Like me, you’ve probably seen at least one of these films. Hollywood just loves movies about the destruction of the Earth due to planetary impact, and based on ticket sales, so do many movie-goers.
Remember, though, that these are all works of fiction.
But they’re also all based in reality. The fact is that Earth gets hit by wayward rocks every day.
And so it will be on Friday, February 15th. But there’s one that, while it will be close, will simply pass us by. The asteroid 2012 DA 14 will pass within 17,000 miles of the Earth’s surface. How close is that? It will pass within the orbits of our geosynchronous satellites, which circle overhead at an altitude of about 26,200 miles.
That’s right, it will come closer to us than some of our own satellites.
However, don’t be in too much of a rush to build that emergency bunker; it’s not going to hit the surface. Dozens of scientists have been keeping an eye on it for well over a year now, and we’re not in any danger.
In fact, in North America, it won’t even be visible when it passes by. After that, there won’t be another close pass for at least another 30 years.
So are going to go the way of the dinosaurs? Maybe.
But not this year.