Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Earth 'Blind Sided' by an Asteroid Earlier This Month

Massive asteroid impact is among the most disastrous things that could happen to humans on earth that has a significant possibility of occurrence. If we wish to protect ourselves from potential cataclysm we have to find them, track them, and when necessary have a viable plan to either push them away or break them up. This is the latest example to show just how unprepared we are. (via)

"On 8 October an asteroid detonated high in the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia, releasing about as much energy as 50,000 tons of TNT, according to a NASA estimate released on Friday. That's about three times more powerful than the atomic bomb that levelled Hiroshima, making it one of the largest asteroid explosions ever observed.
No telescope spotted the asteroid ahead of its impact. That is not surprising, given that only a tiny fraction of asteroids smaller than 100 metres across have been catalogued, says Tim Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Yet objects as small as 20 or 30 metres across may be capable of doing damage on the ground, he says.

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