Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm thinking the same thing

Large asteroid to pass by Earth November 8 - but what if it didn't miss?

In case you were wondering:

"... a similar-sized object hitting Earth would result in a 4,000-megaton blast, magnitude 7.0 earthquate and, should it strike in the deep ocean, 70-foot-high tsunami waves 60 miles from the splashdown site."

But that's not all!

"For example, YU55 would strike with a velocity of 11 miles per second. Although it would begin to disintegrate as it passed through the atmosphere, the fragments would strike in a compact cluster that would blast out a crater 4 miles in diameter and 1,700 feet deep, Melosh said.

Sixty miles away from the impact site the heat from the fireball would cause extensive first-degree skin burns, the seismic shaking would knock down chimneys and the blast wave would shatter glass windows.

If YU55 were to strike a large city like Chicago, it would obliterate the entire city and leave few survivors."

So, there's no danger, right?

"What is unique about this asteroid flyby is that we were aware of it well in advance," Melosh said. "Before about 1980 we wouldn't know about an asteroid of this size until it was already making a close pass, but now it is unlikely that such an asteroid will approach the Earth without our knowledge."

I sure hope he's right about that.

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