The Daily Mail is reporting on a close shave for all of us here on Earth, scarily close to the opening of Roland Emmerich’s mega-disaster movie 2012. A massive impact on the Earth’s surface by a Near Earth Object (NEO) (albeit one bigger than this asteroid) could bring about the types of disasters that 2012 alarmists are warning of. Alexandra Bruce describes the likelihood of NEO impact on Earth in 2012 in her book, 2012: Science or Superstition; the scariest part is that scientists generally only know about NEOs buzzing Earth after the fact.
Although no one noticed at the time, the Earth was almost hit by an asteroid last Friday.
The previously undiscovered asteroid came within 8,700miles of Earth but astronomers noticed it only 15 hours before it made its closest approach.
Its orbit brought it 30 times nearer than the Moon, which is 250,000 miles away.
But before you head for the nuclear bunkers you will be relieved to learn the tumbling rock was only 23ft across. Similar sized objects pass by this close to Earth about twice a year and impact on the planet about once every five years.
Astronomers believe the object, called 2009 VA, would have almost completely burned up while entering Earth’s atmosphere, causing a brilliant fireball in the sky but no major damage to the surface.
The asteroid was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on November 6, 2009. It was then identified by the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a near Earth object.
Nasa’s Near Earth Object Programme plotted the orbit of the object and determined that although it would fly extremely close to our planet it wouldn’t hit us.
It was the third-closest known (non-impacting) Earth approach on record for a cataloged asteroid.
[continues in the Daily Mail]