"...sliding past our planet a scant 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) from the surface..."
Roughly 52 Earth cross sections within the 29 000 mile radius from centre.
A 60-foot-wide asteroid only discovered last week will have a close encounter with the Earth on Sunday, sliding past our planet a scant 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) from the surface. The asteroid, dubbed 2014 RC, was only discovered on August 31 by the US Catalina Sky Survey. It was confirmed by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope …
"Astronomers will be watching 2014 RC closely as it passes by and zooms off around the Sun. It's likely that the rock will be swinging by at some point in the future and its encounter with Earth's gravity will change the asteroid's orbit slightly, potentially putting it in position for an even closer encounter with our planet."
And the orbit may also be altered so that its further away in future.
I think statistically that is probably far more likley.
Years ago some of us in a drunken evening coded up an iterative solutin to the N body problem - a program we called 'orbits' in which more or less random planets and suns were arranged in random places at random velocities.
The only ones that were stable for more than a few orbits comprised a large mass and some smaller ones. Even those had a tendency to catapult any other masses out of the ecliptic plane into outer space.
In a remarkably few cycles those in a plane would settle into harmonically related orbits.
Our conclusion was that the solar system was they way it was because anything else is unstable.
And will either converge towards a solar system type layout or fly apart.
Stuff on deep elliptical orbits around the sun is very prone to have its path altered to go nearer the sun: That can throw it out of orbit altogether.
...we erect a couple of giant tennis rackets around the equator that will deflect any incoming rock. We might even fit space elevators inside the hollow "handles". Come on, it's a win-win!
But what if out opponent is a giant blancmange? On second thoughts, that's probably no problem. Unless the blancmange is actually SCOTTISH...
(this is no fun any more)
You just had to go and post that didn't you? Everything would have been fine, but no YOU had to go ruin it. Now Ming knows his hand has been detected and we're doomed.
Or at least Flash only has 14 hours to save the Earth, but he's tied up in a trademark suit with Adobe.
It was a bomber: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-29106843
I remember well that when Cheliabinsk meteor struck there was another bomber passing by the same day. For how long can we let this aggression go on unanswered? I call on the Space Fighter Command to finally pull their finger out and scramble, FFS.
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