Could an Asteroid Hit Earth?

by Dave Jackson

Asteroid hit earthEven if you haven’t heard of Asteroid 2011 AG5, you have sat, eyes glued to the screen at a rescue mission to blow an asteroid headed right for the earth! In fact one of my favorite video games, and perhaps yours was a game called Asteroids. You aim a canon looking device at an incoming chunk of planet and try desperately to blow it to smithereens before it smashes your canon and the rest of your planet to a billion pieces.

If you were like me,  you weren’t always successful. 🙁

So what is Asteroid 2011 AG5 and could an asteroid hit earth? Are some worried without reason? Turns out that Asteroid 2011 AG5 is real and is headed our way – by 2040.

It’s big – in terms of asteroids as we know them – about 460 feet wide.  And the probability of it hitting somewhere on earth is 1 in 625 around February 5, 2040. I know – I felt the same way… Let the kids deal with it.

An asteroid could hit EarthThis thing is passing close enough to send chills up a few scientist’s backs. JPL in Pasadena, California says that the “2023 Keyhole” as the scientists call it – is something this asteroid must pass through in order for there to be any sort of chance of the asteroid even coming close to Earth. And if it misses, we’re told, there could be trouble in 2040.

And how close is close? About 0.02 astronomical units, or 1.86 million miles (2.99 million kilometers.)

NASA says we still have plenty of time to build something to either blow it up in space (some sort of nuclear missile), or a impact rocket that would simply hit Asteroid 2011 AG5 and pulverize it. They created a missile for the Deep Impact mission which ran about 6 years in the making and launch into comet Tempel 1.

Sounds like we need to keep our eyes on the heavens and our ears glued to the radio, or TV. If something this size were to hit the Earth, and it certainly could, we’d have a tsunami like you’ve never seen. And we don’t need that.

Mission to deflect asteroidThe meteor crater in northern Arizona (I’ve only seen it from an airplane) was created by an Asteroid about 1/3 of the size of 2011 AG5, so this bad boy is big on the asteroid scale.

But if you’re like me, we have a huge End of the World party scheduled for this year on December 21. And so we’re not gonna be around to worry about the impact. Besides, I really think Christ will come back before 2040. But I’ve been wrong before.

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