Scientists Say Huge Asteroid ‘Skimming’ Past Earth on Friday is Not Hazardous

PHOTO CREDIT: NASA
PHOTO CREDIT: NASA

Tabloid news sites are in full panic-trolling mode this week since learning that a “potentially hazardous” asteroid 500 meters across named “2014 YB35” is on a “ near collision course” with Earth. If the asteroid were to impact Earth, the results could be catastrophic, like end-of-the-dinosaurs kind of catastrophe.

But a number of the tabloid articles on sites like the UK Mirror conveniently omit some easily accessible key facts and perspective, like the fact that in this case, a near collision course with our planet is actually 11.7 lunar distances. In other words, take the distance between the moon and Earth, multiply that number by 11.7 and the resulting distance is the closest that the asteroid will come to Earth at its closest approach on Friday.

Put another way, you should be 11 times as worried that the moon will crash into Earth tonight.

Now, on the cosmic scale, when you consider the massive distances involved in measuring our solar system and galaxy, then yes, you could say that relatively speaking that asteroid will be skimming our planet this week, but it’s irresponsible not to make clear the scale by which the phrase “skimming” is actually accurate.

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SOURCE: Forbes, Eric Mack