Asteroid Just Misses Earth But Are We Prepared For a Direct Hit?
Just about a year ago (Feb. 15, 2013) an asteroid hit Russia. It did quite a bit of damage to buildings and landscape and no one seemed to know it was coming. In the video below you will see what it looked like, as it was captured on film. However, early this morning an asteroid zipped passed Earth and again it was virtually undetected.In relative terms it was pretty small, less than 900 ft. wide and was about 1.6 million miles from Earth. When you look at the big picture of the Universe that was pretty close and was traveling at a high rate of speed (27,000mph). Meaning if it had hit Earth it would have done damage just like the one in Russia last year.
The problem is these are considered small and aren't picked up by telescopes or monitoring equipment until it's too late. Current monitoring equipment only picks up asteroids that measure 1 kilometer or just over 1/2 mile wide (3280 ft). The Russian asteroid last year was only 900 ft. wide and did extensive structural damage and injured about 1200 people. Are we prepared for something like this if it was to hit the U.S.? Probably not.
What if an asteroid hit Washington D.C. or New York? It could potentially wipe out a whole city. What would that do to us? Makes you stop and think about all those Hollywood movies. They might actually be more real than we first believed
For great information on asteroids, star watching and other celestial events check out the Slooh website.
What do you think: Will this ever happen and are we prepared for a major asteroid event if it does?