Asteroid Passes Close to Earth Just Hours After Being Discovered

Asteroid Passes Close to Earth Just Hours After Being Discovered:  An asteroid estimated to be at least 150 feet in diameter made an alarmingly close pass to Earth, just hours after it was first observed by astronomers.  After the news broke, people across the globe immediately demanded to know why Morgan Freeman didn’t bother to make some sort of announcement.  Meanwhile, Trump advisors say should it come too close, they’ll send up a rocket full of Preparation H and shrink it down to 75 feet.

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NY Man Sets Woman On Fire in Elevator:  Police say a man has confessed to killing a woman by dowsing her with a flammable liquid and then setting her on fire in a Brooklyn elevator.  As his defense, the man claimed that the elevator was extremely cold and she was the only thing around that looked like it would burn.

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Comment by Steel Breeze on April 17, 2018 at 7:39am

how close is 'close'?

Comment by Johnny Robish on April 17, 2018 at 8:21am

I believe it was around 130,000 miles.

Comment by koshersalaami on April 17, 2018 at 8:49am

That’s pretty close. Closer than the moon. Actually, substantially closer. 

There’s the issue of whether the Earth’s gravitational pull could alter the course of that asteroid substantially. If not, or not by much, to put it in perspective, the size of Earth as a target is roughly 7,800 miles wide at its widest point. So it missed us by about sixteen times the width of Earth as a target. Elbows and all, I’m about two feet wide (taking a yardstick and looking in the mirror). It would be like an object missing me by just over thirty feet.

On Earth, that’s not close. In space it’s insanely close.  Scaled to me (compared to Earth’s diameter), every million miles is like 250 feet. The very close moon is around 50 feet. Nothing else is within anything like a million miles; the 250 feet is provided as a multiplier. As to what the closest object to us is outside the moon and any passing comets or asteroids, that depends how close our orbit is to the orbits of neighboring planets. If we’re on opposite sides of the sun, the distance is immense. If we’re at the same points in our orbits, the closest planet by far, Venus, would be about 6,500 feet away (26 million miles in actual distance), which is to say well over a mile. 

Comment by Johnny Robish on April 17, 2018 at 9:12am

Good points!


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