An asteroid that nobody knew was coming flew very, very close to our planet. Gulp.
Quick, what’s traveling at 106,000 kilometers per hour (66,000 mph) and is as big as a football field?
An asteroid that nobody knew was coming whizzed by us a few weeks ago.
Taking everyone by surprise, the thing was both discovered and flew past Earth within about 24 hours, on April 15. Kinda gives the idea that we can actually do anything to deflect asteroids a bit of a pause, eh?
Named 2018 GE3, it passed us by at about half the distance between Earth and the moon—wicked close.
Is this a regular occurrence?
Scientists discover a new asteroid headed kinda toward Earth at the rate of one or two per week, and they’re usually the size of a house or a bus. Not a football field. Even still, at 100 meters in width, NASA’s asteroid detection program missed this one, since it detects objects that are 140 meters and larger.
Larger than Tunguska
Asteroid 2018 GE3 is 3.5 times larger than the asteroid (some evidence suggests it was actually a small comet) named Tunguska that leveled 2,000 km (80 million trees) of the Siberian forest way back in 1908. If 2018 GE3 had impacted Earth, the results would have very likely been catastrophic, no matter where it hit.
Still, in the big picture of living in a cosmic shooting gallery, this wasn’t all that large.
It’s relative, right?
Well… I suppose that depends on whom the thing strikes when it impacts.
Meanwhile, here are NASA and FEMA’s scramble plans for when something like it is discovered—provided there’s time.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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