An asteroid didn’t destroy Earth today. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice…

Some NASA images of the rock that's missing us today...

Some NASA images of the rock that’s missing us today…

I read this today in The Washington Post:

A very large, very peanut-shaped asteroid whizzed past Earth on Wednesday, about 1.1 million miles away. For perspective, that’s about 4.6 times the distance to the moon. That’s razor-edge close compared with the vastness of space, but in our human-relative universe it’s waaaayyy out there….

Since I was sitting there at breakfast reading about it, I sort of knew already that the planet hadn’t been destroyed. But I read on with great satisfaction nevertheless:

Let us, for a moment, consider a scenario in which a 0.8-mile-wide asteroid strikes Earth.

First, the magic number for total apocalypse is 60 miles. That’s how big an asteroid would need to be to wipe out human life.

This asteroid is far from that number, but if it hits, let’s say, Washington, D.C., it’s large enough to destroy everything and everyone from New York City to Raleigh, N.C. (I apologize to the people of Raleigh for dragging you into Washington’s apocalypse.) The thermal radiation radius would be much larger….

I guess that would teach North Carolina not to pass dumb ol’ bathroom bills, huh? I mean, this would be is almost as bad as not getting to host NCAA games.

Now, if you want to see a good guess about what the impact of a 60-miler would look like, check the following video. Then go on and have a nice day…

4 thoughts on “An asteroid didn’t destroy Earth today. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice…

  1. Robert Frost

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yup.

          The other day I was watching something when apropos of nothing, a character started speaking some of my favorite lines from Yeats:

          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity….

          Which is extremely relevant at this moment in our political history. Of course, I’ve thought and said that in years past. But it seems that each time I say it, it’s more true…

          To my disappointment, the lines didn’t bear directly on the story; a bit character was just studying for an upcoming English test or something…

          Reply

Leave a Reply to Robert Frost Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *