-read that sentence a few times and see where your imagination leads you.

Such an event has happened in the recent past in Siberia, 1908, fortunately it was a mostly uninhabited area.

This really should have grabbed more headlines, and must now concentrate minds.

Think - where were you on Monday afternoon and how different your day could easily have been.2009 DD45 intersects Earth's orbit just as Earth is passing. A close shave gromit. (H/T to JPL Small-Body Database Browser here ).

2 comments:

wildgoose said...

Eek! I didn't realise it was that close!

Lembit Opik might be a figure of fun in many ways, but he's right to argue for an Asteroid Early Warning System.

What would have been the reaction if something like this struck New York/London/Moscow/Beijing? In the initial chaos it would be only too easy for a nuclear "retailiation" to be thrown at the wrong target.

Anonymous said...

the Tunguska blast was thought to have been an asteroid of about 50 feet diameter, exploding in the atmosphere. an asteroid the size of a house would cause damage approximately equal to the Hiroshima bomb. if it were 1 mile long or bigger it would cause mass extinction, probably of all life on earth except maybe some types of bacteria.
getting back to the point, there is something afoot politically. note that the Lisbon Treaty, which everyone seems to be in a hurry to ratify, allows for the death penalty for rioting.