Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, The Daley Gator, Whores and Ale, Flappr and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links! As always, if I’ve missed your linkage, let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the weekly call-out.
OK, it’s not the SMOD (Sweet Meteor of Death) but there is a chance that the swimming-pool sized asteroid 2023DW will hit Earth – in 2046. Excerpt:
An asteroid about the size of an Olympic swimming pool currently has a 1-in-625 chance of impacting Earth on February 14, 2046, according to a risk list managed by the European Space Agency’s Near Earth Objects Coordination Centre, which monitors space rocks that might be potentially hazardous to Earth.
Though this is a relatively high risk of an impact, it is far more likely that this asteroid, known as 2023DW, will miss our planet on Valentine’s Day that year. The asteroid was discovered just a little over a week ago, on February 27, and scientists are still working out key details about its size, shape, and orbital characteristics that will determine if the rock is a real threat.
“We’ve been tracking a new asteroid named 2023 DW that has a very small chance of impacting Earth in 2046,” said NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which detects and monitors asteroids and other space objects, in a tweet on Tuesday.
I find this kind of thing mildly interesting, but can’t really muster up too much angst over the possibility. For one thing, I’ll be 85. For another thing, a space-rock this size could do a lot of damage, but the damage would be local. In spite of what you see in schlock soft sci-fi films like Armageddon (essentially a two-hour Aerosmith music video) and Deep Impact, the odds are overwhelming that this rock, if it does hit Earth, will land in the ocean or in some uninhabited or lightly inhabited area. The odds of it wiping, say, Portland off the map are, well, astronomically small.
Still. There’s a big-ass sky out there with lots of stuff flying around, and we’re not really watching all that much of it. It makes one wonder, minuscule odds notwithstanding, if there isn’t a SMOD out there with our name on it.