The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yeah... And What If It Wasn't?

A month and a half ago (April 23rd), NASA found a rather big asteroid headed our way. "There is zero chance of an impact," they say, it won't hit us; just pass close (relatively, that is, about 700,000 miles away) tomorrow.

The folks at NASA are happy to announce this. I suspect, however, that if it was going to smack into us we would not have heard a thing about it.

"Because NEOWISE is a space telescope observing the dawn and twilight sky at infrared wavelengths, it is particularly good at finding large NEOs that make relatively close passes to Earth," said Amy Mainzer, the principal investigator of NEOWISE at JPL. "Using infrared light, we can estimate the object's size, and we can tell that it reflects a fair amount of light. That means it's most likely a stony object."

I am not encouraged. The size (an estimation, of course) is presented as
The NEOWISE data estimate asteroid 2014 HQ124 to be between 800 and 1,300 feet (250 and 400 meters).

That's a pretty big range. I wonder if the estimation of distance was similarly determined.

Anyway, rest easy... there's nothing they can do about it anyway. Let's speculate...
If the thing was an actual threat, would there have been enough time to try one, or more, of the schemes that might divert it?

Just askin'.

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