Asteroid 1994 PC1 whizzed past us yesterday at 43,000+ miles per hour. Apparently compared to the asteroids that swing by almost every day, 1994PC1 is fairly large to be so far outside the asteroid belt. NASA has been watching it for years (I’m guessing from it’s name, since 1994) and since none of us got warnings about impending asteroid/earth collisions the last few days, they are quite aware that relatively speaking while it’s coming close to us, its closest pass will be five times the distance between us and the moon. According to scientists “if you aren’t worried about the moon crashing into your house this week, you shouldn’t be worried about this either”.
I guess we might have a closer call with a much larger asteroid in 2028. That news actually hit the stands back in 1997, just a year after a big scare when 1996 JA1, an asteroid the length of two football fields, passed by at only 300,000 miles with not much warning. This might account for a bunch of the asteroid movies that came out in the next couple of years (Deep Impact, Armageddon, Asteroid, Judgment Day to name a few).
I’m not a big disaster film buff (although technically if they divert the asteroid, it’s not really a disaster flick, is it?) but I did see a couple of these. It’s an interesting concept – pushing off an object that is traveling 43K miles an hour. And I don’t really follow this stuff closely so I don’t know if there is an object that NASA is actually worried about. And I wonder, would they tell us if there were? Not sure what in heck we, as citizens of the planet could actually do to prepare. I mean, I assume we’re smarter than the dinosaurs, but there sure wasn’t anything they could have done differently.
Which do you worry about more – asteroids or a zombie apocalypse?