While we stand around with our fingers up our noses, our solar system is busy throwing giant asteroids and meteors at us like baseballs.
I've written about this situation before, but astronomers have more updates for us.
In 2025, an asteroid is on track to strike the earth. President Obama has initiated a program for scientists to figure out a way to deflect this thing. Shooting a spacecraft at it could knock it away; wipe it out, or none of the above.
Earth is in the middle of a shooting gallery. The tiny asteroid that slammed into Russia recently missed a city of one million people. One thousand people were injured when it struck a small town nearby. Buildings were destroyed, pavement uprooted, and homes were leveled.
So what do we do about this? 60 minutes presented an interesting piece on what astronomers think they can or cannot do about protecting the people of Earth from mass destruction. An asteroid the size of a football stadium could leave a crater one hundred miles wide. Why? Because speed always beats power. The speed of this giant and the resulting impact could wipe out most of all life on the planet.
The problem, as always, is finding these devastating boulders ahead of time. We know where about 95% of them are, but the other 5% of those are hidden in the light of the Sun where we can't see them. The one that clobbered that town in Russia came out of nowhere. We knew nothing about it. On that same day, a bone crusher sized asteroid passed within 17,000 miles of earth, sliding under beneath the orbits of some of our satellites.
A lot of these NEO's, Near Earth Objects, are spotted by amateur sky watchers. An oral surgeon spotted that giant that missed us by 17,000 miles.
Keep your eyes on the sky. There are not enough people looking for these potentially very devastating objects that could hit us in one hundred years, two hundred years, or tomorrow morning.