Monday, February 4, 2013

Asterooid 2012DA14

Later this month, another smal asteroid will whiz past Earth at close range.  Asteroid 2012DA14 is only about 40 meters across, but at closest approach to Earth it will be inside the orbits of some artificial satellites.  That's a hair breadth miss in cosmic terms.

This will be the latest in a string of near misses over the past year or so.  That's mostly because we now have the capability to detect such events.  The next step should be to develop the capability to deflect dangerous bodies away from Earth before we lose a city, or worse.  We'll see if the leadership of the world is up to that challenge.  So far, the inaction on what would be an extremely modest international effort is not reassuring.

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