Did you know about the April Fools Day asteroid? I sure as fuck didn’t. I didn’t know about it when it was considered no big fucking deal, and I doubly didn’t know about it yesterday when it passed far closer than anticipated.
Be happy. You have survived another close call with asteroid destruction: the April Fools Day asteroid–technically called 2012 EG5–passed today at half the distance between the Earth and the Moon: 143,000 miles.
The 150-foot-wide (46 meters) object was labeled as condition 9 back on March 15, 2012. This means that is orbit prediction was “highly uncertain.” The condition level goes from 0–good prediction–to 9. Today, it was labeled as condition 5 soon before passing Earth at 5:32am Eastern Time.
I’m getting tired of all this uncertainty with these small rocks that can destroy a city like New York. They keep passing near us all the time. In fact, two more passed on Monday, one of them at 36,000 miles. That’s nothing in astronomical terms.
Pretty creepy, right? Well, a commenter WestwoodDenizen had a good response:
It’s worth mentioning that the Earth is a little less than 8,000 miles across. So the closest one you mentioned missed by four and a half Earths, and you don’t mention how large the thing was. This could have been the space equivalent of a bicycle passing a parked car four lanes over. And the 150-foot wide one, which could actually do some damage, missed by about eighteen Earths.
Closer than we’d like them to get, but you have to compare these near misses to the size of the target, not the size of the arena.
What I take out of this: the asteroid came far closer than expected, but relatively not that close. It may not be tit-stiffening in its threat, but it does make me uneasy when it draws attention to the ability to miscalculate these things. You know?