Earth as photographed from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in December 1972. (AP Photo/NASA)
Amid all the government shutdowns, fiscal crises and other worldly problems, it’s easy to forget the everyday dangers floating around us. By us, we mean Earth. And by dangers, we mean massive asteroids.
No, we’re just kidding. Well, maybe … probably … hopefully?
Two Ukrainian scientists spotted the asteroid passing Earth last month. After taking a closer look at its future trajectory, they say there’s a slight chance we might not be so lucky the next time around. Scientists say that same asteroid will take another pass in 19 years. (Via ABC, NASA)
And by slight we mean very slight. As in a-1-in-63,000-chance slight. And NASA says that’s even overreaching. The space agency says it’s 99.998 percent certain we have nothing to worry about. (Via NASA)
But what about that other .002 percent? Well, we won’t find out about that until around 2028 when scientists predict they'll be able to track it. You couldn’t exactly call the asteroid a close call. It missed Earth by about 4.2 million miles. (Via New York Daily News)
Compare that to just this past February when a smaller asteroid missed Earth by a little more than 17,000 miles. But it’s not just the close calls that keep some astronomers up at night. (Via The Weather Channel)
Back in February, you might remember the meteor that injured hundreds in Russia when it exploded with the force of about 30 nuclear bombs over the city of Chelyabinsk. (Via RT)
Scientists had zero warning of the 10,000-ton meteor’s descent to Earth, which led many to question just how vulnerable the Earth is to other floating space rocks. (Via Discovery)
Still, for now it seems we can hold off on the call to Bruce Willis and keep the Aerosmith CD tucked away, at least for another 19 years. If we’re not so lucky in 2032, well … humanity had a good run.