February 13th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Saving the Earth from asteroids

For most of us, this Friday will be devoted to recovering from Valentine’s Day, or running to the store to buy a belated gift because you forgot that special day.

For Ed Lu, and anyone keeping up with space news recently, February 15 is significant for another reason.

The former NASA astronaut will be tracking 2012 DA14, a medium-sized asteroid expected to get so close to Earth that it will pass under all of the communications satellites orbiting our planet.

No one expects the asteroid to strike us, but Lu says it’s a warning that medium and large-sized asteroids are a threat to Earth.

Lu has devoted his life to tracking such asteroids, and he is working at launching a space telescope dedicated at finding, mapping and tracking asteroids that could harm the planet.

Lu spoke with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta about his mission. Catch a preview by clicking on the above video (part 1), and the one below (part 2). Watch the full interview Sunday at 2:30 pm ET on CNN’s The Next List.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. John

    Now how will ya do that?

    August 12, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  2. Babu G. Ranganathan

    ASTEROIDS, COMETS, AND METEORS ORIGINATED FROM EARTH: In the Earth's past there were powerful volcanic explosions propelling millions of tons of earth soil and rock (now asteroids and meteors) containing organic molecules. Read my popular Internet article, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH. The article explains how millions of tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars, and how debris we call asteroids and meteors could have originated from Earth. According to a Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p. 12 that quotes a NASA scientist, SEVEN MILLION tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars! How could this be possible? Read and find out.

    Even if the right chemicals exist, life cannot arise by chance. The molecules that make-up life have to be in a sequence, just like the letters found in a sentence. Please read my popular Internet articles listed below:

    SCIENCE AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE, NATURAL LIMITS OF EVOLUTION, HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM, WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition), DOES GOD PARTICLE EXPLAIN UNIVERSE'S ORIGIN? ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH, NO HALF-EVOLVED DINOSAURS
    Check out my most recent Internet articles and sites: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION and WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition)

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    B.A. Bible/Biology

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science

    March 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  3. Mango

    So what are the chances of being a Siamese Twin and getting hit by an asteroid??

    February 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • an idea

      Remember the 1979 Arcade game ASTEROIDS? Yeah we need ships like that.

      February 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Rachel

      Now you'll have to fly a trip to russiaaa.

      February 17, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  4. uli199166

    Might as well hang myself now before this asteroid hits us :'(

    February 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  5. uli199166

    I'm very young :'( are we gonna die I haven't even gone to college yet what the hell.

    February 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Joe

      Nope not gonna die ;) By the time the odds of an asteroid stike catches up to us we will be more than capable of stopping it. We probably have tens of thousands of years to get ready for it. Your bones will be dust by then.

      February 15, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • KikaiderX

        Thats very optimistic! We have no idea if a major strike will happen in 200 years, or in two months. We have definitely not mapped all of them, and we definitely do not have a sufficient space infrastructure now to mount any kind of defense!

        If we're very lucky, this near miss will send a message to our leaders, but I am not very hopeful of that.

        February 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • joe

        We have no idea if one will hit five minutes from now. But, we do have a good idea of the odds of one hitting.

        The odds very strongly suggest that there will not be a strike for a very, very, very long time. If you could bet on it you would want to bet everything you have on it. The odds are insanely in favor of no major strikes for thousands of years.

        No human being has ever been killed by an asteroid in recorded history. The best odds possible are 1 in 200,000 that a single person alive today will be killed by an asteroid.

        Worry about something legitimate. Like heart disease (our top killer).

        February 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • KikaiderX

        The odds aren't as impossible as some would like to think.

        "In 2005 it was estimated that the chance of a person born today dying due to an impact is around 1 in 200 000".
        That's about the same chances as being born as Siamese Twins. That's rare, but it absolutely does happen.

        Even worse, according to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey:
        "The odds of earth suffering a catastrophic collision with an asteroid over the next century are about one in 5,000"
        And the odds of a non-civilization threatening asteroid are much greater.

        And, of course, even the way we compile these odds have a pretty good margin for error, because we simply don't have all the information.

        Sure, the odds are against it happening this decade. That should not be confused with a guarantee that it cannot.

        February 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Joe

        Actually it is 1 in 200,000 that ONE single human will die. So first you need to be that one person which is about a 1 in 700,000,000,000 chance and then after getting around the 1 in 7 billion odds you still have to pass the 1 in 200,000 test.

        There are WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY better odds of being a Siamese Twin than getting hit by an asteroid lol. Very funny though :) That is why we have lots of siamese twins and zero asteroid murders :)

        February 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • Joe

        That should say 7,000,000,000 (7 billion not 700 billion lol)

        February 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • KikaiderX

        Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear enough. 1 in 200,000 is the chance that ONE person born today dying due to an impact.
        It is the same odds that ONE specific birth in particular will turn out to be a Siamese twin.

        The point is, given enough chances (enough births in the case of the later, enough time in the case of the former) it WILL happen. I was not comparing the odds of a Siamese twin EXISTING with the odds of a person dying of an impact.

        I am not trying to stir up fear with my posts, I am actually trying to drum up responsibility. Waiting until we are looking down the barrel of impact event is not the time to throw together a mission to deflect it. We should be investing resources into our space infrastructure now, and practicing the techniques that we will need in the future.

        On that last note, our military spending is about 25% of the US budget. NASA is about 0.5 %. I think we as a nation can afford to throw another quarter to half a percent their way for these efforts!

        February 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • Joe

        No kidding. How nice would it be to take that trillion wasted in Iraq and give it to NASA instead.

        February 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  6. uli199166

    Are we gonna Die??

    February 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Joe

      Absolutely, we are gonna die. The death rate for humans throughout history is hovering right around 100% ;)

      February 15, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • mr.funnyman

        U r hilarious!!! Thanks for laugh Joe.

        February 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  7. ThreatisReal

    These asteroids are a real danger to National Security. We can't rely on NASA's underfunded programs to protect us against these. There should be a DoD command to identify and respond to these threats. Time to wake up and smell the vaporized rock!

    February 15, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  8. rikki liman

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    February 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  9. The Criddler

    They track this objects 100 years in advance. No need to get everyone freaked out.

    February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • SG

      Criddler,
      "They track this objects 100 years in advance. No need to get everyone freaked out."

      Check your facts. This asteroid was discovered in 2004. Last time I checked 9 years is a lot less than 100.
      If this had been on an impact trajectory, there is absolutely nothing we could have done about it in 9 years.

      February 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • KikaiderX

      Not to mention that a Comet could blind-side us with almost no warning at all. A couple of months won't be time to do squat.

      No better reason for a robust space infrastructure, if you ask me.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Bob

    Paper covers rock. Problem solved. Duh.

    February 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. empresstrudy

    We have a black President for a few more years so we'll be cool. As soon as Morgan Freeman's out of office though, I'll be cheering for the meteors.

    February 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  12. MOJO

    When i was sitting in my underground shelter looking at the last page of my Mayan calendar I got acute asteroids. At least, my sturgeon who removed them said they were cute. Looking backwards in the mirror, i cannot see any trace of craters.
    So, if Dr. Guppy cannot remove Ed Lu's humungus large asteroid, I can introduce him to my sturgeon who uses a stethescope – not some long-distance telescope for viewing these things up close.
    Anyone got a copy of the new Mayan calendar?

    February 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Dr. GEO

      Good news! You can pick one up at your nearest cenote. Drop in anytime.

      February 17, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  13. joe

    you just need to put something like a small satellite beside it and over millions of miles the gravitational pull will alter its orbit enough to miss hitting earth...and we will never put a human on any planet outside of our solar system, the distance is too great causing the energy to travel there to be more than we could ever generate...plus, if you could travel at speeds near light speed, even hittind a piece of space rock the size of a grain of sand would be catastrophiv

    February 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Trek Fanboy

      Once we figure out Warp drive and deflector dishes, we won't need to worry about distances and space dust. Then we can finally colonize Saturn like everyone wants.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Keystar

        I agree Trek Fanboy, Warp drive totally rocks! Soon the Federation will rise and we will defeat the Klingons!

        February 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • Joe

        Actually, a warp drive is the real thing. NASA is working on one right now.

        No, I am not kidding. It is not some AREA 51 secret thing. NASA is publicly working on a warp drive. You can read about it on nasa.gov. Warping does not conflict with the laws of physics.

        February 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • KikaiderX

      Oh great Nostradamus, thank you for telling us the absolute facts of the future!

      A couple of things, though:
      1. What if a Comet is on an intercept course with Earth? We would likely only know a couple of months out. Far to short a time for the gravity tractor method to have a chance to work.

      2. What about multi-generational slowships? They would accelerate (and decelerate) constantly over a log period, using something like an ion drive. Not that outrageous of an energy expenditure, and we could get somewhere interesting in a modest century or three.

      3. What about the Bussard Ramjet? This type of interstellar craft would actually depend on the 'grains of sand' in interstellar space for thrust. With enough such fuel, it can easily approach a very high percentage of light speed.

      Maybe the future is not as written in stone as much as you think?

      February 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • Joe

        With enough notice, shooting it with a paint ball gun is a decent scenario lol. Sounds goofy but it's legit. Objects get pushed by the sun according to how much light they reflect. We could paint the sunny side to a color that either reflects more or less light according to what direction we want the sun to nudge it in.

        February 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  14. LL

    Technically, we could stop an object like this from hitting us. We could put a couple of hundred tons of mass in front of it and change its momentum enough that the earth would pass out of its way before it hit us. The question would more likely come down to money. Such a mission would have a very high price and people - that don't get along, would have to decide that there was an econimic benefit sufficient to warrant it. More likely, we would take a chance and let it hit us - hoping that it "only" affected a small population or unpopulated area. I'd like to see the debate in the UN. REally we should have an international pool of money already set aside for such an encounter... so that it wouldnt be subject to debate in the heat of the moment...

    February 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  15. Two Four

    Can't stop an asteroid, even if we know when and where it'll hit...

    February 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  16. HawaiiJohn

    I wish it would hit us! Chances are it will hit North Korea or something. Would at least finally be something interesting to be worried about. Maybe everyone with guns can shoot at it.

    February 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Michael

      Please your insane. I hope North Korea nukes the asteroid and saves the Earth.

      February 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Monique

      LoL I agree. And I hope it will be so huge that we would all die together fast and clean!

      February 14, 2013 at 6:51 am |
  17. Barney

    This morning after my morning cup of coffee I dealt with some serious asteroids.

    February 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • waa

      LOL winner!

      February 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  18. Greg Faith

    Each time it comes around, earth's gravity pulls it closer. It will eventually impact us.

    February 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Some Guy

      Possibly, but don't forget there are other objects affecting it's path as well. Jupiter and the Sun are the two largest sources of gravity in our Solar System, so it's probably more likely to impact one of them.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • endeavor43

      It could also be that its deflection towards the earth on this pass will push it in the direction away from the other side of the earth on its next pass.

      February 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  19. laeinstein

    Things must have really gotten bad- Now we have to save the planet from steroids!! Spots are just ruining our young students keeping them on the ball field instead of in the library where they belong and now the bright lights of stardom is motivating them to take steroids. March in Central Park- "Save the world from Steroids" before its too late

    February 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • endeavor43

      I trust that you're kidding, but if not, that's "asteroids" not "steroids."

      February 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Wilford Brimly

    I bet if an asteroid hit CNN it would help with their programming.

    February 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • .

      DIABEETUS

      February 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Just Me

      Well, it sure wouldn't hurt their ratings.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  21. Clown

    Asteroids are the least of our problems, we need to save earth from humans.

    February 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • HA25

      Ed Lu must be reading these comments, wondering if we're worth saving at all.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • DustyOnes

      Nu ke the asteroids and the humans

      February 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • shortyellpwbus

      test message

      February 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Frank

      100% this. All vertebrate life will be eaten, poisoned, poached, or displaced and starved to extinction by humans long before an asteroid manages to reshape Earth.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • endeavor43

        It should go without saying that would depend on when the next major earth-asteroid collision occurs.

        February 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • KikaiderX

        What Endeavor said!
        For the rest of you, just put your heads back in the sand, and pontificate on how horrible humanity is. You are definitely not part of the solution.

        February 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Just Me

      We need to save the Earth from the Tea Garbage before we worry about astriods.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • cheapseats2

      Yourself included?

      February 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  22. ThatGuy

    Not to quote a movie but, "President: We didn't see this thing coming?
    Dan: Well, our object collison budget's a million dollars. That allows us to track about 3% of the sky, and beg'n your pardon sir, but it's a big-ass sky.
    I don't think we'll see the one that will hit us and if we do I don't think there will be much we can do to stop it. Bring on the rain cause we could use a cleansing and a restart.

    February 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Buck (the sane one)

      NASA has been quoted recently as saying they've found around 95% of the potentially planet-killing asteroids. The good news is that none of them appear to be heading for Earth. The bad news is there's at least another 5% we dont know about.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Allan

        How can they know they've found 95% if they haven't found the rest of them. Without knowing the total number it's impossible to compute the percentage!

        February 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • shortyellowbus

        no the bad news is none of them hit the earth

        February 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  23. cheapseats2

    Sometimes my asteroids hurt so bad I can barely....oh wait...nevermind. I really WAS confused as to how a telescope was going to help me.

    February 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Drummer

    Buck, you need to get some help.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Buck (the sane one)

      Apparently there are two different users named Buck on here posting. The Buck that posted about faking an asteroid landing is indeed not mentally healthy.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  25. An Asteroid

    So you save the world from the likes of me.
    but who will the world from the like of you?

    February 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  26. Wes

    I can imagine some real advantages from the enlistment of asteroids and their exploitation. After all humans are all about exploitation. Initially, an asteroid may help humans avoid a genetic bottleneck if hitting a sweet spot on the earth and leaving 3 dozen fertile women (give or take a few that will just wander off) and some guys that are willing to mate (like any guy will). This will advance the human specie by establishing some diversity as we have pushed 7 billion units toward some really nasty genome anomaly. I may be wrong on this but it will only hurt for a little bit and increase diversity among life on earth. Second, I have always felt that we could launch a vehicle to converge with a local asteroid and "hitch a ride" thereby saving a lot of gas to propel our spacecraft. All the while we can direct the orbit of the asteroid and use it's limited gravity to help with all those little nasty human functions. Converging with a near earth asteroid may be our best hope of getting someplace fast and cheap. Again, I may be wrong but it would be fun trying. Finally, the very least we can do is install some transmitting and measurement equipment on one of these rocks to do the studies that we continue to spend a fortune on during successive launches, year after year. This would get us a view that is far removed from our local environment and changing enough to keep us interested beyond a short attention span. Then again, I may be wrong. We could finally just put a CD player on a asteroid with some old Zappa albums and see how they sound after collecting some REAL cosmic debris years later. Then again...

    February 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Weston

      While asteroids could potentially do this, we would need a very long time to do it, and be very precise in our calculations.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Canada

        Come on man.... this isn't rocket science...

        February 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • shortyellowbus

      dude, you are really screwing with my short attention span

      February 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  27. Buck

    In order to maintain duping control of the masses, NASA needs to go ahead and push forth with a fake asteroid landing.

    Here's the synopsis; NASA launches one of the remaining 'three-foil-thick' LEM's (updated with a new computer), "land" on an asteroid and as soon as they "step outside", Obama could give them a ring telling him how proud he is of their televised landing. Then after a couple of days "camping out" on said asteroid collecting pebbles to dupe the geologists, then they could "blast off" from the rock, reconnect with a "command module" that has been allegedly "orbiting" the asteroid, ditch the LEM for a "crash landing" into the blasted asteroid, and then head home. This is where it gets tricky.... Upon a fiery hypersonic reentry and mega 25,000 mph, they could simply drop the capsule from a cargo plane (much, much safer), which will ensure that the astros return safely from the asteroid without turning into a meteor, and then parachutes will slow them down from hypersonic 25,000 to, oh, 150 for the splashdown (the actual asteroid could be somewhere in the desert and a "black" sky pasted in). After all of these preposterous stunts, NASA will again regain their "hero" status of their golden years when they were faking spaceflight with the help from the Soviets......

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/IFS.htm

    February 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Buck (the sane one)

      You have to be the same person that cried in another space related article that the moon landing was a fake. If that is in fact you, it cracks me up that you're still posting comments using my name versus your original one.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Buck Rogers

        Negative. I'm buck Rogers the non-duped one.

        February 14, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Dustin Goldsen

      Ok space flight is not real. And let me guess, you think professional wrestling is real, the government is putting microphones in postage stamps and the true astronauts are the ones from Beta 9 who landed in Roswell back in the late 1940s.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • Buck Rogers

        Professional wrestling is indeed 'real' even though it's fake. The show is pre-planned and 'acted out', the audience is entertained, and everyone gets paid. The same goes with human 'spaceflight'. The entire show is pre-planned, acted out (primarily at the cosmodrome), folks are entertained, scientists are duped, and everyone gets paid. The system actually works well so there's no reason to change it, as long as the fakery is done well.

        February 14, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • KikaiderX

      Here's your tinfoil hat.
      And your sign.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • stubblytroll

      My mother was one of the most intelligent people I know and SHE thought the moon landing was fake, too. You poor deluded person. I suppose you are the kind of person that is bound to tell someone who is holding a green object that it is purple. I feel sorry for you. And my mother, too, God rest.

      February 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  28. Kugellager

    Since when is a dinky little 45m/150 ft asteroid a "medium-sized" ?

    February 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jason

      An asteroid only 80 feet across left a crater in Arizona...that is more than a mile wide. Believe it or not, that dinky 150 ft rock has enough mass and momentum to cause as much damage as a small nuclear bomb.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  29. rad666

    asteroids?

    Isn't that what astronauts will have after extended space travel?

    February 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  30. Chicken Litte

    The sky is falling,.... the sky is falling, ...........see I told you the sky is falling!

    February 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  31. Graham

    A rock the size of this one would be devastating on a regional scale. If it were to hit a major metropolitan area, thousands of people would be killed, and many thousands more would be injured. A hit in the ocean would be even worse – impact-induced tsunamis could wipe out an even great number of people and cities. The scary thing is, we'd have very little warning of an impact event. There have been asteroids that approached us close, but we didn't know about it until afterward.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Jason

      You dummy! Asteroids are tracked all over the solar system and there is not one headed towards earth through at least 2025 or something like that. Its the furthest out they can predict them.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • doughnuts

        You dummy, we have only found and calculated the orbits for a small percentage of NEOs.
        Not to mention the occasional Belt asteroid that gets its orbit perturbed by Jupiter and comes wandering into the inner system.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ax

      If an asteroid consisting of extraordinarily hard metals; the size of a house- burns down/ disintegrate to the size of a pebble upon entering the earth's atmosphere...

      "How does a padded ship re-enter the ozone?"

      February 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • ThatGuy

        A meteor gets caught by Earth's gravity long before it touches Earth's atmosphere and has plenty of time to accelerate to fabulous speeds; when it hits the atmosphere, the speed makes for enough friction to burn/melt/destroy the thing. A shuttle comes in a at an angle and slows it's decent to reduce the friction, plus the insulation that the shuttle is layered with helps the heat be displaced away from the main body of the shuttle.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  32. T

    Where are our asteroid-killer satellites ? (LOL)
    Or at least, a NX-01 starship to fire it's phasers at the asteroids they come....?

    February 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  33. The Emperor

    A entire legion of my best troops await them.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  34. CHANHIT

    INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION AND SATELLITE DANGEROUS LASER-HARD TOUR SYSTEM ABILITIES ARE CREATION TO MY LIFE STORY IN USA ,,, THEN IN 2012 JULY TO 2013 FEBUARY 9 THE LAST I POSTS,COMMENTS,SHARE-LINKS IN FACEBOOK.COM AND USA NEWS GROUPS EVERYBODY CAN SEE, CAN LEARN, CAN READ ,,, THEN FACEBOOK.COM MY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS CHANHIT ,,, THEN TODAY IS THE LAST I POSTS,COMMENTS, SHARE-LINKS IN USA NEWS GROUPS ,,, THEN I SAVE MY BEST USA AND THE WORLD ,,, THANKS ,,, SORRY FOR REPLY ,,,

    February 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • NJStylee

      What language are you speaking? Are you having a stroke or something?

      February 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • David

        I think that was HAL 9000 speaking.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • AM

      ub blabe na gibber un wwuwuwu! Seriously... Please, put the coffee cup down, lean back, take a deep breath and then turn of the computer...

      February 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  35. Dan Arby

    I'm more interested in when Comet ISON approaches Earth. http://www.2013comet.com

    February 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Buck

      It's incorrectly been labeled as Comet ISON. ISON is just the organization that discovered it. The name of the comet is C/2012 S1. That being said, I agree it will be a spectacular event to witness.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  36. Urgent Announcement

    Until further notice, "Asteroids" will be called "Butt eroids"

    February 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • John

      And Meteroids have been renamed to Vegetablearoids.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  37. rsmoke

    The question is not if but when, and what shall we do when the time comes?

    February 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • KikaiderX

      If we don't have an already existing space infrastructure when that time comes, then the answer is simple. We go extinct.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Guest

      Hopefully any mass extinction events aren't on the calendar for another few hundred years or more and by then we'd hopefully have a way off of this planet and a new home to chill out at until Earth recovers. If not, well, as my grandfather would tell my mom back during the Cold War when she would ask what she should do if the nukes started flying: when you hear the sirens, sit down, put your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • MakeThemEatCake

        I remember the old Cold War "what to do when.." videos. Duck and cover were the instructions given to school children if they saw a nuclear blast. Little did they know, the general public not the scienctists, that the radiation that would kill you had already hit you since they all travel at the same speed.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lizrod

      Bend over and kiss your *!$ goodbye.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • ambitoos

      You can kiss your keester goodbye.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Me Too!

      Duck?

      February 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  38. asdrel

    Does anyone know what time (PDT or EDT) it will make it's closest approach?

    February 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Won't be on our side

      So you'll need to book a trip to Asia.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • DTC

      From nasadotgov

      "Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth on Feb. 15 at approximately 19:24 UTC (2:24 p.m. EST/11:24 a.m. PST). This time may change by a minute or two as the asteroid is tracked on its approach and predictions are refined."

      February 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  39. Canada Dry

    Dangerously large chunks of frozen crap sizzling through the universe can't be stopped by Bruce Willis, The Pope or the US military. Support the NEO projects!

    February 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Jed Clampett

      The Pope is resigning because he couldn't stop the asteroid.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • JJC

        I hear he can't stop his priests from liking little kids either.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • ya

      It is just a phone call away for the pope

      February 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • MakeThemEatCake

      maybe.. if enough of the mass is ice of some kind, heating it up might displace enough of the overall mass that the gravitational force of other planets or even our moon may alter the path enough to save the Earth. a couple, possibly a few, correctly timed and placed nuclear detonations may do the trick. and now that North Korea can contribute some hardware, when the time comes, they may be able to buy their way off of the latest U.N. embargo list.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • MakeThemEatCake

        possibly even a space based laser. didn't Val Kilmer build one when he went to college??

        February 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  40. Lizrod

    Quick man the asteroid machine...pew..pew...pew

    February 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  41. Canada Dry

    I am paranoid of an impact. Usually man learns from his mistakes. Support the NEO projects!

    February 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  42. donklos

    I guess it's too presumptuous to think that after the trillions of dollars in space investment for this country that we'd have created a stealthy plan to divert a dangerous asteroid if one was found to be heading toward Earth.

    February 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Noocrat

      Less than a trillion actually. In fact, the budget of NASA's 50+ year history is around the amount spent in 1 year on national defense.

      NASA is a very, very small program, budget-wise.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • KikaiderX

        This.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • robert

      i thought i saw that in a movie once

      February 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Buck

      donklos, you should really learn to do a little research first before posting on a topic you obviously don't know anything about. Your comment is ironic because you're the very reason we don't have a planned response to a potential asteroid impact. People like you understand very little about what research/programs NASA is involved with. You also are entirely exaggerate, as Noocrat pointed out, about those trillions of dollars spent on space programs.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Dinesh Sharma

      NASA does amazing things on a small budget.
      Bush started wars based on BS that have cost us 4 trillion dollars with little to show for it. Don't even think about complaining about the NASA money. What they do will save the planet some day.

      February 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  43. A Myan

    we was only off by 2 months. cut us some slack.

    February 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • douglas

      I was so disappointed to wake up on the 22nd.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Us

        Did you sell your house?

        February 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • rationalintn

      Don't sweat it dude. We don't expect much from someone who can't even spell Mayan :-)

      February 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Buck

      This may have actually been funny if you had spelled Mayan correctly and 2012 DA14 was a global killer. 2012 DA14 really only has the potential to destroy a city. Life would go on if it did impact Earth.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Severhead

        not for the people in the city it hit...bu dump bump

        February 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  44. l

    jkjhkhjkhjkj

    February 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

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