An asteroid passed between the earth and the moon on Friday, but NASA didn't find out about it until Thursday (or if they did, they didn't tell us). If it had impacted, it could have destroyed a major city. Maybe we'd get better information if some of our scientists were honest about what's really going on out there.
Msn.com spotted a Twitter on Friday from a member of NASA's Asteroid Watch Team that said, "That's slightly closer than the orbit of our moon." Our so-called Asteroid Watch Team isn't doing much careful "watching!"
In Space.com, Tariq Malik quotes Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL (which is part of NASA), as saying, "You'd expect an object of this size to fly within the orbit of the moon every few days or so." He admits that most of them simply aren't spotted: "There're about 7 million of these objects in the near-Earth space; needless to say we have discovered only a small fraction of them."
When Malik asks Yeomans "So what would happen if an object like this did strike?" his reply is, "If it's typical density, it would create a 4 kiloton explosion in the Earth's atmosphere if it were to hit, which of course it won't." But he DOES admit that an asteroid this size hits the Earth once every seven years or so (usually landing harmlessly in the ocean). According to Yeomans, "They're sort of Mother Nature's way of shooting a few across the bow to make sure we pay attention." Let's hope that's what NASA is doing but so far, it doesn't seem that way!
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