Yesterday, an asteroid came very close to hitting us. How close? Well, it was within the orbits of our GPS satellites. Scientists were pretty sure it wouldn't hit us.
We were assured it would have burned up in Earth's atmosphere if it had come close enough. That's comforting. I think. Where were Bruce Willis and his team when we needed them?
It's in this photo...somewhere....
I'm just glad it didn't take out our satellite dish. The weather has done quite enough of that, thank you very much.
And then there's Comet Hartley 2, currently being studied by NASA's EPOXI mission. It was spotted during a flyby by the appropriately-named Deep Impact spacecraft. It's a hyperactive little rock described by scientists as "weird" and "skittish," moving around in space like a knuckleball. It has what is described as an "excited state of rotation," spinning on one axis while rotating on another. An amateur astronomer, I didn't know comets have personalities, but apparently, this is the Charlie Sheen of comets.
Hartley 2 is obviously not camera-shy.
And then there's Apophis (the Destroyer). This menace of a rock will pass Earth twice in the next twenty-five years. The possibility of impact on Friday, April 13, 2029 has been ruled out (I hope human error isn't going to figure into this at any point in the future). The jury's still out on its second flyby on Easter Sunday, 2036.
Apophis--looks like it's giving us the finger, doesn't it?
Just what we need--optimism!
It just keeps getting better and better....
Okay, that's it...this image is gonna keep me awake tonight!