That Russian meteorite sure came close today, didn’t it? Good thing tat kind of things doesn’t happen very often, right? Not according to Bill Nye the Science Guy, who failed to reassure us today when he said that our planet is a helpless target in the shooting gallery of space.
Today’s predicted close encounter with Asteroid 2012 DA14 didn’t so much as tweak out cell phone reception, but another flying space object came awful close to Russia, actually doing some damage and hurting a bunch of people.
“This little thing over Russia is a warning … to us humans,” Nye told CNN. “If we had several years warning, we could do something about [showers like this].”
Asteroid 2012 DA14 was found by a group of amateur astronomers, while the Russian meteorite wasn’t even picked up at all, reports MSN. That’s two strikes for NASA, and there’s an apocalyptic reason for it, according to a cryptic Nye.
“We know about 1 percent of [asteroids],” Nye shrugged.
“If we had enough warning, if we had several years warning, we could do something about it,” he said. “We have the spacecraft technology [to] slow it down or speed it up just ever so slightly, and it would miss us.”
So what about all of those movies like Armageddon where scientists send a plucky team of asteroid fighters into space to blow up threats to our planet? Happily, there’s actually some hope in that. According to Nye, such movies are “based in fact.”
Are you worried that our planet will be destroyed by errant meteors?