back to article Truck-sized asteroid slips silently between Moon and Earth

In the early hours of Saturday morning an asteroid whizzed past Earth at what in astronomical terms a very close shave, skimming just 186,000 miles over our planet's surface. Asteroid 2014 HL129 squeaks past Asteroid 2014 HL129 squeaks past The asteroid, dubbed 2014 HL129, a 4-to-15 meter-wide chunk of space debris, …

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  1. Chris G Silver badge

    OH Look! There's a great big..........

    BLAAAMM!

    1. Ole Juul
      Coat

      Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

      Where I live, trucks go by all the time.

      1. Matt 21

        Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

        Well, if it was a space lorry, it probably passed by due to a dodgy GPS update. All we need to do is contact the manufacturers and get them to show the Solar System as a dead end.

        1. IglooDude

          Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

          And just like that, Apple Maps secret mission is revealed. It was never intended to guide humans at all.

  2. Simon Rockman

    Space junk

    The thing is, if something from another intelligent life form, the size of Voyager did turn up in orbit around earth we'd never notice it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Space junk

      I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Alien

        @AC - Re: Space junk

        Apathetic bloody planet. I've no sympathy at all.

  3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    What's this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast?

    Very, very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide-sounding name like . . . ow . . . ound . . . round . . . ground! That's it! That's a good name- ground!

    I wonder if it will be friends with me?

    Hello, Ground!

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: What's this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast?

      Not again.

  4. Mitoo Bobsworth
    Joke

    A request to Science...

    If you ever spot one heading toward Washington D.C. - don't tell them.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: A request to Science...

      Just as long as it misses Fort Meade. ;)

  5. ian 22

    Truck sized? Yet another metric? Is it 0.5 Brotosuarusus or perhaps 30 velociraptors?

    Please clarify! How are we to know the threat? We should be told.

  6. Captain DaFt

    Beep beep!

    They would have missed it completely, but it honked its horn when it passed the Moon.

  7. Paul 129
    Mushroom

    Would we be told?

    I guess whizzed by answers that question.

    A week... Could have booked a nice place with the right view....

    Bomb because there's no pouting icon.

  8. Benchops

    slips silently...

    silently is fine. It's when you can hear them that you /really/ need to worry

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: slips silently...

      If you hear them it's already to late to worry.

  9. Frankee Llonnygog

    I know it's all relatve

    But 10ktons worth of damage might feel quite serious, depending on where it is.

  10. Brian Miller 1

    Hmmmm salt pinch

    According to this impact effect calculator: http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/cgi-bin/crater.cgi?dist=0.1&diam=15&pdens=3000&pdens_select=8000&vel=51&theta=90&tdens=2750&tdens_select=0

    It would break up into fragments and would not leave a significant crater. This is assuming that it is made of Iron, travelling as fast as a comet and impacting @ 90deg or straight through the shortest part of the atmosphere (the worst case).

    Not even a megaton of energy energy in the airburst.

    I don't know what the source is for this but perhaps it assumes we have no atmosphere to protect us. Not really that newsworthy if you ask me.

    1. Elmer Phud
      Flame

      Re: Hmmmm salt pinch

      " Not really that newsworthy if you ask me."

      Sez you!

      Some of us are trying to run bespoke hat design companies, we can't always expect UUKIP supporters to fill our books for fetching aluminium-foil headgear.

  11. Tromos

    A week's notice

    Plenty of time to run away from ground zero. One would hope that something big enough to make relocation futile would be detected a lot earlier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A week's notice ... Plenty of time to run away

      Sure. But if ground zero were, in some unlucky event, not to be some sparsely populated area, but in or dangerously near a city, you might be able to get the people away, ... but where would they all go? Solvable, no doubt, but I suspect the implementation of whatever evacuation plan there might be would turn into a giant disaster of its own, .. even if the asteroid itself turned out to be something of a non-event.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: A week's notice

      One would hope that something big enough to make relocation futile would be detected a lot earlier.

      If it's "big enough to make relocation futile", what's the point of hoping you know about it "a lot earlier"?

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    New job for LOHAN - get up there and look out for new shiney things, glinting in the sun

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By the time LOHAN's ready for launch, humans will have populated most of the galaxy and Earth will be surrounded by a big box to preserve the Mother planet.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Small! but beautifully formed

        LOHAN could be coming from 70.000 ft through a window very close to you if you criticise it.

        1. Paul Kinsler

          Re: LOHAN could be coming from 70.000 ft through a window very close to you ...

          and will she be bringing some Milk Tray?

  13. mike 32

    What about an inert intersection,

    like how the US destroyed that satellite a few years ago? It wouldn't smash an asteroid into millions of tiny pieces, but each small piece would be much less likely to reach the ground, surely?

  14. WalterAlter
    Megaphone

    I'm gonna tell you one thing, kid

    Younger Dryas Event

  15. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Hurtled between the Earth and the Moon?

    If I remember my Thundarr the Barbarian, this should usher in an age of savagery, super-science, and sorcery. But as long as one man bursts his bonds to fight for freedom, that should be OK.

    Ookla, Ariel: Ride!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re asteroid

    Also relevant, it seems that if an asteroid hits the Moon it could cause a lot of damage due to (a) shifting of its orbit and (b) fragmentation of the Moon which could occur really easily if the asteroid was say 10* as big as the K-T impactor and moving just a little bit faster.

    Even knocking a chunk of the Moon off would be very very bad.

    We demand Spaceguard, and we demand it NOW!!!!

    On the flip side, the AGW crowd will be hiding in bunkers like the rest of us come 2047 if Apophis hits because the eejits in Govt funded Gulf War III: Revenge of the Sith instead of Spaceguard.

  17. Mike Flugennock
    Black Helicopters

    Or, as it was reported by the Drudge Report...

    ZOMG IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!!11!!1!!!!

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