A December surprise

That giant sucking sound this morning was an asteroid “just missing” Earth. Or not.

The Washington Post says “XE54 came about as close to crashing into Earth as an asteroid can without actually doing so – close enough to be ‘eclipsed by Earth’s shadow, causing its shadow to ‘wink out’ for a short time.’”

That’s not even the scary part.

Universe Today says there’s only two other known instances of an asteroid being eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow. “Asteroid 2008 TC3″ which entered the atmosphere over Sudan in 2008, and a flyby in 2012.

That’s not the scary part either.

The asteroid is only about 100 feet wide and the Post says although it might not have done much more than lit up the sky had it entered our atmosphere, “a direct hit by remaining rock chunks on a populated region could be disastrous.” A 500-foot wide asteroid would be like an atomic bomb, it says.

That’s not the scary part either.

This is: Nobody knew it was there until an hour before it missed “us.”

But the Post assures us “there are no sure collisions on the horizon even over the next few hundred years, ” while also informing us that much of the sky isn’t really being monitored.

Question: If you only had an hour before a large asteroid might hit Earth, would you want to know?

  • Catherine

    To answer your question: Nope.

  • Joe Busch

    I’d like to know. I’d like to leave the office and be with the people I care about.

  • andy

    I’d want to know for sure, it would give me enough time to get in the school bus I plan to bury in my back yard….. I should probably get on that, huh?

  • Jim G

    The Mayans were a little off on their calculations… by 10 days.

  • http://www.bakkenphoto.com Noelle

    I’m not so sure I’d want to know if I only had an hour.

    First I thought – Of course, then I could call loved ones and say goodbye one last time. Call my husband to tell him I loved him. But then everyone would be doing that, and phone lines would probably crash. And if it was a weekday and I’d want to leave the office to go be with family and friends, EVERYONE would do the same and then I’d be stuck in a massive traffic jam.

    So, if we just had an hour’s notice – maybe not. If I had a day, or a week? Definitely.

  • Richard

    Yes/No —- how;s that for an answer!

  • GregX

    as joe average – it wouldn’t matter.

    if I was joe-emergency responder … I think I would.

  • Nick

    Of course, there’d be time toke up and enjoy/endure what’s to come.