Here’s an event that is sure to put all “The World Is Ending” propaganda machinery into overdrive – again for the umpteenth time. A truly humongous space junk is about to fly past our Pale Blue Dot, and while NASA says there’s no need to get our knickers in a knot on this, you can bet there will be a massive frenzy over the event in certain gormless circles.
NASA predict that an asteroid known as 2014 JO25 will zoom past our planet on April 19th from a comfortable distance, about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million km) away from us. The most noteworthy thing about the rock is its mammoth size, which according to NASA measures about 2,000 feet (650 meters) in length!
“Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size,” NASA said in a statement.
The agency also said that while the event of smaller asteroids flying by Earth, and sometimes even into it, are not uncommon, the size of 2014 JO25 makes it a fascinating event.
“This upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004.”
The asteroid will be very reflective, not enough to be viewed with a naked eye but enough to see through a good telescope. You can also watch it through The Virtual Telescope and the live streaming on Slooh as the asteroid approaches closer at 7 pm EDT.
And for people who will for a fact, pin this on the “signs of the impending divine Armageddon” I have an apt quote by the genius author Douglas Adams,
“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”