Wait! Did you hear that whooshing sound?
A small asteroid buzzed by Earth Monday, though only real astronomy geeks in the Pacific would have noticed.
The rock, estimated to be no more than 200 feet wide, zoomed past our planet at an altitude of 40,000 miles at 1:44 p.m. universal time — or 8:44 EST.
Dubbed 2009 DD45, it was discovered only on Friday by Australian astronomers.
Forty thousand miles may sound like a lot, but it’s only about one-seventh of the way to the moon, and less than twice as far out as many telecommunications satellites.
Had 2009 DD45 hit the Earth, it would have exploded on or near the surface with the force of a large nuclear blast — not very reassuring when you consider humanity had only about three days’ notice.
The link is to a more scientific article, but the text above is from Fox News, whence also came this gem:
According to the Australian news Web site Crikey, the asteroid is likely to be drawn in by Earth’s gravity, meaning it may return for many more near misses in the future.
First of all, Fox News gets ITS news from a WEB SITE called ‘Crikey’ (which you have to shout in an Australian accent). Secondly, A HUGE FUCKING ROCK ALMOST HIT EARTH YESTERDAY AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO TELL ANYONE?!?!?! Perhaps it was for the best, given my all-caps reaction after the rock passed by safely. Still though, we now know should anything terrible really be going down we will not be told until after it happens, alive or dead. The space chunk is estimated to come back about 2029, so in your face, 2012-ers. That’s assuming, of course, that we survive the near-collision predicted in 2014, 2016, and 2021. Waaaaah.