Nuking Dangerous Asteroids Might Be the Best Protection, Expert Says
Douglas Messier, SPACE.com Contributor
Date: 29 May 2013 Time: 07:00 AM ET
White House, NASA want help hunting asteroids
Vredefort Crater, Free State Africa, world's largest impact structure, 118 miles radius: 2 billion years ago!
Chicxulub Crater, Yucatan Peninsula, 65 million years ago (The Dinosaur killer).
The earth is 3.6 million miles away from an asteroid that is about the size of the one that snuffed out Mr. and Mrs. Dinosaur and their little dinos.
And speaking about babies, asteroid 1998 QE2 has a little baby circling its own celestial body as it zips through space:
The giant asteroid set to pass by Earth this week has a companion moon, according to NASA. The huge rock, which is 1.7 (2.7 kilometers) miles wide, will be closest to Earth on Friday at 4:59 p.m. EDT, but still far too distant to pose any danger to the planet, according to space agency officials.
NASA scientists discovered the moon orbiting asteroid 1998 QE2 yesterday evening (May 29) while obtaining a series of radar images with the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California.
Sophisticated lasers and nuclear-tipped drones might someday have to disable an asteroid that is a lot closer to terra firma than 1998QE2.
The asteroid flyby is the latest for Earth. Already a number of massive asteroids have passed Earth, missing us by millions of miles. At least one of them, the asteroid that exploded over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk, was undetected until it entered Earth’s atmosphere. Since then, scientists around the world have called for increased funding for asteroid detection programs.
Earth is like a large, watery asteroid zipping through space with its own companion moon, just not a threat to other planets (yet), but certainly a menace to itself!
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