An asteroid really could smack us

  • Article by: DONALD K. YEOMANS , New York Times
  • Updated: February 13, 2013 - 6:50 AM

We've spotted only a sliver of the nearby objects that could pose a threat to Earth. We need to look harder.

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luzhishenFeb. 12, 13 6:54 PM

Too bad this guy looks like he is fishing for a grant. There is a threat posed by NEOs but this may not be the best solution. Look at the advances in ground-based telescopes for more on this.

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taftjFeb. 12, 13 7:06 PM

and so what if it happens? an earthquake could drop San Francisco off into the ocean tomorrow, a super volcano could blow in yellowstone the day after...it's not like we're going to be able to change the path of a 100 mile rock flying through space...love your family, live for today, tomorrow is not promised, quite the cliche, but it's true...the writer must watch a lot of Doomsday Preppers...

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justaxnspendFeb. 12, 13 7:21 PM

Look harder.....WHY? I don't want to know!

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DanielDayFeb. 12, 13 7:40 PM

Great - another thing to worry about. I'm still scared of the killer bees. And don't forget the Red Menace - that could return too.

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dave9398Feb. 12, 13 7:41 PM

What good could come from saying that something was going to hit earth and possibly destroy? This would cause pandemonium.

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thetruthurtsFeb. 12, 13 7:57 PM

Remember that the article is listed under "opinion"

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hardrainFeb. 12, 13 8:40 PM

It matters because unlike this little "shot off the bow", an extinction sized rock could be out there too. The dinosaurs didn't have a space program. Yes, things could be done if the object were discovered early enough. Small, continuous nudging could make a big rock miss if it's done early and often.

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jastkeFeb. 12, 1310:02 PM

"Small, continuous nudging could make a big rock miss if it's done early and often."......This would mean identifying the object WITH CERTAINTY many MANY years in advance, which is highly unlikely considering the precision required to know whether the object would actually strike us. Planning numerous missions, constructing software, hardware and infrastructure and carrying out the missions would also be a very difficult proposition. And don't forget figuring out how to pay for it all. Sorry, but the likelihood that we could successfully make an asteroid miss us is so small that it's ridiculous to try.

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bizsmithFeb. 13, 13 6:39 AM

So what? We don't have the technology to do anything about it. Be sure to carry your umbrella.

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NoMasBSFeb. 13, 13 8:13 AM

Man.... I would laugh so hard at the, "so what we can't do anything about it anyways" crowd if and when an asteroid would start heading directly at earth. These complainers would be the first ones to ask why the government didn't do anything before it was too late. You guys keep eating your greasy hamburgers and supersized fries because when you have a heart attack your families can say, "oh well there was nothing he/she could have done about it anyways".

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