Asteroids and Space Junk: The Countdown Begins!

Did anybody read this article from CNN last week: “Big asteroid buzzes past Earth and will again”?

Apparently, while our own NASA was shutdown thanks to Congress, Ukranian astronomers discovered an asteroid which they named “2013 TV135. Called “one of the most dangerous asteroids on record,” this big guy “zipped close by Earth last month.”

Really? Because I don’t remember hearing about it.

In case you were wondering, stuff like this happens all the time. In fact, according to the article there are “more than 10,000 known near-Earth objects that are virtually certain to cause us no harm.”

Guess what though? CNN notes that “reports” said that this big guy Ukranian asteroid “could” HIT THE EARTH in LESS THAN 20 YEARS! “Such a collision could unleash a force as powerful as a couple of thousand atomic bombs.”

Wait… Say what???

Those of you who follow this blog know that I have a respectable fear of outer space. It freaks me out. Shouldn’t this discovery cause international panic? Am I the only person who cares that somewhere there’s a report that says that an ASTEROID is going to hit the Earth?

To all of you disinterested types, In your defense, the article notes that “NASA was quick to calm nerves” (once it reopened after the shutdown ended) and the chances that “this one” will collide with Earth when it is due to revisit us in 2032 “are extremely slim.” In fact, they place the odds of a collision at 1:63,000.

One in sixty-three thousand?

Call me crazy but I’m not exactly happy with those odds. One in one million, maybe.  But one in sixty-three thousand? Those are way better than lottery odds (1 in 175 million for the Powerball) and I always think there’s a chance I’m going to win that. The odds that we’ll die in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. I can get on board (literally) with those odds. One in sixty-three thousand? Definitely not good enough.

Don’t worry though, the article advises, because NASA says there is “no cause for public attention or concern.” Well, I’m not buying it. Of COURSE NASA is going to say that. They don’t want us going around spending the next twenty years or so actually enjoying ourselves. Partying hard. Spending our kids’ inheritances. If we all knew there was a good chance that the world would end in 2032, wouldn’t we change our behavior? Need a new house? Sign that thirty-year mortgage! Concerned about buying with credit? Pshaw! Pay the minimum due and let that interest accrue! Imagine the resignations, travel plans, depleted bank accounts. Why not? Can’t take it with you!

But hey, folks, NASA says it’s fine . . . none of this space crap will hit us, so don’t worry! Keep working like drones, you middle class suckers! You’ll be rewarded in old age (minus the depleted Social Security benefits you were hoping to get). The nameless “report” that the asteroid is going to hit the planet? Nah, not true! A bunch of quacks came up with that! Believe “us,” not “them!”

Okay, NASA. You have all the power here and I have no control, so touché. But you better listen to me and listen to me good. You know what’s supposed to happen in exactly twenty years? I’m supposed to retire. If I get to my exit interview and put pen to paper to sign those endless retirement forms and get interrupted by an asteroid slamming into the ground, I’m going to be PISSED OFF. Because you KNOW that’s going to happen. The day the retirement dinner is planned and I finally get to clean out my desk, BAM! Party over. Thanks for playing. (It’s just my luck.)

With that, I leave you to plan the next twenty years as you see fit. Maybe we should all think about how we would live differently if we only had twenty years left, ten years left, five years left. Whether the world ends or not, are there improvements we should make in our life? Dreams we should follow? Places we should see? People we need to connect with? Or disconnect with?

I apologize for yelling at you with capitals but thinking about asteroids and space gets my blood pumping! Thanks for reading and have a nice night.

(Photo:  http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/asteroid-hits-earth-2.jpg)

17 Comments

  1. Crap. I just had to look up the name of the movie and it erased the comment. Let me start over. I liked the odds until you put them in perspective!! We have a better chance of getting hit by the asteroid than winning the Powerball?!! That’s wrong! But I like all those movies, like 2012 and the one with Morgen Freeman (and the cause of my comment disappearing) Deep Impact! Extinction Level Event.

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  2. I know that number sounds scary, but that’s not the odds that you will die from an asteroid impact. That’s only the chances of an impact. In fact, they estimate it’ll miss by more than a million miles.

    There’s at least one activity (I only looked at one) Americans do frequently where the annual odds of death are worse than the chances this asteroid will hit.

    Was that calming or just anxiety heightening?

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  3. I’m siding with David on this one. The possibility of asteroid impact may seem frightening, but let’s remember a few things.

    First, assuming the asteroid does penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, it will be whittled away through friction.

    Second, people seem to forget the multitude of doomsday scenarios that have been predicted but have consistently failed. Remember when people went ballistic over Harold Camping’s prediction?

    Personally, I got burned out of doomsday scenarios when it was predicted in peak oil books that we would be living Mad Max style in 2010.

    Life goes on.

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  4. I was having some computer issues in case you see 3 or 4 duplicate messages!

    As for the asteroid…scary stuff! I too, like the others, have some faith in our ever working ozone layer.

    I do find it interesting that our buddies upon the hill really showed that they had the most important thing on their mind to protect us…Should we care if we lose some intelligence and suffer from an attack from extremists? Of course not! A meteor? Who cares! Damage to the economy from people being out of work?

    They had to stop the devil Affordable Care Act! Even if it meant we took a hit from some space rock.

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  5. Pingback: What Are the Odds? | The Marmot in My Head

  6. Pingback: Longing for Gravity- The Daily Prompt | Waiting on a Word

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