Deep Impact

There’s an asteroid heading for Earth, but it’s not even a big deal you guys

Asteroid 2006 QV89 currently has a one in 7,000 chance of hitting us on 9 September, but it’s more likely to pass us by, but also there’s a 1% chance that science got its calculations wrong…

You may recall the meteorite that exploded over Russia, to dramatic effect, back in 2013. Well, 2006 QV89 (henceforth dubbed MoonPie for the rest of this article) is around double the width, at 40 m, and is probably muttering “hold my beer” somewhere out there in the icy expanse of space. Don’t worry though, MoonPie is only the fourth most concerning space object that has the potential to hit us, according to this European Space Agency list. Second on the list is a 900 m wide beast that we’ll only have to worry about in 2113, by which time our robot overlords will have built the defensive array.

However, there’s no need to go all Deep Impact and hug your loved ones on a beach like a couple of losers, there’s pretty much always something threatening to hit Earth, because space is dark and full of terrors.

Current modelling of MoonPie’s orbit shows it will probably pass us by with over 6.8 million km to spare. For comparison, a satellite in geostationary orbit cruises at about 36,000 km and the Moon sits around 380,000 km from Earth. Also, a 30 m wide asteroid scooted by us in April, at 1.8 million km, and you didn’t even notice. I mean, even science only noticed like nine days before it arrived, so don’t feel too bad.

Rest easy, citizen.



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