Here’s something scary to think about.
We just missed getting hit by an asteroid half the size of a football field. What's scary about it is despite all our technology and space telescopes, NASA didn’t know about this big rock until a couple of amateur observers discovered it heading towards earth. If it was on course to hit us, we wouldn't have a chance. Even a few years are not enough time to come up with ways to save ourselves from being clobbered by an asteroid.
I've been monitoring the chances of being hit by an asteroid for several years now and have learned that there are not enough people searching deep space for these potentially devastating rocks, many of which could extinguish all life on earth. The asteroid that just missed us would completely obliterate the city of Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs. If it landed in the ocean it would create an enormous tsunami which, when it hit land, would destroy any coastal cities in its path.
We don't have many options when it comes to saving us from these things. We can't nuke them because that would only scatter pieces of it which would still enter our atmosphere, causing tremendous damage and loss of life. In fact, some of these boulders, remnants of the big bang, are so big that if we did get hit, all life on earth would be wiped out.
So what's the plan?
Scientists say our only option would be to alter the path of the asteroid by landing on it and putting up sails. These sails would catch solar winds and hopefully that would be enough to move the rock off course.
Obviously, we're pitifully unprepared. NASA isn't set up to launch a manned mission to an asteroid and doesn't have the solar sails we'd need to move it off course.
The meteor that recently exploded over Russia, injuring nearly a thousand people, is a pebble compared to the asteroid that passed within 17,000 miles of hitting the earth. In fact, that asteroid was so close it passed underneath the orbits of most of our satellites.
So what do we do? Run out and buy eight inch deep space scopes so we can all keep an eye on the sky? Do we pester the government to make preparations now in case an asteroid is found to be on course to hit us? Do we fund entrepreneurs to design the sails that we'll need to catch the solar winds?
More than likely we'll cavalierly ignore this threat until the last minute and then scramble to do something about it. That's the human way to take care of things. Ignore the inevitable and make it the pretendible.